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

Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween...

What's not to celebrate? Candy, dressing up, and romping around the sidewalks on a cold dark afternoon! Jonathan has high hopes, he says he will need some extra bags for when his candy bag gets too full.

At school, there is a Costume Parade. Sonja, Jonathan, and Charlotte Claire did not like the idea of dressing up and marching around, so I told them I would pick them up before the parade starts. Then as they ate breakfast, Char started developing a stuffy nose...she just didn't think she could go to school...real or just apprehensive about a different school day, I don't know. But we couldn't convince her to go, she just stuck to her guns and said she didn't feel well. Camille is thrilled to have her here, but it ruins my plans to go to the pool today...

I don't think the school officials would look too kindly on Charlotte Claire being at the pool with me when she is supposed to be in room #8.

Anyway, today shall be fun. Paul isn't really big on Halloween, but doesn't mind if we go out Trick Or Treating. We might just go to Chili's too, kids 12 and under eat free today...two kids per adult, but I have six kids 12 and under, I only need three over twelve to manage that...myself, and two problem there.

It will be cold out there on the sidewalks, the high today is 50, but right now it is only 30. It will get colder as the sun goes we have the mittens out. is life going? This is IT, this is life. No guarantees, just today, just now. I am finding many interesting things in this how to be free from people. I need my own connection with God, so that if others are down, I don't need to be down too. If I am not getting any thanks or honor or respect, that is okay, I get mine from Him. Easier said than done, but it is a work in progress.

Also, the Can't Please Everyone thing is alive and well...(You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time...)This morning I made pancakes before my walk, and the first thing I heard was from Aaron, "Mom, we are going to smell like fried food!" Well, too bad, Mister. Some of the kids love when I cook breakfast for them.

I have wet bedding to put into the wash, and various other things to work on, like sweeping and cleaning the bathroom...

Candy...I do not eat candy anymore. Am I really typing this? ME? The Snicker-holic? Some people like chocolate, some people like gummy stuff, some like sour stuff....or caramel-y stuff...I like it all! Licorice, taffy, candy corn, marshmallows...the only thing that is yuck to me is a Pixie Stick, pure sugar, blah. But I just plain don't eat it anymore. I haven't eaten any all weekend, despite that the kids got lots yesterday at church, and there was some at the party on Saturday. These next few weeks will be tempting, but I shall just not eat any. Now, this does NOT include my dark chocolate chips. But I know these chips have 5 calories each, and I count how many I eat...planned and managed, but thoroughly enjoyed. My conscience simply wouldn't let me eat a candy bar at this point, and I hope it never will.

Because I have gotten a small taste of what it is like to have energy again, what it is like to move and feel good. I am not there yet, and have much more to lose, but I am determined to see this thing through.

Bread, rolls, crackers...I don't eat them. Except for the rare piece of whole grain bread or oat bread for lunch.

Pizza crust...I only have a small small piece of pizza, and fill up on chicken or other protein and salad or veggies. It is SO HARD TO DO, because who doesn't just love pizza?

Pasta. I do not eat pasta. At all. I have green beans with sauce and meatballs.

Cereal. Nope, only my oats.

Pancakes? ha. Of course not.

Potato chips? ha.

Pretzels? Not even.

Ice cream? Once in a while, it is my indulgence.

I did have that lemon cake on Saturday night, which was so so good....yesterday there it was again....I resisted and resisted, then took a taste...oh, yum. So I sent the rest of it home with Kim, she likes lemon stuff.

There is a half a pumpkin muffin still out there in the box. If someone doesn't eat it soon, I shall throw it away. I want to eat it. Maybe just one bite.

Will this ever end? Yes, everything will, someday. But until that day, I think it will just be my cross to bear.

And now I shall go put some pee pee bedding into the washing machine....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

being true...

Sometimes I consider having a second and maybe a third blog, anonymously. The second one would just detail the trials I go through with some of the kids that I can't write about here out of respect for them and their privacy. The third would be a weight-loss blog, outlining the specifics and struggles I am too embarrassed to get into on here...

But since I am not doing that anytime soon, I shall try my best to be true without making myself or any of the kids too uncomfortable.

Today is Saturday. It is cold here, but Rosie and I went for our walk. She was horrible, because being a Saturday, there was more traffic down the road. It was also much later than our weekday walks, so cars went by. Cars make Rosie pull-y and jumpy and act like she got a mild electric shock. She dances and goes in circles and whines. She is wired to chase things, to herd them, and blah. She has also caught on that when we get to a certain place in the road, I run. ha, run, more like a slow jog, but still. She starts pulling and looking at this morning, I listened to Rosie The Boss and ran. When I absolutely have to stop, she still pulls. We survived, but by the last stretch of road I actually looped the whole leash around her neck and told her to go ahead and pull. She didn't.

Paul made omelets this morning, bacon and peppers and onions...I asked for a one egg one to save for lunch, since I really wanted oatmeal with blueberries and peanutbutter.

The princesses are wired this morning too. They keep asking how long 'til we leave for the, six hours, girls. They have their high heels picked out, and want to get dressed. They are so excited, which is half the fun.

I am making some jerk chicken for the party, not real homemade stuff, just marinade from a bottle, but it is good stuff, from Wegmans. It has been soaking in the fridge for two days, so it should be good. I also bought two lemon cakes from the Cheesecake Factory, which were marked down to $4.99 each. I shall starve myself all day so I can sample it.

What shall I be for the party? It is optional to dress up, but duh, I wouldn't pass up the chance to do that! I promise to post a picture! I will also post a picture of me with my old favorite skirt on, when I get someone to take it for me. I tried to take a picture in the mirror but it didn't work.

Weight loss...I am doing okay. Dealing with things around here, okay. I am really a drama queen, my feelings get hurt so easily and I tend to react from that, which is never wise. It seems like I am learning slowly but surely to wait and watch what I say and think along the lines of, "what would Jesus do?"...slowly but surely, just like my weight loss.

Paul is taking Samuel out shooting. He has his grandfather's rifle, which is pretty cool. Sam, of course, is thrilled. They brought a huge piece of cardboard for a target, and Jonathan asked Daddy if he was going to hold it. Yes, then Sam will put an apple on his head. Kids are funny.

Well, this Mama has things to do...clothes monster on the couch, figuring out my things. I really did want to pour out my feelings this morning, but things are going on....there are several kids around, at least a dozen...

Friday, October 28, 2011

well, I tried to get them to school..

Woke up this morning at six o'clock, pitch dark out. Groan. Cold hit as soon as I moved the comforter down...blah. The whole time I got washed up and dressed, I was plotting against myself, did not want to take a walk in the dark. Kitty Kitten was thrilled to see me, he purred and purred and wanted to be carried around as I made the coffee. He didn't just want food either, I gave it to him, he sampled it, and was back at my feet, purring and looking up at me.

On with the sneakers and sweatshirt and dorky vest, out the door we went into the darkness...the deck was slippery, Rosie was like Bambi on ice...she didn't understand and kept sniffing it. The grass crackled and crunched with frost as Rosie found a suitable place to pee. Off we went down the road, slipping and sliding. We made it to the top of the first little hill, and I decided I did not want to slide down the hill with Rambunctious Rosie. If a squirrel ran across the road and she decided to chase it, I would be on my.....rear end.

So we turned around. It was enjoyable to have the extra time with the kids before they left...then I woke up the second trip kids. blah. Didn't want to rouse them from bed on a cold morning.....(it was in the high twenties). Sonja convinced me she didn't feel well, and hasn't stayed home in a while- I guess to her last week is "a while". Jonathan and Charlotte Claire got ready like champs, all dressed and fed and brushed and washed, armed with lunches and ice cream money...then four minutes before the bus came, Jon's tummy started hurting. He told me it hurt alot yesterday, too. He looked a little pale, and said, "I will go if you want me to, but it really hurts." I believed him because if he just wanted to skip, he would have started plotting earlier. So there was Charlotte Claire with her coat and backpack, hair all sweet and pretty...she was NOT going to get on the bus all alone, she said. No convincing her, not within four minutes anyway...the bus came and went, and I have three extra kids here with me. Oh well.

I had big plans today, too. I was going to Wegman's for mozzarella cheese (I get it in five pound bags there), burger for meatballs (we have had chicken night after night), and oats. I had to have Kashi cereal this morning, which was good, but I need my oatmeal. When I opened the cupboard and NO MORE OATS, blah! Wegman's sells the whole oats in the big container for much more reasonable than the other stores around here, I shall get like five so we don't run out again.

And who is not snoring after all these boring details?

Went to the pool last night with Mirielle and Mali and Margaret....I am still in pretty bad shape...I swam five laps all together, doing my other exercises in between, so I kept moving in the water for 25 minutes. It tires me out pretty good...then Mali said, "It was fun, but it didn't feel like it did anything." And she swam laps the whole 25 minutes. blah. Well, she IS the girl who runs six miles and doesn't think a thing of it. She came home and finished exercising. Mirielle said she wants to fit in two or three swim nights a week since she can't fit running into her busy schedule right now. I reminded her that there is a season for everything, and this is MY season to get into shape, but not necessarily hers. Nursing school is demanding, and she can't do everything, so she shouldn't feel bad if she can't exercise every single day. I remember the days not too long ago when I wouldn't have been able to fit it in. I was thankful to fit in going to the bathroom most days...I managed to shower every night...but my main focus was getting a nap after all the sleep deprived nights...anyway, now I can fit it in, and am thankful for that.

