Saturday, November 28, 2015

camping day 2, 11-22-15

Wow, this day started out COLD!  Love it!  Willow woke us before 7 barking, dumb dog!  lol  We had her inside the pop up with us and the electric heater since the night was so so cold.  Then a little later in the morn while we were sitting out by the fire and she was on her chain, all the sudden Glenn says How did she get off?!  and there she was running towards the deer in the woods!  So we sent her home with daddy!  Since the morning was too cold to sit outside comfortably, especially without a good fire yet, we let the kiddos watch Home while breakfast was being prepared.  "We must demonstrate our affections later!" - Oh   I love this movie!  :)  I went to make cinnamon toast for breakfast and discovered we didn't have the cookiesheet that fits in the oven!  Then Keegan decided he wanted a drink from the cooler and walked out in the almost freezing temps with no jacket, no shoes and in shorts!!!  A little later he even trekked to the bathroom with no shoes on!  Daddy tried to make some Jiffy pop over the fire, it tasted good but took longer and burned a little in some spots.  I walked Kayson to the playground and he talked to his shadow and later on a trip to the bathroom at night he was playing with his shadow in the light from my phone!  I think he has officially discovered his shadow!  :)  I wanted to get a video but when I tried it turned the bright light off and his shadow disappeared so that didn't work!  lol.  Daddy gave Kayson a short ride on his handle bars.  Kayson really enjoyed that!  :)  We had fried potatoes and steak for lunch.  Daddy took the potato peels and put them in foil with butter and salt and then put them on the fire.  Yum!  they were so good!  Chris ate three helpings!  :)  We ate lucnh outside before daddy had to head home so he could work the next day.  It was a good day!  We just love camping and being out in nature.  Also I love the camper and popup, I like having locking doors and heat so I don't have to worry about babies getting cold while we sleep.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

camping day 1, 11-21-15

Here's a few highlights from our first day, in no particular order.  lol  Daddy stayed at the campsite with the babies while Glenn and I ran into Walmart.  I had forgot some "necessities" in our fridge at home, ketchup and ranch among them.  I know there are those that would disagree but with four boys in a small space we find a TV and DVD player a necessity so when the RV DVD player went out  we felt it was a necessity to drive to walmart instead of the closest convenience store!  :)  Daddy took the babies for a bike ride while we were gone and then we got a call as we were checking out that we needed a better collar for Willow bc she had got loose and went for a swim and it took them 20 min to catch her!!!  So Glenn found a harness that we thought would work!  Well after we were back and she had it on, she got loose again!  So Glenn tightened the harness.  There are lots of deer out here.  they are such pretty creatures!  We took a nature walk and saw the lake, collected acorns, took pics, threw acorns at each other, saw the pelicans.  I just love being out here.  Oh, and the power was out for a few hours and my phone needed charged so my daddy let me use his portable charger thing, that was really cool!  now I want one!  :)  After the walk, before dinner my daddy roasted acorns just bc, they got real shiny before cracking open.  The kids really thought watching them roast was neat!    After dinner we had game night with Golf, Apples to Apples and Jiffy Pop as a snack.  The littles really thought the Jiffy Pop was neat, it was their first time to see it!  :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

leave for camping 11-20-15

It's today, it's today, it's today!  We leave for camping today!  We realized it had been over a year since the last time we had been camping, oh how we have missed it!  The goal for the day is just to get to the campground.  We have two campsites for the weekend, one for the RV thats staying the whole time and one for the pop up that is leaving Sun with daddy.  Glenn and I are staying the first two nights in the pop up and then we will move to the RV for the rest of the time.  :)  The morning starts with daddy at work, Glenn at training and Kirsten at school for a half day.  We are still getting used to having to plan things around a school schedule.  I still needed to pack clothes and get the groceries!  By the time we got all done and were pulling out of the property with the first vehicle going, it was almost 5!  It would be dark by the time we arrived at the campground.  Glenn was coming with the second vehicle and Willow after he was out of training.  When I went to get dinner ready I realized I had forgot to grab some things out of our fridge!  The ketchup and RANCH!  That means tomorrow a store run will be necessary!  But dinner was good and easy, turkey sandwiches!  Then we were all exhausted and decided to head to bed!  Good night!  :)  Actually now it is Sun am and I am going to get my crocheting and join my daddy by the fire before it is time to start lunch!  :)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Smart Phone Guilt???

