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, February 29, 2016

monday funday...

My little granddaughter Lydia. She has stolen my heart. She came over yesterday with Mali, her mama, and we celebrated Mali's 22nd birthday...

Birthday cake! On Saturday night, after working at the basketball game, I came home and made over a hundred cupcakes, and this cake...Emily had a bridal show on Sunday for her catering business, and wanted to give out some samples.

Anyway...Mali had to go to work last night, she's a nurse at a hospital in the big city. Miss Lydia was getting sleepy by the time her mama left. All the kids went to bed, and Gramma stayed up and rocked baby to sleep. Her daddy picked her up at midnight, and by then Gramma was dozing off with sweetie in her arms, what bliss.

So when 6:30 rolled around this morning, ugh.

Little Annika is here this morning, all happy and sweet, full of energy and smiles. She likes the leftover party horns and balloons.

And, we're going to the zoo!

The kids are eating French toast, then we're off....

Sunday, February 28, 2016

almost heaven....

No one is home but me, the puppies, and the two cats. It is fifty something degrees out, and the sun is shining brilliantly. I am sitting on the deck in my lounge chair with shorts and a tank top on, with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee. I brought out three flax seed blueberry muffins, but a bad dog took one right off the plate when I wasn't looking. I sat down, reached for the plate, and only two were there! And a bad dog was licking her chops!

The kids are all home from their if I get up from my chair, someone will steal it, ha. (Paul took the three youngest kids to the park to ride bikes)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

country girls cross the street!

Just to be clear, I wasn't always a country girl, I grew up walking distance from the best new mall in the suburbs. We did have empty lots in the neighborhood, which were our usual destinations. A little creek to play in, a field for baseball. (When I drive through my old neighborhood, I am saddened that there are now houses built in those nooks and crannies, can't let prime real estate just sit there collecting butterflies!

Anyway, now our present house is built in a former corn field, and cows live on our road. My kids have grown up playing in our own creek, and playing ball in our own yard, exploring the woods and fields of our country road.

Crossing busy streets isn't something we do, unless we drive to the city to get passports or take driving permit tests. Most of our shopping is done by parking in parking lots and walking into the store.

Our trip is coming up soon, we leave next Thursday! We are driving to New York City, and listen to this: I have lived in New York State for fifty years, and haven't visited NYC. (Well, I have flown in and out of JFK, and LaGuardia, and last year I drove with Kim to the airport in New Jersey, and we may have been in the vicinity of NYC.) We are parking the car at the airport, and flying to Norway.

On the way home, we will be having our 8 hour layover in London. Suzanne is responsible for planning...but if anyone has any suggestions of what we should do, I would be all ears. Big Ben? Tea and scones? And is Picadilly Circus...just a road? Shh, we really are going exploring just so we can hear the accents, after all, we love Downton Abbey:)

If you live there, maybe you'll see us. Emily 31, Suzanne 15, and Sonja 13 (almost 14), and me, the mom who doesn't know whether to wear sneakers (comfy!), or boots (so fashionable), or warm Ugg-like boots (ugly but...warm)

Packing: ugh. Protein bars, almonds, gum for the purse.

I always bring way too much, be we will be gone for 8 nights. And we'll be in different places with different weather. Margaret is up in the mountains of Norway, where the skiing is great, skiing which I won't be doing. No sir, no how. I would rather sit in a chair and stare at a wall than put on a pair of skis.

So today at my house, there was fun fun fun! I started the day really going back to bed after the girls got on the school bus...the homeschooled kids were waking up, but I went back to bed. I didn't sleep, I read. With a cup of coffee, and yes, it was as wonderful as it sounds.

When I got up, after picking up a bit and taking are of the dogs, I sat in my comfy chair with Char and Cam on either side of me. We looked up the Jim Crow laws, and talked about equal rights and segregation. We looked up bathing suits on (it counts as school, because were figuring out how much two suits would cost, ect.) We talked about Florida (they are so excited...we go a week after I get back from Norway).

I miss Paul. Yet I am picking him up from the airport tomorrow afternoon, then leaving him home with the little kids while I go to a play with Evelyn. To Kill A Mockingbird.

This afternoon, I cleaned half the laundry room, then went out and about with Kim for a bit.

Anyway...Kim and I went to Chipotle for a yummy healthy dinner. I had salad with chicken, a small scoop of rice, lots of cooked green peppers and onions...mmm. I ate half of it, then gave the rest to Sonja when we got home. (One of the hard things about having so many kids is that you have to choose who to give things to sometimes.)

Evelyn cooked dinner for the kids while I was gone, she is such a good girl. I don't feel guilty for going out and about and eating out while they stayed home and had spaghetti and meatballs because they tend to have fun when Mom's gone, and honestly, it teaches them responsibility, and they figure out how to do things themselves. The younger kids are not difficult to look after, either. They help with setting the table and cleaning up, and don't make big messes anymore. This is what I tell myself, ha. But it doesn't work. I always feel differing degrees of guilt and regret when I leave my kids.

Ah well...morning comes early, and I have a busy weekend coming up, so I should try and get some sleep. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

girls' night out!

Kathryn 17, Evelyn 16, Suzanne 15, Sonja K. 13, and cousin Olivia 15 went out and about with me this evening. (Joseph went to Activity Club with Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille) (Joseph is one of the leaders of the groups of little kids)...anyway. We went to the thrift store! We had lots of donations from all the room cleaning, plus it's Wednesday, half price day, our favorite. We asked the nice man who worked there where we should leave the bags, and he helped us...then he said, "Girls night out!"

The treasures that lie waiting in the thrift store...I got a few books, a bathing suit that actually fits me, a beautiful dress for Camille for $3.50, a baby toy for Lydia, a GAP kids sweatshirt for either Char or Cam...Evelyn got a blouse, a sweater, and a pair of shoes. Olivia got a jacket, and the other girls got jeans to cut into shorts.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, one of the girls sighed, and mentioned how much she would like to go to Taco Bell. They all joined in, not asking, just commenting how good it would be. So, I took them. Five girls, five one dollar tacos, but they appreciated it.

Then to BJ's warehouse club, where I totally pretended I didn't know those girls, as one was being pushed in a cart, ever so slowly and carefully, ha.

