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! 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Last Private Horse Lesson, a bestie party, GS detective science, Boy Scout greenery delivery, and celebrating Ash

 A busy day...just like any other...even though we should be on "break".  Hmmm.  Here's a few pics...of Ashley's final private lesson.  Bittersweet.  Hard to believe that after 2 months she's ready to be in group lessons.  She's made huge progress in the last 2 weeks.  We're gonna miss our teacher, but I think it'll be fun to be in a group lesson.  As her last hurrah she had the joy of having a new horse (Cheerio).  Feisty boy!  He did not want to be groomed or ridden or anything.  A good rival for feisty Ash!
 Confident horse rider :)  She showed that horse who was boss!
 Look at that trot!
 So appreciate her teacher.
 Love this simple pic...so glad this girl found "her thing" :)
 Hard to believe it was a wear-your-tshirt day in mid-Nov!  65 out!  Then a crazy storm blew in and now it's like 30 again.  Grrr.  Indiana.
 Love our Moana Sophster.  She always invites Ash to her party bc she is a mini replica of her.  Love it!
 Future picture for their wedding?
 A GS trip to Wonderlab!  Her braids were almost blowing away...crazy wind!
 It was cool to fingerprint herself...and me :)  We might have a crime solver in our house now
 Love climbing the vine.
 It's been so long since we've been here.  Good ol' Wonderlab.
 Proof that she does practice :)  And that she didn't get out of pj's most of the day.  Good for her.
 Special delivery from Dylan.  Time to hand out all that popcorn and greenery.
 Celebratory Equestrian meal!
 It was a nice easy meal.  Yumm.
 Love that birthday cake shake!
A new dress for church/Nutcracker (she's been wanting this from TJMaxx for a month)...and few little things, plus some Blondies (her choice)...and yes, I do know how to spell equestrian.  I am apparently tired.  I tried my best. 

Ash is (was) DOUBLE DIGITS! (yesterday)...crazy bday day...but so fun!

I totally ran out of time to post yesterday in the midst of double digit melee.  But boy did our bday girl have fun...especially at our last...