Thursday, June 30, 2011

We Love Anonymous Commenters, Yes We Do

Oh, I miss, I miss, I miss my camera.  I wish I could share pictures with you but I can't.

By the way, I had to take the anonymous option to comment back off my blog since right away I started getting critical people that are too scared to insult without sharing their identity.  Sorry if it ruined it for nice and polite people.  I tend to attract the overly critical type.

In reply to a recent anonymous comment, of course not everyone is going to understand how others can handle or even want a large family.  Not everyone wants a large family.  Fortunately for us God has given us a free will.  The day someone shows me a scripture in the bible that says to limit the amount of children is the day I might consider your point of view.  Good luck though finding that scripture.  Children are an inheritance from the Lord.  Whether you are poor or rich.  

By the way, I've gained 11 lbs back!  Have mercy.  I've been so busy that I've hardly had time to eat though.  I have NO idea how that happened.  No joke.  Something has definitely changed since I turned 30.  My body is betraying me.  I need to have a talk with my metabolism and remind her of the days I could down Big Macs and still lose weight.  Those days are very good memories.  Sigh.  Waaaaaait a minute.  My heart is bigger now.  It's holding love for allll my kids.  Maybe that explains the poundage.

By the way, check out this hilarious parenting technique!  LOL.  I can't imagine every being brave enough to do it.  But it's hilarious to watch!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Can I Get My House This Organized Again?

Yesterday I spent a whopping 14 hours working on photos to get printed for a photo album.  It was only 2007 I worked on.  Can you say "Papparazi momma"?  Haha.  Anyway, I found soooo many old pictures of events I completely forgot about.  However, I found a set of pictures that make me SICK to my stomach.  It's when my house was new, I had thrown out a ton of stuff before moving, and it's completely organized.  Please know I felt like sobbing when I saw these.  Check it out....

Note: Pics below is of my house organized with no clutter 4 years ago.  Was AWESOME.
I'm putting these pictures up to inspire me to get my house decluttered and back to this.
My living room.  Sob.....
Sob..... View of dining area from living room.  Do you see clutter?
View of living room from hallway
Part of my bedroom.... sniff
Other part of my bedroom

I'm gonna print out these pictures to put up so I can see  where I need to get the house again.  I'm not a hoarder or anything. I hate STUFF.  I don't go for knick knacks at all so I don't do collectibles.  It's just easy to get sooo busy and not realize that stuff keeps coming in from birthdays, holidays, or people just dropping stuff off thinking I might need it.  I have so much organizing to do and I'm having some sort of brain block.  Help!  I need Chris' brains for this job.

Hilarious Quotes for Moms

Moms definitely have their humorous moments and these 16 funny quotes are testimony to the laughs that mothers often enjoy (and sometimes endure). 

1. "Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young." ~ Author Unknown

2. "Mothers are all slightly insane." ~ J.D. Salinger

3. "I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them." ~ Phyllis Diller

4. "There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it." ~ Chinese Proverb

5. "It takes a woman twenty years to make a man of her son, and another woman twenty minutes to make a fool of him." ~ Helen Rowland

6. "The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found." ~ Calvin Trillin

7. "A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car for ever after." ~ Peter De Vries

8. "It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge." ~ Phyllis Diller

9. "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his." ~ Oscar Wilde

10. "A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." ~ Tenneva Jordan

11. "You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back." ~William D. Tammeus.

12. "Working mothers are guinea pigs in a scientific experiment to show that sleep is not necessary to human life." ~ Author Unknown

13. "Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease." ~ LisaAlther

14. "My mother had to send me to the movies with my birth certificate, so that I wouldn't have to pay the extra fifty cents that the adults had to pay." ~ KareemAbdul-Jabbar

15. "My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." ~ Mark Twain

16. "My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it." ~ Buddy Hackett

Yes, children often give their mothers something to laugh about. Hopefully it makes up for the things their children will inevitably do to make them cry.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Secrets of the Heart

Sometimes it's sooooooooooooooo hard to have a servant's heart.  Some days I want to be selfish when my husband asks if I'll make him some of his favorite lemonade I made from lemon juice.  It'll be right when I'm so happy to finally be done with dinner and cleaning up the kitchen.  He'll ask and everything inside of me wants to say "No, I don't want to make you some lemonade.  Here is the recipe.  Please make it yourself."  That's what'll be in my head.  Instead I'll just say "sure".

