Sunday, August 30, 2009

the great adventure

what do you get when you throw together
some kids
a few old biological warfare bags
some plastic party hats
hot glue
various thrift shop goodies
dollar store gun sets
a little imagination
spray paint

a bunch of Indiana Joneses

(ok - so TJ didn't dress up....
Thanks for all your help with the girls, T!)

This year's theme was The Great Adventure.
I decided we should pull together some outfits for the kids.
The bullwhips may have been going a bit overboard.....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

sweet surprise

This morning
Jeremiah was watching Lexi
and she went pee one too many times.
All by himself
he took off her wet clothes
and changed her diaper
What a loving big bub!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Brandon told me a few weeks ago
one of the things he loves about summer
is all of the cold drinks.
I've purposed to be more generous with my "Yeses"
when the kids ask if they can have a snow cone.
For the syrup flavors,
we use koolaid
made with 2/3 the sweetener and 1/4 the water.
All summer long
Brandon has been making the syrup
with 1/2 sugar, 1/2 xylitol
I told him to up the sugar and decrease the xylitol
because the xylitol is soo expensive
and I hadn't noticed any ill-effects from the sugar in the snow cones
big mistake.

Monday, August 24, 2009

yeah, man, that's the good stuff

wasn't all that long ago

Tyler's favorite muffins

Poor man had to make them for himself.
In my defense,
I'd have made them if he'd have asked.
Blueberry Muffins
(makes 24)
1 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. oil
2 eggs
mix, then add and mix
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk (or 1 c. milk w/ 1 tsp lemon juice)
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. chopped nuts
2 c. blueberries (frozen - don't waste the fresh ones!)
If using freshly ground flour, let sit half hour or so.
Pour batter into well-greased muffin tins or paper liners
top with
1/2 c. brown sugar mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon
bake at 325
for 20 - 25 minutes

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Aunt Terri came to play

The kids were so thrilled to have Aunt Terri come today
with the express purpose
of playing
and creating with them.
She brought paints, brushes
and a great step-by-step
how- to-draw

When they got tired of painting they drug her out to the swing.
She watched.
And got eaten alive by mosquitoes.
(and me - all out of lavender oil. sorry 'bout that!)

Then they collected pokey balls from the sweet gum tree
and she taught them how to make spiders
with the balls and some pipe cleaners.
They only made one each;
'cause the spiders were way too much fun to play with
to mess with making more.
After that
she pulled out the clay.
Of course
she whipped out cute creatures in a matter of seconds.
She is so talented!

An hour or so later
we had her make a Mii
and she went Wii bowling with Jeremiah, Josiah, and Brandon.

A fun, fun day
Aunt Terri
came to play

Thanks for giving up your day for us, Ter!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

good news / bad news

We bought new sheets for our anniversary
this year.
You know -our 22nd -
the one that we celebrated
just 12 days ago
I was so happy to have nice new sheets
with no kid-induced rips or stains.
I even listed it in my gratitude journal.
the good news
the child
(and I guess more good news is a non-guilty child felt
and expressed empathy,
"I didn't cut your sheets, but I am sorry it happened")

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


"I was thinking about stealing you away for a few hours,"
he said.
"Don't think; do"
is what I was thinking.
I've been stressed and frazzled
pretty much all summer.
First the trip
(stayed home)
then all the fixing up at the Hardie House
(home, again)
And now, summer is pretty much over.
Having taken Eph 4:29
(and other similar scriptures)
to heart,
I try not to complain much.
I really do.
But sometimes my flesh gets the better of me.
Tyler has to hear it....
he picked a bad time to call to check on me.
I'm still trying to figure out curriculum
the house is a wreck
yada, yada, yada
and so
he stole me away.
Lily went, too
'cause she's just so darn cute
and when she saw Daddy was fixing to go somewhere
she announced she was going with him,
I just didn't have the heart to tell her any different.
I still don't have school all figured out
and the house will always be a wreck, I fear
but I feel a little bit better about it all,
having been stolen away for a few hours....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

