Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow is on its Way!

Our first real snow storm of the season is on its way and it's gonna be a doozy!! They are calling for at least a foot of the white stuff and blizzard conditions. We are lucky...there are places that are going to be getting 2 feet of snow from this storm.

So what does the snow mean for us.....Family Time!!! Chris usually works on Sundays but he had put in to take it off so we could go to church as a family. We won't make it to church in this kind of weather but at least Chris won't have to drive to work in it either (yes, no matter the weather he still has to be at work for 5 am!).

So my plans----
Games---I picked up Yahtzee for $5 last night at Wal-mart. Can't wait to play that along with Uno and Mancala. All family friendly games that even Alex (who is 7) can play easily.

Food---Hot chocolate, popcorn, brownies, these are a few of my favorite things : )

Movies---We rented all 3 Santa Clause movies from the library so we will be watching them while eating the brownies, popcorn and drinking the hot chocolate : )

Reading---I just got in Family Feasts for $75 a Week by Mary Ostyn.

Cuddling---I've got to keep my Nicholas toasty warm!!!

What about you.....any plans for the weekend?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Still Here!!

Can you believe we are approaching the middle on December already! The last 2 weeks have pretty much been a blur.

Thanksgiving was laid back and relaxed....just the way I like it. My mother, sister in law and 2 nephews came over. They all actually slept over from Wednesday night to Friday afternoon. CJ played in the Thanksgiving football game at the high school (they lost).

CJ was in the church musical this year. They did A Baby Changes Everything. He played Joseph. What a great job. CJ along with the girl who played Mary spoke volumes without ever saying a world. It was the first time I really looked at Joseph as Jesus' earthly father. I was one proud Mama : )

We *finally* got our Christmas tree up.

Chris and I went Christmas shopping on Thursday. Over the years we have cut our list WAY down. Now we buy for: Our kids, my Mom and Dad, my Dad's girlfriend, our 2 nephews, and our great-nephew. My 2 nieces are adults now and I am not sure what I am going to about them this year. My sister said not to worry about them, but how can I not. I am thinking of getting them Christmas ornaments since this was an eventful year for both---one got married and the other had a baby.

I guess my younger children are on a break from school---atleast from the regular subjects. We made snowflakes the other day out of paper. That counts right? CJ has been very diligent and has been doing school on his own. I am not sure when he is taking a break.

I am hoping to get back to blogging on a regular basis.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Homemakers Haven--Week 2

Have you ever heard of the saying "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."?

I know in my home I tend to set the tone for the whole house. I hate to admit it but that isn't always a good thing. Just last week on Monday, Zachary said to me with all sincerity, "Mom, this has been a really good day! You haven't been stressed out or anything!!" OUCH!!!

I have to admit:
I don't smile as often as I should.
I can sound annoyed when the kids are asking me a question or asking me for help in school.
I say no alot just because I don't want to be inconvenient.
I yell way to often.

How's that for honest. Embarrassing but honest. You are going to laugh, but do you know when this hit me.....A few weeks ago I was watching the Amazing Race and there was a christian couple on it who are dating. That week, the girl did NOT want to do the last challenge, going down a huge water slide though a shark tank (you were glassed off from the sharks). Her too biggest fears-water and heights-both in one challenge. By not doing this challenge she was dropping out of the race and a chance at $1 million dollars.

Her boyfriend was trying to physically push her down the slide. As we watched this unfold on TV my hubby said "Isnt' this suppose to be the christian couple? He isn't acting very christian right now."

That stayed with me. How would I look if someone filmed me 24/7 with my kids. Would they see a mother who loves staying home with her 6 children, homeschooling? Or would they see someone who actions tell another story?

Last week I really made an effort. I noticed a difference. So this week, to make my Home a Haven I will:
*Smile more.
*Say yes more.
*Hold my tongue and count to 10 when I feel I am going to respond out of frustration or anger.
*Praise my children more for the effort they put in.

Head over to A High and Noble Calling for more Homemakers Haven.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Online Coupons

I LOVE to order online-----but I HATE paying shipping. Three times since September I have used this webiste:

Popular coupons powered by

Retailmenot saved me $40 in shipping charges---$19.95 on American Girl, $9.95 for Hanes and another $10 from CBD. That is money in my pocket!!!!

Super easy to use---go onto the website, put in the store or website you are shopping at and *ta-da* codes will appear. Could it be any easier : )

Happy Shopping!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Family Pictures

Random Family Pictures


Emily and Nicholas

My Dad with Nicholas


CJ giving Jessie Birthday hugs

Works for Me Wednesday---November 18

Each meal at our house consists of 5-7 people eating at once (sometimes more). To cut down on the confusion of who gets what and how much I have come up with this system:

We make everyone's plate in the kitchen. This lets us see how much food is on each plate---making it easier for us to keep kids size portions vs. adult size in check (I have one child who would just eat and eat and eat if you let him) and lets us see that they have eaten (if you don't eat your meal, you don't get snacks).

**ADDED BONUS** Less dishes to wash!!!! I just cut out having to wash serving dishes : )

Well here is the REAL tip----when I make everyone's plate I line them up in order from oldest to youngest (left to right). I also do this when pouring everyone's drink too. This helps me keep track of who's plate is who's. Also, because I have been using this system for so long, when the kids come get their food, they know to count over X amount of spots for their plate depending on where they fall. Example---lunch time: On this day Chris is at work and CJ and I are not eating the same thing as the kids. I make PB&J sandwiches. Alex comes into get get his plate. He will count over 3 plates----Zachary, Jessica, Alex and Emily. Because the kids know the system so well, they can usually tell when I plate is missing---like if Jessica already came and got her plate Alex would see an empty space and then 2 more plates. He would assume Jessie came and took hers.

