Friday, February 21, 2020

2/21/2020

2018: (still true)
I do not know how I will survive foster care. So I just keep reminding myself that I signed up for this and these amazing children living in my home for as long as the system allows signed up for none of what they have experienced in their short lives. I remind myself that I have a support system to help me pick up the pieces when I have to say goodbye to them. I remind myself that our family isn't doing this on our own. We are doing it with the love and support of so many of you and the strength and support of the God we serve. But, real talk, I do not know how I will survive foster care. #fostercare #fosterlove

2017:
my grandpa Fischer and my littlest boy. So much love. Four generations of love is something special.

2017:
In keeping with our week in a retirement community, today is more shuffle board, more old folks card games, and a Thomas kincade puzzle. We love it!

2017:
Asher's life summed up in one picture. Can't stop. Won't stop. Must keep up with the big "tiddos." (Kiddos.) — at Papago Park.


2016:
And then there was wall, and it separated closet from room, and it was good.

2014:
A firm proponent of attachment parenting and the idea that Breast is most certainly Best, Asher isn't totally sold on the idea of adding solids to his diet, but I could no longer eat in front of him without feeling terrible because he'd move his head toward the food and fake chew while I chewed. So, today marked another milestone in cuatro's life. First food: avocado mixed with the good stuff.  (poor quality due to the fact that i'm trying to feed him and take pictures. Oh, and the fact that I'm a rotten photographer. There's that, too) 6 months tomorrow. sniff. sniff.

2014:
it's all fun and games until road conditions prevent jim from driving home from his week in green bay. come on, snow plows. you can do it!

2012:
News flash: "Sleeping" between the puker and the puke bucket means you don't actually sleep. But we already knew that, didn't we? Hoping Audrey got it all out of her system overnight and bounces back to enjoy the snow.






















Thursday, February 20, 2020

2/20/2020

2020:
I picked up more Girl Scout cookies for my favorite entrepreneur this morning, and then it was a regular school day until Isaac and I headed to the high school so he could run five miles and I could do my 6x800 workout.Let me tell you two things. 1) Intermediate Logic is hard! 2) So are 800s! I worked my mind and body today, which is always a good darn day. I will be sore tomorrow, but proud, too. I'm finishing this up so I can watch The Monuments Men with Isaac. His CC director recommended it as he prepares for his first Lincoln Douglas debate in a few weeks.


2017:
When in Rome. . . AKA when in Scottsdale, embrace your inner shuffle boarder.
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2016:
Not to be outdone by his running siblings, this dashing fellow, who trained to run the 5k today, came into the living room at 7 am, dressed and ready for his first baseball practice. Now he is having a sleepover in Audrey's room. Elliot is known for being quite the chatty man before bed, so Audrey said, "No talking, Elliot." I replied, "None?" After rethinking it, Audrey said, "Not as much as normal." Because really, what's the point of a sleepover without talking?

2016:
First Colorado 5k for Audrey and Isaac's first 5 mile race ever are in the books. Audrey rocked it, ran more than walked, and went on and on about what a fun morning it was. Isaac was thrilled with his first place in his age group ribbon (side note: he was the only one in his age group), but was equally impressed that he got 4th place in the under 34 age division. He ran negative splits and legitimately beat his mama and his second cousin with a time of 49:something or other. Training at a very hilly 8200 feet and racing at a flat 5700 feet makes a huge difference! Thanks COLORADO MASTERS RUNNING ASSOCIATION for such a fun racing experience with such supportive runners and volunteers.

2015:
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2012:
is listening through Elliot's monitor as he channel his inner Rafiki and rocks out to the Broadway version of the Lion King CD. He also takes his role as Simba so seriously that when we were listening to it for the fifth time in a row last week, he chose to pee in his pants rather than miss his cue to toss Scar from the rock. The same kid who's had two accidents since June. We're all Lion King all the time since seeing it on the 11th.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

2/18/2020

Fun fact: Isaac's due date was actually 2/18, but he was born seven days early. This day makes my heart all giddy because it was the day I looked forward to for many months.

