Friday, October 29, 2010

Make Your Own Quick Ninja Mask

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This is funny.  I was actually looking for a pattern to make Kyle a ninja mask.  In the search I found this and after the kids all saw it, they went straight to their closet to make this for themselves. Talk about creative and cheap!

Well, we had to try it for ourselves!  So I thought, what's a mom to do?  Right when I finished my mask, my friend calls.  So I'm a mom ninja.  Works for me.

Below: Ninja Buddies!!!  I would tell you who that is in the mask next to me but then I would have to kill you.  It would not be very ninja like of me to tell.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yummy Kitty Litter Cake

I was washing dishes (for the millionth time) and my daughter Ivy came up to me and said, "Mommy, I keep choking so I think I have a chicken in my tummy. Or maybe a fish. Something's in my tummy!" I giggled and she didn't think it was very funny.
Heh heh.

Are you looking for some neat food ideas for Halloween? I got the perfect one. It's not scary. JUST GROSS! Very appetizing. What do you think? For those of you that are drooling at yummy it looks, here is the link on how to make it.

You might even think about making it for your very best guests. They would definitely come back.  And yes, Bonnie, it does chase away in-laws so don't try it. This is for guests that we want to come back.

Tee hee.

BAD Gift Idea!

This is GROSS. 

I was reading another blog and found this bad idea for a Christmas gift.  Would you get this for you kid at Christmas???  I mean, it's already a battle to get the boys in our house to do their Saturday chore as it is.  I doubt they'd want to get a fake dog that poops for Christmas. 

Thoughtful Kids and Lots of Coffee

The kids are coming home with awards this week and it's exciting to see their report cards. When the school initially asked me what school they are coming from, I told them they were homeschooled. Well, the look you get. Do you know what I'm talking about? There is this thought in the back of my head, "Did I do good enough (or did I do gooder)?" <-- Heh heh. Well, I couldn't wait to see their first report card because that tells me whether or not they are right on track. So I was excited when they were coming home with excellent grades.
On to my point.  Ryan was talking with my dad about his award and my dad told him he wasn't sure if he ever received one.  I'm sure he did.  It's just been a looong time.  So Ryan grabbed a pen and decided the award should also go to Papa and Nana!  Awwwww!  My heart just melted.  Ryan, you are just so squishy cute.  (I blotted out private info of course).

Above, I do Ivy's hair sooo pretty every morning.  I wish so badly I would have taken picture of her hair by the time she came home that afternoon.  One side, the braid came completely out.  The other side was holding the bow with hair coming out everywhere.  Her pants looked like they had been used for a napkin during lunch.  You would be shocked at the difference when she comes home.  I laughed so hard when she walked in the door.  I will do a before and after next time it's that bad.

Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System(Just made some more coffee with my sweet coffee machine.  How could I not?  It's so easy and stays fresh every time.  I'm in love.  Have been.  Don't worry, it may be morning but it's only my second cup.  There is still time in the day for PLENTY more.  Heh heh.....erk....erk).  Oh my gosh, be still my heart.  Just for fun I looked up cost of this on Amazon.  I click on picture to the left and they have used ones for $65 vs. the new price.  WOW!  I'm a frugilicious mommy so that got me excited.  Except I already have one.  Just was excited to share with you.

P.S. my mom says when I really love something I act like I'm selling it.  I don't mean to do that.  Just get excited about things that make life just a tad more fun than it already is.  :D
I am trying so hard to get myself back in the mode of cleaning out more stuff.  My last areas are the hallway closet and the office.  The office one is HUUUGE as it's become somewhat of a storage area now.  Maybe a room for everything?  It has my sewing table, I keep my extra 100 shirts in there and extra 20 skirts I can't fit in my other closet.  Charles' desk, Caleb's crib, all of our books (we're book lovers) and basket of "things to be mended", etc.  Order HAS to come.  Those are the LAST two things, so note to self....


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom

Yesterday was my mom's birthday and so we met at Marie Callenders.  When I walked in I felt right at home!  Ahhhhh..... no kidding. When I was 16 I worked at one and I love the atmosphere there. It's just a really calm place to eat.  I loved decorating the pies.  I was telling my parents (which never happened because of my age) and they gave me a table that ordered all alcohol.  Well, I knew nothing about it (and still don't) so I just spelled them on the ticket as best I could figure out.  After handing it to the kitchen, I heard laughter coming from it. I went in to see what was up and they were laughing at my spelling.  Example: Chardonnay. I can spell that because of spell checker.  I had it wrong first try. LOL.  I've never seen it before.

