Friday, August 22, 2008

Joe... Just Call Me JOE!

Meet Joe... our mixer! Yes, he has a name. Emma named him many many moons ago. I can't quite remember the year but I do remember she was still in diapers AND in pre-school. Considering she is in Junior High now... it was a LONG time ago. We were so excited to buy this mixer. Kohls had a fantabulous sale and for some reason it was marked $99!... WHAT??? Impossible. I have never seen them that low then or now. But when we got to the cash register thats exactly what we paid. We skipped and hopped right out of the store.(I have been checking weekly since then and have NEVER seen it that low since that day!) We brought this little heavy homeless piece of metal home and sat it on our table. Even the girls were excited... as little as they were. We could now mix and bake and cook till our hearts content. "He needs a name..." Jason immediately said. 
"What about Joe daddy?" Emma squealed in her minnie mouse voice. (the popular name in our home that year was Joe. A boy in her class that was in love with her and the mom used to buy flowers and candy for her... im not kidding)
"Hmm, Joe is a good sturdy name. DONE! Your now joe."
Ever since then thats what we call it. Im serious. Everyone in the house calls the mixer Joe... "Im using Joe" "Put it in Joe..." "Somethings wrong with Joe..."
 I don't even think the babies know to call it a mixer. When they see one in the stores its a Joe!!!
 Anyway, why am I blogging about this?? There has been recent mixer talk in my home. Family members in Utah asked my hubby which mixer would be the best to buy. Jason is the perfect one to ask. He knows mixers better than anyone! He fixes them for a living!! Hobart Mixers to be exact. Hands down.. a kitchen aid. They will make your babies first birthday cake and still be around to mix the wedding cake (if your super handy dandy!) So Uncle Neil and Aunt Krissy are now the proud owners of a Kitchen aid mixer. I know many happy times will be had with theirs. Its a purchase that will follow them thru many many years.
 Jason has Big Papa Joe in the garage in pieces. He is slowly rebuilding a mixer that is 4 times (its true) the size of Joe. At the rate our family is going we will need something bigger in just a few years. But we will never forsake Joe. He will forever remain on our counter celebrating happy times with us!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Aunt Krissy's Banana Bread

Today I attempted to make Aunt Krissy's banana bread recipe. She claims it is the best so I just had to try. Before today I never had any luck with homemade BB. It either would not cook all the way. Was too hard, or just yucky. But today was a success!!!! I had some frozen old ripe bananas in my freezer. I was getting so tired of throwing them out when they got too brown. So off to the freezer I would toss them. I had collected quite a few. After the girls did their school work today the baking began. I pulled up her recipe and followed it step by step. I was SO happy when I pulled my first piece and the moist delicious bread melted in my mouth. Its 8 p.m. The babies are sleeping and the girls are upstairs. I think my couch is calling me. A nice tall glass of milk and a slice of bread  is exactly what the dr. ordered. Thank you Aunt krissy for sharing your baking secrets... and Happy Anniversary by the way... may you have 9... bazillion more xoxo

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Joined

I joined a new yahoo group today. Im not one for signing up for different "group." I think they can be kind of lame. You know.. I love my dog group or obsessed with karaoke group but this certain one I have been wrestling with for months. Its called Large Family logistics. Its run by a christian homeschooling mom of 9 kids. They are all "normal" and live on a farm somewhere n the midwest. The activities and things they do are amazing and inspiring to say the least. For instance... they grow a garden, can all the harvest, they are re-enacting the pioneer days this year for homeschooling. They made all the "costumes" and turned their family room into a one room school house. They poured cement in their backyard for their old fashioned wood brick oven her and her children are making and on the side they entered the state fair and showed off all their live stock. AMAZING!!! This was just some of the things they did this summer. They cook from scratch, sew anything, swim in lakes and even started a cooking blog to go along with her large family blog. WOW. I have been following Kim for several months on her own blog but she has not been blogging lately because of the baby. I can only imagine what else they have been doing. Im excited to start my own homeschooling adventure but Im not sure my HOA will allow cattle and brick ovens..hmmm is that in my manuel? I must check. In the meantime I will keep you posted=)

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Well this is proof that Grandpa is here!!! He arrived last night with Eileen and brought the Wii. My kids have been in a Wii coma since. Poor Molly is having a problem keeping up with all the action. She layed down for just a second and passed out. Snoring and all. Of coarse that does not stop the rest of the clan... they just kept on playing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Chat In The Dark.

