Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy last day of 2017!

I had always hoped I'd be writing this post from Times Square, but alas I'm a few hundred miles away ready to go to bed before midnight bc we'll be leaving to take our New Yorker to
the airport at 3am. Fun. Hopefully once I get some sleep tomorrow I can catch up on pic posting.  But we did have a nice lazyish day. Bc of the negative temps we watched church from home (while eating a nye bfast)  and then played games and celebrated early bdays (mine and Dyl since hays will miss them). Then had cheese fondue and had an early nye celebration at our bestie's house. We rang the new year in at 8pm. Now off to bed.  Wish I was in the masses in NYC or at least in the warmth of FLL.  Oh well.  That was how 2017 rolled for us.  Praying for a more uphill ride in 2018! 🎉

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017

Grateful for the time off...

...but afraid jumping into the new year will be hard.

I love these lazy days.  Sleeping in a little.  Having Kev home (just wishing he wasn't still recovering).  I like getting small things checked off the list like getting my eye appt in on the last calendar day of the year (phew!) but don't love the snow and ice and driving in it at rush hour and going to the store in what seemed like a bisier day than Christmas Eve.  Don't love the to do list that is scarily building for the January.  Not my fav way to start a new year. But somehow lately I am learning to let go.  Not stressing about the little things, enjoying watching the kids play games and plan a talent show (1st annual Steg talent show tomorrow...Shelb has been working all day in it.  Banner is akready made!).  Just trying to find peace in these quiet times bc I think God created them  for that reason. Really praying 2018 can be a new kind of year. ❤️

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A "me day"--laziest day ever!

Well this was the laziest day ever...my kind of day!  We did absolutely nothing.  Slept in, did no cleaning or cooking, only left the house to get the mail and take the garbage can in, watched a movie with my hubby, took a nap and ate way too many cookies. I've been waiting for this day for a week and a half.  This made the staycation worth it. And the kids amused themselves, fed themselves and didn't fight too much.  Bonus. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lo is the fantastic FIVE!

 Overnight, our baby turned 5...FIVE!  Seems like only yesterday we were driving through a Christmas blizzard to welcome our final and 5th baby...and now he's celebrating his 5th bday!  Yikes!  Well, it wasn't a warm, FL bday as planned...and there was no Mickey shaking our hand at the gates of Disney....but we made the best of it from start to finish.  He woke up before daddy and I....but he waited to eat his yummy bfast...his fav...white donuts...5 of them...with 5 candles and some big smiles while 5 of his paw patrols cheered him on (slightly unnerving if you ask me ) :)
 In the middle of the night, the bday fairy hung 5 balloons over his bed with 5 paw patrol lights and a 5 made out of streamers, which he promptly tore down bc that's the destructive 5 year old he is! :)
 He picked a nice easy Marshall Paw Patrol cake for mama to make...I didn't think it turned out all that bad, but Ash laughed at it and told me it was the "best I could do".  Is that a compliment? And Lo told me after I finished it, that he wanted Chase (blue paw patrol dog) instead.  Nice. 
 A house full of crazy dogs! :)

 If you squint really hard and think warm thoughts you can almost picture this being at the beach in FL instead of the snow of Bloomy :)
 His one request of the day was going to Jumpin' Joeys. Not quite on par with Disney, but it allowed him to run off his energy on a day where the temps were below zero.  They had fun!
There was lots of fun in between all this too (many, many bdaytexts from friends and fam, facetime with the FL fam, Mother Bear's pizza, cake, ice cream sundaes, Charlie Brown movie time, lots of gifts and play time)...but when I kissed him goodnight and asked what his fav. part of the day was, he whispered "opening my gifts...and my favorite was the boat from Sue Sue".  Thanks, Sue Sue for making his day complete!

It was a good day...a subzero cold day...but a good day.  Love this spunky, happy 5 year old.  Who always takes me by surprise with his smart, cute ways.  Tonight when I asked him if he could put together his new lego set he said, "Duh, mom!" in his most dramatic voice.  He's gonna be a lot like his funny/fun brother.  Love you, Logan Thomas.  You are such a light in our lives!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

He's almost 5!

