Sunday, May 31, 2009

Show us where you live

This week's edition of "Show us where you live" features the kids rooms. Which in my case, is half the house. If I was nice, I would take the time to photograph each kid's room. But I'm not. So, I didn't. Sorry.

Moving on.

Lillian's room is my favorite, not because it's pink I don't really like pink, but it's not all about me, unfortunately but because I just big pink red puffy heart her round crib.

Lillian's round, cherrywood crib with pink and gold bedding. She used to have a really pretty bumper pad and a beautiful matching mobile until I'd had enough of her using the bumper as a stepping stool so she could rip the mobile down.

All of the beautiful bows that I made her that she won't keep on her head.

My uncle made the beautiful cheery wood furniture for this room. The bookshelf I use for shoe overflow, babylegs overflow and the boxes I purchased at Michaels Crafts contain babylegs, tights, and hats.

Thanks for stopping by Lillian's crib!

Happy Birthday Matthew!

Due to Corey being called out of town last minute and apparently I'm still bitter about that on Matthew's birthday, we celebrated his birthday in stages.

On his actual birthday, I took just him which was a treat in itself to Toys R Us to do a little bit of shopping. I don't think that I've ever seen him so excited. It felt like he looked at every toy in the store before deciding on the Diego Wii game. As we left the store he told me "Mom, you are a genie-us", which translated means "Mom, you are a genius." only 5 and already so smart.

I had a couple more errands to run and then we got him an ice cream cone. As I tucked him into bed he told me that it had been the best day of his life. I'm glad that we don't spoil them because then when they get a treat, they really appreciate it.

The next day he got to choose what to eat for dinner. And he choose...Waffles! Yummy, homemade cornmeal waffles with real maple syrup. Yum, Yum in the Tum Tum and then out the Bum Bum.

Then on Sunday, after dinner we had cake and ice cream. A super duper chocolate cake with from scratch cream cheese frosting and covered in worms. Cookies and Cream ice cream rounded out the bellies dessert.

I just love that kid!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

A friend gave me a really cute book of shoes oh, and I guess there was a calender in there too, not as important, obviously as the pictures of shoes and there are some really great quotes in it. This one is my fav-

"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes." -Frieda Norris

And on a happy, happy note...Corey is on his way home!!!

P.S. The above shoes are not from my collection. Although, I wouldn't mind owning the ones at the top right. But, the ones at the bottom left are just...well...that's just wrong.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Breaking point

Corey has been gone alot.

He was supposed to be ours again.

But they needed him.

So, he's gone...again.

It's hard.

I don't know how much longer I can do this by myself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Not Enough Junk in the Trunk

When standing behind Hannah, this is a typical view.

She just doesn't have much of a bum. She is such a petite little thing and at 3 1/2 years old, the above shot is of her wearing
24 month pants.

Recently, I overheard the twins calling her BC girl. I thought to myself, "How cute! They have come up with a cute little nickname for Hannah!"

All day long, I imagined what it meant. Beautifully childlike? Beautiful Cherub? Or were they just referring to the trendy shoe line BCBG and in doing so, saying that Hannah looks cute and trendy? I was impatient for them to get home from school so I could ask. I was just certain that it was something cute and meaningful.

Do you know what it means?

Butt Crack Girl


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another weekend bites the dust

Ahhh...long weekend...nice. Me likey! all weekend....not so nice. Me no likey.

My dear, hard-working man had pimped contracted himself out for a job resigning all the banks that Chase had recently acquired. It's a good job, great pay and he is able to work his real estate stuff around it. Plus, it was only for 6 weeks. 6 weeks of him not being home much at all, leaving me to "man the ship" by myself. We had talked about it while doing five other things at the same time, listening to the kids argue, ignoring the ringing phones, while I stared longingly at my shoe collection sat down and talked about it and decided that he should take the job. After all, I can handle it, right? quit laughing

We are down to the final stretch. Actually, Corey was done with his assigned banks last week, on Wednesday. He was supposed to find someone to work with him and he tried, he really did. He had a friend with him for a few days one week and a different friend this last Saturday. But, other than that, he has been working alone. There are three other crews also working the same job and have been assigned other banks here in the same state. Crews, as in more than one person. Corey, working mostly by himself, has done half the banks. He is a machine. He just has amazing work ethic and just goes and goes and goes. like the Energizer Bunny on speed The owners of the company that he is working for are in awe. So, when he finished his jobs, they begged asked him if they could assign him more banks because the other crews are behind.

He told them he would be willing to do three more. They pleaded their case asked him to do five. The Chase executives are coming in today and all the banks are supposed to be done. They settled on eight. They faxed over the list. Maybe they thought Corey's math was fuzzy or that he wouldn't notice, but there were 12 banks on the list. Whew...

