summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Saturday, November 30, 2013

and I guess I'll try again....

I wrote a nice long post the other day, then lost the internet connection. The whole page just disappeared into thin cyberspace. rrr. It was quiet here today, as several of the older kids worked at the Dome for the football game, which we won, a few of the girls babysat the twins, Emily worked, Mirielle slept all day and left for work this evening. Only eight of us sat and had turkey soup with brown rice....Paul and I, Abigail, Kathryn,Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille.

The little girls hounded me until I agreed to decorate for Christmas a bit. I DID say After Thanksgiving, and they held me to it. It looks a little festive in here, but no tree yet, we don't do that until a few weeks before. The Dome kids came home in a flurry of stamping feet and barking dogs, had some pie, then Sam went bowling with three of his church friends, after pie of course.

Abigail is going to watch a movie with Evelyn and Sonja and Suzanne and Jonathan, after the little girls go to bed.

I had a horrific headache today. Two ibuprofen, four ibuprofen, it pounded so bad I was going to throw up. I gave in and took a nap. I slept for over three hours. When I woke up it was getting dark out, and I felt so much better, but what a waste of a day. And the bad part is that I totally and completely blanked out on a baby shower for a friend this afternoon. It was just not on the radar, I knew it was coming up, but....ooops, forgot. That doesn't sound very nice, either, to apologize to her and say, Yah I just forgot all about it. But I did.

I wouldn't have been able to go with that headache anyway.

Paul is leaving tomorrow morning again, France this time, for two weeks. ugh. He just came home! '

So....I have something huge to be thankful for: Ben and Ashley are coming home for Christmas!!! The tickets are expensive last minute, but Gramma is helping:) It is all I wanted, and I am so very happy. I get to meet my granddaughter! Having Ben here makes it so complete, he isn't just 1/16th of the kids....he makes it like it used to be. He is just one of those just seems so right to have him lounged on the couch. He calls Evelyn, "corndog", and Jonathan, "dog", and Emily, "beer".

So if the internet co-operates perhaps I will update here more often. Tomorrow I have to get up and take Paul to the airport, then go to church. Monday Abigail has the day off work, so we are doing something together.

Life is good.

Friday, November 29, 2013


I am attempting to write this on my phone because our internet is horrible lately. We had our turkey dinner today. I had only a yogurt for breakfast, and some almonds, then took my walk in the freezing cold..only in the twenties. Then I took the kids to the pool. Home and.oops. bbville chocolate chip cookies.three. dang! I got too hungry and stopped caring! I took it easy on the pie, but darn it was good. Chocolate and lemon meringue and pumpkin and aple and blue berry. Homemade whipped cream. But. I am done now. No more junk. I hate writing on this phone. Anyway, Ben IS coming home for Christmas! Thank you grandma for helping! We are thrilled! He is coming on the 23rd. And that's all for now....

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

snow snow snow....

The little girls had a special after-school snack today, fresh baked brownies, hot tea, baby carrots, Doritos....they were pretty thrilled when they got off the bus and found their little table all set for them.

After their snack, they bundled up to go out and play in the snow with Jonathan, and the puppies. They sledded down the slide, and slid pretty far across the back yard. They stayed out long enough to get nice and cold.

Dinner is in the oven, all finished and ready to eat. Roasted chicken thighs with southwest marinade, baked brown rice with butter and pepper, and veggies. And sweet potato soup, thank you Mirielle.

We are waiting a bit for Paul to get home from work. Nine of the kids are here in the living room. I caved and broke my No Decorating For Christmas Until After Thanksgiving rule, and put clear lights in the living room windows. It makes it cozy and festive in here when it gets dark out.

Yesterday I shopped for the Thanksgiving meal which we are having on Friday, and the brunch for Thanksgiving day. Brunch: homemade waffles or crepes with rasberries and whipped cream, honeydew, cantaloupe, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, cinnamon rolls, orange juice, and of course coffee. Emily will be working a 12 hour shift, but we will save her a plate.

So we are all prepared to be together for this holiday except for Benjamin and Ashley and baby made it easier to bear Thanksgiving without them knowing they would be home for Christmas...but it is looking less likely. The Army hasn't given Ben firm Leave dates yet, so he hasn't been able to purchase tickets yet....and the tickets are $1200 each now. And, he says he needs one for Anya, which I find hard to believe, she is only 6 weeks old. I am really hoping they can make it home. And wondering why the Army can't just be a bit more helpful to these poor guys. If he had known a month ago, he could have just bought tickets for three or four hundred dollars. rrr.

Anyway, I am still hoping they make it home so I can see that baby, and spend some time with Ben and Ashley. is time to get that food on the table now.

Monday, November 25, 2013

snowy monday!

General Thunder wants in!

The backyard looks so desolate with the naked trees....

I had to shovel the driveway this morning, at least a path...the school kids could have done it, but they were getting ready for school, and I really enjoyed it. It was only 20 degrees out there, and of course I brilliantly put on my boots and...sweater. No mittens. My hands really hurt as they thawed out after coming back into the warm house, oops.

So winter is here in central New York state. We live right in the path of the lake effect snow from Lake Ontario. A few winters ago, our little town got over 200 inches of snow. More snow is coming, along with icy weather and wind. So, since Thanksgiving is Thursday and I need to bake pies...I need to go to the store and get butter and flour and milk and a few other things, so today it is. Winter really complicates things. Mirielle works at a hospital really close to the lake, in a small city that gets absolutely hammered with snow, so believe me that I am praying for her as she commutes. She is a really careful driver, although she did put a dent in the car at the gas station the other day, and darn it I wasn't there, she said it was so embarrassing yet funny.

Anyway. Snow on the ground changes the lighting in the house, brightens it up, and makes it look festive in here...makes me want to decorate for Christmas, but I hold out until after Thanksgiving. But I am going to put some lights up:)

We had an excellent church feast yesterday. I helped Emily make the dinner: Turkey and stuffing and gravy and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole with freshly made batter-fried onions, rolls, black olives, cranberry sauce...she had three of the youth boys helping out, and it was so much fun. They made dessert shooters, pumpkin ones with pumpkin pudding and spice cake and whipped cream, then chocolate with chocolate pudding and chocolate graham crackers and whipped cream. Evelyn and I peeled 40 pounds of potatoes:)

I am seeing things in here that need to be done, perhaps I will move the couches and clean under them today, as well as wash the curtains and the couch covers. Dang it I need two of me.

So, having Paul home: can we just say that I am still totally in love? When we hugged at the airport, seriously, I didn't want to let go. Just having him around again, we keep looking at each other, and yeah, there is still that spark. Too bad he's only here until Sunday, then he's off to France for two weeks....

Saturday, November 23, 2013

catching fire, ooh yeah!

