Monday, December 15, 2008

Days 6 & 7: Our Crazy Life!!!!

I thought since I was a day behind, and our weekend was pretty simple I would just throw them together. Ever had one of those weekends that all you can really say you did was eat and sleep! I hate to admit it but I slept in Saturday morning, waaaaaayyy in! Michael took the boys outside to do what ever it is that men and boys do, while the girls and I tried to straighten the house out and get everything ready to go to town. The kids were all excited, their church choir parties are this afternoon and they were ready for fun! I was ready for some fun too, since the 5 older kids are occupied with their parties for about 2 hrs I had talked Michael into taking me to Arby's for a small snack and party for two. Well, that would actually be four if you count Baby J and Miss Priss, but when you only have two out of seven it really doesn't feel like you have any at all!! LOL! We dropped the kids off at the church and as my usual luck goes, we were delayed a little thanks to the wind! The wind storm was blowing some of the roof tin on the front of the church up, so Michael called a friend and they soon had it secured back down. I asked Michael if our medical ins. covered an ambulance ride, he said a part of it, was I planning on having a wreck.?. I told him of course not but I wanted to know what to do if he blew off the roof! It might be cheaper just to duct tape him to a board, wrap a towel around his neck and haul him to the hospital myself! He's always touched by my concern for his safety, so he gave me a good kiss before he went up on the roof! ;-) Soon we were at Arby's chowing down on curly fries, potato cakes and sandwiches. Our snack turned into a meal, basically we pigged out!!

The adult choir had a practice after the children's party and that took up a little over an hour of time, we have more people in the choir this year and it sounds really neat with every one's voices ringing through the sanctuary! Our choir special will be tomorrow night and we are ready as we can be.

We made a few stops on the way home and called Michael's sister too see if her and her family wanted to meet us at home for some games and nachos. They weren't able to come tonight, so the kids thought this would give us a good time to watch the family movie I had picked up from the library. I baked up some hamburger and scalloped potato casserole and threw a salad together for dinner instead of nachos and we sat down to watch the second Ice Age movie. At first I thought it was making fun of the flood of the Bible, but it wasn't and it turned out to be a pretty good show. Not one I would let the kids watch anytime they wanted over and over, but it made a nice family night movie. Some friend recently told us about something they called a TV Guardian. Ever heard of it? I guess it hooks up to your vcr/dvd player(s) and takes out or replaces the not so nice words that movie makers seem intent on throwing into the movies. We are thinking about finding one, we love to sit down to a good movie and a TV Guardian might broaden our choices! :-)
We had the kids set out their clothes for church in the morning and sent everyone to bed. Even Michael and I headed to bed early!!

Sunday morning was bright and WARM!! This crazy Missouri weather is driving my allergies nuts! Our K-5 Sunday School class went well, we are going through the Christmas story. It is soo fun to see the kids get all excited about the story and look over the nativity. Of course we don't know when Christ was actually born but it doesn't hurt to stop and remember to say a thank you to Him for all He's done it our lives. Today was a "potato Sunday" as we have started calling them. A mission in town sometimes gets a semi load of potatoes and they distribute them through their center and often they will bring a pallet over to the church. We then send every family home with a ten # bag of potatoes as they leave. Can't leave without one, of course!!! Everyone had such fun teasing about the potatoes, it was mentioned that they couldn't be unloaded till after church so we couldn't use them to throw during the service! :-) Although the man that lead the evening service did give everyone a hard time for not taking them ALL home that morning instead of leaving some "ammo" in the entry way!!

Sunday afternoon was more of the eat and sleep routine I mentioned earlier! We made it up and back to church in time for the choir practice and the evening service. We enjoyed singing in the program and it all went very well, the music was very pretty. It must have worked up another appetite with me and Michael because we invited the "Friend" family out to Wendy's to help us spend some more of those free Frosty coupons! They had some coupons too, and we all pigged out again on ice cream with, of course, ;-) a burger thrown in to round out the meal! I do owe a new craving to Mrs. Friend, see I had eaten my burger and fries before I started in on my ice cream (I'll pick up on that diet tomorrow!), but was interested when "she" requested her husband get her some more fries for her Frosty! I thought no way that can be good!! BUT, Mr. Friend is a sweet guy who ordered a large for her to share with me and I hate to admit that I ate my fair share of her guessed it! By dipping them into my chocolate Frosty!! The combination of warm salty french fry dipped into the cold sweet ice cream was absolutely delicious!! So, I will always pay attention when she makes food combination suggestions in the future!! I do not know what I'm going to do though when this gets to be a habit and I gain 40 #'s!!!!! Well, as we sat and pampered our sweet tooth's, the weather outside was stirring up some more action. We watched as the rain came in again bringing ice and sleet with it. We tried to ignore the slippery white accumulating outside but soon we had to face the fact that we must brave the cold. What happened to today's 50* weather !!!!! I guess Monday's ice storm couldn't wait till we were tucked into bed :-). The trip home was slow but we made it just in time to stoke up the fire and hit the hay!! Completing the eat and sleep cycle once again!!!

