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

Saturday, December 29, 2007

a day at the mall

Yeah, I pretty much hate the mall. I don't mean I hate a bargain, just the mall. The kids needed to get out today, and I can't really do the pool yet with the baby and all, and Chinese buffet just sounded so decadent and to the mall we went. I personally would rather go deal-hunting at Target...but, the mall it was. I took two nieces so there were 13 of us in the van. I hate clearance racks with 50% off the regular price. When something is 20 or 30 bucks, half off is way too expensive. I did find some nice skirts in a nice store for myself, however, which is rare. I usually go home with pretty much nothing for me. And I got Charlotte Claire a matching striped brown and pink and white shirt and tights. Very cute, and cheap. The kids were getting hungry in the mall, and I couldn't bear the thought of the overpriced food court. And it was too late in the day for Chinese (dinner prices), and Pizza Hut-I have no coupons, didn't know their specials, and didn't want to wait so long. So Molly got out her paper and pen, and we asked each one which two dollar menu items they would like from McD's.....then sent Molly in with her two cousins to order. We would have eaten in there, but Charlotte Claire fell asleep in her carseat....For dessert, I drove over to Rite-Aid across the street and got some half price Christmas sour patch kids, swedish fish, and Hershey kisses....what a sweet ride home. We live pretty far out, so the van rides can be quite fun, depending the kids' tiredness, or just general grumpiness. Or full of singing fun, fooling around. So our lunch-dinner was served in the van, and we had popcorn at home this evening, which turned into pretzels too, and a few cookies, and some stocking candy. It was a fun day. The best part was bring my classy baby carriage to the mall. Lots of ladies hated me, 'cause it's so nice. It's a Silver Cross basinette with a Jane frame. Actually, not too many people care about strollers and carriages: for me, it is an obsession. Well, my little Camille is fussing for me, the evenings are busy - she can't decide if she's hungry, or if her tummy hurts, so back and forth we go.....yes, she's lucky she's so cute.

Friday, December 28, 2007

sweet day at home

Well, the Christmas tree is looking sick. The garland and strands of beads are sagging down toward the floor, thanks to Charlotte Claire. There are no ornaments on the bottom third of the tree, they are in pile on the floor underneath, thanks to Charlotte Claire, and other lazy bums who throw things under the tree and knock a few more ornaments down...The boxes of candy are basically empty, just a few maple creams with bites, the chex mix is gone, one piece of pie left, a few cookies in the big huge containers....wrappers on the floor from the yummy stockings. But it isn't over yet, I say. Please, not already. I just love having everybody around. Ben is home from college, and Em has had the last few days off, and Paul (daddy) has had the whole week off work. We still haven't managed a family picture, though. It is a miracle in itself to actually have all eighteen people in the house together, much less an extra to take the picture. I almost thought we had it made a little while ago, but Joe went to play Friday night basketball. Margaret and Kathryn got a karaoke set for Christmas, and are setting it up in the living room. Charlotte Claire has the microphone, and is singing some funny nonsense. Good luck getting it away from her, guys. Camille is not happy right now, so I'll sign off. I have to decide what to do tomorrow-daddy and Joe are going to the House of Guitars, just to look (?)....I have the rest of the kids....what should we do? Museums will be crowded, the zoo too. Chinese restaurant? Recreational eating just seems so wrong, but a table full of kids with hot tea and unlimited sugar packets sure is fun....and the mounds of orange peels....we DO get our money's worth.....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas day

I never capitalize the titles, but Christmas has to be! What fun was had today. We surprised Joe and Sam with an xbox360, and Sam said, "holy crap, holy crap!", language which is definitely NOT encouraged around here.....but he was SO excited. Jon just loved opening his garbage truck, and steering wheel, and trains and batman umbrella, and penguin underwear....he is pretty busy today. Everything is out of package, and being played with. Charlotte appreciated her dolly in a car seat the most. In fact, she didn't even open all her things yet. Emily, Abigail, Mariel, and Molly got digital cameras. Em hasn't opened hers yet though, because she just arrived home from work (nurse in on the trauma floor of a very big hostpital).....we wanted to wait to open things, but 4:30 in the afternoon is just torture for Em has gifts for them, and we'll have a second Christmas celebration soon....I got a nice watch from Paul, and an unbreakable thermos. (Kids have broken two previously)......well, time for second Christmas.......

Sunday, December 23, 2007

december 23

Tomorrow is Christmas eve. The kids have been tucked in, and won't probably fall asleep for hours....they are so wound up..Today we had our Christmas feast at church. We number about 100, with 40 or so youth, 35 children, and the rest adults. So this year, the youth kids picked children's names and each youth got a child a gift. When it was present time, the youth went out into the hall, then paraded back in singing, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"...they lined up in the front of the meeting hall, and called out the kids names one at a time and presented their was quite touching. We had a nice turkey dinner, prepared by Emily, and some of the other younger ones, and my older brother. Dessert was a sampler plate: pie (apple or pumpkin), chocolate torte, cheesecake with strawberries, and a peanut butter cookie, made the day before by Emily.

Em has to work a twelve hour shift tomorrow, but nurses can't always be choosers. The rest of us are going to my brother's house. He has ten kids, but 4 are married, and the youngest is 13 now. My other brother and his 12 kids will be there, and my sister with her seven daughters, two of whom are married....and one other brother with one son, and another brother with two kids might be there, and my dear brother who took care of my parents, who is single....I have no idea how many that adds up to, but it WILL be crowded and hot, and crazy and fun.

My baby is so precious today. She wore an adorable dress, and just was kissable. I'll post a picture of her sometime. My camera got lost, so my nice husband bought me another one. Just like the old one so I don't have to figure out how to use it. I am no genious when is comes to these things. Cell phones still scare me. I am never sure which button to answer it....and I always forget to turn it on when I go someplace. Then I forget to turn it off, then forget to charge it, then when I DO charge it, I forget to bring it with me again.....

Monday, December 17, 2007

power's back on

Yeah, the power went out a bit before 8 last night. The sudden pitch blackness was a shocker for the little ones, so they screamed. The more they screamed, the more they screamed, and the more the bigger kids yelled at them to shut up, and daddy told everyone just to be quiet, and I sat here holding the baby, telling the kids to find their way to the couch and be quiet, while explaining to Aaron that a flashlight is on my dresser. I may not be the queen of organization, but I always know where one flashlight is. So the candles were lit, and Charlotte Claire thought it was one big party: she sang happy birthday over and over again, which is followed with blowing out the candles....we found batteries for some sound machines, as our kids are addicted to sleeping with fans on...(we find they sleep better when sounds are drowned out)... Eight of the older kids were sitting around the kitchen table talking and playing in candle wax, and dad was falling asleep on the couch...the little kids actually went to bed very nicely, I think because it was so dark they were afraid to get out of bed. The power came back on after I fell asleep, so daddy got up and turned off the tree lights, ect...This morning the kids were saying how much they like it when the power goes out!!! Real fun, guys.