This system Works For Me!!!!

Head on over to We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Homemakers Haven---Week 1

I found a new blog I LOVE! Can you guess? A High and Noble Calling. I love Stephanie's writing, her insight, her little-bit-of-everything. She is doing a weekly meme called The Homemakers Haven. When I read about it last week, I was instantly drawn in by her first 2 sentences.

Over the last 2 weeks I have had a work going on in my heart. First off---I have to get rid of the picture I have of others in my head (the "perfect homeschool families"---you know the ones) and stop comparing myself to them. My family is not going to be exactly like yours----I wouldn't want to be!!! Don't get me wrong, I definitely do glean from others.

I do know that I have to get myself and my home back in order. That is why I am so glad for this new weekly series. It will help keep me accountable. Also, my personality is a "check off the box" kind of person so to have things written down that I can then cross off is GREAT!!!! Stephanie has given 5 areas to work in.

So here is what I want to work on this week to make my home more of a haven:

1.Beginning Day in God's Word
I sure do notice a difference when I start the day off with God and give it over to Him compared to when I leave it up to myself. This week I am working on getting up with Nicholas' 6 am feeding and staying up. I usually go into the nursery, close the door and feed sitting in the rocking chair listening to K-Love (christian radio network). Now here is where the change comes in. I usually falling asleep holding him after this feeding and waking up when the kids come in one-by-one. Not anymore!!

Goal: Listen to music as usual but after Nicholas is done eating get right into God's word. I am using my Mom's devotional Bible right now. It has a short devotion to read along with scripture verses. After that, spend some time in prayer.

2.Complete Your Morning Routine
It is not uncommon of me to stay in my pajamas ALL day. Over the last 2 months, if I was staying home for the day I would stay in pj's, take a shower (at some point) and put on another pair. About 2 weeks ago I got an email devotion from Alpha Omega Publications. It talked about how if you were at a job how would you look---nice clothes, hair done. Compared to how we (or should I say I) look as a homeschool mama---pjs, hair in a messy bun, slippers. OUCH!! What kind of example am I to my children?

Goal: Before I come downstairs (and I get caught up in whatever is going on) I am to take a shower, get dressed in REAL clothes including shoes, make my bed and dress Emily. I also need to do my light for Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter depression). It makes a world of difference.

3.Have a Plan
Honestly, need to think and work on this one.

4.What's for Dinner
I posted my menu yesterday. I am pretty good about making a menu. It's the taking something out to defrost I am terrible at!!!

Goal: Take whatever meat needs to be defrosted out in the morning.

5.Compete a Project!
Oh boy, do I have projects I need to complete.

Goal: School books are all over!!! Because of taking time off during the pregnancy from being sick we did school though the summer. Before Nicholas was born , I was having the kids work on the books from last year that they didn't finish. Because of this, I have 2 different years worth of books in one area. AAHH!!!!! I have already switched a couple of things and I still have crates sitting in my dinning room with books that were "suppose" to be put away (like 3 months ago). I am determined to get my school area clean and organized.
2. Catch up on laundry.
3. Organize Nicholas' closet. Chris took everything out so we could reorganize it. However, before we can put his stuff back in it I need to do the school books so I can put them at the back of his closet (it is a long closet to the side).

Okay, I think that should do it. Don't want to make my goal so huge this first week that I don't meet them.

Oh, one last goal for the week---Smile More!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Have you seen this commercial? While watching the Patriots last night with my hubby my jaw dropped open when I saw this. Why? I have never seen such a PC (Politically Correct) commercial before. They threw everything in their as to not offend anyone. Then at the end it tells you to "86 the rules and just do what feels right."

That is what we have come to as a country. It's ALL okay, no real right or wrong, as long as you don't offend anyone in the process. You must have heard the saying "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything!" Now that I think of it....kind of like the girl does at the end of the commercial : )-

Menu Monday---November 16th

I tried to plan this weeks menu from the food we already had on hand. I didn't want to spend alot of money on food this week. I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of our meals could be done and we actually only needed a few ingredients for the rest.

I started my menu on Friday's since that is the day I go (or try to go) grocery shopping. I would like to eventually change this to a Tuesday afternoon or a Wednesday. It just hasn't happened yet.

L--Left-over Chicken Chili with rice
D--Chicken Pot Pie (from the freezer)

B--Pancakes (I made a triple batch and froze a huge amount)
L--Cheese and Crackers with Apples
D--Pizza Night (I did order this out. I have tried 3 times now to make homemade and it just doesn't taste the same to me.)

Sunday --- Jessica's Birthday ---- Menu picked out by her
B--French Toast (made extra and put it in the freezer)
L--Fruit and snacks
D--Tacos (hamburg and chicken) with Rice, veggies

B--Banana Bread (made 2 yesterday, 1 went in the freezer)
L--L.O. (left over) Tacos and Rice
D--Portuguese Soup and homemade bread

B--Muffins (I made them over the weekend and put them in the freezer)
L--L.O. Portuguese Soup
D--Lasagna (from the freezer)

L--L.O. Lasagna
D--BBQ chicken, Rice and Corn

L--BLTs and Mac and Cheese
D--Chicken Stir-Fry

The only food I bought this week:
Taco Dinner Mixes x 2
Taco Cheese
1 box mac and cheese
ice cream (to with Jessica's birthday cake I made)
butterscotch tips (planning on making cookies today)
bottled water
Nicholas' formula
1 juice

I think that is it. Not bad for a family of 8!! I still could have went without a few of those things.

Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Monday Menu Plans.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Busy Season

Today officially begins our family's busy season. Between today and the 1st of the year we will celebrate 3 birthdays and 3 major holidays. And we don't get to rest too long in January before our anniversary comes. Here's the breakdown:

November 15---Jessica's birthday
November 26---Thanksgiving
December 16----Emily's birthday
December 24/25---Christmas Eve and Day
December 29---Zachary's Birthday
December 31/January 1---New Year's Eve and Day
January 18---Wedding Anniversary.


It would be easy to get caught up in the materialistic aspect of the season along with the stress. So how do we get through without going crazy?

First and foremost......downsize birthdays. Up until a few years ago we use to go all out, go crazy and broke. I am talking 2 parties per kid (one for adults and one for the kids) on the same day!!! I would invite kids over, along with their parents during the day. We would have games, food and cake. Clean up, and then family would come over....which meant another buffet of food (usually Chinese for family), another cake (btw, these are store bought cakes) and another mess! I was always stressed out leading up to the day. The day of, I was usually unbearable (I can admit it). It sucked all the fun and life out of the day. On top of that, my pocketbook would be about $400+ lighter between food, supplies, cakes, party favors and presents---and this is probably a conservative estimate. Afterwards, I was exhausted, broke and STILL stressed because I had another mess to clean.

A few years ago we smart'n up. Now only "milestone" birthdays have a party that is more than just our family. This would include--1st birthday and 10th, and 18th (I think, CJ isn't there yet). This is not to say that we don't make each birthday special, we just do it in a different way.

An example of a typical birthday in our house:
*Birthday child picks the menu for the day.
*No chores---great chance for siblings to bless the birthday child.
*No school--birthday's are family holidays.
*Present---This is when the child gets their "big" present for the year(instead of Christmas). We decided this would be the time to give the big gift (like an American Girl Doll or Nintendo DS) because it would be almost impossible to afford these kinds of gifts x 6 at once. Also, I think it would take away from Christmas. I would rather spend the extra money on a present than on a party.
*Child picks out what kind of cake they would like, either ice cream cake or a cake made by me.
*A special countdown song leading up to the big day.
*This year we added---each person at dinner says something about the birthday person that makes them special.

We have, on occasions, gone out to dinner as a family and something fun like bowling or mini-golf.

My children are just as happy with the way we do birthday now as we use. And myself? I LOVE it!!! My stress level is way down since I don't have to worry about getting the house ready for company. Instead, I get to enjoy the birthday child.

Today I brought Jessie to Starbucks to get a Frapacinno---just like Mommy, buy nail polish and a pack of gum. When we got home, I painted her nails as Daddy made tacos. After, she played with her new American Girl Doll we splurged on. It was a great day!!! Including her gift, the day cost around $120 ($95 on doll, $7 hairbrush for doll, breakfast and dinner under $10, cake less than $2, ice cream $2, birthday plates and napkins $3. That is a far cry from the $400.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Love This Commercial!!!

Every time...and I do mean EVERY time, I see this commercial I can't help but crack up : )-

New Name!!

I don't know if you noticed but I changed the name of my blog today to "They are ALL my Own". You might be wondering why the name change? Well there are 2 major reasons.

1. When I first started blogging I thought it would be a blog about homeschooling. However, it turned out to be less about homeschooling and more about my life, my kids, and my general thoughts. Therefore, I didn't feel that "My Adventures in Homeschooling" was appropriate anymore.

2. Now as for the new name itself. It is no secret that I have adopted 3 children. I am pretty open about it and I love to talk to people about it. I have found that people have a preconceived notion about what "adopted" children look like and act like. I have heard to many times "Well I couldn't adopt because I would be afraid to. You never know what you are going to get." Well I am hear to tell you.....You NEVER know what you are going to get when you give birth to a child!!! How many times have you seen a family with 3 children and they grow up to be totally different. In my own sibling group I have a brother who has MAJOR mental health issues (bipolar, schizophrenia) while me and my sister do not.

While people know I adopted they sometimes have a hard time figuring out which 3 were. I like the guessing game, and quite honestly, I think it is funny when people pick the wrong ones. Unfortunately though, more times than not (and more than I care for), people will say "Which ones are your own?"

Do you see where I am going with this. You see, They are ALL my Own!!! I am not babysitting here, or raising these kids until their "real" parents come back. I am their real mother, Chris is their real father, they are real brothers and sisters and they are ALL mine.

I love the uniqueness of our family. Each and every one of them was picked out by God. I am proud to say, they are ALL my own : )

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Interesting....VERY interesting. President Obama's daughters are NOT getting the {hyped up} Swine Flu Vaccine. Interesting since the President just made the Swine Flu a National Emergency. You can check out the story at the website below.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Having a new baby can be time consuming to say the least. Add a house full of kids and you learn early on in the early days that simplicity is the key.

For me, one thing that Works-for-Me is paper plates and cups. I use them whenever I can---breakfast, lunch and snacks. It makes clean up a snap---just throw the plates away and rinse the cups out before putting in the recycling bin. Having a sink full of dirty dishes is one less thing to worry about.

To me, the $4 I spend on plates and the $3 I spend on cups is WELL worth it. It Works-For-Me!!!

Head on over to We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Menu Monday-- October 19th

I am slowly (but surely) getting life back to "normal". Chris was home for 3 weeks after Nicholas was born (what a blessing). He took care of everything from laundry to homeschooling. I have been doing more and more. Last week I made my first menu and went grocery shopping. Boy, was it hard leaving Nicholas.

Chris and I have both been cooking dinners. I have been trying to keep breakfast and lunch to things that are easy. Honestly, in the morning, if I had a rough night, I catch a little sleep with Nicholas after his 6 am bottle. A sleepy cranky mommy makes for a long day.

