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just your run-of-the-mill thursday.

happy thanksgiving, one and all!  i hope you guys are all enjoying the day with your family.

as we're not doing our thanksgiving meal until tomorrow, i am spending the day brining the turkey, wearing pajama pants, and planning on eating stir-fry for dinner tonight.

keeping it classy and eating chinese, just like the pilgrims did.  that's a pretty rad thursday.

video vednesday: [did you really think i'd post anything else the day before thanksgiving?!]

it's basically a van voorst family thanksgiving tradition.  welcome to the family.

our first major snowfall this winter.

our first snowstorm hit a while ago, but now that the weather has taken some midol and is in the forties again, i feel like i can finally bring myself to relive it.


atticus' favorite activity is scooping.  i have a feeling i will be taking fair advantage of this fact in the future.



what better snow-time activity exists than bike riding?



the fact that atticus' bike is toddler-sized is made even more obvious (and hilarious) when he's all decked out in bulky snow gear.  also, it has a flat tire.  luckily for him, the bike situation will be remedied at christmas, then he can snow-bike to his heart's content.  (don't ruin the surprise for him, though, or i'll be forced to cut off your thumbs.)






after outside time, i frequently let the kids drink tea.  this day was no exception.




that evening, we ordered in pizza and made fudge, as is our annual tradition.  since we made the fudge after dark, under recessed lighting, and since it's fudge, not every photo was entirely appetizing, but i can assure you it did not taste like Photos of Fudge Under Recessed Lighting After Dark.



if every snow day were like this, i think i could manage winter a little more readily.  that, and if my toddler didn't legitimately seem to have SAD.  as it is, this snow day was a good one, and we'll take them day by day.

weekly 'what's up.'

what happened this week?  atticus worked hard, learning how to spidey his way through life.




it snowed.  we try to make the first snow more fun by making fudge with the kids and ordering in pizza for dinner.  it makes it a little easier to stomach the fact that this is going to be our lives for the next six months.  cheery.

at least it's pretty, right?



and at least the kids like it, right?  right?!  (there was one day that was warm enough for them to be outside in the snow; the rest of the week it's been downright frigid.)



penelope once had a ponytail in, and then took it out:



with all the snow, there has been lots of indoor play.  some of the most imaginative stuff goes down around here during indoor playtime.  check out atticus' skid steer, complete with control levers and front bucket:



and here's our pirate ship, complete with our very own pirate!  the chairs are the ship, the piano bench is the gang plank.




our neighbors down the street had a kitchen fire, so there were three fire trucks and a chief car parked outside our house for the afternoon.  atticus was glued to the window.




randomly, atticus had the flu for an hour on tuesday morning.

and in other news, todd and i watched the first star wars, which i hadn't seen in years, and which i only found okay.  please don't hate me.  i wanted to like it, i did.  relatedly, todd thinks we should start our own youtube channel called 'todd and paige mock the classics.'  it got brutal up in here, but star wars took it like a man.  a man with a laser gun and unending bullets that still never seem to hit their targets.

also?  we started watching through the harry potter movies again.  now THAT is a movie series i can get behind and only make fun of minimally.  (don't worry, i would never stoop so low as to make fun of one of the books. but i think we can all agree that the movies can stand to be bullied at least a little.)

and that was our unusually notable week.

stuff covered in urine, et. al.

the van voorsts are on a roll, folks!  this is the longest streak i've kept track of in a while.  we're on day seven (or maybe eight?) of Extra Loads of Laundry Due to Bodily Fluids!

first it was diarrhea from kid one.
then diarrhea from kid two.
then kid three peed his pants.
then kid two peed on her sheets.  twice.
then kid three pooped in his undies.
then i peed my pants.  yes, i did.*
then kid four barfed on his sheets.  and on his sister's sheets.
then kid three peed his pants and kid two spit up on the rug.

so i guess that's eight days in a row.  the van voorsts are not be mighty at much, but we are mighty good at covering our stuff with our various discharges.  PLEASE COME ON OVER!

