summer 2011

summer 2011

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

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

beautiful lovely sunny monday....

Miss Charlotte Claire trying out the new hammock.

Today started with a visit from my daughter Mali. She works nights as a nurse in the same hospital as Mirielle, and stopped in after work this morning. She had 8 patients last night and no aides to help. I am so stinkin' proud of her! She worked SO hard to get through school, and is still working hard. She is such a lovely girl.

I was tired this morning because I never learn. I stayed up with Mirielle, who had the night off from work...we had popcorn and solved the world's problems. I crawled into bed around two, and since Paul is in France and the princesses are sharing my big comfy bed, I was kicked by Camille all night. She just walks right up me in her sleep. At seven when I heard the school bus beep, I felt bad because I didn't get up with the three school kids.....

When the school nurse called to ask where Sonja was, I said she wasn't feeling well, which was probably true, although I hadn't been up, so therefore did not really know....I mean, I can't very well say that I have no idea, I was fast asleep when the bus came, so hey, your guess is as good as mine. One time this backfired on me though. Several years ago, the nurse called to ask where Joseph was, and yeah, I said he wasn't feeling well...she called back like five minutes later and said, "Um, we have Joseph here at school, his bus just came in late and his name wasn't on the attendance sheet." Yeah, that's a true story.

Anyway. We had a slow start, this sunny monday morning.

The kids finally got their school work done...and we put the hammock up. Char and I had walked around the yard scouting out a place for it. We broke some small branches off the lilac bush, we picked a few pears, we stepped in the soft moss with our bare feet, and checked out the garden. Then we realized the best spot for the hammock was right there on the swingset, where two swings are supposed to go....

Aaron came to visit this afternoon. We sat at the table and ate some salads with chicken, then sat out on the deck with some coffee.

He had to head home to get ready for work, and we had to go to....

Dunkin Donuts for National Coffee Day! Free medium sized dark roast hot coffee...and you could get them with pumpkin swirl! Since I am such a good mom, I let Char, Cam, and Jonathan get one too. They didn't finish them, but believe me, when we got home a few of their older sisters helped out. I let them pick out a donut too:) Sugar, caffeine...yum.

Anyway, we went to the library. I got a few Anne Tyler books I didn't know existed. I loved, "Saint Maybe". The kids got stacks and stacks of books, and couldn't wait to get home. They aren't allowed, generally, to watch any televison or movies during the school days, but they can climb into my bed or cuddle on the couch with as many books as they want:)

These nice autumn days though, I like to get them outside as much as possible.

Paul finally got his luggage. He went to France, his luggage went to Zurich. After three days in the same clothes, he got it, so no new French clothes for him.

Okay, so I was planning to go visit Samuel this weekend. He has finished his training for Old Guard, now he is with Echo Company, and will train with them. He had a graduation today:) Anyway, he was very excited about us coming this weekend. Then Paul realized I was planning it for when he was in France, and asked me to wait so he could go too. Um, okay. Sam was bummed, then Emily and Abigail said I couldn't do that, I had to go anyway. So...I guess I am going, with Abigail and Kathryn and Suzanne and Sonja and Jonathan. We can only bring six so there is room in the minivan for Sam to leave the Army base with us. In a few weeks though, Mirielle is bringing Margaret and Evelyn and whoever else....

Ah well, life is not boring, that's for sure. Suri rolled in something yuck today, and had to have a bath. She was shampooed and conditioned, and smells like Pantene. That dirtied four towels, because she shakes all the way to the door, even though I try to escort her with a towel over her.

Have I mentioned what an excellent weekend I had? We went to a church conference. Emily was in charge of the dinner, which was in honor of a dear friend's 70th birthday. 600 people were expected, although it seemed that a few less than that actually came. We still had to make dinner for 600 though. Chicken with gravy, baked potatoes, rolls...a few others made the salad (oh it was good, with romaine and spinach and fresh apple slices, craisins, shredded carrots, a raspberry vinaigrette dressing). It was done in smallish kitchen, and it was a juggling act, considering we were also making and serving a lunch for our grill, and making 600 cheesecake shooters with caramel/butterscotch and sea salt, and mixed berry compote. What a day! But I can honestly say, it was one of the best days ever! Emily and Abigail and Mirielle and Evelyn and Sonja were helping in the kitchen, plus lots of my nieces and other friends. It was too much fun, and the dinner was a success! It was on time, and nothing burned, and it tasted delicious.

The feast itself was so encouraging and amazing too. We are nothing of ourselves, but it is God who works in us, who gives the grace, who cleanses us from our sin when we acknowledge it and are willing to suffer.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Evelyn and I went on our date!!!! Okay, I felt bad that Grandma couldn't go and enjoy her birthday present from her daughter, but...Evelyn and I went, and oh my goodness it was good.

We drove downtown and found a parking garage, then walked around looking for a place to eat. We decided on a place that just happened to have Happy Hour specials, so we had these almost die for. The buns were toasted, they had fresh spinach and tomato slices, and came with just we needed, mountains of fries. We had ice water to drink, and um, the bill came to only $12.96. We ate outside in the lovely evening weather, and did I say the burgers were delicious? Neither of us could even begin to finish them.

While we ate, Aaron, Kathryn, Suzanne, and Sonja came by to visit us. Aaron lives downtown, and was taking some of his sisters on an outing. They had gone for ice cream:) Evelyn was texting him, and they realized they were only a few blocks away. Anyway, they talked for a bit, then went on their way while we ate our dinner. The ladies from the table down a bit from us were a bit yakky and a bit nosey, so one of them asked Evelyn and I if we were sisters or mother and daughter. We looked at each other and started laughing, because Evelyn is 15 and I am 49. Anyway, when they found out that Aaron, Kap, Suze, and Sonja were my kids too, they couldn't believe it. They insisted I was too young to have all those kids. Again, Ev and I just looked at each other. Then Evelyn said, "I have 15 siblings, actually." They were stunned. One said, "You haven't given birth all those times, have you?!" Anyway, it was an interesting conversation. They apologized for interrogating me, I said I didn't mind at all, and one of them gave me her card in case I ever get a speeding ticket, because she is a lawyer:)

So...we walked toward the theater, and took a little pit-stop at Starbucks, for pumpkin spice lattes. the show! The director was outside introducing himself and shaking hands, and we felt important. The place is absolutely gorgeous, it's showy chandeliers and raised wood paneling remind one of the Titanic. Our seats were right down near the front, and let me tell you, it was a good show! It was Disney's "Beauty And The Beast". Gaston was hilarious and despicable, Belle was lovely and sang her little heart out, it was funny and sweet and it swept us away. It was so full of energy, the belting out of those musical numbers. There was pure talent there on that stage! We totally and absolutely loved it, and joined heartily in the standing ovation.