I did read the "Hunger Games" books. My daughters prattled on and on about how good they were, but I was skeptical when I settled in to read the first one. It was written for young adults, and I was prepared to not love it. Well, surprise me! I loved it! I read the second, and the third...and when the first movie came out, we pre-ordered tickets and sped through the line, and oh my we enjoyed that movie! I mostly enjoyed that my girls loved it so much, but it was fun. Anyhoo....the second book has been made into a movie that came out last night. And, since my middle school girls have a half-day today...I am going to surprise them as soon as they get off the bus, by taking them to see it!

So I left the house this fine rainy morning and went to the pool. I think I should be at least five pounds lighter just for the extreme mental effort it took to convince myself not to just sit in the quiet before the homeschoolers woke up, sit and relax. The pool was wonderful, and I am always glad when I battle those lazy thoughts and get out the door and go.

Even though I certainly didn't lose five pounds by going, it is healthy to move, keeps the blood pressure down, ect.

Have I mentioned that I miss Paul? yup. Really badly.

I haven't done this in a while....:

Emily Anne...she is doing well. She has her four year degree in nursing now, and is continuing to take classes toward being a Nurse Practitioner, while working full time at a big hospital on the med-surgery floor. She is such a blessing, she is so good to her siblings. She is working at the Dome tomorrow, then letting the little girls spend the night at her house.

Abigail Marie...her knee is slowly recovering from the surgery. She goes to physical therapy and works out and does her exercises religiously, she really wants full mobility without pain. She is also a good sister, she is Jonathan's best friend.

Benjamin Paul....he texts me quite a few times a week, I talk to him sometimes. He is still in the Army, still in Washington state, hoping to come home for Christmas even for a few days even though the tickets are almost a thousand dollars and he doesn't know his exact dates yet. I told my older kids not to get me anything for Christmas, instead pitch in and help Ben and Ashley come home. I miss them, but mostly, sorry Ben, but mostly...I want to meet my only grandchild, little tiny Anya Jade.

Mirielle Joy....she is working 12 hour night shifts as a registered nurse at a smaller hospital up north, and really enjoying it. She sleeps during the day, good thing she isn't a light sleeper:) She is planning to take Kathryn to Norway and Spain in April.

Joseph Michael....he is taking online art classes. He is SO talented. He is a good kid, too, always so respectful, and he does so much for the younger boys in the church.

Aaron Royce....Aaron works night shifts as an R.N.too, at the same hospital as Emily. I don't see him much, but when I do, it's so nice. He is a smart cookie, already taking classes towards his four year degree.

Mali Rose....she is in nursing school, plus working part time at a local hotel as a receptionist. She is working really hard, and doing quite well in her classes. She lives with Emily and Abigail, and I don't see her enough.

Samuel James....Sam is in his senior year of high school, graduating in January. He is already signed up to leave for basic training in the Army, probably before spring of next year. He is like a big teddy bear. A smart teddy bear, with a huge soft heart. He can be gruff, but he is so stinking sincere and sweet, it kills me to think of him as a soldier.

Margaret Cheryl....Miss Margaret is in 11th grade, and she gets excellent grades in school. She works hard, she eats extremely healthy, she works out every day. She goes to the youth meetings and fundraisers at church, and is really involved in the music. She is teaching herself Norwegian, and is aspiring to go to Norway next summer.

Kathryn tenth grade homeschooler. She is extremely diligent. She works hard, goes above and beyond, and takes good care of herself too. She works out every single day, and takes good care of herself. She gets frequent headaches, poor girl. I am very proud of her though, she had good reasons to want to homeschool, and she is really doing well. She keeps herself on the straight and narrow, not because I Said So, but because she wants to live a good and pure life.

Evelyn Joy....Evelyn...oh Evelyn. She is so brilliant! You wouldn't guess she is only 13, she reads stacks of books every week, and knows so much about everything. She is a force to be reckoned with when she wants something accomplished. She knows how to clean a house, and how to cook....

Suzanne Eleanor...Miss Suze...she is doing well too, getting good grades, working hard, staying up all night on weekends to watch, "Harry Potter".

Sonja Kathleen....Sonja K., or Ginger....she loves being on someone's phone or tablet. She is also doing well in school.

Jonathan Robert...Mr. Homeschool. He just ordered a keyboard case for his tablet from Amazon. He is so into electronics, and loves learning about all sorts of things, and is so very excited that Grandma is sending him this year's Hess truck.

Charlotte Claire....little miniature teenager, Miss Char. She still plays dollhouse and dolls and house and loves to color and write books for Mommy.

Camille Anaya....this little one enjoys the same things as Char does, but she is a bit more mommy-orientated. She loves to snuggle, even though she is getting big for my lap.

And...a picture of the five-girls-in-a-row.....Margaret 16, Kathryn 15, Evelyn 14, Suzanne 12, Sonja 11.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

parent-teacher-conferences: ego boosters

The truth is, I don't think of myself as a Good Mom, or a Great Parent. How can I, I have teenagers! Teenagers tactlessly point out each and everything a mom does wrong, especially when there are lots of kids in the family. They know just how things should be run, who should get disciplined more, how the money should be spent, how the house should or shouldn't be decorated, and who should go to bed when.

Tonight I went to parent-teacher conferences for Charlotte Claire and Camille Anaya, solo, since Paul is in Germany. I walked out of that school with my feetsies barely touching the ground. Yay, I am doing something right! I mean, basically, being a mom is a thankless job, and every once in a while, that pat on the back is very welcome:) Char's teacher said that Char is sweet and helpful and very smart, and just a lovely girl. She is improving her reading skills (she has moved up two levels since the beginning of second grade). She always has her homework in on time, and is very responsible and self-sufficient. When I told her teacher I don't know how she got that way, she laughed, ha, thought I was kidding. Miss Camille's teacher also loves her. She told me she is thankful that Camille knows how to tie shoes, she is the Shoe Tie-er for the whole class, but she always pays attention, even when she is tying a shoe. She is quick and smart and friendly and enthusiastic, and writes neatly with correct capitalization and punctuation. She said I was, "doing something right". So there, teenagers!

I sort of kid about my teenagers. They are good kids. I don't put my foot down and hush them up, but let them speak their minds, mostly. It is their home too, and we are all in a learning process here, learning how to get along, learning how to get things done. I don't have all the answers, neither do they. I find that if I treat them with respect, and apologize when I say something too harshly or without thinking, it goes a long way in melting their hearts, and they do the same with me. I would rather they respect me because it is genuine than be forced to toe the line Because I Said So.

We mostly have too much fun around here, truth be told. Emily came over for a bit tonight, and we had a nice visit. Aaron was here this morning, he stopped to see the puppies and talk for a bit. This afternoon, I took Kathryn 15 and Evelyn 14 and Suzanne 12 and Sonja 11 and Camille 6, to the library....(Evelyn and Suze and Sonja and Kap, with Camille in front. I don't know why Sonja had her eyes closed, or what Kathryn was doing....)

