summer 2011

summer 2011

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

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

Monday, November 30, 2009

who am I kidding, even in Jamaica, I blog...

Jonathan, this is the airplane next to ours at the Philadelphia airport. See how big the wing on our plane was? This was taken from my seat. When the stewardess announced we were flying over Cuba, I just had to take a picture for Aaron.

And this picture doesn't even look real. The clouds below, the airplane wing, the island with sandy beaches....but it is.

Jon, here is daddy on the beach....he likes it here!

Here is mommy on the beach, she likes it here too.

And my dear Mali, this is for new anklet, thank you! (what's better than sandy feet on the last day of November?)

And this is the view from the balcony where daddy and I sat and had a yummy slushie drink. We think the rum and sprite is just as good as the rum and coke, and that is all I am going to say about that.
Cheryl, please write something! You can give the weather commentary from up in the snowy rainy chilly north, and I will mention that it was in the upper eighties here this afternoon.
I miss all my kids, I wish I were rich and I could bring them all here good you guys, and I love you...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ahh, they are in bed...

But that doesn't mean they're sleeping. I just heard Jonathan say that when he takes his driver's test, he isn't going to fail it one time. They have a rule that if you go to the bathroom you have to turn on the hall light, because the bathroom light is their nightlight. They are all hyped up tonight. They got to play outside for a bit today, but it gets dark so early now. They played a game in the living room that involves getting out all the interlocking foam floor mats, and jumping from one to the next without touching the floor, while being chased by the person behind you. I am not sure who wins and who loses but it a very very loud game. But they need to get their excercise, and expend their energy. Winters here in central New York with lots of kids in the house can be very long indeed. And it hasn't even started yet.

I absolutely love our new washing machine and dryer. Love love love it. I can do a load in 30 minutes and dry it in 35. The hampers are almost empty.

When I tucked Charlotte Claire into her nice little crib for bed tonight, I saw that her room is a MESS again. It is the toy storage room, but everything has a place, they just don't put the toys back in the places. And when you have way too many toys, it doesn't take very long before it is a mess again. ugh. I just cleaned that room!

It is getting pretty obvious to me that I don't have much to say here, for once. We went to the calling hours today for our friend Gwen, then to the services. It is hard to explain how encouraging and hopeful, yet sad it was. Gwen was a woman of prayer. She prayed fervently for the young people, and for the children. She was in much pain her last few months, but she never complained. She knew she was finishing her race, and she was glad! She will be sorely missed...... guest blogger will hopefully sign on here and introduce herself soon. I AM taking my computer with me, but I do not think I will be blogging. I am only bringing it so the kids can get in touch with me about anything they deem semi-important. If it is REALLY important, they can call our resort. I do not really want to keep in close touch with what is going on at home, after all, if I am kept informed about every little fight between Evelyn and Suzanne, and how late Ben stayed out, and who refused to do the dishwasher and who lost their sneakers, then what kind of vacation will it be? So I asked them not to email me about that stuff unless there are problems. My sister is here in town if they need her, and my brothers and sister-in-laws, and also lots of friends. Plus the older kids drive, so they won't be stranded here. We need to go away and just be away.

But I am not saying I can restrain myself from snapping a few pictures of Paul relaxing in the sun and putting them up....or that I won't post a few snippets about the waiters bringing us drinks on the beach....or some random ravings about the delicious this is not good-bye....

So Cheryl, have fun and write about anything you want to.....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

pictures of saturday

I took seven kids to McDonalds today for lunch. First we went to Walmart, again, and we saw Santa Claus in there! He gave us candy canes! It was one of those unexpected treats that really made their day. Camille didn't make much of a mess, she just rode in that cart more peacefully than ever, eating her candy cane. McDonalds was fun because I let them each tell the nice lady their order. They know what the choices are, all Dollar Menu things, and I told them they could each pick three things. We only ended up with a few orders of fries though, so they had to share. After all these years, I don't have a baby anymore! No nursing in McDonalds, no trying to keep the baby who wants to crawl around contained while the kids play, no chasing a new walker around....Camille is big enough to keep right up with Charlotte Claire, and everytime she came down the slide, she would tell me, "This is fun!" The other kids like to help her and look after her.
Samuel's pants were falling down in McDonalds, and I found out that his belt is we stopped at the dollar store for a new one. We also got 5 presents for Evelyn and Kathryn's friend, who is having a birthday next week. Then home......
This picture is exciting and lovely because these two fight fiercely over this Sit'nSpin. We have two, but this is the older one, from back when Emily was little. Somehow it is the coveted one, and they scramble for it and end up crying and fussing. To see them share it is nice.

Well, Camille had no nap today. I do this every once in a while because sometimes she naps and then stays up late, and sleeps in late, and then her nap would be late, and it is okay, but once in a while we need to get her in a little early. Tonight is an early night.

quiet morning

I am sure that by the time I post this, it will be noisy in here. But for now, just the sound of the little ones' fan, and Rosie giving herself a bath. I woke up early this morning and couldn't fall back asleep, so I decided to get up. Paul had to get up and leave to work at the dome concession again. The older kids are working this afternoon, and I was supposed to but our friend Delandie came back early from visiting his family in Michigan, so he is working for me.

Today I might do something with the kids. I would like to sneak in another tanning session. I am so stupid. I thought all along when we were planning our trip that I would go tanning before I went because for years now, my version of sitting in the sun does not ever include tanning the back of my legs, and my thighs should be against the law. Even a tan probably will not make them acceptable, but ....anyway, I never realized that tanning took time, and I should have started a month ago. I just thought I would go every day for a week, and voila!! A tan! When I read up on it the other night, I found out about spacing out the sessions, and about how long it takes to build up a base tan. Oh well, live and learn.

And this makes me laugh: I bring all the kids on a fun outing, and leave them to wait in the van (with Mali and Sam, so they would be safe), while I run in and tan for eight minutes. I thought of the headline if a police officer decided to investigate why this big van full of screaming and fighting kids, with no adult in sight, was parked in a tanning salon parking lot. "But officer, I am leaving for Jamaica soon..." That sounds pretty lame, eh? Maybe I'll have Mali sit in the front seat. She looks like an adult. Or maybe I'll just take a quick trip up there and back home, and then take the kids on an outing. hmm.

Martha, I hate to tell you this, but I think I might have a piece of pumpkin pie for breakfast.

And now the kids are waking up. Good morning, Suzanne!

Tomorrow is going to be sad, we are going to services for our friend Gwen. I know she lived a long and meaningful life, and there was a blessing over her passing. She was alert on Wednesday, and had a good day, then she died in her sleep during the early morning hours of Thanksgiving. The older one gets, the less old "old" people seem. And when I see how the days and weeks fly by, a long life doesn't even seem so long anymore. I am going to miss Gwen so much, and I am sorry that I didn't get to visit with her as much as I wanted to these last months.

Gwen has 6 grandchildren that are in our church. One is getting married in May (and Charlotte Claire is going to be the flower girl!), one just had her first baby, and one is Abigail's friend and a licensed massage therapist, who likes to come over and visit us and our hot tub. One is in Norway with Emily, one just had his first baby a few months back, and the other is a nice kid who really helps with the younger ones in our church. But Gwen wasn't just a gramma to them, no, she always said she had dozens of grandchildren, every child in the church was as special to her as her grandchildren. She did have a heart for the kids....

