Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sledding in the Desert

Imagine this scene: you are locked in your bedroom doing exercises, but the kids don't know you are in there.  You are not sure where they think you are, maybe on the moon?  The kids are behaving (now that would be a scene!) when suddenly you hear falling noises.  That loud banging noise that means someone is up to no good.  Then you hear laughter.  Oh yea, really up to no good.  You burst out your bedroom door, scaring the kids because they didn't know you were up there and because; yup they were up to something. 

Wanna know what I found when I burst through that door?  I was met with 3 beautiful smiling faces that say, "What? I wasn't doing anything.  Theres nothing behind my back here, I don't know what you are talking about."  I quickly discovered the origins of the falling noise: Kids sledding down the stairs on the removable bottom to the rocking horse.

I loved their explanations: "But we aren't doing it on the sleeping bags." Oh well you aren't doing it on the sleeping bags, thats ok then, cause we all know we are allowed to sled down the stairs on items other than sleeping bags.   and "But no one has gotten hurt."  Yet.  Sleding down the stairs is like leaning back in a chair, its only fun till you fall over.  And you will fall over.

You have to give them credit for creativeness.   My poor kids have never been sledding.  Its the sacrifice you make for living in the desert. 

If I could have done my exercises out in the loft this never would have happened.  Ok it would have happened eventually.  And really it was quite enjoyable to surprise them by bursting through the door.   Oh, why can't I exercise in the loft? Because apparently I look funny when I exercise.  I deduced this by the laughter and giggles and rolling on the floor.  So for my own self esteem I now lock myself in my bedroom. 

For the record I only let him do that for the picture.  What he did afterward was of his own accord.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Kids ask us questions we almost never have an answer to.  I think its just to make us look like an idiot, they know we don't have the answer.   Or they ask us things to outright embarrass us.  Like while standing in line at the store your 5 yr old will ask why YOU need diapers.  That's always a fun one to explain in front of perfect strangers. 

A collection of Why's and our thoroughly thought out answers. 

Why do we have finger nails? To scratch.  And pick.  Mostly noses.  Sometimes belly buttons. 

Why do mommas wear diapers? We love our babies so much we wanna see what its like.  (Really its for postpartum but that would lead to whole lots of other "why" questions I don't feel like answering).

Why do boys have nipples? They are decoration, kinda like an appendix but on the outside.

Why don't we have any money? You ate it all.  Well not the money, the food we bought with the money.  I guess you could have eaten the money - would have come out the same way. (You try showing a 9 yr old your spread sheet.  Oh sure you think they are listening till you realize its the tv behind you they are intently watching.)

Why do you always have to start the dishes? So the ants don't get to it.  And so we have clean dishes to eat off of and counter space to use for other things, but mostly so ants don't get to it. (Be honest you know kids don't need dishes to eat off of)

Why do we breath? Cause if we didn't we'd die, and its fun to annoy you with our stinky coffee breath.

Why can't I play out front by myself?  Cause you are so cute someone is bound to snatch you up.  (Meanwhile you are thinking its because they will run in the street and get themselves killed but you know if you say that they will retort "No I won't." and the cycle will continue.)  

Why can't we stay up late?  Your body needs all the sleep it can get so you can grow big and strong.  When you sleep your body repairs itself.  (But we all know its because mommy and daddy want some time to ourselves)

Monday, October 26, 2009

My kids

I thought would introduce my kids to you, cause you know I like to brag about them. If anyone ever has any doubt that I couldn't get to know each of my kids personally because "there are too many", let that doubt be put to rest.  Consider how many people you know; 20, 50, 100 or more?  Could you tell me what their personalities are like? What they like and dislike? Their quirks and traits?  I am sure you could easily.  How much more easily could I describe my children whom I am with everyday.  I do admit homeschooling allows for more interaction than I might get if I only had them at home a few hours before bed time (do other areas have school 8-3:30 not including travel time?)

Adele - shes the oldest.  She is definitely a first born. A leader, motivated sometimes to a fault, great in groups or by herself.  She is a writer and an artist and loves to read.  Shes got book smarts and logic and loves to talk (for which she got in trouble at school a lot for).  Shes not so girly, which I was so happy for cause neither am I and I was really worried about having a daughter for that very reason.  She likes dinosaurs and will only wear a dress if I make her. 

