Thursday, December 31, 2009

six years ago...

...I had my fifth child, M.E.

After four births at hospitals, I was ready for a homebirth. For reason I won't go into right now, I was eager to have my next baby at home. We found a midwife who would work with us and started our journey.

On Dec. 30th, 2003 I woke up at around 4:00 a.m. with contractions. I wasn't sure if they were real or not because the last 3 births had all been induced in the hospital. I called the midwife and she said she would come if I wanted her to. I told her to come, I would feel better, especially if they were the real thing. She started our way (a two hour drive; one and a half if she speeds).

At around 5:40 our fifth baby; third son was born unassisted in the shower. Yeah, they were real, alright. Our midwife walked in about 10 minutes later. :) She later told me that usually when the woman is that close to birth she's not on the phone with the midwife, so she didn't hurry...stopped for gas and coffee, etc. haha

I was thrilled with this homebirth experience and proceeded to have my next three at home. (Our ninth was different; far different, I had to have an emergency c-section; but that's another story).

So our middle child turned 6 yesterday (when I started this post it was the 31st...I'm up late, or early as it were). He is truly in the middle (so far). He has 2 brothers, 2 sisters older than him and 2 brothers, 2 sisters younger.

The birthday child gets to pick the meals for the day. M.E. picked peach cobbler for breakfast (sorry no pic), for lunch he got to go to Sonic with my brother, and for supper he picked pizza. We bought 6 pizzas from Papa John's (yum!). We had invited another large family over per birthday boy's request and the pizza went fast... did the large cake; appropriately decorated with tigers. :)

This guy is very serious. A total opposite of his next older brother who is a clown. :)

M.E. has to have things just so. He hated that we moved last year and it took him a long time to adjust. He doesn't like change and thrives on schedules.

He likes tigers and has several stuffed ones (including one very small one that he can carry in his pocket). And, as of yesterday, several Schleich brand ones. He also like Thomas the Tank Engine and has several of those as well. He got a new one yesterday because his old one broke. He also got one called Billy (because it's orange - his favorite color).

He started school this year (homeschool) and loves to do his computer program (Click 'n' Kids) that teaches reading.

He has been such a blessing to our family.

Happy Birthday, M.E.!

Until next time...

37 of 52 photos of me

Forever In Blue Jeans

Getting close to the end now. Carin is starting a new challenge for this next year. Go check it out. And keep on with this one if you are doing it. It's fun!

Spur of the moment shot.

Until next time...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas in TN

I heard that Texas actually had a white Christmas this year. Hmm...not us...and we're in TN, close to the Smokies. Oh well.

Our day started early. The kids woke up at 6 a.m. and proceeded to get ready to go to my mom's house. (Funny how they have to be woke up any other day).

At my mom's.

All the kids got toys...


...and books.

Actually the two oldest girls got jewelry instead of toys. But they all loved what they got.

Proof that our day was quite warm. My brother - barefoot - outside.

We decided to not have the traditional Christmas dinner of turkey/ham/duck/whatever. We grilled burgers instead.

So sue me! I was just tired of all the fuss that goes into one of those dinners. I wanted something simple and easy to fix and clean up. I wanted to relax and enjoy the day. So I asked the others and they said it was fine with them.

It's not the first time we've not had a traditional dinner for a major holiday. One year we went out for Thanksgiving and had a fish dinner. Oh, that was just me, my mom, and brother; back when my brother and I were kids. Ah...memories.


One of my gifts. Hey, Kat, you'll appreciate this. It's a chili pepper hanging planter; to add to my chili pepper collection in my kitchen. I also got a chili pepper nightlight. No picture though.

Oh yeah, remember the dessert I mentioned that we had for Thanksgiving and that we might have again for Christmas? Well, we had it. Yummy! Go read one of my previous posts for the recipe. You'll be hooked.

And that's enough for now. Hope you all are enjoying your holidays!

Until next time...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

36 of 52 photos of me

Forever In Blue Jeans

Well, Carin made it through all 52 weeks. I'm encouraged. I think I can finish. How about you? Are you still plugging along? Getting in the picture, at least once a week?

Sorry, not the best quality of picture. It was a night shot in the van using the flash. But it was the best out of the bunch. And it was after a really fun day.

And I thought I'd add the family picture we tried to take for cards this year. After about 30 shots we narrowed it down to two, then one. But we still haven't got our cards made. I guess now they'll be new year's cards. Oh well...we tried.


Until next time...

history of Christmas

For the history of Christmas and other great stories visit this link.

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

giveaways coming soon

Remember back to my last giveaway? I said that I would be giving away more books. Well I decided that December was usually so busy that I would hold off until January.

