~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Kids~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bows, Barettes and Bobby Pins.......

I have to be honest, as much as I LOVE cute little girl hair-dos I have been secretly pleased with my girls' slow growing hair. Not always of course. There have been times where I would love to have long locks to curl and braid, but for the most part I'm a wash-n-go kind of gal.

Now that their hair is getting a bit longer we have been doing some fun things. Avrie and Evelyn both have bangs hanging in their faces, so out of necessity it needs pulled back. If we don't, there is a good chance of finding globs of breakfast, lunch or dinner in it later on.  Try getting a comb through dried yogurt.

All three of my older girls have baby fine hair. Ellie and Evelyn are my curly girls and Avrie has stick straight hair like her mama. Sadie....we can't tell yet. ;-)  With all this baby fine hair we need very small hair doodles. Reeeeally small.

I have been flying by the seat of my pants for the last couple years but all these hair accessories have taken over. They are everywhere! We have been using an over-the-door shoe organizer but all those tiny little hair doodles fall to the bottom and I break my wrist trying to get to them. Very annoying.

Since Todd took Silas to the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis today, (I won 2 tickets at the grocery store!) the girls and I worked hard at organizing the doodles.

First - here's my guys at the Brickyard.

Notice it's a bit sunny. Good thing I got Silas some sunglasses just for the occassion.

There. That's better.  Oh did you notice Silas lost a tooth and his new one is coming in?  THAT'S a story I should tell! I'll try to remember to post that one.

So now that you saw what the guys did all day........

Here's what the girls accomplished!

I bought this in the craft section at walmart. I think it's intended for storing beads. What I absolutely love about it is the dividers for each section actually touch the lid when it's closed. This is very important when some of the barettes are 1/2" in size. Also, a few of the dividers were removable so I could arrange them a bit to suit my needs.

We have lots of the "ouchless" pony tail holders in various sizes and colors. (We love these!)  So I sorted them by color.  In the upper left corner are our sparkly items. I think we got them when Ellie was a flower girl. So pretty!   We also have clear bands. The size we use most is medium. That's what's in here. There are pastel colored rubber bands as well. The bottom three on the left are barettes sorted by color. The right side has larger items with beads or bows on them and clips.

I underestimated how much we had so there was not room for everything. I took all of my own basic pony tail holders and put them on an "O" ring. This seems to work well and keeps them all in the same place.

I still have a few elastic head bands that have made it over the years. I put those on an "O" ring as well. I plan to get more now that I have a good place to keep them.  Poor Sadie needs a few every now and then.

The rest of the clear rubber bands didn't make it into the box. I still had the original holder they came in so I just put some bands we don't use across it to hold it shut and that's where they will stay. We really don't use the small and large sizes much and have plenty of the mediums out for now.

 Notice the metal on the band holding the box shut?  I don't prefer to use this kind of band as the metal gets caught in hair and pulls it out. OUCH!

I have a few clip style bows that I didn't know what to do with. I grabbed one of the pieces of cardboard that hadn't made it to the trash and voila! a bow holder.

*oops didn't get a pick of it. <blush>    It's the same idea as the next picture.

I also had some pins and clips that needed a home.

The few bobby pins that are still accounted for are on the top piece of cardboard. I reinforced the top with tape before I stuck the "O"ring through it. I plan to hang all these "O" rings on cup hooks inside the linen closet door.

I still have to figure out what to do with my clips and larger items, but at least these are somewhat organized.

One of these days we'll have to get some pretty ribbons for their hair. I'm already contemplating how to store them. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

So I took the kids to Walmart today.......

We were standing the the check out lane and Silas said, "Mom! There's one of those bowls that won't spill! We NEEEEED that bowl."

I glanced at the odd looking bowl and determined it is not something we need and told him no thanks. Then Ellie and Avrie joined in - "But mom, look at it!! You can tip it over and swing it all around and it.will.not.spill."

I told them that yes it looked like a fun item, but I'm sure at some point it would in fact spill.

Silas was certain I was wrong. "No mom. It won't.Really. The T.V. said so."

HUH?  Who? The T.V.??? Bwwwwaaahahahahahahaha!  (Okay, no I didn't burst out laughing at my son in his face, but that's how I felt.)  I took that moment to inform my children that just because it says something on T.V. does not make it true.