Ann - my 2nd daughter.  Shes quirky, she not only thinks outside the box, to her there is no box.  Its a gift to see the world the way she does.  Shes a girly girl, dh calls her a princess.  She likes to wear dresses and dress up with make up and high heals. She wants to be a day care provider or teacher when she grows up.  She is really good with younger children. 

James is my oldest son.  Hes a reader and a loner, usually very calm.  He likes to be alone or with one person at a time.  He likes to stay up late at night and read in the quiet dark of his room.  He wants to be a magician when he grows up.  He has the same book smarts and logic my oldest has but lacks the same drive.  Instead he is more easy going like his daddy and never in a hurry.  He goes with the flow of life.  He likes sports of any nature and will be found riding his bike even when its 110 out. 

Joe is my 2nd born son.  Hes happy go lucky and full of energy.  As a toddler he would often hurt himself because he would just bounce non stop.  Hes never been able to be still.  Life is full of laughter for him.  Hes got bright eyes and a bright mind.  His smarts can't be learned and its often hidden by his non stop talking and movement.  Hes a people person, doesn't care who you are or what you've done, he loves everyone.  He will give the shirt on his back for you. 

Liam is #5.  Hes quiet and reserved, but if you hear him laughing you know hes getting into trouble.  Hes detail oriented, a perfectionist.  He catches on quickly and wants to please.  He spends his days building with blocks or coloring.  He has an incredible mind for computers, not just can he use them he can fix them.  He definetly gets that from his daddy. 

Ian is the oldest of the youngest 3 boys.  Hes a tiny thing with a big personality.  Hes always smiley and comes up with the wackiest things.  He was talking in full sentences before he was 1 and he hasn't stopped.  He likes to wear his clothes backwards, even his underwear.  He says its more comfortable that way, he is his own person thats for sure.  He isn't gonna do anything just because thats what everyone else is doing. 

Ewan is my toddler.  Hes overflowing with energy.  He is a daddys boy if there ever was one.  He wants to be 30 already.  He wants to do everything everyone else is doing, Mr. Independent.  No one can hold him back, he is gonna learn to do it all.  Who says 2 is too young for school!  He loves trains and cars, what little boy doesn't?  Hes built like a rock and as strong as a horse.  I call him my jock. 

Luc is the baby, and like my mom said he is different from all the other kids.  He wants to go go go all the time. Dh says holding him is like wrestling with an octopus.   But he is so willing to go along with anything we do.  His favorite thing is the mirror.  His smile could melt the hardest heart and he can talk all day and night.  Hes a little butterball.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vent Or Myth - Take your Pick

I am betting this one is a myth, though I doubt anyone would ever have the guts to say it to my face.  It is definitely a vent.  I am not a free babysitter.

Yes, its true I love kids.  Not just mine either.  I really love kids.  This does not mean I am a free babysitter.  Oh sure, every once in a while I will gladly babysit for a few hours.  I however will not watch your child day after day or overnight time and again.  I am betting if I start charging that thing you desperately wanted to do doesn't seem so important anymore. 

And if I babysit for you, especially if its more than once, and especially if you don't come get your kid for 3 hours after you said you would be here, I except something in return.  Like not calling the next day to ask me to watch your kid again.  Cause heavens knows as much as I love having them here, I do like spending time with my family too.

And you might consider that if you haven't gotten out when you have your 1 child then maybe the lady with 8 might have that problem even more so.  Cause its ever so easy to find a baby sitter.  And No, it doesn't work out that I "have 8 kids, whats once more?".  Cause sometimes 1 kid is more of a handful than 8.

While I don't babysit for you because I expect you to baby sit mine it would be a nice way to repay the favor. I will tell you that you don't get to use the excuse that My kids are too much trouble or too many for You to watch. If the single guy with no kids manages them just fine I am thinking the parent can figure it out too. 

Now bring me your babies, your toddler, your preschoolers and preteens and everything in between. I will watch them, and love on them and send them home asking when they can come back.  But don't take me for granted.  I'm not a free babysitter, I'm a mother like you.  Treat me the way you want to be treated.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Being a mom is fun.  All those jokes you told as a kid about throw up and poop you actually get to live now!  Yea, its great.

