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

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Riddle-ie Riddle-ie Ree

Here's a riddle for you:

What is both clean and  dirty, dark and  light and doesn't care if it's night or  day?


Between sickies and potties we have washed several loads of sheets and towels this week but not many loads of clothes.  I see a BIG laundry day coming up quick.  (Oh and for the record, there is another full hamper and a couple baskets full of dirty clothes not pictured.)  I think there is only one basket of clean clothes not put away.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

But I thought it would work!

 But I thought it would work! 

This is a phrase we hear often from Silas.  He is a thinker.  When he sees something, he wants to figure out its full potential.

The most recent item was Evelyn's dollar store flashlight.  Silas had seen his Daddy use a flashlight under water, so of course he wanted to see if Evelyn's would do that too.

You know the old adage, "You get what you pay for"?  Her flashlight did come from the Dollar store ya know.

Here's a quick pick of Todd explaining to Silas why it........ummmm.......didn't work so well.


Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tape comes in handy

The kids had  been outside with their daddy while he was working on some things around the house. Avrie came to us before bed and said her fingers hurt and that they were sparkly.  She really wasn't too upset about being sparkly. (Sparkly seems to be a word that comes up more and more often here.) 

Simply put:

  Sparkles = Good              Pain = Bad   

We finally figured out that she had touched some fiberglass that Todd had been cutting and gotten small shards in her hands.  Daddy to the rescue!  Todd put tape on her hands and it pulled the shards right out.

Being the smart little girl that she is, Avrie was not at all upset that her hands were no longer sparkly.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Carob Cake

Our family has basically been grain free since September.  We were invited to a birthday party for our nephew and I didn't want the kids to have to watch everyone eat birthday cake, so I decided to make my own!  I got the recipe from a wonderful support group for the SBP diet we are following. This recipe had carob powder, mashed baked sweet potatoes, eggs and some other ingredients.

Lovely farm fresh eggs, separated.

I beat the egg whites until stiff and then added the other ingredients.

Here is a  picture of the batter.  Notice the two little dollops of batter in the center?  I have never smoothed my cake batter out before.

Baking with no flour has a learning curve. LOL  Here is the cake when finished baking. The batter didn't settle. Woops!

Apparently Silas didn't mind that this was a flourless cake. ;-) 

Licking the bowl clean.

We did enjoy the cake but not at the party. After all that work, we went off a forgot the cake at home.  Thankfully, the kids didn't seem to mind.  It probably had something to do with the yummy homemade popsicles that we did remember.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Look Who's Walking!

Our little Sadie Bug is very content to just sit with her thumb in her mouth.  When she has actually stood up someone usually jumps in and sweeps her off her little feet before she can do anything else.

At 15 months old I was beginning to wonder when she would ever walk.  The other kids were all around 15 months old when they finally walked on their own, but they all stood on their own around 10 months, cruised around furniture by about 12 months and spent lots of time pushing their push toy around practicing.

We have learned something new with each child and Sadie is no exception!  In just the last couple days she went from barely able to stand to pushing her little push toy all over the house.

Here she is on Friday evening. She had learned how to push all the way to the wall, but hadn't figured out how to turn around yet.

Fast forward a couple days and she is zooming all over the place.

Look - one handed walking!

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sparklies in the Chicken

Todd had the day off work today, so he made some of tonight's dinner. It's always a nice change because we have very different cooking styles.

As we were eating Evelyn said, "I don't like sparklies in my chicken." and gave us this lovely pout face.

Sparklies?  I realize Todd and I have different cooking styles.....but I'm pretty sure sparklies aren't in the spice cabinet. Here is a picture of said chicken.

Do you see sparklies?  I don't see sparklies. It is quite lovely, but not at all sparkly. Let's check her plate. Maybe there's some sparklies there.

Nope. Not a bit of sparkle. (Sorry for the fuzzy picture. The camera was in the cold van and the lens was fogging up.)

Evelyn dear, there are no sparklies on your chicken.

She disagreed.

We were able to figure out why she was upset.

Parsley!  She thought the oregano was parsley. All I've got to say is I am thankful that my 3 year old even knows what parsley is.  We'll work on pronouncing it later. ;-)

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Friday, January 6, 2012

Where is Thumb - Kin?

 Remember my Christmas Fun! post?  I mentioned in that post that we made a little keepsake of our thumb prints in some left over salt dough. Under each thumb print I etched a stick person in with a popsicle stick. That was about all I had done. Tonight I grabbed the markers and decided to color our little thumb people in.

I had this beautiful vision in my mind....blue for Todd and Silas, pink for me and the girls.  So sweet. So color coordinated. I would color some brown hair and some blonde hair....then as I was blissfully coloring away I realized that I had majorly messed up. I had made Ellie blue and Silas pink!  Grrrrrrr.


So it still ended up cute. Not nearly as cute as someone else could have made it, but considering the source, not too bad.

Here's a final picture.

