summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012
family

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

having a break...

Winter break, and it's snowing out like crazy. I thought to take a pic of the huge-0 flakes floating down, Life In A Snowglobe, but I don't feel like getting up. You see, my chair is comfy, and I have one of my favorite blankets, the black and white Buffalo plaid with the white fleecy/furry lining...my first coffee of the morning is already gone, so I do have to get up soon anyway ha. But every window here is like a framed nature print, except that the snow is moving.

This is the first year in a while that we haven't gone to Florida for winter break. So we have to have fun and keep busy here in the snowglobe. The kids played some Settlers of Catan yesterday with Davian. (he's Anne's big brother, and he likes coming over to visit)

(Camille sat this one out, it's a four player game)

Jonathan made omelets for brunch, and bacon. I added some chaffles. Here's how I make them:
2 eggs, whisked, add:
a splash of vanilla
one cup shredded mozzarella cheese
a few tablespoons of almond flour, optional, or you can add coconut flour
2 packets of stevia
some pumpkin pie spice.

Spray hot waffle iron, and go to it! This makes four small-fish chaffles. I eat them nice and hot with a splash of heavy cream on top. They aren't as good as REAL waffles, but they aren't bad, I enjoy them.

Dinner was chicken...I cut it into small strips, marinated it, early in the day, in lemon juice, salt and pepper, some chicken seasoning...then cooked up in a little bit of olive oil...then added almost a whole stick of butter, browned it up, added garlic and parmesan, and yummers. We had salad with it, spring mix and an iceberg mix, some red peppers and tomatoes.

Molly visited with me last evening with sweet little Ophelia Rose...


There's nothing like rocking a newborn.

We don't have plans for today yet. The kids were starting a movie as I headed to bed last night, so they'll be sleeping for a while. I don't mind the quiet. Paul is working from home today, and the dogs are snoring. They were very naughty, barking at the propane guy this morning.

Anyone else worried about the corona virus? It sounds dreadful. I know the very hairs of our heads are numbered, and I trust that God knows and plans all things. But I admit to being tempted to some anxiety. Anxiety is something I hate, and I fight against it. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.."(Phil 4:6), and in 8: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things."

Monday, February 17, 2020

Monday funday....



I dragged these good-natured daughters of mine out of bed at the un-Goshly time of 7:40, this first morning of winter vacation. They accompanied me to my appointment to get TSA Pre-check. Yay for me, I don't have to take my liquids out, take off my shoes, take my sweater off, or remove my electronics from their cases. Why does paying $85 make this possible, I do not know, go ask your dad. I just hope it decreases my chances of getting the old pat-down. Once in JFK, I was absolutely SCREAMED at, because I forgot to take my scarf off, going through security. oops. In the lady's defense, she deals with people forgetting these things, day-in, day-out, and it prob gets old.

It's only good for in-the-US travel, we New Yorkers are no longer welcome in the Global Entry programs, because our genius governor has messed things up, but that's a whole 'nother story.

So after I got my fingerprints done, and my questions answered, and the money paid, it was off to the mall with the girls, but oops, it was so early in the morning, the mall wasn't open yet! I had made the appointment early, thinking I would have Anne over, and had to get home, neglecting to remember it was vacation, and Anne's mama is a teacher!

So, we headed to the most amazing bakery, but alas, it was closed for some reason. Dunkin Donuts, for a coffee for me, some brekky sandwiches for Camille and Sonja K., a jelly donut for Miss Char...we sat in the van and solved the world's problems.

Miss Sonja K. drove, she did so well! We drove around the neighborhood I grew up in, I showed them the house I lived in from the time I was a toddler to when I got married, saw the corner where I waited for the bus, playing on the fire hydrant. We saw the hill I sledded down in the neighbor's back yard, and the swamp we used to skate on. The hills seem smaller, the houses have had facelifts, and the trees are different.

Anyway, Sonja drove to the mall in the city, and we mall-ed. I do not like the mall, for the record. It's huge-0. It's hot. It's pricey. I do, however, like the Finger Lakes Coffee shop, we bought a pound of beans ($$$), and a hot coffee for me. The girls got bubble tea, also $$$, but they love it. We went to Old Navy, I actually got two dresses. I tried on jeans, and fit into a size 14! They fit, but not terribly comfortably, I didn't get them. But I did take a pic!

I still have a good sized tummy, but whatever.

We went in a few stores, bought a few things, then stopped for dog chow on the way home. Oh, it's always nice to get home. Margaret worked from here today, so Wulf was here too. He is so adorable.



