Thursday, November 17, 2011


   I LOVE the fall, especially the warmer days you can get outside in a sweatshirt and be perfectly comfortable.  This was one of those days.  We only had about 45 minutes before dinner and darkness set in so very unlike us we decided to go hiking last minute.  Usually we need hours to go and explore and talk, but this day we just did it.  We told the kids only one time off trail exploring was allowed since darkness was coming and... it was great!  Beautiful. So glad we decided to enjoy the few moments we had and so thankful we live just a short drive to a trail!  Thank you Lord for the beautiful world you created!

 I love this picture!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


    Our boys are always out of socks.  It seems no matter how much laundry I do we are always out.  And though we know some of them are floating around their room, others I swear just disappear!  The other mystery is how they get so dirty so fast.  I'm sure they are NOT running out in their socks without shoes like their mother does...often!  Anyways, Paul decided the other day to be good Daddy and stock up all men with new socks (partly for their own good and partly so the older two would stop stealing his!).  So joyfully we came home with many socks and all the boys threw on a pair and headed out with Dad for a guys night out with friends.  Honest... this picture was sent to me within the hour...

Those are his brand new socks!  How is that even possible??  He got his shoes wet and muddy and ta-da!  Destroyed socks!  Seriously??   Note to self, next time buy all black socks for the boys!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

   We're finishing up our study on Veteran's Day and have learned so many interesting things.  We've read great books and visited some pretty cool websites.  We found a wonderful resource at a nearby library, a room full of DVD's that contain interviews of veterans' in our area.  It's a project to preserve history and the one we watched was fantastic!  It was about a young man who became a paratrooper who dropped at Normandy.  He was a prisoner of war two or three times (twice from accidentally going over a hedge and landing IN an enemies machine gun seat!).  His escapes and travels were amazing, scary, funny at times and an eye opener for our kids to realize this is not just a great story, it's real.  It's something that changed this person's life forever, changed our world forever.  We finished our week by calling family members to see how many vets were in our immediate family (not cousins and second cousins but grandparents and aunts and uncles).  They had to ask who served, in which branch and what war if any they were in.  They did it on speaker phone so all of them could hear and completely on their own.  Then they came out of the room gushing with stories to tell.  We made silver stars to represent the 5 they learned about (silver because thankfully none of them died in service, that would mean a gold star) and hung them on a banner in the front room window.

    We'll be calling those who served in our family today and thanking them for all they did.  We'll leave the banner up through Saturday because 3 of the 5 will be here for Hannah's birthday and we want them to see it.  Learning about those in our family who served and what they did made the study much more interesting.  To think,"Hey my uncle was there!", is a pretty cool thought.

  While Memorial Day is about remembering those we lost, Veteran's Day is more about thanking those who served. Take a minute today and thank the vets in your family and say a prayer for those serving right now.  Who knows, one day it might be our sons or daughters being prayed for by others.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Life of a Mom

   I just had to quick write this real quick while it's happening.  Today is Wednesday, Miss Hannah's birthday!  At 8:00 this morning I made a cup of lovely warm "coffee" (actually Roma since I'm trying to stay away from caffeine) all creamy and hot.  I sat down to read my Bible and do my Good Morning Girl's study in the semi-quiet time.  I had visits from many handsome boys, a sweet messy headed birthday girl pop in, a toddler yelling... sweetly, "MOOOOOOMMMMM.  I WAKE UPPPPPP!".  Breakfast followed and then birthday phone calls and bath time for the girls.  It is now 9:30 and I've warmed up this same cup of coffee... well, I lost count!  At the very least 4-5 times!  Now there's a few sips left and I'm trying to decide if it's even worth warming up...again!  (I like my coffee hot, not luke warm.)  It just made me laugh and think of how crazy these days are.  I'm sure I'll be amazed how quickly the time comes that I can sit and enjoy one long steaming cup of coffee, but to be truthful, I'll take today!  I love the bustle of family and rainy mornings with school to be taught, a loose tooth to be wiggled and a birthday trip to the mall to ride the horsies coming this evening.

It's a wonderful life!
(Even more wonderful because the holidays are coming and I can pull out my favorite movie... It's a Wonderful Life!)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Great Book!

   With the help of Five in a Row Holiday book we have taken the time this week and last to talk about Veteran's Day (which is Friday Nov. 11).  We talked about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the fear and courage soldiers have and we are going to talk to family members to see how many of their relatives served in the armed forces. As we've talked about all these things I've picked out books that are about soldiers or families during war.  One of the recommended books in FIAR was Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco.

