Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Making

The kids decorated sugar and gingerbread cookies.







Look, Mom!! No teeth!! (She lost 4 teeth in 2 weeks.)










We made 14 loaves of banana bread, cranberry bread, zucchini bread, and Scandanavian almond bread.




Making Thumbprint cookies




Mini-Amaretto Cakes


This Christmas season has been especially cozy and wonderful. We have received lots of snow, so we are definitely having a white Christmas. The kids have been having fun sliding around on the ice rink that Aaron made. I have been baking and cooking...they have been snacking and eating. This year we made toffee bars, chocolate cake balls, oyster crackers, petite pecan tassies, puppy chow, thumbprint cookies, gingerbread and sugar cookies, amaretto cakes, and loads of bread. Whew...sure am glad that sweets are not my tempting thing!

Merry Christmas to all of you. What a precious gift God sent in first sending a baby to this fallen world and then sending that grown man to the cross. His sacrifice was more wonderful and devastating than I can possibly comprehend. He is a good, good Father.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More Phases

Micah is still way into playing in boxes. I don't even know why we bothered to purchase Christmas presents for him.



What a talented toddler!! He can even play Tetris while sitting in an extremely small box. Note: Micah still has to have his blankies in his box.






Saturday, December 20, 2008

Phases

The kids always seem to be going through one phase or another. Just when I begin to think, "Is this a phase or a habit?", the phase is over and they are on to the next thing. For a period of a few months Glory would have to go to sleep inside of her pillowcase, sleeping bag style. I have to admit, it was pretty darn cute. Her latest phase is that she needs to be cuddled into my body, as close as possible, to go to sleep at night. I am not complaining because I know those cuddles won't last forever. I will take it for what it is...unless it becomes a habit.

For Glory, her horses are not a phase or a habit. I think horses are her passion. She has played with the horses she got last Christmas every day of 2008.


video




This is only a small sampling of the many styles of horses Glory owns. My Little Pony (mini's and standard size), plush horses and lifelike varieties. Her favorite clothes are from Gymboree's Rocky Mountain, Equestrian, and Park Luxe lines...all with horses. She even used to have the cutest pink cowgirl boots.






The big pink horse is scary. Glory calls her "momma". That bothered me. I felt better when I realized Big Pinky must be the HORSE momma.



She is also going through a pajama phase. She wears pajamas at home and horse clothes to go places. Here Glory is modeling Barbie pj's. But she frequently wears one of her 3 pairs of horse jammies. Go figure.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Catching Up

The last couple of weeks have been a little crazy. I haven't really had the time to post much. (Plus, blogger has been annoying me by not publishing my post the way I format it, grrr.) So here is a quick update!!


Thanksgiving was spent with my side of the family. My grandma and her hubby, Dave, drove up from TN. The kids LOVED seeing Little Grandma and Papa Dave. It was a laid back Thanksgiving day, but we did get a chance to take some photos for our Christmas card.




My cute grandma.

We also cut down a Christmas tree from our yard. It was quite ugly and the kids cried. A couple of children had to spend some time in their rooms over the whole ordeal, but all is well that ends well.








We started the tradition of family devotions during the advent season. One of our children had an attitude at the beginning. (I am not mentioning names, justing posting a picture, haha). What we really want is for our children to focus on Jesus this season as the light of the world. We live in such a dark and sinful place, and He is our hope. This is our desire for everyone.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Vegetable Soup?


Tonight we are having homemade veggie soup for supper. So delicious and nutritious. The soup goes well with a cracker or two.


"Like-y, like-y, crunchy," sang Glory.






Thursday, December 4, 2008

Say It Ain't So

I saw a man going into the hardware store last week wearing *GASP* ZUBAZ!! They were bright orange and patterned loudly. I immediately began laughing hysterically, thinking, I cannot believe that someone still owns a pair of those. (For those of you who don't know what they are or are too young/old to have been a part of this fashion trend, they are loose-fitting comfy pants. But not cute. Think baggy p.j. bottoms in a zebra pattern. Or whatever pattern shows your style, if you could call it that. The jocks in high school wore them...you know who you are :). You can check them out on Wikipedia or zubaz.com. I was not able to figure out how to load a pic for this post.)

