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

Saturday, May 31, 2008

my camera is back!

Nikon fixed it and it came back yesterday, but of course the rechargable batteries I hid were gone, actually I totally forgot where I hid them...but Evelyn found some, I think they were mine...and the camera works nicely...

getting a new refridgerator

is a lot more trouble than you'd think...my friend called me last night, she saw a 25 c.f. side-by-side with a stainless steel front, for $488 , regularly $1179....on clearance...I was surprised it was still there today. One of the sales-clerks said they just marked it down yesterday, and were wondering how long it would last....I would rather have had white to match the other appliances, plus the steel finish shows fingerprints...but hey, the price was right. Anyway, Molly and I had to strap it in the truck, and we didn't know what we were doing....we didn't realize how those straps worked...we finally asked the guy for help...then Paul had to take both doors off (screen door and regular door, then both refridgerator doors off, to get it into the kitchen....then the boys hauled the old one downstairs....I couldn't watch, thought for sure someone would get flattened.
All the food had to go back in the new one, and the stairs vacuumed from the dust from the old one....the shoe rack by the door was moved and there are probably 100 shoes over there that need to go back on the shelf.....but it is very nice. If we ever get the water and ice machine hooked up, it will be a miracle, and very nice, too.

It is hot and muggy and the pool is not running yet. It just needs more chlorine, and a good vacuum....but Paul is sleeping again, not feeling so great....and I of course feel guilty that I just had to go buy a new 'fridge when he is sick....

Well, I have to go outside with the kids now....wait, let me rephrase that: I GET to go outside with the kids now...they are pretty rambunctious....they need some attention....

Friday, May 30, 2008

big shopping day

Emily Anne took some kids to the beach today, so Abigail and I (and Camille) went shopping...Toysrus for a Little Tikes picnic table that seats 8 kids, (it was fun, I had 3 coupons...Abigail used a $3 coupon on a $5 backpack, so it was $2.16.....with tax....)then we went to the mall, and just checked out a few stores....then to Price-Chopper, and $312 later, home. When I was shopping, a funny thing happened...I leaned over to the lowest shelf to reach a bag of Chex mix, and the top of my hair got caught on a plastic shelf tag. Really stuck...I was panicking....I was leaned all the way over....I thought I was going to have to start yelling for help....but I got my hair free...it was a mess, though....but I was so glad not to have to yell for help...it didn't matter....

Paul is sick...throw-up bug...he feels awful. I hope I don't get it....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

elementary school concert

Suzanne, Charlotte Claire, and Margaret showed Camille the doggy, Mr. Champ....she was not impressed. Here is Margaret with Miss Camille....
I had to tell Charlotte Claire there was an airplane to get her to look up...I felt bad that there wasn't really one....


The kids looked so cute dressed for the concert, I had to get a picture. Charlotte Claire wouldn't co-operate....





Evelyn and Suzanne weren't too sure they wanted to go to their chorus concert tonight, but they decided an hour before they had to be there that yes, they wanted to go. So off we went....the older kids went to the youth meeting, and Paul and I took Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille.....what fun.
Well, I didn't go shopping today, so I almost stayed home all day, except for the school concert. This afternoon, we cleaned the little girls' room....talk about fun...the things that accumulate in that room: beads, markers, crayons, school papers, undies, socks, barbie shoes, barbie clothes, barbies, stuffed animals, dolls, doll clothes, hair ponies, barrettes, pajamas, play clothes, school clothes.....and we clean it all up, and they say it will never get that messy again....oh, and since Jon is in there now, there were matchbox cars all over, too. Now I have a few more loads of laundry to do....
Theoretically there are too many kids with too much stuff in too few rooms....but that is just not true...well, maybe the too much stuff part.

school skippers

Here is school skipper #1, Evelyn Joy, with a tummy ache.... Here is a movie star who was visiting, also known as Suzanne Eleanor, school skipper #2...also with a tummy ache....a Mommy, you don't know how bad it hurts tummy ache....
Here she is after Charlotte Claire steals the lovely sunglasses....doesn't she look so sick?


Here are Jon and Charlotte Claire the other day on the nice crib mattress in the living room....playing ni-night, which is infinitly more fun than really going ni-night....


Camille Anaya has a nice big sister, Abigail, to play with her....





Whee!




Here is the young and beautiful mom with her lovely feet up, holding Miss Camile....


Yes, I have two skippers today. They aren't allowed to play on the computer when they skip, but I do let them play outside, life is short, and the weather is fine. It is my favorite kind of weather - breezy, brilliantly sunny, 72 degrees....excellent for drying bedding out on the deck. These kids make sure I never get bored in that department. It seems like they get together and all decide to wet the bed in one night, to see how big the dirty bedding pile can get...I have done 4 loads today....and I won't even get a prize...
Suzanne is seven and Evelyn is eight. They are good friends. I suspect they came down with tummy aches because they built a darn nice tent on the back patio last night, out of a sheet, some wood poles, and 5 lb. weights to hold it down... and didn't have nearly enough time before bed time to enjoy it...I personally think it borders on criminal the time these kids spend in school..I let them have some days at home occasionally....see, we live out here a-ways (is that a word?), and they spend too much time on the awful school bus...my second trip kids get home after 4pm everyday.....
Abigail and I are trying to figure out if we should do our weekly major shopping trip right now, or wait until tomorrow. If we go today, we can go to the beach with Emily tomorrow....she's got the day off and is taking Jon and Charlotte....but then I'm gone today and tommorrow....makes it hard to be caught up around here.....but the BEACH! Sounds good! Lake Ontario is very close to my heart....I haven't traveled much in this big world of ours, but I doubt I'd find a better place...sandy beaches, fresh water, no jelly fish like there were in Norway.....waves fun but not too huge....big and vast....Adirondack lakes are beautiful, but that wind blowing off Ontario....I just love it.
My Camille wants me (everybody wants me, I sure am lucky)....






Wednesday, May 28, 2008

stayed home all day!!!

The day isn't over yet, but I have been here all day! It has been a few weeks since that happened. Emily the nurse also had the day off, and she put Charlotte Claire's new crib together!!! I put alot of clothes away, did some laundry, went outside with the kids....it was nice! Camille has a bit of a cold, she actually woke up twice last night...I've been so spoiled with her, it was hard to get up...but I really don't mind nursing a baby in the night...

