Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Sun Before The Storm...

Today was and still is such a glorious day!
With temps reaching over 70 degrees and the southern sun beating down on us, it was the perfect excuse to throw away the books hurry and finish our planned school day and head out front for some street fun.
We hustled and bustled thru our math. Finished telling time and writing our spelling words. Worked in our phonics workbook and began discussing all the creatures that sing in the night. Once babies went in for a nap...
Out the door we ran.
I must admit, the sun felt good. Really really good.
Thats the best way for me to explain it. I just sat on the driveway as the kids ran around and colored the streets with chalk, and soaked in every single morsel.
I walked around my little Red House. So gloomy and brown from winter. I can't wait to start planting some flowers around her. She looks so pretty all fancied up.

Tomorrow the storms come in. On a Wednesday... Always on a wednesday. And always right before I have to leave for church. I swear, the devil transforms himself into rain clouds.. thats how he enters our home. Through inclement weather. That and my fear of driving in it. ANYTHING  to keep me from attending church. But I thought I fooled him this morning... Upon hearing the news, I called hubby who said he would go with me so I didn't have to drive. I guess he took that as a challenge and now tornadoes are expected.
Very well, we shall see what happens.

But I will worry about that tomorrow... and enjoy the black clouds that will roll in tomorrow. The kids and I will likely go for a walk to hunt them down and discuss air movement. What better way to hold a science lesson on air?

Switching gears TOTALLY! 
I was on Twitter today ( do you follow me?? you should... really!) chatting it up with another Large Family Homeschool blogger/friend Amy, when I realized that the amazing ALLUME conference was coming to a city near me!!!

Im beyond excited to attend this year and looking forward to some amazing speakers... but MOST of all...Meeting YOU!! I cannot WAIT to finally see and hug and chat some of my amazing bloggy buddies that I have only been able to communicate with via comments, twitter and so forth.

So, who else is going?? PLEASE let me know...

I am for sure!!!

See ya there



Monday, January 28, 2013

A P, DC And OT Report....

For a Monday, its going pretty quick, and pretty good... and by good I mean I am not packing my bags to join mommy quitters-r-us. Mondays are TOUGH around here. Getting back on a schedule after a weekend of relaxing is beyond difficult. Im not quite sure why yet? After all, we are a relaxed homeschooling family anyway...

I gave up trying to figure out why and just try to survive. But today was pretty good in my book. It was busy too.
Usually Penelope has 2 Occupational Therapists come to see her on wednesdays. Courtney and Melissa. Melissa has been our Godsend and without her, Im not sure how I would have survived mommy worry without her support or caring ways. But she has left us now. She asked us if it would be ok if she switched kids with her colleague as there is a little baby with very severe eating aversions, a distraught mother and only 1 time slot. The selfish side of me wanted to say NO!! After all, Melissa textx me on weekends for P updates, visits us in the hospital and for procedures. She is like family... not a worker.

But I couldn't. I could not deny that mother the best of the best and knew that baby needed her. With a reluctant heart, I signed the papers to let her go.

Today the new OT came. We knew of her and she knew of us. Actually, everyone in the office KNOWS Penelope and her very strange case study, so it was nice for names to meet faces.
She got to experience P first hand... and anyone that knows our P, knows she IS and experience.
(just ask the kindest gal Angela who watches her at co-op)
Luv ya Ang!
The intro went well. Amanda learned quick that P doesn't do what P doesn't want to do. Daddy won't force a dang thing on her and if the house has to be shook upside down just to get her to eat a crumb...
Then dog-gonit
Now before your inexperienced little manicured hands begin to type me comments about spoiling and such, unless you have cried yourself to sleep praying your daughter would eat and not require feeding tubes or fight off drs who wanted to hospitalize her...
Begone Ye of useless advise.
But Bless your heart ;)

As far as the siblings go, the jury is still out on Amanda but I like her and thats fine. We are a tough crowd and don't welcome newcomers too well.

And we DO look forward to her next visit!

We also broke out Molly's recipe book from her cooking class she takes and made some yummy banana smoothies.
Molly loves to cook and I LOVE that she LOVES to cook and try to encourage her every which way possible. By 8 years old, I usually have them in the kitchen cooking, frying, sauteing, chopping, mixing etc... supervised of course. But cooking is an important skill and Im a firm believer in teaching my kids how to cook. REALLY cook... from scratch. Intimidation in the kitchen is beyond unattractive...
Just sayin!

