we have a house!

So, here's some news: there are still a few balls in the air with it all, but we are under contract for a house down in Columbia.  And...we've never set foot in it.  Yeah, it's yet another crazy story.

The house hunt had been somewhat discouraging.  Most houses that stayed on the market long enough for us to see them were kind of... trash.  After that one long, discouraging weekend of looking at a bunch of sad little houses, our realtor sent us photos of a house he was getting ready to list.  It wasn't on the market yet, so the photos were from the last time it had sold.  And, I'll tell you the truth, I cried when I saw them.  Not happy tears.  Sad, blubbering, desperate tears of, "THIS IS ALL OUR MONEY CAN GET DOWN THERE?!  We are doooooomed to live in a miserable state of quasi-existence in a literal hovel."  (I get kind of dramatic about houses.)

So, on the phone with a friend who lives in Australia, I spent our limited international minutes describing this meltdown and the stupid causative house.  Because I'm a jerk like that.  She later went online to look for a pizza place she remembered in Columbia, and an ad for this house came up on her screen.  The new listing for this same house had gone live that day, and she sent the link to me.

Well, apparently, I had a change of heart.  Like, a massive change of heart.  Because now I was really excited about this house and thought we should make an offer, sight-unseen.  (Um, I'm a nutjob.)  The market down there moves really quickly, so when it came on the market on Friday, we knew it would likely be gone by Monday.  But with it being Easter weekend, we weren't able to plan a trip down there to see it right away.  There were seven showings already scheduled for Saturday, the second day it was on the market!  So we put in an offer Saturday morning, though our realtor didn't want to make it official until he could walk through the house while facetiming us so we could 'see' it.  (He's been in real estate since 2007 and has never had someone place an offer on a house sight-unseen.)

We 'saw' that it was pretty much what we expected from the pictures, and made our offer official.  Right after that, another offer rolled in.  The sellers chose to negotiate with us, and we got everything finalized.  There is a contingency on their end that should be resolved this week, so I'm hesitant to say we're 100% locked down with this house, but we're as confident as the situation warrants.

We'll be heading down soon to actually see it in person.  I'm really excited about it - it has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, and is about twice the square footage of our current house!  So much space!  It has a finished basement with a family room, hardwood floors, and a fenced yard, and is in a great neighborhood.  It has a brand-new roof, a new-ish kitchen, and new vinyl windows (one of the things I've been praying for is windows that are easy to clean).  Do I love it yet?  I don't know.  But I do know that I really like it, and I'm excited to make it 'our own.'

So please be praying that all goes well with finalizing the contract and having it inspected.  Please also be praying for the inspection on our current house, which will be happening Saturday.  Annnnnd, if you're not prayed out, also be praying Todd finds a job soon.  Holy cow, so much to juggle, but it's all good stuff.  

i think it's time to tell you how our house sold.

Remember when I asked you to pray that our house would sell without having to list it, and that it would go for full asking price?  Remember how I conceded that it would be a crazy, outrageous prayer, but suggested you pray for it anyway?  I've been alluding to the fact that our house sold in kind of a crazy way, but I haven't detailed it on the blog because I was waiting for all the paperwork to be official.  Not counting my chickens and all that.

But now the paperwork is all in, we are officially under contract, and the appraisal has been completed.  (We haven't heard back from that officially, but I'm feeling good about how it went.)  Our inspection is Saturday, which stresses me out only mildly, because we didn't really have time to have our house 'market ready' by the time it ended up being for sale, so there's still some half-finished projects and quirks hanging around.

Because, here's how it all went down:

On Wednesday, February 17, we decided we would move to Columbia with Candeo's first church plant, Anthem Church.  We started telling people on Thursday, and Friday I posted it on the blog.  On Saturday, we replaced the kitchen counters and I started sealing them, so our house was a PIT - everything was covered in sawdust, and it smelled like sealant, and all the items from our kitchen were piled on the floor in the entryway.  There was a huge pile of construction garbage behind our house.  It was a disaster.

