Monday, March 22, 2010

Our Crafty Daddy Builds a Craft Room

Daddy has done it again...

Look what mommy had him build us kids...

Now, we have a place to go and do our homework and make crafts!

Thank you, daddy!

Mommy was the designer, she found several inspiration photos and sought advice from the professionals, mom and nina! She told daddy just how she wanted it and he got to workn'! He must really love her. We are having fun with our cork boards and even more fun with the chalkboards. Papa likes it too, he even left some messages on there for us to see when we woke up in the morning. See those bins attached to the wall, those are from Ikea and they hold our scissors, erasers, pencils and markers.

If you look closely in the picture above you can even see that each desk has it's own individual light that shines down onto the desktop. Mommy hung some clocks in there that display the different time zones. We are loving this, now we know what time it is in London, New York, and Tokyo.

This magnet board and those circular containers above it are also from Ikea. Those containers were found in the kitchen area, they're really meant to store spices! The magnets were ordered from Ebay.
We even got some wood floors in there!
Daddy you rock!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

If I Had My Life to Live Over

~ Erma Bombeck ~

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ...

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Questions ???

Periodically, I get asked questions about all different things. I love answering your questions. If you ever have any please feel free to ask away in the comments section. Check back later for my response, I will reply in the same comment section. I always look forward to reading any questions or comments you've got.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Big Families

While searching the blogosphere, I came across the following feature and felt compelled to share, simply because I'm always being asked 'how do you do it- with so many kids'. When confronted with this question, I'm usually caught off guard because I can't picture it any other way. I'm not quite sure how we do it, we just DO it. It doesn't take much thought and it's not work, it's actually kinda easy. I'm not quite sure how some parents do it with just one or two!!! Don't they drive you crazy? I would think that it be somewhat lonesome. Here, in this house, there's always someone to play with!

Why big families are easier: Patience. I never have to teach patience. My children know that I can’t drop everything for them if I have a baby in my arms.
Work Ethic. My children have learned to work because there are always chores to do in a small house packed with little messy lunatics. And they all learn quickly that sometimes they have to clean up a mess even though they didn’t make it.
Humility. My children have learned it’s not always their turn. They’ve accepted they can’t always get their way because other people have to get their way sometimes. They’ve learned that some children are better at certain things than they are.
Foreign language skills. You can learn a lot of Spanish by watching ten years of Dora the Explorer that you just can’t pick up in two. And now with the Diego spin off I’m practically fluent. Laughter. The children have learned to laugh at the insane non sequiturs of younger siblings. They’ve learned that laughing just feels better when seven people are doing it along with you.
Competition. Do I really need to go into this? Everything is a competition in big families. The children compete over who reads faster, who drinks their milk faster, who gets to the bathroom first…etc. Everything is a competition and they’re all keeping score.
Balance. The floor of the front room of my home is a minefield of toys and childhood paraphernalia. Just walking through the room requires great skill and balance. I’m absolutely convinced my two year old will be a favorite for Gold on the balance beam in the 2016 Olympics. (She might have to lay off the cookies a little but I’ll deal with that later.)
Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you just give it to the baby because you want a little quiet. Not all the time. But sometimes.
Just say “No.” Being able to say “no” may be the most undervalued skill in this world. The need to be liked is pervasive. The need to be cool even more so. Having brothers and sisters teaches children to say “no” about 143 times a day. It’s a good skill. Praying. They learn that nothing beats praying together as a family. Nature/Nurture. Having many children has taught me that nature has a lot more to do with who my kids are than nurture. This is helpful, especially when your children misbehave you don’t have to feel bad about it. Just say “Stupid nature!!!” and blame your spouse’s genes. Namecalling. You can occasionally call your child by the wrong name and still not be considered a terrible parent. They know who you mean just from your tone. Sometimes if you need something done you can call the wrong name and someone will still show up. That helps. Spying. My children have learned that they can’t get away with anything. I have spies who look a lot like them who are willing to drop the dime on them for anything. Even at school I’ve got a child in just about every grade. If they do something I’ll hear. That keeps them nervous. And I like keeping my kids a little nervous. Friendship. The children have many friends. They’ve got girly friends, crying friends, fun loving friends, consoling friends, and crazy friends. And they all have the same last name. And they’ll be there forever for each other. No matter what.
Love. I think my children have learned to love because there are others around them to love and who love them. I honestly can think of no better way to teach children to love than siblings.

Every Woman Should Have...

Enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to.

Something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams, wants to see her in an hour.

A youth she's content to leave behind.

A past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.

A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.

One friend who always makes her laugh...

...and one who lets her cry.

A good piece of furniture, not previously owned by anyone else in her family.

Eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored.

A feeling of control over her destiny.

How to fall in love without losing herself.

How to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

When to try harder...and when to walk away.

That she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.

That her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over.

What she would and wouldn't do for love.

How to live alone...even if she doesn't like it.

Whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally.

Where to go when her soul needs soothing; be it to her best friend's kitchen table, or a charming Inn in the woods.

What she can and can't accomplish in a day...a month...a year.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Brianna!

So, I'm a week behind in posting. For some reason, it seems like its always someone's birthday around here. Couldn't be the fact that we have 6 kids!!!! No- of course not! I've temporarily disabled the music on the blog so that you can enjoy Brianna's birthday video with a song that's just for her. Sorry Bree for your late birthday post, but better late than never. Your'e 11 now...(going on 17)!!!! Daddy has sung this song to you since you were born. Enjoy the video ... My Girl- (The Temptations)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Laguna Beach

A few weekends ago, Papa called up and invited us to hang out in Laguna Beach for the morning. I love last minute things like that, so off we went... Can you believe parking meters take ATM cards now! It wasn't until we parked and got out of the car that we realized we forgot one little thing! Any ideas??? It was poor Meggie's shoes! That's what we get for asking one of the older kids to grab her shoes on the way out the door! Megan didn't mind though; she got to be held by daddy most of the morning! Oh the chaos and commotion of a large family, I LOVE IT!!! A lesson learned... We learn to go with the flow, roll with punches, when we forget our shoes-why not take advantage and run through the sand in your bare feet! Cause when life gives you lemons- make lemonade!!! Nana packed us all a lunch. Any idea what kind of sandwhich Matthew got? You guessed it- his favorite- Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Cheese!!! Emily and Elizabeth had a blast collecting shells. Once we got home, they put the shells into their fish tanks.
You're never too old to hang on daddy...
The little man...
When he still had hair...
The bigger little man...
It was a little overcast but still pretty...
Nana helped the girls collect shells and other little trinkets that are found in oceans...
The couple responsible for the many grandchildren! Without Nana and Papa, none of the gang of grandchildren would ever exist!
Mommy, Nana, and Ben
Peak a boo...
Mommy and one of her men...
Why am I the ONLY one who looks happy in this picture!!!
We found a little cave and took as many pics as we could until a wave came and ran us outta there as quick as it could...
Elizabeth showing off her treasure...
Brianna- she's actually smiling for pictures now... if you call that a smile.... close enough...
All of the grandkids minus Ben...
Me and my sis...
Kenzi and daddy...
Little Miss Attitude...
Best Pals... i love this pic...
Some more scenery...
Emily- picking flowers for mommy...
What a fun morning. Thanks Papa for the invite. Let's do it again. Maybe next time we can get out the door a little earlier and see some tidepools!
"Walking through puddles is my favorite metaphor for life"~ Jessi Lane Adams