Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to Make Omelettes in a Bag

I learned about this from a friend who had a breakfast party at a house.  My husband is not an omelette fan at all till he had these and he loves them.  You don't have to worry about burning them either because these don't go in a frying pan.  The party was with adults though so there were more options for things to put in their omelette.  I just picked one item to add to it so my kids would like it.  Otherwise, I would have a bowl of chopped onions, another bowl of mushrooms, maybe a bowl of diced green peppers.  Then just let people pick.  It's better to use the freezer Ziplock or Hefty bags because they do better in boiling.

Anyway, I put on a pot of boiling water and put towards back of stove for safety.  Then I told the kids to put into their own bag 2 eggs, 2 spoonfuls of shredded cheese, and 2 spoonfuls of meat (it was Kielbasa).  That was an easy way for them to remember. Twos of everything.  After they zip it closed have them squish the bag to mix the ingredients.

Then they put their bag with their name written on it into the boiling water and then set timer for 10 minutes.  Sometimes it takes 12 minutes.

When its done they just open the bag over a plate and let it roll out.  Then they put shredded cheese on the top if they like.  My kids just gobble it up!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Comparing Ourselves to Others

What a wonderful weekend it was!  My husband's family decided to just celebrate all the kid birthdays in one day so we sang to eight kids.  Everyone swam and I forgot my camera.  Boo hoo!  It takes a lot to get seven kids ready to go anywhere but is even more work when they are going for a swim.  I asked them if they would want to use their birthday money to each buy a Nintendo DSi XL and they quickly said yes.  I was excited because Mario is my favorite game and I was hoping I could sneak on it every now and then.  Ohhhh, my thumbs are sore right now.  You know, my husband first met me when I was on the floor playing Mario on my Nintendo.  He thought I was 15 but I was actually 18.  Ha ha.

One thing I've been working on is not talking on the phone so much when my husband is home.  I love talking to my friends and family but I can see how it's rude when I am doing it so much when he is home.  I've been around other people when they are constantly on the phone with others rather than telling them they'll talk to them later after they are done visiting.  It can be excessive and kinda rude.  Also, I've been really working on my kids about interrupting when mommy is on the phone unless it's an emergency.  When someone calls me to talk to me, they don't want to hear me constantly responding to the kids about something.  The kids know that mommy isn't happy when she gets off if she kept getting interrupted.  They know they'll get assigned extra chores.  By the way, that has really worked with the kids.  I have extra chores written down on a list for them to pick from if needed.  My kids know that if it's really, really important they can interrupt me, like if a kid is picking on them or someone is hurt.  That's totally different.  However, Caleb is way too little to understand.  He's my little two and a half year old stinker.  In fact, I'm usually following him around because he can cause trouble in 2.5 seconds...on a slow day.

Last nights sermon at church was amazing!  I took notes on my iPad and I'm so glad I did because it is something I'd like to refer to every now and then.  The pastor that spoke talked about comparing ourselves to others.  Just because we are called to do something doesn't mean no one else will do it better than us.  We do it because are called to.  We don't have to always look around us to see who is acting worse than us and pointing fingers.  We are held accountable for ourselves and not according to someone else.  I guess it's easier sometimes to try to make ourselves feel better by pointing out other people's mistakes and sins.  Here is where it hit me personally.  Sometimes I get comments from others that question how I raise my kids or how well I am feeding my kids.  It's not that they spend time in my house or see me when I feed my kids.  They just make assumptions for the little bit of time they are around me.  Constant questioning or finger pointing can make me feel bad like I have no right to be raising these kids.  However, God sees what I do at home with them and in reality, that's what matters.  My husband sees, that's what matters.  I don't have to compare myself to others.  Of course someone might clean better, cook better, blog better, write better, homeschool better, do their hair better.  All that doesn't matter.  The only reason we should look to others is for inspiration.  It was an awesome sermon.  ;)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Self Made Dimples and Coffee Thieves

Ivy in church raising her hand for prayer
We started back up our bible study at home with our kids.  :)  I would love to share a neat resource with you that I found by chance.  First of all, I have this audio bible drama presentation (Kidz Bible) of primary Old and New Testament stories.  We'll pick a chapter or several chapters to hear, and then I'll print out worksheets.  I'm not a huge fan of NIV.  Actually, I'm not a fan at all of NIV versions of the bible but for the sake of telling a story in the bible for little ones, this CD is fantastic.  While they are listening I have them draw the story in their notebook.  The worksheets will have something to do with the bible story and I print out different ones per age.  It's just really neat and we look forward to it every day.  Chaz was trying to get me to do a second bible study yesterday.  :D  When I said no he just picked up his bible and started reading to himself.  He says everyone should read at least one chapter a day.  I'm not sure of his reading comprehension though because that was one of the issues he had in his evaluation.  He can read straight through a whole book and not know what he read.  Aspergers kids tend to see things in pictures so he learns better visually.  He even understands better listening to the story which is why this CD comes in handy.