I cannot concentrate anymore. Jonathan is up now too, and wants to talk to me. Suzanne is sewing. She needs a locking sewing supply box so her younger siblings will not unroll her thread and lose her needles anymore. I wish each kid had a locker that only they could access. I would like a few, too.

Friday, November 27, 2009

home with ten kids

Paul and the older kids are working at the Carrier dome, running a concession stand for our church fundraising. So here I am, home with the youngest ten. These guys thought a pyramid would be fun. They played ring-around-the-rosy with Camille and Charlotte Claire in the blanket.

For dinner we had chicken parmesian and pasta, and mixed veggies. We had candles lit and had some fun.

Kathryn and the huggy Camille

Suzanne and the huggy Charlotte Claire
And they are still up, so I have to get them stories and bed.

oh my never shop when you're tired...

So after my two hour nap in which I hardly slept, we headed to the dreaded Walmart. Ours is a superstore which is open 24 hours, so we went in around 4:15 and got a few things price-matched from another ad, which the people behind us in line just LOVE. Joseph went off seeking something to spend his recently earned money on, which is a secret. I lost Aaron and Mali, then sent Mirielle off to get a few things. I was too bored just to stand there, and honestly it was too hard to see people getting all the good stuff while I stood there. So I entered the crowd and inched my way to some very nice cheap dolls....and I got the thing for Jon I had wanted to get and something for the little girls, and a few more things, then my cart was full. My policy is to retain my dignity while not judging others for not maintaining theirs. Oh, but I did get irritated at the lady who walked by talking on her cell phone, banging her cart into everyone and nudging her way through, loudly exclaiming, "These people in here are just awful, it is horrible in here!" EXCUSE ME? But since I did want to trip her, I am just as bad. I did get stuck for a while, but I managed to stand on tippy-toes and spot Mirielle. I yelled for her, she had been looking all over for me. Good thing I wasn't just standing there waiting for her to bring loads of goodies because she was empty handed. We picked out a few $2 movies, and made our way to the register. The line was rather short, especially since the lady in front of us let us go ahead since she was waiting for someone. We stopped quickly at Mcdonalds. We had very little cash between us, but we needed coffee. We decided to get two larges and share. We also got the two for $3 breakfast sandwiches, and split those too. We ran into RadioShack and got something very very fun for the kids which I cannot say. Then off to Target. There were still some good things left there, then on to Kmart. I actually got what I wanted to get there, too. And I made good friends with a lady who was being too kind to reach and grab what I was reaching for so I started talking to her, and we shared what was left on the shelf. Because that is what it is all about.

Now I have to write down what I got for everyone before I forget. I am not actually done yet, as I don't have anything for a few of the older ones.

I am regretting going shopping while so tired. After our final stop, a quick trip into the grocery store for two gallons of milk, a loaf of bread, a bag of apples and a dozen donuts, we were more than ready to go home. We of course had to have a donut for the way home, and Mali made a chocolate mustache, so I made one too. Joseph snapped my picture. I do not know where that picture will show up, and I am a bit nervous. They are brats, I think they set me up.

We didn't bring anything in yet, I just hope I can somehow get it in and hide it and wrap it without them finding out any secrets. It is a lot of work, but it IS fun.

Well, I am going to try to sneak in a tanning trip. Even though I burned my tummy. This time I will cover it up, what was I thinking? THAT should be the name of my blog. "WHAT WAS I THINKING."

THREE o'clock in the morning???

We are going shopping this morning. Shopping for bargains. Insanity. But oh-so-much-fun. Joseph and Aaron and Mali and Mirielle are going with me. I thought we were leaving at four, but Mali thought I said THREE, so here I am. I could not go back to bed, as it was hard enough to go to sleep the first time. I only just went to bed at one, so I am deleriously tired, and I don't think I spelled that right, but it IS the right word.

My mindset for this shopping trip is to get some good things for Christmas. I have the attitude that if I get the things on my list, great, but if I don't, then fine. But human nature being what it is, I do find that it is easy to get drawn into a bad spirit during the craziness. Of course I do NOT want to do that. I revel in the goodness that is present in some people, and I truly try to remain that way myself. I do not want to shove back or get greedy. And honestly I do have a small bit of fear of trampling or being hurt by the awful shoving of carts. I usually park with the cart, and Abigial or whoever is with me goes and gets stuff. I hope it is peaceful this year. I mean, it is just STUFF. Good priced stuff, but still just STUFF.

We are going to Walmart, then maybe RadioShack, then on to Target. Then maybe Kmart. And some breakfast in there somewhere. Aaron and Mali just had grilled cheese, I do not know how they can eat at this hour. I am bring a turkey sandwich to eat in a few hours.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

sadness, thankfulness

Seventeen of us gathered around the table this afternoon. Sweet potatoes, squash, asparagus, cranberry sauce, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, pickles, olives, rolls and butter. And cranberry juice-ginger ale punch.

But the best part about it was the fun. We drew names for a gift exchange on Christmas eve. The little ones each confided in either Mirielle, Abigail, or me, so that we can keep things as secret as possible. Jonathan was hilarious, he had Abigail read his name and whisper it to him, then he said, "I got the worst person!" Suzanne had someone she thought would be impossible, so I traded with her. Rosie thinks she should get a chair, too.

She liked Thanksgiving.

And the sadness part: Our dear friend Gwen went home to the Lord early this morning. She was 85 years old, but still as sharp as ever. She had a good day yesterday, then she went to sleep last night and went home to Jesus. I have been crying off and on all day because Gwen was such a special friend. Seriously, when talking with Gwen one forgot she was old. Because only her body was old. She never said anything bad about anyone, but rather built up the others when she spoke of them. I know she is in a better place, but I wasn't ready to say good-bye to her yet. How fitting though, for her to pass on Thanksgiving.......


Tom is over 27 pounds, and I had a hard time getting him into this bag. He is bigger than the pan so I am hoping he doesn't cause a fire or anything. He is also partially frozen, since SOMEONE (me) forgot all about taking him out of the freezer until Tuesday.
Jonathan was the waiter-in-his-undies this morning. He microwaved frozen French toast sticks,(I was right there with him), and served the girls their breakfast while they watched the parade on tv. He also got them cups of ice water.

For some reason this cracks me up. The dog cage is decorated.