My friend Sarah was out of town that weekend, and didn't hear until Sunday that we had decided to move.  She knew of a couple that was house hunting, and asked if she could let them know our house would be for sale soon.  I said yes, and Sunday night, I received a text from the couple, asking if they could come see the house sometime that week.  They had already found a house they were planning to offer on, but they'd hold off on that until they made sure ours wasn't a contender.

We set up a time for them to walk through Wednesday evening while Todd was at work.  I spent Sunday night and the next few days cleaning like crazy, although it didn't really end up doing much for presentability - basically all I was able to accomplish was some basement organization and getting the sawdust off of everything.  I was incredibly overwhelmed at the amount of work that needed to be done in just a few short days, even after hearing God tell me to cool it - "You are not going to sell this house; I am."  Meaning, any amount of effort I could put in would make no difference in his ability to move this house if he wanted to.  I still stressed about it, but only because I'm a turd who doesn't listen to reason.  Or, apparently, God Himself Speaking To Me In Audible Form.

And God was faithful.  He really did sell our house.  The couple walked through and loved it.  They were really excited, I was really excited, it was all very exciting.  They were able to see past the grime and chaos and sawdust and smell, to the bones of our house - the cute, solid, well-built, reliable, airy bones.

We ended up getting full asking price for our house.  Neither side used a realtor.  It sold in a week (though it took longer than that to finalize all the paperwork, obviously).  And we've made new friends - the couple who is buying the house is so sweet and fun, and I love that they see what I do in this house.  I'm so glad it's not going to end up being a rental, or selling to someone who doesn't appreciate what a gem they've found.

God clearly orchestrated this.  His hand is all over it.  I think he is taking a lot of joy in his flamboyant displays of grace and mercy to us in all of this.  I know I'm taking a lot of joy and comfort in watching him work.  He is our good Father, and he has done this for us.  Thank you for those of you who prayed (and are praying) for us - God's hand is moving in response to your prayers!

the bi-weekly 'what's up.'

I didn't post one of these last week, and there has been a TON going on over the last few weeks, so this might be long.  In fact, there has been a lot going on for the last month.  Exhibit A:

UGGGGGGH.  Most of these scheduled things were/are things I love, but man alive, I'm too routine to appreciate the incredible variation the days offered me this month, and I'm tuckered out.  Here's to hoping April has just as many visits from friends, but fewer appointments and trips down to Columbia and deadlines for stuff to happen with the sale of the house.  April is for sitting back and relaxing... and oh, yeah, packing and cleaning and gearing up for May.  Oh well, someday I'll be in Heaven, where there are no home inspections and Well Child visits.  That'll be the life.

Anyway, we started last week with a visit from my friend Karlee and her husband, and their six kids.  That's right - there were eleven kids in this house, all aged seven and under, for seven hours.  And I'm not kidding you, it was the BEST time.  The kids got along great, the husbands got along great, and Karlee and I got to head to a local dealership to test drive a 12-passenger van.  You all know I had a blast.  This photo is missing two kids, if you can believe it.

Then mid-week, I drove down with all the kids to stay with my mom for a few days.  While we were down there, I got to see my grandparents (my dad's parents), which was so wonderful.  Then on Saturday, Todd and I left in the morning with Rocco to house hunt in Columbia.  If you've been reading along this week, you know how that turned out.

This week has been spent prepping for Easter.  Todd has spent time during each of the last forty-odd days reading aloud to us from The Passion of Jesus Christ by John Piper.  The kids are really enjoying it, but maybe it's mostly for the snuggle time with their Daddy.

I've also spent much of my time this week preparing for our appraisal, which will happen this morning.  (Please be praying it goes well.)