Kyle and Ashley
You know, I'm still wondering why NONE of my kids got my dimples.  I have SEVEN kids and NOT one got them.  I love it when kids have dimples.  I'm thinking that since I got them from my grandpa then maybe I'll have grandkids with them.  LOL.  Don't be fooled by this picture, Kyle doesn't have them.  He created that dimple by walking into a corner of the wall.  No joke.  I know God sees the desires of our heart but I really wasn't wanting a dimple to be made like this.  I'd prefer them to just come that way from birth. 

You know how kids come up to you and say something without you really paying attention?  Well, somehow I agreed that once Ivy turns seven, which was a few days ago, she would be allowed to drink coffee.  Hmmm... well, every day she counted down to her birthday because she was excited about that cup of coffee.  Seeing her excitement when the day came, I really didn't want to see her face fall and so I just acted like I knew what I was doing all along.  Of course if it was something more serious I'd reel it back in.  If she said when she turns seven she'll start robbing banks and I agreed, I would take that one back.  This is just coffee so I'll deal with it.  I told her the deal is that her and I share a cup of coffee so when I brew one every morning, I split it into two cups.  A half cup for me and half cup for her. Of course when she walks away, I add more to mine.  Heh heh.  This morning I ended up with half a cup again because two year old Caleb stole mine when I wasn't looking.  Goodness!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homeschool Convention 2012

Marilyn Boyer, me, Rick Boyer
I had been looking forward to my first homeschool convention for quite some time.  Well, when I found out that my favorite couple of all time was gonna be there.... I got a ticket!  I'd love to tell you why they mean so much to me.  Back when I had only three kids with one on the way I was getting some flack from people.  I really didn't have much support and it was getting to the point where I thought I'd get my tubes tied to just make all the negativity stop.  That's the popular thing, right?  People were saying that since I was having my girl I needed to stop.  Well, that bothered me because I didn't really think that was anyone's place to tell me how many children I should have.  Wasn't that between God, my husband, and I?  I was looking through a used book store when I found the book Yes, They're All Ours and since it had a lot of kids on the cover I bought it.  First off, Rick is funny and makes it easy to get hooked on his book from the very beginning.  I finished the book in only two days.  

(Will continue writing.  Girls are asking for a bedtime story.....)

One view of the vendors
The book was such an encouragement to me.  It's not what other people tell you THEY think you should do that matters.  That is something you go to God about as a couple.  I mean, this is something I had been in tears about and bullied about.  The Boyers raised their kids up in Christ and lived it in their home.  Well, when I saw the Boyers I just had to talk to them and tell them what an encouragement they've been to my family.  Rick asked me what other books of theirs I have read but I hadn't heard of any others.  Actually, I've just been reading and rereading the same book over every now and then.  He gave a big hug and handed me a newer version of their book Yes, They're All Ours, plus The Hands-on DadParenting From the HeartHome Educating with ConfidenceHands-On Character Building, and CD of The Runt that's read aloud.  Wow, what a blessing! I read all the time and look forward to studying each one.  Seriously, I had to hold back the tears as they gave me a hug because I couldn't really express to them what they did for me through their book.  It had given me the confidence I needed to have the family I desired, homeschool the kids without guilt, and have fun while doing it.  I still quote Rick at the end of the day (more or less).  "What was I thinking having all these kids?"  haha .  Yes, it's a ton of work but they are all ours and I love it!

Well, because I like to procrastinate and wait before reading important information, I did not know the convention was for two days.  Argh!  I missed the first day and only went to the comedy event in the evening.  John Branyan was FUNNY!  Guess what?  It was all clean humor and that was a relief.  I love to listen to comedians but then they tend to cuss a lot and use vulgar humor.  Often it makes me cringe.  This time I was able to sit back and really enjoy myself.  I have to say that when I first walked in to a roomful of large family people who homeschool I just wanted to cry.  I literally wanted to jump over the chairs and hoot and holler.  I truly felt I was home.  No criticism, no mocking, no raised eyebrows.  I was home.  We were easily outnumbered by kids and I comfortably sat down in between 2 large families with my best friend right next to me.  We laughed and laughed through the punch lines and the hour passed quickly.  You know what was really neat?  There were a TON of kids there and I didn't hear one tantrum or kid screaming out because they had to sit down for an hour.  It was impressive.

