Super Busy at Home

Family blog about homeschooling, autism, saving money, mom blog, travel, vacation, budgeting.

October Recap!

October came and went like a blur!  It was crazy!  

As a gentle recap, over the past 365 days I have taken on three new positions, I am now sitting on 2 boards of directors, and still homeschooling away.  It's crazy busy and most days I feel like I have lost my darn mind, but in a good fulfilling way.  And when I remember to lean into God's power and might (which I need to remember to do constantly...) I am reminded how much I can do when I do not rely on my strength but His.  

Anyway, October is my favorite month for the crispness of everything.  Do you know what I mean?  It's so great!  I was thinking of this the other day...it's crazy, weird that NOVEMBER isn't my favorite month since that one holds gratitude, my birthday, Christmas decorating, and shopping, but no, October still holds to be my favorite month.  

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It started with this crazy brood!  We went to the pumpkin farm, picked the perfect guy, and came home to carve away!  It was so much fun.  I love our little family so much!  

And then blur, blur, blur, blur, blur and before I could fully blink we were to Halloween!  

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This year Calvin was ninja (in New Balance Tennis shoes because that's how I roll) and Emma was Nancy Drew.  

Seriously how stinking cute are these two kids of ours?  Oh, and since we fast forwarded to Halloween from the Pumpkin Farm you can see that the majority of my pumpkins are now rotten.  Gross!  Guys, I need legit ways to keep these suckers alive.  Help!  Every year pumpkins fall victim to my pumpkin killing and the massacre just has to end.  Do I need to bleach them?  Talk to them?  Stop singing to them?  (Just asking that last one for a friend...promise!)

Anyway, now's where we talk about the no spend challenge and you wonder what happened to the girl who started out so gung-ho at the beginning of the year and now you haven't heard from about it in a million years.  So, we are still TRYING to do the no spend challenge.  Y'all it is so hard!  So, so hard.  So we'll use the kids' costumes as an example.  Emma totally went with the no spend idea and came up with something brilliant.  We didn't spend a dime on her costume and she kept getting so many compliments.  Calvin on the other hand had one specific thing in his mind...the kid wanted to be a ninja...again.  We tried making one at home for him, talking him through it, but alas, he was insisting on the costume.  So we compromised and we purchased him a less expensive costume than what he wanted.  No kid wants to have a costume that they hate and we didn't know what to do other than compromise.  We spend $20ish dollars on this versus the $75 costumes in previous years.  See?  We're making some progress!  

The pumpkins were another issue with our no-spend year.  I had to decorate my porch. Sorry, not sorry, that's just the case.  So I took a fence panel from my neighbors free pile at their garage sale, dragged out other things I already had but had to have some pumpkins.  Last year I spent over $60 on pumpkins.  You all!  That is crazy!  So this year we found a new place to get pumpkins and for all of them they were $20.  So I spent some but not nearly as much as I was in previous years!  

But back to Halloween...

We don't really "celebrate" Halloween but we trick or treat.  

For those of you just joining us, we live in a National Historic District and we just love it!  

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From the street lights to the brick paved streets, we love our neighborhood.  Trick or Treating always helps me to take time to pause and reflect on how beautiful our neighborhood is.  The kids trick or treating is like going through a 1950's neighborhood.  All of the historic homes and picket fences make it so cheerful and nice.  

And I have to show you this because it was hilarious...

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When there's a construction project why not be silly? 

So there's our recap of October!  I hope you all are enjoying your November! I've missed having time to write...gah!  Hopefully I'll be writing more! 

Making the Every Day the Everything

Last week my uncle passed away.  It's been a whirlwind of family in town, memorial services, moving furniture, cleaning, crying, and more.

And in those times is when family is reiterated as being the most sacred of all blessings God gives us here on Earth. 

Where would we be without our tribe to hold us all up collectively?

My extended family is amazing.  We all seem to get it, we all laugh about the same things and more.

And when I come home from funerals and look around at the life Wit and I have been blessed with around these two blessings of ours, I'm astounded by how it all is going by so quickly.

Like a blink it will all be over.

Making the Every Day the Everything. Super Busy at Home.

I was on Facebook a couple of days ago and while their intent is not to inspire me, I have a few friends who post photos of their children all.the.time. And while for others it may be annoying, for me it is inspiring. 

I think at times when you have babies and toddlers around it is easy to see things as exciting and photo worthy.  But then the play-doh's been played with so much it's not fun to take the pictures.  And the sledding's been done so many times you are convinced you'll remember them on your own, you don't need to soak it in.

But you all remind me to relish the small things, to soak in the moments in the every day.  I want to remember it all so I can look back and see that these every day moments that just could have gone by unnoticed amidst the laundry and the cleaning and dishes, these every day moments are everything in life.  Aren't these moments why I wanted to be a mother?  Aren't these moments the ones who define who I am as a caregiver and nurturer?

And so, after seeing my friends posting pictures of their kids eating a donut in the backseat, or giggling after a bubble bath, inspired, I set off to capture my own every day moments.  To preserve them in photographs to commit to memory time and time again.

May I not forget the mornings where the snowstorm raged outside while the tangles in dolls hair laid flat and we giggled and swapped outfits on dolls.

May I not forget the excitement of pieces being put together and constructed into something that has been dreamt of for a year.  Of a toy saved for and cherished, of the learning moments through frustration and toil.  May I remember it all. 

