Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The tooth fairy has a thankless job

Matthew, at the tender age of 5 years 2 months has lost his first tooth.

To say that he was super excited is a gross understatement.

The tooth fairy is a frugal gal but leaves the kids $1 for each tooth left under their pillow.

She would leave less money but coins=choking hazard around these here parts.

Some years past when the three older kids were losing teeth I, um, I mean, the tooth fairy was making several visits a week.

$1...and they are happy to get that.

Mostly because they are relieved to discover that the tooth fairy didn't totally space her duties. because for awhile there it was the norm for the tooth fairy to mysteriously come in the middle day after it was pointed out that she forgot to come the night before...again.

When the kids got old enough and got the whole game figured out they would just come to me with their tooth and ask for $1. Not much fun in that ,but at least that saved the tooth fairy from having to remember another stop on her nightly tour.

What totally cracks me up and leaves me shaking my head is stories of kids being left tons of $, gift baskets or $50 games. For one tooth? Seriously?

I wonder what this world would be like if we all managed to scale things back...

I'm game.

Unless that means I have to give up my shoes.

Then, never mind.

Free to good any home

Kidding people...kidding...

I'm not really giving my kids away
as far as you know...

But I am giving away a carseat (look below pix of kids riding in the prison van)

**update** carseat and brown sleigh crib have found new homes.

Do you know of anyone that needs a carseat? It was only used by Levi and for only about 8 months until he got too fat for it. It has been stored inside and is clean and ready to go.

It comes with 2 bases (that are dirty because they were stored in the barn) and a JJCole Bundle me in charcoal.

I also am getting rid of a Fisher Price highchair, a white crib and a *brown sleigh style crib. Both cribs have mattresses but the cribs need some touch up paint.

Come and get it...please...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I am bilingual

In fact, I am so fluent in my other language that English could be considered my second language.

That I even spoke more than one language was a recent revelation.

Several days ago, we were attempting to round up the herd load up all the kids into the prison van. Part of that process is the locating of the shoes. Not fun, but necessary as I don't want my kids to resemble orphans.

The shoes belonging to one of the girls could not be found and I was just sure that they had to have been relocated to the upstairs.

Unfortunately, for Timothy, he was standing nearby so I ordered asked him to go upstairs and look for them.

I told him to look for a pair of Old Navy pink thong-style flip flops with a cork wedge heel.

How hard could that be, seriously?

He came back with a pair of yellow sandals that had a flat heel.


I sent him back upstairs after repeating the description of the shoes.

Several minutes later he returned...with the correct pair of shoes.

This is what he had to say...

Timothy: "Why didn't you tell me that they were high heels?"

Me: "I said that they had a cork wedge heel."

Timothy: "I don't speak that language, Mom."

Me: **confused** "What language is that?"

Timothy: "Shoe. I don't speak shoe."

That is when I had an epiphany.

I speak shoe.

Wonder if I can list that on my resume?

Just curious...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Not Me Monday

Sigh...Monday again why does that happen every week, I ask you?

I just feel the need to point out what a perfect mother I am. I care deeply about my family's nutritional intake and ponder deeply on a daily basis what wholesome, organic, from-scratch meals I can serve them.

I don't go on shop-a-thons, spend almost $1000 dollars on groceries with a crazy plan to mass cook meals.

I don't come home, have my slave labor kids pile it ALL onto the counter and then wish I didn't have to cook

I would never feel pressured to follow through with my highly stupid intense meal preparation plan and assemble 125+ meals for the freezer.

Part of the preparation plan would definitely not include staying up two different nights all freakin night for massive, interrupted cook-a-thons. I would not be that insane or desperate to avoid cooking long term.

Because I plan ahead like a seriously deranged individual with OCD I would have realized that there was not enough freezer space in our four freezers.

I certainly wouldn't have threatened my husband and demanded that he had better not come home at all unless he had another freezer with him. I definitely wouldn't take out my lack of planning on him although it did make me feel better.


Nothing scares this superchick. It's actually a whole lot of things with bugs being up at the top of the list.

