Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas day

What a great Christmas day!!

We started the morning off with waffles made by Nathan and we had Nathan's brother Neil & family over to eat with us before they went back home.

Then we took some naps and went to ny parents for the rest of the day. Talk about some good food!! We had the traditional fondue with steak and fish (caught by dad in lake of the woods), twice baked potatoes and pina coladas. After clean up, we opened gifts, the highlight of the kids night of course. They were very excited. T got a fishing pole, C got walkie talkies, B got legos, A got princess stuff and J got some pjs and a toy.

We finished the night with snow on the mountain! It's been years and years since any of us had it but it used to be a tradition by my gma back when we were growing up. It's basically a pile of fruit and some cake topped w a bunch of whipped cream. Crazy to think we didn't like it as kids, what's not to like about that?!

We are home now and getting the kids snuggled in bed. We are so thankful for this time together as a family and are in awe of the Lord's goodness!! Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Enjoying Daddy's Time Off

The kids and I are thoroughly enjoying having Nathan home for a whole 12 days!! The first day consisted of opening presents with our family and making and decorating cookies. I am trying to get better at enjoying those moments instead of worrying about the mess that's being made, but I will admit that I still need lotsa work!

The kids kept busy the rest of the day putting together their Lego sets they got and Ariella was enjoying her princess dolls! They also enjoyed a game of Hedbanz together, which was hilarious to watch as they didn't really understand the rules but had fun anyway. Jaeger got a bunch of balls at I put in a pack n play but we still aren't convinced yet to keep them as they cause more trouble with the other kids :). Nathan and I purchased a iPad for the family so I am writing my first post on it! I hope it will come in handy with school as well.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

I survived.

Well, I survived. Barely.

I had to go to town to drop off a meal for a family from church and do a couple "simple" errands that shouldn't take that long.  And no, after almost 8 years of being a parent, I apparently haven't learned that NOTHING is simple and quick with 5 kids in tow...especially our kids.

The kids are crazy in the van...crazy AND loud and I knew that the store wouldn't be much different.  I drove into Walmart parking lot and drove right back out.  Nope!  I don't like Walmart.  I don't like Walmart with all my kids and I especially don't like Walmart with all my kids and lots of people. 

Next up, Home Depot.  I needed 3 things. Hinges, poly, and sandpaper.  Should only take 5 mins, right?!  Nope. Kids are touching everything. Everything. Ya know all the little cubby things that all the knobs and hinges are held in. Yep...open, close, open, close.  Wrestling on the floor, ninja acting in the aisles, pulling the cart with Jaeger in it away from mom. 

We finally leave.

Next up, Coborns.  Between getting a few free kids videos to bathroom breaks to forgetting something and going back after paying for everything else, we finally made it out of there.

7pm and we haven't eaten supper yet.

Get home, put supper in the oven (thankfully I had already put it together this afternoon!) and finally finish supper by 8pm.

I'm wiped.

This is when we were heading to the checkout and I finally got them all rounded up.  And, yes, the cart was heavy and hard to push.  By this time I didn't care about how heavy it was, I was just glad that they were all in one spot!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

kids update

You'd think I'd realize that if I did a quick post everyday or every other day then it wouldn't be something that hasta take forever when I finally get around to posting!!  Maybe I'll learn one of these years....

So here's what's up in our world these days...

I have been in paint mode!!  This house has WHITE walls and it was really starting to get to me.  I broke out the paint that was left over from our other house (yes, I brought it with us) and to my pleasant surprise, it is almost an exact match to the 3 walls that are already painted in this house (which is the only color in this place).  So I finished one wall in the dining room, the entry way and the other wall in the kitchen.  It feels soooo warm and inviting now.  We totally have the itch to do the whole house...but I think I'll wait til Nathan can help me with the big parts, esp with the kids here.  Today though I painted the main bath and was done with 2 coats by 2:00 this afternoon AND I had all the kids here to boot!!  Although...next time I'll wait til Jaeger is taking a nap.  Not so confident in Tiernan's ability to babysit for me.  The first part went great until Tiernan "made lunch" (pretzels, cheese, granola bars) and left Jaeger...who made his way over to the Christmas tree and when I went to check on him, was wrapped up in lights he pulled off the tree and had a pipe cleaner in his mouth.  Yeah....