And, since it is almost one in the morning, I should be getting to bed:) Sometimes it's hard to sleep when you've had such a lovely evening. (Evelyn is a blessing, she is so funny and appreciative and was a totally good companion to go downtown with.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

all things pumpkin....

Now, I am not getting paid to say this yogurt from Aldi is very yummy, but I should be. It IS very good. It is a nice snack, and goes well with a piece or two of dark chocolate, or perhaps a handful of chocolate chips, not that I would know that, but I am guessing.

After my walk this morning, I puttered around my silent kitchen, made a pot of pumpkin spice coffee, and a double batch of paleo pumpkin muffins. The muffins are still in the oven, but the yogurt was good:), and I smell those muffins baking! I am not saying they are so healthy you should eat a whole batch of them, but for healthier muffins, they certainly taste good. I made them the other day and the kids just ate them all up, although I did make some frosting for them. Here is the recipe if anyone is interested:

1 15 ounce can of pumpkin. Again, I am not getting paid to say this, but Aldi's brand is 89 cents a can. I bought ten cans.
8 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted with
1/4 cup butter (you can probably use all of either one though)
1/2 cup palm sugar (perhaps honey or maple syrup would be good too)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix it all together, and add this mixture:

a scant cup coconut flour (a bit more than 3/4, less than a whole)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

I bake the tiny ones at 350 for 15 minutes, and the larger ones for 22 minutes.

And yeah, I know that the sprinkles aren't paleo, but...they make they extra yummy. And more appealing to the kids.

They certainly aren't as good as the muffins you make by taking a box of cake mix and stirring in nothing but a can of pumpkin, but they are a lot better for me.

Oh, if I could bottle up the aroma of this moment, the just-out-of-the-oven smell of pumpkin spice.

I also put dinner in the crockpot, some chicken breasts that I froze with marinade and spices, and a package of boneless chicken thighs. I feel accomplished.

And, if anyone is wondering why my kitchen was silent this morning, it's because my oldest daughter Emily is so nice! She took Miss Char and Miss Cam to her house for a sleepover last night! She lives in a big old house with lots of rooms, and my girls simply love to play there. Em isn't one to just let kids sit in front of a screen, either, so they will have lots of fun there. The most fun for them was the getting ready part. They packed their little suitcases, chose some dolls to bring, and then settled in for the Asking Mom Every Five Minutes When Emily Is Coming part.

Jonathan is here, and the other girls. Jon hasn't started his work yet, he is playing with kitten. The dogs haven't killed the kitten yet, so Jon takes that as a sign they probably won't. They like it, Suri loves it, but Duke has had a few questionable moments when the brave little kitten has pounced right on Duke's face. So I try to do kitten therapy with the dogs as often as I think of it, taking kitten and putting it in their faces and petting them and telling them they are good dogs.

I am so thankful that I am able to stay home. I love being able to just make it nice for the family. I like having the time to sit and have coffee with Evelyn, and to trim Sonja's hair. I like that I have time do do the laundry and wash the bedding and read stories and go on adventures. I like that I am available if one of the older ones stops in, or wants to go somewhere. I just like being a stay at home mom. I really always thought that when all of my kids were in school, I would go to school too, that I would be a nurse or maybe even a teacher. I would earn money, making things a little easier financially. (and having MY OWN money would be nice.) But. Somewhere along the line I started thinking about how much time it would take to study, to take classes, and how much my kids still need me. Even teenagers need their mama, as much as they clearly enjoy themselves on those day I am not home when they get home from school, they plant themselves in front of the t.v. with snacks:), then groan when I pull in with groceries to put away. Anyway. I am very thankful I can be home, and spend as much time as I do with my kids.

Jonathan is making himself some eggs for breakfast, to go with the muffins. He pays taxes, he has a library card, AND he can cook.

In a little while, I am going to visit my mother-in-law, who has been sick. She is starting to feel better, but still isn't up for the theater tonight. Evelyn Joy is beyond excited to go. I asked her when she got home from school yesterday, and she was like, "Really? Really?! What do I wear?!" I am taking her a little early, for some dinner some where. It's nice because my other girls agree that Evelyn will enjoy it most, and they aren't too jealous.

Paul is leaving for France again this Saturday, for two weeks. Two weeks is a long time to have him gone. I'm glad he likes it, but to be honest, I am a tiny bit jealous that he lives such an exciting life, and that he is happy about going. (Not about leaving us, but about the destination.) He likes what he does, and the people he works with. Which is nice, but yeah, I am a little bit jelly, as my kids would say.

But I can't complain. I am taking a little trip to visit Samuel next weekend down in Washington D.C. I miss that boy, and can't wait to just spend some time with him. I don't really care what museums we visit, although I am sure I will enjoy them. I just want to see Sammers. He is such good friends with his sisters, and they are SO excited to go...Margaret, Kathryn, and Suzanne, maybe Sonja. Evelyn is staying here with Joseph, to watch the little girls. She doesn't mind, she probably has a stack of books. I am not sure if Aaron is going with me or not, I would like him to. He is a good navigator, and doesn't mind driving in traffic.

Ah well, time to get moving again.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

and we packed up and went to the mall....

See, we were sitting there at the kitchen table, doing school work. The three younger ones had helped me make paleo pumpkin muffins, which were EXCELLENT! Even picky Camille liked them. Of course it helped that I made them some frosting for their muffins:) Anyway, we were doing work, and the kids were getting loud and silly. Camille had to write a Haiku, so that spurred me to write them about the kids, which led to more silliness. At 12:15, I said, "What do you guys want to do today?" The older girls said, "Mall!", so we went to the mall. They shrieked with laughter and happiness that I said yes, and to get ready right now, they could barely believe we were really actually going.

It was a chilly rainy day, and perfect for the mall, if there is such a thing. I don't really like malls, everything is too expensive. But we cruised the clearance racks, and I found the little girls a few tops for next summer for 80 cents each, and some nice capri shorts for $3.20. Kathryn and Suzanne found a few things in Charlotte Russe, then a few more things in Rue 21, They went into the comic book store while Cam and I hit Dunkin Donuts, a coffee for me and a red-frosted apple shaped donut for her...
She is still so sweet:)

Jonathan found a Star Wars game he has been looking for in the comic book store, so he came to ask me if he could buy it. I took him back in the store, and when he took out his wallet to pay for it, his library card fell out. Then when he saw the total and had to break his twenty dollar bill because of tax, he had a thing or two to say. I told him he is an official grown up now, paying tax and having a library card.

