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

Sunday, August 30, 2015

and off we go to lake george....

Our summer adventures aren't over yet. We are going on a little trip tomorrow an Adirondack resort...with Evelyn and Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille. We are hoping to check in, then hit the pool for the afternoon...then head to the theme park Tuesday morning. (We got free tickets through a homeschooling program:)) After spending the day at the park, we will head home...ugh, a long drive.

Paul is out of town again, I woke at 5:45 this morning to drive him to the airport. wah. We were planning for him to accompany us on our little trip up north, but it just didn't happen.

The weather forecast for this week: glorious. Hot and sunny and extra summery.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

sunshine and roses....

Spending time with this 8th 20 year old Sammers. He is stationed down in Washington D.C./Arlington/Virginia, but had training up at Fort Drum for the week. We were able to drive up and get him last weekend, then return him on Sunday. He found out on Thursday that he would be leaving Drum on Saturday morning, but got permission to leave from Thursday to Friday...a short visit, but he wanted to see...Mali's baby!

It was totally worth driving up there on Thursday...I left at 3:30 and got back here with him at 8:30.

Mali was tired, but she was a good sport and came back here for a second visit of the day, so she could spend time with Sam. It was absolutely amazing to see Sam with the baby.

Then yesterday morning...after my was time to make some cookies! Emily's company is catering a wedding today, and the bride wants 200 chocolate chip cookies, which is just my thing. I baked over a hundred, right up to the time we absolutely had to leave to get Sam back to base on time.

We had time to stop for lunch at Taco Bell. This is Jonny and Samuel...and let me just say this: the more things change. Sam didn't want me to take his picture, but I did anyway.

Evelyn and Jonathan and Char and Cam went along for the ride, and got to see the Army base.

Sometimes goodbyes are too sad, so I snapped this of these guys while Sam said goodbye to Evelyn.

Saying bye to Camille...I missed the one where he scooped Char right up into the air.

Sam loves the kids. I know it's hard for him to be away from home, as grown up as he is. Having some time with him was great, he has such a big heart.

Anyhow...after the long drive home, I had more cookies to make. Two hundred four cookies, all packed up safely, in gallon sized baggies, by the dozen...17 bags. There were extra ones, the ones that didn't come out round enough or that got dinged when I pulled the parchment paper off the pans...the kids happily helped with those ones. And I decided to eat a few, you know, carbing up and all...Joseph says that when you eat low carb for an extended period of time, your body adjusts and your metabolism slows down so you HAVE to carb up every week or so...and yeah, cookies aren't the healthiest choice, but I never at them anymore...and they were SO good. After all that work, it was nice to eat some and know that the bride is getting some really good cookies.

Evelyn and Jonathan were grilling some steaks at the same time as I was baking...let's just say they were a bit overdone...but oh so yummy...baking and eating little bites of steak, pieces of raw green pepper, and sliced cucumbers...oh, what a life.

This fine morning, I took my walk, took care of the pool, and here I sit. I registered for jury duty, arranged for Kathryn to work at the baseball game, and not much else. Paul and I have to leave in a few hours to help do food prep, then go to the wedding site to help out there.

Tomorrow, Paul leaves for Florida for the week, for work. It's the last week of summer vacation for my school kids, Evelyn needs a new backpack, and Suzanne needs a few things...and Sonja probably does too. We haven't used our Adirondack amusement park coupons yet, but I don't know if I am up for camping this week without Paul...

Only 24 days until our trip out west! Never a dull moment, I tell you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

just joy...

Every time I hold Lydia, I love her more. How can you love a baby so completely, then love her even more?

She's just beautiful....

I have pictures of the princesses holding her, and of Jon with her, and of Mali...but the internet out here on this rural road is not good today, and it takes forever and a day to load a picture, the screen keeps freezing up...

Today I shall go to the store because we are almost out of milk and bread and avocados and bananas and butter. I need to get flour and sugar and chocolate chips because I am baking 200 cookies for a wedding that Emily's company is catering this weekend. Samuel James is able to leave Fort Drum again for the weekend, so I am picking him up on Friday sometime. I will also help with the catering event at some point, then there are two baseball games that our church is providing concession workers for...then Sunday I have to drive Paul to the airport, then Sam back to Fort Drum.

Never a dull moment, that's for sure.

Evelyn Joy got her driving permit yesterday!

She is happy about it, I promise. She just didn't love her crazy mama snapping her picture on the sidewalk downtown.

She wants to go driving, and to the library...we found the missing dvd, and only have one book overdue! The little girls are begging for books to read...

It's also cousin Danielle's birthday, and we might do something with her today. No, never a dull moment.

