Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving day was almost perfect. The almost is only because of one tiny flaw. Other than that, it was perfect! When I have a party or get together, I make lists.  Always have.  I make a list of what needs to be organized and ready around house, a separate list of what food needs to be bought from store, another list of recipes, and yet another list for guests.  Then I map out the times of what will be cooked when. 

So I got up at 7am (meal wasn't till 2pm).  Took an hour to prepare and stuff 21lb turnkey.  I was disappointed to find that they do not put thermometers in the Butterball turkeys.  Being I had so much to prepare, I didn't have time to keep checking on turkey or worry about it.  That was my one tiny disappointment.  The Turkey could have been taken out sooner so it wasn't as juicy. Thankfully, my friend also made a turkey and hers turned out the same time.  Hers came out nice and juicy. Next year I will only purchase Jenny-O since they have the thermometers.  My mother-in-law told me she never relies on those.  She just sets timer at 20 minutes per pound.  Whoa. I wish I had known that!  That would have gave me a better turkey. 

We invited people that didn't have any family around to celebrate the day with (because the family lives far away).  So all in all, including kids, there was about 18 total.  It was fun and after the food we played a game!  It was hard to end the night because we were really having a good time. I was so exhausted from cooking for 7 hrs straight that I slept hard that night.  The food came out perfect.  Awww.... we ate the leftovers straight till it was gone. 

After our guests left we headed to my husband's family for a quick visit since it was already 9 at night.  We took pics like we do every year.

My sister-in-law and I got a pic together. We had a babies only 2 months apart yet he is so much bigger than Caleb!  LOL.  You can tell in the picture. I have little guys for babies.

I could have shown you a better family picture but the one below is just too funny.  It took us several tries.  Well, I stayed like a statue and just smiled for a long time. Charles is trying to tell Ryan that he is holding Caleb in front of him and we can't see him.  Ashley isn't smiling and we had to keep telling Ivy to pull her dress down.  Baby Caleb was trying to get away.  Haha!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Flu is Stalking Us

We've all been pretty sick since the beginning of last week. I think today it's finishing up with us. We all caught the flu but thankfully it wasn't my turn till Saturday because I had a Thanksgiving dinner to prepare! I am so thankful I didn't come down with it on Thanksgiving day. Tonight, I think I'll be brave enough to go to church.

Something to be thankful for. Heh heh.

My kids often assume I'm gonna have at least 20 kids.  I remind them that it's not gonna happen.  Then Ryan says, "But mom, we need more girls.  They are easy!"  I said "Yeah right!  Boys are easier than girls for sure." He replied, "No mom, we need more girls because it's easy to beat them when we play Sword-Gunners."  He reminded me that the teams are uneven when it comes to boys vs. girls. LOL. That caught me off guard. 

One of our favorite games in the house (besides Hide and Seek or Sword-Gunners) is Karaoke.  It's so cute to hear all the kids singing really loud.  Even if just one kid has the mic, all of them will sing at the top of their lungs together.  Soooo cute!  Last night the house was really loud when the kids were singing "I go craaaaazy...craaaaazy.....crazy....I go craaaazy!"  Charles got it on camera but I'm not posting it because I'm on there.  LOL.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finally Some Eggs Again!

A while back we had about 20-30 chickens and it was so much fun! However, we had some cats in the neighborhood that discovered the free buffet so we sold them to a hatchery nearby. It's a really good hatchery that gives tours so we were please they chose our chickens. This time though we are just testing out two of them. I believe it's a rooster and a hen but sometimes you just don't know till they crow.

Today I went to check on them, fill their water and food when one of them pecked at me.  That usually means one thing. There are eggs nearby and I'm too close.  Also, usually the one that is protective is the rooster.  Maybe not always but from the 30 or so we've owned, that's been the case.  So I went on a hunt and found the secret spot dug into the grass.

I sent the kids out to see if they could find the eggs.  They were so excited!  I am gonna watch to and see if the hen is eventually gonna be interested in sitting on her eggs.  If she is, we'll let them hatch.  I'll mark the ones that stay and collect the others.  I really hope this one wants to sit on her eggs.  This all depends of course if the other one is a rooster. I miss the crowing!