Anywho... they were DELICIOUS! Even P took a sip.

Speaking of sips, we have some new food guidelines in the house. Im not happy with any of them but we shall see how it goes. To calm P's stomach and ease our wallets with diaper purchases, we will begin to slowly integrate gluten-free products into our Little Red House. P will go mostly gluten free as far as HER sandwich breads and I will try to limit all crackers, rolls and pizza crust to a gluten-free product.. along with pastas as well. Hubby is NOT happy... but maybe I can trick him?
Who knows..

And I might... just might be cutting back on my Diet Coke addiction. I drink it like crack its water. And I just KNOW its horrific for you and since I have some health issues synonymous with the DC... its time to cut back... and then cut off. I think if I go cold turkey, its screaming failure. So my 1-2 a day will go to strctly 1 a day for a week, then 1/2 a can for a week or so... then a 1/4 of a can and so forth. Of course I will stop buying but WILL treat myself to a soda when out to eat... if I even want to by then. Its going to be hard but with Prayer and positive thinking... I know I can succeed!!!
I'll keep you posted!
And because I didn't have my afternoon DC pick me up today, Im too tired to edit. SORRY!!!



Sunday, January 27, 2013

A MUST Make Recipe... Like NOW!

I love to cook. I love to feed people. Im no chef, but what I can cook is good. I think all the worlds problems can be solved over a home cooked meal. When I am upset, or get bad news, my first instinct is to cook. Maybe if I cook them something delicious, their problems won't be as big??

Makes perfect sense as to why I am a stress eater...

Oink Oink.

If I have known you longer than 5 minutes, chances are I have cooked for you or you have been someplace where I have brought food. Feeding people is what I do. Turn down an invite, and I am utterly speechless,,,

My most favorite person to feed is my hubby. LOVE LOVE LOVE to cook for him, followed by my kids. Dinner is served every night, 99% of the time. If it interferes with dinner time, we have a problem... A BIG problem...

Unless we are going there with big pots in tow... feeding others.

Visitors, friends, kids friends, family... you name it and a seat is available at the table. At any given day, we never know who will surround our big ol scarred table. When that overflows, we take to the bar top on stools, around the coffee table and on the floor. In summertime, we spill out in my screen porch where we have more tables and more chairs...

Plenty of room for whoever might migrate in.

When family comes to visit, I take their order. Whatever they want, I will make it for them.

Food and family should be one word...


Because it goes together. Naturally.

So today im going to share our family's newest and favorite dinner meal.


Its an adapted version from my cook book. I tweaked it and tripled it because most recipes will not feed us.

And I don't use exact measurements... So be creative and I apologize in advance.

2 of cookings greatest secrets are :

Season and marry.

Most people make the mistake of underseasoning... and without those spices, you miss the wow. Don't be afraid. USE those spices. I buy them in bulk...

And Marry. Let the spices and flavors simmer, intertwine and C-O-O-K together. Don't sprinkle, mix and eat. Yuck yuck yuck.

They must be on the stove bubbling for a while until they mesh into one beautiful flavor!

Ok, back to my recipe. Here goes:
1tb oil
2 cans Great Northern Beans
1 onion chopped
5 cloves garlic
1/8 t red pepper flakes
2t. cumin
1 can green chilis
2 lbs. SEASONED cooked chicken cut up in cubes
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups Mexican mix cheese

Pour oil in big pot and saute onions and garlic till soft. Add northern beans, chilis,red pepper flakes, cumin and mix well. Throw in the chicken and the chicken broth and let simmer (NOT boil) for as long as you like

Throw in some rice and let cook for added bulk and texture.

10 minutes before serving add1 cup of cheese into the chili and mix well.

Add salt and pepper to taste (don't be shy)

I LOVE to serve cheese on top and crushed tortilla chips. Frozen and re-heated makes it taste even BETTER.

While its simmering. End results will be thicker and creamier

For us, its already on the stove simmering away. Has been for about an hour. Texts have been sent for dinner invites and it will be served at 4... after 4 hours of it brewing on our stove. A perfect winter recipe thats hardy, tasty and delicious... and feeds a BUNCH!

Let me know if you try it.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

And Then The Angels Sang...

I was in the kitchen doing something today, when my phone goes off and I read this:

Well according to her latest MRI, its GONE.


As if it never existed.

