Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Toys

I have decided I am really not a fan of toys with small parts and pieces.  Other than puzzles, I don't deal well with toys with lots of small parts.  I am always tempted to get rid of about 90% of the toys and just leave the kids with a few basics. Blocks, trains, kitchen stuff, dress-up.  Can't see why they need more than that really.  Instead I frequently purge the toys that came into the house with multiple small pieces.  And honestly, I don't think many kids do well with the small pieces either.  Normally the game or toy just won't work right without all the pieces but it is awfully hard to keep track of them all.  Seems like an awful waste to me in the long run.  And way too much time spent fighting with the kid over cleaning the darn playroom. They prefer to use the toy boxes as drums or tables or seats and in order to do that you must dump all the toys on the floor.  Sadly I must admit I am not looking forward to the deluge of toys that will come in at Christmas time.

Katie's Glasses

Katie got glasses this week. She is very excited. They are pink, of course. Apparently that is just about the only color there is other than purple.  For now she only needs to use them for reading. I forgot about them as we started school work today and she made sure to remind me she needed to wear her glasses.  She will eventually need to wear glasses all the time but the doctor is hoping that by using reading glasses now, she can delay the need for them full-time for a while.

 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life With My Kids

Ok, if you are one of those people who gets easily offended anytime I post anything other than pictures of the children because you don't think I have a right to voice my opinions on things, just walk away from your computer now.  Consider yourself warned and don't gripe at me.

Today the kids and I went out to lunch after church to pass some time.  Yes, the weekends alone suck so if I can find some small way to pass a bit more time away from home I tend to jump on it.  The kids behaved rather well during lunch.  Can't really remember a single issue.  But on the way out someone stopped me to say that I was brave for taking all the kids out.  Um, excuse me?  This attitude irks me.  Where on earth did people get the idea that if you have children, you are supposed to leave them at home or sequestered from the public?  And why do people act like I should be incapable of dealing with my own children?  I am getting this attitude a lot lately from certain people and it frankly ticks me off.  If you are unable to leave the house with your own children and get out in public (assuming your children have no major mental issues), then the fault is entirely on you as a parent.  I am not brave for taking my children in public. I am their mom, it's in my job description. 

And for those people I know who keep asking me if they can come stay with us so they can watch my children while I got shopping or run errands or have appointments.  Stop.  I am totally capable of taking my children everywhere with me and also totally aware of when I need help.  Even if you felt it was stressful to take your children with you places, I truly don't feel that way most days and honestly enjoy getting out of the house with the kids.  The kids go to the store with me, go to the post office, to the dentist, to the doctor, to church. We go everywhere together and chances are good that if I have not taken you up on your constant offers to watch the kids for me, there is a reason.  Maybe, just maybe, I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my kids. That's not to say I don't look forward to naptime and bedtime for getting some alone time.  But we have very few people we trust leaving our kids with.  No, the baby won't stay with anyone unless it is an emergency so don't even ask.  But due to the high number of people who complain about how we have too many kids, act as if they can't handle so many kids, the people who have betrayed our trust with regards to our children and their safety or emotional well-being, the people who flat out lied to us regarding what happened with our children while we were gone supposedly "for our own good" and other such issues with people in the past, the list of those who we will leave the kids with is short and totally non-negotiable.  I do not want to find myself ever again in a situation where I am saying I should have trusted my instincts rather than doing as was expected of me. And there is no way I will feel comfortable leaving my kids with people who think it is ok to talk to other people about how we have too many children or agree with/defend those who make such comments.

I understand that it is hard to be alone with so many kids.  I understand that I need to take time for myself.  Trust me when I say I am doing so.  I appreciate that people mean well and yet I have to ask if some folks are more interested in actually being helpful or in being able to tell other people that they helped.

And on an added note. If you are someone who believes I don't have the right to post anything other than pictures of my kids, you may simply want to stop reading because I have decided that I am tired of feeling the need to edit myself so as not to offend other folks.  This is real life and real life is not always pretty pictures. 

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jell-O Gallery

We took a trip to the Jell-o Gallery today.  Yes, Jell-o was invented in a nearby town.  It's a rather amazing story and we learned way more about Jell-o today than I thought there was to know.  Did you know Jell-o has been on the space station?  That it has been tested for brain waves?  None were found, by the way.  That the original recipe was sold for a mere $450 when the inventor was not able to successfully market Jell-o himself? Something tells me that after a few years he was kicking himself over that decision.  This was the perfect diversion for a Friday morning.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's Apple Season

We went apple picking today.  I decided to keep it small scale this year so we only picked about 50 lbs.  Chances are good that we will end up going back in October for more apples but I did not think we needed to bring home 100 lbs at once this year since I won't have the extra help with canning and such.  I do still hope to get a couple batches of apple sauce made because once you've had homemade, you really don't want to go back to store bought sauce.  We also had to end the day with the traditional caramel apples.  Nothing quite like the experience of 7 sticky caramel covered kids.