Fast forward to a few minutes ago. I was unloading the dishwasher and listening to the Drivetime Diva's when I heard them talking about Zubaz. I turned up the volume and was shocked to learn that Zubaz are "making a comeback". I could not believe that this could be true. But apparently you can find them at Rosedale shopping center. And other places.

I don't know what this world is coming to. Is the American economy so bad that we have to resort to buying strange clothing and actually wearing it in public? Just to be comfy and home-y wherever we go? I have had enough difficulty with the Crocs trend and usually only let my kids wear theirs in the garden and yard. But Zubaz?

Maybe Zubaz and Crocs would be the perfect Christmas present. Just not for me. I may not be a fashionista, but I do have some pride, lol.

I keep hearing the Justin Timberlake song in my head, but with a new lyric..."I'm bringing Zubaz back...".


If you are a proud owner of a pair of Zubaz, I would love to hear your story. Or better yet, see a picture.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love Note

Ellie wrote this little note for me today. She obviously needs a little work on her grammar, but how sweet. I love she, too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Snow Gear

Micah was certainly not a fan of this little bit of snow. I am not sure what was bugging him the most-the hat he wouldn't keep on, the stiff feeling of being bundled up like the kid in A Christmas Story, the cold temperature outside, or the hot pink snow pants. :)



If only you could have all been here this afternoon when we sorted boots, hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, and snow pants for SIX CHILDREN. You would have felt soooo sorry for me. You would have showered me with coupons for free pedicures and bottles of strong tequila. And then you would have reminded me that this is why people only have two or three children. But we got through it and everybody, including Micah, has the proper gear in their neatly labelled drawer. Ahhh. I don't have to do this again for another year.

Brrrr!

The weather has officially turned cold. I am not really sure how it snuck up on me, but it did. We enjoyed the cool days of fall along with the warm days of fall. We got excited when we had a couple of cold days and a little bit of snow. But now, it seems, the cold is here to stay.

Last night seemed especially cold. The boiler for our house broke down. Broken boiler=no heat and no hot water. Thankfully it wasn't much colder because we have in-floor heat in the basement and garage...it would be very bad for that to freeze up. Aaron stuck around this morning and managed to finally find the right parts. After many phone calls, $170, and a trip to Minneapolis to pick the parts up, we have heat and hot water again. Yay! (I should mention that we do have a gas fireplace on the main level, but that doesn't help out in the basement or the upper level where the bedrooms are.)

One thing is certain. I am most definitely not cut out to be a pioneer or Amish. Boiling water to hand wash (ugh) dishes was old before breakfast was through!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Not Thanksgiving






We had a completely stress-free pre-Thanksgiving get-together today. (Enough hyphens already!) Not all are able to get together for the official Thanksgiving because of jobs and other family commitments. Today the food was perfect, the weather was spectacular, and fellowship was fun. The kids caught salamanders and snakes and ran around outside. The adult boys played football (which they will likely be sorry about tomorrow). We even got in some games! It definitely was a good day.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Whatcha Talking About?!

Carlie said, "There is a reason I have been so crabby. I am teething."

I didn't know that 11 year old girls got emotional from teeth. Good to know for future reference.

What's Happening?

Sometimes our days are ordinary, sometimes filled with craziness. With 6 kids, there is never a truly "boring" moment. Here are a few of the happenings from the last week or so.

*Glory is officially potty-trained!! Hallelujah. I was beginning to think she would be walking down the wedding aisle in a Pull-Up. The day after she was "free and clear" from allergies, she announced she was big and began wearing undies. Yay for me. 5 trained, 1 left.

*2 lost teeth. (Carlie and Caleb...Ellie has a hanging tooth that will likely be out today.)

*6 new teeth. Micah has popped in 6 teeth over the past 2 weeks. Poor Micah. Poor momma.

*Mags and Ellie are in gymnastics. Maggie likes the "balancing thing" and Ellie likes the uneven bars. She feels like she is flying.

*Harvest Festival at church. Carlie was super involved, as the youth were in charge. Lots of fun!

*Swimming. Carlie has swim practice on Thursday nights and Aaron took the rest along to open swim while I attended a Pampered Chef/girls' night party thingy.

