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

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the pool IS warm

Summer used to seem sooo long. I guess I am sort of in denial that school starts next week. Backpacks are bought and filled(now that was a circus), kids have new sneakers....but it is still summer!! Today the sun is broiling, with a nice breeze blowing, and the pool is warm. Charlotte Claire fusses, climbs, whines, climbs, laughs, eats, and gets to go swimming before her long afternoon nap (sigh)....
Today is my father's birthday. He died 7 months ago. Last year, we had a big 70th birthday celebration for him, which was bittersweet because our mother had just died a month before. But he was actually happy that day. I think all of their 40something grandchildren, and all seven children were there..

Well Grampa and Gramma: Em passed her boards, she is an official R.N now. You would be so proud of her. Ab is going into year 3 of college, still in accounting. Ben is going back for his second year of college, and works at a gas station...Mar is a senior in h.s. this year, and still runs miles everyday...Joe plays the guitar now, and draws less, he's going into 11th grade. Aaron is going into 9th (high school!), Molly into 8th, Sam into 6th, Margaret 5th, Kathryn 4th, Evelyn into 2nd, Suzanne into 1st, and Sonja K. into kindergarten!!! 10 kids in school, Grampa. Gramma, Sonja won't get her backpack from you...I won' be able to call you on the first day, and tell you how cute they looked, or how they were reluctant to get on the bus...but you can be sure I'll be thinking of you.....

Monday, August 27, 2007

a day from heaven

How can one have a heavenly day at the beach with 14 children? Clear sunny skies, warm, clear, Lake Ontario waters, clean sandy beach..How can one not have a heavenly day? Oh yeah, the 14 kids!!! Ben had to work, so did Daddy. Just packing the van is a story. Two coolers, some chairs, 14 towels, a Pampers box of food(3 loaves of bread, two packages of burger buns..),a pram, two guitars, two not so little Little Tykes trucks, 8or9 pails and some shovels, charcoal, ect,...It's a nice 15 passenger van, and there were only 1 5 of us, but the ac doesn't work anymore.....seems like once something gets broken,,...anyways, the beach is 1 and one half hours away.... When we get there, sunscreen time. I try to get all the little ones. Since it took us 'til almost noon to get there, everyone is hungry. Well, not everyone. There are always a few that are too busy playing, and wait until everything is put away, then they announce how starving they are. Charlotte Claire loves the beach. She loves the taste of sand. She likes to stand in lawn chairs, and climb on picnic tables. She likes to crawl speedily across the sand to catch seagulls. Today, she didn't take a nice nap in her pram. She laid down nicely, drank up her ba-ba, then tried to stand up. Twice. 6 or 7 hours on the beach with a supercharged crawler/walker! Compared to her, all the others are a piece of cake!!

The ride home WAS really wonderful. Clear sky,full moon. A 24 pack of candy bars to pass around after Charlotte Claire fell asleep...I really enjoyed the kids today. I won't think about the dirty towels 'til tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2007

maude and claude, or gramma and gampa

My parents both died within a year, daddy in January 07, and mommy in July 06. They weren't just regular parents, with their own lives, they loved us kids and knew every detail they could about us. We called them Grampa and Gramma, because with 7 children and 40something grandchildren, what else would we call them? Gramma was wonderful. She knew every grandkid's b'day, what they liked, what time they were born. She used to stay overnight here alot when she was healthier, she would sit in the chair with kids on both arms and one on her lap and read to them. Her favorite story was "Tearwater Tea", in which Owl thinks of sad things, cries into the teapot, and voila, tearwater tea...but she got everything mixed up. When something sad happened, she would say, "That's owl water soup." She was on kidney dialysis for 9 years. She had breast cancer in both breasts, and wore washcloths in her bra, which believe me, I could tell some funny ones...She always got a kick out of when one of the kids noticed this. She had a few heart attacks, triple bypass surgery, several heart catheter procedures, etc. But she never complained. She did talk about her health, made friends with every dr. or nurse she ever met.....She chose to quit dialysis last July and go home to Jesus, because her heart was failing. She checked into hospice at the hospital on a Monday, and died on Friday morning. There were sometimes 20 or 30 people in her room. Each new visitor was greeted with a variation of , " I am dying to see you." Death was not a scary thing for Gramma, she knew she belonged to God , and she did not waver in her belief that she would go home to Him. She laughed and smiled, joked, and said her goodbyes. She stayed conscious until her last nap. It was a desperately sad but blessed week.
Grampa was desolate without her, and had leukemia. He tried so hard to stay away from germs, he was a mental case about it. His blood stopped clotting properly, and he spent his last week of life getting more blood daily. He died of a massive stroke on Saturday afternoon. We had to turn off the life support. He just wasn't going to make it. For the record, his temperature went up to 107.8 before he passed. He loved keeping track of things, he would have repeated that statistic to everyone. He bought us groceries. After Gramma passed, he went shopping crazy: his house was filled with papertowels, t.paper, cannned goods, ect....we never went home empty handed when visiting him. Anyway, at the end of some of my blogs from now on, I will have a "What I would like to tell Gramma and/or Grampa" section. I miss them so much. I used to talk to them every day.....