Oh yeah, and today is a snow day to boot. It is very cold and windy, with lake effect from Ontario tapering down, but snow blowing on the already slippery roads. This is a rural school district, with many miles of bus routes. So we are cancelled most frequently of any other school around....Well, they want to go out to play (I know, crazy) so off I go.....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

a storm is coming

When you live in a house of eighteen people, the clutter piles up continually. When you hate clutter, and are busy with a newborn, frustration abounds....when you have a 3 year old son who likes all 5 of his "ride-ons" out so he can cruise across the kitchen on whichever one he wants, and a nineteen month old who just plain likes everything out, frustration abounds. When you have several musically inclined individuals, guitar music, piano, saxaphone, and rock and roll music are a continual background. When you have no mudroom and winter arrives, boots and coats spill into the kitchen. When you have 5 little girls who like to color, pencils and markers always fall into the hands of the nineteen month old. When your nineteen month old screams to comunicate, the frustration increases.
I guess there are are many reasons why people out there don't have sixteen kids. Watching three kids take turns going down the new Little Tikes slide, coming home from girls'club with prizes and excitement, watching 5 year old Sonja lose her first two teeth, hearing their elementary chorus songs, having lively dinner table conversations, watching them bound through the snow, and how can I describe the sweetness of their hugs ? They are SO excited about Christmas. I wrap a few more presents every day, so the pile under the tree is screaming to be shaken and peeked at. How can I describe how much fun it is on Christmas morning?

Friday, December 14, 2007

a night at home

It is a cold winter night, and cozy in here. Our tree is lit up, and lights in the windows, and the lamps are off, so it is lit in here by one tv with video games (Sam), this laptop, the other computer, and the lights in the music area of the living room. See Joe, 16, in the photo below playing the piano. He and Paul (the dad of the house) are playing some Christmas music on their guitars...the little girls are playing here and there, and in their room. Kathryn (9) is at a sleepover, Emily, Abigail, Mariel, and Molly are at a girls Christmas party. Ben went out with his friends. So its just Daddy, Joe, Aaron, Sam, Margaret, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, Camille, and me. Believe it or not, it is kind of quiet. I included the trampoline picture because: warm weather was just here. Fall was beautiful. Molly, Margaret, and Kathryn are beautiful. The kids got so much excercise on that trampoline....Now they have to run around in circles, and jump off chairs into piles of blankets to get their energy out. Going outside is great too, but sometimes it is too dark or cold and windy...I have to go and help the girls find and wrap their class presents, and Camille just spit up all over Evelyn....

another day at home

Wait, not another day at home, the kindergarten singalong is this afternoon...Last year when Jon was 2 1/2, he called it the "dingalong", so that's what it will always be called, in our house. Our kitties are at the vet getting "fixed" today. Evelyn, 8 yrs old, asked what it meant. I told her it was so Kitten Force (female) won't have kittens. But what about the boy kitty, she wanted to know. I told her it was so he wouldn't be a daddy. She thought that was so funny, "What it he DID get married?", she asked....I lost the vouchers from NY state to spay/neuter for $20.....we're gonna have to pay big bucks for this....I feel like crying.

Yesterday my second oldest turned 21. Icy roads, she stayed home and we watched Failure To Launch, very stupid but very funny.

I love my baby. She is cute and sweet and cuddly. Chubby and smiley. I love the weight of her sleeping head on my shoulder. I love to snuggle up with her and hear her little snores. I even like changing her diaper and seeing how chunky her little thunder thighs are getting., it's hard to be so hurried in everything I do, because she always needs holding.I want to make cut-out cookies, and wrap presents, and straighten the curtains (no one else can see some of these things that drive me nuts)...I really am working on being thankful for life the way it is, and not giving in to that nagging impatience because I want to accomplish so much.....I haven't even scheduled my six week check-up appt., and Camille is 5 weeks old...but you know what? I'll be okay. Life goes on, and what doesn't get done doesn't get done. I can only do so much, and being depressed is no help for anyone. No matter how much I manage to do, it is never enough, and it is not apparent to the others around here how much time and energy go into the raising of a newborn. Oh well. God has given her to us, and He knows what we need. So what if there are no clean socks.

I have to somehow get pretty for the singalong. Not me, but Camille, Charlotte Claire, and Jon. I have no idea if I was supposed to send in cookies for this....I'll hold my head up high, and pretend like I did....

Monday, December 10, 2007

my daughter's sick day

My high school daughter is sick today. She hates her name to be used, so I'll call her, "Sweetie", which doesn't describe her accurately most of the time. She has the stomach bug, and is freezing cold, half sleeping all day on the couch, but sometimes awake and talking. I have enjoyed having her home. I have noticed this through the years: children are nicer when they are sick. Maybe so Mommy's love and compassion can be stirred up for them a bit more. Charlote Claire choked on the top of an ornament today, and threw up on the kitchen floor. She then hurried over to the drawer for a wash-cloth to help clean it up. She kept standing on the presents near the tree today, and when I would put Camille down to go get her off them, she would squeal by me, and try to get to Camille. I would then pick up baby as fast as I could, and she would run back to the presents...I had to give her a little spank to put an end the game. It hurts me more than it hurts you, honey. I am my mother.
Camille has gone through three outfits today. I moved her up a diaper size, and she still pees through. Too much nursing, I guess. I have to go shopping: four little girls need class presents. 4 or 5 of the older kids need "big" gifts...we are getting gramma and grampa one of those digital picture frames. I miss my mother and father so much. Gramma loved Christmas. She always got the kids presents, even when she was so sick. Well, I'm going to miss my opportunity to take a little nap, if I don't get off this darned computer...Evelyn has Camille, I have to take her in with me for a nap. Too dangerous out here for a baby without me. Ride-ons are being ridden, snacks being eaten, can the rest of them survive without me? Joe and Aaron are here..It is Aaron's 15th birthday today. I made him some fudge instead of a cake today, between changing and feeding Charlotte Claire and Jon, and feeding and changing and rocking Camille over and over again..I also did a few loads of laundry, swept the kitchen/dining room, mopped it a bit, cleaned up the counters, read the paper from yesterday, read the paper from today (hey, I have my priorities...)...anyway, gotta go.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Another snowy day

Camille at almost 4 weeks, Aaron with newborn Camille, and Jon with Sam in the snow.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

bazaar day

Today we had a table at the school craft bazaar. Mostly my sister and I, and my sister-in-law, sold stuff for our church girls' group. Most people are just too busy to help, so the three of us did what we could. Fudge, rice krispy treats, hand-painted wood sleds that didn't sell last year, mugs full of lots of candy....we did okay, but more importantly: we had fun. Being at the school, in a small community, seeing all the teachers, neighbors, friends: it was nice.