After the library we went to TJMaxx, they found some nice skirts, and I got Char and Camille the cutest hat/mitten things for Christmas. We stopped at McD's, which I could do without, but they begged. I had just a coffee, and ONE of Kathryn's fries. They had various things from the dollar menu, which added up to eleven something. Oh, I was tempted. Fast food is junk, it is, but it smells good! And that french fry, oooh, it was yum. I wanted a cone, I wanted a McChicken, I wanted a sweet cold yummy drink with a million calories and whipped cream on top. But I just drank my coffee.

Well, I guess I am tired enough to go to bed. I started the day early enough to go to the pool with the three youngest, I didn't exactly get a work-out, but it was fun! Jon likes to splash and throw balls and rabblerouse, the girls like to jump in and float on noodles and play mermaid. I like to just swim, but have to content myself with treading water and doing other dorky exercises as I stay near them while they play.

I did try to sleep in this morning, since only the two high school kids had school...but Sam missed the first trip bus, and was going to take the second trip one until he realized that it was not coming, since there was no school for the K-8th graders. So he came in and woke me up to tell me that....I did NOT want to get up to drive him, so, since Daddy is in Germany and his truck is in the driveway, Sam got to drive to school. And I got up and went to the pool.

So I am tired, but very very happy....Paul will be home in two days!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Mirielle loves Suri. Duke, she loves him too, I suppose. He can't NOT be loved, because he is just all goodness. And, he likes to be as close to people as he can.

Mirielle is working her first night shift tonight, 12 hours. I wished her well as she went out the door, and prayed for her, as the deer are plentiful on the back roads. She has been practicing sleeping during the day and staying up all night. Last night, she cleaned out and organized the refrigerator at like two a.m., and said she felt like a crazy person. When I came in the door with groceries today, she said, "Make sure you put everything where it belongs, Mom!" (I love organization so much. I am just in awe of it. I try it, I really do. I do slightly succeed, this place would fall apart if I didn't organize as much as I do, but oh my goodness, I would love to be super organized. I have tried, and it ain't happenin'. I long for organization, for order, rhyme and reason. It is always just beyond my grasp. I can fix up one or two cupboards, make them so stinking organized that I open them up over and over again just to admire their lovely orderliness, then...I never actually see it happening until...things start getting shoved in there in the wrong places. I think that I will fix it properly, later, then "later" never comes....and bang, back where we started from....)

Emily had to shop for a church feast, one that we are having this coming Sunday. She is making a turkey dinner. So I went along to help her. She bought three turkeys and stuffing and olives and potatoes and green beans and lots of other ingredients, for desserts and the dinner. I don't know how much help I am, as I bought two turkeys too, plus bananas and oranges and apples and yogurt and burger and and and. But: we had fun. Jonathan went along too, but he DID learn some things. We talked about the international date line, and how the animals and people who would become the native Americans walked across from Russia to Alaska. We saw a barge in the river pushing a whole wooden deck, and Jon helped me pick out a birthday gift for his cousin William. We went to lunch at a diner, and Jon ordered two chocolate chip pancakes, saving one to bring home for his sister Sonja. He didn't actually sit down and write any papers or learn any spelling words, but he sure had a good day!

Kathryn stayed here with Joseph and did her work, then he took her to the library.

They all went out the door to activity club except for Samuel, who was with his Future Soldiers' group. He came home right after they left, so we had some quiet time just to talk about stuff. He had some ice cream, so I had some...blah, I hate when I reason out that stuff like that is okay, because it isn't.

Anyway. The kids came back home, all happy and chatty from making pizza and playing and running around with their friends. I let them stay up too late, because they have no school tomorrow. There are parent/teacher conferences. No school on Thursday, then a half day on Friday. Um, why isn't that reversed?

I promised them I would take them to the pool in the morning, so I had better get to bed soon.

The middle sized girls are watching a Mary Kate and Ashley movie. Margaret and Sam went to bed, they do have school tomorrow. I would like to sleep in, I don't know why I promised the pool. blah. But I need to go!

Paul will be home on Saturday. It's interesting how much I miss him by the time he is almost home. Like...really really bad. mmm. I just can't wait to see him.

Ah well, I should go to bed. The house...well, let's just say that after I shopped at three stores with Emily and Jon, put away all the groceries, made dinner, a nice pot of chili, served and cleaned up the dinner....the kids played dollhouse and set up tons of houses and yards and campsites...then also train-track, both the Thomas track and the Powertrain track...the livingroom looks like...well, it actually looks really fun! The counters in the kitchen are cluttered, and more dishes magically appeared in the sink. The floors which were swept this morning, and mopped just the day before yesterday...well, they need it again. I bought supplies for our Thanksgiving dinner, so there are three bags of potatoes and a bag of sweet potatoes that don't fit in the cupboard, extra canned goods, a package of paper towels...oh, the lovely lived-in look.

The kitty is sleeping on my lap, and I don't want to get up.

Monday, November 18, 2013

monday morning again already?

Camille had a little bit to complain about this fine morning. Oh, she hates school and she doesn't like showers in the morning....I told her to be thankful. Just think about being thankful. She is alive and we have a home, and enough to eat, and she is going to school and seeing her friends, and her nice mommy put cinnamon and sugar on her Life cereal....

It is just so in us to complain without even thinking about it. So I decided to wake up, wake up and realize how much I have been given, and be thankful for all things that God sends my way.

I have to get moving here....we are running out of toilet paper, dog food, kitty food, and three of the kids have been just begging me for earbuds. Apparently, those have moved from the WANT category to the NEED category. I also need to pick up the homeschooling kids' quarterly reports, and get them to the school before they fire me.

And, this afternoon I have to load up the car and head up to the Dome again, college basketball. Mirielle and I, along with Sam and Margaret and a friend, Bethany, will head up for the first shift. Joseph will come a bit later with four other guys. I hate the days when I run around all day then go to the Dome, but here I am complaining again already:)

To whom much is given, much will be required. (Luke 12:48)

And of course my favorite, "Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over...."(Luke 6:38)

So yes, I find sin when I go to do the good. "I find the law that evil is present with me, when I will to do good...." (Romans 7:21) I do find the grumbling and complaining. How come I always have to go? There are others who don't step up. Why do we always have to drive? The gas money. blah blah blah. Yup, it is there. But the whole idea is to see that sin, to admit it, to be free from it!! I don't have to be a debtor to it, to grow old and into a bitter and miserly old woman! Praise God that He has had mercy on me, so that I can be free from sin and all the misery it ensnares.

Just in the day to day life, there is so much to learn. And one thing I just learned is that I have been writing for way too long, I have to really move it now!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

phew what a day!!!!

Becky (my sister's daughter, same age as my Emily), and I, at the Dome. And yes, that was diet Pepsi in my cup.