If I stay home for a few more days, I might accomplish something around here. Tonight is the awards ceremony at the high school, but my kids didn't want to go....Mariel is graduating, and doesn't even want to go to that ceremony...and she doesn't want a party. Partly because she doesn't want people giving her gifts, feels bad...what a nice girl. She has done very well in school, and is 6th in her class. They are just weird. I said it was no fair, I wanted to go tonight and see them get their awards....it is invitation only, and they were invited, so I know they got some awards....I feel a little bit cheated, but didn't feel I could make them go if they don't want to. They take after daddy, they don't like those things..."It's just a waste of time, Mom.."

I sent my broken camera into Nikon, and they sent a letter stating that it is being fixed at no charge, as it is under warranty. I'm glad, because I like it, but now that I've been using Abigail's Kodak EasyShare, which I really like, it may be hard to adjust back to it. The Kodak just takes the pictures as soon as I press the button, where the Nikon hesitates....maybe there's a setting to adjust, I'm not good at figuring these things out...

I have lots of kids to get to bed....and they are murmuring about being hungry..we had chicken tetrazinni for dinner, with vegetables and lemon cake....then, before were even done with clean-up, Suzanne was in the 'fridge getting a piece of cheese....which I okayed, then Kathryn came along looking for some....wait just a minute here! We are not having cheese!!!

Right now I would like some chocolate. Preferably some milky European chocolate, but even some Hersheys sounds good....Aah, put the kids to bed, eat some chocolate....I must have some somewhere....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

staying home today? ha....

Samuel has an appointment with the opthamologist! He lost his glasses a while ago, and I didn't want to replace them, as he was due for a new prescription....and it takes months to get an appointment....so, off I go again today. And since he will surely need new glasses, to Wal-Mart again we go! When I die, all the stores are going to notice a dip in their revenue

I won't be here when the school kids get home again, and I hate that. I am going to write a chore list for them today. They hate that. But in a way they like it, because it yields some results. Kathryn is going to clean the foyer, because they have been playing school and office there....and Sonja wants to do the bathroom. She is only 6 years old, so she will need some supervision with the spray stuff, and I don't have them do the toilets, I do that. They all like to do the bathrooms though, because they are small and already picked up, just need to scrub the toothpaste from the counters, and shine the sinks....

I guess it's kind of a balance, to have so many to pitch in and clean up is wonderful, but to have so many to leave things around and make messes on a daily basis is frustrating. I mean, 5 backpacks, okay. Make it ten , and we've got a mess. Same with shoes....my husband does not understand why we have so many shoes. We were going to the kids' soccer tournament on Saturday, and 7 year old Suzanne could not find a pair of shoes. If you knew how many we have, you'd see how absurd this was. She has sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, shoes, crocs.....but not one suitable pair for that day? outfit? I don't know. The only pair she thought she could possibly leave the house with was on EVELYN'S FEET! To demonstrate that she couldn't leave the house, she took off everything but her underwear and collapsed onto the couch, sobbing. The other kids were already in the van, and I was heading into the laundry room to get Camille's freshly washed fleece....So, daddy and I start going through the shoes with her: too big, too small, can't run in those, blah....we finally find some fabulous sandals, get her dressed and happy, and go out the door without Camille's fleece!

Monday, May 26, 2008

don't rain on my parade...

All of my kids have been in band so far except for one, Joe, and he plays guitar and piano at home. So, all these years we've hustled to town early on Memorial Day for the parade...due to budget cuts, the high school no longer has a marching band, but the middle school does....so, Molly on clarinet, Sam on trumpet and Margaret on Saxophone....then a little visit to Gramma and Grampa, Paul's parents, and home by 1:15....lunch, and outside to play for the kids....then at 2:15, Abigail notices it's time to get ready for the bigger, wonderful parade a few towns over....scramble, brush, re-dress a bunch of kids, and out the door with eight of them I go....Abigail, Sam, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, and Charlotte Claire...Camille stayed home sleeping....(with daddy and some of the other kids)....Anyway, as we secure a place to watch this parade, a lady said to her friend, while looking at us, "Oh yeah, when they're little like that, it's easy....just wait 'til they grow up.." She probably didn't realize Abigail was with me....anyhow, I just don't get that attitude. Sure, it's not always easy to deal with the teenagers, but just being around them is magnificent....they are so young and fresh and beautiful...and hopeful, and what is that word for innocent? It starts with v I think....not gullible, oh, I don't know....right now a herd of them are in the kitchen, doing what they do best - snacking. And doing homework, and talking. My boys are getting huge, and they eat like monsters. I don't mean fat-huge, just growing into young men. They need lots of food and lots of sleep. The girls less so, they are more health conscious. But these kids of mine, these big kids, they are so funny. They like to mock mommy. Not mean spiritedly, but I certainly hear what I sound like through them: Aah, don't spill that! ( I tend to panic and scream about these things), Get your fanny over here!!!(which Emily says I shouldn't say, because it is a bad word in England, but to me it just means rear end...)....anyway, when I went to cut up the watermelon this afternoon, it was decorated with hundreds of little holes, and a very cool pattern, compliments of Aaron's pen. The fun wasn't in the lovely design however, it was in imagining what mom was going to say.....and laughing their heads off about it....and who am I to disapoint them?






We didn't put Charlotte Claire's new crib together yet. But we did put the new mattress here in the living room with a sheet on it, and a nice fuzzy blanket....two year olds like to play ni-night....and we don't have quite enough stuff to trip over in here yet..

Life is good when you believe with all your heart that God sends everything for your best. My days are full of trials, kids aren't always agreeable, I get tired, things get messy, piles get bigger, I forget things, like the white t-shirt that Sonja-the-kindergartener was supposed to have in by last Friday....but such is life. I can either take it right, and be happy, or complain about everything and be miserable. I've noticed that when I fight the good fight of faith, the ones around me are much happier. When I'm longsuffering and patient, it has a good effect. Thankfulness is contagious....It is a huge responsibility to know that actions speak louder than words, and my kids are watching....Jon has said a few times today, "What the hell is that?" I'm 99% sure he didn't hear that from me....although now that I think about it, I may have used that word when Ben put Abigail's car in the ditch.....not on purpose.....oops.

I am tired tonight, because I went to two parades today....and basically accomplished nothing around here. Just routine basic maintenence...I'll never get ahead, because I just like doing fun things with the kids....our pool is almost ready to open....I can't wait!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

perfect weather

Charlotte Claire likes to drink pool water....it was 75degrees out, brilliantly sunny, and a bit breezy....the water was ice cold from the hose, but they didn't care. Jonathan and Sonja were having fun....

Here Charlotte Claire is spitting out some yummy pool water....


Isn't Jon just crazy?


Here's Sonja...




What a nice day....