That brings me to the end of the week in our crazy life!! Hope you weren't too bored out of your minds, we are just regular people doing regular things. I really hope I find my camera soon!, I haven't taken our family Christmas picture yet!!! Hope ya'll have Merry Christmas, a good Monday and an even better week!!!! Thanks for reading !!! :-)
Photos of the kiddo taken on Thanksgiving and a few pictures of last December's ice storm. The picture doesn't really catch all the beautiful glistening of the sun shining on the ice!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 5: Our Crazy Life!!!

Well, I knew this would happen I'm a day late!! The last two days have just flown by so fast! Friday morning found me very happily listening to Michael telling me about how he was going into work but would be home in few hours to be with us around the house. Wow, were we excited! Daddy staying home doesn't happen often, he's a work-a-holic of sorts. Even on snow days he's waving his good bye through the back window of his Four Wheel Drive.

Since we didn't have much time before Dad would be back we launched into getting as much school work done as we could. If Dad is home it's always a holiday, so we worked quickly and got math done in less time than normal, practiced piano in between reading and writing. A quick spelling bee for the older kids and some practice naming colors for the little kids. Wild Man had a great time learning to write the number 3 and proceeded to make sure every one's paper had a bright orange 3 at the top. Much to Sis's distress I might add, but Kaykay was able to hide away her journal just in the nick of time. I guess he thought since everyone seemed so impressed they needed one of there own! :-)

Soon, Dad was walking in the door where he was dog piled and the wrestling began. I was surprised he brought me a soda (Coke with just a little ice :-) ) and quickly rescued it!! I began to let Michael know about all the wonderful sales that were going on this weekend and how we could probably finish all our Christmas shopping in just one trip. I would even help him pick something out for me!! BUT, as I figured he would he had a plan of action for all of us. The wood trailer was getting mighty empty, in fact the rest of the wood fit into the stove. He built it to hold practically a whole rick! Well, not quite, but it's big and it would be hungry soon. His plan was for all of us to get our chore clothes on and fill the trailer high with firewood to last us through the cold spell that is coming on Monday. So the Weather Man said anyway. We all bundled up and headed out, the kids made a little fun of me. I don't like to get cold so I had several layers on underneath my coat, hat and gloves while they were more comfortable in a heavy jacket. It didn't take long out in the timber where the wind wasn't blowing to work up a little sweat and soon I was peeling. It happens every time I think, I over dress and end up throwing most of it on the tractor. I really wish I had pictures of us all out there, but my camera is missing. I seem to have lost it somewhere between now and yesterday :-). It didn't seem to take long, with Michael cutting down the trees and slicing them up into stove size bites, me piling brush and helping the kids stack the wood onto the trailer we made a good pile in a couple hours. Of course the kids are always up to something. They are building a log cabin and had to take a little time to drag usable pieces for the walls and "build" a little here and there. Bubba likes to find a tall cedar tree and climb to the top. You know he must be up a tree when he is there one minute and had totally disappeared the next. Usually you'll find him pretty quick if you scan the tree tops for large red objects. The girls are starting to get brave and soon they'll all be up a tree! ;-) Once we were all loaded with firewood we climbed on the tractor and trailer headed back for the house. Rowdy decided since we had worked so hard he was going for a swim as we headed around the pond, that silly dog! The harder I try to keep him clean and smelling sweet (or as sweet as a dog can smell) the harder he tries to stay disgustingly dirty!