   Wow!  What a fantastic book.  It's about two young boys during the Civil War.  I won't give too much away here, I'll just say it's a great read.  It's a "children's" book but deals with some pretty heavy stuff so it's not for the little ones.  I read it to my 6, 8, 11 and 13 yo but the 6yo was not very interested and kind of did her own thing.  AND being that I read it last week, said 6yo was 5... sniff sniff.  Anyways, it's a true story told down through a family generation after generation to the author who is writing the book.  It's fantastic.
Check it out!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Daily Routine Tips

   This past week I was just surfing the net and fell upon this awesome post that is exactly me!  Check it out if you have a quick minute.  I'll give you a basic summary... she talks about how often she tried to plan the "Monday is Laundry Day" and "every weekday at 11am I will spend 30 minutes with x child" and how often life happened and it just didn't happen.  She (I) was tempted to not "do" a routine but knew that a routine was helping her at times too.  She sounds like me because I tend to be all or nothing especially in this area.  I am a "school starts at 9" or "school will get done today...probably" person.  I knew there had to be a balance.  I've shared here the idea of choosing school hours based on the day.  For example we need to do 4 or 5 hours a day, today we're going out at 11 so we'll do two hours before and 2-3 when we get home etc.  Well this blogger takes the idea and runs!  She made a daily docket she explains in the above link.  She fills one out for each day since life is always changing.  She makes a weekly check off list of things she wants to get done and then works them in each day depending on how each day looks with the goal of having all accomplished at the end of the week.  I LOVE this idea!  It may sound confusing... read her post.  But the weekly check list doesn't change.  It's those standing things we all need to get done like cleaning, laundry, groceries etc.  I'm going to give this idea a try.  I think the only catch will be getting into a habit of taking the time everyday to write it down.  I'll have to make it part of my evening routine... I say that like I have one!  I don't.  I'd like to start one that allows me some time to look at the day ahead and prepare for it without answering questions and being used as an indoor jungle gym.  I know I'm so picky.

   So there you have it, my blog post today is telling you to read someone else's blog post ;0) 
 You'll be glad you did.

Monday, November 7, 2011


   I just found this great calendar I had to share.  I found the link through FlyLady which I use in our home in different seasons.  Sometimes it works... sometimes not so much, but great ideas.  Anyways, while visiting their site I followed this link to Cozi which is an online calendar.  I'm LOVING it!!  You can color code your family members, put it as a sidebar on your desktop so you can always see what's up for today and tomorrow, you can access it if you have a smart phone (which I don't) and it will send you reminders on your cell phone if you text (which I do).  It's so nice to see it all laid out.  You can print it by the day, week or month if you're so inclined and you can even set it up to send reminders to others in your family on their cell phone.  You can set up school routines that will show time and days on or off... I'm loving it!  You can make a To-Do list and even a grocery list.  What I love most is having it on my desktop.  I am one of those people who may take time to check my emails but sometimes skips the two minutes to check my calendar!  As you know if you write it down but don't read it... it doesn't help!  If you want it also will let you link up to Flylady and it will tell you what Zone you're working in that week and that days "mission" in your zone.  I've been trying to get into the habit of checking their "missions" each day because they are easy and right on for our house but now I don't have to!  It's right there.  Ahhhh, I love technology sometimes!

Friday, November 4, 2011

3rd Shift

   You may not know this about us but in 18 years of marriage we've only been a "normal" 1st shift family for 2 years.  Paul has always worked jobs that don't account for holidays and "normal" working hours.  Lately he's been under a ton of stress at work.  They are WAY understaffed and over worked.  They are being asked to do things that use to be the job of 3 people... literally.  Then they are putting huge rules upon him as to how to do it. They have now fired 3 people in the last 3 months for not doing their job right.  Paul is a #1 worker.  He enjoys doing a job well even if no one is looking and the crazy demands are stressing him out like I've never seen.  He's in a dangerous field of law enforcement and being understaffed and constantly distracted is not a good combo.  As shift bids came up this year and his blood pressure is normal at home but over 200 ON blood pressure meds at work we decided it might be time to go back to the old days of 3rd shift.  It's not the best for families but we figure a dead dad would be worse right?