Shocking isn't it?

Maybe not so much.

God strikes again. Forever the all powerful who hears the cry of His children.
Facetiming her mom in NY to rejoice over the news.

I don't know why God chooses to heal some and not others. Why some Christians, like Michelle will REJOICE over his sovereignty today while other faithful ones don't get to.
But as a spiritual mentor once said,
We look at it all wrong. We may mourn here but God sees it as a VICTORY when He calls his beloved home. THEY have finished the race and they got hand picked to go home.
Although, its still hard to see it that way when your standing on this side of the finish line.
But it wasn't Michelle's time and in this she can find great rest. She has a long journey ahead of her. The road will be long and tough. Full of trials of all kinds. But God has given her the biggest blessing a believer can ask for.
She can take this new baton and begin the race with full confidence that God will see her through. Her time has not come. She has a job to do on earth. She knows what it is. And she has some fear.
But fear not my friend for God has overcome this world.
This week, He scrolled back heaven just a bit and showed you His plan. And His plan is for you to continue, healthy and strong, with life on this earth.
So my prayer is that she can enter this new phase in this life with anew faith. A confidence like never before...
And you know I will be there...
Every step of the way...
And blogging it all.
Whats the new journey you ask?
Good things come to those that wait my friends....

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Day Winter Came

I make no mistake in saying I hate winter. The older I get, the more I find the grey days depressing, bone chilling and just cold. You couldn't pay me to ski. Being bundled up to the eyeballs and having a perpetual runny nose sounds more like torture than relaxation. And don't get me started on my insatiable need to pee every 5 minutes. Nope. No snow bunny here. With that being said, I know plenty of people that just adore everything about it and thats fine too. The world would be a very boring place if we all were the same.

I do love the seasons and the crispness of Fall... and my seasons. I MUST have my seasons, but by January 2nd I wish to be poolside again. Swimming in the pool and chatting it up with the neighbors. Soon I guess.

But I LOVE storms. No matter the season, no matter the weather, a good storm really perks me up! And no-body knows how to throw a good storm better than the good ol state of South Carolina. When the sunny south gets a wiff of any form of solid precipitation, the slow paced south becomes  faster than those in the west.

Armageddon has hit! The revolution will occur and stockpiling of all things edible begin to disappear. ( hide your dogs people...) 


But its no joke that food disappears and schools close before the first drops fall in Tennessee.
And thats what happened today. An ice storm moved in across the Appalachian mountains and temps dropped making sleet and ice appear on our forecast and before yesterday afternoon the closings began. Co-op was closed, schools dismissed early, supermarkets shut down and even the Hubby got an early release and was able to spend the afternoon with us.

THIS is what I LOVE about the winter... The 1 thing that brings me joy. When the weather creates chaos and our day takes a different turn.

All my girls camping out in my room watching TV

With 1 snow plow in the county and no street salt, the ice stays until it sees the sun and its warm enough to melt. Country roads with no shoulder, small bridges and winding curves make for ice rinks... and almost everyone will be driving down country roads at some point in the day. 

a glistening layer of danger

Mountainous terrain and black ice appear by rush hour. THIS is why snow in the south is so dangerous and why we close at the slightest hint of a snowflake. One year we were trapped in the house for 5 days... DAYS! Because of an ice storm. The ice was 3 inches thick and lay in a complete solid block for 5 days... the state shut down until the 6th day, when temps rose and it melted away. THATS why supermarket shelves will go completely empty. Because once your in, your IN!

So I did what any mom would do. I busted out my 7.5 Qt crockpot and began chopping onions before 9 am. By 9:15 the strong smell of freshly cut garlic emanated from all crevices of our little red house. Its timed and sizzling and just about ready to serve to 9 hungry people who have been teased by its smell all day.

My roast (its not an egg people... its a potato. k?)
I can't wait. It will be finished off with us around the fire and enjoying each others company. If we must endure winter, what better way to do it?

I don't know how long we will be home bound. It could get dangerous in these here parts if the weather stays too long. Im not sure...

I'll let you know by Tuesday...

When it will be sunny and 70 degrees...

Just the way I like it ;)



Thursday, January 24, 2013

In God ( We Have To ) Trust...Right??

It really is true that you never know what the day holds. We wake up with a fresh start to a new day. A clean slate...
And sometimes, we can go to bed with that slate crumbled.

It happens every day. To everyone. Always proving that life excludes no one...

