Sunday, June 30, 2013

A hot day

Well it was a hot day, but we managed to not be too hot, by spending most of the day visiting my parents.  It was nice to have an excuse to go see them.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

What a time for the a/c to go out.

Right now we are in one of the hot stretches of summer.  It has been over 100 for a few days,  and is forecasted to be near 100 for almost another week.  Our house has central air, but the unit is small enough it has a hard time keeping up with really hot days.  Therefore I didn't think much about our house feeling warm, that is until I felt the air coming from one of the vents and discovered it was warm.  The hubs went and took a look at our a/c unit, and it was making a noise like something was stuck.  Looks like we will be having a hot weekend.

Friday, June 28, 2013

On my own

I got up this morning only to find out that a lot of the work  I had done yesterday had been undone.  Spike had removed all of the folded laundry from the couch, and threw it on the floor.  The kitchen was  a disaster, etc.  I was feeling stressed.  It probably didn't help, that I knew this evening I would be on my own.  I can handle it, when the hubs is gone, but it is harder, and therefor more stressful.   The hubs was taking his scouts on a backpacking adventure this evening,  so between work and getting ready for that, I knew he would be occupied all day today.

I took a few time outs, and said lots of prayers, and I made it through the day.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Required Field Must Not Be Blank

My title is the silly warning the software gave me when I started typing so I decided that could be my title.
I am so tired.  This week I have been getting up with the hubs at 5:30 and then not going back to bed at all because I have had teenage guys showing up at 7 to work on my yard.  The yard is looking great, but I am drained.  I wonder if those guys are tired too.  I would show some more pictures but I didn't think about taking any until after it was too dark.  Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Scissors and quilts

I am so sad right now. I just discovered that Aurora found the quilt I have been working on and some scissors.   I know it wasn't intentional malice,  bit to have something that I have put  so much work into damaged like that is disheartening.   Thankfully,  with the way I am constructing it, I should be able to salvage at least parts of the pieces that were cut.

How do you teach your children to respect other peoples stuff?  And how do you teach them to not touch certain things?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gunny Bag

Today I got the kids up instead of waiting for them to wake up.  Guy and Aurora got up on their own, however I got the other two older kids up.  After breakfast I told them I was going to take a shower, and when I got out Gunny Bag was going to come.

Gunny Bag is a bag with a face drawn on it that comes and eats toys that are left out.  I try to give the kids a fair warning before bringing out the bag, and if I can tell they are trying I go around very slowly gathering toys to let them have more chances to clean them up.  I have tried Gunny Bag before but had little success with it, however I have noticed that I am not usually very consistent with it.  It usually only comes out when I get really frustrated with the mess, and then it eats the toys, which then stay in the garage for months, because I forget about them.

This time however I am trying to be consistent   Gunny Bag comes each day after dinner.  This weekend we had some plans that stirred things up a bit, so Gunny Bag came this morning because it hadn't come on Sunday or Monday nights.  However the plan is for Gunny Bag to come each night, gather up the toys that are not taken care of, and then on Saturday morning, he comes back and "throws up" all the toys, the children then have to take care of the toys or they will be eaten again.  And if Gunny Bag eats something 3 times, he just might decide he really likes it, and it never comes back.    If Gunny Bag comes and there are no toys to eat, Gunny Bag cries.  The kids really like this part, and try to make Gunny Bag cry.

Anyway, I told the kids Gunny Bag was  coming, and they better clean up.  Thankfully they were motivated, and Gunny Bag didn't get much to eat this morning.  I then gave them their job charts and helped them do their jobs. This combination made for a more open and less stressful day.  And a much cleaner house.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The dark side of garden

My children have decided that a giant pile of mulch makes a great play area.   The mulch definitely leaves its mark.


  I also wanted to show the progress being made on the garden.


What it looked like on Friday after the supplies were dropped off

What it looked like at the end of the day on Saturday

What it looked like at the end of today.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The help of friends.

Today Spike had a bit of a runny nose.  Due to his runny nose we didn't want to send him to Nursery (the children's class at our church for children 18 months to 3 years).  However I didn't really want to miss church because of a kid with a runny nose.  So I took him with me to my class.   The hubs was asked to teach a different children's class today, so I had Spike and Baby.    Aurora also decided she didn't want to go to her class, and followed me to my class (after I had tried to take her to hers) crying.  Thankfully one of my friends at church helped me out by holding Baby for me,  another friend took Aurora back to her class and I was able to handle Spike, who wasn't too wild today.

