summer 2011

summer 2011

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

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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

and some halloween pictures....

And yeah, I sort of dressed up...just to see the looks on my kids faces. Sam doesn't like when I put on makeup for anything, he just wouldn't look at me. I got a laugh out of Joe, and Paul wouldn't answer me when I asked him if I looked nice.

Camille was a witch.

Evelyn, Sonja the witch, me, Emily the nurse, Jon in front, Camille, and Miss Char the zombie.

Suzanne was a ninja, as was Kathryn....but they somehow evaded the photos:)

The most fun is coming home and dumping it out to sort, trade, and taste. I scored three of the mini Snickers....I told them not to give me any more, even if I asked nicely:)

The weather was pleasant, a few sprinkles...but warm. We walked through a very nice neighborhood, casually, as if we actually lived there, but Camille blew it by consistently running back down the driveways exclaiming very loudly how nice the houses were. Their enthusiasm was contagious! I don't know why it is so exciting to ring the doorbells and get candy, but I sort of remember.

Rain moved in, the wind picked up, and we were done. Aaah, home. I hated telling them to clean up the candy and go to bed, but there is school tomorrow dang it.

It is quiet in here now, and I am headed to bed, so very tired. Tomorrow we are working at the dome again, so I need some sleep.

happy halloween!

It is a rainy day here in New York state. The cozy rainy kind of day that is good for snuggling up with a good book and a hot cup of coffee, and if one dares, a stack of cookies. But alas, I am trying to get into better shape, not worse, so I chose to go out into the rain, and to the pool at the rec. center instead. Jonathan went with me, and he got tired of swimming before I did.

Home. Cozy time. I told Jon he could go on his tablet for a while so I can write out a daily plan for him. Ha, I am sitting here blogging with the purring cat on my lap, my feet covered up with someone's fleece robe. My coffee is only half-gone. The dryer is humming, and I am not going anywhere too soon.

Kathryn is doing her work, she is really good about it.

So tonight we are going out trick-or-treating. Emily is going with us, and Mali, and Abigail will meet us when she is done with physical therapy (for her knee). I think Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille will go. Joseph is taking Sam and some of the boys from church to buy candy, then play cards, because they are getting way too big to go out from house to house:).

The little girls woke up happy and excited this morning. I sent them some candy for their classrooms, but they don't dress up at school anymore.

And...I have things to do.....

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

oh lazy me....

Here I sit. In my comfy chair. I want a nap. I am not going to take one. The little kids will be home soon, the older kids are already here. They have scarfed down snacks and settled in reading books or doing homework or checking out facebook. Sam took care of some things for me before he started on his own stuff, he put away a few cool things I got from the thrift store today, plus he took care of some recyclables, without even being asked.

Anyway. Jonathan had sealants applied to his teeth, plus a cavity filled. He insists that I go in with him, so there I stand, trying not to faint at the mere sound of that awful drill. I do not like being in there, but I can't tell him no. Plus, I think it's really nice the dentist doesn't mind.

We went to the thrift store and had some fun. I got two nice cereal bowls for twenty-nine cents each, a copy of the latest, "Diary Of A Wimpy Kid", for Jon, a few nice shirts for the girls, a Melissa And Doug's shopping cart, which Sam hid for me for Christmas.

It was fun. My hands got dusty, and some of the stuff there is almost hilarious, but we enjoyed it. Walmart for dog biscuits and bleach. We spent like $20 in there, then headed to the warehouse store. Frozen blueberries and strawberries, fresh kale, coffee, and lots of candy for our fall feast at church.

Apples from the Apple Lady down the road, then home. Ahhh, home.

The groceries are put away, the dishes are done, the laundry is mostly caught up, and I have to make dinner.

I don't want to. I want to take a nap.

Another one of my sister's seven daughters is engaged! It is a happy occasion, to be sure, but....some of my girls are very sad. Claire left to spend a year in Australia, and is now going to get them, it means the end of fun and good times:)

Tomorrow is Halloween, one of the "funnest" nights of the year. We didn't Trick-Or-Treat with the older kids. Somewhere along the line, we changed our minds about it. It wasn't like just asking people for candy, most people enjoy Halloween, and enjoy giving to the kids. Paul doesn't go with us, he just never does. He doesn't care for it, although he has no problem with us going. Anyway, I have had lots of fun going out through the neighborhoods with the kids. For the past few years, we have gone in this one REALLY nice little place....streets lined with gorgeous houses, probably dentists and doctors. They give really good candy, too.

Whether you "believe" in Halloween or not, be safe and don't eat too much candy tomorrow! I know I won't:)

and, a quickie....

Miss Camille and Miss Char, got new coats. They aren't super-warm winter coats,but they are warmer than sweaters or sweatshirts. We have lots of in-between days, so they will get alot of use, and they were of course on the clearance rack.

My friend Stevie went to Norway for the weekend for a Brother's Conference, and he brought me back a present! He is such a nice kid! I gave him money to buy me one, and he brought me two, "because you are a sweet old lady", he said to me.

Last evening, I picked up Mali's car and the mechanic told me I had to drive it for 30-40 miles to get the gauges to set, to make sure everything was fixed properly. Sam just happened to have pre-ordered a video game that was now ready to be picked up in the small city, so off we went, on an impromptu outing. We stopped on a whim and got ice cream. The ice cream place in town has soft pumpkin ice cream. Sam got a hot fudge sundae, but I got the pumpkin cone. Oh why oh why does it have to be so good? I have heard one theory that if you imagine your favorite foods with spiders or ants in them, you won't want them anymore. But my mouth has a good memory and I can't fool it.

Dang those whims.

Anyway, we had a nice drive. There is never air in the conversation, with Sam. Or me, I guess.

And this fine morning, I have to take Jonathan to the dentist. Since we are driving all the way to the small city, I am going to stop into the warehouse club for blueberries, and a snack for activity club tonight. Cheese and crackers and pepperoni. I have to be out the door in nineteen minutes, and Jon isn't up yet, Bad Mom Award. And here I sit, so goodbye for now. Make the most of the day, I know I will!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

out and about with sonja k......

Okay. Pretend you have eleven daughters. And just say that five of them were born in five years, and the youngest of those five said she had nothing to wear. And just imagine if you realized so extremely clearly that she needed some attention! What would you do?

Of course! Shopping! We went to the dreaded mall. She got a nice pair of boots, and a dress for her cousin Ellen's wedding, which is going to be on Sonja's birthday in the spring (half off the clearance price). She got a few more things here and there, and we stopped for coffee for me, cocoa for her. We then went to two grocery stores...and stopped to get gas (almost 18 gallons for $31! it pays to spend lots at the store and get gas points)

And, now I have to get going again, Mali's car is done and off I go to pick it up....

Monday, October 28, 2013

fitting it all into my busy schedule, ha.

The princesses and I....

Camille and Charlotte Claire....

Sonja K. and Suzanne, also known as Ginger and Karl.

After a busy day of hanging out with these girls working at the dome........also with this hot handsome husband of mine...