Thats what happened to my friend. You, know, my favorite Italian who lives across the street.

What first was a quick trip to the ER for a mild concussion from hitting her head, led to interesting findings on cat scans. The words "must Follow Up."  were just some of the things she heard.

I got the text from her when I was bringing Caleb to his Drs appointment, and of course, I immediately copied the text to my hubby and then forwarded to my sister.
My sis is a nurse. The best nurse and usually always gives me answers to anything I need.

As soon as I got home, I put the baby to bed and ran across the street to check on her. Her hubby was home and her little doggies greeted me at the door.

Her house is complete opposite of mine. Always clean and crisp. Quiet. Her kids were in school. Sometimes I find visiting her house to be a mini-vacation. A place of order. I wonder if she feels the same way about my house? Although knowing her, Chaos, mess and climbing over children to get in the living room doesn't exactly fit that description. But I walked thru...

I found her at the table.


Life was put on hold till further testing was done.

The plans that she was making for spring, now were no longer.

And even though she wanted to smack the life out of both of us, we remained hopeful, optimistic and reminded her that most of the time, these things are NOTHING!

We called my Aunt and arranged for child/baby care and off we went today for further testing. Nervous and dread were a familiar emotion once again. And now we sit and wait for results.

With many questions...

Sometimes I really sit back and wonder WHY? Why does God allow some things to happen? Why does he heal some and not others?

And then I flipped through my phone and found this:

John is not normally that creepy... HONEST
 Waiting anxiously for her name to be called...

And this:

GiGi strikes again... He had no clue he was on GiGi camera
copying recipes he will cook for Hubby this weekend

And remembered that THIS will be the topic of MANY laughs for months to come...

John being a good Samaritan and offering her a ride home

The lady who was HIGH as a kite on downers who fell asleep in the office and attempted to drive home.

 Things happen in life that we don't have answers to... and if we did have all the answers, then what good would a God be?

But He is present in the good times and the bad.

And today I realized how sweet of a God he really is. Despite scary times in our life, He is present. Through laughter and friendships. He is there.

It really does take a village... But not just for child raising. And not just any village.

A village of good friends and family to get us through the hard times...

Plenty of laughs and inside jokes to get our minds off the real  reason we are there.

Prayer. For when we cannot think of the words to pray ourselves. Our friends will intervene for us.


HOPe... when we let statistics take over. We remind them that GOD is the one who gives the final answer...

It takes a village of believers to navigate this life...

Even if your village includes a crazy Aunt who puts bows in your sons hair when she babysits!



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Our New Normal...

It has seemed that all around the blogging world, us mommies have one thing in common... sick babies! All sorts of runny noses, fevers, strep, blow-up diapers...

I tune into my Instagram account to say hi to my Mommy friends only to discover, they are exactly in the same boat as me. ShopGirl has 2 sick babies, Jess has 1 very sick little one, Sweet Beka has no men  standing at her place, Danna is recovery from her house of horror sickness, and im sure if The Chatty Mommy had an IG account, she would join the list of victims. ( she is getting over being very sick.)

So, I think I can say, on behalf of all worn and tired Mommies out there... Our life has taken a very new normal.

I Love my bed.

I don't try to hide the fact that I look forward to climbing into my bed every.single.night.

To me, this is heaven. 2.5 inch memory foam mattress topper, soft down duvet cover and super high thread count sheets...
Not to mention a rather hunky hubby snoring sleeping to the right of me...
Mix this together with exhaustion and quiet time and you have the perfect nights sleep.

Until now that is.

Since being very sick, sweet baby Caleb has not so sweetly announced his hatred of his crib. He prefers something a bit bigger... a bit softer. Such as...

The couch.

Our brown soft trusted pillow rounded couch. So this has been where I spend most of my days AND nights. Caleb in the middle, and myself squeezed on a cushion while he snores away.

Don't get me wrong, I love the couch. During the day. When the sun is out and im reading a book to the kids... or homeschooling, or catching up on Once Upon a Time...

NOT when my body knows there is a more comfortable place for me to lay just 30 ft away...

But this too shall pass right? Definetaly will pass.... by February 15th when our new furniture arrives...

and we burn replace our good ol brown couch with 


Yes, I said it...


and when I sit on that heavenly throne, with my feet raised high,

then maybe I won't mind my new normal...


