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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

will someone just give me a baby??!

My "aching arms syndrome" is acting up again. I want a newborn. There must be someone out there who has a baby they don't want. Yesterday while in the Dollar Tree with Abigail and Camille, I talked with a lovely young cashier, she couldn't have been a day over 17, fresh-faced and sweet, no ring on her finger, and all she talked about was her six-month old son. So I realize that generally speaking, girls love their babies, and don't want to give them away. And I am really kidding, I know no one is going to hand me a baby. It is really funny though, Camille and Charlotte Claire are jealous of each other in regards to my attention. I always think there is room for both, and they nudge and elbow and try to get me to read the story they brought, not the other, first. What would they do if I had a new baby? (I wouldn't mind finding out..ha.)

Jonathan is home again, since I talked to the school nurse yesterday about him. He had a fever, so she didn't want to see him today, not until he is fever-free for 24 hours. He was glad to know in advance he was staying home. He has his polar bear jammies on, and is sucking his thumb and watching "SuperReaders". He is also playing with a Lego car, since he, like him mother, cannot do just one thing at a time.

Charlotte Claire is now fever-free, but is still BLAH. She has a cold, cough, and just doesn't seem herself. Since there are two of them with the same symtoms, though, I take comfort and am thinking it is a virus. I am dreading this though: Camille getting sick. Oh, Camille is so funny. She is SUCH a two-year-old. The other night at dinner, she wanted pepper and white pepper (salt) on her food. I let her put some pepper on because it goes on slowly. Not the salt though, she would totally oversalt her plate. So I helped her with the salt, or "white pepper" sir, she did not want help. She had a fit. Right there at the table, cried her little eyes out....the kids thought it was quite funny, which she didn't appreciate. Oh well. She got down from the table and didn't eat...then she wanted me, so I held her on my lap. After she is all done crying, I always talk to her about it and tell her it is not nice to be so fussy. And she is in total agreement. Last night, she had a little fit because she did not want me to put her jammies on her, she wanted to do it, she had already tried and gotten all twisted up, and it was bed time...past bed, I just picked her up and started dressing her....oh my goodness, she acted like I was torturing her. She cried and fussed and kicked...I had to give her a little spank on the diaper and a firm NO to get her to calm down....and she did not like it. But she got ahold of herself....and then I held her, and after she put her thumb in and calmed down, she agreed she shouldn't be so bad when it is time to get jammies on....she just has to assert herself, and lots of times that is okay. But sometimes I just have to put my foot down. Like when she wants to stand on the Sit'nSpin in front of the stove when I am cooking. Absolutely not. Of course not. She might not like it , but of course not.

I matched socks last night. Oh my goodness, I matched a lot of socks. I quit with still a whole laundry basket of unmatched socks because Jon wanted to cuddle. Ha, and I WANTED to quit. Between Rosie bringing me the bunny that sings "Jesus Loves Me" to play fetch, over and over, and Camille trying to help me, I wasn't having too much fun sock matching anyway. I like the end result, but the process is painful. Hey, that sounds like a most of my life!

Abigail came over yesterday, which I truly love. She had to go to the bank, and would I like to go? Both Charlotte Claire and Jonathan were settled down on the couch with books and toys and watching tv, (times like these are when it is nice to have television), Charlotte Claire was actually dozing. Camille was bouncing off the walls, so we took her with us. ( Joseph watched the other two.) We went to amazes me that things that cost only one dollar each can add up to so much money!!! Then we went to the other dollar store, RealDeals, and got a few things....then on to BigLots. I had to remember bandaids for Charlotte Claire, which was what she wanted...that alone is hilarious. "What would you like Mommy, who feels guilty about leaving you when you don't feel well, to bring you home, Sweetie?" "Bandaids!!!" Okay. Jon wanted a car. So I actually paid $4 for a battery operated MonsterTruck...and when I gave it to him and he was so happy about it, I was glad I did. Camille got fruit snacks, Tonka Truck shapes.

Today, I have to go out and about again, for just a bit....I have to bring Benjamin to the small city to get a copy of his birth certificate, which he lost, and to the Navy recruiter. He cannot go himself because all the vehicles are in use except for the BIG van, and he needs to go to his former college with the recruiter, and I don't want my van gone all day. I have all the kids in school, what if they get sick? Anyway, I have to leave for a bit. Again.

Excitement at school today: Bruce Coville, childrens' book author, is at their school for the day!!! I read one of his books, "Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher" years ago, it was good. The kids got to order some of his books, and he is signing them today. I actually let Suzanne take my camera ..... I would like to meet him myself. Because he has my dream job. Except for the 16 blessings, that is.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

just jonny and I....

The little girls are still sleeping, which is one perk for letting them stay up so late. Sometimes when the older kids come home from something, and the little ones are in bed they ask if they can wake them up....uh, no. But we usually like having them up at night, they get lots of attention...and I like having them sleep in in the morning, I have this time to sit here on the computer getting NOTHING accomplished.

Abigail wants to go shopping with me today or tomorrow, but Mr. Jon is sick...he woke up crying this morning. He has a cough and a cold. And I don't know if Miss Charlotte Claire is going to need a dr. visit. So I just have to wait and see. Joseph doesn't work today, so he could watch someone for me but I don't want to leave sick kids.

It is Benjamin and Sam's fault that Rosie is a bad dog. Last night, when Rosie ran by, Sam tripped her. I admit, it was funny, Rosie is the clumsiest dog ever, and her back legs were tripped up by Sam's feet and her nose hit the floor and she looked so puzzled....but then Ben called her over and popped a plastic bag, which frightened her, and when she ran away, Sam tripped her again. They were laughing their heads off, but I was getting upset. The stupid dog rarely comes when called as it is! rrr. It didn't really hurt her, but come on!! I try to train her and teach her and then they go and do things like that. Right now she is in her cage, finishing off a yummy bone I got her with a good coupon. I always put her in her cage before the kids go out to the bus so she doesn't escape and go visit the neighbors and herd the bus. She goes willingly into the cage, and takes her morning nap in there. It has been her den since we got her, and she likes it. It helps that I always give her a treat when she goes in there, I guess.

It is supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny on Friday, Good Friday, which the kids have off from school. Mirielle and I were thinking beach, not for swimming obviously, since Lake Ontario probably still has some ice in it, brr...but for sunning and sand playing....but Emily, who has the day off, sort of, (she works days, then gets switched to nights, so she works Friday is really hard for her)...she should try to sleep on Friday, but she wants to take the kids to this waterfalls they like to hike to. Not the two little girls, but the rest of them. How can I turn that down? They love spending the day with Emily, Miss Adventurer. It is amazing to me that I have a daughter, 25 years old, a nurse, responsible, fun-loving, and willing to do things like that with the kids. It is nothing I have done, but because God has been so good, and she has learned to give of herself. I am not bragging about her, seriously, I am in awe of the work God has done in her.