So...although, I thought I was going to have my partner in crime back in action here at the home front, I did not. He worked all weekend long. Leaving me flying solo...again. Not fun. There is nothing more depressing than knowing that you have just enough stamina to reach the finish line and then you look up and find out that the finish line has been moved.

By Monday, I was already long past crazy going crazy. It was supposed to be a holiday. As, in take a break. My holiday. Ok, not really mine, as I have never served my country, just my family, day in and day out. But I was counting on getting a break.

So, I concocted a plan. In hindsight, not a good plan, but a plan, never the less. I loaded up all nine of the kids in the great white beast, flipped down the TV's and off we headed to the outlet mall. In order to ignore the kids more effectively I brought along my Ipody-poo, which I affectionately call my little rectangular box of songy goodness. And yes, someone must have smacked me really hard me with the stupid stick.

We, along with everyone else in the universe area, was at the mall. Not good when you are trying to navigate a triple stroller amongst a sea of humanity while trying to do a constant head count. Constant head count=not loosing anyone...again Looking at anything was totally out of the question, let alone buying anything. Corey will be glad to hear that

Luckily, my knight in shining armor rescued me. He wrapped it up for the day, came and rescued the kids from seeing their mom go postal got the kids and took them home, leaving me to shop...alone. Shopping alone=Total bliss.

Don't worry, I played nice. I didn't even buy any shoes...for me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Not Me Monday

Unbelievably it is Monday again and time for another round of "Not Me! Monday"

It was not me that got irritated by her son's teasing regarding her short stature. I wouldn't let stuff like that get to me. Ya know, sticks and stones and all that crap.

So it was not me that quickly shot her short self upstairs to the shoe closet and selected the most hooker-like tallest pair of heels in there.

It was defiantly not my broken toe that screamed, in agony, at the mere sight of the 3"+ brown and white zebra print, Oh Deer heels that had been selected. I would most certainly not traumatize my broken toe just to prove a point.

I did not march my now less vertically challenged self down to my son's school for the track banquet all the while ignoring the white flag that my toe was frantically waving.

I also did not actually feel like hot mama instead of soccer mama until discovering that my hair was pulled back with my daughter's hot pink, flannel, Bobby Jack monkey hair tie, ruining my "oh, I'm so working this look" moment.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Surplus Sale and why I am married to a crazy person

It is not a big secret around them here parts that my dear husband, Corey, is a big fan of the local college sports team. He has been, his entire life, and if he is nothing if not loyal. In his closet, he separates his clothes into the yellow and green section and the regular section. And, no, I am not making this stuff up as I go.

Now the kids demand request that I too, hang up their shirts up in the laundry room with the yellow and green clothes at the front of each section. What can I say? I aim to please.

Each year the local college puts on a sale of all the leftover/overstock items. This, my friends, is a really big Corey. Granted, you can score hee..hee.. some really great clothes, a lot of it Nike branded or authentic athletic wear, at killer prices.

The sale starts at 8am and they let 50 or so people in at a time and Corey dreams wants to be in that first herd group. So, every year he gets up well before the start of the sale, on a Saturday morning no less, and waits in line.

Last year, he got a little competitive and it started to show. 5am was when the alarm went off. Not all the kids were willing to forsake their warm beds to tag along. I was with that group, Hellllloooo, warm bed vs. standing in line for several hours in the cold. that really a dilemma? I think not.

Anywhoo, I had to repress rolling around laughing on the floor chuckling when they called me, while waiting in line, because they were getting snowed on. I still can't help but chuckle a little, a year later, when thinking about it. But, never the less, they still came home, euphoric, about their loot.

It couldn't get any worse, right?


This year, the alarm went off at 2am. No, that's not a typo. 2 AM. I'm sorry but that is the middle of the freakin night. What does the A.M. stand for anyway? After midnight? Because there are a lot of times that are A.M. that are respectable. 2 not being one of them. I think that it should be called 2 MON for Middle of the Night because that is what it is! But if you are young and don't have kids it could be 2 JGPS for Just Getting the Party Started. But if you are like me, old and lots of kids, it should be referred to as
2 DBMIYKWGFY as in Don't Bug Me If You Know What's Good For You. Kinda catchy, huh?

Anywhoo, I digress.

So, they got up at 2 MON (are you following along here?), they didn't wake me up as they do know better collected their sleeping bags, camp chairs and warm clothes and went and sat stood in line until the sale opened, along with A LOT of other crazy people.

Was it worth it?

According to them, as they hauled in armload after armload of yellow and green merchandise, the answer was defiantly YES!

Next year? The plan now involves a tent and sleeping overnight.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Show Us Where You Live aka Just Keeping It Real

This week's edition of Show Us Where You Live focuses on the dining room. I'm sure that lots of people will be putting up pictures of their beautiful, put together dining room.

Not me.

