Monday, December 31, 2007

Monday Musings

Why is it that children who can eat about 5 slices of pizza and two glasses of soda in one meal, can only manage to eat one bite of meatloaf and two green beans before they are stuffed beyond every reasonable capacity? Or, children who can play for hours on end at the playground are too utterly exhausted to pick up a pair of dirty socks off the floor? Or children who can hear everything I say when I'm talking quietly on the phone with my back turned to a closed door, yet cannot hear me screaming across the house for someone to come take this dirty diaper to the trash?
Hmmm. Life is just full of mysteries.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Tasty Thursday

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
6-8 slices ham
8 medium potatoes, peeled/sliced about ¼ inch thick
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
salt and pepper
Layer the potatoes, ham and onions in the crock pot. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper and cheese. Repeat the layers and pour the can of soup over the top. Cook on low 8 hours or high for 4 hours or til potatoes are tender.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Monday Musings

Brittany's version of a Christmas favorite, Silent Night........
Silent night, holy night
all is calm, all is bright
round yon vertebrae, mother and child...............

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tasty Thursday

Cheerios Bars

5 cups Cheerios
1 10-oz. bag mini marshmallows
½ cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
1 T. butter

Melt butter and marshmallows in large pan over medium heat. Add in peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and mix in cereal. Spread evenly in a 9 x 13 pan (no need to grease). Allow to cool for 20 minutes or so before cutting into bars.
We have this a lot for breakfast!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday Musings

I was nursing little Thomas this morning and then switched sides when Brooke asked, "Does one side have milk and one side have juice?"
We hosted a Fiesta de Navidad for our homeschool Spanish class this morning. It was a lot of fun. There were 15 kids and 8 adults. The kids had been learning fruits, vegetables and colors. Last week we met at Wal Mart to buy the ingredients for the soup and fruit salad we made this morning. The soup was delicious. We also had 2 pinatas and a spin off of the hispanic tradition of find the baby Jesus in the bread. (I don't know what the name of that is.) But, anyway, I made cupcakes and wrote a J underneath one of the cupcakes. Whoever ended up with the "J" cupcake found the true meaning of Christmas and won a prize. I thiink the original tradition is to put a small plastic Jesus in the bread, but I wasn't sure where to find a small plastic Jesus or how I would get it into the cupcake. This worked out better anyway. We also had fudge, chips, cookies and punch. And, plenty of candy. Somebody talk me down from this sugar high!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tasty Thursday

Well, what you ask, do recipes have to do with Thursdays? Nothing, it's just that I wanted to do some recipes, Thursdays are available, and I can't think of another catchy title. There's Menu Monday, but Mondays are already taken. If I can think of something else, I'll change it. I'm open to suggestions! Anyone?
Beef Tips and Rice
! can cream of onion soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 package of stew meat
Add the stew meat and soups to crock pot and cook on high for about 4-6 hours or low for 8 hours. Serve over rice or noodles. *You can adjust the amount of meat and soup depending on the amount of people you need to feed.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Musings

Well we have held fast to our tradition of putting the tree up the day after Thanksgiving and this year the kids had it out and were putting it up before I even knew what was going on! The tree always ends up with all the ornaments on the upper half of the tree anyway, so I just go ahead and let them decorate the whole thing.
They've already gotten all their gifts wrapped and put under the tree. They always make their gifts to each other and to us. It's very sweet. This year Brittany is crocheting winter hats for everyone. They are turning out so nice. I'll have to post pictures when she's done.
We don't do Santa. We've researched Santa and determined that there was an actual Saint Nicholas, but I felt like if I lied about Santa would they believe me about Jesus? So, we are trying to stick to Christmas traditions that relate only to Jesus, but that's so hard when so much pagan tradition has been melded in.
Anyway, about 2 years ago when Timothy was five, we were all talking about how some people did Santa, but we did not. Timothy says, "That's okay if we don't. He's just a big fat fake anyway!" That's Timothy for ya.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mary Cassatt Lapbooks

We finished our Mary Cassatt lapbooks today. The three oldest worked on them together, I just adjusted the writing according to grade level (we had 2nd, 5th and 7th). It was a pre-made kit that I had received as a free gift for something. It came from Hands of a Child. They sell a lot of neat kits for the lapbook-challenged, but I like to just put my own together. (Call me a rebel!) The cover was actually a sample from a coloring book that I got from the Dover weekly sampler.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Black Belts!!