I am grateful for good friends and the Lord's help.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Garden Work

Today we had some help from some of the teenage boys in our neighborhood working on our garden that we are putting together.  They made a lot of progress and it is looking nice.  There is still a lot of work out there, but it is coming together.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Yard Work

We have been working on transforming part of our front lawn into a flower garden.  Up until now it has mostly been planning.   Today we had 15 cubic yards of mulch dumped in front of our house plus a pallet of bricks for borders, and a pallet of stepping stones.  I got out there wanting to make some progress with the new stuff that showed up, and realized there is still a lot of work, digging and such that is needed before all of that can happen.
I got a little bit of digging done today, but not much in the whole scale.  But I am really sore.  The hubs has asked some young men in our area to help tomorrow.  We will see how much progress we can make with their help.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Surprise Date

Tonight the hubs surprised me with babysitters and a date night.  We got to go out and order some mulch for my flower garden, went out for Chinese,  looked around plants, went grocery shopping, snuck the groceries home, then went out for smoothies, sat on a picnic blanket on a grass strip and watched the sun set.  Was a great evening.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Oceans

Today was our fish/ ocean day.  For morning snack I gave the kids "ocean cups"  blue jello with Swedish fish in them.  Then for lunch I gave them octopus hot dogs (hot dogs with the lower half of the hot dog cut into 8 strips), bread and butter cut into stars for star fish, and gold fish crackers.  For quiet time today the kids watched "Finding Nemo."


I got some cute pictures of Baby today, thought I'd share one.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Afternoon out.

The hubs has been interviewing with a different company lately.  Not because he has a problem with his current job.  His current job is awesome.  But because we feel like that is what the Lord wants us to do, for some reason that we don't really know or understand right now.

This company is located in another state, and most of their employees work remotely from their own homes all over the US.  So if he got this job, we would be able to stay here, at least for the time being.  Due to them being all over the states, they do their interviews via skype.

The hubs had an interview this afternoon, so I took the kids out, during what is normally quiet time, so that they wouldn't interfere.   The library has activities on Tuesday afternoons, so we headed over there to participate in that.  There was quite the crowd there, and I found that early afternoon, being in a public place that is crowded with all 5 kids, by myself equals stress.  But I think the kids had fun even if I was stressed.

When the activities were over I took the kids to the grocery store, picked up some prescriptions from the pharmacy, and then got us all ice cream cones.    After that we came home.  It was a very tiring afternoon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Job tags, Pony Rides, and Hugs

I created some new job tags  for the kids.  They have each job on a card, then the cards are put inside ID holders, and hung on a lanyard, that they can wear around their neck.  Guy and Spike really loved this idea, and took off with it.  Cinderella enjoyed it as well, but I'm not sure what Aurora thought.  I think she might have been tired or not feeling well today, she was rather moody, and spent a bunch of time just laying around.


Today I took the kids back to the same farm we went to last week.  Guy had been disappointed  that he didn't get to do some things, so he wanted to go again.

The kids played in the "dairy area"
 And rode a pony/horse ride.



 Spike and Cinderella really were enjoying themselves.  Don't let their facial expressions fool you.



I later got some pictures of Spike "saying 'Hi Baby!'"
In this first picture he is showing Baby his new job tag necklace.
 This picture is how he says "Hi Baby!"  This is one of his favorite things to do, and his older siblings usually try and "save" Baby when ever they see Spike heading that way.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Dad

I have an awesome Dad.   He has always been there for me.  If I have ever needed anything I knew I could call on Dad.  He isn't afraid of work.  He is a very hard worker, and doesn't take a break very often.
My Dad taught me the principles of hard work, and serving others.  I love you Dad.

Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Late night short post

It seems like lots of late nights and short posts so I can get to bed.  I need to do better.   I have also  gone a few days without marking our job chart.



Friday, June 14, 2013

Good day

Had a pretty good day.  Got some work done on my flower garden, and went on a dare with the hubs.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Motivation

What motivates you?  What motivates your children?   How do you encourage them to do hard things?
I struggle with Guy, and usually just get frustrated.   Then when I come up with ideas Cinderella loves them but they don't phase Guy.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Time for me

I was in better spirits today, I think maybe part of that is that I took some time today to do something for me.  I took about 20-30 minutes to work on piecing a quilt I started last year but haven't worked on since.
Tonight I found myself feeling irritated with Guy, but it was a manageable amount of irritation. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Schedules