We went to the dreaded food court, but Taco Bell is reasonable enough, a ten pack of tacos for nine something.

Then...the grocery store. Jonathan still loves pushing carts, but when I heard him tell Char he would push her in a car-car cart, I vetoed it, telling him that we should save those for the really little kids and not hog one for an 8 year old. Char wanted to walk anyway, but Camille climbed into a regular cart, and Jon pushed her around the store. I felt a little Walmart-y, which means loud and brash and when the mom yells shamelessly at her kids:) I didn't yell at my kids, but a few times I was tempted. They get pretty silly.

The school supplies were 75% off, and for some reason there were pillows there, for $1.87. I bought four for the little girls, who said they want to make a couch in their room with milk crates and pillows. Cam was all snuggly in her cart with four pillows. We also bought a new cooler for $6.84, and a notebook, a nice water bottle, and a few other school supplies.

Bananas and eggs and chicken and yogurt, bread, carrots and milk, pretzels, gum, some frozen veggies, and we were done....ah, home.

It is quiet now, the kids are doing work, not crazy and silly like yesterday, although I have to keep warning Miss Char. She likes to yak, and she can get the other kids going quite easily. Camille is more of a worker, she actually likes writing stories and doing math problems.

We are having a church grill this weekend, so I have lots of stuff to go shop for. Drinks and candy and hot dogs and salad fixings...I don't really mind, but it takes so much time.

Here's an exciting thing though: I am going to the theater tomorrow night! I am torn about it though, it is hard to be glad about it because my mother-in-law was the one who was supposed to go. Paul's sister was going to take her, as a birthday gift, but couldn't make it, and now Eleanor is sick and cannot go. She asked me if I want to take the tickets and go, and of course I would love to. I think I will take my 15 year old, Evelyn. It is not super easy to choose one child to take, but I have tried to raise these guys to know that life isn't always fair, and they all don't get the same things at the same time. It would be ridiculously difficult to have something for everyone each and every time I picked up something for someone. Evelyn is my reader, she enjoys life immensely, and I think she will really appreciate the show, "Beauty And The Beast". It is a bit sad to enjoy something that was not meant for me, but...I will guiltily enjoy it anyway.

I have only gone to the theater twice, for plays. One thing that is just purely magical is how engrossing it truly is. The first play I saw, I could not believe when the curtain closed for intermission. I was so swept up in the story, I forgot where I was!

Ah well, life is interesting.

Monday, September 22, 2014

rainy monday morning

Morning walk in the crisp rainy air...

No excuses, right? A little rain never hurt anyone. When I get up and the kids are still sleeping, it is very tempting to just curl up with a book...or clean without interruptions...but my morning walk is more than just a walk. It is like the determining factor of whether my day will have more good choices than bad ones. It's like I start the day by checking a very good thing off my to-do list, and we all know that's big for me. Because I don't really even have a to-do list.

So it's still dark and drizzly out there, but here I am, with my walk under my belt, oh the smugness!

The princesses are up, and shh, they are watching, "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood", an episode about Daniel becoming a big brother...he is pretending to be a baby so his friend can pretend to take care of him, the girls are totally transfixed. We have to get moving and start school soon, but...this is so quiet and relaxing...

Whatever I felt awful with yesterday is gone. Perhaps I fought it off, I don't know. By afternoon, I decided I felt well enough to peel some butternut squash. Then I peeled whole pile of apples (with Evelyn), because we were having barbecued pulled pork. We sliced them up, and I microwaved them with a little palm sugar and some cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. They were so good, almost like apple pie without the guilt.

After dinner, I washed some dishes and wiped down counters and put away leftovers. So much for a Day Off:)

Aww, this show is so cute, I want another baby! My girls are grinning from ear to ear, watching Daniel try to fit into his old crib, then decide to give it to their new baby. Oh, and now his mama is showing him the baby clothes that he used to wear...

Oh, the good days and years we have had here, having all the newborn babies that we have been blessed with. It was such the ritual to wash all the baby clothes to get ready for each one. I may be a procrastinator in many aspects, but I was ready for those newborns for weeks before they were due. With each new baby, the piles of clothes grew, and of course I had to buy new stuff for each one, too. One cannot take a new baby out and about with an old faded receiving blanket! And the car seat has to have a new cover for each one, too....or better yet a new car seat...and of course a few new strollers or prams.

There is a time and season for everything under the sun, and I suppose my baby season is over. I would still take another one though, so if anyone has one they don't want...:)

It has been an interesting weekend for me. Okay, I love my husband, I really do. But sometimes it seems like we are on such different wavelengths. The other day, he made this comment, a comment that really broke my heart. I had to go to the bathroom to cry. I couldn't help it. Well, then other thoughts started to come, and I was pretty certain that he just doesn't really like me. And from there, more thoughts came...and I had to put a stop to it. No, not gonna think bad thoughts about my husband. Not gonna do it. I pulled myself together, and dried my tears. The kids asked me if I was okay, and yes, Mom is fine. Mom sort of has to be fine, right? Anyway. When I talked to Paul about it, he didn't even remember. Anyway...we ARE different. We don't always agree on everything. But that doesn't mean we fight about it. He is a good man, an honest and hard working and faithful man. I love him, and I respect him. What I am trying to say is that on my part, I need to learn to Let It Go. Forgive and forget. The true testing of our faith is when we feel the most misunderstood and alone. Then we need to be assured that God knows just what we need and there are no mistakes. We need to bow down in our spirits, and let God work in us. We can choose at those moments, choose to be hardened in our hearts, letting bitterness in to grow and take root, or we can choose to let it go. To love. To love in return, instead of trying to get back at someone.

When I was mulling over all these things, I was aware that I could choose how I wanted to go in my heart. Then I had this thought, "How can I possibly preach the gospel to my children and encourage them to choose the good if I myself choose to be offended and bitter?"

So I am thankful. I am thankful that God is near, and God is real, and there is a pathway for my feet, and that I can keep my heart pure. It isn't only in the big huge trials that we gain our heavenly treasures, there are countless little testings along the way.

And now, it's time to start school.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

lazy sunday sick....

It has been a lovely day, despite how awful I feel. I am taking a day off, officially. I got up, swept the floors, washed a few dishes, put dinner in the the little girls dressed and brushed and fed for church, said goodbye to Paul and the kids, and crawled onto the couch. I slept off and on for a few hours, feeling feverish and blah, although the fever is debatable since of course both of our thermometers are hiding somewhere.