Well, tonight is the night of our adult Christmas party at our church, and it was time to get ready. I had my heart set on making some baked crab rangoon. I had gotten a recipe for it earlier this week. It looked soo easy, but I have never used crab for anything before so I wasn't sure how expensive it would be to make up several batches to serve at the party. Knowing though, that this is one of Michael's favorite things at the restaurants I sweet talked him into running me to the small town nearby and getting what I needed to make them. Of course being a man, a hungry man at that, he thought we ought to make at least 80 of these things!! I talked him down to 60, which wasn't too hard since the package won ton wrappers came in that amount. :-) We found what we needed and headed home with some cookies for the kids. Soon the house was smelling wonderfully good with the crab rangoon, which I wrapped up for travel. Michael loaded the 3 youngest kids, the food and gifts for the party while I ran through all the rules again for the older kids. I still can't believe they aren't babies anymore!! I gave them a long list of fun things to do and then we were ready. The church dining hall was all decorated and smelled wonderful as the food was set out. Food is my favorite hobby you know, at least eating is! :-) A group of teenagers relieved me of the little kids and they were off to play. The crag rangoon was soon almost gone, so I'm taking this as a sign that it was a good recipe to pass on. Fresh from the oven would probably have been the best option, but Michael was satisfied so I'll take that as a good sign.

Baked Crab Rangoon

1 can (6oz) white crab meat, drained and flaked

4 oz cr. cheese, softened

1/4 C thinly sliced gr. onions

1/4 C mayo

12 won ton wrappers

Mix the four ingredients in bowl with spoon. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray and gently place won ton wrappers into the wells. Place a spoonful of mix in each wrapper. Bake @ 350* or 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and filling is heated through. Garnish with extra chopped green onions (opt) and serve warm.

You will also find this recipe on with a short video included. Of course they will tell you exactly which brands to buy too! :-)

After everyone was stuffed till they couldn't see their toes, the Dirty Santa game began. Now, let me tell you that we are all a nice bunch of people and I have never seen anyone upset, maybe they are good at hiding it but either way everyone seems to have a really good time and tonight was no exception. I usually don't do this but this year I brought a gift that I really wanted to keep! It was a metal tricycle decoration that had been welded together with a planter basket for a seat. It's not quite 2 foot long and a little over a foot tall. I put together some flowers for the basket and it was painted up to look rustic, all together I thought it was just incredibly cute. Well, if you don't know, this Dirty Santa game can be a little tricky. See, everyone has a number on a ticket. The other half of your ticket has been thrown into a large bowl. All the ladies gifts were placed on one table and the men's gifts on another. When the first number is drawn that person chooses a gift from the table and unwraps it showing it to everyone. The next number is drawn and that person has a choice to choose a gift from the table OR stealing the gift already opened. Then the game continues in that manner with loads of laughs as gifts are opened and stolen, great antics are used with bribes and jokes, everyone trying to give or steal away gifts. Well, my tricycle was opened before my number was called and I had a hard time staying loyal to that trike as I watched all kinds of cute and neat things being opened. Including a quesadia maker I would have loved to taken home for the kids to try! But when my turn finally came around I was mean and stole the tricycle hoping I would get to keep it. As my luck would have it though it was soon stolen from me. Now, everyone needs a friend as sweet as this, my wonderful good friend ??? (can't tell ya who!!) had also brought a gift she wanted to keep. A gift certificate to Bath and Body Works, she had been the one to open it and was so far able to keep it. She quickly motioned for me to steal it from her and then she would steal back my trike. Hmmmm, is that cheating? :-) Well, it was worth the risk so we put the plan to action. It all fell through shortly though when the gift card was stolen from me. I felt soooo panicky, WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO!! I looked to see if "She" had another idea, she just laughed and shook her head, so I wandered to the gift table to try again. I couldn't believe it when the gift I opened was a soap set from Bath and Body Works!! The game ended soon and "She" was happy to trade with me knowing she could keep the set or exchange it. I never could quite explain it to the kids why I came home with the same gift, they couldn't understand why I had taken something I didn't want to give away!! I would have been happy with anything all the gifts were nice but I proudly displayed my new tricycle on the piano and made threats to all who thought about touching it!! LOL! It would take more time than you or I have to explain all the stealing and trading that went on on the man's side!! Michael did come home with a nice set of pliers and wrenches in exchange for the Galileo thermometer that he took. That was stolen several times times till it was pronounced "dead" on the third steal and that thief got to take it home! ;-) Hope ya'll had a fun Friday night too!
Photo of me and WildMan taken when we knew where the camera was!! haha!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Day 4: Our Crazy Life!!