breaking news

Lexi said her first sentence!
The boys have been telling me for several days
that Lexi says "Bubba"
but since I, personally, hadn't heard it
I didn't record it.
I mean,
what bubba wouldn't want their baby to say their name?
They could be mistaken....
but about twenty minutes ago
(Papa, Ton', Brandon, and I)
all heard her
clear as can be
"Hi, Bubba."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

and now - the results

A lot of the color washed out of the shirts
but still
we thought they turned out great.
(before we washed them, they looked awesome!!)
We ran to Penny's to pick up a few sale items.
(can you believe it ~ Penny's was having a sale - how unusual....)
Of course
everyone had to wear their new shirts.
Tyler looked around the car and chuckled.
"I was just thinking - Vern Yip would say
it looked like a rainbow threw up in our car."
I think we made less of a spectacle than we usually do
when we go shopping;
people were looking at all of us in tie-dye
instead of just looking at all of us.
a fun project that we'll definitely do again
(but probably not with Tulip dye!)
why have my pictures looked so fuzzy lately?
they don't look like that on the camera or computer
just on the blog.

Friday, August 14, 2009

family fun night

7 quick takes - again


I'm liking this 7 quick takes thing;
it gives me a chance to catch up on old news
that I haven't managed to record
without it being
- well -
old news
I am developing a fondness for lavender oil.
Still don't like the smell
at all
but it is proving to be an essential
(haha - get it - essential - I crack myself up)
an essential part of my 'medicine cabinet'
Lexi isn't a big pooper
as in
she doesn't poop often.
I worried when Jeremiah went through this stage
worried still, but less, when Josiah did
by the time Lily was there
I was okay with the whole go a kazillion days between going
and now it's Lexi's turn.
A consequence of that, though, is
the girl poops off schedule
and I don't find it for awhile
and her poor little bum gets quite sore.
Lavender oil to the rescue!
I put a few drops in a sinkful of water
and plopped her (gently) in
for about 3 minutes.
I left her diaperless and in less than 30 minutes
she didn't even have a hint of a rash.
It's also great for putting on 'squito bites
(that's a fancy word for 'you don't have to dilute it with a carrier oil'
like you do most essential oils)
It works well with tea tree oil
as a poison ivy rash treatment, too.
Lily sings the Winnie the Pooh song
instead of 'silly willy nilly old bear'
she sings
"Silly, silly, silly old dear"
I love it!
Poor Lexi's gums are really bugging her;
she's just miserable
and she's bringin' us all down
We went to Mazzios Tuesday
to celebrate Luke & Lana moving into their house.
There weren't many people there
so we just let the kids roam around
while we talked.
Even though I was feeling lousy,
it was the most relaxed I've been in a long time;
it was nice.
We also had friends over earlier Tuesday
which was great fun.
It wasn't until after they'd left that I realized we had
14 kids here
Them's some good kids!!!
is when one of my children has a baby
usually a fussy one, but not always,
and they stay
in very close proximity to me
hoping that I will take said baby from them sooner
rather than later.
right now.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

the dam swing

Labor Day weekend
four years ago
smack dab in the middle of working so hard
to get this house livable
Tyler and the kids camped out on the property
and made a swing.
Usually referred to as The Big Swing;
also called
- by the little boys who don't know any better -
The Dam Swing.
I suggested that they use the other name.
"But, it is on the dam...."
whatever you call it
it is a big swing
and it's a huge hit when we have guests.
Mostly with kids and dads
but I know a mom or two who've shocked their kids
by hoppin' on.
don't especially enjoy
being that far off the ground
held up
by only a rope
and a tiny piece of wood

Look, Mom, only one hand!
(and still, I didn't yell, "Be careful!")