I don't feel horrible, but when I get up and do things, I just feel blah. My stomach hurt horribly last evening, and when I eat or drink, it feels yuck. I did finally have a cup of coffee that was delicious, but it left my stomach hurting again. So I don't know what I have, probably what the princesses had last week. When I finally stopped fighting it and trying to function as usual, I actually felt relief...who doesn't like to just take a day off?

Samuel, my Army son based in Washington D.C./Virginia (in the Old Guard) called a few hours ago. He is doing well, and misses us like crazy. He wants company. So, I think I am going to do the crazy thing and go visit him the weekend after next. I do not like driving in cities, I do not like traffic. But, he is based in one of the biggest metro areas of the country. Looking at the maps and trying to figure out what hotel to stay in is deceiving, too, it looks simple just to drive five or ten miles to his base...but I know it is very congested.

Anyway, I am figuring things out, and will likely make a reservation that has free cancellation, just in case we can't swing it, but I am rather excited. He wants to go to some of the museums in the capitol, and Washington D.C. in the autumn sounds lovely. Paul will be in France, so I will be the driver, and I have no navigational skills. I am feeling panicky just thinking about it, but I miss Sam enough to brave it:)

Abigail has the little girls today, and Jonathan has a friend over. Evelyn is sitting next to me, she said my writing, "sucks". It probably does. I feel blah.

We have had a nice rainy day though, the kind one likes to hunker down and enjoy. I can't complain.

Friday, September 19, 2014

yummy friday!!! and, no shock!

Yesterday afternoon, I made two pear pies.

Jonathan and I went for a nice long afternoon walk, then decided to pick some pears from the tree in the front yard.

We had been out shopping.....

We went to the dollar store, BigLots (we bought baby food there, and ate some in the car. I love apricots/applesauce mix, the kids had apples/bananas. We had to buy a package of spoons, too, but it was worth it because I have a project in mind for the empty jars....). We bought a few fun things for 90% off: these cute flowers to put on the girls' bedroom walls, and solar flowers with gemstones that light up really amazingly...the kids learned that 90% of $12 makes the item a dollar twenty.)(Buying a few trinkets to make a room look cool and promising them for when the room gets clean is an excellent motivation to get the room clean!) We went to BJ's for milk and chicken and shampoo and conditioner and some girly things, which Jonathan explained to his little sisters. Oh, if I could have videoed it! He is SO funny, all seriously telling his little sisters that they were going to get their periods when they got older. I just let him go, it IS a natural part of life, after all. And he does have NINE older sisters. Anyway, we went to the grocery store last, for frozen veggies and eggs and canned veggies and pasta and sauce and coffee and...some bulk candy. I let them choose a few pieces, and weigh and punch the numbers in themselves.

Home to put it all away and clean up and start dinner...I made a few cookie sheets full of meatballs, put them in the oven, and out the door for my walk which I had skipped in the morning because of the rain. Jon came with me, and let me tell you, he does not like air in the conversation. We talked about math and how scary the woods are and how many different animals there have been on my walks (snapping turtle, baby skunk, injured chipmunk, a fox, several deer, a few buck, that horrid turkey buzzard/vulture that swooped at me as if I would actually steal his roadkill....and of course the snakes and frogs and all sorts of bugs, butterflies, and then the array of different flowers.....

We got home and picked the pears, and made the pies. Oh, that sounds easy. Just picked pears and made pies. In the middle of it all, kids coming and going and flour everywhere and peeling all those pears...making dinner at the same time, sauce for the meatballs, and a pan of pasta which Paul ended up making when he came in at 7:00....I eat my meatballs and sauce with French cut canned green beans, it is just as good as spaghetti, ha.

Anyway. That was yesterday. Aaron was here in the evening for dinner and pie. We sat around and solved the worlds' problems...

This morning, I had to get up at 5:30. Now, when I know I have to get up early, I wake up a few times to check my phone to make sure I haven't overslept. blah. 3:05 and I was thinking about how to make miniature doll prams, of writing a letter to my son Benjamin and pleading with him not to stay in Washington state because I miss my grand daughter so much it hurts and I cannot even comprehend not being a part of her life...then I started in thinking about all the kids, and praying for them, and on and on....I finally checked the time: 5:01! I had to get up in half an hour. So, I promptly fell asleep. Isn't that the way it goes?

Anyway, Paul and I got in the truck while it was still dark and headed down the highway as the sun came up, in the morning fog. He seemed calm for someone who was going in to get his heart shocked back into sinus rhythm. I tactfully didn't make myself any toast to eat on the way, since he couldn't have anything to eat or drink. I did sip my travel mug of coffee though:). Anyway, he was all hooked up to the monitor, and what do you know? He was in perfect rhythm! The new medicine works! No more A-Fib!

So, after a chat with the cardiologist, and a quick EKG, we were on our way home!

He left for work though...wah.

And, since he doesn't want to be on those medicines for life, we will be going back to the doctor in a few months to discuss him having another catheter ablation done on his heart.

But for today, all is well. The sun is shining, the kids are done with their work, and we are going apple picking! Paul is coming home to go with us, so I had better get up and be ready....

Thursday, September 18, 2014

standing on my own two feet....

There is a verse in the bible, never mind, I will look it up..."For we dare not class ourselves our compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (2 Corinth. 10 v. 12).

Oh it is so in me to constantly seeking approval. Social media and all the world's expert opinions just a click away, making it too easy to be second guessing everything I do. Even scrolling through Facebook in the morning can make me feel sadly lacking. I can't put brick on my mailbox post, in fact that wouldn't even make it to my to do list, even if there were a thousand things on it. I can't make Oreo cookie brownies covered in peanutbutter and fudge. Seriously? Eating Oreo cookies alone is deadly enough!

But comparing myself to my Facebook friends isn't as stupid as comparing myself to my Real Life friends. I have some extremely capable friends! They wouldn't let their dogs sleep on their couches, or probably let their kids have a random living room sleepover, you know, the kind where they drag everything they own from their room, to make it cozy! They PROMISE to clean it all up the next day, but when you gently remind them the next day, they assure you they aren't DONE with their sleepover yet. Then they decide to make a fort....

Anyway. I have a friend, and don't get me wrong, I love her! But she was planning what to do for dinner on Saturday...LAST SUNDAY. Six days in advance, because she had a busy week coming up. um, I didn't mention to her that...I didn't even know what I was having for dinner that very day.

