Saturday, August 23, 2014

A mushy Gushy note about my extraordinary husband.....

"The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving just a little "extra" everyday, as often as possible, for as long as we both shall live."  - Fawn Weaver

We've had a long week at the Aneed house.  Marc had a stressful week at work.  I was trying to adjust to school while struggling with exhaustion and headaches.  We are both tired...and yet we have four kids.  I have just felt like a bump on a log, I can't think of what to feed the kids, I am so over chores and laundry.  I just want to rest, read a book, and watch brainless TV.  I am pretty much the opposite of the "dream wife and mom" today.

My man on the other hand?  He is exuding awesomeness.  He took the kids out to McD's to lunch and to play in the play land to run off energy.  He helped me clean the house cuz we have guests coming tomorrow.  He ordered Noodle Zone on his own initiative for dinner and picked it up.  He is right now bathing four kids upstairs by himself.

We have a really amazing marriage.  Not perfect, but passionate and fun and better than I could have ever imagined.  It's all God, I know and my husband radiates his Savior and serves me just like Christ served the church.  I do think we have an extraordinary marriage and when I saw this quote it seemed IS the extras.  It's going above an beyond.  Sometimes you are the one doing extra and sometimes, like today, you are the one humbly receiving the extra.

Last weekend, we were able to get away for a night and hike in Starved Rock and Mattheissen Sate Parks.  We ran through trails, laughed and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our alone time.  Those moments are important, they give us freedom for conversation and passion and fun.  They are picture book romantic and I love them.  But 14 years into marriage, I think I love days like today even more.  His love is being poured out, he's giving of himself though he should have none to give.  These days are like super glue for our marriage and hearts.  Sure, we have more passion than ever in our marriage, we have more fun, and deeper connection, but its days like today that make those things extraordinary.

My husband loves comics and superhero movies....and I think it just might be because he himself is a super hero in disguise.  Thank you, Marc Aneed, for not just loving me and the kids, but giving "extras" all the stinkin' time...even when I have nothing to give in return.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to School

Today Ava started third grade and Phineas went off to kindergarten.

I had trouble sleeping last night.  Last year was tough for Ava.  She really mourned the loss of her life in Sheboygan and struggled all year with feeling like the new girl and not quite like herself (not the fault of anyone else, by the way, just the label and awkwardness she felt at a new school).  We had so much transition with Christian joining our family, as well; I think it was just an emotional year for her!   I look forward to her third grade year.  She learned a lot about her emotions and how to process them.  I also LOVED third grade- it was my favorite grade ever, so I am excited for her.  Who doesn't LOVE memorizing multiplication tables and whippin' through flash cards...can't wait!

I can't believe Phin is starting kindergarten.  He is going full day and I know he's ready, he's almost six, but my heart felt the loss of time with him.  I lay awake at two a.m., mourning that I'll never again have him home all day (except summers) and I'll miss his spark of life around here.

Summer wasn't what I'd planned.  Christian really struggled after Marc traveled and that consumed the first half of summer.  It was important to deal with the regression correctly and I know he needed the time home and the extra attention.  Still, I mourned the plans I'd made that never came to fruition.  I mourn the loss of time I hoped to have with Ava and Phin.  Sometimes life just isn't in our control and I think I'll always struggle with that fact;)  They seemed to have a good summer and are excited for school, but at 3 a.m. I lay awake wondering if we laughed enough.  I wondered how I'd ever teach them all the things I want to with school years being so busy and summer being so short.  How will they learn to cook and clean and sew and fix things and do their own mind was going crazy.  God was laughing, I am sure.  They are five and eight, it's not as if they are going to college tomorrow!

I was feeling emotional when the alarm went off far too early, but as soon as Ava ran into my room smiling ear to ear proclaiming, "TODAY I START THIRD GRADE!", I rallied;)

We got up dressed, had a good breakfast and packed our first lunches!  I'm done sulking, my kids are ready for this year and I will be too!

We had some prayer time for their day and school year ahead.

 All ready to go!

 I was about to write, "She looks older every year"....but that's how this growin' up thing works, isn't it?!

My photo bomber was feelin' like himself to say the least;) 

Ava and her teacher Mrs. Satre

Most of Ava's class...a great group of kids!

Phin wasn't even nervous, he went right in and hung up his bag so fast I barely had time to snap a photo;)

His teacher, Mrs. Janschek.

Ava was excited but nervous upon arrival and I THINK Phin was nervous too, though he denied it.  He was pretty independent, wanted a high five instead of a hug when I left and when I asked if he wanted me to come inside to get him or drive up in the car pool lane he was adamant that I do the car pool lane and let him come out to me;)

I picked them up after school...both were beaming about what a great day they had.  Chloe and Christian had special surprises to give them in the car;)

We ended the day like we end most big days...with a silly supper.

Happy First Day of School!

Classroom style name tags, apple plates, loose leaf paper silverware sleeves, erasers (strawberry wafers) and pencils (Cheese stick, summer sausage, and bugle)

Straw flags for the milk that said, "I love school", "Smart is cool", and "Stay Sharp"

Dessert #1

Dessert #2

Back to School Snack Mix (Scrabble Cheez Its, Alphabits cereal, Pretzel stick "L"s, and pretzel "M"&Ms filled

Our pepperoni clock

and celebratory pizza

I hope they never out grow the joy in silly suppers....

I go to bed certain I'll sleep better tonight...thankful for a day of celebrating the wonderful kids that I have and looking forward to all God has for them this year.  I end the day "laughing at the days to come" and knowing that the change in my heart is a gift from my Father.

*Printables for straw flags and dessert labels here.