Friday, December 14, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cupcakes, Christmas lights and toy doggies that poop!

Just thought I would update. Last weekend it rained again! On sunday we celebrated Ashleigh and Nathan's birthdays. They had fun, I took pictures but have not had a chance to upload them on the puter yet so bear with me. I baked the cupcakes, and actually thought ahead enough to have things to put on top (this month my life is nuts, so that is a really big accomplishment for me!), The girls got tinkerbell bubble wands and the bboys go "Cars" disc launchers.

Nathan got some legos, a car and some action figures. Ash got my little pony stuff, a Bratz doll and a Barbies set that had a dog that POOPS! I had no idea it did that when I bought it and honestly I was totally grossed out when they showed it to me. You put the treat in it's mouth, pushed down the tail and it shoots out the other end! Who thinks up this stuff????

As it turns out the toy dog is her favorite toy. All the kids sit around this stupid thing cracking up because it just POOPED again! Hours of gross entertainment! Had I known that she appreciated dogs doing their business so much I would have made it her responsibility the clean up after the three REAL dogs we have!

After the little party Chad tried to get a little Christmas decorating done outside. This is the first year I haven't nagged him and every weekend he has planned to do it, it rained cows and pigs. Yes you heard me right, not cats and dogs, COWS AND PIGS! He was barely out their for fifteen minutes and it started to rain on him. Oh well! Hopefully we will finish up this week!

I took my two little furbabies to the vet this morning to get spayed. Hopefully this will end them peeing on everything. They make me nuts!

Ok the kids want the puter to start their homework so I will close.

Love and Hugs,

Monday, December 10, 2007


Getting SOGGY but loving it!
I am typing to the steady rythm of the rain on my roof! I am totally loving it! It has rained steadily for most to the day. I think I may be living in the wrong state, it doesn't rain nearly enough here to suit me. We found out last weekend (when it REALLY rained) that we had a leak in our roof. I am glad to say it was minor and it is already repaired ( thank GOD for handy hubbies!)
This week I didn't end up doing half of what I thought I would. We did go to the field trip on Monday, park day on Wednesday and I have a feeling Chad is going to have to work tomorrow so I won't be going to the mini ballet ( my three youngest will not sit through it!) but it's all cool. I have a seriously laid back attitude this year and I think I may have to keep it going from year to year. The whole family seems to be happier!!! I am not nagging, Chad and I aren't getting snippy with one another, and the kids have even stopped putting in the crazy christmas list requests. We are doing things together and for once it feels like everyone is appreciating the time together rather than the materialistic, selfish, "have to get the latest toy or its gonna be a disaster" holiday. Come Christmas, there will be gifts under the tree, that is just one of those things in our house that doesn't need to be explained to one another, the kids understand that the gifts will be there because we love them and we want to give them things. Not because those commercials on tv say they need it! We will spend time playing games, baking, and making crafts. In years to come it will be those things that are remembered, not what video game Tristan got that year!
So I guess I am still growing up. I am giving up my expectations and replacing it with hope. Hope that my family will find opportunities to make memories together. To realize the season is about love and sharing. And hope that this spirit will create a trickle affect and bless those we come in contact with
Until next ime,
Love and Hugs To all, Mary

All The Pieces of My Heart!

Just had to share this pic! I took it today while we were all on a field trip at the Phoenix Zoo. A great time was had by all, and a bonus was that it was Nay Nay's birthday! Yuppers, the little guy turned six today! I know you can't tell he's having fun in the pic, but he was (just a wierd aversion to camera lenses, gotta sneak up on him to capture the smile!).
Anyway I was going through the mass of pictures I took, and dubbed this one my favorite. I realized it was because it has everyone who is most important to me! My whole heart is in that pic!


Guess what I found lurking on my patio yesterday!!!! I was making dinner and noticed Isabelle bouncing around like she was trying to attack something. I thought it might be a gecko so I went out to free the poor beast from my overzealous dog. When I got outside I was surprised. A nightsnake was making it's way across the patio! Now I would like to say I was a cool mom and just calmly picked it up and moved it to where it would be safe from my mongrel. I would like to say it was seven feet long and fierce looking andI just ignored it and went on with my day. But the truth is I screamed like a crazy woman, and I believe some profanity was thrown in for good measure, and it was more like seven inches long although it still looked pretty fierce to me!
Chad came and got it and showed it to the kids, then took it across the street to a snake lover to find out what kind it was. They set it free in the guys yard to hibernate, just glad it wasn't MY yard!
In the five and a half years I have lived here that is the first snake I have encountered that wasn't at the petstore or the zoo. As I type my daughter is still laughing at me for my response! I am gonna have to toughen up when we move back east, that's for sure!