I try. I really do. Once in a while I will make a loose meal plan, which I seem to abandon at a moment's notice, like if one of my older kids suggests a fun outing. Aw heck, I say, we can have today's meal tomorrow.

I try to keep the clean clothes off the couch, too. I hardly ever dump a hot load from the dryer there. It's usually one of the older kids who is in a hurry, and doesn't have the foggiest where to put the clean stuff.

Once in a while, I'll clean and organize a cupboard. I'll be so proud of it, I'll say to the kids, "Hey, did you see how clean the spice cupboard is?"

I like to see lots of results when I clean, like on those commercials where they swipe the sponge across the counter and leave a streak of cleanness several shades brighter.

This year I am homeschooling five of my kids. In my heart, I know it's the right thing to do. Most people, in my opinion, are like sheep. They don't question the establishment, they just do it because everyone else does it. They think life will just go on forever, never realizing how extremely priceless and precious all the moments that add up to ten or eleven years of childhood just fly by. Why should that be wasted sitting in class while perhaps The Kid Who Always Is Bad takes up ten minutes of the teacher's time, and ten minutes of my child's short life, making all the kids perhaps put their heads down on their desk, or sit quietly and miss some playtime because they are all so noisy? (Kids are noisy! Let them be noisy!) Anyway. Not that I let my kids be noisy all day either, I just think school sucks the very life out of their bones, then sends them home all hollow and weary, with homework!

Anyway. Just my take on things.

Charlotte Claire looks adorable today. I braided her hair yesterday, and today it's all crimpy and curly.

Camille is reading, "Purpleicious", and Char is playing with the kitten and the dogs. Duke gives a scary warning snarl to that kitten, that kitten who just innocently attacks Duke's tail and hops over and bats at Suri, standing on her little kitty hind legs, making her a hilarious little jouster. Suri just looks at me like, REALLY?

We need groceries. I know, what a good homeschooling mom, taking her kids to the store! Shouldn't they be sitting at the kitchen table with their books open? Well, yeah, probably. But I will talk to them the whole way there and the whole way back. My kids know about prices and sales and what's good for them. Ha, what a good justification for not doing much bookwork today:)

The older two are working hard on their school work though.

"I yam who I yam and that's all I yam.", as Popeye used to say.

I had a nice visit with Paul's mom last evening. She is like the Energizer Bunny. She's 85, and had on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, looks better than I ever will. She has all these cross stitch projects going, she doesn't sit still for a minute...I know where Paul gets it. Mr. Fidget. Anyway, she is lovely and we had a nice visit.

And the natives are getting restless....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

beautiful day....

Aah, life is good....

Today, we went to the zoo. It was a perfect day for it. We went with my brother Bob and one of his grandchildren, a sweet little girl, A., whom he babysits for. (he is retired.). (the penguins are adorable!)

My little girls loved helping with A., they got to pretend to be big sisters.

The lion washed her paws for us, and her friend got up, stretched, and took a nice drink from their little pond. We wanted to go in and pet them.

I walked this morning before our zoo trip, which went against all reasoning, because hey, I was going to be walking at the zoo! But we all know that walking briskly down the road, up and down hills, is not the same as strolling through the zoo with curious little girls.

We got home from our adventure, and dang it, I hadn't swept or washed any dishes before we went, so...blah.

A pot of coffee and some air-popped popcorn, and I had snack ready for the girls who came home on the bus. is busy here. Camille is excited about today's Activity Club kickoff at Emily and Abigail and Mirielle's house. She keeps asking me how much longer. Then she asks to watch television, which I continue to say no to. She can either read a book, play with her toys, or write a story about today's zoo trip. She is reading, "Junie B. Jones And The Yucky Blucky Fruitcake."

Charlotte Claire is playing with the kitten.

The older kids are all here, and it it too distracting to write, besides, I would rather talk to them.

Monday, September 15, 2014

never a dull moment....

Miss Charlotte Claire is sick. She complained on Saturday that she wasn't feeling well, then by the time we were headed to the airport to pick up Paul from France, it was clear that she had something going on. We had spent the day at the church soccer tournament, and all of the youth kids were going to have a barbecue. We needed some dinner, so I stopped at Arby's and got them a few things. Char only wanted hot tea. No fries, nothing, just tea. Hmm. Then she started saying how cold she was. dang.

This morning, she is throwing up. Now, Miss Char is 8 years old, and she is very capable and self-reliant. She knows how to make it to the bathroom. I feel sorry for her, but she is cheery. She doesn't have to do any school work today, because she says if she reads she will feel dizzy. So the poor girl is all snuggled on the couch with Suri, who thinks it's wonderful to have someone to cuddle with.

And, today I am taking the other home schoolers to the library. Joseph will look after Miss Char:)

Camille is doing some morning work, the new kitten is hopping around exploring, and I need to get moving. I thought I would have time to write, but nah. Not now.

I did get up and take my walk this morning, yay me. Now to just detox from sugar and all things bad and evil, like pumpkin spice coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Way too many calories, but it is SO good.

One thing I realize is that I need concentrate more on what I CAN eat, instead of just avoiding all the bad stuff. The spinach and cauliflower and those lo-cal crunchy things I eat peanut butter on... I need to stock up on those. The apple/almond snack instead of getting too hungry, the tea in the evening instead of popcorn. (Paul brought back chocolate from France. These little squares of dark chocolate are SO good, they taste almost peppery, are so dark but not dry and chalky...I am glad there is a limited amount:)(he passed out big bars to Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Jon...and KinderEggs for the princesses...)

Anyway...I need to get moving.

Friday, September 12, 2014

aahhh, friday how I love thee....

But then, I love all the days. Today, there is a soccer tournament starting at church, with Kathryn and Joseph both playing. I need to go to the store in town to get some things for lunch, and head out there to watch some soccer with the kids.

Yesterday we had a nice visit from Grandma. She brought some nice outfits for the three little kids. Jonathan really liked his new jacket and shirt, but the little girls are absolutely thrilled with their clothes. It spurred them to play shopping, they got out their little shopping carts that I have been thinking of getting rid of...

Grandma is quite a lady. She is 85 years old, and does not have time to not feel well, she has things to do. She refers to herself as a, "mean old lady", but she really has a heart of gold. She has always remembered all of our birthdays and has been so good to us. She is absolutely organized, and is the polar opposite of a procrastinator. If something needs doing, she simply gets it done. I want to be just like her when I grow up:)

I did get up and take my walk this morning, which wasn't easy, considering that I was making a triple batch of chocolate chip cookies at 11 o'clock last night. Aaron came for a visit:) When the house was finally quiet, I crawled into my comfy bed, where the princesses were snuggled, and finished the book I was reading. So...when 7 a.m. came around, oh I wasn't ready to get up. Margaret had to wake me up, again, because I needed to sign her note for her being late yesterday. Once I am awake, I am awake.