But the bathroom looks so nice!  Once I have everything done in there I'll post before and after pics.  Still need to paint the cabinets.  It feels like I'm in a different house with color on the walls!  Love it!

Tiernan, Tiernan, Tiernan....We are definately looking forward to the time when he matures into the natural responsible leader first borns are "supposed" to be.  Wait...will that ever happen??  He's by far our most mischievious child, which is kinda frustrating for me since 1) he's the oldest and the other kids look up to him and 2) he knows better!  When he's not cutting himself with dad's pocket knife that he's not supposed to have, eating brown sugar out of the container, sneaking any food he can get his hands on, or cutting holes in the bed sheets, he's probably planning on doing one of the above :)  He def loves science though and lately is most favorite show has been Myth Busters.  He learns so much on that show it's incredible.

Caedmon cannot get enough of coloring and crafts, definately our most artistic child.  Brayan loves legos more than anyone and will work for HOURS putting sets together.

Ariella is so darn funny, I can hardly contain myself.  She's so smart and witty, her comments just knock us off our socks!  I'll hafta get better at writing some things down she says. She's a whoot!

Jaeger is finally sitting up by himself!!  Which is funny to say since most of the kids (besides T) were WALKING at 10 months and at 9+  months, J's just starting to sit up and scoot himself across the floor.  I don't really mind though.  With all that goes on around here during the day, having a stationary baby has been helpful :)  He's also just cut a couple teeth and a couple more are visible under the gum.  Won't be long til he's got 4 chompers!  And this kid LOVES to eat...oh my goodness.  Give me food!!!  That's his motto!!

It's off to Gma Barb's tomorrow for school!  So blessed she is willing to teach the kids for 3 hours every Thursday morning.  The kids love it and mom gets her teaching fix :)  I try to get some work done on my albums but most of the time I'm still busy feeding Jaeger and playing with him.  I'm a little past due with my albums though.  I put all our family pics in albums by year instead of getting the pictures printed.  It'd prob be easier to print them but I like the albums once they are done.  Plus, I print out my blog by year but I'm also way behind on that..still working on 2010.  They take f.o.r.e.v.e.r to do but once they are done, it is awesome!  The kids love looking back.

Another thing I'm working on is finishing my certification for placenta encapsulation.  I'm learning a lot!  And try to write my essays for it on Thursdays but that doesn't always happen either. Tomorrow I will be helping my dad work on my coat rack/cubby thingy we are making for our hallway!!  I'm super excited bc 1) we NEED a place for our coats, shoes, etc since I turned the hallway closet into a pantry/storage area and 2) it will look SO cool!!  I'll post pics of that too when it is done.

Well, I have a few things to do before bed so I'm going to check out.  I will try to do a quick(ish)...you know me...post tomorrow and see if I can keep up to date so they aren't as lengthy!!  Oh, and I'm bringing back Not Me posts!  I figure there's too many funny things not to write them down :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving break

Ok, so it's been a month.....seriously, a month.  That's horrible!  Time.just.flies.

So, Nathan had 5 days off over Thanksgiving and here's the recap of what we did!

Wednesday: Hung out at home, cleaned the basement (Nathan did so much work down there, I'm so thankful!  He moved the beds, vacuumed, and went through boxes with me.  It looks so nice now!), and went over to Jonathan and Becky's to grill since the weather was so nice (in the 50s).  The guys played football outside and after a few hours we went home and spent the evening watching movies and hanging out.

Thursday:  Thanksgiving at Amanda's house.  Six out of the 11 siblings were there so not as roudy as it could be but still a good time.  Amanda had crafts for the kids to do and a few of us adults played some board games.  The weather took a turn for the worse during the day as well and ended up snowing! 