Remember way back when we started our home remodel? I can't as I have locked those unpleasant memories far, far away

We, as in ALL of us, lived in 1000 square feet for nine very long months of total H E double hockey sticks. I am proud to say that when the dust cleared, we were all still alive.

The builders kept warning us, over and over, that adding on to the house to the degree that we were doing would cause most ordinary couples to divorce. I'm pretty sure that we did okay. We welcomed our daughter, Lillian nine months later. ahem...

However, since we are still suffering from PTSD so busy, we have yet to remodel the rest of the house.

Therefore, my dining room is still in it's before state. We will be removing the old hutch, all the sheet rock and the popcorn ceiling. We already have the travertine flooring purchased and the windows are installed. So, getting there... very, very slow

In the meantime, please enjoy the original aqua walls (over plaster and lathe), linoleum flooring (that I have painted over), and sheer curtains that are stapled to the wall. I've moved the table over to the side just in case you would like to run through the room with your toy car. I'm nice like that.

Just keeping it real and not afraid of it.

P.S. Yes...the highchairs are for real.

No...they aren't all for my kids.

Yes...I do daycare. Even the very part-timers have their own chair.

No...I don't need all of them at the present time.

Yes...I am an anal germaphobe and the problem is?.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A week later

and his eyes still look bad. He threw up so hard and so many times that he popped blood vessels all over his face and in his eyes.

He's now convinced that someone went all Tonya Harding on him and poisoned his food so he couldn't compete at districts.

Ummmm...Ok, Joe. I'm sure that is not exactly what happened.

We attended the end of season ice cream sandwich dessert potluck for track tonight. He only lost MVP by five points, which meant if he had not been sick during districts, he probably would have won.

He took it gracefully, I'm proud to say. Of course, I'm taking all the credit, must have been my little pep talk that did the trick. He even received the award for Best Distance Runner, not too shabby, if I do say so myself which I am.

The MVP winner? After receiving his award, he loudly announced,

"What can I say? I'm just a great athlete!"

Thankfully, I'm mature enough not to have said "And you have a big head too." Although I wanted to


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Would you think less of me...

...if I told you that seeing this newly released poster from the upcoming movie New Moon made me scream like a schoolgirl happy?

The frog may have to die

Don't misunderstand me here, I love for the kids to sit down and watch a nice educational DVD or five so I can have a break. It's just when they want to watch the same DVD over and over and over and... you see my point?

We've had this DVD for years. Have you actually ever watched it? Tad, the annoying, whining toddler frog goes about learning his ABC sounds to a catchy little tune.

I'm sorry, but when you have this song stuck in your head every last ever loving day it makes you want to do strange stranger than normal things.

I'm guessing that the moms that can stand sitting through this DVD multiple times are:

a. Medicated

b. Own ear plugs

c. Comatose

d. All the above

I don't know about you, but I'm going with d. All the above

Levi just turned three but he's been showing signs which I have been ignoring of reading readiness for some time now. He's incredibly smart so much that he makes my birth kids look kinda dumb and loves, loves, loves his ABC's. He also loves Tad and he's obsessed with this video.

So when the first words out of his mouth this morning were "Mommy, I want to watch the ABC's", I had visions of strangling a small, annoying, perky frog. Not that I actually would in front of the kids and it could just be that I'm feeling rather cranky due to the fact that I quit drinking Diet Pepsi for an entire day. So no need to call DFS (Department of Frog Services)
I know, dumb, but that's just how my strange little mind works

I might just "lose" the DVD for awhile instead...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me Monday

Ok, here we go. Another round of "Not me!" Monday. Hopefully next week I won't have anything to "not confess".

I was not the one that snuck up behind one of my daycare kids, grab him and scream "BOO!" It was not me that laughed hysterically when he jumped out of his pants, threw both arms in the air which made his matchbox cars fly across the room.

I certainly wouldn't have reduced myself to fits of giggles all week day long when thinking back and remembering how bad I scared him. I also wouldn't be proud of the fact that he will probably need counseling after being in my care.

Since we do not ever except in times of desperation eat in the van than I wouldn't have been the one to feed my kids animal crackers while driving home from soccer practice. Did you see the mom throwing handfuls of animal crackers, over her shoulder, in the general direction of her kids, while driving? Well, that wasn't me.

When one of my teenage sons Joseph rudely suggested to his brother that he had ADHD I did not spout off and tell the offender Joseph that he had ABH. I do not like to label my kids within earshot of anyone else.

When my son Joseph did not know what ABH meant, I did not gleefully inform him that it meant Arrogant Big Headedness. I am most certainly not smart mouth and mean like that. comparison to "Not Me", my week was very uneventful!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our weekend

The weekend is over??? Didn't it just start don't tell me that tomorrow is Monday again already!

