Monday, November 3, 2008
A basketball player.
A karate kid.
And Ray Ray the builder!
Here are all of them together.
This year our pumpkin was patriotic!
Hope yours was fun too!
Love and Hugs,
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We celebrated another birthday, last week! Raven is now six years old and fully prepared to correct anyone that makes te mistake of calling him a baby! He picked breakfast for dinner for his special meal and got to go on a special shopping trip with Dad.
Kids are all doing great in their studies. A's and B's across the board! We sort of have a working schedule, right now it's more of a suggestion than a schedule as appointments and field trips keep shifting everything around, but that's ok.
Chad had minor surgery on his knee at the beginning of the month. I am happy to say this one went way more smoothly than the last surgery. He was back up and about by the end of the day. He ended up taking a position at work that was less wear and tear on his body. The pay is a little less but there is more room for promotion there so I think it was a good move for him. It's nice not having him come home physically exhausted and in pain every night too!
The cut in pay was some incentive for me to get even more serious about saving money. Slowly but surely I am becoming the coupon queen! It's become a new challenge for me to see how much I can save every month. I faithfully read the blogs of large family moms and get great tips on ways to save. Our newest thing is prepaid electric. It's kinda cool keeping the kids involved in checking to see how much we are spending and finding ways to lower the costs. Tristan now hand dries the stuff from the dishwasher and they all help hanign laundry to dry. Luckily the weather had changed so we enjoy the breeze going through the house with the doors and windows open.
We all went to the fair last Wednesday. Our homeschool group went and it was really the most economical way for us. We paid for just the adults them the kids got in free. We took our own food and the kids got free rides for book reports. Ithink next year I might encourage the older kids to make something to exhibit. They are learning granny squares and can make something to enter. I will be posting pics in a few days from the fair.
Well, it's getting late and the kids are waiting for school to begin so I will end this novel for now.
Love and Hugs,
Monday, October 13, 2008
Your result for Could You Win The National Spelling Bee Test...
National Spelling Bee Champion
Wow! You got all answers correct, making you The National Spelling Bee Champion! Brilliant Job!!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Love and hugs,
Thursday, September 4, 2008
There are a few pics of my monsters hard at work!
I actually have a schedule now that I do my best to follow. I have failed miserbaly the last couple of days but hope to get back on the ball tomorrow. I think that the holiday weekend followed by park day and the first speech therapy all in one week threw me off. Oh well, tomorrow is another day!
This is going to be a pretty full month for us, we seem to have something planned every weekend (don't ask me how it happened!) and one of those is Aidan's birthday! We have free tickets for all the kids for a Diamondbacks game that day so I think that is what we are doing. We got them by doing the reading contest for the library over the summer. fun fun fun!
The park day was a lot of fun. AJ was mesmerized when the fire truck showed up and sprayed the kids and then he got to check out the truck up close and ask the fireman questions. He told him that he wanted to be one we he grows up. Out of all my kids, AJ is definitely the one who could be running into burning buildings (down the road of course) he has no fear!
Today Ash met her speech teacher, a very nice lady who Ashleigh seems to really like. She even comes to the house so I don't have to tow all the kids with me for therapy, YAY!
Love and hugs to all,
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
In all the lumberjack fun we thought it was a great time to buy a fire pit (we have all this wood now!) Well, we have fired it up twice and had the police called on us twice. Apparently our neighbors don't want us out making smores! Each time the police were very nice, even cracking jokes about all the wood we have on hand and how much better the neighbors satellite reception must be! They saw that our little fire was contained and attended and went on their merry way. I have to say though, karma is probably gonna bite our grouchy neighbor in the rear!
I survived the first day of school with all seven!!!! It was a little rocky at first (mass chaos is a better word!) but by lunchtime, Chad was home and having all kinds of kindergarten fun with the three little ones! I did get a little sad when I realized I have no babies anymore, all my monsters are school aged:( but we had fun and got quite a bit accomplished!
Love and Hugs,
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Here is Heaven's Birthday cake. This year she wanted to make and decorate it herself. She did a great job and had almost as much fun making it as eating it! She turned ten and is growing up way too fast!