The chickens are 5 months old right now.  :) 

Chaz doesn't know he's getting little furry creatures for his room this week.  They squeak.  That's the first hint.  Hopefully they don't become chicken nuggets for a big dog.  It all depends if Chaz can keep them in the cage on his shelf above his tall bunkbed. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Time Changer

This is one of my favorite Christian movies so I wanted to share with you!

The year is 1890, Bible Professor Russell Carlisle ) has written a new manuscript, "The Changing Times". His book is about to receive a unanimous endorsement from the board members of the Grace Bible Seminary... until Dr. Norris Anderson raises an issue over a "difficulty" he has with something Carlisle has written.

Dr. Anderson believes what Carlisle has written could seriously affect the future of coming generations. Using a secret time machine, Anderson sends Carlisle more than 100 years into the future; offering him a glimpse of where his writing will lead.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Headache Days

I have headache days.  Some days it's so bad I just lay in a dark room all day.  Yesterday was one of those days.  Thank goodness my husband has a split shift where he is home in the middle of the day for several hours.  He was home before the little kids woke up and was able to care for them.  Then he laid then down before he left.  So literally, he took care of it all!

Charles is my hero.

Caleb is obsessed with his daddy's computer.  I'm always catching him turning it off. Charles never sees it. Well, I had the evidence on camera so I showed him. It is indeed Caleb.

After I started to feel somewhat better (Monday), I sat on the couch to be around the kids.  It was around 5pm.  That day felt stolen and it was such a beautiful day. While sitting on the couch, I organized games for the kids like Sword-Gunners and hide and seek.  It was so fun to watch them play even though I couldn't play with them.  By the time I was totally better and the headache was gone, it was bedtime.  I sighed and headed for bed.  I thought about how behind it made me on housework because I was not there to make sure kids did chores or picked up after themselves.  The next day, I had 2 hours worth of dishes to wash.  Amazing!  That's a lot.  But then I thought how it wasn't so bad being forced to sit and watch the kids play together.  It was sweet.

I had forgotten my promise to myself that I would always be done cleaning, doing my chores, and washing clothes before the kids got home from school.  My life revolves around my family.  Not cleaning.  I mean, it's nice to have a clean house, but not at the risk of missing my kid's cute phases, hearing the funny things they say to each other, the secret hugs of comfort or missing out on helping them find good hiding spots.  It's just not worth missing all that.  If that means things are out of order for a bit. So be it. I'll attack it in the morning. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Quick Hike

It was Saturday and once again I had a headache. I seem to get a lot of those lately. I had gotten so much done the last week but every now and then, I would have a headache day. On headache days, nothing gets done. I just lay in bed all day. Saturday was another one. The night before I had been going in and out of the attic storing Christmas and baby things that were taking too much floor space in the garage. Well, I was tired of having one of "those days" so I grabbed Kyle and took him to the Hole in the Rock. We hiked it (in my heels) and just hung out up there talking to other families and meeting new people while seeing the beautiful view. What do you know? I found a high school friend and got to meet his wife and kids. Of all places to meet up. That was pretty neat.

After hiking it I realized I did not have my awesome camera!  Argh.  I had to compensate with my dinky phone camera. Just doesn't do it justice at all.

After we found our way to the really easy path up, we were delighted by how many families had the same idea as us to head up here.

Kyle in one of the small caves.  He looks so wittle.

He doesn't look too bad in this picture but trust me, I was a nervous wreck.  He wanted to hike in some of the dangerous areas and I said no way.  Not in my heels. 

This is our view from sitting inside the hole in the rock you see in the first picture.  We enjoyed the breeze.  Can you believe my husband never lets us all hike up here?  Heh heh.  I had to sneak here on my own.  I called Charles from this view and told him it's actually a family friendly hike and there were lots of kids up here. There are no drop offs so it's quite safe. And beautiful!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Amazing Little Bible Story Teller!

This is soooo adorable I have to share.  She is amazing at telling the bible story and makes it come alive. 

