Friday, September 26, 2014

when it MONSOONS!

Lets start with this morning.

Big Girl got 3 baths because Tornado Boy decided to leave food out 3 times. First the peanut butter, then the syrup, then the jelly. Not a huge deal, just annoying that it all happened before 10am. I decide to make microwave pasta for lunch so I can get the kitchen floor mopped. I get out a few things to start prep for an early dinner so Daddy can have enchiladas.

....OH right! Daddy! He needs whites and uniforms done in the laundry. I will start that next.

When I mop my kitchen I do a quick sweep, then get my sink sprayer and spray down the entire floor and let it sit for about 5 min then suck it up with my carpet steamer. Today I was on pass 3 with the steamer. Kitchen floor was close to being done...but not quite. And I look in the container as I prepare to dump it. LARVA! Nasty wiggling alive DISGUSTING LARVA! I always dump out the tank but I don't always clean out the filter...apparently some bug crawled in there and laid eggs in my filter. EW!!!!

So before I start to gag I regain my composure and take the whole tank outside to hose it down. I begin to hose it down...and I see baby roaches. These things don't look like roaches...but they look like rice (I have issues eating leftover rice because of this).  ***Back story: When we lived in TX our house was infested with roaches. We sprayed every 3 months and still had them everywhere. They were so bad that I would turn on as many lights as I could before getting out of bed to go to the bathroom because I didn't want to step on a roach. I have only had to deal with roaches ONCE since moving out of that nightmare of a house....and it ended with me hyperventilating and obsessively cleaning. Fun fact about me, I have a SERIOUS phobia of my house becoming infested with roaches.***

See the roach babies in my steamer that I need at least 3x a day. Deep breaths....lots of deep breaths....SPRAY THE CRAP out of that tank. I'm pretty sure I got each of them out...but just to be sure I take all the gaskets off and hose it down again....leaving it outside for the night. Still breathing ok, then I call my mom...and the only words I can get out before beginning to sob, "Not fine....nightmare....roaches." My mom, knowing my back story, let me cry it out on the phone and helped me to realize that it's ok. Every house gets roaches in it at one point or another. I get off the phone with her, and go cry to my husband. He was asleep (he works nights...but only for the next week YAY!) but was wonderful and let me wake him up to cry to him. Husband suggests that the reason it got anything in it was because I store it next to our back door. It's an old junky sliding glass door that almost never stays in it's track. He assured me that we could bomb the house as soon as he gets his next paycheck.

As we talk I realize that we need to go pick up our last few WIC checks before the end of the month. Our newborn is asleep so Daddy has me go to get out of the house. The moment I left Baby Girl started crying and didn't stop till I got back because she was hungry. While daddy was dealing with her, The Oldest and the 6 year old are kicking my body ball around in the basement....and they hit the lights (florescent shop lights) shattering two of the bulbs all over the already messy basement (which by the way, the boys are grounded from TV already until the basement is cleaned. There is all KINDS of stuff on the floor and now there is glass mixed in to boot.

I get home with the groceries and hear the screaming newborn. Daddy comes out looking overly frazzled (that is putting it nicely), hands me the baby and gives me a rundown of what happened while he was gone. Not only did he deal with the above paragraph, but Big girl also decided to strip 3 times while mom was gone AND pee on the floor. (Right...can't use the steamer's in pieces....guess that can wait till tomorrow). I have all the boys bring in the groceries while I feed the baby. Daddy realizes what time it is and says he has to shower....

....dang it! LAUNDRY! Luckily husband has 1 pair of undies left, but no clean uniforms or socks. I promise him I will do it tonight. He takes a shower and I get the boys to stop fighting in the front room. Then I realized I had stuff out for enchiladas all day....and the kids ate the tortillas...and Dad has to leave in 15 minutes. That is NOT enough time to make enchiladas. So daddy gets a bowl of cereal for now, and 3 peanut butter and honey (because the jelly mess all over the baby this morning) sandwiches for work.

Now I'm sitting here on the computer letting it out...and realizing that ALL of my groceries are STILL on the table.......

