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

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

happy birthday Suzanne Eleanor!

Kathryn 17, Sonja 14, Evelyn 16, and Suzanne, 15...with Char and Cam. This is from last summer, but as I browsed through pictures, the sunkissed faces looked so healthy and lovely!

Suzanne is fifteen years old today. She is our 12 child, and when she was born, this is what our family was like:

Emily was 16.
Abigail 14
Benjamin 12
Mirielle 11
Joseph 9
Aaron 8
Mali 6
Samuel 5
Margaret 4
Kathryn 2
Evelyn 18 months

When Suze came along, it made eight girls and four boys.

When the three school kids got in the door today, they were greeted with Chinese food! I cut up 5 and a 1/2 pounds of chicken breast, marinated it for a few hours, then tossed it in egg, then added cornstarch and pepper, then fried the pieces up in hot oil, then into orange sauce and sesame ginger sauce...also made Basmati rice, and a stir fry of fresh broccoli, a bag of broccoli slaw, and red, green, yellow peppers and onions. It was a combination after school snack/dinner.

I also made a batch of muffins this morning, blueberry...

The kids asked, "Are they healthy?", because they don't like my "healthy" muffins. Don't worry, I told them, they're yummy and not healthy. I did also make some healthy ones, here's the recipe:

2 cups of ground flax seed
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon

in separate bowl, or in blender, mix:
5 eggs
1/4 c honey or palm sugar, or whatever sweetener you prefer
1/3 c melted coconut oil
1/2 c water

I also added some frozen blueberries

bake at 350 for 15 minutes...
this is for the mini muffins, a bit longer for the regular sized ones
This batch made 24 minis, and 6 large ones.

And just a disclaimer...they aren't floury, sugary goodness. They are better when really fresh, and are not bad with butter. I keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator now because they tend to go bad quickly.


Tonight after dinner cleanup, and after Annika went home, I helped the little girls clean out their closet, as promised. I sat down and had a cup of coffee and some dark chocolate first, while Miss Char asked me every three minutes if I was ready, because I had promised, she reminded me. They have been after me for months to clean out this closet, and I finally gave my word I would do it, so no matter that my butt liked where it was in my chair, it was time.

When you are a saver, cleaning a closet is a painful experience. The huge-o bag of cloth might come in handy some day. Seriously. I got rid of it, but not before rooting through and taking three out, because they might come in handy. Throwing away the whole bag was too much for me. I threw away a dress that Abigail wore when she was tiny, and the little outfit I remember her wearing when I took her to her first visit to the pediatric cardiologist, which was to become a bi-yearly part of our lives, until she graduated to only having to be seen once a year. (she has pulmonary stenosis, but it never came to the point where she needed surgery...she still has it, but her body has grown with it, in good proportions, so it is within the parameters of a good enough blood flow) Anyway, I looked at that sweet little outfit, hanging there in the closet on the hanger...Abigail is 29, and she visited that office when she was six weeks old. (Abigail has the loudest heart murmur ever heard by any dr. who has ever listened to her's) Anyway. I threw away the outfit. It's yellowing, and outdated, and why do I still have it? Just to 'fess up, I did save a bag of stuff...the OshKosh overalls with the feetsies in them, a few little jumpers, and small tiny sleepers...

But mostly, we sorted into garbage, thrift store, and keep piles. We put aside a few things for a few different friends, too. The Little People stuff, I kept most of it. We threw away the old damaged stuff, with peeling stickers and warped wood, and broken pieces. We threw away some old doll strollers with missing wheels, and a huge bag of tights that are too old for Char and Cam to even think about wearing. We threw away the matching sweaters that Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, and Sonja had. (wah)

So it was painful. But it had to be done. The girls are dancingly happy with the vastness of an closet. Camille wants to put her swivel chair in there. Char says no, they are NOT putting a chair in there, but are stacking bins in there to make their room look better.

We hung up their dress up clothes, and sorted little bits and pieces, then they celebrated Suze's birthday with heater cake, which is what they call the frozen Pepperidge Farms cakes I bought for tonight...a white frosted vanilla cake with coconut, and a chocolate fudge with chocolate frosting. I didn't even have a crumb, but then I did eat 200 calories worth of dark chocolate...

Yesterday, I chalk-painted the frame of a mirror I got at the thrift store, for $1.99. It looks very nice...I forgot to take a "before" pic, but maybe I'll take an "after" one anyway. It was a nice little project, Annika "helped" me. I can't help it, I have fallen in love with her. She likes Jonny best, but she lights up our days. Having a two year old in the house is so familiar...ha, I'm kind of good at it. She doesn't get into stuff though, she has a long attention span, a huge imagination, and she loves when I sing to her, which is a refreshing change from the eye rolling teenagers I have to endure these days. I KNOW I'm a horrible singer, but the little ones don't realize it:) When I start in on a random line of a song, which I tend to do like fifty times a day, I know I am hurting the very ears that used to love when Mommy sang....

Anyway...morning comes early.

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