The baby is mobile.  Hes doing the army crawl.  Hes also a happy spitter (my spell check says this is not a real word, I beg to differ).  You know what you get when you combine the two? Spit up on your sons school work.  I bet thats the last time he sits on the floor to work.

Then...oh then the grossest thing happened.  Yea, more gross than curdled milk on school work.

My 2 yr old got his very first scab.  It covered his elbow at first and kinda shrunk throughout the week, but it was still the size of a dime today. The incidence that gave it to him was quite humorous, todays incident not so much. As I was dressing him I could feel the scab rip from the skin.  It sent shivers down my spine.  This wasn't gonna be pretty.  Ds felt it too, the look on his face was sheer terror.  He wouldn't let me look at it but I could see the scab was just hanging there.  I decided to leave it, figuring me ripping it off would cause a screaming fit.  I figured I would sneak up on him and take it off when he wasn't awares.  Cause you know that would be WAY less traumatic. The day progressed but I never got the chance.

Then my mother came for lunch.  First she tells me to leave it, till she sees it.  Then she wants to tear it off.  I'm serious folks, it was just hanging there.  Like a loose thread.  But it was a scab. Uugggghhhhh, even thinking about it now gives me the willies.  So now my brother is here and playing ensues.  I knew the inevitable was bound to happen.  I just hoped I could get to the scab before the baby did.  Yes, I really thought that.  And for the record, it probably wouldn't be the grossest thing one of my kids put in their mouth.  I did say WOULDN'T.  I'll spare you the details.

Well it wasn't long before I heard screaming.  From one kid, then two, then three.  Yup, it had happened.  So its time to hunt for the scab.  Dirty Jobs ain't got nothin' on me! I asked my oldest son where they were playing.  Ok, On the sofa.  Yea...THAT sofa.  Thankfully my brother spotted it, standing about 5 feet from the sofa and holding a gun for an electronic game he points to it, careful not to touch it.  The wimp.  I picked it up, bare fingers and all.  And showed it to everyone!  Even grandma.  I was so amused and so grossest out and SO glad I wasn't pregnant when this happened! 

I think this would be labled: Things you don't share with first time parents. 

And as a fitting end to the day, just before bed last night dh got the mouse.  I'll spare you those details, but I am sure I am an evil person now for having sent a poor little mouse to its demise.  And I tell you the truth, this all happened in one day. I'm thinking my morning sickness while pregnant might be will justified.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The thing that lived in the sofa

From the home of a large suburban family.....  Comes a shocking TRUE story of the 'Thing that lived in the sofa'!

No, it wasn't the mouse.  Thank-God for that!  No, hes living behind my dishwasher and sneaking into my pantry to destroy my food.  Yes, we are getting a REAL mouse trap tonight.

All I wanted to do was vacuum.  I am beginning to see a pattern emerge in my life.  It always starts out so simple.  The cushions on the sofa had to be fixed first.  For some reason they weren't sitting on the sofa right so I took them off and discovered the problem.  The kids had pulled back the cover and the foam from the springs.  My sofa is old, I do know I need a new one.  Just waiting till I have some extra money.  Anyway, so I happened to glance inside the sofa.  Have you ever looked inside a sofa?  There is a lot of room in there.  If you ever need to hide that would be a good place.  What did I see in there? A book.  You know if a book fit in there other things were probably in there too.   I pulled the foam back some more.  Yup, more stuff. I pulled out what I could and put it in the coffee table.

Thats the book, a snappi, a stapler, a spoon, a colored pencil, a red pen, a crayon, a domino, a straw, 2 pencils, a piece of paper, some broken toy and a calculator.  Not pictured: a nickle, balloon and 3 more pencils.

I couldn't see the other half of the sofa so I just stuck the vacuum in there figuring that would finish the job.

Yea, probably not the best idea I've had.  I should have thought that if a book was in there, chances are I would suck up something that shouldn't be in a vacuum.