This is going to be a busy weekend. I promised the kids I would take them to the pool tonight while the older kids are at the youth meeting. Tomorrow night is a Halloween party for all the girls and moms at church, and on Sunday there is a Fall Feast at church, we are making pizza. Then of course Monday is Trick Or Treating!

Well....things are busy here, kids are talking to me and we should get moving to the store...first I have to put a load of clothes in the wash and load up the dishwasher...(Sam is here so he will watch Jonathan....Sam's alarm didn't go off...I could bring him to school...hmm.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

nice mommy

Camille Anaya

Anyways, I am a nice mommy. I may not have all the patience and wisdom that I would like, but I AM nice. This morning I sacrificed my regularly scheduled Rosie-Walk to make French toast for the school kids. They were so happy about it! And to be honest, it wasn't too difficult to have a reason not to go out into the cold dark rainy morning. I made 14 pieces for the first trip kids, then Rosie and I went on a shorter cheaty little walk, hurrying like mad so the bus didn't come along and catch me out there in my dorky green glow-in-the-dark vest. I reasoned that Mali is home today, so I can sneak out and do a nice walk later...

The thing is, I do alot of things for people around here that are never noticed, never appreciated. That's just the way it is. I don't expect someone to thank me for emptying the drain stopper in the kitchen sink or cleaning behind the toilet. They don't jump up and down when I take all the produce out of the refrigerator drawers and wash them, or when I take all the books off the bookshelf and put them back on vertically. They don't know how long I spend getting the best deals, using coupons, and going to multiple stores so we can have good things to eat.

So...when I need a nice little shot of thankfulness, I just get up and make them a hot breakfast on a cold morning.

The key is to not do it everyday, or it would just be another thing that Mom does.

ha, I am actually a MEAN mom, aren't I?

Today is Thursday, which means Mali has the day off. This means she wants to DRIVE. Which means she shall drive ME crazy, because I HATE riding with new drivers. But we shall go anyway, and have fun, and hopefully stay alive.

My oatmeal is yummy this morning. I put four strawberries on top, previously frozen and a little mushy, but yum. The French toast looked superb, but I held out and ate my oatmeal. I had a dream last night that I had a pocket full of candy and I was just eating it thoughtlessly, and I realized what I was doing and felt sick. Probably because yesterday...I realized the Sierra Mist I bought was NOT diet. It tasted pretty good, and as I sat there at the dinner table I noticed it said on the can, "Made with real sugar." Hmm, sugar in diet soda? Blah!! It wasn't diet! I had a whole one the day before! It is because I laughed my head off at my sister when she did this at A&W a few months back....she marveled at how yummy their diet root beer was, then realized after drinking the whole thing that it was regular root beer. It is a guarantee that when I laugh at someone for something, it will happen to me.

Camille is up and wearing her pink fleecy blanket sleeper jammies, and she wants cereal. There is French toast left from the second trip kids (I made more), but no, she wants cereal. hmm.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

staying home day...

Kitty Kitten is driving Rosie crazy, jumping and pouncing. Camille is playing school/office, she has eight "dollars" that Suzanne made, she keeps counting them...she has a toy computer, a little desk made of an empty plastic drawer upside down,her pillowpet for a chair, and a cup full of pencils. She has 24 dollars now, she says. Never a dull moment with Miss Camille around...

This morning as I looked at her sweet little face as she ate her cereal at the little table, I thought, "What am I going to do? All my little ones are growing up!" I just enjoy them so much. They are hilarious. They are sweet. The other night Camille was very put out that I made her pack it in and go to bed, she just had way more playing to when she said her prayers, she prayed, "God, help Mamma not to be so mean making me go to bed and yelling at me..."(I did NOT yell at her!)

It is chilly and dark and rainy, a pumpkin pie baking day if there ever was one.

Perhaps I really will stay home today. Except for later, Charlotte Claire has a pumpkin in school she wants to bring home, and is not allowed to bring it on the bus. She wants me to come get her and the pumpkin...

It was fun to spend the day with my sister yesterday. We went to Kohl's, I got my sandals, and a skirt for Margaret for Christmas, and some sandals for Charlotte Claire for next spring. (I am sometimes reminded of Laura Ingalls Wilder's story, "Farmer Boy"...Ma in that book said, "The rich get their ice in the summertime, and the poor get theirs in the winter.") Because we get our sandals in the fall, and our coats and boots in the spring...

We next went to a grocery store where I bought five Milka chocolate bars for a buck each, yummy, they are SO loudly calling me. I will crack them out when lots of kids are around though! I also bought two really good dessert shells, shortbread like cake, for a dollar each. We put vanilla yogurt and frozen strawberries and coolwhip on one after dinner last night, oh so good. (our dinner was good too, chicken breast baked in Carribean Jerk sauce, asparagus, salad with peppers, tomatoes and black olives, applesauce, rolls with butter, or fajitas)

Camille told me while we were walking by the bulk candy that if SHE were a Mama with a little girl, she would let her little girl get some candy. Two kinds. So I let her pick a few pieces.

We then went to Walmart, where we sat in Subway and split a sub. Camille got an Icee and two cookies, and a bite of my sub. She didn't finish the cookies, they are still wrapped up in my purse, I sure hope she eats them soon. The Icee was a real treat for her, she saw no need for cookies or anything else.

Walmart was fun...I found myself a bra for $6, a smaller size than all my other ones which are starting to be too big. I didn't realize it would be such a pain to lose weight. I know, it could be worse, I could be gaining weight, but still. Replacing all my nice bras? I have like a dozen in all colors that I really like! I bought new undies in the summer, and they are baggy too. I am all set with a whole bunch of nice undies, and I have to buy new ones? aah, life is good.

Our trip, I am so excited about it!!!! It will come and go quickly, but the anticipation is wonderful! So much for not going and buying new clothes...ha. I got three new dresses at Target for 75% off, and a new top and skirt and a white sheer shirt to wear over the bathing suits...all cheap, of course. But still. I couldn't wear my last year's stuff though, it was too big. Wow, I love to say that. But it is not all fun, some of the stuff I really liked.

Not that I have reached my goal, no I have a ways to go. If determination alone could drop pounds, I would be my high school weight by now. But no, it is work and work and work...and when I am really strict, it seems like all I have to do is eat one bad thing and I gain a pound back...isn't there some magic formula?

Thinking about Jamaica is all well and good, but there are plenty of things around here to think about too. For instance, this Saturday night is a Halloween party for all the girls at church, even the moms. Dressing up is optional, ha, like I would pass up a chance to dress up! Emily came over last night and helped Suzanne and Sonja get their costumes ready...(Suze is going as Carl from the movie, "Big Fish", it is where she got her nickname of Carl, and Sonja is going to be Fancy Nancy)...I have to make a healthy snack/entree for that party, then a dessert for the Sunday Fall feast at church that is for everyone. Then Monday is real Halloween, Emily and Abigail are going with us Trick-or-Treating. Fun times.

Emily is a riot. She came over lat night and talked to the kids and listened to them and gave them hugs and attention...they tell her about the books they are reading and the dreams they had....she is such a blessing. She and Abigail are like the Pied Pipers when they walk in.

Yesterday I skipped out on all my work and had fun with my sister. Would it be really nice and clean in here right now if I had stayed home? Probably. Yes, probably. ha.

At any rate, it is NOT nice and clean in here, so I have my work cut out for me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

all is well in the big crazy house

Miss Camille is going to be four years old in a few weeks. Since her Grandma is leaving for Florida today, she got her gift from her yesterday. She got a mermaid Barbie and three new outfits for her! She was so surprised and pleased, jumping up and down, I think Grandma got her money's worth. I know I like to give gifts that are so appreciated.

Of course the two little princesses begged to take a bath, so they could try her I let them, after dinner. They stayed in there for like an hour, getting nice and prune-y...they also got out and to get things they remembered they needed while they were in there, and got the hall carpet all wet....

Yesterday Margaret stayed home from school for some good reasons...but she was well enough to go shopping with me. She had been to the mall with Joseph and Aaron and Mali and Evelyn on Sunday, but only had five dollars. She found a sweater and a skirt really cheap that she wanted...(Joe offered her money, but she declined, nice girl that she is...)so I took her back there and she ran in and picked them out...I also picked up a few adorable spring-y dresses from H&M for the princesses for $5 each. I also got myself a few new jean skirts in smaller sizes...and I can get them on! They look horrid, but still, there is hope.

We then got fruit and yogurt parfaits from McD's, (and some fries for Marg and Camille to split, I had only one!)....the to the dreaded Target. We didn't get much, just some much-needed leggings for the girls...when one has six girls attending school in a cold weather climate, one needs to provide leggings if those girls wear skirts to school. I also got Jonathan a pair of jeans which were thankfully half price, a Christmas present for Mirielle, and a four dollar shirt for Miss Marg.

The grocery store....I bought myself some cranberry Sierra Mist diet soda...helps satisfy me when I want good stuff...I also bought some really good black seedless grapes, and some pistachios. Good stuff.

While we were grocery shopping, a girl who works there and was off duty came up to us in the aisle and took her hair out of the ponytail to show me her new haircut. She had had long hair all her life, but was getting headaches, so she had it cut shoulder length. She is such a sweet girl, I have talked to her there for years...Margaret was wondering who she was, and when I told her she was a girl who worked there...hmm. But Margaret, I tell you, these people are my friends! Life is too short to just move through it without connecting to people. (I was dissapointed yesterday because my cashier was having a bad day or a bad life, or she just plain didn't like her job...)(and she put the expensive ($1.99 a pound!)grapes on the bottom of the cart!)(and put the cold things right in the bags with the warm things).