It is freezing here in the Northeast, high of 23 degrees today. Windy, bitter cold. Seems like I was just complaining about the heat, now this. The thing I hate about winter, besides driving in the snow, is having my grown children drive in the snow. I get pretty scared about that. And with Emily being a nurse in a hospital in a city 40 minutes away, she has to drive daily. So I just pray, and nag at her to be careful. I also don't like walking on ice (who does?)....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

days with lots of kids home

We had Thanksgiving dinner on Friday night this year. Emily had to work on Thursday. So we had a brunch on Turkey day, with all 16 kids, and Paul and I. We had homemade waffles, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, fruit, oj, and coffee(even for kids) was fun. Then, chicken wings and pizza for dinner. Some of us went to my brother's house for pie. Then, after getting to bed at midnight, and up at 2:30 with Camille, Abigail came in at 4:00am to get me up for shopping. We had to shuffle some cars in the driveway (A 15 passenger van, the truck, Em's car, Ab's car, and Ben's car), and it had snowed. Ab backed the van out, and hit Em's car, everything was icy, the windows frosty. She didn't cause any damage, except to my throat as I stood there yelling at her how close she was coming...anyways, off we went to get some bargains. Camille was well fed and well bundled, and I stayed out of the busy part of Wal-Mart, and sent the girls to get the stuff we wanted..then to staples, then to big-lots, and then the mall...we got a big dent in the shopping. I had a nap yesterday, but still feel like a zombie. With a two-week old baby, I haven't had more than 2 1/2 hours at a stretch since I had her. And life goes on. And I need to balance that out by saying how thankful I am: for Camille: she is so sweet-she falls asleep like a champ, sometimes while laying on her back on my lap...she is so calm. I would love her even if she was a fuss, but I am thankful for her good nature. I am thankful for the kids, and the fellowship we have together. The older ones are so much fun, and the younger are quite entertaining too. And for Paul, he's great. He still loves me, too, so that's something! And for the two kittens. We left some pie on the counter last night, and when I got up with Camille, I heard them out there feasting....Well, off to do some laundry.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

a day at home

I can't believe it, I actually stayed home all day!! Daddy took Mariel to the dr. for her checkup, and I stayed home and took a nap. He stopped at the store, then came home and made some delicious meatballs, sauce, and linguine for dinner...Then he took all the little kids to the library after dinner. Charlotte Claire is here though. She is just wired. She'll come along and just bite Camille's foot...She just squeals and screams..but the words are coming along. She cannot understand why she can't get in the baby's swing makes her so mad.

Well, Molly just came home from volleyball, and is holding Camille, and I have to take her...Laundry is just continuous when 17 people live in one house. Now, baby clothes aren't too great in volume, but they do accumulate, and have to be stain treated. Ben is the only one not home, and he does his laundry here on weekends. Daddy is washing clothes continuously, and asking where things if I know. The little girls school clothes ususally have to go into the hamper. Especially the tights. Life doesn't stop just because a new baby comes. And kindergarten Sonja has homework!!! I feel like telling her teacher a few things. I just can't keep up with all the folders, and things that need signing....well, Charlotte just banged the baby one, so I'm done here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

day 4 of Camille's life

Yeah, she was born on Wednesday, I came home on Thursday, went to Wal-Mart on Friday, Dr. appt. for Camille on Saturday, and to the hospital lab for bloodwork because she looked jaundiced....home again...back to the hospital lab by 8 am Sunday, biliruben levels a bit lower, home again. Off again tomorrow morning for one more check...what about rest and recovery I ask?? God knows what He's doing though. I have had special fellowship with my 9 and ten year old daughters, as they have gone with me...

Camille is very sweet, and has these calm moments where she just looks and looks. Then she has these starving times, when she just eats and eats over and over....insatiable...then she'll sleep for a while. Nights haven't been too bad because I take her to bed with me.

Today was my little Benjamin's birthday. 11/11/88....I miss the sweet little rascal he was. He can still be sweet, but I'm never sure what he's up to. He brought Nate from Ottowa with his girlfriend, home to dinner (surprise), and it was nice. Nate is a good boy....

Well, Aaron has Camille, so I should sign off and take her....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

beautiful birth day

Well, it was a girl. Camille Anaya, 7lbs, 4 ozs , 20 inches long. The other kids came to visit her when she was only 6 hours old. See Suzanne holding her?

Here we have Charlotte Claire on the swing, and Jon playing with a really cool van. Anyway, God's blessings were over the birth. My water broke at home, the night before my "induction"....I ended up having some pitocin, and went from 3 centimeters to delivery in just over 3 hours...It was a rough 3 hours, but I'm not complaining. She was born with just a few pushes. I am so thankful for her, she is beautiful and healthy. The kids love her like crazy. Charlotte Claire was just amazed at her. I came home from the hospital today, when Camille was 24 hours old. When Charlotte Claire woke up from her nap, she was just shocked to see baby again.....

Monday, November 5, 2007

my due date

Yeah, I was due today. It's almost 11pm., so I guess I am overdue. My sonogram date is the tenth, 5 days away. I visited the dr. and the midwife today, and the baby is head down and ready to go. I'm going in on Wednesday to be induced. I have really mixed feelings about it...I would much rather go on my own. But with Jonathan, number 14, I was in labor for days, and exhausted, and exactly on my due date stuck at 7 centimeters...A little pitocin, and he was born in one hour...So, with number 15, we decided to induce 5 days early. I really had only 6 hours of rough labor. I wasn't nearly as tired as with Jon. So, here we go again. I long for some of those easier first labors. I am praying that I go into labor before Wednesday, on my own. The contractions are so much milder. But, in any case, I am having a baby!! A sweet little newborn! We don't know girl or boy, and are not sure about names, but baby has a nice clean carseat to ride home in, and both kinds of outfits packed in the diaper bag...I've honestly been inadvertantly focusing on physical discomfort, I forget what this is all about! I can't wait to meet the baby!!! I just hope life slows down, and I get to enjoy "it".....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

