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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

ahh, rested and relaxed....

These four don't look like they could possibly cause their mommies to have dark circles under their eyes......Camille, Danielle, Sean, and Charlotte Claire....cousins and best friends.
This one is blurry, but .....








Finally, a good one....the eleven quiet sweet low energy children we brought to the hotel.... Actually, 95% of the action was perpetrated (is that a REAL word? did I spell it correctly?) by the four sweeties near the front in the red and pink.....uh-huh!




Sonja K. upstairs in the loft room...



cool stairs....not that I liked them....we made a rule that the youngest 4 had to stay downstairs. So I should have just listened to those niggling thoughts, because they WERE right. Except that I don't have a headache yet. And it WAS fun. (if trying to convince Camille that there are NO monsters, that this is a place where we are supposed to lie down and go to sleep, that we CANNOT go home at ten at night, it is supposed to be dark, and that noise is just the heat, is fun.)
We took them all down for breakfast, and decided to turn on the cartoons for a while before we head out. Everything is packed up and ready to go. Kim went down for two more coffees, and we are going to try to relax for a bit before the marathon of packing the kids and the bedding and the much needed toys and books and teddybears into the big van. Did I mention that tired kids don't listen as well, cry more, and tend to fight with each other?






Saturday, January 30, 2010

at the hotel....

Suzanne with her gramma-jammies and fancy gloves....
Lady with long tangly hair reading to her nephew, Sean, and her baby, Camille...
This place is absolutely gorgeous....
The view from the windows....the river....









Camille scootched all the way down the table, which seats 14.





Camille and Charlotte Claire aren't settling down very well yet. The other kids are upstairs in the loft bedroom watching a movie, and Kim is in the other room settling her 2 and 4 year olds down.....
It is so nice here....and fun....I don't have a headache yet....




five below zero

I let Rosie out this morning, thinking it was just too cold to go out....but I had to go get her after a while, because when I call her, she takes off down the road and goes to visit the neighbors. She must think that, "Come on, Rosie, come here girl", means RUN DOWN THE ROAD. But if I just go out and wander around the drive way not looking at her, she will come over and jump all over me and follow me back in the house. She has me trained. If you ever want to buy your kids something fun, inexpensive, and imaginative, buy them a set or two of those large square foam floor squares that fit together like puzzle pieces. We have three sets, and they can make either three long runways for gymnastics, or a large mat to jump around on, or the can make three cube-like houses.....they just have so much fun with them. Of course when 6 of them are trying to play, it seems like we don't have enough squares.....

This morning after I put my camera batteries in the charger, I saw Camille, dressed in a long-sleeved black velvet floral shirt, jean skirt, and snow boots, rocking her baby and singing her the
"Butterfly" song, asking her baby what she should sing to her next...she just sat there singing and rocking her baby, and I knew by the time I got my batteries she would be changing her clothes again or something. I wish I could say that when I charge my batteries I just put the back-up set in, ha. I wish. I KNOW what kind of person I would like to be, but somehow I cannot cross that bridge to become her.

This morning I cleaned out my silverware drawer. I took everything out and vacuumed it, and washed it, washed the plastic holder, and put everything back in all organized. Now it will stay that way. I tell myself these things, and I actually believe them. Now, some people might wonder why one has to VACUUM a silverware drawer. Well, I am a stickler for keeping drawers closed, I am compulsive about it. If I see a drawer open, I might even get up and go close it. Anyway, our s.w. drawer is right at the counter where certain people make sandwiches or butter toast....and certain people do not see the importance of keeping that drawer closed....so every once in a while I realize that there are crumbs in my silverware drawer. rrr.

Tonight is a very exciting and important night: we are going to a hotel! Abigail won a weekend there in a drawing when she was at a bridal show with her friend. She spent the night last night with several of the youth girls from church. She asked how many people she could invite, and was told "as many as you want".....so, she has other plans with the girls this afternoon and tonight, so......seven of the younger ones and I, and my sis-in-law Kim with 4 of her kids......are going to stay there! It doesn't have a pool, but it is a suite designed for the bride to stay with her bridesmaids, so it is huge. So Kim and I will be there with our 2 two-year olds, my three year old, her 4 year old, my five year old and 7 and 8 and 10 and 11 year olds, and her 9 and eleven year olds.

Charlotte Claire has packed several bags in honor of this trip. Bags stuffed with toys and pull-ups....I told her she only needs ONE pull-up, but she says she needs extra. They are all busy showering and planning and just generally being excited. We are all traveling in the same van, so we don't have tons of room for everything. Plus, I feel a bit sheepish bringing them all in with bag upon bag.....we have to bring microwave popcorn, and lots of soda, and we are ordering pizza....it is going to be fun! That is what I am telling myself, anyway. There is that niggling voice that keeps saying things like: No one is going to sleep. Someone will barf. Camille and Charlotte Claire are going to be silly and crazy. They will be up at dawn. You will have a massive headache and your back will hurt. But I am immature enough to drown out those little things and be excited, because we are GOING to have FUN!

Friday, January 29, 2010

ooh, happy friday!

And my dear friend Martha, I accidentally deleted your last comment. I tried to go back and accept it, but it was too late. Sorry!

It was too cold for school today. Today, Mali, Sam, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, and Jonathan are skipping. I feel bad about the loss of state aid for the school though.

I made French toast and bacon, and some omelets with ham, cheese, green peppers, and onions. By the time I was done cooking, they had finished eating breakfast. I usually have them wait until we can all eat together, but they were so hungry, I just let them start. So I sat down with my omelet and my coffee......and Camille pooped and took her own diaper off. Okay. I can still eat, I won't let a little poopy mess wreck my appetite. So I cleaned her up and washed up and started in on my breakfast again. I heard, "MOOOOOOMMMMM!...WIPE ME, MOM!!!", from Charlotte Claire. yummy breakfast....I just ate it really fast then went in and wiped her.

Sometimes I wonder how I managed all these years taking care of the kids, perpetually having a newborn. A newborn and a one year old and a two year old, year after year, same ages, different kids....and I somehow think life should be super easy now that my youngest is two years old. And it isn't. There are still messes everywhere, and the volume of cooking and clean-up can be overwhelming. The laundry is a part time job in itself.

Sometimes I wish I could write more on this blog than I do, but my life isn't just all about me, the characters and plots involve real people with real desires for privacy. Dealing with kids of all ages is quite interesting. The older ones can be more emotionally draining, the younger ones just more work....although I have noticed that alot of the stuff that gets left around the house is from the big kids. I don't want to fall into the mindset of thinking of my family as work, though. I love them, and wouldn't want any other life. If I had one or two kids and worked, I would be just as busy as I am now. And I also need to remember that God does not make mistakes, He will give me grace to deal with these ones He has entrusted to me.

