"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Time Flies

It seems like just yesterday that all my concerns were with sleeping through the night and making our own baby food, potty training and training wheels.  

Just this week I have been dealing with college entrance exams and college registration, driver's training and orthodontics.  Where has the time gone?  Can my dear sweet Evan really be going to college next year?  (albeit as a high schooler, but the point being he won't be home, he'll be on campus)  And what's this about wanting to learn to drive?  I'm not sure I'm ready for that (or that I'm ready to pay the insurance for that).  Dear sweet Molly has a mouth full of orthodontia in her near future which will mean thousands of dollars out of our bank account in the near future.

I LOVE having older kids, but those early days were so sweet....

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Beds

My little girls all got new beds last week and with new beds come new headaches. Not that I'm unhappy with their new beds, they just cause a few "issues". Issue number one is literally a headache - as in, Zoe keeps laying down an bonking her head on the head board. Issue number two is that Zoe & Raelea think that nap time is now play time, so neither of them is getting enough sleep. This gives MOM a headache.

On the plus side, Raelea and Emily are no longer sharing a bed, which is just fine with both of them and their room is super clean. The pluses more than make up for the headaches.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cabin Fun

Judging from the pictures, I think I missed a great time at the cabin this weekend. Bummer.  But before the play could begin, there was work to do...Chris didn't think that eight kids were enough to keep track of, so Nina & Molly brought along their friends, Hannah & Jordan.
Yes, It was only in the 50's, but that didn't stop the kids from getting in the water.

My niece, Colleen, with her fiance, Jason.  Don't they look like a happy couple?
What's the cabin without a gun fight?
Hmm, don't know about this one, although I do know that Zoe just recently learned to stick out her tongue...

Ooo, check out the brand new dock!
Apparently, noodle-fighting was a hot activity for the day as well.
Wish I could have been there...

Raelea At The Cabin

For whatever reason (maybe because she's so darn cute), there were a lot of pictures taken of Raelea at the cabin. For that reason, she gets her own personal blog post.  

Looks like she was one of the first in the water...
But soon, she got cold and came out...

And decided that the sand was a warm place to rest...
Until the gun and light saber fight began...

In which she was apparently victorious.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's Too Quiet!

The family (everyone except me) went up to the cabin this weekend to help open it up. I stayed home and went to a women's conference. The conference was great, but now I am home and the fam won't arrive home for about seven more hours :( It's too quiet around here. I don't even have the dog to keep me company. It's not that I don't have a zillion things to do, it's just that I'm used to doing them with more chaos going on around me :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Way To Go, Raelea!

I met with Raelea's speech teacher on Tuesday to go over her IEP (Individualized Education Program) for next year.  Her teacher had nothing but praise for her incredible progress this year and said she no longer has to go three times a week.  Starting next week, Raelea will only have speech class twice a week!  Yippee!  She'll still have therapy on Friday as well, but three days of speech is way better than four days.

The other really good news is that they think she will be done with speech completely sometime next school year.  She is doing so well and we are so incredibly proud of our little hard worker!

Way to go, RaeRae!

More Shakespeare

Yesterday, Evan was quoting Shakespeare to me while I was driving him somewhere.  I had no idea my son could quote Shakespeare...

To be or not to be, that is the question;
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
- William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

I could do the first line, but he went on to complete the paragraph. 

Not only can Evan quote Shakespeare, he informed me that Macbeth is his favorite play.  Can you guess why?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We Got A Deal

I just have to share my good deal with you all. I'm so excited! We're in the process of moving Zoe out of a crib and into a real bed. To do this we bought a bunk bed for Emily & Raelea (who share a room with Zoe) and we were in the market for a twin captain's bed for Zoe. We need a captain's bed because they need the drawers and the room isn't big enough for a a bunk bed, a twin bed and a large dresser. Anyway, I found a twin captain's bed with a mattress and a chest of drawers for a really good price on craigslist.

We were a little skeptical of the quality we might find when we went to look at the bed, but lo and behold, it was all very sturdy and almost like new. Yippee! Once again, God used craigslist to provide us with the bed we needed in the price range we needed (two of our other captain's beds were purchased off of craigslist a couple of years ago).