They will watch a VHS tape or DVD here and there, but we don't have cable, satellite or even an antenna.  Every once in a while they'll watch a show on NickJr. at someone else's house. They are cute shows for the  most part and the kids enjoy them, but I cannot imagine what life would be like if they saw commercials day in and day out. It's so freeing to not have that stuff shoved in our faces all the time. Heck, I buy enough things as it is. I don't need someone telling me I NEED more things. ;-)

We did have cable for one month a while back. I will admit that I enjoyed some of the cooking shows and such. There were some educational shows on there the kids watched. BUT.... It seemed that the more we watched the more we wanted to watch. We were sucked in. Seriously. The kids were constantly asking to watch "the next show". They would watch all day if I let them. I would even find myself stopping to watch and it wasn't even anything I was interested in. A little here and a little there. The things we were watching were not bad really, but the commercials were annoying to say the least. We would be watching a seemingly innocent show and then a commercial for a certain lingerie company would appear with scantily clad women plastered on the screen. We decided we had other things to do to occupy our time. I mean.....we do have our "hands full" as so many complete strangers point out to us so very often. How could we possibly have the time to watch T.V.? <yes that is sarcasm>  So off the cable went.

If they ever make a cable option without commercials, where you can pick and choose the shows and times you watch them, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.....we might consider it. LOL  But for the time being we'll stick with what we're doing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tractor pull

We took the kids to the local 4-H fair to see all the animals. We do not have animals and I am in no hurry to get them. So we go see  other  people's animals. It works.

They had a kiddie tractor pull. We thought, "hey why not?"  It was for ages 3-12. We have those!  So we signed them up. Evelyn won't technically be 3 till next month, but they let her do it anyway.

It took for.ev.er. but the kids enjoyed it and that's really all that matters.

There is a certain window of time where a child is the right size to fit on this tractor. That would be approximately age 4. (No we don't have one of those. LOL) I can't believe this went up to 12 years old! I know 12 year olds would enjoy it, but they needed a bigger tractor. I'm glad we had Evelyn participate, because she was the only one remotely comfortable sitting on it!

Here's some action shots of everyone.

Evelyn's feet were barely on the peddles.

Avrie tried to peddle a bit but wasn't too interested.

Silas worked hard! He tipped the front end up several times.

Ellie's long legs were no match for this tractor. She was a trooper!

I wonder if they'll ask to do it next year.

Solar power!

It has been HOT! Thankfully we have central air conditioning and lots of things to do inside. But this week it seemed I was destined to be outside more than I had originally planned.

Below is a picture of my clothes dryer.

Yes this is the inside. Do the clothes go in that dirty ole thing?  

Well, not exactly.  There's a large piece missing.

That big thing on top is where the clothes go. Yes I could still put the clothes in it but it obviously won't dry them.  Well, maybe if I had the kids push it really fast down the hill a few times.....while holding a hair dryer.....with a really long extension cord......nah.

Can you see on the top of the dryer where the paint is coming off? Our washer and dryer used to be very nice looking. Okay, as nice looking as a basic washer and dryer can look. For some reason one of the children decided to squirt our laundry soap all over the place and failed to mention it to us and IT ATE THE PAINT OFF!  Lovely isn't it?  I wasn't pleased with the paint coming off but honestly, if it still works I'm not too worried about cosmetics. Really. It's a dryer.

But....the soap that ate the paint also ran down inside and IT ATE THROUGH THE BELT! Yes, the belt. You know, the thing that makes that big tub turn round and round so the clothes get all nice and fluffy and wrinkle free? Yes, that  belt. 

Of course Sears wanted to sell us the replacement belt for a chunk of change - I think it was around $19.00. That's before shipping. We found it on Amazon for $3.99. No kidding. I love Amazon!  Another part also needed replaced, I can't remember the name of it, but it helped guide the belt.

So this past week we have been using our solar powered dryer. 


Did I mention it's been hot? Our temps have been in the high 90's with a heat index around 110+. It is very humid and not much of a breeze. It was probably good there was no breeze since we didn't have clothespins. We would have had to search for our delicates in the neighbor's yard. I did cheat once and took a large load of undies and socks to my in-law's house and used their dryer. (THANKS!) That many small items would not work on the fence. 
I am thankful it didn't rain. I can't imagine hanging clothes inside the house. We learned quickly to place the clothes in the sunniest spots. Since there wasn't a breeze the sun had to bake the clothes dry. They sort of took the form of the fence and were a little crunchy, but they were dry and they smelled heavenly!  I really think I would like a clothesline someday. Not for everything, but it is nice to smell line-dried (er ummm fence dried) sheets. 
Todd got the parts and fixed the dryer!  It has a new sound now, but it seems to be working great. Maybe I'll get to start my new laundry system next week.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A few nights ago, it began.....

None of our children have had sleep problems. As babies they have been in our bed at times (some more than others) and in their crib at times. Usually by 6 months they are primarily in their own crib and come into to our bed for an early morning nursing session. By about one year old they are in their crib all night. Of course we have nights of sickness and that is always an exception. These nights are usually spent sleeping with me in the recliner with the sickie bucket. See HERE  for a further explanation of the infamous sickie bucket.

