Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012!

Zombie Boy and Baby Doll
Zombie Boy, Old Pup and Baby Doll
Scary Zombie Boy and Cute Baby Doll
Perplexed Packer Fan, Helpful Baby Doll, Angry Packer Fan, and Clueless Zombie
Hence the reason my 2 year old tantrum boys had such simple costumes....
Hold on to that smile Baby Doll...hold on to that tantrum Lil Packer
Yep. Still Angry.
Most Patient Siblings Ever
Finally calming the first trick-or-treaters arrive
Best Big Bro Zombie and a Dazed Baby Doll
Big Packer Fan with his Lil Pack Fans
Proud Papa Packer Fan

Hurricane Sandy gave our family a wonderful gift amidst all her destruction. Jim's Monday morning flight was cancelled and all the flights are booked all week, so he isn't leaving until next Monday. A bonus week with Mr. Incredible!! Yippee!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a fall day

This past Sunday was a gorgeous fall day. (Aren't those colors spectacular??!!) I had planned on spending it crossing off items from my daily "to do list". I have discovered that keeping a daily list is the only way I can get myself to get anything done these days. I have also learned that it is very difficult to motivate to do much when you are living in limbo; and by "limbo" I mean -- not knowing if and when we are going to sell our house, when we are going to move, missing my hubby and knowing he and my children are missing out on valuable time together...yada yada.....

Anyway...back to the gorgeous fall day..... I have seen pictures on Facebook and heard many families rave about going on hikes in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. I have been DYING to go with my kidlings on such a trip, but have felt that they are still a bit young for me to take them on my own...since my farm boy is usually, well, working on the farm on the weekends and now that he is working in Chicago, I really am alone...all the time...with four children under the age of 8....and, as fun as that sounds, it has been a bit intimidating to venture out into the wild with the four of them.

But I finally did it.

Oh boy, did I ever.

Apparently I haven't learned the valuable life lesson of starting slow and easy and THEN taking on the bigger stuff. Oh no. Oh no I haven't. I thought I was taking it slow by going somewhere within 15 minutes of my home. It's a place I had heard many people tell me about and have never been. It is called "Winnekeni Castle" and is a beautiful trail to a castle and around a pond and basin. Before I go on, I want to emphasize that I had never been there before. I also want to point out that hiking, walking and/or climbing mountains is just a bit addictive for me -- once I get started, it is very, very hard for me to turn around and go back...I NEED to keep going until I have reached a peak or gone a full circle without repeating any trails....

So now, having said that, here is a pictorial review of our walk in the woods on a gorgeous fall day:

 We started on our little walk and it seemed easy enough. With four little ones. And a dog. All by myself.

On such an absolutely gorgeous fall day.

Up we walked to the castle...which I never took a picture of because there was a Halloween party going on and it was covered with tacky Halloween decorations...sad, but true.

One of us wasn't very happy for most of the trip.
whoah is me!!!!

I decided to take a different trail back from the castle...who wants to take the same trail back when there's another one that looked so appealing?? This trail brought us to another trail near the water...and what wee ones can resist walking by the water?
And what Golden Retriever can resist getting in that water? (I stupidly allowed Niels to take the leash for a bit...and she took her chance and ran for it!)
My pup stayed in the water a it delayed our walk quite a bit...but these guys were amused.

Since we had been walking for quite some time, and they were all starting to complain about the length of the walk, we took a little rest here to play.
Anna Clara was especially tired apparently....
One of the few times Anders was smiling during the walk.
JoiVie was tuckered out as well. (I can't believe she is 13 years old....)
Anna Clara is constantly entertaining herself in one way or another....
There were so many pictures I wanted to take, but I so rarely had my hands free since I was usually either holding a hand...or two...or, by the end, carrying a crying child...or two.... I fully realized the extent of my walking/hiking/exploring addiction when, two hours after starting the hike, I had two crying toddlers, one whining girl and a wet, stinky, tired old dog -- and, I can't leave him out, a constantly helpful and easygoing 8 year old boy -- and I STILL wanted to take another trail around the basin for the final stretch...which turned out to be way longer than I expected -- and way more difficult as I tried to carry two very heavy, crying boys.

But, I have to admit, regardless of the crying and whining around me, I couldn't help but thoroughly soak in the stunning beauty, appreciate the little hands in mine, the fresh air, and, best of all, a day off from my "to do list" to simply enjoy my five (dog included of course!) favorite little joys in the entire world. And what a beautiful world it is....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

summer 2012 fun

I know...summer ended a while ago...and so did all the fun.... I've been a busy gal. But I'll get to that later. For now, let's focus on the fun.

First, we went to Wisconsin for a family reunion at Pinecrest Historical Village where Jim's mom's family donated the "Sorenson House" (where Soren Sorenson lived, who is my Soren's namesake).
Jim's mom would be so proud of this family of hers...we sure miss her!

 We also went to visit Jim's Uncle's dairy farm.

 4th of July with the cousins.

 Some exploring during our 22 hour drive home from Wisconsin to New Hampshire. These two toddlers were NOT this happy in the car...not even close.....
THE BEST big brother.

 One of my fave pics of Anders.

Then we went to my parents' home in Hilton Head, SC.
One of my fave pics of Niels.

 Then we went to Nags Head, NC -- the fave family place for summer fun and relaxation.

The cousins eating one of many meals together.

I awoke with my boys - and the sun - every morning and went to the beach so that my two 2 year olds wouldn't awaken the entire house of about 20 people (depending on what day it was since there were lots of comings and goings of family members). There are some benefits to little ones waking you up early on vacation...especially when the house you are staying in is right on the beach. Lucky me!

Sometimes we took a walk to the pier to play amongst the pillars.
 Who knew you could have this much fun under a pier?

 These two cousins were rarely not playing in the waves.

They caught some crabs with Big Pa.

Daddy joined us for the last week before driving home. Another very long drive with two very cranky 2 year olds. Not a good summer to have so many loooooong road trips....

 I had a birthday.

 A 3rd grader and 1st grader started their school year.

And now for the end of my summer fun...and why I've been so busy and preoccupied of late....
While I was in Nags Head at the end of August, Jim accepted a job at Hospira in Lake Forest, IL. Yes, it is stupendous that he found a job within 3 months of being laid off. No, there is absolutely nothing stupendous about the fact that we have to move. I am sad...for so many reasons. I will miss all the incredible friends I have met here. I will miss living on the East Coast - and specifically my beloved New England. I will miss being within a 4 hour drive of NYC...where I can see my parents every once in a while in their beautiful apartment in that incredible city. And I will miss this home -- a place that seemed to be made for my family...inside and out.
I don't like that sign. My heart sinks every time I see it.