2017:
AZ road tripping. Here's our Moab pitstop
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2016:
I have exceeded my ability to function in the outside world. This is a result of lack of sleep due to a toddler up all night with a stuffy nose, four dentists' appointments in Boulder, Google maps saying it takes 7 minutes to walk from the dentist to Sherpa House for lunch, when they clearly did not account for itty bitty legs, plus piano lessons. Therefore, popcorn has been popped, pajama pants are on, and the Ingalls are entertaining us.

2015:
I took the hard way down our little mountain today. I know the picture quality is junk, but our house is just to the left of that big rock on the top of the picture. I have to get from the ground I'm standing on to home in about 1.2 miles. The good news is that all of my huffing and puffing on the steep incline is probably enough noise to keep the cougars at bay. And one day I will run it without a walk break. That will happen! #perseverance #marathontraining

2014:
sunshine. 40 degrees. running shoes. a stupendous friend who watches all my kids so I can run. 6 splendid miles when I never once thought i'd pass out or die. coming home to a hungry, snuggly baby and three sledding kiddos. this is a runner's high!

2012:
"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in the darkness, the astonishing light of your own being." ~Hafez







2/19/2020

Another Wednesday, another snowy day, so our evening activities were cancelled. As I emailed our confirmation families to inform them of the cancellation, I wrote, "Snowstorms are God's beautiful reminder to slow down, both in car speed and schedule." It's true, and I love it.

2019:
Elliot and his castmates have been working since September and are ready to present The Aristocats on March 1, 2, and 3. He'd love to see lots of you there! He is so excited to portray Lafayette since he is one of his favorite historical figures, but this time Lafayette is a dog.  Should be a fun and entertaining show! Link to purchase tickets is in the comments.
StageDoor Theatre updated their cover photo.

2019: (Still hilarious. I was laughing out loud by myself at 5:45 am as I read this again.)
Yesterday Jim accidentally called a passport an assport, and, because we are a highly mature group of humans, we now know where people parked their donkeys during biblical times.

2018:
The stars aligned, and we had fresh, glorious snow and zero evening activities. Win! The almost two year old is in my arms after a trip down the backyard sledding hill, and the 14 year old is shoveling. I love snow!!

2014:
Winter fun. Looks like we'll get even more snow tomorrow. Isaac's excited to add to his jump, Audrey's looking forward to making another Olaf, and Elliot thinks we're in an eternal winter. Asher doesn't give a hoot as long as he has a spoon to chomp on.

2014:
Rainbow loom taken away due to school distractions. Been trying to wash the same sink full of dishes since 7 am. Just in case you thought it was all sunshine and roses at la casa vanWestrienen.

2014:
the first butt scrunched up, arms over his head, cooing stretch of the morning after a night of being swaddled tight. brother and sister, heads bent over rainbow looms, giggling over new bracelets and goofy jokes. Amelia bedelia shared on the couch with a smiling 5 year old. history read and discussed over a tasty breakfast. finding the blessings in the Wednesday morning.

2013:
Breaking my FB fast to ask for prayers, healing thoughts, positive mojo for Audrey. She broke her left tibia skiing yesterday and will get her full leg cast mid-week. Prayers appreciated. Jokes about skiing injuries not appreciated. Right now my baby is hurting and my mama heart is weary. She's strong and healthy and will be just fine. But right now, she's immobile and out of commission, which sucks. When my children are injured, I always think of kids who are chronically ill and I realize how good we have it, but today, we're just sad and sleepy.
















Monday, February 17, 2020

2/17/2020

2020:
M was off of school today, so our Monday was a little different. We made the most of no Scouts BSA Monday with a cookie delivery to my cousin and a night of pizza because this Monday felt like it absolutely had to be Thursday and I couldn't consider feeding people and cleaning up. I just couldn't. When it's cookie season + half marathon training + husband traveling + prep for CC until all hours of the night, pizza was just what the doctor ordered! We had to wait a few minutes for our table, so I brought our family chapter book. We are absolutely enthralled with Mo and Dale and the cast of memorable characters. We didn't get too far because our table was ready, but I told Asher we'd try to finish it before bed tomorrow night.

2018:
A dad and his apprentices on a beautiful Saturday. My heart just grew two sizes. 💓

2017:
four kids and one mama are hitting the road for some fun in the sun, cards, and shuffleboard with four grandparents. #AZorburst See you soon, Sally Fischer and Jan VanWestrienen. (grandpa and poppy, too!)

