Monday, December 27, 2010

An empty house

Today I'm all alone. The Boy is at work and all my darlings are with a friend. She braved having all of them over night. Hmmm, we'll see how that went once I go pick them up.

What did I do all day? CLEAN! What else? Yes, I am almost caught up on the mountain of laundry that I tossed in the playroom in an effort to keep it out of sight be efficient, we do have to walk past the playroom to get down the hallway. :)

I tackled the girls sleeping room, and gathered the hundreds of books that seem to have been unable to find their way back to the bookshelf this past week and a half. I changed sheets, vacuumed mattresses, scrubbed bathrooms, did dishes, scoured the stove and now I'm blogging a bit before I have to go pick up the kiddos and head off to work.

I love cleaning when the girls are gone, seriously I love to be able to tackle a big ol' project and get it done without someone tearing apart another room while I was distracted. I feel so accomplished right now. Off to work I go though!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Homeschool Motivation

This year has been the hardest year to date as far as getting Beanie to complete her work in a timely manner. By timely I literally just mean getting it done before the learning period ends. That's usually 15-20 days, not counting weekends or days off.

Don't get the idea that I'm forcing her work on these ten page essays or anything like that. I'm not. I'm just trying to get through the day with most of her work completed. Oh, and I would love it if she would stop turning in work that isn't complete. Yep, had tons of that this year! I mean come on, does she really think that I'm not going to notice that she didn't do problems 11, 19 and 25? Really? I think that she assumes sometimes that I don't actually look at her work. Much to my dismay I have to look at every single thing she writes down. Why my dismay you might be asking yourself? Simply put - I'm a busy person and I don't particularly care about the the rise of Islam or the cellular structure of plants.

After repeated talking to her CT and Beanie and The Boy we came to the conclusion that she feels like she's overwhelmed with the amount of work that is required of her. Alrighty then. Well my dearest daughter, hate to break it to you but that's life is what I really want to say. Alas, I don't. We come up with the plan to reduce her book work and increase her projects, for some subjects. Subjects like history, something that she dislikes more than green peas and cabbage soup topped with veal.

We'll see how this goes........please, please, please let this work! I'm sure that I will have grey hairs by the time she finishes 7th grade.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Card Exhange

Over here, at Couponing to Disney (one of my very favorite blogs - ever! oh and she's a Bama girl too, so that makes her even better), Kristin hosted a fantastic holiday card exchange. Now why would I give my personal address to a bunch of strangers, ummm, they're totally not strangers - duh! I talk to some of these same people everyday, lol! Other than that, we love getting mail. Okay, good mail that is!

So, basically, we all email Kristin our addresses, and she grouped 20 people together to exchange cards with. My girls have had the best time receiving their cards. When the mail man comes they run to the door, screaming "MAILLLLLLL", on a side note I think we are the highlight of his day, lol. Who else can say that they bring smiles to a whole families faces 5 days a week? Besides, the cute girls screaming about his goods has to make his days right? Alright get your minds out of the gutter people - geeeeeez! I meant his mail goodies!

We have looked up all the towns that our cards came from on the map, and talked about how far away they all are. When they included all their families names, we talked about how large their family was in comparison to ours and other fun things like what awesome monuments their state has. Awesome way to incorporate some quick learning in when they weren't looking.

Overall this has been the most fun, and we can't wait to do it again!

Thanks Kristin!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thrifty Decor

I absolutely love a bargin, and I love to create. So when I finally convinced The Boy to let me do just that for the latest piece of furniture we bought I jumped at the chance. He EVEN WENT WITH ME searching! WOWWZZA!

Now I'm a shopper, deep down to the core. The Boy is not so much one. Nope, maybe a fourth of the way down, but definitely not to the core. He's a get in, grab, get out kinda shopper. I'm a let's look around you never know what you can find unless you look kinda shopper. Needless to say this doesn't mix well.

To make this as easy as possible we dropped the kids off at their enrichment classes, and set forth on our mission. We searched several thrift stores near the school, and even tried a Big Lots. I found a fabulous pair of hot pink pants for Beanie and a great pair of dress shoes for us (we now share shoes since she's the same size) that still had the tags on them. Five bucks - bargain!

We had almost given up and decided that we'd hit one more. There was a Goodwill on the way back to the school and we popped in there thinking that we wouldn't find anything. Boy were we wrong! We scored all kinds of fabulous things in there! SCORE!

We snagged a fold up rocking chair, like the ones that we take camping and to softball games, but it's a rocker! Super excited! The Boy picked out a gorgeous anniversary clock for Grandma. We grabbed some more Christmas decorations for the Kids Club at church - love cheap crafty stuff! The best deal was our fancy smanzy new buffet. Well alright when you see past the need to sand it and clean it you will see it's beauty.

