For those that like to dream, come in. For those that like to laugh, come in. For those that like to cry and be inspired...please come in. Our family is like any other, but is extraordinary in it's own right. Come and join us at our campfire and laugh a little, cry a little and leave us, but please come back. We love company...

Friday, September 23, 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly

Well, some days are up and some are down. Today I feel down. Call it post par tum hormones, call it stress from a new little person and the lack of sleep that goes with it or call it financial exhaustion. Call it whatever you want, but there it is. I am just down today.

Sometimes I don't give myself enough credit. I have 10 kids....10! I work my butt off everyday of my life, never stopping for minor inconveniences...like a headache, cramps, fatigue or pain. I just keep going because I have to. My kids are my world and I work really hard to keep them up and going. Bathing, cooking, cleaning, driving, shopping, nursing, changing bums, are just a few of the things that my day entails. The stress of the day doesn't stop the day from happening and my kids have their needs. I keep it up. Schedules are maintained, lives are kept happy and the kids go to bed each night with most of their needs met. To give myself credit, I am the one who meets most of those needs. Not that Jon doesn't help, he does, but I am number one, the go to guy, mom on the run, the kids ace in the hole. It all falls on me.

Today I am feeling it. Most days I get through all of that with style and grace, never looking back. But today I am tired. I am beat and I am feeling it. Today I need a day spa, peace and quiet, a long nap and some much needed aroma therapy. Bring my your tired...I think I qualify!

Maybe tomorrow you can call me and ask me to help you out, ask me to babysit or ask for some help with carpool, but today I am nothing more than useless. Sorry friends and family, but this is it today. As my sister Lisa would say..."Go sell crazy somewhere else, we are all stocked up here!". That pretty much sums it up for me today!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The dreaded question

I bet with that title a lot of different things came to a lot of your minds. Questions like "Are you going to have any more kids?", "Are you really moving?" and "Is life back to normal?"...but this time I will touch on the question that's only asked by the folks here in my own home...

"What's for dinner?"

I gotta be honest with you all, I hate that question. Hate it! There's only a few other questions that invoke a similar response. When the kids ask me for money, when they ask to sleep with me in the middle of the night, or even when they ask to be taken somewhere. But the dreaded "Whats for dinner" question is the worst.

I guess I have to explain myself here. I am not a cook. I don't like it. Never have and never will. During my senior year in high school I took some pretty easy classes. I tried hard in Spanish and really enjoyed it. AP Biology was one of my favorites, despite the difficulty of it. My fifth period class was a cooking class. I was very adept at writing down the recipes, I followed directions well and was even pretty good at the math for expanding or decreasing the food amount. But somehow my food always came out looking slightly "off". But to be honest, it looked better than it tasted. I am not a cook!

My husband is skinny. My kids are pretty thin. I am not thin (that's more to do with my sugar intake than anything else!). They will never get fat on my cooking. Maybe on IHOP's cooking, or TGI Fridays, but not mine. So, I don't like to cook. You might think with 10 kids I would at least figure it out...but no...never have. My husband puts up with my cooking just to have something to eat that he didn't have to make himself. But the poor guy has gone without for too long and I can't say I blame him when we go to his mom's house and the look on his face is that of a child on Christmas morning when he sees the array of food placed before him. She is a great cook and loves to cook for her family. He begins to drool about the time we turn onto their street and doesn't stop until we get home and his food has had a chance to digest.

So, you can see why I hate the question "What's for dinner". I have other reasons as well. On the days I do cook (which in all fairness to myself is about 4 or 5 days a week), I cook what I can afford, but I hear too often..."Ugh...I hate that!"

"Mom, what's for dinner?"
"Ugh...I hate that. I am just going to make myself some Ramen"

"Mom, what's for dinner?"
"Noodles and sauce"
"Yuck mom, you know I don't like that! I guess I have to eat mac and cheese again!"

It's a nightly occurrence. The dreaded question followed by the dreaded response. Can you see why even if I did cook well it would be a dreaded question? Someday when the kids are gone I will sit and relish in the fact that they are gone. Not because my house will be quiet, or because it will be clean, but because I won't have to cook for anymore than just Jon and I. He likes to cook, so I might even be able to talk him into doing it for us by then.

I guess in all fairness to my kids and myself I will name three items I cook, cook well and are loved by my kids. Creamy chicken soup, Enchiladas and Hawaiian haystacks. If you ever come over for food I will fix one of these three items and you will be fed well amidst several happy children. Otherwise, you will starve while listening to several loud, cranky people complain about my culinary skills!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How much is too much?