Friday: Started out very early for Nathan since he went Black Friday shopping at 4:30am with his brother Jonathan.  They headed over to Home Depot to score some deals on tools for Nathan for work.  (Funny thing is that I think he's returned most everything he bought there because we've found it much cheaper other places!)  Then we had Thanksgiving brunch at my parents.  We got there a little early so mom could play games with the kids for school and they all came upstairs with birthday cards for me!  How sweet.  Then we had some awesome quiche (and I don't like quiche so that's sayin' a lot!) and hung out a couple hours before heading home.  That evening Nathan went out to eat with his friend Scott and his brother Jeremiah.  It's tradition that they take each other out to eat for their birthdays and this time it was Scotts.  A trip to Olive Garden it was, and after 4.5 hours of sitting at the restaurant, they were kicked out.  No, I'm kidding.  But they did stay 4.5 hours.  Nathan said they coulda talked even longer too.

Saturday:  My 31st birthday!  My parents came over at 9am to watch the kids so Nathan and I could run a couple errands and then go eat lunch.  We even left the baby with them so it was truely a date!  Lunch at Mexican Village was nice and quiet and we were home by noon.  After my parents left, we had planned on getting a Christmas tree but since we started cleaning and rearranging our house, we left that task for Sunday and decided to stay home.  We were also expecting company later so we wanted to keep picking up and I wanted to start getting supper ready.  Our friends Guy and Cassie (and their 6 wk old baby James) came over at about 3:30 to play some games and eat supper with us.  We played a game of Say Anthing, Hand and Foot, and Farkel.  They left about 9pm.  It's always a fun time when we hang out.

Sunday:  Sunday school and church in the morning, lunch at Gma and Gpa Legatts after, and then to the tree farm to get the Christmas tree!  It was different than I remember growing up.  I remember walking out to the trees from the parking lot and finding the perfect tree.  Here you just drive up and down the aisles of the trees until you spot the right one.  Nathan and the kids jumped out, cut down the tree and was dragging it back to the van before I even got out!  Well, that was quick!  We brought it back, got it all loaded up and then checked out the fun things they had for the kids.  A horse ride (they loved that!), a petting zoo with calves, goats and sheep, Santa sitting on a sleigh, a big bond fire, and we went on a hay ride pulled by 2 big horses.  Sunday evening was spent doing laundry and getting ready for Nathan to return to work today.

Seriously...look at this girl's face.  Do you think she was liking it?? :)

Decorating the tree....

A game of Go Fish and a cup of hot chocolate *with* marshmallows to end the evening.
It was a nice time having the hubby here for 5 full days....now we can't wait til Christmas vacation!

Friday, October 26, 2012


I had to chuckle as I saw this as my sweet girl walked away from me....love her. :)

stay awake

We actually got to bed fairly early last night.  We were in bed around 9:30.  I thought 7 hours of sleep will be a great thing for Nathan before he drives 2 hours to work.  (We usually try to be in bed early but usually never happens...)  So 4:30am comes and we are both feeling mostly refreshed.  Nathan leaves for work and I debate about going back to bed or staying awake and enjoying the peaceful quiet before the kids get up.  For some reason, when the clock starts with a 4, I have a really hard time wanting to stay awake, thus the bed usually wins.  The only time I've actually stayed up after he's gone to work is when my mother in law came over at 5am to help clean my house the day after we moved in.  So anyway, back to bed I went. 

It feels so good at the time, but seriously....I don't think I get that much more sleep.  And if I do actually fall asleep, it is often interrupted with 7 million questions from 4 little children coming in and out once they wake.  I know I probably should just jump right out of bed and greet my little ones with enthusiasim and joy, but let's get real....I'm not a morning person. 

So this is how it went this morning.....

Back into bed at 5am
Jaeger wide awake, clapping and jabbering.
Lay him in his bed, he cries.
Take him out and nurse him in hopes he sleeps
He'd rather play
Nurse him again
He finally falls asleep at 6am
Not long after (once I think I'm finally drifting back to sleep) Brayan comes in
"Mom! Can I have an animal vitamin?!"
Seriously, can't you see I'm sleeping?
Brayan again "Mom! Can I have an apple?"
Whatever, cant' you see i'm sleeping?
Caedmon comes in
"Mom! Can I have an apple?"
Yeah, a little one, now go, I'm sleeping...
Brings one to me...
"This is all the littler they are"
Whatever. that's fine.
Tiernan comes in
"Is Jaeger sleeping?!"
Uh, yes..and so am I...
Brayan back in
"Tiernan has green gum."
Ariella in
"I wanna lay with you on the white pillow"
No, lay on the floor over there if you want, Jaeger's in here.  What are you chewing?
"Green gum"
Caedmon back in
"Mom, I'm hungry."

