Monday, April 30, 2012


Today was one of those days that I look back and wonder, "how in the world did it all get done?" Here are highlights good and bad;).

-Wonderful time spent with the Lord as the sun was coming up for the day

-Scott fixes his fabulous Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes for Breakfast(A tradition for Monday Mornings).

-Garrison is my fisher for morning dishes, while Caleb feeds the animals and Elyssia helps Kiersten get dressed.

-I help the kids get a zoo filled with beanie babies set up, since they worked quickly and have 30 minutes to play before school:).

-School time, almost went smoothly. Scott called halfway through and while I was distracted Caleb decided to use his scissors on one of the couch pillows. He was waiting for me to show him what to cut in his preschool book. Note to self: Don't let Caleb have scissors til he's married:). Just kidding. He's definitely done more damage with them than any of the other kids, but he seems to make up for his distructive nature in other ways...

-No nap, due to phone calls, feeding baby and getting ready to go to town for Grocery Sale Day.

-Garrison get a sliver in his foot. I guess he didn't learn his lesson after the stitches, eh? He's fine and life went on...

-Scott called my cell phone when we didn't arrive at the store by 1. We arrived about 1:06(Delay caused by sliver, baby needing to eat and me starting to back out over Caleb's bike that he left behind the van. Hmmmm. I'm starting to think that perhaps the trip to town might not go so well. Prayed on the way though for the Lord's help to settle us and help us to enjoy the trip.

-We split up with two carts and we each took half the list. I can honestly say that I had more things on my list, but that's because I like to check prices and make substitutions on things that are more expensive some times. I gave Scott the items that I knew would be necessities. We found that it went really well and we had quite a lot of fun with it. There was an older lady that came over just to see Addy and couldn't resist tickling her little foot that was sticking out from under the blanket:). I think that seeing little babies and young children must bring back a lot of sweet memories for these ladies. We tend to take a lot of it for granted and even complain about many things when we're in the midst of it, but I have a feeling that I will look back on it with a lot of fond memories when I'm older:) We had a bit of time while the boys were finishing to visit with a friend and when we were done we met at the front. The kids did a GREAT job helping to put things on the counter and then into bags. Scott suggested that Caleb might like to stay and do it all day because he was so good at it:). Caleb didn't think it was a good idea...

Scott had some extra time, due to a hold up with the other guys, so we headed to Dairy Queen for ice cream cones. This was only the 2nd time that we'd been there in 3 years, so it was definitely a treat for us. I let Adelaide try my ice cream and she pretty much considered it hers from that point on:))). She was pretty funny. She would actually grab for it when I'd put it to my mouth.

We received something special in the mail from one of the kids Uncles. They were all very excited and found special spots to carry their "Little Rodrigo's". It will be something special to remember him by as he heads out on his big trip...

Scott went back to work and we headed home. We finished listening to the second half of a Lamplighter cd and I'm still amazed by how much we love the stories. We listen to them over and over, but they're so well done that it really doesn't get old.

The weather was quite nice and after the kids helped bring all the groceries in they went out to play. They returned shortly, covered in mud... I can be thankful that today was also laundry day. We managed(with a lot of help from the kids) to get it all washed. There are still 2 loads to fold, but I'm thankful that we got it to that point, with all the extra activity today.

Tonight we enjoyed the first watermelon of the year. It was actually REALLY Good! We had little pieces with yogurt and it was just the right ending to our meal of enchiladas, rice and steamed broccoli. We were pretty full, but I think we always have a bit of room left when there's watermelon to eat:).

Kiersten was my fisher for evening dishes and I really enjoyed watching her, chatting with her and gazing out the window at the other kids learning how to play football. Scott had them help plant a tree and then started teaching them the basics of football. I could tell by Garrison's actions that he didn't like something and soon found out what it was. He didn't think it was right that Scott kept him from getting to Caleb, when Caleb had the ball. Totally something most kids would think was unfair when they want to get something from another child:). Scott sat down and drew pictures of how the game worked after that and I think it's starting to sink in. It will be interesting to see how things go over the summer as they get better at it...