Actually our weekend was quite lazy and relaxing without any sporting events to rush off to. We all enjoyed the change.

Friday night Corey and I went out grocery shopping on a hot date, the first in forever I don't know how long. I guess you know that you are old married farts when your idea of a good time is picking up bananas at Super Wally World.

Joseph was supposed to have a swim meet on Saturday but since he hasn't swam all week due to the throw-up-athon we had him sit this one out. The whites of his eyes are still bloody and freaky looking. too bad that it's not Halloween cuz he would have fit right in but don't tell him that I was making fun of him because that would be mean and I'm a really nice mommy. No laughing.

Saturday was uneventful with the kids being yelled at by mom to get their chores done or else! peacefully going about doing their Saturday chores without having to be asked. The weather was stellar and so the kids spent a lot of time outside. where I couldn't see or smell them I did have some unexpected company, the couple that I am doing a wedding cake for showed up on the wrong day, but I was just arranging my shoes mopping when they arrived, so I was able to sit down with them and go over the cake nitty gritty.

Later, I visited with a lady who came over to check out the nuthouse talk to me about doing daycare for her kids this summer. She kept saying, over and over, "I just don't know how you do it! I'd go crazy!" I decided that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to point out that I am indeed crazy as I doubt "Crazy" is one of the characteristics that she is looking for in a daycare provider.

Saturday night, Timothy and I went out for "Mommy/Timmy time". We Timothy drooled over the Lego sets while mom stood and watched went shopping for legos, went out for Chinese food and got to watch all Prom dates displaying terrible manners, which was cheap entertainment and then Timothy got a blizzard. while mom, sadly, refrained It was fun and nice to spend some time with just Slim Tim.

Sunday, I once again skipped church offered to stay home with Lily and spent the time napping getting a lot of cleaning done.

After church, Corey graciously offered cuz he knew I was about to go postal to take the kids out to my parents house so I could have a break. Talk about quiet...and peaceful...and quiet...and relaxing...did I mention that it was quiet?

I sorted through stuff, more stuff, and more stuff. Whew...

My parents called tonight, exhausted from entertaining the kids
I couldn't help but laugh, out loud and with gusto. My mom said that they can't figure out how I do it. Ah, if I had a dollar for every time I was told that...I'd own a lot more shoes...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why I love the UPS man

This my friends, is art. I call this masterpiece-

Box of Boots

And no, sorry, it is not for sale.

They aren't for sale but they were on sale and then there was free shipping if I spent $___ use your imagination here, can't put that in writing in case the husband sees

For some insane reason they had to send each pair in a separate box, which happened to arrive on separate days. The UPS man must know wonder if I have issues. After the first day when I was deliriously happy to see him when I greeted him with style, he wouldn't knock when leaving a box. Don't judge me. It's not like you've walked in my shoes Oh, come on, you know that was totally funny

Recently one of my former friends mentioned that I might have a shoe buying problem.


Some words should not be used in the same sentence.



In-laws...visit kidding...geez...

Shoe buying...problem

Lots of shoes...materialistic


Are you following along?

Then it was mentioned that I should sign up for a 12 step program.

If that means that I get to take 12 steps in a really cute pair of shoes then sign me up!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Show us where you live

I've been drooling looking over all the kitchens and living rooms from the last couple of weeks over at Kelly's Korner and was really jealous impressed! This week, since the room of choice is the guest bedroom and ours are presentable I thought it would be fun to participate. Plus Corey is out of town and I'm going stir crazy
We actually have two spare bedrooms.

Corey comes from a really large family, (bigger than ours even!) so it is nice to have a couple of rooms already set up for the guests. On the other side of the bed is a window seat, where the kids like to sit and hide from mom when she is mad play games. They also like to lounge on the bed which is why the comforter is always wrinkled.

The walk-in closet for this room is used for all the kids extra clothes and their memory boxes. There is also a crib on the other side of the room.

This is the second spare bedroom. It's set up with a kid-friendly feel as most of Corey's siblings have kids. The last time his family all came to visit we housed 30 people, besides our 11. Talk about a houseful!

Another spare crib for another spare kid.

I love the bedding in this room, from the good ol' Tar-J. Other favorites are the red curtains and nappy brown rug!

Thanks for stopping by!

Do we have a lot of rude kids in society?

And by rude, I don't just mean "Mommy, why is that woman so fat?" or "Look mom, that man has yucky teeth" ahem... I mean disrespect, uncaring of those around and their comfort or happiness.

Is it because we have lots of spoiled children in our society who are focused on material things? Or is it because, in our society, we have parents who are entirely focused on their kids feelings and self-esteem?

Is it because, often discipline is done lightly or not at all? I have had to bite my tongue witnessing very negative behaviors in children while the parents stood nearby and did nothing. I once pointed out a very negative behavior by a friends child and "the messenger was shot", so now I say nothing. But I certainly can choose not to invite those kids back to my house and so that is what I do.