When reaching out the french doors for a plug in no stairs, by the way. Just a sharp drop to the wild outdoors I certainly wouldn't have stuck my hand in a spiderweb. Out of the corner of my eye, the sight of a leaf moving that was stuck in the web wouldn't have caused me to have a panic attack. I.fear.nothing.

You wouldn't have found me screaming, loosing my balance and doing a face plant on the dirty dirt either. I have more style that a cat and always land on my feet.

When my little piggy toe the one that goes wee-wee-wee all the way home felt like it had been self-amputated, I would have immediately checked. The first thought on my mind wouldn't have been the status of my fingernails. I am not shallow like that.

And since we are on the unfortunate topic of bugs, I would like to point out that I have no fear when opening my locked mailbox.

I don't care if little buggy-looking bugs have the misplaced assumption that underneath the handle is a prime piece of real estate. I fear them not.

So, when an alarmed bug flew out from under the handle I most certainly wouldn't have screamed. loud enough to alert the neighbors

And I most certainly would have never, ever ripped my hand back from the handle with enough force to accidentally fling my keys all the way across the road.

Thank goodness no one was looking...

Or that they took pity on "not me" and didn't laugh loud enough for me to hear.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Fabulous Shoe Friday

Because I want to publicly declare my love for my shoes show off some of my most fav and fab shoes I am dedicating Fridays and let's face it, all the rest of the week too to shoes.

These are my most fav shoes ever. I call these my birthday shoes because I bought them on my birthday. and no, they have nothing to do with my birthday suit...ahem....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why you don't leave nail polish within reach of a 3 year old boy

Sorry Levi, I just don't think purple is your color.

I'm just saying...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

3 year old boys are a different species

Why exactly is it called the "Terrible Twos" anyway?

Three year old boy is waaaaay worse.

There is nothing harder and more challenging makes you wish you drank then a three year old boy. *

I love all my kids but I especially get a kick out of my boys.

Watching them play sports, seeing their determination, their competitiveness...well, I just love it.

I was a tomboy myself except for when it came to shoes so sometimes I have a hard time relating to the "girliness" of my girls.

However, there is a little blip on the radar screen of boyhood, the year that they are three.

When the twins were both three I was totally a rookie it nearly killed me. We sought counseling for them. Seriously. Looking back on that now, I laugh at myself. They were just normal 3 year old boys. I thought they were possessed.

We have six boys. Thankfully, five have already passed through the 3 year old boy stage.

Five to go.

Levi is now three.

Prayers welcome.

*We have not experienced "teenage girl" yet which I hear is also bad.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A policeman gave the boys a ticket

A free ice cream ticket for being "caught" using their bike helmets!

They said they were scared when the cop pulled over and told them to stop. Joshua couldn't figure out what they had done wrong.

Luckily, they had done something right!

They came home, told us, and then promptly jumped back on their bikes and went down to Dairy Queen to redeem their reward.

Joshua and "Chan-man" on their bikes

Friday, July 17, 2009

Joseph's swim meet and why he apparently needs someone to hold his hand and walk him up to the starting block every time

Joseph has swam competitively for four or five years now and he just loves it. I don't honestly know how he can stand being in the water that much because I would hate it but that is what he does.

With us having a billion kids it is really hard to get him into all of his practices which makes me feel guilty but we can only do so much. He would really, really like to be at practice more often and I have assured him that we will do better once school starts.

Even without steady practices he has already qualified to go to state in his favorite event, the splash and dash 50 freestyle.

This last weekend he had a two day swim meet and he was super pumped to be swimming the 50 free. He was looking forward to, and counting on, bettering his time.

The first day he had three races. The first one was a relay. I was working concessions but ran over to the pool when it was time for him to race. The pool was one of those really long outdoor ones but I managed to find a seat down near the end on some really hard bleachers. seriously, what good is my junk in the trunk if I can't even use it for padding?

