Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bows, Frills, and Pretty Girls

 In a contest I won these beautiful items for my girls.  Freshwater pearls and pink crystal bracelet.  I was going to just get a flower clip but asked if it could be a headband instead.  Plus the pink bow.  What a blessing!  Thank you Little Rozie for sending this!  My girls loved it and were excited when it came in the mail.  I'm hard pressed to keep them from wanting to wear them all the time.  You make really beautiful things.

Ashley playing in the sand

I love my little girls.  Even though they are emotional, cry over the little stuff, have their daddy wrapped around their finger, use their little bottom lip to try to convince us that the dolly in the window needs a home, and they are clothes horses.  They are my girls.  They are sweet and I love dressing them up.  I have one daughter, Ashley, that loves the frilly stuff and one daughter, Ivy, that is a tomboy at heart and only likes to dress herself.  She only gets frilly on special occasions or with mommy's pleading. (Sunday church dressing up is a must though).

Ivy is so funny and says the silliest thing.  I heard her talking in a walkie talkie to her brother and she said:

"My dad's the president and he knows his Ninjas".


"Santa doesn't come to THIS house.  My daddy does!"

Friday, January 28, 2011

Babies That'll Keep Your Weight Off

This picture (above) is hilarious!  I had to share it again with you from a year ago.  Just as soon as I was taking this picture, Ashley went for the cactus.  I was able to stop her just in time.  Ha ha. That is parenting for you.  Preventing stuff like this from happening alllll the time. My son Caleb is getting into everything.  Climbing everything in site.  I can't even put him in a crib anymore because he just climbs right out.  He's not even 1 1/2 and he's in a toddler bed.  I have forgotten how hard boys are with this danger stuff.  I pull him off computer desks, dinner table, counters, bathroom counters, the sink, the boy's bunkbed. You name it.  He keeps me on my toes!

In the picture above I am 6 months pregnant with Caleb.  Well, it's hard to tell but baby Ashley has a black eye.  You know, sometimes I wonder if it's just God's way of keeping us mom on our toes.  Whew!  I knew Ashley gave me a run for my money but still nothing like Caleb.  What in the world am I gonna do when all my kids are in school? I'll have to get a Stair Stepper or something.  Or maybe clean like a mad woman.

Above: That was when I was 36 weeks pregnant with baby Caleb.  I should have known what I was in for because he made the pregnancy a wild ride!  That was one tough baby to carry.  Haha.  I'm so scared to go through what I went through again.  Now that he's a year he's keeping me running at all times.  

In fact, today I am buying a baby gate for him so he can be nice and protected.  And so can my sanity.

I want to share something about Chaz and our big change for him on my other Meet Chaz blog if you'd like to visit!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Out of the Mouth of Kids

Kyle on the right
Two days ago we played Hide or Pickup 5.  One of our favorite cleaning games. Kyle, my 7 year old, was it and he was searching for everyone.  While I was hiding and was the last one left I heard,

"Mom, oh for heaven's sake!  I'm afraid of the dark so where are you?" 

I think it's cute that all my kids say "For Heaven's Sake, Good Grief, and Oh Brother!"  Something I carried down from my parents.  Tee hee....

By the way, I ran into this.  OUTTA THE MOUTHS OF MAMAS.  Funny!!!  Make me laugh out loud.

Ivy came home from school and had this to share with us. What she looks like now and what she thinks she'll look like when she is 100. 

Do you see on the right how she made herself holding a walker?

By the way, check out Ellen's $10 Barnes and Noble Giveaway and become a follower!  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Losing Weight The Way It Works For Me

I've been dropping weight so much quicker and I found my secret.  Hee hee...

Okay, so here is what I've tried.  I know working out is good.  It always is. But sometimes I wonder with how busy I am how much I needed to do it.  I rarely ever sit down. One day I decided to get one of those pedometers to see how many steps I took in a day.  Well, they say you should at least take 10,000 a day.  By the end of the day I had taken over 11,000.  I told my friend and she said mine must be broken.  So since then I tried 3 different brands and they all said I took plenty of steps a day.  I think I'm just a really, really active person and don't like to be sitting down for very long.

I've tried keeping a food journal after about a week, I already had an idea of what I should stay away from and how things were adding up.  After that, it was just forcing me to stop and think about food.  Then I would say "Oh mannnn, I have no calories left I can eat" and I would think and think about it.

