Anabelle's last day at home today before started kindergarten tomorrow! We got to go babysit another Bella and her baby brother. AB loved getting to be the "big girl", and somebody is SO ready for school to start tomorrow!
First day of 5th grade in the books for this one. It went great!
And SUCH an answered prayer that after 2 months of really not speaking Arabic she said that all Arabic was "not too bad, I understood almost everything and every participated." Thank you Lord!
There will never ever be a cat living in our house. Thankfully all the kittens born in our backyard over the years means there are plenty around to play with and yes, all have names...
This is Rosie and she's waiting for the bus with us...
Coffee with my girls while we work on week 2 of a Bible study that we started, oh, 7 months ago. I'm awesome it finishing things well...
Love our sunsets. This doesn't even begin to do it justice but it was a quick attempt out the car window on the way to Naomi's swimming.
Life is hard when you're the youngest princess. Especially after a very busy evening of ordering around big sisters and demanding that they give you a bath so that your hair can be wet so that it can be fixed just so. Or I should say ordering around big SISTER (not plural) as there is only one who will do whatever AB demands. I keep telling said sister that she IS allowed to tell her no but that hasn't happened much...
Stir crazy is probably not actually the right word as we have been out and about ALOT this week. Big girls starting back to school, little girls getting ready to start back, daddy traveling has made for a busy week.
We are however, or maybe I should say I am, kind of climbing the walls. Just needing the other adult back under our roof (thankfully he is en route from the airport as we speak). Let's just say that a houseful of girls can speak A LOT of words. I think I've probably mentioned that before. And this week, all of those words have been directed at yours truly. I must confess I haven't coped very well!! I told some friends last Sunday before Jason left, "Oh yeah, we've got this travel thing down! I'll be great! We're used to these short little trips!"
Umm yeah. Fast forward 4 days and these same sweet friends were taking me out for some much needed adult time after some frantic texts caused them to recognize that I was not in the best place!
But all is well now. Daddy is now officially home!
This is somewhat typical. Certain siblings climbing the walls (representing how mom feels). Certain younger siblings copying everything being done. And certain others tuning out the world and getting work done. Fun times...
Somehow these 2 were still smiling after 2.5 hours waiting to pay school tuition, 45 minutes of uniform trying on and buying and countless hours in between in traffic. We stopped for a quick bite and then hit the final store for school supplies. Thankfully all done in one day and THAT'S saying something over here!
This day has been much anticipated. Abbey and Maddie started school today in an actual school building for the first time in over 2 years. To say they were a little excited would be a major understatement. 4th schooling situation in 5 years but the perfect way to spend Senior and Sophomore years.
(believe it or not, picture on the left was after Maddie started slimming down...)
Loud music can apparently make even washing dishes fun...
(I have no idea)
This is my "REALLY?!" face after doing a walk through of the girls bathroom...
A typical Friday morning around here when we host our house group. Maddie's getting the music ready and Naomi is coming up with a plan for leading the kids Bible story.
Lazy afternoon reading books. I have to say this is not the norm. I love reading with her but she doesn't really love to sit still long enough for it. Hopeful for more times like this!
THIS is definitely more of the norm. Love playing Settlers on lazy afternoons. Can you see Maddie's collection? I mean why JUST play a game when you can also paint, read a book and sip tea all at the same time? Jason loves it when we have lots of different things going on at once, because Abbey, Maddie, Naomi and I all have an amazing ability to stay focused and not be distracted by other things. He also loves that we never sing random songs while playing and we are definitely super fast and decisive when our turns comes around. Poor Jason. We did play 2 games in a row today so it must be a little fun...
Shoot! Only 4 days in and I've already technically missed a day since it's 30 minutes into day 5- oh well! I haven't gone to bed yet on this day so I guess that counts!
Maddie is loving experimenting with the henna after the party last night. The only picture I have from today was taken on another friends phone after they came over to our house this afternoon for Maddie to practice more henna designs. They were very willing participants! This design took several hours- Maddie has never been guilty of being quick with anything!!
Today has been fun. Sweet Maddie has been traveling on her birthday for the past 3 years so we finally got around to having a party for her a month after her birthday.
I cooked most of the day on and off getting ready for her "back to school/birthday" sleepover.
I was interrupted mid-morning by a teary Anabelle. Heartbroken that big sister told her she would never have a boyfriend or get married if she refused to brush her teeth in the mornings.. Oh the drama!
Side note- if you ever have the need to punch something, cinnamon roll dough works pretty well. Maddie was getting out a little aggression!
Obviously I should have let the birthday girl, the true baker in the family, make her own cake. My version will hopefully taste good but it's melting. I need to give up trying fancy icing recipes in the summer in Jordan....