I know it's like beating a dead horse to keep going on and on about a miracle in your life, but may I keep going? Our entire family has embraced Brynlee as the miracle that she is. Maybe as time goes on we will all cool down a bit, but for now we are soaking in the sunshine that she is. It's been a long road here and we are loving it. Just a year ago we lost our little boy at only 13 weeks and I can still remember how much my heart broke when Joe, after hearing the news, curled up in a ball on the bed beside me and sobbed. It was so heartbreaking. Not just losing the baby, but watching the heartbreak of my children. Now I know that in time the kids will get bugged when Brynlee breaks their things, gets into their treasures and eats their treats. They may not be so loving then, but for now we are all having just too much fun with this beautiful baby. I usually suffer from some post partum depression, but so far I am doing ok. Life is hard, it's crazy, it's even crazy hard, but it's good right now. Let's just leave it at that!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The big vs the little

"Because I'm big, and your little,
I'm smart and your dumb,
I'm right and your wrong....and there's nothing you can do about it!"
This has to be one of my favorite sayings ever! It's from the movie Matilda and it just about says it all. My older kids think and feel this way almost all of the time, and yet I truly believe that it's the little kids who have it right most of the time!

I have it all. An adult child who has gone away to college all the way down to a newborn with just about everything in between. Any woman who is a mom has to learn a bit about almost every trade there is. Nursing, teaching, carpentry, cleaning, cooking, shopping, spy business, refereeing, and so on. Now, through all of that my favorite thing to do is to watch how the kids interact with each other. They are so obnoxious and think they know just about everything....hahaha!

For example...as I write this Abby, my 11 yr old, is standing in the kitchen grilling Lacie, my 10 yr old, on what is was she was doing earlier.
"Lac, I heard you banging things around in your room a while ago and I want to know what you were doing!"
Lacie starts to laugh, along with most of the kids standing next to her. Abby at this point thinks she must have been doing something really naughty to warrant such laughter. What Abby didn't see was Isaac standing behind her mimicking her every move and being somewhat dramatic about it. This didn't start a fight today, but it would have most days. But somehow, it's these bigger supposedly more "mature" kids that think they know everything. I beg to differ...

The little kids have it pegged I tell ya. They play because that's what comes natural. I hear a lot less "I'm bored!"s out of them. They find the most ridiculous things and somehow make a game of it. Jessi's latest find was a bunch of tiny fish. She has bathed with them, slept with them and eaten with them. She is one of my best kids at finding things to do and it shows in how often she complains...almost never. Isaac on the other hand stood toe to toe with me today and complained about how bored he was. He feels like the world was somehow built on the principles of "Lets see how we can keep Isaac busy today!" and when the world fails, he lets you know it!

Now, second to that is what the little kids say. Not just what they do. Big kids are wonderful..they truly are. They are smart, can be kind and are sharp on their feet when it comes to sarcasm (that's an inherited quality!). But they often choose not to say the right thing, for whatever their reasons. My little kids just speak, speak honestly and speak quickly. Sometimes this isn't such a good thing. They tend to embarrass us in stores with comments on how others look or walk. They talk about their bowels at family dinners and their mouth "filters" are sorely underdeveloped. But at times this is a wonderful quality. Colby and I have a new routine every night as I tuck him in.

"Good night Colby"
"Good night mom!"
"I love you Colby"
"Mom, can I have a glass of water?"
"Ugh Colby...why didn't you get one before you got into bed?"
"Sorry mom..."
After the water has been drunk we start the process over again.
"Night Colby...love you!"
"Night beautiful!"
Boy...I tell ya what, nothing melts my heart like hearing my sweet 5 yr old son call me beautiful. He is going to make some woman very happy someday.

He has it figured out. Simple, honest (at least I like to think he is being honest when he calls me beautiful!) and all around pleasant. He cries when he is hurt or upset. He plays most the day and sleeps when he is tired. The older kids? Well, they cry when they don't get their way, they yell and get stressed over things that don't need tears and they refuse to sleep even when their bodies desperately need it. I am pretty sure that the little kids are the ones who know what they're doing and the older kids could take a few lessons.

Take a look at the baby....seriously. She is awake only to eat. I think that sounds like a marvelous plan and would love to try it out one day...or week! So think about it...who is smart and who is dumb? Who is right and who is wrong? I think the only part the older kids have right is who is big and who is little!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Thought I would put up some new pics. I forget that not everyone likes Facebook, and I have some family and friends that might only check here....so here ya go...our sweetest little itty bitty baby girl! We are all head over heels for this little blessing...but who wouldnt be? :)