Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New Home, New School, New Chapter for the Ishum Quads!

We had a VERY busy June! While it was full of amazing things, I'm really glad that July is here. I need a break!

We started off by moving! FINALLY!! We listed our house for sale at the beginning of February, and spent 3 long months with it on the market. In the grand scheme of things, 3 months really isn't that long, but when all the rest of the houses in the metro are selling in 48-72 hours, and we are having to keep a house that contains four 5-year-olds spotless, it makes for a very, long stressful period on the market. On the upside, my house never looked better than when it was listed. We finished fixing it up, and I actually looked at Sean and said, "Do we really have to move? This is a great house!"

Seriously, look how clean my living room was. Couch covers do amazing things for old furniture!

It totally was a great house. I loved our first home. It was where we figured out how to be married to each other without killing one another, the house that saw me come home from baby showers in tears because we couldn't get pregnant, the house where we brought home 4 medically fragile babies and prayed that they would survive, the house where our kids learned how to walk and talk....that house was so full of memories and blessings! I *may* have cried when we left. If it hadn't been for needing to improve on the school district, I wouldn't have minded staying a little longer.

We do have a great new house though! It's actually pretty close to the same size as our last one, but the layout is much better. I guess that's the difference between a house built 60 years ago and a house built 15 years ago. After waiting 3 months to go under contract on our house, we ended up having....oh....about 1 day to find a new one. We picked out 5 houses online, went and saw 4 of them (the key in the lockbox didn't work for one of them), and then went home and picked the one out of the bunch that would work best for us. AND we did that with all four of our kids in tow. No easy feat! It was quite the undertaking, and we only had one almost-emergency room visit in the process when Abby fell off of one of the front porches onto her head/shoulder on the concrete driveway below. I think next time, our goal is to 1) NOT have kids with us while house shopping and 2) have more than 1 day to find something. (In case you were wondering, the house that Abby had her accident at was not the one we went with. Lol!)

I have moved before as a kid, and then moved myself into Sean's house when we got married, but it's a WHOLE other ballgame when you are one of the adults in charge and have to move your own kids. I was ignorantly unaware of how much work it would be. Caleb had the hardest time of all of them as we started packing up. As his little world changed, he started to obsess about house showings, whether he could take his doggy (lovey) with him, and whether he was going home that day or going somewhere else. He has adjusted pretty well since we moved here, but I know it wasn't easy for him.

And on top of that move, we also enrolled the kids in our new school district's summer school program. Their summer school started on a Monday and our move happened on a Tuesday. It was a week of a LOT of changes for our family. I asked one of the kids' Pre-K teachers if that was too much in a 24 hour period, and she suggested that it might actually work in our favor, especially with Caleb. Since we had been telling them that they would get a new house AND a new school, doing it at the same time would probably make more sense to him than doing it a couple of months apart. So we went with it! Sure enough, Caleb didn't question it at all. It just seemed "right" in him mind to do it that way.

They were exhausted by the end of the week, but it actually was the BIGGEST blessing to have them occupied with school while we were trying to get boxes into the house and bunk beds set up.
Caleb....15 minutes after arriving at his new home. Lol!

We are so grateful for the friends who showed up to help us move on a Tuesday and Wednesday! It's really hard to find available people during the work week, but because the buyers of our house wanted to take possession on a Friday, and we couldn't get into our new house until the Tuesday before, we had no choice. A couple of friends actually took time off from work to show up and help us. It was unbelievably kind of them to do so! Many thanks to Tim, Alan, Brian and Brittany, Renee, Julie, and Sarah for showing up to help us do everything from moving boxes to setting up bunk beds (each had 200 pieces, and of course we needed two of them. ACK!), to helping us get our kitchen set up and usable. I really, REALLY planned on taking more photos, but I totally spaced it. Out of everyone who helped us, this is the *only* photo I have of anyone. Definitely a fail on my part. If you aren't in this photo, you are no less appreciated than these ladies!
Brittany, me, and Renee halfway through moving day.

You know what else is a fail? Falling flat on your face 20 minutes into moving. With my true sense of impeccable timing, I managed to severely sprain my ankle at 12:20 pm. We started the move at 12:00. I actually thought I broke it, but thankfully it was still usable even though it was incredibly painful. I think we all just need to admit that I am no good when it comes to stepping down off of anything. Remember when I broke my leg 2.5 years ago? Yep, stairs. This time, it was stepping off of the edge of the bathtub. I tell my kids repeatedly to never, ever stand on the edge of the bathtub because they might slip and fall. Apparently, I can't follow my own directions. I climbed up there to pull down the shower curtain, and when I stepped off, I landed VERY wrong, and felt a pop. I don't know if you can tell how bad the swelling was (it had actually gone down a little bit in this photo), but it looked like I had a baseball attached to the outside of my ankle. It took a good 5 days or so before I could walk without it hurting too much.
After the swelling had started to decrease.