As we walked from the parking garage to the dome where the basketball games are played, I mourned the passing of a beautiful warm sunny day that I wouldn't get to partake of. I wanted to just sit down in that sunshine and bask. I turned my face toward it while I approached the building....then decided to just knock it off, and enjoy the day inside.

And enjoy it, I did.

I was pleased to get a text from Abigail, with a picture of the kids on the carousel, she had taken them to the big mall in the big city:)

Emily came over after her shift at the hospital, and took Evelyn Joy out to dinner in the small city, to a Mexican place. Kathryn and Suzanne babysat for Susan and Thomas's kids, William and the twins. Joe took the trash to the dump:), and Mirielle and Margaret went to the music weekend at church.

Five older kids are watching a movie....I am not so interested in it, I actually just want to go to bed. Going to the dome is very tiring, but I am thankful that my older kids step up and help, and I am able to go "doming", even though I kind of hate it:)

I talk to Paul every day on the phone. I miss him more and more as the days go by. It is nice to love someone so much though.

And, I am tired. I could ramble, but...goodnight!

the endless quest for....sleep

Thankfully these days I usually get an adequate amount, although getting out of my comfy bed is never pleasant. But last night....oh dang, I let the princesses sleep with me, a cuddly adventure, but. I stayed up late late late, and at seven this morning, they were kicking each other. I admonished them that it was way too early, and to go back to sleep. ha, I should have just kicked their cute little butts out right then and there. Because the next hour was just agony. I would start to doze, one of them would wiggle, or cough, or kick the other one. I would look at them to give them The Look, and they would have their eyes fakely closed. I finally told them to get up and watch something on my computer, and to be quiet. I tried and tried to fall back to sleep because my lids felt like sandpaper and oh I was tired. As I was drifting off, blissfully aware that I was FINALLY falling back to sleep...I heard the pinging dinging of Jon's tablet turning on....he was camped out on the floor. So I gave up, and got up.

And I have to leave here in just a few minutes to go to the dome, ugh. I love going and seeing my friends, but I hate saying goodbye to my kids. And I hate standing all day, my poor knees. But. Off I go anyway.

We had company last night, 17 of us were crowded around the dinner table, then Abigail came in as we were cleaning up. Emily made a wicked stir-fry, chicken and snow-peas and cabbage and green peppers, with brown rice and whole-grain pasta. Paired with a 55 calorie Budweiser, yum.

It figures that when I have all manner of things to blab on and on about, I have to get moving, but that's the way it is today. I have barely any time to make a healthy lunch and braid my long tangly hair....

Thursday, November 14, 2013

a million and one reasons why I haven't posted today....

But the number one reason is that I don't have much to say. Today was just another day. I enjoyed it. I loved that Aaron stopped in this morning when the two little girls were getting ready for school. I loved that he scooped them both up at the same time and hugged them, those cute little girls with their too-huge backpacks on. It crossed my mind to take out my phone and grab a picture, but it seemed like it would turn the sweet innocent gesture of a big brother loving his little sisters into....a photo op. I loved the way Aaron and Joseph talked to each other, so glad to see one another, but of course not saying that. These two boys are only a year and a half apart, Joseph is 22 and Aaron is soon 21. They had their fun growing up, oh the trouble they found together....and seeing them interact now, as grown-ups....their mama loves it.

And today, I enjoyed Kathryn. We figured out how to email their 1st quarter homeschooling reports to Staples to be printed. We have given up on having our own printer. They are trouble, then they die.

I enjoyed spending time with Jonathan. He is writing in cursive, and reading about black holes. He helped me make some deadly treats today, fried churras. We mixed that flour in with the boiled butter in water, then stirred in the eggs, squeezed the mixture out of a pastry bag, then fried them....Jon sprinkled them with sugar and cinnamon....and oh my goodness, they were good. Why did I make them? No idea. Saw the recipe, and headed into the kitchen to make them.....we saved enough for the school kids to have when they got home:)

We usually don't fry things here, but since we had used all that oil for those churras, I decided to use it again before throwing it I made sweet potato fries for dinner.

There is still chicken in the oven, I forgot to take it out in time for it to thaw, so I put a few hunks of frozen chicken breasts on cookie sheets, with seasoning and drizzled with olive oil. The older kids are leaving for the youth meeting, they can have chicken when they get home, to go with the veggies and fries they already had.

So I haven't written today because honestly, I don't know what to say. Nothing earthshattering is happening around here. Emily and I are going shopping tomorrow, to buy food for the church music weekend. I am looking forward to that. Joseph will stay here with the homeschoolers, so I have to assign some work. We are having company for dinner tomorrow night, and Emily has said she will cook, since she has a really interesting stir-fry recipe that is niggling her to try. I am also looking forward to that. It has been a very long time since anyone else has actually made a nice meal around here. I am already luxuriating in the fact that I already know pretty much what we are having a whole day ahead of time, and that I am not the one making it!

Our power went out last evening, right before the kids went out the door to activity club. The little girls got scared when it got so black so suddenly, they started to whimper and cry and scream, then actually shriek, as they fed off each other's fear. We got candles out, and when it was determined that activity club was canceled, we settled in for some story telling. I got out some Halloween candy (and ooops, I ate some. dang it, I had done so well all day long....), and we talked. Suzanne showed the little ones some videos on her ipod, of extreme hoarders, which fascinates them for some reason. (It helps me decide to get rid of stuff:))

The power came back on as we put them to bed, and Camille said, "I think God was nice to let the power go out, because He knew we would have a cozy time." I totally agreed.

And...I miss my husband. I really really do.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

um...hello, winter!

I had a dr. appointment this find chilly morning...and I was pretttttty surprised how cold it was out there. It doesn't seem real, the snow that falls in November.

Jonathan and I went for a nice cold walk. He wanted to turn around, and so did I, but I was a mean-y, and kept us going until we reached the stop sign. He lived.

Camille saw snow, and wanted to decorate for Christmas. I don't like dusty decorations from keeping the up too long, so I hold off until after Turkey Day.

And...I found this picture.... My sister Cheryl and I, from a few years ago.

Today I had to go to the dermatologist for a suspicious thing on my is not serious, just a little pre-cancerous growth that seldom actually turns cancerous...and if it did, it would be slow-growing and easily treatable...but just to be certain, the dr. used liquid nitrogen, which is also ironically called, "cryosurgery", and I did almost cry. Dang it hurt! I felt like Camille, I wanted to just whine about it.

I also got a prescription for some cream for the psoriasis on my arms. I had them send it to Walmart pharmacy, big mistake. It was supposed to take 20 minutes. Ha. One hour and a half. Now, I don't HATE wandering around Walmart all by my lonesome. But it did cost over a hundred bucks. Well, tea, barbecue sauce,milk and yogurt and bananas....and a few Christmas presents. Two light fixtures from the clearance aisle weren't exactly necessities, but two of the bedrooms have only lightbulbs hanging from the ceilings because the light fixtures have broken, and I feel like there should be an interrogation when I walk into one of those rooms. Anyway. I bought myself new razors, and some baby soap for the princesses, and lip balm and index cards for Kathryn, some reduced price cinnamon buns for the kids' after school snack, and some chocolate almond milk for me.