I enjoyed being outside with these guys when Camille was napping. I already sunburned my face yesterday, so I had to be careful. Then this afternoon, I decided that since Paul was here with the truck..I'd go to Big Lots and get some chairs for the deck...but when I got there, I didn't like them so much....and I am too cheap to buy any others...but I saw a nice crib, and mattress.....so I bought them! I had the incredible nursing baby with me, of course, and Mr. Jonathan, Sonja, and Evelyn.....Jon and Sonja had to use the bathroom in BigLots, fun...I was carrying Camille....oh whatever, it was fun. Anyway, we then went to Wal-mart...needed catfood, pool sock, bread, milk, bananas, apples, etc....how do I end up out running around so much?






Friday, May 23, 2008

thinkin' about ben

and his propensity for accidents...Abigail had just been praying for him, at the same moment he drove into the ditch. I truly believe that God heard her prayer, and caused this so Ben would wake up a little. I mean, the car was totally unscathed, not even a dent. And Mr. Ben was fine, just totally shaken up. I say, thank you God! I can talk and talk, but sometimes these things happen and speak louder than all my words, ever!

The thing is, exactly when this happened, I was baking cookies, and thinking about an accident that occured right where I was driving the other day, just a few minutes after I drove through....I was thinking how life is so unpredictable....our days are numbered, and we shouldn't take the days for granted...then Abigail came running across the deck yelling....

ben's in the ditch, come quick!

First of all, here is Abigail outside by the lilac bush with Jon.....what a nice day! Here is what happened: Ben left for work, delivering pizzas, with Abigail's car...because his car bit the dust. As he got in the car, Abigail said she had a feeling something bad was going to happen to him, so she started praying for God to watch over him, and for God to help her not to worry....she watched him drive away, and he drove right into the ditch!! She came running into the house, yelling. I was taking cookies out of the oven, and I ran out there with the potholder in my hand, and I actually said a bad word. "Is he okay?" I yelled that a few times too. I am so calm....Here is daddy to the rescue with the truck, and Sam checking it out, and Champ-the-dog..
I asked Ben if I could put this on the blog, and he said okay....he was crying....I mean, oh man, his sister's car! He was apparently buckling his seatbelt, and swerved....

See, he ran over a sign post, you can see it holding the back of the car up....


I wondered what the other side of the car was going to look like....



The trusty truck, hooking up the tow rope...




And out of the ditch !





Benjamin was relieved that the car was fine....just some grass, mud, sticks underneath...



Here is Jonathan explaining what happened...







He was pretty overwhelmed by it all...





Here is the car again....you can see the post that was stuck under the car....did he run it over?









So, Ben, drive slower, buckle before you touch that gas pedal....you gave me some gray hair today, Mr....and poor Abigail....she was flipping out...I really really hope this taught you something. I hope you are as extra careful from now on as I exhort you to be each and everytime you leave this house.....And Ben: you are lucky - lucky that her car is fine, and lucky that your parents are so patient and forgiving, and that dad was home today!!!





pictures from home

The story behind this going to school picture: The lovely blouse Evelyn Joy is wearing, I have total amnesia as to how I came about buying it at the outlet mall the other day when Evelyn had a lucky school skipping day. She said she asked me and I said yes...I have no recall, and cannot for the life of me even remember seeing it scan. Evelyn thought she looked beautiful in this ensemble, and who am I to dash her self-esteem? Notice the striped tights? She was thrilled when I took a picture of her.... Kathryn Grace was playing with Abigail's camera! How can I tell?

Here she is with Camille Anaya, looks to me like she's taking this one herself...

I just thought this was warm and lovely, Aaron watching "The Cat In The Hat" in french,(that's how these guys learn their languages), and cuddling his little sister...it just melts my heart to see the big tough boys holding their little siblings like this....


Here is Mr. Jonathan at his post: the best view out the window from the couch. This is where he and Charlotte Claire scramble to everytime they hear a garbage truck, tractor-trailer, possible UPS truck (Jon has gotten a present in the mail a few times before, so there's always hope, right?), school buses, or maybe even some company....here he is with the best toy in the world - my keys. He likes to use real keys for his Little Tikes car. Yesterday he informed me that his car was now a Ford, and could I please refer to it as such? And it only works with real keys. Well, lending a 4 year old boy car keys is stupid on many different levels, which we won't waste time getting into here, but getting them back from him: heartbreaking. I promised him I would try to get him some real keys, and thankfully my sister thinks she has some for him....




Here is Charlotte Claire climbing out of Camille's nice baby seat, the roundy-round seat, as it is know here....







Sesame Street looks good from here....

Well, yesterday was the stay at home and catch up day...and it was, at least until my sister called around 3 in the afternoon and asked me if I wanted to go into another town 40 minutes from here, as she had to pick up Ellen's contacts, and was stopping at Target and Price Chopper (we try to make these trips to town worth the gas money by spending money at stores)....and of course I said I would love to....I, in my brilliance, had almost run out of wipes. I know, I know, my mother raised 7 kids without wipes. Anyway, I had some other things I could use, and I absolutely love spending time with my sister, so off I went with Camille, leaving Joe, Aaron, Mariel, and Molly with some last minute tasks and dinner to serve...aren't they nice? I already had it started...but still, I felt really guilty....I was only gone for 4 hours.
I got some adorable bathing suits for the girls for $4.24, and a shirt for Charlotte Claire for $1.48....and some basics at the grocery store. I got finished before my sister, and waited in the van nursing Camille in the pouring rain, and really enjoyed the peace and quiet, and my sweet baby. As I sat there, I saw a woman leaving the store with a little boy about Jonny's size, who was screaming and fussing, and the mom was screaming and fussing, and saying how he was NOT getting the new toy, no way.....I could hear them with the van windows closed from across the parking lot....he was telling mommy that he was going to be good now, over and over, and she was screaming that that was great, but too bad, no toy.....I just started crying. It is so difficult to be a mommy when the kids act up like that. So frustrating. But I wanted to roll the window down and yell for her to be careful, please don't beat him....try and be patient with him. Stop screaming at him. Give him a hug, tell him you love him. I just sat there crying, praying for that mom. And for all the poor kids in this world. Kids are so small, and their parents are so big. Can't all the mommies and daddies please take heed to how they are acting? And be merciful? I don't know how God can bear to see the whole world. My weak soul can't bear the little bit that I see....
Today is a general "skip" day for these kids...the high school is having a "fun" day, so the three high-schoolers stayed home....the middle-school is having field days, so only one of three went, but all four elementary kids went. And Paul is here today. He was in Boston for a few days, so he gets a day off. It is a good day. I think I'm going to blow off some work and go outside. No, I better not do that. But it's so nice out!!!!