Today I should stay home...but I might not. My sister has to go to the small city today, I might just go with her and go to Kohl's...they had these really nice sandals for two bucks, and I accidentally bought a huge pair...I want to exchange them or at least get some smaller ones if there are any left...

And it sounds like much more fun to go and spend a few hours with my sister than stay here and clean, IS short, right?

Monday, October 24, 2011

my favorite day of the week....

not. Sometimes the cares of this world weigh heavily...though I know His yoke is easy and His burden is light...

Not just the things I need to take care of like laundry and keeping the kids dressed nice and neat (Jonathan has two pair of pants. He needs more)(shorts season is pretty much over in this part of the country). Not just the dr. appointments (Evelyn needs a booster shot soon or she won't even be able to get on the bus)...Not just the dinners and the snack calendars for school or the homework getting done or the bills I have to pay or checks I have to deposit...but the loving the kids part. The giving them enough attention part. There isn't enough of me to go around sometimes, and I feel so overwhelmed trying to meet all their needs. I wonder if I am missing something with one of them, if there are things I should be dealing with but am not seeing.

I suppose I need to just keep plugging on and praying, and talking to them and not get so stressed about it.

Sometimes life ain't all sunshine and roses, but I truly am thankful for that. If everyone always gave me the proper respect (ha, the respect I think I deserve, ha), and loved me and was kind and good to me...would that really be for my best? I don't think so. Of course it would be NICE, but...what I really need is to see my own lack of goodness...yes, I need trials and tribulations...there is so much to learn in life. There is always room for more humility.

In other words, I still have days when I am really tempted to feel sorry for myself...days when it all seems like too much....days when I don't like myself and don't know why anyone else likes me either. This does happen to coincide with my monthly cycle, but still. It IS real. (Mirielle says football isn't real. And that Rosie isn't real.) is good to recognize and admit during these times that it is ME that is the problem.

Yes, today is one of those days...the house is in it's Monday State. Couch monster, ect. I am going to make a nice short sweet chorelist for this afternoon, and get it all cleaned up in just a half hour. Ha, sounds easy, doesn't it? Believe me, it will be rather like pulling teeth...when they even hear me start to mention the list of chores, blah, they have tons of homework, MOM! And they are tired! And they have to work out, or run, or work on their project, or clean their room! Or, they just plain have a headache...

Not that I shall sit around all day, nah. We really need some groceries...we are almost out of toilet paper. I bought five bunches of bananas the other day, there is one left. I have laundry in the wash already, and more waiting. No, I shall not sit around today. Although I would like to crawl back in bed. I walked Rosie by the light of the moon this morning.

Kitty Kitten is much better. Poor little guy, he isn't eating much, but he is eating, and drinking, finally. The amazing thing is that even when we could tell he was in pain, he was still so nice, no growling or hissing at all. He just doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his little body. He trusts everyone so completely, even Rosie. Cats are supposed to be a Dime A Dozen, but I have never had a cat as nice as Kitty Kitten, and am so glad he didn't die on us...

Ah well, time to really start my Monday....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

oh, kitty kitten....

Kitty Kitten is going to be okay, I think. He has had us scared. Yesterday...he got in a fight with a wire clothes hanger. Joseph and Mali were in the middle of switching bedrooms, and there was a hanger on the floor...Joseph had to pull it out of Kitten's mouth...the stupid kitty had the whole end of the hanger in there, and the end was stuck...poor Kitten. He was bleeding out his nose, and I thought he was going to die. He gagged and heaved, and wouldn't eat or drink. I fed him drinks of water with a medicine syringe all afternoon, then a little while ago..he came meowing...I scooped him up, he purred...I gave him his food, and surprise surprise, he ate some! He has been very low key, but I think he will be okay...phew. I love the little guy!

I took today off from exercise, except for my walk with Rosie. It was hard, I kept finding myself really jumpy, and wanting to move. Is this really me?

I also had some ice cream after dinner, as per my Ice Cream Diet, ha. I had eaten very cleanly today, so I felt fine having it. Dinner: chili with hot sausage in it, made by Mirielle...very spicy and good...and a huge plate of salad with no dressing (I rarely eat dressing, don't really like it.) The kids had some rice with theirs, and some corn and some apple sauce too.

One guy I read about eats cleanly every day, except for Saturdays...he eats anything he wants to and keeps his metabolism fooled. I am afraid to do that, I would probably gain five pounds from one fun day. But it WOULD be fun....hmm, perhaps on Camille's birthday I shall have a huge piece of Princess Cake....

This morning's number on the scale was YIPPEE for me. Fun fun fun seeing those numbers go down. It seems realistic to lose another ten pounds before our trip, and I really want to. I love having a motivation like Jamaica and those new bathing suits!

Paul is going to Ireland next month, wah. I do get to be the boss of the house for a week though, ha, as if I am not already. He is such a good guy, he is strong and calm and responsible, and if I have a different opinion on how something should be done, it is fine with him. We usually agree on the important things. The only good part about him going is that I miss him so much when he is gone, and anticipate his coming home so much. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say.

Next week is Trick Or Treat, again, which we totally enjoy. Some people don't embrace Halloween because of the evil roots...we didn't always take the kids out for candy...but we do now. Because it is all how you look at things. I see people who enjoy giving the candy, who put their heart and soul into making their house fun, and seem to like seeing the children happy. A few years ago, a young boy, probably twelve or thirteen years old, had a scary mask on, and Charlotte Claire backed away...this kid took off the mask and smiled at her, told her not to be scared, he was just a kid with a mask on...I just thought that was so kind of him. Anyway, we have too much fun on Halloween. Emily doesn't have to work that night, and is going with us.

A whole entire week of school ahead of me...blah.

One thing I am entirely excited about: my niece is pregnant, she is a teacher, is going back to work...and I told her I would LOVE to watch that baby for her if she needs me...we talked about it, and she just might need me! Isn't that exciting? I told her that she wouldn't have to worry about me putting him in a seat on the counter and letting him fuss while I got things done, no sir, I would hold him and rock him all day long, babies come first, always. I can just picture Camille climbing up and snuggling, too. I am so so excited! Yes, I used the word "excited" three times.

It is quiet in here, and I am tired...another day of cleaning up messes (nothing like a crisp autumn day for playing with playdough!), doing laundry, church, helping with homework, refereeing fights, encouraging kids and helping kids and talking to kids and hugging them and praying with them and listening to them...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

a day at home...

Cinnamon rolls to torment me this morning...I did buy them, because they love them so much. I didn't have one yet, but they are going fast, so I just have to hold out a bit longer and they will be gone.
Sonja K.
Poor Rosie, Kitty Kitten took her rug.
Jonathan and Camille

Paul's mom came over this morning to say her goodbyes, as she is returning to Florida until springtime. She brought over 9 barbecued chicken halves from the fire department! We have a yummy dinner in the 'fridge now. I had no idea what we were having tonight, so it is a really welcome gift. Paul took Sam shopping for a birthday gift for one of his friends, and they stopped and bought apples and squash at a roadside stand. We shall have squash for dinner, and a nice big salad.

Abigail needed new tires on her car, so she took Kathryn and Evelyn with her, they are also going to the Salvation Army thrift store to look for Halloween costumes. Suzanne and Sonja are going to a dress-up party tonight, Sam is going to his friend's party, and the older kids are going to the youth meeting. It is hard to keep track of who is where sometimes, and I often find myself calling for someone only to realize, usually when one of the other kids reminds me, that that child is not home. We are having an early dinner tonight though, they will probably all be home for that.

It is a chilly lazy fall day. I am thinking about a nap, just because it sounds so nice. But I shall just relax instead, and enjoy having the kids around. And I think I will have one of the fresh apples Paul brought home...(oh Martha, the pumpkin/french vanilla twist ice cream is four miles south of here, at D.B.'s Place) (ha, I thought once I had one I would get it out of my system...I really really want another one.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

pumpkin twist ice cream?

Oh yes I did. I picked up the three elementary kids early (well, I wrote the notes for two o'clock, then all day had myself thinking I was picking them up at three...let's just say I felt like The Jerk walking into the office to three kids who had been waiting and waiting...Sonja even called me from the office phone, but I was already on my way...ouch. Bad Mom.)

Anyway, good thing I had promised them a trip to town for ice cream. We stopped home first and had Sonja run in and ask who wanted to go...6 more kids came running out. So the ten of us went out for ice cream.

$24 dollars for 8 smalls, and two baby cones. ouch. I asked kiddingly when I was done, "who wants another one?"....of course I couldn't spend another $24....but if they were free, I would have had another. It was really really good. And...I lost more weight! The ice cream diet works! Ha, it is just because I am being extra careful everywhere else. And exercising alot. much have I lost all together? 45 pounds. Pictures of me? One of these days. I tried on my old shorts this morning, just for the fun of it...they fell right down.

I wish I had measured and taken a "before" picture. Oh well.

Two of my bathing suits came yesterday. They fit well and look fine. Can you tell I am not jumping up and down? I knew I wouldn't look like a million bucks, but I was hoping that maybe I would. Oh well, I will feel comfortable in them.

Rosie and I ran a bit this morning. She just loves it. When we stop, she asks me why we had to stop. She is beat now, instead of romping around with Kitty Kitten, she went straight for the morning nap. I think getting the kitten has really made her a better dog. I gave her food and water when we got home from our walk, and Kitten budged right in and started lapping up the fresh water. Rosie just stood there looking at me...I pet her and told her what a good girl she is...I can't believe she yielded to the kitten like that.