We were out the door by 6:30 Sunday to go work at the dome. By the time I got home in the afternoon, my feetsies were aching. The girls who were home babysitting had a good old time when we were gone, they made caramel apples. Little bits of caramel were all over the kitchen floor, my slippers were sticking, um, no. I had to mop the floor, but other than that, they had cleaned up nicely. My niece had an extra parking pass for a really cool Halloween event, so I decided to take the little girls. Jon was visiting with some cousins, so just the four youngest girls went with me.

The paths through the woods were lined with pumpkins. Over 500 carved pumpkins, all lit with candles. Eeyore, Winnie, a Nike sneaker, funny faces, Yankees, Chewbacca, Shrek, Aurora, cats and bats and owls....oh it was interesting.

And chilly! We got there, and I told Camille to zip up her coat. "The zipper is broken, Mama." What a good time to find THAT out. Luckily I had a pretty scarf on...I closed her coat and tied that scarf around her. I hoped she looked like a little girl who wanted to look fancy instead of a little girl with a broken zippered coat.

This morning, I had to drive over to the auto mechanic place in town to meet Mali, she was dropping off her (Sam's) car to get inspected and the oil changed. She had to borrow our truck for the day to get to classes and work. She dropped me off at home, I went for my walk. In the door, and Mirielle was bringing her car in for an oil change. So I followed her, so she didn't have to wait there. Ahh. Home. The dishes stacked up and laundry to do...home.

And, I have a project! I found twenty presents for the little kids at church for our fall party next Sunday. Most of them are wrapped. I am gathering Christmas stuff to decorate the room. I have to make Paul a Santa beard, and perhaps I will make Christmas cookies to make the room really Christmas-y. The kids will come through the rooms a few at a time and get their candy and the gift, I think it will be lots of fun.

This morning, Jonathan is figuring out the populations for different countries and cities. He just asks his tablet, and it tells him:) He is very interested in those numbers though, and has to write the answers in complete sentences for his teacher, who is really quite nice:)

The day is going by too fast, I have things to do. I feel like organizing things today, for some strange reason. I had better get on that while it lasts....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

a few of my favorite things....

1. I can hardly type this post because our mentally challenged kitty is on my lap, making it difficult to reach the keyboard. He purrs and cuddles and just plain loves me.

2. Margaret just took Camille's bedding out of the dryer, put the clean sheet on her bed, and gave Camille the warm comforter to enjoy. Camille covered my cold feet with it.

3. I went for my walk this was chilly but so refreshing. My knee is so painful sometimes, but instead of focusing on worrying about how long I will be able to keep up my walking, I try to focus on the fact that Today Is Today, and Today I Can Walk.

4. Coffee. I actually have two cups sitting here on my table, one regular, and one blueberry cobbler flavored.

5. My eleven daughters. This morning I said they were all beautiful inside and out. This morning, Margaret and Kathryn and Evelyn were all in the kitchen at the same time, talking and laughing and not fighting.

6. Dinner is in the crockpot! A nice roast of beef with onions and carrots and potatoes.

7. Charlotte Claire and Camille Anaya. They are playing office in the living room. Char's desk is the coffee table. They are wearing their big sisters' high heels.

Yesterday, the kids had no school, so some of us ended up going out and about. Samuel stayed here with Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille, who still wasn't feeling well. (I would have brought the big van and brought them all:)) Anyway, off in the minivan I went with Margaret 16, Kathryn 15, Evelyn 13, and Suzanne 12. (Sonja K. was at her friend's house). We went to Kohl's and got some $3 sunglasses, some sandals for the little girls for $3.60 a pair, and a few shirts from the clearance racks. Then to Target for a few important things like marked down clothes for the girls. I was looking for a birthday gift for my daughter-in-law, but I won't say what I ended up getting her, just in case she reads this. Then to the grocery store, where I got a cheaty dinner of a few of their $5 pizzas and some chicken tenders. (Evelyn made a huge salad, I had salad with chicken, just a bite of pizza to make sure pizza still tastes really good.) We stopped at the Redbox and got a few movies (Paul and I watched, "World War Z", it wasn't bad.) the post office! I finally sent the box to Anya! And yes, it was like a party!

Tomorrow, Paul and I are working at the dome for the marching band competition. Bright and early, we leave here at 6:30 am. Lots of our other kids will be working later in the day, too, as it's an all day event. Taking a break will be fun, the bands are amazing to watch. My knee does not like to work at the dome, as the floors are cement and being on my feet all day just kills it. But the rest of me doesn't mind, I love being with my friends from church. There is just no age barrier, some of my best friends are my own kids' ages.

Evelyn is all dressed up to go out and about, her cousin Becky is coming to pick her up. They are going to a bookstore to hang out and read the books and drink coffee, I think.

Did I ever mention what messers my little girls are? They aren't playing office anymore, they just got some coats on and went out the front door. Their offices are still all set up, of course. Last night when I went in my room to go to bed, there were backpacks stuffed with clothes, as they were playing Going On A Trip, and my room must have been the destination. There were dolls and bags and books, and a pumpkin, in my bed.

I am not nearly as busy as I used to be, but believe me, my house still has that Lived In look.

Oh well. Paul and Jonathan just took the old pool fence to the dump, and I don't really want to still be sitting here in my comfy chair when they get back, lest Paul thinks it's all I do all day:) Plus, I do have things to do.

Friday, October 25, 2013

day off for all nine of them....

No school today! And not just on a whim, either:) Today is Staff Development Day, which means the teachers are partying and having pizza, I think. We are also partying. The princesses are watching morning cartoons, all snuggled under blankets on the couch. I made them eggs and apple spice toast. I went for my walk, and have had my big cup of coffee (my mother-in-law got me the NICEST cup)

The day stretches before me....I have Kohl's cash, I want to go to Price-Chopper because they have some good sales, and I need to get a box and mail stuff to my granddaughter, Anya. No, I haven't done that yet. And, I have some library books to return.

My older kids are all still sleeping. I woke up early when Paul got up for work. I tried to go back to sleep, I really did. But of course I couldn't. On regular mornings when I have to get up, I would pay like a million bucks to stay in bed.

I find myself wanting to get away with Paul. It has nothing to do with getting away from the kids, and everything to do with getting to spend a little time with just him. I am not talking about Jamaica, although don't get me started thinking about that, just a night or two away....

Next Sunday, we are having a "feast" at church, a fall feast. Our church isn't just a church building, we have dorms there, and campers, and some cabins are being built, because friends from all over come together there for conferences. So next week we are using some dorm rooms, and decorating them in different themes for the kids to come visit and get candy and treats. I am doing a Christmas room. I decided to dress as Mrs. Claus, and talked Paul in to being Santa. I bought Christmas candy from the dollar store, and am trying to get presents together for each of the kids, so they can unwrap something. Christmas music, some lights and decorations....

From our house, one can see trees from all the windows. It is lovely. I think, as I am sitting here listening to the little girls play in their room, and enjoying the bigger girls come out of their rooms, all rested and happy to be home and getting some coffee, this is a good life. Sam is up now too. I am very blessed indeed.