It was hard to find my son from all the way down the pool. Most of the swimmers have the same physique, wear the same kind of suits and with goggles on...well it makes it challenging to spot which one is my kid.

But I found him, standing up on the blocks waiting to start. I was mildly surprised that he was swimming the first leg of the relay but I was ready to cheer him on no matter what. He dove in, way too deep in my humble swimmers mom opinion and quickly resurfaced which was not like him and then started swimming. I realized that I hadn't seen him swimming in awhile but I was very surprised at how bad his form looked. He just didn't look right, he had to take a breath with every stroke and his arms were all bent. I sat there, stunned and beating myself up mentally for not getting him to practice more consistently.

Then he got out of the pool...and I realized that I had been cheering for someone else's son.

ahem...not one of my finer moments... at least I wasn't yelling how bad his form looked. That would have been mortifying!

I quickly scanned the other swimmers. I don't know which made me more relieved, that I hadn't actually missed him swimming or that his form wasn't really bad after all.

He swam his leg of the relay and looked really good. I was excited to watch him swim in his next event.

Unfortunately, he missed his next event because he wasn't paying attention. The rules are, you miss an event then you have to sit out the next event too.

I was surprised, because he's not an amateur at this whole swimming gig, but we laughed it off and said "Well, he'll never do that again!"


Ok, let's do a show of hands for who all can guess what happened the next day?

Ohhh...Everyone has their hand up.


Next day comes. Joseph is so excited because his 50 free is the second event of the day. His first event is the backstroke which he loathes, not his fav but he has to do the events his coach signs him up for.

Since you all seem to know what happened, I won't make you guess. since the suspense is apparently gone already.

Yes, he missed his first event.

So, he had to miss his 50 free.

Well, he won't make that mistake again?


I'm hoping that is the case.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Adoption update

Just a quick update on the adoption-

About six weeks ago we received an email from Levi's caseworker saying that it was only a matter of our people talking to their people paperwork going back and forth between our attorney and the state before finalization. She said she thought it would take a month or so.

I liked the month part. The "or so"...not so much.

Then, a couple of weeks ago our adoption worker was here and said that Levi was still not showing as legally free in the computer system yet.

She checked with the caseworker, who checked with the attorney, who checked with the ADA, who checked with the appellate court can you see why nothing gets done? and was informed that they were backed up and not to expect the court ruling to be filed for a few more weeks.


But...yesterday we received our adoption assistance paperwork in the mail indicating that Levi is now officially "Legally free for adoption"!!!

Now, finally, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

It's been a long time coming...

4th of July

I'm a wee bit behind getting pix up and behind on everything else too.

Our 4th of July was relaxing! We stayed home, BBQ'd and then let off some fireworks on our basketball court. The only "almost" problem was when Joseph mistook a bottle rocket total legal firework as a sparkler and tried to light it, while holding it in his hand. Thankfully, Corey noticed and yelled loud enough that people three counties over heard stopped him. Yikes!

A whole herd of sparklers
Michael...texting...because that never happens...

Levi with big brother, Joseph



Timothy, being funny, as usual...



Corey with our timid Hannah, who refused to touch the sparklers...

Almost the entire crew. The baby was asleep, blissfully unaware of the chaos outside...

Hope you had a Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Family Outing

Recently, I had an epiphany I know, I know...shocking.

If I wanted my kids to develop a love and appreciation of the great outdoors, I would have to make sure they experienced it more. I know...deep thinking hurts my brain.

There is a time and a place for the man made...for giving into the materialism and commercialism that makes up our society. But, I don't want that to be the norm.

Just to clarify, in a completely honest way, I love being outside. I love the great outdoors. Really. Sometimes, I kid around and complain about getting dirty and yadda yadda yadda, but I really love being out in nature. I find it quite refreshing.

It's just that taking nine kids into the great outdoors and having them get all dirty is just plain work.

But, even though there was going to be work involved, we took a day trip up to the local state park. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I really enjoyed myself. So, looks like we'll be doing it again and I plan on rewarding myself with new shoes for being such a good sport.