Paul and I stayed up way way to late last night, and when I woke at eight, I couldn't get back to sleep because I was too excited that today is Thanksgiving. Will I ever grow up?? I hope not....Anyway, I got the bird in the oven, so the house smells good. The experts say that smell evokes memory, memory rarely evokes smell, but when I think of Thanksgiving as a child, I can smell that turkey. We were not dirt poor growing up, my parents managed to save up enough money to realize their dream, which was to have a camp on Lake Ontario. We had our camp, but it was simple, no phone service. (that alone seems strange, that we were up there with no phone, we would walk down the beach to the state park if we REALLY had to make a call) Anyway, when we were growing up, Thanksgiving was a really big deal. We would have at least 12 to 15 pies. My mother used to freeze all the bread crusts, then on the big morning my little brother Casey and I would rip up the bread for stuffing. Casey was a brat. He was the youngest of us seven, and he used to do things like lick his plate to save his spot, then sit in a different place. One year he put a ciggarette butt in one of Billy's dinner rolls. And no dinner was complete without Cheryl and Joey pretending they bit their tongues off with cranberry sauce. Most of this happened after my dad left the table. He would eat and go back in to watch the game, and then the fun started. I still miss talking to my parents on Thanksgiving.
I am thinking of going for a nice walk today before dinner. But we will see how that thinking goes...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Mirielle in the nice apron she got from her cousin Liz for Christmas last year...thank you, Aunt Kim...
This picture of Charlotte Claire has me wondering, WHAT the HECK is going on in the background? Two pretty girls...Mirielle and Camille

Mirielle was so nice to let Evelyn help roll out the crusts. She made three pumpkin, two lemon merangues, two chocolate, two blueberry (which were frozen, cheat-y pies), and one pecan pie. I almost stayed home today. Almost. But then I remembered I never got any black olives for tomorrow. Or pickles. So off I went. Abigail, Kathryn, Sonja, and Jonathan went along too. We went to BJs, and got some good coupon items. I picked up a four-pack of frozen pizzas, which we had to limit to two pieces each. We had carrots and dip and chips with it. We just didn't feel like making dinner after spending so much time in the kitchen today...ha. I didn't make any pies, Mirielle did.
I bought the movie, "Up", and we watched it tonight. I told the kids I had a surprise movie, and I sneaked it in....then I passed out treats, and we settled in to watch it. Jonathan was scared, Sonja was a bit spooked, Charlotte Claire switched pushpops with Camille and gave her the bitten one, and there was mayhem. So I got Camille another one, which was so not fair, according to a few kids who also wanted another one. Then she fell and dropped it right into Rosie's mouth. Anyway, the littler kids don't just sit and be quiet. And I happened to really like this movie. Oh well.
The older kids are still all up and I am once again distracted....oh, my sister agreed to write some things here when I am gone. That should be veerrry interesting!

almost thanksgiving

but I can start being thankful any time now.

1. I am thankful for my fun older kids who stayed up with me until three in the morning watching, "My Sister's Keeper". Abigail, Mirielle, Mali, Margaret, and Kathryn. ("Wait! Kathryn's still up?" Poor girl, she sort of hides, hoping I don't notice....I knew she was up, and thought it was okay. Eleven years old is old enough to stay up 'til three, right?) We all cried our eyes out at this movie. And of course that led to laughing our heads of about nonsense after that...then we were so tired we talked and talked...and it got later and later.

2. I am thankful for a day off. The younger kids got up and watched the new Barbie Christmas video I rented before I even got up this morning. I slept 'til 9:30, and I feel awful. Wait, this is a thankfulness list. I am thankful I got to sleep 'til 9:30.

3. I am thankful I don't wear a bikini to the beach, I burned my stomach going tanning, which is hilarious. These stretchmarks have not seen the sun. Ouch. (I just thought a tanned stomach would be cool...ha!)

4. I am thankful for my new slippers that I bought for myself for Christmas. I don't get very cold around the house but the kitchen has a tile floor that gets freezing.

5. I am thankful for Paul. Last night, he could not find this little device that he needed to log on to his work computer to pick a ridiculously high-priced, high deductable ($4000!!!!) insurance plan (sorry, this is a THANKFUL list....!), and he looked around here so calmly. When I cannot find something (usually a hairbrush, in which the VeggieTales song comes in handy), I get so impatient. I knew he must have been tempted, but he just looked and looked and then gave up. Then I went to put the clean comforter on our bed, and there was the little device.

6. I am thankful that we are going on vacation. Paul is bringing his guitar, I am so happy for him that he will have a chance to vegetate and play.

7. I am thankful for Mirielle. Every mom should have a Mirielle around for Thanksgiving. She is out in the kitchen prepping for pie making, while I sit here.....(but I am so very thankful to have her here!)

8. I am thankful for my sister Cheryl. (my only sister. I was going to write that I have 5 brothers and one sister, then I remembered that Billy is gone, then I remembered that this is a THANKFUL list!) Anyway, Cheryl is a good sister. She is a good friend. She always lifts my spirits and encourages me and I never have to worry about what I tell her. I am going to try to get her to be a guest blogger on here when we are gone. I am not bringing my computer with me. She is so entertaining, I will not be missed. But I haven't asked her yet.

9. I am also thankful for Kim, my sister-in-law. She has been my friend since we were in middle school. She met my big brother Tom when she was only 15. He was in the Navy, came home, got a job, she finished school, and they got married. She jokes that she married him so we could always be sisters. She is a GOOD friend. The kind of friend that is always there when you need her. When Sonja was born, (wow, I THINK it was Sonja...), I was exhausted. I had missed a few nights sleep because of labor, then she was just fussing and wanting to be held....Paul had gone home, and I finally asked the nurse if she could take the baby....but here were two emergency c-sections, (very small hospital), and there was no one who could take her. I burst into tears. I was never so tired in my life, before that or since. I kept falling asleep even when I was walking around the room with the baby, and and I was terrified I would drop her. I called Kim at like two in the morning, and she came right up to that hospital and held that baby for hours so I could sleep. I realize that she lost a night of sleep, and had to go back home and take care of her then ten kids being tired, but that is what kind of friend she is.

Yes, I look forward to going shopping on Friday. I hate the crowds, but I love the bargains.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I enjoyed looking at these in the hall at school the other day. One kid was thankful for his lunchbox and backpack, another for "walking in the rain"....It would be way too much fun to be a kindergarten teacher. Sonja's turkey was saying not to eat him because his skin is dry and he has worms in his tummy. He said to have hot dogs instead. I am not convinced.

Paul reading to Jonathan and Charlotte Claire (looking pretty in the 6th or 7th outfit of the day, a nice summer gingham dress). The picture is blurry because I was taking pictures in the kitchen and sneaked this one in.

Camille Anaya doing what she loves best. Anything that involves water, particularly running water.

I do not know what Kathryn is doing in this hat, but she sure matches her big brother Benjamin.
Samuel James....

Ben trying to get a smooch from Camille....

Suzanne and Camille

no school for five days!!!

The kids are pretty excited, there is a festive spirit in the air. Tomorrow is pie making day. We have been cleaning the house and getting all the laundry done. At one point today, I went to put another load in and the hampers were too empty!! We have 5 hampers in the laundry room, for whites, darks, lights, towels, and blankets. Then the little girls went in my room and jumped on the bed and Camille barfed on my comforter. She doesn't seem to be sick, they were just fooling around like crazy. Anyway, another load of laundry. Then Sam brought up his stuff....and so on.

Mirielle has been making pie crust and putting it in the 'fridge. She likes to do everything from scratch. The blueberry pies are frozen ones, though. They cost about $2 each with a coupon, it is hard to find blueberries that cheap. We will make two chocolate pudding pies, and lots of pumpkin. And maybe a few lemon merangue.

We have a 27 pound turkey, and I will peel at least ten pounds of potatoes. Mirielle is preparing the yams, maybe Abigail can cut the onions and celery for the stuffing. The little girls can put the olives and pickles in the dishes, and set the table pretty. I think the best thing about Thanksgiving is knowing that no one has anywhere to go, and everyone will be here, except Emily. But she will be home soon enough.