Our dogs like to run around in the leaves. When I whip a pear across the yard, they go bounding after it. They also like to eat the pears, they get sidetracked, especially old Duke. The kitty likes to scamper through the leaves too, she thinks she is one of the dogs. She followed me on my walk this morning, I had to scoop him up and turn around towards home because I was afraid he would get hit by a car.

Suri is NOT supposed to be in Camille's bed. Couches okay, beds no. But this morning while I was drying off from my shower, I heard little girls in my room. I heard them singing songs to dogs. Yup, they were all in my bed.

And now lots of kids are appearing, glad to be home. Plans are being made, too many conversations going on for me to concentrate. My mug has been refilled with nice hot coffee, and I have kids to talk to.....

Thursday, October 24, 2013

stay home today? nope.

First of all, I am very thankful that I get to "stay home". I don't have to work. But that doesn't mean I really actually stay home that much. But to be able to go out and about and help older kids, be available for them, is much appreciated. Today, I am going with Mali. She has a dr. appointment, then has to get new tires on her car, which is really our car, or actually Sam's car. She can't actually afford tires, so Merry Christmas to her. Anyway. I am looking forward to some time with her.

And, the princesses are home from school again today. They went yesterday, then this morning when I woke them up...Camille started barking. That distinctive croup-y bark. No school for her. Miss Char was not sick, she was feeling fine and well, until she realized that Camille was staying home, then she started feeling awful:) So I kept Charlotte Claire home on a whim.

So far they have had a few weddings, complete with fancy dresses, high heels, and invitations. They wasted like 30 envelopes, but as Camille said, "We didn't WASTE them, Mama. We invited people!" They had art class all over the living room floor. They like to waste tape, too, taping several papers together to make one big picture, usually of pretty girls with pretty dresses on.

Then Camille started coughing, or rather barking, so we bundled her up and brought her outside for a few minutes, then gave her a hot steamy shower. She is dressed in warm jammies now, and has been invited to, "chill", in Kathryn's room for a while.

Yesterday...oh we had some fun. I picked Evelyn up early, and off we went. To two thrift stores. I got Miss Char a nice hooded sweatshirt, and Camille a Gymboree vest with a furry hood. One of the girls got a really nice coat for three bucks. I bought some glasses and mugs, and some things for prizes for our church fall feast. I got a really nice sweater for $6.99, which is a lot in a thrift store, but it is from Kohl's, and I love it. It is just what I was looking for.

We also stopped in Subway for lunch, their Buffalo chicken subs are yum. Then to the grocery store for the regular stuff, then to the dollar store for snacks and chocolate. We have an amazing dollar store, a local one, which has all sorts of stuff from brand names to store-brands, stuff that is worth way more than a dollar. I got boxes of 10 granola bars, for the kids for school, and footless tights for the little girls.

Anyway, we had great fun. After putting everything away and making dinner (taco meat tortillas with peppers and onions and cheese), and fresh cauliflower, it was time for the kids to go to activity club at church. But wait, Sam was at P.T. (Future Soldiers in the U.S. Army), and Joseph has his eye that is bothering him, which he self-diagnosed and assured me is going to be fine without a visit to the eye doctor, so....Mirielle was the only driver, and we had too many kids to fit into the I was elected to go. Out the door I went, and, shh, I loved it. I stayed with the group that was baking, pumpkin bread and apple bread, and muffins. I peeled apples for them, and tried just to listen and not interfere, as the young people in the church run these groups....oh it was fun.

The school just called, one of the kids needs to be picked up at school....never a dull one, I tell ya.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

good morning!

I don't have much time to sit here today, as I am picking Evelyn Joy up from school at 10:30 for a very important date, a trip to the thrift store. It's Wednesday, there is 50% off three different tag colors on Wednesdays. She has been bugging me to take her there, and our evenings are quite booked these days. They have soccer on Mondays and Youth Meetings on Tuesdays, Activity Club (at church) on Wednesdays, usually cleaning on Thursdays, and Hockey or Anti-Hockey on Fridays. (They started a group for kids who don't like to play hockey, they do all sorts of fun things together). This Sunday is a field band competition at the Dome, at which Paul and I are both working for fundraising for church, so....our evenings are busy.

So today, I will pick Evelyn up early. She is an "A" student in 8th grade, and today her important classes will be done by the time I pick her up. I know, I know, I am doing her a "disservice", but honestly, when I wrote the note this morning, she was pretty happy. Quality time with Mom today, out and about. Maybe we will even keep the economy going by stopping for a coffee at DunkinDonuts...and maybe a little trip to the grocery store for more bananas and milk and yogurt. Maybe we'll go to the warehouse store for blueberries and candy and and and.

One true statement: Life is short. It goes by too fast. Today is all any of us has. It doesn't give us permission to live recklessly, because tomorrow might just come:) But. Enjoy your day! Be good to whomever comes your way! Forgive and forget, be good some more, even if you pretty much know someone doesn't deserve it. Give, and it will be given to you! Let go of grudges, don't give in to miserable, judging, dismal thoughts.

Life is one long series of tests. In the hidden places of my heart, in my thoughts, I need to be pure and good. God sees this, He blesses accordingly.

My kids are growing up, but I still have these things to deal with. Yesterday Joseph came home from work early because he had injured his eye. He looked at me and asked what he should do. Then Mali fainted while she was in watching a C-section, and her instructor said she had to go see her cardiologist again. So I talked to her. Mostly I am just the Complaint Department for minor aches and pains, and the Request Department (Mom, I have no undershirts! I need more folders! My winter coat, I wore for two winters, and I can't wear it again! Mom, do we have any chocolate hidden anywhere?)

So life is still busy enough.

And I have to get moving!!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

time is our most precious commodity....

and I love time with my kids. Does that sound like a good reason to let my two little princesses stay home from school today? Camille is dressed in the Kitty Suit, a furry costume we have had here for years. She looks so cute and cuddly, I just want to scoop her up and snuggle her. Char tried it on first, but her legs are getting long, and she looked hilarious. But cute too.

So this morning, the rain was dripping, the wind was chilly, and the rooms were dark. I was washing up some dishes after the bigger kids left for school. The only ones still here were the little girls, and the two home-schoolers, Kathryn and Jonathan, who were still sleeping, and Paul, who was working from home but has since left for the office. The little girls were still sleeping too. I stood there at the sink, and got that thought in my head to just not wake those girls call the bus garage to say they needn't be picked up. So I did. Paul asked, "Why are you keeping them home, because it's raining?" um, isn't that a good reason?

Then I did what any lucky mom would do, when they woke up. I abandoned the dishes, and we went into my room with the big comfy bed, and we snuggled and we talked and we planned our day. A nature walk, even if it rained, because they have rain boots, and if Char's are too small, she said we could go shopping for bigger ones. They determined that I am indeed still smooshy, and that they like me.

I made them French Toast, put on a pot of coffee, finished up the dishes while I talked to Kim on the phone, did two loads of laundry, swept and mopped the kitchen and living room, and finally sat here to write. Jonathan is talking to me, Kathyn is doing school work with the princesses as guests in her room, and the puppies are taking naps on the couch.