Wednesday, May 21, 2008

quiet time at night

It's late at night, and the kids are all in bed except Benjamin, who is still at work delivering pizzas....I don't wait up for him, he's 19, and I couldn't function if I stayed up that late every night. But I pray for his well-being like crazy.

I have been working on focusing more on what the kids are saying to me. Listening more. It's rewarding, worth the effort. I don't want to be selfish, but it is in my nature to be. So it is a constant work to give of myself. I do love my kids, they just delight me. And I don't have to work my fingers to the bone for them, or give them the world. But to hug them individually, be patient with them, let them know they are my heart's delight: that is a worthy task....

Okay, clean matching socks, clean bedding, neat, stain-free school clothes, healthy, yummy food, clean, brushed hair, check-ups and dentist visits, orthodonists too, a mostly neat functional home to live in.....yeah, part of the job....but more the important part is the giving-attention part.

My little guys are going to be shot tomorrow from going "bye-bye" so much this week...which is too bad, because everything in me wants to get caught up around here...but hey, on the couch under a blanket with Jon and a pile of books....Charlotte Claire is getting alot more patience for sitting still for stories these days, too....sounds good! Maybe it will be cloudy and rainy again so I don't have to go outside! Only a mom with a messy house understands that one.....

how did we manage this?

So, here is Abigail and Camille in the big van. Jon is getting buckled, Charlotte Claire was having a big fit....
Jon and Charlotte Claire in the race-car cart (which, according to Jon, the vehicle expert, is different than the car-car cart)....



Jon really believes he is driving....Charlotte Claire is tired of driving, she wants to sit with the groceries now...




Gone for the third day in a row...I was going to leave Miss Charlotte Claire and Mr. Jonathan home with their big sister, but, we all went. Emily dropped her car off at Walmart for some new tires, and then we met my brother and two of his daughters at the Chinese buffet...Jon formed his typical attachment to his plate of food, and even when we got him some fruit and dessert, he wouldn't say goodbye to his plate...my nieces were so nice to hold Camille for me...








Then to the dollar store, BigLots, and BJs.....and home for dinner with some tired fussy kids and a tired fussy mom....who's trying really hard to be good (the mom, that is)

how did we manage this?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

who am i ?

...I'm not a "stay at home mom", because I'm never home....I'm not a "housewife", because that implies being married to the house...not quite. A home-maker? maybe....anyway, we went ramming around town again today, the outlet mall....here is Camille Anaya.... Do these little angels look like they're up to something? Notice the rabbit ears on Kathryn, thanks to Evelyn. Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Jonathan, Sonja, and Charlotte Claire in front of Kathryn....They all have their new dresses on except Jonathan, who has a new shirt on....
Here is Miss Charlotte Claire with a new dress on...$4.99 at the Childrens' Place...

Charlotte Claire and Jonathan in the ice cream truck....Emily and Abigail put money in it, and uh-oh, they liked it!



Here is Jon climbing on Bigger Birder, as he is called here.





Here is Evelyn Joy, the lucky school skipper.....with Charlotte Claire


Here is Camille, the amazing nursing baby....in her carriage. I like taking the carriage out shopping, because when she gets tired, I just lay her on her tummy, she finds her thumb, and she's happy....






So, I went shopping again...I haven't been to the outlet mall in a long time. By the time I get a few things for each kid, wow it adds up. But I am a cheapy.
I am watching American Idol with the little girls, but the channel doesn't come in very well, and Kathryn keeps trying to get it to come in. We live in the country!
We called Molly when we left the mall, and asked her to put the meat on the grill....she is only 14, but she did a great job grilling steak and chops.....Paul inventoried our freezer, and we're trying to eat what's in there....
Tomorrow I'm going shopping yet again....I am out of sugar, almost out of wipes, and need to stock up on diapers, because last time I only got a small package....so, to BJ's....I think I might just get up and run without the kids, Charlotte Claire missed her nap already today, and she may just turn into a monster. Em is home tomorrow, as is Abigail.....Abigail is looking for a job, but part of me secretly hopes she doesn't find one....She is such a sincere, faithful girl.....she's funny, reliable, precise, helpful, just a good girl. She's twenty one years old, and she just finished her third year of college, an accounting major. Well, Kathryn got the channel in, oops, gone again.....




mariel's concert

She's a senior in high school, and last night was her last chorus concert. I haven't made it to very many, because I don't bring babies to 'em. She really wanted me to be there, and it was soccer night, very busy and no one to watch Camille....so I called my sister, a mommy to seven lovely girls, and she said - sure, bring her over. So I sat with Paul (my dear handsome husband), and Evelyn, and enjoyed the concert. While I was sitting there without children, I of course was thinking of them. I need to work at being there for them.. ...I am there physically, but sometimes I feel almost robotic....I need to tune them in more, be more soft-hearted..... and: Camille was Miss I-don't-know-where-I-am, and therefore quite screamy at my sister's house. But, luckily my sister loves babies, and she held her and rocked her, and even got her calmed down and played a bit....

We had clear skies and a full moon last night - beautiful....! Made for a cold night, though.

I feel like a bad mommy right now...I made pancakes for Evelyn (she's having a skip day), Jonathan, and Charlotte Claire....and I pulled Miss C.C.'s highchair into the living room, and am letting Jon and Ev eat at the coffee table and watch Sesame Street.....but if you knew all the work I already did today, you might understand....I took Aaron to an appointment yesterday, and a quick stop at the grocery store....I had made a pot of soup before I left, which is great for those everyone-going-in-different-directions nights....then left for the concert right after dinner. So, since I have no maid or cleaning lady, the kitchen looked a bit disastrous this morning. And of course the livingroom is decorated in matchboxes, road track, building blocks, Pollypockets, ect., again, just the way they like it.

I have to take Aaron, 15, to a surgeon in a city over 2 hours away....we need to talk to the surgeon about the risks, recovery, details so Aaron can decide if this is what he wants to do....he has an extremely depressed sternum, or sunken chest syndrome. His chest looks like you could set your cereal bowl in it. He is very active, and he has discomfort, pain, and shortness of breath when running and biking. He is a canidate for what's called the "nuss procedure", which is the insertion of a metal bar behind the depression in the chest, and removed in a few years....if he goes through with the surgery, it means about a week in the hospital in this city. What am I going to do? If we schedule for during the summer, the older kids can help here, but I have
Camille the incredible nursing baby.....oh well, we'll see.