Can't believe that in less than an hour our baby Loggy will be 5!  Time flies way too fast. Sadly we had hoped to surprise the bday boy with a trip to Disney on his bday, so I had no gifts for him and no plans to make a cake.  Had to spend most of the day shopping for what toys were left in the store.  Note to self:  Always buy extra toys for Lo.  You can always return if you don't need them.   Bc trying to find what he wanted in the empty or messy aisles of target was not fun. Not sure what the day will hold tomorrow...definitely not warmth and Mickey :(

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas! 🎄

Well, Christmas has come and almost gone...and it was good.  Not great bc we were in the midst of cold and snow and not palm trees and pools :)...but we made the best of it.  We had a nice lazy morning and a yummy Christmas brunch...then a little playing in the snow while Hailey and daddy worked on Christmas dinner.  Then off to the stegs to see family.  Kev was feeling up to going so he tagged along too.  We didn't eat with the family bc that's just torturous for poor Kev, but we did enjoy seeing them all and opening stocking gifts and just relaxing.  Then we came home and had our healthy chicken dinner and facetimed with Nina and pops.  It was a good day but by no means really relaxing.  I would have liked to sit by the fire and play games/watch movies or stay in pjs a day, but that just never seems to be in the cards for us even post surgery.  Why is that?  Anyway...gifts of the day....Lo loves his new leapster and paw patrol safari.  Ash loves her new snowball talking cat and karaoke...Dyl loves the big basketball shooting game and his Rubik's cube (that just broke before he mastered it), Shelby loves her Polaroid camera. And hays loves her nutcracker one piece pjs. I'm sure there were more highlights, but I'm one tired mama.  It was a good day.  Not the FL Christmas we hoped for, but we made the best of it and had some smiles and good family time regardless. ❤️

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry snowy Christmas eve

Well I guess the next best thing to a palm tree poolside Christmas Eve is a white one.  At least we'll have a snowy Christmas instead of just brown and gray.  Trying to focus on the positives.  Not too shabby of a day.  Got all our wrapping done this morning so we could actually have movie night tonight. And we had an awesome gourmet Olive Garden catered dinner thanks to Nina and poppy stegs complete with my fav sandwich cookies she makes!  Then a night of cookie decorating and our dirty santa gift exchange.  Oddly enough poo gifts were the theme.  Now just tracking santa to see how much longer before he's here.  I think he's in South America now.  Grateful to all be together even if we're in the wrong state.  We did miss daddy going to church with us today, but glad he could nap during that time.  Merry Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Why?

This is the question I'm asking God a lot now. Why all this?  Why now?  Why?  I wish He would answer.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Daddy is home!

Our home is complete again and he will hopefully get a good night's sleep finally. Home sweet home❤️

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A tough day...a long road to recovery

My eyes are heavy and I must sleep, but please pray for a better day tomorrow, renewed strength and a discharge from the hospital!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Needing rest

We are all at our exhaustion point, but somehow God keeps replentishing me just enough to get through.  Which keeps me leaning on Him all the more.  It's tough being a single parent, but I'm counting my blessings every day.  Most grateful for prayerful friends and family, Hailey who has been doing all our chores and babysitting all the kids, Alyssa who is our new Steg chauffeur and to friends who are bringing meals over every day.  I am grateful to each of you who have texted too. I cannot come near catching up on emails, texts and phonecslls, but just know you each touch my heart.

Kev is ok.  Not sleeping much at all, feeling lots of pain, but healing slowly. Seems like he's been away forever and sadly might be a few more days.  He was up and walking today and trying to get a move on as far as getting discharged is concerned. Tired of a liquid diet and tired of sharing a room with a stranger. Just not his comfort zone.  But the kids saw him today as did two friends and his parents.  I think we wore him out.  And poor Loggy was scared of daddy wearing a dress. :). Hopefully once tomorrow is over, we can rest. It'll be a day full of class parties and last day before winter break craziness.  I'm wiped beyond measure but trying to keep perspective.  God must think I can do this.  He will equip me, right?!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A rough surgery with an unexpected hospital stay :(

More later...but please pray for my Kev...not the simple outpatient procedure we hoped for....and now he has an 8 inch incision, a drain and a few days in the hospital :(  But praising God in giving him the best surgeon and keeping my guy in His hands today....and to wonderful friends and family who have been providing love, texts and food for my family today.  In the midst of the unexpected, I am feeling grateful.

