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, February 29, 2012

can I please go back to bed?

I had every good reason to take that nap yesterday, but there simply wasn't enough time.

Not that it would help today anyway.

I am staying home today. I hope. I have no plans to leave the house, except to take Miss Rosie down the road a bit with Camille.

All the kids went to school today, and Camille is still sleeping. Rosie has been walked and pet and fed and watered, and is zonked out in her cage. So it is deliciously quiet in here. I am wondering why I didn't dive back in bed as soon as that bus pulled away...

One thing I need to set straight...I still have a LONG way to go in my weight face does look thinner, but I still have some jiggling going on here, serious jiggling. The pictures I posted don't depict just how much chubbiness is still hanging on around the middle. But I am getting serious again. This time for sure. I found that because I was "recovering", I was being way too lenient in what I ate...partly because carbs settle with my new digestive system better, partly because at heart, I am a Carb-a-holic who took advantage of being able to eat things like pumpkin muffins. But why would I think I can also eat those Swiss chocolate covered peanut butter Valentine hearts? If I give myself an inch, I take a mile.

So no more inches. I will just love the carbs from afar, they are my poision. They do not fill me, they make me feel sluggish, and just want more of them.

Last night I made myself the yummiest salad. I bought a bag of sliced almonds. A handful in a saucepan on low heat, tossed around and toasted, yum! Top off the salad with those and a few craisins, and yum.

Front page news here the other day: A local woman walked down the Red Carpet at the Oscar's in a dress from off the rack! I thought, wow, a fifteen dollar dress...but no, it was $575. I wouldn't pay that for a wedding dress. MY wedding dress was thirteen bucks. Were we really supposed to be impressed?

I bought Sam a few things in Sears last night. Two pairs of jeans for $10 each, a shirt for $2.99, and one for $4.99. (his friends don't read this, right?). Then some new sneakers for seventeen dollars in Target. I think it is important to keep the kids neat and clean and well-dressed. Because there are so many of them, I couldn't just go buy things full-priced, so I have to shop those clearance racks. Our kids get their winter coats in the spring, and their bathing suits in the fall.

Miss Camille is up, dashing all hopes for a morning snooze, ha. She came running out of her room in just a pair of sparkly shoes. She is dressed now in a fancy gold dress, eating a bagel and watching, "SuperReader". Oh dang what am I going to do next year? She is a total sunshine. Twenty seven years I have been home with kids...from that tiny baby Emily all those years ago, full circle to just one little girl here now...of course the afternoons are a different story altogether, especially on cold winter days when they have so much energy and it is no fun to go outside...spring can come any time now!

So Samuel didn't appreciate the shopping so much. He grumbled and asked repeatedly if we were done yet...I finally told him he might be missing out on treasures from heaven because of all his complaining. He retorted, rather loudly, "Oh, so I am going to hell because I don't like shopping??!" Shh, I said. Of course not. I am merely suggesting perhaps you change your attitude a little bit, Mr. I am not going to eat all this food, so just help me and quit asking when we are leaving....

The thing is, Samuel is really good company. He is so funny and never gets sulky or moody like most teenagers. He loves talking about World War II, of course, and I have read enough books that I can carry on some good conversations with him. We also can have some really good fellowship, he is in a new bible study group, and is totally interested in it. He is very conscious of being faithful in his days. He might have some degree of Asperger's, but he is a huge sweetie of a kid, and I wouldn't change a thing about him. (after we got home, he just kept saying how he was looking forward to normal days when we didn't go to the small city AND down near the mall in the same day...change is not easy for him, and this totally messed up his routine)

Anyway, the truth is, rather than have a good excuse for the house being messy, I would rather have the house all clean. But that isn't in the cards for today, anyway, so I will just putter around and do a few things and leave it at that. I am really tired out from yesterday, I felt like I had run a marathon, not that I have the foggiest what that feels like, although some day I dare say I would like to find out.

It is getting lighter out in the morning, so the first thing I will do is return to my long walk with Rosie. Then perhaps some light lifting so my arms don't feel so lethargic. ha, just the thought of it makes me yawn this morning.

Camille hates when I change my voice and say I am someone else. I just told her I was Miss Bunny, her new kindergarten teacher. I talked to her in a different voice, and she just got this look on her face, like it just might be true. I say things like, "Your Mom said I could sit in her chair and wear her sweater. Do I look like your Mama?" When she starts yelling, "You ARE Mama!", I stop and tell her she is right, I was just kidding. I just asked her if she wanted me to be Miss Bunny again, and she said, "NO!". So I will behave.

As I look out the window into the cold dreary morning, I remind myself that spring will come, leaves will grow on those branches, birds will sing again. I won't feel this tired, and like I was stabbed in the tummy forever. I hope. I will have more energy again, especially if I stay away from the Evil Carbs, and I will feel good. And...the most important thing, I will not wait until all those things happen to be glad! I will be thankful for today, and that God is doing a work in me...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

what a day

Dentist, sears for Sam's glasses, BJ's for....everything, including six 48packs of frozen ready to bake gourmet cookies for $2.99 each. Then Target for sneakers for sona and Sam, then Pricechopper....then home. Paul was gone to a meeting, so the girls tucked the little ones in....but when they heard me come in, out of bed they hopped....since i was afraid the donuts would get eaten, i let them have first pick..the girls who tucked them in didnt understand wjy i let them have donuts after bedtime...they do not know about Mommy Guilt....


Will I ever be able to eat breakfast and drink my coffee without having to scurry politely to the bathroom afterward? I ordered just raisin toast and a cup of coffee at the diner this morning, sipped the coffee slowly, my poor tummy rumbled and threatened, but I was sure lessens the fun though!

Sonja K. went with me, she enjoyed some pancakes and orange juice. She ordered bacon too, but didn't want it. I tell you, I wanted to eat that bacon. But I dared not. It is one of those things I can't touch right now. Especially not in the morning. I wanted to tell her to put it in her napkin and at least bring it home to Rosie, but I am too nice to make a little girl carry bacon into the library, our next stop....

We brought home a mermaid movie from the library, and a few books for the little girls, along with a few for me. It was seriously relaxing to just wander around looking at books with just Sonja K.

Now we are home, the dentist appointment isn't for a few hours, and I am thinking...NAP. Oh, naps how I love you! And since Sonja is here, and Sam, and Margaret....I can! I reason that as long as I love naps, and have a good excuse to need them these days, I MAY AS WELL TAKE THEM!!!

Yes, there are a few things that I like about recovering from surgery. The Messy House Excuse, and the I Need A Nap Excuse. I just wish the other people who lived in this house would take up the slack more, but oh well. Perhaps I will write up a simple chore list for later...after my nap, that is...

I am outta here!!!

I am supposed to be going out the door in a few minutes, so why in the world am I blogging? I must be a creature of habit. I have to take my minivan to be inspected. The car place is in town across from the library, but the library doesn't open for a half hour after my appointment. Paul said, "Just go to the diner." hmm. And have to run for the bathroom? I think not. Yet I shall probably go there anyway.

Three kids have dentist appointments this afternoon in the small city...actually I am supposed to see the dentist, but I am swapping Margaret for me, since I do not feel like getting in the dentist chair and leaning forward several times to rinse. Nah, not up for that yet.

Then we are heading back home to drop Margaret off, then going to pick up Sam's glasses from the place in the mall in the other direction. That direction is the home of my favorite grocery store, Price Chopper. And Target is next to it. And BJ's is down there. Hmm. How much can I take today? How much will Sam put up with?

I let Sonja skip since she has one of the dentist appointments. Jonathan is not thinking this is really fair. So I comforted him that Emily said she was going to pick them up from school this Friday. He said, "Sonja too?" I told him Of Course, isn't that nice for Sonja? Hmmpf, he said. It's a good thing I try to teach them that Life Ain't Fair, or I would be really scrambling to make things even.

So I got through yesterday. I took Rosie out in the morning, then a few hours later I helped Miss Camille into some boots and her coat, and we all set out for a little walk. We had made pumpkin muffins, which we ate when we came in. By noon-ish, I was so tired I settled on the couch...Camille cuddled up with me, watching Maisy on television, and I totally zonked. She was touching my face and talking to me, I just slept. She finally got up and played Barbies in her room, I dreamed that everyone came home and asked me how on earth I could sleep with Camille up...I dozed off and on for over an hour...

I washed lots of dishes and a load of towels, made dinner...Paul came home and asked me if I am doing too much...hmm...I don't know, I am alive, aren't I?

My major incision isn't hurting as much as it was, but my whole insides still feel really wierd. Lots of gurgling, and I never know when I am going to need the bathroom QUICKly. But I am alive and kicking, and starting to want to get back into some light exercising one of these days...not today, though.

Monday, February 27, 2012


This one is better of Paul...he is much more handsome in person...not that it matters, he is wonderful.