Monday, May 19, 2008

cold damp monday morning

and who's rejoicing? Me!!! I love it! The kids are all cozy and content, and I don't have to be looking out the window wishing I was outside! Because, I have enough to do in this house to wear out an army....or me, anyway. The kids had matchbox cars, road track, waffleblocks, and train track all over the floor last night....and mean mommy made them pick it all up, so I could vacuum. It is lovely to wake up and face a freshly vacuumed living room. It doesn't take them long to transform it back the way they like it, though. None of their bedrooms are big enough to really set stuff up in and play, and we don't have a play room anymore...we needed it for a bedroom....it is neat to see them all play together. Last night six of them were down on the floor playing. Of course there are random fights, sometimes bordering on violent: Jon will get mad and whip a matchbox truck at Evelyn, and she'll scream bloody murder....and Jon will have to sit by me for maybe 2 minutes until he can say he's sorry, then go play again. And Charlotte Claire is just plain King Kong jr., Miss I-see-what-I-want, I-grab-what-I-want.....But it is all a learning process. By the time these guys enter kindergarten, they know how to get along with others.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

pizza for dinner

Home-made pizza dough is good, but it requires knowing what you're making for dinner sooner than an hour before dinner. So, when I went shopping Friday, I bought 6 pizza doughs, 99cents each. This is what we had for dinner: one hot "buffalo wing" pizza. I used leftover chicken breast from yesterday, chopped it up and added it to:one stick butter melted with about a cup of Frank's hot sauce(we buy it by the gallon)...., add it to the dough, cover with cheese....then we had a pepperoni pizza, then a whole wheat pizza with onions.... and a salad with baby spinach and cucumbers. That hot chicken pizza is good!

My Camille is rolling over from front to back, and back to front, and swiveling around to change directions...so, this means we have to keep the floor extra clean! I like to vacuum every day anyway, but now we really need to. And when the babies discover the vast wonderland of tile that is the kitchen, uh-oh. When I hear those little hands slapping the tiles.... I'm not in a hurry to have a crawler again, even though it's cute. We don't wear shoes in the house, but it's still hard to keep that kitchen floor clean.

Mr. Jonathan is full of it tonight. He's keeping his sisters awake in there, and they have school tomorrow. I may have to bring him out her so they can go to sleep....

Abigail is so nice tonight. She is making mini-brownies in the mini-muffin trays for Sonja's class snack for kindergarten tomorrow. So it smells heavenly in here. I hope there are extra, and I'm not the only one. My parents lived near a bakery...when my mom passed away, and my dad was on chemo, he couldn't eat very much...but he could eat donuts. So when I went to visit him, I always stopped there. The whole atmosphere of that bakery entranced me: the smell, the visual of all the cookies, cakes, donuts, and pies....and the bread baking. I haven't been there since my dad died....but the delicious smell of baked goods baking reminds me of him and that time period. It's so cliche to say how fast time flies, and how you don't know how good you have it with someone 'til they're gone....I never in a million years imagined how tough it would be to lose my parents. I mean, I am an adult. My mom was 69, and my dad 70....but I still feel lost, untethered...

Emily Anne is home from a busy day at the hospital, and Sam is getting into the icecream. There is never a dull moment here. Charlotte Claire is having a cup of dry cheerios, and a sippy cup of water. I have to go quiet those kids down.....

lazy sunday

I cannot sustain the busy pace that's necessary to keep this place in A#1 condition. I can work really hard to make it look relatively nice, then I lose steam, and coast....

We had our friends from Norway over last night. They have a 5 year old daughter, and a 20 month old son, and she is expecting in the fall. M. made homemade lemon-merangue(?) pie , and partially homemade chocolate (she used pudding mix, she ran out of time), with two different crusts...boy, were they good. It was so nice to have friends over. We really like the sitting around the table after dinner time, and when you have company, dessert, and coffee, it couldn't get much better. Plus, my son Joseph had two friends here...then, my sister and her husband came over for the evening. Some of my girls went over to spend time with some of her girls. Truly good times....

Charlotte Claire and Camille are both sleeping, and I am not out making dinner, nor am I throwing in a load of laundry....I am feeling an invisible finger, tapping my shoulder, motioning me to get up and get busy. Stop it, shut up, conscience, leave me be! Have we ever not had dinner? Oh, I just remembered, I have stuff to make some pizza. What fun when the kids help.

Off I go....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

my camera...

Emily sent it out to the Nikon company for me today. I figure since they were so nice to me, I'd mention it. I called about my broken camera, and the guy didn't even ask how it broke, just said that since it was a Christmas gift, I don't need a receipt.....He said I'd get it back in 7-10 business days....I hope he meant for free. If so, buy a Nikon. I'll let you know....I just love that camera. It was reasonably priced, and takes good pictures...and the company guy was so nice.

In the meantime, I may borrow Abigail's camera....Paul and I bought 4 of the kids cameras for Christmas last year.

We had 23 people here for dinner tonight, counting Camille the amazing nursing baby, who didn't directly eat the roasted chicken, salt potatoes, baked beans with bacon, or yellow squash/broccoli/carrot mixture....she just sat on my lap and tried to reach my plate.

The weather was strange and wonderful today. It was warm, in the sixties, and a bit breezy....started out sunny, so we hung out some bedding to dry,,then clouded over, we brought the bedding, and it rained, poured. Then it cleared up for a bit....back out went the bedding. And oops, it poured again. The bedding is still out there, soaked. Then when it cleared up, wow - a double rainbow! Charlotte Claire learned to say rainbow. We all went out on the deck after dinner and admired it....sparkly beautiful.

tired saturday

I stayed up too late last night...the girls had some of the youth girls over, and I had been shopping all day...so, getting things put away from the stores, and straightening up for the girls'visit....and Camille got up too early this morning....she's back in bed now. I started a bunch of work, as we are having seven or so people over for dinner tonight...but my back hurts. I hate complaining, and I hate having pain slow me down. But, this back thing: it causes numbness in my toes, down the back of my legs, and up my arms and my face. It is downright scary. Benjamin, my 19 year old, said he learned in his Anatomy and Phys. class about the nerves in the back, and said I should go to a doctor....in case the nerve gets pinched too tight, I could be paralyzed....now there's a thought! I guess I better be careful, not lean over too much today, and think about going to a dr.....