I still like to jog at least 30 minutes a day when I can but sometimes it's not only possible.  The answer for me has been just staying busy.  When you are busy on your housework, playing with the kids, doing projects, time just seems to fly.  Lately I've just thought so little about food since I've just been keeping myself busy!  Even without jogging sometimes and just eating smaller portions, the weight has just been melting off.

Terrible quality but the picture proves I'm the only one faithfully weighing myself everyday. Everyone's character is sleeping!  haha

I decided to go back to the Christian diet which is simple and I've always loved. Eat only when you are hungry and eat just till you are satisfied.  Not full.  Basically eat smaller portions. I've learned to push the plate away and wrap up what I have left for later. Often, I will not overcook and only cook what is necessary.  I no longer make these big lunches for everyone. We keep it simple now which helps me anyway by not trashing the kitchen twice a day.  I do weigh myself every day on the Wii Fit (picture above) in order to keep track of my progress which is important. ;)

Well anyway, what is your favorite weight loss program?  Everyone is different and what may work for one person doesn't always work for the next. 

Just for fun I looked up Weight Loss Program Reviews.  This is like the Academy Awards but for dieting.  Here goes....

For the BEST weight loss program over all, the award goes to (drumroll please)...
Weight Watchers!!!!!

For the BEST prepackaged diet plan.....
Slim Fast!

For the BEST diet book.....
The Best Life Diet

The BEST online weight loss community.....
(My personal favorite)

Baby Caleb
On a positive note:I lost 20lbs (whoo hoo!) since having baby Caleb.  :D  Just 9 more to go and I will be what I was before having babies.  NOT what I was when I was married and I never want to be.  I was extremely underweight.  I was 30lbs less than what I am right now.  Yikes!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Caught Up In the Moment

Ivy (left) and her best friend in church
Last night while laying bed I thought about my kids growing up and one day moving out of the house.  Out of state (eek), or just not coming around.  I thought about them starting their own lives away from me, getting married, being busy with their jobs.  Just being away.

My heart physically hurt.

You hear all the time about problems in families where a child never calls.  Or one that is mad so they say something mean or ungrateful and hold a grudge and stay away.  Lately, in the last year, I decided to stop trying to have the perfect house (it's near impossible for me anyway) and focus on my relationships with my kids.  Now I cuddle with them on the couch more, build legos with them, let them show me how to play a video game (I stink at understanding football).  Taking the time to let them cook with me rather than just shooing them out of the kitchen.  It's so much harder to train them to do their chores but I know I'm helping them learn responsibility. 

I KNOW I am raising adults.  I'm not trying to raise them up to stay a child.  But ohhhh, my heart aches at the thought of them moving away.  I joke with them all the time saying we should all live in a coldesac and just stay nearby. Ryan just flat out tells me he's never moving out and never marrying.  I told him although I'd love to hog him to myself, that is NOT a good idea.  Besides, I want to cuddle his children some day. 

I need to remember to get caught up in the moment rather than worry about "someday".  I truly have been enjoying them and don't mind putting down the laundry to go play hide and seek.  I can easily clean during their school hours instead.  I know when I look back, I won't be thinking "Man, I kept my house looking niiiiiice".  I'll be more proud if I cultivated relationships with my children. 

God has given me the best thing in life I could ever imagine. He planted the seeds through His wonderful miracle of creation, I get to water them by caring for them and raising them in His truth, and in His grace, watch them bloom.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Dreaded Stairs

Here is PROOF that making something fun can motivate others.  It's why I made Chore Shuffle and sometimes making cleaning a game.  When you just add FUN TO THE MIX, it changes everything.  :D

The Dreaded Stairs

There is a set of stairs, with a moving escalator next to it .... both of which lead to the same spot on the floor of the upper level. At first no one took the stairs, almost 97% of the people took the escalator. Okay. I think that could be a normal expected result. Then a group of engineers got together, and decided they wanted to change the percentage around. Notice what these scientists did. Clever huh. And now they have reversed the percentages, as a whopping 66% more people take the stairs, than ride the escalator.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Little Boring Room

Ryan left me a little folded note the other day
Today I had to take my son to the doctors office. Something I really, really don't understand is....