The night of May 15 th 2007 was a bit different than most. I had just given birth to baby #5 that morning and I just could not sleep. Abigail, of coarse, had no problem. She was wrapped up tighter than a pink twinkie in her bassinett snoring away. I tried getting out of bed and hobbled over towards the bathroom past my very high maintenance room mate. She had had a horrible labor experience and ended up having a very traumatic c-section. She was un happy and drugged!! Her best friend was her call button and she used it about once a second. The nurses kept apologizing to me. (But deep down they were thankful. Im a pretty low-maintenance patient.)
 Anyway, as I attempted my hunched walk to go pee I heard her voice in the dark... "Hi."
 DARN!!! Caught like a dog. I usually invite conversations but not now. Im tired, Im cranky and I miss my kids. I answered back and tried to continue on... "What did you have?"  URGHH is she serious? Its like 3 in the morning. Is she color blind? Can she not see the entire side of my room draped in pink??? (im very cranky when I loose sleep) I knew there was no getting away this time. I sat down and succumbed to the voice in the dark. We shared small talk about our labor and babies. Then the question came..."Is this your first baby Amy?"  "No, its my 5th."
Her mouth fell to the floor in horror. I resisted the urge to slap the look off her face and moved on. Our conversation took an interesting turn. She began telling me this is her 2nd kid... and her last. She could not sleep because she was thinking on how she was going to afford college tuition for both of her kids. Are you kidding me? I couldn't help myself. The words just kept coming out... Why are you worrying about something thats 18 years away? Your daughter is not even a day old? There is so much more to think about than college tuitions...
 We chatted some more and then off to bed I went.
 Looking back on that conversation I realize how much money determines family size. I mean, you have to have some sort of money I AM realistic after all. I can't even begin to tell you how many conversations I have had with strangers. I get stopped almost daily. Im asked the same questions "Are they all yours? All 5??" Yes I answer. I hear the strangest things. People confide in me... complete strangers tell me there inner most secrets. "I would of had more but I left my husband."  "I would of loved more but my uterus is blah blah blah..."  " I would of had more but they are just so darn expensive..."
 I used to just nod and move on but I have started talking to these women who have decided to bare their souls on the wal-mart express line. I tell them all the same thing:
  I will never let finances determine my family size. We are not rich or well off by any means. Most people would be surprised at what actually comes in. I stay at home and I shop smart. We sacrifice a lot and view life differently than most. I never understood the phrase "kids are so expensive." I don't get it. If you have one or two, you have everything you need for more. You don't need the crib ,carseat, toys, high chair. You have it already. Whats one more little body??? Anything else I may need for my family I pray about and God provides. He may not provide in the exact manner at which we ask but He comes through and our needs are always met. God values children above most things and those that choose to bring one into the world will be blessed and cared for. My house is not perfect and im by far the perfect mom but I would not trade my life for anything in the world. I wish I could talk to more women about this. I wish I could tell them that life is not about the 5 bedroom house or the dance classes and soccer games. Life is about laughing together, meal times that are filled with love and long walks that out weigh candle light dinners. One day my husband and I will go on a vacation, and go out to eat more but for now our hearts are home.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

WANTED: A Two Bedroom House???