Well, Bubba made oatmeal for breakfast! How's that for getting up on time! ;-) He is usually my earliest riser, I don't know how in the world he does it since he is usually the last to go to sleep. I can hear him singing from his room or he will scare me as I walk to the bathroom, calling out "luv ya Mom!" waaayy after he should have been asleep. Funny, I remember doing this same thing to my Mom when I was kid. Guess he might be related to me, but me and mornings don't get along, so he must have gotten that from Dad!! Baby J liked the oatmeal, he proceeded to smear it all over his face in the process of eating, sometimes I wonder just how much the guy gets in his stomach! He stays fat so he must be getting something! ;-)

Today is Piano Day, forget Thursday, getting to piano on time with enough practice to play the music well, is usually the main focus of the day. So today we start our schedule with our chores and breakfast a little late but still make it to "school" on time. Today I added some worksheets for Kaykay and Nanae during math, they enjoyed that since they had some coloring included in the work. Some quick speed drills with our flashcards for Bubba and Sis to go along with their work and we were ready for our first hour of reading. Today is the day we also "get" to go to the library. So usually the kids are on that last book and want to finish it before we go so they can check out all new ones, being the softy that I am, we had some free reading time first today. I was a little (ok, a lot) upset though, when it came time to collect the library books for the book bag and several kids have misplaced a book or two this time. OOOOooo! I turn a few different shades of mad and decide to call Dad! We decide a two book limit is in order until they can be a little more careful. So we move through the morning reading, writing, practicing the piano, and finally make it to lunch.

Most of the time lunch for us is left overs or some kind of soup, sometimes sandwiches. I found some small bread loaves on sale at the store the other day and I though I would toast the kids a treat and make open turkey sandwiches. I thought it would be nice to mix together a "special" sauce I like, (thanks Michelle!) and mix together some mayo, dijon mustard and honey. Very good, or so I thought. I spread the sauce on the bun halves and top with turkey and cheese and serve them warm from the oven. During clean up afterwards I hear Bubba say that he was eating his 3rd partial sandwich. WHAT!! Who didn't like it!?! I guess some of the little kids didn't appreciate me messing with their mayo!! I have to admit spending time on the computer writing yesterday's post was why I wasn't present to watch and prevent the total disregard of "eat your own lunch" rule. I let starvation be the natural punishment (as if that could happen on fruit and chips) and make a mental note for future references! ;-)

Wildman spent some time with his linking chains practicing his sequencing, hand eye coordination and counting, while I initialed practice time sheets and put the piano books in order. He was a little distracted today but very happily chanted " 12, 14, 16.....11, 22!! Cute son, cute.

Suddenly the clock strikes and the mad dash for today begins, we now have 30 min to get out the door. Town clothes on, check. Piano bag, library bag, diaper bag all packed, check. Hair brushed, check. Shoes on, check. COATS!!! We are on our way!! We take a little detour on the way to piano lessons each week, just a little stop at Sonic for a gulp of soda! As a reward for being my kids I get them a Rt. 44 Cherry Vanilla Root Beer, with EZ ice of course! Who needs more ice when you can have more soda! A Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper for the piano teacher, a Ocean Water for her babysitter and a Coke for me! This is the best reason to come to town today! Michael is cutting off my soda intake thinking it might help me loose the extra baby fat I keep complaining about, he is a fixer you see. I try to tell him that my Coke is helping my mental health but I lack the research to prove it. Although I do have quite a file built up in hands on experiment documentation ;-).

The poor piano teacher, we bomb her house each week for lessons, she is such a sweet lady!! The four older kids all decide who's turn it is to go first and off he or she goes to the piano room. Wild Man, Miss Priss and Baby J all head over to the end of the living room with all the toys to play with the piano teacher's son J-kid, while the older ones and I grab our readers and start our lessons on the other side of the room on the comfy couch. We are there a little over a hour and a half so this gives me a great chance to go over spelling and reading lessons in our McGuffey Readers. So in between chatting with the young lady who comes to help babysit J-kid and his twin baby brothers, I am rotating kids through piano and reading lessons. Usually listening to 3 kids spell different words at the same time is enough to make me wish I had a Rt. 44 too instead of a medium!