They have a beautiful and fun waiting room in the front with cartoons and fun things to do.  Why, oh, why do they call you back into the little boring white room to leave you sitting for another 30 minutes with your little kids?  I know it's not to keep sick kids away from each other because they have a separate part of the office for sick kids.  We went on the well side.  So, why not just leave my toddlers, Chaz and I in the happy room?  Then when the doctor is going to be in soon we can be transferred back into the boring area. 

The note I hid for him to find later

A LITTLE SECRET I do since I'm soooo bored back in that room is, um... clean out my purse.  Well, they left me there for so long that I was looking for something to do.  Desperately.  I can't ever sit still so it's just a little torturous for me.  (By the way, I never throw out my receipts in a public place). So everything else went IN THE GARBAGE.  I'm sure at the end of the day, they will scratch their heads at all the bubble gum wrappers, old coupons, tissues, little pamphlets, and other odds and ends filling up one of the their garbage's. 

 If you are a nurse and you've noticed the unusually full bin.... it was me.  I usually never find time to do that at home.  So if you leaving me hanging with utter boredom in your little white room and impatient kids, I'm gonna find SOMETHING to do that I otherwise might never get to when I'm at home.

BTW, wrote Are Social Sites Helpful or Harmful? on Meet Chaz. 

Chore Strategy for 2011 -Updated Meal Helper

I'm so excited to be building on to a chore system that has already been working for us.  The kids have been in their routine for a year and have not switched once on their chores. They are each confident in what is expected from them every day at 7pm. In the summer time it is twice a day just because....six kids can be messy.  At least mine.

Chores were chosen to be age appropriate and are assigned
Above: The only thing changing this year is Ashley got added to the chore list and she gets the shoe chore. Every newbie gets the shoe chore once they turn 3.  She just has to find all the girl shoes and put in the bucket in her room.  She's pretty proud of her new responsibility.  :) Some chores did get eliminated because they were no longer needed and others added.  I have to say though that if you look closely (you can by clicking on image), I am only having the kids clean up after themselves.  None of them are doing any of my chores.  This is something I had to point out to my kids recently when one of them was complaining about chores.  I said what every mom says, "Well, if you picked up after yourself, you guys would have no chores."  I don't turn my kids into slaves while I sit and read a book.  They are merely taking care of their messes they've made that day. 

All the kid chores written out
Above:  What's new is my Chore shuffle. Sometimes kids need a breather just to make things exciting.  I wrote out all the chores and mixed them up.  Then folded and put in a basket. I had each boy pick 4 chores, Ivy 3, and Ashley only 1.  They have no idea who's chore they are getting but they love the change of pace.  They are only allowed to change one of their cards with a sibling if they didn't like what they got.

Folded in basket for Chore Shuffle
So there are 16 chores. One day Ryan counted the chores on the door and then got a brilliant idea. He said, "Mom, we have 16 chores.  Why not just have 16 kids and then we will each get only one chore!"  Yeah.... no.  I let him tell everyone his really cute idea till I explained to him later that more kids equals more mess to clean up. So then he said, "Let's have 50 kids and we'll almost eliminate ALL the chores."  I think someday he'll understand.  Ha ha.

Where Chore Shuffled is stored
My Chore Shuffler is stored above all the assigned chores where little hands can't reach. It has a heavy magnet holding it on the door.  We replace the assigned chores and use the Chore Shuffler on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  The kids love it!

My Daily Chores
Above: I know some of those cards are elementary but trust me, I can completely forget the simplist of tasks when I'm taking care toddlers, making money on the side, and trying to keep up on laundry and dishes. So yes, I even have one to remind me to make my bed. The ones where they say See Chart, it's referring to the last picture at the bottom.  When a card said to perform Special Chore of the Day, I check my other chart that explains what it is in detail.  If it's the kitchen that means I do more than just a quick wipedown.  Every Monday I completely sanitize and mop.  Tuesdays is sanitizing bathrooms. Same with Laundry.  Each person has an assigned day.  If you don't have your clothes in the hamper you want washed by your assigned day then you miss out. By the way, one of my cards that says Hot Spot Rescue means that I find an area of the house that needs special attention and then I clean it during a 30 minutes time.  It's actually supposed to only be for 15 but with toddlers, my time gets interrupted a lot.  This could be a pile of papers or laundry baskets to go through and put away. Whatever it is.