Tomorrow is my (thirtieth...eep) birthday, followed by Easter, followed by a few days of madly trying to get ready for our home inspection, followed by the possibility of another stint of house hunting.  Followed by a long, long nap and a stretch of trying to persuade my husband to take me to Puerto Rico to lay on the beach for a million years until my skin turns to leather and my troubles turn to mist.  Here's to hoping that being thirty gives me magical powers of verbal persuasion and free airfare.

how we do... [purse prep for going out in public with a million kids].

I have always hated carrying a diaper bag.  I had one with Atticus and I just despised it - it was so bulky, and I had a nagging suspicion that many of the 'must-haves' in there could be left at home without much worry.

I will preface this by saying - I stay at home.  I don't have to leave a bag at daycare, and we're rarely out more than a couple hours at a time.  So this might not work for everyone.  I also toss the pacifier and burp cloth right into the car seat, so we have that on hand, just not in the purse.  And last, it has bitten me in the butt more than once that I don't carry an extra baby outfit (and, let's face it, mommy outfit) with me at all times, so do as I say and not as I do - take an extra outfit.

That being said, here's what I keep in my purse to make sure that I'm prepared for most situations that might arise when we're out in public.

First, here's the purse.  I like them moderately large, but still somewhat structured, so stuff isn't getting lost in the bottom.  This one has three large compartments, as well as a small zippered pocket.  As you can see, I need a new purse, as this one is starting to fall apart, but I've used it everyday for the last three years, so it's earned its retirement.

Here is the entire contents of said purse:

On the left you see my wallet (which also has done its time and is ready to be retired), and a pad of paper for taking notes or letting the kids scribble while they sit in waiting rooms.  Down the center is my first aid bag (I'll detail that below); mints and gum to be used for bribing the kids, if necessary; the ever-loving WIPES, which are used for all kinds of things - hand washing, face washing, table washing, nose blowing, etc.; pens (self-explanatory).  Down the right side are kleenex, hand sanitizer, glasses cleaner, and an extra diaper.  (Not pictured is my planner.)

In the first aid kit reside the following:

Dramamine (Atticus gets car sick). Mela-gel (essentially, Neosporin). Tweezers for the occasional splinter (theirs) and rogue chin hair (mine).  Motion sickness oil blend (again with the car sickness).  Tea tree, lavender, and peppermint EOs for common owies and ickies.  And a Tide pen, because - five kids.

And that's it.  Really.  Sometimes I'll throw a book in there, in case I have some down time to read in a doctor's office or something.  (Hahaha, I'm so naive.)  But other than that, we're pretty well set with these items!

finneas' fourth birthday party.

A little over a week ago, we had family over to celebrate Finneas' birthday.  My sister helped doll up the place with the decorations Todd picked out.  Finneas wanted the theme to be "Gray Soldiers" (read: knights).

It was so sweet - this year, both the biggest kids wanted to buy Finneas a present with their own money (and Penelope even gave Laurelai fifty cents to get him a gift, too).  Atticus bought him a nerf gun, and Penelope got him a bag of skittles.  They each made cards for him as well.

The cake was grain-free, and wasn't as bad as you might think.  It had espresso ganache, which can divert your attention from pretty much anything you want it to.

And, because it's Finneas, this is how the day ended.  This photo is Finneas in a nutshell.

paige van voorst hates on house hunting.

You guys!  I've missed you!  I know I've been a delinquent turd around here this past week or so, but I have a valid excuse.  We've been out of town and I didn't have the computer with me.  See?  Valid.  (Although you know I take any excuse I can to act like a turd.)

The kids and I headed down to my mom's last Wednesday to hang out for a few days.  Friday after work, Todd drove down to join us. And Saturday morning he, Rocco and I trekked from there down to Columbia for a super intense weekend of house hunting and seeing the city.

