Meet the Bests!

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    • #407
      Ann Best

      Okay, so even after 17 years, I still can’t take our last name seriously. Like that time at co-op when I had to introduce us and without thinking said, “Hi! We’re the Best family!” Yup. Gonna come up with a better intro next fall. 🙂

      We live in Pittsburgh, PA. I’m Ann and my husband is Jeff. He grew up a bit north of here but I hail from a very remote part of northern Michigan that I’m pretty sure no one has ever heard of. Tiny town, lots of trees, really big lake. We have four children – Ava (almost 9), Owen (7), Kiersten (4), and Archer (18 months – wow! Had forgotten what the toddler years looked like!). I’m a revert and Jeff converted several years after I returned to the faith. Along the way I stumbled upon one or two podcasts that helped me stay sane while I was just trying to figure out what on earth being a mom was all about and “Messy Parenting” was the one that I looked forward to the most, so this community is kind of a dream come true for me.

      We’re accidental homeschoolers in the sense that we didn’t exactly plan to homeschool but tried it for a year and kind of didn’t stop. This coming year will certainly keep us on our toes with Archer. We’ve never had a climber before but boy, do we have one now! I haven’t figured out how to keep everyone else doing what they’re supposed to while fishing him off of whatever “mountain” he has scaled, so anyone with suggestions, just wing them our way.

      As a family, we’re into jigsaw puzzles and reading tons of books, attempting to fix up our house which could use a bit of TLC, and going on walks. I’d call them hikes but that might be a bit optimistic. We love having friends over, hanging out on our deck, and getting to know people better. Since the start of social distancing, the kids and I have had fun being “cookie ninjas” and sneaking up to friends’ and neighbors’ houses to leave baked goods or meals to encourage them. It’s especially funny when Jeff helps. He’s a little less stealth and army crawl and a little more “yeah, I’m just putting this on a doorstep”. 🙂

      My hobbies are trying to get a full night’s sleep and convincing the children that the squirrels outside are our “yard puppies” and that is why we don’t have a pet yet. Jeff is currently making a childhood dream come true by taking tae kwon do with the kids because he has always wanted to and the kids love it.

      Yeah, that’s us. Great to be here and can’t wait to get to know you better!

    • #409
      Nicole Sanders

      I love that you’re “cookie ninjas”! How fun! Glad to meet you.

    • #414
      Tanya Castellino

      Hi Ann. We have 4 kids too and eldest is 9…
      Sounds like you’re a lovely giving family baking for others during this time =)

    • #448
      Rita Stanislawski

      Cookie ninjas! I love it! Welcome and I look forward to getting to know you!

    • #457
      Kelly Groesbeck

      “Yard puppies”! I love it!!

    • #482
      Anita Moffett

      I love your story and ours is similar and Messy Family was one of the first “catholic podcasts” I got into that has really fueled our renewal in a more catholic cultured family life!

    • #502
      Ann Best

      Calling it being “cookie ninjas” made it sound a whole lot more exciting to the kids then “hey there, guys, we’re going to go give away a bunch of cookies you’d rather eat yourselves”. 🙂

    • #519
      Stephanie Leddy

      I LOVE the cookie ninja idea! So much fun. Here in Ohio we are transitioning out of quarantine but I think we might have to turn into cookie ninjas ourselves just because…wow does that sound like fun. Plus, my toddler is really into helping me bake right now and would happily make us many many more batches of cookies than we could really eat!

    • #523

      I love the cookie ninja idea! Haha! And we love going on hikes, and recently with a toddler and baby, they’ve mainly been nature walks as well.

    • #552
      Monica Poole

      I used to go to Detroit for work a few weeks out if the year… prekids. I have always wanted to go back for a vacation and explore Michigan. My husband is also a convert and so grateful that he did. My kids love jigsaw puzzles also! Sounds like y’all have been having fun and making people’s days brighter during the quarantine.

    • #555
      Lisa Baird

      Hi Ann- your post is so funny- you have a great sense of humor. I loved your idea of putting cookies on people’s front porch to encourage and live them during this time of social distancing. What a thoughtful thing to do and a great lesson of kindness for your children. You are such a creative mom- and I’m sure a great homeschool teacher! I was a stay at home mom for about 12 years and I miss not being able to listen to Catholic radio or EWTN as much as I used to because I’m working now. My connection to my faith really helped me during some really rough hard days while trying to understand Julia’s Autism. If I didn’t have the Catholic perspective of redemption suffering and offering it up to God I honestly don’t think I would of had the strength to get through what our family had experienced. It didn’t take the struggle away but it gave me the opportunity to see God working in our weakness. Blessings- Lisa

    • #565
      Violeta Dasilva

      Hi Ann, so glad to hear you’re story. I can relate about having a toddler again. Our son is almost 5 years younger that his sister and it has been an adjustment but we all love him even when he drives is crazy.
      I love your idea of cookie ninjas

    • #567
      Ann Best

      The age gap certainly does add a lot of “spice” around here as well. They all adore our youngest, just not always how he is constantly in their stuff. 🙂

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