That's me, fat with responsibilities
and trying to run the race.  Heh heh.
Looks impossible huh?  Yeah, only
by God's grace.
I know in America things are going more and more equal.  The husbands and wives just both work and serve themselves or work out their own order of things.  Ever since I can remember I was very traditional at heart.  In the class, when we had to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up, I said I wanted to be a homemaker.  I usually got odd looks from my teacher.  It was hard to go to college because there was NOTHING I wanted to go for.  After being coaxed to take computer classes for a year that I completely loathed, I left college. That was torture for me. My only interest was maybe culinary.  Everyone kept thinking it was because I wanted to become a chef.  Nope.  Just wanted to cook great.  Recently I looked into gardening classes because I wanted to learn the science behind growing vegetables and knowing the soil for our own benefit.  

On the days where I feel selfishness rise in me.... I look up at my husband and realize that he gets up and goes to work every day to support his wife and 6 kids.  He does it lovingly whether he feels like it or not.  I may work hard at home and work hard at caring for 6 messy kids.  But I can stop whenever I want, read a book, take a break, read a blog and then get back to work.  I've never once been pressured by him to go work a job.  NEVER.  I love him like CrAzY for it.  We've even downsized one time just so I didn't have to go to work.  We lived in a teeny tiny place.  In due time and through God's blessing we got a house we could afford.  I've tried different ways like it talks about in Proverbs 31 to make some of my own money while at home to help.  Finding little ways here and there to pitch in took so long for me to figure out.  I had to get creative.  (See my ads on my blog?)

I guess the hardest thing for me to beat down (on some days) is my selfishness and secret thoughts of the heart.  Not wanting to serve anymore.  Or wash any more clothes.  Wash another load of dishes.  Reorganize and declutter an area YET AGAIN.  Then I remember that Charles and I are a team.  We are a team working together the best way we know how.  Life doesn't have to be all fun, games and goofing off.  

Sometimes I wish I still lived in the Garden of Eden where everything grew on it's own and in abundance.  I can see myself picking all the flowers I didn't have to care for.  When I get to heaven, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna see a long line of women waiting to talk to Eve.  I'll be in that line.  Not to condemn her of course.  I figure if it wasn't her, eventually some lady would've ruined it.  Likely would've been me so I can't really judge her.  She must have people knocking on her door all the time while enjoying her mansion in heaven.  I can see a lady standing there, fumbling about, looking a little shy but finally asks "Why'd you do it?"  I've thought about this a lot obviously.  Heh heh.  I'll be knocking on her door.  Thankfully she'll be clothed though.  Leaves aren't in style anymore.  Oh, and I want to see what she looks like.  What was God's idea of what the first woman should look like?  Heck, I'm curious then about Adam!  He was taken right from the dirt.  Hmmm.... must've had sandy blonde hair then.  I go more for the superman looking type.  Thankfully God made everyone have creative genes because I got me one.  

I think about odd things like this all the time.  Especially while washing dishes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to Stack Coupons and Save Big

FINALLY the question was answered for me.  I kept thinking "But how exactly do they get stuff for free or at least really, really cheap?"  The Krazy Coupon Lady explains it perfectly in this video.

You don't just cut a coupon and go out and buy that product.  You WAIT, watch for a sale, and then stack your coupon on top of that to get for super cheap or even free.  Okay, that makes sense.  That's where I went wrong before.  I figured I would just buy something because I had a coupon but in the long run I was just getting stuff I probably never would have gotten in the first place and spent money on.  If no sale comes around, I can just throw the coupon out if it's not something I HAVE to have.

You can wait for a sale
Use your manufacture's coupon
AND if you have a store coupon

Here is her video that explains....

Sometimes Cleaning is Pointless

*Have you noticed I don't post many pics on here lately?  My camera is in the shop getting repaired.  Sniff....  :(

I've been kind of discouraged of late about cleaning.  I usually feel this way in the summertime.  Sometimes I just want to take a break from cleaning without the house falling apart.  I wish I could teach the kids more than chore time but about maintaining.  My mother-in-law made this amazing offer to come to my house and help me organize.  Having her offer is like having the Queen of Clean offer to come in and clean. She's amazing.  I don't care about maintenance cleaning (I do that all the time), just getting rid of stuff and I'm terrible at it.  I did just recently get rid of about 6 or 7 boxes worth of stuff.  I still have Charles' office stuff to pack away and my room to majorly clean.  Does anyone have any shovels?