Maddie doing Abbey's henna that we bought in Ethiopia at her party.
Yikes! Day 2 and almost no picture. Not good! Summer almost over. One final hoorah- A and M have been looking forward to the new Bourne movie all summer so that was tonight's activity and very pitiful picture taken at home with the movie stuff after all in our pj's. Oh well..
Convo in car on way to the movie...
Maddie: So what's the name of this one? (the movie)
So I guess this 365 Project or #365 or whatever you want to call it is a thing. I have plenty of friends who have done the picture a day for a year thing and called it various things, and I've paused long enough to think "nice idea" and then haven't really given it another thought. I kind of thought that in order to do it on instagram or FB or whatever that I had to use the #365 thing and if I'm being totally honest, I don't get hashtags. I'm too old. They make absolutely zero sense to me. So there.
All that being said, I've had this idea floating around in my head for a while which is along the same lines as a 365 Project although I confess that my motivation has absolutely zero to do with any kind of efforts to improve my photography skills (apparently a thing too). My motivation is completely and totally to document Abbey's last year at home.
(and 3,2,1- cue tears...)
Seriously, it's that simple. Tears flowing. Wow I am a mess.
Anyway, I hope it will become something special for our family- a picture a day for the last year that our family of 6 will be under one roof. Yes, I do realize that a major point of parenting is to launch them and launch them well but MAN, I am having a hard time with the reality setting in that less than a year from now, our family will be forever changed. I'm not saying it's bad. It's just so stinkin' hard to wrap my brain around!! I think about AJ being on the other side of the ocean from us, and I think about the hole that will leave here in our home not only for Jason and me but also for her sisters, and then a stupid Carrie Underwood song comes on her playlist about a daughter going to college and that's it for me. Stupid tears won't stop flowing. At least at this point every one else in the house is just laughing at crazy mom but their time will come and I will have zero sympathy!
Anyway, I also hope that it will be the kick start that I need to start blogging again. Not that I think anyone is really missing anything that I have to say, but I miss documenting our family's lives in this way. Most days will probably just be a picture but maybe some days I'll have time to say a little more...
I picked August 15th as a start day because this was the day we went to get books at the girls new school so kind of an un-official start to Abbey's Senior year, but also because I figure August 15th is a pretty safe bet for wherever we will be dropping Abbey off next fall. (and tears again)
Ok, seriously, I thought I might have some more profound things to say on this subject but I am honestly emotionally and physically exhausted. Mostly emotionally. In case you've never lived in a house with 4 daughters, it is EXHAUSTING. Exhilarating, fun, full of oh so many words, but also EXHAUSTING! So since I didn't get around to starting this post until after 10 PM, there will be no wise, profound words included here.
Just a normal day picture. Starting today and continuing for the next 365 days. (at least here's hoping!)
This is actually kind of the perfect example of a day in the life of emotionally charged girls.... So Maddie got her braces off today- yay! Abbey has had hers on for over 2 years and was less than thrilled. (especially since Maddie has only had hers for 7 months) They posed for a series of goofy pictures and all was well until 10 minutes later I find Abbey in tears that she still has braces. She's "laugh crying" (that's a thing if you didn't know) about how she doesn't know why she's crying but just wants the stupid braces off. So then Maddie feels guilty for celebrating and sad for Abbey because, well, because Maddie is Maddie, and then it just all goes downhill from there. There may have been a bit of a spat in there about their room as well which looks a little something like this:
Maddie's side (left) is significantly messier than it looks in the picture and Abbey may or may not have been a wee bit frustrated that Maddie spent the afternoon sipping tea and reading Harry Potter (yes, literally) while Abbey cleaned and organized her whole side including all the newly purchased school supplies. This was somehow compounded by the whole braces thing. I don't know why or how but it was. Maybe if Maddie still had braces on she would have cleaned her room? Who knows!
Shockingly enough, the drama from the younger end of our 4 was very much kept to a minimum today! It may just be that I wasn't with them much and I'm quite sure their time will come. For now, though, my brain is thoroughly exhausted from processing all the above mentioned emotion along with plenty of other fun drama that will remain unmentioned for now.
That's one day down out of 365 and I feel quite accomplished!
I am blessed beyond measure with a wonderful husband, Jason, and four beautiful daughters, Abbey, Maddie, Naomi and Anabelle. We are living our dream of living and working cross-culturally in the Middle East. Life is an adventure and never dull. As a child of the Eternal King of Kings, held together in the palm of His loving hand, I am a work in progress, thankful to share my journey with anyone who wants to listen.