There is no school today. I went to bed at ten, and some of these guys were just agreeing to watch, "The Lord Of The Rings". Right now, Suzanne and Sonja are baking some of those Pillsbury ready-to-bake cookies (dollar store!) Jon is making some in his Easy Bake oven.

I will not have one when they come out of the oven, I will not have one when they come out of the would be easier if the whole family gave up cookies.

Paul and the older kids are working at the dome this afternoon/evening. I will just have Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille. Poor Jon, eh? But then he doesn't know any different, so he is fine. The rose among the thorns.

Update on all the kids:

1. Emily Anne, 26. She works days now, but that doesn't mean we see her enough. She still works lots of days in a row, and is taking classes too. She is a voracious reader, and supports Evelyn's reading habit by bringing her lots of good books from the library. She gives of her time and her money, and I have no doubt she will have piles of treasures in heaven. She is a free spirit, doesn't like stupid rules...she is faithful in her battles, trusts God with her life...she is sarcastic and funny and she always gets me.

2. Abigail Marie,24. She is extremely busy these days because her office is moving to another location. She is feeling better than she was, not as tired, and her heart (pulminary stenosis) is not a factor in how she is tired, according to the cardiac specialists. Abigail is so kind and thoughtful and good. She does whatever she can for these guys.

3. Benjamin Paul,22. We keep in tough mostly through facebook, but he calls when he can. He is finding his way through the trials of life by seeking God in all things, so things are going well for him. He is coming home for Christmas, is doing well, misses us all so much. He is deploying in February, wah.

4. Mirielle Joy, 21. Nursing school is keeping her busy. She also volunteers at the dome, so she has to work hard to catch up on her homework. I miss having her cook dinner once in a while...but she loves learning, and seems to have found the right career for herself.

5. Joseph Michael 20. He is doing well in college, I think. He doesn't volunteer much information. He keeps in shape, runs and works out. He takes the kids to soccer for me, and he watches them here when he is home and I need him to. He is a good kid, so respectful. This morning I tried to give him $15 for gas, but he declined, said he didn't need it. I had promised it to him the other day for driving someone somewhere. His hair is too long for my liking, but it isn't hurting anything but my eyes.

6. Aaron Royce, 18. He is so mature and responsible! He also likes nursing school. He is taking 18 credits, and is so busy. He gets stressed about it, but he has Mirielle to talk to about things, they commute together, with Mali. He actually deserves a million bucks for getting along so well with Mirielle and Mali. They have to work around each other's schedules, so they often have to go in much earlier than their own classes, and stay later for their siblings....

7. Mali Rose, 17. She really likes college too. She spends the night at Emily and Abigail's apartment every week so she can ride to the city with Abigail, since her siblings have really early clinicals on Friday. She has Thursdays off, yesterday we didn't go driving, she just stayed here and caught up on was pleasant to be with her. She has her struggles with life, but she is always good to me.

8. Samuel James, 16. Mr. Sam...he is such a good kid. He works so hard on getting along with everyone. He most certainly has Aspergers, (World War II). He has to have his stuff just so, his plate and cup and fork...if he sits in the living room, he has to clear the area all around him. There isn't a mean bone in the kid, he is just too good for this world sometimes. Thankfully he has a good group of friends who appreciate him, and don't seem to mind his soliloquies on the war....he does well in school in the things that interest him, in other things he really has to work hard to get good grades.

9. Margaret Cheryl, 14. She is way too old for her age. She is a grammer freak, and drives us crazy with her corrections of our speech. She is a manners freak, she eats healthy food and exercises, and she knows everything about everyone famous. She can watch a movie and not only name the actors, but tell us their maritial status and favorite color. She wants a Vera Wang wedding dress someday, she is very smart and gets good grades, and plans to have a good job and lots of money. She does not believe in wives taking their husbands names, and she is very strong in her opinions. She also has a wicked sense of humor, she is quick and she is funny. She has wildly curly hair.

10. Kathryn Grace, 13. Kap is a tomboy. She is so pretty, too. She likes the Yankees, and gymnastics, and her ipod with the broken screen that she inherited from Ben. She is smart and funny and lately she has been too smart and funny. She is going through that Too Cool for School stage, and blah, I want more respect! She isn't mean though, just finding her way...

11. Evelyn Joy, 12. Ev is probably in bed with a book right now. She does well in school, is very mature and responsible, loves to do things with the little ones...she also has a short fuse, and is always the victim. She seems to delight in stomping down the stairs. She is funny and witty and just plain fun to be around.

12. Suzanne Eleanor, 10. Suze is growing so tall! She is obsessed with the pull-up bar in the laundry room doorway. She is always hanging there. She is lovely. She is ten going on sixteen. She is way smarter than me, and lets me know that with her tone. She likes to play school and office and tea party with the little ones. She is always struggling to keep her special things safe from the younger ones...

13. Sonja Kathleen, 9. Sonja is my baby...she is the youngest of the Five-Girls-In-A-Row in Five-Years....she whines and gets her way. She has the red hair and the freckles, and a fiery personality. She likes to pick out her own clothes, but it is a work in progress to get her to take care of her clothes. She is sweet and helpful and an excellent companion. When I take her places with me and give her lots of hugs, she just melts. She loves attention, and hasn't yet learned to say, "MOM!!!" when I hug her in public.

14. Jonathan Robert, 7. Jon...oh Jon. Hess trucks, cars, motorcycles...Wii driving games...he is like a miniature adult in so many ways, yet he also goes bonkers sometimes and is loud and silly and crazy. He can be difficult to deal with sometimes, but he ALWAYS says he is sorry after he gives me a hard time.

15. Charlotte Claire, 5. She loves school, but seems like a different girl now...she is more contentious here with Camille than she used to be. She writes her name correctly sometimes, and mirror image backwards sometimes. She likes to dress pretty, but does not want to look, "cute". She deliberately doesn't listen sometimes, so I have to have her sit in a chair until she decides she is going to be good. I hate sending her to school even though she likes going.

16. Camille Anaya, 3. Last but not least...she is a sweetie-pie. She is the best companion a momma could have. She chatters and asks questions and is mostly cheerful and happy. She is always on the lookout for me acting suspiciously, brushing my hair or putting on decent clothes, nervous I am going to leave and not take her. Really, if I pick up the hairbrush, she is asking if she can go with me. I haven't taken her to the pool this week because she has been sick, so that makes her clingier, poor child. She loves to have stories and cuddles and to have someone color with her.

That took longer than I thought it would, and the kids are needing off, ha.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

to the dr. again??

Yesterday, day two of driving to the small city to see dr. G., Margaret had her knee evaluated. Rest, ice, strength exercises, swimming, and more Omega-3's were recommended. (I was just glad surgery or physical therapy weren't recommended)...Kathryn went with us too...she has Ben's old ipod, and she texted me from school and asked me to please pick her up. (One time Aaron texted me this, and I called the school and said I was coming to get him because he didn't feel well. The nurse asked me how I knew this, and I blew it by saying he texted me. Not allowed!) If you want to have some fun but spend to much money, take Kathryn and Margaret shopping. Kap needed sneakers, so we went to Kohl's. I won't say how much they were, but she promised to wear them forever and ever and to not grow out of them. Margaret found two shirts for under four bucks each. I tried on a pile of stuff, but didn't like any of it on me.

I took the Two Spoiled Girls to McDonalds and let them get Caramel Frappes, super yummy, I had a taste of Margarets. I enjoyed my regular hot coffee with cream...and a fruit and yogurt parfait. I did not have even one fry! I should lose an automatic ten pounds for that!

We went to the dollar things and these 10 ounce packages of mini muffins, and some dog treats...then to BigLots where we stocked up on undies and hair stuff and some sun lotion for our trip...Margaret found perfume she just had to have for three dollars, and a watch marked half off, she really needed it! I told her I would get them for her, but she had to remember on her birthday that I already got her some things...

It is fun to take just a few kids out with me at a time, to spoil them a bit and talk to them.

I had made three pans of meatballs before I left, so I called while we were shopping to have Mirielle put them in the oven. But the time I got home, they were done..we put away stuff, Paul came in the door, and I left with Margaret, Suzanne, and Sonja for the pool.

Today is school picture day at school. I usually only buy the kindergarten pictures, but this year there is a special for siblings, 50% off, so I ordered some for Jon and Sonja too. One of these days I will get all those kindergarten pictures out and put them in a frame...ha. I am so behind on all these things. Drawers full of pictures not in albums, and lately, pictures on the computer and not even hard copies. When Camille goes to school and has to bring in a baby picture of herself, I will have to print one up.

Okay...I cannot give advice on how to lose weight, because I am no expert. As soon as I start being confident in it all, I find myself plateauing and whining about it again. But one thing I have found a huge help: KNOW it will happen. Envision the end result, and grab hold of that image, and have confidence that no matter how many mini setbacks or major ones, it WILL happen. That pregnancy and baby loss sidetracked me bigtime. It was very mental too, I felt entitled to eat more because I was suffering enough. I was aware of it, but didn't fight too hard because I was too sad. Thankfully I didn't gain any weight back, but I had like two months of staying the same. I am finally seeing the scale move downward again, and I like it! I am almost afraid to get too happy about it, afraid it will get stuck again!

I am going to make room in today's menu for a pumpkin ice cream cone, pumpkin/french vanilla twist. I can't get it out of my mind...I am picking some kids up early from school and heading there to celebrate our three day weekend! Tomorrow is staff development, no school.

