Friday, July 26, 2013

Order Please

I, believe it or not, am not a scheduled person.
I think it is because of a few reasons.
I like to go with the flow,
 take things as they come and deal with those things
I think when I have a schedule, then, well, 
I am faced with failure and I don't like that.
I'm kind of a perfectionist
(I know, if you saw my floor and house you would not think so)
Hey, I live with non perfectionists who do not care about the floor 
or if they left their socks all over the house.

I know also, that we need to practice a summer schedule
before school starts, so we can master it!
You'd think a perfectionist would love a schedule, right?
You'd think a perfectionist would be able to follow a schedule perfectly, right?
Well, read this:


 Just as the Demons know our weaknesses, 
God knows our strengths
 Being a Martha, in our busy world can be hard, 
But Jesus calls us Martha's to come and sit by Him,
to put Him first.
(Luke 10:38-42)
Oh, we can still take care of what needs taking care of, 
but we need to balance it by putting Him first.
Have you prayed today?
(that's rhetorical for me)

Do we stop everything and pray?
No computers, TV, I-pads, radios, whatever is 
making it loud for us?

 
Is there quiet in our lives anymore?
Can there be order?

 I interrupt this post for a little cuteness...
"I want a cracker!"
 "Oh, you have the camera?"
See?  This post has interruptions, just like life, scheduled or not!
 (School work will be added in those playtime areas)
I had been praying about a schedule for quite a while,
and finally decided I needed more help.
So, I asked Tom to help me.
It was fun to write it out with him.
We need to tweak it a little when school starts
like the kids will need to get up earlier, 6:30 or 7am
 And
We need to do "bed checks" at 10pm to make sure the big kids
 are actually in bed.

I will have 5 kids in school.
Yes, Sweetie Pie will be in preschool!!!

I need to be orderly in order to run this family.
It's just not working going with the flow!
God has blessed my life with 6 living children and I need
to take this vocation seriously,
to do my best.
Is sleeping in til everyone is up doing my best?
No, although, I love to do that,
I hate how the rest of the day goes,
It's not what God wants or expects of me.
He wants me to be happy and for our kids to be happy.
He wants me to do my best
I believe following a schedule will help me with that
(Breakfasts will stay the same each week, each day,
Lunches I plan with the kiddos and they pick each week, except Wednesday is always pizza)
Oh, and
(there is always fruit and veggies with each meal, I just didn't write it down)

Following a schedule requires a few other things to be orderly, 
like meals need to be planned 

This past week was our first week trying this out 
As I said, it needs some tweaking.
Like, I decided the kids might need to do 
quicker easier breakfasts, you know, 
granola bars. yogurt, or cereal
Baking and preparing each day just takes too long
It's OK in the summer, but when school starts, 
well, how do you do it?

What do your kids eat for breakfast?
Do you cook every morning for them?

Of course it is summer and we need to make allowances, 
that pool keeps calling us...
 I'm trying to not be a slave to the schedule


I'm trying to still be easy going and carefree
but the perfectionist in me, struggles with this, 
because maybe it's not on the schedule.
At the end of the day, 
I still wish there were about 2-4 more hours left to
do what I did not get to do.

I know God has a plan, and that He gave us 24 hours 
in each day for a reason.
No more 
no less.

I know, if I put God first, as He told Martha,
that things will all fall into place.

So I keep trying.

What about you?
Do you schedule your day?
Do you have any tips?

 


Monday, July 22, 2013

A Few Things...

Just wondering why more people don't use this?
Seriously, we just, after owning it for a year an a half,
 saw this sign on the back of our van!
This was not even a selling point, I mean, the salesman did NOT
even tell us our van could use E-85!
We found it about 6 weeks ago.
Our town is pretty big, I mean there are a lot of  gas stations, 
yet only 3 carry it. 
When I go fill up, no one is in line for the one pump that carries it.
Seriously?  I save over $20 each fill up!

We notice no lack of gas mileage, it seems the same.
So
I'm wondering why more cars are not using it?
I know that it works for cars up to 2 years old
(our van)

Do you use E-85?
If not, and you have a vehicle that can use it, why not?