It's getting COLD!!!!
Well it's official! The cold weather has set in and I couldn't be happier! Aside from the fact that the holidays are upon us, cold weather means I get to start making all those comfort foods that I love! I am far better at making the winter food, which is ironic as there is only about two or three months out fo the year that I can tolerate the heat generated in my kitchen by it!!!
Last night I made the first pot of potato chowder. All but one of the kids ened up eating several bowls, pretty much blowing my plan to have the leftovers tonight! Oh well what can I do? At least they liked it!
We are sort of in the swing of schoolwork again. Thanksgiving threw me off a bit as I had to work in some extensive shopping. We got through it without too much stress as the kids have fallen right into helping out around the house. So now we are all eager to kick off Christmas! Even Chad seems to be getting into the swing of things, beign far more tolerant of my holiday prep nagging. He was even open to putting up Christmas stuff this weekend....YAY!
The kids are all really busy over the next few weeks. Got two birthdays, a field trip, a Christmas program at church, the Peoria winter festival and a "mini ballet" at the library next week. I get tired just thinking about it! But it's nice to have stuff to do!
With all going on I find I don't have nearly enough time to finish my crochet projects but that's ok. I am totally impressed with myself for maintaining my "no buying new yarn till I use up the old" new year's resolution. Haven't bought one skein all year and that is really difficult for me! But I do have to say it's really fun trying to think up ways to use up my stash! I have come up with ideas I never knew I could accomplish! I currently have about ten or twelve things going on. When I run out of yarn for a particular project I put it away and begin something new. It helps break up the monotony of the big projects and I constantly have to think up new and creative things to do. When I get to the end of the yarn I am gonna work on some crocheted rugs with all the scraps. That should finish it up quick and make for some pretty color combinations! I will be sure to take pix when I finish everything and post them here!
For now I am staying on yahoo. I will let everyone know if and when I switch to a new blog home. I have put in a lot of time and energy with this blog and I am really intimidated with the idea of starting over again. So hopefully yahoo won't change too much at least until I am able to recuperate from the holiday chaos. maybe next summer I will look into a new format and start from scratch again!
Well the kids are calling and I should get back to teaching. Hope all is well with everyone and I will talk to you all again soon!
Love and Hugs,

i got elfed!

This is NOT gonna be Chad this year!

The day after thanksgiving
Well, another thanksgiving has passed. Is it just me or do the holidays seems to come faster and faster every year? I remember as a kid I couldn't wait for Thanksgiving, because it kicked off the Christmas season. It was like the dress rehersal so to speak, a time for my family to gather and laugh together while they ate some REALLY good food! Now it means more to me as I have tons to be thankful for. My husband, my kids, our health, the roof over our heads, etc. There are far to many to list here!
I hope everyone had a great holiday, ours was nice. The food was great. Last year I messed up the turkey big time ( me and those self basting bags do NOT get along!) so this year I set out to redeem myself. I am happy to say I did.
The kids were all very well behaved this year. I even got my picky eaters to eat something besides the bread and pie like usual. I usually don't give them soda (couldn't cope with seven kids hyped up on sugar and caffeine, thank you!) but yesterday they had some with dinner and it was funny watching Ray Ray figure out how to drink it without the bubbles going up his nose! The kids even managed to end up eating two pieces of pie each, so they had a lot of energy to burn off by the end of the night. Tristan and Heaven even cleaned up the kitchen after everyone left. AHHHHHHHHH, life is good!
Hoping to do some baking this weekend. The kids want to help make candy, as I am totally in the holiday mood at this point I think we will do this and take some to the neighbors. We still have two gingerbread houses to decorate and I want to get some Christmas cards out. I guess this time of year I never sit still.
So for now I will close. Hope everyone enjoys their leftovers, I know I am!
Love and Hugs,

My mad scientists learning about Newton's Laws of Motion

Halloween at the fair!

Mack seems to be daydreaming!


Well, our Halloween was very busy this year! Had the bright idea to go with our homeschool group to the Arizona State Fair! Fun was had by all but I still haven't totally recuperated!
The kids were actually really well behaved, considering that they barely slept the night before and one of them was coming down with a nasty chest cold! got some great pics that I am sure I will be sharing with you all!
We originally planned to be home between 1 and 2 so the kids would have a chance to rest before trick or treating. There was way too much to see at the fair and we didn't end up making it home till 5 pm. We actually had to stop by Wal Mart on the way home and buy some candy buckets (neither Chad or I wanted to dig around in the attic for them!!!!). So we came home for a quick dinner and threw costumes on the kids!
Chad had the idea to take our two bigger dogs with us. Now I know that many say not to as it freaks dogs out when kids are in costumes, but honestly our dogs did great. They did get a bit excited when the other kids walked by but it was cool.
Needless to say we were all exhausted the next day. There wasn't much school work accomplished either, but it was nice having Chad home in the middle of the week to lounge around and watch movies with me.
Now totally on a different topic, I hear rumors that yahoo will be changing the format for their blogs. This leads me to seriously wonder whether I will be keeping this page or switching before the new year. Bear with me folks, I won't go far if I do change and I will be sure to let you all know. Now if anyone has any suggestions of a great place to blog let me know. Regardless of how much or how little I have posted, this blog is sort of my baby and it's been fun nurturing it!

Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday Raven! 10/20
Our handsome five year old!

