Thursday, February 24, 2011

Life in the trenches

We are having a great week so far. The first two days I was considering selling a few kids on ebay but figured the government and my dear husband would probably be a bit upset with me for doing such a crazy thing!! Things have smoothed out A LOT. I think with the weather being so confusing - cold one day, warm the next, cold for a half hour, warm the next half hour, wreaks havoc on our sensibilites and security!! The children have spent a lot of time outside this week and that has been great. They are all finally at the age where they can go out together. I can ask Maddie, Robert, and Lindsay to keep an eye on Beatrice and Kristine and I don't worry about them wandering off at the sight of something shiny while everyone's back is turned. And Maddie loves being the babysitter, too, so I can usually bribe her with a few bucks to watch them.

Nothing very terrific happened this week. We have gone to see Dorothy and got all the toys sorted and dropped off at the consignment shop. We got to see John, Rachel, and Erin three times this week and that was a treat!! We only get to see them once a week. And we saw Tom last night so that was a great blessing to us.

Tonight Robert and Taylor went to the community college on a field trip for Cub Scouts to learn about welding. Robert loved it. They had a great time. Here he is welding. He's the one with the little body and the HUGE mask.

Robert had a great time and came home very dirty. Tomorrow is going to be another great day. We have co-op and the Great Oz is coming to talk to the 9-11 year olds about what they want to be when they grow up. After that it's off to band and then art class. Looking forward to a great day. God has blessed us beyond measure!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Humor keeps me going.

Our Beatrice is not your ordinary child. She is four going on comedy central. I never know what she's going to say or WHO she's going to say it too. She loves life, and lives it like no other person I've seen on earth. And she is getting to where she realizes all this, so it's hard to actually laugh AT her anymore. But today, she was hilarious. She came inside with her Fisher Price rollerskates on, which makes her six inches taller. She wanted us to put on her elbow and knee pads. As she was walking by the back of the couch, she yells, "HEY! (for she never just 'speaks' anything!), who moved the couch down lower?"!!! While it seems like your typical four year old thing, none of our other children even noticed they were taller or the perspective changed with skates on!!!

Maybe I need to put on a pair of skates every now and then to change my perspective. Problem is, I'd probably break something in the process.

We had a great night in AWANA tonight, although closing ceremonies was a bit funny, at my expense. Most people think that because our children are so well behaved, (Notice I did not SAY because I and my wonderful husband are such GREAT parents!!) things are as smooth as glass at home. This is far from the case. I have to keep up with badges, patches, jewels, dog bones, awards, and pins for five little children. I am an extremely unorganized person, especially with the awards, and it is really difficult for me to keep up. So our Lindsay and our Robert were to get awards tonight in Sparks. Our Sparks Director came and told me Robert said I lost his wings (this holds his jewels, which gets pinned on his vest - OH, yes, I have to keep up with a bunch of "official" AWANA clothing, too.) and I said, that I think HE lost them but I didn't know. Thinking I was out of the doghouse, when Lindsay gets called up for her award, she can't get it because, and she announces it to the whole room, "Mommy lost MY wings!!!" Since my friends all know me so well, they found this hilarious. I did too and was glad to give them a good laugh at my expxense. Thankfully, Maddie had her badge so she was able to finally get her dog bones. And Beatrice's gets stapled to her book in a quaint little ziploc bag.

I was informed by Lindsay tonight that she wasn't sure whether she liked my roasted chicken or turkey better than Little Ceaser's. I'm glad that I only have Little Ceaser's to compete with.

Again, I end with my favorite verse: Proverbs 17:22 - "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth up the bones." I thank the Lord for the humor in my life. And boy, do I get lots of it with five terrific children. And, even though Taylor is an engineer, he is pretty funny too. In an engineery sort of way.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Velcro is my new nickname

While our four oldest children had the outing of a lifetime - rollerskating with all their friends at a rink in Snead's Ferry (I didn't even know Snead's Ferry had such a thing!!) our youngest, Kristinie the Great, AKA Beaker, got to spend the entire afternoon and early evening with Taylor (my dear husband) and me. The two hours she slept were very quiet. I worked in the garden, planted some garlic, watered the chives and onions, etc. Taylor transplanted some grass in a bald spot on the yard. But after Beaker woke up, she has not left my side except when Taylor wooed her away with an orange!! Not kididng. He had to wave the orange at her to get her to get unstuck from my side. Now she is quietly playing with a Nintendo DSi and in a minute or less, will realize that I am not stuck to her. She'll fix it. Nothing to worry about. She even found a stylus to use!! I have no idea where she got it except that she may have reached in the couch and pulled it out. One day we may reach in a pull out a child. Who knows?!!

I had a terrific afternoon withi Beaker, though. Yup, here she is, sitting right next to me. I thank the Lord for the older ones getting to go off and have some great fun. Our Beatrice was so excited I am sure she probably broke some windows with her high, Ella Fitzgerald voice. And they got to ride the bus which Beatrice has been dying to do for some time now. God has really blessed us with terrific children.

I am posting a picture of Beaker playing with my high priced sunglasses. I know you are wondering what in the world I would be doing giving her such expensive glasses. Well, they were from Dollar Tree!! Ha ha ha -
Here it is:

She's a silly thing!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Arm wrestling and octopus and other crazy things I do

This has been some week and it's only Wednesday. Yesterday everyone was happy and healthy. We were putting up our rabbit fence for our vegetable garden since the parsley, chives, oregano, cilantro, and chocolate mint are starting to come in. And I needed to plant our onions. Well, the older children did not want to help so they went and played. But our Beatrice and Kristinie the Great DID want to help. Both of them have their own way of helping. Our Beatrice, who is four, is the Big Talker. She says things at a decibel level that rivals Ella breaking glass. Not joking. And she says things six or seven times in case I don't hear it the first time. Kristinie the Great, who is two, is our workaholic. She isn't happy unless she has dragged everything she thinks I need over to me. Then she proceeds to use the stuff!! Well, that's what it was like on Tuesday putting up the rabbit fence. Beatrice gladly telling me what I needed to do and what she wanted to help do, and have Kristinie the Great do. And Kristinie the Great trying her best to put the fence up with me. It was like arm wrestling an octopus.

But I digress. I need to back up a day. On Monday, it became apparent a stomach virus was hitting our family - as in our family of friends. I pled the blood of Christ over our home but it was too late. So, to try to stave off spreading the love, I insisted the children throw up outside. Yup. We were spared Monday and Tuesday. Oh, but Wednesday the floodgates were open. It started at about 9:00am with our Maddie. She is a tower though. She gets an upset stomach, gets sick once, and she's done!! It was downhill from that point forward. We were supposed to celebrate my mom's birthday today (I think we missed it last year too because we were sick!!) so Maddie insisted she was fine. Robert said his stomach hurt but thought it was breakfast. So we headed toward Dollar Tree on Military Cutoff. Well, I knew I should not have left the right lane but felt that Robert was OK. NO HE WAS NOT OK!!! He told me he was going to get sick. As I was trying to move over into the right lane to pull off so he could throw up OUTSIDE, a white suburban would not let me through. So, being the Yankee that I am, I cut them off and pulled off the road. Needless to say, our robert did not make it!! So the poor fella finished on the shoulder, had to undress, then climbed back in the van to rest. Meanwhile, Maddie and Lindsay ran back and forth twice to Panera Bread company with towels and water to clean the van. (Note to self: make sure ample cleaning supplies are in van!!) On the second trip, Lindsay fell. I did not realize it and noticed her hair was all wet so I asked her what happened. Poor soul. She not only fell, she fell AND spilled her cup of water all over her!!!

So we got the van cleaned up, came back home (No Dollar Tree), spent the rest of the day watching movies and resting. I feel like a slug from overexposure to the black eye!! By the afternoon, Lindsay was sick. She did run outside which was a relief. I am sort of wondering what my neighbors are thinking.

Sadly, I had to cancel my knitting and crocheting bunch for tomorrow. That's two weeks in a ROW. Boy, do I miss my bunch!! I am claiming Proverbs 17:22 through this whole experience: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.  Lord willing, tomorrow will bring a more productive day.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my stomach, while revolting on me, has not gone on strike - yet!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ah, sweet (literally) success!!

So, I said earlier that I was making a Valentine's Day treat for my dear family. Here is how they came out:

Step One: (this does not include the wax paper that was stuck to most of the top of the rice krispie treat that I had to spend about 25 minutes carefully peeling and cutting off.)

Step Two: this step was a lot of fun. I love to work with fondant but I don't know enough about it to do anything extravagant:

Step Three: Pipping then spreading on the white chocolate. I thought I would do the writing in white but decided to just spread the top with white and then add the red lettering:

Step Three: Adding the red chocolate lettering. I am not too great at red chocolate lettering but I think you can read what it says anyway:

A first time for everything

For the first time in my homemaking career, I made rice krispie treats. I know, it must be shocking to find out that I have never made them. I have a serious phobia of sticky. I am not sure what the technical term is but it is probably something like adhereophobia. When my children want to hold me or hug me after a lollipop, that is a BIG N-O. As in, you can not come near me until all the sticky is gone!! This is why I have never made rice krispie treats. They epitomize the sticky problem. The spoon gets sticky, the pot gets sticky, everything gets sticky!!! I did manage to get it in the pan and smooshed down flat with barely any sticky so I am very grateful for that.

If you ask my children how I feel about sticky, unless they let me cut up their pancake BEFORE they put syrup on it, I won't cut it up. That's how much I do not care for sticky. Anyway, back to the rice krispie treats:

My goal is to make the treats, cut them in the shape of hearts, or mold them (REALLY hoping that option #2 is unnecesary) and then cover them with buttercream fondant. Hopefully they will be done by Valentine's Day. Which, as it happens, is tomorrow. We will see. I have made candy every year for them except last year, and I was rather disappointed in myself. So, I really want to get back to that. I normally make my dear husband truffles but this year he is getting a rice krispie treat, too. I am not sure why because I really enjoy making the truffles for him but I decided he might like a rice kirspie treat too.

I love to make things for my family. I made a simple heart pillow for Kristinie the Great and she hugged that thing and carried it around all last evening. AND she slept with it!! She was so cute. I will be making one for Lindsay and Beatrice soon, and a square one for Robert. Our Maddie made her own. I thank the Lord that our children enjoy their "roles". None of the girls feels like homemaking skills are "not cool" and Robert definitely has "HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD" written all over him. He even forgets that I'M his MOM!!! My children are a huge blessing to me and I thank the Lord for them. Now, onto making sticky treats. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Testing my mobile blogging abilities!! This is a new adventure for me!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Out of the hand of babes

I often wonder if anything I am teaching my children is sinking in. I particularly worry about hospitality and compassion. I want them to be willing to help people as the Lord leads them and I want them to see how God can use them to minister to other people and each other. But for the most part, 70% of that time is spent breaking up arguments amongst them, 10% is dealing with whining, and another 10% is them worrying about their "fair" share. I know there is still 10% left. Well, today they used their 10% in a 100% way.

Our neighbor and his mom are going through a rough time.It's hard for me to check on her without crying myself. And tonight we had her son for dinner because he loves "Bambi" stew. He sat down and was laughing and joking. Within seconds, he was broken. His heart is broken, he feels like no one loves him, no one cares and he just busted out, "We don't even know how we are going to pay off the house!!" It was hard for me to keep my compsure espcially with five pairs of eyes staring intently at the poor soul. I thank the Lord that he made a profession of faith several years ago.

He was getting ready to go home and the next thing I know, Maddie comes in and says, "Mommy!! This is for Mrs. Lori (Name changed out of respect for the family.)" And Maddie had a potholder she made. Then our Robert comes in and says, "Here, Mommy, here is a box of chocolate for Mrs. Lori, a Lego motorcycle for her son, $1.00 for their house, and a box of chocolates (with one chocolate missing). Oh, and can we send these brownies home, too?" So, I helped Lori's son take up all his things and walk over to their house. I was just going to slip in and set the stuff on the kitchen table and slip out but she jumped up and was so very surprised to see a handful of stuff. I could see as I started telling her what the children sent over, she was very touched by it all!!

I thank the Lord for my children. The Lord is definitely working in their lives. Could $1.00 save a house from being sold out from under Lori and her son? I trow not. But it can certainly bring a smile and touch her heart like nothing else has. And God can use that $1.00 to keep it from happening. I am praying that God will give us more opportunites to minister to Lori and her son. Her son has always held a special place in our hearts anyway and I count it all joy knowing that we can minister to her, too.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Out of the mouth of Lindsay

Dorothy, aka my Mom, took us to SAM's for lunch today. They have a contribution container for Children's Miracle Network where you can put a coin in it and it rolls on all kinds of tracks. I gave Kristinie the Great my last penny so Lindsay asked Dorothy if she had any money, but here is how she asked: "Grandma, do you have any cents?" I think she meant SENSE!! Dorothy and I had a great laugh over that one!!

But then I was pondering Lindsay's question and realized that I had to ask myself if I had any sense? And I talked with the Lord about it and we both agreed that I didn't. I am always glad when I agree with the Lord. Sometimes in the midst of things, I forget that my sense makes no sense while the Lord's sense makes sense. When I subject myself to the Lord's sense, then everything goes the way He wants and I can rest in knowing that I have done what He asked me to do the way He asked me to do it. I Corinthians 14:40 is my favorite verse: "Let all things be done decently and in order." How simple is that. It makes sense, and it is the best way to do things. I thank the Lord for His grace - if it's sufficient for me then it's sufficient for thee!!