Wednesday, July 29, 2015


So do you ever find yourself part way through this parenting gig and realize you have veered rather off the course you want for your family? My older kids had a much more involved parent. Not involved in the sense of entertain you every second of the day because, um, no way am I ever doing that.  But involved in the sense of going on field trips and exploring things together. Admittedly,  no air conditioning in the van means trips further than church just do not happen in the summer. The poor kids roast in the van because the back windows don't open. It is miserable for them. And a new van is not in the picture for the time being. I have come to view car payments as an evil thing and, well, we can either have a car payment or pay for groceries. Not both. Anyway, just trying to figure out how to add joy back to our life a bit. Or maybe just  some excitement. Or just something that excites me every so often.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Snapshot of our Life, Without the Snapshots

Yes, I do have plans to get back to blogging. Really, I truly do. I know it's been a long time since much of anything meaningful showed up here. I have a bazillion pictures trapped on the new camera. Ok, just maybe 150 or so. But the only way to remove them right now is to track down the old camera and move the memory card to the old camera. Or wait until the replacement USB cord arrives. I know the camera  came with one. But it disappeared about 2 minutes after it was removed from the package. I kid you not. There is a black hole somewhere in the kitchen, I swear there is.

The kids are alive and well. Just ignore the child who is wearing snow boots in the middle of summer. It is not my fault he ruined his sneakers at camp and can't seem to find his sandals in his mess of a room. Also ignore the other boy who refuses to ever find his sneakers or put them on his feet or in general act his age, preferring instead to throw fits and cry and whine and expect other people to do for him what any child his age (including him) is capable of doing. Yes, Mom is clamping down on his attitude and he is slowly getting into line. Slowly.

I somehow managed to forget to order the 4th grade spelling and English books Abby needs for this school year so am waiting on the next discount shipping day. Don't ask me how I did that. It baffles me as well since I ordered the rest of her books and they all come from the same company. I also still need to order Sean's books for his college classes. Scratch that, just for his French class. The history class starts midway through the semester so I have time. And figure out his paperwork for the district giving that we won't  know what college classes he will take in January until, oh, December. Still trying to figure out the basics of planners and organizing 8 students this year with two surgeries on two different kids scheduled for the first 6 months or so of the school year. And that new baby thing. If you find someone babbling incoherently in a corner, that will be me.

I have several book reviews and product reviews I really want to get posted. Granted, one of said book reviews requires that I find the books because I asked on the kids to read them first (he loved them) and have not seen the books since handing them over. I know I can't be the only person this happens to, just perhaps the only one who will admit it.

Seamus just decided that he does not like formula. Smart boy, he is. That stuff is disgusting. Seriously. I know it is nutritionally sound and such stuff but  nothing compares to giving your kid the real stuff from the tap. Nothing else at all. Anyone who knows me at all knows how much of a heart break it was to not be able to continue nursing Seamus. Granted, some people are just plain clueless and make stupid comments anyway. I do not understand such people. With the issues the next little one is expected to have, nursing will be pretty much an impossibility there, too. This really bugs me. Oh so much. Terribly hard to accept. So I am praying that just maybe the issues will not be as severe as expected so just maybe some nursing will be possible.

So that is our life in a nutshell lately. Hope life is wonderful in your neck of the woods.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Meal Plan

Last week was the first week with all the boys back in the house. We seriously went through half as much food as normal the week all 4 older boys were at camp. Seriously.  4 teen/almost teen boys eat a ton of food. Just in case you were wondering.  So one of my goals this year is to work on teaching them how to choose foods that will actually fill them up and provide energy without being just a plain sugar rush. So, no, a bowl of cereal really is not the best snack choice. Protein is a necessary and needed thing. And, really, talk to your parents before snatching food without permission because I bet Mom had plans for the 3 lbs container of cottage cheese you just scarfed down. And, again, remove the empty boxes from the cupboards because otherwise you are just messing with my head and irritating me. But anyway, here's the meal plan for the week.  Hopefully.

M: eggs (B), tacos (D)
T: oatmeal (B), chicken azteca over rice (D)
W: muffins (B), spaghetti (D)
T: breakfast casserole (B), easy Mexican casserole (D)
F: pumpkin bread (B), bean dip, assorted finger foods (D)

I am working on getting the pantry shelves stocked again. With multiple military trips and lots of extra medical bills over the past year,  our pantry shelves were pretty much decimated. Combine that with the constant increase in food costs and the consumption levels of teenagers, and I have been fighting a losing battle in my attempts to restock. The goal for August is to work on both home canned foods  and store bought ones. Yesterday I managed to find an awesome deal on some produce and we made some progress by canning 7 quarts of pickled jalapenos. This week I hope to can triple berry jam, strawberry syrup, and blueberry syrup if I can get out to pick some more blueberries. We also have about 15 bell peppers to get processed for the freezer and rhubarb to process. Also hoping to get a triple batch of laundry detergent made before we run out of detergent completely.

And we are hoping for a calmer week. Two cars needed major repairs this week. Both died on the same day, at the same time, in the same location. One tow truck, one busted radiator, one really horrible messed up brake system. I have decided that no more money will be put into Alan's car because it really makes no sense at this point. And now that the radiator has been replaced on the teenagers' car, it will hopefully hold up well for a few more years.

On a more positive note, I won two raffles this past week. One from the library for a multi-colored cat shaped solar light (seriously, it changes colors all night long) and a gift card to Bill Gray's. Another one for two years worth of art classes on DVD. I picked the 3rd and 4th grade lessons. My crew seems to love DVD based art lessons and I love them now that the local college is no longer offering art classes to homeschoolers. This keeps  art classes much more interesting that what I can manage on my own and affordable. Seriously, that affordable part is what is really important here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Meal Plan

M: oatmeal (B), creamy salsa enchiladas (D)
T: eggs in toast (B), pork chops, potatoes (D)
W: cereal (B), beef teriyaki (D)
T: eggs (B), Spanish rice or leftovers (D)
F: bagels (B), macaroni and cheese with broccoli (D)
S: pancakes (B), pizza (D)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Meal Plan

I tell you, I am in a major meal plan slump as of late. My motivation has gone completely out the window. Guess I'd better do something about that.  Cooking for only 8 this week. The older boys are all at camp. I guess I should say 7 because Seamus doesn't really eat much as of yet. Unless his siblings set him down in front of a basket full of raspberries. Then he just might try to eat the entire thing. And end up with a tummy ache.

M: eggs and toast (B), cream cheese chicken over rice (D)
T: yogurt (B), homemade taco helper (D)
W: oatmeal (B), leftovers (D)
T: crockpot breakfast casserole (B), creamy salsa enchilada casserole (D)
F: cereal (B), tuna salad (D)

Lunches will be leftovers, sandwiches, corndog muffins, assorted finger foods.
Snacks will be mostly fruit, baby carrots, celery, perhaps string cheese.

Baby on the Way

Baby number 12 is officially on the way. Life is going to get super crazy and fun around here.  We are asking for prayers as it appears the little one on the way has a cleft lip and palette and will obviously need surgery. This is one of those cases where we are thankful to be able to plan ahead of time and have access to the proper medical care. It will be an interesting few months for everyone. Please keep our little one in your prayers.