Sunday, October 31, 2010


Being woken up in the middle of the night when your 5 year old wets the bed (That was to be expected since I forgot to have her use the bathroom before bed).

Then, being woken up again because your pull up wearing 2 1/2 year old is crying and doesn't seem to know what's wrong....and you finally realize he just needs to go use the bathroom.

We were a little bit tired after having laid another 57 rolls of sod.  We still have more to go, but it will likely wait until spring.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Prayer Request

A relative of my husband's  was in a serious car accident earlier this week.  Josh was struck by a car on the freeway while trying to catch his dog.  He is improving but the accident was pretty serious (70 mph auto vs. ped is never good) and the recovery is expected to take 6 - 24 months.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Small Successes


For more inspirational small success stories click on the link above.

My successes this week have come about due to failures reaching other goals

  1. Took the 3 oldest kids to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the St. John's Illuminated Bible before the exhibit left town (umm..Anna has been wanting to go since it got here maybe a year ago?)
  2. Ordered pants for Wyatt.  I have found that Hanna Anderson's sweat pants fit my very active/very 40 lb 7 year old.  What else do you do when tightening all the adjustable pants as much as possible still leaves my poor guy with his pants falling off.  He gets the "Hanna's".  The other kids get the "Target's"
  3. Took time out of our school day to contact our ISP - it's been anyone's guess for the last week if they can get on the Internet here and stay on.  Now that Anna has an online PSEO class, we can't continue this way.  I better let her know it's working at the moment.  And, after the dishwasher repair man comes and goes I will be calling them again..

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Individually wrapped

Individually wrapped items were not meant for large families.  We only buy prepackaged food to have on hand for times when cooking would be rather inconvenient (like today, Sunday, when we are all "working" on our toy train hobby together).

The convenience is almost lost by running to the freezer, grabbing the box of egg rolls, and unwrapping...each...individual.....egg roll....for a family of nine.

yeah yeah....I life is so hard..............

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Appliance Wars

So, we need a new range and I am heavily leaning toward a double oven/dual fuel model with gas cook top.  (Although I am a little weary about that bottom oven opening so low to the floor).   But last night our dishwasher went out again (we run the beast 2-3X per day, it wasn't cheap and the extended warranty is good for 2 more years anyway) and the warranty company won't be out to fix it until next TH. In all fairness, I do have to say that T was also an option, but with a total of 25 kids in my house for science/art classes running around my kitchen/family room during the time they had available, I opted to wait.

But, if I lose my electric glass cook top in favor of a gas stove...where will I dry all my dishes when the dishwasher goes on the fritz again?

I guess we do what we did when we had the ant infestation this summer.  Clear the counters of everything that isn't used every singe day- put them in the pantry/cupboards, and have less food on hand, and grocery shop more often..............Oh how I am spoiled.  My Grandma would probably give a little smirk when she thinks about all the work she had to do to get groceries and wash dishes.

Suz, I'll offer my dish washing up for you.  You do it daily.  I don't envy you.  But the thought of sending 6 of the 7 kids to school to reduce the number of dishes we dirty during the day is enticing.  Or...we'll just get some paper paper plates and cups, let the kids wash the rest.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Small Successes

    For more small success stories (and great ideas!) click on the link above.
    • Made a doll quilt for my god daughter with Terese
    • Took 3 days off school to regroup - see below
    • I've been teaching Terese (11) to cook dinner every night this week.  She chose the meals (with my help).  The goals here:  teach my kids some skills for life & get some help here in this area.  An unexpected bonus has been that the two of us are alone in the kitchen together spending some time and I can get the table set while helping her, freeing up my other kids for other jobs (laundry folding, etc.)  I plan to rotate through the kids one week at a time doing the same thing.  Once I'm confident they can pull off a meal I may change it to assigning them one or two nights per week.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Saving Time is like Saving Money

    Crunchy Mama and I were having a discussion recently about how you have to find time to save time.  The idea is very similar to having money to save money.

    My dh and I got married right out of college and we both had loans.  We scrimped and saved until we had enough money to pay off  the balance of our smallest loan.  Then we took the amount we were paying each month for that loan and saved it to help pay off the next smallest, and so on.  We had to accumulate a little money in order to save the interest on that smallest loan and hence on the subsequent loans.

    Flash forward almost 18 years.  The loans are paid off.  I am a homeschooling mom of 7 kids ages 2-15.  My husband has a demanding job with hours that can get crazy in cyclical whirlwinds four times per year.  This leave me with some (but certainly not all) of the the other items around the house.

    It's hard to find time to get the extras done.  I am a very organized person and love my spreadsheets but I've been feeling like if only I could find a little time to make up a list for (    ) then everyone would know what is expected and I can expect them to take care of things a little more without my direct input.