Wintertime in central New York state can get depressing. It is too cold to take the kids out to play today, 12 degrees and windy. The walls of the house seem to shrink. The older girls put these work-out videos on sometimes and get the younger ones to join in, which is very funny. They run around the circle of the livingroom to the kitchen, until someone falls and gets hurt. The make giant blanket piles to jump into. Today I am going to make cookies with them, for them. I know that patience comes through trials, but I still wish I could just get a huge magical dose of it. The way it works is that I never seem to have quite enough of it. I have these huge plans of all these fun things to do, but RRR, sooner or later I feel really snappy and want to just do things my way. But by the grace of God, I can see that it is ME, not them, and suffer through. "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (james 1, v. 2 and 3) And with that thought, I need to go rescue the game closet before the girls dump every single game...they already have two Memory games out.....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

wind chills below zero....

Kathryn braved the icy cold temperatures to take these pictures....she said she would have taken more, but it was too cold.
Rosie loves the snow.




And tomorrow it won't get over 15 degrees. Brr.
We had a nice dinner tonight..unfortunately it wasn't the pulled pork I was planning on, because it wasn't done in time....so it will be for tomorrow. I made chicken and gravy (a 5 pound bag of frozen chicken breast, simmered in 3 cans of cream of chicken soup and a jar of chicken gravy, plus some water......mashed potatoes, and southwestern corn (green pepper, onions, crushed red pepper, 2 bags of frozen corn simmered in olive oil, then add some crushed or diced tomatoes)(Sonja acted like I was purposely poisioning her, but the bigger kids liked it).....
Tomorrow the kids are staying home from school, at least the elementary kids. I have told them all week that they can have Friday off, and to top it off, tomorrow is going to be brutally cold. School might be cancelled anyway. We are going to make peanututter cookies, and just have a nice day inside. They won't fight or argue with me or talk back or anything. ha. Cocoa, marshmallows, peace....hey, you never know!
Jonathan has emptied his backpack, and is looking at the book order. We do get them a book occasionally, it is so exciting for them. He just found something and said, "Four dollars, that's cheap!".....hmm.

cold cold cold

We have two Sit'n Spins, an old one, which apparently is WAY better, because they fight relentlessly over it, and a new one, which the loser gets to use....but once in a while they figure things out......they could go amazingly fast lke this, too.
Last night they played the game "Scatter Foam Squares And Don't Fall In The Swamp"....which required running and screaming. Note Jonathan in the background, crying about something very important....he had a fight with Sonja, and there were punches....I made him sit for a bit. Suzanne is just reading like there is nothing going on.

The signifigance of this picture is obvious......where did all the clothes go???
Charlotte Claire and Camille are causing me to have great compassion on moms who tell me, "I only have two, and THEY drive me crazy..." They can make more messes faster than I can possible equalize even if I am cleaning furiously at the same time. So we always tilt toward messier. (because I do not do anything "furiously", especially clean!) They take books off the shelf (but they do sit there in the pile and read them), they empty out all the play dishes (but they do sit there and play with them), they take all the pillows of the couch, they spread towels on the floor to sleep on, they ALWAYS have those two Sit n Spins out, they tricked me this morning by promising to play nicely "night-night" in my bed, and promised not to get into anything...well, they took clothes off hangers, dumped clothes out....they tricked me. Again. Right now they are getting out doll strollers. Well, I suppose it isn't THEIR fault we have over a dozen. And they do play with them....
Life is interesting. Trials come, things happen that can cause me to let my thoughts start going in the wrong direction, to wonder about my faith, to question how I live my life.....those are the times I need to stand firm, and trust God. It is written ,"...that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matt. 5 v.45) Just because things get difficult does not mean that God doesn't love me anymore, or that there is no hope. It rains on the just and the unjust, all sent from God. If trials don't strengthen my faith and get me more treasures in heaven, then in effect, I am a hipocrate. A Sunny Day Beliver.
And on that note, I have kids to talk to......


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

hotel rooms for large families...ha.

I have taken the kids on a special weekend away two years in a row now, and am starting to research where we should go for year #3. We are thinking Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I started looking up the hotels, and WOW, they are expensive. Two rooms for two nights...eeks, but that would be with sneaking lots of kids in because they only allow two adults and two children, or one adult and three children per room. I am not sure which of our older ones would go with us, but we would have at least 12 - 14, or 15 of us going, if not more. That means even if we did book three rooms, we would be sneaking kids in. I hate that feeling, that sneaking-kids-in-feeling.

We were also thinking Niagra Falls. But something tells to head south in April. It COULD be warmer in Pennsylvania in April.....It would be nice if we could drive a bit more south, and actually be in warm weather....ooh, that sounds good. But even 5 or 6 hours one way is a lot in a van packed with kids. But we have no nursing baby, so it seems a bit easier than it ever has been. We do however, have a group of 5 girls that are in a row that do not know the meaning of NOT ONE MORE WORD! Long vehicle rides are extra fun with them.

Charlotte Claire says that Rosie is going to smell even when she gets to heaven.

Well, the second trip bus is here, and I need to cuddle my little Jonathan.....

exasperation!

Three of my little second trip monkeys...Sonja and Suze kind of blend in, they have the same coats....Jon is peaking over the top, and Rosie is checking out what all the fun is.... But getting them ready this morning was not all fun. The girls were okay, except Sonja, who thought she would stomp around a bit, and fuss loudly about things. Then Jon....he got ready like a champ, until it came time for brushing his teeth, he was taking his sweet time, trying to zip a jacket that wasn't zipping, not letting me help him, in no particular hurry. Then he got frustrated and just sat there....I told him it was really time to get his sneakers on. He just sat there. I said it again....and if you know Jon, you know that by now he was upset at being hurried, so there were tears. I had to sit him down and put his sneakers on him (his boots were among the many victims of the big Boots-In-The-Mud Day last week).....and I sent him out the door crying. My soul is tortured. Seriously. I shouldn't have sent him, but if I let him stay home again, it is just sending the message that if you cry, you get to stay home. Ouch, I hate being a mother sometimes.