*not really sure what happened there.  i maintain that a body that has produced and delivered four babies will still always be postpartum in many regards.  consider me miles davis.

video vednesday: you can do whatever you want, you're like twenty-one.

so, it's november still, for those of us who need a reminder.

okay, guys.  let's talk about something.  people are hanging christmas lights already??!  

no, seriously, though.  we are better than this.  i am just so disappointed.  obviously, i blame hobby lobby.  i should have seen this coming in, like, july, when the christmas trees started showing up in that place.  how can we not expect a free-for-all after such corporately condoned antics?

which is why i also blame hobby lobby for the snow and the downright tundra-like conditions.  i realize hobby lobby has already taken their fair share of heat for stuff they have no business being held responsible for, but siberian temperatures in november is definitely something i'm willing to peg on them.  they asked for it.  they wished this upon us when they started playing that 'kenny g seduces christmas' CD in august.

i realize i'm getting quite literally grinch-like, as i sit here wondering what can be done about all of this, and how high up the management chain i'll need to go to get my complaints addressed.  i'm all, 'i must stop christmas from coming...but how?'  and i think the 'but how?' part of that equation probably involves leaving passive aggressive voicemails for any middle manager whose poor judgment call it was to allow me to track down their number.

OR.  i can solicit an army of able-bodied, stout-hearted, iron-principled readers who will stand with me and work to see justice prevail.  it was mother teresa who said, 'we can do no great things, only small things in great love.'  and i think she meant something a little more global by it, but i also think that, way way way underneath the main point, she was hinting that we should all do one small thing with love for the last remnants of fall:  stand strong, my friends, and don't give in to hanging your lights.  don't listen to those christmas stations on pandora yet and maybe fall will come back for a little while.  i'm only agreeing with mother teresa here.

the bible says that there is a time for every season under heaven.  it is not christmas season.  do not awaken love until it so desires, just revel a little longer in the season we've currently been given.  and to reiterate, that current season is FALL.  FALL, YOU GUYS.  FALL.

weekly what's up, adorabledition.

okay, what's more adorable than these smitten siblings??



or this drawing by penelope of her and her 'DAD E?'




or this snapshot of finneas, deep in thought about his first volitional poop in the potty? 



yeah, um, nothing.  nothing is more adorable than this stuff.  i get to have the best weeks.

family bathroom fun time!

the other day, i found myself at target with all the kids in tow.  i should have known things were about to turn south, but those big huge carts that seat nearly all of them always make me forget that target is actually an impossible venture.  i'm always like, 'there's clearly ample opportunity to keep them all corralled! let's do this thing!'

truthfully, it actually wasn't so bad for the most part.  i forget what we were there for, which is significant in its non-eventfulness.  BUT.  as we were standing in line to pay, finneas informed me he had to pee.  which meant that we all had to book it to the bathroom, stat.  it also meant that once we reached said bathroom, i wasn't able to keep them all corralled in the cart, as the family-sized cart is massive and also not allowed in the bathroom on principle.  so i took all the kids out and we headed into the 'family-friendly' bathroom.

i'm just putting this out there:  if there are no sterile chairs with seat belts upon which waiting children can sit, a bathroom is not family-friendly.

i started off my telling atticus and penelope not to touch anything while holding laur in one hand and trying to get finneas' pants down with the other.  i pulled them down to his ankles rather than taking them all the way off, to avoid having to take off his shoes with one hand, and also allow his bare feet to touch that floor.  unfortunately, because the toilet was so big, and his little legs couldn't straddle very far with the pants binding them together at the ankles, it didn't allow him to get the right angle of... things, and pee went shooting out the front of the toilet between the bowl and the seat.

so then i one-handedly got him off the toilet, cleaned him off, pulled his pants up, and then cleaned up the floor with toilet paper.

also?  penelope decided this was as good a time as any to announce she had to poop, since we were in a bathroom and all.  

so i got her up on the seat, after first removing her shoes and pants so that she can get a nice wide 'stance,' because even though she's a girl, i was not risking any more clean up.  then, since we were all crammed in a tiny cubicle of a bathroom, the boys figured they have nothing better to do than watch her poop and provide running commentary.

the real dilemma came when she was done:  to wipe her, i would need one hand to hold her still, and one hand to do the dirty work.  but then what was i supposed to do with laurelai?  i couldn't just set her on the floor.  i tried to get atticus to hold her, but that went nowhere fast, and ended with her screaming her head off anyway.