So here is the plan for our menu---which is ALWAYS subject to change.

B-Banana Bread
L-Left over pasta
D-Chorico and Fry grinders

L-Turkey Sandwiches
D-Homemade Pizza----YES, I actually made homemade pizza. It was pretty good. I would make the crust thinner next time.

L-Left over Pizza
D-Roasted Chicken with chorico, potatoes, corn

B-Oatmeal---Zachary will make
L-Grill Cheese
D-BBQ, Rice pilaf

B-Blueberry Muffins
D-Taco Tuesday!!! Taco, Rice and veggie platter

B-French Toast----Chris' day off : )
L-Mac and Cheese
D-not sure yet. Something with chicken.

B-LaMuffins (egg sandwich on a english muffin. Our last name starts with "La")

The kids have a healthy snack mid-morning of either fruit or yogurt. They also have a afternoon snack. This week they will have a choice of granola bar, fruit grain bar, zucchini bread, pudding, and popcorn.

A few times a week I let them have a dessert after dinner. Chris made cupcakes Friday night (yummy) with Zachary. Apple crisp is a favorite this time of year. Ice cream is a favorite all year round.

Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Monday Menu Plans.

Game Day

Chris and the girls watching the Patriots' game.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Look Who's 1 Month Old Today!!

This picture was taken this morning.

4 Weeks old.

13 Days old


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blogs I Love

Today, after reading a wonderful comment left on my blog, I realized that I didn't have this person's blog (which I read daily) on my list of favorites (which it is!). So I figured it was time to do some updating.

I added 11 blogs to my favorite list today. You can access each of them from my side bar. I hope you will go and check them out. I think there is a little something for everybody.

Glimpse of Sonshine (BTW, this is the blog that started it today)
Amy Loves It (I have only been following this a short time, but love it already)
Generations Cedar
Pursuing Titus 2
A High and Noble Calling
Lynn's Ktchen Adventures (some great recipe ideas on this one)
The Finer Things in Life (makes you stop and think about what is really important in life)
$5 Dinners (She actually got featured on Rachel Ray for her great savings tips. I followed her before she was on the show).
4 Little Men and Girly Twins
Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers (Don't you just love the name!!!)
Mommy Matters


Friday, October 2, 2009

Getting Back......

Hello All!
Just wanted to let everyone know that I am here! : )

It has been a time of adjustment around here......mostly on my part. I started out breastfeeding Nicholas. After 11 days I had to start giving him the bottle. It was a heart wrenching decision that I did NOT take lightly but it had to be done. I will some day give more details about it but not right now (still too painful). All I will say is it was an internal battle that I was fighting.

I summarized it this way to my husband.....I feel like the post-partum period is a cruel joke. You wait 9 months--you dream, you plan and are excited beyond belief. Then you have the baby. Then you are sleep deprived and hormones kick in. Dreams get scattered, plans get thrown out the window and you look at this brand new little one who depends on you.....and you wonder what you are suppose to do next.

I am feeling much better now. I am actually feeling comfortable now in my efforts. He is a beautiful gift, given to me from the Lord after many-many years of wanting to give birth one more time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Nicholas Jude
7 lbs 2 oz
20 inches
Born @ 11 am

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1 Day to Go!!!

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!!
Lots to do today to finish getting ready. I also want to spend the day with the kids doing something fun.

I am trying to wrap my brain around the fact that tomorrow I in fact am going to be giving birth. Honestly, I am in "surgery mode" not "I am having a baby!". Believe me I am excited about having him. It just hasn't become real yet....and probably won't until I hold him in my arms.

Emotions are running high for me today. It's a bitter sweet day.

I am a little sad to know that this will be the last full day that I probably will ever be pregnant. I consider it a miracle that I became pregnant and looking back over the last 9 months I wish that I had let some things go and just been a little more selfish and just relaxed and enjoyed it.

I am nervous. You would think since I have had 2 c-sections before that this would be old hat for me. Being a nurse, especially a nurse that worked on post-surgical patients actually has put a fear in me. You know the say---ignorance is bliss. I wish I was more ignorant right now. Peace. I just want to rest in God's peace right now.

I am worried. Worried about my children being without me for 3-4 days.

I am excited. I finally get to meet our little guy. This is a new chapter for our family. I am looking forward to what that may be.

Prayers.....I could use them right now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday!!!!

Happy Birthday to the love of my life Chris!!!!

I have a very selfless man. He took today off from work not because it is his birthday but so he can bring me to the doctor's this afternoon. I have my last appointment with the OB before Thursday's arrival. I am seeing the actual doctor who will do the c-section. After that, Chris is going to drop me off at the hospital for pre-admission testing. While I am there he is going to take the kids (minus CJ who will be at football) to the park. I was willing to change these appointments when I go them in the mail but he said no. He is always putting others before himself.

Just another reason I love him : )

Oh and......2 MORE DAYS TO GO!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

3 Days to Go!!!

Only 3 Days to Go!!! And I am feeling VERY overwhelmed at this point. I have lots I WANT to get done.....but no energy to do it. I will admit, because of this, I feel snappy.

Chris keeps telling me to relax. In fact, I was up in the middle of the night (big surprise) so he called me on his way to work (about 4:30 am). He told me he wanted me to take it easy and just worry about doing my menu planning. That's it. He said he would take care of everything else when he gets home.

I have an incredible husband and I love him so much. The guilties come in for me. I feel bad that after being up since 3 am he is going to come home and do all the things I want to do.

Today is Chris' last day of work until October 9th. Tomorrow is his birthday. I am hoping to make it a special one for between my doctor's appointments.