I finished with the sofa and finally started on the floor.  Pretty soon the vacuum wasn't sucking right.  I thought it was just that rock I sucked up.  Yes, I know I probably shouldn't have sucked that up but it shouldn't have been in the house either.  After smacking the vacuum against the floor a few times (because we all know to get things to work properly we need to smack and shake it) the rock fell out.  However the vacuum still wasn't running right.

The 'thing that lived in the sofa' has attacked my vacuum. In swoops the one brave soul to fight the 'thing that lived in the sofa'.  That'd be me.   I take off the hose and can see a spiderman head.  I tried to pull it out.  Wasn't budging.  I got the tweezers and pulled.  Still wasn't budging.  I tried the smack and shack, nope no good.  I thought I'd give dh's trick a try.  He takes the hose out back to spin it, centrifugal force (another science lesson for the kids ala Newtons laws applied to families).  Well that wasn't even working. Spidey was really stuck.  Time to call in his amazing friends!  Oh no wait, I'm the hero in this story.  Fine, I had to do this the hard way.  I crimped and pushed, crimped and pushed till spidey flopped onto the ground. 'The thing that lived in my sofa'? 

Yea, a tooth brush.  I sucked up a tooth brush, which was inside my sofa.  I don't know whats more amazing, that it actually got sucked up or that it was living inside my sofa.

I'm not sure what the lesson of this is.  Don't look inside your sofa? Don't stick your vacuum where it doesn't belong?  Get rid of that nasty sofa before you are looking at the insides?  At any rate, my sofa is once again safe from things living inside it.  For now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

And thats it...

For my 4 yr olds birthday he received a broken toy.  It wasn't supposed to be broken.  I know its a great idea - get them broken toys so its no big deal when they break them more.  Yea, but no, it wasn't supposed to be broken.  So my ils brought him a dinosaur as a replacement.  Its sweet, he loves this dino.

Loves it so much he popped the head right off.  Ds said his brother did it.  A brother I knew at the time was sleeping.  So I asked, "Oh is he up?"  to which my 4 yr old said, "Um he was up. He woke up and popped my dinosaurs head off and fell back to sleep." Hmmm sure he did.

For lunch we had turkey sandwiches.  I asked my 5 yr old what he wanted on his:

Ds: "Turkey and Cheese and thats it."

Me: "Really?  How about Mayo?"

Ds: "Turkey and cheese and mayo and thats it."

Me: "How about Lettuce and Honey mustard?"

Ds: "Ok, Turkey and cheese and mayo and lettuce and honey mustard and thats it."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monetary Monday - Guilt

Perhaps you have made a huge financial mistake which has left your family fiscally hurt.  Perhaps there was an over sight that caused your bank account to be overdrawn.  Perhaps you were hurt financially by outside forces beyond your control.  If any one of these things happened and you are feeling guilt, then learn from it and move on.  I am here to talk to people who feel guilt cause they have a few screws loose.  I am an expert!

Do you wear shirts that are so faded you aren't sure it once had a logo or if its one of those pixel shirts?  Have you patched your pants so many times they looks like a quilt?  Do you wear trashy underwear as in underwear that is so holey it belongs in the trash?  If so than you are who I want to talk to.  If you can't remember the last time you bought your self something, I want to talk to you too.  And if you have ever had the thought "I will just wear my daughters hand me downs when she gets bigger."  Than yea, I want to talk to you too.

I have guilt when I buy myself something. I wore the same shoes for 7 years.  And I wear these shoes 90% of the year.  I wore them so much there was no pattern left to the soles, they were as smooth as a babys bottom.  And I wondered why I kept slipping.  I have underwear that is so holey I am embarrassed to have dh see me in them.  I have shirts so stained I have thought, 'You know they should just make shirts that look like they have stains already.  Then who would know?'  And yet I can not buy myself something without guilt.  Yes, there is something wrong with me.  But! I bought myself some new clothes.  Yup, I did.

We ran out of the house one day and didn't have time to stop to check the kids' face and clothes.  We had heard something was going on and raced out of the house.  We got to our destination and my 5 year old had food smeared all over his shirt.  No one had brushed their hair and several kids had food on their faces.  They looked like they had woke up in a dumpster.  Then I looked at myself.  Yea, not much better.  Well, at least we all matched!  My mother was there though and took ds to the bathroom to clean his shirt.  It was a hot day he could wear a wet shirt for awhile, probably was more comfortable than the rest of us.  We used some wipes to wash everyone up and I had a brush in the van.  At least we looked a little better.  But I made a decision to look nicer.  We aren't doing big families any favors when we look like that.  What a terrible example we set and a terrible first impression we give.  As a witness I think I was sorely lacking.

