Tuesday, August 19, 2014


School has started in the Merchant house.  I'm a little panicky and excited about it all at once.  I get up at 6:00 now - instead of 7:30 or 8:00 for the last three months.  And the kids are getting up at 6:30 instead of 9:00.  Brutal - especially for those of us who are not morning people...  But my house is cleaner already, and it's only been four days.  =)  Kind of a toss up...

Ethan is a FIFTH grader this year.  As in he's learning how to play the trombone.  We maybe should have sound proofed his bedroom.  Although Ethan's too much of a people person to play his trombone in his room anyway.  If you don't have an audience, why play?  Right?
The fifth and sixth graders also take some responsibility for chores like emptying trash cans and wiping tables after lunch at school.  Apparently my son volunteered for what he thought was the hardest job on the first day cuz he didn't figure anyone else would want to do it.  I'm so proud.  Now if only I could get him to volunteer to clean up the kitchen after supper...

Kylie is a THIRD grader!  She's excited to move up to Mrs. Schreiber's classroom.  And has suddenly started reading constantly - chapter books!  Third grade is quite a leap up in terms of responsibility at our school, and I'm praying Kylie can keep up.
So far she's forgotten her gym shoes, her verse cards, and her reading homework.  In three days.  And (here's the part that baffles me!) didn't seem very concerned about any of it.
I would PANIC if I forgot something, but not Kylie.  She's just says, "Mom.  It's fine.  I'll get it later."
The good news is I won't have to worry about her being a worrier like her mother when she grows up.  ;)

And Julia is a FIRST grader.  She is in the same classroom with the same teacher as last year, but still cried from the minute I woke her up until I peeled her off of me and left her at school on the first day.  She is NOT A MORNING PERSON!  But when I picked her up that first day, she bounced by me on her way to the playground saying, "I've decided I like school, Mommy!"  And she hasn't cried since.  
I was a mess that first day.

This picture has nothing to do with school.  I just think it's hilarious!  And I know it got scrunched to a weird shape, but I don't know how to change it....  Help!  

And Ava and I are just hanging out at home, enjoying the quiet, playing preschool games, and reading books.
Oh and folding endless piles of laundry and cleaning bathrooms and driving two hours or so a day and grocery shopping and starting projects that were completely forgotten during the chaos of summer.  Normal stuff like that.  =)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Family pictures! =)

I promised myself I'd write about something fun.  Like giving bright pink, bubble gum flavored amoxycillin to 16 cats.

Yes.  You read that right.


Anyone want a few kittens?

You'd think that a person would make mouse-flavored amoxycillin for cats.  Nope.  Pink bubble gum just like you give your kids.

Huh.  Cats HATE bubble gum.

The first time, we caught them off guard, so they didn't really know to scratch and claw and run.  But after that, we couldn't get anywhere near the smart ones.  I guess they're just gonna have to live sneezing with gooey eyes.  We tried.

Or I could tell you about our family pictures!

Why is it that no one ever wants to take family pictures but me?  Julia and Ethan got upset and ran off in the middle and had to be tracked down and bribed with candy to come back and smile for the camera.  And Caleb suddenly noticed how dry the grass was and decided to water the yard.  Oh, and our half paralyzed kitten pooped all the way down the front of Hudson.

So all the smiling and happiness you see in these pictures is mostly fake because I told my family they would smile and look happy for our family pictures so I could print them huge and hang them on our walls so everyone could see how happy we are.

But they turned out awesome.  Because I have the best, most talented sisters ever.

Seriously, have you ever seen better family pictures than that?  We have too much fun!  I could never have even imagined all the love and giggling and silliness and chaos that God was giving me when I married this man.  I am so grateful.

And a little tired.