So here I am, awake. I have a million things to do, too.

But writing is important too. (Charlotte Claire is eating a bowl of berries and a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast).

Have I mentioned how much I love homeschooling? I totally wish I had done it years ago. I would have, but I always thought that kids need the hard knocks of life, to some extent. I didn't want to shelter them, or baby them. I thought it best for them to go out that door to school, even though it practically killed me. I sent them because I thought it was good for them. And who knows? They are fine. Each and every year, I considered homeschooling. Benjamin actually homeschooled for his last few years of high school, and he is doing exceptionally well. Then Kathryn decided to, and we let Jon...then this summer I realized how fast Camille catches on to math, and thought about how well she seemed to me that school was almost slowing her down. My two little girls going to school made me sad, they were learning things on the bus, and were always tired. They had homework every night, which ate into the measly four hours they had between coming home and having to go to bed, so they could get up in the morning and do the same thing all over again. We were continuously counting the days to the weekends, and taking days off here and there just to chill or to go on adventures.

Once I got the idea of teaching them here, it just burned within me, just made me so happy. But it was their choice. I suggested it, and they started talking about the pros and cons. They were simply all for it! I thought perhaps when Real School started, they would feel like they were missing out, but they didn't care at all. I ask the sometimes, and they have no regrets. They know they can go back next year if they really want to:)

I also know that just as kids who start off the year in Real School and get sick of it after the initial newness wears off, these guys might start grumbling about being here. I am bound and determined to just take that as a challenge to make things more interesting.

There are different ways to learn things. Reading, writing, math, proper punctuation, using certain words correctly. Your/you're, already/all ready, then/than....oh dear. Using apostrophes correctly seems to be a lost art too. So there are things kids need to learn. The solar system, history, geography...very important.

But, playing is very important for kids too. Yesterday when I was looking for the playdough, (I got rid of most of it, we had too much and I thought they were outgrowing it), I found these hanging lanterns and crepe paper balls that hang from the ceiling. So, we hung them with some clear Christmas lights in Jon's room. That spurred the kids to want to play in there, so they got out the Little Tikes waffleblocks, Lego, Hess trucks...and played for a few hours. That kind of unstructured playing is good for kids.

And, off I the store and the bank then the soccer tournament.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

this old lady is tired!

(Suri and I) I meant the dog, of course. We went on a small hike, across a big bridge, then through the woods....

Suri didn't care for the bridge, and I don't blame her. It was scary, and lots of work for her not to let her paws slip through. And lest you think me mean to bring her across this bridge, note that on the other side was freedom...I let her off the leash, and she bounded. She sniffed and explored, but mostly stayed with us. She liked to hop down the path right along side the kids.

Jonathan, Char, and Camille and I.

See, I promised them if they did all their school work today while I was gone grill shopping with Emily, I would take them somewhere fun. And believe me when I say that I seriously didn't want to do anything but put my feet up after going to Wegman's (only for a coffee, Em says they have the best. I mixed dark roast and pumpkin spice, yum), BJ's, Tops, and Real Deals, then to the church to put it all away....

The kids did all their work, with help and encouragement from their big sisters. So, I was on the hook to go bye-bye again. The older kids were all going to the youth meeting soon anyway, so I left with Jon, Char, Cam, and Suri. We didn't bring Duke too because he isn't "fixed", and what if there was a cute female dog? All reason leaves that dog when he smells a dog in heat. BTW, we got him last year at 8 years old, and decided he was too old to neuter, although I still would like to have it done. Anyway, tangent.

We went on an adventure. We walked across that bridge and down the path through the woods for a while. It got rather warm (or was that just me?), and the mosquitoes started finding us. I was tired enough to come home and put my feet up, once again, then Char had the bright idea that we should go to the Rec. Center pool. um, really? It did NOT sound good to me, but I heard myself agree to it. I even told Charlotte Claire that it was a good idea. Faith and all that, you know?

So home to get the suits and towels, and drop off Suri, and off we went, again.

We stopped at the library in town. We wandered around, got a few Barbie movies, a Judy Moody book, another I Spy book,a Star Wars movie, and a few books for me.

The pool WAS a grand idea, I told Miss Char. It was relaxing and it really felt wonderful to get into the water after being so busy today.

Home...ah home. I wanted to bake the cake for tomorrow's Cast Party for this past summer's church play, but I decided to put it off until tomorrow. It was the night to crack into the frozen pizza rolls for the kids. I had cauliflower tossed in butter and hot sauce, microwaved pepperoni, and a bowl of popcorn cooked in coconut oil and drizzled with butter, salt, and pepper. Yeah, I am healthy like that.:)

The girls are sleeping in my bed again, I get just a small bit of room near the edge, but there is something so cozy about having sleepovers with those little girls.

Tomorrow I have to bake that cake, and maybe some cupcakes or cookies too, for the cast party. I will get up and go for my walk, no matter what. I have laundry to do, and the floors will surely need to be swept...the dog hair, ugh.

I miss Paul this trip more than usual. He is in France again.

It's late, and I am tired for some reason. ha.

Monday, September 8, 2014

and a sunny monday morning it is....

As nice as an occasional walk with another person is nice, walking alone is conducive to really good thinking. Sometimes I pray for my friends and family, sometimes I give myself pep talks about staying away from sugar, sometimes I clean whole rooms in my head and figure out where to put things. Sometimes I just breathe, and try to clear my mind from the barrage of little things I know I have to do.

I'm glad I didn't listen to myself and just skip that walk this morning. I swear, I am my worst enemy when it comes to these things. My excuse this morning: I don't want to go for a walk in these ridiculous capris! Now, they ARE silly, these sweatpants of mine. They go to between the knee and ankle, but they are loose at the bottom, not fitted, so they look just bum-y. They are Adidas, black with these three 80's looking stripes down the sides. Paul asked me one time why I had Adidas pants. Because duh, they were three dollars at the thrift store!