It's very hard for The Boy and I to agree on household stuff since we have such different taste. I totally had to sell him on my idea. I even pulled up some pictures from here and here and here to show him what I meant. Finally he agreed and I happily skipped into Home Depot to pick out paint colors. Have I ever mentioned how much I love to paint. Truly I do. It's really a sickness I'm sure, but hey whatever.

One gallon of Sly Fox, a sample of Onyx and a pint of glaze later and we're off. A friend came over to help him sand the buffet down and by the time I returned from work that night they had done both that and the bar that has needed sanded our entire relationship. Whoo hoo! I tried to get him to do my table top too, but no dice.

One coat of Sly Fox and two coats of the glaze. Yes, we totally painted in the playroom. The garage was too cold for the paint, so we had to take drastic measures.
For the record, I do not recommend doing this. You see if you take the small people's play area they play in other areas. Sometimes they color on the wall while not being entertained as well, see final picture. You have been warned.

We love it! Not sure what we'll do about the hardware. I'm thinking we might paint it, but for now I like the vintagy look they give the piece.

P.S. Did you know that if you hit the edge of the wall with your hot pink little league bat while improving one's swing, it will most certainly dent the wall. Your parents are sure to notice when there is not any plaster on the wall. Ask Nanners how she knows this.

Officially Joining

Near our home there is a little white church that we drove passed quite regularly. We talked off and on about joining it. We never did. We decided that since The Boy was raised Christian and I was raised Catholic, we'd allow our children to decide the religion that they felt was best for them. We attended both services, at one or two different churches. We never really felt like we belonged anywhere though.

You see things are a little different for us, and we understand that. First of all we have 5 beautiful children, add that our relative young ages and the fact that we each had a child before we began dating plus sprinkle a little "we weren't married when our children we born" on top and you get quite the "you're not good enough to be here cause your a sinner" pie. We ate several helpings of that bitter dish before backing off completely. We just kinda figured that as long as we did the things that we believed were best, that we were raising our girls with the morals and beliefs that we laid down and felt were proper, things were bound to turn out okay. We have friends that both attend church regularly and some that don't attend at all. We have friends of various faiths and some that are Atheist. We purposely exposed our children to a variety of religions so that when the time came for them to make their choice they would be making an informed choice. Not everyone agreed with our approach, in fact almost no one did. We didn't mind, we're kinda used to that.

Eventually, my mom, (Grandma), moved to our area, and began attending the little white church. We dropped her off diligently each Sunday and picked her up after service. This went on for months. Finally one day I decided that I wanted to go with her. I can't explain why, I just knew that the day had arrived and I wanted to go. Something urged me to get up, get dressed, and walk through the doors of the little white church with her that day. The girls and I went. The Boy decided that he wasn't going to go. Alright, was this really okay? Yep, you know why? We'll I'll tell ya - NO ONE should push their beliefs on another person, and this includes your spouse. If the Lord wanted him to attend, he would tell him so. He would bring that same feeling to The Boy that I had felt. The one that would urge him to walk through the doors of the little white church.

About a month after the girls and I started attending church, The Boy and I had our marriage tested in a way that is indescribable. Terrible things were said and done, our faith was tested like it had never been tested before. People we knew and people we didn't know prayed for us, and we truly feel that those prayers brought us through that awful time. Now don't think that we came through unscathed, because we didn't. We did however come through it stronger and more prepared for life's trials and tribulations.

Fast forward months down the road, and our family now fills a pew at Cottage Way Christian Church. Our little white church. The one that is filled with people that we have grown to care about, people that make us feel welcome and care about us too. A few weeks ago, we stood as a family to make the good confession, and join our church family, officially. So today and many more Sundays to come you will find us filling a pew at our church. You can't miss us, we're the one with all the little blonde girls. *wink*

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday

After much debate we (The Boy and I) decided that we wanted to REALLY tone down the "gimmes" that most kids around this time of year. I understand the excitement that comes from thinking of owning every single toy in the ToysRUs catalog, but seriously do you need even a fourth of that - we think not.

As parents it's our jobs to ensure that they appreciate the things that they have in life. Even the smallest things like hot running water and a warm comfy bed to sleep in. Since we want our girls to understand that they do have a pretty good life, we think they need to understand that they ARE NOT going to get everything handed to them. Or gifted to them wrapped in brightly colored paper with festive bows on top.

We decided on 3 presents period this year. Good enough for Jesus, good enough for the Jones'. :) We braved the Black Friday crowds and set off on our mission of sale mastery. Beth and I decided that we were going to be splitting up this year, and would each be taking our others with us. Hmmmmmmm...

The Boy is used to the "magic" of Black Friday, Beth's husband gave us crazy looks as we ran frantically walked at a quick pace through stores grabbing our goods and rushing to check out as quickly as possible. He didn't understand the fundamentals that go into this type of extreme shopping and how you MUST learn the layout of each store and MUST have each stores deals memorized. I'm happy to announce that he made it out alive, but I'm not sure that he'll return for a second go around next year. The Boy on the other hand will be there with bells on and elbows out. His favorite part of Black Friday is not shoving people out of the way, and running past them to get the last whatever we happen to be after, okay maybe that is his only reason for loving it. Whatever, I need him to help me get through the doors, lol!