So I saw this post (by a page, I'm not picking on a friend!) yesterday about how children feel sad and mad and hurt when their parents check their phones, Facebook, games, etc.  like all parents are horrible if they spend any time doing these things!  I did not read the full article, skimmed it.  It kinda aggravates me, the guilt trip, as if we really need more of those.  Also, do the writers of such articles actually believe it will change the parents that need it?  It will just make the good parents scared they are failing and those that need to see it will ignore.  I get it, it's supposed to be an encouragement to get parents to actually pay attention to their offspring bc there are those that never do but that is an underlying problem that the device only perpetuates.  A problem certain types of parents have had for generations, in other words, it is NOT a new  issue!  The real issue does not lie in the device's hands!  (lol).  I spend my fair share amount of time on devices.  It is no secret that I love FB, SimCity and Soda Crush!  I don't doubt on occassion I enjoy mine a tad more than I should.  However, when I'm sitting by the sick child who wants me near but doesn't need my undivided attention bc they are just laying there resting and they don't feel good enough to talk and I only have one hand bc the other is rubbing a back, I should not feel guilty for checking a device.  When I'm at the table waiting for a child to finish a school assignment, they need my presence as a reminder to actually work but they do not need my attention, I should not feel guilty for checking FB, playing a game, etc.  As I'm cooking and have a few minutes before the next step, again, there should be no guilt.  If any know me, you know I believe in spending as much time as possible with your children.  I believe children are to be enjoyed and cherished, loved, it all goes by so fast  but I also know the flipside too.  I know the stress and the fear.  I know the noise and the endless neediness.  I know the need to wind down, to remind yourself there is more to life than your family and what happens in the walls of your house.  To remember how blessed you are.  Just to take a few moments and remember that you are a person too with your own likes and your own thoughts and your needs.  So, to all the parents out there that check your devices in front of your kids but you still listen to the stories, play the games, eat as a family, go to the park, act as their chauffer, to those parents I say, check on guilt free!  You are teaching your children, you are teaching them you how to manage their time, you are teaching them it's ok to see to their needs, you are teaching them it's ok to enjoy life.  When you post special things about them and they know, you are showing them that you care, that you are proud of them.  Mine will ask me to post pics sometimes.  lol  Also, mine like to watch me play my games, they'll climb in my lap and ask questions or tell me what moves to make.   The younger ones like to look at yarn-y pics with me, they'll ask me to search for certain things or characters.  I think its a special time.  :)  So, enjoy and let go of the guilt, love your children and use your devices responsibility.   :-D