I think I should just stay up....it takes a lot less effort :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Habit Chart

So a few posts ago, I told you about my chore system where I include their jobs right into their workboxes for the day. (which, by the way, is working wonderfully.  I don't hear any complaining at all when the jobs are in the boxes).  Well, here is a system that I put together a couple weeks ago and it has worked with awesome results as well!  There are certain things that I want my kids to get into the habit of doing every day....brushing teeth, making their beds, etc.  I listed them on the chart.  Putting their shoes away, picking up the living room (before bed) and brushing their teeth again at night are the other ones.  Each child has a row and a sticker chart on the bottom.  Once they do their listed "habit", they flip their card over to show a sticker on the other side. (Stickers are colored in their favorite color, as are the top of the cards to keep them straight.)  Once they finish their whole row, they get a sticker on their chart.  Once all the sticker spots are full (9 days if they do them every day), then they get a "reward".  Last time it was a little "all natural" sucker.  They don't get these any other time so they think they are something very cool.  This system has worked great and I almost never have to remind them to do anything on their chart. Yippee!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Here, Kids...Hold This....

I needed someone to hold up my mattress so I could put on the bed skirt.  A few kids would do the job.  At least they are good for somethin'! :)  And nevermind the fact that my daughter is mostly naked...she must have been in between changing her clothes like she does 75 different times a day...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Crazy Sleepers

They DO *each* have their *own* bed........but by the pictures, you would never know it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Laundry room makeover

 My laundry room needed a bit of a pick-me-up......


I can't wait til the rest of the house has some color....these WHITE walls are driving me batty!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Preschool activities

I've recently been busy making fun preschool activites for mostly Ariella....although my middle boys love to do them when they can. Here are a few I've made so far....
match paper clips to pieces of foam
 make your own (felt) cupcake

make your own felt faces
(sorry this is upside down....)

put correct amount of beads in the ice cube trays

 pick up pom-poms with tongs and place in ice cube tray

color matching with clips

hang the felt clothes on the clothesline!

pom-pom patterns

 popsicle maker...match up sticks with correct top

Monday, October 15, 2012


I can't remember if I did a post a while back on our workbox system or not....probably bc that's how my life is right now.  I can't even tell you what I ate for breakfast...but that's besides the point.  The point is that it is workboxes and the whole system that surrounds it is what has saved my homeschooling days.  I found out about them last fall and I will be forever grateful.  My kids love them.  It makes organizing school for more than 1 child (fairly) easy and the kids know exactly what is expected of them each day.

Here's how it works.

Each kid has their own set of 10 drawers.  In each drawer I put a different activity/worksheet/project, etc.  There are numbers labeled on the outside of their drawer.  They start at the top and once they are done with whatever is in their drawer, they take their number from that drawer (its velcroed on) and place it on their chart.  They, then, move onto the next!  The famous line around here is "Ready, Set, To your workboxes!"

They like this concept so much that I have came up with a brilliant idea!!!...I've included their chores right into their workboxes!  I sneak a job or 2 into their drawers, and they complete it just as they would any other task.  This limits the amount of complaining about doing chores I hear and also makes for everything around the house that needs to be done (school and cleaning) done at the end of the workboxes!  I even included a "clean up your work area" card for their last drawer to remember to tidy up their spot before leaving the room.  It works great.

Here are a few pictures...
T, C, & B's workbox charts on the wall.  After the 4th drawer is completed, I have a "15 min break & potty time" square on their chart so once they get to that, they know what to do.  I also keep a box with their own crayons, pencil, glue, glue stick, dry erase marker, and scissors next to them for easy access.

The boys' drawers.  Ariella's is along the other wall.

Sample drawers...

"clean bathroom"--love this one! :)

The only thing that doesn't work so great is when I forget to load the workboxes so in the morning things aren't ready....oops.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


This morning is a typical morning at our home (all the kids are at the table eating oatmeal with raisins and milk right now) but I just really have felt strongly this morning a feeling of gratitude and thankfulness of the blessings of the Lord lately and wanted to write them down briefly....

