Saturday, February 27, 2010

Things Said Around My House

My NIPS awa hangin' out! (#6 without a shirt on-huge smile on her face)
NO! Don't put the cheese in your pocket! (Moi as #6 was putting an entire brick of cheese in her sweater pocket)
Dare me to fix this globe with a drywall screw. (DH)
Don't wipe the window with a pancake! (#3 to #6)

Friday, February 26, 2010


Winter really packed up a whollop this week. Almost 18 inches of snow are drifting all over the place. The snow is over the top of the snowblower. Driving is yuggy and I have dissappointed children because we cannot get out to their activities. But we have sledding party tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trying to decide how many raspberry plants

to put in and if I should start a new strawberry patch. I have the strawberries in the garden patch now but I really could use that space for other things. But it is nice having it all in the electric fence and protected. I haven't been able to figure it out. I cut some sod last year for raspberry canes down in the front of the property. I already have a row of blueberry plants (30) that I planted last year. It will take another 2 years or more for them to produce (I ordered 2 or 3 year old canes).

I am getting hives! yeehah! A family that we know recently moved into town and they have hives I can have! I asked if I could pay for them and he said no but he is willing to accept eggs and some jam. Woohoo! The current plan is one hive in the front with the fruit tree and blueberries and one in the back. Maybe both should be in front that way I can keep an eye on the kids and what they are doing with the bees. In back they won't be bothered by a mower. Still have to figure that one out. Having the hives down front means really good pollination and therefore lots of fruit.

I am thinking about grapes. My kids haven't had much homemade grape jam/jelly so they don't have a love of it like strawberry. Grammie? Got any extra around there we can try out on all the kids?

On the chicken front the boys think they want to go into the egg business. They are going to start with eggs and then move out to pasture-raised broilers. The current plan is to add another 30-50 chickens in the spring. The current flock will be left alone to lay eggs all summer. Come fall, they are all going to be slaughtered. We will have stewing hens for ourselves and possibly for sale. Depends. We really like chicken pot pie and I could see my family saying, "NO! we want all this chicken for ourselves!" 30 would get us through a year at one every other week. The roosters we ate earlier this year were so much better than a store bought. It is really hard to describe how much better they were. Maybe it had to do with all the bugs they ate!

All the seeds are here. I have to clean out the utility room so we can start the germination! That starts next week or the week after. I found at a garage sale last year a mini greenhouse with grow lights. We'll see how it works. The boys are already on warning that all their camping gear is going to have to go to the attic in the next day or two.

The garden plan is done. I am working on making sure I have planned everything we want to can. Normally I do that first but the seed catalogs got to me! I have to order 4 two way hoes for the kids to keep up with the weeds this year but we are mostly ready for gardening to begin. The big guys are actually going to get their gardening merit badge this summer. (If you're doing the work you might as well get the badge right?) They each have their own assigned garden beds that I have not amended the soil so they are starting from scratch. The only boost they will have is that they are actually the cold frames we built last fall. They will have better germination because the soil isn't as cold as the rest of the garden. Maybe next year I will get to try them out. Maybe I should make them break sod for their own spot....hmmm, have to think about that one. Because I could add some compost and peat moss right now and start lettuce for the family to eat.

And I am doing all this thinking when the snow is slowly drifting down. But I find I have to do the thinking when there is no green because I have to DO when there is green!

A Belly Laugh thanks to #3

I am writing a menu plan. I asked #3 for a lunch and to pick the week's desserts (2) (Banana Cream Pie and Blueberry Boy Bait). Then I remembered I have some cream cheese to use so I added the alternate of Key Lime Pie. He says, "Oh! I like that one too!" and does his little lick the lips, roll his eyes, happy dance. I ask him, "Is there a dessert you DON'T like?"

He put his hand on his chin, rubbed it, thinks for a second or two, then replies, "Well, do you remember in 2008, when we went on a trip to Texas? The rice pudding you made then I didn't really like."

He made me belly laugh. He had to go back 2 years to get a dessert he didn't like to figure it out and he actually remembered! That kid loves his dessert!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Letter to My Children

Dear Children,

I am not incredibly concerned with your happiness. I AM concerned with teaching you to be grateful for what you have. I AM concerned that you learn to be content with what you have. I AM concerned with teaching you to work, to serve and love and be grateful.

Now cease and desist with whining about your friends that have iPods, Iphones, xBoxes, the fact that your friends don't have as many chores as you do and they get to do whatever they want whenever they want.

Look at what you have. Be grateful. That includes a 2 year old sister that thinks you are the best thing in the entire world, a 5 year old sister that puts YOUR dirty laundry in the hamper, a 6 year old brother that lets you hang him upside down and tickle him until he is purple in the face, a 9 year old brother that finds all the sweets in the house and normally shares, a 13 year old brother that will read books to you and a 14 year old brother that is learning to wash your dishes. It also includes a mom that has been at home for 15 years and a dad that is incredibly patient.

We have a warm house, wool socks and chocolate chip cookies. Be grateful. Be content. Remember, your happiness I'm not so worried about. It is fleeting.

Remember my goal is not please you. I want to shape you into what Heavenly Father wants you to become. And you just cannot see what you are supposed to be through your selfish, sullen, sarcastic, smart-*$% point of view.

And never, ever again say that the work your mother does around this home is worthless again.