Arrrrgh, y'all.  House hunting is hard.  And unpleasant and discouraging and overwhelming and all the other words for bad stuff.  We looked at fourteen houses in less than twenty four hours.  We actually liked this one  house pretty well, and had considered making an offer on it, but then we learned the house had MAJOR foundation issues (like, they've already dumped 30k into it to keep it from collapsing, but the problems still don't seem to be fixed.  THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.  Outrageous skrilla).  So clearly, we passed on that one.  The rest of them were too small, or too expensive, or too unsalvageably ugly, or just too The Worst. 

So, all that being said, we still have no house.  And the market there is kind of dead right now, so there's not really anything left to see.  I'm confident God will provide for us, which keeps me as positive as I can be in this whole situation.  I'm just curious (and impatient) to see exactly what he will provide, and when.  Will you be praying with us that he brings the perfect-for-us house soon?  I mean, like, could you take a minute right this second and pray for us?

I'll wait.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  More than anything else in this whole process, God has been teaching me to actually depend on him in tangible ways, and to actually expect him to move in response to prayer.  Please, please pray for us when you think to - we desperately need it.  None of this will come together without it.  Take pity on us and pray, pray, pray!

Or it will be your fault when we end up homeless.

Whoa, that took an unhealthy turn.  Sorry.

how we do... [clothing storage].

I find it fun and helpful to sometimes see how other moms are doing those things we all have to do.  It's become especially helpful as our family has gotten larger and I frequently feel like I'm having to re-examine and streamline many processes I had previously done a bit mindlessly (and less efficiently).  I feel like I'm constantly taking other people's ideas and tweaking them and adapting them to fit our life and needs, so in case it might give you some inspiration, I thought I'd start occasionally start showing you how we do some of those 'everybody does these things' things - laundry, storage, weekly chores, daily and monthly scheduling, clothes shopping, etc.

So, for today, I thought I'd take you for a tour of our basement storage area.  This is where we store kids' clothing, shoes, and toys that are out of rotation at the moment.

(If I were doing this all over again, I would buy uniform totes, but that's not real life.)  As you can kind of see, everything is labeled.  Todd bought me a label maker as a gift years ago, and that thing has earned its keep.  I keep it down here next to all these boxes, along with extra label tape and some clear shipping tape to adhere it nice and securely.  I like to keep tools as close as possible to the place where they're used the most.

Okay, as for how I organize everything, it's sorted strictly by gender and size.  I only store in each tub what is out at a single given time.  So the "Boys 0-3 months/3 months" tub gets emptied into the dresser, and once it's outgrown, it all gets washed and put away at the same time.  Even if there's extra room for more stuff in the tub, nothing else is allowed to creep in.  When you're cycling clothes for lots of kids, it's just easiest to not have to dig for anything.

Sizes for each gender are: "0-3 mo/3 mo;" "3-6 mo/6 mo;" "6-9 mo/9 mo;" "9-12 mo;" 12 mo/12-18 mo;" 18 months;" "2T;" 3T" and so on.  

Shoes are sorted by gender and size as well.

I like to keep a few extra, empty tubs and boxes of each size, so that when I need to start a new one, stuff isn't just sitting around until I can make it to Wal-Mart.  I also keep an extra box for stuff that comes in that I don't have time to sort into the proper bin just yet - clothing in larger sizes found on clearance, or hand-me-downs from friends, etc.  I just dump it all into the open box, and when that's full, I sort it all and put it away.

Because all my boxes don't fit on one wall, I put the ones that are currently being used closest to the basement stairs for easier access.  Then when I cycle those clothes out for the next size, I just switch the boxes so the new bin is closest to the stairs, if that makes sense.

Here's one of those first photos again, so you can see what I mean.  The ones on the right are all the kids' current sizes (plus a couple soon-to-be-used sizes that don't fit on the other wall).  The boxes in the very center of the photo (on the floor in front of the shoe boxes) are empty extras, and behind those lids are all my waiting-to-be-sorted things.

And that's our storage system.  If you have any questions, or if you are wanting me to cover how we do a different 'everybody does these things' topic, let me know!

rocco's modern life: four months.