I missed out on ALL the seminars and I know I needed to hear a lot of them.  However, because I didn't know much about the homeschool convention, I just figured I'd be attending a big place that held lots of materials.  Next year I will be there both days and have lots of time for everything.  Hopefully.  I was only there for 7 hours and it wasn't nearly enough time.  My friends Michele, Melanee, and I went from table to table picking up and looking at all the materials.  It's so much better than just looking things up online.  I think half of Michele's fun was talking to everyone at the booths.  My fun was taking pictures of things, people, and materials, and Melanee was usually looking at her map and finding places she needed to go.  Half the time I was trying to keep up with Melanee but then Michele would get left behind because she wanted to sit down and talk to everyone.  I did have lots of fun though but sometimes it can be hard to please everyone.  Ohhh, the joys of going in threes.  LOL.  I truly am blessed to have friend to experience fun times like these and learn together.

There were soooo many great tools there for teaching that I felt like I was swimming in them.  I know people can get caught up in TOO MUCH but I'm more talking about bible things.  I found posters that gave visuals for the kids, bible study materials for teaching kids at home, and the list goes on and on.  They even gave out free books on CD like 
Passing the Torch, and Hell's Best Kept Secret.
Ohhh, books on CD are delicious because I can clean and listen to them at the same time.
Also, I loved the books where they teach you about the animals according to what day they were created.  Sigh.  Basically, I was in love and wish I could have spent much more time there.  There will always be next year.  The one I'm showing is Land Animals of the Sixth Day.
After a few hours we were soooo hungry but we about fainted when we saw the food prices.  Eight bucks for nachos?  I wasn't about to eat a cracker for even five bucks so we walked a block away to eat at a restaurant.  We didn't realize it was a restaurant that overlooks the baseball game that was going on. Oh, it was awesome!  Basically, I got a whole meal for the same price as what I would have paid for nachos in the convention center but with a better view!

While we were safe inside the convention we heard an announcement that there currently was a Haboob outside and to stay in. No problem... I was having fun and since the place was so huge, I missed seeing this coming right at us.... Wow, glad I was indoors!

If you want to see a video of one coming at you, this is the exact one that came that day taken from a bicyclist staying inside a building till it is safe enough to go outside.  Wow, crazy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ivy's 7th Birthday Party Fun and Build-a-Bear

The kids were throwing around a bouncy ball in the house.  I said to them, "If you guys keep hitting my expensive guitar I'm gonna have a cow."  So Kyle says, "Mommy, you're gonna have a cow?"  Then Ivy hears him and starts shouting "Guess what, everyone?  Mommy is gonna have a cow!  That means we can have our own milk to drink.  Yay!"  I had to reel that one in quick.  Ha ha.  No, mommy ain't havin' no cow.

We celebrated Ivy's 7th birthday at Makutu's Island and had so much fun.  I am kicking myself for forgetting to go on my favorite slide.  It's really steep and I always fly really far when I come out.  It's kind of embarrassing actually but so worth the fun.

We took Ivy and her friend Cassidy to Build-a-Bear.  We love that place and visit there quite often.  In fact, back at Christmas time they had a special where they double the gift card value that you buy. We paid $20 but got $40 worth and saved it for Ivy's birthday which was going to be seven months later.  So when I went the other day I used those, plus a $10 off coupon.  The register rang everything out to $50.26.  After I handed her gift cards and coupons I only had to pay .26 out of my own pocket.  Patience paid off.  :)  I hope they do that promotion again with the gift cards because it's perfect to hold onto for birthdays.

The boys have finally outgrown Build-a-bear and so I mostly just have the girls that care.  I turned to Charles the other day and said, "I think having girls is gonna cost you."  He smile and said "It's okay.  They are worth it."

By the way, funny story.  I just got a FedEx package dropped of which was the router I ordered from Amazon.  However, the receipt that came with it says "Thank you for ordering 40 ovulation tests."  Hmmm... I don't need help getting pregnant but thank you anyway.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday to My Ivy Girl

I know today you'll be busy, Ivy, and I know I might not get the chance to say this to you...today.  I want you to know how special you are to me.  You came in my tummy after three boys and we couldn't wait to see what it'd be like to have pink in our house.  Having a daughter was a dream in my head that finally became real and I didn't believe it till the doctor announced out loud that you were indeed a girl.

Friend Kerrianee and Ivy
I love how you were excited that we deemed Juliet to be your "buddy".  Someone that you would watch out for, help pick out outfits for, tie her shoes when she some day needs help, etc.  You get upset with me if I don't let you change every single diaper.  It's been two months and you still aren't sick of it.  I'm amazed.  You are gonna make a great mommy someday.

Ivy dressing Juliet
I love that I was able to give you little sister Ashley who is only two years younger so you have someone to play with and be close to.  I'm so grateful that you have a cuddle friend every single night that you can tell your secrets to.  I love how you say "Kerrianne is my best friend but Ashley is my best, best friend."  Mommy's lecturing about treating your siblings even better than your friends must finally be getting through.