I have a hard time adapting a schedule to changes that happen.  Daylight savings time throws me off every year, and we never adapt until it ends.    When school gets out for the summer, it throws another kink in the works too.  In previous years it hasn't been too bad, however this year the hubs is working a bit farther from home and carpools to work.  I am glad that he has someone he can carpool with, so that we don't have to buy a second car, but carpooling makes things a little more hectic at home.
We try to have breakfast together as a family, which works during the school year.  However now the hubs ride comes at 6:30 AM, and the kids want to stay up until 10:00, even if we try to put them to bed before that.
We tried to let the kids stay up later, and then the hubs and I would just get up earlier, have breakfast together, and he would head off to work.  However yesterday Aurora told me that she misses having family breakfasts, and then today the older boys woke up at 5:20.   Do we get them up earlier, and try to put them to bed earlier?  Do we forgo family breakfasts and hope that with enough time the kids will eventually sleep in every day, so that I get some downtime?
Oh, I don't know what to do....

Monday, June 10, 2013

Farm, and swimming

Yesterday our internet was down, so I typed up my blog post in a text file.  That file is saved on my computer which is turned off, so that post will show up later.

Today I was quite tired, and feeling overwhemed.  I dreaded taking the kids out in public,  and having them argue and fight, like they had been doing all morning.   I told tyem any more fighting and we wouldn't go anywhere,  and if they fought while we were out, we would go straight home.  They took me at my word, and calmed down considerably.

I took the kids to a farm,  that is designed for children to visit.  The kids seemed to have fun.  Guy kept getting disappointed however, he got to ride a pony, but not the one of his choice.  He got to play, but not as long as he wanted.   It is hard to want to do things for the kids when they respond in that manner.  I just need to remember that they are still little, and I need not expect to much from them.

Tonight we took the kids swimming.   They enjoyed it, but were disappointed that we only stayed an hour.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday's Post


Right now my Internet isn't working, so I am typing this in a word processor and will post it once my Internet is more agreeable.

I am going to try a new motivator for jobs. I have a chart that is a path that the kids can move markers along, each time they complete a job. When they reach the top we will do a fun family activity. We will have to see how this works in the long run. I know tonight the kids were excited to do some jobs and move along. We will see about tomorrow.

(posted at date and time where it belongs)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Family fun

This morning we took the family on a little hike.   The kods petered out pretty quickly.   We should do more of those to build up their endurance.

Then this evening we went to my parents house for a bbq to celebrate my youngest sister graduating high school.

Friday, June 7, 2013

I need a break

I think I have hit my limit.  I am not doing so hot in keeping my temper with the kids.  They are doing there best to push my buttons, and I am not responding as lovingly as I would like.

This morning I found Cinderella sitting in Baby's infant swing.   I have told all of the older kids many times to not sit in the swing, and to leave Baby's toys and things alone.  So I told Cinderella that she didn't get to come to the park with us today.  The hubs was working from home, so that gave me the freedom to leave her home.  Needless to say she was none to happy about this, and sat down to sulk.

Then Guy told me he could only find 1 of his shoes.  This is no new thing.  He doesn't take care of his shoes when he comes in the house, and they end up scattered everywhere.  Sometimes they don't even make it into the house.   I told him that he could stay home too.  However I had some reservations about leaving too many kids with the hubs trying to get work done.  So I decided to take Spike and Aurora out into the back yard and push them on the swing.  However Cinderella came out and started swinging, and yelling at me about how unfair I am.   Finally I lost it and told her to go to her room.  She started sulking and whining, so I told her she had one more chance, but if she yelled at me again she could spend the rest of the morning in her room.  So she proceeded to whine, but not yell.  I grew tired of it, and decided I would take the two to the park, just to get away from her whining.

So then she started going on, and on about how Aurora always gets everything she wants and it is so  unfair......  Not wanting to hear it I told all the kids to go to their rooms and went to shut myself in my room.   The hubs asked what I was doing and I told him, I have a hard time following through on consequences  and told him what was happening.  He told me to take the two kids to the park.  So I went to do so, got them buckled into the car, only to have Cinderella open the door and start bagging on me again.   I gave in to my frustration and screamed at her, to knock it off.  She then closed the door and we headed off to the park.

I felt bad screaming at her.  I don't want to be that kind of a mom.  I want to be  a loving and patient mom.   Sometimes I wonder how I am going to do it this summer without loosing my mind.  Sometimes I wonder how I will make it through tomorrow without losing my mind.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Finding Ballance

Before school got out I was establishing a habit for myself, where I clear the table after breakfast, then I would wash it off and sweep the floor.  Since school got out I have changed my emphasis to trying to get the kids to more regularly do their assigned jobs.  However none of them are assigned the jobs of sweeping the floor or washing off the table, and so those things aren't happening as often anymore.