I cried myself to sleep last night. Because I felt bad for feeling sorry for myself, and because I felt sorry for myself. Because my one incision just plain killed, and I didn't want to take any pain meds because I knew I had to get up this morning. I took some anyway. Healing is such a mental thing. I was starting to think I should be feeling better by now, and after a few innocent comments from people last night made me feel like I was making a big deal out of a simple surgery, wah. Paul asked me if I was okay this morning. How do I answer that? He really was wondering if there was anything he could do to help me, but what could he do? He was going to work. I told him I just want to feel better. I am done being tired and having pain. But guess what? I need to endure just a bit longer!

Overall, I really don't feel sorry for myself. I have much to be thankful for, much to look forward to. But life is a journey, and there is a time and a season for everything. I am rushing this season of healing, feeling a bit of pressure to get on with life, yet I have no control over pain or fatigue. I am interested in getting all I can out of this situation, of hearing what God has to say to me in these days.

My Camille is still sleeping, I am looking forward to having a quiet day with her. There is no need for me to get the house looking spiffy today, if you stop in, sorry! It is usually spotless, ha. I say this easily, but it will be really hard to just let things go. I don't have anyone here today who can pick things up for me, except of course Miss Camille. Joseph is working, the college kids left for classes, and all the school kids went to school today.

Life goes on. Tomorrow morning, I have to take the van to town for inspection by 9 a.m. Samuel's new glasses came in, and he wants me to take him to pick them up. Sonja informed me that her sneakers are WAY too small, and the kitten really needs to go to the vet. (she is in heat, try explaining THAT to Jonny....)

Also, when Joseph took Sam to Walmart to return his cans ($36 worth!), I sent him with my credit card and a small list, which included half and half for the coffee. Oops, he forgot it. And, as Aaron exclaimed this morning, he bought organic bananas! I told Joseph they were alot more expensive, and he said, "maybe you won't ask me to shop anymore." Nice try Joe, I said, but you are not getting out of that easily.

Paul brought home a gallon of organic milk the other day, $5.99! Regular milk is only like two bucks! Do I have to do everything myself? It is actually pretty funny, because where would the trials be if everyone did everything right around here?

So today I will just let things go, relax, maybe bribe Camille to take a nap with me...I could put a movie in, and doze while she watches it...she is still sleeping, so perhaps I should just stretch out on the couch...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

lovely night out

Paul and I went to dinner tonight....

It was more than lovely, it was special and good and wonderful. We were with our friends from church...friends we have known and loved for years and years. Friends who share our love for God, our desire to be free from sin, and friends with whom we are being knit together in love, as it is written. We encouraged each other to fight the good fight of faith and we are full of hope for the times to come.

Despite being rather uncomfortable, to put it mildly, I enjoyed the dinner immensely. Chicken Marsala, spinach salad with toasted almonds and bacon, home made rolls that also had bacon in them, yum!!!, and for dessert, oh heavenly dessert: a cookie plate with oven-warm cookies, plus a few could I not eat you, dear cookies? Served with some hot coffee...oh dear, it was good.

(I had no appetite all day, but I felt fine enough to eat my dinner, and sorry to say, most of my dessert...and I have no regrets. Tomorrow I shall behave much better...)

It seems to be the pattern, not handling food well during the day but being starving and able to eat dinner. hmm.

Anyway, I am thankful thankful thankful for our friends, and the church, and for the fellowship I am a part of...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

2, 200th post

Snowy Saturday here. I ran out of steam early, and took a nap. It was not nearly long enough, but I dragged myself up and got dressed because Paul was taking us to the movies! "The Muppets" was really funny. I got to sit next to Paul, with Miss Camille the Popcorn monster on the other side.

Home to the yummy smell of chili and cornbread filling the house, Aaron's snowboarding trip was cancelled because of the excessive snowy weather, so he decided to make dinner. We also made some chicken, and put in a pepperoni pizza.

Kitty Kitten is sleeping on my feet, and I am covered with a comfy blanket. Our internet has been off most of the day, we are at the end of the line out here in the country, and it goes down too often.

As I have been saying, I am really tired these days. I am thinking a cup of hot tea might be good right about now.

Tomorrow is the last day of the kids' school vacation, wah. There is a couple's dinner in the afternoon, which I am not sure I am up for physically, but I really am looking forward to it, I shall go even if I feel yucky. It is strengthening to be with our friends.

Kitty Kitten is bad. She scratched furiously on our bedroom door in the night, I got up, opened the door, picked up that bad kitty, gave her a little swat and told her NO, and closed the door. Back to bed, all covered up, Kitty Kitten started scratching and mewing again. So, she won. I let her in, she climbed in with me, cuddled up, purred, and slept with me. rr. The sooner we learn what they are trying to teach us, the better off we are.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Valentines plates for Suzanne's party.
How long have those, "Happy 1st Birthday" napkins been in our cupboard?
Evelyn decided to clean out some cupboards and found these umbrellas...the girls thought they looked lovely on the cupcakes.
Jonny and his big sister Emily.
Yay, Emily came over!

Suzanne and Olivia frosted the cupcakes,,,Yankees fans.
I love this picture! My niece Olivia helped Suze decorate the cupcakes.
Suzanne Eleanor, birthday girl...eleven years old.
No words needed for this one.

Suze picked her birthday dinner out ahead of time, corn dogs and boxed macaroni and cheese (yucky, eh?). I also put in some chicken thighs for the grown-ups, and made a big bowl of those yummy long green beans. I made the cupcakes and the frosting, then gave it to Suze and left the room. I told her it was the perfect time to have fun and learn how to decorate cupcakes.

I am trying not to do too much, but...

I find I can shuffle around and do dishes and putter around the kitchen, even sweep and mop up the floor if I don't have to lean over and pick things up. I even put in a load of lights this afternoon, because it needed to be done and no one was here to do it. Sam took the little kids out for a walk in the rain, they came in all happy with special rocks they washed in the sink. I let them open a new electric blanket and plug it in behind the couch, they are going to watch some television under it. Curious George, I think.

It is sort of frustrating to be so stalled in my weight loss/exercise thing. I couldn't exercise right now if my life depended on it. I seriously feel like I have been hit by a bus, and dragged a few feet. Dang, I thought I would bounce right back. Plus, I feel like a huge complainer. I am just coming to terms with the fact that I might just have to just hang in here for a few weeks, eat sensibly, then go at it again little by little, no work outs for a while. It is the "eating sensibly" thing I will have to work on. Yesterday, in addition to those yummy chocolate cupcakes with my homemade buttercream frosting, there was Evelyn's home made ice cream pie...the thing is, I had no intention of having ANY of it. Then Camille asked to be excused without finishing her ice cream pie...I didn't want it to go to waste, so I just took one taste, then before I knew it, I was scraping the plate with the spoon to get every last bit. Then I broke off a hunk of a cupcake, and that frosting is just so yummy...dang, I finished the whole cupcake. I did not have anything else the rest of the night, but blah, I should be more careful.

And that is not even mentioning how many chocolate covered peanut butter Valentine hearts I thoughtlessly ate while talking to my sister on the phone yesterday...

I do not want to gain all my weight back.

So I shall be more careful.

And I am also trying to count my blessings today. My kids are such good kids. They are so good to me. Evelyn got up with the little ones this morning and made pancakes, twelve year old Evelyn. I heard Rosie barking, so I called the home phone from my cell phone, in bed, and asked Jon to just let her out the door. Sam has been getting up every morning to take her out, but he must've slept in, which was nice, because he IS on vacation.

It is cold and overcast today, my favorite kind of day to stay inside. The rain is changing over to snow, and we should get quite a bit by tomorrow afternoon. I am really glad to be in my jammies, going no where fast. I am also glad Sam is going to make me some afternoon coffee soon.

Once I am up and about, it isn't too bad, but getting up from a chair or out of bed, or rolling over, ouch. I haven't taken any pain meds since early this morning, so I am thinking of taking just one soon, to take the edge off. I still have stuff in my lungs from the surgery, and coughing is not fun.

I had been thinking of taking the kids to the movies today, but decided it was crazy. So I asked Paul if he will take us tomorrow, and he said SURE. Then Camille, who has gone to the movies THREE times in her little life, ran up to him and said, "Daddy, do you PROMISE to get us popcorn AND soda??!" He said yes. Wow, Camille. I think I will be up for going, it will only be the five youngest, and with Paul to drive, it will be nice. All my girls aged 12 and up will be at the young sister's weekend at church, and I am pretty sure that Joseph, Aaron, and Samuel will opt out of seeing, "The Muppets". Unless Sam hears about the popcorn...

Honestly, I have more than sympathy for all the mommies out there who have had c. sections, ouch! No fun. Although at least you get a baby out of that! I would really like a new baby right about now.

Going to the hospital...I have gone in sixteen times and brought home babies. Then once to have Robert, which was too sad, and the two times for the d&c's, last summer and twenty something years ago. So for me, going to the hospital=having a baby.