I have a fear of stairs, steps, ledges....really anything that requires stepping down. I think that's fair at this point in my life!

So all of that to say....we have successfully moved our family to a new home with lots of help from our friends! We then spent the next 2 weeks scrambling to get things set up because Sean and I headed to Salt Lake City for a week for the Young Living International Convention. We needed for our babysitters to at least be able to move through the house while taking care of our kids instead of spending the whole time crawling over boxes. While we got it to the point of livable, It still feels like it's going to take months to dig back out from all of these boxes. So. much. stuff. It makes me want to get rid of everything that isn't used daily and become the ultimate minimalist.
Ellie, Elijah, Daddy, Caleb, and Abby

I think it's going to be worth it though! Our house is laid out so much better, I can start teaching classes in our home instead of always finding a coffee shop, and our kids go to one of the best elementary schools in the district we are in. We are so grateful for our blessings!
Ellie, Daddy, Elijah, Caleb, and Abby

 We started purging last June, started packing up "extra stuff" last November, listed in February, sold at the end of April, and moved in June. Well worth it to finally be in our new home.....but.....I think I might not ever want to move again. At a minimum, someone else gets to take down the shower curtain next time

Friday, May 20, 2016

Summer Vacation...Cartoon-Style!

Preschool officially ended on Tuesday which means that I have four very crazy and LOUD 5-year-olds to keep entertained this summer. Life according to 5-year-olds can be pretty silly though!

On Wednesday, I took the kids to the grocery story with me, and decided to draw a cartoon when I got home. I actually used to do this when I worked in insurance and had clients call in to file claims. There were some pretty crazy stories, and I used to occasionally draw a little cartoon to explain to my coworkers what the client told me on the phone (visuals always make it easier to understand!). They thought my illustrations were hilarious, so on Wednesday, I suddenly got the urge to draw one about our grocery store trip. My Facebook friends seemed to think that it was fun and recommended that I get it up on the blog. I've drawn a couple more in the last couple of days, so you can get a taste of our first 3 days of summer vacation. If I can get my act together, I'll see if I can draw a few more as the summer goes on.

Now hang on because you are about to be blown away by some serious artistic talent. Believe it or not, I'm totally self taught. *wink*


Summer Vacation: Day 1
I'd like to publicly thank my kids for calling for help at the grocery store until an employee decided to see what was up. (*sigh*)

Apparently, even if I tell them ahead of time what I'm buying, walk only 3 feet away to grab said item (because we wouldn't all fit between display cases), and have both eyeballs on all 4 kids, they can still forget where I am in 2 seconds flat.

We seriously need to work on listening skills.




Summer Vacation: Day 2
She doesn't get her dentist visit excitement from me...there was screaming, dancing, flailing of celebratory arms, and kissing to illustrate that this was the best activity I could have possibly lined up for her. Lol!



Summer Vacation: Day 3
Sometimes I get overly ambitious with the skillet. I guess my kids noticed tonight....


I don't know. Maybe this isn't nearly as entertaining on the internet as it is on Facebook, but it's a unique way to commemorate our first few days off of school.

If you want to see the first (and only other) cartoon that I've posted on this blog, you can click over to this post that I wrote when I was 26 weeks pregnant. I illustrated how the babies were positioned in the womb. :)


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Sunday, April 10, 2016

New Family Photo and Easter 2016

It is SO hard to get a decent family photo! Seriously, at what point do kids start smiling AT the camera? If they would just all look and smile at the camera at the same time, we could get a good photo in 30 seconds.

I keep thinking that it might happen "next year". Then "next year" arrives, and we are still all over the place. At least it makes it entertaining to look through the dozens of photos after the fact. Ha!

But, I think we ended up with a pretty good updated family photo on Easter! Thanks to my brother, Josh, for snapping it!
Elijah, Ellie, Sean, Rebecca, Caleb, and Abby

We spent Easter with both sides of the family. We started off with lunch at my parents' house. It had been raining, so their Easter Egg Hunt was held in the house to keep everyone dry. The kids and their cousins had fun anyway! Then they all lined up on the floor and started eating through their stash. Nevermind we had just finished a big meal!


Then we headed over to Sean's dad's house for a big Easter Egg Hunt in his backyard. Our kids look forward to that Easter Egg Hunt all year because Sean's dad hides almost 200 eggs. It's crazy how many there are....and so much fun!
Caleb

Abby

Ellie and Elijah

It ended up being a great day, and I got a new family photo out of it to boot. The hardest part about this Easter was missing my mother-in-law who passed not too long after Easter last year. As we dyed eggs with the kids this year, I was wishing we could have had her with us for that activity. I think this photo is the last one that I took of the kids with her.....she was definitely missed. Holidays are never quite the same when a loved one is no longer there. I think she would have been happy to know that the Easter Egg Hunt and egg dying still happened this Easter though!
Cousin Marissa, Ellie, Ma, Elijah, Caleb, and Abby

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Official 5th Birthday Photo and Our Kids in the News!