Now there are times that we just have to make do.  We pray that someone would give us the clothes we need or the Lord would provide us with the means to get what we need.  But this is different. This is guilt because we don't think we are worthy enough to be wearing nice clothes.  We think we are home all day anyway, who is gonna see us?  And its fine and dandy to have 'around the house' clothes, but it shouldn't be your only clothes! We don't need to dress like we have an office meeting everyday (unless you do), but something you as a parent wouldn't send your kids back to their room to change would be a start. 

So someone tell me to stop feeling guilty about the $9 nursing shirt I bought last night!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Our Exciting Adventure to the Chiropractor

It was a very interesting day.  Started out we just needed to go down town to the chiropractors office.  So dh suggested we pick up donuts on the way.  Sounded good to me.  We get our donuts, of course its a bit late at 9 am so they were out of the kinds we wanted but whose gonna turn away a donut? We ate what they had and were on our way again.  Not a mile away dh had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting a thief running across the street.  The guy was so intent on stealing that satchel he didn't even see the traffic. Honestly, I was more scared someone would rear end us more than I was worried we would hit the thief.  Our van has awesome brakes.  All the drivers on the street were watching this guy run away and no one had any idea what we should do.  So we drove away.  We would have had to cross 6 lanes of traffic to get to him, and then what would we have done?  Approached him?  He obviously had shown no regard for his own life let alone someone elses.  We could have called the police.  Oh yea, that would have done alot.  I can see this phone call to 911.
Me: "He ran down that street!"  
Operator: "What street?"  
Me: "I don't know.  That one over there." 

Besides, on the occasions I have had to call 911 it hasn't been fruitful.  Oh the joys of living in a big city. I sure hope that satchel was filled with dirty diapers. 

We went ahead and saw the chiropractor.  Kids were thrilled to go to the big buildings down town.  Soon the idiot on the road was soon forgotten. I am thinking their donuts were way more exciting to them than the guy on the road anyway.  We headed to the library down the road after our appointment.  We were having a blast.  I got great ideas for the kids rooms, if we ever own a home again.  My kids were checking out their books.  I had settled down to nurse the baby when what do we hear?  BEEP BEEP BEEP  Is it wrong that my first thought was 'Oh great! What did my kids do now?'   Then I heard the librarian say, "Ok everyone out, thats the fire alarm."  Oh gee this was serious.  Heres a good test of your parenting skills: walk swiftly with 8 kids, a stroller and about 200 other people out of large building with numerous exits while a siren is blaring.  If you don't loose anyone you pass the test.   I pass!  The kids did not run in opposite directions, they were scared but calm.  I was actually pretty impressed, kept waiting for a disaster. 

And all we needed to do was see the chiropractor.  That'll teach us not to make all these elaborate plans.  So does that count for a fire drill? 

Friday, October 16, 2009

A place for everything and Everything in its place

The best advice I ever got was "Never do for your children what they can do for themselves."  It was from a beloved great aunt.  Shes passed on some years now, how I wish I could have told her how wise those words were.  At the time she gave me that advice, and I remember the day well, I was picking up my daughters toys off the floor.  She expected my daughter to do it.  I should have too.  Instead I did it. And continued to do it.  It was a few years, after her passing unfortunately, that I saw the wisdom in her words.  Now I add to that, "If they can make the mess they can clean it."

Yesterday we had a birthday party for 3 of my brothers.  Getting gifts, cake and cards ready for 3 was no easy task.  I had my oldest daughter helping me.  We gathered the bags and tissue paper, the cards and gifts and dd remarked, "Its so funny how you quickly pull out gifts from over here and bags from over here and cards from this box here."  Yes, isn't organization a marvelous thing?!  What a concept!  I explained that if you have a place for everything and everything is in its place you will always be able to find what you need.  A light bulb went off and she finally understood why I drill in to them why we put things where we do when we clean up.  So do I have to wait till they are all her age before they get the concept of picking up and putting things away where they belong?  They all do learn that right?