The three oldest kids got their black belts Friday night. They've been working on this goal for almost 2 years now. They were so excited. They had to each do three forms and 2 board breaks. There was a candle ceremony where each of the black belts get to light a small candle off of the bigger one after a reading about how they've grown in their Tae Kwon Do journey. It was really special for them. Brittany and Tyler both talked about how they wanted to be instructors and how this was such a big achievement for them. Timothy talked about how he liked having fun. That was a definate Timothy answer! He's all about having fun.

Monday Musings

Tristan my 2 year old and an avid Wiggles fan has picked up the term "cucaracha" from one of the videos, where they sing "La Cucaracha" in Spanish. He's become a bit obsessed with the word. And even more obsessed when he found out that it means "cockroach". So two days ago, Timothy accidentally smashed Tristan's finger in the door and after the pain subsided he was quit upset about it. He came to me with a mad face and said, Timothy is a cucaracha for smashing my finger!"
After I choked down the laughter I promptly told hm it was not kind to call names, and that it was an accident.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Musings

I just wanted to post my absolute favorite baby thing ever. I love it when a newborn will stretch and draw in their legs like little frogs. So incredibly precious!! All of my babies have done this and I just savor it in every time because they outgrow that before you know it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday Musings

Brooke, my 4 year old put her own spin on the "If you're happy and you know it" song.
"If you're happy in your nose, clap your hands" :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Musings

When my now 12 year old was 3 she cut her hair. She didn't just cut the hair, mind you, she hacked it down to the scalp except for one tiny strand that ran down the back. She had long beautiful baby curls. Yes, I was devastated. However, we can look back and laugh now, because after she cut her hair she put it in her toy stove to hide it. Like if I didn't find the hair I wouldn't have known! LOL! The hairstylist really did a great job cleaning it up and it didn't look horrible. But the baby curls never returned. :(

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Our First Lapbooks!

We've just finished our first lapbooks and I'm really pleased with how they've turned out. We've been "notebooking" and other things for years, but this is the first year we've done lapbooks. I got the printouts from here and here. I just bought some colored file folders and some colored card stock. I attached the card stock to the folder with clear packing tape for extra space.
We did a whole little unit on bees and completed all the little diagrams and booklets and things. We made a recipe using honey, a density experiment with honey, oil, water, molasses and chocolate syrup and we are going to make some beeswax candles. We listed some honey scripture, "bee" sayings and uses for honey and wax. We plan to make a trip to a local beekeeper when that trip gets set up.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007

New Glasses-New Perspective

My glasses finally broke on Thursday evening. They were on their last legs, or should I say arms, for some time now. So, of course, all of the eye clinics that accept our insurance were not same day appointments. So I had to go to a walk-in and pay for appointment and glasses. But it turned out really good because this eye doctor told me something very interesting. This was after I was doing the "3-D" eye test which I failed because I could not see two boxes only one. He seemed very puzzled and almost acted like I was just not paying attention to his directions because I couldn't see it. So, a little later on I was explaining that I had eye surgery when I was nine because I had started wearing glasses at age 1 because I had a lazy eye, yada, yada, yada. So, and this is the interesting part- he says, "That explains why you couldn't see the boxes. Your eyes don't work together, so you can't see 3-D. This is typical when you've had a lazy eye. " (FYI, a lazy eye is when one of the eyes will turn inward or outward. I had muscles clipped in both eyes to correct this problem when I was 9- no, not a pleasant experience.) HELLO! Thank you for explaining a huge mystery in my life! I never could figure out why I couldn't see those images in those 3-D puzzle books that came out a few years ago. And it totally affects depth perception. I'm so reIieved to know this. I always just thought I was lousy at sports that you had to hit a ball with something like tennis or softball. But now I know that it's just my eyes! And dh cannot tease me anymore because I cannot catch the keys when he tosses them at me and I miss- every time! Man, I wish someone would have told me this sooner!