It's been two weeks, but they still talk about their 5th birthday daily. In case you didn't know, being a 5-year-old is kind of a big deal. hehe!

While the quality isn't even close to my surprisingly decent photos from last fall, I did snap the official "We Are 5!" photo on their birthday:


And we thought it was fun that a news station also decided to run a clip about multiples and featured the kids two weeks before their birthday:



The interviewer and camera man were very gracious and let each of our kids have some time on the mic and with the camera. The kids thought is was the greatest adventure! I love that they captured their personalities right at the 5 year mark!

Monday, February 22, 2016

5th Birthday Interview: Elizabeth Grace


Our last little one was ready for her interview when it was her turn. Ellie perched on the end of her chair, and delivered each answer as if it was a test. Haha! I love how seriously she took the assignment, because this interview is officially being published for all to see. :)

 Elizabeth Grace

Ellie is our little spitfire. She has a fiesty, tenacious spirit which has served her well over the last 5 years. She was our tiniest quad, born at 1 pound, 14 oz, and also our baby with brain bleeds. We weren't sure if she would ever walk. She definitely walks and RUNS all the time, while simultaneously instructing all of her older siblings how to live their lives. We are hoping her bossiness turns into leadership as she continues to grow. Ha! She is going to do big things with the personality God gave her. We are excited to see where she goes in life!

How old are you? "Four" (Today is the day before their birthday. She walked into school this morning and informed everyone she saw that this is her last day being 4.)
What makes you happy? "Playing with you. Please with Daddy." 
What is your favorite animal? "Kitty Cat" (Ellie has 2 bunnies she sleeps with, but refers to them both as cats. She also loves Hello Kitty....I'm pretty sure she just loves cats in general)
What is your favorite color? "Red and Pink and all the colors"
What is your favorite thing to eat? "Macaroni & Cheese and Grilled Cheese" (She loves cheese, but is very particular about how it is prepared. Thankfully, she loves Mommy's rendition of both of these meals!)
What is your least favorite thing to eat? Peanut Butter & Jelly (She is her mother's daughter. I'm not a fan of it either, but Elijah happily helps her out since it is one of his favorites.)
What is your favorite thing to do? "Play outside, play with my friends at school, and paint" (she is quite the artist! We go through an unbelievable amount of construction paper)

What is your favorite TV show? "Lego Friends" (It's a show on Netflix based on the Lego line for girls)
What is your favorite movie? "Hello Kitty" (I found an old cartoon version of Hello Kitty on DVD at a consignment sale. I think it's pretty weird, but she likes it.)
What are you really good at? "Painting and calming down Caleb from yelling." (Ellie is in charge!)
What is your favorite song? "Lego Friends and Taylor" (That would be the Lego Friends theme song.....and Taylor would be Taylor Swift. Yep, they are on a first name basis. LOL!)
What do you and your mom do together? "Work together" 

What do you and your dad do together? "Play Legos"
What is your favorite book? "Sophia" (one of our Princess Sophia books)

What is your favorite toy? "My Hello Kitty doll" (Cats are a reoccurring theme.)
What do you want to be when you grow up? "A Cowgirl!!!" (She likes to wear her boots and fuzzy pink gloves and tell everyone she is going to be a cowgirl when she grows up. We introduced the idea of the poncho to her yesterday, and that pretty much took her aspirations to the next level. We may have horseback riding lessons in our future at the rate this is going!)


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

5th Birthday Interview: Elijah James


Elijah is MORE than ready to share his birthday interview with you! When I asked him if he wanted to answer some questions for me, he pulled up his chair, popped right down, and answered the questions as if he was interviewing for his dream job (see the last question on the list for what that is!)

 Elijah James

Elijah has one of the sweetest little spirits I've come across. He can be all rough and tumble with his brother one moment, and just want to snuggle up with me the next. He is so sensitive to other's feelings and worries if someone seems distressed at all. I love the true caring that comes through despite his tendency to get a little loud and rough at times! Elijah is making wonderful progress in school. He sill has a few therapies he needs to help him catch up, but he is on course to reach that goal in the next couple of years. We are excited (and nervous!) to see where kindergarten takes our slightly hyperactive boy.