But other times....I came out of the bathroom the other day to find this: (and I have NO IDEA who that bra belongs to...)
I did have a special day yesterday. My sister had two appointments in the small city, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I needed to go to a few stores, so I went along with her. In the first waiting room, I read a whole magazine! We went to lunch together, once we decided where to actually go. We almost gave up and went to McDonalds, but that is where we go when we have lots of kids with us and not much money. She had a coupon for a family owned place downtown, so we went there and enjoyed a very leisurely lunch, with lots of coffee refills. We went to Aldi (oranges and apples, $1.29 a bag), and Kohl's, where I got a few cheap things for the kids, 80% off (I find that 70 off is not cheap enough)....then to Wegmans. I got a lemon-poppyseed muffin and a large coffee for the ride home, and when I was putting the groceries in the van, I knocked the coffee over...tearwater tea!
So sometimes it is difficult being the mom. I am never right, I don't always know where everything is, (rats, I just remembered that Suzanne has a book report project due on Friday...), and I sent Jon to school in the socks he wore yesterday. As he was crying and I was stuffing his feet into his sneakers, I saw that he hadn't changed his socks, and it broke my heart. The whole thing did. I want to cuddle and comfort and sit with him, not send him out into the cold, onto that awful bus, crying and sobbing. I win the worst mother award today. I want to go to school and pick him up.
Children have their own will. They have their opinions and personalities, and to figure out how to let them be themselves while at the same time getting them to do what they need to do without ME getting just plain Drill-Seargeant-y, is not easy. Jonathon does need to listen better, and not be so stubborn. I need to be more patient with him, but I still need to get him out the door! Or do I.?...it has crossed my mind more than once today to just take him out of school. But is that running away from the problem? Because it isn't really school that is the problem, getting him out the door is just bringing things to the surface that are there....hmm.
Charlotte Claire and Camille have been packing this morning. They think packing is taking a Walmart bag and filling it with clothes. We are going to the hotel for ONE night, but they seem to think they need 3 pair of pajamas each. They raided my diaper bag and were packing things from there, too. Then Camille put on a size 6-9months outfit that I had bought for $1 in the fall, a sweet little Carter's baby girl outfit for summertime.....then she found my stash of ten cent Christmas chocolates, and stuffed a few in her mouth while wearing the brand new outfit....rrr. Then they went in the laundry room and came out with underwear on their heads....which wouldn't be so bad if I KNEW it came from the clean basket.... I know, I know, I need to get off this computer......

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

it's only tuesday?

They didn't ALL wake up on the wrong side of the bed, but they seemed tired already, in this fresh new week. Especially Mr. Jonathan. He just couldn't handle being rushed. Oh, he had plenty of time, but he spent most of it curled up on the couch, balking at getting dressed. Then his jeans were too tight, but he had to adjust them himself, I couldn't help him, the girls were already dressed and eating, and he was a wreck. He started crying and didn't stop. I told him he could stay home and rest up. Of course he got happy then! They were just awake too long in their room last night, full of silliness....

It is not the end of the world for him to take a day off. Since his kindergarten day is so long (he leaves at 8:30 and gets home after 4:00), he deserves a day off once in a while.

I had dreams of a newborn baby last night. I wondered in the dream if it was real, that I had a new baby girl, and I hugged her and rocked her and KNEW it was. Of course it wasn't......last night I was looking at books with Camille, and was surprised that she knew green, yellow, blue, purple, black. We just appreciate and enjoy her SO much. When I was bringing her to bed, she ran and gave daddy a big hug and kiss, and just seeing her in her cute little one piece jammies, hugging her daddy......it has gone by too fast, having babies and little ones. She is growing up right before our eyes, and it seems that no amount of cuddling and hugging can slow it down....

I need to get to the store today, again. We have been nursing that gallon of milk Benjamin bought Sunday, it is almost gone. The kids had toast with cinnamon and sugar for breakast, and those individual chocolate puddings. Hopefully they won't be studying nutrition in school today, and have to raise their hand and say what they ate for breakfast.

Oh my goodness, Charlotte Claire doesn't leave that poor dog alone. She was just pulling her tail, and I stopped her and explained to her about the dog's tail being at the end of her spine, and how it hurts Rosie for her to do that....she said, "Mommy, did you gee her going backwards? She looked go funny!"....I told her, funny or not, she cannot pull that dog by her tail.

This weekend we are having some fun, or some torture, depending on how I look at it. Abigail went to a bridal show with her friend who is getting married in May. They signed up for lots of give-aways, and Abigail won a weekend in a nearby hotel. It is a locally owned, very quaint and original place, not part of a chain. She inquired and was told she could have as many guests as she wants to. So on Friday night, she and two other older girls are taking their activity club group there for a sleepover. They have other plans on Saturday evening, so she said I could go there on Saturday night with the kids. Paul and two of our older boys will be going to the West Coast, to Oregon, this weekend for a church conference, and the thought of bringing the younger ones to a hotel by myself...so I asked my sister-in-law, Kim, to go with me. She will bring 4 of her kids, ages 11, 9, 4, and two. I will be bringing Kathyn, who is also 11, and the younger six. Are we crazy? Probably. Will the kids have fun? Probably. Will WE have fun? Probably.

Well, there is no quiet here this morning. Jonathan is supposed to go back and lie down for a while, but he is instead he has a noisy truck, trying to remove the battery cover with a screwdriver, and the screw is stripped.....he wants help, he has questions, he is getting lots of stuff out....so it is only fair that I am more accessable. That means bye-for-now.....

Monday, January 25, 2010

dinner for twelve anyone?

Here is the scene: our table, with Benjamin, Mali, Sam, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, Camille, and I. It seemed quiet and easy. Seriously. Except for when Suzanne got upset and Ben picked her up like a baby, cradling her and rocking her and trying to get her to laugh. She did not laugh. So half the dinner was for eleven, since I let her leave until she got ahold of herself. I notice the kids have this tendency to "pounce" when I say something to one of them. I spent more time straightening out the pouncers....And they all have their opinions on everything from the kid on the bus who teased another kid because he was Korean (I was livid about that one) to the kid who accused Sam of butting in the lunch line..They are very intolerant of kids with bad table manners. I cannot believe the snobby kids I have raised! ( It is one thing I would suggest, though, for anyone with kids: sit at the table and eat with them every night so they learn to keep their elbows off the table, not to talk with food in their mouths, and not to lick their fingers.)Yes, we solve the world's problems around our dinner table. I had made sort of a dessert to surprise them, two packages of refridgerated biscuits, and two refridgerated pie crusts, with cinnamon and nutmeg and sugar, and melted butter over them, baked. I cut the pie crusts into small strips and rolled them up into pinwheels. They were pretty good. At least when no one has to go anywhere after dinner, we can relax and talk. Tonight, Benjamin cleared up and loaded the dishwasher, Margaret washed the table, I did the counters and soaked the pans.

Rosie had a bath this afternoon, and I have brushed her and clipped some clumps from her fur. Old English sheepdog fur is incredibly hard to take care of. Maybe in the summer I will take her for a haircut. And yes, I do realize that I write more about Rosie than I do some of my kids. But there is a reason for that. It is this: Rosie is just so high maintenance. She is always chewing on something, or chasing someone, or getting her face into the garbage can. She needs to go out all the time, and she needs her feet wiped off when she comes back in. But she is so cute! Even when she starts getting really smelly, I love her. I am tempted at least once a day to get rid of her, but at the same time, I can't imagine life without her.

The pile of clothes on th couch is back, and is growing quite scary. It all started with Mali taking out a load of darks so she could put her stuff in the dryer. That opens the door for everyone to put things there....I had been doing so well with keeping it totally clear. Now, it is daunting again. All day today I thought I would get to it, but....I never did.