Where my daily chores are stored

Above: It took awhile to perfect exactly how to keep up on everything without going crazy and ignoring my kids.  I'm not the lady that has wild eyes while scrubbing every spot of the house possible.  I tend to get overwhelmed and just throw my hands up.  I have to have things written down.  Well, I used to have a chart where I put a check mark for each chore I finished. But then I constantly had to make a new one. Then I got the idea to make two small folders that hold each of those chore cards. At the beginning of everyday the cards go into the To Do folder.  Then as I do the chore, the card is placed in the Finished folder.

click on picture to make larger
The yellow card on top keeps us making sure things are done in timely manner rather than just losing track of time.  The pink card shows the laundry schedule and the bottom is the special chore chart for myself.  So this whole chore chart has been planned out to a science to make sure everything is done without finger pointing or confusion.  That way things can be run smoothly. 

 This one I just added because we needed a smooth system at meal time. By the time I set the whole table, the food would be cold and the clean up was horrendous. I also wondered how fast we could clear the table if we worked as a team. This chart is what we agreed on. I can't believe how fast the table and food got set out and then how fast the clean up was. Why didn't I think of this before?


Sometimes it's just fun to turn cleaning into a game. We made up one called:

Hide or Pick Up 5

It's basically Hide and Seek.  One person searches for everyone.  If you get caught in your hiding spot or while heading to the base, when the game is finished you have to pick up 5 items that need to be put away from anywhere in the house.  If you make it to base or are not caught, you pick up nothing.  If the person that counted does not catch anyone, he has to pick up 5.  The person counting never has to pick up unless he catches no one.

Well, with me and 5 kids playing, that's 25 items being picked up in every round.  That can add up really fast!  We have lots of fun while playing the game and getting house picked up at the same time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dollar Store Treasures and 5 Dollar Dinners

 I learned a lesson this past Christmas.  I can buy the most expensive toys that they said they could NEVER live without. You know what they resort to playing with?  These swords from the DOLLAR store.  Yup. A buck.  When they break, I go buy another one.  Do you know Chaz got me an awesome belt from the dollar store for Christmas? It originally came from Target but I guess they were getting rid of them and sold them off to the dollar store. I benefited by only paying a buck.  Or...Chaz rather.  Wow!  That is just neat.  I really need to go check those places out more often.  I break so many tights on church days because of my baby or my ring snagging them that I resorted to buying some great name brand ones from the dollar store also.  Who wants to pay $7 every week for a new pair?  I don't. 

  • The girls however are totally loving their barbies but they'd still rather go outside and play on the swingset any day.  Ivy is so exhausted from school everyday though that she just comes home and crashes on the couch.  Why, oh, why do they have to make school sooo long?  They come home with homework anyway.  I don't get it.  My kids get up at 6:50am and then finish all their schooling and homework by 5pm.  I just think that is overkill. 

Soooo, I decided to try something that 5 Dollar Dinners was featuring where you can save money on your dinners! I gave it a try and so far I'm loving the simplicity of it.  So basically I put 2 chickens in two seperate crockpots and cooked overnight.  By the next morning I had chicken to make homemade chicken noodle soup for lunch which is a family favorite. The next day I used the chicken to make chicken pot pies.  Then today I made burritos from it and I still have chicken left!  These meal ideas are very cheap and I was impressed.  Making meals was very simple and fast. After all, cooking the meat is usually what takes the longest. Why not just cook it all together and then seperate for meals during the week?  Or maybe freeze them in seperate bags?  Anyway, the recipes are HERE!   I LOVE being frugalicious!

Would you like to see 10 Things Your Grocer Doesn't Want You to Know?  Yeah, some of the things creeped me out a little bit.  Like the germs on the cart and how old some of the food really is.  Bleh. A recent study showed that shopping carts harbor more saliva, bacteria and even fecal matter than public telephones and public toilets.

BYW, head on over to Lazy Moms to hear some Lazy Mom Confessions

Monday, January 17, 2011

You Did What?!

Lately I've been cleaning after the kids go to bed and just setting out stuff for the next day.  So Saturday night I put two chickens in crockpots and let them cook overnight.  The next morning Chaz walks in and says....

"Mom, what's that smell?"

Me: "Oh, I'm cooking a chicken."

Chaz walks over, lifts the lid to see the chicken and says:

"Well, that's NOT nice!"

I look at him confused and then it dawns on me:

"No, it's not OUR chickens, Chaz!  I got these from the store!"

Chaz: "Oh."

I was laughing so hard and it was before I had my coffee while getting ready for church.  Just the look on his face when he lifted the lid seeing the cooked chicken was so funny.