Anyway, so I took Ivy and met my mom and dad at the restaurant. Ivy was exhausted so she was not acting herself at all.  She passed out towards the end. I felt bad. I should have brought one of the older kids with me instead.  I can't believe how much I got there for my money and it was Kids Eat Free night so that was awesome. I'm definitely going back with my family.  I gave one of the beautiful cards that Chris sent from New Zealand. Thank you, Chris!  No one better to give it to than my mom.  :) 

Ivy was tired because something that happened yesterday.  So the bus drops my boys off and I ask the bus driver where Ivy is. She said that she had asked and "they" said I had picked her up from school.  I said, "Noooo, I didn't."  Well, she wasn't on the bus.  She wasn't with me.  Where was she?  I started to feel panicky.  The bus driver called the school but the phone lines were closed.  I tried calling my husband's cell over and over and finally got through at his job instead.  I told him and he happened to be just getting off. He rushed over to the school to look for her. In the meantime I have all kinds of bad thoughts going through my head.  Why would the school say I came and got her if I didn't?  WHO came and got her. My husband finds her happily playing on the computer in the aftercare program.  He is upset and asks the school what happened.  They said they never told the bus driver I came and got her.  It was MY boys that told the bus driver that.  The bus driver got in trouble for that but I feel bad because she is a friend of mine. I know mix ups can happen when there are so many kids.

Lesson learned. 

Today she calls and says once again my daughter is not on the bus.  This time she doesn't ask my boys where she's at. She just calls me.  I say, "well, did you check the computer room?  She had so much fun yesterday playing a barbie game that I bet she went back."  Sure enough, that's where she was. So the bus was late coming home but I'm glad Ivy made it home safe. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Gift From New Zealand

Thank you, Chris, for the lovely casserole carrier (you can see more on her sidebar) and beautiful cards all the way from New Zealand! Chris sews all kinds of stuff and even makes cards.  So this was an extra special gift because it came from her creativity and her own work. 

Below: The casserole carrier and two handmade cards.  So beautiful.

Thank you, Chris!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Plan Changed, Went to Skateland!

My kids have this habit of springing something on to me really quick so while I was laying day taking a nap after the kids got off the school bus, they asked if I'd take them to the school skating event.  I looked into their big o' eyes, then at the clock, I had a half hour.  I said, "Hurry guys!  Get your skates, change your clothes.  We're goin'!  While they ran around getting their stuff I ran into the kitchen and put together some burritos and drinks.  I never worked so fast before.

I was shocked at how well Ivy skates for a 5 year old. She rarely toppled over and went pretty fast. It's so darn cute watching little kids skate.
Ryan and Kyle (below) had a blast skating and saying hello to all their friends.  Ryan, true to his character, would go around and help the kids skate that were shaky on their feet. What a sweetheart.

Ashley didn't skate of course although it would have been cute if I had brought her Barbie plastic skates that help her go slow.  But since I was in such a hurry I couldn't grab my own Sketcher skates, I wasn't able to skate with them. :(  Do you know that you can burn between 700-1200 calories in one skating session?  A skating session is 2-2 1/2 hours.  I mean, THAT'S a fun way to lose weight and exercise.  If they were closer I would probably just get a membership.  Beats going to the YMCA.  Haha!

Above: Ashley kept trying to give Caleb hugs and he just wasn't going for it.  I guess he was dressed to impress and little sis was just making him look all mushy like.  Heh heh.

Above: Ryan frequently comes back to check on us and his little brother.  I have to tell you this. He told me that when his baby brother is crying in his crib and we don't get him right away.  It just breaks his heart. He said that he just wants to go rescue him. 

While we were there they had an event where you could get your kids fingerprinted.  We definitely wanted to do that. He doesn't keep the information, he puts all their info with their fingerprints on a disk for you and then deletes it from his computer (which he did in front of us).  We went and got all our kids to participate. 

Above: When skating is over for the night they have all the kids play some games.  This night they did tug of war and of course the boys won because there was more of them.  :D  The girls was the screaming contest.  Of course.