My room is worth a whole different paragraph.  I have so many clothes its ridiculous.  I hope I'm not the only one that considers her room the last to clean in the entire house.  I concentrate first on the kitchen and then living room and bathrooms.  It kinds goes down in order from there.  Sooo my room is always dead last.  My friend says when I'm getting ready to go somewhere I try on at least 20 outfits till I'm satisfied.  So that's instantly a ton of clothes to hang back up and I'm usually too much in a rush.  Bleh. 

I did reorder my day just for the summer.  I think it's pretty darn cool.  I got the idea from another website and here's what it is.  Instead of setting a time schedule you set it like this:

Before Breakfast:
After Breakfast:
Before Lunch:
After Lunch:
Before Dinner:
After Dinner:

See Printable List HERE.  You can even fill in the blanks before printing it out.  Pretty nifty.

That makes more sense to me because I don't follow the clock well.  When I set a time schedule I get discouraged to keep following when I'm an hour off.  So this has been pretty helpful.  Uh, I don't do a whole lot before breakfast except refill the chicken's water.  When I wake up, instantly it's breakfast and coffee.  

I don't think before coffee.

Tee hee....

A quick note to the OCD Cleaning Group I'm heading up.  We will be holding our first meeting at my house.  I would like you to show me how exactly this is a problem for you.  Don't worry about bringing your own cleaning supplies.  I'll happily provide them for you.   

(Note: that is a personal joke of mine.  Once I posted it on facebook and someone actually tried to come.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

How to Take Couponing to the Extreme

I've been thinking about couponing even though I kind of dread it.  I've dreaded it for so long but after overspending on groceries a few times I think it might be about that time to try again.  Looking back, I just didn't know how to coupon.  After watching some of these online clips, who better to learn than from a large couponing family?  Now that I've gotten an idea where I went wrong before, it doesn't seem so scary and overwhelming.

Part 1

Part 2

So my friend and I went to the store last night with her coupons. I had been giving her all the ones I found so I'm hoping I'll eventually get a collection of my own. I was just too tired and out of it to concentrate when we first got there.  My eyes were watering and I could hardly keep up.  Finally about halfway through I started looking through the coupons and participating.  We knew she only had $27 to spend.  When we watched the grocery amount climbing past $75 we started getting a little nervous.  After adding manufacture coupons and competitor coupons, and the fact that they automatically double up to a $1, it went down to exactly $27.  Yes! We saved 66%.  It wasn't extreme but it was still pretty darn awesome.  I think we could've done better but it's a start.

In the meantime I'm working on my own book to carry coupons in and the one that I'm really thinking about it the Coupon Clutch.  It folds out to put your coupons in, then fold back up and it looks like a regular fashionable purse.  Awesome!

<--- Watch the picture change and you can see how it unfolds.

Cat Caught Barking

Haha!  Soooo funny!  I had to share with you.  :D

How to Speed up Your Slow Computer

Clean my Pc
I have one of those really slooooooooooow computers.  It's annoyingly slow.  None of the kids wanted to get on it because playing on it was no fun.  It was no fun setting up my daughters online schooling each day either.  It would take me so long to log into everything.  I'm not exaggerating.  The computer was a gift from my friend who was moving and no longer needed it.  She even warned me it was slow.  Wow, she wasn't kidding!

Auslogics offered to let me try their award winning software that cleans and speeds up slow computers.  I gave it a whirl, watched as it found errors (holy cow there was a lot) and then watched it repair my turtle computer.  The download and installation was super easy.

Ummmmm.... lets just say that it's no longer the slow PC.  I couldn't believe how immediately fast my computer was.  It was now faster than my laptop.  We quickly went from waiting in line to use the laptop, to waiting in line for the desktop computer.  I was so excited I shouted for the kids to come and see.  I was showing them how fast it was to now use the internet.  Every time I clicked on something I said "Bam!"  They were laughing.  It was just so fast and the kids were so happy.  They had given up on it but now they are back to using it.  Love it!


