summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Monday, October 20, 2014

lazy sort of day....

It has been a good day so far. My friend Martha stopped by. I have known Martha from the Bloggy World for years now. I met her In Real Life a while back, and went to her house. Today, she came here. It was a very pleasant visit, just ask Jonny, who is a People Person, and thought that Martha came just to see him:) I had put pumpkin muffins in the oven to warm it a bit in here, and dang it, I forgot to offer one to Martha....she will just have to come over again.

We are heading to the library. It is essential for home school, to stock up on those books. During our school days, when they finish their work, if they're looking for something to do, my first response is Go Read A Book. Cam usually answers that she has already read all of hers. The older girls do a lot of their work from library borrowed text books. And I just plain love getting a new stack of books for myself.

A stop at the store is in order too, we are out of butter, need a gallon of milk, and perhaps some fresh produce. I love apple season, we have an abundance of those, and a pile of squashes too. Oh, for dinner last night, I finally tried spaghetti squash. I made a big pot of meat sauce with peppers and onions, and a pan of pasta (spaghetti) for the kids, plus some green beans...anyway, I loved the squash! It was SO easy to make. I just quartered it, took out the guts, and microwaved it. Paul and I each ate a quarter, it came out of the rind like spaghetti, like magic, and it tasted so good with the sauce.

Too bad I had to go and eat two pumpkin muffins for breakfast. Blah. Oh well, I can behave for the rest of the day. I can't help it I am such a good baker.

It is cold and overcast, and I wish I had a fireplace in my living room. I think we will get a space heater in here for our homeschooling days, so it is at least warm and cuddly.

The dogs are snoring on the couch, the girls are cleaning their rooms, Jon is hooking something up in his room, the older girls are doing some work. They came out of their room to make bacon and eggs...

The fact of the matter is that I could just go crawl into my comfy bed and take a nap today. I stayed up too late last night, and didn't sleep well. I just kept waking up. When it was time to get up this morning, I would close my eyes again and be dreaming again, it was so hard to get up. When it's dark and chilly, a nap sounds so nice. I don't really take naps anymore, but I do remember them fondly. They were my main goal in life back when I had baby after baby, and sleep was a rarity.

Ah well, time to get moving again...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

saturday morning in our crazy house.....

Sometimes I just take in the moment, and say to myself, "right now, I am happy. Right this very minute." This morning, I did not want to go out in the rain. No way, no how. But I know myself, and how quick I am with the excuses, so I just didn't listen, and went out anyway. The neighbor lady stopped her car and commented to me about walking in the rain, and I thought she must think I'm nuts. As I got more wet, and my sneakers started sloshing, I wondered if everyone on the street thinks I'm crazy. Even without the walks, they probably do. But guess what? I don't really care.

The kids are out playing in the rain now. It is only sprinkling, but it is very wet out there.

They woke me up about a million times this morning, slamming doors and laughing and running down the hall. Jon has a friend here, and somehow even one extra kid makes them crazier. When I finally got out of bed and came out here, the dogs had already been out, back in, and fed and watered. The kids were playing Nerf, thus the screeching and slamming. I asked them to please do something quieter for a bit, some of us don't get many days to sleep in. So they played Mario Cart, which wasn't much quieter...

Anyway. It is a good day. Suzanne went to the dump with Paul. Abigail is coming over to borrow our pick up truck to return 5 cent cans and bottles, with Jon and his friend, for a fundraiser for church.

I don't know yet what I shall do.

Our kitchen table is covered with boxes and paint. It all started yesterday when Cam and I walked into Walmart to get a new bulb for the van's headlight and discovered two carts full of paint samples for ten cents each. Regular wall paint. Oh, fun! I let Camille pick out eleven bottles. I actually told her ten, but she found an eleventh. Anyway, that made her want to paint something. So when we went to BJ's, we got some boxes...

We taped brown wrapping paper, the kind for sending packages, on the table, and let them paint. They are making dollhouses, of course.

Not at this very moment, but they aren't finished yet, so the table looks lovely.

One of the things I have struggled with through the years is to balance letting the kids do lots of fun stuff with keeping the house from falling down. I don't let them eat in their rooms or anything, but then again I pretend not to notice when Kap and Suze head down the hall with plates balanced on cups and chip bags in their hands.