Entry for October 08, 2007

I couldn't resist snapping a pic when I saw these two scouting birds. I guess we found Punkin his soul mate!
Will post more later!
Love and Hugs,


Entry for October 01, 2007

Well, It's official, we have a new member of the family. I would like to introduce Zoe, our new four month old muted calico fur baby, who the vet says is healthy as can be! Come on folks, you all knew it was inevitable! I am a sucker for a cute face and as much as Chad hates to admit it, he likes her too! So far she is nicely settled in, she seems to get along rather well with the other cats (she and Lily avoid each other and Punkin thinks she is his baby, gave her a bath the first time they met!) but she is seriously skeptical about the dogs' intentions! For such a sweet and quiet kitty she is really good at making her opinions known and she sounds pretty darn intimidating too!
Last week was rough and this week seems to be off to a rocky start! The cold that Chad and I have been battling seems to have hit him full force, and poor AJ is layed up with a tummy bug! Hopefully I can fend off all this stuff so I can take care of everyone! I am an inch away of just wearing a mask all the time around here!
Chad and I didn't make it to church this week, with us both feeling crappy we decided to lay low and veg. I never quite made it out of my pjs and I watched a lot of tv but that's ok!
I had to take the girls to their school for dibels testing today. A 45 minute drive for the teacher to talk to them both for 5 minutes seems a bit excessive, but that's just my opinion! Apparently Ash is struggling with reading and Mack is not. I find it interesting that I have been telling the teachers this since last year and it's only now that they have some stupid, standardized test to turn in that we have to give it our utmost attention! But that is public school for you!
As of right now I am in my recliner listening to my son vent in his room. He thought it would be cute to dig in to my stash of candy that I had hidden in my bedroom ( was using it for treats for the kids and homeschooling rewards). Chad and i both knew that one of the kids had taken it but could never find the wrappers to prove it. I turned to the only other people who were sneaky enough to think like him....his sisters! Is a criminal mind a genetic thing????
Anyway they turned over his room faster and more thoroughly than any law enforcement agency could have and they brought me a gallon sized ziplock back FULL of snack sized candy wrappers! It's interesting cuz I don't allow any candy in the rooms! So I made him clean the kitchen (one of his chores anyway) and put his disaster of a room back together (seriously the girls have a future as private investigators!) and then he is off to bed to think about how he is gonna explain all of this to his dad tomorrow.....glad it's not me!
So now that the house is abit quieter I am off to veg for a few and hopefully get to bed at a decent hour (crossing my fingers that AJ's tummy doesn't hinder this!), so I will post again soon!
Sweet dreams and love and hugs to all!

The weather's changing....
The temperature drops, the clouds roll in, thoughts of warm fires and cocoa comfort me.
I am an old soul, misplaced in this dry, lifeless place.
I yearn to see my children run free in green fields of grass.
For the smell of dew and the sound of birds waking up the sun.
For mother nature to make the rules, and life to obey them.
Just as GOD intended.......

Are You All Getting sick of the updates yet???
I am trying to get better with the updates, so you all have to bear with me!
Today was yet another beautiful day. I think Chad and I are both fighting a cold. I was kind of expecting it with how fast the weather changed but what can you do?
We took the kids to the park today. Chad actually managed to get off early and go with us. Everyone seemed to have a good time although I think Chad may have felt a little out of place with all of the homeschooling mommies. He ran off to play with the kids and I didn't see him for a while. We all sort of roped him into taking the 31st off to go to the fair. I have to admit that it is a great deal (the kids get in free) and it's something else for the kids to look forward to.
I didn't manage to make it to a vet for the little stray, but I found a clinic that is fairly inexpensive and it's only open in my area on Thursdays and Saturdays. So I will probably head over there with her on Saturday.
When we came home we all watched movies (We Are Marshall is awesome!) and then we made some wonderful steaks to eat. My picky kids scarfed down everything at the table.
Now my monsters are all cleaning. I am exhausted tonight because I did a dumb thing and stayed up half the night watching season 4 of 24. I have to say it makes for some pretty wild dreams when you watch a show like that before bed!!! So hopefully they will all finish quick so I can head to bed at a reasonable hour!
So sweet dreams to all
Love and hugs, Mary

Entry for September 25, 2007
Today was such a beautiful day. Heaven and I decided to take ROBINSON CRUSOE outside to the patio out front and read in the shade. I have to say it cured my drowsys! We have a little visitor. A calico kitten has decided that our patio is her domain. She showed up yesterday and insited on staying. I carried her around to all the neighbors houses and asked if they knew who her family was. Sadly no one stepped forward. I am gonna call around to some different vets tomorrow to see if one can give her a quick check up to make sure she is healthy and she doesn't have a microchip. Hopefully some nice vet will open his heart and gove her the once over at a discount as we really can't afford much more than that right now. I have afeeling we may be acquiring a new family member!
A lot of people scoff at our zoo. Currently we have three dogs, two cats, a bearded dragon and a hermit crab. I have always had a soft spot for critters and I love that I have passed it on to my children. As a homeschooling mommy I feel it is part of their education, and I have to say that I am really proud of my kids when it comes to animals. They treat them with kindness and respect, although they may need to be reminded at times to do clean up duty, they do it without contesting.
I stayed up a bit too late last night and almost slept through their live lesson this morning. luckily I remembered in the nick of time and both of my older kids were able to attend. Tomorrow we hope to make it to the park for our park day. The pest control guy is coming to spray so I am not exactly sure if we will make it on time but we will try.
Other than that there is nothing new going on. I have been reading a few blogs from some wonderful women who have way more kids than I do. The really put things into perspective for me. I thank God every day for all my blessings. Things could be much harder at home than they are. We are lucky to have 7 beautiful, bright and most importantly healthy babies (regardless of how nuts they make me!) and kudos to those women who wake up everyday with a heart to serve. I am in awe of their strength and patience!
For now I will close. Got some crocheting to do for Heaven's blanket before I turn in and the next episodes in my 24 series showed up in the mail today!
Sweet dreams to all!
Love and Hugs,

My five year old!