Suzanne made a behavior chart this afternoon, so she could threaten the younger ones with a crossed off smiley face if they aren't good. She also had a prize box, but Camille just got into it and ate all the orange TicTacs and all the pink Starburst. Now Camille has only one smiley face. Jonathan copied Suze, and made his own chart, so if Suzanne crosses off any of HIS smiley faces, he can do the same to her. He told me I need to buy him some prizes. hmm.

They are bouncing off the walls, so I need to sign off.....

monday morning.....

Mirielle starts college for the semester today. Emily is working. Abigail has an interview today. And today is a huge game for the local college basketball team, the Syracuse Orangemen. Paul, Emily, Abigail, Mirielle, Joseph, and Aaron are all working at the Carrier Dome, at the concession fundraiser for church. So I am sort of on my own with the younger ones on this rainy gloomy day. Dinner will be with eleven of them, and without Paul. Why does that seem gloomy? I'm sure it will be fine.

But today is just one of those days. I brought Rosie out for her morning walk, in the pouring rain, which was fine by her. In the driveway, I spotted something small and rectangular and silver: Benjamin's Ipod. Rats. Right in a puddle of water. It does not work, and Aaron informed me that I should not have tried it, because I probably fried it...oops. Oops. I just feel like crying for poor Benjamin. It is owlwater soup. So now I will tell a story about that, owlwater soup: It is a book written by Arnold Lobel, it is called, "Owl At Home".....five chapters, one called, "Tearwater Tea".....Owl thinks of sad things, like sunrises no one woke up to see and chairs with broken legs, pencils too short to use, mashed potatoes left on a plate, and spoons that have fallen behind the stove....he cries at these things, right into his teapot. Then he has tearwater tea. So in our house, whenever anything is sad, we say, "That's tearwater tea!", but my mother, who always got things wrong, used to say, "That's owlwater soup!"......

Sometimes in a family, being the mom, I know things that trouble my children....and I cannot always discuss them here, of course, but it tends to drag my heart down. I keep thinking of the verse this morning, "Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me"....John 14, v 1. But the thoughts of doom and gloom can come. I am tempted to darkness and discouragement. Because bad things DO happen. Cancer, car accidents, , snares of this world. What if Paul loses his job? What if? The sword of Damocles can hang heavily over my head. But that is no way to live. I cannot help it that those thoughts come, but I need to stand firm and resist! TODAY is the day of salvation, tomorrow is none of my business.

Camille got out of her little green bed this morning, took off her nice warm jammies, and put on a short sleeved butterfly shirt. She loves butterflies. I changed her diaper and put some pants on her, but she will not take off that shirt. Charlotte Claire has on some Halloween pajamas with huge orange and black polkadots, she looks hilarious. Abigail went to Applebees with a few of her friends last night and brought home some balloons, the little girls are in heaven. (Ab said they were closing and popping the balloons, so she took a few....where do my kids GET this?)

I just realized that the girls are playing in Charlotte Claire's room, and here I am watching, "Dinosaur Train"....I turned it off, and it is quiet except for the rain. But it is not relaxing, because those girls get out all the clothes and trash that room so fast....90% of the time they just play dollies nicely, it is the dread of the other 10% of the time that keeps me from relaxing. The other day they washed their hands in A&D ointment....

I actually like the dark chilly rainy weather. It is cozy in here. One problem though: I am out of bagels, have less than a gallon of milk, only a few pull-ups, which I thought were a stupid waste of money and I still do, but a few of the kids use them at night, or I have to wash tons of bedding....and if I go shopping, all my older kids are busy....not that I couldn't just bring the two girls by myself, but it seems so LONELY! I used to do things like that all the time, but then I wasn't so old back then, either.

It occured to me this morning that one year ago, I hadn't yet been pregnant for the last baby that I lost, I hadn't lost my dear brother Billy yet, and we still had our horrendous blue carpet in the living room. And, Rosie-the-bad-puppy had not even been born yet. We still had Champ, the nice gentle and quiet dog.

Today is my little brother's birthday. He is 42 today. He is the youngest of the seven, with me being number 6. Cheryl is the oldest, and the only other girl. Casey, my younger brother, is a brat. He always has been, always will be. A nice brat though. He is two years younger than I, and Billy was 3 years older. When I was really young, I played with Billy alot, then with Casey, then when I got older, I hung around with Billy and his friends.....I still cannot fathom that I will never see Billy again. It just doesn't seem possible. One of my other brothers has one child, a son, who is now almost 24, I saw him the other night, and it made me miss the whole concept that was our family....my parents and my brother lived at that house, the one I grew up in, the one that is renovated and sold... and that is where I always saw this nephew....Wow, depressing thoughts are hounding me today!! Anyway, my younger brother is married with two kids, I rarely see him, but I talk to him on the phone alot. I will have to remember to call him today.

Well, those two little girls are playing nicely, but they need breakfast.....oh joy, they just came out here stark naked, with their balloons, and Charlotte Claire pushing a stroller with a baby doll in it...saying that they need to take a bath.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

videoCharlotte Claire is a funny kid. She doesn't like to sleep in the dark, so she gets up and turns the light on and gets back in bed. Sometimes she wakes up during the night and makes a cozy little nest in the hallway. If she requests the light on when we tuck her in, we just leave it on. She says that big people sleep in the dark 'cause they aren't scared.

I love my house, I love my life, I love my kids....but I don't love the mess and the craziness and the noise. Sometimes it seems overwhelming, more so than other times. Those are the times I am extremely thankful that I can shut my mouth and deal with it. Because if I were to just give in and scream and hit and stomp, would that make me happy? Would that make the kids happy? Oh, and sometimes the older ones gang up on me, oh they are so funny. And really, they are, if I can get through the irritation and not be offended. When, by God's grace, I can endure temptation and not get upset, then there is blessing. (Well, that IS how it is written, "Blessed is the man who endures under trial, for when he has been apporved, he will recieve the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him....james 1, v12)....anyway, I am so glad for that, because when I am faithful, chaos can only work for my good.

I made two big glass pans of macaroni and cheese after lunch today. I just need to put it into the oven with some pork chops and make a vegetable. Most of us are here, but Jonathan and Sonja K. are ice skating with their cousing Grace. Suzanne is using the opportunity to play with Jon's new train set. Rosie is learning that she is not supposed to chase it, so she is taking a nap right next it on the floor.

There are nine of us in the living room right now, and three girls in the kitchen. It is never lonely. The girls are having some tea, and they brought me some cold diet Pepsi, yum. Here in the great New York state, there are more taxes on the table. Gov. P wants to tax soda, a penny an ounce. Not just soda, any drink with less than 70% juice. Okay, those drinks are not healthy, but is that Uncle Sam's business? rrr.

I need to go put dinner in.....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

finally, a break....

Benjamin, and Camille with her new jammies on..... Rosie likes the new train....


But I suppose last night counted as a break, too. My sister and I went to the pool, just her and I. One whole hour of talking and excercising in the water. The kids were at activity club, so it wasn't like I was just leaving them home.