Until then, Just smile and wave when you see me. Don't stop to chat. I can't be responsible for anything that comes out of my mouth...

I have too many sick kids to care...

Get better IG world.



Monday, January 21, 2013

Lessons In MotherHood...

Hannah and Daddy at Sleepy Hollow
 The day I found out I was pregnant with SURPRISE baby #2, hubby assured me I was not!
I assured myself I was NOT...
But those little home pregnancy tests begged to differ.
I joined the ranks of a welcome home deployment pregnancy...
 Along with many other women who's husband came home from Italy in March of 1998 from the 78th Fighter squadron.

Hannah Winning her Women of the Old Testament trophy
8 months later came a determined bald ( my only bald)  little girl. I think God made her my only bald baby to tell me that she would be different. 1 out of 7 very hairy babies...

She definitely would defeat all odds.

Hannah and Daddy at her Honor Star crowning
Its amazing when you raise a child. You can pick out certain character traits as they are growing.
But it isn't until they become teenagers, do their personalities really bloom. You can see the person they will become. Raising turns into molding and life lessons begin to shape their character.

The girls Molly, Emma and Hannah
 As a child, Hannah tackled everything in dress up shoes and princess clothes. She was the girl on her pink bike with the flowing dress over the back wheel. Slides were climbed in marabou heels and when she would walk next door to her Nana's house, the clanking echoed down the block.
When there were just two....
She craved stability and security and loved her sister to pieces. As long as she had all three, her world was GOOD! The pets that we had became her soulmates. She cared for them and connected with them and shared her secrets with them. When we had to get rid of them, her world shattered. Her security was gone and for 6 months, she mourned... whole-heartedly.

She still is that way today. Link The Cat is her love... and the thought of anything happening to him can send her curled in the corner crying...

But make no mistake. Most people don't see that side of Hannah. She craves justice and has no problem sticking up for herself... (we are still refining that quality in her.)
Friends, neighbors, strangers... it doesn't matter who you are. She will defend herself and her loved ones. In any way necessary...

But its usually the ones with the tough exterior that are the sweetest...
And that is our Hannah.
Our Banana
 She loves children and babies and can't wait to have her own. Penelope and Hannah share a bond that goes deeper than deep... and I often worry that one day things might change and Hannah would never recover from that.
I pray it never does.
She loves to cook and bake and knit and crochet...Qualities most 14 year old girls spit at, let alone publicly admit to.
She is fiercely loyal and loves her Daddy.
First day of Kindergarten for our Hannah
 She is never ashamed to say how much she loves him to anyone or admit that her Daddy smells the best! She loves to use his pillow because it makes her feel like he is close to her, even when he is at work.
She has to kiss her Mom goodnight... every night... and never likes to stray too far from her Little Red Nest. She would be the happiest if we lived here forever...
Although lately I have been forcing her to spread her wings a bit. Embracing freedom is a good thing...
And when she is ready, the world is a wonderful place.
Halloween 2012
My sister and I always say that she will make some lucky guy so happy... whoever that may be. Although, no one will be good enough for our Hannah... will she know what a GEM she truly is?
OF course He will... because we will make sure he knows all.the.time.
Christmas Formal 2011
Her love of those dress up shoes and pretty dresses extended into her teenage years. She wants to major in Cosmotology. Im excited... Her natural ability for color and style will make her excel in life.

Looking back on that day in May of 1998...

God knew what He was doing when he destined her soul to enter this world. Although at the time, we saw it as a change in our plan, He saw it as one of the greatest blessings we will ever know.

A girl more beautiful and larger than life. That is changing the world by proving GOOD still exists. Its cool to LOVE your parents and FAMILY is above friends...

To our Banana... Gosh, we love you... seriously LOVE you...

and would be lost without your smile.



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happy *Fried*- Day

Two thumbs up for the weekend!! For us, the weekend technically starts on a Friday. Thursday is our last day of "in-house" school and early Friday morning, we pack up our big white van (and our neighbor) and head down some country roads to attend our weekly co-op. A whole day of fellowshipping with other home schooled families. Classes the kids take, and the parents teach, worship time, good food... you get the picture.

For some moms, (me) Its what keeps us sane . Knowing that on Friday, we can get together with other moms who are also on the verge of going insane, and re-charge... re-fuel and re-focus. Its awesome! Every week, I walk away amazed at how BLESSED I am to be surrounded by such awesome, like-minded families...