Jonathan is skyping with is sister Abigail, who is adjusting nicely to her yearlong Norway visit.'s too busy in here to write right now.

Monday, August 24, 2015

introducing......a new part of my heart:

Miss Lydia Eleanor arrived this morning at 9:47.

Words cannot describe....

Mali Rose did a fantastic job.

I have more pictures, but I am tired. She labored all night, then gave birth this morning...the nurse had us guess the weight as she held up that precious baby...and guess what? I was right on the dot, seven pounds ten ounces. She is healthy and robust, and we all cried when she was born.

I came home this afternoon, prepared for a nap, but decided at the last minute to go back to the hospital with Mirielle and some of the kids.

So I am happy and thrilled and proud of Mali...she didn't complain, she was happy to get that baby out, and she nursed her like a pro. It was an amazing day, the birth was awesome. I think I am joining Mali on her baby high:)

it was a dark and scary night...

and I was sound asleep...when my phone gave a little beep. Just a tiny little beep, but it shattered the hum of the fan, and alerted this soon-to-be-gramma that...her water broke. Her contractions are four minutes apart, and don't worry, that's all the detail I'll be sharing, because her labor is her story to tell, not mine. I am sitting here waiting to hear what they say when she gets to the hospital, because she wants me there for the birth, Miss Mali.

It give me a chance to write while it is quiet here, and to keep my mind off the feeling that I should hurry out the door and get there real quick-like.

Life has been busy. Samuel has been visiting Fort Drum, the Army base up in northern New York, for Air Assault School. When out and about on Thursday, Sam let us know that he would have a 3 day weekend, and we could come pick him up. So, we told the family that I was taking Evelyn out for dinner, and would be back later. It was a dark and rainy night...

And we got lost. That is a big Army base, and our gps wasn't sure which gate to send us too. We tried two before getting to the right one, and of course those nice M.P.'s wouldn't let us step one foot past the gate with no military I.D., so Samuel had to walk from his barracks in the pouring rain. A passing car picked him up, thankfully. We caught up on things, and I reveled in just being with Sam as I drove through the rain. We stopped for coffee, then for gas...and of course he had to have chicken nuggets. :) The more things change...

We surprised most of the kids, and Paul, when he walked in the house with Evelyn and I. It was super fun.

Friday morning, we surprised Grandma with a little visit.

I made cookies over the weekend, and a fabulous dinner on Saturday night of burgers on the grill, corn on the cob (do you know how hard it is to eat just a half of ear of corn?)...and lots of tomatoes from the garden, chopped up with fresh sweet onion and fresh garlic...

Then a camp marshmallows for me.

and off I go to the hospital...bye!!! super excited...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

look who's home!!!!

Soldier Sam is here for the weekend!!!

And this girl turned sweet sixteen yesterday! Miss Evelyn Joy...

We've been busy...I had to drive up to the military base in Northern New York to pick up Sam on Thursday night...oh, we got lost, Evelyn and I. We finally found the right gate, and of course weren't allowed to enter without military we had to park outside and he had to walk out in the rain. Efficiency at it's best.

Ah well, time's done, have to pick up Jonathan from his camp out...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

out and about.....

Chicken and bacon and pickles and eggs and hot sauce and onions and frozen pizza pockets (yuck, but they LOVE them)...and some 90% dark chocolate for Joseph and I, and coconut oil...coconut milk,and chocolate milk...I had a coupon:)

First we went to Ollie's. It's rather far, over in the suburbs where I grew up, but I wanted to check out the book section for some homeschooling workbooks. I found a few good ones. I got construction paper and poster board and some interesting snacks...things you don't find in a regular store. I bought myself some cherry Larabars, I like to keep a bar in my purse, for those times I get hungry, and would rather eat it than binge or splurge on something I don't need.

Sonja K., Charlotte Claire, and Camille joined me today.

Emily came over and picked up Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, cousin Olivia, and Jonathan, and brought them to Ithaca to go to a waterfalls they like, and out for smoothies.

We got home, and Aaron was here for a visit. I made a pot of coffee, and we was so nice.

He had to leave to go to work...and we had to get in that pool and cool off. We don't have air conditioning, but I don't mind for the most part. As long as the pool is running and we can get in and get refreshed, it holds me for a while.

The little girls just came in from the garden. Paul has been making these really interesting smoothies for us for breakfast, with avocado, greens from the yard, flax seed, blueberries, and unsweetened almond milk. I am not saying it's delicious, but it's not bad, and it's healthy.

Exciting things:

Grandma invited us down for a visit in Florida this winter. We may just take her up on it. I really want to work out the details and make it happen. Life is short, and visiting Grandma is really really fun.

And now...the little girls are chatty so off I go to listen instead of sitting here saying Uh-Huh.