This morning, we got the call that Margaret's glasses were done. It was a nice sunny day so I invited all the kids to go along with me to the mall if they wanted. Jonathan chose to stay home and play with his new train, and Aaron chose to stay home too. Emily, Abigail, and Joseph were working at the dome for a basketball game. Samuel went ice skating with some friends from church. So I took Mali, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Charlotte Claire, and Camille. And Eileen and Olivia, two of my nieces. We didn't do much shopping, just walking around and looking. I did get Charlotte Claire and Camille each a pair of footie jammies for $3.49, and each an adorable pair of tights. Then we went to Rue 21, which had some $3 racks. I told the girls they could pick something out. Just to make it fun for them....when we got back into the mall, Sonja was whining a little because she didn't get anything, so I gave her a kiss on the top of the head and told her, "There, you got something..." She was fine. I got $23 worth of Taco Bell stuff for them in the mall, 20 tacos, two nacho grandes, and some ice water.
On the way home, I needed coffee, and I say NEEDED. I got busy getting everyone ready this morning, and I found my coffee, still sitting here when I got home. I KNEW I forgot to drink it. So, I stopped at a grocery store and got the kids some donuts and chocolate milks, and some oranges for later, then stopped for a coffee at McDonalds. I asked the kids if they wanted a $1 sandwich, because by then I realized that I would have to go home and make dinner, which I did not feel like doing. How guilty am I, giving them fast food for lunch AND dinner? The plate of cut up oranges out on the table makes me feel better, it sort of balances things out.
So now it is approaching bed time again, another day gone. I DID have fun today, and I hope my kids did, too. I did almost drool when I saw a sweet little newborn fussing on his mommy's shoulder. I also went into my favorite clothing store but didn't buy anything for myself. I also said YES to my two nieces spending the night. They are sweet little girls, best friends with Kathryn and Evelyn. But.....Evelyn has these plans tonight, and she wants Jonathan to sleep somewhere else.
I have to go make some popcorn for the kids. Popcorn and oranges - healthy?




Friday, January 22, 2010

camille won't take a nap...

She sings and sings and then she gets out of her little green bed and changes her clothes, opens and closes the bedroom door a few hundred times, then comes out here announcing that she is UP NOW! Like the party should start.

Charlotte Claire fell asleep on the couch, Sonja is playing Wii, Jon is playing with a monster truck on the floor, Rosie is napping at my feet, Samuel is looking at airsoft guns on one computer, while Evelyn is on her facebook. (she is only allowed to have mom-approved friends)...Mirielle is making frosting for her cake (surprise party for Emily at activity club), and Suzanne is making peanut butter cookies with her easy bake oven.

I might go to the school pool tonight with my sister, if Paul's back feels better. It would be mean to leave him with the two little girls (it is activity club night for everyone else) if his back still hurts. He did something to it yesterday at the gym.

I have no idea what is for dinner tonight. I just had some coffee (thank you, Margaret....afternoon coffee tastes so nice when one of the kids makes it for me), and some mini chocolate covered donuts, that are so wonderfully delicious, I am glad there are so many of us here so I cannot eat them all. I would NOT even buy them if I lived alone.

Camille has pooped, and I have to change her. I am thinking of going out for a small walk with Rosie the dog, and maybe bringing Camille along too. She is such a wreck when she doesn't nap though....it doesn't take but a small breeze to set her off. I cannot do anything right. If I give her the polka-dot bib, she wants the flower one.

I better catch her and change her before she changes herself. She HAS done that.

I slept in again....

They are all dressed for the pool. Except we are not going in the pool, it is frozen. Benjamin bugging Sonja K.


Ben loves Rosie, and Rosie loves Ben.


Ben also loves Camille Anaya.
Well, yes, I slept in again. Mirielle wants to get used to getting up in the morning, because her classes start next week. So I stayed in bed for a while....I was still up at 9:30, but that is over two hours later than usual. I have done some laundry, swept the floor, and cleaned up the entire container of Johnson's Lavender baby powder that Charlotte Claire and Camille dumped all over the living room.
I have lots of plans for things I want to do around here. Why, oh why, did I not decide to do these things LAST week, when I would have had some help???? I really want to move Miss Camille in with Miss Charlotte Claire and make our room nicer. Our older kids are tons of fun, but they stay up later than we do, and it would be nice to have some time to talk, but with Camille in our room, that is difficult. I still have so much baby stuff in my room and in Charlotte Claire's room that I just need to get rid of. Then, if somehow we DO have another baby, I can just get all new stuff. It will be difficult though, I have so much sentimental attachment to so many things.
Right now Abigail and Mirielle are trying to sell their old textbooks online, and they are talking to me and asking me questions. I cannot concentrate, so I am done writing for now....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

today REALLY feels like my birthday!!!!

Today was a grocery store day. Mirielle and I brought Charlotte Claire and Camille. We went to Target first. I got Charlotte Claire and Camille some shirts for $1.75, and for Jon: a Lionel Christmas train, regularly $140 for $35! I wasn't sure if I should spend that much, but....I will either save it for next year or let him use his Christmas money for it.

As we walked into Price Chopper, I remembered that I forgot to cut out the $8 off coupon from the paper......I wasn't exactly devastated, but RATS! I decided I would just forget about it, and do my shopping. Mirielle helped me with the coupons, and we did pretty nicely. Charlotte Claire fell asleep in the cart, in the most uncomfortable looking position. Camille did not fall asleep. She took her shoes off and dropped them on the floor, she put things in the cart that we were not buying, she stood up, then she started begging for a balloon. I got her a balloon. I also got one for the sleeping C.C. , which was good thinking because the first thing she saw when she woke up was Camille with a balloon.

Anyway, when we were in line, a guy came up to me with an $8 off coupon and asked me if I would like it. "I'd LOVE it!!" I said, with way too much enthusiasm. As I told him thank you, he hurried away. I WASN'T going to HUG him. But I sure was happy.

When we were in line, I saw that they had put out the reduced bakery rack. I sent Mirielle to scope it out. She came back with a dozen croissants for $1.50. I sent her right back there for some more. Tomorrow for breakfast with jam.....ha, we ate a few on the way home.

We stopped for gas, and got twenty gallons for seventeen dollars. I had $2 off per gallon with my PriceChopper card. That also made me happy.

I walked in the door, and Mali was baking chocolate chip cookies. It smells heavenly in here. The older kids are all going to the youth meeting tonight, so we are having a simple supper, sandwiches and fresh fruit. I got fresh baked bread, just out of the oven, some black pepper parmesean, whole wheat Italian, and regular Italian.

Today is day three of Camille missing her nap. She is so cute and sweet and huggy, but do not cross her.

It was a cold and sunny day, pleasant enough for out and about, but chilly. I do like winter in spite of the cabin fever-ness. It is cozy and warm in here, and of course it doesn't hurt that it smells like cookies.