Cause my 5 yr old hasn't yet.  He had the task of picking up the toys in the loft.  This is what he did: 

Thats a pair of socks, a car, a snowglobe, a doll blanket, a pencil, and a toy truck on the tv stand. I'm thinking those things are probably not in their place.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My confession - how I screwed up as a parent

Normally I can brush off any criticism I get for having so many children.  Typically I chalk it up to ignorance or stupidity.  But one I actually fell for.  I admit it, I don't have it all together.  There are some things I haven't figured out, I have weaknesses like everyone else.  One criticism hit too close to home and I fell for it.

I grew up the oldest of 6.   I had a lot of responsibility growing up since my brothers were so much younger than I.  The youngest is 14, to give you an idea of the age range.  Everyone had pity on me, that I had lost my childhood.  Yet I never felt any such remorse.  I liked being from a big family.  I didn't mind changing diapers and bathing babies, I didn't mind the baby sitting and little kids getting into my stuff. I wasn't bitter, I actually liked it.  Liked it enough to have my own big family.  But I had heard stories, stories where people resented being from a big family. That they had too much responsibility, they weren't allowed to be kids, they didn't get one on one time with their parents like their smaller family counterparts.  I had decided I didn't want to risk that.  I wasn't going to make my kids do things that *I* should be doing.  The diaper changes, the bathing the babies, the making meals and the babysitting.  That was my job and I was gonna do it all and let them be kids.

Oh what folly!  Where was my wise counselor?  Where was a friend to slap me upside the head and straighten me out?  Where was my common sense?  How could I have fallen for such nonsense? 

It was only a few weeks ago I taught one of my daughters how to change a diaper.  It was before this realization came to me.  But I figured, "you know she should probably know how to change a diaper."  I mean she couldn't babysit, she would be totally lost as a new mother, etc etc.  It just seemed like a good idea and she was willing to learn. But what about all the other stuff?  I had guilt.  And a headache.  I was overwhelmed trying to do everything myself.  "You had these kids, you knew what you were in for." Yes, thank-you, I do know what I got myself into.  But still I turned out pretty well.  It can't be that bad to do these things.  Can it?

Ah! Inspiration.  Or God.  Probably God.  But it was inspiring! A Bible Passage came to me.  I am pretty sure this passage has been here, oh 2000 years or so, so where was it 10 years ago?  Matthew 25:34-40
34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

If we are to do to the least of these, strangers, which there are a lot more of in this world than family, how much more should we be helping our family.  Those who love us and those that we love?  Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.  What I was taught as a child is hard to learn in other areas of  life: to help other people, to think of others before you think of yourself, to be independent.  I learned basic life skills like: how to cook, how to take care of children, to change diapers and dress a squirmy baby..  I learned spiritual lessons : how to love, to teach, and to give.  I wasn't sparing my children from too much responsibility or preventing them from growing up too fast.  I was teaching them to be selfish and to expect something from everyone instead of learning to give and how to be selfless.

I am not making excuses for why I think they need to help out around the house. That would be an easier pill to swallow than to think I did some disservice to my children.  I will teach them how to think about others first, how to love one another, to have patience, how to give and I will teach them skills like how to cook and clean and care for those who can't care for themselves. They will learn it like people have learned it for millenia, by helping out in a big family.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Think Before you Speak

My mother drilled that into my head as a young girl.  Probably because my mouth often went flapping without any thought behind it.  Of course she was one to talk.  But anyway, back to this parent.  So I try to get the kids to think before they speak, mostly because I don't want to sit here for 10 minutes while they try to get out a sentence. But also because I want them to think about how other people would feel about what they say.  For instance after I kiss them I don't really enjoy hearing, "Ewww your breath stinks." Even if it is true, it just totally ruined the moment. 