closer every day

Well, only a few days to the due date. Tomorrow is Halloween. Daddy isn't a huge fan, but doesn't mind if the kids go. He likes to see them have fun. So, I get to take them trick-or treating. I've sort of guilted a few of the older ones into coming with us to help, because I am sure I won't be the energizer bunny for more than one block. My sister and two brothers, and their kids will meet at Gramma's house, and go out from there. It will be sad though, because Gramma and Grampa are in heaven. I'm not sure how many cousins will be there, we have 44 kids between the four of us siblings....
I really enjoy going out walking on Halloween. The forecast here is for a high of 69 degrees tomorrow, so it will be around 50 something when we're out.
Tomorrow morning will be wicked hectic here: all the four little girls need showers before school. They get them every other day, and tonight we ran out of, they have to have their little costumes for school, and hair done specially, ect. I am already praying for patience. It's hard when you can't lean over, and you can't breathe.....and I already know I'll be tired....
Yeah, I did something I probably shouldn't have, but I really don't regret it too much because I am so darned excited about it: I bought another carriage! I just wish Gramma were around, she would love it. I am not sure how many I already have, but it certainly is a sinful number. 3 Peg-Peregos, no 4 (one is a double), a double emmaljunga and a single one, a silver cross stroller/pram, a Jane pram/stroller, a Geisslein pram/stroller, two combis, a kidco with basinette, a beautiful lavender Simo pram(which the last ten babies have slept in), a smaller Simo stroller with bouncy wheels, and I think that's it. That's not too bad!! The new one is a peg perego with a basinette that has never been used. From ebay. What will arrive first: the baby or the new pram?? What fun and excitement!! Needless to say, my husband thinks I am insane. Okay,, it's sane to have 16 kids? I think a little recklessness in this one area is a-okay. I do not want to complain, but I suffer plenty. These little stroller perks just lighten the load!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

sick day for ME

I have two little girls with strep. Off and my throat has hurt. I went for a check-up with the midwife today, and she put me on amoxicillan. I went by myself, then to Wal-Mart for the ususal: milk, bagels, salad stuff, and peanut butter cups. I also found some shoes in my size (miracle), as sandal weather is getting short. And two new nightgowns for the hospital. I felt like a huge money waster buying three items for myself that were NOT ON CLEARANCE!! By the time I got home, I felt awful. Achy, headache, tired, throat aching.....I hope tomorow is better, as I will have no one here to help me. I need to get better and rested up for the birth of this baby! I am a bit dilated, and I wasn't at all last week, so that's good. My dr. is out of town until Sunday, so I have to hold out until at least Monday. I am scheduled to go back on Thursday to decide what to do....

People here don't quite realize how (I want to swear, but I won't) yucky I feel. Right about here I need to start to be thankful: for antibiotics, food home water children husband friends etc. I really don't want to be a miserable complainer. There is actually a medical condition called, "Prenatal Depression"...which comes in the last couple of weeks, when it seem forever to the end, and sleep is disrupted....what a shortsighted condition though!! I will not give in to feeling sorry for myself, tempted as I am....

Gramma: I still have trouble getting home from the dr., and not calling you. You would care about every single thing I bought at Wal-Mart....Grampa: the canned vegetables at Wegmans are 39 cents a can. Last year they were .25!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

sick day for sonja

Molly didn't feel so well at school today. So I packed up the two little ones, and off to the school to pick her up....Then, Sonja came home from kindergarten, at 4:20, with a fever of 103, and a huge white patch on one of her tonsils. A five o'clock dr. appt., and we're gone. Kathryn came along too, with her sore throat. Dr. put them both on antibiotics....

So here I am, feeling increasing pain in my throat....tired, blah....I looked in the mirror, and uh-oh, white patches on a red throat. I already have a dr. appt tomorrow. The one thing that makes me feel better: I'm not JUST lazy. Today my chair had such strong appeal. Just like a magnet for my behind...more than usual, that is. I have a huge load of darks already dry in the dryer, and a load of towels to go in the dryer...but I don't really care. Of course, nobody else does either. I REALLY need another dose of that nesting instinct.

I really miss gramma and grampa. She'd be telling me to wash the floor on my hands and knees to get labor started....and grampa would be so happy we have a huge load of wood in the driveway....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

rainy, cool, pleasant day

Today was a good day. Aunt Kim was going to be in Auburn for a few hours waiting to pick someone up. I had 12 yr. old Sam, and 13 yr. old Molly home from school "sick", so we met for lunch at the chinese buffet. I have been intensely craving the black pepper chicken with peppers and onions, and it was good. Also, the little cream puffs, and orange slices with hot tea....very good. Charlotte Claire and Jon loved the oranges too. Then Molly, Sam, Jon, C.C. and I went to Wegmans for a few groceries, and spent over $100!!! It was pouring out, so we got soaked getting back in the van. Then I opened my cranberry-lime seltzer and it exploded. Okay, fun.

Home to put stuff away, and try to drum up some help getting the place in shape 'cause the septic system inspector was due to come.....He never showed up, so we have to do it all over again. Well, daddy's back from the library with Sam, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, and Jon, so I've got to go!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

another day of warmth and sunshine

And 75+ degrees....everyone likes it but me. I am too hot. And, we live in the country, where stinkbugs and ladybugs thrive in the warm fall weather. They get all over the outsides of the house, and climb in the cracks of the screens....Yuck. But a cool wind is blowing tonight, and tomorow promises to be cooler.
We had a really nice weekend!! Friday, we went to the museum of Play in Rochester. 11 of the kids went with me. Jon loved the Bob The Builder exhibit. Charlotte Claire loved all of it: sand, steps, balls, running, pushing the cart in the miniture grocery store....
Then, Saturday to a conference at church, 700+ people were there. Our fellowship does a grille for lunch and dinner, and we sell candy all day. I was doing that, and I just love the kids.
They are so funny. They usually know their totals faster than I do. Then, in the evening, we had a feast ( a really encouraging meeting), then another on Sunday morning. Then I went home for an hr., had lunch with the kids, and out shopping with 3 daughters. Then, picked up pizza, home for 20 minutes, and off to a surprise birthday for Mary's 50th. We all gave her some thankfulness, and some encouragement. We left there with a great appreciation for her. She has 14 children.

It is on my heart to pray diligently for my friends, and especially for the young people. Nothing is more encouraging than to see them overcoming sin, and being zealous for Jesus. All the work and toil at home is nothing compared to the joy of having your children get converted and live in purity.

Well, my feet are swollen and sore, and frequent bathroom trips abound...a few more weeks, and we'll have a newborn again. The kids are pretty excited. When they come visit in the hospital, and lay their eyes, and hands, on the baby for the first time: absolute beauty. Charlotte Claire will no doubt be more interested in playing in the sink, and the buttons on the bed, but the others will be entranced. They will fight and argue about how long each other has held "it", and about who should hold baby for the picture....It really is a joyous time though. My body is suffering, but I am very thankful to be getting a new baby!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

sick day for suzanne

Suzanne threw-up at 4:45 this morning. In her bed, and down on poor Jonny's bed under her....I had already been awake, this pregnancy can't sleep last night was fun. I feel quite zombie-ish today. Suzanne seems fine though! She is home from school, which she loves! Oh great, Charlotte Claire just took off her pants and diaper. She looks real cute in her shirt and flowered socks, but like an accident waiting to happen...she is putting her wet diaper in a plastic bag and throwing it away. How cute. It's a few minutes past noon, and I CAN'T wait 'til naptime!!!!! I only get a nap once or twice a week, and today I crave one. I'll have to figure out the best plan: put in a movie for Suzanne and Jon, while C.C. sleeps, and tell Suzanne to wake me up if Jon's bad? Or put C.C. to bed, and take Jon with me, while Suzanne watches a movie? I can't wait until the school kids get home because: I have to go to Price-Chopper. You wouldn't believe me if I told you how much money we spend at Price-Chopper each month!! And Wegmans, B.J.'s, the dollar store, Big Lots.....