*Homeschool, homeschool, and more of the same. It is never ending. Much like the laundry.

*Homemade bread. I really love my Zojirushi. I wish it did the laundry too.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Birthday Boxes ARE a Big Deal


The birthday package.





All wrapped up.



Unwrapped
(the super duper extraordinary Zojirushi Home Bakery)

Isn't she beautiful?

(The bread machine, not me!)



Happy Birthday to ME! Whoo hoo!!
If any of you have bread machine recipes that you would like to share, please do!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Boxes, What's the Big Deal?

What is it with kids and empty boxes? Boxes seem to be an unending source of entertainment and fun. Today Micah found a couple of boxes and spent a significant amount of time with them.


The morning box...wearing a diaper, sitting on his silky blankies. I actually had to carry him upstairs in his box to avoid a major tantrum. Somehow he found an empty tote in my closet, threw in a blankie, and climbed in to read a book.


The afternoon box. A different variety...empty pasta box from Sam's Club. Still nesting on his blankies and reading up on the current Chinese take-out menu.


Speaking of boxes...my bday is coming up. Not a big deal to me. I really don't care. But after today, I think I care. Ellie saw an empty box on the floor and completely spazzed out.

Ellie- "Daddy said that Mommy's birthday present is coming in a box!!! Micah is ruining it!!! Why didn't anybody hide it?? What are we going to do???"

Me- "Ellie. Calm down. That is an empty box from the closet."

Ellie- "Oh. Well at least I didn't tell you what you are getting, hehehehehe."

I wonder how big my box will be??

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Addition to Our Family

No, I am not pregnant. And we most definitely did not get a dog or any other sort of pet.

I am adding a new sister-in-law. My baby brother, Richard, proposed to his lovely girlfriend, Anna, yesterday!!! I am excited beyond belief. Richard is the last of my siblings to get married. He is now 20 and Anna is 19. They seem so young, but I have seen so much growth and change in each of them over the last 6 months or so.

Anna is in college, currently studying to be a nurse. Richard is taking online college courses in the law enforcement field. He also recently left his job installing gutters and is an apprentice boilermaker.

Where in the world is the time going???? I can remember when I left for college...Richard was a little 4 year old squirt. And now he is getting married.

Welcome to the family, Anna!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Allergy Update #3

Glory's allergy testing today went very well. She had the skin testing and food testing done. The allergist pronounced her "in the clear"!!!! We are so thankful. So many kids do not outgrow their allergies. We had been praying that the results would be definite with no mild allergies. And God provided. We didn't even have to schedule any more appointments. The only thing Dr. M. said was to continue to feed her the foods on a regular basis (1-2 per week) so that her immune system can build against them. Yay!!! Stuffing, pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies, meet Glory.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stewing Beef and Macaroni

Those of you who know me know that I cook a lot. I never really had cooking dreams in my youth, but my love for cooking and baking grew more and more as it became more necessary for me to have to cook! There are zillions of blogs and cooking websites out there. I thought I might add to those and occasionally post a recipe of something that our family loves to eat or is a unique family recipe. Some of you have asked me for different recipes that I make, but you know I am terrible about getting back to you on that! I do not plan to post recipes on a regular basis, but if there is a recipe you want from me, let me know!!





Stewing Beef and Macaroni

(Family recipe)


1 pound of beef stewing meat

4 cups of water with beef soup base thrown in to flavor (beef stock would work, too)

Garlic salt and pepper

1 lb box of preferred pasta (I use farfalle...not macaroni)


I cook this meal over a period of at least 4 hours. I use a countertop roaster, but this can be cooked on the stove in a dutch oven as well.
Put stewing meat into roaster and season with garlic salt and black pepper. Add about 4 cups of water and 2 tbsp soup base into the water. (You may need to taste the broth partway through to be sure there is enough flavor.) Cover the roaster and simmer around 200-250 degrees for 4 hours or until meat is very tender and can be cut easily with a fork. Stir occasionally.
When meat is tender...cook box of pasta (do NOT overcook), strain and add into the stewing meat mixture. Stir it all together and allow it to sit for a few minutes so the pasta can absorb some of the yummy broth.