Monday, December 18, 2017

No surgery...yet

Well, surgery was not today.  I had a feeling.

We knew for sure when we went to what we thought would be a surgery center and it turned out to be a simple doc's office.  After an hour of waiting and the room filling with older people, we were pretty sure this consult would only end in a consult.  No surgery.  We were correct. 

I think the surgeon actually thought Kev's pain would go away over the weekend.  Something about his labs being normal (except WBC) on Friday at the ER.  He was surprised by the level of pain today.  Said something about how surgery should have been done yesterday.  I honestly just wish there has been some clearer communication from the ER.  Bc at the appt this morn, Kev had been without water and pain meds for almost 12 hours. That's too much. 

So, surgery is on for tomorrow at 10:30. The bad thing is that the poor guy is in terrible pain now and the meds aren't even helping (though we are thankful he is allowed to take them with a small sip of water). I just hope he can make it through the night. The doc said something about about a stone being lodged in a duct, which sounds awful to me...and can't be a good thing.  So that is probably what is causing the severe pain.  Cannot wait to get this all over with and for Kev to be gallbladder free in hopefully 12 hours.  Wish the night would go at lightning speed...and I never say that about a time when I sleep...but for Kev's sake I want it to go fast. 

So grateful to everyone who has reached out and is praying.

And thankful especially to cousin Alyssa who helped get Logan home from school and to Hays who helped with Loggy a lot and also helped get his bday stuff together for his preschool celebration tomorrow.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sometimes life is overwhelming :(

Longing for health, peace and a vacation.  Not feeling like we're getting any of this anytime soon. I'm tired of running solo for things too...church, two santa trips and thankfully Kev came with us to celebrate Nina Stegs' 70th with the Star Wars movie.  We would have rescheduled this but already paid for tickets a week ago.  Plus not much can keep Kev from seeing SW! But we're all feeling really tired and poor Kev is not excited about being NPO in 20mins with no pain meds for 11hrs. Praying he's feeling better after surgery tomorrow!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Goodbye gallbladder...and our New Yorker is home

Well, that was a long night last night. 4hrs in the ER and a diagnosis of inflamed gallbladder for Kev. Surgery most likely Monday morning. Sigh. Talk about piling on the stress in one week. This was a tough one. The silver lining is that our Hays is home as of 230am.  Thankful Nina and Poppy Stegs could get her and she could rest there, bc Kev and I were still out at CVS at 230am.  We all slept in til almost 11am (which wasn't enough). Then me off to Walmart for more Christmas shopping and then off to Steg Christmas for all of us.  Kev sat on the couch for most of it snuggled in a blanket with the chills. And while we feasted on prime rib, he sipped his bowl of chicken broth. Pretty torturous I'm sure. But it was good to see family and celebrate an early Christmas and Loggy's 5th bday.  I think my fav party of the evening  was watching him open his paw patrol mission patrol.  He was sooooo happy!  "Hip hip hooray," he said over and over again!  But we are worn out...more than ever.  Honestly we need a whole week off to recoup from this stinker of a week.  But no rest for the weary and sick.

