what's up weekly. ('better late than never' edition.)

This week was pretty full for us, with lots of time spent with friends - which is the best kind of full, but it also kind of leaves me reeling, like, HOW IS IT FRIDAY ALREADY?!

Today is the last day of Term 2 of this year's homeschool schedule, so if we can get everything wrapped up today, we'll get to enjoy a week off next week.  It couldn't be better timing - the weather is beautiful, the house is grimy, and I am tired.  I tell myself I'm going to spend next week washing the windows and deep-cleaning the basement, but like... I probably will check out Deathly Hallows from the library and spend my week engrossed in that instead, if I'm being realistic.  So maybe Harry Potter and windows should be my goal, and skip the basement all together, because again, if I'm being realistic, having deep cleaned the basement will only show fruit for like three hours before the kids take over down there again.  So why bother?

ANYWAY.  Here's a rundown of our week:

Last Friday, I attended a girls' night with the women at our church, and there were sixty-five women in attendance.  Church planting is so mind-blowing ALWAYS: like, less than a year ago, there were maybe ten women total, and now there are sixty-five women who are here on a Friday night (and many others who couldn't make it that night).  Amazing.  Granted, we spent a lot of time playing 'minute to win it' games, and if you know me at all, you know how games-averse I am, so it kind of stretched me outside of my comfort zone a little.  But, on the plus side, I can now tell you that I'm quite skilled at knocking over water bottles with a baseball hanging from the toe of a pair of pantyhose dangling off my head...  I have arrived.

Penelope spent tons of time nature journaling, chronicling all the first signs of spring we're seeing:  robins, a redheaded woodpecker, daffodils, BUGS.  And so it begins.

On Saturday, I went grocery shopping, and I took the two big kids with me because they were wanting to spend some of their allowance money to buy birthday gifts for Finneas.  (MELT. MY. HEART.)  So we made a day of it - we did all our grocery shopping, then we stopped at Target and ate lunch at the Starbucks inside.  They felt so grownup drinking their hot chocolate, and if I wasn't an idiot, I would have had a photo-capable phone with me to take a picture of their pure elation.  Sadly, I am an idiot, so you'll have to be satisfied with a photo of their very own Starbucks cups, taken once we got home.

Sunday was the best kind of normal, full of church and fast food for lunch and naps and homemade alfredo for dinner and family movie night.

Monday was Finneas' fifth birthday.  I repeat: FINNEAS IS NOW FIVE.  HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN, AND WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME?  The first thing he said when he got up that morning was, "I'm five now, Dad!  Do I look bigger?  I think I'm taller.  Are my hands bigger?" It was so stinking sweet and also a little heartbreaking.  I can't be expected to keep taking birthdays in stride, or I will have no babies left!  Luckily for me, they're all becoming pretty amazing big kids, so I don't spend too much time wishing for time to go backwards.

Monday night we got our first taste of a Missouri spring: tornado sirens going off at 10 p.m.  In our entire nine years in Iowa, we only had to head for shelter once.  Missouri is now tied for that record, and we've only been here ten months.  I can't say I'm looking forward to seeing Missouri take that lead.

Luckily for us, the boys' room is the most sheltered in the entire house, so we carried the sleeping kids down there and they all curled up in the boys' beds together and tried to sleep.  (Their room is also pitch black, so please forgive the crazy flash photography.)

The rest of the week has been less eventful, thank goodness - just full of meetups and phone chats with friends, dinner dates, and these cuties:

And an interesting item of note: I bought this orange tree five or six years ago at a garage sale for five bucks.  It has never grown an orange, which I have found fully within the realm of expectation for a potted citrus plant living in the Midwest.  It has blossomed before, but never actually fruited... 

...Until the other day when Atticus found a real, live, baby orange growing on it.  In March.  Inside a very dark house.  In Missouri.  Consider me positively boggled.

Apparently it's gotten sufficiently jealous of my own fruitfulness, seeing as how I flaunt it each week in a pregnancy photo.  Twenty five weeks, baby.  I'm still waiting for the morning sickness to completely go away, and I think the orange tree is secretly glad about that.  It's always a competition with that thing.