Well.....I am wondering, do I have to do a closing paragraph each time I exit a post? Or can I just end abrubtly? It is like on Facebook, when someone starts a I have to make an excuse to get out of there, or can I just say, BYE.....? It is almost harder than getting off the phone.....

I don't really wish I had a maid or a servant, but right about now I would love it if someone brought me a second cup of coffee, hot and steamy, with a hot cinnamon roll, while we're dreaming....and a blanket, it is chilly in here. But of course I am kidding myself, I need to get moving. Rosie needs to be brought outside again, and I am elected.

Monday, March 29, 2010

monday evening...

We had an eventful afternoon, not. I took a little nap, because I just don't feel so great....there are things going around here....and I just feel like there is extra gravity pulling me down, plus maybe a cold coming on? I don't know....anyway, Charlotte Claire is still sick, her fever is only 99.2, but I am thinking that tomorrow I should call the dr. Today is the fifth day she has had a fever. It may well be a virus, but I am certain it will go away after the throat culture comes out negative, and not before.

Emily has stopped by for a visit, which is small scale Christmas for the kids. She tucked Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, and Charlotte Claire into bed for us. Not because we asked her to , but because they wouldn't have it any other way. Jonathan read a book to her and climbed all over her and the little girls told her important things and stayed up too late.

Now all the younger ones are in bed and the older ones are watching a special on tv about Japan in WorldWarII. It is hard to watch the suffering....torpedoes and bombs and napalm and suicide American soldier, an old man now, said he was always a religious man, and he had trouble doing what he was ordered to low over Tokyo and drop the napalm bombs. How could God want this done, he wondered.....

We had an excellent "cheaty" dinner tonight....I opened 4 cans of Campells' Cream Of Chicken soup, mixed it up with some water, and added most of a five pound bag of frozen boneless chicken breast...I simmered it for a while, took the chicken out and cut it up, and put it back in...then I added two cans of corn, about three pounds of peeled chopped potatoes, a pound of baby carrots, and some chopped red peppers, green peppers, and onions. And some cajun seasoning. It was SO good. (and there is enough for lunch for a few days, but not enough for another dinner) Mirielle also made a salad, so dinner was good and healthy. It is always nice the few days after a good trip to Aldi.

I shared two more Norwegian chocolate bars today, with different kids...but I get some each time, so it works for me. The last one was fruit and nut, and oh my goodness, yum. I like the plain chocolate best though. It is just so good, melty and creamy and a different class than Hershey.....

Tomorrow....will I send Jon to school? I am thinking not. He is still coughing, but I don't know if he needs a dr visit. When the insurance only covers 80% after the $2000 deductible, one thinks long and hard before just going to the dr. That sounds mean....but he is not feverish, and he is running and jumping and happy....and not coughing all the I will keep my eye on him...

Rosie-the-crazy-dog just came in from helping Benjamin change Emily's headlights on her car, and she is wild. She loves Ben the most.

And I am too distracted by this documentary, as much as I don't want to be....

monday morning at my house

Who actually felt like going to school today? Evelyn didn't, but she is mature enough at ten years old to want to do well in school, she was showing me some of her papers this morning, and she does very well. Suzanne....oh, poor Suze. She did NOT feel well....she doesn't like school, so she has herself very convinced that she doesn't feel well. I sent her anyway. Sonja didn't want to go either. When I said Jon could stay home for his cough, which is legit, they all tried their coughs, but ...nah, they are fine. It is a fine line I walk, getting them out the door, my school-scoffers.....I can't be too rough or they will cry, and how can I send a crying child out the door? But I do have to put my foot down or they would stay here every day. I personally think they could get a decent education just going 3 or 4 times a week, but I do not want to be a pain in the neck to the teachers....well, not too much of a pain anyway....

So 8 our of 9 isn't bad......

Mirielle is going to college in a bit, she is having her orange and her oatmeal.....Benjamin is going to talk to the recruiter today, again, with a friend who gets his rank upped if he gets five guys to sign up.....wah.

Joseph is here, no work today. Abigail has no work today, maybe she will come over to visit.

I absolutely love the cold rainy days of March. They are dreary and miserable and comfy. But nice weather is coming, into the seventies and sunny this weekend! Our kids will want to fill up the little pool......

I can't wait to fill the Easter baskets. It is one of my favorite things to do. I will probably still fill baskets for Emily and Abigail, small ones anyway. I am wondering if I have enough stuff. Even two bags of something, spread out into 16 baskets, isn't much. But the older older kids don't need as much, nor do the two littler girls. In fact it is nightmarish to think of those two with all that candy...I will have to clear off the top of the refridgerator so I can put them up there out of reach....

Jonathan is walking around in Sonja's robe, gathering up things so he can write some notes and stories. He has learned alot in kindergarten. And, he is as happy as can be to be home today.

It is becoming obvious that I don't have much to say this morning....I guess I can't help looking around here and seeing how much needs to be done, again....

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Jon likes to get in the pictures...Charlotte Claire and Camille wanted to try on their new bikinis....

Some of the kids with their pizzas...I was so glad when Abigail and Joseph came home from work. Charlotte Claire had woken from her nap on the couch, still warm and fussy and wanted to be held....I can do a lot of things, but I cannot hold a three year old and help 9 other kids make pizzas. It was pretty fun, cutting each dough in four and letting them make their own. And it WAS pretty messy....even Camille made a pizza. I offered her the bowl of cheese, and she took it and just dumped the whole thing, Abigail and I were laughing our heads off....two year olds are not good pizza makers..... And that is all I have time for...Jon woke up with a cough, and Charlotte Claire isn't up yet....

happy birthday to my pal...

I am going to dedicate this post to my friend Kim. I have known Kim for about 33 years. We were good friends in middle school, then became best friends in high school. When Kim was absent, the day became bleak and unbearable. When Kim was there, the day was a party. We did bad things. We left school and went to breakfast. We had too much fun. Then one Halloween night, Kim was dressed beautifully, in what exactly I do not know, but she was draped in sheets and had some killer eye make-up on....and my older brother fell in love with her. They got married in the week following our high school graduation. That means that my best friend is also my sister-in-law. She has twelve kids, and I talk to her on the phone almost every day. One would think after knowing someone for three decades one would know the exact birthdate, but I was ready to take her out to lunch on Friday, and she said, "Today's not my is the 29th." oops. So tomorrow, my dear friend turns 45!!! (how can I be best friends with a 45 year old woman?ha) Her blog is so make sure you wish her a happy happy birthday!!!! Now I will further embarrass her....