Friday, December 15, 2017

ER

Well, not a great end to what was already not a great week. :( Kev is in the hospital now waiting for results from an ER CT scan.  His flu turned into severe abdominal pain.  And a trip to urgent care and 4hrs of waiting between that and the ER.  Praying this doesn't involve surgery.  And our sweet New Yorker has a 4hr delay in Newark.  So instead of picking her up an hour ago, Nina and Poppy Stegs now have to get her at 215am.  Seriously.  What is going on?  Can't take much more this week. I feel like we're being kicked when we're already down. :(

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Trying to keep peace in this holiday season

 Bye bye Pops!
 Bye Bye Nina!
LOL...picked him up from preschool and he said, "it smells like Pops in here". Still not sure if that is good or bad?
Trying to get in the holiday spirit.
off to core group church Christmas party...she was in charge of the skit and had to bring all the props...Lo helped.
Here's where he told me his big spelling bee news! lol! :)
Shopping for a white elephant gift for NJHS...lol...the whoopie cushion was cracking her up!  Everyone was staring at her, but she didn't care. We love fake farts!
violin!
finishing our reading log....laughing at an old Sandra Boynton book that Hays used to love :)
spelling bee quizzing...
and the joy of our tomorrow is our Hays comes home.  YAY!
Here she is on Monday night going to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree with her roomie and other friend.  
                                                   




Well, Nina and Pops left today. Bummer.  The biggest bummer was that now I actually really need them. Kev came home with the flu in the afternoon. He's never sick.  I managed tonight with the crazy schedule, but was very, very thankful I had canceled one violin session so I only had one to go to and a Christmas party for Shelb. I left all the kids here with sick Kev (basically Dylan and Ash took turns babysitting...you can imagine how many phonecalls I got from both of them complaining about the other :))  And Shelb and I were out most of the night with her activities.  Never good when one parent is down...especially not good when it's the day Nina and Pops leave and I have no back-up help. Also bad when Hailey comes home tomorrow (don't want to infect her!) and also a bummer bc we have a very busy weekend of family activities planned with his family...none of which I want to do by myself!  Soooo...praying he is better by tomorrow.  At this rate, I'm not sure a sunny FL Christmas is in our future. I would not be all too sad to stay-cation here, but I know the kids would be bummed.  Just praying now no one else gets this.  Kev looked like he could barely walk.  Grrr.  Is this God telling us to slow down?  Hmmm.

At any rate before I knew the germs had hit us, I was taking things in stride.  I turned down working today because I wasn't feeling great either...canceled a violin lesson and just started getting things done off my to-do list.  I am getting better at saying no to things and not feeling bad about it...sorta.  I even came home after preschool and put on Christmas music,  made some holiday mix and wrapped some presents.  I really am trying to be more joyful about December.  It's just hard for me.  So much to rob me of my joy lately.  Just been a rough week.

One small joy of the day was Dylan telling me he is in the spelling bee at school. He actually was top three to compete! lol!  Seriously, I did laugh out loud and did not believe him. He is our worst speller!  He takes after his father.  But I have to say....he studied all night and did pretty good when I quizzed him. He is competitive!  So we'll see how that goes! hahaha :)  Still, cracking up about this... :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Congrats Baylor Bear, Hays!

Well she's 5 for 5 and has officially gotten into all her college choices.  Baylor came thru today with $80,000 in scholarship over 8 semesters.  Nice!  Not sure how I feel about my girl being a Texan, but at least she'd be with cool Barb!  Sic 'Em!  Now we just need to see what path God wants her to take. That takes lots of patience and faith.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Trusting God's plan...plus congrats to IU Hoosier Hays!

Struggling with trusting God's plan, but in my heart I know He knows best. When one door closes, another opens. Praying everyday for that!  And on a happy side note, congrats to Hays on her IU admittance!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Jingle bell beach musical and a violin solo!

All the kiddos had a full day of musicality and performing.  So proud of them and their stage presemce!  But it was surely a rat race from start to finish and I declare I am too old for that!  Pre40 I could do it but I can no more.  I'm a tired mama!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

All day musical practice, GS iron chef and Salvation Army bell ringing and date/shopping night

Busy Saturday.  Prepping most of the day for the big church musical tomorrow for 3 Steg kids.  Racing ash to GS iron chef at Wonderlab (she made ice cream in a bag among other things), bell ringing at the mall and a date night shopping night for Kev and I while Nina and pops took the kids out. (Steak 'n Shake and not sure what else).  Not sure it was a real date for us though if shopping was involved.  Ugh. I wish Christmas did not involve gifts.  I would be much happier!  Still shopping--online now. Oh joy!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Holiday decorating all by myself, secret santa shop and chaperoning the ugly sweater dance