Oh well...sorry if I complain too much, and thank you for all the encouragement!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

if you kids clean up, I'll give you a prize....

I am resorting to bribery. Samuel James, my 16 year old son, is worth his weight in gold these days, getting up and taking Rosie The Bad dog outside and helping out with things...when I looked out the window and saw him throwing snowballs at her, and romping around, Rosie's whole rear end wagging with happiness, I was so thankful for Mr. Sam.

I am feeling just as bad today as I was yesterday, perhaps worse. I postponed taking the pain meds for a bit, but ouch, my belly button incision is a killer. So I am feeling a bit light-headed again, and I am not about to get up and start cleaning this place up...the little girls, Jonathan, and Sonja are up, along with Sam. I find it hard to relax when it is getting cluttered up, so I said the magic words, "kids, clean up and I will get you a prize from my closet!" Wow, they can clean speedy fast! Jon is sweeping, in just his Superman boxers and socks.

Sam wants some coin sleeves from Walmart. He also wants me to take him to return his cans and bottles, because he wants to buy a new air-soft gun. I told him Maybe Later. I still need to get a prescription filled, and we are out of half and half, which is a Huge Emergency. But I think I will hold out and stay home at least today.

I am already thinking of taking the kids to the movies tomorrow. I figure if they help out, it can't be too stressful to get ready and get out the door, and once there, we just sit and watch...the cheap theater is showing the new muppet movie for $1.75.

I am regretting my Prize Offer, because Camille keeps asking me every 20 seconds if it is time yet...and now Sam is cleaning out the hall closet. blah. They will find lots of fun stuff, but I think the living room is going to get really messy with all the Game Closet things.

Dang, I am feeling really nauseaus...or however that is spelled. It is my dear little Suzanne Eleanor's eleventh birthday, I want to feel fine. Evelyn made the ice cream pies yesterday...she crushed up chocolate sandwich cookies and stirred them up with melted butter for the crusts...and put hot fudge on top, then put them in the big freezer.

Yesterday was Mirielle Joy's 22nd birthday, she was doing clinicals until quite late, but I did get to wish her a Happy Birthday when she got home. I didn't even have a yummy dinner waiting for her, I forgot she hates fish. She got her gifts the other day, a few shirts, two sweaters, and some Clorox disinfecting wipes to clean her car.

I should have said NO to the closet cleaning job...Sam keeps asking what to do with certain things. If I knew what to do with them, they wouldn't be in that closet, now would they? blah.

I am thinking perhaps I will get up and move around a bit, then take a nap. It isn't as fun as I thought it would be, taking all these naps. Being in pain takes some of the joy out of stretching out in my bed... I read two whole library books yesterday though. Why did I take out only two?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I don't want to complain...but I will anyway....

Blah. That's my word for today. Yes, my kids are amazing. They served lunch and cleaned it up, visited me in my room numerous times while I read an entire library book in one session, and the house is still standing. Evelyn has dinner in the oven, we are being fancy tonight: beer-battered fish fillets, chicken strips, tater tots, and some extra fancy long green beans for the microwave. I am extremely hungry, having had only a few cookies for lunch. I have had pain today, much worse than I had anticipated. Perhaps it is because my tummy is not thin, rather quite...well, quite plump and smooshy...the incisions in it hurt like heck. I couldn't just sleep on my back, and lying on my side was horrid. I am due for more pain meds right about now, although it makes me a bit dizzy, I still need it.

yes, I have my complaints. Paul went to work at the Dome, which he wasn't supposed to. But he is a good guy, and there was need for one more volunteer. My brother-in-law, who does the sign-ups, tried very hard to get someone else, but everyone had plans, good reasons to stay home, ect. So I told Paul I would be fine, to just go. So off he went. He had a talk with the older girls, 15 and 13, and encouraged them to help me. So here we are.

I also have plenty of things to be thankful our friends who came and picked up Jon for a few hours today, to play with his friend Toby. They dropped their daughter Hannah off here for my girls to play with, that is always special. I am thankful for all these kids, even with all their noise. They are so funny, and Evelyn is such a good girl to make dinner, and she is only 12 years old. They really are quite capable when it comes down to it. I have showed them my "owies" so they feel a bit sorry for me, and don't mind getting things for me.

Kathryn just programmed my new cell phone for me, why do these things come more naturally to my kids than to me? My old phone died last Friday, and it was hard to live without it. We went to the phone store in the mall, and the cheapest phone was fifty bucks. Um, no thanks. We ordered one online instead, for free, with our existing plan. I don't care about bells and whistles, I just need a phone to text Paul during the day to bug him at work.

Dinner is served, now this is the life! If only my poor incisions didn't hurt so badly! I did talk to the surgeon on the phone today, and he said it was perfectly normal. hmm. Okay. He said I should feel better and better each day, but if I didn't, to just call.

I can tell how loopy I am from those pain meds, I should probably not even write on here, I will read it later and say, "what was I thinking?!!"...

the day after, arggh!

I slept in, after taking a nice 6am dose of Lortab. The pain has shifted from where the gallbladder was, to the incision site near my belly button.....that is a funny name for it, when will I grow up? All is not quiet here, so i am ij my rom. Sam wins the prize for helpfulness, he is giving Muddy Rosie a bath for only five bucks. He made me coffeethis morn, my first cup since Monday. The area near the kitchen sink is like a warzone, there are Hess trucks and a foshingbgame and matching games decorating the livingroom floor while Jonny plays wii fit in his boxers. The kitchen floor needto be swept, and my new phone just arrived from fedex, Rosie's favorite truck to chase. Jon is fgoong to his friend's bday party, i just got him some nice clothes to wear, but forgot to dig a gift out of the closet. I am writimg this on my new nook, it is hard, my thumbs are too fat and i am dizzy from pain whple abdomen feels like i have been stabbed. But i am relieved the surgery is behind me, and am thankful for my comfy bed. Oh, i have gained seven stinkin' pounds since i weighed myself on Saturday.....dang, i just remembered this: when i woke up in recovery, i asked if by any chance my gallbladder weighed like fifteen pounds....the nice nurse just said, "I don't know, honey." Ha, she probably thought i was i shall heave myself out of my comfy bed and get that present out of my Present Closet....oh, and my dear husband, who is at work, is working at the dome tonight! The college kids have late classes, then Joe, Sam, Paul are leaving me for the afternoon evening! Leaving me with eight kids,,blah. Paul was not supposed to work, but one more person was needed, so I told him to go ahead. Getting tired...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

home already, and still alive.

Lovely me...I was dismissed from the hospital just a few hours after the surgery because my doctor is nice. And because I did not throw up, nor have any other complications. (thank you for your prayers!!)
Camille and Jon cuddled with me for a bit...I grabbed Charlotte Claire as she ran by to claim one of the open comuters and gave her a nice hug.
Jonny thought Miss Kitty Kitten would make me feel better.

I wouldn't call it a Piece Of Cake, personally, but it wasn't overly horrible. I did get seriously scared as the nice nurses brought me to the operating room. My claustrophobia kicked in when the belt was clicked over me, my arm strapped down, and the mask came over my face. But then before I knew it, I was in recovery, and getting some heavy duty pain killers, which was, to tell the truth, rather lovely.

We are blessed with a wonderful small hospital, in the small city. Easy to get to, easy to park, and staffed with some really excellent nurses. I feel like I made lots of friends today.

Even though I was dizzy and a bit out of it, I was allowed to leave. I mentioned that our insurance only covers 80%, (after the deductible, we pay 100% until we spend several thousand), and that I did not want to spend the night. So home we headed....

Paul stopped at Wegman's first, and got me the cranberry-toasted almond- muffin I requested, which I ate on the way home, oh yum! I stopped eating those several months ago when I started my New Lifestyle.

Home. Charlotte Claire ran up to greet me by, for some insane reason, poking me right in the tummy. ouch, in a much louder voice. After I got sat down in my comfy chair, I asked Evelyn to hand me my purse, which she plainly heard as, "Throw me my purse, really hard!"...yes, right in the tummy.

Anyway, here I am, in the crazy house, kids all on vacation and happy as can be...Evelyn Joy just brought me a cup of hot cocoa with whipped cream, without even being asked...because I do not drink cocoa anymore...but today, tonight, I shall not care...

Monday, February 20, 2012

under the knife!

i am smart now. My new reading glasses made me smart. Actually, I don't know how I lived without them. Everything is so clear now!
Miss Charlotte Claire is so pretty.

So..tomorrow morning, my gallbladder surgery. Yes, I have heard it is an easy surgery. Does that make me not have the jitters? ha. Right now I am planning what I shall eat between now and midnight, since I can't eat in the morning. I already had some Goldfish crackers, which I do not eat anymore. Salty, carb-y, blah. But they were pretty yummy. I am thinking of a piece of toast with peanutbutter. I don't eat bread these days, as a general rule, so it sounds good.