No naps meant an early bedtime. We had devotions, which Kiersten interrupted to tell me that she was dying. I told her that she wasn't and she said, "Once I was in your tummy and once I died." Her thoughts are very interesting to me. I told her that she hadn't died and she said, "Sometime I will". Hmmm. Yes, that is true, because we all die someday, but I'm really not sure where the thought came from. Our verse in Proverbs wasn't about dying. It's one of those random 2 year old things, I guess...

Elyssia wasn't quite as sleepy and took the opportunity to come and play with Adelaide while I folded laundry. We had a pretty interesting conversation and it was a really nice way to end the day. Yes, there were many ups and downs, but I'm so thankful for everything that the Lord brings us through each day. Thankful for the children and people that He's brought into our lives. Thankful for a day of Sunshine after the snow and rain. Thankful for the Lord's provision of a house, clothes and food to eat. Thankful for another day of Life.

Til Next Time...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Adventures Unlimited

This week it seems that we've had quite a few:) I think the kids favorite one was the ferry ride. Some of you are probably thinking, "don't they live in the prairie?" Why, yes we do:) This ferry crosses a river and can take 6 cars at a time. I think it;s usually only one though:))).Here's a few pictures to remember it by:

It's quite pretty over there and I'm looking forward to going back with Scott and maybe camping at the campgrounds over there. Taking the day to hike around in the sandhills and see what kind of treasures we can locate.

We've made a bit of a switch with our schedule. We made have office day Tuesday, Town Day on Wednesday and Baking on Thursday. This means we can go in sometime before prayer meeting, have our errands afterwards and get home in time to make supper. If we're really on the ball, it'll already be ready in the crockpot:). It worked REALLY well this week and it seems like the kids do better each week. They know more what to expect and what I expect of them.

Today we were able to make Farmer's Friend Cookies, Toffee Bars, Cinnamon Buns, Blueberry Muffins and then Pizza for supper. We had to sample some of each and I think the Farmer's Friend Cookies are going in the regular rotation. We finished things off tonight by making a batch of playdough. I let the kids play with it a bit before bathtime, but I'm hoping to keep it as motivation for them to finish cleaning quickly. I'm looking forward to finishing our school week and getting a day off on Saturday. The weather has made a major change this week. It went from sunny and hot to super windy with a bit of rain. It was definitely perfect for baking today. It kept us warm in the house and the kids didn't complain about staying in because it wasn't sunny.

One more thing before I sign off for the night. Scott's been explaining how different bullets are made and how they work to the boys. Today, Garrison came out and showed me something he thought up. He put 4 little Lego in the barrel of his pop gun. When he shot it they sprayed out like a shotgun. I thought it was pretty creative of him:).

Happy Friday Tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


For those who thought that schedules would end up being boring, I guess this is for you:). The Schedule has actually given us more opportunities to have fun together. Here are some of the most recent examples: The pictures include a picnic on the porch-Adelaide's first one outside:). A playdate with friends and exploration of the frogs down the road from us.
I know it's a lot of pictures, but it's the best way to give you a glimpse of our adventures:).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Unexpected Blessings...

Tonight Scott and I were blessed with the opportunity to go to a special supper. We had Adelaide, but a couple in our church kept the other 4 for us:). The food was delicious! We were at an awards banquet and we had an interesting time getting to know the people at our table. One of them was a neighbor a couple miles away. Two years ago her husband drowned while they were on vacation. I'd dropped off a box and card, but never really got to meet her face to face. I'd forgotten that Scott took Elyssia to the funeral, until this lady mentioned it. She said that her best memory from the funeral was when Elyssia, who was 4 at the time came up in the line and talked to her. She said that the others did their best to cheer and encourage her with their words, but Elyssia was what she needed that day. A little girl that didn't know her, but came up and talked to her and told her all about her brothers and puppy. It's amazing how the Lord can use us and our children in the life of other people without us even realizing it. Praise the Lord! This week was fairly busy, which I think you can probably tell from my lack of posts. We got quite a bit accomplished, thus making me a bit more tired than usual. The Lord blessed us with some gorgeous sunshine today and it felt WONDERFUL! Scott's been getting things set up in his greenhouse and we're looking forward to planting our garden next month. It will be in a new location and we will be planting quite a bit more, which is kind of exciting. Bedtime should be a bit earlier tonight. It's always good to be fresh for Sunday:).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Help Cometh From The Lord!