So I remind myself to be careful about eating things I really don't want anyway, so I can fit in things I really DO want, like soft pumpkin ice cream. I know I am a loser, but I can't wait!

Ha, I was just thinking I can almost actually smell the pumpkin, but it is the natural flea remedy we use on Kitty Kitten, smells like cloves.

I have a new addiction, somebody stop me! I bought a third bathing suit on ebay! this one was only seventy five cents. Yes, one quarter less than a buck. Plus six bucks to ship, but still. I don't know if they will all fit or flatter, but it is fun.

I can just hear Paul..."Why do you need so many bathing suits?" Well, if you have to ask, you won't understand. Especially when you can just put on your navy blue Walmart trunks and look fine and dandy.

I am so excited about our trip, but I am glad it is six weeks away because the anticipation is half the fun. I am wondering if I should try to fit in tanning this is also fun and exciting and yes, I know it is not healthy...but is it healthy to flash my shockingly white thighs to the whole Jamaica?

Having a kitten in the house is so much fun. He sleeps in the bean bag chair, and the kids always scoop him up when he is sleeping so they can cuddle him. Right now Camille is rocking the beanbag and singing, "Rock-a-bye-baby" to him, he is purring. He is either really stupid or really nice. He purrs so loud in the morning when I get up, and it isn't just for food, he wants to be picked up and carried around while I make coffee...

Oh, I might have to take Sonja to the dr. She has had a rash on her legs, and some of the little bumps are getting infected...she has had it before, dr. said strep germs can get in the skin...I don't know why she gets it, but it is bothering her and the triple-antibiotic ointment isn't healing them up, so she may need an oral, three days in a row to the dr. Unless I make the appointment for tomorrow when they are home from school and take them ALL with me...hmm.

The couch monster is growing again. There is always something to do around here, for all the effort I put in one would think it would be cleaner. Maybe today I won't let myself get so distracted by Kitten and Rosie and the magnet letters on the 'fridge....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

cozy dreary day

I have said good morning and good bye to Paul and the college kids, and the eight school kids. I have said good morning to Kitty Kitten by giving him food and water and some snuggles. I have said good morning to Rosie by taking her for a nice brisk walk in the dark, we even ran a little bit on the way back, her favorite. I have not yet said good morning to Miss Camille. So it is quiet in here. Kitty Kitten and Rosie have already romped and chased and played, Kitty is sleeping in the bean bag chair a few feet from Rosie's cage, where Rosie is taking her morning nap.

So it is quiet in here. I have finished my oatmeal with crunchy peanutbutter and blueberries, and am enjoying my coffee. I would really like to go back to bed. I still feel lousy, not horrible, just moderately ill, like I am fighting something off. Does that mean I don't have to wash last night's pans that didn't get done? Do I get a pass from laundry and sweeping the floor?

I am picking Margaret up from school early today to go to the dr., same office as yesterday. Hopefully her knee is not something serious. I have been putting it off, bringing her in for it...then I remembered our friend Page, who complained of leg pain...her mom was almost embarrassed to bring her to the dr. for it, thought it was nothing, and it was bone cancer. (she was 8 years old, she is well now and in college).

It's just that I am The Complaint Department around here. Sometimes I tell them that I am Closed, but they proceed to tell me anyway...

In the weight loss department: I have finally got those numbers going down again! I think it is being more strict with carbs, and going to the pool in addition to exercising during the day. I am just plain not one of those women I read about on Shapefit Success Stories, the kind who just start walking and eating right and BAM, lost a hundred pounds in eight months. It is really really hard, but I am so motivated to stick with it. It feels good to move, and I still can't believe it is ME saying that, ME, the Queen Of Laziness.

Now if I can just stay out of the snare of all things baked and fried...mostly baked.

Miss Camille is up, she seems a little better this morning. Bright eyed and bushy tailed. She has her new pumpkin cup, filling it with ice and water from the front of the 'fridge.

I have bought two new bathing suits from ebay. The one I bought yesterday was only $15! plus shipping, like seven dollars. Still not bad. I waited until the last little bit and outbid the other bidder, and won, how fun is that? I just don't know if they will fit...I hope so, they are so nice. I reasoned that as long as we are taking the plunge and actually going to Jamaica again, I may as well splurge on nice suits that fit.

Camille has her snuggie on, her Princess Snuggie, and she is snuggling with I shall sign off....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

glad we went to the dr.!

Poor Miss Camille - both of her ears are bad, one really bad. She also has bronchitis. We did stop at the grocery store to get her prescriptions filled and to get milk and bananas and carrots and a gallon of fresh apple cider, eggs, chicken, yogurt, green beans, corn, spinach, and some candy pumpkins from the bulk food section. I bought 8 dark chocolate non-pareils (they are tiny), gave two each to Sonja and Camille, and ate the other four. It was nice to be satisfied with such a small treat, although I did experience some longing for my old friend, the cranberry muffin with toasted walnuts on top. Oh well.

I was so tired while driving today I was afraid I was going to drift the time I got home, I really needed a nap. I enlisted some kids to put away the groceries, and had Evelyn put the chicken in the oven. Good night, I went in and fell fast asleep for over an hour...and I could have slept longer...I realized the pool was a bad idea since I feel like I am coming down with something, and because Miss Camille needed Mama to stay with her.

Oh well, real life interferes with goals sometimes. And Camille is super sweet when she is sick. She is also hilarious. The dr. told her to eat apples and drink lots of water, and take a spoonful of honey for her throat. She said, "I didn't like bananas before but I had a dream about bananas, now I like them!"

Dinner: baked Teriyaki chicken, green beans, thin pasta with butter and garlic, and spinach for me. (I skipped the pasta).

Now it is time to start moving towards the dreaded bedtime....

off to the dr. we go...again.

Camille has had a cold. Not too terribly bad, but yesterday she was coughing a little bit, and was stuffy...then at 1:30 am, she started crying that her ear hurt...she cried and cried...woke up Suzanne, Sonja, and Charlotte Claire. Since I am so save-y, I still had some ear drops from when Char had an ear infection a while back, some nice numb-y ones with Benzocaine. After some ibuprofen and ear drops and some hugs, she went back to sleep...along with all the other kids.

This morning she was in agony...she had a low grade fever, too. I used the ear drops again, some more ibuprofen...she cuddled with me for about an hour...Now, one wouldn't suspect she was sick except for her cough...but I decided to take her in just in case she does have an infection going on.

And, since I am so nice, I let Sonja, Jonathan, and Char stay home because I figured they must be as tired as I am from being up in the night.

They are playing house, full scale. Jon has a double stroller, his babies have stuffed animals...they are lucky kids, they have so many real doll clothes to play with.

So many things going on around here yet it is the same-old same-old. After the pool yesterday afternoon, I was starving. Sonja and I had made four pizzas before we left, so I knew there would be something really tempting that I should not eat. When we walked in the door, it smelled like the pizza shop in here, oh yum. Bacon pizza with green and red peppers and onions...yum. I had a taste of this and a bite of that, but mostly I ate some chicken breast and a bowl of hot spinach with lemon-pepper seasoning. I was still hungry, so I had an apple cut up with crunchy peanutbutter. I took a few tastes of those deadly mocha chocolate brownies, had to slap my own hand. Every day that I get through without going totally munch-crazy is a huge victory for me.

It is cozy in here today. Jon is pretending he is the mom, and he just found a kitten for his kids. I love when they use those pretend grown up voices. There are still some cash registers out, three to be exact, and now the strollers...four of those...and of course Kitty Kitten thinks the whole thing is his jungle...and when Rosie chases him through that jungle, ahh. fun. The pizza pans from last night are still waiting for me, and my laundry is ready to switch over, more loads are waiting their turn...I have exercised today, my cheat-y push-ups, and my lame crunches, and lifting some ten pound weights, using the resistance bands...nothing heavy duty, as the kids were in and out of my room the whole time, and I was texting back and forth to Mali about her bad day...I was glad to make her feel better, she requested something that would...I suggested several things, but it was the, "It could be worse, it could be raining." that made her cheer up a bit.

Since I am leaving soon for the dr., I should really get moving....

Monday, October 17, 2011


This may not sound like a big deal, but I jumped to day! I really did! I tried it, and up I went! And back down, with some jiggling, but we won't talk about that. I jumped forty times, took a rest, did it forty more, then forty more. One hundred twenty jumps. Then the few I showed Sonja, who laughed at my tummy shaking, and a few for the girls when they got home from school, who didn't really see what the big deal was.

There is pizza dough rising on the counter, brownies in the oven (why do I do this to myself?), and a pot of half-caff coffee perking. I already have mine. Emily is on her way, she picked up some kids from school because she has the day off. Wonder if she would like to make four pizzas whilst I sneak away to the pool?

The kids are microwaving some of those giant pretzels, yum. I shall not have any. I had a lowfat sugar free vanilla yogurt with ten chocolate chips and some sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. It is no brownie, but it will do.

The brownies are beginning to smell wonderful. Even if I don't eat any, I do like the warm cozy smell...and I will have a bite of the crunchy part, my favorite.

I bid on a swimsuit on Ebay, and won it. ha, "won". Purchased, rather. I hope it fits. I did buy two last year for the Dominican Republic is a bit faded and a bit baggy, not at all flattering. The other one isn't too great either. I figure if the new one doesn't fit, I can re-sell it on Ebay. And get another one.