I sure love my family!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Scout Camp

The four oldest boys, along with Corey, recently went to Boy Scout Camp. For the twins and Timothy, this was the third summer in a row that they were able to attend. For Joshua, this was his first.

Because Joshua was a rookie, Corey spent most of his time with him. Shooting, horseshoes, games, swimming, hiking, and earning merit badges was how Joshua spent his time.

The twins are both at the Life rank and are just starting their Eagle Projects so they had more freedom at camp this year then in years past. Meaning, they only had to earn the Lifesaving merit badge to finish up all their merit badges for Eagle. All their other time at camp was left up to them, they could do whatever they wanted to do. They chose the Canoeing and Rowing merit badge classes and then played lots and lots of the board game Risk with friends because I like to pay big bucks for them to go to camp and do things that they could do at home.

Timothy wanted to get into the Climbing merit badge class so he submitted his name into the lottery system that they had in place to choose the participants. Luckily, he was chosen and he also earned his Lifesaving merit badge. He also did snorkeling in the very, very cold lake which I was okay with because as far as I know, there are no sharks in the lake.

Every year at camp, one of the activities is the mile swim. Each scout that participates needs to recruit two adults to help, one a spotter and one to row the boat alongside. Michael earned his Mile swim patch a couple of years ago and because he can't stand to be out done Joseph decided that he would brave the icy cold water and earn his.

He was told that he had one of the fastest times that the camp had ever seen. Rarely do they have someone that can swim it under 30 minutes and Joseph did it in 28. Corey said that at the end, when Joseph poured on the speed, he could hardly keep up with him in the boat. Way to go Joe!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not Me Monday!

Let me start by saying that I never struggle in my role of Mommy. I do not ever get in a funk. Funk is what hippies smell like, not a mood that I get in to. I am able to power through my bad moods, like Aunt Berta in a motorized shopping cart at the store.


It was not me who had a black rain cloud hanging over her head all week. I do not have any moods other then perfect.

It was not me that was caught listening to Christmas music in July in order to lift her spirits. Randy Travis crooning "Old Time Christmas" is not something I need in the summer in order to feel happy.


And, although I enjoy Halloween, I realize that there is a limit to the number of decorations that can be displayed tastefully in my yard. I also only think about Halloween during that time of the year and am not one of those crazy people that obsesses about it year round.


It was not me that planted her bum sat in the middle of the yard, soaking up the sunshine, notebook in hand. I would not be so very obsessed about Halloween that I would, in the middle of summer, plan out where all my decorations will be displayed. That would be immensely sad. And sad, I am not.

Only 2 1/2 more months till I can start decorating!!!


I also need to point out that I never get tired of being around my kids and their constant noise doesn't bug me. I am, obviously, supermom.


It was not me that found her nerves shot from listening to all the kids and their chit chat all day after day...week after week...month after month...


So, I certainly wouldn't have been the one to tell her teenage son to "Squeeze the chat box." I do not find joy in discovering new and delightful ways to tell my kids to be quiet.

Surefire way to cure a funk?

Buying new shoes, of course.

Which is exactly what "Not Me" did.

The end.

The Texting King

Notice the focus...the eyes staring unblinking at the screen...the phone clenched tightly...the massive texting muscles on the thumbs...

Michael, one of the twins, at the tender age of 14, decided that he was the only kid on the face of the planet without texting on his phone needed texting.

So, because I want my teenagers to like me because I was feeling nice, I added unlimited texting to our cell phone plan.

I thought that it might be a fun way for the twins to keep in touch with their friends over the summer and that it would give them something to do.

No kidding.

Do you have any idea how many messages that a teenage boy is capable of sending? I didn't. Thank goodness we got unlimited texting. In the first 10 days alone, Michael had sent/received almost 6,000 messages. Maybe I'm just naive but that surprised me.

Do you know what surprised me more?

Having my son stay up till 2 in the morning texting a girl, multiple nights in a row until I realized what was going on and then confiscated his phone nightly at 10pm.

Yep, that was surprising.