Sorry if you are a vegetarian reading this.  :P  We love animals in our backyard but also on our plates the way God intended.  We just prefer to buy them from elsewhere to eat.

By the waaay, I just posted about Asperger Moms over on my other blog.  :D

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Getting Out of These Four Walls

Tonight I asked my sweetheart son if he wanted to go with mommy to Sam's Club.  I didn't want to go alone and needed a buddy.  He hopped right up and came along.  I love having the alone talks. We even had fun just saying hi to other people in the store. 

That's what happens when you're always at home.....

I went to drop some stuff off at my mom's house and she said, "Do you and Ryan want to go out to eat with Dad and I?" 

DO I?  DO I?  YES!!!!  Of course!!! 

We were way excited. Well, at least I was.  Ryan is always happy to see his Nana and Papa.  We ate out and my mom and I shared a meal (better on the calories).  We treated ourself to a slice of pie and coffee.  Ohhhh, we drank LOTS of coffee.  After 5 cups I asked the waitress to cut us off.  We sound like real partyers huh?  We had so much fun.  Of course I had to call my hubby and let him know where I was.  He was so happy I was getting out.  Seriously, I rarely go spending money anywhere so he was just so happy I was gonna go have some alone time with my oh-so-amazing parents. 

Seriously, these parents rock.  I couldn't of dreamt of my life any better.  You know what I complained about when I was a teen?  That I was over protected.  Wasn't able to go out partying.  Couldn't go to the prom (gee, I wonder why).  And couldn't go out with boys alone at all hours of the night.  Wow.  Life was hard.  Sound like my parents were really stifling huh?  NOPE. They spared me a lot of heartache.  To that I am super thankful. 

By the waayyyyy.... I wrote a post on my other blog, Meet Chaz, and I would love for you to come and visit!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What Would You Do?

..if a stampede came chasing after you?
Funny Prank.

One of my favorite sites is Awkward Family Photos.  I ran into one of my favorite photos EVER!  haha.  Love this. 

Awww.... I know how she feels. I felt like this when I had my first two at only 12 months apart. Straight from one pregnancy to another. (She has twins though!)  Now, with 6 kids, the mess is really hard to conquer. I wish I could come over and do her laundry for her, make them a dinner, and give her a days rest just as a blessing. What a FANTASTIC picture! Love it. This is for all the men that say
"What did you do all day?"

Running a house can be exhuasting!  Unless of course you are my sister Tammy where homemaking comes so naturally to her, she says she gets bored. Seriously, one day my sis says on Facebook, "Man, it's so easy staying at home and keeping the house clean I have nothing to do!"  I can't believe we are related.  So unfair.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Note of Interest

On a light note, I ran into this neat article giving TIPS FOR IRONING.  I HATE ironing.  I even went out and bought a steam iron at one time.  I don't use that either.  Umm..I'm one of those people that wait for the dryer to beep and then I quickly pulling everything out and lay it flat. I've spent so much time ironing in the past, I might as well have considered it a part time job.  Half my day would be devoted to it.  I WISH I could have those new dryers that will steam your wrinkled clothes for you.  Ahhhh... a dream.  :)  I'm still in love with my front loaders so I can't complain. 

On a sad note and most important to mention.  Can you believe what happened in Australia?  Scores Missing In Tsunami-Like flood.

"Ramia watched as a rescue official pushed through the churning water and yanked the man to safety. Others, including five children, were not as lucky."

Can you imagine the horror of watching the faces of those forcefully being pulled away from you and there is nothing you can do about it?  I can't imagine having that replay in my mind over and over.  What a terrifying thing for people and families to endure.  Not to mention losing everything and just trying to survive. 

On a serious note, isn't it interesting how there are SO many catastrophes happening left and right.  Would you consider that a coincidence?  Years ago do you remember this kinds of stuff happening?  I don't. I remember when something bad happened somewhere, we would talk about it for years.  But now, I can spell tsunami without having to use a spell checker and  I seem to always be waking up to terrible news or something shocking.  It's keeping radio shows talking, TV shows reporting, and causing church goers to ask themselves, WHEN IS JESUS COMING BACK?  A paragraph taken from their website:

"An interesting note here is that Jesus compares all of the signs above, to birth pains. In the birth process, labor pains are typically mild and widely spaced at first, but as the birth draws near, the pains get more intense and closer together. Although there have always been wars, famines and earthquakes, if one were to compare the frequency or number of these events that have occurred in the last five years versus twenty years ago, it would be noticed that they have increased significantly."