Rocco is officially four months old!  He just had his Well Child check on Thursday, and he weighs 13 lb, 6 oz. (8th percentile).  He's not super chunky, but he's bigger than most of the rest of the kids have been at this point.  Also, he has no teeth yet, which is not something I expected - both the other boys got their first teeth around the three-month mark.

He likes playing with his fingers, and has started grabbing at his feet.  He is trying to figure out how to reach for things.  He laughs when he's tickled, and loves spending time on his tummy.  He'd spend more time on his tummy if it didn't make him barf all the time - he's a really urpey baby.  He goes through 2-3 outfits a day because of the constant barfing.  (Yes, yes, I could use bibs, but I don't like for him to sleep with them on, and I forget to put them back on after nap.)

He's a great sleeper during the day - I have to wake him up from nearly every nap.  He would easily go 3.5 hours between each feeding if I didn't wake him.  At night it's about that same stretch between feedings, though (usually around four hours for the first stretch, then 2-4 hours after that).  In addition to his nighttime feedings, he wakes up most days between 5:30 and 6:00, so I put him in bed with us at that point and can get him to go back to sleep for an extra hour or two this way.  He has not decided yet if he prefers his pacifier or sucking on his pointer finger, so they're pretty interchangeable at this point.  I'm sure there will come a day when one will win.  There Can Be Only One.

I frequently call him Finneas by accident.  Their eyes are different, but other than that, they look a lot alike.  Todd calls him Mini-as.  His favorite activity is growling.  He sounds like a tiny dinosaur.

He is seriously the happiest baby in the whole world, and we could not love him more!

the weekly 'what's up.'

This week was slower than last week, which was a welcome relief.  We started back up with school, which I was pretty worried about.  But it has gone so smoothly - I think the kids were ready to be back in the routine of things.

A few milestones took place - Finneas turned four years old, and Rocco turned four months old.  I'm so proud of these growing boys!  They had their well-child checks yesterday and are doing well.  Finneas is in the 60th percentile for height, 30th for weight.  Rocco is the 47th percentile for length and 8th for weight.  Long and lean, just like we make 'em.

In house news, our papers are officially drawn up and signed!  Next major hurdle to jump: the appraisal. In preparation, I painted the kitchen.  Nothing fancy, I just used some sample quarts I had on hand.  I don't love it, but I don't need to.  Which is kind of a relief, and kind of a major bummer.  On certain days I struggle with the idea of leaving this adorable house behind - especially with the unfinished state of the kitchen.  The sellers are being awesome and have asked us to leave the kitchen as-is, as they're going to pick tile, backsplash, paint, finishes, etc. that they want and do it all themselves.  This is a major blessing for us.  We have killer buyers.

But I sometimes pout about the fact that I will never get to see our kitchen be 'my' kitchen - see it become what I've been envisioning the entire time we've lived here.  We started demoing it RIGHT as we decided to move, and will never see it done, and I will never get to use my pretty kitchen.  I know I'm being a bawl baby.  This move is definitely bittersweet sometimes.

Anyway, here it is in its current, messy glory:  it's pink!  Y'all know I looooove me some pink.

I had imagined the entire lower half of the room being clad in white subway tile, including into the nook, and the upper half being painted this warm pink.  So there is A LOT more pink than I had planned.  And I had also wanted to mute the Valentine's Day feeling with blue art - I love Picasso's Blue Nude and wanted to put that up.  Although, having to explain to the kids why you can see a lady's butt in the painting has been sidestepped, so that's a win.  ("Very Young Kids, you have to see past her butt to what she's feeling.  Her butt kind of shows her feelings.  Get it?!")  Anyway, the floor would be less "1950's Diner."  The benches would be a different deep neutral.  Just imagine it with me.

BUT I did put up this beautiful, beautiful art, and a picture of Abe Lincoln that was a gift from my sister, so it's kind of working for me.