This is just one example of how I feel I have been neglecting my household duties.  Also I am finding it harder each day to encourage the kids to do their jobs.  Today I just felt burnt out, and not up to the challenge.  So, they didn't do most of their jobs, and I didn't do my jobs either.  I need to come up with some way to help them each day do their jobs, without it taking as much energy on my part, or I need to lighten the load, and lower my expectations of how clean I want the house.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Quiet Time Box Follow Up

Today's quiet  time rotation completed our cycle.   Each child has now had 1 turn with each box/station.  Here are my observations:

Box 1:  After Aurora got bored with this box after only a half hour I added a few more puzzles.  These ones were Melissa and Doug mix and match dress up puzzles.   All 3 kids seem to get bored with this box before quiet time is over.  I don't know if that is because there isn't really anything "new" in there or if the items in there just aren't intriguing enough.

Box 2:  This one seemed to capture their attention more than box 1 did.   However today,  Cinderella opted to watch a movie for quiet time, which ended up pulling the other kids away from their boxes.   Guy was supposed to be doing this box, and I don't know if he got bored with the boxes, or if the movie was just more intriguing.

Box 3:  This box seems to have the best results overall.   Aurora didn't stay entertained with any of the boxes the whole time.  I am not sure if that is because they weren't interesting enough for her, her attention span is shorter, or if it is just hard for her to be alone that long.  Or maybe a mix of all 3.

Lego station:  this one doesn't seem to hold much excitement for any of the kids.  I don't know if that is because it is not new, or because there is only one thing to do, no variety.   I also wonder if legos is maybe something that they enjoy more playing with others and not on their own.

Craft station: All the kids liked this one, although Aurora seemed to have trouble getting stickers off the page without them tearing.  More variety could be added to this station.

These are just my observations,  I don't know what changes I will make of any, I just figured it would be a good idea to record them.  I also need to talk to the kids and get their oppinions of the different activities.  This will help me better understand what changes would benefit the experience.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Guess I'll Go Eat Worms

Today was bug day.  I took the kids on a "bug safari." We went around the yard looking for what bugs we could find.
Cinderella took pictures of some of our finds, and a few other random pictures as well.









For lunch I made a bug themed lunch.  I made a flower out of oranges slices for the petals, a blackberry for the center, an ants on a log for the stem.  I then included some butterfly shaped pretzels, and a gummy worm.  I then asked the kids to tell me how many bugs they could find in their lunch.  They interpreted my "flower," as a spider, but other than that they picked out what I intended.

For our afternoon snack, I made a "cup of dirt."   Crushed Oreos as the soil, chocolate pudding for the mud,  and candy rocks on top.  There were also a few gummy worms tucked in there.

Cinderella told me she wasn't quite so sure about the worms, they made her feel like she was eating real worms.  Then I started singing, "nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms."  Guy then looked at me quizzically and asked me, "What do you mean, nobody likes you?"  I then had to explain that I know people like me, it is just a song.  We then found it on YouTube.


Oh and I got a cute picture of Baby today too, so I will include it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

They have a bazooka!

I took the kids to some gardens near us today.  I think they enjoyed wandering through and looking at the plants.  However I think their favorites were watching the fish in the ponds and streams, and rolling down the grassy hills.


Looking off the bridge
Isn't he cute!

I got a good chuckle today when Cinderella announced, "Look they have a bazooka!  Or what ever it is called."  When she saw a gazebo.



Here is a picture of her standing in the "bazooka."


Sunday, June 2, 2013

My makeup girls

Cinderella decided today she would do makeup on her and Aurora.




Do you like her handy work?  I am glad it was her "play" makeup and not mine.


Now an ethical question for y'all.

If you have a child with a cough, or more correctly all of your children have a yucky sounding cough, but that seems to be the only symptom they have, do you take them out in public or keep them home?  

And if you do take them into public do you only go to out door places where there is not so much close contact?  Or do you send them to places like church and school, where the germs are likely to be spread?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Opinions

I find I often place my value on what I feel like those dearest to me think of  me.  So when I find myself with different opinions than them, particularly if they have strong opinions on the subject,  dealing with some inner turmoil.  
The hubs has some strong opinions about what food is healthy.   And in a lot of those opinions I find that we agree.  However when it comes to health vs. convenience we don't always see eye to eye.  In my search of what to feed the kids for lunch this summer, I have come across some fun ideas that use more processed food.
I know the hubs doesn't judge me for using these foods, but that doesn't keep me from feeling like I am going behind his back, and that I need to justify why I am buying these kinds of food.