I have a huge load of towels to fold, and some miscellaneous clothes to fold before the couch monster gets too big and scary to tackle. I want to mail a box of baby stuff to Ben and Ashley and Baby Anya, and I have some appointments to make. (Mirielle said the other night, "Jeepers, Mom, why don't you just mail that stuff instead of talking about it?!" Well, Mirielle, that is just what we procrastinators do. Perhaps because when we finally accomplish one little thing, we have a little party about finally doing it. I don't know. Why don't you NOT do something thatyou know you should do? It's the same thing as telling me TO DO something I should.) (But I really didn't say that.)

We need to do some work on our house, too. New windows. I have a plan to put in a closet in the end of the living room, to store dollhouse stuff and school supplies and stuff I might sell on ebay someday.

I need to get some pride in my house again, to get motivated to pretty it up and keep in more straightened out. Did I mention that my girls gave a few dozen pumpkins a bath in the bathtub on Sunday? They were restless, so I told them to bundle up and go out to the garden and find some pumpkins. Now, we did not even plant pumpkins, but somehow we got tons of them. More of them than of the stuff we DID plant, but I guess we are magical that way. Anyway. They came trudging back in with these little gourds and pumpkins, all covered in dirt. I was busy trying to work out, which means I was trying to end all the conversations I kept getting into, as all the kids were home, and trying to discipline myself to go into my room and get started on some push-ups, ect. That is half the battle for me, disengaging myself from what is going on around here. Anyway. I saw all the dirt, and suggested that the girls just put the pumpkins in the bathtub and wash them all off. Then I went into my room and closed the door. Bad Mom Award! I heard the water running, heard the thunking noise that only pumpkins being dropped into a bathtub can make...and out of my room I came....well, after like ten minutes of it. (When it started to be accompanied by that silly laughter that means Little Girls Are Up To No Good.) Yup. They had filled the tub to the very tippy top with steaming hot water, and the pumpkins and gourds were all floating in there, nice and soapy.

Now, this wouldn't be the end of the world, but there was a church feast that afternoon, and lots of people had to take showers, and these princesses used A LOT of water.

But, we have clean pumpkins!

And now I must disengage myself from this and get on with my day. Mali has texted me to say she fainted during a C-section she was watching (she is a second year nursing student). Poor girl.

Monday, October 21, 2013

in which she finally meets martha....

It was a new thing for me, to meet up with a blogger-friend. I was a tiny bit nervous, because I can be shy, but Martha is very natural and friendly, and it wasn't awkward at all. And, she didn't kill me. When I told my son Joseph that I was meeting my friend Martha, he said, "Don't get murdered." So I didn't.

Of course when I got home from my nice outing, I had plenty of making-up to do. I had to sweep, again, there were dishes galore, even though Evelyn so nicely got home from school and did the dishwasher. When I started dinner, I was disgusted and dismayed to find that the chicken I was going to make was spoiled. It was dated the 24th, so it should have been good. I called the store, and the girl I talked to said in a sweet little sing-song voice, "Just bring it back and we'll replace it!" I talked to the manager next. He said that he had just gotten another call about bad chicken, so I wasn't the only one. He said to throw it out (thank you!), and just come in and pick out something and tell them that, "Mike said it was okay." Um, I know...just KNOW that this isn't going to go as smoothly as Mike seems to think it will. But I did feel better that he was listening to my concerns and not making me keep rotten chicken. I told him that I now had nothing for dinner, but he didn't offer to order me some pizzas.

Anyway. First World Probs, right?

I just made some other chicken I had.

And I went for a nice long walk. There was a sudden crash in the woods, and a doe came running out and crossed the road and into the woods on the other side, followed by a huge buck with big antlers. Sam wants to know How Many Points, but I have no idear. He was big, he was fast, and he looked like he might have been in love with that doe:)

My princesses are being silly. Extremely silly. They need attention, so I need to get moving and give them some before them make a big mess. Char is trying to put her feet behind her head, and tasting the bottom of her foot.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

just a note....

This is me, and my sister Cheryl, selling candy at the last church conference.

It is a rainy night, Paul and Sam are watching baseball. I have my laundry almost caught up. Dinner was a disaster tonight. The oven wouldn't warm up, so the chickens weren't done on time. I was taking the three youngest to the pool, we were meeting Abigail there. She called as we were backing out of the driveway and said the pool was closed. The kids were so disappointed, I decided to take them to town for a slice of pizza. I don't eat pizza, so I ordered twenty Buffalo chicken wings. I had four, Jon had two, and we brought 14 home. They were gone within minutes, and I felt bad there were so few for so many. I want to buy a big bag of frozen ones, but they will take forever to cook in the oven, at least until Paul fixes it again:)

Never a dull moment, I tell you.

Tomorrow...I am working at the Dome, for the basketball season midnight madness, season opening show. Not my fave thing to do, on a Friday night, but. It is with friends from church, and it is a fundraiser.

a quick post this fine morn....

I looked out my kitchen window this morning, and oh such beauty. A much better view than when I stand there and look down at the overflowing sink.

This morning I cleaned up this and that, but my goodness I get distracted. I used to get distracted by babies and toddlers, now I get distracted by things like:

1. Mr. Kitty Kitten. He loves to be scooped up and held, he purrs and snuggles. I have scooped him up like five times today.

2. The magnets on the refrigerator. I wrote, "TMI JONS SMELLY", just to see what he would write back.

3. The dogs. They are so funny. When I pet one, the other one wants to be pet too. Duke is a whiner. He whines like crazy when I give attention to Suri.

So my laundry room is clean, but I have lots of loads of laundry, all sorted into the proper hampers, to wash. I have been working on that, and that means lots of socks to match, lots of clothes to fold and put away. It is nice to see the floor in there. Char and Camille came home from school yesterday, and were dancing around in there marveling at, "the pretty floor, mama!"

I am going to Wal-mart with my brother in a few minutes. My brother and his wife have ten kids, all grown up now, just a few still at home. He is retired from his real job, and now babysits for a few of his grandchildren. Today he will have his two month old granddaughter with him. He is what I call, "The Good Kind Of Grampa". He gets a kick out of the kids, gives them the time of day, loves them, appreciates them, spoils them yet is firm with them.

And now I really need to get up and get moving so he doesn't have to wait for me.

Oh, if you want to read something really really good, go to and read the article on being anxious.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

in which she does get paid....

to clean the laundry room. 87 cents. I also collected bobby pins and a cap eraser, one matchbox car, a few hair ponies, a keychain, some nerf bullets, and hundreds of socks. Seriously. A whole laundry basket with just the white ones. I cleared out clothes that have been in there for years. I bagged up clothes for the thrift store, and for my nephew, and for my other nephew's daughter. I sorted and folded and washed and dryed and sorted some more. I like handing Jon's clothes down to Sean, and handing the princesses' stuff down to Megan.

Yeah, so it took me all the live-long day to do this job, that should give the reader an inkling just how bad our laundry room was. ouchie, yeah, it was bad. Of course, it will never get that bad again, no sir. THIS time, I will keep up with it.

So that's how I spent the first day of my new life, cleaning the laundry room.