Once the lessons are over, the toys picked and the couches fluffed, we then jump in our big red van and head for the library. There is a little cloud over the visit today since they can't all check out the normal pile of books, but I try to encourage them to do better next time and being the softy I am grabbed a family movie along with the usual educational ones I usually get. As everyone goes to their sections and picks out books, Baby J (who is content to sit in his stroller most days) and I direct traffic from our favorite table in the main isle. Today, Michael calls and lets me know he is heading over to a friend's house to pick up the bouncy horse for Wild Man's Christmas. I suddenly feel the need to be with "Adult Friends" and quickly come up with a plan for him to invite these friends to our house for dinner. He says he'll ask when he gets there and let me know. Of course I can't help but get excited anyway and I whisked the kids out (thankfully they had all their books) and drove over to the grocery store. Fast delicious menus and quick cleaning strategies are running through my head as I grab frozen tortellini (which I have been craving for days and this is my best excuse to make the purchase!!), french bread and salad toppings to round out the rest of the ingredients I have at home. I'm almost to the van when Michael called back and then hands his phone over to Mrs. Friend. It turns out she needed an excuse to order Papa Murphy's Pizza (BIG YUM!!) and offered to share it with us if we all head to her house instead. I wouldn't want to hurt her feelings of course, so we headed that way and helped them with their pizza! :-) We all won! My kids love playing with the Friend's kids and everyone was happy! Thanks so much for the fellowship, Mr. and Mrs. Friend!!

And as it usually happens, I started talking about picking up toys and clearing out about 8:00 but when we finally tore ourselves out the door with a promise to have them over soon, it was much later than that. Tired but very happy, a quickie stop at the gas station and we were on our way home to bed. :-) God is good!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 3: Our Crazy Life!

Wed-nez-day, so how was yours? Today we had several little runny noses and clogged heads as we headed into our day. Poor kids, some of them have my winter allergies, some have Michael's summer allergies and a couple have both!!

We try to move a little faster on Wednesday's because we like to go to the home school PE class at the YMCA before church. So off we went on our day's schedule. We breezed through Math, a hour of reading then our writing assignments. We worked in extra time on piano practice, since tomorrow is piano lessons and the Christmas recital at a local nursing home will soon be here! After grabbing a quick lunch we spent the early afternoon with our required reading and piano practice. The kids love to come and tell me everything about the books they are reading and sometimes it's an absolute circus trying to keep up with all the stories when they make it a competition to see who can tell me their story the quickest (and usually the loudest!). I really try to follow along but end up putting Nancy Drew on the island with the Swiss Family Robinson who are laughing at Dick and Jane while they pull Spot in a Wagon all the way to up the mountain to visit Heidi! Oh well, as long as they know what's going on and can pass the tests with flying colors, then all is good! :-)

We are going to be starting in the next few days our lessons on sign language. I used the "baby" signs with all the kids when they were toddlers and they have all retained quite a few signs which is very handy. Especially if I have my hands full with someone or something I can get Sis's attention from across the room and sign for her to take Miss Priss to the potty and have that done without even slowing down with what I'm doing. So, we all have decided that learning more signs to help us signal and communicate with each other will be a great project. They are already having a great time trying to get Dad and his awkward manly hands to bend and move into shapes and signs. This will be a fun project and I've enjoyed pulling some books together. My nieces and nephew have learned quite a bit of sign language from a class they are taking and how neat it will be to be able to "talk" with them. It is a great encouragement tool!

We have a world map on the wall that has been labeled with the continents, oceans, major rivers, mountain ranges, deserts and the Panama Canal. We have began memorizing these, starting with the continents. The oldest four have mastered these and are moving on to the oceans now. They enjoy making, tracing and coloring in their maps, this was one of my favorite things in school as well.

I did take the time today to drag out some of the things I've picked up to decorate our Christmas tree with. The years we have put up a tree I have had the same silver ribbons, balls and such since we were married, so this year I got a big kick out of pilfering through the Dollar Tree store with Michael and finding something different. Different for us anyway. Red and gold seemed to be our new theme as we loaded up on chrysanthemums, ribbon and garland. Keeping Baby J in mind we opted for plastic balls, snow flakes and icicles. Today the kids and I tossed this all together and danced and giggled around the tree filling it with all it's new sparklies. I promised to find their baby ornaments to add to it soon. I think one of my next project stations will be filled with craft items and ideas for the kids to make some new sparklies of their own creation to hang on the tree, and I thank Evenspor over at for some great ideas!