Anyway, just because I have heard this surgery is easy, doesn't mean it sounds easy to me. I hate when they put that mask over my face and tell me to relax...I hate being in the hospital, I hate wearing those gowns, I hate being poked and prodded and asked how much I weigh. I hate the knowledge that they are going to make some holes in me. And the bad thing is, I keep thinking how funny it would be if I told the dr. that I doubt he will be able to drill through my abs of steel.. ha. I hope I don't get nervous and really say it...

So, our hotel trip: fun...really fun. But...the pool was so cold and crowded! I love kids, but jeepers, most of those kids were just plain crazy! Their nice little soccer moms were sitting around the pool chatting, staying dry and looking smart in their nice little sweaters, then I come in in my lovely brown swimdress with aqua polkadots, with MY BOOTS ON, because I so smartly forgot my flip-flops. I was the absolutely ONLY adult in the pool. I got kicked and splashed, and there was no room to swim, and the hot tub was Out Of Order. My girls got in for like two minutes, decided it was too cold, and got back out.

Our breakfast this morning was interesting. The fresh fruit was yummy, the omelet was not yummy, I ordered it with no cheese, I just don't like cheese, (not even Whinsleydale?)...and it was really cheesey. So I had bacon and yogurt and fruit. The coffee was really good, Starbucks.

We went to the big mall. I wandered into The Disney Store...oh what fun! A nice guy gave me a 25% off coupon, then I found Flynn Ryder from Tangled for $10! With the coupon, that was $7.50! My little girls have wanted that guy for so long! So, since I felt a huge guiltfest for leaving them home in the first place, I bought them each one. I then got Jonny a $6 sweatshirt from P.S kids, or whatever the Aero store for kids is called. I got away relatively cheaply today, I do not like malls.

Then to Target...I got myself a few tops for spring, on sale of course. I had a coupon for $10 off a $75 purchase, and somehow magically my girls found things to put in the cart! A few pairs of 70% off jeans, some marked down undies, a space heater for Mali, and voila! I could use the coupon!

McDonalds drivethrough for cones and fries for them, coffee and a parfait for me. Home...wait, the library. I got two books, and a stack for Joseph. Then home...ahh, I missed Jonathan and the princesses. They were SO happy about their Flynns.

Now it is quiet, Evelyn is still up, reading one of my library books, Rosie is in her cage, and I am going to go make that toast...

hotel with girls

Abigail and I crashed long before the other rowdies, there are two rooms so all was good until Suze and Kap came in to go to sleep, ha, rather came in to laugh their heads off...needless to say, weare tired. The pool was cold, the hot tub is broken, the elevator didnt work last night and we are on the fourth floor...good exercise for me, but poor Abigail and her bad knee. Despite all that, we are having way too much we can go to the big mall...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

new nook

Paul came home from work on Friday night with a surprise for me...a new nook. I havent taken out my laptop all weekend. I dont know what was more exciting, actually getting this thing or how happy Paul was about surprising me. Aaron thinks it is hilarious how technogically impaired his mother is. We are leaving soon for our hotel get away, my five little girls ages 15, 13, 12, 11, and almost 10. And Abigail. Paul is taking three sad younger kids to McDonalds playland....Camille told him she wants a parfait, `because it's healthy!" This is hard to type on....

Friday, February 17, 2012


Charlotte Claire and I....
Camille playing Margaret's new ukelele.
Camille likes this old velvet Christmas dress...she says the word, "velvet" makes her think of princesses.

I made my meal plan. Wrote a chore list for next week. Shopped at Save-A-Lot, Wegman's, and Walmart today. Came home and put together some dinner (pot of beef stew), went in and worked out (yay me), and here I finally sit. I cleaned under all the furniture in the living room today, did some laundry, mopped the kitchen floor, phew. Now it is time to get dinner on the table because all the big kids are going to the youth meeting...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

domestic godess

ha. Just kidding. But I do feel like one today, home for TWO whole days in a row! Lest you go thinking that means my house is spotless, consider this: I worked out for a whole thirty minutes, wrapped some presents for Suzanne with Camille, helped Camille write a card for Suze (she can write all her letters, she just asks what's next, and writes it.) I did sweep and mop and clean up here and there and do dishes and and and... After our lunch of leftover chicken added to canned soup, which was really good, I was hankering for a nap. I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies instead. I ate dough. Oh heavenly cookie dough, why do I love you? Then I had just a little taste of a cookie when it came out of the oven, and oh jeez, ...just one more little piece...then I was done. I was going to have my afternoon yogurt with my coffee, then decided: what the heck, I will have one cookie instead. Forget everything I wrote earlier, it was so good. Now I am trying not to feel too guilty, and am vowing to be a good girl for the rest of the night.

Dinner is in the oven, which feels wonderful...see, Paul tries to eat a Paleo diet, which makes him lean and trim, and feel good, and it makes me hate him, not really. So he will come home with a roast of beef, make some of it into jerky, which he says is very healthy, and cut the rest up and freeze it for me to make stew. Today I decided to make stew. My two bags of stew beef were frozen solid, so I did what any lazy lady would do, I simply put each chunk of beef in a pan, sprinkled with minced onions and salt and pepper, covered with foil, and put in oven. My hope is it will cook like a roast...I also added some baby carrots, then cut up a five pound bag of potatoes, covered those with salt and pepper and minced onion, foiled the pan, and put it in the oven. I have a cheat-y jar of gravy, some nice low-fat au juice, which I will add to the meat when it is done.

It is still raining out, chilly and gloomy, and I love it, makes me feel so cozy in here. I feel just so dang successful, having dinner in the oven. But I still want that nap..

all fired up and ready to go...

Camille isn't really going anywhere. She just made a miraculous recovery from yesterday's sickness....

Me, that is. I am encouraged, once again, renewed in spirit...not just in the weight loss battle, but for life in general.

I cruised the internet last night looking for inspirational weight loss stories, and found a few new blogs. One thing I read really hit home for me. This lady has lost 150 pounds, and she pointed out that we cannot have the best of both worlds. Well, duh, but it is easy for that to creep in...the thought that I "deserve" a bit of this or a taste of that, or "just one" of something. When I was dropping the pounds a few months back, I did not do that. So for me, right now, in this stage of life, I have to be radical! No more laxness!

And life in general: oh, we just KNOW so much. But to put it to practice, I am so lacking. I KNOW not to argue with my teenagers. I KNOW that a gentle answer turns away wrath. I KNOW it doesn't profit me in the least to Be Right about something. I KNOW that love covers a multitude of sins, that he who endures to the end shall be saved, that God causes all things to work together for the good for those who love Him, that no temptation has overtaken me than such is common to man, and God is faithful, He will provide a way says in ephesians 4:23 to be "renewed in the spirit of your mind"...

It just hit me last night that I spend so much time and effort (ha, although not nearly enough!) on my body, getting it into shape and working out and trying to make it smaller...but this body will pass away. It is temporary. What is NOT seen is eternal, am I working on the really important things?

Yesterday was spent taking care of Camille, who is a different story when she is sick than say...Charlotte Claire, who is a little angel. Camille is sweet, but she is whiny and demanding when she is sick. She missed the bowl once, and I had to wash the couch cover, in addition to the huge stack of bedding I was putting through. She spent the evening cuddled up to Mama, with a fever. She is much better today.

Last night, I had no idea what to make for dinner, again. I have to make a meal plan for next week so when I am recovering I won't have to worry about the Daily Dilemma. (anyone notice I am looking forward to some down time? Even if it is after surgery?)Anyway, I made French Toast and sausage for the kids, cut up a cantaloupe, put out some grapes, then browned up some chicken breast for Paul and I and whoever wanted a healthier option, and put together a salad. I behaved and kept my paws off the yummy looking French toast, but it almost killed me. After dinner, I had some chocolate chips, but not too many, not like the M&M's binge from the night before. I eat so well for meals and have healthy snacks, I just have to exercise self-control when it comes to extras, like staying the heck away from them.

It is amazing how much I can accomplish around here when I am home all day. Yesterday I cleaned the little girls' room, picked up and vacuumed my room, picked up Jon and Sonja's room, did tons of laundry, swept and mopped...not that it is perfect in here, but it is not too shabby.

So today I also plan to stay home all day, although I am thinking of going to the pool tonight.

The girls and I are excited for our upcoming overnighter. There are two 42 inch televisions in the suite, so we can watch, "Downton Abbey", and Kathryn can watch something else if she wants. She says she isn't a fan, but ha, I see her watching it...I mean, how can anyone not be a fan? We will also get some swimming in, and hopefully a nice soak in the hot tub. Abigail is coming along too, so it will be really fun! Honestly, it is hard not to bring them all....really hard. But I will be with five of my daughters, and sometimes it is good to not have everyone. I guess.