Silas is my only one to have night terrors, but he still stayed in his own bed. I don't think he even knew he had them.  Once we figured out his diet issues those have stopped - unless he gets an offending food.

So a few nights ago sweet Evelyn starting screaming in terror. She was scared to death!  Todd went into the big kid room (all four olders currently share a room) to see what the commotion was about. Evelyn was crying and shaking in fear. It took several tries to figure out what in the world she was scared of since she hasn't mastered crying AND speaking clearly at the same time. It was finally determined that she thought there was a bear under bed. She could feel it.

Todd looked under and saw nothing. Evelyn looked under and saw nothing. Then she started screaming again!  Then Todd (being the ever so observant father) noticed something....

Guilty Party
What could this innocent looking young girl possibly have to do with a screaming 2 year old? Well, Avrie had taken her big toe and ever-so-gently pushed on the foot of Evelyn's bed to shake it. It was so sly that no one had seemed to notice.

Until now.

Honestly, Avrie was just messing around. She had no idea this would scare poor Evelyn like it did. But she did not stop once she saw Evelyn cry. She kept doing it! I'm thinking we need to work on the art of compassion.

Since that night Evelyn has slept with Silas, taken a nap on OUR bed or we have not been home at naptime so it didn't matter. The most recent naptime she cried and cried. There's a bear in my bed. There's a pink bear. It's looking at me. I sat by her bed and held her hand. We talked and sang songs. I had to fix dinner. She started to sob when I left.

I had Avrie go in and lay with her. Since it was Avrie that started the whole mess she might as well help a little. Then they were getting silly. Eventually Evelyn fell asleep with Ellie sitting by her.

Tonight she gave us some trouble. Not crying uncontrollably but still saying there was a dog, bear or worm in her bed. She did finally go to sleep....

In My Own Big Girl Bed

I love how she is using this pink and yellow frog as a pillow. This is one of the culprits that was "looking" at her earlier.

Hopefully she can rest easy now.

So maybe the "system" will be.....

.....there is no system! LOL

So far I have  not stuck to it at all. Laundry has gotten done, so that's good.

I'll try it again next week I guess.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Unplanned Laundry Day

Honestly we have laundry about every day. My plan was to try a system I had heard about. Basically doing all the laundry on Monday. Skip Tuesday. All the laundry on Wednesday. Skip Thursday. By Friday there shouldn't be much to do, but do it all anyway. Then begin again on Monday. This would of course change if ...... say.......we had ...... wet sheets for instance.

Today being Monday and all it was to be the first day of the great plan!  What did I wake up to? Out of 6 sets of sheets .....4 needed washed. To protect the innocent I will not name names here. At least they told me. There have been times we were getting ready for bed and we found out there were wet sheets from the night before. We have made progress.

Between all the mattress protectors, fitted sheets,cover sheets and any soiled clothes....no other laundry was done today. So now I am officially behind on my brand new system. Lovely.

But most of the sheets are clean and lots of people got to practice making beds today!

I do plan to continue this new system and take tomorrow off.  Okay, maybe not. ;-)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pool Party Downs and Ups

Arm Floaties for our pool excursion

Our family was invited to a pool party to celebrate a birthday. I had already been scheduled to sing somewhere so we were going to arrive a bit late and it would need to be a calculated effort for our family  arrive at all.

Greek yogurt, avocado and prunes. YUM!

5:15 - Sadie ate her little dinner. She had some avocado mixed with greek yogurt. She was still hungry so she tried some prunes tonight. Don't want her getting backed up again!
5:30 - Dinner on the table.
5:45 - Plates filled and meat cut for little ones.
6:00 - Finished my own dinner. (Not a good idea to eat that much that quickly before singing by the way.)
6:05 - Swimsuits, swim diapers, deflated floaties all spread out on our bed for the party. Diaper bag packed.
6:15 - Daddy's home!
6:20 - Three little girlie heads of hair pulled back out of their lovely faces. 
6:30 - Clothes changed and off to sing!
6:30 - 7:50 - While I was gone Todd got dinner cleaned up, floaties aired up and everyone into their swimsuits.
7:55 - I called home to let them know I was on my way so they could take one last potty break.
8:00 - We jumped in the van and arrived at the party a few minutes later.
8:15 - Everyone was in the pool and having a blast! Not many other parents were actually swimming. You know, even if all of ours were big enough to swim alone I think I would still swim. It's just fun!
8:30 - Had to explain to Silas that it was not safe to jump into the water head first (Not diving, just head first and no it wasn't pretty.) with a doughnut floatie on. That it could make him stay head down which is bad when you need to breathe.
8:45 - Sadie was enjoying her swim with me in my water sling. Evelyn was with Todd in the shallow end. The three olders were doing fantastic.  They all got to go down the water slide. I was able to stand at the bottom and help them to the side.
9:15 - All was well. I was near the edge of the pool chatting with a friend. Sadie was quiet and not smiling much but seemed fine. Then out of nowhere......

she threw up.  I am not kidding. Not just a little bit of spit up here. She vomited. All over me. Do you remember what she had for dinner? Yeah. Avocado, yogurt and PRUNES. Lovely.