Well, the Camille saga goes on.....she is crying again, and she wants me. She is climbing up to sit with me, saying, "I want you , Mommeye, I love you...." I asked her if she likes her new sippy cup, and she said, "It's a cute cup."....well, dinner time sneaked up on me, again.

quick post....

Today feels like my birthday again. Because Mirielle decided last night that she was going to get up with the kids this morning, nice and early, and make them home made waffles. I got their clothes out last night. I did hear some banging around and Sonja crying about something, but I figured that if they needed me, they knew where I was. Okay, I felt some guilt, but I managed to fall back asleep. Camille has this old Little Golden Book, about firemen, in her little green bed, so she reads it for a long time when she wakes up. Anyway, I didn't show my lovely face out here until almost ten! It was very nice, but, such a waste of time.

Mirielle is now in her room, I guess she is done helping for a while...and Abigail has an appointment today, and Emily is at work, her first day! Joseph is playing his guitar, and I do not know what Benjamin is doing. The little girls are having oatmeal and frosted mini wheats at the little table in the living room, which is driving Rosie-the-perpetually-hungry-dog CRAZY. She is learning, though. She gets up, walks over a few feet from them, looks at me, and lies down and does that big doggy SIGH.....so she is learning....I also learned something about her last night...I let her out to go pee, and she went. Then she trotted right across the street to visit the neighbors. I already had my sneakers on (I had gone on the treadmill, yay!), so I put on my coat and grabbed the leash. She, of course, wouldn't listen to me at all. My neighbor, the Mrs., came out on the porch. She is such a nice lady. She told me that Rosie likes to play with Lucy, their lab. Their sweet little lab who LISTENS to them, that is. Anyway, she said that sometimes Rosie comes over and looks right in their bedroom window and barks for Lucy to come out and play....oh my goodness, Rosie! Mrs. Neighbor doesn't seem to mind that Rosie likes to visit them, she just worries, like me, about Rosie and the cars. She is such a car chaser. (AND Mrs. Neighbor said, and I quote, "Sometimes I wonder why the hell we had to get a dog!", to which I replied, "I usually think that at least once a day...."...then she told me it would get better. Now, swear words are, well, swear words, but she put it SO well....)

Today we are going to the grocery store, again. I have to look at the ads and write a quick list. I know we need toilet paper and milk. Mirielle and I and the two little girls will go. So I need to get moving....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

i feel so much better....

I am back! Mirielle had to go to the small city to pay for her college tuition, and she asked if anyone wanted to go. Well, if you twist my arm....I suppose I could. Then Emily decided to go along too, to have her alto sax looked at by the music store guy. So off we went, leaving nice Abigail with the two little girls. After our two stops, we went to the dollar store. I got some 64 ounce bottle of cranberry/grape juice, organic, 100% juice, for one buck each. Also some more soy waffles, and some hair conditioner, and some hair elastics. Then to the store next door, BigLots. Emily had to buy some rope to secure the beds she bought from craigslist in the truck. I bought some breakfast bars for $1 a box, marked down, and then meandered over to the Christmas stuff....it was still 75% off....so I got a few things with gumballs in them for the little girls....and they rang up ten cents each!! I asked the cashier if the Christmas stuff was marked down to 90% off now, and she said it was. "Wait just a minute,", I said, and I hustled back there and got a whole stack of chocolates....regularly $1, for ten cents. I have no pride left. Absolutely none. My daughters were laughing at me. I think the cashiers there feel a bit sorry for me. Oh well. These guys can bring the candy to activity club. I do not believe you can go wrong at ten cents each.

Tonight we are having roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, and broccoli. And probably biscuits. I make 40 biscuits, and we have to ration them. Because 18 times two is 36, and if more than 4 people take three, there won't be enough. I have a few boys who could eat six, if I let them.

Camille Anaya does not want to sleep today. She is up again, opening and closing the door of my room. She can climb out of her little green bed, and she does. It is so late now, I might just put her to bed early. She gets so cranky though, it is like she is a different child when she is tired. She cries about everything. Loudly.

Well, that second trip bus is here....

i've got the slows....

The laziness in me is appalling. I just seem to have the winter "blahs"......I see all these things that need to get done, and have all these ideas....but after I do a few things, blah. Just don't care. I don't feel depressed or anything, just lazy lazy lazy.

I made a big pot of beef stew-soup last night with the leftover beef and gravy. I just added a bunch of water, and simmered it while I peeled cut up 8 or 10 potatoes. I added them to the soup, along with a bag of frozen thin sliced carrots and green beans. I let it cook for a while, added some salt and onion powder, then thickened it with instant mashed potato flakes. The surprising part: it was really good! The kids really liked it, and we ate the whole pot. It was just exactly enough. I always feel good when the leftovers get put to good use. It can be challenging here because there is usually not enough of something for another meal, so I often do soups with leftovers.

Okay, I have received a blog award (The Honest Scrap Award)from Moon Mama, at http://moonmania.blogspot.com. (thank you!)

I am supposed to write ten things about myself.....so here goes. (I have been writing on this blog for two and a half years now, so if there is anything interesting about me, you probably already know it....)

1. My mother had breast cancer when I was in high school. It was in her lymp nodes, and she had two radical masectomies. I used to go with her to get her chemo. Back in 1982, chemo made one very sick. That didn't stop my mother from taking me with her on the bus sometimes, and making it a fun day. It's hard for me to believe now, but she did that. She made it fun.

2. I like to make my morning coffee last a long time and enjoy it because a second cup never tastes as good.

3. I feel like I like Paul more than he likes me. Most of the time, anyway.

4. When I was eleven years old, I was really skinny, and I wanted to be a wrestler SO badly. I tried on my older brother's high school uniform, and thought that wrestling shoes were the ultimate.

5. My little brother Casey and I were bad. When my mother sent us to the store for the paper, we put a flat stone in the paper box, and used the dime to buy candy.

6. I am a picky eater. No mayonaise, no ketchup, no mustard, no tuna fish, no salsa. But I love Frank's hot sauce. I usually eat my salad with no dressing. And I do not like cheese, unless it is melted, and even then, not so much.

7. I would like to write a book someday.

8. If I got pregnant again, I would be ecstatic. If the sonogram showed twins, I do not know if I could bear the happiness. I try not to think about this too much, but it is still there, that newborn craving....

9. I wish I could just fly into Haiti, and rescue an orphan or two, and hug them and cuddle them and help them forget their troubles. And keep them forever, of course.

10. I like the show "American Idol", except for when the judges are mocking the people. Simon can be a meany. We don't watch much tv, but when "A.I." is on, we watch it. We mute the tv during commercials, no matter what we are watching.

11. I have had two dreams this week about meeting Martha, my blogging friend from near the lake. In one, she was buying a new coffee maker, and I told her I saw a cheaper one somewhere....it made no sense, but we got along just fine.