So yes, I am still excited about going to Jamaica. It is a great motivator to exercise. There is only so much weight I can lose in six none, if we are going on what I have lost in the last few weeks...but I can tone up and get in better shape at least. Yesterday and today I have done well eating "cleanly". I just have to remember that it will be nice to go anyway, whether I lose more weight or not, I had "tons" of fun last year and the year before, ha.

Sonja K. did not go to school today. I was not happy about it. She insisted she didn't feel well. She was slow, and whiny. After the bus came and went, she started playing Store with Camille...she seemed fine to me. Camille LOVES having her home to play with. There are cash registers and grocery bags all over still, but the put all the food they were playing with back in the cupboards.

Rats, that yummy brownie-baking smell just turned into that yucky brownie-burning smell. I am so forgetful from one moment to the next. oops. Ha, easier to resist now.

One of my girls likes to play with matches. She likes to light candles and play in the wax. I do too, so I don't blame her. I let her do it, too. It has to be at the kitchen table, and I have to be there. The other day I taught her how to play gin rummy while she conducted experiments involving making wax sculptures from dumping hot wax into cold water. I figure it is one of those things I should let her do in a supervised environment rather than forbid it and have her hide and burn the house down. My little brother had a fire fascination when he was about ten, so when we were at camp, my mother had him burn the papers every day, as if it was a job...I think his fascination waned by the end of that one summer...

So..I cannot think of anything else to write. Strange for me? I should just go and talk to the kids anyway...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

pictures of a perfect autumn day

a little blurry, but these two are good friends now...Kitty Kitten just purrs and rubs against Rosie, it reminds me of the book, "Are You My Mother?"
flowers from Paul
Evelyn built this nice fort in the woods with her sisters and Jonny...then today there were POSTED signs all over the property...I guess our Mudbog Planning Neighbor doesn't want the kids playing there anymore...wah.
snickerdoodles, hot from the oven
One of the things I hate about Mirielle...she makes yummy cookies.

Suzanne Eleanor
Emily was so nice to bring Jon and Sonja K. to the pumpkin place, they brought home 8 pumpkins and some apple cider. She also helped them carve out on the deck.
Evelyn Joy
Cute Mr. Kitty Kitten...he got in there all by himself

A good day...roast beef and gravy with mashed potatoes and broccoli for dinner (and some spinach for me, to substitute for those deadly potatoes)...

Pumpkin carving.

20 minutes of exercise, not counting the morning Rosie Walk.

Only had one of Mirielle's cookies...and not all at once, I broke off a little piece here and a little piece there...they were SO yummy. blah, I could have easily eaten four. I did have 55 calories worth of dark chocolate Ghiardelli's chocolate chips. I ate them slowly after dinner while the kids whittled away at the loaf of garlic bread we never ate yesterday. I did have a bite of that too, it is one of my favorites.

Emily and Abigail were here for dinner, so there were 17 of us. The littler kids get down when they are finished, and we just sit there and talk for a few hours. I just have to make sure there isn't any food within reach! Those little bites and nibbles add up, I know- I count them.

It is painful to see what we are like sometimes. Me, guilty of not dropping the conversation when it gets heated? me? argumentative? me? really? uh-huh. I do not want to be like that. I do not want to get offended at comments or statements, I do not want to revile back. I want to love my enemies, and pray for those who persecute me (my teenagers, of course). It is a good place to be in, to see oneself! God can do a work in the humble, in one who cries out for mercy and seeks forgiveness and wants victory over sin! When I see how much sin I have, it is hard to be critical of others, but rather I can be merciful.

That is my sermon for the day. I have much to work on. I am thankful that God has been so good to me, and so merciful.

So...I am tired today, ready for some sleep...tomorrow starts another busy week of saying goodbye to the kids every morning...

Friday, October 14, 2011

afternoon treat

Chocolate chip cookies...Camille helped me make these for the kids to come in the door to
Charlotte Claire, all ready for kindergarten
Sonja K.
This is blurry, but it shows Jonathan's cuteness....

The skies darkened, the rain arrived...but we were cozy and warm, Camille and I. We made up a triple batch of cookie dough, and baked three sheets...42 cookies. (the rest of the dough is in the 'fridge, for NO ONE to eat. NO ONE eats everything around here). Anyway, 42 cookies...there are 16 people living here. I ate a half of a cookie. That leaves 41 cookies. Divided by 15...15 people can have two, and then eleven of them can have another one. What WILL happen, is that some will have four or five, then they will be gone, inevitably someone will not get one. I personally just want them to just eat them already. I ate enough dough to make me feel sick just thinking about it...yet at the same time, oh it was good. Probably three or four spoonfuls. I refuse to add up those calories. I shall just be extra careful for the rest of the day.

See, the old me would eat all that dough, then have a small stack of cookies with my coffee...then maybe a few more after dinner...then perhaps just cookies and coffee for breakfast in the morning....blah. Things have changed, yet I am still the same inside. I love cookies.

We are going to the pool tonight again. Hopefully the picky lifeguard won't be there. She commanded us to stay closer to Charlotte Claire last, Suzanne was swimming with her and Suze is a much better swimmer than yours truly. And they were maybe ten-fifteen feet from us...Paul was playing with Jon and Camille, and I was trying to exercise a little bit. rrr. We were the only ones there, no one else in the pool. Char had pool-issued floatie strapped around her waist. Really? We really have to literally be next to her? blah, lady, leave us alone. Some people love rules, and love to have a little bit of power over other people.

I accomplished many things today. The floors got swept, the dishwasher done, I scrubbed and soaked a sinkful of mugs (hard water coats the dishes), straightened shoes, folded clothes, did laundry, including the dreaded socks. I exercised for 20 minutes, and I took a rest with Camille after reading her a story. She is too smart for me...during our lunch, she asked me why I was "just staring". Well, Camille, I am tuning you out. I didn't say that, of course. She is a sweetie. Now the second bus is here, all 8 school kids are home...


Why do I love Fridays? The anticipation of the weekend is more fun than the actual weekend is, I think. Because I am a hopeful person, and forget things like getting awakened way too early on Saturday morning because Rosie is barking at the kitten, after staying up way too late on Friday night. I forget how fast it goes, and how there is still plenty to do around here...but that's okay. I love love love weekends.

I didn't walk with my dorky vest yet, I left a little bit later this morning. I am not so sure about walking in the dark...there are dead things in the road. Yes, I almost stepped on a poor froggy, on it's back, blah, smushed, hidden in plain sight among the fallen leaves in the road...then I almost stepped on a tiny alive one. blah, either way. I will have to carry a flashlight to shine on the road, and that will be scary, because everyone knows that the periphery of the flashlight beam is...well, scary. Suze said she saw an infomercial that featured slippers with lights in them. Why don't running shoes have light beams to illuminate dead frogs in the road?

Coffee is good this morning. Wegman's coffee is $2.49 a can, I buy like four or five cans at a time. Yum. Nothing like having the older kids come home from school and put on a pot of coffee on a chilly afternoon. The thing is, I am starting to really crave pumpkin. Oh, pumpkin pie and pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies...and of course I can't forget that the ice cream place in town has that deadly good pumpkin soft ice cream. Mali and Aaron checked it out, and said it is indeed delicious. Why can't I just strike that from my ever-craving brain? Anyway, if I bake pumpkiny yummy stuff, it will be torturous for me. Just thinking of the yummy crusty top of a pumpkin muffin...blah. I was thinking of just adding like a spoonful of canned pumpkin to a "diet" yogurt with some spices....try to fool myself.

The scale is being a little bit kind to me. For this to succeed, I need to be really strict with myself and do lots of exercising. If I can just endure in this and get this weight off, I will still have to maintain for the rest of my life....I still have at least sixty pounds to lose. Ideally, like seventy or even seventy five. Okay, please, no subtracting and trying to figure it out!

Okay, some guilt here. We did not buy plane tickets to go visit Benjamin out in Washington state. We figured he was coming home for Christmas...oh, the guilt. I feel so bad. But...ouch, we really really wanted to go to Jamaica, oh Bad Mom award. Ben, if you are reading this, sorry!!! But Dad really needs to relax, and totally forget his cares for a week...and so do I. We need to enjoy each other and ...oh, this is so lame. Mirielle told me we were not very nice to do this. Double ouch. Anyway...Ben is not doing so well financially, soldiers don't exactly make millions, and the house they rented (big, so they can have lots of visitors, wah) is too expensive for them....well, he might need some help with plane tickets to come home. We haven't put it to all the kids yet, but we are considering a very simple Christmas this year, so we can fly Ben and Ashley home. It sounds pretty mean, since we are going to Jamaica....but I already have tons of stuff in my Present Closet for the younger kids, and if we let the older kids just pick out one thing online or something...and if I stay the Heck Out Of Target...we can probably swing it.

Today I plan to clean the house as much as I can so it is nice in here for the weekend. It would be nice if I had a small batch of pumpkin cookies baking when they came in the door, but what if they didn't like them and I had to eat them all?

Kitty Kitten was sleeping on the floor (right near Rosie, SO CUTE!), and Camille scooped him up and is holding him on the couch. What fun.

So off I go to clean up the house without grumbling or complaining...well, I will be TEMPTED to...(I mean, why are there two packages of Kotex on the couch?) (And why is Sonja's sweater on the couch?)(And why is Jon's pillow pet on the living room floor?) And this is just what I can see from my chair...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

aah, what a day...