Oh, the exciting life we lead....I was an elf at the secret santa shop at school all morn, then I was the loner decorating our 3 trees (though I made the kids help once they were home, though Lo is the ornament helper king  :)).  I'm pretty sure I love Christmas a little less after spending the day putting 100 ornaments on trees.  And we ended the night chaperoning the middle school ugly sweater dance.  Yikes, 13 year olds, sure get sweaty and smelly in sweaters!  But we did have fun creepily spying on Shelb!  :) And we did appreciate pops watching over the kids.  He's a trooper!:)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Trying to get in the holiday spirit

Not much to report.  Spent most of the day trying to get Christmas stuff up.  Oh, you know how I love filling my home with more clutter.  But Pops was a big help untangling lights, putting up the tree train, vacuuming up tree droppings, etc etc. I need to have a Pops around more often with holiday decorating. :) I'm hoping by tomorrow I'll have it all done.  My sweet Loggy must love Christmas though.  He got right to playing with the train and decorating the tree and dancing to the nutcracker music box.  He makes me love Christmas a little bit more.  Glad to have a day to get stuff done. And grateful Pops was willing to help. He's been great at getting kids to and from school too. Wish I had more time to post pics...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A dental day, CFA and Harps night


Spent 4 hours at the dentist today.  Oh so fun.  Thankfully not all for me, but 4 of us.  Kinda sad to be starting over in a new dental place thanks to changing insurance.  But this place has nice people and they didn't tell me I have 10 cavities like the last "new" place...so that was good.  Then a busy night of kid stuff...violin (thankfully Pops handled that and took Shelb out to Moes after)...and we had a fun kid's cookie night at Chickfila with free kids meals, decorate your own cookies and a pic with the Santa cow.  Then off to musical practice for the kids and Kev and I had a hot date watching the IU harps at church.  Always so relaxing.  Lo even fell asleep during it.  I attempted to get my xmas stuff up, but no-can-do.  I am so behind.  Seems worse this year.  I just love Christmas.  I figure if I say it enough it'll come true, right?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Christmas tree shopping at Rural King and twin H farm

someday pics...

Got our tall tree at Rural King after church, then this evening Pops cut us one down at the tree farm. Our baby tree (that is probably 5 feet shorter than our other one but $10 more) that will sit on a table somewhere in our house.  As much as I don't love Christmas, I do love multiple trees :)

Making a Sleepy Hollow movie and the Butler Nutcracker

sorry, fell asleep before I could blog last night

Friday, December 1, 2017

Pops the garage cleaning king--and Nina the nutcracker queen

Wish I wasn't getting up at 6am on a Saturday. Then I'd have time to blog. Special thanks to Pops for helping clear out the clutter in our garage today and watching the kids tonight.  And to Nina for taking Shelb and I to our annual IU nutcracker dinner and performance. We had fun!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Nina and Pops have arrived!

They are here!  I tried to post pics but my laptop is on its way to technology heaven. Pics will have to wait.  Glad to have Nina and Pops here!  They are great!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