Today was beautiful! It gives me hope that the long summer is finally coming to an end. This means that the busy season for Chad is also coming to an end (I hope).
We have been going back to church for the last couple of months. I have to say it's surprising how things are starting to settle into place for us. We also joined a local homeschooling group that meets every week. The kids look forward to it all week long and it really gives them a chance to do some fun stuff with other kids.
As for me I am starting to settle into my cooler season habits. Dug the yarn out again to get ready for the holiday season. Hoping to make some things for the kids for Christmas this year and believe it or not I actually am able to find time to do it!
The kids are growing like crazy! I found some pictures the other day from just a couple years ago and I can't get over how much more grown up they seem now! Before I know it my babies will all bear the likeness of grown ups! It is really bittersweet! The pic is of AJ. on his birthday, it seems like only yesterday we brought him home from the hospital!
Off to have dinner, Hope all is well with everyone!
Love and Hugs,

new pic

Chad and I on our way to a friend's wedding.

Back to school!
Our school year began a few weeks ago. At first I was rattled because I wasn't expecting the summer to slip by so fast without us realizing it. I felt guilty for spending the whole summer wrapped up in painting the house and getting things in order that I felt totally unprepared for the new school year. How ironic is that?
The kids are doing well, I think that they are happy to have new things to do. For some reason I am more at peace this year. Last year was very humbling for me. I thought my job was to singlehandedly take responsibility for their successes and failures. If they failed it was only because I failed. I was striving for perfection (I make this mistake way too often) instead of excellence and effort. The end result was chaos, them trying to please me and not necessarily to learn. So I am approaching this year differently.
So far so good. We stay on top of our schoolwork and try not to leave anything for the next day. (I am a procrastinator, my worst trait!) So hopefully the end of the year will be more relaxed than last year. We even do extra assignments here and there just to lighten the load for later. We finish early in the afternoon and then we put the house back together, fold a load or two of laundry, and start dinner. It's nice to go to bed at night and not feel like I have unfinished business. No huge "to do" list that got held over for the day before. Tomorrow is a new day, with new lessons and new experiences.
So I am getting more done this year, even have time for my hobbies again. Have a huge stash of yarn in the closet calling my name, would love to have some handmade stuff under the tree this year for the kids but we'll see.
Hopefully I will be back to update soon!

Hope the holiday was a great one!

Just thought I would share the product of all our hard work reseeding the lawn!
Hope everyone had a happy Fourth!
Ours was nice BBQ and family fun!

Happy Summer!
It has been forever since I have updated so I thought I would try to catch you all up on mi vida loca!
We finished school on May 30th and the kids all did very well. Everyone got very good grades and Heaven made the Honor Roll! The teacher and I decided to give Ashleigh another year in the first grade so she would have more of an opportunity to master some of the basic reading and math skills . She is so excited to be able to "show" Mack how to do school!!! I am waiting one more year for Nathan so he can do some pre k this year. He really needs to get a handle on his letters and numbers before he starts formal school. But I am sure he will do fine when he starts kindergarten with his brothers!
After a very long slow season Chad is working his butt off! Wouldn't you know the hours would pick up when the temperature made it into triple digits??? He doesn't really mind though as long as he keeps busy. He's happy that his days are full and he is able to do the work.
As for me I have been busy painting the inside of my house. I am sick of white walls!!! As of now I have painted the kitchen, dining room, living room, hallway, office and front bathroom (and none of them are white! tee hee!) This week I will tackle my room and then on to the kid's rooms and laundry room. Hope fully I will finish soon so I can get a break before the school year starts again!
Been taking a break from AVON lately. Just too much on my plate to stress about a business. When the house is done, me and the kids want to do some fun projects and I would rather focus on that. But I keep my rep status so I can still order.
Other than that it's the same ole same. Got two left to do doctor appts for and then I am done with that for the year. Poor AJ has to get one more shot, but he's a good sport about it. After that is done then we get to start all over again with dentist appts. Fun Fun Fun! Hopefully next year I will get all of this on the ball at a better time for Chad and school. It feels like I have been going non stop for months.
Well it's late and the little ones wake up really early, so I will close for now.
Love and hugs,

Road Trip!

A.J. is ready to roll!

Nathan trying to ignore Ray Ray

Mack and Ash (aren't they pretty?)

Silly Ray Ray

Ashleigh enjoying a McFlurry

Tristan and Heaven

The Time Has Come

In fear and anger we rallied behind,
A decision that was promised to restore peace in our minds.
Our sons and daughters left to carry out this plan.
Blindly putting our trust in the intentions of a man.
But as the dust all settled, by dawn's early light.
We began to question our place in this fight.
Now they are dying, brave women and men.
The integrity of a nation lost, far too much to comprehend.
How to undo this mess we have made? How to retrieve what we have lost?
Shame on us for our need for revenge. We didn't acknowledge the cost.
The time has come to say ENOUGH! No one can do it alone.
We must band together and make our voice heard!
To bring AMERICA'S children home.
Mary Pittman 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Went to Girlie Girlz today! The girls loved getting all dolled up and they people there were awesome! After we went to McDonald's for McFlurries and then to walmart to do a little shopping. It was fun But I am exhausted!
Things are fine here. Taking it easy this week as our school is off for spring break. The weather is warming up fast and I know that summer will be here before I know it! Am doing my preplanning for painting this summer. The babies decided to dig a hole in their door to their room and in their boredom they worked on that hole for quite a while, so now I must add a replacement door to the list of remodeling supplies.
We have been getting all our doctor appts out of the way for this year. I am so sick of the doctor's office!
Well I am sure there is more to post but today has fried my brain and kicked my butt so I will get you all caught up laterz!
Love and hugs to all,

Mack's birthday cake!