For years we lived in a very "home-y" home. It was a little yellow 2 bedroom 800 sq foot house. We moved in back in 1999. We had just two little baby girls and began our journey in NY. As the years passed we celebrated holidays, birthdays and had more babies. With each new child welcomed into our home our house was cleared out and room was made for the new addition. Emma and Hannahs room soon became a room for 3!...Then 4. The room never seemed crowded even though our home was bursting at the seams. I was called the woman who lived in a shoe... But people kept coming back. They knew a good meal and lots of love was always found in my home. The door was always open and another seat for our crammed table always found. Soon we realized yet another addition would be coming. What to do? We felt so bad that 4 kids were already in one small room. They didn't seem to mind so much. They played with each other before bed. Nobody had bad dreams because they were always comforted by each others presence. The mornings would come and babies would be pulled out of their cribs and brought into big kids beds. Even though love was abound Jason and I carried daily parental guilt. "They need their own space..." "If only we had just one more bedroom for them to spread out..." We knew that possibility in NY was out of our reach, So we packed up our little yellow house, said goodbye to everyone near and dear and drove 900 miles to make our dreams for our family come true. INDEED WE DID. Much to our surprise and many thanks to God, within 6 weeks of arriving on southern soil we signed our contract and hammers were a-poundin! "Can you believe it?? A 4 bedroom house!!! Who would have ever thought WE would own a brand new 4 bedroom home for our FIVE kids?" That was often the conversation late at night. We were in amazement. We were so happy to give our children the home we thought they needed... And us too!! Well a year has passed since the first traces of ink were put on the contract paper. We have been moved in for months and are all nestled and settled. Noah has his big boy room. The two smaller girls have their "Nursery" and the older girls have the biggest room in the house... the bonus room all to themselves. What an awesome blessing. Why am I writing this you are asking??? Its quite simple. The migration patterns of my children have taken an interesting turn lately. Like I just wrote. Everyone has their picture perfect room. Jason and I envisioned kids in every room snoring peacefully and soaking in the square footage... Again... what I ENVISIONED. This, my friends, is what we saw....
Noah's empty room. Bed ruffled and unmade but no little boy. Hmm?? Down the hall I go into the baby girls room. Their is a cute white crib also empty... No baby Abigail. I also see Molly's name on the wall and her toys around but not one trace of her sleeping quarters...hmm I continue on to the next room and this is what I find... The far left corner... one twin bed with one 11 year old girl. The far right corner, one twin bed with one 9 year old girl AND a Papa (Noah), Lower right hand corner is a toddler bed with one 4 year old little girl happily and peacefully asleep. I know what your thinking... where's the baby? In my room of coarse. Did you even think for a second she would sleep in her bed? What to do? Just sit back and smile. The joys of a large family display themselves again. Siblings that are so close they can't even be parted to sleep.
 Society tells us we need a certain amount of square footage and space. Its what we are surrounded by. The big house, a bedroom for every body. But our hearts tell us something different. We were made for companionship. Its what our souls crave and what our hearts yearn for. It really is amazing. The true meaning of life can be found at 5:45 in the morning in a red 4 bedroom home that really has a heart of 2.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Homeschooling Adventures Begin

My little red school house opens for business tomorrow at 9... ok 9 ish.... Bright and early we will be up, eating breakfast, doing our chores and then sitting at the table to begin our day. The girls are so excited as I am!! Many people look at me strange because im not waving pom poms at the thought of the big yellow savior coming to cart my kids away. Don't get me wrong. I used to! I was the loudest mom at the bus stop crying tears of joy and dancing the irish jig all the way back to my home. I counted the seconds till the first day and dreaded vacations... Ok not all the time but when your NOT used to having your kids around, it can be rather frightening. Why the change you ask??? I don't have a definitive answer for you. God called me to do this, I fought, I said NO!! He pryed my eyes and heart open till I surrendered. Now I can't even imagine sending my kids off to be filled by some stranger. My kids are not driving me nuts yet. I mean they are to a certain extent. They do every day. I have 5 of them, their bound to make my eyes crossed. But not enough to send them off. Im excited to teach them about the world, the way I see it. Pure and innocent. I get to decide what views they learn about, what goals they need to achieve and what ranks most important in the world. Why would I even thing about changing that? I will spend less time teaching about global warming, ozone layers and pollution and more time on Jesus's ministry. After all I have read the book of Revelations and I know how the story ends...(here is a guess... its not due to filled landfills or smokey air) I will teach how the world started out of Love. The creation of time. They will learn the effects of the flood and how the Grand Canyon really came to be. I assure you education is important to me, you have to be educated but thats not my main goal. My main priority for my children is their eternal salvation. That when they stand before their God, they are recognized as His child. After all. I will have to stand in account for how I raised these gifts I were given. I don't think God will remind me how I didn't teach the Table of Elements just right. He will ask me why I didn't teach them what He did for us. How much He loves us and How we could spend eternity with Him. THOSE are my goals for my children. They will be taught as I teach them about the world. They will be emphasized in science lessons and History and Math. They will be studied during geography lessons and reviewed before spelling words. What are your goals for your children?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