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hunt For The Prize

We didn't do Halloween so I did my own candy hunt for the kids. I didn't tell them and set up notes around the house! I was excited tryin to write them out, hope I did it right and didn't leave them stumped. LOL. I was just as excited as them when they started searching so I went room to room with them! By the way, it was family night (every Tuesday). Because I was too tired to hit up the library or Bass Pro Shop (their family event), we stayed home and played games. So first was the hunt and then we played hide and seek. Our favorite game.

Ryan reads the first note.  They were mommy notes such as "Have you changed your underwear today?"  Heh heh. That meant, go check your underwear drawer.  From there the next note read, "have you brushed your teeth today?"

Chaz is reading the note that says "Have you had any milk today?"
Kyle reading the next note

Ryan reads the note that leads to the prize

The prize!  Each had their own bag of chocolate candy.  They were excited because that was the thing they missed about not trick or treating this year.

The kids excited about their bags.  Baby Caleb is not worried about not having a bag because he just walks up to them and the kids share. He just has to show his big blue eyes to them and they cave.

It was fun and we are definitely going to do this again on a family night if we are not wanting to go out.  We really look forward to family night.  The more kids, the merrier and it's more like a party!  LOL. 

Holidays are so much neater now because now that we are bigger, we can have our own holidays at our house.  We did before but it's just easier to have the family come over here if they want so my kids are in their own realm and have stuff to play with. I'm excited about Thanksgiving and having my family over! We definitely are going to invite some single guys that want some good grub and don't have any family around. LOL. 

Monday, November 08, 2010

Time To Face It Again

When I have a lot on my mind or I'm agitated about something, I don't sleep well.  Frustrated that I'm always cleaning but never really getting rid of clutter.  Somehow it gets pulled out and creates a mess.  I'm not a very organized person so I never notice I'm being overrun till, well, I'm knocked down by all the cleaning.  Where is the perfect spot to find clutter?  In the closets!!!!  Because this was bothering me so much, I went to bed around 3am thinking about it, popped out of bed at 7am and began to work.  I even turned off my phone since I tend to get a million phone calls and didn't want to get distracted. 

(Need ideas of how to get rid of stuff?  Check HERE for how to get rid of clutter in the closet.  For you that might be a no brainer but for me it's rocket science material there.) 

So I attacked my hallway closet.  It's a linen/towels, books, games closet so I had to dump a ton of books we didn't care for and the excess of blankets we didn't need.  I mean, do we really need 20 blankets?  Are we expecting a platoon to knock on our door and ask to sleep over for a night?  Since we didn't think it was likely, I donated 80% of it.  Donated 90% of my cookbooks.  I hate old (old, old) cookbooks. 

Then I went into the garage and threw out about 3 big black garbage bags full of stuff we didn't need anymore.  Tomorrow I'm attacking it again!

My husband's office is being turned into baby Caleb's room so I'm slowly taking stuff out of there so, once again, I packed up unused stuff and took it out of there.  I can't wait to paint Caleb's room and really make it his room.  He is waaaay too light of a sleeper to be in with his brothers.  If one of them gets up to go potty, Caleb stands up before you can blink and he is UP.  It takes awhile to get him back down.  Who spoiled him?  It wasn't me!  It was his brothers. They ran to him all hours of the night whenever he fussed and so he got royal treatment. 

That last place of doom was my bedroom closet.  I am a clothes horse and so I rid of about 3 big black bags full of clothes and shoes.  Yeah, that's a lot!  I still have a good amount but it's stuff I wear all the time so there is no need to kill more of my closet. At least now it all fits in there.  Uh, keep in mind that the pic you see is a scaled down version of how much clothes and shoes I had.  I had so much clothes it was in baskets.  Tons of shoes everywhere.  I chucked about 20 pairs.  This closet really needs to some awesome shelving put into it so the pants and shoes would be put nicely.  Oh well, this was the best I could do.  It's a walk-in so I should just be happy with it.

After everything today I got rid of about 7 big black garbage bags full of stuff to be donated.  It felt so good to see it leaving and getting out of my house.  Tomorrow I hope to finish Caleb's room and work on the garage more!  Those two are big projects.  So far my room and closet is done, my girls room, boys room, kitchen, living room, bathrooms..... so office and Caleb's room is it. 