(I know older vehicles can not use it)
 Witch Fingers!
I found these today at the grocery store!
They are just grapes that look like tiny peppers, only if they were peppers, 
we'd say they look like grapes.
They are seedless grapes and are really juicy and the kids love them!

Now why in the world would they call them Witch Fingers?
I mean, couldn't they come up with a better name, like, maybe 
Fairy Fingers?
 After the birthday post
a couple people asked about the box at the end of the bed.
This was the before picture.
I posted it on Facebook, to show my brother, John.
It was ours when we were little, 
It was our toybox (we are talking over 40 years ago folks)
 and my mom painted it red and put this orange felty stuff on top.
Later, my brother had it as a teen,
 and put on these nice "Skoal Chewing Tobacco" stickers 

I found out that my uncle Larry (my mom's brother) actually made it originally,
and has since made similar boxes for his grandchildren.
   (Awwwwww)
Special box, huh?

 Somehow I ended up with it
My brother had fixed the hinges on it 10 or 20 years ago and the nails were
not the right size, and were sticking out the top, so it was too dangerous to use

I decided to fix it and surprise "Rosie" on her birthday
I put sticky, felt, circle, chair bottom thingy's on the nails that were sticking out 
painted it the color of her room
and added some padding and nice material
and 
Viola!!!
 At first I was planning on a window seat, 
but it looked better at the end of her bed.

 I spray painted her brown folding desk chair blue too
Yes, I know, I'm crafty sometimes.
See that pink thingy? 
Yep, I painted that too.
(no bed skirt on the bed, because spiders can crawl up those you know)



Last but not least
Well, maybe it is least, I don't really know.

Falling Skies 
is a show my husband and I have been watching via Netflix!
It is an Alien type show, but, now just stop there,
it's actually pretty good. 
Really.
But if you think about it, aliens?
Stupid.  I know. 
We are caught up now and are DVR-ing the new ones.
(It has Noah Wyle in it)


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ice Cream!!


I have no proof, except that this was on the internet.
But
seems like a great reason to have Sunday Sundaes!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Good Movie!

I watched this movie this past week and really liked it!
It's about a man that finds out he has a sister, he never knew about.
I thought it was going to be a Hallmark kind of movie, 
but it was not, it was way better.
If I like a movie, you know the ending is good.
If a movie has a weird, dumb or bad ending,
I don't like it.
This one, you'll need to watch til the credits go.
It was already good, but the end makes it really good.

For you men reading, my husband liked the movie.

(warning, it does have a couple parts in it that, um, well, I wouldn't let my kids watch it)
(they are brief and of course unnecessary) 


Don't confuse the movie with one of my favorite songs
The movie and song are not related.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Birthday Picnic!

 For her 11th birthday,
We decided a birthday picnic would be perfect
Here's the cake we made for the party day
Slightly different (and better) than the Whopper cake!
She told me after her birthday that she didn't really like Whoppers
(me either)
but thought it was pretty.
So I thought these would be better!

 Just a home picnic, minimal costs here 
(money is tight)
We also asked "No gifts please"
on the invites.
I loved this!!  
Just a fun get together, no pressures! 
 Picnic table set
 Pinterest success!
Great, easy, not as messy way to eat watermelon for large groups!
I had turkey, ham or PB & J's, chips, veggies and dip, fruit kabobs,
watermelon and that Junior Mint cake 
And cupcakes
Girls signed the scrapbook page!

 Guess how many gumballs?
was one game
Winner got the gumballs!
 I loved watching them gather and girl talk
 Picnic in the shade, it was a really hot day!
 3 legged races...
 Cute posing girls!
 And of course water fun, it was SO hot!
 You wanted to see that cake again, didn't you?
 We gave her a room reveal on her birthday.
Here is was before
(the room was flooded when the snow melted this spring,
we put in a really expensive basement water treatment system
guaranteed to NOT flood for 40 years)
(our bathroom had to be ripped apart, no more shower or toilet)
 After

She picked the colors, we call it the happy room!!
(she doesn't have all her stuff in yet here in the pictures)


Of course the girls had to do the Cup Song...
Could not get Youtube to get it on this post for some reason...

Cup Song

Have you seen this song yet? 