Ashley and Ivy
I love how you are such a tomboy but you always dress up for mommy when I say so.  I love how you sigh when you have to dress up for church and admit you want to be respectful.  I love that you secretly enjoy swishing in the dress you didn't want to have to wear.  

Ivy and Ashley
I love that you are outgoing and are understanding how important it is to open your arms to potential friends rather than only have one.  I love that any little girl in the room is someone that just might need a friend to play with.  

Ashley, friend Cassidy, Ivy

I love you, Ivy.  You are a pretty amazing 7 year old.  Happy birthday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Learning From Bad Mistakes

Click on picture
to order

It's been soooo wonderful with my husband finding a job back in his career field.  I knew he was a hard worker before and he missed working in his field he went to college for.  Seeing him at it again reminds me what an incredibly smart guy I married.  Still, he showed his love to us but working at whatever job he could find while the economy was struggling for the last three years.  Of course before I took the money for granted and threw it around like nothing bad could ever happen.  When his company went under and we saw no one else hiring, that sinking feeling came. It's tempting to live stupid like we did before but, yikes, the last three years were like swimming against the current.  It was hard.  This time I wanted to do it right so I got the book by Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover.  Just reading it makes me so wish I knew this stuff a decade ago.  How could I have been so foolish?  I can't change my past but this time I'm not making the same mistake and will plan the best I can for the future.  I know my future is in God's hands but I can do my best to be a good steward of what He gives us in the meantime.  I will slowly go put away my list of wants.... :D He says in his book, "If you live like no one else, later you'll live like no one else."  Well said!

Ashley napping with Max
Right now I'm having some doggy troubles, as usual, and don't know what to do.  I've lost 3 chickens to my little black dog Max.  I now have one chicken left.  We are so sad! Those chickens were our egg layers.  No only was Max carrying off their eggs but he was also completely beheading the chickens.  I know, to much info.  Max is sooooo cute and I think we should just build a whole separate chicken area that Max can't get too but Charles likes that our chickens can walk around.  He's basically saying it's either the chickens or Max.  Argh...  I want both so I'm trying to convince him it's finally the time to build that chicken house we bought plans for.

I've been going through some serious mind battles about my faith. Actually, I've been going through it for at least six months.  Sitting in church was worse because I would have to hold back my tears through the songs because I would remember when I used to sing for Him.  Then my heart would harden when hearing the sermon.  It got harder and harder to look past people issues and just let things just bounce off me.  I would look around and see the faults of people rather than see that they need God just as much as I did and that's why we are all there.  I met with my pastor and he prayed for me.  That was three days ago.  Just last night during service it dawned on me that the dark cloud that had been over me had lifted.  Then a scripture came into my thoughts,

He who has been forgiven much love much, but he has been forgiven little loves little.  Luke 7:36

I had a hard time with forgiveness because I doubted that God had truly forgiven me.  I tend to lean towards the idea that God is up there just waiting and waiting for me to make a mistake so He can just be done with me forever.  I don't know why I think in such legalistic ways but I do.  I'm not taught that, (more in the past) it's just that my mind goes into this autopilot.  I almost always have to take the wheel and remind myself that God loves me and He has forgiven me like He promised.  People use the excuse to not find a church because "everyone there are just hypocrites."  Well, don't we go because we desperately need God?  Because we need to hear from Him?  Most of us don't come because we have it all together and we need some ear tickling.  We are leaky vessels.  I certainly am so I need a place to worship and hear from God.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Daily Happenings with the Crazies

So I had ran out of coffee and just haven't been able to get over to Sam's club to get my big box of Keurig cups.  It's a waaaay better deal to buy them there.  However, I'm still trying to get used to my husband not being home during the day.  We would always run errands together.  Lately I have been just waiting till he gets home because he usually loves to go but he's been too tired.  After much desperation and drinking the only coffee in the house, which is decaf, I finally just took the kids and went.  Ohhhh.... thank you God for creating these beans in order for me to have a delicious cup of coffee every day.

We started giving chore money to the kids again and they are super excited.  We reevaluated how much they should be getting by how many chores they have and how hard they are.  Sigh.  I can't get away with just a little bit anymore.  Heh heh.

Sooo, in a week we are starting the "every two weeks there is another birthday."  Ivy's starts it off (till of course Juliet next year) and so we are gonna be super busy have way too much fun.  It's funny because my son Ryan was just telling me he wanted to go to a trampoline place for his birthday.  The very next day I saw it on Groupon and was able to purchase tickets for half the price.  Wheee!  I love saving money. 

Lately I decided to put a cap on how many kids we have coming through our house.  I love kids over but I'm starting to get behind on my work and it's about time to declutter again. Didn't I just do that?  Sigh.