All's Quiet on The Southern Front!

My last summer Out of Towner left this past Sunday. The dust is settling and my house is slowly returning to "normal." Jason finished his round in Charlotte and summer is drawing to a fast close. We start our very first homeschool week next monday and im greatly anticipating all that could happen. I promised the girls we would dive in slow and take an easy coarse. Like most schools, we will begin with lots of review. Thanks to the good ol southern education, last years grades will have to be repeated in math and english. Not a problem though. I have the first few weeks already charted out in my head.
 Abigail is getting bigger and faster. She wants to stand so bad she can taste it, but has no interest in walking. Why bother to learn when she zips around the house faster than the speed of light?
 We have not been to the pool in 3 whole days!! GASP!!! Another visit is shortly due but first I must enjoy the silence just a bit more.
 Before I know it September 1st will be here. Time for my traditional apple pie to start off the fall season. I think I will incorporate the girls in baking some this year. After all I think we will need at least 2 of them! My holiday menu's will be assembled, revised and edited twenty times and before long new holiday visitors will be at our door. How exciting. I can almost smell the turkey and pumpkin pie already!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

So Longs and Farewells...

My sisters much anticipated visit is over. How time flies when your with the ones that make you laugh. My sis and nephew spent a few days in my world doing nothing spectacular but having fun anyway... (I hope). We chatted and complained, caught up on family "business" and chatted some more. We ate and laughed, slept and then ate again. Afternoons were spent by the pool and evenings were spent hanging out. She was able to share one of my most special moments with me. Friday night we headed downtown and we actually RODE THE TROLLEY!!! For those of you that "know" me, know I have been dying to ride that wooden thing. We did it! I was like a kid in a candy store. How exciting!!! I plan on going back with Jason soon so we can enjoy the scenic ride again. Today came too soon and we were forced to say goodbye. I will drown my sorrows in some good BBQ and she will drown hers at the GAP OUTLET! (yes my friends, I have trained her well) Enjoy the pictures, these are just some of our happy moments together. I look back on them fondly and hope to have more soon...Safe traveling sis

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Have Decided...

To pack up the house, kids and hubby and live on the road. Ok, maybe its a bit unrealistic but I have become quite bored with the American lifestyle and want a change!!! If money were not an option oh how my life would be different. Unfortunately I was raised a bit pri-madonna-ish. After 12 years out of the house it has gone away quite a bit but I still hold on to a love for modern electric and clean water. Darn. Oh well. Maybe in time that will leave me too. ;) I must admit, there is a certain fascination with living out of an rv, homeschooling the kids and giving them a Masters degree in life! How wonderful to study the world while discovering the world? Hmmm. That has my brain turning. I already have been picking apart my homeschooling curriculum. Im "creating my own." Im loving it! Who needs conventional cookie cutter teachers (no offense Megan xoxo) A little dose of me will do wonders. I always said I have gypsie blood running through my veins. Its a good thing Jason agrees. Hmmm, perhaps I need to break out Dr. Seuss for inspiration... "Oh the places we can go..."


My oldest baby lost one of her last chicklets the other day. Her sharp fang fell out after a brave attempt at pulling it out. We were all so happy to have another visit from the tooth fairy. One last milestone of her baby years. She is getting so big...way too fast. I love her!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Something to Think About

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to
skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - strawberries in the other-
body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming - WOO HOO!
What a Ride!" 
Author Unknown


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