Positive Reinforcement!

Several people have seen my fridge, and it has these charts (below) 
taped on it, the "jobs" do not seem like jobs at all, and if not explained,
well, you might think I'm super easy on my kids or something silly like that
One of our children's therapist suggested we come up with a positive reinforcement chart
to help work on those troubled areas. 
 Now, this particular child
has things like, No physical harm done to anyone, and some easy ones like 
practice piano.

When you have 6 kids, well, everyone wants a chart (except the baby)
So we came up with 5 things each child needed to work on
Just 5
We first did 10 and it was not attainable, we want it to be positive, 
so we tweaked it a little and made it only 5
 

This is Jedi's
Each child has their own 5 things
Easy, right?
You'd think.
If each child does their 5 things 
They get a ticket!
There is the potential to get a ticket each day!
Exciting, right?





 The tickets are then redeemed for one of the items on the list, 
These are kid thought up and not all worth money, but time.
I've found though, that the more tickets they have,
 the more money they want us to spend
Like no one wants to waste 21 tickets on going to the park and picnicing
Jedi likes to earn 7 tickets and spend it on i-Tunes songs each week.
The girls want to save lots and go big!



Teaching Thoughtfulness

or
A Nickel for Your Thoughts
(We started with only a penny, but found it just was not that much)

We decided we needed to do something to teach 
the kids to be thoughtful and helpful.
We want it to come natural to them, 
if they see someone who needs help, we want them to help,
without being told to help.

So, this summer we've been noticing every time they are helpful, 
without being told, or thoughtful, without being told,
they get a nickel.  

It is up to them to remember how many nickels they earn, 
and when they get up to 20, they can cash in and get a dollar.
(so we are not physically handing out nickels each time, it's more of a counting game)

So, if one child is struggling to carry something and 
another child offers to help--NICKEL!!

If I'm getting out of the van and have things to carry and babies to get out,
and a child offers, "Do you need help mama?" NICKEL!!

If there is only one pancake left and someone else wants it, but you got it first,
and you decide to give it to the other person--NICKEL!!

You get the idea, right?


It has helped us, as parents, to notice the good things they all do
(and all kids do)
and hopefully,
 it has helped with that automatically wanting to be thoughtful and helpful 
(it's also teaching counting by 5's to my almost 2nd grader!)

These are not "Job Charts" but Positive Reinforcement charts!  
They have jobs that they each do each day and each week, 
but that is expected, this is extra.  

I'm not saying you should do this,
 just giving an example of what is working for our family
An idea.
It has to be easy, or I can't do it.
I've done things in the past 
and it ends up being too much work for me 
to keep track of, 
These are simple and easy
and the kids keep track.

I do monitor the tickets, I have the tickets
they come to me and let me know if they get one and I sign it.



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Missing that English Show

Seriously, I have a terrible memory, I do remember that Mary's name is Mary, 
OK, and Cybil, she's the one that died...but I remember most stars by saying things like this!

Thought you'd like it too!

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Oldest Daughter is 11!!

(Malted Milk Ball Cake)

My sweet, talented, smart, funny, awesome 10 year old girl turned 
11 today!

We are having a "Birthday Picnic" with about 8-10 of her friends Monday!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Time To Get Up!!

Do you get up right away when the alarm goes off?

Or

Do you set your alarm,
 knowing you will snooze 2-5 times before getting up?

Or

What's an alarm?  (I have kids)

And

What do you think I do?

(I'll be back to update and tell you in a couple days!)


Check the comments for my answer!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Catholic Family Camp!