Lately, I've had to ask myself, "What influences do I have in my life that could be taking me away from the seriousness of the condition of my heart?"  What you listen to, watch, even friends, can influence and sway you from what you've always deeply believed.  What would you be willing to sacrifice in order to keep your heart pure, minds clean, and your beliefs guarded?  I learned when I was a teenager that it was VERY hard to seve God sitting in the back row with the kids that were always criticizing people, passing notes during the sermon, and flirting.  Eventually, I let go of them and set myself up in the front and center to get away from the distractions and criticism.  Sadly, many of those kids left and never returned.  I am glad I wasn't scared about making a stand.  Even standing alone to focus on God.  Even today, who you hang around can GREATLY influence you.  I am guilty myself of falling into the trap of comparing myself to others to make myself believe I'm alright.  The best thing we can do is measure our hearts by the Bible only.  Not by whats popular today.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Are Boys or Girls Harder?

Wow, I have forgotten how hard little boys can be!  I was trying to read a book on history and Caleb kept coming up and trying to either take the book from me or cover it so I couldn't read it.  (I did get to read at least one page and it was really interesting.  History was always my favorite subject.  Even though it seems I can't retain very much. Hmph.)

(No, Kyle is not picking his nose. Just one of those unlucky moments where you look like you are and it's now on camera.)

At first I tried to pry Caleb's little baby fingers off the book.  Then I thought, "I can read this book any other time." So I picked up my baby and gave him the attention he wanted.  Out of all my kids, Caleb is the most snuggly and needy for attention.  I give him lots!  But he'll do anything to get more.  I'm always pulling him off counters, tables, chairs, desks, stools, bathroom sinks, etc.  This boy keeps me on my toes!  It's been awhile since I've had a boy so I am not used to this at all.

See how Henry the dog lays right below couch? He has saved Caleb from having hard falls many times from the couch. Henry doesn't even move a budge. Caleb used to be terrified of the dog but now he knows that Henry will put up with a lot. He just lays there, like you see in picture, as if a baby isn't sitting right on top of him. (Trying to take mommy's book away).

 Kyle (below) was my last boy before having two girls.  He has a very booming voice and could make leaves fall off a tree with his screams.  I remember when he was a baby and little ol' ladies would come up to the stroller.  They would say "oohhh, what a sweet little baby".  Then Kyle would let out a screech and scare the poor ladies.  Ha ha!  Even when he first came out of my tummy and let out his first cry, the nurse said "Whew!  I feel for you when you get home.  That boy has lungs!" 
Tickling Kyle

Lately I haven't been very good at keeping the house together.  Sure I have chores and the kids have chores.  But I started thinking..... do I have to go crazy about trying so hard?  Sure I might get criticism.  "Cleanliness is next to Godliness."  (I said that in a critical sounding voice in my head).  But lately, I've had sooo many ladies come up to me at tell me how they wish they didn't worry so much about their house and just had fun with their kids. Spent more time with them.  Lately, I just feel really good about the time I've spent with the kids rather than worrying about how messy things are getting.  Kids come with mess.  They just go together like ketchup and mustard.  Salt and pepper.  Men and sports. 

My kids were playing so cute together and I was just thinking about how these moments are so short.  So I secretly set up my camera on the piano to show what our hallway looks like while kids are playing.  It was soooo cute.  I did some silly stuff not knowing I was in the frame where you could see me. Oh well.  LOL. Just playing with the kids.  I know that someday I will look back on this video and yearn for these days.  I already enjoy them immensely so I know I will miss it and the house will look like this....


Yeah, I don't think that's so hugely important. Rather have my kids!  Look, even Henry is sad in that picture.  He might've had his ears pulled and his tail tugged on, but he's wouldn't be getting very many snuggles either.  No crumbs to eat that fall to the floor.  No kids' beds to sneak into while they are gone at school. (Yuck!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Historic Giving for Angel Tree 2010!

Reece and Andrea
I was visiting the Reece's Rainbow blog and was excited to hear that the generous giving resulted in the most successful Angel Tree EVER.  After a last minute New Year gift of $50,000, ALL of the children on the Angel Tree met their individual $1000 grant goal for the first time in their history! They raised more than $305,000 in adoption grants between November 1 and December 31.  This is nearly QUADRUPLE what they raised in 2009 during the same time period.  2000 ornaments were purchased, and 30 children found their families. 


