Wednesday, February 29, 2012

we took William to get allergy tested this morning. i loaded up all the kids and all the school books (not knowing how long it would take) and we headed over to the clinic before 8. it was nice to be able to just leave Margaret, Samuel, and John in the waiting room while Hazel and i joined William. they tested 48 things, and William was a good sport. they let him watching 101 Dalmations while he lay there and waited out the test. looks like he's allergic to quite a few things, mostly dust and mold. we're going to do an overhaul of the boys' room, getting new mattresses, getting rid of all stuffed animals, and putting plastic covers on the mattresses and pillows. hopefully that and the prescription meds will help him feel a lot better. i took him to Target afterwards to get a Lego set as a reward for being good at the doc. ok, maybe he's too old for those kinds of reward thingys, but sometimes, beleive it or not, i can be a softy.

i started on Asacol for my ulcertive colitits. i'm already noticing an improvement on that, but overall i've felt pretty yucky. i'm not sure if it's the colitis or a stomach virus. maybe both? seems like everything i eat just goes right through me. ugh. not great, especially with me still nursing around the clock.

we got letters from AISD informing us that Margaret and Samuel didn't make it into Lamar MS. Margaret is number 3 on the waiting list, and Samuel is number 10. it's a relief to have the waiting game over with. now we'll just make plans to homeschool another year. Samuel was disappointed, but i'm sure it won't be a big deal to Margaret. she's neither here nor there on the issue.

There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone's life. -

Sister Mary Rose Mcgeady

Monday, February 27, 2012

i know i've raved about my chore wheel, but i must do so again. this thing is so great! each day i have the kids doing 4 chores each, which means 16 areas get covered every day. here they are -

vaccuum & dust  living room
vaccuum & dust den
vaccuum hallway, bathroom & Hazel's room
vaccuum bedroom
vaccuum kitchen and diningroom
clean hall bathroom
clean school room
empty all waste baskets
sweep front and back porch
laundry helper
dinner helper
water house plants
put away food after dinner
wash dinner dishes
dry and put away dinner dishes
clean tabe, counters, floor after dinner

so it may seem like a whole lot, but i want the kids to learn a good work ethic and know how to run a house. i really am pleased with the attitude that everyone has had toward doing their fair share. as i said, they each get four chores/areas of responsibily each week and i turn all the wheels on sunday so that we are on a four week rotation. we are in our 4th week of the *new and improved* chore wheel and it's become habit for them now. and man, has it made my life easier!

i added the happy faces to make the whole thing seem like fun!
i've really fallen off the blogging wagon. here's hoping this is the beginning of my recovery.

let's see if i can sum up february....

lots of basketball practices and then some games, Girl Scout cookie sales, cub scout meetings, church and homeschooling, a low-key valentine's day, Samuel's birthday (11!!!), Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, running and walking and getting back into shape....

and a growing baby girl. Hazel continues to delight.

yesterday marked the beginning of my marathon training. my friend Karen and i are going to, Lord willing.  train for and run the Chosen: Marathon for Adoption in New Braunfels in October. i ran 6 miles yesterday.

i don't know if i have mentioned this on my blog before, but i was diagnosed with colitis when i was 7. it isn't something you are every really cured of, that is unless you get your colon removed, and i've had flare ups of it throughout my life. i've been having trouble with it since Hazel was born, and finally went into the doctor this morning. he put me on some medicine, but recommended i see a GI. i really don't want to have a colonoscopy right now since i don't have a breast pump and Hazel won't take a bottle anyways. i feel fine other than the bleeding, so i'm hoping that the anti inflammatory meds will fix things. from what i read, it's fairly common for colitis to act up during pregnancy/childbirth.

i've been trying to find some ways we can observe Lent as a family. here is one thing we're doing. it's like a Jesse Tree. Margaret and i drew and laminated the ornaments.

 another idea i saw that we are going to try to incorporate is the forgiveness or confession box. you write sins you confess and repent of and put them in the box. no one sees them. at the end of Lent, the box is burned, as a visual representation of how the Lord removes our sins from us.