2016:
My little runners and I had phy ed before lunch so we could take advantage of the glorious weather for our last long run before Saturday's COLORADO MASTERS RUNNING ASSOCIATION race. We will appreciate the extra oxygen and flatter course down the hill in Denver!

2015:
Snow up to your knees, sunshine, and sleds. What more could a kid ask for?

2014:
Must go to bed. Not enough hours in the day. But I will listen to the advice I gave another frazzled mama today: "the stuff that must get done seems to get done and life goes on. And the kids know you love them."

2014:
Snowy President's Day fun with friends and neighbors. They're working on building a jump. Don't worry. I fixed Rory's hat right after I took the picture, Nicki.

2014:
Asher's newest party trick. And the smile, oh, the smile.


Sunday, February 16, 2020

2/16/2020

2020:
Sunday = church day, and we were greeters and acolyte, so we were up and at it early this morning. Audrey sold Girl Scout cookies in between services. She has worked so hard and has surpassed her goal, but she's still at it working booths and calling family members.

Today Isaac and I both had challenging runs. Of course my run would not have been even remotely challenging for him, but he has youth and training on his side. He's always in crazy training mode with his hard core track and XC friends. I'm never in crazy training mode, but I have a half marathon coming up in April, and I will be ready! (That is positive self talk, people. I WILL!) I had my long run of 8 miles today, and it is the longest I've run in years! I'd already run 4x400s on the treadmill on Tuesday and hill repeats on Thursday, so I'd put in some hard work. I had to give myself a little pep talk at mile 3.5 when I really, really wanted to turn around. Like really really. I was tired and thirsty. So thirsty. I sat my bum down on a bench and told myself that I wasn't hurt, sick, or in pain. I had one half of one mile to run to my turnaround, and then I just had to run back to my car. Then I did something I'm not proud of but that got me the dang half mile. I looked around for some snow that hadn't been stepped on or peed on and I grabbed some handfuls and ate/drank. So refreshing! Not my finest moment, but it was necessary at the time, and I regret nothing! I got to four miles and then headed back to the car. Eight miles complete! Next week I have a 45 minute run, and today 45 minutes was about 5 miles, so it'll be a cutback week. It feels so good to be making time for training. Of course I'm wildly behind on sleep, housework, and school prep for CC on Tuesday. Such is life. We're all being fed and loved. It'll be fine.


I'd give details of Isaac's run but most of the words mean nothing to me. Eleven miles, then cutbacks with T pace and CV pace, then cool down until 17 miles were completed. OK. I know it was hard, and I know they rocked it. That's the gist of it.

We came home for dinner, books, Girl Scout whatnot, and now I have the little guys in bed, Jim's on his way to the airport, and the rest of us are snuggled on the couch with Maleficent. Happy Sunday, indeed.

2016:
In lighter news, cat tether ball should be the next addition to summer olympics, unless they want to add the extra element of playing it on ice, in which case, winter games it is. Cat people, am I right, or am I right? #easilyamused

2016:
Riddle me this. . . I lost the envelope with the vast majority of Audrey's girl scout cookie money earlier this week. I'm talking hundreds of dollars that I would have to pay if the money isn't found. Fast forward to tonight when I am as home alone as a person can be with four sleeping children, a cat, and a dog. I got the kids to sleep, went up to play with the cat for a bit, and came down to wash dishes. I walked into the living room and the envelope of money was laying on the floor of the living room, right in the walkway from the front door. I am equal parts thankful, because, like I said, hundreds of dollars, and freaked out. Actually, I'm leaning towards freaked out a bit!

2016:
Well, ain't that the truth!

2015:
With 7 1/2 inches of snow overnight and 4-6 more expected today, it is the perfect day for school in pajamas, sledding in the yard, and hunkering down. We will not attempt death by driveway today!

2014: (true. it was NOT pretty, but I finished.)
things to consider when signing up for a march 15 half marathon. 1-age of baby 2-spouse's travel schedule 3-stupidly cold winter 4-lack of treadmill in my house to take advantage of naps and bedtimes
it'll happen, but it won't be pretty.

2012: (and now she sells them and we have hundreds in our home at any given time)
What is it about having Girl Scout cookies in the house that makes it seem 100%appropriate to have a cookie (or more) as an appetizer to breakfast?