I am not one to wander into Walmart in my jammies, nor do I go shopping in sweatpants. Even if I go pick someone up from school or drop a kid off at a friend's house, I change into presentable clothes. Perhaps I have a deep seated paranoia that if I dress slobby, I will be certain to get into an accident. (We already know that kids get hurt and have to go to the E.R. when my hair needs a wash, ha.) The other night, I actually went to Emily/Abigail/Mali's house in these capris and my new doggy t-shirt from my mother-in-law. I do like the t-shirt, it's comfy and cute, but overall, I am not a t-shirt girl. Anyway, I don't usually leave the house in my Around The House clothes.

Off On A Tangent, I am too good at that game.

My point was that it doesn't take much for me to talk myself out of my morning walk, for some reason. I enjoy it, but getting myself to do it is a daily struggle.

Same with eating right and making good choices. It will ALWAYS be a battle for me.

Saturday I worked at a bake sale for church. It wasn't the pies and cookies and cinnamon buns on our table that just about killed me. It was the stand that made freshly fried donuts. From the fryer to the cinnamon and sugar, to the customer. The smell, oh the heavenly aroma...and the bad thing? They tasted just as good as they smelled. It was my lunch, okay? One donut. Just one. I also bought a chocolate chip cookie and a cinnamon bun from our table, but only tasted them, and I do mean just one small bite, and gave the rest to Sonja K. and Irene, who were helping at the bake sale. That donut, not a good lunch, but oh so yum.

Yesterday, Abigail and Jonathan were working at that bake sale. It was at a harvest festival, and I had decided to take the little girls there after church, leaving the older ones at soccer practice, ect.

Jonathan and I waited in the long line for more donuts, I had only one, and it was my lunch, again. I passed the other ones out, and gave the remaining few away to a friend...:) Anyway, we had fun at the festival, especially at the petting zoo. There were puppies at that petting zoo. They looked like yellow labs, but were a creamy white color, and were absolutely adorable. The kids were allowed to go right into the pen with them, and of course mine did. They just played and played with those puppies. Jonathan asked the owners how much the puppies were, and yeah, $500. It was so funny though, Jon and Char and Camille were standing there adding up how much money they had and trying to figure out if they had enough. They came up with under two hundred, and asked me if I could pitch in the rest. Oh you guys, we aren't getting one of those puppies. I should have stopped them right away, but they were hysterically cute trying to figure out if they could buy one. At one point Jon said, "Wait, we don't have our money with us. Abigail, do you have some we could borrow for now?" Um, no.

So I brought them in the food tent and bought them a slice of pizza.

We stopped at the store on the way home for some apples and bananas and chicken and eggs and bread.

Then we stopped for ice cream, and yeah, I had one. It was pumpkin! Soft pumpkin ice cream. Need I say more?

But today is Monday, a new day, a new week, and I am going to behave.

Today I have bills to pay and kids to teach and things to clean up and things to organize. It is still quiet here, but soon it will be busy and loud and crazy.

Friday, September 5, 2014

these are a few of my favorite things....

Yes, we did. We got a new kitty.

Jonathan is pretty much in love.

Sonja K. with new kitty.

See, we went swimming today at our church pool....
Homeschooling gym class:)

Oh what a glorious day at the pool! 90 degrees out, sunny and breezy, oh just yummy. The kids sure got their exercise.

I kept my little niece and nephew with me for a bit....and when I dropped them off at home, little Dani went ran in the house and came out with...the sweetest little kitten. Mom! Mom, please! We'll take care of it!

And, I fell for it. Yup, I did. Even though I know for darn certain who will be the one cleaning up messes...taking it to the vet....paying for it....I fell for it. Because, shh, she's adorable! I am a huge sucker for babies, even baby kitties.

The fun part was telling Daddy. If I had called him and asked him, we all know what he would have said. We had to go to Walmart to get kitten chow and worm medicine just in case, and flea drops, and a litter pan and litter, and a cute little water and food dish. This kitty was still nursing from her mama, and doesn't know how to drink from a bowl. We are giving her water from a medicine dropper, but she figured out how to eat the kitten chow pretty fast. Anyway, we got home and made dinner...taco salad with veggies from the garden, corn on the cob from Walmart, local corn, for 10 cents an ear...and the kids speculated endlessly about What Daddy Would Say. The suspense was killing me. He finally came in, and the kids were just looking at each other, Sonja actually meowed, sitting at the dinner table. I couldn't stand it, so I told Suze to just go get Kitty. She did. Paul was like, "You got a kitten? Why?" He shook his head, but didn't say much. I told him because it was cute. He agreed, she is cute.

And that was that.

He is a pretty nice guy.

I did feel slightly guilty because he had an appointment with his heart doctor today, and was put on an additional med for his heart, and the only pharmacy that our insurance covers didn't have it at any of it's stores, and he leaves for France tomorrow. But it didn't seem to bother him, our new little kitty.

Tomorrow is going to be busy one: I have to bring Paul to the airport, then I am working at a church bake sale. Jon is going to a friend's birthday, so I have to get him out some decent clothes tonight. The little girls are going to their two cousins' party, I have to make sure they have clothes out. Margaret is bringing them for me, it's nice when the older kids drive.

We wrapped the birthday presents already, hopefully they will remember to bring them when they go.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

lovely day....

Ah, my morning walk. Three days in a row! Of course I expect the scale to start being my friend again immediately, but the key here is patience...

Here are my homeschooled kids this year: Jonathan, Kathryn Grace, Suzanne Eleanor, and the little girls, Camille and Miss Char.

Homeschooling is everything I had hoped it would be, so far. Kathryn and Jonathan are pros at it, but it is new for Suze and the princesses.

Yesterday we made Jello jigglers and cut out the letters of their names. It turned silly, then messy. Our poster-making turned quite silly too, and just as I was tempted to put my foot down and restore some order, Charlotte Claire said, "This is so much fun! We never had THIS much fun in art class at school!" So, I let them have fun. They do their quiet morning work first, spelling and math and writing...then the fun starts, apparently.

Today is a wonderful day. Sunny and warm already, going up to 80-ish. We are thinking of going to the beach after morning work.

On my walk this morning, I thought about thoughts. You know the saying, "You are what you eat."? That may be true, but more accurately, "You are what you THINK." It's the thought life that determines how I am and how I react. If I focus on things that other people do that bother me, I can make a whole court case against them in my thoughts. Now, I can't help if a thought pops into my mind. But it is my choice whether I consider it, roll it over, agree with it, let it take root...or reject it. Other people can't see our thoughts (thankfully...can you imagine being like cartoon characters?), but God can. There is nothing hidden from Him. When I am faithful there in my thoughts, to forgive and be kind and be hopeful for others instead of just judging and critical, then there is a blessing. I don't have to just be bitter and short sighted and short tempered and miserable.

