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video vednesday: smoking on the street in my activewear.

two peas in a pod.



i am so glad these two have each other.  they have been besties from the time they were around the ages of finneas and laurelai, and their relationship hasn't wavered, even as new kids are brought into the mix.  they are so very different, but i think that's part of why they work so well.  while they do have occasional fights, for the most part they get along really well and really understand each other.  they are so wonderful together.

i am so glad they have each other, and i'm so glad i have them both.  life is better because i get to watch them being 'them.'

'what's up' weekly.

whoa.  okay.  better late than never, now that it's 9:00 at night?  sure.

okay, last week.  we kicked off saturday by heading down to my hometown for the day, to surprise my grandpa for his birthday.  this photo is from earlier this summer, when i had a major farmer's tan/burn on display, but i think you get the gist: my grandpa's pretty rad.



sunday was sunday funday, which was a great opportunity to just rest.  i mentioned last week that i had come down with the flu last wednesday night, but either it was a really long-lived bug or the pregnancy made it hard to kick, but it took nearly a week to recover from the horrible exhaustion.  i'm feeling better now, thank goodness, although penelope had some kind of stomach thing last night, so i'm hoping this doesn't spread any further.

unrelatedly, finneas threw a fit about...something.  what else is new?



monday, i wimped out and skipped homeschooling because i was so near-to-comatose tired.  tuesday, i got my act together a little better and actually did school AND went to connection group.  no need for applause or anything.

wednesday i had my preggo appointment and it turns out my insurance has been suspended until all my renewal paperwork can be processed.  which is pretty nervewracking, considering i'd really love to have medical insurance when it comes time to bring forth life and all that.

thursday, laurelai had her two-year check up.  she weighed in at 21 lbs.  you grow, girl.  this is how she dressed herself earlier this week.  (she kept raising her sword and yelling, "SOLDIER! PIRATE! SOLDIER!")




this is how finneas dressed himself earlier this week.  he said he was a minion.  makes sense.



and today was friday, in all its catch-up-on-homeschool, wash-penelope's-puke-sheets, stain-treat-the-pukey-rug glory.  it was a long one, but we made it.

we spent lots of time this week reading laur's favorite book, pajama time by sandra boynton.



also, our pumpkin harvest is out of control.  i planted only two hills of pumpkins, then neglected my garden all summer, and so far we've harvested nineteen pumpkins.  yeah.  so... i'm off to figure out what the heck to do with nineteen pumpkins.



and in preggo news, here we are.  i'm starting to feel like i've got a twenty-pound rock strapped to my body at all hours of the day, which is pretty accurate and pretty exhausting.  i have to spend a lot of time laying down to take the pressure off my back.  i went to lay down today and penelope said, 'you sure do like to lay on the couch, mom.'  true that, little one.  at least i've had a lot of great company.




i spent time this week washing and sorting all the clothes for rocco.  wow...some of the them are in bad shape.  i bought most of them used at garage sales before atticus was born, and since then they've survived two babies (or, in the case of the gender-neutral apparel, four babies).  so i trashed some that were wayyy far gone, i put some in the goodwill pile, and i'm making a list of a few things we'll want to pick up before we bring him home.  it will be weird, putting a van voorst baby in clothes that have never been worn before.  this must be how the upper crust lives.




now onto checking off some of the other things on the prep list: making freezer meals, deep cleaning the bathroom cupboard, installing the carseat, making a list of stuff to take to the hospital, and making sure i have all the ingredients on hand for the giant margarita i plan on making in congratulations to myself after the birth.  you know, the essentials.

go ahead and start holding your breath now.

i'm planning on posting a 'what's up weekly' blog today... at some point.  check back in a little later and it might be up!

video vednesday: so, you just want to simmer that at about...four degrees.

the state fair: REEEEMIIXXXXXXX.

i mentioned in my post about the state fair that we spent the day with my sister and her boyfriend.  well, it turns out, austin is a photographer, and it turns out he brought his (film!) camera, and it turns out that, on black and white film handled by a pro, even the state fair can look downright classy.  get ready to see the van voorsts look like old timey movie stars.




just chillin', like a movie star.



just ripping all the breading off a corn dog, like a movie star.



just giving the stamp of approval, like a movie star.



ferris wheelin' and dealin', like a movie star.



just chatting with my sister, like a movie star.



just living the best life ever, like movie stars.