I haven't sneaked a look at the Black Friday ads yet, but I am planning on going. It seems like we are having a "scrooge" Christmas this year as far as piles of gifts go, but we will have enough. I have some ideas. I figure Paul and I don't have to get each other anything since we are going on this trip.

It is distracting trying to write right now. Charlotte Claire is coloring at the little table, and cutting her pictures into little pieces. Camille is screaming about something. The older girls (Abigail, Mirielle, Mali, and Margaret) are at chorus practice, Sam and Joseph are playing their Xbox 360, which just came back today from the company for repairs. Jon missed the gummy bears I passed out a little while ago,(oops), and is asking what is for dessert. The other girls (Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, and Sonja) are playing in their room. They have two strings of Christmas lights up and it is sort of magical in there.

I went for my walk today!!! I went with Margaret, who didn't go to school because her stomach supposedly hurt, wait, she went to chorus practice...hmm. That rascal. Anyway, she was good company. We brought Rosie along too. This afternoon, Abigail had to go to the bank, and I wanted to go tanning, so we went together. I tried to get Ab to tan too, but she had no interest. So I went in by myself and tanned for eight minutes. You can't even tell. I look the same. Then we went into Wegmans quick for some apples, carrots, milk, and eggs. And Abigail and I got our favorite, cranberry/toasted walnut muffins. I got a large coffee, and she got a Chai Latte. So we had a nice ride home. Dinner tonight was grilled cheese with ham, carrots and dip. I just had rye bread with crunchy peanut butter and a grapefruit....

And all that other boring stuff......

thank you benjamin...

I forgot to put my watch on after my shower last night, and since I never use an alarm clock, I didn't know how late it was when I sat up in bed this morning. Then Ben opened the door and told me it was quarter after eight - rats! I usually say goodbye to the first trip kids at 7:30, then wake up the younger ones. By the time I got dressed and came out, they were all dressed and fed, thanks to Ben. He picked out Jonathan's clothes, made them toast, and poured their cereal. So thank you, Ben.

As the kids grow older and make their own choices, I can do nothing but encourage them and be good to them and of course use my "parent power" to limit them in what would be harmful, as much as I can get away with. Sometimes it can be so painful to see them going in what I see as the wrong direction that I am tempted to just say TO heck with them! But I cannot do that because I love them, and therefore suffer when they start veering in the wrong direction. No, not all of them. But now I realize how it was in the parable about the sheep, when the shepard left the 99 to go save the one. Jesus has that heart for us, and we as parents have that heart for our children. Yesterday I was suffering such pain and sadness, and temptations of anxiety over one child, that I wished this child was young again, back when everything was simple. I see that now more than ever I need grace, and wisdom from God. Longsuffering and forgiveness and mercy and self-control. I think when the kids are little there is much opportunity to attain to these things, so that when they are older and the trials are different, there is a foundation in our lives. So use the opportunities that God sends our way! Seek Him in every situation.

I need to remember that every thing is weighed and measured by God, and He never sends more than we can handle. It may feel that way, but that is when we need to lean on Him and trust Him. Those who trust in Him are never disapointed.

And on that note, I need to move along here....

Monday, November 23, 2009

home again home again....

Suzanne Eleanor....
Evelyn Joy in her soccer jersey.... Charlotte Claire and Camille

So today I started to pack for our trip. I want to try to stuff as much into my carry-on as possible, because if my luggage gets lost....what would I swim in? What would I wear?

Today I went tanning. It cost the same to go for one week, unlimited visits, as it costs for two visits. So I will try to see how many times I can fit it in to go. I only went for six minutes. I didn't particularly care for it, and I know it causes skin cancer. But hopefully this one week won't kill me. And it seemed so absolutely crazy to do something so selfish!

Mirielle made chicken, pasta, broccoli, and alfredo sauce for dinner. No boxed macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets when she makes dinner. Now she is cutting Aaron's hair. Oh, it is good to have her around. Abigail is at soccer practice with Samuel, Kathryn, and Evelyn. Jonathan is supposed to be getting ready for bed, but he is really into his homework, which is cutting out words that are in popcorn shapes to put into a red and white cardboard popcorn container. He is struggling with the scissors a bit, but he likes doing it. Suzanne is helping Jon, all dressed in her spiffy red dress and shiny one dollar shoes. Sonja and Camille are going on the treadmill, Mali is doing homework, and Charlotte Claire is playing dollies. Ben is in his room, Paul is on the computer, and Margaret is on the other one. And it is bedtime....and I hate to disturb them at at what they are enjoying doing. It is much easier to send kids off to bed when they are being loud and crazy, but when it is so peaceful in here.....they do get to stay up a bit later.

happy monday!

Or so I am telling myself. The house is a mess, the little girls have two sit'n spins, but both want the same one, Margaret just called from school with a bad stomach ache, can I pick her up? (Thankfully Abigail is here.....)

We are trying to choose our new insurance plan for the year, there are three terribly expensive ones to choose from. The out-of-pocket cost from each paycheck will rise substantially, and the new deductible will be $2000, with us paying 20% of everything after that. I did not ever consider myself a conspiracy theorist, but now I am wondering. People content with their insurance plans do not generally support the proposed government health-care, so these comfortable plans are disapearing. (when I see the way motor-vehicles is run, I want to scream, "You want the government running more stuff?? For example, in New York State, if one fails to pay a ticket, and loses his/her license, he/she cannot call the motor vehicle department to find out anything, he/she must go in and talk to them in person, with no driver's license. And they do not always let you know if your license has been suspended, it can be a big surprise if you get pulled over. Then they make you pay all kinds of extra fees to re-instate it, not caring in the least that the reason the person maybe didn't pay the ticket was because they didn't have the money in the first place. ) (It wasn't me, and I know people shouldn't get tickets in the first place, and if they do, they should just pay them...but the point is the way this system frustrating) Every single little program takes more money out of hard-working people's paychecks....

Well, I guess I need a good dose of thankfulness. I am thankful for Camille, in her red and white fuzzy polka-dotted footie jammies, she is hugging Rosie-the-big-stinky dog. I am thankful for Mirielle, who is helping so much around the house today. I am thankful for Camille, who just took off the cute pajamas, and is running around in her diaper, saying, "I am naked, I am naked!"

Christmas is coming, and I need to write my favorite Christmas poem, I do not know the author:

"Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man's hat,
If you haven't got a penny, a half penny 'll do,
If you haven't got a half-penny, God bless YOU!"

Well, my break is over. Mirielle got up with the kids for me this morning, and I slept 'til after nine. I enjoyed it, but I am always afraid I am missing something....and now I feel like the morning has gone way too fast. I folded clothes and cleaned off counters and picked things up before I finally just sat down with some mini-wheats and my coffee. And I thought I would sneak in a few minutes of computer time. I now have to wake Mr Benjamin and take care of some things, and I really want to clean out my baking cupboard so it is more organized, and I would like to organize the presents I already bought so I know what to get for whom. And here I sit.....

it is after midnight, and I should be in bed...

Oh, the things that happen each day. Not that anything monumental happened today. But it was a good day.