1. Kim is a giver. She puts herself dead last.

2. Kim and my brother Tom allowed our brother Billy to live at their place, they served him and took care of him and loved him. For this alone I am eternally grateful for them.

3. Kim is flexible. I cannot count the times I have called her and she has said she has to stay home, and by the time we are hanging up the phone, we have made arrangements to go somewhere.

4. She and I disagree about things, naturally. But always in a good way. I know I have been a jerky friends many times with my strong opinions, but she has never held it against me.

5. No matter what we have to discuss with each other, we are always still friends.

6. She has gone through some very difficult of her daughters is a cancer survivor, she was diagnosed when she was only 2 years old, had a bone marrow transplant and radiation and chemo....Carrie is 15 now, and a total miracle.

7. She is going to be a grandmother this summer!

8. She gets way less sleep than I do, and somehow she functions. She doesn't complain half as much as I do about it, either.

9. She took up knitting after Billy died, more than took it up. It took HER up, and she has amazing talent. She taught herself, and has made some beautiful things....

10. We are both in the same church, so we are not just friends, but true sisters, and we have a deep connection because of that. We have fellowship in God's word.

So, Kim, I hope I have not embarrassed you overly much, as I do love you, my friend....and I will probably see you and talk to you, but HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

happy saturday.....

We cannot go to the science museum, or out ot lunch, or even to the mall today. Charlotte Claire is still warm, and I am a bit worried about her. She is just blah. Sonja K. had a hard time adjusting her thinking to the fact that we ARE STAYING HOME today. Paul and all the older ones are gone to the NCAA tournament, and Sam is with Caleb at the science museum. Margaret is the oldest one here. So there are eight of mine here plus my two nieces.

I have four pizza doughs in the 'fridge and I am planning to cut them up so they can each have their own pizza to build. That will be fun,....sort of....more so if I was one of the kids and didn't have to clean up.....I find that I don't have much natural patience for letting the kids help. I can forsee (is that a word?) the spills and the holes in the dough and the too-much-cheese....but I have to let go sometimes. So in a way it is a suffering for me, but at the same time, I love working with them. They get such extreme joy out of doing things like that themselves.

Camille is growing out of her naps....she gets back up over and over again...then falls apart numerous times in the evening, and dinner time is a real treat....Charlotte Claire did the same thing, but she usually falls asleep on the couch in the afternoon.

I have been following a blog for a few months, written by a beautiful young girl with cystic fibrosis...she had a lung transplant and was in rejection. She was full of hope that she would get another pair of lungs in time, but it didn't happen, and she died this morning at 9:30. I obviously did not know her in person, but by reading her posts, I got to know her a bit, and I am so so sad for her family. She was an absolutely lovely and beautiful girl. If you want to go to Eva's blog at you can see what I mean....

We had French Toast sticks and scrambled eggs and sausage and Lucky Charms for breakfast, and lunch was eggs and fajitas with cheese and with ham and tomatoes, and some peanut butter and jam sandwiches. The dishwasher has run twice, and a few girls are wandering in there again for snacks...

I am thinking chocolate. Suze is looking for some....not just chocolate chips, but something chocolate-y....I have 3 and a half bars of Norwegian chocolate (thank you Stine and Caroline!!!). I opened one up the other night when only a few of us were here, and yes, it is history. Then this morning I discovered that someone had gotten into another one and half is gone!! So I put them in my room. I don't mind sharing, but I would rather share when not so many kids are here....that is really mean, I know. But....yes, it is just plain mean. But....I at least want to be the BOSS of them, not just have one person eat a half a bar! Unless it is me, ha. I could go get one now....yes, I think I will.

And I should probably have a nice cup of coffee with it....

It is looking to be a fine afternoon after all!!

I just wanted to write about something else that is on my mind lately....

Marriage. I only have the one, so I am not an expert. But I do have some observations anyway....I have read magazine articles, especially about when there is a newborn in the house, about how it is not fair how HE doesn't help enough, or how HE at least gets up and changes the nursing baby, because SHE shouldn't have to do it all....and it seems they keep a tally of what the other one does, and get disgruntled when they do more....anyway, I was thinking that when you really love someone, you want to do as much as you can for them. You want to bless them. (It is written in Hebrews, 13 v. 16 "Do not forget to do good and to share, for such sacrifices God is well pleased.")(and yes, I did think of this a few minutes ago in reference to the chocolate!) So when I do good and I share, and God is well pleased with me, I am happy. And when HE has the same mind, oh it can be heavenly!!! It is a good work to bless the others, not expecting anything in return.

Life isn't actually that long, even if one lives to be old and why waste it serving myself? When I stand before God, I would like it to go something like this:

God: "I am well pleased with you. You gave up your own will and didn't give in to self-pity, you overcame in temptation, and you got victory over all the sin that I showed you. Well done, good and faithful servant."

Because it is also written in proverbs 29, v. 18: "Where there is no vision, the people perish."

So I have my work cut out for me....

Friday, March 26, 2010

a cow in the house

A Cow In The House, by Harriet Ziefert. Buy it. Read it to your children or your grandchildren.

The basic plot: the farmer's wife was rolling out noodles and complaining about how small the house was. Oh, it was just too small. The farmer asked a wiseman what to do and was advised to bring a chicken into the house....then a pig, and on and on until he brought the cow into the house......The wiseman asked the farmer how his house was, and the farmer thought it was pretty crowded, but supposed that if his brother with then kids, all steps and stairs, were to visit, then it would be crazy...anyway, the wise man let him start taking the animals out, one by one, until at last he brought the cow out of the house. And guess what: The house seemed huge! The farmer and his wife had so much room in that house that they danced with joy!

I love that story. It is part of our life now, we think that having all of our guests gone is sort of like that story...but we LOVED having them here. It seems empty without them. We have most certainly been more blessed by their visit than they can possibly imagine. I feel like I am the mother of four more.....NO, we did not dance with joy when our guests left, but we do feel like something is missing here....

It is only the two little ones and me, and Benjamin just got back from playing basketball. Paul took the other kids to activity club. I rented a Calliou dvd today, they are cuddled up to me watching it right now. It is cozy in here...I am in love with those candles that are really wax, but battery operated. I have only a few lights on and some of those going. I LOVE real candles, but I am too paranoid to keep them around because of the kids. So these are perfect.

Tomorrow Paul and the older kids are going to work at the NCAA tournament again. So I will be alone with the kids all day again. Ha, alone. Alone with Samuel, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, Camille, and my two nieces, Eileen and Olivia. Sam is plotting his escape, and I do not blame him. Since Jonathan is only 5 and hasn't really realized that playing with girls is - well, playing with girls.....Sam is sort of all alone, the only boy. So he is going to try to go to Caleb's house. Or maybe Nate's.