Here are a few of them and their extreme cuteness:)

Addy's job is to get us to smile a lot. She's very good at her job!

She also keeps her baby's head clean by licking it:) Her nickname is "STICK". I think the Uncles will understand why:).

The Girls having a Tea Party:)

The Butler generally has interesting choices on his platter:)

Specially ordered???

Caleb concentrating on his job...

Kiersten making sure each person gets the same amount of snack.

Addy doing her job again:)

This little cup amused Addy for the whole evening service at church!

Addy joins us for Breakfast.

Baking Day was very productive with my little helpers!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wonderful Day!

Although we had snow, I'd like to declare today as being quite wonderful. We were ready for church about an hour early and we were able to read and feed the baby in a restful manner. Most people were at church and we had one first time visitor! It was so nice to visit with everyone, even though we didn't quite make it around to talk to everyone.

This afternoon we had an impromptu tea party in Elyssia's room. The boys wanted to be included, so we had them be the butlers;). They brought us the most interesting snacks! I have some pictures, but I'm too tired to post them tonight. We also tried to teach the kids how to jump rope when Scott and I were holding the ends and turning it for them. Who knew it was so hard to teach?:) I don't remember how old I was when I learned, but it probably took me awhile too. The point is that they all tried and that, along with learning to do their shoelaces give us some extra things to work on this week:)

Tonight was fairly quiet. The kids were tired, not having adjusted to the non-winter church schedule yet. Kiersten fell asleep on the way to church and Garrison and Caleb fell asleep halfway through church. Kiersten was awake, but managed to sit with Jeanette and then me for the rest of the service without talking too loud. That is a HUGE accomplishment for our little chatterbox. Adelaide was also awake and sitting on my lap. At the end of church Kiersten told me that, "Addy has a loud voice". I find this funny too, because Adelaide wasn't chattering tonight either.

The house is now quiet. The dry ingredients for our pancakes are sitting on the counter and things are ready to go for tomorrow. Praying this week is as good as the last one! I think it might not be quite as busy and possibly more sunny, both of which we can look forward to:)

Off too Dreamland.....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Half a day off!

After a bit of last minute cleaning this morning we pretty much declared ourselves a "mini vacation". We got to sit around, read books, plant some seeds with Scott and wait for the party to start. Okay, so there were a couple of History lessons for Elyssia and some tooth brushing going on, but for the most part it was a pretty relaxing and enjoyable day.

Scott headed out with Garrison, Caleb and Kiersten around 12:30. I had told Garrison that he could stay if he wanted to, but he chose to go with Daddy. I think he made a wise choice. We had 4 little girls for Elyssia to play with and 2 little boys, but they were 1 and 2 months. The girls did pretty good with the little guy playing around them, but really just enjoyed putting on their own tea party. Elyssia was a very good hostess. If I hadn't been the hostess of the Epicure Party I probably would have pulled out the camera and taken some pictures. I really should have taken some during the day, but it was one of those times where we just enjoyed all the friends and forgot about capturing the moment. There were 9 of us ladies and 7 kids. Quite a nice group. The Food was delicious and we were able to eat as much as we wanted, without running out of anything:). There were plenty of leftovers for Scott and the other kids to try when they got home.

The kids had several adventures with Daddy. He took them to Peavey Mart, where they got juice and donuts, because it was a special sale day. The boys, especially, like to look at the farm stuff, tools and occasionally some of the tractor toys. They also went to the Lumber Yard and Home Hardware. Quite a trek for the little ones. Kiersten fell asleep on the way home and stayed that way for about 30 minutes after they got home.

We had a relaxing evening, enjoying some of the leftovers, reading books, having a bath, picking out church clothes, devotions and some snuggle time. It's almost quiet now. All the little ones are in bed, but I can still hear Kiersten chatting. She was fishing the dishes out of the rinse water tonight. Her stacking skills are quite impressive. I was surprised that she could stack the bowls so high without them all falling. Thankfully I was able to move a couple lower before we had a catastrophe;).