We had our Thanksgiving feast at church, ham and turkey and stuffing and potatoes and gravy, and vegetables and rolls with butter....and coffee and pumpkin and apple pie with ice cream....and fellowship and encouragement and music, just as I imagined.

And my dear friend Gwen was there. She is not doing well at all. She was born in 1924, and she has cancer now. She is English, and grew up in India, her father was a railroad man. As a child, she had servants who fanned them in the heat, and helped her get dressed. She was in the English army during World War Two. She has so many interesting stories to tell. She is getting very weak, though. She didn't even have the strength to pick up her fork and eat her pie on her own. Her mind is still so sharp and she still has her humor, but her body is failing quickly now. She is very thin, and being there at the feast today was exhausting for her, even in the wheelchair. I know she has had a good life, and I know she'll be glad to meet up with her sister, Joy, who passed away three years ago last June. But I am not ready to say goodbye to her yet. She is old, but after talking to her for 2 minutes, one forgets that. She is funny and clever and very encouraging. She is thoughtful and kind, and takes her calling seriously. She is humble and dear and good, and heaven will be glad to receive her!

After the feast some of us (Abigail, Mirielle, Aaron, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and I) went over to my niece Susan and her husband Thomas' house for their son William's first birthday party. He is the cutest sweetest thing! Margaret has pictures on her camera, maybe she will let me steal some. He is so cute. Jonathan was helping him walk around, and the girls and Jon were playing on the floor with him with his new toys. After we sang the birthday song to him, he got a huge piece of chocolate cake, and he just poked it curiously at first, and he squealed with delight before discovering how much fun it was to squish and squeeze it. My kids just loved watching him. They are telling me again how much they need a little brother.

Everyone has gone to bed now, and the house is quiet. I need to get Rosie into her cage and get to bed myself. I am tired, but it is oh, sooo nice to sit here in the quiet. Because I know that tomorrow will be busy....I need to:

Take Benjamin some places. Help him get some things taken care of. By the way, please consider praying for this son of mine. He is a lost soul, he is lonely and depressed, his girlfriend of 4 years broke up with him, which I have no comment about, but he is taking it hard. He just can't seem to get out of his nice little hole he has dug...we are trying to help him get back on his feet and find his way in it. No, it is not the little ones who give me gray hair...but of course I love him, and would do anything to help him.

I need to go tanning. Well, I suppose that is wrong to call it a "need". As I told Paul, I don't want to burn as easily in Jamaica, so I need a base tan. And I want to look good in my bathing suit. He just looked at me. Well, I said, I don't want to cause anyone to stumble...ha.

I need to return the new foot pedal for the sewing machine, it doesn't fit. AArrrgg. I am doomed in the sewing department!!! It is one thing after another, and this time it is almost not funny, because Mirlelle and Margaret are trying to make these sweet little princessy stockings for the bazaar.

Oh, and I need to clean up the house a bit better. Ha, "a bit better"....more like lots. Weekends tend to be relaxing around here, and it shows....although I did match a whole basket of socks last night, and do a few loads of laundry today. (a whole basket of clean matched socks makes me happy).....

And here I sit, still....goodnight!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

oh my goodness what a day!

Benjamin put Rosie on the couch, where she is NOT allowed. Jonathan liked this though. Suzanne and Camille

Samuel with Charlotte Claire, and Aaron with Camille


Today was sort of like last Saturday....Joseph had to work at both the same Walmarts...and the second store was too far to drop him off and go back, so I stayed and shopped, just like last Saturday. I did have two willing accomplices, Aaron and Mali, who are very bad in stores. They were spying on me, and I knew it. So I left my cart in the aisle, and sneaked back up to say , "RAH" to Mali, and when I leaned around the corner of the aisle to do that, there was a guy walking around the corner towards me. It was so funny, because of course I had already yelled, "RAH!" when I realized that man was not Mali. But Aaron and Mali had a good laugh.

We got everything we need for Thanksgiving. 5 packages of brown and serve rolls, heavy cream for topping the pies, and then the usual like bagels and bananas. I also got the ingredients for the fudge for the bazaar. I usually make regular chocolate fudge, then peanut butter fudge, and maybe chocolate walnut fudge, and my favorite: Almond Joy fudge. Mirielle is in charge of making it this year. Now THAT is hard for me. Missing the bazaar, and not being around to orchestrate things...ouchie for me. I also got some giant jingle bells so the girls can make necklaces, and some smaller bells for bracelets. The FUNNEST thing I got today by far was the shoes. I found one dollar shoes in Walmart!! I got two pair for Camille, two for Charlotte Claire, two for Suzanne, and Sonja, and one for Evelyn, Margaret, and Samuel.

After we picked Joe up from the first Walmart, we stopped at Mcdonalds so Joseph could get a one dollar chicken sandwich and a small fries, and I got a coffee. I always get a large so I can share. Then we went to the TimHorten's drivethrough and got some Timbits...then on to the big new Walmart....after we were done there, we were really thirsty....but we were going to try to make it home.....then I turned around in a MCDONALD'S parking we went through the drivethrough...and got two ice cream cones, two sundaes, and four ice waters. $4.30. And we had a nice ride home.

I got home with groceries to children that were glad to see me, and a muddy dog. She wasn't supposed to come in because she was so dirty, but try telling her that. I put her in the tub and washed her legs and feet off, and then put the cold stuff away. I am sorry to say there are lots and lots of things not put away yet, but right now I do not care. I matched socks tonight, too. A whole laundry basket full. Paul got the washer and dryer stacked, and the laundry room is all clean and organized. It feels wonderful and I want to keep it this way forever and ever.
Tomorrow is a Thanksgiving feast at our church. The younger ones will cook, it is amazing what they can do. Mirielle and her cousins and some of the younger girls got together yesterday and made 30 pies, apple and pumpkin. Tomorrow there will be songs and music and certainly encouraging testimonies of thankfulness. The girls have their clothes all picked out to dress up nicely, and they are all excited about it.
I know I have a lot to be thankful for. Of course there are all the earthly things, (especially running water!), but I am mostly thankful for salvation. I have learned lately that it is very important to see the bigger picture so that I am not bogged down by the little things. Proverbs 29 v. 18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."And what is the vision? It is that I partake fully of that way of salvation that Jesus made, because He said, "Follow me...." The spirits of this world are heavy and full of fear and anxiety. If this is the day that the Lord has made, and we are to rejoice and be glad in it, (Psalm 118, v. 24), then when is the day to be angry and impatient and scared? But it is a battle. And I am thankful I can be awake to it.
Enough preaching for one day!!! But God's word is my life, and my life is all because of God.

oh my goodness what a day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

lazy afternoon....

I should take more pictures. I should do alot of things. But today, I just took a nap. It wasn't really a nap, I just rested with Camille. I fell asleep a million times while she sang and put her fingers up my nose. She had slept in this morning 'til eleven, so I didn't want to put her in for a real nap. Charlotte Claire was tired, so she had gone willingly in for an afternoon crib visit. The kids were playing nicely, so I thought I would take a break....and it was pleasant. Camille is such a sweetie, even if she didn't go to sleep.

I got up and made a quick meatloaf, then cut up a five pound bag of potatoes, added mini carrots (cheat-y carrots), covered it with olive oil and salt and pepper in a glass dish, and put that in. When I make my meatloaf, especially when it goes in after 4pm, I section it off in the pan as if it is 6 or 8 smaller pieces. It cooks through lots quicker.

