Family Randoms and a Farewell Party

- My mom comes to visit for a week on Tuesday.  It will be so glad to have her here.  A little dose of momma is just what I need right now.

- Everyone seems to be back on the mend in our house.  E wasn't hit by round 2... hope it stays that way.

- M and I get to go out tonight yahoo!  Our last date night we went out to Black and Blue.  M got a nice gift card from one of his employees.  It's a super fancy restraint, we felt a little out of place, but I think I could get used to eating fancy food!  I had the best steak I've ever had, and if you know me you know I don't love any meat.  I'll eat it, but it's not like I love the flavor of cow, or chicken or any other animal.  My steak tasted good though, that is saying a lot coming from me. 

Tonight after dinner we'll be checking out the JCC (Jewish Community Center) to see if a family membership there would be good for us.  They have pools, racquetball courts, workout facilities, etc.  Matt has been craving racquetball and Ryan Hulse has a membership there.  I am craving lap swim, so this will be good for us. 

- Working on 'things' not being as important as people, with Q this week.  She doesn't have to share her girly things in our house of boys, so when friends come over she is a little territorial.  Working on it!  We had a 'reminder' conversation today... I wrote about it here

... just because we are flawed and need to work on something doesn't mean all that is good about us is now invalid.  It was good to remind her about that... sometimes I need to hear the words I say to her. 

- Speaking of my Q, this is her fabulous art work on our kitchen chalk board.  The girl is talented!

- Way too much time on electronics this week!  These boys are getting crazy, needing the stimulation... it's like a drug!  We let them play more than normal when they are home for breaks and such.  But on a day to day basis they get a total of 1 hour a day on whatever they want, divvied how they want (the WII, tablet, computer TV, whatever)  This week, with snow days and sickness, has been like an extended break.  Their dependency on electronics has gotten to a point I don't like.  We made a clean break today, a Saturday of all days... it was needed, it has been good!

These devices change us, when used excessively!  When my kids have balanced time with them, they can step away from them, be creative, be active, play with other toys, each other.  If they are on there too long, they can't step away, nothing is as important as what game they are playing, they lose their creativity and ability/desire to free play.  They sass, they need that stimulation, they become dependent and can't create it for themselves.  I see this with adults too.  It can be an unhealthy pattern to get into.  I hate it!  And like I said, during the week it's not bad, it's when we are home a lot, and it's winter, there isn't a ton to do, they get more time than normal.  This week has been that way.  It needed a nice clean break!

- My little O loves to go play in the snow.  He'll put his snow stuff on and just go out... to eat snow!  Our neighbors brought us some sleds and this particular day he went out to try the sleds!  Well, first he just slid down our big snow mound on his bum, then I went out to help him with the sled.  He's cute.  He's one with the snow!

- Here are some images from our snow week.  This was the more mild of the two days.

- Seeing this image of M plowing reminds me that just prior to Christmas there was a knock at our front door.  I didn't recognize the woman, but she asked if my husband was the one who plowed all of the sidewalks?  I confirmed and she pulled out a card for us, told me to thank him and wished us a Merry Christmas.

She had given us a grocery gift card.  So nice!  M usually plows the sidewalks when he does our driveway.  Like... all the sidewalks on our side of the road.  This woman lives on the corner and I think she shovels by hand.

It was nice of her to seek Matt out, and thank him.  He is a good-deed-doer.

- Speaking of that, M went to help the Chiapelli's move this morning.  This is the end of an era.  They move this weekend.  So sad.  We thought they'd be here forever.  We are so happy for them, their career change, it's wonderful, but, like I said, the end of an era.

We had a little farewell at the church for them last night.  Jeff is already moved to OH and came back to move them.  Anyone from church who wanted to come say goodbye could.  It was good to sit and visit and wish our friends well.  Everyone brought food and games, but we mostly visited while the kids played games!

I threw up some décor.  I didn't spend any money, but wanted a little more than our church building! 

I used maps I'd kept for memorabilia, our big map, and balloons with our helium tank, to make it happen.  I made some banners out of maps, ran some map down for a table runner, then blew up some balloons.  I also had a little notebook for love notes.

We are so sad to see them go, but so glad for the time we've had together.