Nah, I shall not write a complaining post...I had a good day. How could it not be started out with breakfast with friends...we sat there for three hours drinking coffee. Talking and drinking coffee. Then we went to Walmart. Home to get Mali, who wanted some time to practice driving (also known as driving Mom crazy, I hate riding with new drivers), and Kathryn and Evelyn. And Suze. We took a quick trip into Target, then into Price Chopper...I didn't need much, just got the specials and used some coupons. Home: I pretty much dropped off the groceries and left again with Suze for THE POOL! Four days in a row, yay me!

Poor Camille though, she missed Mama, so when I tucked her in I promised her I wouldn't leave her tomorrow. I shall stay home...and if I don't, I will bring her with me.

I talked to Benjamin tonight, it is always good to hear from him. Hopefully it will work out for them to come home for Christmas.

Darkness, blah, darkness - it is ruining my morning walk. I had to buy a dorky glowy green vest to wear...and I should rustle up a flashlight so I don't step on dead frogs, snakes, and worms...blah. I think I may have to give up this morning walk, or maybe take it later with Camille in a stroller or something...hmm, Rosie pulling AND Camille in a stroller, sounds like some calorie burning! It also sounds pretty mean if it is raining out. It's one thing to get Rosie and I soaking wet...

Anyway, home from the gym, had a nice salad that Paul so kindly set aside for me (he also so kindly fed the kids dinner tonight), talked to Ben on the phone, made lunches for tomorrow, tucked kids in, and here I am in my chair. Only one hundred interruptions since I started this post, but good interruptions. Like Sam asking to go to his friend's house after working at the dome tomorrow night. Evelyn complaining she didn't have enough time to finish her math homework because of the youth meeting. Margaret asking me if I remembered to buy white tape for her bum knee (oops, no).

Oh, good things: at Target, I found two dresses that don't look absolutely awful on me. I also found a shirt at Walmart today...a white gauzy button down shirt I can wear over my bathing suit at the lunch buffet...and a long white gauzy skirt, looks so summery and vacationy. Now I just have to lose like fifty more pounds in the next few months. Blah, I had cheese popcorn after my salad. Then some chocolate chips, but only 40 calories worth. Swimming makes me ravenously hungry. I cannot go into the kitchen tonight. After the huge breakfast this morning at the restaurant (a three egg omelet with sausage, peppers and onions, and tomatoes (it was supposed to have bacon too, but I did not notice any)...I didn't finish it, not because I didn't want to, I just felt like it was too much...I also ate some of my hashbrowns, blah horrid things for me, and the toast...raisin toast. Deadly raisin toast. It was the best thing in the breakfast. Anyway...I bought some chicken at Walmart too, the yummy already prepared stuff, barbecued and popcorn chicken....I had some on the way home in the was yummy, but blah. I feel like I need to eat so much cleaner tomorrow. But I am telling myself that tomorrow is another day, and I don't need to have regrets.

And, I DID go to the pool, that burns like a million calories.

Motivation is a fine thing, but execution of the actions I am motivated to do, now that is beauty. It takes more strength than I possibly possess, more suffering than I want to endure. But one day at a time...days better than today was, of course.

Well, Kathryn is sitting here with a cup of tea to chat...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

a little bit of solitude....

Once in a while I stay up way too late to have some elusive quietness. I really like the sound of nothing. I like to finish a thought....sometimes I get in bed at night, and it being the first time I have been able to think about anything all day, I give it a try...then fall asleep. I like driving alone, which rarely happens, but it also scares me a little because I think about things and zone out.

I can zone out quite well these days, too. Usually at the checkout, I am supposed to sign for the transaction, and I am just standing there...duh! oops, zoning out.

I have just become good at tuning things out, because there is so much going on all of the time.

95% of the time, I don't mind the chatter and the banter and the questions and the general goings-on....but sometimes, I just want some down time. This morning my son Aaron said, "there's no solitude in this crapshack." It may be from a movie, he might have been kidding, I don't know, but he hit the nail on the head. Not the crapshack part, ha.

Camille is still sleeping, and although I do enjoy this break between seeing 12 kids and Paul out the door....I must admit it is joyous to see her chubby little face every morning. What the heck am I gonna do when she is in school? Well, if the kids keep skipping school at the rate they do now, I won't be alone too often.

Perhaps I will go to college and try to get my classes only three days a week so they can only skip then.

Tomorrow I am going out to breakfast with some friends from church. I can't say enough how much I am looking forward to it. I have already told myself to listen listen listen and not do all the talking, and to be careful....just because we are going out doesn't mean I should gain five pounds...and: do not talk about what I am eating or what anyone else is eating, no one wants to hear it! No calorie content remarks! I have always hated it, now I am the number one perpetrator!

Yesterday at the bank a lady walked by and Camille said, "She is pretty, but she is getting too fat."....ouch. Camille speaks too loudly as it is, but this remark seemed, ugh, way too loud. I told her to shh, it isn't nice to say that about people. So while at the pool yesterday afternoon (I so nicely took the little kids with me), I was nervous when two heavier ladies walked by....but she didn't say a word this time, thankfully.

My older kids sigh and roll their eyes if I say one word about any of my DIET stuff...they say to each other, "it's all Mom ever talks about..." ouch. Well, yes, I am totally obsessed. I can't be any other way and lose any weight. But I WILL try not to talk about it anymore...except for on my blog, ha.

Some of the things I am trying to get off this frustrating plateau:

After I eat a healthy portion of dinner, I push my plate away, stack it, put a dirty napkin on I don't have "just a little more".

I try to do a daytime exercise (not counting my walk) and an evening exercise. Yesterday I did the treadmill for 15 minutes before we went to the grocery store...steep incline for a few minutes, then just walking fast, then steep, then just fast walking...longer than that is better, but I fit it in before we left...then the pool later. I am trying to get my metabolism going speedy quick.

The thing is, I am lazy. I don't like getting sweaty or out of breath, so I tend to baby myself. I need that in-your-face trainer to come here, the guy from the Extreme Weight Loss show...anyway, since I know this about myself, I am trying to push myself a little more.

I do like the feeling of being sore after an active day. And I do like when that warmth comes with a workout...and I like the feeling that I have done something good for me.

It is still hard for me to connect the yummy textures and flavors of food with gaining weight, being fat. Yesterday Paul brought home three chocolate muffins. Everyone was just having little tastes of them. I was breaking off pieces for the little kids, and I sneaked in a few bites...oh, yum! It was more like a cupcake, disguised as a muffin to make people think it is okay to have a huge cupcake for breakfast...anyway, it was really chocolaty and good...and I had to slap my own hand because I just wanted to eat this rational-ness seems to flee in the face of good chocolate things.

I shall end with this: I truly apologize if anyone is "yawn" sick and tired of my calorie/weight obsession. I am also sorry if I have bored anyone silly talking about Jamaica....(did I mention I am SO EXCITED about our trip to Jamaica? I have already emailed the hotel requesting a nice room, and have already received a response that they will honor that request if at all possible....ooh, I am happy about this trip...)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


1. Remember to get Evelyn the immunization booster she was supposed to get before the end of September, before the school remembers first and starts bugging me.

2. Remember to send in written excuses when the kids go back to school after being absent, so the school doesn't bug me.

3. Remember to help Jonathan practice his spelling words so that he doesn't spell, "both" as "bothe".

4. Match socks.

5. Find my sewing machine manual because I don't know how to thread it.

6. Enforce the downstairs chore list so Mirielle will watch the kids when we go to Jamaica...her deal.

7. Keep focused and keep my paws off things like brownies. I got home from the pool yesterday afternoon (yay me!) to that chocolatey aroma...brownies with extra chocolate chips and walnuts...rrr, I hate you, Aaron. Of course I didn't officially just eat one, I ate crumbs...and more crumbs...I told the kids if they didn't eat their walnuts, just give them to Mom, but no spitting them out, please.

8. Not be so lazy around the makes it painful when someone stops in.

9. Get more half-and-half because coffee with 1% milk is...well, it isn't wonderful, and coffee should be wonderful.

10. Channel my complaints instead of just venting to people who can't do anything about it, ha. Homework for Charlotte Claire? Seriously? The school has her all day every day, we get her for about four hours a day, plus the hour in the morning which is focused on getting ready for school.

11. Enjoy my afternoons because Sam is trying out for basketball and if he makes it, blah, guess who will be driving to school every single day to pick him up?

12. Find a new bathing suit that looks fantastic on me, for really cheap. My last year's new one is...blah, it is a little bit baggy, a little bit faded...

13. Stay on the straight and narrow path, especially in the morning when everyone around here tends to have short fuses.

14. Use my "down" time more wisely...there is alot of good stuff in that bible.

15. Resist Halloween candy like the plague.

16. NO EXCUSES when it comes to exercise. NONE.

17. Take care of the pile of clothes I put in on my bed before our company came the other night.

18. Get caught up on the laundry.

19. Forgive and forgive and forgive again.

20. Be quick to say I am sorry.

21. Hug the kids! Let them know how much I love them!

22. Learn to put my foot down more, but not in anger.

Twenty-two...that is enough for starters...same things I work on week after week.

Evelyn is home from school with a headache. She had one all day yesterday. Suzanne has been having tummy aches, running to the bathroom....can't send her to school like that. Then poor Sonja...oh, she barely made it on the bus this morning. The whole universe was aligned against her. Then she discovered she had forgotten to study for her Planets test....I told her she would do fine, just study on the bus, and Get Your Shoes On, NOW.

Camille is telling me what kind of cake she wants for her birthday. She is going to be four years old next month. She wants three layers, big on the bottom, small, then smaller, pink, with strawberries on top. And, she wants to fill the dollhouse pool for her dollhouse people. Now, not on her birthday. Evelyn's head must not hurt too badly, she just put in a load of her laundry. I know, they just love being home with me...but blah, I was going to put laundry in...