I took my morning walk first, and gave Jonathan his assignments for the day. I had a sugar-free pumpkin yogurt with chocolate chips for breakfast, with coffee, and a few almonds. Lunch, another pumpkin yogurt with a few chocolate chips and a few almonds. Plus, when I wandered into the kitchen for a drink of water, I would break off a little bite of burnt chocolate chip cookie...the only ones still left from the triple-batch I made the day before yesterday. Of course I only baked half the cookies that day, and half yesterday, otherwise they would have all been gone the first day.

Anyway, the kids all went to activity club at church, the older ones run groups for the younger ones. Paul and I found ourselves here alone with the two pups. He made me a huge salad, I fried up some bacon, and poured myself a light beer. Yup, then we watched , "Jeopardy" with no interruptions. Oh are we lame, but it was quite relaxing.

My new granddaughter seems to be doing well. She came home from the hospital today, and their border collie was a bit puzzled. She was a bit fussy, and her mama is a bit tired, but Ben says they are doing well. I would love love love to go see them. Not being able to hold my first grandchild is one of the worst agonies I have experienced. It is no consolation that I will see her at Christmas when she is two months old. I want to hold her NOW, when she is still tiny and little. rrrrr.

And...that's all I can say about that for now. But I am sad about it.

The clothes need to be switched, and I have dishes to do....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

and yes, we have good news!

I was feeling doomed, I really was. I was sitting there waiting in the hospital, waiting for the radiologist to read that mammogram...and I was having some gloomy thoughts. So when the technician came in with a big happy smile and said that I was fine, the spots are was like a little Christmas present. We talked about my risk factors, and when I told her that I do have the fact that I nursed 16 babies on my side, she was like, "16?!"

So I met the radiologist, who was super-nice:) And another lady who works in the dark, screening those x-rays and scans and interpreting things that are potentially least that's what I THINK they do. Anyway, they were so pleasant and nice to talk to. I absolutely love having a small hospital nearby for these things. And I was very thankful for the lady who did the mammo today, she explained so much to me.

And...I walked out of there with a new lease on life! Yay! Mirielle and I went to the grocery store for milk and bananas and green peppers and celery and carrots and apples and chicken and burger and cheese and butter and tortillas and....we were going to get pumpkin ice cream, but there wasn't any, which is probably a good thing. All this pumpkin stuff that I cannot resist.

The cashier was a sweet girl with a big smile who remembered me from a previous visit because she is the fifteenth child out of sixteen, and has never ever met another person who had a family as big as hers. She is a very nice girl, and I walked out of the grocery store feeling pretty happy, it's nice to have friends.

Then I almost got run over, bringing the shopping cart back to the cart corral. Some idiot zipping around the corner way too fast. I had to laugh at the almost-irony of it, getting the good news, then getting run over in a parking lot.

But I did not get run over.

We then stopped at the music store, which is an amazing place. It is like going back in time. We were so nicely picking up Joseph's guitar for him, he works in a different small city, many miles north of this city, and hasn't been able to pick it up after having it fixed.

Then one last stop, DunkinDonuts for a pumpkin coffee. Yeah, it probably has too much sugar. But. It is so darned good. I looked up the calorie count for the pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pie donut, and it has helped me resist them. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but it is like 360 for the donut and 440 for the muffin.

So lots of kids are home from school now, and my homeschooled Kathryn wants to go to the library. She is such a good girl to be so dedicated to her education. Of course Evelyn won't pass up a trip to the library either. I, on the other hand, have a lost book to pay for. I intended to buy a new one on Amazon, but the only time I remember that is when we are going to the library, and the fine is adding up.

Oh joy, Kathryn just gave me a slice of apple dipped in chocolate. I thanked her and told her to NOT give me another one even if I ask for it.

The kids are planning their Halloween costumes.

They are having salsa and chips and talking and laughing and I am a good way.

Monday, October 14, 2013

gramma gramma gramma, I am a gramma!

Just as the sun was coming up this morning here on the east coast, over on the west coast....a baby was born. Anya Jade, healthy and thriving, lighting up our lives with joy I wasn't prepared for. Yes, I knew she was coming, and I was excited. But the emotion I felt when I saw the first picture, the tears that I love her already, and would do anything for her.

I mean, isn't she sweet?

Is it any wonder I want to get on the next plane to Washington state?

Today is a tired day. A wonderful day, but a tired one. I stayed up all night last night, texting Ben a bit, tossing and turning between texts, excited, tempted to be a little worried....then I finally got the one that said she had arrived...followed by a picture...and oh my. No way could I sleep then. I talked to Ben on the phone, then tried for a little nap, around 7:30 am. And...the power went out at 9:30. Yup, the fans turned off, the smoke alarms started beeping, Paul had to go into work because he can't work from home with no internet and no he rustled around in the dresser drawers, talked to me a bit...and dang it I was wide awake. Also, I remembered about Anya as soon as I woke up, and was too happy for sleep.

So today is a tired day. It is cloudy and rainy and cozy. I just had a pumpkin spice English muffin with scrambled eggs for lunch. I don't normally eat carbs like that, but oh well. I did.

The kids are having a lazy day. Camille is dressed in a beautiful princess dress, she is making thank you cards for Erika for taking her on that fun adventure yesterday. Some kids are playing video games, some are watching movies, some are doing homework. I have to go to the store at some point, there is no milk and the bananas are gone, these kids can eat things faster than I can buy them.

And then there is the Daily Dilemma: What's for dinner? Dinner, again? Didn't we just eat dinner yesterday? I know, I know, be thankful we have food.

The dogs want to go out, and I don't want to get up out of my comfy chair....

Tomorrow I have to go in to the radiology department, again. I hope and pray they say that it's nothing. Because seriously, I have a lot of living to do. But it is not my call, and I will work on being thankful for all that comes my way.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

a nice restful sunday....

I went for a quiet and peaceful walk in the leaves....

I thought the "ROUGH ROAD" sign was funny. Yes, life can be a rough road sometimes. We just plain want to know, we want to live, we want time, we want we want we want. But what about trusting in the Lord with all of our hearts and leaning not on our own understanding? It is a suffering to come to rest. I need to say NO to my anxious thoughts, I need to be tested in my faith. Seriously, being worried sick is just as bad as really being sick. Why give in to it? I can't help that I am tempted to it, but we are not debtors to the flesh!

Anyway, I have had an amazing day. When I got back from my walk, our friend Erika called and asked if she could take Char and Camille for some dinner and to the movies. Um, yes! They were SO excited as I brushed their hair pretty and got them out some nice clean bye-bye clothes. Oh they had fun. Popcorn AND soda in the movie, plus McDonalds with a playground! I am thankful for the young girls in our church who use their time and money to bless the little ones so much. It will come back to them tenfold.

While they were gone, Jonathan was also gone to my niece Katie's house, helping her make a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner for her husband, who is Canadian, and some other relatives and friends. Jon was there all day, he is a big boy and very independent.