And as wonderful as a day it is, The day is also PURE EXHAUSTING!!! I mean seriously, collapsing on the couch, pajamas on at 4 pm kinda day.

I know, I know, before you start shouting WIMP... lets remember something. We chose homeschooling for the complete opposite . Home education, at our pace. Relaxed environment and pure flexibility. While the rest of the world is running like a scared chicken... we aren't.

Except for Fried-days.

So every Friday for us ( and lets remember 9 of us...) is kinda like how it feels to return to your crazy schedule after a long vacation...

week after week after week.... Kinda like Groundhogs day ( the movie)

I LOVE that movie...

So thats why I gloriously call it my FRIED-day. And I wouldn't change it for the world.

So, what do we do? A bunch of things...What do we teach? Everything...

Too much to explain everything in one post. But I will tell you what I do.

Every week is slightly different. Yesterday, I spent the morning rocking this guy. Which kinda worked out good for me... but not for the other helpers in the nursery who found me completely useless because I was rocking him.

It seems like there was an influx of baby boys last year. Us moms were poppin them out like crazy... it reminded me of the story of Noahs Ark... When Genesis says the waters came from above and below and all over... thats how it was with our co-op babies. They came from everywhere... current members, new members, foster families, adoptions... and before long, we had enough coo-ing to fill an ark!!!

And just when I had enough screaming little ones for one day, my replacement came... and I happily tossed handed my sweet boy over and ran down to my favorite class of the day...

My teen girls bible study class...
This is my second semester teaching the girls and I just love it. I love them. I love to be able to get them to think, pick their brain and challenge them. I insist on honesty and participation in the class and want to hear what they really think verses what they think I want to hear... and some of them are at the age where its important to know why they believe what they do... and not just believe it because its what they were raised on. This is the age they begin to spread their wings and I l just love it. Speaking just a little piece into their lives is a privilege.... Im not after friendships with them... I'm after mentorship.
Anyway, after that class, I help out in cooking and then off to lunch.
I have a love/hate relationship with lunch hour.
Just imagine 5 kids under 9. Hungry.Hyper.Excited.
Times 1000 other kids feeling the same way. In the same room. WITH their parents trying to shove food at them like birds in a nest. Then throw about 60 teenagers in the room running amuck and bugging the parents as well.
It makes me understand why animals eat their young

Ok, thats mean. Im just kidding...maybe...

But usually, by the last 10 minutes of lunch, most of the kids have either run to the gym to play or are outside running rapid and that's when I herd over to the other moms for some adult time.

By the time lunch is over, I'm over the day and have to motivate myself for the last class... and all I'm gonna say about that is 6 tweens, a crochet hook and blank faces. 'Nough said.

Then clean-up and rounding 8+ (whoever comes home with us that day. Friday's kid total equaled 9) kids back in the big white van and we head home...

but not without a stop at the grocery store or other stores for errands.

Dinner is casual and quick. This past friday, I helped another mom with her daughters 13th surprise party, so once dinner was swallowed, back in the van I went for party drop off/sleepover.

Needless to say, I collapsed in bed exhausted. House was left a mess and I didn't give a flying hoot. I'll leave you a picture of how I shamelessly left my kitchen before turning in for the night.

And the dishwasher may have been full too... and possibly the counters.

But it was Fried-day. Co-op day... the day I LOVE with all of my heart...with the people I love... teaching what I love.

I think that is worth a few dirty , crusty dishes... don't you?



Friday, January 18, 2013


Alright, so I don't believe this picture has anything to do with this post... but its been a while since you have seen all seven of my beauties...

And I didn't want you to think I was fibbing about having all my offspring...

So, here they are in all their glory! This was the Christmas photo I had sent out to about 5 lucky recipients. WITH a Christmas letter. I was very proud of the letter, it was something I had ALWAYS wanted to do. So, this year, I assembled everyone by the tree and made them smile real big. I typed the letter and hand addressed every single awesome Leopard Christmas card.

( Im totally serious. The cards were an awesome leopard print.)

And mailed out 5.

Just 5.

I found the others last week... at the bottom of my diaper bag.

I know what your thinking and YES!! It is that big.

Come on.... have you seen the size of my purse???

So, I still have the cards. For the Aunts and cousins and dear Grandmas of the family... Not sure on whether I should send them or hide them in shame. Any ideas?

Anyway, these are my 7 pride and joys.