And so you Momma's on social media, please keep posting your photos. 

You inspire me. 

To take my every day and to once again pick up my camera, put down my laundry basket, and to stop and see my everything around me.

I thank you for helping me get back to the root of what is important.

Making the Every Day the Everything. Super Busy at Home #Superbusyathome

Our Winter Trip to the Indianapolis Zoo

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day we went to the Indianapolis Zoo.  I wasn't sure what to expect going to the zoo when it was only 7 degrees out but we went anyway.  It was amazing.  Even though not many animals were out we had an amazing experience.

As I mentioned in this previous blog, to get in we only had to pay with canned goods to help the local food bank.  How amazing is that?

The first thing we went to see was the indoor aquarium. 

Winter Trip to the Indianapolis Zoo.  Super Busy at Home.

There is something so magical about taking the time to just let the world go by behind you while you gaze at the fish swimming contentedly around.  And then there is something to ethereal about watching your children be able to do the same thing.  It is such a joy to watch them enjoy God's creation and to discover all of the attributes about it.

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I think our favorite part was getting to watch the Dolphins.  They have this walk through thing where the tunnel is under the water and the dolphins swim by. Because it was the winter and there was hardly anyone else there we had the whole place to ourselves and the kids and I laid down and watched the dolphins swim over us.  At first Emma thought I was crazy but after we left she said that was her favorite part.  See?  Sometimes it pays to be the weirdo mom :)

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Other things the kids loved were the penguins waddling around,

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the walrus under the water eating his fish and then spitting it out at us (I refrained from posting those pictures on here.  You're welcome! :)  ).

Winter Trip to the Indianapolis Zoo.  Super Busy at Home.
Winter Trip to the Indianapolis Zoo.  Super Busy at Home.

The orangutan exhibit was so neat and we spent lots of time there watching the apes (not monkeys as we learned!).

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We also saw a polar bear,

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a tiger that looked like he just wanted to be pet (or eat our face off but you know, whatever), and more!

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All in all it was a super fun day.  I think our most memorable thing though were the dolphins. After lunch we returned to the zoo for the dolphin show.  The kids had no idea that dolphins were capable of performing and doing all of the neat tricks.  They were squealing with delight, it was so precious.

So there ya have it, our fun, freezing trip to the zoo.  If you go in the winter I do highly recommend it because we were able to have so much more interaction with the cold weather animals and with such low attendance it practically felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Have you ever been to the zoo in the winter?  Did you like it more than other times? Comment below, sweet friends!

Tigers and Bridges and the Randomness of it All

Sometimes life is a bit odd...

Like maybe you have a tiger for dinner.  

His name is Hobbes by the way.  

He wasn't thrilled with us not having tuna but he was a trooper and stuck around. 

There are some deep conversations going on.  

Deep. 

And then there's this girl.  Oh my, she has our whole big heart.  This girl is now a Junior Girl Scout.  No brownies for us around here.  

Sniff, sniff.  

I usually can make it through things pretty nonchalantly.  

Like sands through the hourglass...so are the days of our lives...

But this was taken during bridging ceremony which had me tearing up.  I think specifically because I kept remembering this silly girl in a blue daisy vest who had no problem wearing pigtails wherever she went.  

Where have those times gone?  

She just looks so grown up, I can hardly stand it!!!  

Aah!  

So that's the gist of what we've been doing in these parts.  

Oh and traveling.  

Lots and lots of travel.  In the last month we've been to Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.  Whew!  I'll blog about those sometime but not now.  

Now is built for randomness.  

Along with randomness comes random thoughts and here ya go...

 I was thinking about this past year that happened. I know that is something that generally people do around the first of the year but I am a late bloomer so here I am. 

I am just in awe of how God has shaped my life.  I have made peace with things I've struggled with for years.  FOR YEARS!  Things that you want to talk to people about and wrestle with and fret over and then it just eats you up .  Anyway, I finally took the plunge and answered God's calling to make things right and you know what?  It really was no big deal.  I mean it was a big deal but not nearly as big as my worried mind had made it into over the years.

I've also made things right with someone I was mean to in the past.  Do you have those people where you think about your past with them and kind of cringe?  Am I the only one who has done that?  Anyway, this person isn't really in my life anymore, but thank goodness for Facebook and its reconnecting ways!  I was able to reach out and apologize and I felt so much better.  Whether it was accepted or not I at least tried to make things right.  And you know what?  They forgave me and we were able to move past it which is so amazing.  God is just so good!

And on the other end of things I was able to finally bury the past with someone else who it just didn't work out with.  Someone who we had tried to make things right with and it was not reciprocated.  Shortly after we decided to cut ties (by we I mean Nicholas and I as we try to make decisions together) I read this devotion about not being close with everyone.  It gave the example of David not being all buddy buddy with Saul when he was trying to kill him but fled.  So I have felt such peace with the need to flee after a season of trying.  

And that's just the way God is.  I am so reminded of Romans 8:28:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

And I could go on and on with other examples about how God has helped us in family situations or I've seen God stand up for me.  In things with our house and car and traveling mercies, so much God has done this past year.  God is working everything out for our good.  It's so awesome to know that and have the peace that that brings. 

And so whatever you are going through, whether it has to do with having tigers over for supper or big girls walking over a bridge towards you and their future, just know that God works it all out for your good.  

Love you friends!