Monday, October 10, 2011

can't stop thinking about jamaica....

When I was growing up, we went camping for vacations. Then my parents bought a camp on Lake Ontario when I was in 4th grade. I was by no means deprived. But kids in school went to places like Disneyworld and to the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, and New York City. It never even crossed my mind to think that our family would do things like that. forward a few years...I married Paul when I was eighteen years old. We were married on a Friday night...our big indulgence was staying at a Holiday Inn! And only the first night, the next night it was The Red Roof Inn, much cheaper. Then on Sunday we were back at church, back to work on Monday for both of us. So...

We had our honeymoon two years ago when we went to Jamaica for the first time. It was LOVE. Love of the people, the country, the weather, the rum, and of course each other. I finally realized why people like vacations so much. I mean, we ourselves have camped for our vacations, and although this fun, it doesn't compare to going to Jamaica with just Paul. (although if I am ever a millionaire I would LOVE to take the whole family. When we are there we keep saying how much they would like it, how much fun it would be...)

Last year we booked too late to get the place we liked so much in Jamaica, so we went to the Dominican Republic, and got upgraded to the Grand Hotel for free, and had quite the spoiled rotten good time.

This year, we are going to the place we went the first time. I am SO excited. It is only for six nights, and it goes by so fast, but part of the fun is the anticipation.

Part of the fun too, is trying to lose a few more pounds before the trip. If sheer determination alone could burn fat, I would be thin by now, but alas....there is the Calories In, Calories Out math, then there is the keeping the Bad Stuff out of my mouth, then there is the Exercising Harder thing...and then the No Excuses Not To Go To The Pool thing....

I can't just go buy all new clothes for the trip....I did get a few things on clearance at Target the other day, things that if I don't lose another few pounds will look awful....why do I do this to myself? The stuff I wore last year is just too big enough to look sloppy. Thin people can wear baggy clothes, fat people cannot. It makes me mad sometimes to see the clothes that the stores have for fat people...who in heaven's name would assume that bigger people like things with huge flowing sleeves and huge flowers and big bold prints? Fat people like to dress just like thin people do, not standing out. Just my humble opinion.

One thing I have comforted myself with is this: I had plenty of fun last year and the year before on vacation, and I was forty pounds heavier than I am now. Perhaps now I won't imagine that every single person already seated on the plane when I board will be hoping my seat isn't next to them. Perhaps I won't worry whether I will be able to get up out of the nice comfy chaise loungers next to the pool, once I have sat down...or that it will crack, and I will fall to the concrete and die of embarrassment. Perhaps I won't worry about the path I will take to and from the buffet, if I will fit between the chairs...Perhaps I won't feel self-conscious about taking so much bacon.

Anyways, I have seven weeks to work hard, with a goal in mind. I wish I had that guy from the extreme weight loss show to come and show me how to work out....

Today the kids are all home from school. They stayed up late last night and are tired and bickery. Jon thinks it is relaxing to sit there on the couch shooting his automatic Nerf gun, and drive his remote control car into the dollhouse stuff Sonja has set up all over the small rug....three times is not an accident! Kitty Kitten and Rosie are the only ones around here with any energy.

Joseph, Aaron, and Mali are back from their Adirondack hike. They drove up late Saturday night and had to sleep in the car because the campgrounds were all full with people seeking the lovely fall foliage in the seventy seven degree sunshine.

I shall get moving now....the day is sunny and warm and need some vitamin D.

sunday a day of rest....ha

What do you call a lady who wakes up early on a Sunday morning after staying up way too late on both Friday and Saturday night?

A lady who goes on her walk then takes eight kids to the church conference center?

A lady who comes home, has lunch, and decides that after talking to a girl who is the oldest of sixteen children from a family across the country that it is a good idea to give the kids more chores, so chooses to implement some of these new ideas on Sunday afternoon?

Now, this lady usually takes a rest after doing some cleaning and vacuuming. But no, today this lady decided to exercise more, and a walk in the sunshine was just the thing. She went her usual route, but up and down the hill three times!

Ahh, home. In the chair with a small ten almonds and a small apple, feet up, computer on...aahh. Phone call! It is a friend from the church conference center, a friend who is visiting from Ohio...wondering if she could come for a visit, with her husband and five kids. Well, this lady cannot say no. It really sounds fun! So...with one hour ticking on the clock, this lady tries to get the house company ready and get the chicken on the grill and make some garlic pasta....this lady gets her daughter to make the salad, and other kids to get the table set...

Fun times. The chicken came out good. The salad was yummy, the broccoli was good, and the lady didn't try the pasta, as it is a No-No. Dessert looked yummy, thick brownies with a choice of ice creams: chocolate marshmallow, mint chocolate chip, cookies and cream, or caramelicious. This lady had a bite of brownie, and licked off the ice cream scoop when the serving was done.

The company was good, too. There was a small boy Jonathan's age, which is wonderful for him since he tends to hang around with adults too much. They really hit it off, too. There was a small girl who played with Charlotte Claire and Camille...and another girl, and two more boys....the boys liked playing Wii, and the girls really liked the girls here....

And: my house just isn't clean enough. This nice lady who visited, the mom of five, was busy cleaning up the toys when they were leaving....and this nice lady who lives here could tell that visiting lady thought the house was a bit dumpy. blah. Hopefully the good spirit here was imparted to them, and they felt our genuine happiness at having them here and getting to know them better.

I am going to try to keep the house cleaner from now on. And Linda, before you comment that it wasn't that bad here, know this: I did hide the growing couch monster. I put it on my bed and covered it up with a blanket. And, Suze shoved the pile of clothes and towels from the floor in the doorway of the laundry room farther into the room and closed the door. At one point when the company was here, Margaret attempted to open the door, and her mother said to her, "Must you?"

Pride gets injured when we company comes over and we see clearly all of the sudden what it sis really like at home. But...the spirit IS good, we have fun and good food and ....oh my, my eyes are closing...I am up all alone, it is heavenly quiet in here...but I cannot stay awake to enjoy it! Did this post even make any sense? blah.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

jamaica reservation? ya, mon

We are going to Jamaica! In December for six nights. Goodbye kids, hello Paul!

Friday, October 7, 2011

shopping and shopping....

Yesterday afternoon I was all set to leave Camille with Joseph so I could pick up Evelyn and Sonja and do some shopping. But Camille wanted to go with Mama. So..I brought her. Now as much as I love her, I honestly regretted bringing her at least one million times. She was actually pretty good for being gone for seven hours...but. She knows she shouldn't ask for things, so she says things like, "Will you get me this when it's cheap, Mama?" Or she asks for things, "for Christmas or my birthday, Mama." She likes to take off her shoes in the van, so it always takes extra time when we have to get out, and she likes to buckle herself. She likes to sit in the front of the cart and hug me, and sometimes walk and "help" me. ha.

We took a quick drive through the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru for a large coffee for me...and a few ice cream cones. Soft-serve BaskinRobbins ice cream for 99 cents. I shared with Evelyn, so it doesn't count. Besides, I have to prove my Ice Cream Diet theory.

First stop: the mall, the dreaded horrible mall. I needed new sneakers, my old ones were hurting my foot in one place, getting worse and worse. First I dragged them into the "Old Lady Store", which I used to call, "The Fat Lady Store", but thought it was rude...anyway, since I STILL fit into clothes from there, I cruised around the clearance racks and found a new skirt for $15. Camille kept taking things off the racks and holding them up and asking me if I liked them. I kept telling her not to do that. She wanted to go in the changing room with me, she thought I was using the bathroom....then Aeropostale where we got Evelyn one dress for $4.99, and one shirt for $4.99. Then to The Children's Place where Ev got a backpack, Sonja got a sweatshirt and a scarf (all 60% off the clearance price), then to Sears...I got wide-width men's New Balance sneakers. They just fit better than the women's. I also got a sweater and a shirt, and a few things for Evelyn.

Then: B.J.'s. blah. I got the stuff for the grill, but also some shampoo and yogurt (I had coupons, so only paid $5.50 for 15 Yoplaits) We did the self checkout because Sonja and Camille like playing store in a real store. Sorry, People Behind Us!

Then: Price Chopper. I have decided to try to cut grocery costs, so I am not back into coupon cutting. I used four double coupons from a different store, so I got four things for almost free. Things we need, like deodorant and toothpaste. Coupons take a while, but it is fun to get good deals.

Then: home...ahh, home. It was bed time, the kids were all wound up because I was coming in with groceries...and I hadn't even gotten the stuff out to the church yet. I thought maybe I could do it tomorrow, but there was too much stuff, frozen and Paul was nice and took it out there for me while I put the kids to bed. It was hard to say goodnight to them when I hadn't seen them all day...then Emily came over. Fun times, they were watching, "The Cat In The Hat", and laughing their heads off. I am not talking about little kids, this was Em and Mirielle and Joseph and Aaron and Sam and Margaret....

anyone sick of my boring details yet?

On the exciting side, we are still mulling over a trip to Jamaica. Oh heavenly fun, I really want to go. Of course I would like to lose that other forty pounds first, but that doesn't look likely. I also would like lots of new clothes that fit better and make me look super thin, ha. But that ain't likely either. If we do decide to go, things will be tighter with money, so I won't be able to just buy stuff for the trip.

Two kids wet their beds last night, plus there was a smallish pile from the previous night, plus regular I have to move it. The excitement is just overwhelming, isn't it?