And here is five months of my life! Chad's friend found out I could crochet and asked if I could make an afghan for his bed with his college logo on it. It was quite an endeavor as I have never used more than one skein of yarn at a time and I can't count how many times I frogged, but it's finished, it's huge, and I am really proud of it! He was really happy with it when he got it!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
1. Our electricity: living in Arizona, I find myself dreading the monthly bill! This month we topped out at over $400 for energy use! In all fairness we did get hit with a stomach bug last month so I was doing laundry around the clock and trying to keep the temps extremely comfortable but here's the new plan.
a. We are gonna keep the thermostat at 80 and run fans in the rooms that we are in.
b.We are gonna unplug our cell phone chargers and anything electric that draws power when not in use (this will be especially hard for dh as he is so used to the convenince of not having to bend over and plug something in! tee hee).
c. I am gonna line dry everything except towels and big bedding during the warm weather. In all honesty I could line dry everything but I love the feel of a fluffy towel warm from the dryer! But for everything else, it seems a little crazy to me to ignore the fact that the 100+ degree temps outside could dry the clothing (and even make it last a bit longer) just as efficiently as my dryer can. This should cut down on the dryer by about 3/4. (just a heads up, i actually dry it all on a rackin my garage, just as hot but doesn't sunbleach or bake your clothes and give them the "crunchy" feeling!
d. Am phasing out incandescent bulbs in the house and replacing them with cfl's!
e. Turning of lights when they aren't in use (the kids thing the closet monsters need light even when the kids are somewhere else....this MUST be remedied!
2. Our groceries: as I am sure you can imagine nine people need a lot of things. Food, personal care items and pet essentials alone are enough to make anyone cry when they see the receipt!
a. COUPONS, COUPONS, COUPONS! I am gonna strive to work harder in this area. I have become a bit lax over the years with less time to dedicate to clipping and such. But it can easily become a good lesson to the children on good stewardship and being smart with your money. Am proposing a coupon club with a few of my friends where we all clip coupons and share with each other what we don't use.
b. Catching the sales! I use to have a shopping list and I bought what was on it no matter what it cost us. No more of that! Gonna shop the sales and just get creative with recipies (which can also be a good lesson to my kiddos, home ec, anyone?)
c. Garage sales. I know this doesn't fall under the heading of groceries but 7 kids can do a number on you clothing budget! So I am gonna hit garage sales to keep my kiddos in playclothes and then replenish undies, socks and dress clothing a couple times a year from department stores.
d. How does your garden grow???? With the price of groceries being what they are, I am learning how to turn my thumb green! Gonna spend fall and winter prepping our yard and in the spring a new garden is going in! I have done a lot of reading about urban homesteading and victory gardens and realize now how much freedom there is in being able to provide at least some of your own food!
3. Holidays: I have to admit it, I am addicted to holiday cheer! I have been known to get out of hand with my spending and that tends to make a very grinchy dh!
a. Start early! I already have a few things tucked away for the kids! I send away on line for freebies for things like lotions, lip balms, etc and those will be collected for stocking stuffers. I also double up on school supplies and keep some for those stockings later.
b. Nothing says love like hand made! I am a firm believer that there should be something handmade under the tree!
c. Read emails for gift cards! I belong to mypoints and get at least five points for every email I click through. When I earn enough points I send for a $25 gift card to a department store of my choice. The cards don't expire so I save them until the holidays and it's free money to christmas shop with, if you watch the sales you can save even more! An added bonus is to use the gift cards for online purchases and schedule to pick them up at the store so you beat the crowd, spend the time at home shopping, don't have to pay for shipping, and earn even more points for shopping through the mypoints site! If you are interested in this let me know and I'll refer you!
That is all I can think of for now, I will keep you all posted on how all of it works!
Love and Hugs,
Friday, June 20, 2008
So today we decided to go out and get our minds off of all of it. Took the kids back to the splash pad at the park and even dig out the supersoakers and we all chased each other around with them. It was fun and a nice chance to cool off in the 112 degree heat! Tomorrow is supposed to be 114 so I think we are staying in!!!!
I am in the process of getting court stuff mailed off (gotta update the court once a year per the guardianship agreement) and getting my three youngest enrolled in the virtual academy. I am hoping this new doctor's concern will get the school to pay attention when I ask for him to be evaluated. I don't want Nathan to have to deal with the frustration that Ashleigh did!
Totally off topic, the mom that hosted the slumber party last week that the girls attended, sent me some pics. Here is one of me picking up the kids, wouldn't you know it, Mack was closing her eyes!!!!
Love and Hugs,
Monday, June 16, 2008
Love and Hugs!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
We actually got Ashleigh and Nathan to join in the swimming fun! For those of you who don't know these two, this is huge!!!!! I could hardly get them in past their ankles last year, and to have them ask to get in with me let alone float on their own is a big milestone for them!
Neither Ash or Nay Nay would dunk their heads but frequently asked me to get their hair wet!
Fearless AJ jumping off the diving board BACKWARDS!!! That boy scares me sometimes!
