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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

happy birthday to kathryn, and dollhouse people go to jail....

My Kathryn Grace is 19 today! Kap is our tenth child, the second of the five-girls-in-a-row-in-five-years. (those girls are now 20, 19, 17, 16, 14 -almost 15)(Margaret was 5 years 5 months when Sonja was it was Margaret 5, Kathryn 4, Evelyn 2, Suzanne 14 months...when Sonja was born) (I had too much fun with these girls!)

Anyway, Miss Kathryn is staying at Margaret's place this week, Margaret is in California training for a new job. Kathryn is working full time, and saving up money for her plane ticket to Norway, she is staying there for a year.

We are heading to the library today, then to visit Kathryn up in that small city by Lake Ontario.

But first, some pictures from our fun day yesterday with the twins...

Mr. Sebastian playing with Sunny.

Miss Linnea playing dollhouse...I feel bad that I didn't get a cuter pic of her, she is a darling. She gives bear hugs! They both do:)

These dollhouse people were in jail...

These were their visitors.

I think a successful playing day is when the whole house is involved, ha, when their imaginations just take over. They also played a huge game of hide and seek, and then colored pictures. Char and Cam were teaching the twins how to write their names.

This is not a good morning for blogging. I have had texts from Kathryn, Paul, Mali, and Eleanor...all good things, but. We are going to look after Lydia this evening...well, Paul and some of the kids are. I am going to be baking cakes for 400+ people, and making rice krispie treats with Oreos for 200. Evelyn and I went shopping for the ingredients last night. Math skills come in handy when you're multiplying recipes by 20! (and figuring out how many pounds of flour you need)

The little girls are supposed to be showering and getting something to eat, so I can help them pick out something nice to wear out and about. They are in reality dragging their cute little feet, they say it's cold and they don't want to get moving. Jonathan has been up since dawn, he likes his free time before "school" starts in the morning.

I love the Life Stories, please send more! I am going out on a limb here, my friends, asking for these! It's like having a party and hoping the people you invited show up! It's so interesting!

Well, my day is turning out to be a busy one...library...Paul ordered a book he wants, we have books due back, and we really need a new supply. Then we need another bag of puppy chow, and I want to run into the dreaded Target because they have those solar lights on sale, and I love them...the girls like to make light/jar/DIY projects with them for summertime. And I want to get a gift for Kathryn.

The clock is ticking, Miss Lydia will be here in the afternoon so we have to get going so we can get home...

Here are some other random things going on here...

The three high school girls are doing well, getting good grades. Evelyn Joy, my 11th grader, is going on a science field trip tomorrow and has to be at the school earlier than the bus would get her, so I will be getting up and driving her. She has a driver's license, but the school requires lots of paperwork for a kid to be allowed to drive to school. Suzanne is in 10th grade, and seems to be doing okay even with some of her "friends" not speaking to her anymore. Sonja K. is in 9th grade, and is working hard to offset the week she took off to accompany us to Florida.

Homeschooling is going well. Yesterday the kids each had to teach the others about a book they read. So they learned about and discussed earthquakes and shifting plates (we don't like that Aaron lives in San Fran, :)),the Titanic (Jon's cruise is over, so it's okay now, ha), and simple science. It makes learning fun, and when we google any questions that come up, we learn a lot.

Weight loss...I am, as always, re-committing. I spent a good hour the other night reading Paleo diet success stories from Mark's Daily Apple. These people suffered from their grain heavy diets, and feel better as well as had excellent weight loss results from eating more meat, veggies, healthy fats, and reducing fruits, starches, and eliminating sugars and processed foods. I have to make more of an effort to eat clean each day, and it's getting better again. Tortilla chips: no. Rice: just a spoonful. Popcorn: um...this SHOULD be a no, but me loves it. So it's: way less often. Ice cream: I don't eat it unless it's the homemade stuff from a farm-to-dairy place, which is almost never, but I do plan to go to one this spring. Bread: no. Occasionally Ezekial bread, which is from sprouted grains. I am trying to concentrate on what I CAN eat. The other night I had a huge bowl of spinach, with green beans, then some chicken and just a tablespoon of rice sprinkled on top. When I was losing weight nicely, I ate a lot of spinach.

Anyway. It's always a challenge, but I feel better when I eat cleanly, and I feel more in control, and ha, in my life, with all these teenagers, not much is in my control...which is okay, especially because I know that God has it, but still.

Here I sit when I have places to go and birthday presents to buy. stories!!!


Michelle in Florida said...

I am trying to eat more Paleo type foods's definitely not easy when you have a bunch of kids to feed. I was a vegetarian(sometimes vegan) for about 18 years but started having health issues so I have gradually switched to a higher protein low carb diet. Currently gluten free and sort of Paleo. Like you, I fall off the wagon sometimes. It's not fun being extreme with diets but sometimes it's necessary for health reasons. I do feel better when I eat this way though. You give me some good ideas for food sometimes, so thanks!

Kara Keenan said...