Mackenzie's Dora cake. Also made by me!

Tristan's birthday cake this year. Star Wars theme and i made it myself!

Entry for March 03, 2007
Ok, feels like forever since I have posted! Let's recap on the last few months. We all had a wonderful holiday season and the new year was rung in with a bit of chaos as we got down to business with school again! The three youngest are totally potty trained (YAY!), and for those of you that know me, you know that I have been changing diapers for ten straight years so not having to drag around a diaper bag is HUGE!
The kids are all well, doing very well in school. Tristan's birthday has just passed. I can't believe he's eleven! Mack's is up next. We are having a small family party tomorrow and (hopefully) a bit of rest after. After running around doing all the shopping and whatnot today I am exhausted, and I still have two cakes to bake.
Been kinda letting the AVON slide lately, been so busy with the kids it's just been nuts around here. But I have a few great customers that keep me in it. Actually considering reopening Quite Contrary Creations and setting up an ebay store, but am waiting till things settle down in the summer for that.
Chad is working with Charlie these days. They are both happy at AMS even though is has been a bit slow. I am trying to get all our doctor and dentist appts out of the way before summer hits and they start working his tail off again. I know it won't be long!
Well that is all for now, I have family pics to share but I will have to wait till I find the cord for the camera. I went on a cleaning spree and I put it right where I would find it! (we know how that works, don't we?)
Love and hugs to all,

Entry for November 01, 2006

Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween!
Love, Mary

Entry for October 16, 2006
Thought I would catch everyone up on mi vida loca! First and foremost my two youngest are POTTY TRAINED!!!!! Nathan is well on his way, just a little stubborn! I should be pullup free shortly and I CAN'T WAIT!
Weekend before last we decided to go back to church. The kids have been asking for a while and we have missed it. But boy are our Sunday mornings hectic! With homeschooling and AVON I am constantly running. But it is nice to have a little time every Sunday to just sit and listen!
As for the kids they have been stuck on monster mode for the last couple of weeks. The babies have taken a liking to peanut butter. Not necessarily eating it but using it to decorate! I spent the whole day cleaning last week, when I realized that the babies had been quiet , in their room for a long time. Thinking they had fallen asleep I peeked in on them. As I opened the door, the stench of peanut butter nearly knocked me over! They had smeared it into their carpet!
Hercules was more than happy to take over the task of cleaning up the mess. That dog worked on the mess for an hour!!!!
The babies color scheme wasn't complete........two days later they added grape jelly to the decor! Half a jar was smeared into the carpet. (For those who don't know, we recently replaced the carpet in all the bedrooms, grrrrrr!)
Lucky for them our carpet steamer seemed to have removed most of it. Then on Thursday they snuck the peanut butter in once again and made the brand new mattress match the carpet!!!
At this point mom locked up the pb & j, gotta love child cabinet locks! But I underestimated the remorse they felt over all the added work they created for me. They must have really beat themselves up about it because they tried to clean their room themselves.....WITH THE HOSE!!!!!!!! Yes, folks, you heard me right they used the hose to clean their room! Some how they managed to get the safety lock off their window (Chad put it on with plyers, even I couldn't get it off!) , climb out the window and drag the hose in and spray the whole room! The carpet was literally sloshing when we walked in and the ceiling was dripping!
Needless to say we were a little upset! Aidan spent a long time thinking about his actions while standing on the wall (he's usually the mastermind in these little adventures and he's the one we caught outside when we walked in). I do have to say I am grateful we purchased the carpet cleaner a few years ago, that thing paid for itself in the first month!
The kids are all off on fall break from school, and I am using this week to try and develop some sort of organization in this crazy house. Hoping to have a garage sale on Saturday If the weather holds. And I would like to get a head start on some future assignments for the kids to get us a little ahead before my busy AVON holiday season arrives.
So I am off to start my week, I am sooo hoping it's less eventful than the last one!
Thanks for reading!

Entry for September 14, 2006
Haven't posted in a while so I thought I would catch you all up on the chaos around here. The kids started a new school. We are now enrolled in CONNECTIONS ACADEMY, a virtual school (technically public school, but they still learn at home) and they are all pretty excited about it. After one month I am happy to say that I am impressed with the progress they are making. We are still trying to get into a regular routine but I am sure it will come in time.
Aidan had a birthday yesterday. My baby is now 4 ! Where did the time go? I can't believe how grown up he is now. Unfortunately he spent his birthday sick ( a nasty stomach bug!) so we will be celebrating over the weekend. He wants a "CARS" party, even though he hasn't seen the movie. I guess it's my fault we bought him and Raven new comforters and sheets for their beds in that theme now they both love it. I even painted their room to coordinate with the bedding- so there's my creative thing for the month! (by the way, the monsters have already started peeling the paint off! )
Heaven had a birthday in July, she is now eight. But if you would talk to her you would think she was thirteen. It's bittersweet, time goes by so fast. I know that in the blink of an eye she will be a teenager.
Her bunny died about a week before her birthday. It was HUGE drama! She ened up getting a kitten for her birthday. A cute orange tabby named PUNKIN. Lily wasn't one bit happy about his arrival at first but she has since gotten use to him.
Chad has been really busy at work. He says the slow season is coming soon so he wants to get in as much work as he can now while they are willing to let him. Charlie's working with him now so he is finally working with someone who is just as serious about earning money as he is and he can rely on him more. So things seem to be going well for him.
And as for me, my AVON business is still in the baby stages. I get new clients every campaign but with everything going on I can't devote as much time to it as I would like to. I am able to toss books on the weekends and I hope to have an open house very soon (the holiday brochure is AWESOME!). Was thinking about going to beauty school over the summer to get my cosmetologists license and then only using AVON products but we will see what I have going on then. That's all I have going for now. Have to get back to teaching.
Will try to post again soon!
Love and hugs,