You would think that my first instinct would be to see if my baby is okay. Right?   Nope. Not me!  My immediate thought was......

Must.   get.    out.   of water.   NOW!  Puke will be floating all over the place. There will be a bunch of 8 year old girls screaming and flailing in about 30 seconds flat.

Thankfully I was standing right by a ladder. I jumped up the ladder in a flash! Well, okay, maybe not in a flash. Remember I was wearing her in the sling. Anyway, I jumped up the ladder as quickly as a woman carrying a baby in a sling could possibly go. All the while poor Sadie was heaving prunes, yogurt and avocado onto my chest and shoulder.

Believe it or not, none of it got in the water! I quickly walked to the edge of the concrete and she continued to get sick. My friend went to tell Todd. Amazingly none of it got on the concrete either. Of course since it didn't get in the pool water and it didn't get on the concrete you may have guessed where it DID end up. That's right...... all.over.us. Boy did we stink.

We went to the shower room to get cleaned off. hmmmmm  How in the world was I going to accomplish this?  I stood under the water with Sadie, but with her being 8 months old and all, she wasn't real great at holding her breath. Time for plan B.

Plan B:
I sat Sadie down on the shower room floor. Yes I know it's disgusting. She was fully clothed in her swimgear with long sleeves and legs and all. But yes, it was still gross.  I got myself rinsed and my sling as clean as possible. Then I stripped her down to her swim diaper and rinsed her under the warm water.

By the time we got cleaned off Todd had all the others dried off and ready to go. We had told them they could do one jump off the diving board at the end of the party if they behaved well, so they were bummed  that didn't get to happen. They were real troopers. There weren't even any tears. This park pool thing was a BIG deal for them and to have to leave early just plain stunk. Great job kids!

We got in the van and I found one of our most favorite bibs ever to put on Sadie.  It's not always bad to be unorganized. (This bib was not supposed to be in the van.)

It snaps together to form a pocket to catch crumbs and ummmm just about anything.

Pocket for catching all kinds of things.

These bibs are fabulous because you just unsnap and lay flat to wipe clean. No nasty moldy junk stuck in the bottom of the pocket.

Just unsnap and lay flat to clean. Fabulous!

We made it home and she threw up once before I was able to get her out of the carseat.Gotta love that bib! All was contained. We made it inside, got everyone's suits off and into the washer. Sadie's took a bit of elbow grease but I think I got most of the stains out.

Our normal plan of action for a throwing up baby is as follows:

  • sickie bucket in hand. (This is not an actual bucket. We usually use those small plastic containers that deli meat comes in - think gladware. Disposable and cheap.)

    • sheet over the recliner to catch anything that misses the sickie bucket.

    • Then baby sits on my lap and I put my arm around her waist with my hand across her tummy. This way I can still help girlies get their hair doodles out, comb hair and such but I always have my hand in place. I can usually feel the tummy muscles start to contract before there is even a hint of trouble. I grab the sickie bucket and we are good to go. 

    Sadie got sick while I was changing her diaper. Again, me being the not-so-organized-mom, I was able to hold her over the baby bathtub that just happened to be on the floor in her room. No it doesn't go there, but it sure came in handy!

    Poor thing got sick a few more times before 10:15. Then I was able to nurse her a bit. She sat with Todd while I finished up some work at home job duties. We decided since she had made it an hour with no sickies she could go to bed.

    Those, my friends, are the Pool Party Downs and Ups.

    Thursday, July 7, 2011


    Yes this post is about socks. What about socks is so interesting that they need their own blog post? Well, okay, maybe they aren't all that interesting, but those little boogers have required a lot of my brain power lately. If it requires brain power then it's goin' on the blog!

    First off - I have four girls. Little girls don't just get any ole socks. They get pink socks, ruffled socks, toe socks, striped socks, tights, legwarmers....

    Well here. Take a look for yourself. This is just a small portion of our sock collection.

    Notice the four on the upper left? They are all a different size and style of ruffle socks. There are many many more. Believe me.

    This was cute with one girl.  But now...... NOW that I have 4 of these girlies.....oh my. They have gotten so many different types of socks over the years I could outfit an army. (The fact that the army wouldn't use ruffle socks is beside the point. Just go with me here.)