After visiting 6 stores before 6:15am we were done. Whoo hoo! Earliest year ever, we actually got into bed when it was still dark out. We slept for a few hours stopped in at another store to grab some things for my Grandma, then headed to get the kids.

We decided to drop into the Goodwill since The Boy seen a sign waiver outside of one announcing their 50% off sale for Black Friday. Ummm, yes, thanks we'll be there. Of course we didn't get there until it was almost closed but we managed to grab a few things for less than 10 bucks. The Boy made dinner - aka he bought pizza.

Closing the day with a snuggle under my favorite blanket (bought at a previous Black Friday sale) with my favorite boy. Oh how I love days that are so much fun!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sometimes it's hard to remember that we are thankful for all those people in our lives that make us crazy. Yes, I'm including the kids in that one. I am thankful that they make me a better person, that they wrap their tiny arms around me when they're sleeping at night and that they listen to my words the first time about half the time. :)

While we're together this wonderful holiday I will be concentrating on all the things that they do that make me thankful for their sweet smiling faces. I will totally ignore that they are not wearing the outfits that I picked out, instead choosing a play shirt with a hole and old jeans. Really in 20 years will that matter, NO! They're not going to remember whether or not they matched perfectly or care for that matter right now. All that really matters is that we are together and happy.

So we're off to my Mom's to gobble down turkey and pies. We LOVE food in our family so this is definitely one of our favorite holidays! Besides what better way to work off calories than to SHOP! WHOO HOO I love Black Friday!

Stop 1 - Mom's to eat and be joyful with the family.
Stop 2 - Meet up with my friend Beth to plan our attack on the stores!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Learning New Bloggie Things

Since I'm a newbie blogger I have no problems saying that I have no clue how to do this whole blogging thing. Good thing I'm a "jump on in" after testing the waters for a long time kinda girl. I have lots more things that I'm planning on to make this place what I want it to be, it might be a slow process since my "free" time is limited, but it's coming!

One of the places I'm learning SO much is over at kevin & amanda {blog}. Such a wealth of knowledge there! Seriously you should check it out, you might just learn something new!

PS. Totally not saying any of this for any reason other than I truely feel like their site ROCKS!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

50 Little Known Facts About Us

So many of the blogs I read are doing this right now, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and toss mine out there too. Yep, totally copying them. ;) Okay not totally since I'm doing the family, and they did themselves. I'm boring, I don't have 50 things about just me. :)

1. My favorite color is emerald green. For some reason most people think it's purple, I have no idea why though, I don't even own purple stuff.

2. I lived in the south until I was 9, and there are times when I miss it. Don't get me wrong, I don't miss the bugs, humidity or other nasties but I do miss it.

3. I've been on the West Coast for practically ever now, and still root for a southern college football team - ROLL TIDE!

4. I give my kids cupcakes or left over pizza for breakfast when they ask for it, simply because it's easy.

5. I almost never shave my legs.

6. I don't wear shorts. See #5

7. I love to write. It's my thing, which is why it's so hard to understand when other people don't like it.

8. I strongly dislike math - I mean STRONGLY. Not in my top 10 favorite things to do for sure.

9. I love making list. Seriously it's like an addiction, my husband laughs at me.

10. I love shooting families, but don't like weddings. I know, weddings are "money makers", but they are also incredibly stressful and make my stomach hurt.

11. I didn't start driving until my husband and I started dating. I was 20.

12. I've known my husband nearly half my life. (HOLY COW!)

13. I sometimes get a little joy out of the stupid comments I get when people find out we homeschool.

14. I get that same joy out of the stupid comments they say when they find out how many kids we have.

15. I don't think that we are a "huge" family. Seriously, there's only 7 of us.

16. I would totally have another child if my husband wanted to. Without question, I would do it.

17. I didn't drink on my 21st birthday.

18. I got into my first car wreck before I had my license. Yes, I know, bad. No one was hurt, except my car that was purchased one month to the day prior.

19. I'll totally look you up on the internet to see if I can find anything else out about you.

20. I have no sense of direction. None. It's really bad.

21. The Boy has an amazing sense of direction and always knows where he is.

22. The Boy also was born and raised till 8 yrs old in the south.

23. The Boy took the blame for my 1st car wreck. Ouch, yeah, he did. LOVE HIM!

24. I only dated one boy that didn't have blue or green eyes, ever. Seriously that was one of my things. The Boy has beautiful blue eyes.

25. I moved out of my mom's when I was 15.

26. I met The Boy a few months later, online.

27. I cried when The Boy told me he was moving away when I was 16, even though we weren't dating.

28. I dyed my bangs pink and blue stripes when I was in 7th grade.

29. I have a crazy obsession with fun socks. I only wear fun socks, but I don't like them because they're too thin so I wear regular Hanes under them.