a realization

I have realized in working quite a few hours lately (as a preschool sub) that it's nearly impossibly for this mother of 5 to work outside the home and also do a good job inside the home.  That's not to say that there are not super women out there that can do that, but I am definitely not one of them.  There is just too much to juggle on the homefront for me to be working even part-time in the next year or two. I'm not saying I'm not going to try it (I was offered a preschool job a month ago and almost took it...and most likely would take it next year with Logan in Kindergarten), but I came to the realization this week that my full time job is and should be for quite some time, being a mom of 5.  This takes lots of sacrifice (we don't buy many new clothes or shoes (you should see Logan's holey ones...both jeans and shoes...mine too)...we don't have a nicely decorated house (and honestly I'm ok with that...no window treatments at all on my main floor and hardly anything on the walls and we've lived here 2.5 years). We have to make lots of sacrifices for me to stay home...but I am grateful every day that Kev is ok with this...and that God provides....and that I can be here during the days for my kids.  I realized also that as tired as I am usually, I am doubly tired when I work for 3-4 hours every morning.  I can't be that worn out consistently.  But the one good thing about working outside the house, is it makes you appreciate the down time and time at home that you do have.  Not sure what all these realization mean, but just that I am grateful that I've been able to stay home for over 10 years now (wow, a decade!) and that I am able to get some very part-time work in the wonderful church environment.  And that it's interesting the road God leads you on.  20 years ago I was in college thinking I'd be this awesome nurse forever. Thinking maybe I'd get married and have a couple kids then go back to school and be an nurse practitioner.  Ha!  Never would I go back to school now and not even sure I love nursing that much.  It's interesting what twists and turns God puts in your life.  You just never know what He has in store. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

First day back after vacation is always a drag

Ugh...what a long day.  Lots of good in the day, but at the end of the day, sometimes even too many good things make for a long day.  I am tired and probably shouldn't have subbed today, but in the end I enjoyed it and it was good for my soul...but then a playdate for the entire afternoon and then not getting home til dinner time...it was just too much....and I am irritated by Cyber Monday.  I had hoped to put a good dent in my Christmas shopping tonight, but just no energy.  Wish I had one more day to get good deals....but I guess that's the story of my life...never enough time.  Something has got to give or I am going to cave in and lose it completely.  Maybe I already have.  I need a post vacation-vacation.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Home and not ready to jump back into things

Well, after a long day of driving, we are home.  Minus one again, but that's our reality.  It was a wonderful turkey day break and I was grateful to have our family whole again for 3.5 days.  I'll take what I can get at this point.  We had our ups and downs this vacation, but it's a never a Steg vacation without some kind of adventure. :) Thankful every day for the gift of family, health, travels and blessings.  I take none of it for granted.  And very grateful Hays will be home in less than 3 weeks, that we can spend Christmas in Fl and that Nina and Pops arrive in 4 days.  Lots to look forward to in a month that is usually not my fav. Hopefully those future lights will bring me good cheer!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A delightful day in DC :)

What a delightful day in DC.  Beautiful weather, lots of historical touring and fun family times.  It's all better told through pics which hopefully I can post at home next week.  Started off the morn with a tour of the capital building.  Such a neat place.  Then the library of congress.  Then walking the National mall, seeing the smithsonian air and space museum and the museum of National history.  Then off to the White House. The one bummer if our dc trip is that the White House was closed for tours this week.  We had permission from our Indiana representative, but they can't really do much about it closing.  But at least we got the capital tour.  And it'll give us a good reason to return to see the WH.  Then we headed to all the awesome monuments--the Washington monument, Lincoln and Jefferson. We ran out of time to do more but I think we covered a lot in one day with a family of 7. We learned to use the metro too and the bus system.  And ate some food cart food, museum food and more shake shack!  I have a fondness for DC.  Love that all the touring stuff is free.  Though the food makes up for it. Not super cheap.  But still a fairly cost effective trip.  Now off to bed so we can head home early tomorrow.  Sigh.  Steg Tday trip 2017 almost done.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Bye bye NYC, hello Washington DC!

Well, we prob should have gotten rolling early this morn, but we all needed the sleep and I wasn't feeling well.  So we slept in. Hit Dunkin' Donuts on the way out of manhattan and then were on our way to our nation's capital.  Sadly we got into town right at 2pm as the bureau of engraving was closing.  So D missed seeing paper money being made, but just another good reason to visit here again.  We then crossed the border to VA and saw the pentagon memorial and Arlington national cemetery. Both very memorable. We got to see the tomb of the unknown soldier and changing of the guard.  The kids thought that was cool.  And we were the last ones to leave the cemetery. Then headed back to dc to have dinner at a yummy pizza place and dessert at shake shack of course!  So we really didn't do anything in dc but eat, but we did enjoy that. :) Oh and this hotel is gorgeous!  The kids have insisted this is the nicest place ever.  And the pool and Disney channel don't hurt!  Tomorrow is a full day of touring. Gotta get to bed.  Kev is downstairs printing our congress tour passes and planning our day.  He's awesome.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy turkey day....so bummed about our parade mistake :(