Product Description 

BoostSpeed5 is your one-stop PC maintenance and optimization tool.
The program will clean up, speed up and repair your system
to make it running as fast and stable as new.
  • Cleans up the Windows registry
  • Defragments hard drives
  • Frees up disk space
  • Recovers accidentally deleted files
  • Speeds up Internet connection

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

When the Day Doesn't Start Out with Sunshine

I'm sitting here with my head pounding, my baby son on my lap while I type.  He's putting his toy army car in my coffee and I'm too tired to tell him to stop.  I've always wanted soldiers in my cup.  My girls are running around in their panties but my head hurts to much to talk and tell them to go get some clothes on.  My Great Dane is sitting up and staring at me which usually means he wants something but I have no idea what.  Dirty dishes in the sink from eating late at night with the kids after church.  My 10 year old is dancing around the living which is incredibly cute but my eyes are blurry so it's making me dizzy.  Ashley, my 3 yr old, keeps giving me this look that she's gotten into something.  I KNOW that look.  Plus, when she's done something she chews on her tongue when I ask her about it.  My other dog wants inside so he's barking at the door over and over making my head hurt worse. But getting up makes my head hurt so I'm staying here. My laundry pile is becoming Mt. Everest.  I think today might be the day I can put on those tennis shoes and climb it.  I desperately need to read God's Word.  Like now.  Stat.  I started this day all wrong.  

(Getting my bible... and another cup of coffee)

Being that today is June 23, I read out of Proverbs 23.  I loved the scripture that says "Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord."  This morning I was going around and visiting blogs I'd never visited before.  One particular one made me sad. The wife was laughing about misspending huge amounts of money her husband asked her not to do, extreme foul language, and hateful words.  I thought "I remember when we could spend big amounts of money and it was so fun."  But not everyone with money is happy or at peace.  It is better to look at someone and say, "I would love to have her peace, her joy, her love for what is Godly."  

After feeding my soul (which was kinda getting skinny), taking some medicine and having another cup of coffee..... I'm starting to feel a little better.  My head still hurts.  Makes me feel kind of grumpy but I know to never take it out on my family.  I learned a long time ago that just because mommy is not feeling good, kids shouldn't have to pay the price.  Or my husband.  I know it's easy to hurt the ones we love, but the price is so much heavier when we do.

"Lord, my day hasn't started out too great.  My work load is heavy and I don't feel too great.  Please shine Your light into this home and help me to appreciate all your gifts you have given me that are right under my nose."

(I miss my camera.  It's in the repair shop and I can't wait to get it back.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Speaking of Natural Disasters

Speaking of natural disasters, my naturally disastrous kids like to tempt me into throwing all their stuff away. 

This summer I put up their toys because they are always swimming, playing video games, or just riding their trikes throughout the house.  The toys really are never touched and would just get left everywhere after looking at it for 2 seconds.

Yesterday I had an extra 3 kids over and there were some blankets on the floor.  I thought it'd be fun to kick one of them with my bare feet.  I didn't know there was a metal scooter hidden inside one of them.  Ohhh, the pain.  I didn't make any noise in childbirth (that shocked me into silence) but this made me whimper.  I've already broken both my pinkie toes, my pinkie finger, and possibly put a fracture in my elbow.  Reoccurring injuries make it to where they never heal.  Charles keeps telling me to wear tennis shoes.  I don't wear tennis shoes.  That's for working out only.  Or maybe hiking a mountain with a cute matching workout outfit.

It's either barefoot or heels, baby.  There are no in betweens.  

This week its Vacation Bible School at church but its not nearly as long as other churches.  About half the amount of time so it's not really worth it to drive back home.  Instead I've been hanging out with friends and doing fun stuff in the area till its over.  In fact, since the tanning place is just down the street from church, my friend and I have gone every night.  What should only take 15 minutes takes us about about 45 because my friend is the socialite of the century.  She'll talk to anything that moves.  If you go for a gallon of milk at the store, you might as well bring a cooler to hold it in because by the time she's done talking to the check out lady, the milk will have gone bad.  Ha!  I like to go through self checkout and avoid talking to anyone and she hates those for that reason.  She HAS helped me to be more sociable with humans and I have probably helped her from talking to animals and rocks.  So, we're good for each other.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Survival of the Smartest: The First 72 Hours

Being raised in church and always reading the book of revelations, I understand that there is such thing as an end of days or times of tribulation.  Because of my beliefs growing up, I've given it a lot of thought about what I would do in a crisis.  How would I care for my family?  Shouldn't I have some sort of preparedness?  Transportation?  Water?  Food?  How to evacuate?  Seriously, when I found out about Survival of the Smartest written by Aaron Turpen, I was excited to read it!
Read this book
Well, what about just natural disasters that happen?  Have you noticed that the government can't always be there to rescue?  Of course they try to as soon as they can but what about until then?  What if they never do?  Shouldn't we have some idea how to prepare?  Just yesterday my friend was taking a bus out from the east coast and barely escaped the tornadoes that were coming.  They hit today.  She had no idea they were coming but just happened to be leaving that day thank goodness.  Okay, if I were single I know it'd be good to be prepared but so MUCH MORE with a family.  That burden and responsibility is so much greater. This book shows you how to make a 72 hour kit. How cool is that?  