Today is a total FAIL! I call for a do over. Lets just erase the entire day and start fresh! At least I get to go to bed (after I put away the food), Daddy still has a full night of work ahead of him. We are way past shoveling snow in a snow storm over we are down to dodging bullets.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Beautiful Testimony

This last Sunday I got to hear my oldest son bear his testimony on his own for the first time. It was during our large family reunion. This was the last day of our reunion and to close the reunion we decided to have a devotional from our grandma and then end with a testimony meeting. Mikey had heard several people bear their testimonies (including mine) and expressed to me that he would like to do the same. He said he didn't know what he would say.

"Michael," I told him, "all you have to do is say how you feel about the Savior. Speak from your heart." He nodded his head and when he had the chance to stand, he did.

Out of this sweet little 8 year old boy came one of the most beautiful testimonies I have ever heard. He bore his testimony on love, stating that everyone needs love and everyone should show love. Jesus loved everyone. Then he said that he loved his family and he knew that loving others was what the savior would want us to do, and he closed in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes in our life we like to over complicate things. But the Lord has told us several times to be like little children. Michael's testimony was exactly what everyone needs to hear. Some people think that just loving someone is overly simple. It is, and it is exactly what our Savior did. He showed us his perfect love towards us.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Minecraft Guy Graph

My kids are totally in LOVE with everything minecraft. So tomorrow we are working with graphs and I decided to graph out a guy. This will JUST be the outline of a minecraft guy so they can color it in to be themselves. Yes, it's hand drawn, but you are more than welcome to print this picture. It took me a bit to get the guy right, but I figured someone else might like to use it. Have fun with your minecraft unit!

Also as a last minute thought, you could save the picture and open it in paint. Let your kids do their graphing in paint instead of using printer ink! Genius!

**Edit** Just did this today and the boys said that D30 and L30 needed to be one higher to make it exactly like the minecraft guys. So if your kids are sticklers like mine change D30 to D31 and L30 to L31

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yay Back to School!

HAHA! Wait, we homeschool. We've been doing school all summer. Funny thing is, half the time the kids don't even know it! And you know what is even more awesome?! It's still beautiful weather, and when other people are stuck inside doing their bookwork at their desks. We get to go play and learn together. There is no "back to the daily grind" for us. Kids usually are excited for the first few days and then the first week of school gets over, and they dread it again. I know, cause that was me. But not my kids! We get to play. AND when this baby comes, we don't have to worry about brothers missing school, or missing out on their new sister. They will be right there with me and Daddy, not missing anything from our family time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Life can be difficult when you have six children, are 35 weeks pregnant with your 7th, you are trying to change the families diet to get rid of 2 of your children's skin issues, your husband works nights and has to be asleep during the day, and you have to fit in homeschool, cooking, and cleaning, all in the same day just to do it again the next.

This morning I knew I was going to have a long day. So I put on my brave shirt. Yes, I have a designated brave shirt. It's red and says in white letters, "It's not easy being me, but someone has to do it." We have been trying to clear up my boys skin. They have eczema. Some days it's worse than others, but it NEVER goes away. We have been told by doctors that "they will probably outgrow it" or "just keep applying the lotion every day and it will be fine." Only the lotion that is prescribed is full of steroids and has turned my 7 year old's beautiful hands glossy and puffy. I refuse to believe that this is just something he will have to live with. My wonderful brother and her husband turned me onto the idea that it could be food triggered.

This week we took both my 7 and 4 year old to get an allergy screening. They took 2 vials of blood from each of them. Neither one cried and they were both very brave. Hopefully we will get the results this week, but in the mean time I am trying to avoid anything that could trigger an outbreak. Apparently that is basically EVERY type of food minus leeks and new potatoes. (yes I know there are others, but it just FEELS like I have to avoid everything). I haven't been purchasing groceries like normal because our normal foods are things that my boys could possibly be allergic to. So I go grocery shopping each day for our meals for the next. Yes, it's a pain in the butt, but if it makes the inflammation in their skin decrease then it is worth it.