30. I didn't want any boys. I mean it, and I don't care if it sounds mean. I truly only wanted girls. Of course I would have loved my son greatly, but my girls are my world. Love them to pieces.

31. I wouldn't mind a boy now. Seriously, I know. It took a long time, but I'm now ready for a boy. Problem is The Boy is done now.

32. I wanted to be a nurse before I had kids. I love medically stuff, lol - like that technical term!

33. I'm a little freaked out that I haven't accomplished my "list", you know the one that you set for yourself. I had one that I set for myself to finish by the time I was 30. I'll be there in a few months. The list isn't complete. I'm trying not to stress about that one!

34. The Boy would make a fantastic football coach. I'd totally move to a smallish town (hey a girl has to have options on where to shop and let's face it small towns have very few options) to let him full fill that one.

35. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom. I love it now. At least on most days.

36. Beanie broke her nose when she was little. How - jumping on her bed. She hit a shelf that was above it and the shelf fell on her nose. I'm guessing the little toy she was trying to get to wasn't worth it.

37. I don't think that all babies are cute. I said it. Hey I'm not being mean, Baby Big Girl look quite alienish when she was born. Totally had to do the if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all thing when I seen her the first time.

38. I would love a big ol' plot of land so I could have all kinds of animals. I want chickens, The Boy says no.

39. I'm super crafty but can't for the life of me figure out how to crochet or knit.

40. I have the attention span of a goldfish. It's okay, you can laugh. I would.

41. I sometimes have to hold back a laugh when the kids get hurt in some stupid way. It's a little mean, but sometimes it's super funny. Of course I see if they are alright first.

42. I blog because I suck at baby books. Never even bought one for Baby Big Girl because I knew I'd never use it.

43. I love swimming in the ocean.

44. I'm a cold person. I wear thermals almost everyday from November until March under my jeans.

45. The Boy is a hot person. It's practically unheard of for him to wear long sleeves.

Nanners can do the splits. Both ways. She's been able to for as long as I can rememeber. She just did it one day because she seen a lady on TV do it.

47. My girls still sit and play dolls together. Even the big girls play. They of course are usually the Mom's or whatever else the leader is, but they play.

48. My girls love shoes. I have no idea where they get it from, but they adore them. The Boy doesn't understand why they have so many.

49. I once let Nanners and Spunky Girl eat peanut butter and jelly for dinner every single night for a month. I knew they'd eventually eat something else. The Boy called a stop to it after a month.

50. If we could do it again, The Boy and I both agree we would rather not have as big of a ceremony and take a double honeymoon instead.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Preteens Make Me Wanna Scream

Yes, I said it. No lovey love over here right now. This has been quite the last few months around the Jones household and Beanie has been quite a lot of the drama. You see she's now at the "I'm the smartest person ever" stage with a little "I'm the biggest so I'll bully you into doing what I want to do" sprinkled on top.

Now don't get me wrong, she is an amazing older sister. She is helpful around the house, great at finding things (super important here!), loves to read to her sisters and welcomes the chance to make pancakes while I check emails and do blog stuff. However this past few months have been just awful, she's defiant, she talks down to the other girls, she acts like they are too young to understand anything, etc. I understand it's part of growing up, especially growing up the oldest of five children, but COME ON! Seriously I may rip my hair out and scream if this doesn't stop soon.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

School Awards

As most people know we are a homeschool family, our children attend a charter "cover" school and we do the teaching, planning, etc for them and with them. For our family this works well, and before I get any hate mail let me say that my first two years of homeschooling were done on my own with my private school avadavit. So I have done it both ways, all three if you count the 3 years that Beanie went to public school.

Well as a homeschool family it's easy to second guess yourself and make yourself feel like maybe you're not doing something correctly. That you're somehow ruining your children's lives. That they will never be like "other kids". That they will hate you when they're older because they never ate lunch at the big table in the loud cafeteria. Realistically we know that deep down this isn't likely and that our kids are doing great, etc, but it's easy still.

This year our school did something extra special, they held an awards ceremony for our students that achieved either proficent or advanced on their STAR testing. If you've never been to a homeschool awards show, let me tell you that these are a HUGE deal. We actually had some parents drive over 2 hours with kids and family in tow to see their little smarties few minutes of fame. We invite grandparents, we create a FULL house. :) It was so nice to see all the excitement from the kids, even those that weren't getting an award. They were just happy to have someone they knew up there.

Each child had their name announced and shook our princepals hand, then walked across the stage and stood while the rest of their grade level was announced. They beamed while when they had their moment and it was wonderful!

Meet the newest member of our family


Don't laugh because my cat has a first name and a middle name, lol. Okay it's a little strange, but let me explain. We really liked the name Jax, in fact it was on the list for Jupiter, until we really seen his markings and decided the swirls on his back legs looks like Jupiter the planet. I liked the idea of giving him a biblical name since he was abandoned at a church. This led to some discussion and debate amongst the family and the name Jaxon Moses was born.