We got stuff to bring to Norway! TWO 52 ounce bags of miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Beef prices are going down a little, I bought some to put in the crock pot with potatoes and carrots...mmm.

I also bought a big bag of pistachios...I like to eat them in the evening when I get feeling snack-y. I also bought another bag of frozen blueberries, they are so yummy.

Today, I baked chocolate chip cookies. Here's my recipe:

6 3/4 c flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
mix together...

In a bigger bowl:
4 sticks (2 cups) butter
3/4 c vegetable shortening
1/4 c coconut oil
blend it all up with:
3 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
6 eggs

Mix flour mixture into butter mixture, add chocolate chips
Bake in 350 degree oven for ten minutes, or until just barely golden brown

I baked so many so that Joseph could bring some for his A.C. group tonight. (Jon said the really liked them)

Little Annika enjoyed helping me. She likes chocolate chips! She had just eaten a half of a banana, and a whole orange, but she had room for those chocolate chips. I gave her a few little piles of them, then when we put the rest into the bowl with the batter, she closed her eyes tight and reached in the bowl for a few more. It was so funny, I think she things that if she closes HER eyes, I can't see her. It certainly is fun having a two year old around again. We love her.

It warmed up outside today, and rained...rained all day, gloomy and dark and cozy, but so wet out there! With the melting snow and the rain, the yard is just a big soggy mess. That didn't stop the princesses from getting their rainboots on and exploring the creek...they came in real sneaky-like, and changed all their clothes. Either it was deeper than they thought, or they both fell in. Don't worry, that creek is nothing but the drainage from the field across the street, it's only six inches deep at the most.

This weekend is supposed to be warm and partly sunny, oh joy! If it hits fifty, I am totally going to sunbathe on the deck.

Paul is coming home from France on Friday, then Evelyn and I are going to the play. Paul did want to go, but knows it will be too tiring right after an overseas flight, and the time change, ect. So Ev and I are going, and we are going to have a good time. We know how to do that:) Then on Saturday morning, Paul and I are both working at the basketball game, then Sunday there's a wedding show for the catering business that Emily bought...she wants me to make cupcakes, if I can. So Saturday might be a busy day...honestly, after I get home from working at a game, I am not hop-skipping, I am sore and tired. So we'll see.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

happy birthday Suzanne Eleanor!

Kathryn 17, Sonja 14, Evelyn 16, and Suzanne, 15...with Char and Cam. This is from last summer, but as I browsed through pictures, the sunkissed faces looked so healthy and lovely!

Suzanne is fifteen years old today. She is our 12 child, and when she was born, this is what our family was like:

Emily was 16.
Abigail 14
Benjamin 12
Mirielle 11
Joseph 9
Aaron 8
Mali 6
Samuel 5
Margaret 4
Kathryn 2
Evelyn 18 months

When Suze came along, it made eight girls and four boys.

When the three school kids got in the door today, they were greeted with Chinese food! I cut up 5 and a 1/2 pounds of chicken breast, marinated it for a few hours, then tossed it in egg, then added cornstarch and pepper, then fried the pieces up in hot oil, then into orange sauce and sesame ginger sauce...also made Basmati rice, and a stir fry of fresh broccoli, a bag of broccoli slaw, and red, green, yellow peppers and onions. It was a combination after school snack/dinner.

I also made a batch of muffins this morning, blueberry...

The kids asked, "Are they healthy?", because they don't like my "healthy" muffins. Don't worry, I told them, they're yummy and not healthy. I did also make some healthy ones, here's the recipe:

2 cups of ground flax seed
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon

in separate bowl, or in blender, mix:
5 eggs
1/4 c honey or palm sugar, or whatever sweetener you prefer
1/3 c melted coconut oil
1/2 c water

I also added some frozen blueberries

bake at 350 for 15 minutes...
this is for the mini muffins, a bit longer for the regular sized ones
This batch made 24 minis, and 6 large ones.

And just a disclaimer...they aren't floury, sugary goodness. They are better when really fresh, and are not bad with butter. I keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator now because they tend to go bad quickly.


Tonight after dinner cleanup, and after Annika went home, I helped the little girls clean out their closet, as promised. I sat down and had a cup of coffee and some dark chocolate first, while Miss Char asked me every three minutes if I was ready, because I had promised, she reminded me. They have been after me for months to clean out this closet, and I finally gave my word I would do it, so no matter that my butt liked where it was in my chair, it was time.

When you are a saver, cleaning a closet is a painful experience. The huge-o bag of cloth might come in handy some day. Seriously. I got rid of it, but not before rooting through and taking three out, because they might come in handy. Throwing away the whole bag was too much for me. I threw away a dress that Abigail wore when she was tiny, and the little outfit I remember her wearing when I took her to her first visit to the pediatric cardiologist, which was to become a bi-yearly part of our lives, until she graduated to only having to be seen once a year. (she has pulmonary stenosis, but it never came to the point where she needed surgery...she still has it, but her body has grown with it, in good proportions, so it is within the parameters of a good enough blood flow) Anyway, I looked at that sweet little outfit, hanging there in the closet on the hanger...Abigail is 29, and she visited that office when she was six weeks old. (Abigail has the loudest heart murmur ever heard by any dr. who has ever listened to her's) Anyway. I threw away the outfit. It's yellowing, and outdated, and why do I still have it? Just to 'fess up, I did save a bag of stuff...the OshKosh overalls with the feetsies in them, a few little jumpers, and small tiny sleepers...

But mostly, we sorted into garbage, thrift store, and keep piles. We put aside a few things for a few different friends, too. The Little People stuff, I kept most of it. We threw away the old damaged stuff, with peeling stickers and warped wood, and broken pieces. We threw away some old doll strollers with missing wheels, and a huge bag of tights that are too old for Char and Cam to even think about wearing. We threw away the matching sweaters that Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, and Sonja had. (wah)

So it was painful. But it had to be done. The girls are dancingly happy with the vastness of an closet. Camille wants to put her swivel chair in there. Char says no, they are NOT putting a chair in there, but are stacking bins in there to make their room look better.

We hung up their dress up clothes, and sorted little bits and pieces, then they celebrated Suze's birthday with heater cake, which is what they call the frozen Pepperidge Farms cakes I bought for tonight...a white frosted vanilla cake with coconut, and a chocolate fudge with chocolate frosting. I didn't even have a crumb, but then I did eat 200 calories worth of dark chocolate...