I was also thinking about having hopeful thoughts for me! I know I am capable of exercising self-control, of staying away from sugar, because I have done it. My morning walks are excellent for those little pep talks.

My first pep talk of the day starts when I start reasoning why perhaps today I should just sit down in the quiet instead of putting on my sneakers:)

My kids stayed up too late last night. Jonathan has been going to the library in town with Margaret, he has his own library card. He is obsessed with Star Wars, and was waiting on one of the movies to come in. Well, it came in yesterday. So I let them watch it after dinner, and those movies just go on and on and on. Seriously, the dialogue is so lame. But they love them. Jon would pause the movie to explain things to his sisters, and kept saying, "I called that! I knew that was going to happen!" Anyway, they finished the movie and got to bed after ten. oops.

Emily visited last night, then Mirielle came in.

Well, these girls are bugging to start morning work....

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

too late to be up...

But today was busy, and I need some quiet.

Our comprehensive curriculum books didn't come yet, but we still did some school work. The girls wrote some opinions and facts about camping, then wrote a few paragraphs about their weekend. I picked out the words they spelled wrong, like "opinions", and "annoying tricycles", which were in the road when they were trying to ride their bikes. We made a list of 13 words in their spelling notebooks for them to learn. They did some math, just to get their brains going, then we went to the library.

Then, the grocery store for bananas and apples and Pop-Tarts (after the store coupon, only 67 cents a box. I do not eat them, nor do I really like to feed them to the kids...but I will ration them, and let them have them for treats.). We bought milk and spinach and lettuce and chicken breast and some cereal.

At the gas station I was pleased to have $2.34 off per gallon with my Price Chopper card, so I put over 16 gallons of gas in that van for $19.45.

Home, ah home. I started in on a library book about Auschwitz, which was terribly horrid, but based on true stories, so I read the entire book in one afternoon, while also making dinner (really yum chicken soup, Char had three servings), working out, doing some laundry, filling out school papers for three kids, which was relatively easy considering I have had years of doing that for 8 and 9 kids. I also gave baths to to bad labradors who rolled in something yucky.

I have three more library books, but don't want to start another one yet.

The school nurse called Paul today to ask where the little kids were. She didn't get the memo.

Paul picked a butternut squash from the garden this evening from the garden, and cooked it up. Oh so good with butter, salt, pepper. It was as good as having ice cream...maybe better.

Not eating in the evenings is one of the things I am working on. I find that sipping tea, like the vanilla caramel or chai, helps, but then I get heartburn, and have to go pee in the night. I feel like I am back on the right track again, but now that I know how easy it is to fall off the wagon and eat sugar, and how addictive it is, I no longer feel so strong and immune and invincible. I cannot be the One Bite person. Nope. A taste may satisfy some people, not me. It just makes me say What The Heck, and eat the whole thing. Okay, I exaggerate, and I do have some self-control, but it is just easier not to eat sweets, chips, anything like that. Just easier. No means no, I tell myself.

I don't eat bread anymore, and have changed my diet so much, yet if I so much as look at anything bad for me, I gain a few pounds back, which is totally No Fair.

But, it's my life now, and I will get back into my groove.

I miss the feeling I had almost captured of being Sporty. I want it back. I want to be able to work out and exercise and walk without feeling like I'm dying.

One thing's for sure, I will never give up. I will not. I won't make it to the cover of a magazine for an extreme transformation, but I will be healthy, and I will move every day.

My battery is running low, and I don't feel like getting up and plugging it in, besides it's so late and I have to get up in six hours. blah. It's hard to be motivated to exercise when I'm tired.:)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

and school begins, again....

Today is the first day of school here in our rural district. Three of my kids got on that bus, Margaret 17 is a senior, Evelyn 15 is a freshman, and Miss Sonja K. is in 8th grade. (I noticed the three going to school are the curly haired girls...and we did mention this morning that they are the snippy ones, the three who rub each other the wrong way the most....)

Later I will take a picture of the five kids who are homeschooling, for their first day. We are planning a trip to the library. Right now, Jon is taking a shower and the princesses are writing down some spelling words. They wrote me five facts and ten opinions about our camping trip, and I simply chose the misspelled words and made a list. I have ordered comprehensive curriculum books for them, but they haven't arrived yet.

Lake Ontario in the evening. See the moon? It was breathtaking....

The lifeguards were gone for the these three youngest children of mine enjoyed the chair. They took turns jumping into the pile of sand in front of it.

It was chilly there on Sunday, but the kids didn't mind.

so this wasn't exactly wilderness camping:)

We took a little field trip to Sackets Harbor to see the battlefield from the war of 1812.

Unknown soldiers from that war. It did make me cry.

We went to the visitor's center.... Miss Charlotte Claire. It's kind of interesting for me when one of them forgets their jacket, and Jon offers his. They had nice little matching jackets:) We had a Shoe Emergency while camping. First, we started off down the road and Char realized about five miles in that she hadn't brought any shoes at all. So, we turned around and went home. She grabbed Cam's extra sneakers, an umbrella, and her 98 cent flip flops from the beginning of summer. Well, they broke, those flip flops. We used the plastic tag from the bread to hold the toe thingy on to the ripped part of the sole, but they were goners. So, a trip into the small city up north, to Target. Now, going to Target with Paul is not exactly fun. We went straight back to the shoe department, found some nice comfy sandals for half price, the to the register we went. He was very patient, given that girls in a shoe department take forever and a day, and of course Camille automatically needed new ones too, in her mind. She didn't get any, and took it quite well.

Camille would have stayed in the rocking chair for an hour and read the books, but the rest of us wanted to move on.

Kathryn and Suzanne want to go to the library now. I don't. I want to sit here and write. I got up at 6:18, dawdled around talking to the school kids, then went for my walk. I would like some quiet time to write, but it isn't happening today. Char is sitting at the table with Kap and Suze and Jon, and they were talking about war. Char said that kids should be allowed to put on astronaut suits and jump off the earth to another planet if war started. um, gravity Char? Oh yeah, she said.

Jon is talking about the invisibility power now. Harry Potter is a favorite here.

Jon is now explaining to Charlotte Claire about StarWars, and how it is in a galaxy far far away. Kap just found out that Annikin is Darth Vader:) Oh, the nerdiness!

Monday, September 1, 2014

fun fun fun

Our little family at the was SO weird to camp with only three kids! Instead of feeding a small army, we made meals for five!

Paul even relaxed.

Tomorrow is the first day of I have to talk to several kids...goodbye for now.