    So, the very first thing I did was to email Crunchy Mamma to see if she has created something like this already (we are quite similar in this odd sort of way), but she hasn't.  Therefore, I took time off school today in order to save time.  I may take time off tomorrow as well, but we will be back on schedule by Wed.  (BTW, this is the reason I don't take MEA and other holidays off, I take them off when I we need them).

    In addition to making Esme's doll quilt for her birthday (with help from Terese), I am working on some lists.

    So far the only one that is totally complete is for the bathroom.  I listed everything that needs to be done daily (with little boxes to check when it's complete), weekly, and monthly.  It looks like something you would find on the back of the restroom at Target (which is where I got the idea).

    My kids have their chores divided up by zones.  One child wipes the bathroom daily, cleans it once a week, etc.  Another takes care of the living room, entry, and hallway....

    Now, the daily items they pretty much knew but they would sometimes forget the small details, like bringing the used/wet hand towels to the laundry room.  They have gotten pretty good at the weekly cleaning as well but don't necessarily remember all the little details.   And....when it came to the monthly cleaning I would have to sort of monitor the whole thing.... it's about time the shower curtain is washed, etc.

    I have a lot of good workers here and they are all assigned something age appropriate, but multiply this by 4 kids and I would pretty much be walking around directing for 2 hours, at the same time I am trying to directly direct my 2, 5 and 7 year olds.   This is certainly not the best way to manage a work crew.  I am pretty certain they would all be done in about an hour, or less, if only they had a list to go off instead of waiting for me to get back to them. 

    So, I will take time off tomorrow morning as well so that I can save some time by completing  these lists.  I intend to hang them someplace virtually unnoticed in each room, like on the inside of cabinet door.

    Until then

    Please help me wish a big  
      to my god daughter ESME, Crunchy Momma's dd.


    to two of my god sons  

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Every Thursday we list our small successes.  It's a nice reminder that we did accomplish something during the week other than survive (although some weeks that in and of itself is a major success).  Since our homeschool has started up again this fall my successes have become much smaller, and more helpful to me to remind myself they do still exist. 
    For more small successes click on the link above.

    1.  I took Nathan grocery shopping Sat. morning and we filled up TWO carts.  I had let the pantry run down, trying to use up some of those things that have just been sitting there.  Buying for 9 when the pantry isn't depleted is a lot of work! I dread grocery shopping, I would rather clean toilets.  And I am totally serious about that.   I tried to order groceries the night before but the local grocery delivery service was having some sort of problem with their website.   So, taking Nathan with me was the next best thing.   It's a lot more fun, I can send him down an aisle for one item and he can meet up with me in the next, and he is a better/faster bagger than we get at most stores that bag it for you.  But, when he asked if he could get some dairy free ice cream I didn't realize he put THREE boxes in the cart.  Really Nate?  THREE?  I bought them anyway.  We don't always get to Cub Foods and I haven't seen this particular item anywhere else.

    2.  I allowed the kids to have ice cream as a treat for Christopher Columbus day.  I was a hit, although it was Nathan's idea.  He found a way to get some of that ice cream he bought and we pretty much save it for special days.

    3.  I figured out how to work my cell phone!  No, it's not new, and no, it's not fancy.  But for the last couple weeks it wasn't ringing when someone called me from home.  As it turns out, even my very basic phone has an option to change the ring style based on the number calling.  I think one of my younger kids might have messed that up - it was on silent.  It is silent no more!

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Small Successes

    1.  Read an entire book,  Das Americaniska.  Yes, it was in English, these are small successes remember.

    2.  Rearranged my meal planner page.  It used to be 4-5 weeks worth of meals.  After talking to Crunchy Momma recently we were lamenting how that USED to work for us.  But now that our lives are busier we needed to be able to look and plan around the events of the week.  One week we might need 2 crockpot meals, a quick meal, and something that someone else can throw in, etc.  So Crunchy Momma made a new spreadsheet with columns titled crockpot, early start, late start, and sides.  She then divided them horizontally for beef, chicken, other.  So really I just copied her using my meals...but did take 5 whole minutes.  AND...she needs to add more dairy/tomato free meals so I can get more ideas off her in that way too!

    3.  Pulled out all the snow pants and winter coats to see what sizes, if any, we needed to buy this year.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Romantic Comedies

    The Faith and Family Blog contains this post  with many people's favorite romantic comedies.  If you are looking for a good movie check it out. 

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    A good tip I learned from a banker

    It's a good idea to have a 2nd checking account with a debit/cash card and a small balance.  This is the card to carry to the zoo, a bike ride, etc.  It's also the card to use when ordering, say, pizza, where you wonder if they are writing down your number somewhere, and if they are safely disposing of the number.

    This way, if someone were to get a hold of the card or the number that person has access to maybe $100 or $300 or whatever you keep in there, rather than the amount you keep in your regular checking account that you may use to pay all your monthly bills.