How old are you? "Four" (One more week until we reach five!)
What makes you happy? "Singing songs, watching movies, playing, and having a good day at school and church." (like I said, he took the questions really seriously this year!)
What is your favorite animal? "Dogs and cats and lions and giraffes, and rhinos, and zebras, and elephants" (This answer will totally make sense at the end of the interview. Lol!)
What is your favorite color? "Green"
What is your favorite thing to eat? "Pzanya, macaroni & cheese, and pasta" (pzanya = lasagna. One of his therapies at school is speech. :) )
What is your least favorite thing to eat? Chicken (so. not. true. This kid can put away chicken nuggets like no ones business)
What is your favorite thing to do? "Watch a show and sing"

What is your favorite TV show? "PBSkids.org......Between the Lions" (At first, all he gave me was the "pbskids.org" answer. Points to PBS for great marketing!)
What is your favorite movie? "Baby Einstein with the caterpillar and all of the animals!" (He hasn't seen this one in forever, but I guess the animals in it made an impression!)
What are you really good at? "Singing!"
What is your favorite song? "Yankee Doodle Went to Town and The Tubby Little Snowman at school!" (He LOVES to sing! All. the. time.)
What do you and your mom do together? "Work together on keeping the house clean." (Good to see he is picking up on picking up!)
What do you and your dad do together? "Watch shows and movies" (We have a rule at our house that superhero and Transformer cartoons on Netflix can only be watched with Daddy. Not because they aren't acceptable, but because Daddy wants to watch them as much as the kids do. Hehe! It gives the kids something to look forward to...especially when their name is Elijah and he can't get enough Spiderman!)
What is your favorite book? "The Yankee Doodle Went to Town book"

What is your favorite toy? "Jingle" (He has this little stuffed dog that goes everywhere with him, including bed. Jingle "barks" a LOT. It's really amazing how much noise one little boy can project onto everything around him.)
What do you want to be when you grow up? "A zookeeper!!!" (and it all makes sense now!)


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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

5th Birthday Interview: Abigail Rose


Abby was born second, so she is next up for her birthday interview. Unlike last year, where she got bored halfway though, she thought answering questions this year was the greatest game, and she was so pleased to finish the list!

 Abigail Rose

Abby is our little social butterfly who has a flair for the dramatic. She's always dressing up in costumes and pretending she is a princess, a fairy, or some other imaginative being. She's always been our quirky kid, and we absolutely love that her quirkiness gives her a zest for life that passes all of the others. It also means that her moods like to swing high and low and give us a run for our money at times. ha! She definitely wins in the manners department and puts her siblings to shame with her usage of "thank you, please, yes sir" etc. Abby is pure delight for us, and we hope she never loses the sparkle that follows her around!

How old are you? "Four" (We have been counting down to Five since last summer. Lol!)
What makes you happy? "Eating Food" (Not sure where this is coming from! This child is so picky, it's ridiculous. A more accurate answer would be, "eating one of three items that I enjoy." Sheesh! She is all about the carbs: bread, crackers, and cupcakes.)
What is your favorite animal? "Lamby" (Her lamb stuffed animal from the Doc McStuffins show, aptly named, 'Lamby.')
What is your favorite color? "Pink!....Yellow!...Purple!"
What is your favorite thing to eat? "Doughnuts" (Last year, her answer was cupcakes. So we went from cake....to fried cake. I see a common theme here.)
What is your least favorite thing to eat? "Macaroni and Cheese" (Abby has a lot of sensory eating issues, so she has a lot of least favorite things. We find a new one at each meal. Lol!)
What is your favorite thing to do? "Play at the kitchen" (The play kitchen is a favorite toy with all of our kids!)
What is your favorite TV show? "Princess Shows" (mostly Sophia the First, but anything involving a princess is fair game)
What is your favorite movie? "Anna and Elsa" (I don't even have to provide commentary on this one)
What are you really good at? "I'm really good at toys!.....playing!"
What is your favorite song? "Little Bo Peep" (the nursery rhyme set to song)
What do you and your mom do together? "Get some food and then we can eat it back at home. Get some groceries and then take the back home."
What do you and your dad do together? "Get married. Play the puzzle game." (We are having a hard time convincing her that she can't marry her daddy)
What is your favorite book? "Little Star Sheeps" (I'm still not sure which book this is even after asking her to go get it....)

What is your favorite toy? "Ballerina" (she has a ballerina doll and likes to dress up like a ballerina so it could be either or both of those)
What do you want to be when you grow up? "A doctor wearing a purple dress who has a rainbow house and a sister baby!" (She is absolutely set on accomplishing ALL of this and talks about it constantly!)


I have to add this photo as an extra note to the bottom of her interview. I pulled this envelope with the card in it out of her backpack on Monday afternoon when she got home from school. It's the first Valentine's Day card she has made for me and the first time she has ever written my name. Yes, I cried a little bit. This has been the highlight of my week, and I'm cherishing such a wonderful gift from my sparkly fairy princess!

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