I am the kind of mom that likes my kids with me though. Even when they were all littler, I would rather bring them all to the store with me than leave some home. It took longer, and in the store I would wonder a million times why I thought it was such a great idea to bring them. But - I still think the time spent with them was worth the craziness. (once in Walmart, when I was pregnant, I had three kids in the cart and a few walking...the walkers both climbed up on the side of the cart at the check-out when I wasn't looking, and it tipped over, spilling the baby and the toddlers could have been really bad, instead it was just really embarrassing, with some crying kids and a red-faced me as the helpful employees and passer-bys informed me that I REALLY had my hands full.) hmm.

I saw a comic yesterday that pictured a lady at the gates of heaven, being informed that, "By the way, you saved $554, 332 in coupons in your life..." I thought that put things in perspective.

Yes, my thoughts are all over the place again today. I have two birthdays next week, one the day after my surgery - Mirielle turns 22, then the next day Suzanne turns eleven. I have some gifts already for Mirielle, and Suze's gift is the hotel trip. I would like to get her something small to give her on her birthday though.

I am making up a chore chart as well as the meal plan, trying to make myself obsolete for a few days.

Isn't it awful that I am looking forward to a few days of No Responsibility? Hopefully I get my lovely reading glasses by then, I shall lie in bed and read...ha, I am so bad.

Camille has a different pretty dress on now. She "wants" me, so off I is nice to be wanted...and she is getting so big so fast, dang, what am I going to do when no kids "want" me anymore? wah.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

who said this job was easy?

This morning I had to break Sonja's little heart. She was going to take the bus to Susan's house and help with those baby twins. She LOVES those babies. But, since Miss Camille woke Mama in the wee hours of the morning with those magical words, "I puked in my bed!", I decided it would not be be very loving of us to send Sonja over to be with the babies, since we obviously have this virus going around. She was NOT happy with me. She fussed and begged and cajoled, but I did not budge, firm in my mind that I had made the right decision. It won't hurt Sonja to wait a while until the sickness is out of the house before she goes and holds those tiny little sweeties.

It is not a popularity contest, being The Mom.

Good thing.

Because Sonja does not like my policies today.

So it is a dreary sort of day, the kind where it is just a tad bit too warm for snow, yet there are some flakes mixed with the rain. Kitty Kitten is sleeping in her spot, the back of the couch near the window. Camille stopped complaining how much her tummy hurt and fell asleep in the nest on the couch. Charlotte Claire got a third day off from school because I want her to be totally better before I send her back to kindergarten. Plus, her teacher sent her home some work. She is still sleeping. Rosie is sleeping in her cage. I would love to go back to bed, but Char will be getting up soon...or will she? hmm....

I gave Paul a new spatula for Valentine's Day. There used to be a spoof commercial on The Rush Limbaugh show on the radio which said, "What better way to say, "I Love You", than with a spatula from Spatula City." There IS something to be said for a good spatula. This one is a Farberware, very sharp and thin, yet won't scratch those pans. I also got him a 50 cent card and wrote a nice little note in it. Jonathan said to Daddy, "Maybe Mommy gave you money in your card." It struck me as hilarious, because why would I give Paul his own money? Then Jon said, "But it would just be your money she gave you!!" Then Paul said something really nice...he said, "No, it is Mommy's money too, she helps earn it." I really wanted to make a bad joke about how I earn it, but this is a family blog, and it was a family dinner, so I just smiled at him. ha.

Suze and I had a nice day together yesterday. We went to the hospital for my pre-admission testing, which was just blood pressure (112/68, yay!), and some bloodwork. Then her xray, which came out just fine. It is a tough call, when there is swelling and bruising, her finger looks broken. Anyway, we finished up at the hospital, put some gas in the van, went into BJ's for just a few things, then went to Panera for lunch, because Suzanne really wanted to. I think it is too expensive, but it is yummy. And I was more careful yesterday than the first time I went there, but I still chose the bread rather than the apple...I mean, fresh baguette with butter? Killer! I stuck with the salad this time, no dressing, and no panini. We did share a cinnamon bun, but Suze was so full from her chicken soup in a bread bowl, she couldn't finish her half. Can anyone guess who finished it for her? Gladly? blah.

Yes, I had fun with Suzanne. My sweet little girl, she is almost eleven years old. She is the fourth of the Five-Girls-In-A-Row-In-Five-Years. She can be so smart and know-it-all and just plain Too Cool For School around the house sometimes. But those times with me, she is just so glad to talk and be listened to, and she loves hearing about when I was we had a grand old time, and it was totally worth the fifteen bucks for lunch.

Home...I did go in and exercise, yay me. Not that it is doing any good, but I won't get into that today, because I am holding on to hope that I will do better, and stay out of the chocolate. Last night was M&M Night. I had too many. Ten M&M's have 34 calories, so even twenty isn't all that bad. But I lost count, so that is REALLY BAD. I was Boss Of The Bag, not smart. They were so chocolate-y and good. I need to get back my former discipline, I do not need to eat this stuff. Not at all. I need to say NO, and get back into my groove. And I will! See, I just encouraged myself!

Okay, I'm back. Had to empty Camille's bowl, all the while being thankful that she is old enough to make it to the bowl, of course. Switched loads of laundry over, ignoring the noise in that laundry room - so many loads wanting to go in first! But no- barfy bedding takes priority this morning!

I am happy today. Happy that I am done with the dreaded monthly curse for another month (I hate it! Hate that it makes me feel so yucky and ugly and miserable and mean...although I promise I try not to just act the way that I feel....) I am happy that I have Charlotte Claire home from school today. Happy that, as far as I know, I don't have to go anywhere today. Happy that there is milk and bread, and plenty of fruits and veggies. (no, I do not know what is for dinner tonight...I am not THAT happy.) I am happy that I got the place cleaned up yesterday afternoon, so it is not an eyesore this fine morning, although it is by no means a Furniture Store Showroom.

There were only ten of us at the table for dinner last night. College kids still at college, a few girls at Susan's house, ect. We had taco salad, which was very yummy, especially because we had some black olives and red peppers. I don't eat mine with tortilla chips anymore, just lots of spinach and/or romaine. Not easy when we have those Tostito's Lime Chips.

Today is a More Coffee Day. I wish Sonja was here to get me another cup, ha. I know, I know, I am perfectly capable. Just perfectly lazy today.

Paul spoke with Benjamin yesterday. blah. I almost cried as he recounted his conversation. As with anything to do with the military, I am hesitant to write much here as far as details because I know the government monitors facebook (a wife up at Fort Drum wrote on facebook when her husband was returning from Afghanistan, and next thing you know, military police were knocking at her door, warning her.)....anyway, the place Ben is being sent is not a good place. The unit they are replacing took so many hits and had so many casualties...blah. I am working being at rest about Benjamin, does not come natural to me. It is a fight. Ben is such a good kid in his big strong tough body. He is kind and sensitive, and he will be so scarred by what he is going to see as a combat medic. And that is not even going to the thoughts that want to nudge in and say, "IF he comes back...", because I will not think those thoughts. I can not. But they are there at the edge of my mind, wanting to come in...but, heck, he hasn't even left the States yet, so I will not waste any more time worrying about things there are no need to worry about.

And now I shall get moving again, perhaps brew another pot of half-caffeine coffee...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

woo-hoo! minivacation, coming up!!!

I just booked one night at a nice place not too far from here for next week...YAY!! Abigail and I are taking Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, and Sonja for a girls' party!!! Suzanne is turning eleven a few days after my gallbladder surgery, so we shall celebrate early. Now, we don't usually go to hotels for birthdays, but this just seems like fun. It is hard to go without the youngest three, but, as Suzanne pointed out, this way it will be not just all about Camille, and Char...they really do take a lot of energy, and I don't mind, but these other girls need some special time and attention. Jonathan is very disapointed, and we feel badly, but I did get him a new Wii game today, to give him on the day we go. To soothe our consciences. I mean, in such a large family, unless I take everyone, there will be sad kids.

So...yay for the fun we shall have, and wah for the little ones who will feel bad and left out...Daddy will have to make it fun here for them.

more words every mother loves to hear...

roses from Paul
since Charlotte Claire got some ginger ale, a perk of being sick, Miss Camille got the last bit in the can. She told me, "it's because I am a tiny bit sick, right Mama?" Well, we hope not, but hopefully getting a little bit of the coveted ginger ale will help her not long too much to barf.
Miss Char, not feeling well
me in the morning...
"Is it broken? Are you sure?" Okay...I was driving, just pulling into the mall. Our insurance covers the optical dr. at the Sears in the big mall 40 minutes from our house. Margaret answered my phone when it rang, because I was driving and it is against the law to talk on the phone while driving in New York state. So...I only heard her end of the conversation. Until I grabbed the phone from her hand, that is. It was Joseph, Mr. Calm-Cool-Collected himself. He simply stated with certainty that Suzanne broke her finger. Okay, I thought, fingers aren't too bad. Call Dad, I said, he can decide if she needs to go to the E.R.