This IS their house too, but they also need to respect things, and learn to clean up after themselves. I don't like sticky, or crumbs, or dirty. No shoes in the house, wash your hands before and after you eat, don't lick your fingers then put your hand back in the bag. Emily recently thanked me for teaching them table manners. She said, "Mom, you wouldn't believe some of the adults who don't know how to eat properly. Smacking, licking their fingers, talking with food in their mouths..." Sometimes I think I have created intolerant brats, they way my kids get so grossed out so easily by slurping and smacking.

Seriously, though, eating at the table together as a family is good for more than just hearing about each other's days.

Is it evident through my scrambled writing that there is a lot going on around here today? Abigail is here, spurring the littler ones to beg to spend the night at her house.

Anyway, I am done writing for now....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

homeschool fun fun

Ice cream! Last one of the season, I said. Suze said I have said that like ten times this year, but she exaggerates. Sonja saw the pics and said that I promised her ice cream, so I guess I'll have to go at least one more time.

The place in town has pumpkin soft serve.

Today went out and about after we finished our work....Pizza Hut was first. I was able to get Book-It rewards for the younger three, so they got free pan pizzas.

We stopped into the pet store, and these girls just BEGGED for a new puppy. Um, no. They promised to take care of it. Um, do you know how much these puppies cost?

Jon found a comfy chair in this store...

Too much fun, is what we had today.

Who else but me buys a whole cart full of stuff at the dollar store?

And, goodnight. Little girls are asking to be tucked in, and big girls are fighting about girls stuff....


I made myself take that morning walk. Oh I like it well enough, once I get out there. But day after day, I don't want to leave the house. This fine morning, for example, I swept the floors first. I wiped off a few counters, and started in on the dishes. But, no, I told myself, I have to go for my walk before the kids get up.

It was lovely, my walk. It was misty and overcast. This morning, I thought about Ebola. Jonathan says that if that's how God wants to end the world, it's His business, and we can't worry about it. And, he says, can we please not talk about it in front of him, he'll have bad dreams. Charlotte Claire says that God knows what we need, and that we can't be afraid. Now, I have read Stephen King's, "The Stand", a few times. The newscasters were telling America how fine everything was, at gunpoint, courtesy of the U.S. Army. Now as the mother of sixteen children, of course I worry. Four of my kids are nurses. I am not losing sleep because of intense fear, but believe me, it does cross my mind to be concerned for their safety because of how contagious Ebola is. I don't know how events will unfold, but it seems to me that this disease is underestimated. That Americans feel insulated and safe and far away from it. But anyway, I feel so so bad for the nurses and healthcare workers in Dallas. No one in their right mind can blame them. Can you imagine how many people show up in a busy emergency room each and every day with flu symptoms, fevers, not feeling well? It is not their fault if someone who later was tested positive for Ebola was overlooked, or not quarantined. If we have a Center For Disease Control, and they are doing their jobs, getting paid....they should have been educating nurses and health care workers for months now about how to keep themselves safe/treat patients/ect. There should be protocol in place!

That's my little rant. Being a mom sometimes though, I just can't stand it. I know in my heart that God is watching over my kids, and that He sends what's for their best. But I can't help loving them so, and sometimes I wish I simply didn't just love them so much. A little bit of indifference, you know, so I wouldn't ache just thinking of one of them suffering. It makes us human and vulnerable to love so deeply, but it also makes life scary.

This morning, we are working on our school work. Division and measurements and book reports. The two older girls mostly work on their own, with me just helping by buying them text books and taking them to the library.

And well, one of my little girls is having a little fit about something, so off I go....

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

rainy cozy autumn day....

Paul and I worked at the college basketball stadium last night. There was an exhibition game between the NY Knicks and the Sixers, NBA. We were busy, and it was fun....but. This morning, I decided not to go on my walk. My feet are killing me, my knees ached all night. Working at the Dome standing/walking on a concrete floor for hours, and ouch.

Anyway, I am not going to be totally lazy though, we are leaving to go to the rec center pool in a half an hour, gym class!