Yesterday, I chalk-painted the frame of a mirror I got at the thrift store, for $1.99. It looks very nice...I forgot to take a "before" pic, but maybe I'll take an "after" one anyway. It was a nice little project, Annika "helped" me. I can't help it, I have fallen in love with her. She likes Jonny best, but she lights up our days. Having a two year old in the house is so familiar...ha, I'm kind of good at it. She doesn't get into stuff though, she has a long attention span, a huge imagination, and she loves when I sing to her, which is a refreshing change from the eye rolling teenagers I have to endure these days. I KNOW I'm a horrible singer, but the little ones don't realize it:) When I start in on a random line of a song, which I tend to do like fifty times a day, I know I am hurting the very ears that used to love when Mommy sang....

Anyway...morning comes early.

Monday, February 22, 2016


I totally messed up Camille's haircut.

I thought I would layer it. Now come on, she's my 16th child, my eleventh girl, I should be able to give her a decent haircut. Poor girl thought she looked beautiful. I couldn't leave it like that, and I wasn't about to try to fix it and make it worse. When Evelyn, Suzanne, and Sonja got home from school, I asked if any of them were up for a try, to fix her hair. No Mom, they all agreed, take her somewhere to get it cut right. So I did,

She loves it, and I think she's adorable.

Never a dull moment here. Davian and Annika were here today, so it was nice and busy. We painted, and colored, and played dollhouse, and Jonathan brought out his train tracks and firetrucks, and his Little Tikes basketball hoop. (Jon is cleaning his room, he's almost done. He took everything out of his dresser drawers, and from all the bins and baskets in his room, sorted things to donate to thrift store, to give away, and to throw away. He hung clothes on hangers, and folded things and filled the dresser back up with only stuff that fits him. He moved the bunk beds, and cleaned out the closet. I heard him ask Sonja if she wanted to earn a Canadian five dollar bill, by helping him put the clothes away. I don't think she took him up on it.

Jon will be 12 in a few months, and I am very proud of him, that he can do so much on his own. He does have a motive, the kitty is due to have kittens soon, and he wants them in his room, thus the clean closet. He put a folded towel down, and has brought Kitty in there to get used to it. (this isn't the same cat that had kittens before, that one was spayed, then ran away. This one oops, I meant to get spayed, but didn't yet...but I certainly will after these kitties are born and given away, although I would like to keep one.)

Anyway. Today was fun, a few fights, a few lumps and bumps, one small tantrum, but lots of hugs and smiles and laughs and cuteness. I made meatballs in sauce, pasta, green beans, and garlic bread.

Tomorrow is Suzanne's 15th birthday, and we already celebrated, but will still have a nice birthday dinner, Chinese food. I bought veggies to stir-fry, some chicken, and some spicy orange sauce.

Today, Miss Mirielle Joy turned 26. We celebrated her birthday on Saturday night. I got wings from the pizza place in town, and she bought three pizzas. She also came over last night, along with her friend Page, who shares a house with her and Emily, and Mali with baby Lydia. We watched Downton Abbey and had popcorn. (Charlotte and Camille love to watch Downton, and I love that they are homeschooled and can stay up and watch it:))

We are leaving for Norway a week from Thursday. This Friday, Evelyn and I are going to the theater to watch a play,"To Kill A Mockingbird". Paul is coming back from France, so I have to get him from the airport, take him home, then go back to the city with Ev for the play. Paul would be way too tired to sit through it after coming home from Europe. Do you believe that Harper Lee died the very day I finished reading that book? Talk about adding something to my Cry List! Oh yes I did. Evelyn understood. She gets it. She cries when her book characters die, ha.

This is Evelyn and I working at the basketball/lacrosse/football stadium.

Anyhow, time for bed.

Friday, February 19, 2016

the little things in life...

First of all, I would like to say that I am thankful that I live in these times, mostly because of ibuprofen. If I take one or two right when my headache starts, it usually prevents full-blown whoppers. This is one of those headache-y mornings. One cannot work-out on those mornings, one cannot do much. I am thinking along the lines of that lady who has three small children and had the poster made of her and her fabulous abs, small kids at her feet, posing there in all her skinny muscular glory, with the slogan, "What's YOUR Excuse?" I must say, I hated her immediately, because MY excuse is more like excuseS. Plural. And they're darn good ones! Working out when one has a headache makes said headache turn unbearable. So there. Anyhow. Off on a tangent.

This morning I was sweeping the floor, in the quietness of the remember, for years and years and years, I never had a minute of quietness in the morning, so this is something I still revel in. Not the quiet itself, but the opportunity to be able to think a thought.

Scatterbrained. Unorganized. Irresponsible. Those words wiggled their way into my dreams this morning. I woke up from a dream of me sitting at the table, writing things down that I need to accomplish. Now come on, haunt me in the daytime, but leave my dreams alone, Grown-up Responsibilities!

Nevertheless, I wrote a list this morning. And already accomplished the first thing on the list, which was to write school reports. Done. (they were only due two and a half weeks ago, oops. I really try to keep those up to date.)

I have appointments to make, and have to check the oil in the van, and have to order practice tests, check on Sonja's passport status (we are going to Norway NEXT WEEK!).

There are things I need to purchase for Norway, and things I need to pack.

And next week we have two birthdays here, Suzanne turns 15 on the 22nd, and Mirielle Joy turns 26 on the 23rd. We are thinking of celebrating tomorrow night, and have no flour in the house for a cake or cupcakes.

The point is, sometimes I have so many snippets of information swirling around my brain, making a list calms it all down. Actually doing what's on the list is a whole 'nother story, but I'm working on it.

All these little details in life...and in the midst of today, is vacation. The little girls are planning an outing today. We have been in the house a lot lately. They went outside to play yesterday, but that doesn't count, according to them. So...bowling? Mall? Charlotte says she would stay home if we clean out her closet. This is one of those projects that I would like to be done with, but don't actually want to DO. Years of accumulation, things I want gone but don't want to part with. It makes my headache hurt just to think about it, but one of these days we actually need to do it.

But not today, ha. We need to get birthday presents! See, I told you I had lots of good excuses, and not just for not fitting in a work out.