We went with the name "Thumb - Kin" because they are our thumb prints and we are related to each other. Kind of a play on words. :) 

I did find out that markers don't blend very well. I was trying to get some brown into Avrie's hair. Oh well, maybe we'll make this a yearly tradition and I can do a better job next year.  I have no idea what we are going to do with it though.  If anyone has any thoughts on how to store/display it, please comment.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Marriage Challenge

Angie over at Joyful Mothering is doing a Marriage Challenge!  8 weeks to learn 8 new habits. Each Monday she will post a new habit to work on for the week. I encourage everyone to join in.  Who doesn't want to strengthen their marriage?

You can read more here.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Do you like to drink pink ink?

We don't drink pink ink here. Red dye #40 is not allowed at this house. We found out about the evils of this yucky food dye when Ellie was about 2 years old. We call it The Great Cherry Jello Episode of 2004. That's a whole 'nother post in and of itself. "Why do you mention pink ink?" you ask.  Well.....

I'm not one of those fun moms. Really. I am all about prevention. We, the kids especially, mainly drink water. Currently it's for health reasons, but that wasn't always the case. I have always preferred them to drink water everywhere but the table because I don't want to clean up a huge spill of Coke.

We primarily use crayons and colored pencils for art. Yes we have markers and watercolors (I haven't ventured into other paints yet. That's what co-ops are for!) but those are kept high and out of reach of little hands. The few times the children have gotten a hold of a sharpie are documented on some closet walls.  You can actually catch a glimpse of some sharpie art in this post. It's so funny when they write their name on the wall and try to blame their younger sibling, who by the way can't write yet.

For Christmas Avrie and Evelyn received a cute little gift from someone who shall remain nameless. (You know who you are! LOL)  There were some crayons, stickers, stamps and an ink pad. A PINK ink pad. Your wheels are already turning aren't they?  I bet you are wondering which wall got stamped.

I must admit I had completely forgotten they had received this gift. When they opened it I had made a mental note to keep it in the craft closet and we could get it out for special occasions. Well, they must have thought it was really special too. They put their little stamp set in their treasure drawers in their bedroom. You see where this is going?

Here is what I found this morning.

Lovely isn't it?  No. I don't think the ink is washable. The box did say it washes off of MOST skin. Most skin? So what happens if your skin is not most skin?

Right next to this nice display of pink carpet was a certain little someone. Her initials are.......Evelyn Ann. Yep. That's my girl. Aren't three year olds fun? She had also used the stickers to decorate her face. It was actually pretty cute, but we had to go to piano lessons so I didn't capture that on film...err um memory space.

All I can say is thankfully we didn't put new carpet in recently. This pink stain goes fabulous with the other spots throughout the room.  I'm sure someday I will wish my house was packed full of pink stains and three year olds so I might as well enjoy it while I can.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Closet organization

I have been at my wits end dealing with the clutter and unorganized state of our closet. Basically I did the big clothing change over in the Fall and then it didn't really stay cold. The kids ended up dragging out a bunch of short sleeve items and everything got all mixed in together in the closet.

Winter also adds more of a challenge in that clothing is bulkier and there are more layers in general. Things just need stored differently. We also have some up and coming kiddos that need drawer space. ;-)

So we did a revamp of the closet!

I didn't think to take before pictures. I will try to paint a word picture for you. Let's see.......

complete and utter chaos. Yep. That describes it pretty well.

I moved in one set of drawers that I picked up at Goodwill Outlet for cheap. The rest of the drawers were already in there. 

The top rack is for Evelyn and Sadie. I only have some of Evelyn's there right now. I need to get Sadie's put up. The small drawer set on the left is for undies/socks for the three youngest girlies. Silas gets that single drawer for his pajamas. His jeans are folded on top. One stack for play and one for nice jeans. The pans on the shelf are nicer church pants. I just decided to put all empty hangers above the jeans for now.

Notice the lovely sharpie art on the wall here. This is the prime example of why we don't have a lot of markers or other various art items in the house.

This is directly to the right of Silas' jeans. My clothes are hanging. These drawers weren't finished at the time of the picture. They now hold Some items for Avrie and Evelyn and the bottom drawer is for Silas' undies and socks.

The hanging clothes here are Ellie's, Silas' shirts and Avrie's. Two of the pink drawers are Ellie's since she is needing more space now that she is bigger. The bottom pink drawer is for leggings for all the girls. The three larger white drawers are for Avrie, Evelyn and Sadie's pajamas.  Tights are going in a tote on the top shelf. They don't use tights much and Evelyn has been getting 2 or 3 pairs of tights out every day trying them on. Up high they go!

 Ellie made labels for each drawer. She assigned each child a picture and put that next to their name. She came up with that idea herself saying it would help all the non-readers find their drawer. Such a sweetie.You can see a couple of them here on the white drawers.

 Oh and see those clothes sitting on top of the drawers?  That is not supposed to happen. It's been a couple days now and so far things are staying organized. I've just got to stay on top of things.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Following the leader

Todd and I have been married over 17 years now. 17 years!  Wow. I don't feel that old.

 There were a lot of things I didn't know when we got married. Let's just say I was no Betty Crocker, nor was I Susie Homemaker. One thing that I had managed pretty well was finances. I could keep a checkbook balanced and have always been good with numbers. When we got married we both naturally assumed I would take care of the bills. It wasn't something Todd really enjoyed doing and I was only working p/t anyway.....why not?