Sam, who stayed on the porch for the party, was actually quite laid back today. It was nice to see him enjoying himself, even though he wasn't allowed to run around with the little ones when they went outside.

Garrison took a turn reading to the dishwashers this morning. He chose a book that he didn't have memorized and did pretty good with it. He did, however, change the names of the dogs in the book because he couldn't remember. After a quick reminder he proceeded to finish the story:). He also seems to be accepting the fact that the words that he's reading in his schoolbooks are definitely found in most of the other kids books we have. He didn't want to stop reading the other day because he hadn't found out what happened to the bear. This is a VERY good thing! Caleb is looking on with great interest and we may just have to start his learning to read program sooner than I thought. I think he's afraid of being left behind. I've been taking some time while the others are doing their independent work to sit and work with Caleb. He's quite good with numbers, colors, etc. I think letter identification is the area that we need the most work on. We just happen to have a book about bears that they bought from the library the other day. I'll try to see which ones he can't identify and go from there.

Other news in Avonlea, as I say to my sister in law, is that my brother's movie is premiering tonight! So very excited for him:). Praying it goes well. Many of you already know that it's called "The Solomon Bunch". It's the first full length movie that Jason has done and they're having a red carpet premiere in Atlanta. I'm looking forward to hearing about it from all the family back there.

Things are pretty quiet now. I guess I should pick out my clothes for tomorrow. The Goffs are back and we're all really excited to see them again. 2 other families that we haven't seen in awhile should be there too, so it might be pretty full. It's something to look forward to:).

Friday, April 13, 2012

Town and Cleaning Day

As I was writing the title for this post my mind automatically thought of Town and Country. Funny how our minds do that, eh? Scott and I must be getting old because we were both asleep by 7:30 last night. Missing my nap for a couple days makes me ready for bed a lot earlier than normal and I've found that, although having the kids helping with chores means less work for me physically, it's quite tiring mentally. Always trying to keep one step ahead of them, thinking of more chores for them to do when they ask or start to get too mischievous:). It's been a good week overall. I'll start with Town Day. For those of you who might be expecting pictures, I have to say, "Are you crazy?" I think we'd definitely have some kind of accident if I tried to play photographer while doing errands with all 5 kids;).

By: The mom

Once upon a time, there lived a mum, not to be mistaken for a mummy, although I'm sure my kids would like to wrap me up in toilet paper some day, that's beside the point and I've just given you the perfect example of a run on sentence:))). So, back to the story...

Our day started at 6:30, yes, you read that right, 6:30. We were up, fed, dressed, teeth brushed, chores done and the majority of our school assignments completed by 10am. We did one final check to make sure that we had everything we needed and we were off for one of our big adventures! Okay, so to some it would just be called "errands", but "Town Day" seemed to hold so much more excitement for the kids.

First stop-Bottle Depot: The amazing place that takes all our old jugs and bottles and gives us MONEY! The kids were VERY excited about this. Elyssia helped me with most of them, but I took Caleb in with the last bag to give him a tour and help him to see what he would be helping with when it was officially his turn. He LOVED it:).

Second Stop-Post Office: We had LOTS of cards and a tax package to send. Caleb was my helper for this one and did an excellent job of putting the stamps on each envelope. He was quite excited, but also took the time to talk to the post office lady.

Third Stop-Thrift Shop: Garrison is growing out of all his shoes and I told him that we would look at the Thrift Shop. We had almost $5 from the Bottle Depot and I let him know that we could get shoes if they cost less than $5. The Lord had them ready ahead of time and he LOVES them. They're size 13, Adidas tennis shoes. They look brand new and they were only $3! Amazing. I've been teaching him to tie them since we got home and he's almost got it. Most of their shoes don't have laces or he'd probably have learned sooner...