Anyway....home, out for a walk, and now having a nice little Put-Me-Feetsies-Up session, which needs to end so I can fix some dinner. We are having barbecued pulled-pork and veggies, some brown rice.

Have I mentioned how much I miss Paul?

And have I mentioned that I am thankful that this thing on my forehead wasn't deadly? I thought, on my solitary ride home, about my awful window in the kitchen. It's the one window we have replaced since building this house almost 23 years ago. Paul did it himself, and um...I love Paul muchly, but he...never mind. Let's just say the trim never got done. It doesn't look pretty. And sometimes it bothers me. But on my way home today, I thought....if I were dying, what would it matter if I have an ugly kitchen window? Now that I am probably not going to die today though, I would like it fixed:) Sometime. I think of things like this that bother me, and I think, "It did not kill me yet, so it probably won't". Oh, things can start to bother me though! Something HAS to be done about it!!! Then, nothing gets done...and here I am.

Yeah, rambling, I do that very well. Tangents, whims, rambles....I guess I am good at something!

And I go, to get a few things done.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

cold and winter-y....

Miss Charlotte Claire, Miss Camille Anaya, and the pups...

My brother visited, bright and early this fine chilly morning, and fixed the oven, hopefully for once and for all. I almost put in some cupcakes just to check it out, but decided not to:)

The kids are all back in school after a long weekend. Yesterday was Veteran's Day, and my son Benjamin's birthday. He always got the day off from school while growing up! He is all the way across the country....and I miss him.

I miss Paul too. He is in Germany, so I let the three youngest kids sleep in our room last night. It was SO hard to rouse them from sleep to send them off on that school bus!

Yesterday, I bought a Singer sewing machine from the thrift store. It works, I just have to figure out how to thread it. I love to sew, but haven't been able to for a few years now, due to complications of my sewing machine, including accidentally throwing away the foot pedal to losing the little thing that holds the bobbin in, to losing the instruction booklet, which I did find right where I put it in the first place, in my sewing box. After finally buying a new foot pedal, it doesn't work. rrrr. So I got another one...and dang it, I really don't feel like messing with it, but I do want to sew.

I haven't walked yet this morning, I have to get over the fact that it is cold out, and just bundle up and go. brrr. The wind is brisk, most of the leaves have fallen off the trees, it is desolate out there. Autumn is sort of scary, with the dismal foreboding of winter looming. It will arrive, and there is nothing we can do about it.

Christmas is just around the corner, and all I want is for Ben and Ashley and my little grand daughter Anya to come home! Oh, I also want to go on vacation with Paul, preferably to Jamaica:) But THAT isn't happening, at least not this year. Oh, I sort of wish we had never gone, now I just want to go again....

Today is another basketball game at the dome. I opted not to work this one because with Paul gone, and some of the kids babysitting for others who are working, it doesn't leave me with enough help here for things to run smoothly....or to say it more directly, the ones who would be home would probably kill each other. Na, not really. Just yell and fight maybe. So it didn't seem wise to leave.

Ah well, I think I will feel better if I get some things accomplished around here today. I have already swept and mopped and put away clothes, washed towels, dusted the living room....but a woman's never ends....

Sunday, November 10, 2013

and it is quiet again....

I do not wear t-shirts with Mickey Mouse on them. But I threaten my older kids that I will someday, just to embarrass them. No offense to anyone who chooses to sport such apparel, I just would feel ridiculous in a shirt like this. Not that YOU are ridiculous if you wear one,....never mind.

Anyway. Paul is on his merry way to Germany again. I drove him to the airport this morning, taking Sonja along for company. I kissed him goodbye, which Sonja took pictures of with my phone, which I forgot to put on here, which is fine, because you can well imagine that I was sad.

After dropping Paul off at the airport, Sonja agreed that we really shouldn't stop in to the best bakery in the world for donuts, although we were very tempted. I know she was just agreeing with me to be nice, she wanted those donuts but she knows I can't resist. Why would I even consider going into such a heavenly place? If you aren't a donut lover, or a lover of all things freshly baked, you must think me crazy. But the bread from that place, hot from the oven....and the pies, works of art. A whole case of cookies....half-moons and chocolate dipped and chocolate chip and frosted cut-outs....and of course the pastries and muffins and eclairs and cakes....

But we resisted. A new microwave was on our list of things to buy, because it is one thing to live without an oven, but adding the microwave to that was just too hard, hashtag first world probs, as my teenagers would say.

So we went to the warehouse club and bought blueberries butter and almonds and milk and bananas and grapefruit and romaine....and a new pair of boots for me, warm sheepskin lined boots that were $39.99, way too much but worth every last pair lasted me years. Anyway...we bought lots of stuff, but no microwave. We weren't impressed by the selection or the prices.

This meant we had to stop at Target, and we did get on there. And a few more things, too....

Then a "real quick" trip to the grocery store for chicken and Greek yogurt and eggs and strawberries.

Then make pizzas for dinner, in our oven with only the broiler working. Oh, sweet trickiness! I would turn the broiler on HIGH, since the LOW setting doesn't work, then turn it low for a bit just to keep the warmth in the oven so it would bake a little, then turn it back to HIGH for a few minutes....and within only a few hours, three pizzas were done! The first two weren't done very well on the bottom, but the last one we left in longer, and was more than done.

I didn't have pizza, I had chicken, and some strawberries.

Abigail came over for dinner, then we watched, "Fried Green Tomatoes", which is based on the book "Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle-Stop Cafe", by Fanny Flagg, it is a good book and an excellent movie. Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, and Sonja watched it with us, and loved it.

Oh, I forgot to mention that our first stop today was at a discount store called Ollies.....
I had never been to Ollies before, and I don't know what I think of the place. It was fun, but....there is too much junk there. I bought some Christmas tablecloths, and a book by Time magazine about the 100 most important events in history, for Jonathan, and the rest of us, to read.

Camille lost a tooth today....
She had been wiggling and wiggling, and whining and fussing about that tooth, it was the loosest tooth I have ever laid eyes on. It could have come out a few days ago. I finally showed her a video featuring a little boy pulling out his tooth, and she got a papertowel and took it out. Then I had to remember to leave a little treat. She came back out after we put her to bed a few times, and I saw her looking over at where she had left the tooth, so excited and hopeful to see if the toothfairy perhaps remembered this time. Which, yes, she did. She got a dollar and a little pad of cupcake sticky-note papers.