Anyway, I have to shop this afternoon, because tomorrow I have a dr. appt. in Auburn, which is in the opposite direction from the Price-Chopper! And paper plates are on sale! And all Kelloggs cereal, %50 off!! Etc., etc....I need diapers too.....I am a super careful shopper, I love bargains. I like buy one get one free, and a coupon too. Mariel, 17, is a champion coupon cutter. She is a wonderful shopping helper. She is so thrifty, I trusted her with my credit card when we were at the mall for Kendall's birthday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

sunny day, everything's A okay

Today, home with Jonny and Charlotte Claire: Busy, enjoyable, relaxing at times, frustrating at others....Took them outside, Charlotte Claire ran around to the backyard. I followed her, and let her play there for a while, then back out front. She didn't waste much time beating it to the deck steps, and, I brought them back in the house. She was ready for nap, Jon wasn't. So I put her to bed, and dozed on the couch while he played waffletown. I woke up 50 times to make sure he wasn't up to anything....He was actually really good, he enjoyed his play time without his 17 month old sister taking all of his stuff and wrecking what he built....My almost 19 year old son came home from college for a visit today...We haven't seen him in weeks....Jon was his shadow. Charlotte Claire didn't like him one bit. It was strange having him at the dinner table again, and very nice too. Except we barely fit. 17 of us, someone has to eat at the counter on the stool....But we love eating all together, we do it every night...We had hamburger helper stroganoff, and veggies....and a 4 lb bag of hershey kisses mix for dessert....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

cool fall sunday

Nice weather we're having! Today was partly cloudy, cool but not cold, breezy, wonderful. Most of us went to the meeting (church), and were encouraged to take the situations from
God, and be cleansed from sin instead of just reacting... Afterward, some of the older kids stayed for a band practice...I brought the little ones home, and we had a delightful lunch: Sam, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and I. Daddy had to run to the hardware store for something... So we had our PBJs and PBfluffs and peaches and chex mix, and iced tea. And fun and fellowship and fooling around a little. Jon loves to spread his own peanutbutter. Oh, and we had cookies, too. Then they went outside for a while, and Charlotte Claire had a nap, and I read the paper...Then laundry clean up sweep pickup wash counters etc...then dinner for 16!! We had pasta, meatballs, cantaloupe, acorn squash, and butternut squash, freshly baked and mashed with butter. Yum..Em, Mariel, Margaret, and I sat at the table until that squash was GONE! Then kitchen clean up, Joe swept, Mariel d.washer, Molly and Aaron pans, three girls doing the scraping, clearing, and washing the leftovers! Showers for 5 little ones, bath for Charlotte Claire, haircuts for daddy and Jon....I got clothes out for tomorrow for 4 little girls....I haven't made their lunches yet....I am too tired. I'll put it off 'til morning, and be sorry I did....Anyway, after stories and prayers, the four youngest except C.C. were tucked in. Jon hopped around the room causing trouble, then they all went to sleep. Charlotte Claire got to stay up 'til after ten because of her long nap.....She is so CUTE! 17 months old, seems like a little person now. And she goes to bed so cheerfully! She actually likes going to bed. So do I. I have between 19 and 22 days to go before I have this baby, because I'm being induced about a week early.... I just am so excited!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

a rainy day off

Colombus Day. No school. Daddy took a half day to fix the van brakes, but we decided to have the guy down the road do them tomorrow. So here we are, watching a Barbie pegasus movie, and daddy playing his guitar....I bought the kids some ice cream, which we will have soon as a staying home treat. Hopefully Charlotte Claire will take a nice long nap today so I can sew...Uh-oh, she has the whole bag of Frutie-O's....We DID just vaccuum....gotta go!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

birthday party day

Today is Kendall's birthday party. She is my little brother's little princess, turning 5. Her party is at a mini-golf course in the mall. Only Sonja (5), and Suzanne (6) are invited, but daddy is busy today, older kids busy and scattered, so I have to bring Margaret (10), Kathryn (9), Evelyn (8), Jonathan (3), and Charlotte Claire. But Mariel Joy (17), is helping too. I mean, a trip to the mall!!

So, I love my new sewing machine. And I really like the lady who I bought it from. She is just so nice. Her and her husband got married after both their spouses passed away, and had ten kids altogether. They have 41 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. They are just super nice people. I brought the machine home, and it works great. Now I just have to tame my frustrations-I want to use it, and it's almost impossible with the kids around. So I have to wait until they're in bed...

With 15 kids, a mom can't just wait until a few weeks before Christmas to start shopping. So I start a few weeks AFTER Christmas.. I've always bought these guys way too much. I figure just because there's alot of them, they shouldn't get shortchanged...But now they have so many toys....Just numbers: 5 little girls 5 years apart 3 barbies each each Christmas, plus birthdays....This year I've bought bedding sets for 7 of the girls. At 75% off, of course. And I have stuff in my closet for Jon and Charlotte Claire, and a few things for the little girls. But then there's the older kids. Em, Ab, Ben, Mariel (actually I got her something great, and expensive for cheap, but I don't want to say in case she reads this), Joe, Aaron, Molly, Sam, and Margaret........

Why I am writing about Christmas when it is 80 degrees out is only a mystery for people who have just a few to buy for.....

This baby is keeping me up at night already. Uncomfortable!! Contractions in the night...I have 4 weeks to go...

Gramma and Grampa: I got another fill up of gas with my Price-Chopper rewards card yesterday!! $58 something for 66 cents!! That makes 3 practically free fill ups, plus two for Emily. I love it!!! I had $2.90 off per gallon, and gas was like $2.95......

Friday, October 5, 2007

sewing machine day

Yes, today is the big day! I am going to meet my new sewing machine. I'm buying it from someone who refurbishes them. She has a whole classroom full of seems like a nice model, for about 1/3 of the regular selling price. Part of having a new baby for me is to sew some little quilts, as well as recover the car-seat.

It is just so nice out, day after day. High eighties for October 5? Sunny and dry, day after day. I just wilt in this heat. I'm probably the only one rooting for cool, rainy, fall weather here in the good ol' Northeast.... Our van's air conditioning doesn't work anymore, either.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. I want to be humble when dealing with the kids, so a blessing will be over us. These kids belong to heaven, what a responsibility! I need to be on the cross at all times, so that goodness, patience, and mercy can reign. God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. With this in mind, I will have a happy day.