Please keep me in your prayers that I would be able to stay in peace the last 3 days of this pregnancy. I do truly feel blessed for it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Reminder to Self

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

You know what......being a homeschooling mama can be hard!!! You don't get to call out sick, have a lunch or coffee break or leave the job behind at 4 pm. Attitudes can pop-up at any time (and I am not just talking about the kids here) and you have to be really good at multi-tasking.

A mentor I look up to told me that while she was homeschooling she had this verse on her fridge as a reminder to herself. I have been look at this scripture alot lately. Trying to remind myself to press on.

I have had one child in particular who drives me to my knees. The whole summer has been a tug-o-war with them in regards to 2 areas of sin----lying and not doing chores. Frustrating to say the least!!! We can have 3 great days followed by 4 horrible days. I have shed more tears than I wished to over this matter. In my mind, I just don't get it. How hard is it to just tell the truth!!

But then I a quiet reminder comes to me about my own sin. What is my reaction to this child? I would love to say that I have a sweet tender voice and heart while correcting but that just doesn't happen. I take this child's disobedience VERY personally and get angry. I let it set the tone for the whole house. Talk about not being fair to the other children, my husband, myself and the original child who was disobedient.

I am working on it. First off---I have been praying about this area in particular for this child and myself (their lying and my reaction). Next, I have been having this child write out a scripture many-many times (Proverbs 12:22) and also have them wear an index card with the scripture pinned to their shirt as a reminder (an idea from a friend).

In regards to chores---I have noticed over the last 3 weeks this child has been saying "I don't like to_______ (fill in the blank---clean their room, pick up toys, do their chores, basically anything we have been asking them to do) ALOT! A friend of mine told me how she went through a similar problem with her 2 older children when they were little. Her first word of advice----speak only ONCE! She said if she told them to clean their room in X amount of time and they didn't, she went in with a garbage bag and cleaned it for them. The kids did have an opportunity to eventually earn the toys back---one at a time.

After getting VERY frustrated on Tuesday and hearing at 3 different times how this child does not like to ______ I decided to take action. The garbage bags came out and their room was packed up. Tears were shed as this child saw that I was serious. I used this as an opportunity to talk (yes, I talked very calmly) about how God entrusts us with a little and when we show we can handle it He gives us more.

This gave us both a great life lesson. This child learned there are consequences for not being obedient and for not being content with what they have been given. It gave me the chance to correct this child with a calm voice and a loving heart.

Wednesday and Thursday were great days with this child. However, today they got up and decided NOT to do their chores. I am happy to say that I stayed calm, I didn't take it personally (had to remind myself on this one) and gave the child their consequence nice and calmly. This child came to me on their own and has since apologized. I accepted and had them go and do their chore (instead of having them wait until Chris got home). They will now have 3 extra jobs to do (since there was 3 jobs they decided not to do) while the other children enjoy some play time. After they get their jobs done I will let it go and let them continue on with the day (this is a new one for me).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Prepping the Mommy!


I think my belly looks bigger than yesterday!!

Today was Prepping the Mommy!! I went and got my haircut. I didn't want to scare the baby when he sees me : )-

Believe it or not, I took 3-4 inches off! Chris even said he didn't realize my hair had gotten that long. Now *hopefully* I will be able to blow-dry my hair out like this myself. I wonder if my hair dresser makes hospital visits ; )

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

37 1/2 Weeks

Today's appointment with the midwife went very well.

BP 110/72
Wt---stayed the same : ) Total weight gain (according to them) 22. According to what I weighed the day before I found out 16!!!

She didn't bother measuring me. She said she has no worries and added"oh, your good"....with a laugh. Last week I already measured 40 weeks so I can only imagine what I was this week. I don't think there is any more room at the inn ; )

Everything is going according to plan. My next appointment, on Tuesday, will be with the doctor who will be performing the c-section. After the appointment I will go to pre-admission testing at the hospital.

I can't believe he will be here in 8 days----actually, more like 7 days, 11 hours but who's counting : )

Please keep me in your prayers. My mind can go a hundred miles per hour and can get away from me. I am trying to take every thought captive.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

CJ's Dream Car

My Dad came to visit today. To our HUGE surprise he told Chris to bring CJ for a drive in his car. I had to stop to clarify when I saw him hand CJ the keys. I couldn't believe he wanted CJ to do the driving!!!!!

Talk about a giant smile on someone's face walking out the door.

First thing he did was put the top down.


Chris and CJ

Ready to go.


I went to remind my father that CJ is the oldest grandson.....then I remembered the technically he isn't (my brother has 3 kids we haven't seen in 15 or so years). Man, I thought I could get him with that one ; )

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baby Update--Week 36 1/2

I went yesterday to see the midwife.

BP 116/70
WT up 1 22
Measuring-----40 weeks!!!! Yup, I am measuring 3 1/2 weeks ahead, however my ultrasounds have always been right on target. Julie (my wonderful midwife) again said I am looking at an 8 pounder at birth.

When she went and listen to his heart rate he kicked right where she was listening to to move it. She looked at us and said "look at that attitude!" Gee, I wonder where he gets that from ; ) Everything else looks good (I still have ankles) and I go back and see her for the last time next week on Wednesday. Then I see the doctor the following week on the Tuesday and have the baby on the Thursday. WOW!! It is coming fast!!!!