Now, I know my kids are not perfect. I get that, I really do. But I want them to be good adults, compassionate and caring for others, not just themselves. I defiantly think kids today are indulged to excess. I'm guilty of this as well. We have been trying to find ways to simplify and to teach the kids that having "things" is not the most important thing in life. with shoes being the exception I want them to enjoy spending time with others, serving others and just "being" instead of "having". I wish it were an easy thing to teach.

We finally had to ask ourselves if the kids really needed 12+ presents apiece for Christmas. If they needed huge birthdays with loads of gifts. The answer was no. It's hard because I enjoy giving them things. I want them to have things. I came to realize that I was part of the problem. So, we scaled back. Way, way back. We told the kids what we were doing and why. We explained to them that we didn't really need all the stuff that we were buying. They totally understood or at least did'nt give us any crap about it which made me happy.

This past Christmas we asked relatives not to buy gifts for us. We asked the grandparents to keep it small. The kids got way less from us. It was still an amazing Christmas. It shouldn't have been about the presents anyway.

Birthdays were changed. The birthday child gets to choose what they would like served for dinner. They get to pick dessert and eat off of the special red plate. We give them one present. When they turn eight they get to start having "friend" parties. Basically, they get to invite a friend or two and go do something special, like a movie, mini golfing, bowling, etc. We request that the friends do not bring presents. This has been something that the kids look forward to all year.

Those are just a couple of the things that we have done in our attempt to raise less spoiled children. We are not perfect but we are trying to be better.

Anyway, I read this article today, on spoiled kids and it just got me thinking. which is never a good thing

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The best news ever!

See our little pie snatcher here?

He will officially be ours soon!!!

We just received a call from his case worker informing us that the TPR (termination of parental rights) decision was affirmed! Which means that the appeal was denied!!!!

I can't tell you how elated I am!

Now it is just a matter of paperwork between our lawyer and DHS headquarters.

I am so relieved!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Ok, so I don't want to drop kick a certain Joseph teenager Joseph anymore. No names, Joseph of course.

Come to find out, Joseph my teenage son in question, was only stressed out because I asked him to do extra chores before his homework was done. on a Friday night, seriously? Because, apparently, having over 100% in all his classes is still not enough. Can we say overachiever?

So, I am happy to announce that the weather is nice and sunny in teenageville. at the moment, expect sudden showers at any time

Joseph was all excited for his district track meet today. He was having a really good season except for not winning MVP but please don't bring that up in front of him and today was to be the pinnacle of his middle school track career.

So how did he do? Drum roll please...

He didn't get to go.

He was up all night last night. I'll spare you the details but he had broken blood vessels on his face from retching so hard.

He is sad. And that makes me sad too...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Me Monday

I just big puffy heart this blog ! Stellan's story of dealing with a heart condition and the world's reaction has been touching and awe inspiring.

McMama does a Not Me Monday post and although I'd laughed at read the posts, I've never participated...but that's about to change. It's about lying admitting that you did something without really accepting responsibility.

I certainly did not attempt to fix the plumbing under the kitchen sink while Corey was gone. I wouldn't do something like that because I am not a plumber. Therefore, I would not have snapped the pipe clean off from wall. Nope, not me!

It was definitely not me that said a naughty word in front of the kids when the pipe came off. I do not do stuff like that. I most certainly did not attempt to convince them that I was only referring to the kind of damn that a beaver builds because I was wishing that one had been built where the water was gushing out of the pipe. Nope, not me!

I did not attempt unsuccessfully the Jedi Mind Trick on the kids to make them forget that a naughty word had been spoken.

It was not me that laughed when Timothy was upset about the joke his brothers played on him. In the event that someone would want to take the grand tour of our house during the party on Sunday, Tim's brothers put "baby books" on his desk and on his bed so people would think that is the kind of books that he read. Laughing would be mean and I would never do that. Not me!

I am defiantly not the kind of person that would greet the UPS man with too much enthusiasm when he delivered my shoes package. So much so that the next day when he delivered another package not a word, not. one. word. he wouldn't even come on the porch. He just looked both ways, slid the box onto the porch and then left without knocking. I would not think about kissing the UPS man for merely bringing me shoes.

I would not run outside, grab the package off the porch and loudly proclaim "Oh baby! Come to mama!" I am certainly more refined than that. I wouldn't open the box, kiss the shoes and say "Oh! Me likey!" either.

No, not me!

Mothers Day 2009

Family and Good Friends
Handsome Grillmaster
Yummy Dessert
Awesome Grandparents
Could it have been any better? Nope.