Maybe if Charlotte Claire is better, and no one else is sick, I will do something with them. But it is so cold out! I was outside today, and brr! Where did spring go? It was below freezing last night, and now it is 27 degrees, and going down to ten tonight. Ten degrees. That is 22 degrees below the freezing point. Brr. And next Friday, it is supposed to be 68!

Well, I am thinking popcorn...if only these two little girls will let me get up....

they all went to school....

This is the face of tired. And this was last night, when I wasn't actually that tired yet, compared to today....
Camille's braids, courtesy of one of her sisters... digital cameras have been very useful. If we want to know what our hair looks like from the back, we can just have someone take a picture. No need to do that hold-a-mirror-behind-the-head trick.....sometimes when I do different styles on the girls, I will snap a picture so they can see...

The new teaset was for either a birthday or a rainy day. Last night was my rainy day. With Charlotte Claire feverish and wanting me, it was nice to have Miss Camille totally involved with something....they played with this for hours. This is proof that Jon used my camera....

Stine with Camille and Charlotte Claire...I miss her already.

Well, almost all of the kids went to school. Sam stayed home because his class is in Washington DC. Margaret elected not to go on the bowling field trip. But all the little ones went. Sonja and Jonathan needed showers, Jon wanted to pack his lunch, Sonja didn't like the skirt I got out for her, she said it was too small (it was), so I got a different one, (I try to remember how I feel when I wear something I am not comfortable in, but sometimes I feel like I spoil them rotten). Suze didn't want her shirt because it too was too small....and everyone wanted different things for I just put my foot down and said either yogurt or cereal or both...not toast or bagels today. Time was ticking. I am thinking I need some new clothes for Suzanne and Sonja. One would think they have plenty of hand-me-downs, and they do...but shirts especially don't look very nice passed down. And they are growing so fast, they are out of all the 6x and even a lot of 7/8 s and into 10/12..... my kids don't actually "go without", they get things when I can get them cheap. Sonja wore her adorable brown suede boots this morning. It is almost spring and they are brand new. Like Laura Ingalls Wilder said in the book, "The Long Winter", "The rich get their ice in the summer and the poor get theirs in the winter.." (We get our boots in the spring and our new bathing suits in the fall)

After they went out the door, since the little girls are still sleeping, I gathered my things. My computer, my cereal (frosted MiniWheats with just a few Lucky Charms on top), my coffee, the morning paper, my cell phone, the regular phone...and a warm blanket, it is chilly in here. And here I am. Rosie is in her cage, I put her in there every morning before the bus comes so she doesn't escape the house and try to herd the poor bus. The washer is running, the dryer is running, and I am not running.

Benjamin has a lot of energy sometimes and last night he swept and did the dishwasher and washed some dinner pans...yay! It makes the morning so much brighter with things like that done.

Anyway, here I am, tired and happy. Tired because I am stupid. Yes, I am stupid. I stayed up last night watching basketball, and until Paul and the kids got home from their fundraising....they got home I think at almost one o'clock. They told me a little bit about how their night was, then said goodnight. But did I get my rear end out of this chair and go to bed? Well.....I was half-way through a book I had started when the basketball was on. I don't like to do just one thing, so I always have the computer or a book or the newspaper when I watch something on tv. So...I thought I would just read another chapter or two in the delicious quiet....but I am stupid, and I haven't learned yet about consequences, like when you stay up 'til 4:00 am finishing a book, you will be tired in the morning. And the frustrating part is that the book is lousy and stupid. I told Aaron this morning how late I had stayed up, and he said, "Oh, I read that book last was stupid." Yeah, I could write better myself. It is almost like the guy hatched a plot, and just vomited out the story. But who stayed up and had to find out how it ended? Stupid me.

If I had gotten in bed at four and slept until seven, it wouldn't be to awfully bad, but Little Miss Sunshine, Camille-who-really-needs-to-move-out-of-our-room, woke up three times. Three times between 4 and 7. rrr. I tried to call out from my comfy bed that it was all right, just go back to sleep. But she wouldn't go for it...and since Paul was probably pretty tired too, I didn't want her to really start up I got up.

And the moral of this story? Some people never learn.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

saying goodbye....

That was hard. We said goodbye to our Norwegian friends, or our "Norskies", as we affectionately referred to them as. I let Jonathan stay home from school today because he hadn't been able to spend much time with them lately, and they were leaving at noon today. It is astounding to me how it can be so sad to say goodbye, I feel like I have known them forever. I sincerely hope they will come back someday. And I know when my kids visit over there, there will be happy reunions. And, there IS facebook.

Well there must be power in the uniform. Benjamin racked up several college credits, three semesters worth, and couldn't get his transcripts because he didn't give adequate notice that he was leaving the college....even though he hadn't registered for classes, and even though they rented his dorm room to someone else, they wanted to charge him. He already had paid for tuition at a different college, and tried to reason with them...but they insisted he pay $3000 or he couldn't have his grades...well, Mr. Army Guy got them in one visit.

Camille is playing in the dog cage, Charlotte Claire is cuddled up to me....and Kathryn, who skipped school because there was a bowling field trip (and she wanted to say goodbye to our friends), is doing the dishwasher. I am rather tired....I could take a huge nap today, and maybe I will! I could lie down with the two youngest, and cuddle up with some books...ahh, that sounds so nice.

Jon just scared me, he asked if 101.2 is a good temperature or bad...yikes, but he has a toy thermometer from the Fisher-Price Doctor Kit. phew.

Charlotte Claire actually feels warm, and she is stuck to me like glue right now...hmm. Jon is searching for the real thermometer. Yay, it was where it was supposed to be....and her temperature is 101.8. hmm. She is sick. I didn't even know, but her head is on my shoulder and it is HOT. poor sweetie. And Camille is stinky.....I don't want to get up...but if I don't, she will change herself. And with poopies involved, nah. I am getting up...


i stayed up way too late is our living room last night: Stine doing Caroline's hair, Emily doing Joseph's hair, Sam on my computer, Aaron sitting on the floor near Joe and Caroline..oh, and Abigail sleeping near Sam...then Margaret in her Spongebob shirt, and Tor-Henning on his computer, and Idar....Kathryn had just gone to bed, and Benjamin was in the chair next to Idar, out of the picture. Mirielle had also just gone to bed, as this was close to one in the morning.
I like the pile of towels on the couch behind Emily and Stine....

Evelyn took this picture of Suzanne....Suze who couldn't fall asleep...and I don't blame her, her room is right down the hall, and it was noisy in she took all her bedding to the floor, and fell asleep while writing a story. And she WAS sound asleep.

Some kids draw on their hands. Joseph is one of them.

And some kids are just cute, Camille is one of them.