Gambit is none to happy with the new addition, but Jupiter is very excited to have someone to play with. Jax isn't much of a play mate right now, he's a little overwhelmed with the changes in his life right now. We just picked him up yesterday and he was terrified on the way home. He actually spent a the first few minutes on the dashboard until he realized it was safe to come down.

He has a very loud meow, and woke us up this morning about 3:30am, I think it was because of Gambit. He had made it to the kitchen, but he couldn't get back to the room because Gambit was in his way. Being the loving mommy that I am, I tried a bazillion things first including showing him where the little box was and getting him something to eat and drink. Finally I realized he just needed to be picked up, so I carried him back to the bed. He greeted The Boy this morning before he left for work and he seems to really like him. That's AWESOMELY FANTASTIC since we had to do a lot of begging, borrowing, and bartering to get Jax. :)

Welcome home Jax, we are so happy to have you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Baby Big Girl is 3!

It's officially happened folks, we have NO babies in our house. I'm totally crushed excited! The baby, who changed her own name to Baby Big Girl (since she wears big girl panties and all), is practically all grown up. ::tears:: Okay, so that's a bit dramatic, but seriously this is our last baby!

With her birthday landing on a Sunday, we went to church as usual. The entire congregation sang her Happy Birthday as Pastor Neal held her proudly up in front. She loved it! Totally loved it!

Since it was Halloween after all, we did go Trick or Treating. A few friends and Old Grandma came along. Baby Big Girl dressed up as Thumper and proudly told everyone whenever she remembered that it was her birthday.

In keeping with our families tradition of the birthday girl choosing what we have for dinner we allowed her to choose. Of all places she chose McDonalds, lol. Well what the birthday girl wants, the birthday girl gets. Off to McDonalds we go. For this special occasion I ordered her a Happy Meal. After I ordered it, I realized that this was her VERY FIRST Happy Meal. She was totally thrilled with her new toy and has played with it since then.

Well Baby Big Girl I hope your day was as delightful for you as it was for me. Happy Birthday my sweet little angel, I love you!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Crazy sleeping

My girls inherited their crazy sleeping genes from their Dad. Definitely not me. You see, my family and I generally don't sleep. Insomnia - yep it's what we got! I can literally lay awake for hours at night, running over random things such as Christmas presents, what we'll have for dinner, who will be invited, and what will be our family ornament this year. On top of that I'll actually get up and try to figure these things out, no wonder I'm always tired!

My girls however are like their Dad, they can fall asleep in just moments and sleep through just about everything. Seriously, at our church bazaar, Baby Big Girl fell asleep and slept through the last two hours, including us vacuuming next to her, then continued sleeping through the 5 minute car ride home, and return to sleep for another 30 minutes after arriving home. Waking up just as I was getting ready to lay down myself. UGH!

The girls will wander off and crash somewhere for a few hours. I have proof...

Please, may I have a clone?

I'm absolutely worn out and I would like to call in the replacement. The back up. The clone - whatever you wanna call it. I'm ready for a nap, followed up with a cozy chair and good book. No screaming from anyone, including myself.

Seriously what is going on lately? They kids are practically out of control. By what these standards are that I make this statement you wonder - coloring on one's self, or sister with various markers, then proceeding to color on the walls, followed by throwing a shoe at your sister and nearly breaking the very large, very heavy frame your mom loves and you are not allowed to touch, locating the only bag of marshmallows in the house and eating them, also feeding them to younger sister (so you won't have to take all of the blame yourself), not helping clean or do any chores - really do I need to go on? Just fill any void with some bickering and hitting of each sibling.

Have you ever had one of those days when you just want to get something on your list crossed off, but yet it seems that the powers that be won't allow it?

Yep, that pretty much sums up the day. Full without actually getting anything done. Crap, more on tomorrow's list.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Entering Blog Giveaways

Have you ever entered a blog giveaway? I know, I know, some of you are thinking, why waste my time, I'll never win those things or even that they are fixed! NOT SO! I can say initially I didn't enter many. I entered a handful, then the unexpected happened --- I WON! ***SQUEAL***

I now enter giveaways nearly every day, and I am still winning. I'm not saying that I win the biggest prizes (however I do keep trying), but I win great prizes everytime. Even if it's not something that you would use (my breast pumping days are over) you probably know someone who would be thrilled with it. I have several pregnant friends and I keep on entering those baby days giveaways because I might just be able to win a great gift for them. Many of the giveaways are HUGE, and others a on a smaller scale, but they are sure fun!