My two little girls are playing with my phone. They take pictures of themselves making their faces distorted, and use the voice changing app, and are playing silly music and dancing. I have no idea what I set about to write this fine morning, thank you girls. But, here's the thing: I have realized that day after day, we get to choose what we listen to, what we pay attention to, what we spend time doing...and I choose them. Sometimes I am absorbed in something so important on the computer, and seriously? Is it that important? It seems like it at the time. So I am working on being more conscious of when I need to re-focus, and give them more than just the distracted UH-HUH, I HEARD YOU. ha.

Today is the first day of the week we haven't had little friends here to look after. The weather seems reasonable, although we are supposed to get a bit of freezing rain and perhaps some snow. So I am thinking we will go somewhere today...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

things that make me cry....

But first, Evelyn and I last night at Chili's...with

Suzanne and Kathryn...

We went to Target, and got some very important things, like a pair of black tights for Suze, and a shirt for her birthday which is in a few days (she'll be 15!)(my five girls in a row in 5 years will be 19,17,16.15,and May, they'll be 19,18,16,15,and 14) Did I mention we bought clearanced Hershey Kisses? mmm hmm. More chocolate for me not to eat. But with all these girls, believe me, there are times when we NEED chocolate. They all get it at the same time, then one of the older girls will stop in, and look for chocolate, and I'll say, "Seriously, you too!?" They are on the same schedule.

Now, just to be clear, I didn't want to go to Chili's. I don't like spending (wasting) money on food I can make just as well or better, at home. But in the interest of being the nice mom who does fun things with teenagers, I took them. I did suggest we buy something good and go home and eat with Paul, he being home along since the other kids were at Activity Club, but nooooo, they KNEW I was going to suggest that...ha. So, I, being such a good sport, took them to Chili's.

The snow was falling, the roads were icy, I just had that Let's Get Home feeling, but I was a good sport. We ate our Endless Tortillas with Salsa, and started in on the honey chipotle chicken crispers. Yeah, it turned into a Carb Day, ha. I rarely go out, so why just eat a salad?

Anyhow. They helped me walk in the slushy icy parking lots, treated me like an old lady. "You know, Mom, you'll never have to go anywhere by yourself. You'll always have at least one of us to go with you.", one of them said, as she guided me across the slush.

But what makes me cry? "To Kill A Mockingbird". If you read it a long time ago, read it again.

Seeing pictures of my kids when they were little.

When Paul's sick. He's better, but had a fever for a few days, worked from home on Monday, and is just tired, with a cough...but he keeps on going. And it makes me sad. This whole getting older thing, seeing him get older, ouch.

Abigail is also sick, all the way over there in Norway, and I would like to bring her a cup of tea and sit with her.

What else makes me cry? Kids getting yelled at. The little boy in Walmart who wanted to help scan stuff, and his mama was like, "Just keep your hands offa stuff! NOW!"

I especially hate older kids getting yelled at in public. Oh, I cringe for them.

I cried about the kitty found in the road. Someone had put her in a comforter bag, and tossed her in the road. Thankfully someone saw it, and rescued her from getting smushed. How could someone do that?

I cry when I see newborn babies.

I cry when I read news stories...I mean, there was a 69 year old man who kept the sidewalk clear in front of his house, to make sure the school kids would have a clear path in front of his house. His wife said he hadn't planned on being out long, on Tuesday, he left his tea on the table, and when she told him to be careful, he said, "I will.". She looked out and he was lifting only small amounts of that heavy wet snow at a time. She looked a few minutes later, and he was lying down in the snow. He died of a heart attack. His wife said he was the kind of guy who kept dog biscuits for the neighbor's dog, checked on the elderly lady across the street, and helped other neighbors bring in their recycling bins. The comment section in the local news was filled with friends who attested to his thoughtfulness. His poor wife.

Okay, here's something funny. This morning, my little friend Annika wasn't coming over, the school kids are on vacation, so I didn't need to get up early, which of course means that I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep. So I got up. I didn't do much, but I did finish my book, "To Kill A Mockingbird" (Emily bought me two tickets to see the play, which is in a few weeks, so I thought the least I could do is give it a good re-read). Anyway, I lazed around enjoying coffee in my around-the-house clothes, looking at hotels in Florida, and at what rides are at Universal, and watching Cam play SIMS on her tablet. I did a few dishes, put in a load of laundry, and that's about it.

I had forgotten that Susan was bringing over William and the twins! Oh well. They are here now, running around in a circle, chasing each other. Should I stop them before one of them gets hurt? They have colored, played dollhouse, and house, and Will played office with Camille. They are so stinkin' cute it's not funny.

It's loud in here, but I don't mind. I don't like houses where you can hear the clock tick, and the other evening, the kids were all busy doing things, and I sat here in the living room...and heard the clock ticking.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

too late, too early....

We got more snow yesterday afternoon...I went outside with Evelyn because we were restless.

Winter twilight...the stillness when the snow is was lovely.

The back yard...

Anyhoo...our late's vacation week, so last night Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, and I watched, "The Shining", which is still just as scary as it was so many years ago. It was so scary that they kept yelling, "Mommy!", but they like scary movies. They stayed up and watched a second movie afterward, a comedy, to neutralize the scariness. It was midnight and they were going strong, so I said my goodnights.

I wake up when Paul gets up for work, and little A. comes over to play. I like to make sure the driveway is clear, which I did this morning by asking Joseph to shovel it, ha. I did go out and chop up some ice on the deck steps. I swept some floors and tidied up a bit, and made some coffee.'s pretty...

This was yesterday morning...

So we agree, winter is pretty. But. The snow! It's heavy and persistent and slippery and hard to drive in. The kids are getting restless, want to go somewhere/do something, but it's supposed to snow off and on all day today.

Suzanne requested popcorn last night...and I do make yummy popcorn...stovetop with coconut oil, and lots of butter and salt. I made two batches, and a nice bowl specifically for me...then I decided that just because I made it, didn't mean I HAD to eat it. Oh, I wanted it. But it wasn't my night to carb up yet, and I am so stuck, so I decided to just wait a bit, and sure enough, they ate it all. Before you think me exceptionally virtuous, know this: halfway through the movie, I started asking if there was any popcorn left..there wasn't. At that point, I would have eaten it.

And now it's time to make some bacon and eggs for some small children....

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

before and after, again....