After all, I had to call three times to get these appointments, working around schedules and basketball games...

Anyway, Paul took her to the dr. who thinks it might indeed be broken, taped it up and said to get x-rays done today.

Today I also have to get my pre-op stuff done at the hospital, bloodwork and and e.k.g. Fun times. Charlotte Claire is still very pale and low-key, so I will leave her with Camille and Joseph, who thankfully isn't working these days.

Maybe Suze and I will do something fun like sneak somewhere for lunch.

So, I can see fine from a-far, but my arms simply aren't long enough to read things close up these days. So instead of getting longer arms, I am getting reading glasses. It was fun picking out frames with Margaret and Samuel, although they like to laugh at their mother. I talked Sam out of the huge giant thick-framed black ones he wanted. Sears had some good sales on winter coats, some were 75% off then an additional %25 off, so I got Margaret and Samuel each a new coat. I had a few picked out for me, trying to choose, but decided not to get one. I survived most of the winter without one..but the real thing that held me back is that I hope to be a little smaller next year. ha. hope. I ate chocolate last night, too much chocolate. Aldi has really good chocolate, which is ironic, because, no offense, but alot of their stuff is crappy. But the German chocolate, yummy. Too yummy. After a long stressful day, I should not even open a bar of chocolate. But I did.

Emily-The-Nurse stopped over last night, which was nice. It was crazy in here, I had just come in the door with bags from Target and Sears and Aldi and Price-Chopper. I had treats for the kids for Valentines Day, chocolate bars and cute little socks with hearts on them for the girls, a mini fishing game for Jon, PollyPockets for the two little princesses, headbands for Em and Abigail...and a package of chocolate donuts for breakfast. They are now all gone, yay!

Dang I better brush Char's hair. She has the beginnings of a nice rat's nest going on back there. Since she didn't go to school yesterday, I didn't brush it...

The Kitten likes my roses. She keeps getting up on the table and batting them around. I might have to spank her little bee-hind. She is a bad kitty. She loves ripping open the catfood bag, even when I put it on the counter. She does not care if her bowl is already full. She also only drinks running water. I refuse to let her drink from the kitchen sink, but compromise on the bathroom. She knows water comes from the front of the 'fridge, and is always trying to get to it. She will simply not drink from a bowl. She has us trained well. I have not regretted getting her one single time yet though. She never misses the cat litter, and is a Purr-er. She follows me around during the day, and is very affectionate. The older kids are forever carrying her around, she is extremely well-loved. My favorite thing is when she sprawls out on Rosie's rug, and Rosie just sighs and lies down on the floor next to the rug. Yes, Kitty Kitten rules the roost.

Mirielle made dinner last night in my absence, thankfully. She made chicken alfredo and veggies. The table got cleaned off and the dishwasher got done, so I cannot complain that the pans didn't get washed...but I will growl about it a little.

I shall put a load of towels in the wash, putter around the kitchen a bit, try to fit in a workout, and get out the door in just an hour, ha, wait, I have to MOVE!!! bye...

Monday, February 13, 2012

the words every mother loves to hear...

Charlotte Claire threw up, Mom. Right over the side of her bed. And guess what, Mom, you know how Camille likes to sleep on the floor next to the bed? Uh-huh. No, Mom, I am not KIDDING YOU.

So...the girls have these drawers under their bunks, each one for each of them, with their special treasures in them. Well...I am one of those people who cannot stand an open drawer, because everyone knows an open drawer practically invites someone to spill something that will drip into the drawer. So I am extra compulsive about keeping the drawers closed, especially the silverware drawer. (I mean, who wants toast crumbs in there?) Anyway...barf, over side of bed, open drawer, Camille on floor...and WHO gets to clean it up?

So my day has been full of fun and excitement so far. Margaret stayed home because she is an A+ student, and said she took tests on Friday and has nothing to do today. I don't know if that is totally true, but she manages to keep her grades up while skipping a day here and there. I am picking Samuel up early because he and I are going to the eye doctor. I have never been, always had 20/20 vision, but lately, I have to hold things an armlength away or I cannot see the letters, just blurriness.

Anyway, I am thankful for my washer and dryer today.

It is no fun, however, to speculate who will be the next one sick...will it go through the house? Will Char be the only one? Do I feel sick, or is it just the power of suggestion? I always feel rather queasy when I have to clean up yucky stuff. I look at the mess and know there is no way around it, I just have to clean it up. yuck.

Once many years ago, I was very pregnant, and a horrible flu went through the house...all the bathrooms were in use, so one resourceful child just barged in on another child, and used the tub...then the sink...while the first kid just sat there on the toilet...someone also barfed over the side of a top bunk during that illness...I remember walking into the bathroom, then into that bedroom, and just crying my poor eyes out...but guess what? I lived.

Enough strolls down memory lane.

And sorry if I ruined anyone's morning coffee.

Just in case anyone is wondering, the new 88 cent pregnancy tests at Walmart work least when it comes out NEGATIVE. Nary a shadow of a line to speculate about, just total whiteness with the one control line. I got my period the very next day, so the test was right. Dang. I had been absolutely like clockwork since I had the D&C in August, then this day, two days, three days late...but nah. Part of me was relieved, because of the gallbladder pain, and because I simply do not want to lose another baby. But there is always that hope that I wouldn't lose it, and would actually have another baby...

Oh well...can't think of anything to write, so that is my clue to get off this computer and get busy, again...laundryroom, here I come!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

sunday afternoon break....

here I sit, covered with a warm blanket, watching the snow come down. Camille is still dressed in her church clothes, sitting on the couch playing a game on Daddy's computer. Sonja and Evelyn are at the other computers, Samuel is watching basketball, a few of the girls are at Susan's - sharing those sweet little twin babies, Joseph is ice skating with Jonathan, a few college kids are studying....Charlotte Claire is playing in her room, singing her heart out. So it is relatively quiet in here. I just finished doing the breakfast dishes, since we were too rushed to do much before we left this morning.

I was comfy and relaxed, sipping my coffee, finishing me yummy low-cal vanilla yogurt on warmed blueberries, topped with coconut and chopped nuts....when I realized that I haven't exercised today. blah. too stinkin' bad, that's what I say right now. Why did I have to remember that?

Samuel wants to buy a new airsoft gun, so he is looking for work to do for money. He is an extremely hard worker. He collects bottles and cans, and has several bags of them under the deck, waiting to be returned. I don't feel like thinking of a job he can do right now, nor do I feel like figuring out a good night for Sonja to go over to Susan's, nor do I feel like getting out Charlotte Claire's folder and helping her with her homework. And the big question, which I do not feel like answering, which is of course, "What's for dinner?"

I had chicken thawing, then realized we still had lots from Friday night. Chicken, we eat a lot of chicken. What to have with it? blah, I don't feel like making dinner.

Wow, I am just a lazy complainer this afternoon! Because I really just want a nap!

I had better snap out of this and get moving again...well, maybe in a few minutes, it is way too cozy sitting here watching the snow fall outside....

Paul is chopping wood for a fire, the dishwasher is humming, and my blanket is warm.

Maybe I will go make a soup out of that chicken....wait, isn't there someone who could do it for me so I can just sit here and doze?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

arrgh, it's tired I am...

Sam was talking Pirate today on the way to the Dome...

Syracuse Basketball: won again! Over 33 thousand fans!! It was loud.

And...I had a Cookiewich. Blah, I was NOT going to this time. But guess what? It was SO good...I had worked so stinkin' hard at that concession stand, I was the assistant manager, just running here and there, bagging up pretzels, getting a coffee for a customer, filling the ice containers, getting more cup lids, getting hot dogs, leaning down for pizza (the pizza hotbox is all the way down on the floor, and when someone orders a cheese slice, I have to practically sit down to reach...), ect. Break time, and I didn't even get to sit down. So, I did the next best thing: I stood there and ate a Cookiewich.

So here I am, home again. Reading about gallbladder removal. According to the second test I had done, mine isn't really functioning. There seem to be cons to getting it out. But I am doing it anyway, I am tired of the pain. Because guess what? Besides eating those darned cookiewiches when I work the Dome, I don't really eat junk anymore. And I have such pain! Sometimes I just cannot get comfortable, and I am tired of it. Perhaps I could change my diet in a different direction, I don't know, but for now, I am resigned to the fact that surgery is the right thing for me.

My little girls are home now from going to the mall with Abigail...bye.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Camille fell off her bottom bunk and slept on the floor, again. I like to stack a folded blanket and some pillows next to her so she stays put, but she doesn't think that, "looks pretty". By looking at her messy room, one would never know she was concerned about how things look.

She woke up yesterday morning, ran out here and announced that she had a dream about God. "He gave me a big hug and told me to be good and He had funny red clothes on."