Monday Musings

Tristan, my 2 and 1/2 year old got a Mr. Potato head for Christmas last year. You know the one with the trap door where you store all the parts. Well, the trap door kept coming off and he'd tell me, "Mom, fix it. The butt came off." So, one day when his pants were falling down, he said, "Mom! My butt's came off!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monday Musings

When Tyler was maybe 5 or 6 I had made dinner, I don't even remember what it was, but Tyler certainly liked it. He looked at me and said, "Mom, you are the great cookest!" It's been our little joke around here since then that if someone makes something especially well, then they are the great "whatever"-est.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Musings

When Bethany was 3, and asked me anything, if anyone else would answer she'd look at them and say, "I'm asking to MOM!"
When Timothy was about 3 and asked me anything, if anyone else answered he'd say, "I'm talking to the GIRL Mom!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Renaissance Festival

The kids and I went to the annual Renaissance festival held north of Charlotte today. We had a great time. We had the "priviledge" of watching a sword swallower which had everyone freaked out for the rest of the day, and a cool jousting tournament. Brittany bought a pretty feather fan to replace the one the little girls tore up from last time :( The boys still have their wooden swords and shields and daggers from last time. (Dad just had to buy them "for the boys".) The only bad side was the traffic to get in . We went 6 miles in 45 minutes! David didn't go because he wasn't feeling well. :( So, yes, I braved the fest alone with all 7. I did run into a few friends.

At least we weren't a "show stopper" this time. The first time we came to the fest the royal procession was making it's way down the path. I saw them and I knew what was coming. David had left me standing there with the kids while he was off getting a drink or something so I was on my own.

The procession stopped right in front of us and the King said (to me), "My! Do all of these children belong to you? A regular baby factory!" After the Queen firmly planted her elbow into her Majesty's ribcage, she said, "You have a most beautiful family!" And as we exchanged smiles, the royal procession went on its way.

Farewell until the morrow. I bid thee good eventide. (Translation: Bye!)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Musings

Back on the Fourth of July this year we went to our local army base to watch fire works. On the way over I noticed dh's tire was low (we take two vehicles if we have to go across town because we don't all fit in the van anymore) and so he asked all the kids if they had any change for the tire machine. None of them did except for Tristan (2 and 1/2). He said, "I've got money for you Dad!" and pulls out his wallet and gives Dad his only penny. It was soooooo sweeeet!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Monday Musings

Timothy, my 7 year old dear son, is one of a kind. One morning after getting out of bed, he complained that there were "eye crumbs" in his eyes.
When Timothy was about 2 or 3, he was looking at the case of one of my husband's computer games. It had a skull with wings (It was an ad for another game) He didn't know the word skull, but he knew "bone" and he knew that the skull was a bone. So he said, "Mom, what is that flying bonehead?"
Once when he was about 2, we went into a sandwich shop. I let go of his hand for a minute and he had walked over to someone else's table to sit down with them and try and eat their food. He's always been my friendliest child. :)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Yard Sales

Today my 12 y.o. daughter and I went out to the yardsales-one of our favorite things to do. I was really pleased with what I found. i spent about $30 and bought the following
3 jeans and 2 shirts for the boys, 5 playstation games (we do video games, but I'm very particular), 4 books on tape, The Real Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes book, Collection of Beatrix Potter stories with her original drawings, 4 baby board books, 3 books for homeschool, a baseball glove, a Melissa & Doug solar system puzzle, 3 preschool puzzles and a Fisher Price musical chair for the baby.
My daugher found the cutest tea set with china doll in a white wicker basket for $4 (her most exciting find!), an almost unused scrapbook kit for $1, some well-kept barbies and clothes, and some slip-on Keds for $1.
We usually only do the big neighborhood sales in the spring and fall. The other sale we went to this fall was a few weeks ago. I found some Amazing Animals vidoes, a presidential Fandex and some homeschool books for $1 apiece. Most of the kids clothes, toys and homeschool/educational stuff comes from yard sales. You have to be selective and most people are ready to bargain if you ask.
I think that this was the last biggest sale for the fall. We'll have to wait til spring. :( but, we have been very excited with all our good finds. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Grocery Shopping