Anne, the sweetie pie I watch, and little Grant, in Walmart. (this is from Friday)

I miss Mr. Grant.

(and Anya and Elise)

Mali is coming over tomorrow afternoon with Lydia and Ophelia, and Davian is coming over to play for a bit. My girls are going to play volleyball then to Emily's house for a while, lots going on.

Anyway. Tonight we had pork chops, which I had marinated in lemon juice, salt and pepper, they were so good. 5 pounds of potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed, (I only had two small spoons, not good for me), and asparagus roasted in olive oil.

I am having some hot decaf right now. I did not make it to the pool tonight. My son Joseph and his wife Bethany came for a visit...

Anyway...the kids are playing The Settlers of Catan again...

Friday, February 14, 2020

happy heart day...

Anne and I made Valentine's cards yesterday. She LOVES glitter, and she has a very long attention span for being only three years old.

Paul brought home flowers, isn't he nice?

Samuel is here with little Grant. They arrived during the night. I told him that I'd take care of Grant when he wakes up so Sam can get some sleep after that long drive, but I am guessing Sam will be so excited and happy to be home that he'll just have some coffee instead.

I'm kind of excited too. It's a little chaotic when all the grandkids come over, but it's filled with adorableness and hugs, and I love it.

Sunny is doing a little better, she gradually improved as the day went on yesterday. She didn't throw up, was drinking water at regular intervals, and would take small dog treats, but turned her head away from the canned food from the vet. It seemed like she would only eat the treats reluctantly, and only when I called Suri over and acted like I was giving it to Suri, so she would take it and chew it so slowly. She slept most of the day, then when Paul got home, she ate a little of the food for him, then a little more later. She's still not back to her normal self, but much better. Thank you, seriously thank you, for all of your prayers and good thoughts. God made dogs, whether you love them or not, some of us really do. It can border on insanity, the love people have for their pets, but love is love, and it saves so many from loneliness. I happen to believe, with all of my heart, that having a nice sturdy dog who loves being hugged and pet, is therapeutic, for teenagers, kids, old people, but especially teenaged boys, who still need affection but are awkward. Our dogs are a huge pain in the hind quarters sometimes, but they make up for it with the tail wagging and happy faces. Their ears move forward if you ask if anyone fed them, and they tilt their heads. We got the leash out to bring Sunny to the vet the other night, and Suri came running, so happy, she thought she was going bye-bye too. And don't even think about getting the peanut butter jar down with them coming running. They are always glad to see you, even if you just re enter the room, unless they are snoring, of course.

Anyway. I am thankful for them, muddy paws, shedding, barking and all.

The sun is shining, but it's only like 9F (-12.7c) here this fine morning. It's beautiful, as we got more snow last night, and the trees branches are sparkling in the partial sunshine.

I should be sweeping the floor and washing up the few dishes in the sink, or putting in a load of towels, shouldn't I?

Oh, in other news, I did lose a tiny bit more weight. It's sloooooow going, but, it is GOING!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

sad sick puppy...


Suri and Sunny...Sunny is sick. She probably ate something she shouldn't have, and she was sick to her stomach several times yesterday. She started shaking, so I called the vet, and they so nicely added us on at the end of their late shift, so up there we drove at 8:30. Her temperature was a little low, her heart rate a little fast, she was dehydrated. She was infused with fluids and electrolytes, and given some anti-nausea meds. We have some special low-fat, mild dog food, and are giving her water frequently in small amounts. She still isn't herself, but hasn't thrown up since last night. If she starts to again, we'll have to bring her in for bloodwork and scans. So if you're a praying person, please pray for Little Miss Sunshine. She's so down, it's sad. She was such a sweetheart at the vet, too. She's a scaredy cat of strangers, but she was just so trusting and docile. We love her so much, and seeing her suffer is painful.

It is another beautiful day in the neighborhood...


Sometimes Paul and I wake up at the same time, and since he wasn't working from home today, he went into the bathroom first. I just put my robe on and came out to be with the little girls while they packed up their lunches and got some brekky, and got on the bus. (This morning, Cam made a travel mug of hot tea to bring with her, so cute!)(she said it was really cold in school yesterday, and she longed for hot tea.). So anyway, I put my coat and boots on, grabbed one glove from the mitten drawer, and went out to shovel a path for them. As soon as I got back into the house, the snow plow went by and made a new mound of snow for them to walk in, oh well.

