Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Random thoughts

He said, "Man, honey, you sure were snoring loud last night. You only do that when you're really, really tired!" She said, "Yea....I know."

~How can the laundry baskets be empty mid-day and then be overflowing before bed? I do 2-3 loads every day and there's still clothes! It's like a bottomless pit... Have you seen that commercial where the HUGE ball of clothes comes rolling at the mom when she's in her backyard? Yea, that's me...

~Thank the good Lord I was born with a personality that makes me want to be organized and to multi-task well. My days start at 6am and end around 10-11pm and I usually accomplish a few things and keep the house from looking like a tornado went through here. I'm trying to make lunch time more exciting with a wider variety of food...we usually resort to leftovers or sandwiches. I've been trying to menu plan for dinners (by the week) and write it on one of our dry erase boards so the kids can see what we're eating for the week. It's working out good, it saves me having to answer about 20 of the 1000 questions per day.

~Why is the traffic so bad going to the schools in the morning? Why doesn't the bus come to our driveway- like normal families? Why do we have to live on 'the line' of the other school district so it's close...but not close enough? How do I manage to keep up with having kids in 4 different types of schools (homeschool, private school, public school & military academy). **I can answer that...a really BIG calendar with lots of room to write things! :)

~You've seen me blog about the show Jon & Kate plus 8. I just watched a new episode the other night and realized that they've been married like 1 week longer than hubby and I!! Oh my goodness...I guess we really are in our 30's...and we really do have 8 kids...

~I was in Walmart a few days ago with just the 4 littlest ones (it was during the day when the others were in public/private school). A man stopped me and said, "I just wanted to commend you for the great job you're doing. You're handing this way better than most moms with one or two children." I thanked him for the compliment and said (just so I could see the look on his face), "And I have 4 more that aren't with me right now!" I think his jaw hit his shoes... hehe It was a really nice compliment and it made me realize I might be doing just something least the kids were behaving at that moment.

~We're getting ready for a visit from a friend from Africa. It's actually my 'sister' and hubby, the kids and grandma stayed with her and her family in Africa. She's only here for 3 weeks in the States. Hopefully she'll be able to stay in AR. for a week or so before she heads back to Liberia. It's awesome how God works...she was 'adopted' by grandma when grandma lived in Africa. When hubby met her, he told her that the two of us are a lot alike-very strong and independent women. I'm very excited to meet another sister that God has given who shares my passions and who is just a few years older than me. A sister who lives on the other side of the world...whom I've never met. It truly is a small world!

~My princess girl turns 3 on Friday. Man, where did that time go? She's such a joy- she keeps us laughing (or shaking our heads) all the time! She was helping me hang up clothes on the line this morning and said, "Mama, I do it." She had drug her own laundry basket outside with a few towels and wash cloths in it. I had to pick her up to reach the line and then she tried to pin it up there. I worked the clothes pin for her and then set her down. We clapped and I said, "You are so big, you did it!" She said to me, "I told you mom."

Friday, September 19, 2008


Grandma was here yesterday for a short visit. The kids are blessed to have 4 grandmas- this one lives close so they see her the most often. We finally got a picture of her with Angel Baby...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall Fun

For some reason, I get a mild case of 'spring fever' each year. It hits me full force in the fall! I can't remember how it was when we lived in Wisconsin but here in Southeast Arkansas, our fall is kind of like Wisconsin's spring weather- warm in the day and cool at night. Fall lasts longer than the spring and we can keep the windows open for a longer period of time. It seems like in the spring we have nice weather for maybe a month and then it's air conditioning time. We will have windows open from now well into December (last year I got pictures of us decorating the Christmas tree and the window was open in the background!). My 'fall fever' has been kicked into overdrive...I have a huge urge to PURGE everything. I've started with cabinets and I have the attic and garages next on my list. Maybe this is because we're so many people in one space, maybe I'm still tweaking the use of each area/space, maybe my OCD is flaring up again... whatever the cause, I don't mind because every corner is getting organized and cleaned. :)

I'm kind of in awe because usually 6 weeks postpartum I'm spending a lot of time in the chair nursing and not a lot of time sleeping at night. Angel Baby has thrown me for a loop, in a good way! I'd been praying and praying for an easy baby and my prayers have been answered! For a baby who is exclusively breastfed, I'm amazed that she's sleeping 4- 6 hour stretches at night and 2-4 hour stretches during the day. This has never happened before with the other babies! She is the only one of her 'kind' because the other three nursed every 1 1/2-2 hours around the clock for MANY months (maybe until introducing solid foods at 4-6 months?)! She's filling in nicely, I wonder if she'll get as pudgy as Princess did her first year. That girl was rolls on top of rolls! Very cute though, I must say...

Anyway, along with my purging and organizing comes my over-stimulated drive to cook, bake and create things in the kitchen. I like to think I am always busy in the kitchen (I am cooking for lots of mouths every day!) and always have something 'brewing.' But once again, the fall brings something out in me...more baked goods, more pies (I love pumpkins & cranberries in the fall), more coffee and hot tea (decaf for now) and lots more variety in breads and muffins. Maybe this comes about in the fall because we eat lighter in the summer because of the heat...