Funny story----
While driving yesterday. Conversation between Chris and me:
Me----"Can you believe I am measuring 40 weeks already?"
Chris---"YES---your HUGE!"
Me---(in disbelief) "What! I can't believe you said that! I am putting on my blog that you think I am huge."
Chris---"Well if you are going to put it on your blog that you can use GINORMOUS!" (he was laughing----I was sitting there with my mouth open).
Me---"I can't believe you said that." (me laughing)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Cute Nephew

Nathan Anthony
September 1, 2009
5:34 pm
20 inches

Proud Papa

3 Generations!
Me, Niece Laura, Great-Nephew Nathan
Boy, that makes me feel old!!!

The New Mama with her little bundle.

The love of my life--Chris taken it in.
He is a natural with babies.

What a cute baby!!!

The Happy Family

I forgot how small they come out!!
I can't believe I will have one of my own on the 17th!!

Wide Awake : )

I think he was wondering if anyone was going to pick him up ; )

I saw the midwife myself today that delivered Nathan yesterday. She told us what an AWESOME job Laura and Brandon did with labor and delivery. I am VERY proud of the two of them.

Our family is extremely excited. With the birth of Nathan there are 5 generations alive right now in our family.
Nathan---age 1 day
Laura---age 19 Nathan's mom
Glenda---age 45 (46 on Sunday) Laura's mom
Joe---age 70 Glenda's dad
Irene---age 92!! Joe's mom

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Laura's Baby!!!!!

HE'S HERE!!!! My niece, Laura, had her baby : )
Nathan Anthony 7lbs-1 oz.
Mom and Baby are doing well.

Number 19!!!!

I have to tell you.......I love this family!!!!!

Laura Update

My niece, Laura, is in labor. Please keep her in your prayers today for a fast, safe delivery.
I will update after she has her bundle of joy!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Giving Credit---CJ

What a summer!! I always look forward to September. To me it brings routine back to our life. Once the summer hit, I knew my pregnancy was going to fly by-----and it did.

But this post isn't about school, routine or pregnancy. No, it's about CJ. I have to give that kid credit where credit is due. He has been no stop with sports since March and it will not end until after Thanksgiving.

He has an enormous amount of dedication----whether it be to God, his family, friends or sports. When he has decided to be dedicated to something, he gives it his all.

I stand in awe at times at the dedication CJ has to the Lord. It is a steadfast, unmovable dedication that is not afraid to stand up to a bus load of football players firing questions at him from everything from dating, differences in religion to how he feels about the death penalty. And it isn't just the players......he will take the time to have real conversations with the coaches too. He doesn't back down when he has a bunch of teenage boys "trying" to tease him because he doesn't date. Noticed I said "trying". That is because CJ (not us) has made the decision not to date. Because he came to this place on his own, he has a true conviction---not just mom and dad saying "no girls".

On his own he reads daily. For Christmas last year we got him a Chronological Bible. He is working his way through. He also enjoys reading books on worldview. Right now he is reading a book by John Piper.

Football started last week. CJ was gone ALOT. Monday-Wednesday he left the house at 7 am and returned around 1. Thursday and Friday he was gone 7 am until 5ish and Saturday 7 am-1. LONG days. (Again, this is where his relationship with the Lord is truly tested. He is now out in the world, with no parents around.) CJ said something on Friday that I found very interesting and showed me where his heart really is in regards to our family. When he came home Friday I was upstairs resting in bed. He always comes and finds me to say hello. After jumping on my bed (yes, even at 16 he comes in and jumps on my bed) we got to talking. We started off with practice, the team ect....When we finished he got up and said "I feel pretty non-existent with the family this week. I don't like it." WOW! The world would have you think it is "normal" for a teenager to want to be away from their family. CJ didn't like being away from us so much. He is family oriented. He spends very little time in his room alone (usually only when he sleeping, cleaning it and practicing his guitar--with the amp). He likes being around us. I will take it!

CJ bringing Emily down the slide on a recent park outing.

CJ giving Emily a BIG hug after going down. He loves that girl!

I would say CJ is known by alot of different people----but true friends are but a handful. He knows the value of having like-minded friends. It is extremely important to have friends that love the Lord, respect each other and be able to share your heart with. He is faithful to his friends and would be there in a second if they needed anything.

CJ and his friends doing the Polar Plunge on January 1st, 2009.
There was snow on the ground, 30 degree air temp
But their friendship kept them warm : )

I have also seen CJ be a friend to those who others would find less desirable. He has such a heart of compassion. While others may be making fun of someone for being different, I have seen CJ lend a hand and encourage them. Baseball season comes to mind. There was a kid trying out that had one short arm (I am not sure why) and wasn't very good at baseball. I remember CJ coming home one day from tryouts upset because this kid thought whole-heartily that he was making the varsity team. CJ knew the ability wasn't there but didn't want to see this kid crushed. He encouraged him during try out and helped him out. CJ was thrilled when they ended up making this kid that team manager. CJ did everything he could to make him feel part of the team and have him join in.

I don't know how he does it. Sports are non-stop around here. From March until June CJ played on the varsity baseball team at the local high school. This meant practice/games 5-6 days a week. The day after baseball ended in June for highschool he started practice with the town team. He had practice once a week plus 2-3 games a week. He also helped Chris coach Zachary's team and went to all of Alex's games. Then on top of all that, he made the All-Star team, which meant another practice and more games during the week. There were times during July/August that he played 5 games total over a 3 day period. He did it----and did it without complaining.

CJ pitching during a game with the town team.
CJ plays many different positions including
catcher, pitcher, outfield, short-stop and first.
Each team utilizes him in a different way.

To our relief, he did get a break between baseball and football-----4 DAYS!!!! He made the most of those days. Now football season has begun and that will be 5-6 days a week (a total of over 25 hours a week). It takes dedication to work your body physically that much a week.