Every year we get together with Levi's birth family to celebrate his birthday. His birth family is huge so we have quite a nice sized event. But, because we traditionally keep the kids birthday celebrations small and we didn't want them to start whining about things being unfair we decided to just have a get together in the spring without the birthday part. that way we would have an excuse to invite all our friends too

We invited family, Levi's birth family and friends that we spend time with, either as a family or as a couple. There were many more people that we wanted to invite but we had to draw the line somewhere, I had to make sure that everyone would fit into my house if it ended up raining

Mother's Day weather was fantastic. and it's a good thing or I would have cried and that is not pretty The kids aka slave labor had set up tables and chairs outside and we had asked everyone to bring a side dish. Hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken, tons of different salads, fruit, chips/dip and veggies made up the menu. Everyone ate their fill and we had a ton leftover ha! now I won't have to cook all week...sweet!

Saturday night I stayed up all night and baked 20 pies, one delicious peanut butter cheesecake and six strawberry shortcakes. I love baking pies! There is just something about making a really nice pie, it's kinda like therapy. so, if I bake pies for therapy and I feel the need to bake 20 what does that say about me? ahem There were so many desserts that I demanded begged people to take some home!

One of Levi's uncles did a headcount, although he did say it was a trifle hard counting moving targets, and came up with 59 people! I think that about half of the group were kids (all very well behaved) under the age of 18.

Looking around at all our family and friends I just felt so amazed that all these people admitted to knowing us blessed. I can honestly say that it was the best Mother's Day that I've ever had.

Happy Birthday Corey!

-Hardworking (even on his birthday!)

-Awesome Daddy

-Motivated, Driven and Dedicated




-Incredibly Unselfish

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Awwww....teenagers. What fun NOT!

I have a son whose mood swings and sharp tongue are driving me nuts. I've heard that "teenage girl" is even worse, please tell me that this is not so. or I may run away to Mexico or somewhere where they don't have swine flu

I'm debating not taking him to swim all week. Why should I continually pay for and support him in following his dreams when he is being such a pain in the butt, to both me and his siblings?

Please tell me that this is just a very short phase!

I called up my mom to whine and complain cry on her shoulder. I told her that I didn't know what to do to break him out of his funk and that I just didn't have any experience with crappy teenagers. After all, when I was a teen, I was a model citizen and didn't give my parents any trouble at all.

She started laughing...hysterically...

Mom: "Who then, told us that she was spending the night at a friend's house and then drove all night to California to see a boy?"

Me: "Um..."

Mom: "Who then, forged my name on a permission note to get out of school to go watch a state play-off baseball game? On the other side of the state?"

Me: "Um..."

Mom: "Who was it that at the age of 14 ***sorry, had to go back and edit this part out, figured that this was more than you would want to know about me. ahem... So, if you happened to read it before I edited it...sssshhhh......***

Me: "Um..." are you noticing a pattern here?

Mom: "Who got kicked off her 8th grade volleyball team for getting caught behind the school kissing a boy when she was supposed be in practice?"

Mom: "Should I go on?"

Me: "Oh gosh, look at the time...gotta ya mom!"

So, looking back on the things that mom remembers about my teenage years and all the other things that she never found out about I think that maybe I shouldn't be too concerned about a lil' ol' smart mouth after all Corey has a smart mouth too and some back talk.

I can't even think about them pulling some of the stuff that I did. It makes the veins bulge out on my forehead me want to lock them in their rooms. although maybe I will anyway...

Please pray that I survive this!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sometimes it pays to have big brothers

Josh is in a hard spot in the family please don't tell him that cuz he hasn't realized it yet. When we had Josh the twins had just turned 3 and Tim was 2. So, for those of you that can't do the math we had four boys, ages 3 and under.

Crazy times, crazy times...

Anywhoo, sometimes I feel bad for Josh because he is one of the "big boys" but he is the youngest one of the four. He wants to keep up, but it's hard.

Our three schools here are separated like this-Elementary K-4, Middle School 5-8 and High School 9-12. don't worry, I'm getting to the point

Because the four older boys are so close in age, they are all in middle school this year. It's actually quite convenient for me except on parent night...geez...4 schedules vs 2 parents, like that worked out well...not I load up all the kids in the great white beast van and make one stop. The van doors open, my van resembles a clown car for a couple of minutes and then I can go back home. Nice.

Josh is the little 5th grader this year and he had an "incident" at school the other day.

He was in the bathroom in one of the stalls. like we have to go into detail here? Obviously we know what he was doing He care of business and a couple of older boys come in and start opening and slamming shut the stall door where Josh was. He's begging demanding that they stop but they keep on harassing him. One of the boys got a look at his face (must say, all my kids look alike, we defiantly have the "cookie cutter" thing going on here) and then the torture opening and shutting of the door ceased.

SBK: stands for "stupid big kid" geez, keep up here, will ya "What's your name?"