Oh Gramma and Grampa, I miss you guys so much! This will be the first baby I will have without you to experience it with me. When Charlotte Claire was born, I was down visiting you guys the day before I was induced, and back again in a few days for you to meet her. Gramma, having you hold the newborn was such a sepcial part of the whole thing. You always said they got prettier than the one before....

Thursday, October 4, 2007

a day of many blessings

Well, the dreaded throw-up bug has been visiting us. Five out of fifteen have had it: who will be next? The suspense!! I got the dreaded phone call from the school nurse the other day, and had to pack up the little ones and pick up Margaret....But today, I am blessed. Sam (headache), Kathryn (doesn't feel well?), Evelyn (recovering from the bona-fide bug), Suzanne (doesn't feel well), and Sonja (wouldn't go to kindergarten on the bus without her sisters), join Jon and Charlotte Claire at home. So instead of two lonely kids, we have a happy houseful. Waffleblock roads and buildings, with duplos and matchboxes cover the living room floor.
I finally got my baby clothes out!! I hate to say this, but I have tons. 3 huge loads of laundry. I washed all the boys stuff, and girls, to about 3 months size. Some don't look so great, but enough look excellent. I still have some sleepers from Emily, the oldest (22), and the blue one Ben wore, he's almost 19. I have a sweater and cap all the girls have worn home from the hospital, and another all the boys have worn. They are still beautiful.

I am going to the doctor this afternoon for what I hope is an uneventful visit. The office didn't call about the 3 hour glucose test, so I am assuming I passed it. I feel like I can't possibly wait 4-5 more weeks to have this baby, yet I'm not ready. I'm going to buy a sewing machine tomorrow! I am going to make a sweet carseat cover, with a snap-on boot for the cold....These days, especially with a winter baby, the car seat gets so much use. It snaps out of the van, into the cart, baby stays bundled and warm....So, it HAS to be cute. I think all babies should be like a first baby. I certainly love each one more than the last, it that's possible.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

clean out the shoes day

Today we cleaned out shoes. Too small, too scuffed, one missing, just ugly, won't fit, throw them out, ten bags full!!! Some flip-flops got packed away, some are still worn. Now we have only a hundred or so pairs, all neat and tidy, because, YAY! Boots need to come out soon!

Then Ben called to tell me he crashed his car and got a DWI. Just kidding, he said. If I could kill someone over the phone! He tried to fix his brakes, and one didn't work, and locked up. He needed the car towed from his work to the garage, and needed me to help (I have tripleA) out and about I went....then to Wal-Mart, where lucky Molly Rose found a ten dollar bill in the parking lot!

All I WANTED to do today: get the baby clothes out!! I'm due 5 weeks from tomorrow, and I always have the clothes clean and ready 6 weeks before. Plus my hospital bag packed with clean new nightgowns, ect. (Just because I have alot of kids, doesn't mean I have to look like a slob) I actually like to wear my own nice gown for the birth, instead of one of those one-size-doesn't-all ugly hospital ones..... but, I rescued Ben today, and when I got home it was dinner time, then I sat down and put my feet up....Oh well, one of these days....

Saturday, September 22, 2007

what a day.....

Well, I failed my 1 hr. glucose test. Hopefully it was just a mistake. I took the 3 hour one today, what a way to spend a sunny warm Saturday. I really hope I pass this one. I have had healthy pregnancies up to now. I am more conscious of carbs and sugar now, though.

The plebotomist asked me today if this was my first pregnancy. I honestly don't tell alot of people how many kids we have because it seems so strange to them. But she asked, straight out, how many I had. Her reaction? "What do you want with all those kids?" Well, they're wonderful. They're funny, they're never bored, or boring. They love me. They hug me. I get to hug them, too. People just don't know what they're missing. What I hate: school folders. I like seeing their schoolwork,but why do I have to sign everything, and fill out everything, and keep track of so many spelling words?

Grampa: The mice built a nest in the Husquevarna lawn tractor, and caused the head gasket to blow: $278.00!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

another doctor visit

Blood pressure: 112/70, weight: yeah, right, I'm going to put that here....Baby sounds good. Pretty uneventful, but that's okay. It seems like pregnancy goes on forever and ever, and then at the end it goes even slower. Then all of the sudden, it seems there's never going to be enough time to get everything done. I had to move all the clothes out of my room that belong to Charlotte Claire, and make room for baby stuff. I always try to get the baby stuff washed and ready by the time I have 6 weeks to go. I have to get moving.

It seems like all I ever do is go to the store and buy groceries. It is perpetual, like everything else around here. I bought 12 pears yesterday, gone today. Em bought a bag of pears and a bag of apples Monday, gone. Bagels, waffles, bread, grapes, don't stay around long. We are always out of something. Cats are starving, Mom. We have no toilet paper! How can we bring lunch with no baggies.....

But life is not about that. I need to learn patience and goodness. Life is just a trial. God is good. He never sends more than I can manage. I just have to throw away all my ideas about what that means. He wants me to be saved, and to be free from sin. To be faithful in the small.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

the school days go on and on.....

Eleven days of school so far...only 169 to go. Joe missed today, first kid to miss this year. Every night, after dinner, I am tired. But clothes for tommorrow, lunches, homework, little projects, forms to sign....No wonder I love summer. Six kids go on first trip at 7:30, then the four little girls at 8:30....What a sigh of relief when they get on that bus!!! Not because I want them to go-oh no, I want them here!! It's just that it's so crazy getting their hair brushed, finding the right footwear, ect.....Then the quiet begins. Jon likes to play with his trucks in the morning, while I do what I can before Charlotte Claire starts yelling. Jon loves to go climb in her crib with her...she wakes up just so happy.

Who in their right mind would go on an outing to Wal-Mart with Jon and Charlotte, 6and 1/2 weeks from their due date with baby number 16??? I mean, this woman can't even lean over. Well, I did this today. Let's just say I survived. And I decided I'll never do this on my own when baby is born!! The kids loved it, though. Of course Charlotte's new dolly and Jon's little toy bike helped!

Gramma and Grampa: I don't know what kind of baby this is yet. I have to get both kinds of clothes out. Also, Price-Chopper is having a gas special: For every $50 you spend, you get 10 cents off a gallon. So, I've gotten three fill-ups of $60 worth of gas for under 25 cents. Plus, Em got two fill-ups. It was quite funny actually: She came home all happy, because she didn't realize how much off per gal. she had on her P.chopper card! So she filled her tank, $1.80 off per gallon!! I told her she had MY P.Chopper card! And that I was going to kill her. But it WAS funny, that it didn't occur to her how she could've accrued so much off per gallon herself....I didn't kill her, either. And: I bought a hot tub. These sore aching muscles...and the kids going nuts in the house in the winter...Dave L. put in a sidewalk, 6x8, and Paul built an adjoining deck, 8x8, to put the tub on, right out the back door. We just have to wait for Bob to come wire it. I SO wish you could see how nice it looks. I really miss you guys....