Today was my brother's birthday. My brother Billy, the one who took his life. He would have been 52 today.I thought of him off and on all day today. In our family of seven kids growing up, it was my sister Cheryl, then four brothers....Bob, Tom, Joey, then Billy...then me, then my little brother Casey. Billy was almost four years older than I, but he was the next kid up in age from me, and we were buddies. It is so cliche' to say that his death left a hole in my heart. But I can say that it still hurts, I still find guilt, (we should have known. we didn't. we can't help that we didn't know. but we should have known.) I feel bereft and abandoned, in a way, after having both my parents die, then Billy killing himself. It does get better, it dulls a bit for the most part, then when I least expect it, I will imagine his feeling of desperation, I will think about him lying out the pictures and the stack of money for his funeral (yes he did that, responsible boy that he was), next to his bible, and I think about him and how he could have actually done what he did. And I think too of my poor brother Tommy, who heard the gunshot, and who went and found him. The whole thing was so traumatic, I think we were all in shock that night. How long does it take to get over it? I am guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of NEVER.

Yet here I am, alive and somewhat well, trying my hardest to make the most of each day, to count my blessings, to not grumble away the days with petty complaints and dissatisfaction with my lot in, I don't mean to sound like I live a difficult life of drudgery.....but honestly, there are times if does feel that way. We as humans always think the grass is greener on the other side of that fence though. But we all have our trials, no one escapes them.

Oh I am tired, and I am rambling. The girls will be up early in the morning, the doggies will want to go out, so I have to get some sleep....

Friday, November 8, 2013

in which she tries....she really does.

This fine blustery morning, I had to blow-dry the princesses' hair after their showers before taking them the doctor. Char has had some things going on that needed checking out, and of course Camille burst into tears yesterday when I informed her that Charlotte Claire wouldn't be going to school today. So, since Camille IS my baby, six years old or not, she got to stay home and join us on our little trip to the small city.

We no sooner got home, and it was time to got back out the door with Paul to do some banking, and a quick stop at Walmart for some things for his trip to Germany. He wanted to bring some American chocolate, so we chose some Dove Promises instead of Hershey.

Home just in time to leave again to pick Margaret up from school, she is working the dome this evening and had to do a few things before leaving again...I washed up the sinkful of dishes, and out the door again to drive her to my sister's house to get picked up there for the dome....

Home again. I forgot to put the potroast in the crockpot this morning, so I decided to just brown it up and try to cook it on the stove....because the oven just isn't heating up. Last night, we had to broil the pizzas on the bottom rack of the oven, which sort of worked, if you like blackened cheese and soft crusts. But my plans were foiled when I walked in and found Paul fixing the oven. He is searching online for a part right now. I hope hope hope they have on in stock at the place in the small city, because Paul is leaving tomorrow for Germany, for two weeks.

So. Here I sit, with a cup of coffee, and a nice kitty lying on my arms as I type. He is cuddly and warm, and is purring loudly. He is seriously stupid, I have never ever had a kitty as nice as he.

Anyway....we had a birthday yesterday!

Our temperamental oven worked for the cupcakes, but didn't warm up after an hour yesterday. And the verdict is in: no place around here has the part in stock, so he is going to put it back together, and....well, the stovetop works, and we have a microwave, and....we will survive.

The little girls just had a nice big fight, Char won't listen to Camille explain why she is upset that she thinks Char won't play with her. And so on.

Today is a better day than yesterday for me. But keeping the big picture in mind, I don't mind the days I have to fight through. The only way to be free from the things that bind us is to have the grace to see them for what they are: snares and sin. I can blame everyone else all I want, but ultimately, I am the one who has to deal with what is in me. And although it doesn't feel so good, on those days when it is so glaringly obvious, to see myself, I am thankful. God does indeed give grace to the humble:)

Believe it or now, the house is a mess. Legos and Duplos and Nerf guns and and and....remnants from that birthday party. Since I haven't been home much today, I have some catch-up to do.

Joseph is a nice boy, my 22 year old son. He drove a group of younger guys to an airsoft tournament this weekend. (An airsoft gun doesn't really hurt, the pellets are...soft. These tournaments are really well planned and organized, the boys get assigned to teams, and it sounds like they play Cops And Robbers all day long.) Anyway, this event is like four hours away, and we didn't feel comfortable with Sam driving them, so Joseph went along to drive. He is not participating in the airsoft, so he will have some free time to explore the area, perhaps read or draw....

So the boys are sleeping in tents, and had to pack food. I sent them off with apples and bananas and Balance bars and some money, especially for Joseph, who is going to make his brother and friends happy.

Camille is done fighting with Char for now, and is cuddled up on the arm of my chair. And now I need to put this computer away.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

and so goes life....

Jonathan and I in Sears yesterday...we went out and about, first to Valvoline for an oil change and a tire rotation. No, they couldn't rotate the tires on the minivan, no sir. They were so bare the cords were showing, apparently. Just the front ones, thankfully, but uh-oh, Emily was planning to drive that van to Boston that very day. So after a quick stop into TJ Max, where I found no birthday present for Camille, but a few odds and ends for Christmas (and kids if you are reading this, it wasn't junk!). Then to Target.. a quick pitstop at Starbucks. They put one in Target, and I happen to love love love the medium roast coffee with sugar-free mocha, and cream. I was nice and let these two homeschoolers get chai tea and a chocolate chip frappuccino. And of course I found some good stuff in Target. The candy was 70% off, and the costumes were 90% off. Suri is getting a bumble bee suit for Christmas, it was a dollar and sixty cents. Anyway. I was texting Paul, and we were figuring out where to get new tires....

Sears for tires. That meant we could hang out in the mall while we waited, which was sort of a good thing. We ended up only spending five dollars on a pair of leggings for Kathryn, and $12 on some sesame chicken and fried rice in the food court. :)

Ahh, new tires. Just what I wanted to spend $250 on. But the van does drive better. Next stop, grocery store. After loading up the cart with bananas and carrots and green peppers and some meat and milk and frozen veggies and snacks for the girls' trip to Boston....

Next stop, a different grocery store which had different things on sale. We got apples and oranges and potatoes and onions and yogurt (this store has sugar-free low-fat pumpkin pie yogurt, yum! and only 50 cents each) more stop, another coffee for the long ride home, from Tim Horton's.

Then we stopped to pick Emily up, and Mali came out to say "hello". She had been busy making a kitty carrier to carry her cat in, just fooling around of course, but she was in good spirits and it was good to see her.

Home....argh! Joseph was driving the BIG van to activity club, Emily was trying to gather Kathryn and Evelyn and Suzanne and Sonja so they could get going on their trip. Seriously, two huge groups of kids going different places at the same time, with groceries everywhere, Miss Char whining about all the homework she had to make up from missing yesterday (I promised her I would help her with it after Activity Club), Camille telling me they had to wear comfy clothes or pajamas to A.C., then I remembered...dinner! Dang it, I never planned for dinner. Charlotte Claire, Camille, Jonathan all had cereal. I put some boneless pork in the oven with seasoning...then put some barbecue sauce on it, and made green beans. Then I baked 48 cupcakes.