Josh: "Joshua W*****"

SBK: *silence*

SBK: "Do you have a big brother named Joseph?"

Josh: "Yes"

Without another word the big kids leave...

See Josh? Sometimes it's all in who ya know! or in this case, who you are related to

Thank goodness for big brothers!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One of my kids is going to drive me crazy and don't tell me that it's a short trip, I already know

My twins are extremely competitive. they must get that from their dad

Joseph (name has not been changed to protect the innocent) is an amazing athlete. He swims in the morning before school and on Saturdays for 3 hours. He's pretty good. He's not the best, but he can hold his own. The kids on the high school swim team have already heard of him (or so I was told). Then, after school, he has track practice. On top of that, he gets straight A's.

A couple of years ago, as a 6th grader, he found out that the top scoring boy (and girl) on the track team is "crowned" MVP. He has wanted this so bad that he can taste it.

He runs the 1500 and the 3000 although I can't figure out why anyone would want to do that, the only time that I'll think about running is if I think someone is about to beat me to a really cute pair of shoes He also does the long jump. He only got beat in each of his running events one time all season. His long jump was back and forth but he usually placed in the top 4, so not too shabby. You would think that he would be happy with these amazing results, RIGHT???

But, someone beat him for MVP.

I wish I could tell you that he's taking it gracefully. I wish I could boast say that he's handling it with class. I wish I could tell you that he's the bigger man. But, sadly, I can't.

Yesterday, as we left the track meet, the boy man that kid is big, feels weird calling him a boy, he looks like he should be in college said to Joseph, "Ha! Ha! I beat you!" and the mama bear in me calmly proceeded to kick his butt. ok, not really, but I thought about it, would have been kinda funny and Joseph didn't respond. But, I could see the large black raincloud hanging over his head and I knew that he was "in a mood". Don't be alarmed, it happens often.

All night long, and before school this morning, I had to hear about why Bernard (ok, I know that's not his real name but humor me) shouldn't have won. All the reasons were, in my opinion, irrelevant. He scored the most points, therefore, he won. Deal with it.

I tried to convince teach him that being classy is better than being the winner. I could see that he wasn't buying it. I threatened encouraged him to be the better man and go find Bernard and congratulate him. I told him as I kicked his moody rear out of the van that if anyone tried to goad him to respond with a smile.

Please pray that some of my threats teaching got through that thick skull of his. again, takes after the dad here

Otherwise, he may drive me over the edge...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Who the heck in their right mind doesn't like french fries?

Lily is closing in on 14 months. She has never, not one time, eaten a french fry. This is sad. Makes me question what kind of mother I am.

I don't buy a lot of fast food. It's expensive. Maybe not for one person but when feeding the entire tribe, well, it adds up fast. and I'd much rather spend the money on shoes
It's been easily over a year since the last time I bought fast food.

I don't need to. I plan ahead on our meals geez, there's the OCD thing again and I'm a decent cook ok, being totally modest here, can I make a mean casserole, or what?!

It's not healthy. Course neither are my 3 inch silver spiky heeled pointy toed aqua snake skin piece of heaven shoes but that didn't stop me from buying them

So, after I dropped the boys off to soccer, I had an hour to waste, so I decided that I would treat Lily to dinner out. I realized that my two choices were Dairy Queen or McDonalds. But after McHurling the last time I ate at McDonalds, I wasn't McWilling to go McBack. So, that left me with the good ol DQ.

We went right over and I purchased her a kids meal (hamburger, french fries and milk) nothing for me. sniff sniff But I didn't just lose 20 pounds by eating burgers and fries thankyouverymuch although I totally wish

I hand her a couple of fries anticipating her shoveling them in with both chubby hands eating them very lady like, one at a time. She takes her first bite and I'm thinking "How fun! This is one of those "first" moments to savor." but then she spits it out and looks at it. She then hands the fries back to me and shakes her head. I try to give her back just one fry but she shakes her head again. I'm thinking


My brain is running through the possibilities. "What is wrong with her? Whose kid is this? Maybe she is really not mine. Maybe she was switched at birth. Well, she doesn't look like me at all. But, none of the kids look like me. Levi looks like me. Oh yeah, Levi's adopted. How can she not like the fries? She loves food. She can really put the food away at mealtime. After all, she has junk in the trunk. Oh, maybe she does look like me after all. This is all my fault. I should have given her fries earlier. Maybe there is a small window of fry-trying and then after that you don't want to eat them. Maybe her window is closed. How can I get my window shut?"

In the end, she just ate the hamburger. I won't be this neglectful of her life experiences again.

I really need to get her out more often. I need to make a list shut up of things to let her try.

Chocolate? check
Shoes? check
drinking? Highly frowned upon by DHS and besides, I'd beat her
Fries? sniff sniff...
Cookies? check
Cheesecake? gasp! I'd better fix that right away.