Anne is coming over today, we plan to stay home. She loves to cuddle and read books. We read either ten or eleven books yesterday. Tomorrow, however, there will be chaos! Samuel is coming for the weekend with little Grant, from Virginia! Grace cannot accompany because she works on weekends:(. Sam likes to drive at night, less traffic, and Grant just sleeps. So he is leaving tonight, and will arrive in the wee hours of the morning.

So lots of family will be coming over to see Sam and Grant. We are having a gathering here tomorrow night, too, for the youth girls. So it will be busy busy busy. Then Saturday and Sunday, Sam will be going to a church conference, and I will be watching Grant! Paul is going ice fishing...and the school kids will be officially on winter break!

We are trying to decide if we can possibly afford to go to Norway again this summer. Plane tickets for Paul and I, Sonja, Jonathan, Char, Cam...ca-CHING. Emily, Abigail, Ben and Ashley and kids, Mirielle...are all going. So I REALLY want to go. We have to figure it out soon and buy tickets before the price goes up.

Ah well. Anne will be here soon...

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

five little friends...visiting their grandma...


Lydia, Anya, Elise, and Wulf...and:

Uncle Jonny holding baby Ophelia.

I agreed to babysit for little Wulf while his mama worked at the basketball game last night. I invited Mali over with Lydia and baby Ophelia, then Ashley with Anya and Elise.


Look at Mr. Wulf and Miss Elise, scheming together.




I made them spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, and bought cute little mini ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

Admittedly, it was mild monumental mayhem here for a bit, but mild. Wulf is a busy guy. Before Margaret even left (she was holding Ophelia), I was prepping dinner, and all of the sudden he appeared with a purple nail polish brush, and one purple thumb. Oh dear. oops. The gate to the hallway was open, and Sonja's room is right there, full of fun things to get into. I went in there, and oh NO, a bottle of melatonin was scattered all over. I put the nail polish cap back on, and called Jonathan in to count those pills. Thankfully it was a newer bottle and most of them were there, and I knew Sonja had taken some. There were no traces of any on his little teeth, so I don't think he ate any, if he did, it was only one or two. dang.

So we made sure someone knew where he was at all times after that. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and more alert too, ha.

Paul works from home, and today has been a doozy. There's a lot going on in his organization today, and right when he got an important call, Sunny barfed all over the living room floor, and I exclaimed none too quietly as I shooed her in the direction of the door, and out the door, and across the deck, yuck. Poor pup, but poor Paul too, as he couldn't hear what his boss was saying to him, and it was quite important. I suggested he maybe set up an office in one of the empty bedrooms, because I can't always just be quiet. He does not expect us here to always be quiet, but sometimes...anyway.

Hopefully the pup is okay. And hopefully Paul's job is okay.

There are not too many dull moments in life, around here.

Monday, February 10, 2020

beauty everywhere...

...aren't the tulips lovely? Walmart, less than five bucks.

Emily took this pic of her yard on Saturday night in the moonlight.

These two!!! I woke up extra early yesterday morning to drive Sonja K. to town to Grace's house, so they could go on their day trip to Ottowa. It was a lovely morning, cold and covered in frosting, white sparkly frosting. I got home and shh, I considered going back to bed, ahh warm comfy bed. I straightened up the living room a little, picked up a couch pillow, they're ever falling on the floor, and put it back on the couch...it felt a little damp, hmmm. Then I noticed it looked like something spilled on the floor. I got a paper towel and swiped some up, and, NO, it was dog pee! I am saying DOG instead of CAT because there was so much of it! I had to wash the couch cover now, because the pee-pee pillow was now on it, had to move the couch and clean under it, had to wash the brand new rug. It was like a 20 minute clean up.

You know, when something like that happens and you huff and puff and grumble, because of course you have every right to, no one wants to clean up that stuff. But I was thinking of giving thanks in all things, and believing that God sends all things for our very best. What a good test of patience!

Suri is the one who did it. She is famous for it if she has leeway and can go down the hall, ect., but we blocked her into the living room, I was very surprised she did that. So she went into Jon's room last night, she won't do it in a small room. I don't know why she does it sometimes, it's only once or twice a month, but ugh.

There were loads of dishes to do yesterday morning too, so I finished those up. Then, since I had fresh blueberries, I made muffins. I didn't eat any, either, which kills me yet I am not dead yet.

Emily, Evelyn, and I went to the store yesterday after church to get some dinner supplies. We made sliders, Buffalo chicken with cheese, and barbecued chicken. We also had roasted veggies: sweet potatoes and potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts. We made beef in the crockpot with crushed tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a dash of molasses. We had fresh strawberries and blueberries, too. Mali and Josh came for dinner, and Ben and Ashley and Anya and Elise. It was a fantastic time.