This recipe is perfect for a busy day. Very easy to make and versatile. The only things you need to be picky about are the flavor of the broth and the amount of broth. It is important to have enough broth for the pasta to mix in with so that the dish is not dry. If I end up with too much broth I just add some more noodles. Be sure to taste when it is all mixed together in case you need to add more salt or pepper!!


I serve this with salad, bread and a veggie. (Brussel sprouts, peas and corn go well. Yes, my kids do eat brussel sprouts!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Allergy Update #2

I just got a call from our allergist's office. Glory tested NEGATIVE for both peanuts and eggs!!!! Praise God! Friday afternoon I will take her and a soft boiled egg into the Maple Grove office and she will have skin testing. If she passes on the skin they will test her with the egg right away. I am not sure about how they will retest her for the peanuts yet, but we will know soon.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Just Horsin' Around



When I hear the kitchen chairs sliding across the wood floors, it can only mean one thing. (Okay, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 things). Glory and her horse, Mystical, are at it again. (I have no idea why a three-year-old would name a horse Mystical).


The corral is up, Glory is in her horse jammies, and Mystical is ready for a ride. Now where did she leave her pink cowgirl boots?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Allergy Update #1

Today was supposed to be a big day. A day we have been waiting for, praying for. Glory was finally going back to get retested for her food allergies. History...Glory had an anaphylactic reaction to eggs at age 1. Was tested and tested positive for egg allergy and peanut allergy. She also had RSV, eczema, and severe reactions to mosquito bites. Since then we have carried epi-pens, Zyrtec, Benadryl and have kept her away from offending things.

Today she was scheduled to have skin testing done in the hopes that she had outgrown her allergies.

Instead she had blood drawn. We will wait a week for the results. If those results are good, she will have skin testing. If those results are good, the doctor will do a food test in the office.

That is where we are at. We have been praying for healing for her for so long and we thought we would find something out today. But I will be as patient as I can and wait the week out.

And I will dream of the day that she can "have chicken like Maggie", and eat eggs that she thinks "I really like".

We will celebrate with ooey-gooey cookies, giving God the glory.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rochester



We took a quick trip to Rochester on Sunday to see Anna and Kelly. It is a little over two hours of driving but the kids watch dvd's and look at the scenery out the windows. Aaron and I get a chance to talk, mostly uninterrupted. These are pictures of the parks we visited.





This playground was all fenced in and made out of wood and trex-like materials. So cute and decorated with the seasons, farms scenes, flowers, etc.












These make music when you bang the metal balls against the pipes.













Monday, October 6, 2008

Big Hair

I have hit the jackpot when it comes to convenience with getting hair done. For a long time, my good friend Amanda, would come to my house and do hair. I don't have anything done terribly often and Aaron has hardly any hair and cuts it himself. Plus with 4 girls the occasional trim or cut does the trick. Caleb needs frequent hair cuts but has nice hair that can wait in between. And Micah, well, he just had his second hair cut. And now, lucky me, my sister Nora is finishing up at the Salon Professional Academy and does home visits, :).

Which brings us to last week. Nora came over and did hair pretty much all around. We were all thrilled and excited with our new styles. But, being the cautious momma I am, I kept an eye out for Glory (who didn't get a hair cut and has BEAUTIFUL long hair). I didn't trust her to not cut her own hair. So scissors were guarded and hair was kept in ponies and clippies.

Which brings us to Saturday. I was playing piano for a wedding at our church and left 4 kids at home with Aaron. When I got home I thought Glory looked different. As I looked more carefully I realized that her hair had been cut. Seriously cut. The beginnings of a mullet. A rocker-chick-unevenly-cut-butcher-job.

I flipped out. Maggie had been kind enough to give Glory a hair cut out in the yard by the swing set. (5 year old Muffin who knows better). She had given her this special appointment while "Daddy was cleaning up from lunch." It was 5 o'clock and Aaron hadn't even noticed. (That is a whole separate issue).

I quickly dialed the phone and called Nora, crying. (She thought someone had died, lol). I hoped to catch her before she left school so that she could fix it with some hairstylist voodoo magic shears or something. But she was already home. I scooped up the shears from Aaron's WalMart clipper kit and headed to town.