For those that are new to my blog, let me get a few questions out of the way...

I delivered them all, they have ONE daddy, I homeschool them. No, Im NOT supermom, I DON'T wear long skirts ( ok, I do on occasion. but I also wear short skirts and JEANS too!) My hair is NOT long. I LOVE make-up and sparkly jewelry and wear them often and YES I know what causes them...Har Har Har...

And last but not least...YES I am done. But not by choice. To make a long story short... Drs orders. Do or die... meaning if I do go ahead with more, I most likely will die... and seeing as we KNOW what causes them, we ALSO know what prevents them and chose wisdom. Im sad but Im learning to get over it. On really bad days retail therapy helps... followed by lots of prayer (for forgiveness on the retail therapy) and faith... I have LOTS of faith... that this happened for a reason. I don't know it but im gonna stick to my faith.

But here they are. A complete family photo. Seven faces that make me beam with pride and amazed to call my own.

You know, sometimes I think I really have the best family in the world.

(ok, I really think that all the time...)

I do! And the best hubby in the world.

Even when days get crazy... I wonder... how did I ever survive without my 7 wonders of the world?

And Link the Cat.

How can I forget Link the Cat. 18 pounds of cat-dog luuuvvvv... who needs a blog himself, just to keep track of his shinanigans.

All living within the walls of a little red house...

Sounds kinda nice doesn't it?



P.s. I guess the picture does have something to do with this post...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

We are SOOOO Happy!

I give up! I wave my white (stained) flag and fully surrender to the Gods of a clean house.

Alright, calm down all you Jesus freaks. I don't really believe in other Gods... especially ones who specialize and grant wishes answer prayers about clean houses...

(Um...if there is such a thing please feel free to private message me k?)

But I do surrender. Fully. Totally. And with a defeated heart.

And a part of me doesn't.Give.A.Darn.

Its me against 7. 14 little hands to outdo anything my big 2 hands can put together.

No sleep due to the 5 month old and his obsession with his momma...

Mt. Laundry that I have chosen to dust rather than fold...

Cluttered counters and dried soaking dishes...

A cat drinking out of the toilet because someone didn't do their chores...

(and a wet toilet seat)

And if I trip over ONE MORE TOY... 

Can I get an AMEN from all you mothers out there?

Oh, I KNOW your out there...

I see your pictures on facebook...

But thats ok. Im gritting my teeth learning to accept my new normal. Biting my lip embracing the dirt and praising the Lord remembering that my kids will only be little for eternity a moment...

No, seriously...

I plead 7. And learning a BIG lesson that houses don't have to be perfectly clean at all times of the day. And going to bed with work still to be done is fine... after all, I can bet my five cents life savings it WILL be there in the morning...

And like the saying goes...

My kids are hopefully happy!

Trouble is our favorite family game.

We know what Link The Cat's lost whiskers fur looks like under the microscope.

Digger wasps can be identified and promptly killed.

Play-doh does come out of carpets.

Heat Changes things...fire is bad...BAD!


And we, my dear friends....

are seriously delirious...

Have a GREAT day!!!



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In With The Same...

Wow.... another year, another blog post. I still can't believe im writing 2013 on all of our papers...
We ended last year with an amazing BANG! Penelope made sure we will forever remember 2012 with a 3 day hospital stay from severe dehydration. It was serious at the time, im glad the result was a quick fix and by discharge she was 100 percent healthy. although I might always be remembered as the mom who threatened to handcuff herself to the chair if I wasn't granted the proper tests I wanted when I wanted them...
Did I get them??

Of course...

Did I say it with a sweet southern smile...


But regardless, I meant business.

We ushered in the New Year with family and great friends... but sometimes that line gets blurred. Especially since they live across the street. All of us, same neighborhood, same house and same life motto.

God first and family above all.

It was a GOOD night. A GOOD way to bring in this year. Another year full of fresh beginnings and promise.

I didn't make resolutions like I usually do. I usually break them by February...

Instead I want to refine what I am focused on.

Not commit any more than I already am, but absorb what I am already in.

We are planning a BIG family vacation and are thrilled to go. Don't misunderstand me... not to Europe or a world tour... but for a family of 9... anything is B-I-G... But I will write more about that at another time.


Because blogging is what I do... for almost 5 years and I DID say I would refocus...

and my blog is something I missed...

But more about that as well.

Gotta run. Kids beckon, family calls and life goes on..




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