The kids have gotten along quite well today for having a day off. When I got home from parent conferences, Kathryn, Evelyn, and Suzanne were having lunch in the woods, where they were building a fort. Samuel was so nicely playing army men with Jon, and the little girls were just playing dollies and princesses. The kids have built a fort on the top bunk. It is a sheet that is tacked into the ceiling with like 100 tacks. They have played in there for most of the day.

I am struggling with something....all day, I wondered if I shared too much about that red car. I am not going to delete the post or anything, but.....I am wondering.

Well, Rosie the stinkbomb had a nice bath today and I haven't brushed her yet.......

coupons and crying.....

Okay, the coupons we cut were worth it! Mirielle and I shopped with Kathryn and Sonja, and we redeemed $62.70 in coupons! The store had two triple coupons up to a dollar, and all coupons under a buck are doubled. So anyway you look at it, that is alot of coupons. The items still have to be a good deal, on sale, or totally necessary to get into the cart. I spent about $250 for two overflowing carts full of stuff, including another turkey for 39cents a pound.

And onto the crying......for all I preach about taking things right and not blaming the other one, I still find myself going down the wrong road sometimes. Last night was one of them. I am a little frustrated about Christmas, because it is just around the corner, and I am so unprepared. We are having a bazaar at the school, and our church has a table, and I am trying to get things in line for that. And Paul wants me to talk to him before doing any major Christmas shopping. But I can't seem to get a chance to do that! Then, yesterday I looked on craigslist and found the perfect thing for Jonathan. He is obsessed with cars, and especially with Mustangs. Well, a guy was selling his red Powerwheels mustang, a two seater, two years old, well taken care of, with a brand new $50 battery and a charger, all for $75. I emailed him, and he said I could have it. Yay! Then I told Paul about it....and he thought it was way too big of a gift. I asked him if he had any other ideas, but he was busy doing things, and just said no, quite distractedly. I seriously did not want to contact this guy and tell him "no" on this car, but Paul didn't think Jon needed it. I, on the other hand, had already revelled in the thought of Jon's happy face on Christmas morning, and how much fun they would have with it. I was thoroughly excited about it, couldn't believe it wasn't already sold. And it wasn't just the car, it was that I started feeling sick and tired of trying to figure everything I went to bed. Without saying goodnight. By the time I was all snuggled in, I felt terrible. Not terrible enough to get out of the comfy bed after a long day, I must admit. Anyway, I called Paul already this morning and told him I love him and I am sorry. I mean, I still am a bit sore about the car. I think I am right. But I am going to let it go because it just isn't worth it. We do see things differently sometimes.

Of course I stayed awake for long after Paul came in and went to sleep. I cannot sleep when things are not right inside. I knew I was being a jerk. I had to just get a vision again for the big picture. What are we here for? To get lots of stuff? It is very serious to redeem our time wisely. I had a nice talk with God, and my attitude is much better today. Oh, but Jon would have loved that car.....rrrr.

But the good news is: Paul got his passport! (and please don't think HE is a jerk, he is a very kind, responsible, practical (too practical, but then maybe I am just too UN-practical(and I also love love love toys, which he thinks is insanity)). And, I got my new Birkenstocks. And they are pretty! But then most any shoe would be pretty next to my old ones....they are SO comfy but so shabby.

I have to go to parent-teacher conferences by myself today. It is a little feel-sorry-for-myself. I hate those conferences anyway, the teachers offer these tiny little chairs. And for the life of me I don't know what they are talking about sometimes. "As you know, little Suzy is working on the new way to do math, we have done away with touchpoints and now blah-blah-blah...."I am partly kidding. And I don't really mind going. I just don't exactly keep track of what each child is working on all the time. I mean, Evelyn is in fourth grade. In fourth grade, they have a Native American project, which I call the Indian project. So she is the eleventh child to come home and announce she needs to build a longhouse. I have help build so many longhouses. (there is one excellent teacher, however, who still had Mali's longhouse since it was so detailed and realistic, and let Kathryn take it home and add some more...she understood.) Anyway, Evelyn is doing corn muffins instead. A few of the teachers I am meeting with today are very young, almost young enough to be my daughters. I know they won't understand my letting-the-kids-stay-home-once-in-a-while philosophy. They don't see the big picture, they don't realize that my children are growing up faster and faster and that now I have more kids over twelve than under. They don't see that having a child miss a day and get more of my one-on-one attention is worth getting behind on a few worksheets. That when I go shopping with a child who is supposed to be in school, that child maybe gets something at McDonalds, and a chance at some new sneakers or something from the clearance rack. It is exciting for that child to be more focused on. It sounds terrible, but that is the way it is.

Lots of other stuff is going on today, Joseph is with one of the guys from church, and Mirielle has to go shopping for dessert stuff for Sunday, we are having a nice Thanksgiving dinner at church. Abigail and Benjamin have places to go and things to do, and then tonight is activity club. Thankfully everyone seems well and healthy right now. It seemed like there was someone with something for weeks and weeks.

Oh well, off to school I go.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

day off for my kids....

And I decided to try to sleep in a little. I did stay up until 1am. But if it isn't one thing, it's another, and Miss Rosie barked at the garbage guys like they were stealing her garbage or something. Am I the only one who heard her in this whole house? Could one of the older kids have woken and called her in?

So that is how my day started....then I remembered who made this day, and my attitude changed. Then, I entered the kitchen. What the...???? Those pans were supposed to be washed last night!!! Okay, okay....and I made some coffee and got a bowl of PeanutButterCrunch, and here I am. Well, I did bring Rosie in and feed and water and pet her, and I did get Jonathan out some clothes....and I did see the wet clothes on the laundry room floor....seems the hose from the back of the washer likes to secretly disconnect itself, and let water rain down to the bathroom and utility room downstairs every once in a while, just for fun. I picked up a few items that I knew I washed yesterday, lying on the floor wet. hmm. And I decided I would deal with it later.

I do not have much luck with footwear. I am a barefoot girl, wearing slippers only when my feet get really cold. I have my comfy Birkenstock slip ons, and I wear them from April to October, and an occasional warm day in November. Then I have to wear awful shoes. I have a pair I have been wearing a few years, and they look horrible. So I found the same exact pair, $30 at Walmart. Same size, same shoe, just new and neat. I wore them the other day, and they hurt so badly I finally took the worst one off and walked through Aldi parking lot with one shoe on. I still have the receipt, the tags, and the box, I am going to bring them back. And what do I do now? I also bought some beach sandals on clearance at Sears the other day. I tried them on when I got home and OUCH, they hurt between my toes. I gave them to Margaret, and she gave me some she had that only hurt a little. But the good thing is, I found some Birkenstocks online the other day for half price, in my size! I am expecting them in the mail any day now. They are slides too, but they are prettier than the ones I have, and new and neat, of course. I cannot wear them in the snow of course, but I can wear them on our vacation if Paul gets his passport.

Last night I had one of the worst dreams.....I dreamed we got to our hotel and the only way to get into our room was to climb up a dresser and go through a really small door.....hmm. Anxiety anyone?