    I am cheap. I don't like to waste things. So I have tried to keep socks to pass down to the next child in line. (Yes, you can do that with little girls. Boys? Not so much.)  After 9 years, yes my oldest is 9, of this hoarding of socks I was left with a huge amount. Most of them singles by the way.  Every few weeks we would sort through them trying to find a pair here and there.   In the Winter they would often be mismatched because you couldn't see them under their boots. When Summer came it was time for flip flops.

    Praise the Lord for flip flops! 

    We didn't need socks if we had flip flops. We get out the door much faster in the Summer. Well, much faster as long as we can find the flip flops. But that's a whole 'nother post.

    Once Summer was here I would forget about my sock woes and live in denial for a few short months. Then Fall would arrive. Funny how Fall arrives every.single.year. and it always takes me by surprise.....

    It would soon come to my immediate attention that not only have the children all grown 2 shoe sizes, but they have absolutely no socks. Actually they did have some socks, but they were not in their sock drawer. They were hidden away....under beds, behind dressers or eaten by the washing machine. I was too unorganized to even begin to find them or pair them. It was cold and we had to stop wearing flip flops once it began to snow. (You know I'm kidding about the snow right?) What to do? What to do?  Buy more socks of course!  But, Tammy, aren't you cheap errrr uummmmm frugal?  Yes, I am cheap but I am also a procrastinator, so you gotta do whatcha gotta do.

    This Summer things changed. The kids played baseball in a league on Saturday mornings. They had to have tennis shoes. Since they had to have tennis shoes, they had to have socks. Since they wore shorts or capris the socks <shock> had.to.match!  I was in trouble.

    I was very much done with the sock battle. We had tried all sorts of ways to organize.

    • Each with their own drawer. 
    • A large sock tote to throw them all in and every man for himself.
    • A tote for the singles to get paired later.
    • Washing each person's socks in their own private mesh garment bag.
    • Pinning pairs together.

    ...nothing worked.  And now I wasn't going to get my summer off from sock torture. <stomp stomp whine whine>

    I went out and bought new socks. But this time I was a little smarter.

    Ellie got these:

    Avrie got these:

    Evelyn got these:

    Sadie? Well, she honestly isn't wearing socks much now that it's Summer. She can't play ball yet. ;-)  Plus, if she had socks on she couldn't do this:

    My plan was to get all different colors, but this is what walmart had available. You see, there is enough size difference between Ellie and Evelyn that we can tell those apart easily.I can glance in a drawer and know without a doubt that the correct socks are in the correct drawer! woo hoo!

    All other socks are GONE. I will admit I kept the legwarmers. They are primarily used for baby - way easier than tights, much cuter and make for quick diaper changes....all while protecting their precious knees from rug burn.  Now we can easily see whose socks are whose. Even Evelyn can pair them up. When I need more I will buy the exact same brand/color/size. When they go up a size

    <Todd stop reading here.>

    I am going to throw their old socks away. No kidding. It's not a battle worth fighting.  Sssshhhhhhh! Don't tell.

    For all you gals with only boys...I know you are laughing at me right now. You can't possibly understand why in the world this is even a problem.  "Who has socks left to pass down?"  LOL I hear ya. Really.

    Silas failed to tell me that his had holes. He just started using MY socks. I put a pair on one day and there were holes in the bottom. I have had these same socks for years! No holes, ever. He wore them one or two times. geesh!  So he got new socks as well. His have a big L on them. I don't know what we will do when he is no longer wearing size Large. Right now he goes through the pile looking for his "L socks". So sweet!

    I think I have found a solution to the mixed up clothing problem as well. I am planning to start a brand new system. More on that later.

    Our garden

    Yes we have a garden. No it is not your normal, run-of-the-mill garden. Is anything we do normal?

    We have tried to garden in the past unsuccessfully. Once, Todd plowed up a very LARGE area and it was way too overwhelming for me. We'll just say that didn't work out too well. I think we did get some food from it, but not much.

    Our ground here is full of rocks and pieces of concrete. No fun to dig in.  Plus we would like it if our house would sell sometime in the near future. We don't want to work hard on a garden and then have to leave it! So Todd decided to make a container garden.

    The kids got to pick out what they wanted to plant. Avrie -bless her heart- chose carrots. Did you know that carrots should not be started in egg cartons and then transplanted? We sure didn't!  So ummmmm we don't have any carrots in our garden.

    We do have green peppers, squash, tomatoes and I think a watermelon plant. We'll see how that one goes.

    Here is a current pic:

    Look! We have a squash!  Or is that a cucumber? Man, I really should figure that out before dinner huh?