Kathryn's birthday party....Idar and our friend Mike, and Caroline and Evelyn....

Charlotte Claire....

Mirielle and Suzanne....

Evelyn Joy, 10, Suzanne Eleanor, 9, Kathryn Grace, 12 (happy birthday!), and Sonja Kathleen, 8.
Kaathryn Grace....(and how I wish our nice refridgerator was finger-print proof) I staying home today? ha. I let Jonathan stay home from school because he hasn't gotten much time with the big boys who are leaving today.....and I am so nice. He is as happy as can be right now, sitting on the couch with a pile of books, and watching SuperWhy on public television.
Today I have to take Benjamin to talk to the Army guy. He has to sign some papers allowing the Army guy (I mean no disrespect, I just do not know his rank) to get Benjamin's college records, the ones the college has refused to release because of a long story.....anyway, if the Army guy can succeed in this, Ben will go into the service with lots and lots of college credits, which is always better. Better pay, better job. The reason I have to go is that we only have our big van here and I am hesitant to let anyone just take it, even Ben, or should I say ESPECIALLY Ben.
Seeing that our company is leaving today, and will be coming upstairs any time now for breakfast and coffee, I probably should at least start thinking about getting up and getting busy. Everyday after I get all the kids out the door for school, I sit down and write before the little girls get up and I am too busy....I used to use that time to clean up and get as much done as I could before the baby or the kids got up....or, I had them already up and I shuffled and juggled and somehow survived....but I have gotten lazy.
Today is one of those days, too. Chilly and overcast, and as I sit here with my coffee, ah, it is nice. My chair is just too comfy. Tonight is going to be downright cold, in fact freezing. Tomorrow's high is freezing. brr. After all the nice days, brr.
Today is a busy day for our family. Paul, Emily, Abigail, Mirielle, Joseph, and Aaron are all leaving around one o'clock to go to the Dome for the NCAA tournament, working at a concession for a church fundraiser. They won't get home until probably midnight, then school and work for all of them tomorrow, then another tournament on Saturday. whew. I am glad I am just holding down the fort at home!
Well, I should at least put in a load of towels and start some coffee...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

did I stay home today? ha.

I made up cookie dough. A triple batch. I loaded the dishwasher and washed the table and washed some pans, made the coffee, made some blueberry muffins (I CHEATED. I used Fiber One muffin mix, from the dollar store...and they are excellently delicious), and then Joseph sauntered in...ha, gotcha, Joe! Make some eggs for the guests...he took requests, and decided on French Toast. After they ate, I was talking with Caroline, and she still wanted to get some candy to bring I suggested a trip to the small city, fifteen miles down the road, to the big warehouse store. So, off we went. No, just kidding. First we dressed the two little girls, who thought we were going someplace much more magical than we were going, and asked the boys if they were interested...they were. So Joseph and Samuel went too (Sam's eighth grade class is on a trip to Washington D.C., our kids just don't go to that), and Sonja, who didn't go to school this morning because her mommy got out her favorite outfit for her sister Suzanne, and Suze wouldn't take it off.....anyway, it ended up being a real party. And it took much longer than I had envisioned....

The boys seemed to like the big store. So did Caroline. They chose candy that they don't have back home, and big bags of it. And Caroline bought a large container of pancake syrup. It seems that Norwegians don't have AuntJemima.

Home again, but not for long! They had big plans....two vehicles full went down to the suburbs, where all the good stores are....and they are having dinner down there.....Caroline stayed home, she is tired. So for dinner tonight, we only have Paul and I, Benjamin, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille. I put a roast in the oven, and some carrots....and I have a ten pound bag of potatoes. But do I feel like peeling them? They are not very good potatoes, so they cannot just be baked. They need peeling. And I do not feel like it. I was in the kitchen for too too long this afternoon, baking those cookies. Sheet after now, of course, I have a cup of milk and.....cookies. (I never did get that nap).....

I wish I could fit a nap in now, but I have to somehow go pick Mali up from track practice. rrr. There is no one to babysit, so I have to put them all in the van....rrr. No, I shouldn't complain. I realized this morning how much easier it is to be cheerful when we have company around. I mean, I cannot stomp around in front of people! I do not willingly practice stomping around anyway, but sometimes I do find myself a little stompy, and more than a little complainy. But that is awful, that I would be different because people are here. And it makes me sick. That is how I am, and I don't like it. It is God whom I seek to please, and God sees my behaviour whether people are visiting or not. How much do I really fear Him? Some things to think about here, seriously......

I have to leave in 15 minutes....I better finish my milk before it gets warm....and my cookie before it gets cold. Yes, cookie, singular. I already ate two!

deep thoughts on wednesday morning

Okay, I did not realize that it was almost one in the morning....I thought it was like eleven thirty. Rrr. I got into bed as quickly as I could after that, thinking that I would get six hours of sleep and be a bit tired....little did I know that for some reason Miss Camille would be awake and fussing every few minutes all night. I did not count how many times I got up with her, or that I told her to SHH from my bed (it is AWESOME when that DID work a few times....)I do not know why she did this last night, I am half-expecting her to be feverish or something when she wakes up. (My sister-in-law's kids have been sick, one last week and some this week, and we were with them right in between) So I was really hoping Camille wouldn't barf, and so far she didn't.....barfing in the night, blah! Just the thought of it scares the life out of me.

So, I should go back to bed. Back to bed. Turn on the electric blanket. Yummm. But I probably won't. I think I will make another batch of chocolate chip cookies, because the Norwegians really like them. And because if one cannot nap, one can eat cookies. And yes, I do recognize the danger of this mindset, seeing that I have been more or less tired for like 25 years now.

I also see that when one is tired, one doesn't care so much about things. Like the house, for example. We have our guests here still, and normally I would be tidying up and making it spiffy before they come upstairs. And making a pan of scrambled eggs with cheese and some sausages....and putting the pot of coffee on...but today, I am going to have to make myself get up and do these things.....because....blah.

Why do I stay up so late at night? Well, as much as I love the younger kids, and am extremely entertained by their constant conversation, when they are all tucked in for the night, I can talk to the older ones without interuptions....or I can sit in the quiet, ...I think the right word might be, "bask"....

Tonight there is a Sisters' Meeting for the women in our church. We haven't had one in a while, and they are NOT to miss. Very encouraging and uplifting and fun. But tonight is our company's last night the older ones want to have a party....I told them to go ahead, but it probably won't be much fun without me. ha.