With the holidays coming up I urge you to start looking today. They are literally everywhere in blogland. In fact I'll start you off with a few blogs that specialize in giveaways. Plus just to make you a little jealous I'll include a list of some of the things I've won. ;)

I've won:

* personailzed monkey - I use this as a behavior reward
* set of 6 race cars
* woman's shaving kit
* a sippy cup
* a great Disney penny bank (very exciting for the girls!)
* 250 business cards - I used them as Mommy Cards
* 100 flyers - I'll be using these to promote an event at our church
* Rock'n Phonics DVD's
* a homeschool t-shirt
* a Phonics Flipper (hand created by a bloggie Mommy)
* money management software
* ink saving software
* a beautiful necklace I gifted my Mom

plus so much more!

Check out some of these sites for great giveaways!

- The Tightwad in Utah
- Audrey's Giveaways
- Giveaways for Mom

You never know what you might just win! Think gifts, someone you know may just want those crazy socks that you would never wear ;)

Disneyland Recap #1

Disneyland is truely the happiest place on Earth, hmmm, well maybe it's the happiest place most of the time, lol. The girls managed to each find a reason to bicker with a sister while we were there. Ahh, such is life.

Overall we had a fantastic time. The first day we were there we headed to Critter Country and met up with Eeyore and Pooh for some great pictures. The girls were very excited to see the characters close up.

We were so excited to finally be in Disneyland that we only took one break all day. We went back to the hotel for a quick break and to move our luggage into the hotel room. We rushed right back to Disneyland, eating while we walked. :) A little crazy excited right? YES!!

Knowing that we were going to be there for a week meant that we didn't feel like we had to rush anything. It was so nice to let the kids run around Tarzan's Treehouse and Tom Sawyer's Island for as long as they wanted. They LOVED it all! It was hilarious watching them run as fast as they could for a few feet, then stop to let Baby Big Girl catch up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Joy oh joy, we've arrived!

Let's pretend I did this in the order I actually should have, okeedohkie? Moving right along...

Yay! After 7 long hours miserably contently strapped into carseats and forced watching movies on the portable DVD players (Yeah for Grandma's reminding us how valuable these are), we are in Disneyland!

First stop HOTEL! Let's unload some of this stuff! hmmmmm, not so much huh? Okay well the hotel decided that we would be unable to check in early, which we pretty much knew before hand, but thought we *might* get lucky. On to plan B, dressing in the McDonalds bathroom.

Don't laugh, the kids were serious. No embarassment here, we were heading to Disneyland. We donned our matching tie dyed shirts and did our hair in the parking lot (well we did the girls hair, I was smart enough to do mine at home).

Off to the happiest place on earth we troted with pep in our step and wonderment donning our eyes. The girls were so excited! First stop, whooo hooo! As we entered Disneyland Alice and The Mad Hatter were preforming right inside the gates. PERFECT! Spunky Girl volunteered to dance with Alice when she asked, A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E! I nearly cried, I know I'm a sap! It was the perfect start to our Disneyland vacation.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Disneyland Here We Come!

In just three short days we will be headed to the happiest place on Earth! The girls are insanely excited, which means that we are getting excited as well. Now don't get me wrong, I can't wait to get to Disneyland, but I'm also the one that does all the packing for Disneyland. If you don't know, packing for 7 people, one of which is bound to have at least 2 accidents while in Mouse Land is no small feat.

I let go of some of my control issues and allowed the girls to choose their clothes. I have this crazy need to SEE my kids at all times, and we've found through trial and error that it's way easier to maintain possession of the kids while they are in matching, brightly colored clothes. Obviously this would require some thought, since I had the great idea to donate a large percentage of their clothes about 8 months ago. (This BTW did make my life a little easier!) We kept their favorites, well guess what - NONE of them share a favorite color. After several hours, seriously, like 5 hours, of shopping we managed to find 8 matching shirts for each of the girls.

The living room is taken over with stuff for Disneyland. It's a hot mess right now! I'm telling myself that it's okay since I know it's only a few more days till we head out. A friend asked today how I was going to get all of this stuff into the suburban, hmmmm. I'll take a picture of it, I know I can do it.

Off to school the big girls now. Mass amounts of schooling to finish before we leave town.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Family Fun

The last five days have been a whirl wind of kids, chaos, and my attempting to control it all. Now, by no means do we have a large house, and this week it felt smaller than ever. With family from out of town, family in town, and friends visiting all at the same time space becomes very important. We had our usual 7, plus my brother and his family (6), plus our our of town guest (3), plus a few friends (3) and my Mom who is a regular around here.

Chaos is what I called it, especially since the majority of those 19 were children. Children that when together in a group can tear down Mount Rushmore in mere minutes and fill the Grand Canyon with their laundry. I struggled to stay afloat of the dishes and laundry each morning. Mid way through the week I gave up on washing our houses clothes and instead focused on towels, sheets, and our guest laundry. This still meant 2 - 3 loads daily.

We went bowling up at Country Club lanes since my nephew said that he wanted to go. Four vehicles, 6 car seats, extra socks for everyone, four bowling lanes, 19 pairs of shoes and a bunch of bowling balls - we were set.