    Do you like the bunnies? Those are courtesy of Ellie. Gotta have bunnies in the garden.

    Here's our tomatoes. Todd made the hanging planter. I just love my redneck!

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Who's the boss?

    So some type of critter has gotten into our trash......again. To top it off, it's the day before trash pick-up. So there's lots of it. Nice.

    Never fear!  We have Silas to rescue us. He is all boy and loves dirt.  He's my first in line to carry the slop bucket down the hill to dump scraps. Before you get all worried, I did have him put a Kroger bag over each hand so he wouldn't be touching all the trash. Ellie's job was to be his HELPER. All she had to do was hold the trash tote still so he could scoop up the nasty trash and put it back in. Not too difficult right?


    My lovely first-born has a lot of learning to do when it comes to not being the boss. She is wonderful at telling others how to do things. LOL  But she is not so great at taking orders.  She and Silas came running in the house within a few minutes. Ellie was crying and Silas was saying over and over "I don't know what her problem is. She isn't being very helpful." When I asked Ellie what she was upset about she said, "Mo-ooom! (yes that is whining.) He keeps telling me what to do!"

    ummmmm yeah....and?

    I explained to Ellie that her job was to be his helper. Silas' job was to communicate his needs to her in a nice manner, which he was doing.  That is, until she started yelling at him. Then I think he was not so nice.

    I told Ellie that she needed to go out and help her brother. If she continued telling him how to do it and bossing him then she would end up doing the job herself.....ALONE.

    Did I mention Ellie is having trouble in this area?  ;-) I'm hoping she has learned a little from today. Man I should have gotten a picture! You may have guessed by now that Ellie could not control her tongue and she did try to boss her little brother. Of course she said she was trying to HELP him by telling him he was doing it wrong.

    So my girly girl put some Kroger bags over her hands and went to work. She came in several times crying, "There are bugs mom!"

    Of course Silas came to me with the cool maggots that he found. eeewwwww!!! I made him clean them up with a paper towel and wash his hands with hot soapy water. I told you he was perfect for the trash job. If only Ellie could figure that out.  Someday..........

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Quick Cobbler

    A very sweet family member (you know who you are!) gave us some yummy fresh peaches. We devoured several of them, but a few were getting soft.  I decided to make up a quick cobbler. Not a REAL cobbler mind  you, but a quick one.

    What's the difference? You ask. If you search the internet you will get all sorts of definitions of what a cobbler is. In my not-so-humble opinion a true cobbler is made up of what equates to 3 or 4 pie crusts and fruit filling. You put half of the crust on the bottom of the pan and then place the filling. Then top it with the remaining pie crust in strips like lattice. It's pretty and delectable! But it takes time. Which of course is a hot commodity at our house.

    Quick cobbler has more of a cake-like topping over the berry filling.

    So....quick cobbler it was!

    I glanced through my recipe and I realized I only had enough peaches for about a 9x9 pan. Well, that is certainly not enough for our little family. Since I happened to have a huge amount of organic blueberries in my freezer I did a search for peaches and blueberries on allrecipes.com. *Did you know you can search their site for specific ingredients you do or do not want??? wonderful tool!*  Believe it or not there were a few cobblers with both of these listed in the ingredients. I figured if it's good enough to be in a recipe online then I can at least try it.

    I took a great picture before I put it in the oven, but I failed to realize my memory stick was not in the camera. doh!  So just pretend you are looking at a lovely picture of cobbler batter with berries on top. I wanted to show that you really do just put the berries on top and throw it in the oven. When it's done it looks like you put a whole lot more work into it than you actually did. That's my kind of recipe!

    Anyway, here is an after shot. Yes, it was as yummy as it looks! See? The berries are under the crust. Genius.

    Here's the recipe....

    • 1 stick Butter
    • 1-¼ cup Sugar -divided
    • 1 cup Self-Rising Flour
    • 1 cup Milk
    • 2 cups berries (frozen or fresh)
    Preheat oven to 350*. Melt butter directly in a 9x9 pan. Add 1 cup granulated sugar and mix in with a whisk. Add 1 cup self rising flour and 1 cup milk. Whisk all ingredients till smooth.  Dump the berries over the top. 

    Bake at 350* for one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

    That's it!  I love this recipe because I can mix it up directly in the baking dish. I detest dishes. When I made this in my 9x13 I doubled the recipe. It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake but I think I added more berries than it called for. Either way, it was yummy!  

    I have done this with mixed berries, raspberries and now peaches/blueberries. It's always perfect.

    If you don't have self rising flour on hand, don't worry. It's just a time saver. I keep  mine in my freezer because I only use it for a couple recipes that I want to do up quickly.  One cup self-rising flour equals:
    1 cup all-purpose flour, plus
    1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, plus
    1/8 teaspoons salt.