Product Description
 A new electronic book from Aaron Turpen and, Survival of the Smartest is a detailed guide to getting through any disaster, natural or man-made. 

Being ready for hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and financial collapse are all things that many Americans are now taking seriously.
This growing trend of "preppers" has seen, often first hand, that government and even emergency services cannot be counted on to be there when disaster strikes. Taking the initiative to be prepared is the best way to find security for you and your family.
The guide walks through:
  • Keeping Your Head During Emergency Situations
  • Making a Disaster Supply Kit for Your Family
  • Shutting Off Your Home's Utilities In An Emergency
  • Dealing With An Evacuation (whether you go or not)
  • Specific Disaster Situations like:
  • Earthquakes
  • Floods
  • Hurricanes and Tornadoes
  • Nuclear Incidents, Tsunamis, and even Volcano Eruptions!
  • And Much Much More
You'll learn how (and why) to make a 72-hour Bug Out Bag, an in-home disaster kit, and even kits for your vehicles.
For the beginning prepper who's just starting out, everything you need to know is included and ready to go. Most can have their initial preparations (and the peace of mind that comes with them) within hours!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Secret to Beating Selfishness Out of You

Become a mother!

I'm a soft mommy.  I'm the kind of mom where kids want to come over and spend the night because we make it a party every time.  Literally.  We stay up all night playing games.  Whenever we go to church we have kids coming up to us wanting to come over.  You know how some people get hangovers from partying all night?  Well, I wake up extremely tired the next day after we stay up all night because I've had so little sleep.  We end up walking around in our pj's for half the day with me sipping coffee to stay awake.  How I went from a kid hater to and all night kid partier is beyond me.  Actually, it was a painful process.

Me on the right in white dress at 17.  Selfish
as all heck.
Back when I was single I didn't like kids very much.  For some reason they liked me though.  As a teen I refused to help in the nursery at church because I didn't want to touch any booger babies or have to change diapers.  I feel so bad remembering how I would say no every time the nursery lady tried to recruit me.  When I would walk into the church doors, kids would shout "Jenny!" and run into my legs.  I would say ran into my arms but that wouldn't be the truth.  It was icky and I would try to get them off of me.  Have you ever seen Daddy Day Care or Nine Months?  That was me.  Took a long time for kids to grow on me.  In fact, I wouldn't even watch my own nephews unless I was paid.  That hits me in my gut right there thinking about how selfish and naive I was.

When I got pregnant with my first, I was terrified!  I don't remember ever changing a diaper, never was sleep deprived, and certainly wan't sure about giving up my freedom.  We ate out all the time and did whatever we wanted with no strings attached.  It was the easy life.  I remember laying awake at night wondering how different my life was going to be with a baby.  Thank God it was 9 months away because I needed a miracle in my heart till then.  I didn't know it then but it was my selfishness that needed to die.  I can't believe how much selfishness was bound up in me.  Little did I know that having a baby would not only change my life, but it would literally beat the dickens out of my selfish and tiny little heart.  

When Chaz was born I felt like I went numb. I was scared and how no idea where to begin and how to care for a baby.  To top it off I had very bad Post Partum Depression and no one to share with about it.  I would cry and cry having no idea what to do.  How often to feed my baby.  I literally went back to the hospital and asked a worker if I could talk to a counselor.  I was extremely engorged so badly that Chaz couldn't get any milk.  An angel of a woman in her 60's sat me down, let me cry it all out, and let me pump my milk out.  Then she showed me how to properly breastfeed and explained why I was in so much pain.  She told me it was okay to nap in the day with my baby.  I'll never forget that woman. I left the hospital feeling like everything was going to be okay.  I wiped the tears from my eyes and left feeling renewed.