Well, as tired as I am, my pride is not leaving me alone.....those niggling whispers are fast turning to screams, and I need to get up and get this place into shape and start the coffee....blah. No, our guests are wonderful, and I am extremely glad to serve them. It is so hard to explain, but these young people are so happy and full of life and battling against sin and they are pure and good and do not seek their own....they are like sunshine, seriously. I am totally humbled and honored that they would want to spend such a big vacation at OUR house. ha. But for some reason, they I am trying to make it nice for them. Oh, how I wish there were two of to get busy, the other to just sit here and write...wait, I need three, because one needs a nap.....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

happy birthday, Kathryn Grace...

I forgot to write about Kathryn's the girls need me so I will just write a few things quick...

1. I was 32 years old when I had Kathryn, my 10th child.

2. My oldest child at that time was 13 years old.

3. The next oldest was 11, and the next 9. So Benjamin, my then-nine-year-old, had seven younger siblings.

4. Kathryn's first evening, she was fussy. And I had a migraine headache. I asked for pain reliever and they forgot. I asked again...and finally I buzzed the nurse, crying my eyes out, my head hurt so bad. And I sent Miss Kap to the nursery......while the nurse wheeled her out, I heard her say to another nurse, "I do NOT know what she is going to do when she gets home with this baby..." Well, Nurse, neither did I.....

And I survived....

navy or army?

Benjamin and I spent some time talking to recruiters today. He is leaning towards the Navy...

We got home and it was time to leave with Miss Birthday Girl, Kathryn Grace, 12 years old. She chose to go to the Chinese Buffet. It was supposed to be just her and I and maybe one or two of her sisters....but since we have awesome company, we took Stine and Caroline, and Abigail and Margaret and Charlotte Claire. It was cozy and fun in the restaurant on such a chilly rainy afternoon...and we spared Kathryn, we didn't sing Happy Birthday there.

Target was next....I didn't get very much, just new ruffly bikinis for the two little sweet! And a teaset for them, probably for one of their birthdays or a rainy the register, I got a coupon for $1 off a purchase at the cafe, so I let Kathryn get a large Icee, she sat next to Charlotte Claire on the way home and they each had a straw.

We hurried home so all the older girls could go over to my niece Susan's house for the evening. The boys went out to eat separately with Joseph and Aaron, then to a friend's place for the it is just Paul and I and Ben and Sam and Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille. We are watching American Idol.

I feel disconnected and frazzled, having been gone all day...Joseph watched the girls while I was gone with Benjamin, and Mirielle held down the fort this afternoon. She doesn't just hold down the fort, however, she CLEANS it. She washed towels and some lights and gave the kids dinner. She is wonderful. And the nice thing about it: she was fine with it. I offered her to take Kathryn out, and she said, "Mom, I really don't mind staying home. Just go." Well, don't mind if I do!

But now that I am home, I feel like I missed out on so much here. I enjoyed having fun with Kathryn though....and i can't be everywhere....Camille is sitting here wanting attention, and punishing me for leaving her

Monday, March 22, 2010

another lazy day, ha... our company is on a day trip to Niagra Falls and Toronto, so I rainy day, sort of quiet.....just catch up on some laundry, get some towels clean and folded, and clean up the house a some playdough with the girls...

But: Emily and Abigail had some company at their apartment last night. Three different Norwegian girls who were passing through town on the way from New York City to Toronto. They also had four friends who had stayed with another friend....they all went shopping with Emily and Abigail...and then here for dinner! I don't remember all their names, but there was a Camilla and a Lise and another Stine. They were all lovely, and very nice. Our little ones loved them immediately.

After they all left, it was bedtime for the younger ones, except for Camille who is still up. Phew, what a day... but I did sneak in and take a little rest after I found out they were coming....I can't sleep when I know I have lots to do when I get up, but I had stayed up late late late talking to Benjamin last night, and I was so tired this morning. So that little rest was nice.

Tomorrow I am taking Ben up to talk to the Navy and AirForce recruiters. It is hard on my poor soul, I can cry just thinking about it.

So it is raining and raining here in the Northeast, which makes for a wet and stinky and muddy Rosie. Why, oh why did I want a dog so badly? And why did I insist she be an inside dog? She just had a bath the other day, and one would never know it.

Well, I cannot concentrate for anything tonight, there is still too much going on....I am trying to remember that the minute I think my trials here are too much, they become too much...but when I believe God, that He weighs and measures things for my very best, then things are just right.....

don't take jonny to applebees

That is a lesson that my sweet niece Katie learned, the hard way. It started out innocently enough....Katie and her husband Dave, along with their daughter Grace were going out to dinner. They thought it would be a grand idea to invite Sonja and Jonathan. Okay, twenty minutes to get them ready, clean clothes and hair brushed, then off they went. is what happened.

They ate their appetizers, and some of their food. Jonathan really liked the chocolate milk, so much that he had seconds.....his tummy must have been filled up to the top.....because when Dave asked him if he had had enough to eat, he --- he just barfed. Projectile style, all over the table and all over all the food.....over and over again. The waitresses were not impressed, in fact they didn't hide their disgust. Katie asked for gloves, and said she would clean it up herself, but Dave is such a nice guy, he cleaned up Jon in the bathroom (and turned his shirt inside out, which I think is hilarious), and sent Katie outside with the kids while he cleaned it up himself. I owe Dave a million dollars.

Mali is starting high school track today. I have to remember to go to the school and pick her up this afternoon. I have phone calls to make today, our lovely health insurance doesn't cover very much. But the new bill that was passed: I cannot say how dismayed I am at how quickly Americans want to give the government more power. The power to require Americans to have insurance. No choice, now it is mandatory. This is a free country, or rather it used to be. rrr. But I am not going to be bothered about this, because there is not a darned thing I can do about it. But just remember, the more power the government has, the more restrictions that will come....pretty soon people will be fined for smoking, fined for being fat, taxed on high calorie foods....

My dear Emily just stopped by, so...I want to talk with her....yay!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

pizza and chicken wings...

Okay, I am not a great cook or anything, but practice makes perfect, and I have made alot of pizzas this winter. I buy the dough, but only if I can get it for a buck or less each. I figure four dollars for four pizza doughs is cheap enough, even though I can make it much cheaper. Anyway, I have learned to roll it out in flour with the rolling pin, instead of putting it on the pizza pan and trying to wrestle with it in oil. I roll it out, then put it on the oiled pan. Olive oil is yummiest. I have also found my favorite toppings: red onion and red peppers and bacon. I also make a plain cheese with butter and garlic sauce. The little girls like this.

And chicken wings, oh chicken wings....I could never be a vegetarian. I bake them 'til they're crispy, then add some to barbecue sauce and bake them a bit more....then add some to a mixture of Franks Red Hot Sauce and butter, and bake them for a while more too. Oh, are they good.

So we had a feast tonight, as we watched some more basketball....the Syracuse Orange have won their first two games of the tournament, yay! I am not a fanatic, but I do enjoy watching college basketball.