My poor sweet husband has been giving his all at work right now. He is a mechanic on the night shift. Not only that, he has had some serious back pain and we don't have a good bed. He doesn't sleep well on a good day, let alone on a day when the kids are running rampant and wake him up several times because they are loud. He only stays at this job because we have to make money, and he feels like there isn't another job out their that will use his specific skills, not break his back, pay him at least the same amount he is getting now, AND take him off nights. His main concern right now is getting a paycheck so we can buy food and pay the bills. And he will do it till it kills him. So anything else has fallen by the wayside.

Lately my little brother has been mowing our lawn for us, just out of the goodness of his heart, to keep my husband from hurting his back even more, and to keep me from having to do it while pregnant. I have been so grateful for his help. But he has a life too, and just got a job. He hardly has any time to himself anymore, let alone to come a half hour out of his way to mow my lawn. The last time he came, he was sick. You could see physical drain on his face. He was totally willing to mow, but I couldn't let him. He had already mowed my sister's lawn and brought the mower back to me. I told him not to worry about it. Then every time we thought my husband could do it, something came up. It had now been an entire month since we had mowed. There were spots in the yard that came up past my knees.

When I'm pregnant, I don't handle heat. If the sun is out, I don't want to be outside for more than 10 minutes. Anything more than that and I risk feeling like passing out. Today, it was cloudy. Cloudy and cool. It's been in the lower 70's. And I knew, if I had a chance to get the lawn mowed, it was today. We put Daddy to bed in the morning, then all of us ate breakfast. I puttered around our disaster of a house for a while, and made sure to hydrate myself. Then I put the 1 and 2 year olds down for a nap. Big breath, now I have to clean the yard before I can mow it. Bending over, when you have a basketball sized lump in the way, is not easy. I got the front yard done, with the help of the kids, then pulled out the mower. Easy right, just like walking.....while you push a stroller through the amazon.

Big breath, yep, it needs to be done. Just do it and it will be over with. Mower starts up easy enough, then I begin. The whole time I'm thinking to myself, 'You really shouldn't be doing this. But seriously, who else is going to do it. That's why you put on your brave shirt, remember?' I start mowing the lawn, one strip at a time. After about 5 passes, I stop and take a breather for a bit. 'No big deal. Just take your time. It isn't hot, it's just work, work that has to be done.' Then I wonder how many of my neighbors are watching me with my pregnant belly thinking, "She must be crazy" or "Finally, someone is mowing that horrible lawn" or "Poor girl, too bad she has to mow that lawn by herself" Then I start wondering, if anyone is watching me thinking that they should come help. Yep, that's what should happen, someone should see this crazy pregnant woman mowing her lawn and say, "you shouldn't be doing that" then take over.

'Yeah right! No one is going to do that. Just face the facts, it needs to be done, and you are the only one who can do it right now.' I keep pressing on. All the while yelling at my kids to stay away from the grass blowing out the side of the mower. Luckily they found a frog so most of them stayed occupied. I keep going, line by line up my lawn. 'It wouldn't have been so bad had I decided to do this 2 weeks ago....when the grass would actually fit under the mower....wait, where are the kids?' I'm starting to see some progress with the lawn, at least if I pooped out people would know that I started it. I look in the back yard and my boys are there with a neighbor kid making a habitat for their little frog. 'At least they aren't trying to play in the grass coming out of the mower.'

Then I look up. The neighborhood boy's Grandpa is walking up the street. I figure he is just here to check on his grandson, I motion to him that his grandson is in the back, then he says something that I can't hear. I turn off the mower, "Would you like me to finish that for you? How about you just let me do the rest, you look like you were struggling with it a bit." Apparently I was stressed out. I almost immediately flooded with tears. I held them back long enough to turn over the mower, and thank him. I walked in the house and just as I shut the door, I leaned against the wall and sobbed. This guy didn't have to do that. As I sank to the floor crying I realized that I have been way more stressed than I was letting myself believe. I didn't know HOW stressed until I was offered help.