6 kids later I feel like my selfishness was not only beat out of me, but ran over by a semi.  Thank God for that.  It has been a joy having my kids.  Poor Chaz had to be my first but I love him like crazy. Each and every one of my kids has been a gift that I never want to take for granted.  Last week I found myself inviting 2 extra kids over for an entire week just for fun.  Last night I made plans for a different kid to come over every night since it's Vacation Bible School week at church.  What's wrong with me?  I don't know.  I just really like kids now and what's one, two, or three more when I already have six?  :)  I guess I just love having a full house.

If selfishness is bound up in your heart and you find that kids are nothing but a burden, I feel sorry for you.  I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet.

Friday, June 17, 2011

8 Kids Ain't So Bad

I know I said "ain't".  I love that word.  Anyway, I had an extra 2 kids for 3 days and we quickly adjusted. I kept not making enough food because I was so used to cooking for 8 rather than 10. I try to not over cook for reasons of not wanting to get fat as a barrel.  I always make sure the kids get enough but I keep mine and Charles' portions small.  Now that I'm used to cooking for 10, I'll probably have some extra again.  Whenever we have kids staying over we always try to do lots of fun stuff. As if the Wii and PS2 and pool in backyard is not good enough.  Not to mention all the toys.  But still.....

Calie and Andrew (My friend's kids on left) spraying Ryan and Chaz
So we headed over to a splash park which is great because I don't have to worry about any pools.  Ahhh.... such a relief for me.  Baby Caleb was scared at first and kept running to daddy to get out of the sprays.  Even though I was right there.  After he cuddled Charles' chest, he finally ventured back out.  Once he did, we couldn't stop him.  Soooo cute....

Caleb feels safe next to daddy
I had a hard time letting baby Caleb try the slide.  8 years ago Chaz lost his two front teeth on that slide (below).  It's not as minor as it sounds.  He hit his face so hard that firetrucks and ambulance came.  He had to go to the hospital and have surgery and his face was deformed for awhile.  It was one of the most heartbreaking things.  Since then, they changed the slide from concrete to plastic to make it safer.  Little Caleb kept begging to try it yesterday and I agreed if we made him go slow.  I felt like I was gonna literally panic and started breathing heard so he didn't do it anymore after 2 times down.  It's a small slide and goes slow but the memories were too bad.  After that it was hard to get Caleb's attention from it since he kept toddling over back to it.

Ashley on slide
It's so relaxing there and it felt good to play in the water because it was SO HOT!!!

The waterfall is one of my favorite things there and we love to stand under it.  Of course I wore my lovely Voda swimsuit that they blessed me with.  Whoo hoo!!  I actually got a matching undershirt to put under it since it makes my ta ta's look so big. It's designed like that.  Normally I wouldn't mind but since modesty is an issue, I had to find something to put under it.  Just like a blue spaghetti strap undershirt.  Plus some cute swim shorts over the bottom. Truly, I love that suit.  No maternity swimsuits this summer!  :)  

I actually loved having 8 kids for the last 3 days and I'm gonna miss it.  I didn't mind that everyone stared when we walked past.  In church we took a whole row.  When we first walked into church it was like a long time of people walking up the aisle.  It was quite funny.  Tee hee.... I'm gonna miss those kids now that they're gone.  Although as soon as kids leave my house, other kids always ask to come over. So there seems to always be a rotation going on.

The only thing that is hard is that when I have guest kids over and they don't know the rules, I have to watch out.  Over the last couple weeks of having kids over I've found toys and blankets outside all over the place. I don't let the kids bring toys out for a reason because the sun ruins them and I always have to throw it away.  Today I spent an hour throwing away tons of good stuff that got drug outside over time.  I need to make a list that I read to kids when they come over so they know the rules.  My kids are trained about that stuff but I shouldn't just expect guest kids to automatically know my rules of the house.  Calie and Andrew are great kids though and I loved their great attitudes.  I can tell that they aren't used to being around the noise of a big family though because sometimes Andrew would cover his ears.  LOL.

Truly though, I so enjoyed having them stay over and even invited them back over for another week.  Probably won't happen though since I know their mommy will miss them.  Tee hee...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Make Gorgeous Family Photo Books with Mixbook!

Mixbook gave me a chance to put together a scrapbook online to get printed out as a photo book!  I have to say that is one of my favorite products I ever done for reviews. I take this book everywhere with me and I get sooo many positive reactions.  I've even had people ask me to write down the website for them so they can get one for themselves.">photo cards

They are also on Twitter and Facebook.  Don't forget, Father's Day is almost here!