Sonja, Jon, Charlotte Claire, and Camille came home from Ottawa tired but happy.

Now, it's Monday morning, and it's quiet in here again. :)

And I'll leave you with a pic from the past, little Miss Camille Anaya and little Miss Charlotte Claire...

Saturday, February 8, 2020

living in the land of frozen...


This was yesterday...then we got a little MORE snow...



A few pics of the grand babies, Achilles Royce:


Ophelia Rose:


And the little things that brighten up the house in the winter:

(the new rug though, right? There's a smaller matching one too. Walmart. And no, I don't get a penny for touting it. I loved it, Jon didn't, the lady walking by stopped and said she loved it so much she was tempted to get one too. So I bought it.)


Playing their game...these are the only kids who live here now. Evelyn comes sometimes on weekends, and believe me, lots of the older kids come over here and there, and with the grands, it can be busy and crazy. But on a regular day-to-day basis...it's like a normal house now, ha.


Here's an oldie, Miss Charlotte Claire with Mali Rose, and Camille Anaya with Char...such cuteness!

Paul and Jonathan are out ice fishing this morning. I don't know how long they'll last, it's FREEZING out there, and on the ice out on the lake, brrrr! It's 15F (-9.44c) here, colder on the ice.

Charlotte Claire and Camille are heading up to Ottawa tonight, some of the other kids are going up in the morning, skating on the Rideau canal!

Yesterday was a very nice day, all snowed in and cozy. I don't mind those days, but I'm always thankful to know the older kids got safely to and from work. Abigail went off the road a few weeks ago, and yes, I know she's a big girl, but still, it's scary. I think it shook her a bit too, because those SUV's with all-wheel drive make you feel a bit confident in our winter weather, but it slipped and went out of control, off the opposite shoulder of the road. Thankfully nothing was coming from the other direction, and thankfully she didn't go off on the shoulder of the side she was driving on, there is a huge embankment.

I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies yesterday, and Sunny polished off at least two dozen this morning. She helped herself. The dogs won't jump up and steal from the counters when we're out here, and they sleep in our rooms at night, taking turns between us all. Paul LOVES having Sunny sleep with us, I don't care for it as much, she's a huge0 bed hog, but she loves us, and sneaks in there when she knows it's bedtime. She lies there on our bed with her head on her paws, with her eyebrows up, as if pleading to stay. I would shoo her out, but Paul is more taken by the expression. So when Paul got up at the butt-crack of dawn to go ice fishing, Sunny left our room too...and subsequently was unsupervised in the kitchen...and ate all the cookies. They were in baggies, to keep them nice and fresh, and the baggies were ripped up on the couch, so she brought them up there and had herself a nice comfy feast. rrrr. It's like having two year olds.

It's a good thing they're so cute.

Yesterday, being a long snowy day, with a lot of time spent in the living room together, we all wondered what people do who don't have animals to entertain them. Our two kitties often chase each other around, or cuddle up with the dogs. Sunny is always bringing a toy for me to throw. If you say the word TREAT, the dogs will both wake up, their ears forward, they tilt their heads...if you say, "Did they eat yet?", they'll be ON THE ALERT, wagging and making hungry faces, even if they ALREADY ATE! They are huge liars, ha.

This fine morning, I bumbled around in the kitchen a bit, cleaned up a mess of goldfish crackers that had spilled, changed the filters in the Brita pitchers, wiped down the counters, washed a few dishes...straightened up the living room a little, then, ahh, coffee and the blog. I do not take it for granted, the days like these, days with so much relaxation. No sir, I do not. When I first started blogging, Camille Anaya wasn't born yet, Miss Char was like 16 months old, Jonathan Robert must have been 3,(Robert was born between Jonathan and Sonja) Sonja Kathleen 5, Suzanne Eleanor 6, Evelyn Joy 8, Kathryn Grace 9, Margaret Cheryl 10, Samuel James 12, Mali Rose 13, Aaron Royce 14, Joseph Michael 16, Mirielle Joy 17, Benjamin Paul 18, Abigail Marie 20, Emily Anne 22.

I remember blogging while I nursed Camille...it was extremely hard to fit in computer time back then. I DID have five teenagers, with two just out of the teens, and Sam just under...those five girls in a row, from 5 to 10, wow.

Somehow I survived, ha. There has been an abundance of grace from God.

And now, the kids are getting up...:)