the last couple of months we've been toying with the idea of selling our house. we really were on the verge of putting it on the market, but have kinda backed off the idea. there is going to be a whole big bunch of development happening down the street from us over the next year, an HEB, the Mueller Town Center, a hotel, the AISD performing art center, and other things, so it's probably better for us financially if we hang onto our house a little while longer. in the meantime, we're looking into some more home improvements that would make life a little pleasanter while we're here.

i planted my spring garden over the weekend. i'm so excited about it! every year we've gardened, our garden has done better than the last, so i have pretty high expectations of this one.

Brian and Hazel and i watched the Help last night. can't believe it has taken us that long to get around to watching it. we just seem to never have time for moving watching, and when we do, we're too tired.

well, i'm off to crack the whip.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

we're all here in the den. Brian's reading from a Hardy Boys books from his childhood collection while the he and the boys sit by the fireplace. Hazel nods off in her swing and Margaret showers down the hall. it's a cozy night in the Wells house.

we had a productive day today. Brian got the big kids out to run this morning, Margaret and Samuel ran their 3 miles, Brian 4, and William and John 1. Hazel and i stayed in bed and drank coffee.

we did school out in our little school room, getting a lot accomplished: Bible, read-a-loud, math, grammar, spelling, literature, penmanship, phonics, art, science, and history. it is really amazing how much we can get done when everyone is in their right minds.

i took Hazel out for a three mile walk after lunch. it was so refreshing! Margaret has grown very responsible, and i can trust her to make sure everyone does what they're supposed to do when i have to leave the house to run errands or exercise.

i ran into Karen, Keegan, and Jewels at the grocery store and invited them to join us at the park this afternoon. it was nice to have some adult conversation for a little bit while the kids played.

we made a quick stop at the neighborhood library on the way home to get books for research papers. i sure do like that little library. it will be sorely missed if and when we move from here.

Brian and the boys were supposed to have a cub scout meeting this evening, but that got cancelled. so here we are having a sweet evening at home. these days it is such a relief when an activity gets cancelled. we have something going on almost every night of the week otherwise.

a guy named Marcus has been stopping by our house to ask if we have any work for him to do. he's come by about 5 times in the past month. he looks to be maybe 18 or so, is as big as a tank, but has the eyes of a child. he's very respectful and acts awfully nervous. we never have any work for him to do  - we have 5 kids we're training to do that stuff - but we've given him a few dollars each time. he's mentioned that he keeps coming back to us because we're so nice to him. the poor guy! well, he came again tonight and Brian talked to him. apparently he's homeless now. Brian gave him the phone number for our church and encouraged him to call them, as the deacons might be able to help him find some work. the first time Brian offered him the phone number (last week), he turned him down, but this time he came asking for the number. anyways, i really hurt for this guy. he comes across as a big little kid.

i don't have a picture for today. i'll try to get something tomorrow.

Monday, February 6, 2012

last night we went to a super bowl party at Ben and Robyn's. they live in this garden court home at Mueller where about eight or ten houses face each other and share a green space. all the kids run in and out of each other's houses and they're kind of raised communally. not really. well, sorta. the party was at their place, and kind of at their neighbors, Jamie and Annette's place. Jamie is head of all the YMCAs in Austin which seems like a pretty cool job. it was good to hang out with friends and make some new acquaintances. as is usually the case at just about any social event our family goes to (including funerals) we were the last to leave. not sure why that's always the case. maybe we have trouble taking hints that the party's over.

i reworked the chore wheel today. i love this little thing. when used properly, it makes life so much easier for this momma.

well, that's all i have for today. Hazel is crying and dinner is frying.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

3 months.

we've only known you as a person for three months, but already you are such a part of this family. how much joy you've brought to those around you...and this is just the beginning. Happy Hazel...that's what we call you. your smile could brighten the darkest day.

we love you, Hazel Jane!

it was a year ago next week that Brian and i discussed collaborating on a new project. Hazel came to be before we had time to second guess our decision. i sure am glad.
we had a short-but-sweet visit from Brian's parents this weekend. they got here just before we had to leave for Margaret, Samuel, and Brian's basketball game. the kids played hard, but sadly, it was another loss.

that's Samuel, #30.

Margaret #4

after the game we went to dinner at a little place in our neighborhood called Paco's Tacos.

discussing the game with Coach while waiting for food to arrive.

i got up early saturday and went out for some exercise, then came back and made a double batch of pumpkin pancakes with a side of bacon. Brian took some of the kids over to the Y to shoot baskets, while his dad took the rest to the golf course to hit some balls. Linda, Hazel, and i stayed home. i slipped off to the grocery store on my own, something i've only done maybe once before since Hazel was born. the three of us took a walk around the neighborhood and talked about all kinds of things. i'm blessed to have such a sweet mother in law. her son is a lot like her.

we went to a longhorn basketball game last night. i used to work concessions at games when i was a kid, but i think this was the first time i'd actually sat in on one. the kids had never been.

it was Boy Scout day, so the boys got a special badge for wearing their uniforms. William has been sporting a black eye from where Samuel whacked him in the eye earlier this week. it's almost healed, but it looked pretty bad for awhile.

seems like i have many friends in need of prayer lately(as if anyone is ever NOT in need of prayer).

* Micah P. - the seven year old son of friends from church. two tumors have been discovered in his body over the past couple of months. he will be having surgery to remove them on tuesday.

* Erika - another church friend who just lost her mother to cancer

* Heather L. - a twentysomething friend who will begin radiation for thyroid cancer this week

also please pray for us to have wisdom. we have many decisions we are wrestling with regarding moving and school.

happy sunday, y'all!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

weary. Hazel has been up at night a bit the past week or so and so have i. i've fallen asleep listening to John explain the intricacies of Star Wars when he was supposed to be working on creative writing, which happens to be very creative as spells everything phonetically.

we had another basketball game friday night, and we lost again. the other kids are just so much bigger than the kids on our team. we came home and ate homemade beef stew. mmm. Margaret's pal, Marissa, stayed the night and all the kids stayed up late playing Monopoly while Brian and i lay in bed watching tv. it's crazy that they're old enough to put themselves to bed.

we worked around the house on saturday, and then met some friends for dinner at Central Market.

went to church on sunday. Hazel is quite popular there. i handed her off to Samuel at one point in the service so that i could get something out of the diaper bag. when i looked up, she was all the way at the end of the aisle, being held by my friend, Robyn. next thing i knew she was on the row behind us being held by someone else.

my mom came and picked up the big 4 after lunch. she and my stepdad were going to take them and my brother's older 2 to the zoo the next day so they wanted them to spend the night. Brian and i got out and walked Hazel in the stroller at Town Lake, then went to dinner at Z Tejas.

Brian went in to the office early on Monday, then came home around 9 or so and we spent the rest of the day together. we decided to go tour old houses, one of our guilty pleasures. we drove down to Lockhart and met with several different realtors to see seven different homes. it was so much fun! we came back to Austin at the end of the day exhausted and hungry, and went over to El Chile for dinner.

we got out and ran together monday morning. that was good. my mom brought the kids back around lunch time on monday. we went over to Jason's Deli, then over to Mueller for a 2 and a half mile walk. that, too, was good.

yesterday was my dear husband's birthday. i am so happy he was born! i made verde chicken enchiladas for dinner since he likes those.

i wrote most of that yesterday, and now it's today, thursday. we just finished school for the week, a very short week since we didn't do school on monday or tuesday. i cleaned the school room and did some lesson planning for next week. it's been a good day. Margaret had a babysitting job midday, but only for a couple of hours. we got a lot of school work done, including some science experiments.

William and John's experiments with salt water/fresh water.

Margaret studying ecosystems.

Hazel is  growing by leaps and bounds.

well, folks, that's all i have time for now.