But that's not all.

The most surprising thing was having a girl show up at my house at 6am girl? here for my son? Are you serious? Wearing make-up? And short-shorts? The grey hairs just popped up all over my head. I am so not ready for all this. Someone help me. gulp. to go "walking" with my son.

Wake me up with this is over.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Wildlife Refuge

Last Friday, I took the kids to local wildlife refuge. and no, I'm not referring to my backyard.

Corey was gone working, so I stupidly bravely loaded up all nine kids in the prison van big van and off we went. This was, of course, after sitting in the garage for 20 minutes, sending various kids back inside to use the bathroom and gearing myself up to leave which included deep breathing techniques and continuous chanting of "it's for the kids" over and over.

First, because I wanted to minimize the whining because I thought the kids would enjoy picking out their own snacks (within reason, of course) we stopped by the local grocery store and all went inside.

I don't often take all the kids anywhere out in public with me so it was quite a treat actually, I was taking paranoid headcounts the entire time while totally rocking the pied piper look.

After picking out ice cream, cookies, cake and gummy bears which put me in the position of having to tell them to get real, we decided on bananas, fish crackers, trail mix and apple juice boxes.

After we all wedged into one of the checkout lanes with our goodies, I paid and then we all filed out. Me, the mother duck, with all my cute little ducklings following behind. I was hoping that we could call that our "adventure" for the day but the kids actually still wanted to go to the refuge. Ahhh...well, a girl can dream, right?

Thankfully the drive was short because I forgot my "earplugs", er, Ipod and a DVD for the TV's because my natives became restless very quickly and Lily screamed the entire time she is in her car seat. And, I promise you, there is no volume of music that will tune her out I've tried, believe me Good times...good times...

Upon arrival if I heard "Are we almost there yet" one more time, I swear that I was going to pull the van over and... we all piled out and I started assigning buddies. No child left behind is my motto too. We have first hand experience...ahem...

Joseph decided that he wanted a workout and offered to carry Lily in the Bjorn, or as he referred to her "the weight vest".

Michael, who had been texting on his phone the entire trip up, was standing next to the van attached to his cell phone. sigh...

We put a cute little bear backpack on Levi with a leash attached because we are not stupid and assigned Joshua as his buddy.

Timothy walked with Matthew and Liz was with Hannah. All nice and tidy whitey, right?

Everything was good except there was a whiner amongst us. We were going too fast...Her feet hurt...She was tired...Why can't everyone wait up for her...

It was annoying.

Don't judge me, I'm totally out of shape...If you had birthed all those kids you'd be whining too...


I discovered ok, some of it was reaffirmation some things about myself while I was out powering through enjoying the outdoors, at one with nature.

1. I don't like dirt. It's dirty.

2. I don't like bugs. And yes, I am capable of screaming loudly at the sight of a shadow of a teeny tiny bug a huge bug who is dive bombing my hair. Stupid bug.

3. I feel large amounts of anxiety when thinking about my kids getting poison oak. It's commonly referred to as kidsgettingposionoakobia. For real. It's in the medical dictionary next to uglyshoeobia. Go check it out if you don't believe me.

4. I don't like dirt. It makes my kids dirty. my list, my rules, I can use that reason twice if I want to, thankyouverymuch

5. I enjoyed spending the time with my kids so much that I am willing to overlook #1-4 except maybe #2...

What I really need to find is a place that I can take the kids for a nature hike in a bugless, dirt free environment where you can look at shoes.

Anyone know of such a place?


Oh, and by the way...just in case you were wondering, we actually didn't forget anyone...this time...

Monday, July 6, 2009

The #1 reason that I love summer

My top reason that summers totally rock-

The kids play so hard all day long that they don't even mutter a peep when going to bed.

Ahhh...I love summer!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

You know that you need to spend more time in nature with the kids when...

Your three year old points to a pine cone laying on the trail and asks, "What is that?"...

"A pine cone", I replied.

"Oh" (He looks at me sceptically), "I thought it was a piece of poopie."

Good times...