Just wanted to share my happiness :)

We didn't have to time to put up the new beds yet, but it's scheduled for Thursday night. Stay tuned for pictures of the updated bedroom. Emily & Raelea are excited to each have their own bed!


Sometimes it's better to just not ask...

There's More Than One Way

To wear a balloon

Say What?

One of my favorite things about spring is that school winds down starting about now. Slowly, we finish some of our subjects for the year and so our school days get progressively shorter.

For instance, today was our last day of geography. The four middle kids (Nina - Emily) were studying US geography this year. They were told last September that when we finished geography they needed to be able to identify all 50 states and their capitals (this was a little easier for Nina & Molly since they had already memorized the states). If they were able to do this without a single mistake they would receive a reward. Well, after months and months of learning all sorts of interesting facts about all 50 states, today was the moment of truth.

I am pleased to announce that all the children passed with flying colors and with a DQ Blizzard for their reward (food - the ultimate motivator). The only problem we had was when one child declared that state next to Maine as New Hamster :) She quickly corrected herself and continued in fine form.

Next subject soon to be eliminated from our day will be science. By the end of May we really only have history and math left - those never end - literally.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Last Year

There's nothing to blog about today (except for Susan Boyle), so I was looking at pictures from last year and this is what I found. 
Lest we think that winter is definitely over...APRIL 26, 2008

Okay, since I'm being random here, I will post about Susan Boyle. I LOVE that lady and, man, can she sing. If you aren't one of the 33 million people (that's an actual number, by the way, not an exaggeration) who've already viewed her on YouTube you really need to click on the link above and check it out -really - it's worth it. It will make you just want to cheer for this lady and it will make you believe that dreams really can come true. Okay, I'm gushing now, I'll stop. Goodnight! 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Princess Emily

After years of waiting, Emily was finally able to go to the Father/Daughter Tea at church. It's for all Fathers and Daughters, but preference is given to daughters in the 4th grade and up. This year, Emily was old enough to go and she thoroughly enjoyed her date with Dad.

Don't they make a cute couple!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Family Night

Okay, it's my 10 second blog (kids are waiting for me to say goodnight)

We went to Jensen Lake for Family Night tonight.  Here's the photo montage.

Yes, those bagpipes go everywhere he goes!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

If We Didn't Love Them, We'd Hate Them

For the first year or so, Evan's bagpipes exhibited very few ornery tendencies.  That has all changed!  They are giving him and us quite a few headaches these days.  it started slowly several months ago when he discovered that his drone pipes had some small cracks in them.  Not too big of a problem as the weren't even a year old, so our dealer took them back, sent them to Scotland to be repaired or replaced and gave Evan temporary replacement parts.

Then there was that little incident before the MACHE performance when Evan accidentally tore a little  (but very important ) flap off.  Aside from giving me high blood pressure for about two hours, not too big of a deal.  Chris, master bagpipe repairer, fixed it enough so that Evan could perform.

Well, that was pretty much the beginning of all sorts of problems.  It turns out that my dear son produces a lot of spit which gets into his bag and out onto his reeds and makes them moldy (gross, I know).  Well, to remedy this moist problem he needed to insert something into the bag called a water trap.  After weeks of trying to get this thing in and working it finally got in.  All seemed good until Evan found his pipes almost impossible to play.   It didn't take long to find the problem, an almost 1/4 inch hole in the bag.  He got that fixed a week ago only to be told that his bag was still leaking air.

Apparently, Evan wasn't pouring goopy stuff (called bag dressing) into his bag often enough and so air was leaking through the leather bag.  That was easy enough to fix.  Pour more goop in and presto no leaks.  All seemed to be going peachy until yesterday when Evan discovered that his bag is leaking again!  GRRR!  If they hadn't cost so much money I think Evan would have thrown them across the room several times by now.

Now all this seems like maybe he got a faulty or cheap set of pipes - not so.  All this is totally common amongst bagpipe players.  Apparently, bagpipes are some of the most temperamental instruments on the face of the planet.  Thankfully repairs are relatively inexpensive!

I'm Back

Raking is done.  Hubby is on the mend - so much so that we get to go on a date tonight :).  Transcript is done and sent.  What's a girl to do except blog?  Oh, there is that pesky little business about getting out the spring clothes.  There's a job that takes me many hours.