I made my digital scrapbook by going to Mixbook and selecting the Mixbook Softcover 8 x 6 pocket photo book.  I picked the Spring theme and it had it all set up for me. All I had to do was insert pictures from my computer!!  This one fits right in my purse so I can bring it everywhere and show people.

Front cover
Just recently I took a trip to a wedding out of town.  Since I didn't have my family with me, this photo book went with me everywhere. People asked to see it and passed it around. I got SO many compliments on the product itself and again had people asking me where to go to make it.

First page showing 3 of my kids
Then I also went out of town to attend a marriage seminar and once again it was passed around so people could see pictures of my kids that they never get to see. This book is already getting tons of use and not a scratch on it.  It's gorgeous and I'm so proud of it. I had friends there also asking me where to go to make a book like this. That's how much people love it!  They have them in all sizes (Large hardbacks for coffee tables) and softbook or hardback.

My animal and garden theme page

Click on banner below to enter site.
Father's Day cards for $.99 (Code CARD99)

Product Description 

Mixbook, a leading photo publishing company. Unlike our competitors, our photo books are 100% customizable, allowing users to begin with either a blank book or an existing template that can then be edited to their liking. Mixbook also has a unique collaboration feature which allows our users to invite friends and family to work on a project together. We offer competitive pricing and our email subscribers often receive exclusive discounts. Also, our customers love us and consistently give us a 5-star rating.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

LoveSac Phur Slippers Review

LoveSac generously sent me out a pair of their lusciously soft slippers to try out and tell you about!

My morning routine
This is the start to my mornings.  Get out of bed, slip my feet into the Phur Slippers, shuffle over to my coffee maker, then sit down with my laptop and blog.  This picture sums it all up!  I love how soft and squishy the slippers are. Another goody is that it has soles on the bottom.  Before when I had slippers, they would wear out fast because the bottom was soft and couldn't take much wear and tear. Not these!  I even ran outside with them in my morning fog and glory to rescue my toddler that snuck out to the backyard by himself.  I worried what it might have done to my lovely new slippers but they were fine.  Also, sometimes I've found slippers annoying because they wouldn't stay on my feet well.  These are a perfect fit with their sizing.  I don't always like to get on my sneakers in the house but yet my feet get so sore on the hard tile by the end of the day.  I keep the slippers around to slip on and off as needed.  I love them!

Of course they sell lots of other things like pillows, blankets, kid chairs, comforters, mattress toppers, t-shirts, sectionals, and the famous sacs.  I've visited their stores in the mall and really loved sitting in their couches.  Super comfy.

Phur Slippers

Slippers Phur Feet...what a concept. As with anything made by LoveSac, these are simply the greatest slippers available…maybe in all the world.

LoveSac Phur is a hypo allergenic polyester knit that is surprisingly durable. With a vintage LoveSac tattoo neatly embroidered under-foot, you can wear these slippers and feel like the closet rock star that you are, while keeping that edgy, hardcore, late night, brawling, binging, head banging, gun slinging, moshing, line dancing, partying side of you under wraps in front of the family...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Am I Any Wiser at 32?

I hope at least a little bit!

Today is my 32nd birthday and I'm so grateful that I'm still living and breathing to enjoy all of God's creation and His precious gifts in my life.

I can't believe I'm 32. Time flies so incredibly fast.  I feel like I wake up, drink coffee, make lunch, homeschool, have dinner time, blog, bedtime.  The times in between all that is a blur.  I'm sure the in between are kissing boo boos, cleaning up, writing a friend, organizing something, mopping up a spill, going through mail, putting a load of wash in, etc, etc.  The list goes on.

I remember the day I was examining my life.  Was I putting first things first?  I remember getting lots of compliments on how tidy I kept my apartment (back when I had 2 kids and pregnant with the 3rd) and feeling proud about it.  But then feeling sad inside because I didn't truly have a relationship with my boys.  Sure I changed diapers and did all the mundane work... but I didn't play with them, listen to them.  I mean stop and REALLY listen.  I felt like I was missing the whole purpose.  I told myself for years I would try and change that.  It was easier said than done because I constantly got caught up in the work.  

Me in the center.  My mom made the dresses.
One day I decided it was time for a change.  It was only about a year ago.  (Sadly) I finally said enough was enough.  My oldest was 10 and Caleb was just born.  For the first time I looked beyond the nursing, diapers, and all the other mundane work and truly enjoyed my newborn.  I remember sitting on the couch playing with his tiny fingers, watching the kids play, and the house falling apart around me.  But I was happy.  Here I was with 6 kids, our income slashed by 3/4's by the fall of the economy and I was truly, truly happy.