That's what I call a Fall Clearing.  Wink.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Dishes Can Wait

Ashley counting to 20

Why is it that sometimes I have to remind myself to stop working and play with the kids?  It dawned on me while I was doing dishes last night.  I put the unwashed dish back in the sink, it'll be there when I get back, and I tell the kids it's hide and seek time.  They scream and my heart flips with excitement. I love hide and seek too.

Little Ashley
Wednesday night at church, when I went to go pick Caleb up from nursery, he felt very hot. Uh oh.  I apologized to the workers and said, "He wasn't hot when I dropped him off and wasn't acting sick at all."  I felt so bad because he was with other babies in there.  As soon as we got home I gave him some medicine.  He was pretty hot.  I kept getting up throughout the night to check on him.  He cooled off some but was hot again the next morning. Then my husband came home the same way, feeling nauseous and was really weak.  I go to get the Flu medicine with a spoon and bring it to him.  (Heh heh)  I pour some into the spoon and he goes to sip it down.  Well, the mommy in me put the WHOLE spoon in his mouth real fast by accident and he breathes it in.  He started coughing like crazy and throwing up into the sink.  I stood there is shock.  I was just trying to help make him better!!  I felt really stupid. He said, "Baby, why did you put the whole spoon in my mouth?"  It was a bigger spoon.  I said, "I'm so used to feeding Caleb baby food and putting the whole (baby) spoon in his mouth.  It was out of habit.  Sorry!"  Charles inhaled the medicine on accident.  He wouldn't take the second spoonful he was supposed to take because he was coughing for so long. Boy, I felt really dumb but we were laughing about it afterwards.  I told him that he better hope he takes care of me when we're old and not the other way around because I tend to always do stuff like that to him. 

One time I thought I'd sneak up to him while his back was turned.  Well, I didn't know he was trying to take some Tylenol pills.  When I scared him, he started choking on his pills.  It's been 8 years and he still has a hard time taking pills. They have to be really little.  Oops. 

Ashley trying to catch her brothers
While Charles laid down on the couch to rest, we asked him if the couch would be base even though he's on it.  He was happy to watch even if he had to lay down on base.  I had to give the younger kids tips on hiding because they kept getting caught and would be upset.  I don't know how many rounds we played but it was fun!  After they all went to bed, I finished my dishes. :)

....and did some laundry. Then decided it was a good time to do some straightening up.  Then I looked up and realized the fan needed dusting real bad.  I finally stopped around 1:30am. :)  But hey, I got to play hide and seek with my kids.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Godtube Is Back!

Godtube contacted me recently, noticing an old post I wrote back in March.  I didn't even remember writing it so I had to go reread it.  I was disappointed that they had changed their name from Godtube to Tangle.  From a Christian viewpoint, it was such a downslide from Godtube.  I know their standards stayed the same but I didn't like the word "Tangle".  The name Godtube says to me, "With Godtube you won't be shocked what pops in front of you without warning and it's family safe."  I don't let my kids get near Youtube because of what they can run into.  Well.....

and they wanted my blogging friends know about it!

* * * * * *
So I had some questions for them and here is their response in red. 

1. Why did you guys switch back from Tangle to Godtube? In June of 2010, tangle/Godtube was purchased by Salem Web Network--a leading U.S. Internet content provider targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values. The Salem team identified a strong interest from the tangle user-base to bring God back into the name as well as implement technology that is more streamlined, bug-free and easy-to-use. We wanted to make the user experience pleasant and meaningful and we felt that tangle wasn’t providing that in not only the name, but in also the functionality and layout of the site. With the world heavily relying on facebook for all social networking needs, tangle didn’t thrive in this area. We identified the real need in safe Christian/Family Friendly Video File Sharing—something we were already good at and can continue to excel in. Going back to Godtube was quite literally the path God led us down.   Awesome!!!

2. What sets Godtube apart from Youtube? Godtube is safe for everyone. We have a team of Customer Service representatives whose soul purpose is to moderate the site for any inappropriate, offensive or malicious behaviors. Our strict moderation policy only allows for Family Friendly and Christian content to be uploaded to Godtube. We also have a staff that searches the internet every day for the BEST Christian/Family Friend content. Scanning through thousands of videos is no easy feat and our users know that they will find the best Christian videos in the world in one place.