I've almost finished with Raelea & Zoe's clothes and they have more than the rest of the kids put together.  I've sorted and sorted and I have about eight large bags of clothes so far for my Free Sale.  Chris thinks I need to call it a Garage Free.   What do you think?  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where's Barb

Raking. Caring for her sick hubby. Raking some more. Taking Evan to bagpipe lessons. Raking some more. Inventing a transcript for Evan to apply to the PSEO program.

Sorry, not a lot of blogging going on. I'll try to do better the rest of the week.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Crying At The Cross

At church on Sunday there was a big cross up on stage (we meet in a school auditorium).  Marcus wanted to know why there was a cross on the stage, so I told him how Jesus died on a cross to pay the price for our sins.  I told him how the "wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23) and since we all sin someone had to die to pay those wages.  Then I told him how Jesus, because He loves us, paid the wages for us and died on a cross.  Well, Marcus thought about that for a few moments and then he burst out crying, sobbing.

I comforted him and asked him why he was crying and he said, "because Jesus had to die."  As I was holding him and comforting him I was thinking that we all should cry sometimes about that.  Jesus' death can seem so distant to us, so historical, but not heart-wrenching.  Marcus, realizing for the first time what price had to be paid for his sin, was cut to the heart.  Oh, that we would all know that feeling more often.

I tried to encourage him that Jesus didn't stay dead, that he conquered death and rose and that's what we were celebrating on Easter.  I'm not sure he grasped the resurrection part (death he's already familiar with, but this coming back to life thing, that's a new concept), but after talking for some time he went on to enjoy the Easter service and the rest of the day.

I hope you all had time this weekend to reflect on Jesus' death - for you - and his victory over death - for you.  And if you didn't reflect on it yesterday, there's always today...

It's Gone

I forgot to give you the update on my headache remedy . You'll be glad to hear that the Cadbury egg did the trick!  No more headache.  Who knew?

Easter Highlights

Highlights from Easter in no particular order.

Here are some of the ladies of the house ready to go to church.
Raelea and Mom with matching dresses.  Thanks Deb & Rachel!
Emily with her cousin Rachel - excited about their finds.
Aidan making sure he has all that's coming to him.

Eureka!  She's found it!

Marcus is a pro at this, his second year of egg hunting.

Aw, aren't they cute?

Me trying to force feed Deb a peep (she LOVES them!  Okay, not really.  She hates them with a passion)
I had to put this one in so you can see how pretty Deb really is when she's not making goofy faces (which she tends to do on a regular basis).  I on the other hand have my mouth full of that peep that Deb wouldn't eat.  Dear hubby wouldn't wait until I swallowed to take the picture.

Some more of my lovely girls with Uncle Peter as a backdrop.

Of course, there are many more pictures of Easter (about 100 of them to be exact), but you get the general idea from these.

Look What I Found

I was wandering through my garden this weekend and look what I found. I don't know what it is or how it got in my garden, but it sure is pretty!


Why is this what always happens when I try to give Aidan a kiss?
He still loves me though.

I've Got A Headache

I've got this ripping headache today and I am thinking that it's due to some sort of withdrawal from yesterday. That would mean withdrawal fro wither sugar or high-fat foods. So, to remedy the situation I have just consumed a Cadbury egg :) I'll let you know if it helps!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Previously Unpublished

I haven't posted any photos lately and some of you are probably grumbling and complaining about that :( Truth be told, I haven't taken too many photos lately (hard to believe). With bagpipe "issues" at the beginning of the week and well over half of us suffering from colds, there hasn't been a lot to take pictures of. That will all change this weekend with Easter and all, but until then here are a few photos to tide you over.

Here we have Marcus having a fun time at the dentist.  We brought all seven kids in at the same time - talk about a  sight!  Next time we'll have all eight there at the same time since Zoe will be three by then.  Thank God for dental insurance!
Here are Mamas Zoe & Raelea with their babies.

When Zoe isn't playing mama she's playing Tinkerbell.
That's all I have for you today.  Apparently all the big kids were taking the pictures instead of being in them.