Nora was able to do something with it. It looks cute, if you don't look too carefully for the parts that were un-fixable. I cried (I am not a cry-er...more of a yeller) holding her in bed that night. She was just too cute, sleeping on her knees with a plume of hair around her, now gone.

But like Glory told me, "Don't worry, Mama. My hair will grow big again."


The Evidence




Still cute

Friday, October 3, 2008

Yuck

If there is one thing that I do NOT like about parenting, it is fishing things out of the toilet. This morning's toilet episode was no exception.

A certain child went to use the bathroom first thing this morning and began to wail. She had dropped her toy cell phone into the toilet and needed help. Unfortunately, for me and her, she had already used the toilet. (in 2 different ways)

I gloved up (with the leftover gloves from Micah's days with Synagis shots) and jumped in, so to speak. BLAH! The cell phone was retrieved, but tossed into the trash by me. Very upsetting to the child. But a $2.97 toy cell phone just isn't worth the cleaning, especially to a germaphobe like me.

Lessons learned:
*never throw out plastic gloves
*never take toys and other valuables into the bathroom (how many times do I have to say this??)
*plungers are great, but not for lodged toys
*an investment into a net for fishing inside the house might be a good idea

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Boys and Polly Pockets...11 Years Old




I don't normally get sentimental and all cry-ee over bdays and things like that. But it just hit me. Right now. It hit me hard. My baby is 11 years old today. She is in 6th grade. This is my 7th year homeschooling her and she only has six left (after this year).

Carlie is changing so fast. She is a delight to be around (most of the time). She is mature and sweet and loving and kind and caring. (Most of the time). Her relationship with Christ is her own, personal and real. She loves to learn about God and praises him with a voice that surprises me. She sings on the youth group worship team and is not shy about praying and talking in front of all of those teens. She is silly and goofy and laughs at the sort of things that 11 year olds laugh about. She lets Ellie sleep in her bed with her and reads chapter books to her at night.

But now there is a little talk of the b word (boys) and make-up and driving and college. (Is she trying to tear my heart out? Can I homeschool her through college? :)) The time will come soon when we will have to make the decision about sending her to public school. I know she is self-assured and could handle herself. She is confident and would be able to stand up for herself in an unGodly culture. So I guess we are doing our jobs as her parents.

For today all big, life-altering decisions can be put on hold. Her in-between age allows her to be free to have a friend over to play and watch movies. And even though she got a camera case, clothes, a purse, etc. for her birthday, she is still little enough to ask for Polly Pockets as a present.









Sunday, September 28, 2008

Blogger's Fault

Sometimes I cannot get blogger to do what it is supposed to do. It moves my pictures around. Takes away all of the spacing. Adds in double and triple spacing. What the deal is, I do not know. But if you ever see a post that looks as if it is formatted in a strange way...blame it on blogger.

Good example...this was not double spaced when I posted. Help! Any tips????

The Big City

There is never enough time to do all of the things that need doing and have all of the fun that needs fun-ning. (Yes, I know "fun-ning" is not a word. Used for effect.) So yesterday we seized the opportunity to have some fun.

Ellie and Maggie were invited to a cousin's bday party at Bethel and we needed to kill some time. We took Carlie, Caleb, Glory and Micah to Como Zoo. It was a lot of fun and was a very easy trip, being that we only had four kids with us. Micah had never been to the zoo before and Glory is now old enough to walk through and truly appreciate it.

It was strange in a Twilight Zone sort of way...Glory and Micah have always reminded us of little Carlie and Caleb. Watching Glory and Micah was like repeating an event that took place with Carlie and Caleb 8 years ago. Only this time we had the older versions and the younger versions of the kids to watch. Very strange. And entertaining.

After the zoo we drove around St. Paul and showed the kids the State Capitol building, the downtown, the Cathedral, and the beautiful houses on Summit and Grand. Then it was off to pick up the girls from a princess party. And on to Sam's Club. (But I won't spoil the mental picture of a wonderful day with the kids by getting into shopping details!!)

The highlight of the trip for the kids was driving on the freeway. I know...I need to get them out of the house more!!! :)


Glory really liked the fish. A lot. I mean REALLY...a LOT.






Giraffes are funny.




Strike a pose.





The boys.





A much more typical pic of Glory. "Get out of the flowers!!!!"