Anyway. This morning I cleaned up and swept and cleared out some extra shoes from over near the door. I need to get those cupcakes frosted so I can bring them over to Camille's class at school.....

And tonight, kids are coming over for the party!

As for me....I am doing okay. I am battling that Feeling Sorry For Me thing again. Sometimes I just get tired of older kids giving me a hard time about things...they don't even really mean it half the time, it is just habitual (which is in the top three of my favorite words, btw) And I get tired of this being such a Thankless Job. Now, I know it isn't really a thankless job. I know I have loads to be thankful for. I do know those things. But sometimes I still just want someone to say, Wow, you are amazing! Oh, this reminds me of a dream I had the other night....I dreamed this: I answered an ad on Craigslist for a mom who needed someone to take her three year old for a few days, to give her a break. Of course I would! So I went and picked up this sweet little child, in my dream. I buckled her into her carseat as her mom hovered worriedly, me reassuring her that I had buckled sixteen children into their carseats, that I had buckled carseats for years. Anyway, I got home with the little girl, and it was bed time. All of the sudden her mom was there, volunteering to tuck her in with Char and Camille! Before I could protest, she was in their room with them, and I was dying, their room was a mess! (in real life AND in the dream. but I cleaned it after the dream:)) When I sheepishly went in there where she was reading stories to the three little girls, I started to apologize for the room, and she said, "Oh I love it! I have always wanted a friend who also had a messy house!" Oh, what a good dream that was....

So yes, I am tempted to feel sorry for myself today. I started to talk to my 16 year old about it this morning, and she said, "Mom, don't you think everyone deals with thinking people don't treat them well enough? And we all are tempted to feel sorry for ourselves?" Good answer, Margaret. Very true. I would have perferred a hug and a pat on the back, but truth is good too.:)

So I guess I will not give in to wah poor me, because seriously, I hate it. God has been good to me, and how can I bless anyone else if I am just thinking of poor me? Enough about this for now, I need to go make that yummy frosting.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

and out and about we go....

Tomorrow my little Camille Anaya turns six. My huggy lil baby is a first grader. So today I will go out and buy her a present, and some things for her birthday party. I have to send in a snack for school tomorrow, and then in the afternoon evening, we will celebrate. Too much birthday!

Miss Char has been showing some signs of jealousy lately. The two of them are like twins, and they do butt heads about being first and who gets more and who gets what doll and and and. I try to deal with things like by NOT being fair, on purpose. Trying to condition them that Life Is Not Fair, and I do not care in the least if she was first last time, it doesn't matter. But I do realize that it matters to them, so I try to deal with it. I encourage them to think of the other, to love and not be selfish, and sometimes it's really sweet when one of them so magnanymously lets the other one have the first pick or go first or whatever. I tel them to be happy for the other when they get something good, and to share when they are the one who gets something nice.

Anyway. Miss Char has been a bit snarky, a bit rebellious, and I am pretty sure it's because of Camille's birthday. So I give her some extra hugs and talk to her and make sure she knows I love love love her.

And all this being said, I need to get out the door....Kathryn has to be back this afternoon so they can leave on their little trip to Boston! Emily is such a nice big sister.....

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

no whims today....

Today the girls are home because I thought about it thoroughly. Camille does have a runny nose, too. But mostly they are home because....see, yesterday we cleaned their room. A clean room = a fun place to play. So they played. They dressed dolls, they dressed themselves in pretty dresses and pearls, they made treasure bags for their dolls, they had a huge tea party....then it was bed time. What? They couldn't BELIEVE it was already time to end the fun....

Then I realized that I am going to the Dome today, volunteering at the concession stand at the college basketball game. I am leaving before they would be home from school, they would be in bed by the time I get I decided to let them take a day off. (They went every single day last week:)) I told them last night...that if they went to bed nicely, they could stay home today. So they did! And today has been every bit as fun as they thought it would be.

As for me, I didn't take my walk because working at the dome is rough on my knees as it is. So I swept and did dishes and laundry, made tea for the girls, and school stuff with Jon.

I still have some cinnamon snickerdoodle coffee in my mug. Life is good.

Last evening, Paul had to leave for a board meeting right as we started dinner, because I am such a good planner and besides, I was helping the little girls clean their room. Anyway, Emily came over and joined us. We had chicken and gravy and mashed 'tatoes (I only had a taste of the those), and veggies. Then Aaron came over, and it was a regular party. It is so nice to sit and talk with the older ones. Emily is planning a little getaway, taking some of the older girls for a trip to maybe Boston. Em has the week off of work, she planned to go visit Ben and Ashley and the new baby, but didn't work out for them, so she has some time off.

We decided to celebrate Thanksgiving on the day after Thanksgiving this year, so that all the kids can make it, except for Ben:( Emily has to work a 12 hour shift on the real turkey day. Mirielle and Aaron will both be working night shifts by then, so they will just have to wake up during the day on Friday, have a huge dinner for breakfast, then go to work on Friday night.

Ah well, even though I still have cinnamon snickerdooodle coffee in my mug, I have things to do. I have to leave in a few hours....going to the dome is not exactly awful, but it means having to leave home. Paul will be here with the kids this time at least. And, Emily and Joseph and Samuel and Margaret are all working. We do have fun making pizzas and preparing nachos and pretzels, grilling the hot dogs, and putting candy in the displays. Then the stand opens for business, and we cashier, get food for the cashiers, pour drinks, ect. It is sometimes busy and crazy, and my knee aches and my feet hurt, but it is good to be there with all my kids and friends from church, it is good to give of myself.

Camille's birthday is the day after tomorrow. I have these cute little polka-dotted cupcake holders, so I am excited to make pretty confections for the party. I have to find some things for gift bags, and decide what to get/give Camille. (I might have something in my closet).

Anyway. Off I go.....

Monday, November 4, 2013

aaah, monday morning....

I love this coffee mug. It is Evelyn's, but she is at school. One of my favorite things is to look for at the thrift stores: coffee mugs.

It is cold here this morning, way below freezing earlier. There is frost on the pumpkins, as my mother used to say. I have not ventured out for my walk yet. First of all, I stayed up much too late, then I woke up much too early. When I woke up the little girls, I was met with resistance. They did not want to get out of their warm comfy beds. I coaxed them by telling them they could sit with me in my chair for a bit.... and, we almost fell back to sleep. In fact, Miss Camille was snoring. The dogs were snoring, I was almost asleep, and Miss Char fell back to sleep in her bed. Oh, how I wanted to keep them home today! But, I went against everything in me, and scootched her off my lap, out of her warm blankie, into some school clothes, made them berry bagels, packed some turkey sandwiches and apples and baby carrots and chocolate chip cookies for lunches, brushed their hair, zipped up their coats.....and off they went. wah.