We still had 14 people here for dinner. I decided to cut up all the rest of the apples, they were just starting to get soft. I peeled and sliced, until I had a huge bowl, and was ready to make a few pies...but Paul was taking the oven apart, trying to fix it. It has been turning everything black, and he talked to a few people about what may be causing it. Oh the mess. The black stuff got all over the floor, people walked through it, I had to mop and scrub to get it all clean again...and the oven is back together, and works just like it did before, meaning it still gets everything black. He has some other things he will try, because that oven/stove is not very old, and is a nice stainless steel convection oven. rrr. Not something we want to replace right now. So the apples....I put sugar and cinnamon on them, and by the time I got them in the microwave to make cooked apples to go with dinner because I decided not to make pies because the oven was taken apart, the kids had eaten half of them.

We had beef stew and the apples.

And, Benjamin and Ashley are in the hospital!!!! The baby is coming soon! It is 9 days before her due date, but Benjamin was a week early. She was six centimeters a few hours ago, so this Gramma-to-be is staying up for a while, waiting for news!

Oh, if I could only teleport to the west coast.

It's pretty horrid, isn't it? Me, who loves babies SO much, my first grandchild, hundreds of miles away, and I can't hold her until like Christmas? Torturous torture. Ugh. But I am praying that everything goes well for them.

There is no school tomorrow, Columbus Day. So Paul took the girls to town to rent a movie from Redbox, they are raiding the kitchen now for snacks. The medium sized girls, Kathryn and her cousin Olivia. And Kathryn.

Oh, a huge thank you to anonymous who left the comment about the Dr. Mercola article. Paul is a huge fan of Mercola. I like to read his stuff too. I need to get my vitamin D level back up!!!!

My daughter Mali is in nursing school, second year. She also works part-time at a nice hotel in the area. She was working today when an old man come to her ask for a towel for his wife who was in the bathroom not feeling well. Mali brought the towel in, and lo and behold, the woman had...really made a mess, loose bowels. Mali cleaned her all up, and the man so thankfully called Mali, "A child of God." It made me proud of her, that she unselfishly went above and beyond.

Dang I am getting tired. I think I might go to bed and take my phone with me. I don't mind being woken up to the news that I am a Grandma!!!! Hopefully tomorrow I will be back, with pictures of baby Anya!

Friday, October 11, 2013

and the fun doesn't end....

Okay, so when the dr.'s office called the other day to tell me that my cholesterol is slightly elevated and that I should cut back on carbs and sugar, and duh, I already have done that, I felt like I was maybe starting to fall apart. Then the Great Failed Mammogram Scare of yesterday, then today...the dr.'s office called again (obviously an office cannot make a phone call, it was the nice lady who who works there)...and my vitamin D is very low. 24. So I looked it up, and surprise! Vitamin D deficiency is directly linked to....breast cancer! Oh, the internet is a very dangerous place! But also helpful. I found out that one reason for D to be low is having the gallbladder removed. Anyway.

God is the same as He was yesterday, He is still in charge, no matter what phone calls I get. He still knows and plans all things. I just want to thank you all for the nice comments and the prayers. It is comforting that I am not the only one, and that there have been scares that came out well. Just so you know, I used to think that internet friends were Not Real, but now I know better.

Anyway, I am still alive and well, and all tired out from our trip to the pool. Paul and I went with Jonathan, Char, and Camille. WPaul pulled them around on the fun-doodles and let me swim some laps. Jonathan dove into the deep end for a while as I paddled around down there. We came home and had popcorn.

So life is good. BTW, I found out that low vitamin D makes people tired, and legs ache. Uh that explains some things! I will be taking some supplements and hopefully get some energy back.

Tomorrow is a big day, a church conference, and I will be working at the candy store of course. I will try not to eat any, even though, guess what? It is hard these past few days not to just say The Heck With Working So Hard To Eat goes by so fast, and look where it got me, ect. ect. But I am not stupid, I know that eating well is always beneficial and that if I was as fat as I was a few years back, things would be even worse if the Big K is there. So I will keep my hands off the M&M's and the Snicker bars and those yummy gummy lollipops and oh, the Hershey's Almond bars....

and the thoughts that come....

So, as I work on not getting all anxious and out of rest, the thoughts come. They sneak in. This morning I was making school lunches, and this one came along out of the blue: Who will homeschool Jonathan? What if he has to go back to school? Then I told myself to Stop It, Right Now. I am not dead and buried, I am not anything but alive and well, and I am not jumping off of any bridges until I come to them, and yes, I know that's not how the saying goes but I like it better that way. Anyway.

Thoughts come. I feel like all of my life has gone by in a blur, and I had this thought: So this is how it ends. NO! I cannot think that way!

Yeah, perhaps I am making a huge stinkin' deal out of absolutely nothing. But to ME, it isn't absolutely nothing. It is a battle of whether I will listen to my thoughts, entertain them, give in to worry....or whether I will fight against that spirit of anxiety which would weight me down.

I will say this though: I have had a wonderful morning. There is nothing like the mere thought of the spector of death that makes one appreciate one's life! My sweet little girls, oh how I spoiled them this morning. Ice cream money and M&M's in their lunches. I braided their hair just so, and sent them with notes that I would pick them up today, not even at dismissal, 45 minutes early!

Yes, it puts things in quick perspective. Our days are numbered, and whether this scare turns into just a scare or it is the real full-blown dreaded Big K, as my kids call it, I will use my time wisely. I mean seriously, if you knew with absolute certainty that you were going to die in one week, or tomorrow, would you hold a grudge against someone? Would you complain about mundane things? Would you waste your time wishing things in your life were better or different? I know what I would do...I would hug my kids and my husband and be nice and forgiving and be thankful for each and every little thing, I would serve with gladness in my heart, and resist sin with all my might. I would encourage others to turn to God, and not waste a single minute caring what anyone thought of me. I wouldn't stress about my house, although honestly I would like to clean my room before I check out. Does anyone else out there ever imagine what people would think if/when they went through all your stuff after you die? Perhaps it's because my sister and I cleaned out my mother's stuff after she passed, but yes, I do think about. (When we cleaned out our mom's stuff, we laughed and we cried and we laughed some more. My mother had made her own post-massectomy bras....she stuffed them with washcloths, and oh my goodness our hearts broke for her and her frugality. And the buttons and coupons and bra extenders and old lotions and dolls and junky things she thought were valuable...oh my. My poor father couldn't bear to go in her room and go through her things, so he was ever so thankful for us, he sat in the living room trying to keep little baby Charlotte Claire happy in her car seat. He was sick with leukemia then....oh dear. too much sadness for this morning.)

Anyway. I am okay. I am not picking out tombstones yet, although it does make me laugh to remember that my son Aaron said one time, "On Mom's gravestone it should say, "She Tried." It is just so funny. He isn't mean, he is just accurate.

So, since life goes on, I am going to finish the shopping that I wimped out on yesterday. I mean, seriously? Getting that phone call in the grocery store? My body took on a life of it's own, and started shaking without my permission. I somehow got to the check-out, and realized I hadn't eaten in hours, so I felt like I was going to faint. Fear, not enough to eat, too much coffee...I ate a Balance bar as I stood there in line, not even caring if other people were thinking that the fat lady was eating a candy bar.