The kids had a great time, they all of course had to choose their own ball. The younger kids used a ramp to get the ball down the lane, along with bumpers to block the gutters. They were so excited to see the balls knocking over the pins. Ayden was especially impressed with them falling, he would throw his hands in the air every time and shout "YAY!".

Each kid bowled at least one strike, most of them more than that. The men all bowled together, which was great for us, less competition! :) All in all everyone had a great time bowling together.

Afterwards we took over the Del Taco across the street. They have 39 cent tacos, and we needed LOTS of them to feed everyone. We started off with 50 tacos, and ended up grabbing a dozen more. The staff there was great, they were super fast getting our food to us, which when you have that many kids you really appreciate that! Quick, easy and filling! Plus it made everyone happy, including the adults who managed to feed everyone for less than $60. A perfect wrap up to the day!

A little juggling

Sometimes the best laid plans have a way of going hay wire. Case in point last week, we planned to return to schooling. I was armed and ready with lessons, even though I didn't have all of our books, I was prepared with filler worksheets. Then I got the call that changed all that.

My sister in law called to say that she was in fact going to let the kids come down from Idaho to visit for a week. Great news, right? Oh they'd be there in 2 days!! WHOA NELLY! I didn't dare tell her that I had other plans for the week, or even remotely imply that I didn't want them to come down, so I smiled and enthusiastically asked her to call when they were leaving.

Of course I wanted them to visit, we talked about it several times, but I thought I would have a few weeks to prepare --- AKA stockpile excessive teen friendly groceries, give the house a full once over cleaning, and get a little school work done ahead of time.

The call came as we were enjoying ourselves at a River Cats baseball game, so I had to hold off on starting the to do list that I was building in my head. I tried my best to enjoy the rest of the game (despite paying a ridiculous sum for stadium food).

It was already late when we got home so I sent the girls to bed and got to work. After mass cleaning had occurred, and the kitchen cabinets were once again picture worthy (yes, I realize that few people actually look at the inside of the cabinets, but it makes me feel better), I allowed myself sleep. The day had been long, and I needed some. I still had more to do in the morning!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A lil bit of us Giveaway...

Don't you just love charm bracelets? They remind me of when I was a kid, I had a bunch of plastic charms that hung on this plastic chain. I absolutly loved them! My grandmother still has them (along with a ton of other childhood things of ours) and she refuses to give them to me because she's afraid I'll toss them out.

Well if you were like me as a kid, walking around with a ton a plastic hanging off your neck and wrists, you'll want to head over to lil bit of us and check out the Charm Factory review and giveaway going on there for your chance to win your very own grown up version of that wondrful charm bracelet you had way back when. Adorable, yep! Fun, gotcha! So check it out today (contest ends soon!) and enter for your chance to win a charm bracelet that describes you.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Homemade Sport Drinks

Since the weather here in Northern California is starting to heat up (finally) I thought I'd share with you some of our favorite summer activities, and some cool things I found on another blog you should check out.

Homemade Sports Drinks - umm, yea need I say more! We all know what's in them, and we all know that they carry a hefty price tag, especially when you forget your little darlings drink at home and you are rushing to thier sporting endevor with no time to return home, you stop at the local gas station and promptly give over an arm and a leg for the drink that is sure to spill in the back seat of your car, and no one tell you about until it's dried, oh wait is that just me? Anywho, head over to homemade mamas and test it out.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I researched books till I was blind from stareing at the monitor. I had all of my ISBN numbers ready, I knew what workbooks to buy with my textbooks. I knew the price range I could find them for. Now I can't find any of Beanie's books.

Well I take that back, I can find them, but they are WAY more expensive than what I would have paid if I would have just went ahead and ordered the dang things before. I'm very frustrated right now. Her science book was selling for 8 bucks at the beggining of summer, it's now 70.00!! UGH!

I'm taking a break and going to buy some school supplies now. Yes, homeschoolers need LOTS of school supplies. Plus I just like it! :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Getting Back to the Grind

Monday came and went, with not a single lesson plan in sight. I did have a good reason though, The Boy was home. He had the day off, and we had some errands to run so we did that. We also had some laundry to do, I did that.

It's Tuesday morning and I'm printing up various worksheets to stack into their manila folders for use later. I'll post some pictures of my crazy system sooner or later, and you'll see just how organized I am.

Fare well summer, I will see you again soon. Hopefully next year it'll be in shorts.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lesson Planning

Ahh, it's that time of year again - the dreaded lesson planning season. You see while many of our friends are giddy and dancing down the isles of the local Target with their back to school list in hand, we are not.

We homeschool our girls, which means that there is no break for us. This isn't to say we don't back to school shop. Who can pass up pencils for a penny and packs of paper for a quarter? Not me, definently not me!

I love pileing new crayons, rulers, notebooks, folders, and of course new pencils into our cart. I'll assign each girl their own color and write their names on their new school stuff. I neatly assign each girl their own shelf, labeled with their name.