In less whiny news, we started our supplements for cavity healing/prevention.  The kids are surprisingly nonchalant about the whole thing.  They're not really complaining about the no-grains thing (although, they keep thinking they smell noodles cooking...) and though you can't tell in the photo below, Atticus actually likes his cod liver oil.  The other kids' drops don't taste like anything, so other than Penelope being weirded out by the idea of having them in her milk, no one really seems to have any complaints.  We'll just have to wait until Atticus' next dentist appointment to see if any of this has made a difference.

And lastly, Todd took the day off of work yesterday to take Finneas on a daddy date (check out his instagram for photos), and to go listen to a guest teacher at our college ministry.  He's really getting excited to jump back in to a more active role in college ministry once we get down to Columbia.

All in all, a good, good week!

four-year-old finneas.

As you may have seen on Facebook already, Finneas turned four on Sunday.

He is our tender tough guy.  He has such a soft little heart.  His feelings are hurt easily, and his affections are strong.  He is the first to tell me I look pretty when I put on makeup or wear my hair down.  He gives out hugs and cuddles in abundance.  He desperately wants to be a big kid... until he's reminded that big kids don't suck their fingers, to which he responds, 'I still want to be a little boy for a while.'  He still has a deep and unbreakable attachment to his blankie, which is also four years old, but appears to be going on 100.  

He loves Batman.  He loves the Lego movie.  He loves sleeping naked.  Without fail, he discovers he has to pee as soon as he sits down to any meal.  He loves getting out of bed at night and hiding in the hall until he's caught.  He has the best dance moves.  I'm talking, the absolute best.  He is insanely ticklish.  He loves telling jokes and using silly voices and making funny faces.  

He also cries a lot.  I'm talking, a lot.  It is never quiet when he's around - sometimes when he's in his best moods, he'll come hurtling into the kitchen, screaming at the top of his lungs.  Not for any reason other than the joy he gets from screaming.   Whatever Finneas is feeling, he feels it 110%.  He is the opposite of even-keel.  There is no 'meh' in Finneas - he is always happy!! or maaaaad!! or soooo saaad.  And I love this about him - he's so passionately "Finneas."  His life is never boring, and my life is never boring because of him.

He is happiest when he's part of a pair - when he's one-on-one with me, or Atticus, or Todd, or Penelope, skies are blue and birds are singing.  When he's in a group of three or more (or paired up with Laurelai) the sky is falling and the world's on the precipice of the apocalypse.

Ohh, FinnFinn.  Your name means zealous, and it is apt.  You are so special and frustrating and wonderful and I'll love you until the day I die and then some.

tell me how you really feel.

My feelings about the move down to Columbia vary from day to day.  Really, minute to minute, depending on a host of things.  I mean, I know it's God's will for us, which offers a huge amount of relief to even the most stressful times - I never wonder if we're making the right choice, so there is substantial peace of mind there.

But when I'm cleaning the house to get it ready for inspection and closing, or thinking about having to pack everything up, or making a list of everything that needs to be repaired before we hand the house over to the new owners, I get super anxious.  Like, feel-like-I'm-going-to-puke anxious.  When I think about Todd still needing to find a job down there, I get a little stressed.  (Not too much, though.  God sold our house like whoa, so I'm leaving it in his hands to bring us a job.  Easy peasy for an all-powerful God.)

But there are things I'm starting to get excited about.  Like, really excited.  So I'm going to spend a few minutes to dwell on those today.

1.  Their library is big and beautiful and has a partnership with the St. Louis library, which has a partnership with the Smithsonian.  I can get behind that.

2.  Tons of wildlife preserves, nature areas, trails, lakes, etc.

3.  We get to pick out a new house and make it our own.  This comes with a few stressors of its own, but also some big fun.  So, for today, it's exciting.

4.  Backyard chickens are legal.  Whhaaaaa.

5.  There is an Azure Standard drop, lots of natural food grocery stores, and legal sources of raw milk.  It seems there are no TJ's or Costcos, which is weird to me, but I live without those things now, and I'm mostly fine and well adjusted.