Emily the nurse took Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, and Jonathan to a nearby park in the pick-up truck with their bicycles in the back....she is so good with these guys on her days off! And Miss Camille is taking a nice nap. So, here I sit. Which is stupid. I need to make the most of this time to get things done....sitting here writing without the 5 little girls in here is pleasant though. But I am a bit jealous that Em does the fun stuff with them. I have always chosen, through the years, to do as much fun stuff as possible. There have been times when I have had a newborn, or had tons of stuff to do, and Paul would offer to take the kids to a playground or something: I always ended up going too. I don't like to miss things - when Jon goes down the big slide, I want to see! ...Oh, Suzanne got 100%, stellar speller again! The school year is almost over, but she is with the program! Joseph has one of his friends here, who is from a family with 14 kids, and they are playing their guitars...oh the noise noise noise....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Joseph's birthday

My number 5 child is 17 years old, which doesn't make sense, because I"M seventeen years old.

Well, I went shopping yesterday, but guess what I forgot to get? If you said diapers, you win. I have enough to last through 'til today's shopping trip. Yes, I need to go again today. No, not NEED....I went yesterday to Kohl's and got Mariel her running shoes, and some bargains for the other kids. I just cruise the clearance racks. Margaret: new shirt and black leather shoes:$9, Joseph: new jeans and polo shirt - $ 13, Aaron, jeans $7.99, Molly: shirt - $7, Suzanne and Sonja: matching shirts - $3 , Kathryn: sneakers - $5.99, Evelyn: sandals - $2.99, Jonathan: 2 shirts - $8, Charlotte and Camille: matching outfits - $5.....etc. Me: nothing but the satisfaction of buying nice things for the kids for reasonable prices. I only buy from the 80% or 90% off racks. The regular prices at this store are ridiculous.

So yesterday was free Iced Coffee day at Dunkin Donuts. Abigail, Mariel, Jon, and I got one....Jon was absolutely thrilled. Then we went to Kohls, then to McDonalds for the free Southern Chicken sandwich with any med. drink purchase. The sweet tea is only $1, so we bought 5 sweet teas, and got 5 chicken sandwiches, free. We brought a few home for the school kids to share. Then onto the grocery store. Stocked up on the usual (minus the diapers), then went to the OTHER Dunkin Donuts...I got one Iced Coffee at the drive-thru, and Mariel and Abigail went in and each got one. We brought them home to the school kids. We saved our empty cups so they could share and turn 3 into six....it made the kids pretty happy. We poured all the sweet teas into a pitcher for dinner....

So, today I have to go to a different grocery store a bit farther away. I get better and cheaper meat there, and just cheaper groceries than Wegmans. And my sister is going that way, and I am hitching a ride with her. Which promises to be great fun. ( I apologized to her for having such fun the other day when she had to have the bloodwork and the CAT scan, and she said it was okay, she had fun too. We take after our mother. ) Anyway, when we go somewhere together, we dawdle big time. Even when we're in a big hurry. Oh, where do the hours go?

Emily has the day off today, and Abigail is done with school. I let Kathryn and Sonja stay home today, because they've been going to school too much and need some time here. Sonja is a kindergartener, and not only do we have all day kindergarten here in our district, we have it one hour longer this year! My second trip (k-4) kids don't get home until 4:00....it is a really long day, especially for the kindergarteners...so, sometimes they stay home. Suzanne went to school today, all excited because she wants to get "stellar speller" again. She took no less than 4 practice tests yesterday, and aced them all. I keep telling her it's okay if she doesn't get 100%...if she makes a mistake, it's okay.....

Camille the amazing nursing baby is awake....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

diapers today for sure

I never went yesterday...sometimes when I really don't want to go somewhere, I hem and haw (does anyone say that anymore? my mother used to say that) so much....then I decided I'd go after dinner...then all the little girls started making plans to go....and Sonja, who still hasn't gotten her birthday bicycle, gave ideas to Jon, who thinks he should have a birthday bicycle....which he's not getting. My husband was going to the Wednesday night meeting at church, so I was on my own....so I did what any lazy overwhelmed mom would, I changed my mind and stayed home.

So here is today. It's perfect weather for going bye-bye, rainy, cloudy, a bit chillier....and Mariel (she hates me using her name,as she says she's the only Mariel she knows....) needs some new running shoes, formerly called sneakers. And, yay yay yay, Abigail just got home from her last final, and is done with year three of college! Her summer class doesn't start until July. So yay! She will probably look for a job, though...

So, with Mariel and Abigail with me, going shopping with Jon, Charlotte Claire, and Camille seems like an easy outing....I hope Mr. Jon doesn't get the greedy gimmes....it seems like alot of them go through it, where they want something or other, and when they've shopped too much, and they're tired, they just cry....I don't like to give in, but honestly....what I try to do is recognize the signs of an impending break-down, and suggest that I buy him a thing of orange juice, or something small....then if he starts asking, I can refer to what he already got.....it usually works....then at home, when he's well rested and reasonable, I can talk to him about being thankful, and not fussing for stuff when we're out....the "experts" say that when your child starts misbehaving in a store, end the shopping trip and take him/her home...yeah, right. The experts obviously don't realize how next to impossible it is to get to the store in the first place! And with gas prices and a 15 passenger van, I have to do all the shopping I can per trip. Plus, we live in a rural area. We have a BigM(small, expensive grocery store) 5 miles away, but it's 12 -14 miles to the Walmart or Wegmans....and my favorite store, Price-Chopper, is 25 miles away. I go there at least once a week.

So, here I sit. I have to go get out some bye-bye clothes for Jonathan, and Charlotte Claire, and baby Camille. We have at-home clothes, and bye-bye clothes......and I have to brush my hair, change into MY bye- bye clothes, make a few bottles for Charlotte, pack some crackers, and a sippy cup for Jon. And I have some phone calls to make, about my broken camera, to the insurance company to see if Aaron's possible surgery will be covered (that's a whole 'nother story)...But first, I have to get Miss Mariel Joy out of bed......

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

we're running out of diapers

even though I buy them by the case at BJ's (with a coupon, of course)....and recently I found some at the grocery store for %50 off, and I had coupons....but now I am running out.

Who cares?

1. I am conflicted because I am me, not just a mom. I am sick of diapers.

2. I want to go out to dinner with my friends and not worry about the cost, or the calories, or if the baby is all right at home. (as long as we're dreaming, we may as well leave the baby at home, right?)

3. I want to go shopping for fun stuff without having to add on a stop at the grocery store just for milk and bread that ends up being $100 worth of groceries.

4. I want my husband to come home from work, see how beautiful I am, and just start kissing me. (as opposed to, "what's for dinner, dear?")

5. I want my kids to stop saying, "That is so '70's, mom!"

6. I want to travel to Europe, and buy hundreds of prams and carriages, and bring them home and sell them and be a succesful business woman, worthy of the respect of my husband and children, instead of the derisive, "yeah, mom's gonna sell stuff on ebay someday.." garbage that I get right now....