When we were finished with our cake and ice cream, we decided to take turns saying nice things about Kathryn. It was quite precious to hear the things the kids came up with. Jon, who is five, is quite the joker....he said, "I cannot think of any nice things, only bad things...", but then he said, "No, actually Kathryn is a nice sister because when I am feeling left out, she plays with me." It was sweet to hear her older brothers and sisters say nice things....and of course the Norwegians were included, and said some good things too.

Tuesday is Kathryn's actual twelth birthday, maybe I will do a bit of something for her then. And I will write what I remember about her birth....

I have been having baby dreams. Last night I dreamed I had a baby boy, and I went home from the hospital without him, and when I went back to pick him up, the nurses were very sorry but he had died. Ouch, ouch....I just cried in my sleep. And it woke me up. And I was sad about the baby I lost last year and I was sad about losing Robert....and I am not generally a sad person, but this baby thing is just sad for me. I am fine if I don't have another one, but these baby dreams...and I would be fine if I could just forget about losing that baby and forget about baby Robert, but I feel bad even saying that. I want him back, and I want him alive. Not that I am questioning God, or anything deep. Just a simple basic want. When I think of mommies who have lost babies who were alive then died, I just want to hug them all...I don't know how anyone can bear it.

I am tired tonight, the company has all retired for the night, and only Benjamin and I are still up, and Rosie is in her cage still being restless. I need to get to has been so busy...but so rewarding to get to know these four kids. I am still in awe that they are taking such a big vacation at MY HOUSE. They thank me for letting them stay here, and I am like, well, you guys are the ones blessing us. Our little ones just love them. Tomorrow they are taking a day trip to Toronto, Canada, and Niagra Falls. Margaret is going with them. Hopefully the border guards won't give them any trouble, I wrote a detailed permission slip with phone numbers. Well, I am yawning...

sunday, a day of rest....

I decided I should just use that as my all-time title on Sundays. I went shopping today, came home and set out lunch for lots of people, went to church, (which was EXCELLENT, we sat around drinking coffee and talking, but that is another story), came home and made four pizzas and ten pounds of chicken wings....and now I am taking a breather....and: Sonja just reminded me that we are supposed to have cake and ice cream for Kathryn's birthday....I bought the cake today, and forgot all about it!!! So this post is cut short....

Saturday, March 20, 2010


help, they are SO bored!!

My kids never get bored....or at least not until today. Today they are bored. They just want to DO something. School playground. Shopping. Can we bake something? hmm. I have created some monsters. As I was cleaning up this morning, they a few of them asked if we could DO something, to which I replied, "I AM doing something."...and of course they said, NO, SOMETHING FUN!!!

Now, I totally understand this whole predicament. It is my fault, because I am the Queen of Wanting To Go Do Something Fun. The Queen of Drop Everything And Leave. But today Paul is home, puttering around. He already took a trip to the dump, and he is pumping Jonathan's bike tires and watching him in the road. I cleaned up after the pancake/eggs and sausage breakfast I made for lots and lots of people....21, I guess, and swept the living room and kitchen and did some laundry and picked up a bit...and now I am sufficiently tired out. And it is just a bit past noon. Oops, it is almost 1:30. Where does the time go?

Suzanne is hungry, no wonder! Rats, lunch time already. I just finished cleaning up breakfast. This is a youth conference weekend, so the morning rush was signifigant. Abigail stopped over for breakfast and picked Joseph up for work, and Mirielle, Aaron, Mali, Sam, Margaret, and Kathryn went to the conference with the four guests after breakfast. That is a lot of people showering and getting ready. I think this is why my younger ones want to do something fun. There are only six home today, and it seems quiet and lonely. Through the years, I have often done fun excursions on these kinds of weekends. Paul used to be gone too, he was the youth leader for a long many years.

I have discovered a thing or two in my years as a wife and mommy, and although I do not consider myself an expert about anything, here goes.....

1. It all starts in the thoughts. If I am standing there doing the dishes thinking how difficult my life is, then my life will be difficult.

2. There are times when it is so incredibly crazy, usually involving a newborn and a toddler and possibly other children, that it seems totally impossible to manage. Those are the times when one needs to drop all expectations, simply survive and endure. (and watch those thoughts!!!) And not care what others think. (this is a good time to seek to please God, and Him only)

3. It is never a good idea to be keeping that mental list of What I Am Going To Do Next, when I get done with what I am doing. Especially if that list is long. Because life interferes.....

One of the girls who is staying here is one of ten children. She said to me, "My house is messy too." I said, politely, "Oh, not as messy as our house." She replied, "No, but it IS really messy." hmm. Thank you?

Well, as always, there is something I should be doing rather than sitting here writing about life. Jonathan just ran over Evelyn's foot with his bicycle, and the way she came screaming in here one would think the foot was removed from the body......Evelyn is slightly dramatic. Sonja is in here yelling out the window that Suzanne cannot ride her bike, then she changed her mind and told her she could, now Suzanne is still mad that she couldn't, and Sonja is trying to apologize....see, it isn't all roses here. I need my striped shirt and whistle.....

Friday, March 19, 2010

another break....

I sat in the sun. It was absolutely wonderfully delicious. Imagine sitting out on the deck with Aaron, 17, who was doing homework at the table and making funny cracks, proving he wasn't actually absorbed in his homework, and Mirielle who possibly loves the sun more than I do, and Stine, who, being from Norway, gets less sun than us and never has days this warm there in March,and Mali, and Margaret, and Kathryn, and surprise - Emily came over! Seems she couldn't stay awake all night, so she slept a bit in the early morning hours, and came over to go shopping with the girls. After they left, the kids finished up playing in the sandbox, I put dinner in the crockpot, did some more laundry, swept the kitchen and living room, and went outside for a picnic lunch with Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille. They had muffins and pears and apples and corn chips and water. I was a good girl and had a pear and a small pile of corn chips....then we came in the house, put Camille to bed, and had cookies and milk. I had at least six Oreos. Maybe eight. rats.

The boys went off shopping too. Tor-Henning and Idar with Aaron and Samuel. They are going to go somewhere cool for lunch, too.

Camille is doing this new thing where she just keeps coming back out when she was put to bed. She was put to bed around 8:00 for the first time last night, and it was almost 11:00pm when she finally stayed in her bed. Now she is doing it for naptime too. rrr. Wow, I should know what to do, after all, I have sixteen kids! ha.

Does anyone else feel a bit apprehensive about the questions on the U.S.Census?

Is anyone else procrastinating about filling it out?

I have no idea how much dinner to make tonight. With the girls out shopping and probably going to lunch, and the boys too, I wonder how hungry they will be. I have barbecued pork in the crockpot. I wonder what I should make to go with it, and how much of it I should make. hmm.