Entry for May 07, 2006
Hello all, I know it has been a while since my last post so I thought I would catch you up a bit. Ashleigh broke her arm in March which was a huge ordeal, but I am happy to say it seems to have healed nicely.Chad quit his job at the end of March and after doing a little soul searching, ended up going back to a company he had previously worked at. He is still doing drywall but it is at a company in which he seems to be a better fit so things are much better there!The rest of the kiddos are doing great, we are looking forward to warmer weather. Chad has began the warm season by buying a whole bunch of water pistols so the kids will have hours and hours of fun in the sun. I am sorry to say I was one of the first casualties in the Pittman water war of 2006. The kids used the first opportunity to drench me (with Chad's full support, of course) so I will be spending this summer getting them all back! tee hee!As for the kids schooling, we are working on a unit study right now of the Revolutionary War. Tristan and Heaven have both just received their own library cards and are looking forward to giving them quite a workout this summer when the reading program starts. We are all determined to earn the Diamondbacks tickets this year! That is all for now, I will post again soon!

Entry for March 10, 2006
Well, Last month was a very busy month. We literally had company every single weekend. We celebrated Tristan and Mack's birthday on the 25th they are now 10 and 5 respectively. It's bittersweet for me . I love watching them reach their milestones but it's sad to think that there growing so fast. In the blink of an eye they will be grown.
We put the kids back into karate, after both kids promised that they would apply themselves and practice. They love interacting with the other kids there so I don't mind it.
Chad has been working a lot over the last few weeks and I think it is really wearing on him. The kids and I miss having him around a lot but we understand that it isn't his fault and if given the choice he wold rather be here. So we'll just have to be patient until things slow down at work.
As for me I have been keeping busy between homeschooling the kids, keeping the house in tact amidst all the chaos, and crocheting my little hands off. We are going to clean out the garage this weekend and try to get rid of some junk. Chad wants me to get my craft stuff organized (yeah right like it's possible for me to get organized!) and he is even setting aside a part of the garage for all of it. So I have my work cut out for me.
Talk to you all again soon,
Love and hugs,

Entry for January 09, 2006
Hello all,
Had a house full of sick kiddos over the weekend so wasn't able to get to the puter. Ashleigh lost her first tooth last week! She was really freaked out about it until the tooth fairy brought her a dollar! Now she wants to run to the store and buy something, poor thing was nursing a fever all weekend so that dollar has been burning a hole in her pocket! The custest part was when Mack came to me the next morning telling me she saw the tooth fairy. Did you all know she wears a tutu???? Mack swears it's true!
I am hoping we are to the end of our passing of the sickies. At least one of us has been sick since Thanksgiving and quite frankly I am a little burnt out and stir crazy. Spent the last two days disinfecting the house so that we can get back to our normal routine.
Chad's schedule seems to be settling down since the holidays are over. He begins his softball season tonight.
The kids took a month off of Karate to reevuate whether they want to stay with it or not. I think Heaven may be more interested in a dance class or ice skating so we are going to use this time to explore our options. Tristan most likely will be back in karate class next month, he loves it!
As for the younger ones, I am hoping to get Ashleigh involved in some sort of class this year. She says she wants karate but I am thinking she will enjoy singing or dance better and Mack wants to be a ballerina.
As for me I am working on several projects right now and trying to get my online crochet group up and moving. Would like to get a few people to join and maybe start some charity projects over the next few months.
That's all for now will post again soon!
Love to all,

Happy Holidays to All!

Here is our tree on Christmas morning. Santa was VERY good to the munchkins this year! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and will post more pics of the unwrapping frenzy and the house all lit up just as soon as I can.
Love to all,

Happy Birthday Ashleigh and Nathan!

Had the Birthday party on the Sunday after both of their birthdays. They have both grown so much in the last year! We took a few pics but will have to get them all up later as yahoo seems to be running slow tonight and I don't want to spend all night uploading pics.
Ashleigh was very excited about her birthday and she got everything she asked for (the main thing she wanted was my little ponies and a new baby doll) Nathan made us all laugh when he opened one gift and his face just totally lit up when he saw the giant semi inside ( he is all boy through and through!)
warm hugs from Mary

Thank You to Fox 10!
Our news segment aired yesterday. I can't explain how surreal it was to see my family on t.v. just doing our reg day to day stuff. We had a lot of fun doing it and I would like to thank Ron Hoon and Fox 10 for giving us the opportunity.
Got a few calls today about it and I am thankful for all the kind words we are recieving. I am extremely proud of my family and was blessed to show the world (or at least a part of it) how wonderful they all are.
Hugs to all,
Mary and family

New Addition!