P.S.  When we were leaving we saw the new session of kids lining up outside of the skating rink.  These are the kids that are gonna skate from 8-midnight.  About 200 teenagers and not one adult in sight.  It was wild like you wouldn't believe!  I guess these places are a babysitter?  Kind of like the mall?  I'm not sure what to think about it because some of these kids were Chaz's age coming without their parents and these were younger teens.  I can't imagine dropping Chaz and Ryan off their by themselves.  Especially with a wild crowd like that.  My husband said maybe we see it different as adults because he used to come by himself too when he was an early teen.  I guess I'll know when I get there. :)  STILL, you bet I'm gonna be there even if I'm just in the background.  My teen boys around tons of girls with tiny clothes?  Yeah, they are shaking their mom off that easy.  I'll be the annoying one with the binoculars.

Above: Ryan, Ashley, Ivy, and Kyle.  Ashley will be skating soon.  :)

<-----  Good idea for a Christmas gift, eh?  I want to do this for Christmas. What a fantastic idea! I hope my family doesn't, um, see this.  You can't beat this deal.  A free picture calendar and only have to pay shipping.  No, it doesn't make me cheap.  It makes me CrEaTiVe.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Picnic At The Zoo

Right off the bat when we got there, Ivy got lost.  We were sitting here, just a couple feet away from treehouse. She didn't see us and started crying.  A park ranger asked us if we were missing a child.  Noooo, we weren't.  We are sitting right here.  She just momentarily lost site of us and got scared.  It's be like losing us in Mcdonalds.  It's a small section where we were at. 

This is obviously one of our very favorite places to go because we always have pictures of us here at least once to twice a month.  We love to go and have a picnic.  Sometimes we visit the animals and sometimes we don't. 

Ashley (above) is so little and petite. 

Here I am at the zoo and I love looking at the fishes.  Even taking pics. I know, you're wondering where the pics of the tigers are. Heh heh.  Like I said, we come here all the time and we do something different each time. This time we picnicked and only stayed in one section.  It was such a lovely day.

Where else can you picnic and see a peacock walking near your feet?

Ivy (above) is such a poser. I always, always try to take natural shots of my kids playing but I almost never can with Ivy.  As soon as she sees the pictures she poses in 2 seconds flat.

Whoa!  I need a tan.  Nah, I stay away from skin cancer and premature wrinkles. Okay, I need some spray tan.

Caleb (above) is the sweetest cuddle muffin.  He just wants his mommy and he's happy there. I tried to put his little toes in the water and he screamed.  He would even let his toes touch the soft sand.  Either he's a clean freak or he just doesn't know what to think about it.

Ryan wants to show you that by this cool pose, he's a man of the wild. At least in Man Made Wild.  He's up in the treehouse here and he said I didn't show how high up he really was.

Ryan really doesn't want his sister cuddling on him here.  I think it's because he's at the stage where having his little sister cling on him just makes him feel self conscience.  But if I gave him Caleb, his little baby brother, he is proud as ever.  Did you know that almost every night (in the middle of the night) he gets up with Caleb and gets him a bottle so he can go back to sleep? He doesn't even tell me.  He says he just wants us to rest.  Ladies, if you have a nice Christian daughter, when this boy gets older we will start filling out applications.  All interviews with Ryan will be conducted by his mother.

Ashley (above) is such a girlie girl that she cries if she breaks a nail.  Not joking.  She does come up to us time to time to show us if a nail got bent or broken.  So Charles is helping her up.

Ivy Joy, like I said, loves the camera.

Charles was throwing the kids up in the air and I had to scramble for my camera to catch her at the right moment up in the air.  So cute. She kept saying, "Again daddy!"

When we were at the water fountain we were all hysterically laughing because we were putting water on our hair to shape it into funny shapes.  I made Chaz's hair to look like Wolverine in Xmen.  I gave Ryan the nerd with hair wet down and split down the middle.  I made Caleb's just cute with a curl.  :)

Isn't this cactus sweet?  I've never seen it before.  It tricks you because the "leaves" look soft but hidden in between is really sharp thorns.  Crazy!  I would want to fall into that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Make Your Own Laundry Soup (10 Gallons)

I have been going through laundry soap like crazy so I decided to go ahead and try the same recipe the Duggars use.  I took pictures along the way and wanted to share in case you are interested.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Powdered Laundry Detergent - Top load machine
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at I've found all 3 ingredients at a Fry's store near me. Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can often be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2 per batch.