    Oh and a tip I learned recently - if you are using frozen berries, just rinse them off quickly. If you thaw them and put them in the cobbler it may turn out purple because the juice runs all over. Just throw them in frozen.

    Let me know if you try this easy cobbler.

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    17 years ago today . . . . .

    I married my best friend.

    Yes he annoys me at times. Heck, I annoy him at times. But he's mine and I'm his. Neither one of us is perfect, but that's fine by us.

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    I have read about this before and just never got around to doing it. I can't believe it's taken this long. I am just now implementing this so I will have to update later how things are going. But so far so good.

    What am I talking about?  Keeping our house looking somewhat presentable. That's what. I am not naturally organized. At this point I don't believe it will ever come as second nature. My poor kids don't have a chance at the rate I am going. They walk over things all. day. long. Things are so cluttered they don't even see the stuff anymore.

    We got one room perfectly clean. Okay, not perfect by some standards, but by our standards it was perfect. I took a couple pictures of this room and typed up some simple instructions. Now they can see in the picture what it's supposed to look like!  I am no longer the bad guy. I don't have to keep saying over and over...did you get the blocks picked up? Are the papers picked up? Is the room clean? No honey, it's not clean. You can't leave 10 gallons of duplos on the floor and consider it clean.......sigh.

    Now all I have to say is....Does it look like the picture?


    ·      All toys in their place.
    ·      Floor is clean – no papers or toys.
    ·      Table is clear and clean.
    ·      Cabinet closed.
    ·      Totes lidded and stacked neatly in corner.

    I have pages done for various chores as well. Here's what is finished so far:

    -dining room table clean-up
    -closet tidy
    -laundry directions (how to do the washer and dryer)
    -morning routine (brush teeth, brush hair, get dressed type of stuff)
    -night time routine (brush teeth, jammies on....you get the idea)
    -putting clean batch of laundry away.

    Some other pages I am thinking of doing:
    -kitchen pantry
    -toy cabinet
    -hall linen closet

    I would like to get these perfect (they are actually close to it now believe it or not.) and snap a picture to laminate and place on the inside of the door.  Not sure where I will put the one for the bookshelves.

    I sure hope this works!

    She has been cleansed!

    Incase you are wondering....."she" is Sadie and "cleansed" means.....well.....you can probably figure it out!  It had been 6 days with no dirty diapers. Then over the last couple days we had a little bit here and a little bit there. I took her off all solids (she was only getting one snack per day of either avocado or banana anyway.) and EBF (exclusively breast fed) her for the last three days. Needless to say - it worked!  She wore a one piece outfit in her sleep sack last night. Thankfully her sleep sack caught most of it. <shudder>  Not only was my sweet Sadie cleansed and feelin' great, she got a bath to top off her morning.

    Squeaky Clean and Feelin' Good

    There's my sweet pea after her morning bath. Yes, I know it's now July and it 100* outside. Yes, that is a sleeper. My thinking is that she is not yet finished with her cleanse. I want to contain as much as possible. Hence the sleeper. ;-)

    I bet you are wondering - Where are the rest of the kids while all this is going on? -  Each one had a job. First of all, it's just plain helpful. Second of all, it keeps them out of trouble.  In this particular situation that philosophy worked for 3 out of 4.  Silas ran the bath water. He did a great job getting the temperature just right. Avrie held the Kroger bag for me. This is her job most every time we have a situation of this nature. The Kroger bag holds the nasty diaper and the millions (okay maybe not millions) of wipes that are used to clean said baby off. Ellie double checked the water temp and stood by the changing table with Sadie so I could get the last minute bath organizing done. But what about little Evelyn??

    First she helped Silas a little with the water, and got completely soaked. Off went that dress. I didn't get a picture of that, sorry. Evelyn did manage to get herself dressed again.

    I'm feeling like a few shades of pink today.

    Lovely huh?  The outfit Evelyn has chosen for this morning is a gorgeous two piece pajama ummmmmm set. The top comes from a size 12 month and the bottoms are actually from her drawer of 3T. Yes the top is backwards. Yes the bottoms are wet. She also decided to wear panties in lieu of a pull-up and failed to mention that to me.  But she got dressed by herself! What a big girl!

    Since taking this picture, Evelyn is in her third outfit for the morning and it is not yet noon.  I wonder why we have so much laundry?

    Crazy day...

     This was originally written in an email I shared with some friends May 17, 2011. I figured I would post it here.