I had made my purpose all about the weeds and paid so little attention to the flowers growing up beside me.  Those weeds will always be there.  But the flowers are seasonal.  They will not always be in my care and they are ever so fragile.

Please God, at 32, let me have learned something valuable besides about materialism and shallow things that fade.  I want to be teachable, humble, honest, clean of heart, and have joy.


This is a poem I wrote on my other blog called Meet Chaz.  Would love to share with you.  

Celebrating 32 years
...  of still living and breathing.  Still loving each and every day.  

Even the ones that had tears.  
The ones with the mop in my hands. 
Even the days where my sweat drips doing loads of laundry
The ones in the counselors office
The days I scratch my head with no answers
Even the ones where no one calls
Even on birthdays forgotten
I love each and every day 
because I'm still breathing
and that means I get to touch a flower
watch a butterfly flitter about
I still get to kiss my kids goodnight
and repeat each and every morning
I get to celebrate each step forward
whether or not it came after two steps back
I love each and every day
Because someday there will be no tomorrow
I'll take the tears, the sobs, the pain, the hard work
if it means I can have the laughter, pitter patter of little feet
and a kiss from my husband each day.  
Thank you, Lord, for each and every day
of the 32 years you have given me
You gave me the gift of Life
and I'll take each and every day with a smile

Monday, June 13, 2011


I loved unposed pictures.  Just let their goofiness
show.  lol
You know how they say that when black people are shopping or in a crowd, when they see another black person they say "Hey, Bro."  Sometimes they even just nod at each other.  One guy told me its because they are a minority and it just feels good to see another brother in the crowd.  That stuck in my head so it got me thinking.

4 of my kids posing with Henry
Aren't large families a minority?  Often I'm used to getting started at wherever we go.  People count, sometimes say rude comments, other times compliment, or stare.  Whenever I see another big family shopping I always have to bring my family up and ask how they are, how many kids, compare ages, etc.  There might be a brotherhood but now I'm thinking something different when I think motherHOOD.  

Yesterday when I was in Sam's Club, I saw this family that had 6 kids following the cart.  I had to run up to them and compliment them.  I was so excited to see another big family.  Then they shocked me by saying they had another 4 at home!  They have 10!  I was so excited and asked if she had a blog.  Nooo, she didn't.  :(  I told her she needs to get some blogging up so we can all benefit from her SKILLS.  Get this, her last 6 kids are all 1 year apart.  Wow!

It doesn't matter where we are, I always tend to look around me and see if there are any other large families.  For some reason it just makes me feel I have this connection with them.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Longest Married Couple in the World

This is such a wonderful story I had to share it with you!  Aside from the picture of course.  You know me, I love funny cartoons.  Tee hee...

Whenever I hear a couple has made it past the 20-year mark of their marriage, I start to revere them. Marriage is hard. And making it to 20 years, let alone 50, is incredibly difficult. Well one couple puts them all to shame.
Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher have been married 87 years. They lived together through the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam. They saw the moon landing and their story is sweet and enduring and lovely. But it isn't romantic.
When asked why they decided to marry, it was because Zelmyra “did not give [Herbert] any trouble” and Herbert “was not much to look at ... [but] he was quiet and kind.”
Not what you would expect, right? And yet it is.
Marriage is wonderful, rich, and so very important, but at times, it isn't romantic. It's a partnership and a team, and it can be the best thing in the world, but if you want constant dazzling, then maybe you're looking at the wrong things.
The Fishers were married on May 13, 1924 and are now 105 and 103. Their secrets are:
Everyone who plants a seed and harvests the crop celebrates together. We are individuals, but accomplish more together. Remember marriage is not a contest -- never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.
Marrying my best friend 1998
I love this story!  What a treat to read about a couple like this.  My husband and I have been married for almost 13 years and he's still my best friend. I think the key is marrying your best friend vs. just finding the hottest thing that walks past you.  When you get past all the mushy stuff and fireworks, you're gonna need that friendship. 

To avoid a bitter wife shooting me I have to add that I know people can change.  People make bad choices, marriages get broken.  I don't want to be insensitive to that.  They say that divorce is like a death in the family.  :(

What is your secret to lasting marriage?