I'm off my rocker to go buy cream cheese!

Monday, May 4, 2009

There is no I in TEAM

I have people tell me all the time that "I just don't know how you do it."

The truth is that I don't. We are very much a team here and everyone is expected to pitch in and help.

I didn't want to be one of those large families where the older kids felt like they were stifled because they had a very large hand in the raising of their younger siblings. But I also wanted to teach teamwork, cooperation and what it is like to care for another human being. In short, I didn't want to raise selfish children. I also wanted them to be aware just how much work it is to have a family, any size family, and to recognize that since they cause a lot of the work that they can help with it as well.

The kids get to do A LOT of extra stuff that takes up my time. I am happy to do, I love watching them participate in their activities. But, because of that, they need to help our little world go round, or I wouldn't be able to allow them to do so much. And, they are very much aware of this. because I remind them all the time

First, I am very organized, I don't know how we would get it all done without organization. plus, I am OCD and like to make lots and lots of lists

Each week, the six older kids, are assigned a chore that they are responsible for getting done every day. Each week the assignment rotates.

Assignment #1-Laundry-taking the bathroom hamper upstairs and sorting the laundry
Gameroom-Make sure gameroom is picked up daily

Assignment #2-Dishes-Load and unload the dishwasher

Assignment #3-Clear/wipe the table and counters after meals
Clean highchairs after dinner

Assignment #4-Pick up family and living rooms at end of day

Assignment #5-Sweep all floors

Assignment #6-Empty all garbages

Daily, on my large dry erase board in the kitchen, I write everyone's daily chores along with other things that I would like or else them to do. Floss teeth, make sure their room is clean, if they have laundry to put away, vitamin, fluoride, read their scriptures 15 min even though I don't, and I also write down the number 5. This means that they are to look around and find five small things that need to be done. This is in an hopefully not wasted effort to get them to look around and recognize things that need to be done instead of having them pointed out to them. When they are all done with their list then they can play the Wii for 1/2 hour as a reward.

We do not do an allowance of any kind, we believe that they need to do chores because they are part of the family, not because they are getting paid for it. They receive money for good grades and for not having any cavities at their dentist check-ups (still not one cavity yet).

Also, each day (except for weekends) the older four are assigned a buddy. They are responsible for making sure that their buddy gets fed breakfast seriously, how hard is it to slap down a bowl of cheerios? and occasionally gets them changed out of pj's. This is a new assignment and is especially necessary on mornings that I am taxing Joseph to swim practice. When Joe is not there for his buddy, a different person steps up and takes care of them too. It is so fun to watch the little ones seek out their buddy and demand to be fed and to watch the older ones taking care of them. So many people have commented on how much the kids genuinely love each other. I don't know for sure why this is but I wonder if it because they are forced to or no TV time help take care of each other. Plus, we bribe them to act that way in public so we can bask in the glow of the compliments

Each child is responsible for taking turns emptying their hamper in their room and feeding the cat. They also put away their own clothes after I wash and fold/hang them.

On Saturdays the kids have "Saturday Chores". These rotate from week to week and basically consist of dusting/vacuuming their own room, dust/clean glass downstairs, cleaning bathrooms, sweeping out garage, cleaning appliances and vacuuming 1st and 2nd levels.

All chores are posted on a bulletin board in the walk-in pantry along with a calender noting which # week we are on.

I have my own list of daily chores as well. My main chores are laundry, meal prep, mopping, vacuuming, bathrooms, shoe shopping, washing bedding, beating kids, cleaning glass/dust, blogging, and of course, taking care of kids. The kids and I trade off on chores. For example, on weeks that I have the bathroom assignments, they are not assigned as a Saturday chore. That way, the bathrooms are getting cleaned up to my standards by me every other time.

So, you see that I really do have OCD we are all working together in keeping the ship afloat. We are not perfect and I have to threaten the kids to do their chores or else I will take away their Wii time but I feel like we have a common goal to not beat the kids and we are daily working in that direction.

There is no "I" in TEAM

Happy Birthday Joshua!

Josh and Levi's birthdays are only a day apart, so I was lazy I just made one cake. The highly ok, let's admit it, it's totally awesome requested Ice Cream Brownie Mountain was served much to the kids delight and to be honest, mine too because I don't have to frost anything
What you don't see in this picture is where Joshua had to put his hand over Levi's mouth in an attempt to restrain him from blowing out all the candles. After last year's fiasco where he spit all over the cake in an attempt to blow out all the candles, we were all leery of letting him "cut loose" on this year's cake.

Josh got Mario Kart for the Wii and hopefully this will allow our friends, that have Mario Kart, to be able to come over without the kids bugging them incessantly about their game and the kids were ALL excited.
Happy 11th Birthday Joshua!!!