 We went to a Catholic Family Camp a couple weeks ago and had a blast!
The weekend started on Thursday night, loading up the van from home,
this little Sweetie Pie was trying to help and fell out of the van, 
head first and banged up  her head and cheek, and lost 2 bottom teeth!!
Nothing a Mr. Freezee couldn't cure!
(we had our doctor neighbor come check her out before we left)
She won't be eating apples for a few years....at least not whole ones.
She's 3 1/2, so she'll be toothless for about 3 years!
 Country roads, take me home.....Oh, how I love the country...
but you already know that.
This camp is in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Minnesota!
Camp Lebanon Christian camp
  rents out their facilities certain weekends 
for certain groups of people
Ours was a Catholic Family weekend.
The evenings brought many storms
and kids in the bed with mama.
(yes, I fit there on the edge)
 The storm's strong winds took several trees around I think all of Minnesota
 Glad we were not staying in these cabins...the trees actually did not even break through!
 Look at the roots on that thing!  
 There was always something to do
 and someone to chase after
 trails to hike, places to sit
 Here's "Rosie" on the water trampoline/catapult!
 going up the high water slide
 View from the beach 
There was this Saturn thingy that the big kids kept trying to get on,
once on, they all try to knock each other off...
Fun times!
 Beach time!
I didn't get pictures of Little Red while on the beach with him
any beach pictures are taken while he's sleeping with daddy!
 Jedi with my good friend T!
(she's married to Christine's cousin! Small world, huh?)
(I knew T before Christine!)

 Lots of friends were made!
Look at these sweeties!
Esther is telling Sweetie Pie something...
 She's like "What did she say?"
 "Oh, OK, let's go to the dock!"
I could take pictures of the littles playing in the sand and water all day!

 Had to add this picture just because of the boingy curls!
(it was humid)
 She did this for hours!
 Click on the picture, doesn't that wet sand make you want to play?
 Esther is photobombing our picture!  
(Oh, they are sooooo cuuuuuute)

 Swimming, canoeing, paddle boating...well, we tried to paddle boat,
after the lifeguard emptied the boat of water, fixed the seats for littles to fit,
we got out about 10 feet and the littles cried and were scared to death.
 One of the best things was NO COOKING!!!!
The food was great, lots of fruit and veggies and OATMEAL for breakfast!
(my favorite)
Tom was holding Little Red when  a little boy came up to him 
and said, "What's your name?" Tom said, "His name is Simeon."
The little boy excitedly said, "Simeon?!! We pray for you every night!"

Awwwwwwww......
(You'll meet his mama at the bottom)
 Crafts on Saturday morning
 More friends to be made....Awwwwwwwww!!!!
Gosh these kiddos are so cute!
 Zip lining!!  She's ready to go!
Jedi is thinking about maybe doing it next year!  
(He's the more cautious oldest child)
 All ready to go, walking the walk to her death, the walk to the other side
 Here she comes!  Get out of the way you man!! I'm trying to get a picture of my daughter!
 Yay!!!
(I actually got a video of her, she went twice!)
There was also paintball...
 Outside floor  hockey and basketball!

 3 goalies!
Tom's back was killing him the whole time, poor guy.
He couldn't do much of anything...
 The kids played this game they called "Ga Ga Ga", I guess because this is an 
octagon shape, some little kid called it the "Ga Ga Ga"
It's kind of a mini dodge ball game
They also had lots of games inside, like carpetball, Foosball, and pool
I didn't get pictures of the playground, volleyball court or the campfire!
There also were swings by the lake--I loved sitting there with Tom or the kiddos!
This is what our room looked like, we stayed in this building that housed 
6 families in the upper level (not sure if there were rooms on the main level or  not)
The basement was where everyone ate
There were 10 beds (5 bunks)
Tom is so tall we needed this place,
 because one of the beds has a full size on the bottom,
so he could sleep diagonally
 Our rooms were air conditioned and we had a little sink in it.
There were shared showers and bathrooms down the hall
 (I must be talking here, or just  holding my mouth weird)
(Hey, I'm wearing that same outfit today)
Anyway, here's me, Heather--Happymomonline
and a mutual friend, Lisa! 
(she's the mother of 9 beautiful kiddos)

Heather and I met online and now in real life!!
She's a sweetheart and the mother of sweet Esther 
and 6 other great kiddos!
(including that little boy I talked about above)

There was a family rosary every night and usually Mass 
(but this weekend, there was no priest available on the weekend)
We had a priest there for our rosary Friday night though

I loved that the big kids could go off and be with their friends and do so many things
and they were safe!!  
I loved that there was so much to do constantly!
I loved that I did not have to cook at all!
I loved being around other families that had the same
love of God, faith and family!

We can't wait to go again next year!



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