Been a long day and I'm too tired to type on an iPhone. Just very bummed we got up at 5am and secured what we thought was a great parade spot at 645 only to find out at 830 that the parade bipassed Columbus Circle.  I was crushed. Had looked forward to this parade and a good view for so long. We ended up moving right before the parade started and half the kids couldn't see much at all.  Just such a huge bummer. And had we stood where we first went by Central Park at 630 we would have had a front row seat.  I guess you can't win em all. Just sad though.  We did make the best of it and had a pretty good afternoon.  Took the girls to see the rockettes and had a great Trader Joe's turkey meal cooked by Kev and hays in her dorm kitchen, while the kids and I set up the sab kitchen for our Tday spread.  I loved our thanksgiving NYC style.  Just so disappointed about our parade mistake.  I guess ya win some and lose some. :(

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Reunited with our Hays, balloon inflation craziness/grumpiness and bracing for the parade!

Well, we're here!  A busy day of driving (never seen rest stops and roads so busy, but then again we haven't traveled on thanksgiving probably ever. It's worse than Christmas!  But we made it and it's so good to be a full family again.  I know our Hays would rather be in Indiana, but I'm excited for this different thanksgiving.  I did feel a little bad that we got stuck in the huge mass of people going to the balloon inflation event and it was almost 2hrs of standing in the dark and cold with thousands of people. And we were not fully prepared with winter gear.  Not exactly comfortable and the Steg troops let us know.  But we did get to see all the balloons blown up and tethered down. I thought it was neat minus the frigid temps.  And we ended the night with our fav Shake shack and a stop at magnolia bakery for Tday dessert. Now Shelby is spending the night in the dorms with Hays and we're resting comfortably in our awesome room overlooking Times Square.  On this eve of thanksgiving I'm thankful for my family and for this experience.  I'm excited about tomorrow and seeing all those balloons flying high in the daylight.  Yay for Macy's day Parade Tday!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

And we're off...on our east coast Thanksgiving adventure!

We actually pulled out of the driveway exactly on time.  That never happens!  Of course, Kev got  a call with work alarm trouble, so we're now at his office, but soon we'll be on our way to Ohio for a night's stay.  Then, NYC and Washington DC here we come!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Lazier morning, ice skating fun with our cousin, Thankful tree, Ash's first group riding lesson, Turkey food :)

 Here's a rundown of our day....first off the mess that I woke up to...the day after dinner dishes are never a nice reality :(  Why can't they wash themselves :(
 While I did dishes for an hour...they enjoyed tv time. Actually...if you notice, none of them are watching it.  So funny :)
 Finally got our thankful tree up.  D was enthused while helping me.  Had to move it to the hallway since the new molding is in the dining room.
 Soooo fun to see Cousin Alyssa at the ice rink. She is always so good to text when she's in town from CA and do something with the kids.  Love her!  She so fun and she was an ice skater til she was 15 so she's pretty good.  The kids loved ice skating.
 Obviously someone thinks she is awesome at skating!
 And this little guy just really took off on the ice. I was so proud of him!
 He pulled Shelb and I all around the ice. He was pretty much running...and it was like he was the horse and we were the buggy. It was hilarious. He is sleeping good tonight!
 Love my gang...but missed my Hays.
 Back home to watch Moana...had to see this again after Sophie's bday party. 
 Then off to our first group riding lesson.  First time getting her horse ready by herself.  She did awesome. Cochise is such a sweet horse :)
 He even liked Logan :)
 She did great for her hour lesson. First time riding for this long.
 Her group lesson girls.  She had her first lesson on the course.  She did awesome!
 She even made our "turkey" dinner...pizza and fruit :)