And, after! There are still touch-ups needed, and since we couldn't get the drawer handles off, I am going to get some chrome paint and just paint them while they are on there.

I found baskets for under the tables I re-did a few weeks ago! Here is the Before pic again:

I found them at Marshall's for $9.99 each. I would rather get them on clearance somewhere, but sometimes you find exactly what you're looking for, and there were only two there.

Suzanne chalked painted her desk this week, an old battle scarred, or should I say CHILDREN scarred desk. Someone, who shall remain nameless, carved his favorite word into this poor desk, and his favorite word happens to be a$$. So I bought some wood filler, and Suze re-did the desk. It still needs a coat of finish, I think we're going with polycrylic instead of the wax finish. Evelyn has been working on the downstairs bathroom. She painted it gray with paint leftover from her room, used some of the paint I used on the bathroom cabinet to paint the cupboard above the toilet, and put in new towel bars, and the mirror from the thrift store. It looks so much better.

I shoveled the driveway a few times today. It snowed last night, then rained on that, then turned back to snow. So the snow is like cement, each shovelful feels like it weighs five hundred pounds. But I enjoy getting out of the house.

So here's what's going on here:

1. Two of my lucky daughters are going to California! Aaron bought plane tickets for Kathryn and Evelyn to go visit in April!

2. We are going to Florida next month! Well, 98% sure...the van has been burning oil, so if it checks out all right, we'll be good to go, because yes, we will be driving down.

3. Abigail wants me to bring her a jar of Skippy peanutbutter, to Norway. I think I'll bring her some chocolate chips too. Margaret wants American candy, Reese's peanut butter cups, actually. (Norwegians aren't big on peanutbutter)

4. Can you say half-price Valentine's candy? I only bought a few bags. The kids are on school break (the three girls who go to real school), so we are going through more food, no offense girls. Anyway, Ev was looking for chocolate, and I reminded her of that bag of she cracked open the Hershey kisses...I had one. And that's all I'm having. It was so so so so good.

5. They say that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. I used to be skinny, way back when. I'd like to be skinny again. But in the mean time, I think it would be nice if I would lose a few pounds by saying NO to chocolate every day. I like chocolate. I like chocolate with almonds, chocolate with peanuts, chocolate with caramel, dark chocolate and milk chocolate, and white chocolate too. In fact, I have had this on the brain: white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. With Craisins. Or maybe oatmeal with Craisins and macadamia nuts and white chocolate. I know better than to make them. One of these days I'll do a carb up day and make some...

6. Is it just me, or is the word c-a-r-a-m-e-l just beautiful?

7. Sorry, my brain has gone off on a tangent, temptation is banging at my brain, I WANT CHOCOLATE.

8. We are stuck here in the house because of bad weather. Things get cancelled, plus we can't really get out of the driveway. Paul came home from work early, and said the roads were awful. I am hoping it gets better by Thursday, and maybe I can take the whole crew of them out and about somewhere or other. Maybe bowling, or to the dreaded mall. ugh. But that's the wrong attitude, isn't it?

9. Paul is leaving again on Saturday, he's going to France.

10. And kids are milling around me, I need to give them some attention....

Sunday, February 14, 2016

living in the arctic....

-22 farenheit (-30c). That's what I woke up to this morning. And guess what? I couldn't wait to get out and see how cold it really was...

And if you're wondering, it was COLD. This is actual temperature, not wind chill. The snow crackled under my boots, and shoveling it was almost impossible, because it was, ha, frozen! It was hard to breathe too, and not just because of the lovely scarf over my face. My normally warm gloves weren't working, and it felt like my legs were just bare. I shoveled a path down the driveway and looked in the newspaper. Oh well. I took my glove off for a minute, to take a few pictures, and ouch. I had to go back in the house before my fingers fell off...they hurt.

Anyway, my dear husband gave me a nice Valentine's gift...a warm blanket for my comfy chair.

Emily came over yesterday with a crockpot full of pulled beef, for burritos. She cooked up some chicken breast, we sliced peppers and onions and she made salsa with fresh tomatoes. I chopped cilantro, and added some to the rice. It was a nice feast on a chilly night. Evelyn's chocolate cake was amazing, I ate only one crumb, using my super power of amazing resistance. We cleaned up the table, and sat back down to play some Bananagrams, which is like Scrabble.

Anyway...I'm thankful for a warm house, space heaters, and my new blanket.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

winter, and a little vacation....

It's minus 5 degrees out, actual temperature (-20-5c). The wind is blowing and we are stuck in a lake effect snow band coming of Ontario. We can barely see across the street, the road hasn't been plowed in hours, and did I mention that it's freezing out? I shoveled the driveway this morning, and brr...

Charlotte, Danielle and Sean, Camille, and Jonathan...we went to our hotel getaway, and it was fantastic!

We all enjoyed the pool and hot tub, but the kids didn't run out of steam. We cranked the heat in the hotel room before heading to the pool, so it was nice and cozy when we got back and changed into comfy clothes, lounged on the beds having snacks and watching Flip or Flop, a show about buying old houses, fixing them up, and selling them.

Paul is home from Florida, just in time for our Arctic weather.

Mali is up in Lake Placid for the weekend, that's rather crazy.

Grandma in Florida said it's in the 70's today there.

Emily is coming over this afternoon if she can make it. The roads are terrible, part of the Thruway right near here is closed, another major highway is closed, due to accidents. Mirielle works in the big city, and simply couldn't get in to work this morning. She started out and only made it a few miles, and couldn't see a thing, realized she driving in the wrong lane, and had to turn around...she tried again a few hours later and made it, but it was a terrible commute. Joseph tried to go to the gym this morning, ha. He made it down our road and came back. "It's insane.", he said. The girls had plans today, all cancelled.

Being "snowed in" isn't horrible though. I made two pounds of bacon, and fried some eggs for those of us who like them. We have lots of hot coffee and tea, and the little girls had toaster pastries...oh I would love one, ha. I took a pound of butter out to make a batch (or rather a triple batch) of chocolate chip cookies. Em's bringing over some stuff to make burritos, and we have some to add.

The little girls have been playing dollhouse, and Sonja is playing FIFA.

So don't feel sorry for us.