dog days of summer

The pool is chilly after a few moderate, rainy days. But the humidity today is oppressive, so hot, near 90 degrees...Only the kitchen and l.r. are a.c.'d-and not very effectively. So, we stay in the kitchen and l.r....We usually don't get enough unbearable weather here in the Northeast to require whole house ac, especially in a house as big as this.
The specter that is school is looming again. Here at home, breakfast time blends with lunch, and some slacker teens are having lunch right before dinner...but I fervently love having my kids here. I can never, in the summer, say that the house is clean, my work is done....but that's okay. We stay up too late. I dread getting them back on schedule, I hate schedules. But : I also hate sticky and dirty. So even though we have some chaos, no eating on the AT ALL, no dirty feet either. If you go barefoot, go wash those feet right now. The kitchen /dining tables are always cleaned off, floor swept and clean, l.r. vacuumed at least once a day...A bit crazy, and not spotless, but not dirty. Anyway, back to the school thing: I hate sending them. They are my children! So I cheat. I let them skip here and there, to have special time at home, or to go someplace fun. I pick them early randomly, and take them shopping. If they have stupid field trips, I give them the money we would have paid, and take them to get something. The day after Halloween is a holiday at our house.

I don't homeschool them because: We have a nice, small school district. We have ten children going this year. Kids need some exposure to real life. We have friends with large families in the district, whom our kids go to school with. The teachers at our school are wonderful.

So, we went to Wallymart and got 6 or 7 new backpacks. I usually buy them on clearance and store them in the closet, but I gave some away for b'day gifts....Lots of pencils, crayons, ect. One needs a disposable camera, gallon sized ziplocks, take out a loan!! We bought sneakers in June on clearance for 4 little girls...

When that bus leaves our house on September 5, it'll leave behind one seven and 1/2 month pregnant crying mommy, one crazy vehicle obsessed 3yr old boy, 15 month old Charlotte Claire, who just started walking, the two kittens, Champ the barking dog, the chinchilla, and the bunny rabbit. We will rattle around like peas in a pod.....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

saturday NOT at home after all

Yeah, we went to the zoo. Charlotte Claire loved the elephants!! We were next to the fence for their "show"...Jon was a little hesitant....It was the elephants' birthday celebration, with cake for everyone, and free admission for kids...very crowded though.

Only 14 for dinner tonight-Ben is at work, and two daughters camping with cousins...corn on the cob, steak fajitas from the grill...Em (oldest) is cooking tonight.

This baby in my tummy is so sweet. He/she jumped when Sam vaccumed this afternoon...jumped 8-9 times in a row! Kathryn(9) put her hand on and felt the baby kick, and got quite excited about it....I already love this baby and can't wait to meet it. I'm going to recover the carseat (again!) really adorably, and get all the baby things out (again!)...

Oh well, fun day, but no nap (again!)...How will I make it through the evening?

saturday at home

Today is beautiful. Cool and partly sunny. We've been broiling here all summer long, so this is great. We may even attempt a trip to the zoo today. Our oldest daughter brought 5 younger siblings, aged 14 down to 7, on a trip to Taughannock Falls today. So Suzanne(6), Sonja(5), Jon(3), and Charlotte Claire (15 mo.) want to go to the zoo.....

Friday, August 17, 2007

a rainy afternoon

I am so glad to see the rain. I sent out two ebay items, and shopped with 6 of the kids, then to Pizza Hut....(they're getting cereal for dinner)...then home to the work that didn't get done yet yeah for the rain. You see, it makes it much easier to handle the fact that I CAN'T GO SIT IN THE SUN AND GO SWIMMING! A pool is great, but it mocks me on the warm sunny days when I just can't seem to get out there. At least some of the older kids will watch the younger ones in there....

The baby didn't seem to be kicking much today, and I got worried. So I took a warm shower and rested in bed on my side...kick, wiggle,wow, the baby is fine! Thank you, God.

We don't know if this one is the girl kind or the boy kind yet- and I have no preference. With 10 daughters and 5 sons, how can it matter? The funny is that our 3 year old son comes after 5 girls born within 5 years, and is followed by sweet little climber Charlotte Claire, 15 months. So he likes trucks, tractors, dollhouse, and purses...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

just another day

This new laptop has changed my life!! I actually sold two items on ebay, and have two more listed! Anyway, we don't have 18 under our roof yet, unless you count the dog, the two kittens, the chinchilla, and the bunny rabbit. Our sixteenth child is due in the beginning of November. The rest of the gang still live here, though one son will be leaving soon for his second year of school. My kids might kill me if I identify them here because:

they do not like to be known as kids from a big family because:

we have individual personalities, likes, preferences, hobbies, etc. , and:

we are NOT organized, have only one set of washer/dryers, and we have basically no routine.

That being said, we have tons of fun together, eat dinner at the table every night together, get along great, go to church together......