Anyway, I have to go finish up. Soda and water for the grill for this weekend at church, and milk for here. I really should go to Walmart for more spoons. I'm telling you, the kids take yogurt with the when they go out the door, and lose those spoons. Or perhaps the sock monster is stealing spoons now too.

Sam asked last night why I didn't get any milk. And I realized that no matter what is going on with me, I will still have to buy milk.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

in which she fails her mammogram.....

I am not dead and buried yet, however. Just that dreaded phone call from the radiologist, confirming that I hate cell-phones because I happened to be in Price Chopper,talking to an old man about how much cheaper Orville Redenbocker popcorn is down in Publix in Florida. So I got this phone call, which knocked me socks off. I tried to ask Ms. Radiologist what exactly it meant that "something showed up", but she said she was only the messenger, and that I had to make an appointment to come back in. Next week, I go back in.

Now, my mother had a breast cancer. When she was 43, she had a masectomy, followed by another masectomy, and chemo because the cancer had spread to her lymph-nodes. She survived, and lived until she was 69. So even if the "something" IS cancer, I am not necessarily doomed. But just for the record, I couldn't really finish my shopping. I went through the register in a fog. Jonathan isn't one to let anything go over his smart little head, so he kept asking me who called and what they said, so I was just honest, and told him it was probably fine, but I have to go back in for more tests.

Anyway, that is my story for the day.

I am going to work on being at rest. God knows what's best for me.

So I figure that if I am faithful to say a resounding NO to all thoughts of anxiety, and fight not to cross any bridges until I come to them, I will get some oil in my lamp, and much good will come of this trial.

For now, though, I would like to sneak into my room and have a little cry:)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

oh lovely day....

I finally sank into my chair and put my feetsies up last night, and started getting to know this new chromebook. I found myself checking out Caribbean vacations. Just looking. Mr. Jonathan peeks over at the screen and said, "Mom, Daddy just spent $250 on you and you are looking at vacations!?" um, be quiet, Jon.

This fine morning, I got up and got out the door bright and early to get my mammogram. Not fun, but hey, with my family history, it feels good to get it done. Now I just have to work on not getting worried about what it will show...

Jonathan is learning fractions/percentages today. We are done for now, have had a pumpkin spice smoothie, and are taking a break. Soon we are going to set out in the sunshine for a nature walk. We want to collect some pretty leaves, and perhaps a fuzzy caterpillar and one of those little newt-like salamanders that I keep seeing when on my walks. The princesses are home today, taking a little break from all the days of school. They really needed it. Yesterday they had a HUGE fight. Apparently, and I hate to say this because someday Camille is going to read it and hate me, but....Miss Char was on the toilet. Camille had to go. Really had to go. Now, I wasn't paying attention at the time, I heard the story later. Char told Camille to go to a different bathroom, but no, she wanted to go in the toilet Charlotte was using. So, she did what anyone would do in her situation, she peed in the sink. uh huh. This started a screaming fit, pitched by Miss Charlotte Claire, telling Camille to GET OUT, which made Camille do what she does best, which is cry loudly. She cried really really loudly while Char screamed at her. NOW I was paying attention. Anyway.

This morning. They really wanted to stay home, and after yesterday's antics, I felt I really needed to spend some time with them. They are tired, and have been gone too much.

Kathryn is making cupcakes with them right now, and some mac-n-cheese for lunch. They are more than thrilled to be home. They dressed up all pretty and played Going Shopping, but I made them put all of Mirielle's shoes right back where they found them Right Now. They don't get bored, they have so much to do around here. Out on the deck they have grass soup for their dollies, and a teacher's desk set up in the living room. Their room is a mess, but they have been playing Barbies in there.

Too bad they didn't sleep in enough, they are very tired out. And tonight is Activity Club at church.

My son Samuel is joining the Army. He has already signed the papers, and is graduating from high school early, in January instead of June. He is scheduled to leave for basic training in July, but is trying to get that date moved to March, because he can't wait. Ugh. I, on the other hand, CAN wait. I do not like this, not one little bit. He is too sweet and kind and innocent.

Well, since I didn't go on my nice horrible long walk this morning, I shall go on one now, even though I would rather sit here and ramble.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

thank you paul!

I am writing this on my new Samsung chromebook. It was a big surprise, it came in the mail today. I was out shopping with Emily today, and Jonathan called me to say we need catfood and that a package came for me. I said it was probably for one of the kids, but he insisted it was for me, and that Dad said to put it in my chair. Jon was pretty excited. He helped me open it and charge it. I love it so far, it is small and light, but has a nice keyboard.

This morning I got the kids out the door to school, went on my walk, then left for the small city with Emily. I had to get fasting bloodwork done, then we had a few hours before her dentist appointment, so we went out to breakfast in a little diner that we had never been to. Coffee and more coffee and scrambled eggs and cinnamon raisin toast, the time went by too fast.

We did have an agenda today: to buy stuff for this weekend's church grill. Pizza dough and cheese and burgers and fries and and and, until the back of her little Suzuki was all filled up. We went to three stores, plus a stop for pumpkin spice coffee at DunkinDonuts.

Emily is a firm believer in stopping to smell the roses. She can play Off On A Tangent, and she knows how to make the best of every situation, knows how to live life to the fullest, no matter what we are doing.

I have meatballs in the oven, and cauliflower in the microwave, time to get some sauce mixed up and perhaps make a little bit of pasta for the, I want to figure out this new gadget....

Monday, October 7, 2013

what's better than going to the library with kathryn, evelyn, and sonja?

Running into Emily there, of course!

rainy monday....

It's cozy and dark in here, with the rain coming down and my pumpkin spice coffee warming my hands. My walk was earlier, before the rain moved in. Jonathan is reading, "Stuart Little", and Kathryn is working on her Norwegian.

The rainy weather is going to clear up and we are going to have a nice, sunny, mild week here in central New York state. Lovely autumn weather. There is a conference at church this weekend, which means we are running the grill/candy store, which means taking inventory, planning, and shopping.

I also have a mammogram scheduled for Wednesday, and am going to go get my bloodwork done tomorrow morning. My last mammogram was two years ago, it wasn't fun, but honestly it wasn't as bad as I had imagined it would be. The technician was about my age, she was very pleasant so it wasn't so awkward. Because, come on, it is kind of awkward. But, if you have a strong history of breast cancer in the family like I do, you should get that mammogram done. Even if you don't have a strong family history, you should get one done. Because we all know that early detection can be the difference between having treatment, or having a death sentence. (My mother had breast cancer in her early forties, double radical masectomies, cancer spread to the lymph nodes....she lost her hair and was quite sick, but she suvived it and lived another 25 years)(25 blessed and much appreciated years)(My mother's mother died of breast cancer in her thirties, and my father's mother died of it when she was 52, I believe).

So I have a busy week ahead of me.