And, you know what I like? It's not the kind of Saturday when anyone would stop in. No one is driving by, everyone seems to be staying home...and I know, I need to clean up a bit...but. I washed a few dishes, wiped down counters, and that's about it. The floors need sweeping and mopping, but I don't care too much. We stayed up late into the night on our one night getaway, then I stayed up too late again last night...woke up early and couldn't fall back to sleep, so I got up, took care of the dogs (Duke had peed on the floor over near the door, thank you, Duke), and shoveled the driveway.

Yea, so it's the kind of day for baking cookies, and snuggling under blankets, and for tea kettles and slippers and video games. I have been watching you-tube, counter top refinishing. CAm has fuzzy socks on, and is eating that hot toaster pastry. mmm.

It's not even a Go Sledding, or Build A Snowman kind of day. Frostbite can happen too quickly when it's this cold out. I took my mitten off to use my phone/camera this morning, and my hand froze immediately, and could barely get warm again inside my mitten, so I shoveled quickly and got back into the house. The dogs were more than ready, Duke was whining. A few minutes ago I asked them if they wanted to go out, so they ran to the door all happy, then when Cam opened the door, they just stood there. Nah, they didn't really wanna go out.

All right, time to warm up the kitchen with those cookies...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

life in a snowglobe....

School has been cancelled, it's 12 degrees out (-11.11c), and the snow is swirling around outside the windows. The dogs went out this morning, and returned covered in white. (They LOVE when I towel dry them, having two labs is ten times better than having one, they vie for my attention, when I'm toweling Suri, Duke whines and shuffles his feet, as if he's saying, "Me, me, me, my turn!")

The temperature is dropping, more snow is coming, and the wind is picking up. That makes for slippery driving conditions. And, we are going to our hotel night this afternoon, an hour away. I really really hope we don't have to cancel.

It's the kind of day enjoyed best from in the house.

But Real Life means it isn't always possible. Lots of my older kids are heading into the city this afternoon to work concessions for the college basketball game. Mirielle has an all-wheel drive vehicle, and she is driving them, so I am very thankful for that.

The house is still quiet. I woke up early, checked the news, saw that school was closed, texted my daughters, took a shower, took care of the dogs, did a little bit of housework, made a huge pot of pumpkin spice coffee, and here I sit. The dogs are snoring, taking up the entire couch, the space heater is humming, and I love it.

Life is short, so I try to stop and smell the roses, look around me, count my blessings. Although, shh, sometimes when I get this makeover itch, I look around me and all I see are projects.

Yesterday I was telling Kathryn that I would like to put in a small pond in the spring. You can get solar powered aerators, to bubble the water and keep it from getting swampy. It would just be like a small splash pool, dug into the ground, with rocks and plants around it, maybe even a few goldfish. I think it would be a fun project to do with the kids, Aaron used to want one when he was little, now he's all grown up and living in California. Anyway, Kathryn just looked at me and said, "'s just that you have so many project ideas..."

Evelyn is working on the downstairs bathroom. She painted the oak wall cabinet with the leftover oatmeal colored chalk paint, and is going to paint the walls a soft gray, leftover from when she painted her room. She also has enough white enamel to paint the door, and I picked up a nice mirror from the thrift store last week...I don't know if she'll repaint the frame or not, but it should be a nice fresh look for the bathroom. She also has a new shower curtain to hang when it's done, that I got for 70% off a while ago.

I an very aware that I'm lucky to have these girls who are willing to help with things, although when I talk about how much work it's going to be do paint the kitchen cabinets, they do roll their eyes and sigh. Evelyn is more enthusiastic, but they will all pitch in and help if I make them, ha. And Jonathan is always willing to help. He'll have the job of removing the handles, he likes using the drill. I was going to paint them, but I am thinking maybe to just replace them.

Anyway. The princesses are up, and are happy and excited for their little overnight trip tonight. They each have a suitcase packed already. They are bringing dolls, but will hide them when it gets dark, because dolls creep them out in the night. They are both talking a mile a minute, and now more kids are getting up, so off I go....

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

brrrrrr, cold in here!!!

It does no good to get sick of winter. It leaves when it's done, and not a minute before. Here in central New York state, those of us who live right south of Lake Ontario are in for some snow, and for some Arctic cold. I can hardly wait, ha. It's not as if my fingers are dancing gracefully on the keyboard already, and it's going to get colder. You know, typing with cold fingers...

Some of us do crazy things to cope with winter. I re-did the end tables last week, and tonight I chalk painted my bathroom cupboards/vanity. This poor bathroom has been in use for 24 years...showers and baths and teeth brushings, day in and day out..
Here's a "before" picture....

After wiping them down, two times for good measure, I just started painting. I used the same Walmart paint I used for the end tables, $5.97 for a 16 oz bottle, and it took less than half. I did two coats, then applied wax, which has to dry for 24 hours before buffing and adding more. Chalk paint is supposed to be magical, no sanding or prep work. Perfect for the lazy DIY-er. I can't very well sit on that slate floor in the bathroom for very long, so I brought in a kitchen chair, and just leaning over was borderline agony. Jonathan was my right-hand man, all the older kids were at the youth meeting. We couldn't get the drawer handles off, no matter how hard we tried. They were in too tight. So we left them on.

The countertops are a burgundy color, which was all the rage when we built the house back in 1992. We don't have major renovations in our budget, and of course Paul thinks they look fine as they are, so if I want them different, I guess I am just going to have to attempt to paint them. Keeping the kids out of the bathroom for a few days while they dry will be the challenge. I have watched several-everal countertop makeover videos, so I think I can do it, ha.

(I started this post last night...and got too tired to finish it...a full day of going out and about, and keeping up with the kids, and making dinner (chicken, pasta, squash, corn, and spinach...I was the only one who ate the spinach), doing a project in the evening wore me right out...)(But I still stayed up 'til 1 a.m. reading, because when Paul's traveling, that's what I do...)

Anyway, Jon is in the shower right now, and besides, I need to add more wax, and put the cupboard handles back on before the "after" pictures, but it looks better in that bathroom...the color: oatmeal.

And if they come out nice, I will be starting the kitchen cabinets soon.

Last night I had a dream that I was consulting with a doctor about weight loss surgery, and he said they could trim a few inches off my sides, and have me skinny in no time, but then what about the baby? um, what? Oh, there's a baby in there, he said. NEVER MIND SKINNY, WHAT? Too bad it was only a dream. But it would explain this tummy of mine, ha.