Sonja K. missed the bus this morning, poor girl. She had been trying to convince me that she should stay home. She had a pool party yesterday, her suit was still wet and she has swimming in gym today. Her other suit has "spots" on it, she says. She is also tired, she says. So the bus came along, she had not put her socks on yet, she hadn't brushed her like all good girls who are happy to be home from school, she is getting me some more coffee.

I am not happy about my weight loss, or rather Lack of Weight Loss. I seem to be losing and gaining the same few pounds. Perhaps I need to cut out "tastes", work out more, get on the treadmill...but BLAH!!! I eat way way less than I did before I started this, it is NOT FAIR! But the only way for me is to stick with it, I can't just give up, for my health's sake alone, not to mention how nice it is to be a few sizes smaller. My only option is to go forward, I am NOT giving up, but honestly, I have tears streaming down my face as I write this because I am sick and tired of no progress, and am scared of gaining all my weight back, and sometimes I just feel like I can't pull myself up by the bootstraps one more day. I mean, there are fresh baked chocolate chip cookies out in that kitchen! I baggied (love verbing those nouns!)them all up this morning so they are a little more un-grabbable. (is that even a word?) I am getting tired of telling myself that it is only today, not to worry about tomorrow, forget about yesterday. I just want to cry and feel sorry for myself and eat ice cream like a normal person, have a few cookies with this coffee that Sonja brought me. wah. Ha, I feel better already, venting on here is better than therapy, and much cheaper.

Yesterday....Kathryn still has headaches every day and the meds the dr. prescribed weren't working, so we switched. Hopefully these will work. We went to Walmart to fill the prescriptions, and I might say: never again. 45 minutes, the nice girl said. After an hour of wandering around slowly filling the cart with things we really needed, we went to pick up the medicine. Not ready, we were told, at least another 20 minutes. "You can come back later, we are open 'til 8.", the nice girl said. ha. I live fifteen miles away, I cannot just Come Back Later. She repeated it wouldn't be ready for at least 20 minutes, "okay?", she said...I said, "No, it is not okay." Then realized quickly it was not her fault. I was extra nice to her when I came back later to pick it up, knowing I shouldn't have taken it out on her. but blah!!! Who wants to spend a nice sunny afternoon in Walmart? If I knew it would take an hour and a half to begin with, I could have left and come back, or gotten it today instead. rrr.

I did buy myself two new $3 shirts. After years of wearing big sizes, I was happy to choose these in regular Large, and have them fit. They are not gorgeous, but they are new and neat and hey, three bucks each. It is amazing what one can buy when one wanders around in that store for all that time. We bought some more Valentines for the kids' school parties (not too long ago we made them all...I remember having four kids in elementary school and having to cut out 80-something hearts...) We looked in the jewelry case, because I really want to replace the wedding band that fell off and disapeared, I am tired of getting hit on, ha. Guys just look at my empty finger, and jeez! Okay, kidding, but I do tell Paul that every once in a while. He must not believe me because he certainly hasn't gone out of his way to stop at the jewelery store on his way home from work. Anyway, I want to get a plain gold band to replace the one I lost, which was also from Walmart, since I had my original one cut off during one of the pregnancies years ago...and don't ask about the gorgeous antique ruby/diamond engagement ring that I accidentally threw away in an old purse, my mother-in-law doesn't know about that yet, and when she asks, uh-oh...she gave it to me, it was her great great relative's ring, who got married in 1886. It WAS really pretty, now it graces a landfill somewhere. ouch.

Anyway, here I sit. Kitty Kitten is visiting me with her motor running, she is so sweet, then she will just bite your face. She keeps me laughing with her little stunts though.

I have to be out of here before nine in the morning for the basketball game at the Dome. I don't mind working, but I would like to sleep in. ha, Rosie wouldn't let me anyway. Paul is working too, which is fun. One thing I can be very thankful for is that we...well, we still have that spark. And since my kids read this, enough about that.

(I will say this though: if you are married, and it is getting old or dull or stale or boring, do not just let it stay that way. You are wasting time. You can be having it so good together! I never ever thought that being married for almost 28 years could/would be so yummy! If you have issues, get through them, forgive and forget and enjoy each other! And that is all I will say lest my kids kill me!)

I was gone most of yesterday, and the day before, so the house reflects that. It isn't terrible, wait, yes it is. It COULD be worse, of course. Rosie did get a bath yesterday. Martha, I would love a do you feel about having to move Barbies and jammies and the box of tissues off the couch to sit down? And should you wander to the bathroom, would it bother you if there were ten wet Barbies on the floor? Toothpaste on the counter? If I have sufficient notice, I will run around here like crazy and clean things up...but if you drop in, I will die a million deaths, yet I will live. I would love to have a visit.

Seems like no one ever drops by when it is all neat and tidy, but is more likely not to be neat and tidy, so that makes sense. I will stay out of the cookies even though it seems like it won't do any good, I will exercise a bit harder and stay out of the bag of chocolate chips. I will not have Tastes of Bad Things. I will see this thing through, and stop feeling sorry for myself.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

another boring day here at home, ha.

The school kids left, but not Sam...he doesn't feel well. Paul left for work after reminding me to go pay the taxes today. The college kids had some breakfast, packed some lunch and left. The dr. office called to remind me of Kathryn's appointment today, which I had forgotten about, so I was going to call the school so I could pick her up...then before I did, into the living room she came, oops! I didn't even realize she didn't go this morning. So glad I didn't call the school!!! Anyway, I also have to pick Sonja up from rollerskating, so I have to get to that appointment in the small city, and get back here to get her.

Katie's new baby: absolutely beautiful. I have a really nice picture of big sister Grace holding him for the first time, but I didn't want to put it up without asking them first. When I held him, I almost cried. He is so perfect! Just that newborn weight in my arms, feels so right! He is so fresh and innocent and has the kissiest little round cheeks.

My sister and I tore ourselves away and let the family have some time together, went to BJ's for a bit because she still had to pick up one of her daughters from college in the small city...I got some muffins and French Toast Sticks for a special dinner for the kids, since I was going to the Dome...

Home for less than an hour, and back out the door for the basketball game at the Dome.

By the time I got home, it was around 11:00 pm. Did I go straight to bed? Nah, talked to the college kids for a while, but realized they were trying to study. Did I feel like getting out of my warm cozy bed this morning? Ha.

But here I am. It is sunny and cold this morning, but nice in here. I see so many things to get done here, but I am thinking of sneaking back into bed for a tiny little nap...I am not feeling the greatest these days. This gallbladder has been giving me trouble, aching and sore, feels like a giant bruise sometimes. I have been tired too, and in the back of my mind I am worried that when the dr. goes to remove it, he will find cancer everywhere. Okay, not a rational worry, but I know of someone who that just happened to, and I had already thought of it before I heard about it. I am not really worried this will happen, but I am so tired. Perhaps because I am getting old, and I know I do keep pretty busy. Maybe it is just a case of the Mid-winter Blahs, which really are real. Maybe I am depressed because no matter how I try, I can't keep up with matching the socks. And after all my work and denying myself, my weight loss is going so so so slow...maybe I am sick and tired of being sick and tired...but I think I will feel better after a little nap.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

sunny and nineteen degrees here...

My old coat is too big and too old, so I just don't wear it anymore. I wear my raincoat/trenchcoat when I go out and about, but just my trusty huge blue sweatshirt for taking Rosie for walks. When it is cold, I just put a sweater on first. Well, this morning there was no sweater on the hooks by the door, and Paul was still sleeping in our room where my sweaters would be, so I just wore the sweatshirt. Rosie decided she did not want to be quick with her business, so we dawdled around while she sniffed everything, and I shivered. When I turned on my computer and saw the temperature, it made sense why I was so cold.

I had a thought this morning as I mixed the orange juice. Just one of those "seize the moment" kind of thoughts, the "this is NOW" kind of thing. I was gazing out the kitchen window without really seeing anything, thinking about random things...then I really looked, and it was beautiful out there. The sun was just starting to shine, still pinkish, on the frost covered grasses, all brown and crumpled from the previous snow. I thought, "if I were to die right now, I would die happy." Then I gave the four little ones some nice smoochy-kisses when I gave them their juice.

I am not going to complain that I am tired because I was awakened fifteen minutes before I usually wake up because I got a text saying that Katie had her baby!!! Davian Axton was born just before 6 a.m., and weighed 8 pounds. (Katie is my sister's oldest daughter)...and guess what???? My sister just called and asked me if I wanted to go see them!!! Of course I do! Camille and I are going to see a newborn. And Katie, of course.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

there's nothing to eat here, not a thing...

Not true, but try convincing one of my kids of that in the morning. This child likes to wake up and catch the bus with no time to spare. If there are no PopTarts, or breakfast that Mom made, or raisin toast to grab quick, this child says that there is Nothing In This House To Eat.

