Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our Search for Sanity

After Monk left it was time to figure out what our new "normal" was going to look like.  Not long after that I saw this sign and it made me feel good...
So maybe "normal" wasn't actually what I was going for.  Just a dose of sanity would be great. 
In an effort to help our family find  the dose of sanity that we all needed I decided it was time to regain control of the Lewallen household with the help of lovely schedules and charts.
Here is how that attempt got started....
Here is the Lewallen Time poster and Kade's and Ryne's sticker charts and our first memory verse.
We are finishing up 8 weeks now of following the schedule and the boys are getting super close to filling up their sticker charts and they can both tell you 8 verses from the Bible.   Things are still not what anyone would probably consider "normal"  but I definitely feel more sane than I did 8 weeks ago.  Well, most days anyway.  We are still making adjustments here and there to figuring out how to do life as a family of six.  I suppose we will probably be making adjustments for the next 18 or so years.  And wouldn't you know it...daylight savings time ended and here comes another adjustment.  Ugh!  Not one I really want to deal with because early bird Ryne was up at 5:45 new time!!  Had him skip his nap yesterday in anticipation of "falling back" on our clocks and hoping it would cause him to sleep the extra hour.  Plan failed.  He only slept about an extra fifteen minutes.  Kid is usually up no later than 6:30 every morning!  Oh well, one of these days I'll probably dragging him out of bed and laughing that he used to be up so early.

Life has been full of adventure for us and I hate that I have not been able to keep up with this blog as things actually happened.  But since this blog does serve as our family scrapbook, I can't bring myself to just skip it all and start from where we are now.  I am determined to play catch up.  So, if you don't really care to know what all has been going on with us the past couple of months you might just want to skip the next couple of posts and join me later for current events.  Right now it is time for a September recap!

We said good bye to more friends.
 Kade's buddy Jacob and his family moved to Germany.
 We went to a little farewell party that they had.  It is sad to think how many of our friends have moved in the past year.  I can really tell it has affected Kade.  Breaks my heart that he has had to deal with so many friends leaving, especially when he wants to know if they will be able to come to his birthday party if we send them an invitation to the new place they live.  Poor little guy, his best friends now live in Georgia, Kansas, California, North Carolina, Germany, Oregon.  Might be a bit too far for most of them to travel for his birthday party.

We remembered the tragedy of September 11th.  Cannot believe that it has been ten years already.
 Kade and Ryne wore their N.Y.C. fire fighter and policeman shirts that their Monk Monk sent them from New York City.
 They were pretty proud of their shirts.  And I did my best to explain to them what happened on September 11th and why we remember without provoking any unnecessary fear in their little minds.
 They are all about "super heroes" so I think they followed me when I told them about our real-life heroes on that day and the heroes who fight to keep our country safe.
 Tyce even wore his "America" shirt that day.
And I'm pretty sure Ryne is probably telling him about those Heroes I was teaching him about.  
One thing is for certain, Ryne is always telling these babies something.
 I don't know how many times I've said in the past three months, "Ryne, back up and give that baby some space."  or "Get out of her face, Ryne." or "Get your hands off of his face, baby."  and even this, "Ryne, I know you love these babies but you've got to give them a break."
 He truly does love Tesa and Tyce like I never imagined he would.
Kade loves them, too.
 And he is so good with them.
 He can entertain them with his goofiness.  And calm them down with his sweet voice.
 There have seriously been very few times that Tesa or Tyce has been crying that Kade hasn't been able to soothe them. 
Kade is a great help that way!  If I really need to get something done and a baby is demanding attention, Kade is my go to man.  I am so thankful for that help, too!  

Oh, did you happen to notice that most of these pics are boys talking to Tyce?  There's a reason for that.  He is the one who demands attention.  Doesn't even necessarily have to be held but he definitely wants somebody to be looking at him and talking to him.  Tesa, nope, not her.  She is so easy.  As long as she is fed and dry she is quite content.  If she gets tired of anything going on in her world, she just takes a nap to forget it all.  If Kade and Ryne are being obnoxious and she is fed up with it, she just goes to sleep.  If she is bored with staring at the ceiling, she just goes to sleep.  If she doesn't want to listen to Tyce fuss, she just takes a nap.  If she just happens to think she's been awake long enough she'll just take a little snooze.  I seriously couldn't ask for a better little girl.  She is such a sweetheart and does her best to make life easy for me.  Good thing at least one of the four does that!

If the boys aren't around to help me entertain the babies, I've found a new friend for them...
They are big Baby Einstein fans.  I'm so thankful.  
Oh don't worry, I don't let them sit around and watch t.v. all day.  But occasionally this is my trick for getting things done around here.  Obviously you can tell from this picture that there was some cleaning that needed to be done. 