    I started off this morning checking Silas' face. He had marks on it Sunday and we didn't know what it was. Poison ivy had been suggested and we were leaning that direction. But Todd and I have neither one ever had it. LOL  So I checked his face, still looked about the same. I checked the rest of him.....he had more of this stuff on his belly, arms, armpits, legs, hands...ack!  Since this is so new to me I called the doctor and she got us right in!  Yes it is poison ivy. So at least I know for sure:)

    Then straight from the doctor to piano lessons....Silas played outside but it was too cold for my wimpy girlies, Avrie and Evelyn. So they spent their time in the van with me and Sadie. Nursed baby girl and Evelyn went potty in her potty chair.

    After piano, for some crazy reason I decided to go to the next city over.  Went to Arbys and got everyone out to go potty. Sadie was sleeping so I just carried her whole carseat in. While walking in I ordered 4 cherry turnovers with no icing. (The turnovers are fine but the icing has something in it they can't have.) The lady said it would take 22 minutes. I told her it would be fine. She sort of debated with me a bit and I said just put them in please! Everyone had their potty break (Evelyn included yay!) and washed hands. Got back into the van and went through the drive thru. Ordered our sandwiches and pulled forward to wait for the turnovers. I had just put the sauce on my sandwich and taken a few bites and the lady brought out the turnovers! Perfect timing.

    We headed to the mall. Have I mentioned I do not know what in the world I was thinking? LOL

    Had a talk with the kids. I told them I was looking for two things today. New bras and a swimsuit. (Yes I am still unsure of my whole swimsuit situation. grrrrr)  If I can't find a swimsuit then we can't go to Holiday World. If they don't behave I can't find a swimsuit.  You can see where this is going. Got everyone out and Sadie in the stroller. Changed her diaper and let Evelyn go pee again. ha ha

    Went to JC Penney. Found the ONE rack of nursing bras - on which there were actually only 2 different styles - and searched for my size. Honestly I don't even know my size anymore.  At this time the kids were sitting on the floor playing Skunk in the Barnyard very quietly. Evelyn leaned into a rack and the whole thing fell off!  I think it was already broken really. So here she is with about 20 pair of very large silky looking underwear saying "uh oh mommy".

    Next we headed to the swimsuit section. I found a few to try on. Off to the dressing rooms! We all piled into a regular sized changing room because the handicap one was only being used for bra fittings. <roll eyes>  Poor Silas had to sit facing the wall while I tried things on. I won't go into major detail at this point, but let's just say nothing fit.

    Next store. I think this was Sears. Same scenario minus the bras - I couldn't even find the nursing bras there.

    We went through ElderBerman (is that spelled correctly?) and saw nothing worth trying on. Got to the pretzel place and ordered a lemonade to drink with our turnovers. Then we went to the play area in the food court. I nursed Sadie while the others ran around for a few minutes.

    Off to Macy's. Tried on some suits there. It was sad really. Anything that fit on top didn't fit on bottom and vice versa. I think I could really find a good suit, but I want to be able to nurse Sadie so that is adding a bit of a challenge.

    We headed upstairs to see my SIL and to (you guessed it!) use the bathroom.

    So while I was talking with my SIL I mentioned that I have yet to find a good bra that will actually do the job it is intended for. The lady standing there with us said, "yes, yours isn't doing it's job." -Yes, she really did say that out loud.- At this point my SIL intervened and told me this lady was a certified bra fitter, so that made me feel a little better. Although admittedly I still didn't have warm fuzzies about her anymore.

    She informed me that Macy's now carries  maternity again, as of about a month ago. So they have nursing bras! I bopped on over there. By now it was about 4:00 ish. Everyone was very tired, but still doing well. A different gal (thankfully) measured me and picked out a couple bras to try. Not at all in the size I had been trying by the way. One ummmm didn't work. We'll leave it at that. But the other one!!!! I wore it out of the store!

    I checked out and headed out of the store. We made one last potty break at the food court and got to the van. Evelyn fell asleep on the way home and didn't pee in the seat!!!! I got a little worried about it when we were in construction traffic for a bit.

    I got home about 5:00 or 5:30. Threw a stir fry together and collapsed. Then I realized I completely forgot to get clear caladryl for Silas. So Todd picked that up on his way home.

    I am still on the lookout for a good suit that meets all of my criteria:

    1. I can nurse Sadie in it.
    2. covers my bum - skirt or the like
    3. Does not leave my girls hanging out for all to see.
    4. Has good coverage for sun protection on my shoulders so I don't have to wear sunscreen. When Silas was a baby it got in his eyes from my shoulders and they swelled up.
    5. I feel comfortable in it and am willing to be seen in public.

    I think I might have to forgo number 4 if I want to be able to nurse Sadie.  Heck I may have to forgo number 5 as well.

    *note* I did end up finding a lovely swimsuit I purchased from modestlyyoursswimwear.com. It was wonderful!