Okay, how much does it cost to feed a family of 9? Well, Kroger had to get special permission to accept the amount of the check I wrote out today! I had 2 BIG carts full of stuff. My dh only gets paid once a month, so I like to shop for everythinig intially then I only have to go back for stuff like milk and fruit later on. I am a bargain shopper, we eat fairly simply and I am known to clip a mean coupon, but it is quite costly these days. We belong to a fruit and veg. co-op, where we and some other families buy from the farmer's market for quite a bit cheaper than the store. I make homemade stuff-a lot.
So........for breakfast this month we'll be rotating pancakes, granola bars, cheerio bars, and french toast & bacon. For lunch we usually do sandwiches with veggies or fruit. Sometimes for a treat I'll buy some inexpensive chips. And this month I splurged and actually bought yogurt! And frozen chicken fingers and fries. (One can only eat so much PB&J). And for dinners, my dh loves beans and tortillas -pintos with cheese and ground beef-it must be a mexican thing :) And he is a very much meat-and-potatoes-no-thanks-for-the-salad-kind of guy. So for dinners we'll be rotating beans and tortillas, grilling out burgers and brats (another dh fave), chicken and rice, homemade pizza and baked mac and cheese. I'll whip up a jello salad and some corn on the cob to go with the grilled stuff and maybe some fresh green beans with the mac and cheese.
Last month Bi-Lo had their pork roast on sale, so I bought 6 of them. We are kind of tired of pork now..........
I keep it fairly simple (I don't really enjoy cooking, but I do enjoy eating) and fairly healthy. I do buy some boxed cookies or crackers to have once a week or so. They can eat an entire box in just one sitting, so I try to make it a special treat. I found it also makes them finish their meals because they haven't filled up on snacks in the meantime. And sometimes on the weekends my dh likes to make rootbeer floats for the kids, so I went ahead and got some ice cream and soda.
And okay, I did buy M&M's to reward my 2 and half year old ds for going potty. Which is going fairly well actually. :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Monday Musings

Brooke, my 4 year old little redhead, was such a delight when she went to bed and when she woke up. Whenever we would hear her wake up we'd go get her and she always wanted us to bring every single stuffed animal with us to go downstairs. We called it her luggage.
This is the same sweet little redhead, who when she was around 18 months old or so, would spit when she got mad. She would be sweet one minute and the next spitting mad. It was pretty funny.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday Musings

Well actually I am a few hours late on this post. It's actually Tues. morning ( but I won't tell if you won't.) I was busy last night trying to reorganize and "weed out" some kids stuff upstairs. Again. I feel like that's all I do is go through and reorganize to try and make it work so that everything doesn't get to be such a mess all the time. You can only do so much with what the space you have. We are 9 in a 1750 sq. ft. home. with no garage. Last night dh suggested "just get rid of stuff" and the kids don't want to clean it up anyway. Okay. I'm not a pack rat by any means but it is hard for me to "get rid" of perfectly good stuff just because we don't have room. So I get a little down about it and think we need a bigger home. However, I am choosing to be grateful for what we do have, and I just went up there and got rid of stuff. Seven winter outfits, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of jammies, 1 coat and 1 jacket per child. That's it. I went through all the toys and for every 5 they kept, they had to get rid of 5. Well, that' s just the way it'll have to be.
Anyway, on to the musings part. Timothy, my 3rd child, is well, he's just Timothy. He's very easy going, social and friendly, and also very sensitive. When he was around 2, he was a handful. If there was a situation to get in, he was sure to get in it. So, one day (while I was pregnant with #5 and dh was deployed) I took the kids to the state museum. We were looking at an exhibit that had a railing around it. Timothy couldn't see so he asked me to hold him, which I couldn't because he was very heavy and I was pregnant and already holding Bethany who was a baby at the time. So, I told him to just look through the railing. Well, he stuck his whole head through the railing, and we couldn't get it out. After visions of museum staff hack sawing the exhibit to free my child, we kneeled and I told the kids to pray. After much manipulating, praise God, his head came free with no damage to him or the exhibit, and without drawing much attention. (When you are pregnant with your 5th, and have four other kids under the age of 7, trust me, you don't need any extra attention!)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Monday Musings

Tyler, my dear 10 year old, always keeps me laughing. He does these funny karate moves and sounds with the babies, like they're doing the moves. It's hysterical. Anyway, some years back, Tyler said we need to get ourselves a "housecar" (translation: an RV). So we all have been calling RV's housecars since then. He even says now that when he grows up he thinks he'll just buy a housecar because it'll be easier and he can park it in the McDonad's parking lot and he can work there. And, when he gets hungry he'll just eat there, too. Ahhh. The simple life.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Monday Musings

Okay, now that my homeschool planning is actually done (yah!) and today I will be cleaning my house, I might actually get to post on my blog more than once a week. Amazing! Okay I still have to come up with another schedule since we will start our tae kwon do class in the afternoons instead of the evenings. I was reluctant to give up two afternoons of prime homeschooing time, but if I didn't, we would have been at tae kwon do from Brooke's class at 5pm til mine ended at 8:30pm. So.........I still have a month to work on that since we don't start that class til October 2nd.
And now for Monday musings.....
When Brittany was 5, I was pregnant with Timothy. She asked me why he was in my tummy. I gave the usual anwers about how he needed to be in there to grow, etc. and how she used to be in my tummy before, too. I thought that was sufficient. She thought for a moment and said with a puzzled face, "Mommy, why did you eat me?"