I cut coupons for literally two hours yesterday. Well, I didn't exactly cut only coupons. No, I cut other things too. Every picture of a doggy or a kitty, and cakes and pies and Christmas stuff. The kids got out the glue and made collages. Even Charlotte Claire likes to do that. Mirielle filed all the coupons last night, so we are good to go to the store. Which is what we might do. BJ's has a coupon book, and we have lots of coupons for the things they have in it, so there will be big savings there.

I do not know how many kids we will end up bringing with us. Sweet little Charlotte Claire has developed some new little tantrum techniques that make outings interesting. Camille and her had a huge fight over who got to hold the bag of gummy bears at Aldi the other day, and Charlotte Claire wanted me to buy a second bag so she could hold it. 89cents, I should have. But she just seemed to demanding about it, and I said that one was enough, they could take turns. Now, teaching kids to take turns should take place primarily at home, unless you really didn't want to buy anything in the store anyway. Good thing Abigail was with me to take her out to the van and buckle her into the car seat. Or I would have had to pick her up and carry a screaming limp child, devastated that she couldn't carry the gummy bears. By the time I got back out to the van, she was fine, and said she wouldn't be bad in a store again. Well, last night she had a fit because Camille hit her and she was going to hit her back, and I stopped them...and she hit me! No way, Miss. Jonathan and her have picked this up, and no way. Jon has only done it once, and I stopped him and had him sit in a chair for a while. He has said he won't do it again, he knows it is bad. My older kids did not fight as much as the younger ones do. They are best friends, but they swing at each other pretty quickly about stupid things. Especially those little girls who share a room......

Well, I need to do some things around here, especially if we are going shopping....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

thank you Anne, I forgot charlotte claire!

When I listed the kids' names, I forgot Charlotte Claire. Oops.

I went for my walk today, yay!!! I dragged Abigail along with me, which was a good idea because she talked to me while I was suffering up the hill, and distracted me.

Our turkey dinner was good, except for the fact that Paul had to leave and go to a meeting, BEFORE dinner. We had turkey, gravy, Mirielle's sweet potato fries (which were just sweetpotatoes sliced, baked, salted...very yummy) corn,green beans, and rolls. No one else had to leave after dinner, so we had a nice time sitting at the table, and sharing some cookies I had bought the other day at Aldi (the assortment box for $3.49), they didn't fight over the good ones too badly.

The kids have a half-day of school tomorrow. So, being the nice mommy that I am, I am letting them stay home. We live out a ways from the school, so their bus ride is long...and on a half day, it just isn't worth all that time on the bus. They are all good students, so I am not worried about them getting behind. The only hard part about it is answering all the teacher's queries on Friday. Because Friday is Parent-Teacher Conference day for us. Or I should say for me, because Paul just informed me that he can't make it. He has been crazy behind at work. So I get to face the teachers. I don't know if I can get them to understand my philosophy, which is -well, I just like them around alot. They get so much out of a day at home. Hopefully they sleep in a bit.

Well, time for bed.

22 years ago today....

Was a very sad day. It was the day I had my first miscarriage. I had two sweet little girls then, Emily Anne was almost three, and Abigail was eleven months. I was twelve weeks along with my third pregnancy. I had the usual morning sickness. I can still remember making Abigail bottles of formula, and the smell of it just turning my stomach. Anyway, one usual morning, I started to bleed. It got worse and I started cramping. My mom came over to help with the girls. By evening, it had gotten so the cramps had turned into contractions, and then I actually "had" the baby in the bathroom....just a tiny almost transparent little baby...I remember I reacted with a shriek, it was rather overwhelming....and I still can picture my mother out in the livingroom of our mobile home with Emily and Abigail, their eyes huge, and her comforting them and telling them that mommy was fine. Anyway, I had to go into the hospital for a D&C, and spend the night there. It was no fun being on the maternity floor after having two babies there. I was only 22 years old then. So I lost that baby, and one year later I was due to have Benjamin on the same exact day, but he was born a week early. I don't understand why these things happen, losing babies is so painful. Life just goes on, and there you are, just empty. I then went on to have Mirielle Joy, Joseph, Aaron, Mali Rose, Samuel, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja...and then I had Robert stillborn....then Jonathan, and two miscarriages, the Camille, then I lost one last spring.

Abigail is getting ready to go to a job interview, she is all dressed up and I hope Rosie doesn't jump on her on her way to her car. Rosie...she was barking and chasing the geese as they headed south this morning. I called her in, and she hesitated...just looked at me. I asked her if she wanted a drink, and she came bounding up the steps. I moved over for her, and she shoved by me on the other side, almost knocking me over. rr.

Anyway, one thing I have learned, I hope, through the things I have experienced, is to have mercy on others. Especially losing my mother and father and then my brother. The people you meet along the way are not just gas pumpers and cashiers and nurses and teachers. They are people with their own struggles and losses, and if they are having a miserable day, how am I to know what they are going through? I don't have to be miserable back to them.

Today we are going to roast a turkey. It isn't the huge one for Thanksgiving, it is only 15 pounds. And we decided not to have a "turkey dinner", but to have fresh sweet potato fries, green beans, and rolls with it. There is nothing like sitting down to the feast on Thanksgiving and having the kids say, "Turkey again??" because they have been so cheap.

Margaret is home again. Her throat hurts. She has no fever, but now says her head hurts. Kathryn is home. She has a headache. She said it hurt all day in school yesterday. Do I take them to the doctor? (co-pays for visits, co-pays for cultures).....I am not sure if they just have colds...but if Marg has I think I should probably call. I hope Emily goes back to school to be a physicians assistant or a nurse practicioner......then I could just call her all the time.

My sewing machine foot pedal should be coming today. I am so excited!!! It has been like a bad dream, these last few years trying to get sewing. First, I lost the bobbin case. Then after finally going to place to get a replacement, I found out this machine does NOT have a bobbin case. After months of not, I got all set to sew...and ....when I had gotten rid of an old machine that wasn't worth saving, I had accidentally thrown away the foot pedal to my new machine with it, and saved the pedal from the old for months now I have been procrastinating the ordering a new pedal. I thought I would have to call lots of places, and run all around town, when it was done and paid for with the magic card, in just one call. And it is being shipped here. And why didn't I do this months ago?

No passport yet for Paul....oh, it is so exciting. Will we go to Jamaica? Will we cancel at the last minute? Will I take Mirielle instead? No, I couldn't do that to Paul. So we will wait in suspense. He called the passport place again last night and talked to the same guy, and the guy absolutely would give no comment or speculation as to whether Paul would receive it in time.

Well, not to get to mushy-gushy or anything, but it has occured to me lately that I do really love my kids. They do some pretty bothersome things, and I get after them for stuff regularly. And what actually occured to me was that they see how I am towards them, hear how I am towards them, but they probably have no idea how thrilled I am with them! I am bound and determined to hug them more (which some of them will hate), and just let them know I really like them.

Well, all sorts of things are going on here. Mirielle has been taking and making phone calls regarding her accident. Rosie has been back outside barking at the neighbors, Charlotte Claire has been busy, and is now having some cereal. I am too distracted to think straight....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This is Rosie, being forced to lie down in the kitchen because she wouldn't leave poor Jon alone...she was chasing the remote control truck....
Suzanne likes to keep busy. She wrote all different words on these small pieces of paper, so she could arrange them and make sentances.