Fourth Stop-Grocery Store: I kind of wish that I'd had the camera for this stop. I had Garrison hold Kiersten's hand and Elyssia hold Caleb's hand. Thankfully it worked this time because I told Caleb that we would not go in at all if he refused to hold his "buddy's" hand. He willingly took hold and behaved quite well through the store. I let Elyssia get one of the "shopper's in training carts", you know the ones with tall flags that poke the parents in the face if they walk too close?:) Caleb decided that he would like to sit in it and Elyssia was more than happy to let him. He held the food until we needed the extra room, then walked beside the cart the rest of the way. Thankfully 2 of the kids let me know that they needed to use the washroom at this point and we headed to the back. The kids thought it was amazing to see all the boxes in the back. I didn't know it would be so exciting:). When we walked past the deli, one of the ladies offered them suckers. That definitely made it one of their favorite stops.

5th Stop: Daddy's work. Scott asked me to bring them by so that he could give them "The ROYAL TOUR" of the job he's working on:). This also proved to be quite exciting. They exclaimed that it was cool and that Daddy was doing a good job. Scott had time for his lunch break and played with the kids while I fed Adelaide and took about 15 minutes to rest my eyes.

6th Stop: The Library. My first trip with all 5 by myself. I'm thankful that they all did really well. I let them each pick out one book and we spent the rest of the money from the Bottle Depot. We were there for about an hour, reading some of the books from the children's section. The hard part was when I said it was time to go. Kiersten thought it would be a good time to hide and Caleb thought he might join her. Thankfully Caleb stopped when I gave him "the look", which doesn't always work:). Adelaide slept the whole time, which made it quite easy to pick up Kiersten and head out.

Overall I'd say that they did great on our outing. Caleb and Kiersten slept on the way home, but woke up and stayed that way for the rest of the afternoon and early evening. We read books, finished the last bit of schoolwork and made chicken fajitas for supper. The kids are getting really good(and fast) at doing the dishes. I try to get them to beat the timer, but remind them to make sure that they clean the dishes really well.

The End

Cleaning day wasn't "AS" exciting as town day, but we still had quite a bit of fun. The kids really liked washing the windows and using the vacuum cleaner. We had a Tea Party when we finished, which was kind of a reward for all their hard work, but also something that we'd like to do each Friday and eventually invite friends and neighbors over for as their manners improve. They seem to really like drinking tea and I read a chapter from a book to keep their minds occupied while they're eating. Elyssia was full of questions about what the queen would say if we had tea with her:). Little girls dreams are lots of fun:). Kiersten spilled hers at first, but drank every last drop, then asked for more.

A couple funny things that happened today... I gave Elyssia the task of cleaning around the toilet. She went in there, looked at it, came back out and said, "It scares me!". It stinks. I replied, I know it doesn't smell pleasant, but that's why we need to keep it clean. If we work together and do it more often it won't be so scary:). I think it's mostly because of a certain little boy, but we'll leave it at that...

I showed the boys how to put their tooth brushes upside down with the suction cups. They say they're hanging their "bats" up for the night:). It's hard to get Kiersten to give her toothbrush back. I think she could keep brushing for an hour if we let her.

We've had a very nice week, even with the windy days. The Lord has been good and we've made lots of great memories. I've been asking the kids each evening what their favorite part of the day has been. They surprise me with their answers sometimes. Today, Caleb's answer was, "Cleaning the entryway floor". Garrison's was washing the windows. I think they're enjoying having more play time with me. I know that I am:). Taking more time to enjoy the day together instead of me sending them off to play while I work. It also means less disputes to settle because they aren't often playing out of my sight anymore. I have lots of volunteers to entertain the baby too, which is quite a thing to see. They each have their own connection with her and she enjoys "almost" every minute of it. She often smiles patiently at Kiersten, who is a cheek pincher, and Kiersten giggles when Addy pulls her hair. I'm wondering who Addy will be closer to when she's older. Hopefully they'll all be quite close, but we shall see...

Well, an afternoon nap only lasts so long. I really should go for now. I'm looking forward to visiting with the ladies coming for the Epicure Party tomorrow. Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A dead mouse!

The only kind of mouse that we don't like to see dead in our house is the "computer" mouse. Last night I went to update the blog and the arrow wouldn't move. I think God knew that I could use a good night's sleep after the kitchen day's baking;).