7. I want to sit down at the piano, and play something hauntingly beautiful, also worthy of the respect of my husband and children....

8. I want to sing a song around the house without my children laughing, and saying, "mom is out of tune.."

9. I want my husband and children to come in the house tonight and notice all the hard work I've done all day, and thank for me for bleaching the socks, and washing them twice so they get truly clean.


I'll let you know if any of these things really happen.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

no hot tub yet

Well, he tried. My nice brother came over again, but ran into some trouble, and has to come back on maybe Saturday....Oh well. But the good news is that it is all ready, cleaned and polished, and ready to be filled, and I have all the supplies for it. I'm supposing it'll be all the sweeter to sink into after all this waiting...

I didn't go to the concert after all. Camille just gets fussy in the evenings, and I couldn't get past how easy it is to be home when she wants bed...and Charlotte Claire, she needs to run and scream, not sit and listen. So daddy took the band kids, and Kathryn, Suzanne, Sonja, and Jon....so it was just Joseph, Evelyn, Charlotte Claire, Camille and I here....and my mother-in-law, Eleanor, came over with dinner for tomorrow night....when she comes back from Fla. for the season, she brings dinner over occasionally....she made: pizza pasta, which is ziti with sausage, pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese.....and a chocolate cake...isn't that so nice of her? Now tomorrow, I will know all day that I have dinner already. Just so nice.

Emily is home from work, and Abigail home from school. I'm glad they still live here....I love hearing about their days. Charlotte Claire is still up, and she is so funny. Whenever she gets a bump or an owie, she kisses herself. No matter how many toddlers I've had, when they learn to talk, it totally entertains me. My husband calls her sweetie-pie....so tonight she tells him, "I sweetie-pie!"....Her and Jon are like little puppies, up on the couch looking out the window when the garbage truck comes, or the mailman, or if a tractor goes by. It almost looks like they are wagging their tails when someone pulls into the driveway. And when people leave, they beeline to the window to watch them pull out....

I cut some lilacs today to put on the counter, they fill the kitchen up with a wonderful smell...which reminds me so directly of my mother, I almost can't stand it. How can it be that she's been gone for almost 2 years? My father has been gone for over a year now. Laundry reminds me of him. He was the laundry guy, and drove my mother nuts. He washed everything together, she didn't even like putting things in the hamper, because he would do a load with only 2 or 3 things, just because he loved washing clothes....apparently it reminded him of his mother, he liked to skip school on laundry day, because he liked the smell of clothes on the line. So when I take clothes, wet and clean from the washer, and press my nose in and smell that yummy detergent smell, I think of my dad. Laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets were something I was never short of when he was alive, because he bought those by the cartfull. He kept us more than supplied....some of my siblings and I would talk, and sometimes it was just a plain pain in the neck, trucking home all the stuff he would buy us..."someday we'll miss this"..., we would say to each other, but it didn't seem real, that it would ever really end. I cannot believe they are gone, my childhood empty and sold....

new day, new post

This is the first time I put a video on...it is cute, if I don't say so myself...but it takes toooooo long to upload! It is a beautiful afternoon, and I want outside! Tonight is the spring band concert, again! I have been going to these concerts since Emily was in 4th grade, 13 years ago...Tonight: Mariel, 18 -flute, Aaron, 15 -drums, MollyRose 14, clarinet, Samuel 12, trumpet, and Margaret 11- saxophone....Joseph, 16, plays guitar and piano, but isn't in the band. So, we have to get the whole family out the door by 6:10 to get the kids in the band there, and to find enough seats for the rest of us. I am tempted to stay home with Camille-the-incredible-nursing-baby, and Charlotte Claire energy-machine...but I don't want to miss it.

I am going outside for a few minutes before the second trip kids get off the bus and want their snack....

video

Monday, May 12, 2008

sitting down in my chair

Oh, how I love this time of night, all the little ones tucked into bed....I am still reeling from the day....it isn't all the specific things that happen, but the dealings with the certain kids that can wear one out. Charlotte Claire is quite high maintenance at this time in her two year old life, and so is Miss Camille. But sometimes it's the older ones who really drain me. My 19 year old son...he's a good kid, but not so great with his finances....he's a student, and works, and doesn't get enough sleep. He's always a day late and a dollar short....I just want him to get his act together, do well in school, and manage his money better. I mean, he had a cell phone, with a huge payment, and he somehow ran over his phone, and still pays the payment....it just seems like all these things happen to him...this boy was my absolutely adorable little boy. He was Mr. Helpful when he was little. He could pick up and vacuum when he was three years old. Not because I made him, all you social services workers out there, because he wanted to. He loved his Tonka trucks, the ones that had boats with trailers that hitched up....and tractors and backhoes....I watched basketball and football with him...oh, he's still alive and well, but he runs in and out of here, grabbing some food with him....He has grown up, but I feel I haven't instilled enough sense into him somehow....I fell like I am just dreading a phone call that he's been in a terrible accident....he has already been in two life-threatening accidents. When he was 10 years old, my husband took him on a boys camp out....and I knew when they pulled out of the driveway in that little red Toyota pickup that something bad was going to happen...I told them repeatedly when they were leaving to BE CAREFUL. To make a long story short, he fell of the front of the pontoon boat, went under it as it continued to go forward, and hit the propeller....the driver thought the kids were kidding that Ben was hit, and kept going. One of the boys jumped in and pulled him onto the boat....he was totally ripped up...they had to meet the ambulance from a boat....he ended up with 106 stitches, and his hip was just mangled...he was extremely lucky that the propeller hit that hip bone, and not is stomach....he was in an Adirondack hospital, almost 5 hours away.....he had a fever....I was due for baby #11 in a few weeks....what a summer that was....he did fully recover, though his hip will always be a bit messed up. Then he had a four wheeler accident, in which his brakes failed and he hit a tree branch, which went right into his leg....the infection started immediately, and he had to have surgery....he was in the hospital for a week...that was 3 summers ago....so he's ruined two family vacations now! Really, I just love him so much. If love could make him do well and make the right decisions, he would be just fine. He has had a decent upbringing, and many people that care for him and pray for him....