As you can imagine it takes a chunk of time to get ready to go anywhere, so all too soon we are on the last stretch in our mad dash out the door. Everyone is dressed for PE, finally, and if I can get everyone in matching (clean!) clothes, hair brushed and SOCKS with their shoes I'm doing real good! Coats are a major bonus! Why in the world do we have to remind them it's cold in the winter and they need a coat!!! We pack our bags with church clothes, hair bows and clean underwear, grab the diaper bag and head out the door. Since we live about 25-ish miles outside of town, it doesn't help to remember the thing you forgot half way there!!

PE class is for Kindergarten and up, the kids love going to this class. They start out by running laps around the gym, then spend time with stretching, sit ups, push ups and other torture. ;-) The rest of the class is usually spent in fun active games such as dodge ball. The group really gets along really well with boys and girls of a wide range of ages. They work together and have learned valuable skills in team work. I can really tell a major improvement their coordination as well, which I have read is linked to reading skills. I'm a believer as I have seen reading speed and comprehension improve greatly over the last several months. Either way they are having a blast! Usually Wild Man, Miss Priss and Baby J like romp around in the kiddie drop off area for awhile while I get a small work out myself. Dad is able to meet us there most days and we play a couple games of racquetball, a very funny sight to see for sure! Soon we move on to the showers and get dressed for church, and if I'm lucky everyone will have the right clothes, shoes, and a brush!!

If we time it just right we make it to church just in time for the kids to run in the door and get to the children's choirs early enough to get an early bird prize!! As one of the teacher's put it, the kids don't come just for the candy but it sure helps!! They are all working on memorizing their parts for the choir presentations that are coming up for Christmas. The Choir Christmas Party is coming up this Saturday and no one wants to miss that for sure! Each kid brings me reminder notes of the party and gives me a serious explanation of what time to be there and what goodies to bring. If they want to be on time they should be sweet talking their "laid back, no sense of time" Daddy!! :-) "Luv ya, Babe!"

Seems time flies by after church as everyone likes to visit a minute and catch up every one's happenings, but on the drive home it is usually quiet as everyone is running out of steam. This is a good time to put in an interesting history "book on tape" and take advantage of the peace!! We are still listening to the one about Pearl Harbor.

Once we are home I usually announce the race to bed has begun and set the timer. Flannel flinging, toothpaste slinging and kisses are flying as kiddos beat the clock to bed. The bell dings and the lights are out! Finally, Me and Daddy time. This is when I started a wonderful story about a funny email sent to me only to look around and find Michael laying on the floor fast asleep right under the vent blowing hot air into the room. So I did what all good wives do, sent him to bed and ran to boot up the computer!!! ;-) We'll see if I get up on time tomorrow!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day 2: Our Crazy Life!


Our Tuesday usually start on time, our daily schedule is getting up about 6:30. We get our rooms cleaned up, beds made and everyone dressed. While I make breakfast and Dad is getting ready for work, the kids are getting their chores done. Each one has a chart of a few things they are to do or get started before breakfast. Once breakfast is over we are ready to clean up the kitchen, kiss Dad goodbye and start school.

Wild Man has been running around the house singing "1 2 3 Buckle my shoe...", he doesn't quite have it right yet but he sure is working on it. He learned it from a worksheet working on memorizing his numbers, he likes to hang EVERYTHING he does on the fridge! I'm going to have to get tough and teach him the replacement theory before the fridge falls through the new floor from the weight of all the papers!!