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stay Home Sacrifices

I hear things all the time in reference to my "stay-home" homeschool status.  Things like, 1)"you're so lucky", 2)"must be nice that your husband allows you to stay home", 3)"I just don't have the patience for that", 4)"my kids drive me too crazy", 5)"we just can't afford it", 6)"you have your hands full" (mostly in reference to our "large" family), 7)"I just couldn't do it" (said with awe, like I'm something special or some kind of saint, which I assure you I am NOT!)
Now let me pause here to say, this post is in no way meant to try to heap guilt on any moms (hey, its a tough job and we need to stick together!) or to persuade anyone to our lifestyle.  I do not know your story or the reasons for your family's decisions and I do NOT judge working moms, stay home public or private school moms.  Our lives are definitely not one size fits all and one persons decisions do not always work for another.  The intent of this post is just to address some of the things I hear on a semi regular basis and why they are not entirely true and sometimes slightly hurtful.
1)  I am major blessed but I do not believe luck had anything to do with our choices.  We've put a lot of thought and prayer into our decisions.  We do what we believe is best for our family and that means sometimes it's hard.  I don't stay home because it's easy, I stay home because I want to be the one to raise my babies, I want to help facilitate their growth, I want to see the lightbulb go off in their head, I wouldn't trade that for money or prestige or even sanity.  lol.  (not that I do not miss some of those things at times)
2)  While my husband works very hard for this family and I am super proud of him, I do not need his permission to stay home.  We made this decision together.  It is where I want to be and where he wants me to be.  We both make sacrifices to make this happen.  He takes leftovers to work for lunch sometimes or PB+J bc we do not have the money for him to eat out every day.   He cuts the boys hair and quite often his own.  His Mac is coming apart, the bottom is seperating from the plastic frame and it is slow but it works!
3) neither do I!  'nough said!  However, I think I will elaborate a bit more.  I get angry, I yell, I say things I shouldn't, I cry, they cry, I have to walk away instead of handle a situation, I have to turn discipline over to Glenn at times bc I am just at my wits end with a situation, or a child, or just everything that I just can't handle it at that time.  Sometimes I lay in bed in the am already hearing the fussing and fighting and I don't want to get up and face that day, I just want to crawl in a hole or go back to sleep.  There are days when nothing gets done, no school, no housework, nothing constructive bc I just don't have the energy (mental or physical depending on the day) to deal with it.  There are times they spend way too much time with an electronic device or in front of the TV bc I just don't want to hear the fighting.  Definitely not all the time, oh, but there are days!
4)  Trust me, my kids drive me CRAZY too!!!  I love them, I wouldn't trade them for anything or anyone, I want each and every one of them but they still drive me absolutely insane at times!  Parenting is HARD, no matter how you do it, it is HARD!  We have awesome, wonderful, heartwarming, postable (lol) moments that make everything totally worth it but we put a lot of teaching and discipline and hard work into making those moments possible.  I still have to tell the eight year old to take that out of your mouth, that is not food, seriously, don't chew on that!  That child constanty wants something in his mouth!  The six yr old has some sensory issues, sometimes he has slight self control/anger issues (especially when he is minus his daily frankincense, which we are currently out of).  The four yr old, well he's the baby!  Then you have the teens!  Who might possibly be reading this so maybe I won't elaborate on them, Hi teens, Mama loves you!  :-D
5)  Here's where I will highlight some of what we sacrifice so we can "afford" for me to stay home.  I do my own nails when I can find the time, my hair doesn't get "done" but once every few years, I would love to have a cute cut that I could get done once every month or so and is easy to manage but when I do get to go in for one I always tell them, I need a cut that will grow out well bc I won't be back to maintain it, they look at me like I'm insane!  Most of our clothes are hand me downs (for which I am very grateful for!) or come from the local thrift stores as do our shoes.   All this as I hear Glenn raiding the change box (an old vicks box!  lol) before he leaves for work. We have to budget our Sunday lunches so we can make it to church and get to enjoy lunch with Glenn before he goes to work for the evening and sometimes we are still raiding other envelopes for lunch money.  I don't wear makeup partly bc we can't afford what I like and partly bc I don't always have time before we leave the house and partly bc its just not my thing but I do like it once in while.  We don't have a fancy house, just a humble double wide.  Our vehicles are not new, they are nice and I am grateful for them but they are not new, although Silver isn't all that old either and a huge blessing!  My purse is name brand but was a hand me down too.  Our flat screen TV is six years old.  I would love a nice camera, the one I dream of is around $900, yea, it's just a vapor of a dream.  Sometimes, Glenn works extra jobs to fill in where we need more.  We are blessed, I am not trying to sound like I am complaining or anything like that, that is not the purpose of this post, I am just trying to point out a few realities that make our life what it is.
6)  Yep, I do!  However I had my hands full with just the older two also, just bc there are more children doesn't mean life is neccesarily harder or my hands are fuller.  We learn, we adjust, the olders help with the littles.  If I didn't have my full hands, I don't know what I would do.  I love being a mother!
7)  I can't always either.  I know I mentioned earlier that some days just don't happen, it's like ok, I am not adulting today, it's just not possible.  Sometimes the house is a disaster, sometimes the laundry piles up, sometimes things have to wait to get fixed, sometimes we have to weigh priorities and importance and decide what gets fixed or what we need most.  Sometimes we have a little extra and just need to splurge, sometimes we decide a fun family memory is more important than the next thing that needs fixed.  I  don't always do it bc I can but bc this is who we are this is where we are at, survival is not a choice but a neccessity.  This is what we do, this is who we are, not bc we can but bc we have to.  Not doing is not an option, least not a longterm one!
Mostly when I hear one of those statements I just kinda nod or shrug and keep my mouth shut but it is hard to hear, it's hard when you almost cry at the grocery store bc you're not sure what you have the money to buy will last till payday, somehow, it always does.  It's hard when you're searching your purse for loose change to get that last item on the list.  It's hard when the oldest asks to go to the movies with the youth group and the only reason you can afford it is bc another kind youth offered to pay for her.  It's hard when you're eyeing the gas gauge wondering how you'll make it till payday.    We do have lots of nice things, that we have been super blessed to recieve, like the GeoTrax currently covering my living room (that have been collected since Chris was about two!).  :)  The dining table we didn't have to pay for!  The three window units that help keep our house cooler (somewhat) in the summer scorching afternoons (although that electric bill is hard to deal with sometimes!  lol)  These are our choices and I love being home with my babies, I am thankful but luck has had nothing to do with it!  It is not an easy choice but it is best for us, I wouldn't change it!  Thus ends my rebuttals that I usually just keep to myself.  Maybe now, next time I hear one, I can smile and nod politely and remind myself that they just don't know and they just don't understand.  To ALL moms, You are awesome, You are a superhero!  Whatever choices you make, you are touching little lives in ways no one else can.  Dads too!!!  Embrace them, enjoy them, encourage them, find moments to savor and hold onto and make those precious memories!  :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Here I sit at McDonald's bc the olders are at youth and I needed something to do with the littles, one of which is sitting beside me not playing bc he is still finishing his school!  I've been wanting to get back to typing on my blog but sometimes I just don't know what to say.  I've deleted two posts already bc I was afraid someone would miss understand what I was trying to portray.  I think I will talk about teenagers.  I don't know why people act the teenage years are so awful?  I only have two teens right now and three littles but so far, I enjoy my teens.  Yes, sometimes they throw attitude but so can I!  imagine that!  :-/  lol  We have things we like to do together, we have shows and movies (I'm so glad we waited till they were older to introduce some movies and shows bc now we can share those with them and not the littles and it gives us something special) and music.  We have tried to lay a firm foundation for them and now we can give more freedom in some areas.  They know the rules and boundaries and what happens if they break or cross them.  We talk about everything!  We discuss responsibility and mistakes and how to avoid them.  We are still parents to them but I feel we are also friends.  Not taking the place of their peers, we could never do that but in a parental way.  I just want to say I am thoroughly enjoying them.  Watching them learn to do new things, to navigate new waters, to make their own decisions after thorough discussions is really cool.  Listening to them weigh the pros and cons or the possible consequences on their own is so neat to see.  The laughs and the sarcasm (mine and theirs) is priceless!  Also seeing them help out with the littles, they can be such a great help to our household.  However the girl teen van get so lost in her phone, oh my how that child can zone out!  lol, not that her mama ever did that with books!  no, not I!  lol  However don't get me wrong, there are plenty of times I think these two are some kind of alien!  Oh my!  LOL As we sit here at Chick fil a (where we came for dinner after picking up the olders) and the littles play, each teen has their phones out.  what must we look like to others?  lol, what if we end up on someones fb as a what you shouldn't do?  As I was just saluted by my daughter who I sent into the battlefield (also known as the play area) to remind them to go UP the steps and DOWN the slide!!!  Ugh, They KNOW this!  Anyways, I think I have bored  you long enough tonight.  :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Closet!