What wonderful news!  Thank you Jon Gosselin and Ellen Ross for doing a shoutout on twitter about the giveaway and thank you to all my friends that passed along the news also!  Even more, thank you for giving to this.  This is something I would like to take part of in the near future again.  There are always kids nearing the 5 year mark, which is something I discussed in this VIDEO about kids being transferred to mental institutions.

Patti, who originally brought it to our attention, even made it more fun by hosting a giveaway for an iPad on her blog.  That was an AWESOME contest.  :D

My Little All Nighters

The other night Caleb was just not tired. At all.  He is by far my hardest kid ever to get to sleep.  He is a very light sleeper also.  Even if you are quietly walking down the hall in socks, he can wake up.  His brother had got in his crib the night before to comfort him and broke the crib.  So we had to put Caleb in his playpen and he climbed out of it over and over till some time after 2am. 

So my husband could sleep, I finally camped inside of Caleb's room till he could fall asleep.  Caleb stopped climbing out since I was sitting in his room so instead he started talking and talking to me.  He is so funny!  Even though I was exhausted, I know his baby days are short.  So we talked back and forth.  He thinks he's carrying on a conversation and he's serious about it too.

So around 1am, Ivy walks in.  Ivy is my next worst sleeper. She and Ashley will talk and giggle till Ashley falls asleep.  Ivy heard us up so she decided to join us. 

She got to stay up till 2am so she thought she got away with something.  Well, she did!  Ha.  I was sooooo tired the next morning but thankfully it was not a school day so it was okay. 

Did I ever tell you Caleb likes to sleep with the light on also?  If I TRY to turn off his light in the middle of the night, he wakes up and cries till I turn it back on.  But because he has a hard time falling asleep, it's just not worth trying to turn his light off.  Goodness!  Thankfully, I have four other kids that are deep sleepers.  Otherwise I would never get to rest. :D

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Congrats Mom!

My mom and Ivy

My mom has worked really hard to finish up her Real Estate classes.  She did well and had a really good grade point average in college.

So PROUD of you, Mom.  We had lots of fun going out to Oregano's afterwards and hanging out with you.
At first it was so noisy in the restaurant that we could hardly talk.  They even squeezed 9 of us into a 6 person table. We couldn't take it anymore and asked to go out to the patio.  It had a covering, fireplace, and heaters so we took our chances hoping it was warm.  It was way more relaxing and the fire was pretty.  Finally we could talk, be silly, and just hang out.

Afterwards as we were leaving, we noticed that there was a karaoke bar right now door and the window was open.  They were singing a song that we knew the words to.  So we snuck up to the window, stuck our heads in and screamed...


Haha!  They quickly shut the window since we ruined their contest.  Oh man.  I wish we would of had a video of it!  We were laughing so hard.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Paying to See Snow

We headed to the zoo to see snow since it's a rarety around here! They had truckloads of it brought in. Even my sister-in-law and her family were there! My mom joined the fun (it was her idea) so it was good fellowship and snow playing fun.

Kyle making snow angel

We had Apple cider to bring in the New Year and Radio Disney was there playing their music. I like the music part, although we usually only listen to Christian music here at home.  Plus there was dancing so we stayed away from that part.  They had some fun contest and we were so hoping to win the ice skating party!  That's our next family adventure.
Kyle throwing a snowball
I love the picture that my mom captured of Kyle throwing the snowball.  So neat!  We had snow fights and I think most people just didn't know what to do in the snow.  Sometimes someone else would get caught in our line of fire.
Towards the end of the day there all the kids were cold because their socks started to get wet even though they were wearing snow boots. My mom, the genius, brought new socks for them to change into so they could be warm.  Thank goodness.  All my kids were crying and making quite a scene they were so cold.  LOL
Ivy and Ryan

Ivy on snow slide
The snow slide was awesome!  It would have been fun to go down the slide but I just had fun watching the kids faces as they went down.  It was hilarious!  I don't think they expected to go down SO FAST.
Ivy and Kyle on slide
I have no idea who the kid is that is ducking next to Charles.  LOL.  But in the end we all had one huge snow fight.  I have a video of us playing but I look pregnant in it because I had put my camera under my jacket and it made my belly look like it's sticking out!