I think I might also start adding to "think before you speak".  And that would be "Get to the point."  This one I figured out all by my lonesome.  Apparently I created quite the argument because I was trying share an example instead of getting right to the point.  I figure this will be helpful when kids ask you questions out of left field.  Like they are trying to figure something out without actually telling you what they are trying to figure out.  If they can just ask about what they want to know it would be easier. For instance when one ds asks "Are we allowed to paint with fingernail polish?"  and I say, "No, why?" And They answer "Cause brother is doing it all over one of his school books."  Getting to the point would have eliminated the questions and shortened my response time by at least 30 seconds. 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monetary Monday - How not to be frugal

There are lots of ways to be frugal.  You can reuse your wrapping paper, cut coupons, turn your ac up and walk to work.  But there are just some things you shouldn't do.  Really there are, I'm not just saying this cause I am lazy and don't want to do them.  I am willing to sacrifice with the best of them but these things, well they shouldn't even have been thought up.

If its yellow let it mellow if its brown flush it down.  My fil actually practices this.  Not so good when you have dogs or children.  I will let your imagination run away with you on this one.  (and there was a collective Ewwww heard through the cosmos)

Open your windows instead of using your ac.  This is fine if you don't happen to have allergies.  If you do, anything you save on your ac will be negated by what you spend on your allergy meds.  And lotion for your face.

Change your own brake pads.  What a great idea, teach your kids how to do car maintenance while you are at it.  Yea, don't try this unless you actually have all the tools to do it with.  Cause trying to get stuff off with "this here wrench" ain't gonna cut it.  Then you'll be paying for a tow truck too.  We won't be naming any names on this one, but lets just say we don't change brakes anymore 3 hours before we have to be to work.

Do it yourself mouse traps.  I guess this would work if you actually made a real mouse trap.  If you are taping a tube to an insect habitat and smearing peanut butter in it, just don't even bother.  I will tell you right now its not gonna work.  Just buy the mouse trap.  And not the game.  An actual mouse trap.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A mouse in the house

We have a mouse in the house.  I'm thinking its not such a bright mouse.  Did it not see the kids?  The dog?  Hear the bird?  And yet it thought it would be safer in here? My 4 yr old has taken a liking to the mouse, "We should make a house for the mouse."  He put some blocks together and deemed his house beautiful.  "I hope the mouse likes it."  Just what we need, another pet.  As long as the rattlers and scorpions don't come in, I can deal with a mouse.

We went to the park, hoping the mouse would come out in the quiet.  Our plan didn't work, but the kids had fun.  Once home I told my  4 yr old to go look at himself in the mirror cause he was covered in dirt.  He looked at himself and declared, "I like being covered in dirt."  I'm thinking this is why the house is always so messy.  They like being dirty.  That also explains why the mouse came in here, he thought he saw a buffet!  This was confirmed when we moved the sofas away while looking for said mouse. Tons of crumbs. We also found 3 pencils under the sofa, and a fork.  Maybe the mouse took it under there to eat with. 

And there was a rift in the space time continuum

While out on a hike Yeterday (I forgot to finish the post last night lol) the kids spotted some graffiti on a trail head.  I couldn't tell you how many of these we have passed on our hikes and never stopped to look at.  Granted there haven't been too many times the kids have been as far ahead of us as today either.  Its not age, its babies.  My 2 yr old was having a hard time with the loose gravel.  Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.  Oh yea back to the trail head.  Wouldn't you know it but someone on 10-10-99 left their mark.  What are the chances?  My children, geeks in the making, immediatly turn to science fiction and time travel.  As I stopped to get a picture I can hear "As there was a rip in the space time continuum..."  I'm thinking I should stop watching reruns of Star Trek.

Post reads: Chris Trinidad was here 10-10-99 and *illegible* was too.

My beautiful kids on the hike.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A 2 yr olds curse word

We've discussed, at length actually, why some words are curse words and some aren't. For instance its perfectly fine to call a mule an Ass.  This is good to know say when you are reading the Bible and come across the word.  Nothing like all the kids gasping and saying "Ahhhhh the Bible has a bad word in it."  Not so great however for calling people.  We've explained that probably somewhere along the way some aggravated individual exclaimed, "You are as stubborn as an Ass." And it took on a life of its own.  Soon it was bad to be called a mule. 