So I have done the bills for the last 17 years. I have set up budgets and followed them to the penny. I have set up budgets and not followed them at all. I have read Dave Ramsey's books and listened to his radio show. We have great credit and our lights have never been shut off, so I think I've done a decent job, but something has been tugging at my heart lately. Thankfully Todd has always been blessed with a great job that supported us well. We have never really had to skimp and save, but there have been times where a decision needed made. Sometimes I would ask Todd and other times I wouldn't bother him with it. That's just how it's always been.

Todd and I enjoy discussing things together. Priorities. Goals. What do we wish for our children? That sort of thing. I am so thankful for a husband that enjoys talking with me! So many times over the years Todd has relied on my interpretation of our financial situation to make a decision. Now there's nothing at all wrong with that. He knows that I am perfectly capable of adding 2+2. It's about more than the numbers and the math though.

He and I look at things so differently. We really do compliment each other in that way. He is a big picture type of guy. I am a details type of gal. I don't know why I never thought of it before, but how can he be expected to lead our family when he doesn't have the whole picture?  

I had been thinking about this for months and was ready to ask Todd if he would take over the bills. I had this beautiful scene in my mind.....I would explain to him all that I have been feeling and he would completely understand, agree with me and we would skip off into the sunset......Wrong!

I'm a big dope and I flew off the handle about some small detail and said, "Fine! You do it.". Not one of my finer moments.  A while later I was able to articulate all that I had been thinking these past several months and he saw my reasoning. Todd officially took over this week. I have to admit that I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.Not from the work of doing a task, but from all the thoughts and worry that I had over them.

Just yesterday he took something that I was unable to make a decision about and simply said, "This is how it is." and it was done. That's it. Finished.

Sweet relief!  It is so much easier following the leader.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Plural nouns according to Avrie

Avrie comes up with some funny thoughts. Today she was playing and said, "Mom? Do you know what an audience is called when there's only one person?"

Of course I had no idea what she was talking about. "Ummmm an audience?" I replied.

"Nope! If there's only one person then you have an audient." Then she giggled at her new found knowledge and continued playing.

Funny thing is, that actually makes sense if you don't know how to spell the word audience. Gotta love 5 year olds.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Fun!

Yes I realize it's January and I am making a Christmas post. We had computer issues and I am behind.

We did several fun things this year. Of course I wanted to do more but this is what actually got accomplished.

Several months ago I found this wonderful idea to make cinnamon honey butter gifts in a jar. Of course this was before we went on a diet that eliminated cinnamon and sugar, and limited honey and butter. LOL  I had already planned it though, so we made it anyway. I will admit that Ellie and I had a lick. Sssshhhhh!  Funny thing is, I thought it was too sweet.  We made it several months ago and loved it. I think our taste buds are changing, and for the better. It seems like everyone that received a jar liked it well enough and Ellie had fun helping in the kitchen.

Here is a picture of our jars.

No they are not as fancy looking as the ones we were mimicking, but we liked them. Sweet side note:  The material on the jars came from an old elf costume that my Great Aunt Vivie had made for me to wear in a Christmas show several years ago. Memories!

Another thing we did was make salt dough ornaments. The kids really enjoyed this. I was also not too concerned about them eating something with flour because the dough tasted horrible.

Here are some actions shots.

We made a little keepsake with our left over dough. Each of us put a thumb print in this square and I made stick people out of them. I am hoping to decorate with markers. We'll see if it actually turns out or not.

We took the ornaments and met some friends at a local nursing home. We were able to take some time and decorate them with a few of the residents. We caroled through the halls a bit, then a nice lady came by to play songs at the piano. She played several Christmas carols that we knew, so we joined in the singing. It turned out very nice and everyone had a great time!

We also had our usual family gatherings. With the new diet this year it was a little more challenging to come up with fun food for the kids. At the last minute I decided to make a Christmas tree from our veggie tray. We have cauliflower around the edges as "snow". The broccoli is the tree. The star is sliced yellow bell pepper held together with a toothpick and the lights on the tree are chopped red and yellow bell pepper.  Yes, I know it's not sugar cookies but the kids liked it.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Evelyn's First Haircut

Sweet Evelyn has been having some bad hair days for a while now. There have been some times where we could pass her off as a troll doll.

The back of her hair gets quite fuzzy. We decided it was time for her first haircut! I made a last minute appointment with our favorite hair-stylist and off we went. Evelyn was pretty excited about it until she saw the chair.  At that  point her little smile faded away.  Thankfully she didn't cry and it only took a little coaxing to get her into the chair.

Still not very happy with the chair.

Every once in a while she would say, in her cute little raspy voice, "I don't like haircuts." and stick out her bottom lip.

Once it was all said and done she was pleased.  She looked like a completely different little girl!

Check out the back. No more troll doll hair for this little cutie.

It still gets a little fuzzy in the back but nothing that can't be combed out quickly. One last smile for the camera.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy