Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Few Little Changes = A Lot of Work

A couple of weeks ago, Janae started talking about how much she wanted to have her own room.  I told her about some things I wanted but couldn't have.  Then she started talking about how much she needed her own room.  I came up with a couple of ideas about how she and Alaina could make their sides of the room more separate.  Then Janae came up with a plan to move all the rooms around so nobody would have to share:
Ben could have Janae and Alaina's room
Alaina could have Ben's room
Janae could have the Lego room.
It sounded so logical . . . and why not?
The girls had Thursday and Friday off of school, so we'd have the time.  I had a bad cold/sore throat/headache, but the kids were so excited about the "move"--they would do all the work.
And so it began.
First we cleared out the Lego room and set it up for Janae.  We had to take her bed apart to fit it in, and move the very heavy wardrobe.  Janae had to get rid of A LOT of stuff, since her old room was much larger.  But she was happy with the change.
Next, we cleared out Ben's room.  Ben had A LOT of stuff under his bed, but we finally managed to pick it all up . . . and move all of Alaina's things in (we had to take her bed apart, too).
The girls are still pretty close together, but they each have their own space--so exactly what they wanted.
And then the nightmare really began--clearing out Janae and Alaina's room.  The biggest problem here was that the girls had already moved on to setting up their new rooms . . . I had to keep calling them back over to pick up everything they'd left behind.
Eventually we had enough room to move Ben's things in.

And with all that space, he got the bookshelves from the dismantled "library" as well. 

Even though the kids were off school, Jason--of course--was working all day Thursday and Friday, and also had school Thursday evening, so he missed all the "fun" of moving this big, heavy furniture.
We missed violin lessons on Thursday and Friday afternoons because I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT THEM (they did not even cross my mind), Ben took Thursday afternoon off of schoolwork and had to do it on Saturday.  I shed a few tears of frustration and raised my voice a few times. 
BUT, it is pretty much done--and everyone is happy with the changes, at least for now.
And the local thrift store ended up with at least 15 bags of pretty good stuff to sell :)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

It Just So Happened to Be Earth Day

Yesterday was kind of a busy day. . . .
Alaina competed in a piano festival first thing in the morning.  This was both girls' first year being part of the festival, and it was much more formal and intense than I had imagined.  Still, Alaina did a great job playing "Chimes" (which she'd started practicing at least 10 times a day after I'd started offering leftover Lindor Easter chocolates for every 5 times she played the song!).
Yesterday it was also our family's turn to clean the church, so Alaina and I met Jason and the other kids over there as soon as she'd finished being adjudicated.
Ben was a little behind on his school work, so he had to spend the rest of the day writing, and I was spending any spare moments I had helping him type up poems he'd written for an English project.
In the afternoon it was Janae's turn to compete at the festival, playing "Mouse in a Coal Bin."  She played flawlessly and with complete confidence--which is what we should have expected after the amount of practice time she'd put in over the past couple of months!

 After Janae had finished, she asked if we could go to the nursery and get some flowers to put into a little garden bed she had weeded out and turned over in our backyard the past couple of days before.
Jason and I both said no--we'd already had such a busy day.  Jason had school work due by 10 p.m., I still had to do the laundry and make dinner. . . . 
But Janae was persistent--she'd worked so hard, we wouldn't have another chance to get plants for at least a week, maybe we could just go look and then go back and get the plants another time?
Janae had also just finished reading The Secret Garden and was dying to have a little garden of her own. 
I was finally swayed and drove off with Janae, Alaina and Eric to "look" at plants.
Of course we came home with everything we needed to plant the garden. . . .
And since I did still have to do all of my work, Jason took a break from Pathway to help the girls arrange their flowers and get them planted.

They were pretty happy with the results. . . .

AND it just so happened to also be Earth Day.  So we felt pretty good about having "accidentally" done something plant-related :)

And now the girls will be able to keep the celebration going with all the weeding, watering, fertilizing, and any other plant care they can think of to do for the rest of the spring and summer!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We Finally Had a Spring Break

This year has been different for our family: with Jason in school, we have had to make a few changes--including staying home for spring break.  Of course we still celebrated Jason's birthday with a Mexican party,


went to the park A LOT,

and tried to find some other fun things to do,

The zoo in the rain

A cold and windy day at a nature reserve
Ben helped Eric make a robot costume.
Five guys on a rocking chair . . .

Alaina got about 10 inches of her hair cut off, and donated her ponytail to charity.
but it wasn't the same as going away.

Jason's semester didn't end until the middle of April . . . so we took advantage of the long weekend and spent a few days away from home at Anita's.

We got to see the new house where they will be moving at the end of this month. 

We also spent a day at a farm,

The kids got some leftover balloons from a birthday party :)

Even the big kids had fun playing!

went to the Cheesecake Factory for the first time ever,

Jason had to help me choose--I ended up with the Key Lime and LOVED it!
and spent Easter Sunday together.
My favorite picture from the egg hunt
Somehow Ben has grown taller than Jordan and Kya!
Janae let Summer play her violin?!
 It was so nice to get away, and to spend some time with Anita's family. 

And now it's on to the last stretch of school before summer. . . .