Last Day of Camp

Here are a few pictures from the last day of camp.  The boys all made a short presentation about what they did during the week.  It sounds to me as if they had a great time.

We Have a Mobile Baby

Robert is officially mobile. No, not quite crawling but he is rolling and scooting all over the place. I'm not sure how long it takes him to actually arrive where he was intending to be but he is at least moving himself around.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Day at the Village

We spent the day at the museum today.  We tried to get a few pictures of the older boys today but rarely ran into them.  So I mostly have pictures of the younger crowd. They got to do quite a lot of hands-on stuff today since school is in session so the place was rather empty which is always very nice.  A nice cool day today and the rain held off.  I really need to remember one of these days to bring the jogging stroller instead of the regular one because the paths are rather uneven.  I think everyone had a good time today and the younger ones are already showing signs of being tired so we just might have an early bedtime.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grapes

We decided to cover the grapes with netting this year and actually have a decent amount of grapes that have survived the birds and the bugs.  They are slightly sour wine grapes with seeds so I sadly can't really just give them to the kids for snacks.  Oh, how I wish I could just do that.  Instead I really need to get the motivation together to make jelly out of these.  I am hoping the sugar in the jelly will counter-act the sour taste of the grapes. Maybe next year we could try making our own wine. Guess I need to start doing research on that one now if we hope to be able to pull it off.

Real Men

Apparently the boys are enjoying their camp experience this week. They are in a program called Tom Sawyer Days. I was told that today they carried wood in for a fire, carried chickens around (this is apparently more fun at camp than at home with your own chickens judging by the looks I got when I said we had to come home to tend to the chickens), built bird houses, went on a scavenger hunt, played tag. In the end I was told they "worked like men" today.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Inspirational Story

Here's a great story. Especially for the young boys out there.

Just a Couple of Pictures

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fun With Jell-O

 If you have this:

 
And these:

 
And these:

 
And maybe one of these:

 
You can make these:

 
Ok, you don't really need a Liam. You can use your own cute looking kid and get the same results I'm sure.  I'm also thinking you might want to use slightly bigger fish shaped gummy type things so you can see them better. I'm thinking the Swedish fish would be more noticeable in the jell-o.  But doesn't that look rather neat?

Katie's Ark

Katie worked very hard on this puzzle and is very proud to say she did it all by herself.  She just wanted to share.
 
See, all done.

Religious Solicitors

So exactly how do you tell the super nice acting 70 some year-old Jehovah's witnesses to kindly leave you and your family the heck alone?  Seriously, I am getting a Mary statue for the front yard this week.  Hopefully that will help.  Yes, I have respect for what they are trying to do and yet at the same time I do not agree with knocking on doors like that. 

Friday, September 11, 2009

Egg Carton Art

We've been accumulating a rather large supply of egg cartons lately. Sometimes we need more than others but I finally had to admit that we had a bit too many laying around so I decided we had to find something fun to do with them other than just tossing them in the recycling bin.
So we got out the paint, pipe cleaners and wiggly eyes.  And the all important cheap plastic table cloth to keep folks from painting the table.
Everyone was very quiet and busy.  We also found the best use ever for the corn cob knobs from Pampered Chef.  They do a much better job of poking holes in egg cartons to put the pipe cleaners through than they do at their intended job.
I do believe we ended up using about 30 of the self-adhesive wiggly eyes so I am going to have to get more of them.  Those are much better for art projects than the ones you have to glue on yourself.  We've always had a hard time getting them to stick on anything without way too much glue.
Gabe decided to paint the table after he'd gotten tired of painting egg cartons.  Which is why I use the cheap table cloths.  At the end of this messier than normal project, I was able to just throw the entire mess away.
Here are some of the finished projects.  We had spiders and caterpillars of all different colors. I'm pretty sure there were a few other creatures and object thrown in there as well.  This colorful crew is now hanging out in our kitchen waiting for everything to dry.

A Much Needed Reminder

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jello

Small child sneaks by you in the crowd of other children going to watch a movie.  Small child has red jell-o in their hands that was supposed to be eaten at the table.  Red jello and living room rug do not go well together.  Sigh, some days you just can't win.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A View of the Yard

The weather has been very nice lately so the kids have been spending a lot of time outside. Liam even convinced Alan to get out the giant human hamster wheel for them.  It has a leak in it somewhere so I'm not sure if it will be around for much longer.
Katie is just hanging out.
Sean caught a toad. This is one of the smallest ones they have found this summer.