 Then time to fill our thankful tree with leaves.  I ran out of time to cut the leaves so we only did one each.  Oh well.  Shelb was proud of herself for putting the highest leaf on the tree.  Dyl might be taller, but she can jump higher!
No pride here at all :)
And now we prep for NYC and the big parade...and DC and lots of fun!  I am excited.  Never usually get excited about Thanksgiving, but I'm ready for a change of scenery!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Putting the kids to work at church, Shelb on a movie set, our Pre-Thanksgiving Aldi meal :)

 Church...we put the kids to work helping in our rooms.  Today was tower building...
 and making a snowman out of magnatiles.  Very church-y things :)
 Finally she gets her fav. lunch...Chipotle!  Thanks, Nina and Pops!
 The rest of us had Wendys :)
 Movie Star...ok, not really...but she'd make a great one. She got to go on the set of a movie being made in Bloomy. (Ms. White Light--with Judith Light--mom from Who's the Boss)  Fun! She was especially excited about the limo in the background :)  She got to watch 90 minutes of the movie being made in an old warehouse and got to meet the stars and producers/director (one of whom was a past BTV-er from school)
 We went back home to start our yummy Steg Pre-Thanksgiving.  Also known as Aldi Thanksgiving (all food was from Aldi...never done this before...never shop here)  I was proud of us for using lots of ingredients from home too... like making a cheesecake.
 Failed attempt at leaf/wax paper placemats. I make them every year...but I think this cheap dollar store paper won't work.  Ugh. Good thing I had old ones from last year.  It's been that kind of holiday year for me.  Lots of fails.
 Picked up this girl from the movie set.  It was fun to see where the movie stars hung out...in motor homes...so much better than lil' Hollywood trailers. 
 Playing the new Scooby Doo Wii game from the library.  Lo is no longer allowed to watch Scooby...nightmares.  Poor kid. He loves Scoob.
 All a bustle in the kitchen :)
 Ash was my biggest helper.  She made dessert, appetizers, place settings.  She was not so sure my bread cornucopia was going to work....
 I was confident...
 Perfection....but she was still doubting :)
 She did make an awesome cheesecake...with white choc. drizzle and milk choc "be thankful"
 Finally...a non-fail!  I loved my bread cornucopia with fruit and cheese. 
 Our feast!  Roasted crockpot chicken with gravy, creamed corn in my mini crockpot, scallopped potatoes, green bean casserole, bread and dipping oil, and the fancy cornucopia, plus a new addition...cranberries.  We are branching out and trying new things.  Really no one is happy about this.  Oh well.  It's been my job to challenge their palates :)
Yumm!
 Cheers to being thankful!
 We missed our Hailey though...
 And then it started...shenanigans
 smelling our food (new thing)...his teacher recommended it since he won't eat new things.  Trying our other senses :)  Not a bad idea.  But he might get weird looks sniffing things :)
 They got crazier...
 And crazier...
 and crazier
 and even crazier.  We now have decided they need to go to manners school...we actually have this in our downtown mall.
 Only thing missing was our Hays...and we couldn't even find her clone head :(  Good thing we'll see her for real on Tday!
 Artistic pic of Lo eating a hazlenut chocolate.  I was shocked he would eat them.
 Yummy desserts by Ash!  Her cheesecake and the yummiest mini aldi pies...apple and pumpkin (poopkin if you ask me...I am an anti-pumpkin gal)...and the yummy blondies from yesterday.  And the cute place setting nametags Ash made. 
And in the end we are left with a mess of dishes and plates of food that kids didn't eat. I should have taken a pic.  Probably should have just ordered pizza.  Oh well.  I tried.                         
  And our real Thanksgiving meal in the hands of our New Yorker!  Thanks, Hays, for doing all our Tday shopping in Manhattan!  She was a trooper!             
Here's most of our meal...minus a couple frozen things. I'm bummed they didn't have the Turkey and Stuffing En Croute...that I discovered the day before it went viral on the Today show and sold out everywhere.  Ugh.  But at least they had my turkey and stuffing kettle chips!  Today an Aldi's meal, Thursday a Trader Joe's meal!  We are such fancy Stegs!