Your Mama
AKA-the one who didn't harm you for saying what you did this morning but walked away and cried

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just a little wisdom to pass on

If you don't have filtering on your computers put it on. #5's molester started with pornography and decided he had to try it out.

Please put some filtering software on your computers. DH likes open dns. It blocks things at the router so all the computers that use the same router have filtering. (At least that is how I understand it to work. There are lots of filtering packages out there.)

And IF you don't know how to get filtering software, regularly check the history and put passwords on the computer.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Me: "#4 please clear the table."
#4: "the whole thing!!"
Me: "Yes"
#4: "But the chicken bucket is full! I can't clear the whole thing!"
Me: "Yes, you can."

the whining begins

Mother asks him if he needs some cheese to go with his whine.

He giggles.

He throws all the paper plates in the trash and just came triumphantly into the living room (where I am).

"Mom! It was so easy! and there were only crumbs so I used my sleeve to wipe the table." as he waves his sweater sleeve in the air, showing me all crumbs and mashed in goulash in the arm of his sweater. He is very proud of himself.


Monday, February 15, 2010

To Pennsylvania and back again

Our friends, the Earnshaws, called us up last weekend and said, "Come to our house and let's play!"

So we did.

10 hour drive, 10 kids, 4 adults in 1700 square feet, air mattress and 5 boys camping out on the living room floor. We had a blast! It was worth 22 hours in the car (10 hours plus 1 hour for stops times 2).

I loved hearing Kathy (age 14) tell her brother, "Jared, when the ourlastname's are around, you act like such a guy." I guess having those 3 sisters is repressive for his guy behavior.

The kids and dads went to see the Percy Jackson movie, Becci and I went to Echo Hill (mennonite grocery store-ladies, I bought the marshmallows from Lucky Charms without the cereal part, my kids are drooling), we met at Red Robin. Alan told the waiter (pointing to all 10 kids, implying they were all HIS), "We are trying to inspire them (leaning his head to DH and I) to start their own family." I sprayed pop. Becci went all googly eyed.

The kids all got along. #5 and #6 loved having big girls to play with.

The adults played Rook, Ticket to Ride, ate nachos and tons of junk food. The kids played Wii, Dutch Blitz, Bang, Farkle, Munchkin and many other games.

good times

1:38 a.m.

as we are pulling into the Earnshaw's neighborhood, since the van is no longer going 65 miles an hour everyone wakes up. Pennsylvania got pounded a few days earlier with 22 inches of snow. Literally the snow banks are 4 feet tall. They live in complex of duplexes so the houses are very tight together, therefore the driveways are close together so you drive down the lane and you see a pile and an eight foot opening to the driveway, a pile and an opening, a pile, an opening.

#3 wakes to see snow and these huge piles of snow. He yells, "OH!!! LOOK AT ALL THOSE QUINZEES!!" DH and I bust up laughing at him.

snow=boy heaven.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Piano Lessons

We have finally found a piano teacher. She comes to us! Isn't that fantastic? All but #6 are having lessons. I got a group discount! I am listening to tinklings of Twinkle Twinkle right now.

Conflicting Prayers

The boys are praying for snow. Me? not so much. They are winning. I watch the flakes fall gently and cover the grass. It does look "pritty" according to #6. I've spent most of the time since October with wool socks on.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Weekend in Cleveland

Holey Moley did we have a good time this past weekend in Cleveland!

We started out Saturday morning early. We were at the Cleveland Rainforest Zoo by 10:30. It is fantastic! We saw crocodiles, snakes, frogs, bats, tamarins, prevost's squirrels, anteater, ibises, otters, orangatans and more. The Lund and Jensen family joined us. #5 decided to go on solo walkabout about 12:00. She disappeared well enough we had to alert security. sigh She wanted to go back to the 2nd floor and found the elevators and everything. Boy, did she get spanked. I guess having 4 older brothers helps with the courage factor. She isn't afraid of much.

We stayed at the Embassy Suites in downtown. It sounds fancy but when we figured in the morning breakfast bar into the cost of the room, the room was a suite and had a pool, it made sense for us to stay there. We came from the zoo and went swimming for an hour or so. Then we got ready for a wedding reception. Jenny Mortensen got remarried and we went to the reception. We had nicoise salad, brie, cassoulet and yummy homemade desserts.

Then we boogied! #6 loves to break dance and turn herself in a circle on her belly on the dance floor. #5 found lots of people to twirl with. #4 was slam dancing against the padded gym wall. #3 was dancing with Johanna most of the night. #2 and #1 did dance but not as much (#1 asked Katie and a girl he didn't know to dance). I danced with all of my sons (much to the consternation of my eldest) and DH and I got a chance to swing and dance also. We chicken danced, hokey pokied and had a great time. Dan Jensen can cut a rug! He and Rebecca had a great time. We had enough adult/big kid hands that Amber (new baby #5) had someone holding her all the time and they had a chance to dance.

After the reception the kids did a late night swim and hit the sack. In this suite we finally had enough room for everyone to sleep. The room had a hide-a-bed and 2 double beds. DH and I and #1 and 2 got the doubles. #6 had a crib, #3 and 5 shared the hide-a-bed and #4 used the couch cushions on the floor by my side of the bed. We went to church (where #1 and #2 got an opportunity to teach primary) and went to Jenny's and her new DH's for lunch and playtime. 18 kids, lots of leftovers, lots of friends. Good times!


The days are so different. Instead of mess and homeschool teaching I have a DH working from home and quiet until 2:54 when #6 (who is 10)...