Jon is still working on his school work this morning, the girls have finished theirs. They are cleaning up their toys, in anticipation of Camille's birthday, which they are talking about and planning. We are going to make a pinata, art class! They want a tea party, and to dress all their dolls up, and play house, and and and....her birthday is on November 7th, but we are celebrating it early because Paul and I are going on a little trip the weekend of her birthday...but that is another story.

The story is this...we are going to Washington, D.C., to see Samuel, with Mirielle, Margaret, and Evelyn. I feel like a Bad Mom that I accepted the invite to go on this trip with total happiness, and didn't even realize it was Cam's birthday. And believe me, I feel like even a Badder Mom that I didn't bow out when I did realize it. We are just going to celebrate the week before. And yeah, I still feel a bit guilty. But she will be fine! The older kids will all be around (Emily, Abigail, Joseph, Aaron, Mali), so I am going to arrange for one of those guys to take her out for pizza on her actual birthday. She will be in good hands here at home...

Anyway. It is raining out, a perfect fall day. The trees in the yard are changing to bright yellows and oranges, with a few red leaves mixed in.

My little granddaughter Anya Jade turned one year old yesterday. I sent her birthday packages out in the mail yesterday, she isn't old enough to know that Grandma was late. I love her and miss her and hate that she is so far away. The United States is a huge country. 2,754 miles from here to where they live. 41 hours to drive it. Hundreds of dollars to fly there. It's simply too far away for a Grandma. I should be able to cuddle that little girl, to read her stories, to see her take those little first steps, and to spoil her. I want her to know me. I want to see her face light up when she sees her Grammy. I want her to know her Grammy's house, to feel at home here. Before she was born, I didn't know about that grandchild bond. I guessed I would love my grandkids, but didn't perceive the depth of love I would feel immediately. I didn't know my heart would ache seeing pictures of her, and the emptiness I would feel not really being a part of her life. I am glad for facebook and for all the pictures her mom posts of her, she is a little doll.

with Benjamin....

Well, my own little princesses are ready to go to the pool. They have picked out towels and have their suits on under their clothes. Have I mentioned how much I am enjoying homeschooling?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

homeschooling is amazing!

Today, we got up and went to the dentist. oops though, the receptionist apologetically told us that our appointment wasn't for this morning, it was for this afternoon! Well, I can't make it this afternoon, I am working at the basketball game at the Dome!

So, we rescheduled (yay, kids, no dentist appointment today!) And voila', we had to day to ourselves! We did what the kids voted on, we went to the Fun Playground.

Jonny...he had just finished telling his sisters how easy it was to climb this thing...then he was a little hesitant when he hit the top.

We stopped at the store afterward for grapes and bread and some disinfectant spray and a donut for the hungry kids, and some water bottles. It's a warm day, 81 degrees, and we were thirsty. The fountain at the playground didn't work, and we forgot to bring water with us.

Home...ah, home. Not for long, I have to leave for the basketball game, it's an NBA exposition game.

The kids are doing their school work now. I actually hate making them do it, it's so nice out....

Friday, October 10, 2014

just a quick post....

This bad little kitten almost had a ride in the washing machine. I had loaded it up, then decided to grab a few more things to put in, and when I turned around, kitten was jumping up, trying to get in. Oh dear. Stupid little sweetheart. I was up before the school kids this morning, puttering around and getting things done, since I am leaving for a day of grill shopping soon, and that kitten simply loves me. She follows, she attacks, she purrs when I scoop her up. Our bigger kitty doesn't really like her, but she doesn't care in the least. She continues to attack him, he hisses and sighs and puts his head on his paws...

Miss Char with kitty...

Camille was pretty excited to get this...she couldn't wait for breakfast.

Okay, here's the thing. I didn't think my pathetic little work-outs amounted to much, and then...I for somehow stopped doing them. I still walk, and still intend to get back to those work-outs, but the days go by, and when I get in bed at night I realize that, oops, I didn't work out again today.

So this morning, I decided to forgo the morning walk, and exercise in my room before the girls woke up. See, once I go out Into The House, there is so much to do I don't know where to start! The dogs need to go out and be fed, the floors swept, ect. So I worked out before I even left my room. A few months ago I could do 4 sets of 20, ha. But I have to start somewhere, so I am deciding to just be glad to be back on track.

And I need to move it....