6.  We'll be an hour and a half from St. Louis, and an hour and a half from Kansas City.  Tons to do.

7.  Vaccine laws and homeschool laws are exactly the same as here, so there won't be any transitions to make there, only a few forms to fill out as we change states.

8.  Columbia is, on average, 10 degrees warmer at any given time than it is here.  Y'all know I could stand a little more sunshine in my life.

9.  If Todd gets a job with a normal-person schedule (unlike his wonkadonk one now), our weekdays will be more predictable, and we'll get to spend every evening with him.  That's a move in the right direction.

10.  There's a chiropractor there that seems right up my alley.  I like my chiros a little kooky.  (In a good way.)

11. The best part of all: getting the absolute privilege of getting a front row seat to watch God spread his Gospel and grow his Church.  Who are we that God would pick us to go?  Who are we that he would send us?  Who are we that he would not only save us in the first place, but allow us to be part of his kingdom work?  We are blessed, privileged, lucky, fortunate, spoiled.  We get to move.  We get to church plant.  We get to live a life full of discomfort and upheaval and unknowns, and at the end of it all, pure abundance.

the weekly 'what's up.'

This week has been a doozy.

The weather was beautiful over the weekend, so the kids got a chance to play outside.  What a difference a week makes in Iowa in March, amiright?  Penelope got to show off the brand new hole between her bottom teeth.  She named the missing teeth, Wiggly Biggly and The Amazing White Guy.  If it didn't sound kind of racist, that would be an amazing band name.

On Sunday night, we had dinner with the couple who is buying our house, and after dinner, we all sat around, going through all the paperwork.  Who has a house sell like this?!  No realtors or attorneys present, just a couple of families enjoying each other's company and also buying/selling a house...  God is crazy, guys.  There are still a few balls in the air with that, so I will give you all the details once it's all finalized.  It's a good story.

They brought over some chocolate pudding, and Laurelai took advantage of the opportunity to look like a smarmy, mustachioed car salesman.

On Monday, my dear friend Kristy and her son came up from central Iowa to visit.  These kinds of visits just do my soul so much good.  I've gotten very few opportunities over this last school year, since homeschool has really picked up and since I'm a hermit, to just sit with a cup of coffee and talk with a friend.  It was great.

On Tuesday, we actually did a little bit of school work, which is a total novelty at this point.  It was the first time in over two weeks that we actually cracked open the books.  Dumb.  But life is what it is right now, and we're going with the flow.

On Tuesday night, Todd and I got home from Connection Group to find this nasty, nasty spider hanging out on our kitchen counter.  The babysitters had found and caught it in the basement, and the kids fell in love with it.  They named it Sick Bite.  Entirely appropriate. 

(This was written by Penelope and says, "On Toosday we fowd a spidr in the basmint.")

On Wednesday, I took the girls to an eye doctor appointment - they're both doing well!  Neither had much of a change in their vision since last time.  While we were gone, it was the boys' turn to unload the dishwasher for me.

On Thursday, I started painting the kitchen.  The buyers haven't asked us to do much so far (or anything, really), but there can't be anything in an unfinished state when the appraiser comes.  So I figured I should cover up the blue paint swatches that have been defacing the walls since Laurelai was born.

Speaking of Laurelai's birth, it was two and a half years ago this week.  She seemed pretty excited about it.

And today, this little booger is four months old.  Where does the time go?

Finneas is also getting older, as evidenced by his newfound love of dressing himself, and also his love of wearing a tie.

And lastly, we're starting a new protocol to try to heal Atticus' cavities.  (They found SIX at his dentist appointment last week!  I was appalled.)  We're currently eating grain-free, we've changed up our brushing routine a bit, and we'll be adding some supplements in as soon as I get them in the mail.  I'll keep you posted.

And that was our crazy week.  How was yours?