The day after Thanksgiving we went and picked up my newest baby. This is Isabelle, our eight week old rat terrier. Just wanted to show her off.
I'll catch you all up later on our holiday, most of us are sick with the flu right now so computer time is at a minimum.

Entry for November 22, 2005
The kids had their Karate promotions on Saturday and they both promoted to a yellow belt. Heaven is on probation for six months due to her lack of focus but we are hoping that this is the kick in the rear she needs to get serious.
On Saturday night we attended the class holiday party at Barro's Pizza. Everyone had fun and the babies had way too much sugar! When they held the raffle for door prizes every one of our tickets ended up winning! It was cute.
The news came to film our segment yesterday and the reporter called me today to let me know that our segment has been moved to nex Wed, apparently there was too much to fit into tomorrow's time slot but it was still a lot of fun. They did an interview with both Chad and I and the kids, then they filmed us in the yard, coloring at the table, making lunch, and loading everyone in the van. But the kids were awesome the entire time!
Probably won't post again untill after the holiday. We are having family and a few friends over so it should be fun around here, gonna cook up a storm tomorrow so I can relax a bit on turkey day. I hope you all have a great one!

Love and Hugs,

Entry for November 17, 2005
Hello all,
Been a while since I have posted so I thought I would catch you all up. Ray ray's birthday was a hit and he got lots of great stuff, I have posted pics in my album so feel free to take a gander.
Halloween was interesting to say the least. It started off rather rough. I walked into the girls' room to find Heaven dangling from the plant ledge in her room. Upon further inspection I noticed that the porcelain dolls we have been collecting for her have all been redressed, including a very old one with frail clothing! It spiralled down hill from there. I walked in to find chunks of blond hair all over the floor. Thinking the hair belonged to the dolls I went into an immediate lecture about taking car of your belongings when I saw both girls glance at Ashleigh at the same time. When I looked a little closer I noticed that most of the hair on the side of her head was cut about 1/2" from her scalp!!!!!!!
"We wanted to make her into Cinderella," explains Heaven!
So we did not go to the church fair like we had originally planned (had two boys at home sick anyway) but Mom is a pushover so I took them trick or treating around here.
Then last weekend I got a nice surprise, Chad let me take an" ever so quick but delightfully alone" trip to Cali to blow off some steam. To all the peeps who didn't know, I apologize and I plan to visit again soon so just hang tight till I get there. I kept a really low profile while I was there so it's nothing personal.
So now I am getting back into a groove. Got a call today that they want to do a news segment on my family. Totally random on the local station. We are supposed to film it on Monday and it should air on Wednesday so we are all excited. Now I am gonna clean like a maniac all weekend!
And if I don't post again before the holiday, I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful! I will be cooking for everyone this year as it makes more sense for my tribe to stay put and let the masses come to us. So if anyone see's smoke from my direction- grab a bucket and come running!
Love and Hugs to All

Happy Birthday Raven!!!!!
As I am sure you have guessed it is Ray Ray's birthday today. He is now three years old and entirely too independent to need me anymore! It's great to see how far he has come since that first month where we spent every three days in the doctor's office trying too figure out how to get every part of him healthy at the same time!!!!
It is such a joy to witness him growing up, he loves to giggle and play games (hide and go seek is a biggie) and make you chase him all over the house. For having such short legs you would think he would run a bit slower!!!!
We plan to have his party on Sunday, when Chad will be home to celebrate with us. It's going to be a pretty full weekend for us because our neighborhood is having a big block sale and we decided to try and clear out the garage a bit, hopefully we can still manage to make it to church but I am not counting on it!
Still trying to get used to flying solo with the kiddos so much. Took all the kids to run errands this morning and they were all angels! (can you believe it?) I guess I am going to have to bake some cookies to commemorate the occasion! They were all disappointed when they came home and found out that karate was cancelled this evening though, so we are going to watch a movie together instead.
Got to run for now but I will be sure to post pics from the party this weekend.
Squishy hugs to all,
Entry for October 11, 2005
Hello all,
Thought I would give a quick update on the happenings at our house. Chad has left his job at Bashas' and is now working at a new job delivering drywall. Neither of us are sure whether we are happy with the new situation yet as he is stuck working up to 15 hours a day (and not paid hourly but by the piece) and has no weekdays off (in which I can get appt's and other stuff done). GRRRRRR!
We have started going back to church on Saturday nights and the kids couldn't be happier! It gets a little stressful around here on Saturday afternoons with everything that has to be done getting everyone ready but it's definitely worth it!
In light of all of the news about the weather we are doing a study on pressure systems. Did a science experiment this morning invoving the affects of heat and cold on an aluminum can. The kids all jumped and spuealed when the can seemingly crushed itself in icewater!
Nathan is still potty training. He's pretty much got pooping all figured out (PRAISE THE LORD!) Now if we can just get him before he pee's we'll be in great shape! Five down- two to go!
A.J. and Ray Ray are being stubborn. They don't want to bother with slowing down on their playtime long enough to sit on the potty so they just run off and hide when they have to go. I know it won't be much longer though and I am sure they will both train together. They truly are growing up to love one another's company, after I put them to bed at night I always walk in to find they have pushed their beds together and are sleeping with their batman figures still spread all over.
Other than that not much more is going on. It's really starting to cool down and we try to make the most of the nice weather by spending the afternoons in the back yard as much as possible. we just refilled the sand box and the kids love to get out there with the tonka trucks and do as much damage as possible so it's a nice way to get the wiggles out.
So now I must close. Got my first pot of chili (this year) simmering on the stove (don't you just love "cooler weather meals"?) and several chores to finish before I have to run the kids to karate class.
Warm Hugs,