This time of year reminds me of one thing - my lesson plans are not complete! AHHH! Seriously I'm one of those over planners who also second guess every decision they make. So much so, that I'll often end up giving up on the whole thing. (Perhaps this is why we eat out so much?)

While I'm not terribly behind, I don't like the feeling of stress that I know will inevitably envelope me in a few weeks. This year started off bad a year ago when I realized that I would have a junior high student. Yep, on top of dealing with the sassy remarks, and breaking up fights between her and whatever sister she happens to be trying to "persuade" at the moment I get to create her lesson plans for the year. Joy, oh joy!

I've given myself a reprive for this weekend. Starting Monday I will be a lesson planning fool. Maybe I'll post some, perhaps someone out there will appriciate the loss of sleep that I get in creating them, because these kids sure don't seem to appriciate it at all!

Good thing I knew this would be a mountain climbing lesson, without ropes it feels like at times. The countdown begins...14 days to go. Guess I better print up the lesson plan book at least. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Really Only A Purple World Giveaway

Everyone who knows me, knows that I love giveaways. I can't even help it, I love them soooooo much! :) While I rarely win anything, I love to try. Guess I really got the try try again thing down!

Also, I love blogs - LOVE THEM! So what can get better than that - blogs and giveaways! WHOO HOO!

Head on over to It's Really Only A Purple World and check out the fun stuff going on! There are giveaways happening all over and you are sure to find one (or more) that you'll want to try!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Head over to The Frugal Homeschooling Mom....

....for your chance to win a $10 gift certificate to one of two fantastic Etsy shops. I'll tell ya, I entered and would LOVE to win! Those that know me are well aware of my love for tiny people clothes and handmade things. Well Rosemary's shops offer the best of both worlds! You may just find something you love too!

After entering Deana's giveaway, be sure to check back frequently. She's got plenty of advice on homeschooling, frugal lifestyles and of course giveaways. There's even a special birthday coming up that will be tied into all these great giveaways!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time Management

Okay, so my newest found love is blogs. I love them! A researcher to a fault, I need to know everything. This creates a multitude of problems though, such as I spend way too much time reading them, I am easily distracted by something I *might* be able to do should I get them time, it takes away from my wifely/motherly duties, or I lose sleep over this.

Now the obvious choice would be to stop reading them, but I CAN'T! I mean seriously, I'm addicted. I love them so much. They are full of useful information, and most importantly the majority of them are written by other moms like me.....yep the same kind. I have to admit, reading about the time that some other mom, who I will probably never actually meet, screamed at her kid for doing the same thing that he or she has been asked not to do a bajillion times before, actually makes me feel like less of a meanie when I break down and do the exact same thing. Perhaps it shouldn't, but it does.

It also brings me joy to read about their "littles" (as the kiddos are called around here) newest accomplishments and of course how mommy totally scored at Walgreens that day using her B1G1 coupon on the little persons favorite cereal, and managed to walk out with register rewards for a future visit.
So for now, I think I will limit myself. Okay, I will try to limit myself. For each thing on the to do list (which BTW is my list the only list that grows constantly?) I will be rewarded with bloggy time.

Ridiculous, yep, nessacary evil, absolutly!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


After many failed attempts at couponing I have decided that I would once again try. This time I came with back up. Beanie and Nanners have taken a liking to this money saving thing. They like cutting out the coupons, hunting down the items in the store and figuring out how much something will cost us after the coupon. (Umm, hello there math skills, economics, marketing, etc)
Part of the reason I always gave up before was that I never seemed to have the coupon when I needed it, and I would find it a few days later---expired.
NO MORE! We picked out a pretty pink binder (think easily spotted and on sale), along with baseball card holders and went at it. Nanners did the cutting, Beanie sorted into the correct categories and I stuffed them into their sleeves. It took FOREVER!!! Not totally sure we'll stick with this method, I want to give it a go for a month or so before we give up.
So far we have saved a bundle. On a recent Safeway trip we got 17 bags of chips, 6 12packs of soda, 2 boxes of Ritz crackers, 3 boxes of granola bars, 3 boxes of Hamburger Helper, 10 pounds of potatoes,a container of sour cream and 2 bags of grapes for under 50 bucks. I felt elated leaving the store, I knew I could have saved even more but it takes a while to build up you supply of coupons so I was satisfied with what I got. Maybe next time I'll post pictures.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting Life Under Control

This will be the year that I get life under control. Okay, well maybe...or at least I'll try really hard. The every growing list of things that I need or want done around here keeps growing. My husband looks at me a bit crazy when I start going down the list, but he just smiles and pretends that I'm not jumping in over my head. You see I do that. I do that all the time. I really want to be the one that seems like they have it all together, when in all reality I'm struggling to keep things to a controlled chaos. Get ready family - we're in for a rough few months!