As you can see, I am pretty proud of my son and the choices he is making in his life. He is becoming a great young man. I am enjoying his "teenage" years. Our biggest problem----ALGEBRA!!!!! In the big scheme of things....if that is my biggest problem than I think we are doing alright.

On the surface, if you didn't know CJ personally you would think sports is his life. A few years ago I might have agreed with you. But with maturity he has put it in its proper place. CJ has this as his tag-line on his emails----I think it says alot......

"If I'm only remembered as a good athlete, I've done a bad job with the rest of my life."

Menu Monday---August 31st

Last week I made a menu, I just never posted it. There are actually a few carry over meals this week since for some reason or another we didn't make what we had planned. Those nights we did quick easy meals. Needless to say, I didn't have to spend a ton on groceries this week : )

As always, meals are subject to change according to schedule, needs or cravings. Also, I start my menu on Saturday since we usually go grocery shopping on Friday's.

OYO (own you own)
Pasta Fazole
Pizza night---take out. Chris worked a double and I was too tired to even think of cooking.

Donuts---my craving
Mac and Cheese
Chicken Patty sandwiches

Zucchini bread
PB & J

Chicken Nuggets
Fajitas and Rice

Grill Cheese
Chorico and Fries

Egg Omelet
BBQ Chicken (on grill), Potato Salad, Corn-on-the-Cob

American Chop Suey

Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Monday Menu Plans.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Prayer Request---Laura

My niece Laura is due on Thursday for her baby. However, the doctor's office has been watching her because he blood pressure is at the highest "normal" it can be. She just called me. She was leaving the doctor's office. They told her she has the beginning of pre-eclampsia. They did a ultrasound and non-stress test. Baby looks good.

The plan is to induce her this Tuesday, September 1st. BUT, guess what....while she was having her non-stress test she had 3 contractions 10 minutes apart!!!! The midwife thinks she'll end up going on her own this weekend : )

So could you please keep Laura in your prayers. I am praying that this IS the beginning of labor and she will have the baby today/tomorrow.

Oh, one more prayer request. I haven't been feeling too good this morning. Tired and my heart was racing at about 120 for about 2 hours. It is down to a normal rate now. I just have so much I need (want) to get done.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Menu Planning-----Assignment 2

Toni over at The Happy Housewife is continuing her series on Menu Planning. Since I do menu plan, I thought I would join in. I am sure though that Toni could still teach me a thing or two.

This week's assignment was to come up with side dishes for our meals. This is something I already have. It could use some revising so I will take this opportunity to do so. Here is what I have so far:

Lunch Sides:
Fruit---whatever I have on hand that the kids didn't eat during healthy snack time or breakfast.
Chips---I don't do this one too often.
Veggie---carrots, cucumber
Pudding---this is to be eaten after the main component of their lunch.

Dinner Sides:
Egg Noodles
Veggie Platter---raw veggies--green & red peppers, cucumbers with or without dip
Chicken Flavored Rice----this would be the pre-packaged rice from Lipton
Mashed Potatoes
Red Potatoes---when I say red potatoes I mean potatoes with tomato sauce, onions and garlic. This is a delicious way to make a roast.
Baked Potatoes

Not sure what to add to the lunch sides. You know what I noticed about my dinner menu....veggies are missing. Yes, we do have veggies. But for some reason I did not put them on my list. So here are some sides I left off my original list:

Corn-on-the cob---summer time favorite
Green beans
Potato salad---summer time favorite
Pasta Salad
Chips---on grill night the kids will sometimes have chips with their hamburg or hot dog.

I am sure I am still missing things. But one of the great things about having my Master List on the computer is I can go in and update it and print off a new one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Baby Update---Week 35

Today I had a visit with the midwife.

Wt---up 2 pounds from 2 weeks ago (which is good since I lost a pound last time I went). This makes my total weight gain (according to them) 21 pounds. I am actually up 15 from the day before I found out I was pregnant. I lost 6 pounds at the beginning of my pregnancy before I saw the doctor (due to morning sickness). In either case, it is still not a bad weight gain.

BP---116/60. Fantastic!
Measuring at 37 weeks (I am 35 weeks and 5 days) so just a little bit bigger than number of weeks.

Today's visit was great. She said I look great : ) She couldn't believe I still have ankles (thanks to my hubby who has me off my feet as much as possible).
When she asked how things were going she was shocked because I said "good". I had no worries, anxiety or concerns this week. She looked at Chris and asked him if he gave me a happy pill before I came today.

When she felt around my belly she asked what the weight the ultrasound said. I told her 5.8 and that was almost 2 weeks ago. She laughed as she measured me. She is guessing he is about 6.8 by now (which would have me on track to have an 8 pounder-----have I mentioned I am only 4'11" if I stretch!!!!). I guess time will tell. : )-

I am on weekly visits, so I will go back next week on Wednesday. I can't believe I only have 3 weeks tomorrow!!!! It is coming VERY quickly now.

Chris put the first coat of paint on the baby's room today. LOVE IT!!! It is all coming together so nicely now. I just need to get a few big items (crib, crib ensemble, mobile and a small table to put next to the glider rocker). We are hoping to get them next weekend (the weekend of the 4th). Even if we can't get them until after Nicholas is born I am okay with that. I actually feel ready for him now : )

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Almost Home!!

I have to tell you. I am excited!! My hubby will be home in a little more than an hour and then his weekend starts : ) He works Friday-Tuesday and has Wednesday and Thursday off. So for him, today is like everyone else's Friday.

We have baby prep to do over the next 2 1/2 days.
Today we are going to pick up the paint for Nicholas' room.
Tomorrow I have a OB appointment.
Between Wednesday and Thursday Chris will be painting Nicholas' room.
I will then start setting things up (like the draws and closet).