Then, I have a daughter, I won't even state her age, because she wouldn't like it, but she is young. And she is beautiful, and very smart. She plays the piano, and the sax, and is a year ahead in band. But, she just slams around here! She has a hard time seeing herself, always blames her actions on the others. Sam just has to say that boys are better than girls, and she is flying off the handle...she thinks everyone is against her. She likes to get the last word, and if she doesn't, she puts her hands over her ears and hums really loudly...but when she wants to be, she is such a sweet girl. She has a wicked sense of humor, and really likes to have a good time. She's not a teenager yet, but seems like one. We have asked all the other kids to please not tease her, even a little, so we can have more peace here. And I have tried to talk to her about her behavior - tried not to let her blame others....even if she doesn't own up to her angry behavior there will be consequences....but in all this, I need to still love her. Still be soft-hearted toward her. It is interesting, the soul churns. I am pretty weak, I don't like to dole out punishments, but I sincerely love her, and I know children need limits and expectations to live up to. I don't always know what to do, but God gives wisdom....each child, each situation is different....but one thing I need, is to keep calm and stay in patience...then God can help me.

And, I have gone on and on and on....time for bed. The day has been full enough. I need to go talk to God.

home with the 3 of them

Okay, Monday morning: I forgot in the course of the weekend what it it like to be home with just the three kids. Busy. Getting Jon dressed, and Charlotte Claire, no sooner do I get her all clean and dressed, and she poops...then Camille's awake, and Charlotte gets into Sonja's purse, complete with lip stuff and bubble solution. As I approach to pick the stuff up, I slip in bubbles spilled on the kitchen tile, and ouch...my leg just doesn't go sideways like that. They all get breakfast, oatmeal and toast with jam, and baby cereal for Camille. I do some laundry while Camille bounces in the doorway bouncer in the laundry-room doorway. Then, she's ready to go back to sleep....Charlotte thinks it would be fun to take a bunch of videos and dvds out of the cabinet and throw them....and Jon thinks when I sit down to nurse Camille is a good time to go in and poop, and yell for me to wipe him. Okay, finally get baby back in bed (sorry sweet baby, but it does feel good to lay you down in your bed, aah) Then, Jon and Charlotte Claire want to go outside....I switch another load of laundry, grab some things that can be hung outside, and out we go. They bring their sippy cup and bottle of apple juice, and I bring the pretzels. We: play in the sandbox, smell the lilacs, they bounce on the trampoline while I sit in the sun....then they play on their jungle thing, then it's time to go back in....Charlotte Claire has been up for 6 hours, and I think it's time for a nap....my back is killing me from all the stuff I did around here on Saturday, and I would like to lay down, too. But Camille will be waking up....

The good news is that my brother is coming tonight to hook up the hot-tub. I need to go get some supplies for it, but don't want to take these three by myself with my back so sore, if I can help it. Maybe after school, I can get away with a few of them and some one who can do the buckling of the carseats!

Jon has waffle-blocks all over the living room again. Yesterday, he insisted on keeping the wrapping paper from Charlotte's presents. Now it's in a Wal-Mart bag....he likes to empty it out, and pretend to wrap things in it. I made him pick it up before he got the waffleblocks out..

My number 5 child is turning 17 years old this Friday. I remember when he was born....it was my exact due-date, and it was hot. Not just hot, record breaking heat and humidity for May....and we lived in a mobile home which just heated up like an oven...so, my sister and I decided it was a good day to go to the mall, 45 minutes away....I had a helper staying with me, just for a week, named Irene. Anyway, my sister was expecting her sixth child, and had a few in school, and I had one in school. We packed up the kids in her van, with Irene, and got on the New York State Thruway. Which is about when I realized I was having regular contractions. My sister asked the toll-lady if it was okay to do a U-turn if I was in labor....that toll lady didn't like my, because I had accidently let my thruway ticket be taken by the wind a few weeks before, and made no effort to exit the vehicle and chase it, being 8 1/2 months pregnant....anyway, that toll-lady looked into the van and saw me, and yelled, "YOU!"....So, we got on the Thruway....and I decided that the contractions were real, 5 minutes apart. We got off at the first exit, and went back.....we went to the hospital, all of us.....Irene and my sister waited in the waiting room while they checked me, and I was four centimeters and having regular contractions...so I was staying.....

That was 12 noon. About 5pm the dr came in, and I wasn't moving along too quickly. He offered to break my water, or let me go home for a few hours and see if things picked up. I thought of my mobile home and the 95 degree heat and humidity, and chose : break my water! Joe was born at 11:45 that night, after just one or two pushes...he was 21 1/2 inches long, and 8 lbs something..... Joseph Michael was the baby I raised myself: our house was started when he was a few months old, and completed when he was 11 months. My husband went directly to the building site each night from work, and worked every Saturday...I was back at the "trailer" with the 5 kids, doing the appointments, shopping, and picking out the light fixtures, paint colors, and sinks, ect....it was a rough year, but the only way we could manage to get a house, and a fine house it is. I am eternally grateful to my brothers for their help, and to their wives for holding down their forts in their absence.....

I do go on! I shall go before I bore myself to death.......Miss Charlotte Claire is sitting with me, and she is tired....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

today is Charlotte Claire's birthday, 2 years old

Here is the two year old, taking a nice bite of her cake, while Evelyn Joy laughs. The birthday girl was so delighted with her cake and candles, we sang Happy Birthday to her 3 times. Each time she blew out the candles before the song was done, and clapped her hands....
Here she is again....

Yum! I wish we had a picture of all the other kids watching Charlotte Claire take this bite. Home-made chocolate cake.... don't worry, there was another cake, too. But we also ate this one. We don't shy away from Charlotte Claire germs...



Eveyln poses with Charlotte Claire. She had to have a bath after dinner.



These pictures of Charlotte Claire when she broke her leg were on Abigail's camera, so I put on up....


Two years ago yesterday, it was a Wednesday. I picked Emily up from her last day of year one of nursing school, and we headed to my parents' house for a visit. It was a beautiful day, and we talked with them outside for a few hours. Then we did major grocery shopping. We got home pretty late....but I didn't sleep that night, because I was scheduled to be induced the next day....so, the next morning, up to the hospital we went. Emily went with Paul and I. We were in the birthing room, and my labor moved along pretty quickly. Then, near the end, her heartrate was dropping during contractions. When she was born, she was rushed over to the basinette for oxygen, and she looked strange....but she was fine, just had a bit of a swollen forehead from the way she was hitting during the contractions....and, she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her hand....but, she was fine. She weighed 6 lbs., 9 ounces...I went to my parents' house with my 3 day old baby, and my mom's vision wasn't too good, but she held that newborn baby...I really missed that extremely badly when Camille was born. The showing-the-baby-to-my-mom time....
So mother's day is bittersweet for me. I love all the cards and plants from my kids, and that they were all here today...but when the lilacs bloom, I think of my mother. Her birthday is this month, too. I guess I should go up to the cemetary and have a good cry, then I'll feel a little better.