3. I know that you preview all videos before published. What standards do you use to determine which ones you publish?
We now offer live uploads, which means users get their videos and can make comments in real time—we have gotten a lot of positive feedback from this. For this reason, we are now a post-moderation site in which we review content immediately after it has been posted. At any time, we can turn a switch to make everything pre-moderated in the event we feel as if we are being attacked or having problems with specific users. For the most part, all of the Godtube users are awesome! Our standards are simple: Family Friendly and Christian. Videos that are graphic, pornographic, highly offensive, inappropriate, slanderous, cursing, spam, etc are removed immediately and in most instances the user is blocked indefinitely. While we encourage healthy discussion and debate, we do not tolerate hateful, slanderous, cursing or inappropriate speech.

* * * * * *
Here is why I love Gotube. I love comedians.  How often can you find funny guys and clean humor in the same video?  It's hard, huh?  I found this really funny Christian comedian and I follow all of his videos. 

Tim Hawkins on Air Travel

On Hand Sanitizer

On Technology

Working At The Voting Polls

My friend Michele and I like to work together when we are at the polls.  I think we make a great team when it comes to paperwork vs. packing up/putting away.  I've always, always hated paperwork. 

Since we are there from 5:30am-7:30 or 8pm, we have to pack up our breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  One thing is for sure, I was bringing my own coffee maker because I like my coffee a certain way and don't like it sitting in a pot for hours.  I shared though.  :D  This way, we all were able to run in and out of the kitchen with fresh coffee. You cannot leave your table for long because voters were constantly coming in and it's easy to get overwhelmed.  That is totally opposite of last election where Michele and I got 1 voter every 45 minutes.  This year? We got 3 voters per 5 minutes.  Much better turnout. 

As soon as it was done she did was she does best (paperwork) and I started breaking down the polling booths.  I tried to tell the lovely ladies how to pack it up but no one believed me so I just let them go at it.  After they realized all their hard work had to be undone and I put them together correctly, we were finally done.  Michele had same issues with paperwork and you definitely can't mess that up.  Then off we headed to take take the ballots to a drop off location.  After I came home around 8:30pm I was totally exhausted but had to watch the results so I sat online watching the votes come in.  We are very pleased!!!  "We" are making a comeback! So I went to sleep with a smile on my face. 

We had some fun goofy moments also.  We loved watching people from church come in to vote and getting to talk to so many people. When a wife would come in, we would say "Ohhh, your husband who came in earlier said a beautiful woman would be coming here to vote and to watch out for her."  They would all smile and say, "Oh, he's so full of it!"  It was a fun but tiring day.  :)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Costumes At The Farm!

Preparing lunch and dinner for the day.

Making the salsa
Ivy poking her head in.  I was nervous I wasn't gonna pack enough food for the whole day.

Eating our lunch picnic
Caleb playing with a pumpkin
A lady offered to take our picture.  Its rare we all get a pic together

Charles with Kyle and Ashley


Ashley offering Ivy some candy

Kyle and Chaz being silly in the little kids area
Ashley sitting in the wooden train. 
It's the pig races but they always add in some goats and he has to chase them to make them finish. 
Ryan and Kyle on the top of the roller coaster before it falls downward.

Kyle and I were behind Ryan and Chaz racing. It was fun but I was doing most of the peddling since Kyle is little. :)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Little Star Book Review

Little Star
Click on picture to order
The author of this beautiful book, Anthony DeStefano, sent this book for me to share with you.  The book is about a King that is about to be born.  The stars in heaven are competing as to who will shine the brightest to celebrate his birth.  But when they see the poor family, the donkey, the stable, the stars don't believe he is the king.  One little star does. 

This book is beautifully illustrated on every page, and definitely a great book to read to your kids or give as a gift!

Last night my husband read the book to our kids in bed and they got into the story, was happy for the star, and then sad until they saw how it ended and rejoiced.  They completely got into and loved all the pictures.  It was a hit with our little group!  What a great present to get for your child, little family member or friend for Christmas!