Inexpensive Fabric Softener Recipes
Recipe #1

1 Cup White VinegarAdd vinegar to rinse cycle. Works great. Removes residue and odors. Also helps to keep washing machine and hoses fresh and clean too.
Recipe #2

1 Container of Name Brand Fabric Softener4 Inexpensive sponges, cut in half

Pour entire container of softener into a 5 gallon bucket. Fill empty softener container with water twice. (2 parts water to 1 part softener) Add sponges to softener/water mixture. When ready to use wring out extra mixture from one sponge and add to the dryer as you would a dryer sheet.

A Character Quality:
 Thriftiness vs. Extravagance
Not letting myself or others spend that which is not necessary.
Luke 16:11

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little Tidbits

Chaz had a great idea today when doing his homework.  He said, "Hey mom.  How about I do the first 10 questions and you do the next 10?"  I said, "Uhhh, let me think.  NO."

Tomorrow Ivy has a field trip to a farm and she kept asking me today how many more sleeps. I tried to explain to her that her field trip is tomorrow.  She thinks I'm saying TWOmorrow.  She doesn't get it.  Or if she asks me when library night is and I say Tuesday, she thinks I'm saying TWOdays.  Sometimes we just go round and round.  Even though it can be frustrating, we laugh about it because it's so funny.  Except when she starts crying because she doesn't understand why she has to always wait TWO more days.

Caleb has been really clingy lately.  Maybe because I've been doing so many projects around the house?  Not sure.  He has been wanting to cuddle with me a lot and I am just wishing I had some sort of comfortable sling to carrying him around in while I work.  I'm still trying to figure out how to manage all the work.  I used to go out all the time and hang out at friends houses.  But it's hard to explain to them that the larger the family gets, the more work is added and we don't have as much free time.  I HAVE to stay on top of things or its much harder later. By night time I don't like to leave my house because I'm so happy to just rest and be with my family.  Good thing I love my family so much. :D

Time For Serious Organization

I have four cups of coffee a day. 

Not for energy but just for enjoyment.

So that means I'm not a coffee addict right? 

On to my point. 

I'm not a good organizer or cleaner. I work super, duper hard but it doesn't come natural to me (being amazing in those ways) and I usually don't notice things till they get out of hand.

THAT is why I have to have so many lists and charts for my house. It's the only thing that works. Otherwise I would drown in it.  It's important for the kids to take responsibility for their part or I wouldn't be able to have 6 kids. The cleaning alone would be overwhelming.  The small part they each take makes a huge difference for our house.

Something funny.  Ryan said there are 15 chores total between all the kids.  He said he has solved the problem.  He said if I had 15 children, they would each only have 1 chore. Good idea for him.  Bad idea for me.  Ha. I'm not a supermom.  Only in my dreams.  BUT that was HILARIOUS!!!  You bet if I could financially have 12 kids it would happen.  Kids are the best and I just want to keep having kids till I'm somewhere in my 40's.  That is a HUGE desire for me. 

Anyway, last week during the kid's school break I got TONS done. I cleaned out 4 bags of broken or overused and rundown toys. I'm talking big garbage bags.  Moved the furniture out of girls room and did a complete wipe down.  Their room is all tile. Washed the walls throughout most of the house.  I did same thing in boys room except I need to get some stains out of carpet.  They are NOT supposed to have drinks in there but I think some have landed in there by a sneaky person. Otherwise those spots would not be there.  Then I emptied out all the cupboards in both bathrooms and medicine cabinet and wiped those down good.  COMPLETELY reorganized my bedroom and got rid of lots of so-so clothes I didn't care for very much.  So basically I guess it was all the back rooms. I am working on the office now.  Yippee!

Charles and I have an idea but we are so hesitant yet excited.  My mom did this often in our houses.  The office room is right next to the boys room.  We no longer use it because Charles doesn't work at home anymore.  Caleb's crib is in there with his changing table and the boys aren't happy that he's not in their room anymore.  They really want him back in their room. They just don't have the space.  Well, that room is unused so we are thinking about breaking down the wall to make one big boy's room.  But then I'm scared if I needed the room back someday I would have to put that wall back up.  Normally that is fine and easy except that wall is the boy's closet. They would still have a closet if the rooms were connected because the office has one. I just really like large rooms.  It would mean we would go from a 4 bedroom to 3 bedroom.  I just like my girls all sleeping together and my boys all together.  It's just something we've always agreed about.  We don't like to separate them.  The kids don't like to be separated.  Do you have any ideas or thoughts?

(Hopefully my mom is reading this post too.  She is a master at this.)