Friday, September 7, 2007

hot humid day

It was a scorcher today! Charlotte Claire and Jonny had so much fun in the little pool. She doesn't mind getting soaked, and water in her face is fun for her. Jon is a bit more reserved. But the water is so warm, the sun so hot, and a nice breeze. I put my chair right next to the pool and put my feet in. Go ahead and splash me, kids.

Dinner tonight: I went in the big pool with some little girls. Molly put the chicken on to boil, then Em put it on the grill. Aaron made the macaroni and cheese while I made a salad, and Molly set the table. Everyone crowded around the table (two tables put together, one oval and one rectangle) except Mariel, who was running. Em cooked some carrots for Charlotte Claire, and she really ate the chicken well. Joe has to write a paper on the most signifigant events of the last ten years. I suggested the invention of baby carrots. Em thinks the Harry Potter books, which positively impacted the reading habits of pre-teens. Joe thinks maybe the death of Kurt Cobain, which meant the end of awful music.....Our table is a very interesting place. Charlotte Claire screams and shieks for things, pass this, pass that, do NOT burp at the table! They had to all be out the door by 7:00 for childrens activity club, hurry! I am mean, I make them clean up first. When everyone pitches in, dinner for 16 is cleaned up fast.( Ben is at college)

Just daddy and I are home with Jon and C.C. It is very quiet.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

sonogram today

I have been so excited to find out if this baby is a girl or boy. I went in for the sono today, and the shy little thing had his/her legs crossed! Everything else looked good, so I am happy. I'll just have to get boy things and girl things out! I have less than 9 weeks to go. I really am enjoying the kicking and movement of this baby inside, but am also looking forward to meeting IT. Who would think #16 would bring such joy?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

a day with the littler ones

Seven of the oldest kids went to a youth conference for the weekend, and the 18 year old was at work. Then daddy and Marg (10) and Kathryn (9) went to help with the snack bar there. So that left me with Evelyn, 8, Suzanne, 6, Sonja, 5, Jonathan, 3, and Charlotte Claire, 15 months. We had french toast for dinner!! Then we had some baths and showers, stories, and rainbow licorice. Evelyn came out for an extra hug, and said what a nice time she had tonight. The oldest four share a bedroom, and they went to sleep almost immediatly tonight! I guess this all means they like my attention, which they obviously get less of when the older ones are around.

Charlotte Claire spent her first night in her own room last night: Mommy didn't have to get up with her at all!! Only 9 weeks and a few days 'til the next one comes to room with mommy and daddy...

Mr. Kitty just came over and said hello, purring like crazy. His real name is General Thunder. His sister is KittenForce. We got them around mother's day, and they are about 5 months old. Mother's day was wonderful: after 5-6 weeks of spotting and bleeding and thinking I was miscarrying, I had just had a sonogram that showed an active little baby in there!! And two sweet little kittens too!!

This baby is so active!! I hope to find out what it is on Thursday. I have my second sonogam. I get to be NOT HOME on the second day of school...the poor kids. They'll be in good hands, but I have to make sure to listen to their stories when I get home that afternoon-evening....

No, it is not impossible to have so many kids, but it is definitly a sacrifice - no, not one sacrifice. A whole series of them. I literally have to give my life for them. And when I do that, it is nice here. They are SO funny: Let them pour their own syrup, you've made their day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the pool IS warm

Summer used to seem sooo long. I guess I am sort of in denial that school starts next week. Backpacks are bought and filled(now that was a circus), kids have new sneakers....but it is still summer!! Today the sun is broiling, with a nice breeze blowing, and the pool is warm. Charlotte Claire fusses, climbs, whines, climbs, laughs, eats, and gets to go swimming before her long afternoon nap (sigh)....
Today is my father's birthday. He died 7 months ago. Last year, we had a big 70th birthday celebration for him, which was bittersweet because our mother had just died a month before. But he was actually happy that day. I think all of their 40something grandchildren, and all seven children were there..

Well Grampa and Gramma: Em passed her boards, she is an official R.N now. You would be so proud of her. Ab is going into year 3 of college, still in accounting. Ben is going back for his second year of college, and works at a gas station...Mar is a senior in h.s. this year, and still runs miles everyday...Joe plays the guitar now, and draws less, he's going into 11th grade. Aaron is going into 9th (high school!), Molly into 8th, Sam into 6th, Margaret 5th, Kathryn 4th, Evelyn into 2nd, Suzanne into 1st, and Sonja K. into kindergarten!!! 10 kids in school, Grampa. Gramma, Sonja won't get her backpack from you...I won' be able to call you on the first day, and tell you how cute they looked, or how they were reluctant to get on the bus...but you can be sure I'll be thinking of you.....

Monday, August 27, 2007

a day from heaven

How can one have a heavenly day at the beach with 14 children? Clear sunny skies, warm, clear, Lake Ontario waters, clean sandy beach..How can one not have a heavenly day? Oh yeah, the 14 kids!!! Ben had to work, so did Daddy. Just packing the van is a story. Two coolers, some chairs, 14 towels, a Pampers box of food(3 loaves of bread, two packages of burger buns..),a pram, two guitars, two not so little Little Tykes trucks, 8or9 pails and some shovels, charcoal, ect,...It's a nice 15 passenger van, and there were only 1 5 of us, but the ac doesn't work anymore.....seems like once something gets broken,,...anyways, the beach is 1 and one half hours away.... When we get there, sunscreen time. I try to get all the little ones. Since it took us 'til almost noon to get there, everyone is hungry. Well, not everyone. There are always a few that are too busy playing, and wait until everything is put away, then they announce how starving they are. Charlotte Claire loves the beach. She loves the taste of sand. She likes to stand in lawn chairs, and climb on picnic tables. She likes to crawl speedily across the sand to catch seagulls. Today, she didn't take a nice nap in her pram. She laid down nicely, drank up her ba-ba, then tried to stand up. Twice. 6 or 7 hours on the beach with a supercharged crawler/walker! Compared to her, all the others are a piece of cake!!