He didn't have to do it. I didn't ask for help. I could have finished it on my own and been just fine. I didn't even know his name when he began to mow the lawn, but he did it out of love for a neighbor. He had no idea what I have been dealing with this week, all he knew was that this pregnant woman was mowing her lawn for some reason, and probably shouldn't do it herself. It is so heartening to know that there are people out their who care for others. For no other reason than it is the right thing to do. After he was done with the lawn I thanked him again and all the kids came out at the same time asking for something from me. He looks at me and says, "you really do have your hands full." I don't think he knew I had 6 kids until today. He knew I had at least three, but when he saw all six he glimpsed a bit into my daily life. You could tell he was tired from mowing. Our lawn is not the easiest to do, but his eyes looked as if to say, it's better that I'm tired than this mom who is overwhelmed. I am so grateful, for this kind and generous man. He took time out of his day just to keep me from overworking myself. He was an answer to a silent prayer.

Just remember, when you are out and about, people do things for a number of reasons. Even if they look like they are handling things on the outside, they may be close to tears on the inside. Never be afraid to step up and help. Don't let them tell you no either, they will say no out of pride, but they still need help, and you may just be their answer to prayer.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Can You Hear Me Now?

I want to shout it to the world. You are BEAUTIFUL! I know so many people who aren't happy with their body type. Not just women either. Just regular people. They all want to change something about themselves. People, you don't get it. You are beautiful.

My mother is one of the most fantastic people I know. She is always selfless, kind, and loving to EVERYONE. If she can help, she does. She is the most beautiful person I know. People tell me all the time that I look just like her. I love it. How could I not want to look like the most perfect person I know. I have always known my mother is beautiful. But the funny thing is....she didn't. And I didn't find that out until a year or so ago. We were casually talking about life and she says to me, "I've never really thought of myself as pretty." It floored me. Not only is my mom more than pretty, she is beautiful. I never knew that she didn't feel that way while I was growing up. She was always good to not beat up on her self image around her family, but inside she didn't feel beautiful. Mom, I want you to know, you are beautiful! And I love you!

My mother has always been there for me. One day I was having a meltdown (I have six children and I am pregnant with our 7th....melt downs happen), she gently took my crying face in her hands and smiled. "I know this is silly, but you are so beautiful." And she hugged me, and let me poor my irrational frustrations onto her. She said it was silly because I was crying. Why would she call me beautiful when I felt anything but beautiful at that moment. It's because at that moment she understood what beauty is. Beauty is the pure love of Christ. And when you love someone, they are always beautiful.

I have a daughter, and one more daughter on the way. I am constantly worried about how I can keep them from feeling bad about their own self image. I brought this up to my older sister who has daughters of her own. We made a pact. No matter what, when we talk about our bodies we won't be down on ourselves. We won't talk about wanting to loose weight. We can talk about wanting to be strong. Wanting to have more energy than before. Wanting to feel better. But it isn't about the flat stomach, it's about being healthy. I don't know anyone like my sister. She knows about making your body strong. No she isn't a body builder. She is someone who found out that life is too short. Last year she almost died. During her recovery she pushed herself to become strong again, for her children, for her husband, and for herself. You can read her story here. My older sister is beautiful, my older sister is strong. And I am so glad she is still here to teach me more about loving life. I love you!

My two little sisters, that I am still blessed to have on this earth. Are some of the most beautiful people I know. And sadly, I know for a fact that they have both wished something about themselves was different at one time or another. The one just younger than me has always been the pretty one. She is the first one of us girls who actually enjoyed wearing nice clothes and taking pride in the way that she looked. Every time I see her I am stunned. She is so beautiful. Her smile is infectious. She isn't one for confrontation. Everyone who knows her says that she is one of the kindest people they have ever met. She came over one day to sit and chat. She hadn't showered and her hair was in a messy bun, she said she felt gross. I told her she looked fine. Did she believe But my dear sweet sister I love you, you are stunning, you are gorgeous, you are BEAUTIFUL. And I have always been jealous of how you always radiate beauty.