Let's see, what else did we do in September?
Maybe I can just finish this up with a bit of a list and picture form.

*Babies went to the coffee shop to meet some of the sweet ladies who hang out there and had only seen pictures of them.
*Kade and Ryne got to visit Sound City Coffee and have a little treat.
I loved it because as soon as we drove up Kade said, "Hey this is where Russell and Belinda go to church."
It is true.  They are our friends who are starting  a new church in Tumwater, WA and they opened up a coffee shop and have church there.
*Big boys spent a few days working on homemade Thank You notes to send to all of the family for being so good to them this summer.
They both are especially fond of glitter glue.
*Got to treat the boys to a fun bath time one night...
A glow-in-the-dark bath!
Saw the idea on Pintrest and thought the boys would really enjoy it.  They did!  I thought it was lots of fun too.  You should have seen them holding glow sticks up to their faces so I could see if we got them all clean.  Will be using glow-in-the-dark baths as rewards for good days.

*Made a few trips to the park
Check out that entourage.
Ryne likes to just leave his helmet on the whole time.
Which is actually somewhat of a comfort when I see him leaning out of the whole at the top of the "fort."

Kade really likes to go to this park because it is a great place for him to practice his baseball skills.
I have been quite impressed at how good he has gotten at hitting the ball this summer. 
I wish I had a count of how many pitches Kyle threw to him this summer.  For a long time he started each swing by crouching down in place letting out a big grunt and saying "keep your eye on the ball."  Made me laugh on the inside every time.  I couldn't laugh on the outside because he was quite serious...nothing funny about it at all in his book.
Ryne likes to have some turns, as well.  And look, that helmet is coming in handy yet again.
Swing batter!

*What about Tesa and Tyce?  Well, they mostly just hung out like this...
And grew some extra chins.
Cute extra chins, at that.

*Went to Portland for a birthday party!
Sweet Delaney turned one and it was a great reason for us to make a trip down to see our friends Chuck and Dawn and Delaney and her big brother Aaron.  They moved to Portland a few months ago and we sure do miss them around here.
The boys had a great time at the party...
Sporting their Big Bro shirts
And we had a fun time getting to hang out with our friends.
And you know Kade and Ryne were all about the cake and ice cream.
They had fun getting to spend some time with their buddy Aaron.

*Another fun trip to the park...
This time Isabella came to play.
She checked on the babies first but then it was on to playing with the big boys.
Batter up!  
Seeing this makes me so happy that we got a girl to go with all our boys.
Isabella is such a sweet heart.  And Ryne just adores her.
Look at Ryne and Isabella playing peek-a-boo with me. Too cute!
Kade spent all of his time swinging at pitches!
We might just have a serious baseball player on our hands.  Kyle asked him one day this summer if he was going to play baseball when he grew up and he quickly answered yes.  Said he was going to play for the Yankees.  So Kyle asked, "If you play for the Yankees, will you get me tickets?"  To which Kade replied, "Sure, if you're ever in New York."  There was no question to him whether or not he would play for the Yankees, the question was only whether or not his Dad would be coming to New York.  Ha!

*Had a day date with the big boys...
We splurged on Wendy's that day.  Then hit up Toys 'R Us so they could spend some money they had gotten.  I had a great time with them and I do think it was a nice break for us to have away from those sweet babies who get a lot of attention.

*Watched some football.  Cheered for the Razorbacks and for Kyle we also cheered for Alabama.  So what happens when Arkansas plays Alabama?  Well, I cheer for the Hogs always and Kyle I guess just cheers for whoever is winning.  Funny thing happened the day of the Arkansas-Alabama game this year.  I wake up and go downstairs to find Kade sitting on the couch watching cartoons like this....
Sporting his Razorback night-nights and holding on to Kyle's old buddy Al.
I suppose he is his father's son.
Ryne was sporting his Razorback night nights too and needed to pose for a picture with Al.  These poor boys may grow up all confused.

*We went to fall fest and had a great time picking out pumpkins, playing games, putting together a pumpkin bread mix and ....
riding ponies!!!

*Had some fun with our friends..
Then Jenkins crew came over for a cookout.  This time Ainsley joined the kiddos like a big girl.  Going to have to have a much bigger picnic table in a couple of years since Tesa and Tyce will want a spot and the newest Jenkins baby that is on the way will need a seat as well.

Yes, September was a fun month.  But then came October, and it was ever bit as fun.  But you will have to wait until a later post to find out about that.  
For now just enjoy one last picture of our zaniest little man.
And let me say Congratulations you made it to the end of this post.

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