My 2yr old gets frustrated and says 'Darn It'.   Or he could be saying 'Dog Gone It'.  Thats what daddy says all the time.  Kinda hard to tell.  Hes also taken to calling people 'Diaper Head'.  I imagine to a 2 yr old this is the worst of the worse swear words.  To him his diaper is stinky and gross and the end all be all of awfulness in his day.  Yes, I imagine Diaper Head is like a 4 letter word to us.  He took that agravated individual scenario and ran with it.  Too bad I can't stop laughing at him when he says it.  Probably just encourages him.  I'm sure he'll out grow it, thats more likely to happen than me having a straight face long enough to discipline him for it. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Butterflies and Homeschooling

You might be a homeschooler buy caterpillars to grow them into butterflies.  Sometimes the Homeschool projects find us, like when a bird made their nest in my clothes pin holder hanging on the clothes line. 

And sometimes we find them.  Bugville Butterflies is an awesome homeschool project.  It was easy to do and the results are incredible. Its actually mail order.  Nothing scares a mail carrier like delivering a package that says "Live Insects" on it.  All you have to do is sit back and watch.  You don't feed them, they come all ready to go in their own habitat.  Once they are cocoons you move them to their mesh house and wait for them to hatch.  Once hatched you feed them sugar water and eventually release them in the wild.
Here they are as caterpillars.

Turning themselves into cocoons.

The butterfly.

Now I know most people aren't gonna have birds living on their back patio, but butterflies most of us can do.  Just be sure to do it at the right time of year.  You don't want to be releasing butterflies in the snow! My kids loved this project and we will probably do it again in the spring.  They really are beautiful. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Allergies suck

The weather turned nice, we opened our windows and how are we rewarded?  With sneezing, watery eyes and a running nose.  I look like rudolph.  I wore myself out sneezing this am. For the first time since I was pg I had to go lay down to regain some energy.  My allergies meds is $1 a pill so I am not keen on using that every day.  My poor 4 yr old has smeered himself up and down with snot.  His entire face is red.  He told me, "I know why my face is red, Its from this blanket." I tried to explain it was from rubbing but hes got himself convinced. 

If you have ever had the notion that the deserts of Arizona might be a good place to live, just chuck that notion right out the window!  How can their be so many allergens in a place where nothing grows?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Petroglyphs can't wave

We hike on the weekends when the weather is nice.  We are fortunate enough to hike somewhere with a lot of history, and there are petroglyphs through out the park.  My 2 yr old was waving to some up high saying, "Hi petroglphys. Hi!"  My 10 year told him "Petroglyphs can't wave."  Ds seemed disappointed.

I asked my 4 yr old if he wanted to eat Chili. He said, "The restaurant?" I told him no, the soup. He said, "Okay but just the beans."


My 7 yr old had a spelling test yesterday and I was so proud he only got 1 word wrong.  He spelled balloon with an 'e' at the end.  He on the other hand was quite upset and said, "Well I didn't know there wasn't an 'e' at the end!"  I told him thats why you're supposed to study.  Then he was upset because he got a 92 while his brother got a 95 yet they both only spelled one word wrong.  I tried to explain that it was because he had less words to spell.  He said, "Can't you just make it a 95?"  I gave him a lollipop instead, he seemed happy with that.  


And did you know the head of the leach is not the part that sucks?  Yea, homeschooling does have its down sides. 


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Children and Violence

I always thought as I was taught, that children learn violence.  They learn how to hit, they learn how to fight.  That if they aren't exposed to it by parents, media or friends they won't do those things.  It makes sense.  Afterall Proverbs 22:6 says: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  If you teach them they will do it.  Well that whole notion got blown out of the water this week.

It all started (like a bad book.  No, lol.) when I was watching the Duggars.  They don't watch tv, well not at home anyways.  2 of the kids were fighting.  Hitting even.  Mrs. Duggar was talking about how kids just do this, its their nature.  I was confused.  They didn't have a tv, they don't spank.  How in the world are their kids hitting? Then it occured to me.  Cain had no one to teach him how to murder.  Violence is not learned, its our sin nature.  You can be the best parent in the world and your children will still have that nature.  Well that was a sigh of relief for me I tell you.  Here I thought I must be doing something wrong because there were times my kids were just non stop fighting.

You can all say DUH with me now.  It only took me what 11+ years to figure this out.