Chris is a HUGE help to me around the house. Especially now since I have 2 speeds----stop and VERY slow. It takes me atleast 3 times as long to do anything I use to---plus lots of breaks. With 23 days until the the BIG DAY, my nesting is really kicking in. I want everything clean-clean-clean.

Of course I look forward to also spending time with him and as a family. I just love that man!!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Menu Planning---Assignment 1

Toni over at The Happy Housewife is doing a series on Menu Planning. She was surprised to find out that there are quite a few people out there that don't menu plan and don't know where to start. So she came up with this series to help walk people through the process. She is giving out weekly assignments to help the process.

I do menu plan. I find when I do, my grocery shopping and budget are both under better control. The first assignment was to make a master list of meals. I already have one made up for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner along with side dishes. I have a hard copy on my computer. I have another copy in a page protector that I make reference to when I am doing my planning for the week. Next week's assignment is to list side dishes so I will only share with you this week my master meal list.

Master Breakfast Menu
1. Cereal (this use to be the standard, now it is the stand-by)
2. French Toast
3. LaMuffins
4. Scrambled Eggs with Bacon
5. Oven Omelet
6. Banana Bread (I always make 2 at a time and put one in the freezer)
7. Blueberry Muffins (I double the recipe and put whatever we don't use the first day in the freezer)
8. Waffles (I admit it, these are store bought froze waffles. I buy them when they are on sale for $1 a box)
9. Pancakes
10. Oatmeal
11. Peanut Butter Oatmeal
12. Bagels

Master Lunch Menu
1. Chicken Nuggets
2. PB & J
3. Pasta Foozle
4. Grill Cheese
5. English Muffin Pizza
6. Pizza (frozen store bought)
7. Left-overs from the night before
8. BLTs
9. Hamburgs (on the grill)
10. Mac and Cheese
11. Turkey Sandwiches
12. Chicken Patty Sandwiches
13. Chicken Roll-ups

Master Dinner Menu
1. Pizza
2. BLTs
3. Chorico and Fries
4. Grill Nite--Hamburgs and Hot dogs
5. American Chop Suey (I believe in other parts of the country you call this goulash)
6. Sloppy Joes
7. Fajitas
8. Chicken and Beans
9. BBQ Chicken
10. Chicken Tacos
11. Chicken Stir-Fry
12 Chicken and Veggies over Pasta
13. Chicken and Broccoli
14. Chicken Chili
15. Roast--in the crockpot
16. Roast Chicken (usually Portuguese style with chorico)
17. Chicken Casserole
18. Hamburg Rice
19. Lasagna
20. Steak
21. Wet Burritos
22. Chicken Parmesan
23. Sheppard Pie
24. Chicken Pot Pie
25. Chicken Bowl
26. Hot Chicken
27. Paprika Chicken with Egg Noodles
28. Portuguese Soup
29. Pork Chops (on a very rare occasion, but I have to be out for the night because I can't stand the smell of them).

As you can see most of our meals have something to do with chicken. That is because I do not eat red meat or pork. However, the rest of the family does. Because of this, I do try atleast once a week to have red meat with the meal. On these nights I either have everything except the meat, cook up a piece of chicken for myself (as an example, when I make a roast in the crockpot I just throw a piece of chicken in there with the roast while it cooks) or I don't eat what is cooked and have a bowl of cereal (Remember my post last week on Picky Eaters---I want to be an example).

I do try to mix things up while making my menu. I try to have 1 pasta dish a week. If there is 2 I have a couple of days atleast between them. I try not to have 2 spicy meals in a row and I also try not to have 2 meals next to each other that have the same base ingredients (like 2 tomato sauce based meals).

I must be doing something right. I haven't had a complaint yet : )

Unexpected Blessing

Wednesday I got a huge friends Wendy and Pam threw me a baby shower!!!! I was overwhelmed to say the least......

Yes, I started crying right then and there. I couldn't believe it. Let me set it up for you. I was thinking I was going to a girls' before school starts get together. Pam mentioned to me back in May that she would like to have one during the summer. So why would I think anything when she asked me. I asked her the night before if I could bring anything---so I actually brought brownies : )

I walked through the door and there was 12 ladies there singing to me "Rock-a-bye baby"----cue waterworks. I looked around and couldn't believe it. They were there to help me celebrate the birth of our 6th child. Wendy came over and put a button on me and Pam asked Chris if I was alright (all this while cameras were going off). I walked around for a good 10-15 minutes in a daze, taking it all in.


Yummy food

We had games, food, presents and dessert. Knowing my love of chocolate, they gave me a chocolate buffet of desserts (plus one fruit dessert for good measure). There was chocolate cupcakes, a chocolate frozen pie, a chocolate truffle, and fresh fruit salad. The favors were even chocolate!! Do these ladies know me or what : )-

Chris showing off my belly

Emily taking a break from all the action.

The girls stayed with me during the shower. They were a HUGE help.
Here Jessie is helping me open the baby swing my Mom got me.

Emily started getting really into it.
She started taking things out of the bag before me
and showing the stuff off.

Emily's favorite card.
It played "I'm so Excited".

The Ladies of my family.
from L to R
Jessie, Me, Emily, my niece Laura, my sister Glenda and my Mom

Me and Laura comparing bellies. She is due 23 days before me.
She is due on Sept. 3rd
Boy has she sprouted!!!
I am having Nicholas and she is having Nathan.

The Ladies who did this for me---Wendy and Pam.

I feel truly blessed and honored that Wendy and Pam would take the time out of their busy lives to do this for me and my family.

Thank you....I love you both : )