12. I am extremely attracted to large spacious homes. I have dreams all the time about finding an extra room, or sometimes a whole hall of rooms. All clean and decorated and new. And I always say in the dream, "I didn't know we had this!"

13. I do not learn. I know darn well if I give the kids the empty coffee container to play with, it will end up on the floor, but I do it anyway. I also know that it will turn into a mess when I let Jon open the biscuits, or the bathroom will get soaked if I let say, Suzanne, take a bath with say, Charlotte Claire....but I do it anyway.

14. I get optimistic and excited about going out and about. I try to make every excursion a fun one. I do not have much tolerance for sulky people.

15. Last night I dreamed that Rosie died, and I cried in my sleep.

16. I laugh sometimes when I shouldn't. I got M. really mad yesterday by taking her picture when she shrieked at me not to. I just did it anyway. She stomped off. I apologized later, but started laughing my head off, remembering how angry she was at me. She was furious, telling me that I was not really sorry. Well, I was too! I just couldn't help the laughing, is all. I'm telling you, it is scary sometimes. It makes me afraid to go to funerals.

17. I would like to be a marriage counselor. I would try to get each partner to see how they themselves are, and to forgive the other one seventy times seven. And to RESPECT each other. And to not be so quick to say, "I have a headache..." Because one can be blessed by blessing the other, if you know what I mean.

18. I am pretty sure this was supposed to be ten things, but: I do not like rules, and to break even a teeny tiny one is lots of fun.

I am going to pass the award on to only one person today, although I read many blogs I really like. This one person doesn't blog as much as she used to, because she is now obsessed with crocheting. She has talent! She taught herself, and she makes the most beautiful things. She is my friend, I have known her since middle school. When she met my brother one Halloween night, well, let's just say I took a back seat. They got married (she tells him she married him so her and I would always be friends!), and have 12 beautiful kids. So Kim: here is your award, "The Honest Scrap Award"....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

camille and mommy

Since she didn't take her nap today, she was fussy and tired and she did not want me to take her picture. But that did not stop me. She is just too cute.


She found this nice little dress, and since it is January and 30 degrees out, she thought she should wear it.










But earlier, when she was in a good mood, we had lots of fun.




Every time I snapped a picture, I would show her, and she would think it was so funny.













This is a nice shot of the camera strap....



















She is still my sweetie babe. I have 16 children, but the youngest takes most of my time. But I am not complaining.












She is a lap puppy....and it is winter, and I keep my camera next to my chair.....




































































And here we have Rosie...she has a piece of gum in her mouth in this picture. Suzanne carried a crying Camille to me this afternoon, and Camille was fussing and looking through Suzanne's hair, saying, "I lost my gum, I lost my gum..." GREAT, thought Mommy. She lost her gum in her sister's hair. Then I noticed Rosie chewing something....and the funny part was, Camille wanted it back! If I had let her, she would have taken it from Rosie and put it back in her mouth....
And goodnight for now....and Moon Mama, I haven't forgotten....!
















who has my camera card???

No one. No one knows anything about it. It could have been Camille or Charlotte Claire, because the batteries were taken out and found several feet away from the camera. It may just be gone forever. I just asked Camille where it was, and she said, "I put it in the oven. I put it in your purse. I don't see it, Mamma!" Apparently, that is a dead end. When things are missing though, it is a good idea to ask the younger ones. Once I was at a garage sale, and almost had to stay there forever. I had like 8 or ten kids, and one of the kids somehow had the van keys, which they tucked into a little toy refridgerator or stove that was for sale. I looked and looked and looked for those keys before asking the kids....and sure enough, one of them ran right over and retrieved those keys.

I finished my arctic expedition book, 947 pages of paperback horror, as it was a doomed trip from the start, and read another book that I started yesterday. Books and me are like Target and I. Not a good combination. I can't put the book down....well, usually I just stay up 'til the wee hours until the book is all gone. I have three more books on the shelf that Abigail got me from the library. I need to wait a few days before I start one.

The kids are all home, they have had their snack,(75% off gingerbread cookies from a cute little tin, and milk) and I need to make dinner. It is always the same, but always different. Suzanne lost a tooth today in school, which is apparently very exciting, she came home with it in a little plastic tooth holder around her neck. Mommy doesn't have any of those. The Tooth Fairy might remember to come here tonight. ha. We do have the most forgetful Fairy....Jonathan says his class has 18 stars on the board, and when they get twenty they get a party, a compliment party. I guess he knows that 18 plus two is twenty. hmm.

Camille did not fall asleep for her nap today. I took a rest in my big comfy bed while she "napped" in her little green bed....I was finishing my book, and she was getting out and taking off her diaper and trying on an 18 month size pink fluffy winter coat from last year.

Abigail is cleaning her room. Emily is cleaning her room. They are moving out. wah. Actually, it will be nice to have someplace to go visit. If I am invited, that is. And, not to make them feel bad or anything, but sometimes it can be a bit frustrating to have so many adults in one house. They are helpers, and very good company, so it is only a little frustrating. I won't be sighing huge sighs of relief, but I won't be sobbing, either. It DOES help that they are only going a few miles down the road!

Well, if I don't get dinner started, it will be so late when we eat, again. Last night it was almost eight when we got up from the table. One family I know has dinner right when the kids get home from school, when they are the hungriest. If I did that, though, Paul would miss out on that nice time at the table every night. Oh, the fun times we have! Now that Mali is vegetarian, there is at least one comment at every meal that ends in her getting huffy and feeling like everyone is against her. Which is not true. But when Mirielle says she hates to see Rosie get hurt because she doesn't like to see animals suffer, and Mali says, "Oh, but you can eat them?"....and on it goes. Everyone seems to have something to say.... Mostly in good fun, but....

It seems like I haven't done anything around here today....such is life. But now I shall get the kids in gear, and make it nice and clean for when Daddy comes home. I think it makes it less stressful to walk into a nice clean house....and it makes it look like I didn't finish my book today......

snowy morning, again....

But no delay or snow day today. The second trip kids are all ready at the door, the first trip kids are gone. Abigail went out this morning too, she has an interview at a temp. agency. The kids have been extra fight-y/silly/temper-y this morning. After a long weekend, one would think they would be all rested up and happy. Jonathan is going through this "farts are the funniest thing ever" phase, he jokes about them and talks about them and makes the sound effects.