My little diva lounging!
Hope you enjoyed!
Love and Hugs,
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
I was in the midle of my little pity party about all the kids being sick and how it kinda cast a shadow over mother's day (it was good, but being sleep deprived and leary of any kid that looked like they might be feeling icky, it was a bit wierd!). When I happened to surf through some of my favorite blogs. One in particular got my attention. Another mom with far more children than I have is going through a particularly hard time. She opens her heart to the kids that have been somewhat forgotten and in the process of showing her love and giving them the life and family they most certainly deserve, they don't always know how to trust it and sadly she gets her heart broken.
WOW!!! What in the world am I complaining about????????
So I am gonna wear my newfound perspective like armor! When my daughter wakes up sick and asks me to scratch her back, I am not gonna focus on the sleep that I am losing, but be thankful that in a world where a child can't bring herself to reach out to her mother, mine is able to look to me for comfort. I am gonna be thankful for the six year old who shoots into my room at night because he is afraid of the lightning because there are children out there who have been so hurt and tossed aside that they don't feel like they have any champions to brave the scary weather for them.
And I am gonna fall to my knees and thank GOD every night that he blessed me with these seven souls to love and learn from!
So I ask you, am I the only one who finds solace and lessons in the ramblings of a blog? I really think it's therapeutic, like stepping into another person's mind for a second and imagining how life could be given different variables. I am grateful to my internet therapists, who unknowingly brought me peace at a time when I thought was so trying and showed me that this too shall pass! I only wish I could do the same for them!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
We are dealing with the stomach flu. I currently have one recovering, one "sort of recovering" and two down with it. The kids don't want to lay down and I am a walking zombie! Thinking of spending the few hours I have of coherent time today scrubbing the house and getting the germs out.
So any prayers you can send my way are appreciated. I am seriously hoping the sickies end soon!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Here are Tristan and Mack blowing out their candles. We didn't realize Nathan was trying to help!
Monday, January 21, 2008
That's it for now. Until next time,
Love and hugs,
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Confessions of a blog neglector!!! very long folks, you might want to get a drink and use the bathroom!
Christmas was nice, a little stressful at first as I had to wait until the paycheck moon fell into my orbit so I could shop. So I was the insane woman at Wal Mart three days before Christmas trying to find the perfect gifts for everyone! I HATE THAT! I love Christmas and actually the whole month of December is my favorite month, but being that stressed out takes the joy out of it and makes it feel like a chore!
My attitude of being stressed and annoyed carried over until the afternoon of Christmas Eve, but magically went away by dinner time. We had a really quiet dinner and just enjoyed being together! After we ate I made hot chocolate and we all played card games. The kids opened one gift each (BIG SURPRISE.....pajamas! ;) ) and then went off to bed. I had the kitchen cleaned up and the cookie candy platters all assembled and ready to hand out by midnight.
Phyllis, Jerry, Charlie and Tasha were coming sometime after eight. That did not stop my eager little monsters from waking us up at 5 AM! We held em off until 6:30 but then realized our efforts for more sleep were a lost cause and rolled out of bed to start coffee. Everyone unwrapped and ooh'd and ahh'd over their gifts (there's five hours of careful and thoughtful shopping for ya!) and then the family showed up with biscuits and gravy (could EASILY become one of my favorite traditions!) We all ate, talked on the phone to family that was far away, put together kids toys, and then the adults all piled into the living room to test drive the NINTENDO WII that Charlie was "babysitting" for a friend, tee hee. VERY ADDICTIVE GAME!!!
I don't think I mentioned that Chad had arranged his vacation to coincide with the kids' winter break. It took him and I both a couple of days to decompress from our nutty schedules and relax but after that we all had some very nice family time. We picked up some board games and the Haryy Potter Scene It, and I realize now that my son is some sort of freaky Harry Potter genius!!!!
Our New Year was quiet, we had just sold the explorer (bittersweet to see it go, it was our first big purchase as a couple- how sentimental am I???) so we ended the year with a little cash in our pockets (hope that is a good sign!). Even so, we laid low on NYE and played games and watched movies till midnight. All but AJ and Nathan were awake to ring in the new year.
Spent the rest of the break the same way, peaceful and relaxed. Did one major shopping trip together to restock the cabinets and went to park day. I know it sounds mundane but I loved it and I honestly think we all needed to just tune out from the everyday grind together. I hope to make it all a tradition!
Money is usually tight and things are far from perfect. But it's nice to remember we are a family and we will always have each other!
Hope 2008 finds everyone surrounded in peace, love and happiness!
love and Hugs