SUNDAY FUNDAY, FOOLS!

lately, we've really been trying to intentionally make sundays a day that everyone in the family looks forward to - restful, relaxing and fun.

we go to the second service at church, which allows us to sleep in as much as possible and take the time we need in the morning to make it to church on time.  so we have time for baked oatmeal, which is breakfast every sunday.  (and i make a double batch, so it also ends up making my monday, and sometimes even tuesday, mornings go really smoothly as well.)  after church, we swing by aldi to pick up a take-and-bake pizza (and sometimes some wine and chocolate, because hello, sunday funday!) and head home for pizza-for-lunch in our jammies.




after lunch, all the kids are required to split up and take naps.  such a great recharge, even for todd and me.  todd usually goes down to the guest bed with atticus and naps himself, and i play it fast and loose with my quiet time:  i usually either sleep, read, or watch netflix, but i always, and i mean always, spend my time laying motionless on the couch for those 2.5 hours, regardless of activity i chose, unless i'm getting up to eat or pee.  wonderful.

after nap, if it's nice and we're up for it, we take a walk.  i'm quite confident this is atticus' favorite part of the day.





(when you do charlotte mason homeschool, you have to stop at the nearby creek and throw leaves in to watch them float over the rapids.  it would be an educational crime not to.)





after our walk, we make popcorn-for-dinner, and sit around watching a movie together for the rest of the evening.






then suddenly, it's bedtime for the kids, and todd and i have the rest of the evening to hang out.

and i assume you can see now why sunday at the van voorsts' is the VERY best day of the week, hands down.


the weekly 'what's up.'

very little news this week, other than the fact that i am attempting to recover from a nasty bout of the flu, so we're going to keep this short and sweet.

i'm currently 34 weeks along, and we finally decided on a name for the baby this week!  that feels really, really good.  however, it did just occur to me this week that i will be having a baby here soon.  like, having a baby.  i need freezer meals, and a place for his (needing-to-be-laundered) clothing, and to install the car seat, and to start thinking about packing a hospital bag.  i need to mentally prepare for postpartum healing, and balding, and struggling with body image.  i need diapers and lotion and a crib mattress.  we need to find out if my insurance is renewed for another year, and we need to be praying that the baby waits until after october 13 to come so that todd has guaranteed leave from work.  ugh.  i'm beginning to find myself in panic mode.

luckily, van voorst babies tend to overcook in there, so i (hopefully) have a full six weeks, if not a bit longer, to figure all of this out.

anyway, here are a few shots of me looking comfortingly less panic-stricken than i feel.



happy weekend, y'all!

video vednesday: i completed the challenge. do you?

AMERICA!

(sorry about the scandalous still-frame.  the video itself is rated PG.)


the iowa state fair: it's a fair for the whole state of iowa.

okay, it's finally time to blog about the state fair.  now that it's mid-september and all.

we left right after breakfast to head to des moines, where we met up with my sister, lauren, and her boyfriend, austin.  



we headed out to the grounds, and job #1 was finding the kids some lunch.  ahem, finding is not really an accurate description of what all was involved, as the state fair is patronized pretty much only by hundreds and hundreds of food vendors and then a couple other people who show up.  the kids had corn dogs, i had the classic standby, Ye Olde Grande Turkey Legge.  we drank about seventeen strawberry smoothies.





then the kids checked out the bean tunnel and the nauseatingly large pumpkins.




then we had more strawberry smoothies.  gotta stay hydrated, right?



then we headed to the animal barns, where penelope fell in love with this white rabbit...



...and the kids got to, er, marvel at the largest pig and largest bull, respectively.  ahh, the miracles of nature as seen through the eyes of a child.




then, to get their minds off of things, we headed over to the big slide.  lauren, austin, and todd all took turns riding down with the kids.  everyone had a blast.





this is finneas' review of the experience:



todd and austin took the three biggest kids on the ferris wheel.  



there was some concern finneas might not be tall enough to ride, even though he really had his heart set on it, but glory be, look at that.



the kids LOVED it, if you can't tell.




some other rando stuff happened throughout the day, like finneas chilling out and attempting a nap, and finneas looking every bit his age and then some (and then some more - i swear he's got an old man trapped inside his body).




also?  laur and lauren had a ball being name-sisters, and atticus attempted to reach his own state fair prize.




everyone loved lauren and austin the most (except, they really loved austin the most and lauren was primarily an acceptable third wheel).



and we ended the day hanging out by the tractors and eating the World's Best Ice Cream, I Swear.




atticus' review of the day?  it was van-climbing good.