I (as we all could) could write almost continuously for all the blessings we should be thankful for in life...food on the table, a roof over our heads, health, jobs, etc but this morning, these are a few that are just resonating on my heart.

This house.  Our new home.  In a location that I NEVER, EVER, ever....did I say ever?...thought where'd we move to, and esp where I thought my husband would want to move to because of having neighbors so close.  And now that we're here?  I. love. it.  I thought it would take quite the getting used to from coming from being surrounded by 90 acres of field to being 10 feet from the neighbors house but it has been better than I expected.

 Is it still kinda weird to have your neighbor ask you if you've been putting up shelves bc he could hear the hammer pounding? yes. but I think it's something we are getting used to fast.  It is also a blessing to still be "out in the country" but yet so close to town.  I love not having a long drive to the store, but what's even more fun is that people come over now!  No one would ever just 'swing by' our other house bc it wasn't exactly in most peoples' paths to get places but now we are blessed with friends and family who can just pop in for a quick visit!  And bc this house is smaller and more managable, I'm able to (most of the time) keep it in a more picked-up state so I'm not afraid of people stopping over either :)  So all that to say that I never thought I would be truly 'happy' here and I've found that I like it more than our other place.  ...now only if the garage was a tad bigger...but that's for a different post ;)

The next blessing that took a "bad" thing and made it a fun little blessing is the car accident that Nathan was in on Tuesday night.  It was 7:30pm and since that's when I would expect Nathan to be home, I called him to see if I could start heating up his supper.  He said yes and then we hung up.  One minute later, he calls me and says "I was just in a car accident and I think I toteled my car.  You'll need to come get me."  EXCUSE ME?!?  So 2 minutes later, I had the kids run to the van, got the baby outta bed, put him in the van and off we were.  We met him over at the tow-shop where they had to bring his car.  He rear-ended a guy on hwy 23 after the guy in front of him slammed on the breaks bc in front of him there were cars STOPPED on the hwy.  Thankfully it was only a 40mph zone and no one was hurt.  The other guys car was just dinged up on the bumper but it totaled Nathan's car. 

So how was this a blessing?  Well, the next day, Nathan stayed home from work to get a vehicle and we got to spend a whole day together, while the kids were with family!  It was a forced date day :) ....although the day was a tad stressful bc we after driving through every car lot in town, we still didn't know which vehicle to get.  We were debating between a cheap car with alot of miles that would hopefully last awhile (like his car he just wrecked...we had that for over 5 years, it has 230k miles on it, got us all over the country, and we only paid $1300 for it) or to go with something a little micer but with way better gas mileage and hope that it would last long enough Tiernan could drive it.  Well, since Nathan puts on around 660 miles per week, we figured the latter would be a good thing.  So we found this...
2007 Honda Civic

And then I passed a van that caught my eye... And even though we had just purchased an upgraded van from my brother in June, we really wanted to get away from an older model dodge van (plus it was starting to have signs of repair).  When we left in the morning to get Nathan's vehicle, I snuck the title for the van in my purse *just* in case...and we left the dealership with this too...
2010 Chrysler Town & Country

So let's just say that we are not wanting to get other vehicles now for a very, very, long time!

And lastly the other blessing that I have just been thinking about so much lately is the awesomeness of a new friendship.  A little while ago, we had lunch at our pastors house.  They invited us and another couple over to eat.  That is when we met Guy and Cassie.  We dove right into converstaion and the friendship has blossomed from there.  Guy even helped us butcher chickens a couple weeks later, helped with the move, put up our new mailbox, looked for prob hours on the computer for a new vehicle for us...has just been a blessing.  Guy and Nathan are so different but so similar at the same time and seems like they could talk about anything...it's so great to see.  Cassie and I somehow see each other almost every day and I've felt like I've known her forever.  I never really think that this 'late' in life you'd meet such great friends but I'm glad we did.  They are expecting their first baby anyday...like she's a week past her due date...and I can't wait to see their little family grow. 

So today as the day carries on....beautiful sunshine, warm weather (80!) for a late Sept day, cleaning for the arrival of my hubby, spending times with my littles...I will be thanking the Lord for all his blessings...esp the unexpected ones.