The ride home WAS really wonderful. Clear sky,full moon. A 24 pack of candy bars to pass around after Charlotte Claire fell asleep...I really enjoyed the kids today. I won't think about the dirty towels 'til tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2007

maude and claude, or gramma and gampa

My parents both died within a year, daddy in January 07, and mommy in July 06. They weren't just regular parents, with their own lives, they loved us kids and knew every detail they could about us. We called them Grampa and Gramma, because with 7 children and 40something grandchildren, what else would we call them? Gramma was wonderful. She knew every grandkid's b'day, what they liked, what time they were born. She used to stay overnight here alot when she was healthier, she would sit in the chair with kids on both arms and one on her lap and read to them. Her favorite story was "Tearwater Tea", in which Owl thinks of sad things, cries into the teapot, and voila, tearwater tea...but she got everything mixed up. When something sad happened, she would say, "That's owl water soup." She was on kidney dialysis for 9 years. She had breast cancer in both breasts, and wore washcloths in her bra, which believe me, I could tell some funny ones...She always got a kick out of when one of the kids noticed this. She had a few heart attacks, triple bypass surgery, several heart catheter procedures, etc. But she never complained. She did talk about her health, made friends with every dr. or nurse she ever met.....She chose to quit dialysis last July and go home to Jesus, because her heart was failing. She checked into hospice at the hospital on a Monday, and died on Friday morning. There were sometimes 20 or 30 people in her room. Each new visitor was greeted with a variation of , " I am dying to see you." Death was not a scary thing for Gramma, she knew she belonged to God , and she did not waver in her belief that she would go home to Him. She laughed and smiled, joked, and said her goodbyes. She stayed conscious until her last nap. It was a desperately sad but blessed week.
Grampa was desolate without her, and had leukemia. He tried so hard to stay away from germs, he was a mental case about it. His blood stopped clotting properly, and he spent his last week of life getting more blood daily. He died of a massive stroke on Saturday afternoon. We had to turn off the life support. He just wasn't going to make it. For the record, his temperature went up to 107.8 before he passed. He loved keeping track of things, he would have repeated that statistic to everyone. He bought us groceries. After Gramma passed, he went shopping crazy: his house was filled with papertowels, t.paper, cannned goods, ect....we never went home empty handed when visiting him. Anyway, at the end of some of my blogs from now on, I will have a "What I would like to tell Gramma and/or Grampa" section. I miss them so much. I used to talk to them every day.....

dog days of summer

The pool is chilly after a few moderate, rainy days. But the humidity today is oppressive, so hot, near 90 degrees...Only the kitchen and l.r. are a.c.'d-and not very effectively. So, we stay in the kitchen and l.r....We usually don't get enough unbearable weather here in the Northeast to require whole house ac, especially in a house as big as this.
The specter that is school is looming again. Here at home, breakfast time blends with lunch, and some slacker teens are having lunch right before dinner...but I fervently love having my kids here. I can never, in the summer, say that the house is clean, my work is done....but that's okay. We stay up too late. I dread getting them back on schedule, I hate schedules. But : I also hate sticky and dirty. So even though we have some chaos, no eating on the AT ALL, no dirty feet either. If you go barefoot, go wash those feet right now. The kitchen /dining tables are always cleaned off, floor swept and clean, l.r. vacuumed at least once a day...A bit crazy, and not spotless, but not dirty. Anyway, back to the school thing: I hate sending them. They are my children! So I cheat. I let them skip here and there, to have special time at home, or to go someplace fun. I pick them early randomly, and take them shopping. If they have stupid field trips, I give them the money we would have paid, and take them to get something. The day after Halloween is a holiday at our house.

I don't homeschool them because: We have a nice, small school district. We have ten children going this year. Kids need some exposure to real life. We have friends with large families in the district, whom our kids go to school with. The teachers at our school are wonderful.

So, we went to Wallymart and got 6 or 7 new backpacks. I usually buy them on clearance and store them in the closet, but I gave some away for b'day gifts....Lots of pencils, crayons, ect. One needs a disposable camera, gallon sized ziplocks, take out a loan!! We bought sneakers in June on clearance for 4 little girls...

When that bus leaves our house on September 5, it'll leave behind one seven and 1/2 month pregnant crying mommy, one crazy vehicle obsessed 3yr old boy, 15 month old Charlotte Claire, who just started walking, the two kittens, Champ the barking dog, the chinchilla, and the bunny rabbit. We will rattle around like peas in a pod.....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

saturday NOT at home after all

Yeah, we went to the zoo. Charlotte Claire loved the elephants!! We were next to the fence for their "show"...Jon was a little hesitant....It was the elephants' birthday celebration, with cake for everyone, and free admission for kids...very crowded though.

Only 14 for dinner tonight-Ben is at work, and two daughters camping with cousins...corn on the cob, steak fajitas from the grill...Em (oldest) is cooking tonight.

This baby in my tummy is so sweet. He/she jumped when Sam vaccumed this afternoon...jumped 8-9 times in a row! Kathryn(9) put her hand on and felt the baby kick, and got quite excited about it....I already love this baby and can't wait to meet it. I'm going to recover the carseat (again!) really adorably, and get all the baby things out (again!)...

Oh well, fun day, but no nap (again!)...How will I make it through the evening?

saturday at home

Today is beautiful. Cool and partly sunny. We've been broiling here all summer long, so this is great. We may even attempt a trip to the zoo today. Our oldest daughter brought 5 younger siblings, aged 14 down to 7, on a trip to Taughannock Falls today. So Suzanne(6), Sonja(5), Jon(3), and Charlotte Claire (15 mo.) want to go to the zoo.....

Friday, August 17, 2007

a rainy afternoon

I am so glad to see the rain. I sent out two ebay items, and shopped with 6 of the kids, then to Pizza Hut....(they're getting cereal for dinner)...then home to the work that didn't get done yet yeah for the rain. You see, it makes it much easier to handle the fact that I CAN'T GO SIT IN THE SUN AND GO SWIMMING! A pool is great, but it mocks me on the warm sunny days when I just can't seem to get out there. At least some of the older kids will watch the younger ones in there....

The baby didn't seem to be kicking much today, and I got worried. So I took a warm shower and rested in bed on my side...kick, wiggle,wow, the baby is fine! Thank you, God.

We don't know if this one is the girl kind or the boy kind yet- and I have no preference. With 10 daughters and 5 sons, how can it matter? The funny is that our 3 year old son comes after 5 girls born within 5 years, and is followed by sweet little climber Charlotte Claire, 15 months. So he likes trucks, tractors, dollhouse, and purses...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

just another day

This new laptop has changed my life!! I actually sold two items on ebay, and have two more listed! Anyway, we don't have 18 under our roof yet, unless you count the dog, the two kittens, the chinchilla, and the bunny rabbit. Our sixteenth child is due in the beginning of November. The rest of the gang still live here, though one son will be leaving soon for his second year of school. My kids might kill me if I identify them here because:

they do not like to be known as kids from a big family because:

we have individual personalities, likes, preferences, hobbies, etc. , and:

we are NOT organized, have only one set of washer/dryers, and we have basically no routine.

That being said, we have tons of fun together, eat dinner at the table every night together, get along great, go to church together......