Josiah pulled himself up
and stood

Even Lily gets in on the action.
I thought I was going to throw up
the first time I watched her go.
Makes me nervous just to look at this picture!
thanks for balancing out
the slave driver.
I love you

school shopping

gives me a headache

I've put it off longer than usual;
I'm not sure yet
if that's a good thing
or not.
Probably not.
This will be our 10th year of homeschooling.
You'd think I'd have things figured out by now.
I've been momma-ing
for 22 years
and don't have that figured out yet either.
I think
I should just head to bed
and take another stab
- at both of 'em -

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


the first
- of what I suspect will be many -
beauty shop sessions
thank God for sisters

Saturday, August 8, 2009

happy anniversary

hubba hubba
I can still see the words on the front of our invitation:
This day I will marry my friend
the one I laugh with
dream with
live for
After 22 years
you are still the one I laugh with
dream with
live for
and so much more.
Thank-you for marrying me
And for staying married to me
And for loving me
And for making me a better person
I love you

Friday, August 7, 2009

so practical, yet attractive, too

I love this idea!
I hope I can remember it
when we actually have some wall space to use it

7 (more) quick takes


We’ve been 'unplugged' for the week
and it’s been nice.
I was a bit surprised to find
that I still didn’t have time to get everything done
I needed to get done.
It’s been especially good for Jeremiah.
I know this about him; I just tend to forget.
He has a much greater desire to help out
when he isn’t under the influence
of electronics - at all.
The other night,
I told the kids I was going to feed Lexi,
then I had to get carrots and potatoes peeled for dinner
and he said, "I’ll peel the carrots, Momma."
And he did - the whole 2 # bag - without a single complaint.
he did a fantastic job!
On top of that
the boy who doesn’t like cooked carrots
ate 2
because they were the best carrots ever.
Still need to work on that pride….


Modeling clay.
The kids have spent hours playing with modeling clay this week.
Best $1 I’ve spent in a long time!

Poor Tyler isn’t feeling too swift.
I loaded up the kids while Lexi was napping
and took him some garlic pills.
I think he was a little bit disappointed.
Usually when I surprise him at work
I bring a treat
not a handful of garlic pills.
But it seemed a little counter-productive to bring him a candy bar, too.

Finally got some sewing in Saturday evening.
The dresses were inspired by Charity
who was inspired by Chris who also inspired Dana....
All those ruffles took a surprisingly long time.
I probably spent 2 ½ - 3 hours per dress.
I’m ok with them
but I was hoping to be thrilled with them.
In retrospect
I should have gone with a skirt
and used a solid fabric.
ah well


I found out last week
that Jeremiah thought he would be going to kindergarten.
He asked me something about napping and school
to which I replied something along the lines of,
“Yes, you’ll still nap when you’re in Kindergarten.”
To which he replied, “That’ll be a little weird.”
“How’s that?” I wondered.
“Well,” he said, “I’ll be taking a nap with strangers.”
Yeah - that is pretty weird, Bud.
Just one more benefit of home schooling...

The boys have also spent lots of time playing in the pammicans
that Tony & Brandon made.

Don’t ask about the name; I haven’t a clue.

I actually heard part of sermon two weeks ago.
rolling around in my head the past 2 weeks:
Extreme poverty
Overwhelming joy
All Jesus did - was serve
(this wasn’t from the sermon; but a reminder from Tyler
when I was complaining about something.
And darn-it, I hear it in my head all the time;
'specially when I’m trying to feel sorry for myself.
Nothing spoils a pity party faster.)

for more Seven Quick Takes, see Jen
Oh, I could just eat her up!
She is so scrumptious!!
And she has a new word.
6 months. 2 words.
genius, I tell ya

Saturday, August 1, 2009

trying to make the best of another long day

They are working like madmen on the Hardie House;
Lana and Luke will be moving in
a week from today
or not.
back at the ranch

I started the day off with the breakfast of champions
and the kids had smoothie pops and leftover oatmeal.
Then it was on to movies and legos
and baths - one at a time
so the floor wouldn't get soaked.

a bit of painting

For lunch - a picnic - indoors
made so much nicer with Latvian 'lunch sacks'

a hummingbird joined us

and then
a butterfly, too

butterflies like smashed pooh.

Of course
no meal is complete without a spill

Lexi had the usual - milk - straight up.
She didn't spill.

After lunch
more creating

that would be gum
she's being creative with it
so it's all good.
I'm hoping for an hour or even two
of everyone napping.

so far that's not going real well for me.....
and now
we're at the halfway point of this l o n g day.
I imagine the second half will have more of the same.
And we're looking forward to having everyone
on a Saturday again
Whatever will we do?!