  I spent sooooo many years trying to figure out how to live a "normal" life in the crazy 3rd shift world and really struggled.  Ironically as we are looking ahead and make plans there's almost a comfort in going back.  What I didn't realize is we really did adjust quite well to that schedule/shift, it just didn't feel like it because no one else lived like that!  As I'm looking at wake up times, meal times and how we're going to go about things I'm thinking...."why didn't I like this??"  I know one reason, if he only had 1-2 days off it's too hard for him to adjust his sleep so he stays on his normal schedule.  This means for me I only had a "full time" husband with me 2-3 days a month. And we only had one long weekend a month to do anything with.  That was hard.  And what made it harder was since he didn't adjust his sleep and there's not much to do in the middle of the night he would game or watch movies or read and it looked like a fantastically wonderful break that I NEVER got!!  We're talking about how we will handle that when it comes.  If you have any wonderful suggestions pass them on.  He's going to take the time to workout and help out with laundry.  He could do some late night store runs to a 24 hour "super store".  I know now that the boys are older he'll pull them out for some all nighters which doesn't sound so great to me but the boys think it's awesome and I know it will build memories for them all.

   The other thing I learned is having your husband home more...isn't always a good thing!  LOL!  Don't get me wrong, I love having him here but it's next to impossible to get anything accomplished!  He gets in the way of our routine and the house is a mess, baths aren't done and there's a lot of movie watching and rough housing going on!  It's very hard to keep a routine (not that I've ever been that fantastic of a routine keeper anyway).  While on 1st shift he was on 12 hours so he had a lot more days off.  It's been fun but I will say it would have been more fun if our kids were in school or all older and gone... or all was just hard to  homeschool with him home more often.

  Oh well, I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.  1st shift 12 hours I thought was going to be the best but it too brought some scheduling conflicts and issues.  And as much as I thought it would turn my night owl husband into a morning lark, therefore transforming ME into the morning lark I always wanted to be, it was not to be.  We would wake early and go to bed early on "work" days but on days off we'd both be up way past midnight and sleep in until 9am!  I hate that about us, and I totally blame him for making me this way!  I don't recall being like that until we married and I adjusted to his nutty ways!  I guess if he can put up with all my crazy I can put up with his as well ;0)  The secret to a happy marriage... put up with each others crazies.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


   Football is done!  Woo hoo!  Carter played his first year of tackle ball and it was a lot of fun and VERY busy!  I've told people if it weren't for the fact that we LOVE football it would have been horrible, but we love it so it was a ton of fun.  We learned some interesting things about Carter.  He is very unsure about tackling.  He doesn't mind getting tackled but said he just has a hard time convincing himself to run full bore into someone else!  He was a great quarterback.  He's smart and sees plays well.  He did really well at QB.  He is NOT aggressive. While enjoying playing quarterback he never told the coach he wanted to play more because someone else really wanted to be QB, so he just went with the flow.  At the end of the season several parents said they wished he would've played QB more often and that seemed to boost his confidence a bit.  And last but not least, he is not afraid to try anything.  We would just crack up laughing during games.  Kicker hurt?  Carter will do it.  Kick team missing a player?  Carter will do it.  Someone's not playing their position well?  Carter will do it.  While other kids were afraid to try the coaches knew if they needed to fill a space Carter would do it.  He wasn't always great but other kids were too nervous to even try.  The one game he ended up kicking because the kicker was hurt he did awesome!  Who knew??

   I realized as I did this post I don't have any pictures of him all suited up!  Oh well.  Here he is with two of his coaches at his banquet and a whole mess of hormones... I mean team mates!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

5 Little Pumpkins

  Well, they're not all so little anymore but they're still my pumpkins ;0)  Being Halloween yesterday this post is a little late but hey, better late than pregnant right?  Hee... I mean better late than never... I'd probably take the pregnant thing!  This year because of our organic farm co-op each child was able to get their own pumpkin!  That doesn't sound like much but getting 5 kids their own pumpkin can easily wipe out $25 we don't have on something that rots on our front porch!  A few days ago it was nice not freezing out so I let them go to it outside!  Here's the pics and the end results.

 The blonde in the picture is our "blonde brother".  He's our next door neighbor and practically lives here so he's always just part of the crew.  He helped Hannah while I helped Addie.

It was dusk and for some reason it looks blue!  The peace sign looking one on the far left is pretty funny and creative.  That's what was left after the rest of the pumpkin rotted!  So they call it their "pumpkin lantern" which is what it looks like in person, but in this pic it looks like a pretty cool peace sign!

We roasted the seeds using this recipe.  I didn't boil them though.  Very tasty!  Hope you had a great Halloween.
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