This week we celebrated Aidan's 3rd birthday! I think he had a good time- got lots of new toys and ate way too much cake! I am downloading more birthday pics to my album so feel free to check them out.
This week Nay nay went potty for the first time in the big boy potty!!!!! Potty training here we come!!!!!!
The house is almost finished, got the new furniture set up in the living room and it really came together nicely. I hope to have the office finished this week then we can start on cleaning out the garage and finishing the back yard. I see a big garage sale in our future!!!
Not much more to tell, kids are all fine and driving us crazy(as usual-lol). Chad has planted himself in front of the t.v. where he plans to hibernate in front of football games all day . Oh well, I guess every once in a while the guy deserves a break!lol
Love and Hugs to all!

Entry for September 03, 2005
Today I made a deal with the older kids--if they behaved in the morning while I straightened the house, they could watch a movie in the disaster of a living room while their dad slept. This served two purposes, they had to keep the house clean all morning and help to entertain the lil ones, and they get really quiet so Dad can sleep. So as I speak Mary Poppins is playing in my ear (may never get "spoonful of sugar" out of my head!)
The younger ones were not quite so compliant. Yesterday they tore up Raven's mattress while they were supposed to be napping. Thank goodness I had a spare in the garage (thanks to freecycle!). Well today they decided they didn't like the new mattress either! I walked in to find pieces of it shredded on the floor! GEESH!
So I think it may be time for twin beds for the babies! They are growing soooo fast! It seems like the more kiddos you have the faster they outgrow things and it is bittersweet. I look forward to all their milestones to come but long for the days when they were snuggled on my lap.
Aside from that the other news is that Chad is leaving his second job. It has been really rough on him pulling back to back hours and we are all looking forward to a much better rested daddy-lol! Tonight will be his last night at the club.
Aside from that I am still keeping busy working on the house and such. I a hoping to find a way to supplement the family income without taking me away from the kiddos too much. Wish me luck.

Entry for September 02, 2005
I sit astounded at the aftermath of Katrina. I pray for those that are missing and displaced. As I am touched by the outpouring of grief and love by those who are or wish they could help, I am also saddened by the few who are choosing to lay blame on others and take advantage of such a desperate situation.
As a country we try to help other countries that are living in circumstances not unlike those of New Orleans and yet in the wake of our own despair we must throw up our hands and shake our heads. Unsure of where to begin rebuilding the heart of America. We watch in horror as people loot businesses and hurt one another. It is not the time for this, we must extend the helping hand to one another- find the part of ourselves that keeps the people in third world countries thriving and pushing past poverty, despair and disease. Are we really so spoiled that we can't look upon one another in consideration and kindness when we need to the most?
I fear that the worst has yet to come, weather experts are predicting more (and worse) storms headed our way. We may survive them, but I doubt that we can survive one another at the rate we are going.

Entry for August 27, 2005
Hello all,
Just thought I would start this and keep you all up to date on my chaotic life. For those who don't know I have seven monsters. Four are from my body and three were born in my heart--they are all loved. I will have been married for ten years in December to Chad.
We don't really follow society's rules too much in the way of the kids' education. I believe that the public school system is hindering the growth of individuals. I respect the underpaid and overworked teachers today but I think they have an impossible job to do. They must connect and reach 25+ children per day and help to make them grow into whatever they were meant to be. I can't imagine taking responsibility for one year of helping to mold a complete stranger, so I have decided that the best person to help my children find the doorways to their destiny is me!
Right now we are on a hiatus from formal lessons. We are in the midst of remodeling and that makes for poor concentration from the kids so we fill our days with "unconventional" learning (you'd be surprised how much the times tables improve after a few rousing games of triple yahtzee!)
Today the older kids had to run a mile for their Tae Kwon Do class. They are trying to earn the Physical Fitness Award. They both did well (even though poor Tristan lost his shoe once!) I was so proud when he threw it on and got right back up and ran with the kids! They are both doing well in karate, a few weeks ago they were both promoted to a white belt with a yellow stripe. I will take a picture soon to share.
As for Ashleigh and Mack, they are moving right along. Ashleigh's attention span has improved immensely and Mack can recognize and write the whole alphabet. They both know their numbers and can count to ten in Japanese and Spanish. Nathan is slowly making progress. He and Ashleigh both have had a recent doctor's appt. They both hav eheart murmurs and have been referred to a pediatric cardiologist (just in case) I will let everyone know the outcome of that visit.
And last but not least Ray Ray and A.J.! What can I say about them? They are so funny! Really growing up to be great kids. Having been raised together they kind of have the twin thing going on. Ray's the the quiet inrovert who is always planning and A.J. is the let's do it now and deal with the consequences later kid. We are constantly laughing at their antics. They are both lovable and sweet and their smiles make our day!
That is all for now, hopefully I will have time to post often and keep you all up to date.
Squishy Hugs!