Emily stopped in last night to talk about our Norway plans. Do you believe I am going to Norway? We are driving down to New York City, then flying across...we'll stay at the conference center there for the weekend, with Abigail and Margaret, then take the train up into the mountains where Margaret has been staying, and spend a few days there. Then to Oslo for a few days, to spend time with Abigail, then we fly to London. Suzanne is in charge of planning our 8 hour layover there, a quick sight-seeing tour. I want tea and scones, and to see Big Ben, and a red phone booth and a double decker bus. I hope it's a nice sunny day. The carry-on luggage we'll be dragging will scream, "tourists!"...

Our next trip after this one, is driving to Florida to see Grandma! I am not sure of the dates exactly, but we are going to fit it in.

Today, I plan to stay home. Yesterday I went out and about because we needed dog food, butter, a snack for tonight's activity club, and some snacks for our special little overnight-at-a-hotel trip on Thursday night.

We also had to stop at the post office to pick up a few packages...we got this from Kara, and it was like mini Christmas! They opened it up in the van, and oh the's paracord, and they love making bracelets...watching videos and learning new braids for it...

Thank you so much, Kara!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

winter has returned!

Snow! Here in central New York state, the general consensus is that We Can't Complain, Because We Have Had Such A Mild Winter.

But nonetheless, it's back. The cold, the snow. When the Arctic air moves down over the Great Lakes, we get snow.

We only have a little bit now, a few inches, but I went out and shoveled the deck and driveway this morning, figure I can call it a workout, ha. Hey, I already swept and mopped! It was an hour and a half of pure work!

I have woken the homeschool kids, told them they could lie in bed for a few minutes. Jon is up, with the fifth Harry Potter book in his hands, settling on the couch with Suri for some reading time. The little girls slept with me last night, since Paul is away. Cam woke crying at 6:13, she wasn't covered, and Char was kicking her. I won't lie, I liked comforting her. :) I mean, who doesn't like saying, "It's okay honey, Mama is right here...".

Last night, after all of my kids headed to bed, I got to stay up all by myself with Lydia. I rocked her to sleep, then just sat back and enjoyed it, the weight of a sleeping baby...her perfect little face...

Even all drooly, she's precious:)

Here's what I am excited about:

Kim and I are going away for a one night (Thursday night) get-away with our younger homeschoolers...Jon, Char, Cam, Sean, and Danielle. The hotel has a pool and a hot tub, and a big t.v. Kim has a harder time getting away than I do, as she babysits for a few grandchildren, and gives rides to work, ect. So the stars were all aligned, neither of us has to babysit on Thursday or Friday (except in the afternoon and evening I will have Lydia) and she reserved the room...then I realized there was a fundraising concession! Oh no! It's hard to get them staffed when it's a weekday game, and Kim is ALWAYS there. So we talked to Bill, who co-ordinates the workers, Mirielle stepped up to be the manager, and we are hoping hoping hoping enough people sign up so we don't have to cancel. The kids are all excited, and already packing, and if we have to cancel, ugh. I don't want to!

I have tried to write this a few times, but between hugs and snuggles (little A. likes to bring her blankie over and climb into my lap, and of course that means the computer gets folded closed!), and assigning pages to some kids, reading a bit about World War I, and from a science book, putting in a load of laundry, and helping them make toaster pastries...phew, now I have a diaper to change...

Monday, February 8, 2016

real life with small children....

This is Emily Anne, and me. Em is my oldest "child", 31 years old now. We are 19 years apart. Camille is 8 now, so let's just say she was small until she was five. That means, from the time Emily was born until Cam was five, I had "small children" for 26 years. When Cam went to kindergarten, I had college kids commuting, and so on, so the house was rarely actually empty during the day, but it was so different! No diapers, bottles, sugar bowls emptied onto kitchen chairs.

Anyway, Emily deserves a medal for being the oldest of 16 kids. She was there as my right hand girl. Many a time, she lined those kids up and showered them, one after another, for me. She could cook a pot of something for dinner, and she could take them in the pool. Now, I tried not to lean on any one of them too much, I had to let them be kids too, and Em was a smart girl. She would take a book and go climb a tree. But she was always a good big sister. She liked the Having Fun part better than the Helping Around The House part.

She still takes the kids out on adventures. She'll come over and take four or five sisters out shopping. Or water-fall-ing. She's take several-everal of them on sibling camping trips.

Anyway....I could win gold in Off On A Tangent.

These days, I homeschool four kids. It can be busy. I still have to buy the groceries for the ten of us still at home, and of course clean, and cook. Now I also look after a small child, little A., three days a week. And sometimes I have my special little Davian over, he who is four today...he is here now...we celebrated his birthday with a little trip to the library, then to Target...he does not love shopping, but he rode in the back of the cart, with A. in the front, and asked me, "Why did they make Target so big?" ha. I bought him a little snow shovel, and a slinky, and they all got slushies at the end:)

Anyway...tonight I am going to watch my granddaughter Lydia for a while. My arms aren't empty after all, is my point. There are still small children to cuddle...

BTW, having a couple of Labrador Retrievers keeps me a tiny bit busy too...this is what I woke up to the other morning...

Anyway...time to go to the birthday party!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

stupidbowl sunday....

We had a nice warm February day...enjoyed some outside time in the afternoon with Suri and Duke.

There were even some bare feet! Kathryn likes soccer.

And if you like football, fine. I don't hate it, I would just exist perfectly content it it was never even invented. So today, my boys who still live at home (Jon and Joseph) went to a Superbowl party. Then Mirielle picked up Kathryn, Suzanne, and Sonja, and took them to a Superbowl party, leaving me here with Evelyn Joy (16), Miss Char (9), and Miss Cam (8). We watched Shrek, read some Little House, then watched Downton Abbey with popcorn.

We didn't get one glimpse of the much-adored commercials, nor watch any of the hyped up game.

And guess what?

We don't care.

I asked the little girls if they wanted to turn it on for just a few minutes to see what it was all about, but they didn't, so we didn't. The older girls came home and told me about Beyonce's skimpy attire, and how it's just degrading to women, ect. How did we get to the point where, number one, this is acceptable, and number two, it's necessary to be so drastic to try to stick out which backfires because they all do it now and it's not trailblazing, it's just skanky. There, I said it.