Duke is a great dog. When we first got him, I had this heavy feeling, like, "What have I done?!" But he has fit in so nicely! Jonathan just loves him to pieces. Duke likes to put his head, or even his whole upper body, on Jon's lap. He is a snuggler, and he loves to be pet and praised. He doesn't really like to run around and play much, he goes outside and just walks around, never straying too far. He likes to pee in the hallway, so we started to put the couch across the hall during the night, but they both jumped over the couch. So Paul cut a piece of plywood to put across, real classy I know, but it keeps them out of the hall. Dogs often won't pee if they are in smaller quarters, so he holds it now until morning. He is smart though, I let bring them out between 6:30 and 7:00 every morning, so on weekends, he starts barking by seven. He has to go!!!

Anyway, he is a sweetheart, and I am glad we have him as part of our family. I never ever thought I would allow a dog on my couches, let alone TWO dogs on my couches. We keep them covered and wash the quilts all the time, but still. Duke actually lies on the floor alot anyway.

so, enough about sweet little Duke. Suri is still sweet too:)....

I have been walking diligently, and eating well. But. In the evenings, ugh. No chips or candy bars or anything too bad, but popcorn...too much popcorn sometimes, and chocolate. The dollar store has 3.5 ounce bags of Lindt chocolate, two for a buck. It melts in the mouth, is so so yum. I only meant to have a few, but dang it, the calories add up too fast. So I am working on staying out of the goodies in the evening. The scale is staying the same same same these days, this morning I thought, "The heck with this! I am just going to eat a pumpkin spice donut for breakfast!" But I didn't. I CANNOT give up. Even if I don't lose another pound, I am NOT going to regain. No way no how. I feel a million times better than I did 70 pounds ago.

Okay, so lately I have been battling this interesting sort of Feeling Sorry For Myself. Poor me, I haven't accomplished anything. I can't do anything right. When someone can't find something, it's because I am such a lousy organizer. I spend too much, dinner is too late, I can't lose any more weight, I have no friends, I have no career, oh poor me. Never mind that I KNOW how blessed I am. These thoughts seem hilarious, but when they are mulled over and taken seriously, they can be the seeds that grow much discontentment. So I decided to really take a stand against them.

Right now, Kitty Kitten is sitting between my face and the computer, purring and kneading, making me into a more comfy bed. He is also a cuddler, sweet as can be. And since Jonathan is chatting away to me between sentences, and Joe just came home from work because it is raining so hard, I am distracted. Quite possibly I have nothing left to say this morning, although I doubt that.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

oh what a morning....

Okay, since it was Friday night last night, we stayed up too late. So the morning of course arrived too early. But THIS fine morn, the power went out at seven a.m. All the fans turned off, the electric smoke alarms added insult to injury by beeping every ten seconds or so just to make sure we were all really awake. The princesses, who are normally difficult to awaken at 7:30 on school mornings, were ready and raring to go, whatever that means. I tried to go back to sleep. Paul got up and let the pups out, got them back in, tried to go back to sleep. ha.

So. No power means no water, no coffee. Good thing Tim Horton's is just a few miles down the road! And, good thing they have one dollar large coffees! And good thing I'm nice. The forty timbitss were gone almost immediately, I did manage to snag two. The donuts....there are still some left, and I am not touching them. I made some scrambled eggs with sausage.

And today, I have to work at the game, crowd of 49 thousand expected. ugh.

Yesterday was a good day. I picked my little girls from school yesterday, and Margaret, who didn't want to attend the school pep rally, and off we went to Target and Price Chopper. It's a good time to buy school backpacks and sandals. I bought the girls a sparkly lamp for their room, which they have to wait for Christmas for. I bought two new beach towels, everyone knows it's the season that.

Gramma is heading back to Florida today for the winter. I am hoping to get down there for a visit with one of my girls, perhaps Margaret or Mirielle.

The little girls are Full Of The Devil this morning. Crying at the drop of a pin, or rather at the insult of the other, then the squeezing and pushing, now the squealing and blaming. Oh the joys of a rainy day after not enough is going to be a loooong day here.

And I have to pack some lunch for my own long day, at the football game....

(Don't worry, I am not grumpy. I feel grumpy, but I am not going to waste a perfectly good day.....)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

busy town, usa

I suppose it's good there's never a dull moment. I mean, I am certainly blessed....

New Puppy is settling in. He doesn't go wild with jealousy quite so much when I pet Suri. He is calming down. He doesn't mind Kitty Kitten.

This was taken by Camille, it's my niece Danielle with Charlotte Claire and I. We were at a baby shower for my niece Valerie (my brother and his wife are grandparents again, this little newborn was born early and is doing well for being four pounds nine ounces!).

My niece Olivia and I. Olivia is a sweetheart, she spends lots of weekends here.

My two littlest girls. They certainly have their style preferences. Miss Char likes to be grown-up, never cute. Camille: she likes to be cute.

And pie!!! Yesterday we took a small homeschooling field trip up to the apple orchard and got three big bags of apples. As soon as we got home, I started peeling all different kinds....and made two pies. Now, two pies in our house don't go far, which was my idea of a good idea, considering how much I love pie and how much I need to lose more weight. So two pies I made. I used part butter, part shortening in the crust, and added some extra butter in on top of the apple/flour/cinnamon/sugar mixture before I put the top crusts on. Then I dribbled some milk on the tops and added some granulated sugar, just to make them yummier and a bit sparkly. I am not a measurer, but oh they came out good. Too good. This morning, there was one huge piece left, just the right size for an excellent excuse-filled breakfast. But I really didn't want to eat it. Then I had a great idea: I packed the little girls each a piece for their lunch! There was still some left, a considerably nice piece. I cut it in half. I gave one half to Jon and told him he could have it for breakfast, and finally, I had the last piece. It felt somewhat like a victory, because hey, I was eating just a little piece of pie.

I went on my walk. Every morning I walk by this pondy/swampy area, I enjoy watching it change with the seasons. After my walk, and my yummy breakfast of that last small piece of pie and 12 almonds, and coffee, I was out the door to my dr. appointment.

I hate going to the dr. Hate hate hate it. It seems like a waste of time to go off on my own, too, seeing as I never have enough time to spend with the kids. But Jonathan and Kathryn had lots of work to work on, and Paul was home working from home, so I left them here and went by myself.

Now, I don't really mind going off on my own. I have lots to think about. I almost ran a red light today, thinking about things. oops. Anyway, my appointment went well. My blood pressure was 118/74, my weight was...nah, ain't gonna write that. But it was like 70 pounds lower than it was a few years ago. Anyway, I have to have go to the dermatologist for a questionable thingy on my forehead, go back in for fasting first bloodwork, then a mammogram. Three more outings.

I stopped at BJ's on the way home and got shampoo and conditioner, coffee, crackers, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and fruit snacks. And frozen pizzas for the weekend, I am going to be working at the football game....

It is busy here now. Seven kids home from school, Mirielle home from work, Jon is taking the ball from Char, Camille is eating a bagel and some radishes for after-school snack. They have to all leave for activity club at six, so I have to get some dinner together.....

Oh, I had so much to say, but when I sit here with all this going on, I can't concentrate. Mom, Mom, Mom. Some questions are legit, but Char seriously just asked me if I would rather have the butt I have, or a round one. Of course I said a round one.