Jon was thrilled with his new truck....
Wow...Kathryn took these pictures of him...

The camera disapeared soon after this....we couldn't find it anywhere. Then I found it today, sitting on the shelf where I keep it. When I looked at the pictures, mystery solved: Benjamin had it. There were some nice new profile pictures of him.
Sam is eating waffles, Joseph popcorn. These big boys are never full.

sunny tuesday morning...

First of all, the car DOES by some miracle have collision on it. That was good news. Second, since we have way too much garbage, the garbage guys are going to bring us two 96 gallon "wheelers", and see if it is enough for us. It costs double. I know, we are bad for the environment, right? But good for the economy, and that is more important! My kids are terrified we will have to get a dumpster, which according to them is "instant social suicide".

Paul doesn't have his passport yet. He called last night and had it expidited, which costs a bit....and they couldn't guarantee he would have it in time. But it just makes it more exciting....we MIGHT go to Jamaica....

I wrote this post this it is afternoon. Living out here in the country, the internet service is spotty. I lost the connection this morning, and then had to leave.

Now we are home....we went to sears and got our washer/dryer stacking kit. And: I got myself some beach sandals, and three shirts, for cheap. We walked through the rest of the mall and didn't spend a penny, except for at the fabric store. I ordered a new foot pedal for my sewing machine, so we got some pink and purple and silver shiny fabric so Mirielle can make some princess-y Christmas stockings for the annual local Christmas bazaar. Our church youth group (and Cheryl, Kim, and I) get a table every year.

Jonathan got a nifty new remote control Publix truck from his gramma in the mail yesterday. He is so absolutely thrilled with it, he decided he shouldn't keep it in his room last night because he said, "I'll be too distracted to sleep." He is too old for his kindergarten age. He also doesn't know what to ask for for Christmas now.

My camera is missing again. It is frustrating, but no one knows where it is. No one took pictures with it. No one touched it. hmm. Last night Evelyn put Camille's hair into like 6 little ponytails, no camera. Jon had a huge grin on his face because of his new truck, no camera. The two little girls had on matching shirts with their matching jeans and matching Converse sneakers, no camera.

And now the dreaded time of the day is creeping up...dinner dilemma time. As I have mentioned over and over again in past posts, if you have 5 or 6 or even 10 people to make dinner for, and you are can throw SOMETHING together.

The internet went down AGAIN, now it is evening....we had a nice dinner: beef Rice-A-Roni with some browned ground beef in it, and asparagus. With bread and butter. And for dessert, a pineapple sliced up by Joseph. And some tangerines. But I can't eat pineapple, I am allergic to tropical fruits...not so much fun for me to go to Jamaica, in that respect.

Now most of the kids are in bed....and the internet is working again for now. I am glad I don't write for a living....

Monday, November 16, 2009

waiting for the kids to get home....

I made phone calls today. I vacuumed and cleaned up today. I mostly enjoyed the kids who were here (even if they are now adults, they are still my kids, so i call them kids), Abigail, Benjamin, Mirielle, Joseph, Samuel (he did not get up and go to school this morning, after being woken twice, so I thought he might be sick. Not so. He just didn't go. rr.), Margaret, who says she has a sore throat, but not bad enough for me to call the dr., hmm, and the two little girls. I was going to go to Sears and pick up the stacking kit for the washer/dryer, and take Joseph to the bank....but I decided to procrastinate. I need to be here when that second trip bus comes! I barely saw the younger kids all weekend. Sonja was with me at Walmart on Saturday night, that was fun. I just hope she doesn't tell all the secrets. She is a horrible secret keeper.

So, no going back now, but I didn't go walking yesterday or the day before, though I did walk around alot on Saturday. It is not the same as walking on our hilly road. I just realized that if I want to go, I should go before it gets dark.

Mirielle is making cookies....oh, it is nice to have her home. I am planning to have spaghetti tonight. We haven't had it in a while. I almost hate making it though, because it is our back-up meal....

Oh well...need to get moving....

ahh, another monday....

Filled with things to take care of:

1. Call the insurance company. We are pretty sure Mirielle has collision on the car.

2. Call the garbage guys. They left 4 cans of trash behind with a note last week that said we had exceeded our garbage limit.

3. Call the library and find out why we owe $142 in late fees.

4. Call the Torrington Police Department in Connecticut and find out if they are truly going to watch the security tapes from the bank which the "assault" happened in front of.

5. Call and find out if I can get a replacement foot pedal for my sewing machine.

6. Help/encourage Benjamin to get a few traffic tickets straightened out.

7. Call and see how much it is to go tanning a few times. (Not for vanity, ha, just so I don't get too burnt....that's what I'm telling myself anyway....)

I won't even get into what I have to do around here.......except to say that my curtains arrived back from the cleaning people on Saturday(and now I have 7 pair of curtains to hang up)....along with a whole ton of other clothes that I didn't even miss. The good thing is that they are things the boys outgrew, and they will be too old by the time Jon gets that big, and we have friends with boys....

The more I think about how the police officer acted regarding Mirielle's experience, the more I want to slap him. Okay, she should have called the cops on Saturday night when it happened. But apparently they (she had another girl with her) were terrified. The guy hit them, then pulled right up next to them and glared at Mirielle, then smashed right into them again. She then just took off ....she still SHOULD have called 911, but they were scared....and they didn't have a good description of the car. Mirielle has a good description of the guy, but the officer of the law was only interested in the car. The officer actually told me that he should give Mirielle a ticket for leaving the scene of an accident. But good sir, this was no accident. It was an attack. Hopefully it was in full view of the bank camera.......

So we went down and picked Mirielle up. She had said her goodbyes and was ready to come home, and was stuck there with a car that wouldn't drive....(I think the rear axel is bent, because I AM a mechanic). We had way too much fun. Aaron got directions online, but he followed the roadmap instead, as it made more sense. He is an excellent navigator.

It is already good to have Mirielle home.....she has a load of dark clothes going and is giving Charlotte Claire some breakfast.......(she just told Mirielle that we have a bench to sit on that is huge, and Mirielle told her she knows, she hasn't been gone THAT long).....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

what will today bring?

I started the day bright and early, ready to make the kids a nice breakfast and go to the meeting....then Mirielle called. She was supposed to come home today, but.....last night, while in Connecticut, a guy smashed into the back of her car. She pulled over, and he smashed into her again, on purpose. He looked right at her, and purposely ran in to her. She was scared....and the car didn't drive so well after that....she could barely turn the corner....anyway...she couldn't drive it home, and the shops are closed I hopped in the minivan, and took a trip to Connecticut, with Mali and Aaron. Mali, Mirielle, and Aaron.
Mali and Aaron at the Torrington Police Dept.

Miss Mirielle...

She filed a report, but the officer didn't seem to believe her that the guy would hit her on purpose.....and since she didn't get a good description of the guy....he didn't think they would catch him. So the car is there, she is here, and the insurance company will take care of the rest.
We have been on the road all day, and now we are home....ahh.
Here is Mr. Joseph working at Walmart. I actually had fun spending hours there last evening. I got some neat Christmas presents that I cannot mention.

I was gone most of the day yesterday, and all day today, so I have some catching up to do....