so i contorted myself into a really weird half-standing, half-squatting position and squeezed her between my knees.  she loved every second of it.

then it came time to wash hands.  the big kids were relatively proficient, but how was i to hold laurelai and soap finneas' hands, and lift him up high enough to reach the sink while my one free hand was all soapy?  and how was i supposed to effectively wash my own hands with only the free use of one at a time?

we busted out of that bathroom so stinking fast after that.  my legs felt like they were made of lead.  we got to the van and all i could do was sit there for a second and pray that no one had caught e. coli or something.  BUT.  the one encouraging thing about all of this is that i'm pretty sure i'm completely invincible.  i could beat the hulk at something.  and even though that thing is propping-a-toddler-between-your-knees-while-butt-wiping-a-preschooler, it is still going on my resume.

video vednesday: i'm part of the totino's lifestyle. i'll admit it.

you've got pants.

this last week, i wanted to escape to a simpler time.  you know, to let go of the cares of this world, and just pretend things were like they used to be, when people valued human interaction and community, and life ran at a different pace.

so i watched 'you've got mail.'

talk about a simpler time.  computers ran at the speed of mud, allowing you to really revel in the sandwich-making process while you waited.  you could eat that sandwich to the soothing sounds of 'REEE-ahhhh-rrrrrrrrrrrr-KKKK-eeee' as your computer tried to connect to the internet via your phone line.  you waited with bated breath to see if today would be a day on which you actually received an email!  and you met people in those old-fangled 'Chat Rooms.'

there were still things like brick-and-mortar bookstores, competing for business, and no such thing as amazon or kindles.  laptops were the thickness of bricks.  and people still got their news from the T.V. or even, gasp, the newspaper.  for heaven's sake, movie soundtracks featured the cranberries.

but mostly what i appreciate about the victorian 1990's was the simplicity of women's pants.  no frills, no tailoring, just very high waists, very saggy crotches, very tapered legs.  simple.  classic.  manly.  golden.

and that is how i plan to direct my life back toward simpler roots: before every decision, i will ask myself, 'is it simple? is it classic? is it manly? is it golden?  in a nutshell, does it embody the feel of 1990's women's pants?'  and if not, out it goes, friends.  out.  it.  goes.  i have no room for such things in my life anymore.

so, join me on my quest to pantsify my life.  it will be difficult, but it will be worth it.

what's up, toothy?

YOU GUYSSSSSSSSSSSSS...





WHATTTTT?
this is my life this week: i'm mothering a burgeoning adult.  i need to go lie down.

home-tober.

the kids worked hard through october, memorizing some poetry, and bible verses, and our phone number and address.  i thought i would show you the fruit of their labors (minus letting them reveal our phone number and address, because, you know, this is still the internet).



in november, we'll be working on some more bible verses, a john piper quote, and how (and when/why) to dial 911 from a cell phone with a keypad lock.  just keeping things spicy, and also downright practical.

video vednesday: she's always wearing, like, a 1950's bathing suit.

halloweenies.

our little halloweenies went as a barbershop quartet, thanks to my mom and her mad sewing skills.



i had originally planned on taking them downtown for the trick-or-treat on main street event, but they slept late at naptime and we didn't get out the door until it was too late.  so then we tried to go to this local church's trick-or-treat event, which was supposed to go until 6:00, but when we arrived at 5:30, the whole place was dead.  (spooky?!??!)  so then i fed them some bananas and bread for dinner while we waited around until 6:00, when neighborhood trick-or-treating started. but we looked outside to find that only one house on our street had its light on, so we drove to paul and jenni's to show off the kids, but they weren't home.  so then we drove back home to trick-or-treat on the next street over.  we apparently ended up putting a bunch of mileage on the van for no reason.

we only went around a single block, but it was fah-reezing, and laurelai's whole little body was tremoring, so we high-tailed it home.

kind of anticlimactic, i guess. 




it turns out, laurelai is offended by leaf-throwing.



needless to say, their haul wasn't as substantial as it has been in years past, but that's almost a perk of having done it this way.  plus, we bought some candy for the kids to pass out and we didn't have a single trick-or-treater visit us, so we've still got all of that madness sitting around, giving us the stank-eye.

all in all, it was a pretty fun halloween!