We have a few separate grades going on here, Bubba just turned 12 he is in the 6th grade, his main interests right now are books on soldiers and weaponry used in past wars. He has been practicing his aim lately in hopes of getting his deer on the last youth hunt weekend coming up. Sis is 10 1/2 and she is also in the 6th grade, she spends the majority of her time reading. You might just find her anywhere, on the dryer, on the stairs, sitting in the kitchen floor and other places reading wherever she got side tracked. She loves to spend time sewing and learning to cook also. Her favorite thing to make so far is cookies and brownies. Kaykay has a had a recent birthday too and she is 8 and in the 3rd grade, she likes to read too which fuels her imagination. Your more likely to find her dressed up somewhere in the barn or play house creating some drama or another. Nanae is in fwirst grade as she would say and is 6 1/2, her favorite place is Daddy's lap, but when he's not available she is found reading or playing in her "kitchen" and dressing her baby dolls. Wildman, well, he's just that my little wild man. I keep him interested in lots of hands on activities like counting bears, tan gram sets, and building materials. He loves to look at books and be read too as long as he has time! :-) I am planning on starting him in the Abeka K4 books in January, he is 4 1/2. Miss Priss is only 2 and will be 3 end of January, she keeps herself busy with coloring pages and sorting games. She loves to "read" also and is always asking to watch the Letter Factory "One mo time?". ;-)

The older kids usually start with Math, this takes about an hour. Since I have one Saxon 65 book (I really need to order another one!!) Bubba starts his lesson first, while Sis starts her writing assignment. KayKay is working on the addition flashcards up to table 12. She about has them all memorized and will be starting the multiplication ones soon. Today we just practiced saying them as fast as she could, we took some time and played a game, the person who says the answer first when I flash them gets the card and the person with the most cards wins. They love doing this, the older kids like "letting" the younger kids win some cards but the younger kids really try hard. They know one day they will say them just as fast and they already are giving them some competition! Nanae is working on her addition cards too, she is doing very well. I have added some subtraction in now and she is picking them up faster each day.

The second hour of school is filled up with hand writing. Sis starts her math lesson and switches with Bubba. These two have a calendar on the wall with a story suggestion or topic sentence to finish for each day of the week. Today they finished a story that started out "Oliver Eagle looked down from his nest..." . They can get very creative! Kaykay has a book of handwriting she does a few pages in each day, she is getting the hang of cursive but isn't too excited about it yet. She does love however the pages she has been writing for her journal. She has just started it, writing about her name and what she looks like. Today she is decorating her journal with markers, she loves to draw. Looks like she just might be a princess in her picture this time! Nanae has just started a new writing table from Rod and Staff, she is really really liking it. It reviews some of the basics of making straight lines before taking her into the copying letters and she is having a blast. Today she traced the lines on a house in the first box, then each box after is missing more and more lines until the final box she draws the house without any help. She was very proud of her house and she did a great job. Wild Man and I went over his numbers poster today, he can count very well and does a great job when he is paying attention!! :-) We read a book together and then spent some time tracing the numbers one and two. We then explored the frog station together where he fashioned what he said was a frog from the play dough. He spent a little time trying to find some frogs outside before I finally convinced him they were all down at the pond sleeping!

We also had some eye appointments today so after lunch and clean up we headed to town. Our reading was done on the run today. They each had their readers with them and spent the time in the waiting room with their reading lessons. We are going through the McGuffey Readers, Bubba is in the Second Reader, Sis who is a much faster reader and excellent speller has just finished the 3rd Reader and is now reading Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. Kaykay is almost finished with the First Reader and Nanae is a few lessons into the Primer and just is almost through with her Dick and Jane collection. These are their required reading materials I have assigned, they spend about 3 hours a day reading these books then about an hour reading a book of their choice. They have quite a collection of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Box Car Children, Mandie, Laura Ingalls, many of the classics and not to mention the couple hundred other books I have scattered around. Lately they have been seen reading through Swiss Family Robinson, Heidi, Hardy Boys, Pony Pals and some easy readers I have from Rod and Staff.

Once the eye appointments were over we sweet talked Dad into taking us to Wendy's to use some of our free Frosty coupons. I batted my eyes and got a chicken sandwich out of the deal and a few burgers to make it a little healthier of a supper. I try anyway!

A quick stop on the way home to drop off a baby gift and some food to a new young mother and then we were on our way home. Boy has the temperature dropped here!! The rain has turned to ice and we were happy to arrive home to our comfy house and throw some wood in the stove. Dad and the older kids ran (drove actually!) down to Grandma and Grandpa's to dip some milk out of the milk tank in the barn. No one could wait till morning to have a bowl of cereal so they all dove into Honey Nut Cheerios, something don't get very often! :-)

Soon the kids were off to bed while Dad and shared a little time on the computer. I could stay up all night especially to catch up on the news on Momformation at BabyCenter (one of these days I'm going to have to learn how to create a link!!) , but Hubby isn't the night owl I am!