Jonathan is up now, waiting anxiously for some school work to do. The sun is shining, and it is a good day. Although I would like a nap.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I feel bad when I crave the quiet, but when I actually sit in it, and bask in it, I can't help but love it so. It was our fall feast at church today, and the day was full of busy happenings. I did take my walk this morning, I baked some cookies, did some cleaning, made Paul a Santa Claus beard....

He and I were Mr. and Mrs. Claus for our trick-or-treat room. Our room looked, smelled, sounded like Christmas. A little Manneheim Steamroller, some lights and candles, a plate of cookies, lots of Christmas candy, a pile of presents for the kids....

I ate cookies today. I didn't eat too much of anything else, not too much of it anyway. But I ate cookies. Cookie dough, and cookies. Now I am mad at myself. I am sick of saying to myself, "tomorrow is another day", but what choice do I have? I can't just say, "oh well, I eat cookies now, so what. I'll just gain back all my weight." Of course I can't. And, I can't do today all over again. Why did I eat cookies? I don't know. I stayed away from the candy. I ate one piece of pizza for dinner. No lunch. One egg, and a tiny bit of oats with blueberries for breakfast. Then the cookies. I made really good chocolate chip cookies, I use twice the amount of brown sugar as white, and half butter half shortening. These had tons of Autumn M&Ms in them, too. Oh dang. I shouldn't make them anymore. Plus, I had three of Susan's pumpkin cookies, which are pretty much to die for. Moist and chewy, full of spices and chocolate chips too.

So you see, I had a BAD DAY, as far as eating goes.

And. Tomorrow IS another day. I need to get back on track, bigtime.

Tomorrow four of the kids have dentist appointments, but one of them doesn't want to miss any classes, so Paul will take her place. That means he will be taking them all to the dentist, and I get to stay home:)

Our evening was noisy and fun. We had four boys over to watch football, but there were also like five conversations going on at once, laughing and joking and just general loudness. Now, I do not mind it at all. But. Now that they have all left and the kids have gone to bed, aaaah. I like the quiet!

See, I am popular. So popular that sometimes like three or four kids talk to me at once! They all expect my full attention, too. And, if I am sitting here writing or checking out facebook or something else really important, I get questions. Comments. Someone who wants to tell me the entire plot of the book she's reading, or someone who had a really interesting dream and just has to tell me the whole thing. Then there are the questions about where things are. Like I always know where the scissors are! Or a safety pin, or a permanent marker. It goes like this...."Mom, are you doing anything tomorrow?" Um...why? "Because I NEED mousse. (or contact lens solution or earbuds or nail-polish remover).

Anyway. Yeah, I do love my kids. But is it so wrong to love this quiet? Just for the record, I do still hear laughing from Suzanne and Kathryn's room.

Paul is leaving for Germany again next Saturday, for two weeks. Camille turns six on Thursday, we have invited lots of people over for a birthday party. We have a dome event on Tuesday, a basketball game, then another one on Friday. My son Benjamin turns 25 on the 11th. I wanted to go see him for his birthday, out in Washington state, where he is stationed. Abigail and I were all set to purchase plane tickets, but then decided not to go. He and his wife have a new baby, and I guess his wife is not ready for any company or visitors yet. :( I don't really understand it, but I love her anyway. Ben wants us to come, but he is a good husband.

So we aren't going, and I don't get to meet my granddaughter. I have lots of feelings and opinions about that, but none that I want to hold on to, so I will not get into them here. God knows just what I need.

Yesterday I got one of THOSE phone calls. Mirielle was kind enough to word it so I didn't go from zero to heart attack on the Panic Scale, she said, "Mom, I'm all right, but....I got into a little accident..." My heart started to pick up the pace just a wee bit, but hey, Mirielle was calling me, so she was obviously alive. Anyway, she rear-ended someone as she exited the highway, the traffic stopped and it was pouring rain. She hit the brakes but the car slid, right into the back of a lady who was none too happy. Mirielle apologized to her profusely, and the lady ended up apologizing for her reaction, and they waited together for the police to come.....

Never a dull moment, that's what I told Paul as I explained Mirielle's phone call. When I was talking to her, and asked her if she was sure she was all right, and asked Exactly What Happened, I could see Paul looking at me questioningly, like, "What Now?!", so I waved at him dismissively, and mouthed that everything was fine.

This reminds me of that night when I got the horrible phone call that my brother Billy had shot himself. I was driving home from a date with Paul, we had gone to pick out flooring and out to dinner for our anniversary. My sister called me and told, there is NO nice gentle way for one sibling to tell another that their brother had just taken his life,so she just came out and said..."Billy shot himself". I asked, "Is he dead?" Paul was driving, and when I asked that, he just about drove off the road, so I reassured him by saying, "It was just my brother." Now, seriously, it wasn't "just", it was that I didn't want him to think that it was one of our kids. It was perhaps just as awful, I suppose, but that was just how I reacted. Anyway. Off on a tangent.

I don't like those phone calls. Because even though Mirielle is fine, the car is fine, the other car is almost fine, it just brings to light how fragile life is. And we have all these kids growing up and driving and it is scary! I don't spend much time worrying and fretting about them, but when one of those phone calls comes, it sort of overtakes me, the way that life could change so suddenly.

Well, tomorrow I will slap myself silly for staying up so late if I don't get to bed soon. I am seriously tired, so tired I don't want to get up and take a shower and get into bed, I could nod off right here.....

Saturday, November 2, 2013

saturday bliss

Ahh, Saturday at home....the kids still have enough candy to dump on the floor and trade. The kitty thought it looked like a comfy place for a little nap.

So, I wish I could say I cleaned and swept and did dishes and threw in a load of laundry this morning, but I did not. I took the dogs out to play, then went on my walk, then made breakfast, and landed here. I read the news and checked out facebook, and here I sit. Camille has a notebook and a pencil, and is writing math word problems.(she just asked me, "Mommy, do you know what fingers are for? Math. Math math math!") The house is rather quiet, four of the older kids went to work at the football game at the dome. Paul and I and Emily, Joseph, Aaron, Mirielle, and Margaret worked yesterday. Mirielle, Joseph, Samuel, and Margaret are there today. I simply can't work there two days in a row, my knee always hurts so much the next day. Today it isn't too bad, but if I worked again today, ouch.

Anyway. We are running out of milk and eggs, and someone has to go buy more. (Camille just asked me, "Mommy, if I have 18 flowers, and I take four away, how many do I have left?" I asked her how many, and she replied, "Can I take a little minute, Mama?")

She is still thinking, she doesn't have enough fingers, I guess.

And, she just said, the answer is 14. Now she is jumping up and down with glee because she got it right. Now she is going to write the number sentence.

Life is certainly never dull or boring. Today I am supposed to be making a dessert for our fall feast at church tomorrow. It is a contest, and I don't feel like making anything. Our oven doesn't work properly, Paul is ordering the part to repair it. I was thinking of making fudge and decorating the pieces, but how in the world can one make fudge and not eat it? Oh, first world probs.