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday Musings

Another of my children's funny moments..........
Bethany (who is now 5) had a friend who broke her arm last year and needed a cast. Bethany didn't think that it would be too much of a problem. She said, "Well. She can go get a new purple arm at Wal-Mart."
Well, Wal Mart does have almost everything.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Musings

I took little Thomas for his 6 month well baby check today. He weighs 20 pounds and is 29 and 1/2 inches long. He just cut his first tooth 3 days ago.
When you hold Thomas right over the floor he kicks his legs up and down like he's marching. It's so funny. It reminds me of that little dog on America's Funniest Home Videos, that would dog paddle. When the owner lifted it out of the water it just kept dog paddling. March, march, march......

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday Musings

My kids make me laugh- all the time. They say and do the funniest things- or at least they know what will make ME laugh. So, in honor of our senses of humor, I'm going to start a column called "Monday Musings". Every Monday I will post those little things that my children say and do that I don't want to forget when they are older.
The other night 2 year old Tristan picked up his baby brother's yellow comb and, him being an AVID Wiggles fan, asked, "Did Greg (Yellow Wiggle) give this to you?" I said no, that I had bought it. He said, "Oh. Did you buy it at Wal-Mart?" Where else would it have come from? :)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is Brittany's (the oldest) 12th birthday. We had a birthday pool party at a friend's house. It turned out great. I only had to bring hot dogs and treat bags. It was a good time for her since she'd never had a pool party before. Tthere were 27 people. She was all excited. So, later her dad taught her to play Solitaire and then we played Scrabble. (She loves games.) Anyway, it was an all around neat day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How We Got 7 Babies.....

I was just talking with a friend recently about the McCaughey's who had the septuplets about 10 years ago. It really is a miracle that they all survived and are doing well. We have 7 children, and didn't get them all at once. But it is still really almost a miracle that we have them. When I was growing up, I decided that I didn't want any kids. None. They were somewhat annoying and would definately get in the way of my dreams of exciting careers. Kids- no thank you. But I met David when I had just turned 19 and soon and very unexpectedly became pregnant. Talk about devestation. I thought my life was over!
I was in denial for a while, then almost depressed, but after a few months I began to think that maybe- just maybe- this wasn't the complete end of my life. David was stationed in the Marine Corps in Hawaii while I was back in Alabama. (I'll post that story another day.) We got married and things began to look up. After Brittany was born I began to think that maybe this baby thing wasn't so bad after all. I became a Christian when Brittany was just a couple months old. When Brittany was a year old, I thought maybe one more would be okay, and nine months later we had a Tyler. We thought maybe we'd have another in the future, but no big rush. About a year later we moved and started attending a church with some awesome Biblical teaching. The pastor's wife encouraged me to simply trust God for what he had planned for us. Hmmm. Interesting concept.
So, I really prayed and felt the Lord wanted to show me he was really the One in control. So along came a Timothy, then 19 months later a Bethany and 13 months later a Brooke. Then about 20 months later along came a Tristan and 24 months later a Thomas. People keep asking if we will have more. And the answer is "Yes. If the Lord gives more, we will take more." No, I am not Catholic, crazy or brave. No, I am not super organized, have easy pregnancies, or supermom. I have just allowed the Lord to give me what he wanted me to receive. He, thankfully, gave me what he wanted me to have, not what I thought I wanted. It has been hard work being pregnant and delivering 7 times. There is a lot of cleaning, cooking, disciplining, sleepless nights, throwing up, laundry, bills, organizing, homeschooling, dirty diapers, and the list goes on. But it is only through the infinite grace of God displayed in my life that I have 7 precious children -and lived to tell about it. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Where is Courtney Lane?

Courtney Lane is actually the name of the little country road that I lived on as a child. It cuts through land that has been in our family for generations in Alabama. So, you're thinking, "You were named after a road? Coincidence?" Neither. About 18 years ago, the county instilled it's emergency response system and wanted to name all streets which had previously been noted as rural routes. My grandfather was in charge of naming our road and he very lovingly named it after little old me! So there you have it. By the way, it is my grandmother's birthday today. She passed away the year before the naming of the road.
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