I suggested perhaps getting up a bit earlier and pouring a bowl of cereal, which we have plenty of, or maybe making a bowl of oatmeal, or even some toast. Or eggs.

Child went out door with no reply.

And since I easily feel like a Bad Mom, I felt bad. Should I have breakfast always prepared for this child? I cannot mention the age, but this kid is plenty old enough to fend for self.

Speaking of No Food In The House, there really is. But once the good stuff is gone, the kids start saying that. I start feeling that too. The milk is almost gone, and the eggs are almost gone. The bananas are gone. The bread is getting low. The pears are history, and the apples are getting low. The pretzel jar is empty. The Goldfish crackers are all eaten up. There are no cookies in the cupboard, no tortilla chips.

So this Bad Mom is going to Aldi today to stock up on fruits and veggies and pretzels, bananas and yogurt.

Snow has been sputtering from the sky this dark grey morning. It is cold and getting colder, no sunny spring day like yesterday. brr. But SO cozy in here...except for the bickering...from the two little princesses. I thought it would be SUCH a good idea to just not wake Charlotte Claire up this morning, she was dragging yesterday. So she is home. But for some reason, the two of them just NEED the same dollhouse Mommy. They are bargaining now, Camille says Char can have her in 80, but Charlotte Claire keeps asking, "80 what?"...right now they are giggling and laughing, but then Charlotte Claire will ask again for that Mommy in the purple shirt. We have the same Mommy in a pink shirt, but that will not do. They have to want the same one, kids are just programmed that way.

The kids have a mid-winter break from school the week after next. I have my surgery on the Tuesday, but I am thinking of maybe doing an overnight in a hotel before that. Just to get out of the house and go swimming, and have fun with them. I haven't found any deals yet, however, and don't want to pay big money.

Big money. I have like twenty things I can list right off the top of my head I would buy if I had the money. Small things, like kitchen chairs that match, or something to organize the shoes and backpacks. And big things like a new minivan and a pop-up camper. Then really small things like a new garbage can, new lamps (one of ours turns off and on by screwing the lightbulb one way or the other). And of course there are new windows, which we are really starting to need, since they are rotting, and then there are all the cracked tiles on the kitchen floor, and and and...

Anyway, we had a nice dinner last night. I knew Paul had a meeting last night, but then remembered that the college kids would be home for dinner, so I decided to make something good. Roasted pork loin with olive oil and lemon pepper, baked crispy potato slices in oil and black pepper, the yummy long, thin green beans, and some brown rice. It was really really good, and they liked it. I am glad there is some of the pork loin left for my lunch today.

Tomorrow, I get to work at the Dome again! Big game against Georgetown, huge crowd expected. Syracuse has only lost once, and are just a joy to watch, they are so good. Of course I am not going to watch the game, but to work at the concession stand, but...I can watch on breaks, and if I do beer pouring, I can watch the second half of the game. I am already not thinking of the Cookiewiches...last time I only had half of one. Only, ha. Half of one still has almost three hundred calories, ouch! But they are genius-ly good, soft ice cream swirled between two giant homebaked chocolate chip cookies...

A day late and a dollar short. I will never be a Sucess Story. I did wash socks, but they are clean and still single, mingling on the couch. I did wash and shine the fronts of the my kitchen cabinets yesterday, which I bragged about to all the kids and Paul, who just nodded, although Mirielle did say, "I can't tell the difference." While I was shining and polishing up on a chair, I thought of how in the bible we are exhorted to cleanse the inside of the cup, not just the outside, so I decide that perhaps I will work on cleaning out those cupboards one of these days. I can't keep up with everything though, when I work on one thing, other things slip...

I tend to get these big ideas of getting all these things done, but for example, after I finished with the cupboards, I was done. Oh, I swept and mopped and did the dishwasher and a few loads of laundry and exercised and went outside with Camille, who does not even need one push on the swing anymore because she can do it herself, wah. But I run out of steam in getting projects even started. Our house is doomed to be just as it is: not too bad, but never how I want it.

Perhaps we need the president to come stay with us, so I will be forced to clean out the linen closet.

I want to paint the kitchen still. Actually, I want someone else to paint it for me, I can't reach the top behind the cupboards. Maybe if I just go buy the paint and start spackling, the older kids will be nice and help me.

My thoughts are all over the place today, blah.

Monday, February 6, 2012

monday morning, and camille loves me

She is generally more clingy on Mondays because eight of her siblings have gone off to school, then the college kids leave, Daddy goes to work, and it is just her and I and Rosie and the kitties.

She is playing dollhouse right now, mostly in her own little world, but still conversing with me every little while.

The one thing I hate about having so many kids is having those panic-y moments when I don't know where someone is. Like suddenly realizing I haven't seen Jonathan in a while, then remembering he went shopping with Abigail. Sometimes I have to add it all up, like...Emily is at work -1, Abigail is at work - 2, Benjamin is in the Army - 3, Mirielle is at college -4, Joseph is sleeping -5, Aaron college -6, Mali college -7, Sam-8, Margaret -9, Kathryn -10, Evelyn -11, Suzanne-12, Sonja -13, Jonathan-14, Charlotte Claire -15, school, Camille here, 16. Phew, all accounted for.

School days are simpler, the weekends...a few at their cousin's house, a few shopping, a few at a friend's house...

Saturday evening I had the pleasure of going to Panera Bread with my sister, my sister-in-law, and a friend. I was pleasantly surpised with how much I enjoyed the food. The atmosphere was warm and cozy, and cozy, we had a great time sitting there drinking coffee and talking after we ate. I totally splurged and had not only the buttered baguette, but a carrot cupcake for dessert. I also ate my half panini, which I was not planning to do. The salad was enough, but the panini was so good! Oh well. I also thought I would just eat half the cupcake, ha! Most and filled with raisins, oh heavenly yummy, with coffee...

Kitty Kitten has food in her bowl. But she has attacked the new bag of cat food which is sitting there on the kitchen floor, until she struck gold and the food is spilling out. It must be better cat food, or maybe she thinks she fought it and won.

Or she just thought a ripped open bag with scattered cat food would go with the overall theme of the house.

Seriously, having so many people share a most of us wear slippers, which most of us take off and leave by the door when we leave..."by the door" looks like a war zone already, with the shoes and boots and sandals (we have the occasionally warm day, and some kids like to slip them on to go grab the mail, ect.). Add in mittens and hats and scarves and winter coats along with all the spring jackets and sweaters...and Over By The Door is dreadful. Perhaps today I will organize and sort and tidy up over there a little bit.

Okay, here's the thing: my sister has cancer. She might kill me for writing it here, but I don't care. She has a very rare form, which showed up as a small tumor on her shoulder. When she had it removed, she thought it would possibly be a skin cancer. So...she had to have a CAT scan and a bone scan and other tests, and it has not spread anywhere else. yet. perhaps it won't. She has to have all these tests done every three months for a few years, then every four months, and after five years if it doesn't show up, she will be considered Out Of The Woods. The survival rate after five years is 50%. But she knows that God already knows all about it. He is in charge of life, and of death. It is absolutely true that these things are heartwrenching and difficult. But we want to be free from anxiety and the fear of death, right? So we need trials that test our faith. She is really learning to come into rest in this, she is fighting that good fight of faith. I think that living with the nearness of dying puts things into perspective here in our days, helps one choose the good in the situations, makes us more forgiving and more awake to see our own sin. As for me, ouch, I cannot even bear the thought of losing my sister. I will not even think about that, I will just continue to pray for her, and enjoy her company.

So pray for my sister. She is a very special lady. She has seven daughters, two of them are married. One has little Will and the new twins, and the other has Grace and is overdue to have a baby boy. Her girls are my best friends, at least from MY perspective, they do a good job of putting up with their Aunt Della. My sister has asthma, and lots of horrible arthritis in her shoulders and knees and everywhere else, so she has lived with much pain for many years now. She makes the most out of life, she is so much fun! I will not tell the story of how she and I went for coffee the other day at the Dunkin Donuts drivethrough, but we can still act like kids and laugh our heads off, in fact the hard part is that we can't seem to act like adults...

Hopefully she isn't too mad at me for writing about her, she is more private than I am about sharing life's details. But she does have my password, so she can always get on here and add to it or deny the whole thing, ha.

It is sunny out there, and the temperature is supposed to go up to the high forties today, I may just get in a walk. Yesterday I walked/ran/walked/ran...I love doing that, but my knees hate me today. I guess I shall have to respect them or they will give out on me.

And...I am out of things to say this fine morning.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Camille playing restaurant.
Mirielle made these last night, chocolate chip with white chips, milk chocolate chips, and regular dark chocolate chips. I had only one bite, but believe me: they HAUNTED me until they were gone.
Dum Dum needs a bath again...
cupcakes, the great stress reliever. Mirielle made these today with Sonja K., in the midst of all her homework.