Anyway. We had a cozy evening, just Evelyn and I and the little girls. We really enjoy watching Downton.

Paul's gone again, I drove him to the airport bright and early this fine morning. He's in Jacksonville for the week, poor guy.

I am reading, "To Kill A Mockingbird", which I don't believe I have read since high school. Emily bought me tickets to see it performed downtown in the theater, for Christmas. Paul will be in France, so I think she will have to go with me.:)

A busy week is planned! I now babysit for sweet little A. on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Tomorrow I might have the twins here for a while too. Sometimes Davian comes to play. Then on Thursday, Kim and I are taking our younger homeschooled kids to a hotel for the night, to swim in the pool and soak in the hot tub.

Friday night, Paul comes home again, and I will be watching little grandbaby Lydia.

Oh, we got Sonja's passport the other day! I told Paul that I think we've done this like 13 times now, ha.

Anyhoo. Morning comes early...

Friday, February 5, 2016

before and after, and adventures!

These tables are 32 years old, pine, which I "finished" when I was first married...

And voila! A few coats of chalk paint (I used stuff from Walmart, $5.97 for 16 ounces, and half a bottle did both tables), a coat of wax (also from Walmart), I did two coats of wax on the tops and the drawer fronts...notice the bite out of the corner of the table? That may have been Suri, but could have been Rosie. There are poke marks (Jon says it looks like someone took a pencil and just repeatedly stabbed one of the tables), scratches, bites, dents, scribbles...I could have used wood filler, but nah...they look fine.

The new knobs were 89 cents each at Mr. Second's.

Miss Evelyn was a great helper, and I enjoyed doing this with her. She is very gung-how about starting some more projects around here, like painting cabinets and refinishing the countertops...but I have to say this: projects seem like a good idea...then take a while to actually start...then I wonder why on earth I ever thought it was a good idea, I get convinced I am just making a huge mess, meals get interrupted with the table covered with newspapers, I make more of a mess than you would believe...these drawers were filled with stuff for years and years....just sorting through four drawers...ugh. But once I get done, I'm like, hmm, what next? (I think our next project is going to be the bathroom cabinets, a trial for how the kitchen ones will come out...)

We went on a field trip yesterday...

We went to the George Eastman house. He was the developer of Kodak cameras. He built his house in the early 1900's, and it's just grand. The little girls just about had themselves moved in. They delighted in the staircase, especially.

We all agreed we need a yard like this.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

too many kids!!!

This is me right my comfy chair, surveying the damage to the living room, ha. Duplos and car track and dolls, and dishes.

Char, Davian, Cam, and A.

Davian is going to be four next week, so we thought we would have a little pre-birthday celebration. He wanted ALL the planets on a cake, of course, but I offered either the sun or the earth, and he chose the earth.

Having small children here begs the question: how did I ever manage, way back when? I am in awe of my former self, ha. I know, I am older now, and have gotten used to a slower pace. This sweet darling I am watching, little A., is two and a half. Back when I had children that age, I also would have a one year old and an infant. No wonder I'm crazy, ha.

Anyway, it's been fun, and little children are so fresh from heaven...they are so innocent, yet they have their strong little personalities, and preferences. This particular two year old is such a sunshine...

The kids are doing their school work, little A. is snuggled up with Kathryn, and the dogs are sleeping on the couches. I told them I need to write for a few minutes, then we are going to go to the library.

Here's what I have been working on lately:

1. Not eating the earth cake that's sitting on the counter. It's a pumpkin spice cake, with homemade buttercream frosting. Samuel called me last night, and I was walking around the house, passing that cake, and almost slicing off pieces and eating them. Almost. That's when I do my "unaware" snacking, when I'm on the phone, not sure why.

2. I exercised yesterday, a little. We moved the coffee table and got out all the foam mats, and had gym class. The little ones do their somersaults and head stands, and jump around, and I did my push ups and lifted my ten pound weights. It wasn't much, but still.

3. I finished my latest library book last night, "Gone Girl". It was interesting, but I shouldn't have stayed up until 1:04 to finish it.

4. Last night I renewed my BJ's membership, $108 for the year...then I bought supplies...for lunches, ect, and it came to over $300. ouch. Now I just have to sit back and watch them eat it all up then say there's nothing to eat again.

5. Paul has too much traveling in the near future...

(when he came home from France the other night)

6. Adventures! I want to go adventuring with the kids. New places! Maybe soon I'll just take them for a surprise hotel night...they are growing up so fast, I feel like I want to hold on to these days of having a few younger ones who still appreciate the simple things in life...

7. Homeschooling calls...I need to check Camille's page and decide what to do next...

Monday, February 1, 2016

welcome february!

Jonathan with our little friend, A.

New things at our house! We are watching little A. three days a week. Today was her first day here. For 2 and a half, she's very well adjusted. We took her to the pool...she lasted about 20 minutes and started asking for her blankie and ba-ba. Okay...when you're little, 20 minutes in the pool is a long time.

I made brownies today, for the kids to have when they got home from school. For me, I made flaxseed blueberry muffins, and chocolate flaxseed muffins. They're made with no flour, lots of eggs, coconut oil, and just a bit of honey to sweeten them.

Our Norway trip is coming up soon, next month! We have to get Sonja's passport, soon!

Little A. looks like she's going to fall asleep...Sonja is playing on the tablet with her. We don't watch television here during the day, but she likes Peppa Pig so Jon streamed it on the tablet for her, for one show. She has found lots of other things to do though.

We had an amazing dinner yesterday. Emily, Mirielle, Mali, baby Lydia, and our friend Adrian were here. I made beef in the crock pot, and ten pounds of red-skinned mashed potatoes, and Mali made a huge salad, and bought Italian bread. (no, I didn't). Em was getting out plates, and asked how many were here...I started with 18 and subtracted who wasn't here, and got confused, she tried to count, then said, "I'm just putting a stack of plates on the table." (There were 12 eating (not baby Lydia!), because Char and Cam were at their friend's house)

We watched Downton Abbey, without popcorn this time, because dinner was late, and I really didn't need to carb up again, it had only been since Friday...popcorn is just too good.

Oh well....sometimes I am too distracted...little A. is being so cute...