My littlest sister, she is so smart, and she LOVES games. You can tell when she loves something because her eyes get this beautiful shimmer and she beams with happiness. Last week when I saw her I couldn't believe my eyes. She isn't just a little kid anymore. She is a beautiful young woman. Her hair wasn't done, and it was a bit of a curly mess, but she was stunning. My little sister is growing up, and she is growing up with class. Someone who knows my sister was trying to remember my name, they couldn't remember it and they just said, "hi older Lilly." It isn't hard to see, my littlest sister, me, and my mom all look remarkably alike. Out of all the things people have said to me, that was one of the biggest complements I have been told. I was an older version of my sweet sister. I am so happy to be likened to you. I love you. You are Beautiful, you are smart, you are kind. And NEVER let anyone make you think of yourself as anything less.

In this day and age it is so hard to not get caught up in the hype. "People who are thinner are the most beautiful," "Try this diet," "if you aren't shaped like a pencil you aren't beautiful," "Wear this cream it will make you look younger," "if you don't wear this brand you are worth less than those who do." It's time for the P.R. people who are selling us this garbage to take a hike. Everyone, the beautiful that you are searching for isn't in a diet. The most beautiful people I know, are always the kindest people I know. You want to find the beautiful you? Look outwards. Look past the mirror to the person next door. When you show others love your beauty will radiate from you. Even if you don't see it in yourself yet, I promise, others do. You are smart, you are beautiful, and you are worth it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Budget Family Home Evening

Ok, so this next Monday we have been talking. It is time to do our budget, but we want to get the boys in on it. But we knew we couldn't go into to much detail because our oldest is only seven. But what we do know is that we can teach them the simple concept of living within their means.

We decided to go with a vending machine idea. Since we don't want to drag all six of our kids out of the house JUST to use an overpriced vending machine, we are going to create our own. We are going to have things priced from five cents to a dollar twenty five. Our kids LOVE candy bars, and we are going to tempt them with a king size snickers in the dollar twenty five slot. But the problem is, they only get a dollar. There will be some candies that are tiny that only cost five cents, but nothing as big, and as shiny as that king size snickers.

There are a few ways this lesson can go. All of the kids are disappointed they cant afford the snicker bar, but they all buy other candy that is within their dollar limit. Or, one boy decides to be nice and give away some of his money so his brother can have the snicker, then be disappointed because he started with the same money but ended up with less. Or two boys can pitch in together, get the snicker bar, and any other candy they can afford and split it all even down the middle.

I kinda wonder what choices they will make. I will keep you updated with what happens on Monday.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First Lesson with Life of Fred: Apples

Can I just say, I LOVE this book? I admit, when I was reading it by myself I wasn't too sure about it. It seemed maybe to move a little slow. I started by reading the first chapter to my boys ages seven, six, and five. I had never read it before. It wasn't fantastic. The boys weren't in the mode to listen and were antsy to get outside.

Today, however, I was prepared. Last night I read all the way to chapter eight so that I would know the story line in my head. I had decided to let the boys draw Fred and whatever else they heard about in the story as they were listening. I had my white board, they had their notebooks, and we all sat in a circle. I drew key points of the story on the whiteboard in the middle and they took notes in picture form as they were listening. Then when it came time for questions they just wrote their answers in their books. Reading the chapters before hand helped me move the story along and I was also able to get some props from the story for the boys to look at while I was reading.

All in all, with squirly boys I still got through four chapters in one sitting. I know they actually absorbed the information because every time they pass me I ask them another question from our reading today. They always get it right. The chapters are really short and you can do one chapter in a short amount of time, which is fantastic for boys who are ready to be outside doing things. They go outside or go play for half an hour and can come back for ten minutes to listen to a story and then go play again.

Also, I love that the drawing of Fred is so simple. Even my three and a half year old was able to draw a pretty good representation of Fred. And they each drew Fred doing things that he had done in his story. All in all I'm hoping that as we use these books they will grow to enjoy them even more. I will keep you posted.