Our chore plan has failed. Mali has done her part, and Suzanne keeps vacuuming those stairs whether they need it or not. But some of the others didn't remember to do anything last night, therefore there are still pizza pans to be washed and the floor is NOT clean and swept. It's just that if they pitch in and help with the basics, especially because my older girls are going to be busy again, and gone, then I can do a little more of the deep organizing. It can take all day for me on my own, while taking care of the little ones, to get this place cleaned up. But when everyone helps, it is like a half hour project. So this morning I am looking at clutter on top of the dog cage, again. In our house, it is like one of the laws of the universe, like what goes up goes down, where there is a surface, stuff will get put. On the small bookcase, I don't allow anyone to put anything, but that did not stop Sam from putting his tin full of poker cards and chips there. And from here I see a water bottle on the top of my desk, where nothing goes but some nice candles, the change bowl, and a few pictures. ha. The kids have had the Elefun game going, and there are at least ten silky butterflies strewn around the floor. The area where they have been playing house has become a place to put things that no one knows where to put. And there are three comforters still in here from people who wanted to snuggle up.....I have been bad too, two coats of mine are on the couch, along with a load of darks that is NOT supposed to be on my couch. Mali's doggy slippers, my new 5lb. weights, a sit n'spin, a few diferent socks, a chewed up battery package (thanks Rosie)....all decorate my living room floor. It will only take a few minutes to pick it up....that's what I'm telling myself anyway.

So aside from the state of the house, which is normal, things aren't all sunshine and roses with all the kids. One of the girls has been a bit rebellious, and is painful. Not just that she is tending to choose things that I know will bring her heartbreak, it is that as she goes against her own conscience, she is becoming more cynical and just plain hard-hearted. I love her to pieces, and want her to choose the good, but as one can lead a horse to water, the same goes for a teenager. This new behavior does not sit well with one of her younger sisters, and they do a fair amount of fighting. This morning, as they were all waiting for the bus, I encouraged the rebellious one to have a good day and behave. She just grinned. Her sister made a comment to which she retorted, "You can just go to hell!", to which the younger sister replied, "Now THAT would be ironic...." We all burst out laughing. Even the rebellious one. See, the younger one has no tolerance for this behavior. She just makes these comments all the time and it does not help. I know for me, it is a crushing, and it has me on my knees in prayer to have a child seeking things that don't bring peace and happiness.

All these trials are good for me, although I would never choose them myself. I am glad that God knows what I need. His word and His way are true, no matter what happens. Through the trials I can become patient and more merciful and more humble. I am thankful for that, because left to my own inclinations, I would certainly become more demanding and more intolerant and just plain mad.

Monday, January 18, 2010

happy 25th, Emily

And while I am remembering it, anyone who makes derogatory comments about anyone, whether it is in front of their kids or not, is a fool.

No, I do not have very many opinions, but the ones I do have, I HAVE.

I am sorry about one thing: I was given a very nice award the other day, and I have not ignored it, I just haven't gotten to it yet. But I will. Maybe later when I can think straight.

We were actually thinking about taking everyone out to lunch today, but then when it came right down to it, Emily really didn't want to. I suggested company for lunch or dinner, but Emily wasn't up for spending the day in the kitchen, so I told her I would make her a nice dinner. Abigail had to go to the small city to make some resume copies, and Aaron wanted more job applications. So Sonja and I went along too. Aaron drove, which keeps me grabbing for the dashboard and putting my foot on my invisible brake, and telling him to watch out and slow down and don't follow too closely. He is a fine driver, actually, but I just would rather be the driver. So, Aldi had some especially good deals on produce: 3 green peppers for 79 cents, grape tomatoes for 79 cents.....so I got lots of good stuff for salad for today, and for the rest of the week. I also got a pineapple, some mangoes, kiwi, pears, and apples. Then we made a quick stop at Wegmans, if you call $94 quick. I didn't really want to be gone on a home-from-school day, but the kids were fine here. They cleaned up the living room and had a dance/excercise party. (we were only gone for 3 hours).....

We have a new chore plan in place, we will see. The kids have assignments that they are responsible for all week. So supposedly I don't have to even ask them to do it. Mali has to keep the shoes neat and it all clean and picked up by the door, which has to be done every day. She has it neat and tidy, and it is enjoyable to walk in the door and have it neat over there.

Right now, it is loud in here. Sam is playing wii, Jon and Charlotte Claire are wrestling, Sonja and Camille are wrestling, Kathryn and Suzanne are playing Sims on the computer, Abigail and Evelyn are just watching Sam, Emily is on her laptop, Mirielle and Margaret are making Emily a birthday cake. Paul just got home from work. Rosie is in here, taking a nap.

I made 4 pizzas when I got home, and a huge salad. The pizzas are waiting for a turn in the oven. Margaret couldn't start the cake until I got home with the flour, so things got a bit backed up. That's why I am sitting here taking a break...but the break is over, Camille pooped. again.

happy monday, and martin l. King day, too!

Rosie, for all her faults, is a sweetie. She brings new meaning to the term, "underfoot"....I tripped over her last night while I was making dinner. She wasn't there, then I took a step backwards to put something away, and oh-my-goodness, I almost fell. 'Cause there she was, sprawled out in front of the kitchen sink. I seriously almost fell, I was shaking. Emily calls her, "Moving Carpet".... We had way too much fun with my long tangly hair last night. Jonathan thought these pictures were pretty funny.




Camille did, too.







This is Camille yesterday before her nap.

So what do you get when you take 32 pieces of bread, a dozen eggs, and two pounds of bacon, and cook it? French Toast and some happy kids. The ones who are still in bed might not be as happy, however, because it is dwindling. Besides, 32 is not really enough anyway, 17 X 2 is 34, and a few of these guys eat way more than two. But that is all the bread there is. Whatever shall we do for lunch?
I had all these nice things to write about, but Camille loves me today. She has been sitting with me with a big hardcover book, I read it once. Charlotte Claire and Jonathan are having fun with duplo blocks these days. I told Jon that I would look on craigslist and Ebay and see if we can find some more to buy with their Christmas money.
Martin Luther King Day:
My opinion on racism: it is the most ignorant, cruel, and utterly STUPID form of thinking. When I was in kindergarten, I had a lovely teacher. It was her first year of teaching, and her name was Miss Grant. This was in 1970. I don't remember much about it, but my mother told me years later that when she went to the first parent-teacher conference, she was surprised that the teacher was black. Because I never mentioned it, but truly, I had never noticed it. (also I was so focused on sticking to my guns on the lie my brothers kept encouraging me to tell my mother, that the teacher slapped me. I insisted, because my brothers told me to tell my mother that. So my poor mother had to go to that school and ask the teacher....who of course told my mother that I was a sweet shy little thing, and she wouldn't think of slapping me. Again, I don't particularly remember these things, but I grew up hearing the stories.)(my mother also told me years later that when she met dear Miss Grant, she asked her how her job was, and Miss Grant said it was very difficult. I guess back then in such a white suburban district, she wasn't very welcomed. She didn't come back after that first year. How terrible is that? That was the way things were)
But my point is, God made people. Anyone who thinks they are better than anyone else for any reason is a fool. In my humble opinion. And anyone who makes derogatory comments in front of their kids, is also a fool. In my humble opinion.
Wow, I just remembered that today is Emily's birthday. I wish I had a hundred bucks to take everyone out to lunch. 17 times 5 is 85, plus a tip....hmm.
Well, the day goes on, and I have laundry to do and kids to play with and older kids to talk to .....