So coming in January I'll be having some book giveaways. Check back then to see when and which book. (The picture above just might be one of them).

I hope you all are having a great holiday season so far!

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

homeschooling with toddlers

A question I've been asked before is "What do you do with your little ones (who aren't school age) while homeschooling the older ones?"

I hope this helps.

Kidding! I'm kidding! I hope no one calls children's services on me.

Actually in all seriousness I usually have the little ones help me with chores and stuff while the older ones do their school work. I stop and help them when they have questions, but they do a lot of work on their own. The little ones also have blanket time and play time periodically throughout the day. And, of course, a lot of school is done during nap time.

Sometimes we all learn something together by watching a video or going on a field trip. And then there are the things they just pick up by doing stuff around the house.

Until next time...

Monday, December 21, 2009

kids aren't the only ones...

...who ask "Why?"

Parents do too sometimes.

Why did you leave your jacket on the floor?

Why are you torturing your brother?

Why are your shoes still by the trampoline?

Why are you bugging me?

Why are you screaming when nothing apparently happened to you?

Why did you hit your brother/sister?

Why is your work not done?

Why are you in here, when you are supposed to be in there?

Why did you ask me that when I've just told you the answer?

Why did you not clean your room?

Why are you running around without any clothes on in December?!

Why is there sticky stuff in your hair?

Why is the baby playing in the toilet?! (Thankfully the last person flushed).

Why do you act like a monkey in public?

Why are you laughing? Did I say something funny?

Why are you asking me "why"?

What kind of "why" questions do you find yourself asking during the day?

Until next time...

Sunday, December 20, 2009


My husband's latest project. A box for an airbrush artist in Pigeon Forge. I'm not sure exactly how he's going to use it, but this is what he ordered.

Another view from the top...kinda.

A close-up of one of the feet...and the seat in my husband's car. :)

Anyway, no particular reason for this post. Just wanted to share.

Until next time...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I don't know how you do it...

I've heard that one before...more than once.

What exactly is it that people are surprised that I do with "so many" children?
Do they think I run around crazy all day? They look at me like I'm crazy sometimes. lol
Or I'm the personal slave that does all the cooking and cleaning by myself. Or maybe I don't and the house is a mess and the clothes are never clean. Whatever.

The truth is...I don't do it. We do it. We work together as a family.

Some folks, I'm guessing, have the mistaken idea that the parents (in particular, the mom) are the only ones who do anything in the family.

"Let children be children." "They're only a child once; let them enjoy it." True.

But. But. If they are not taught how to be an adult, by adults, they will be children all of their lives. And we all know someone who fits that description.

I read something recently that said don't get involved with your children - get your children involved with you. It sounds the same but there is a difference.

Get them involved in what you are doing. And that doesn't mean to never play with your children. You should play with them. But get them to work with you. And as they grow older their play should decrease as their responsibility increases.

The big mistake I made was in not realizing that a lot sooner. My younger ones love to help me with the laundry. As I take the wet clothes out of the washer, they are standing in front of the dryer helping to push them in. They think they are doing a big job...and they are. They are learning the responsibility of doing laundry.

Don't get me wrong. I don't use my children as slaves. In fact, I have to force myself to let them help me. I would much rather do it myself. I can get it done quicker and easier if I do it myself. But what does that teach them? That they don't have to do anything but play. They get used to that and then when we need them to do something, they moan and complain about it. Because they are not used to doing anything. Does that make any sense?

I'm not even sure why I'm writing this post. I feel like I'm in no position to give advice to anyone. We're still working on a lot of things and I'm still a relatively young mom. But maybe someone out there needs this post. Maybe it will encourage someone; let them know that - hey it can be done!

Until next time...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chocolate Friday - Nutoka and more!

Can anyone guess what this is!? That's right! NUTELLA!!! Yay! Can you tell I'm excited about this?

We got a box of treats yesterday from my husband's brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. (They are serving our country in Germany right now). It was mostly chocolate with a couple of other sweets thrown in.

Check this out:

Choco Love...oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

Oh and this one:

I had to's a 15er!

As you can see, we all enjoy getting treats.

Ready to chow down. Actually we all got one piece last night after supper. When we get this candy we savor it and eat one piece or two a day until it's gone.

And this is mine...all mine. hehehe

Now I'll let you leave my chocolate madness and head you over to Lisa's. She's the one with all the chocolate link-ups. So go on over and check out her site.

And I'll get back to my Nutella...uh, Nutoka.

Until next time...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

35 of 52 photos of me

One of the girls took this picture in our van. I didn't find it until I loaded the pictures onto the computer. Nice of them to get the picture I needed and I didn't even know it.

If you're new to this, go over to Carin's and read about her challenge of moms getting in the pictures.

Until next time...