Hope your not too bored!! "TTFN" as Tigger would say!! :-)
Photo: All the kiddos in the van on the way to town, guess it was nap time too! Hopefully I'll have more photos tomorrow when I put in the new camera battery!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Day 1: Our Crazy Life!

Hi ya'll, I bet you have been as busy as we have through the beginning of the holidays!! We had a great Thanksgiving in Oklahoma visiting my family. I can't believe it's over and Christmas is sooo close!!! It seems like yesterday it was July something and then someone pushed a button and fall was over and winter on it's way!! My kids are pretty excited though, they are hoping (sorry !) to have a real good snowman making snow this year! Haven't had one in the last few years, they thought the ice storms from the last couple winters was neat to look at and explore but it was hard on the people with out power for sure. So they are praying for more snow and less ice! Oh boy!

Well, I'm starting our day one by telling about our Monday (11-8-08). I figure the only way to get the time is to post about it the next day!! Our Mondays are kinda slow, slow to rise and slow to get moving. We just have so much going on weekends that we usually crash come Monday morning. But this morning we got rolling in time for breakfast! :-) then started the laundry which is usually an all day thing. We do two loads most everyday but Monday is catch up from the weekend and a day to get everything in order for the week. Big Sis, is in charge of the laundry room and she does a great job keeping everything sorted and moving along. She is a big help in putting away the clean clothes. Our community closet works out great, town and church clothes are hung up and play clothes and underclothes are stored in basket drawers on shelves under the hanging clothes. Now if only I can get a little time to weed out some of the clothes they aren't wearing and make a little extra room!! The rest of the kids are doing the main cleaning with me, we go through the house room by room with our dusters, brooms and mops and try to get everything "deep" cleaned, we take turns going in to help Big Sis and actually have lots of fun and giggles as we move through the house. My poor broom handles are all dented and bent from all the sword fights and such!

We usually take time for our schooling in the afternoons on Mondays. Today I set up two "learning stations". We have gotten some great ideas for learning stations from the Lapaz family over at . One station I set up with a poster, some books, plastic models and a small tub of play dough for the kids to explore about frogs. They are getting a real kick out of the frog guts in the models!! If I had more guts, I would order some dissecting frogs for them to really get a hands on experience!! Maybe one day!, when Dad's home!! Our other station was about the human body, the frog models brought on questions about our "guts" so I grabbed up a few things to learn about and think over. Nothing like a good hands on project to bring on the most interesting of questions!! :-)
We are also listening to a book on tape about Pearl Harbor called Dec. 7 1941, it is very interesting. We are hoping one day to be able to take all the kiddos to Hawaii to see the Memorials.

Since it is the Christmas Season we are all preparing our gifts and running around giggling with secrets. We decided that Baby J needs some wooden farm animals to play with and began making our stencils and drawing them onto a board. The look rather preschoolish but I think they will get the job done. We took the boards over to our friends the Bogg's family where they watched as the saw began cutting out the sheep, pigs, chickens and tractors. Soon we will add cows, horses, goats, and colts. Maybe a turtle and a raccoon for fun! Hopefully Dad will help us with our small loafing shed and then the painting will begin!!!

Tonight we also have plans to go with the Bogg's to a live Nativity play in the nearby "big city"! It was really good, the kids had a blast pointing out all the happening of the play and eating candy. We were lucky tonight we were having a south wind that warmed up the weather a little and let the kids sit outside the van and enjoy. They laughed at the donkey who didn't seem to want to go anywhere very fast but preferred to sit instead. The soldiers looked very strong sitting on their tall horses, a few soldiers were walking around with some of the largest dogs I've ever seen. Great Dane maybe!? One little Angel running around with red boots had to be carried back up the hill after they sang to the shepherds, it was very cute. Afterwards we loaded up and drove over to the Bass Pro Shop, they are remodeling some of the building bringing in new decorations and wildlife. We all enjoyed watching the turtles in the turtle pond and taking pictures by the indoor waterfall. Their Christmas decorations are very pretty and I was able to get a few snapshots of my girls and one of the Bogg's youngest boys before the camera batteries died.
On the way home a quick stop at the Krispie Kreme for a sugar high got the van of kids and adults rolling for the trip home. Once we made it back to the house we were a bubbly crew but ready for lights out, only slightly late for bedtime! :-)