The new schedule is awesome! The kids are much happier and the mama is too;). I started getting up at 6 to make sure that I have some quiet time to read my Bible, pray and prepare for the day. I guess the kids can sense that because they're waking up earlier too! I'm honestly not upset about it though. We make the best of it and I can take the time to read the Bible to whichever one(or ones) that are up to join me. Last night I made Scott's lunch because I've realized that it's easier to get him out the door in good time if that job is already done. I might have one of the kids help me each evening from now on. They love to each take a turn with each chore, especially when it's for the first time.

Each child has something that they help to put on the table for breakfast and they make sure that they don't go empty handed. We've had a more enjoyable time just eating and visiting, knowing that when we're finished eating Daddy or mommy will read a story or passage from the Bible. Scott's been teaching them about Spiritual Armor and last night was the helmet of Salvation. The fun thing is that the kids beg him to keep going, but it's working in our favour to keep them in suspense:). We then have about an hour and a half to clear the table, do dishes, get dressed, brush our teeth, commb our hair and make our beds. If they get done quickly then we get to use the extra time to read books or play together. I have to say that they're getting faster and faster. I don't mind, as long as they do their best job.

School starts at 9 and we usually try to work for 1 complete hour before we take a break. I have one child help with making the mid morning snack and one help to entertain the baby, if she's not sleeping. We're trying to get her to sleep from 9-10:30, which is usually long enough for us to get the school subjects that require more of my help out of the way. On laundry day we all took turns putting in laundry, switching it over and bringing it up when we heard the timer. It worked really well and all the laundry hampers were completely empty before supper time.

We try to have lunch right at 11, if we finish eating and dishes by 11:45 we head out for a 15 minute walk. This fresh air and walking has been helping the kids to fall asleep faster at noon. I'm trying to let them sleep no longer than an hour and a half, but if they seem especially tired I won't wake them up with the others.

I usually try to get at least a 30 minute rest time, but on Baking day I used it to work on a couple more things for us to bake. The kids each took turns helping with a different kind of cookie or muffin and they each got to test taste the finished product:).

The afternoon time from 2-4 is spent finishing up school(if we didn't finish in the morning), tidying up, if needed, reading together or doing more chores. If we really don't have anything else to work on we'll go outside and play or go for a walk on nice days. Maybe do some gardening. There will be plenty of weeding and watering once we plant the garden.

If I haven't started supper in the crockpot earlier in the day then we will start our dinner prep around 4. Each child takes a turn being my helper, setting the table, etc... Garrison and Caleb are learning fractions because I ask them for certain measuring cups and spoons. They're getting better each time:). Today Caleb even "read" a story to Elyssia and Garrison while they did the dishes! I'm letting them rotate that "chore" so that we all take turns with washing and "fishing" the dishes in the rinse water. So far I'm the one that puts the dishes away from the dish drainer, but as the kids get taller, it'll go into the rotation. Sweeping is also on rotation. Elyssia even got to use the steam mop for the first time. Garrison was begging to do it too, so I'll have to let him try it out on Friday. Caleb part of the living room for me and does quite well for his size.

Today is "Office Day". We will write letters, make cards for people, tidy the office, put recycling into the van and pack the diaper bag for tomorrow. We spent most of our walk looking for milk jugs and bottles that had blown away on our property. It was great fun for the kids and we have a van full to take in tomorrow. I've decided to let one of them help take them in and give each of them 10 cents since they did a lot of the work finding the ones outside. The next step is to teach them about splitting it 3 ways. 10% to the Lord, 50% to save and 40% that it's okay to spend. They already know that we're saving for a trampoline, so any money that I've been giving them they've been putting right into their piggy banks. It will be interesting to see how quickly they can fill them. Elyssia is saving up for a new bike and is doing quite well.

Well, I think that about catches us up with the past couple days. Very busy, but very enjoyable. I'll leave you with all the fun pictures now:

cute chocolate mustache:)

Have you read "The Littles"? We have a couple!

This one found a use for his tail:)

They're good helpers!

Someone found a pop gun:)

One handsome pirate
I think this one totally looks like a pirate;)

Enjoying their snack outside!


Happy Helpers!

Watching Baby is a fun chore:)

Checking to see if the light goes off when you close the door. They had fun cleaning it, then we had to take a picture because I'm not sure how much longer they'll all fit in there:).