OK, you asked! Life story time!
I was born and raised in the Boston, MA area. Married my high school boyfriend in 2000, after 5 years of dating. In 2001, my husband and I moved to the Phoenix AZ area, and promptly went about having 3 daughters in 4 years, a feat I thought impressive until I found your blog! The girls are now ages 14-almost 10, and attend a neighborhood public school. I'm great at starting craft projects and awful at finishing them. I like to bake with the kids, explore our local area like we're tourists, and find new restaurants and breweries. I work for a commercial services company, doing the finance stuff. My husband is a chef who runs the food services for a large tech company. The kids spend each summer in Massachusetts, with my parents, and it's wonderful. I like to tell people that I'm a better parent because I only parent 10 or 11 months a year. In 2013-2015, I lost 60+ lbs. I've gained back 30 of them, and it's discouraging. I turn 40 next year, and I'd like to lose those 30 lbs again, but it seems the only way weight comes off is to not eat (or drink)any carbs. Vegetables and protein are the things that make me lose weight, and they're my least favorite things to eat. I hate grocery shopping and making meal plans. According to my husband, I'm awful to travel with. I hit a point 5-7 days in, where I just want to go home. Car trips over 4 hours make me crabby, if I'm a passenger. I'm OK if I can drive (thankfully my husband hates driving, so it's not an argument). I get lost in our city, if I go outside my (very small) comfort zone.
Phew! That's it!
Love the blog!

LK said...

Ok, life stories.. here we go..

I don't know how I found your blog, but I love reading blogs and particularly find ones like yours, with stories of home and family comforting. Which is interesting because I love my life and we have a lot of superficial differences - I'm around the age of your oldest kids, single (well, engaged! so not single for long), live in a big city and graduated from law school work in finance. I'm from a pretty standard 2 kid family, and close to both my parents. I'm not religious but still consider myself very blessed - I guess lucky is the secular way to say that - and part of what resonates about your blog to me is your acknowledgment of how lucky we all are, and how, before giving in to frustration or anger with others, we should look into ourselves and acknowledge our own flaws and try to approach people from a place of mercy rather than a place of anger or judgment. It's like, your life is very different than mine, but sometimes I wish I had a life like yours or your kids.. not from a place of unhappiness with my own, there's just a lot of different paths out there and you can't explore them all, so sometimes it's interesting to think about the ones that you had to leave behind when you walked down your own.

Also, I'm always interested in the peace that your faith gives you. I'd like to be a person of faith, but I don't think believing is something you can learn, like riding a bike. So I just try to be the best person I can, fall short a lot and admire it in others.

I mean this as a compliment, but, to me, your blog is like reading Little Women or Anne of Green Gables. Not that it's outdated or old fashioned, but more that it presents a picture of life that I find comforting and appealing.

Also you have really cute dogs, so that totally helps.

Hope this wasn't too weird!

Marilyn Reid said...

I can't tell you everything at once...........because there is so much to tell it would fill a book!! But I'll tell you this. My husband and I lived in London, England for a year in 1964-65. During that time we would pop over to was a ferry ride.......and we hitch hiked through several countries. Back in those days everyone did. We met some wonderful people who would take us to their house for supper!! Can you imagine if your husband arrived home from a business trip with two people with him that he picked up hitch hiking 60 miles down the road!! AND they were sort of scruffy!! 😂 My husband had long hair!! Like a hippy 😂😂 Anyway we had some wonderful times I can tell you. It was a very FUN year. One day I must write it all down. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATHRYN 🎈🎁 Della I can't believe you are going to do all that baking!! You are one amazing woman I think ......... 👍

Marilyn from Canada

16 blessings'mom said...

Michelle, I baked those cakes last night, and HAD to take tastes! You know the mixture of sugar, butter, shortening, and vanilla? Why did I have to taste that? How could it possibly not be wonderful? Once I get that taste of sugar, dang it. The edges of the cakes where they rose over the pans had to be cut off, trimmed, you know. And you cannot just throw away perfectly good hot-out-of-the-oven cake scraps! And there were SEVEN huge full sheet size pans of we're talking calories here. And as good as I feel when I eat clean, I feel horrid when I eat sugar like that.
Marilyn, that is SO incredible, the different world back then. Ha, I was born in 1965, but I remember the hitchhikers in my childhood, especially thumbing it back and forth to college, it seemed to be the norm. And yes, you SHOULD start a blog, Marilyn, you really should.
LK, thank you for sharing about yourself, I am totally fascinated, and to be honest, a little bit daunted by a young woman with such an education, and so successful in life. Going to college was something I always assumed I would do, but then I chose this path in life, and how can I have regrets? Our lives are very different, but that makes it so totally cool that you read my blog, ha! It makes me just happy to hear from you, and so hello, nice to meet you!

Cheryl Stryker said...

Just a quick comment.. Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women!!! Memories of Janet and Mariel as Anne and Diana after they tasted the Cherry Cordial!! "Walking" down the grocery aisles in their own little world!! Now that's a compliment!! Reading your reader's stories is fascinating for me, as well. Everyone has a story to tell!!

LK said...

It's so funny you say that you're daunted by me... I'M daunted by YOU - it took me a bunch of time to get up the nerve to even write. Hope you have a good weekend & good luck with your cakes!!

Cheryl Stryker said...

By the way, the cakes were amazing!!! My husband knew the story, and he said the dessert was excellent! Sort of like a delicious sugar cookie bar with fresh fruit and whipped cream... so, a very good cake mistake! And definitely an Anne of Green Gables moment!!!