I need to get the clothes out of the dryer, and maybe make something for dessert tonight, and I am thinking of lying on the couch for a bit....what? I am lazy? I already know that! But I DID stay up really late last night.....

Benjamin Benjamin Benjamin. He is not a BAD kid, but...oh my goodness he gives me gray hair. Pray for him. Sometimes I think I should start a different blog, totally anonymous, so I could write whatever I wanted to. One thing I am grateful for, in regards to Ben, is that I am still extremely hopeful for him. I just KNOW that in that big tall restless boy is a nice soft heart. Like I said, when he is good, he is very very good. And when he is bad, he is not that bad.

Now I am remembering how it is when it is nice out....the kids stay outside most of the day, mostly with bare feet, getting them filthy, and come in the house for little things, like drinks of water in clean cups each time, and get the floors all dirty. But it is much better than being closed up in here. They have so much energy, and it makes me happy to see them playing soccer and hide and seek, rather than being on the computer. It just seems like every year it is the same thing: don't slam the door! Wash your feet if you're staying in. If you take your shoes off outside, bring them back in when you come in. Same with the jackets or sweaters. I like going barefoot, so I am pretty lenient about that. Life is short.

And blah blah blah, as my father used to say....

being lazy...

I am a lazy girl. Seriously. I got up this morning at 9:00, after deciding last night not to send the kids to school today on this half-day...and realized I need milk from the store. So I made up the egg mixture for French Toast, and left Samuel cooking, with firm instructions not to walk away from the stove or let any napkins or papertowels go near the burners, and had Aaron and Kathryn watching the kids. Evelyn, Suzanne, and I went to the small store in the nearby town, 5 miles down the road. $70 later, I had my milk. And bacon and sausage and more eggs and muffins and bread and orange juice and oranges and bananas and broccoli and some Coke (for the Norwegians) and some chips and some deli turkey breast ($2.99 a pound).......

Anyway, the kids are all outside, and I am taking a break. The dishwasher is running and the washer and dryer are running, and I am sitting here with my feet up. Ahh, it feels good.

Emily didn't have work last night so she was over, and since she works nights, she tries to stay up all night when she isn't working, so she stayed to almost one o'clock. There were at least a dozen of us staying up and talking and laughing. I forget sometimes that I am old, and these are all young people. But they don't seem to mind.

This afternoon Mirielle and Mali and Margaret and Kathryn are going shopping with Stine and Caroline. I want to go! But I will stay here with the kids. It is like summer here in the Northeast: 60 degrees and sunny. Absolutely pleasant and beautiful.

The front yard probably looks pretty out of the ordinary for passers-by: there is soccer playing and trampoline jumping and baseball.....and tree climbing, of course. The other day I looked out the window, and Suzanne was up in a tree, wearing just a sundress and bare feet. It isn't THAT warm out, but when the winter has been so long and cold, they think it is.

I had a dream the other night that I was expecting a baby boy. In the dream, I had nothing ready at all. In reality, when I have babies, I buy all new things and have everything ready weeks before.....I would like that dream to come true, except I would be ready....

I saw lots of pretty babies in the museum yesterday. It was the first time I have gone there without a stroller. I have noticed something, it is this: it isn't so much having lots of kids that is so busy, it is having a baby, or a busy young just toddler, crawling or just learning to walk. Or possibly the combination of the two. At any rate, just having lots of kids isn't all that difficult when the youngest one starts getting more independent. At least at the museum it wasn't. It was fun and easy and went by too fast.

But now I would like to dedicate a paragraph to truths.....

1. I am lazy.

2. I am learning to not care what people think about me. That is why I am sitting here taking a break when I should be cleaning up the house. Especially with company here. But, oh well.

3. Sometimes my kids are unthankful and I think I probably spoil them too much.

4. I am going to eat better and excercise more, tomorrow. Every single day.

5. I would rather sit in the sun that do just about anything, and that is where I am headed.

6. Now that our company has been here a few days, I don't really care very much about keeping the house clean.

7. Benjamin broke the cupboard door off in the kitchen last night, accidentally, of course. I wonder how long it will be like that. I AM glad for some reason that it happened when our guests were here, and not before they got here. I wouldn't want them to think we just live like that.ha.

8. I was slightly embarrassed by all the crumbs in our big van.

9. Camille is dressed in the clothes she wore yesterday. She took them out of the dirty clothes hamper and put them on herself, when I was at the store. I didn't change them.

10. I am going to go sit out in the sun......

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I must still be a kid....

Camille was excited about going bye-bye this morning. We were supposed to leave at 9:30, but we left after 10:30. And, we went the extra extra long way because I read the directions wrong. oops.
Camille sat next to Idar (pronounced EEEdar).....she likes him.

Charlotte Claire at the museum.
Here is Camille with Caroline, one of our guests.

Suzanne and Camille

Jonathan....Abigail in the background, and Idar.

Does Jonathan look happy, or what?

Margaret and Kathryn like Dance Dance Revolution.

The kid-sized grocery is Charlotte Claire

Jonathan got to run the register

I think Caroline had just as much fun as Camille.

Sonja got a turn being cashier.

Camille could've played here all day.

She carried her receipts around for a while.

Even Evelyn liked being cashier.


Once again, does Jonathan look happy, or what? Elmo and Cookie Monster are in the back seat in carseats....

Camille also could've stayed HERE all day.

Suzanne in the old-fashioned kitchen....

Jon pumping water in the sink...or pretending to.

Sonja Kathleen

Kathryn, Charlotte Claire, Evelyn, and Caroline

Camille can dance! And look at Jon go!

Camille, Stine, and Caroline.

Kathryn, the Lego Knight (made out of thousands of Legos), and Stine.

Jonathan in the pumpkin coach.

Camille was SO tired, it was right in the middle of nap time, that she almost fell asleep in the Three Bears Cottage....

She covered Evelyn up nicely.

Charlotte Claire took a nice rest, too.

Charlotte Claire made a crown!

Stine is Miss Norway 2010, and Margaret is Miss Universe...

Ten of my children went to the museum with me today. (Every one except Emily, Benjamin, Mariel, Joseph, Aaron, and Mali)....and our four guests, Caroline, Tor-Henning, Stine, and Idar.

So the barbecued pork that I had in the crockpot was not done enough for dinner, so Mirielle so nicely made roasted chicken, alfredo sauce, linguine and whole wheat pasta, and some tomato sauce with hot sausage. And broccoli and green beans. For the 21 of us, since Ben wasn't here for dinner. I made up a huge batch of brownies quick (like I said, boxed brownies are one of the miracles of our time), we served them hot with ice cream. And then 13 of them went out the door to the youth meeting. Now Paul and I have tired kids to put to bed....and here I sit....more later....