I also use our dehydrator a ton more in the fall and winter. Right now I have banana chips and slices dehydrating. I need a bigger kitchen or a space where I can 'extend' my kitchen. Over a year ago I got a huge 'lunch room' table for free. I set it up in our attached garage (the one that has now been converted into our toy/activity room. On that table is our water distiller, dehydrator, two crock pots, roaster, bread machine, commercial size rice cooker, etc. I wish it was closer to the kitchen though...

Along with my cleaning and organizing, I have painting on my brain. I've re-done every surface in the house with the exception of our bedroom/bath & the half-bath. I have visions of ripping down wallpaper and going crazy...I'm holding off though because I'm still trying to finish the sunroom. The floor is just about finished (only trim work left) and then I will spend a day and paint it. I'm excited to finish that room- it will be a dramatic change from what it was. I'm just thinking about how much energy I have in not being pregnant anymore... :)

I'm also brushing up on information related to healthy eating/living. Once again, I like to think we do a pretty good job throughout the year, but I really hone in the fall and winter to try and decrease illness and increase everyone's immunity. I'm reviewing one of my all-time favorite books/cookbooks (Nourishing Traditions) and have started another fascinating book called 'The Maker's Diet.' I'm excited to try a few new things I've learned- especially for the Liberian kids who's systems are still recovering from years of neglect. During the past three weeks (since public school started), we've been slammed with illness. Just about everyone in our house has a terrible, hacking cough and/or a cold. We all smell like garlic because this is primarily what I use to get everyone well- in record time. I make a garlic 'press' for the chests of those who are coughing (I apply it 2-3 times daily) and then we all get freshly minced garlic covered with raw honey 1-3 times a day. The little kids get a teaspoon full of honey and the 'big' ones get a tablespoon (usually a full clove of garlic each time). I've also used garlic oil diluted with olive oil for ear aches/infections in the past. Thank you, garlic, we are all on the mend!

I'll end today with a new muffin recipe I used this morning. It was from the side of a Malt-O-Meal box and they are called "Magic Muffins"- I alternated and adjusted some of the ingredients so it would be healthier.

1 1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c. Malt-O-Meal cereal, dry
1/4 c. raw honey
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. olive oil
1 egg
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. freshly ground flax seed (flax meal)
4 bananas

Happy eating & have a great week/weekend!

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, September 07, 2008

One week...

Last weekend, DD#1 learned how to use the riding lawn mower. She moved at a snail's pace (the throttle was WAY down) but got most of the yard done. No running over any lawn furniture or kiddie pools for her!

Grandma and Grandpa got here from Wisconsin on Sunday night. It's the first time they've seen Angel Baby.

Hubby took off for Labor Day (even though we knew Hurricane Gustav was coming) and went with Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie, Uncle, Cousins and all the kids to the zoo in Little Rock. I stayed home with Angel Baby because of the heat- I was nervous it would be too much for her all day outside in the sun...

Looks like he's not quite tall enough...hehe

What would zoo pictures be without the flamingos? I'll spare you the 15 monkey pictures and the 7 pictures of orange fish!

And then the effects of Hurricane Gustav made it up our way. Our power went out on the 2nd for about 8 hours, it came back on for 6 hours and then it went out again for 2 full days. These pictures are of some flooding on a road near our house.

Hubby said, "We can drive through this." I said, "You're crazy, what if the road is washed out? He said, "Oh, it's just a little water." I said, "Don't you remember seeing that woman on the news who tried to drive through the water and she was barely rescued with her little girl only after getting stuck against a bridge? " He said, "Yea, I remember. But look, those trees will catch us if we drift sideways." Nice... He started to drive through the water with a big grin on his face. I'm surprised the water didn't start coming in the doors!Just to the left of Princess is Hubby taking a bath in our pool (I'll spare you that picture!). When we had no power, we used the pool water for bucket showers, dish water, water to flush our toilets, etc. Praise the Lord Hubby bought a small generator a few weeks ago for the business. We were able to run the generator and plug in our two refrigerators and freezers. We just purchased the meat from a whole cow about 4 weeks ago. I would have been just sick if we lost all our meat! The older kids had school each day so we were doing homework by candle light and making meals on our grill (even in the rain). We also used the grill to heat water for the kids to bathe in. Our power was restored on Thursday (DS#3's 6th birthday) at about 1:30pm. I raced to Walmart and bought food for dinner (we were OUT of groceries!) and a box cake. I scrambled to get everything done in time but we pulled it off. Grandma and Grandpa came over and our birthday party went off without a hitch.

Where did 6 years go? When did my baby boy get so big? We used to call him Little Man...

Here's grandpa with the 4 little kids just after their walk in the woods. The boys love to play in the woods so grandma and grandpa made many trips out there to see all the boy's favorite places.

Friday we had some doctor appointments and Saturday grandma and grandpa were here playing games with the kids. Hubby was in on the kick ball game and tried to break his leg...he ran through a hole in the yard and just about did the splits. So now he's sick with a cold (maybe from bathing in cold pool water?) and he's limping around because his hip and leg hurt from wiping out. He said to me, "Man, I'm going to have a rough time getting old." I replied, "Yea, no kidding..."