Decisions overwhelm me.  Ones that others find easy to make.  For example, I'm trying to go through and reorganize our toy closet.  First I had to go through the toys that were left in front of the door.  These are the Christmas toys that never found their right baskets and were stashed in the way of getting to the very place they belonged.  This posed a special problem since I couldn't just simply pick them up and put them away one by one bc they all had to be moved before I could get to where they were meant to be.  So before I could even get started I already didn't know how to begin and just wanted to sit down and cry!  (doesn't help that I am missing the 13 yr old so much while he is at camp this week!)  Also I feel pressed for time bc I am trying to get something accomplished while the littles are at VBS and I know once they get home the accomplishing will be significantly harder if not next to impossible!  So I call in a reinforcement for moral support, she is so good at that!  and we begin, sord of.  So I pick up a toy, what do we do with one?  donate, trash?  but he was so happy when he got it, yes, its really just a cheap piece of trash, but he loved it, oh look its missing an arm, we really really don't need to keep a broken arm toy no matter now loved it supposedly is, right and oh yea, he hasn't looked for it or mentioned it in months, finally trash is decided!  You know, we really must move faster than this!  Finally before I go pick up the littles, the toys are cleared from the doorway.  There's a bag for trash and one for donate and little piles of soldiers, legos, squinkies, imaginext, etc waiting for their forever homes.  Lunch and movie break and then all I want is a nap, the bed sounds so nice and I could just sleep and sleep and sleep but I must not, no, no, but I want to, NO!  back to that closet in the library.  and now it's time to open that door, the horror!!  Once again I just want to cry and scream! bc this closet that has been organized more than once, that has a lock at the top so the littles can't get in and wreck everything, yes, they need permission to get anything out, this closet has toys not in their proper places, toys that someone (possibly one of the olders that can reach the lock but was too lazy or focused on a different task) just threw in the closet and didn't bother to put in their proper container.  Now I am overwhelmed and MAD!  but alas I know neither of those feelings will really help so I try to trudge on.  So I pull out overflowing containers and start purging!  I would love to say the closet is done but it is not.  We have gotten rid of a lot!  Switched some groups to more appropriate sized containers (like the legos are now in one place and not two!).  Decided not to keep two toy house things bc they like the bigger dollhouse to play superheroes in, no need to keep them all.  Speaking of those wonderful superheroes, I still need to go through those and put them in a better container and go through our wooden blocks and the instruments but I can take a little solace in the knowledge that I do not need to go through the Geo Trax, all those are keep!  We've been collecting those for over ten years!  Every child has played with them, they are great and well made and they last!  Those are definitely a save for the grands toy!  For now the library door is closed, the littles are in bed which means the house is QUIET! and maybe I can get some crocheting in.