Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sleepy Head

It seems all of the fun and festivities are catching up to some of us! Miss J fell asleep at lunch yesterday waiting for the rest of us to finish!

Monday, December 28, 2009

After Christmas shopping

The kids each received some money from Great Gram for Christmas, and it was burning holes in their wallets! So, off we went to check out the sales on the 26th!

Miss E found this cute little set on sale, it is perfect for her and she has had a great time playing with it so far!

Mr. R has had his eye on a large lego set for quite some time, but it was way too expensive for him. He checked on it anyways and found that it was on clearance. His Christmas money along with his savings was enough to buy it! He was so excited and had it put together in an amazingly short amount of time.

Mr. M had his heart set on a skateboard, but had misplaced his wallet and we were sure a skate board would require both his Christmas money and the money in the wallet. What a lucky boy he was to find a skate board for the exact amount in his hand! Now if it would only stop raining and dry up a bit he could get out and try it out!
Mr. S did not have anything special in mind, but he found the perfect toy for him. He has been making the little disks fly all over and catching them in the basket.
Miss J had her selection made for her. She was trying to swipe the little panda that Miss E received from Mr. R from the time she opened it. We picked out a similar honey colored bear for her and she has been loving on it ever since.
*as you can see by the picture the problem was not fully solved, but she is not asking for Miss E's nearly as much!

Miss C has not picked anything out yet, I'll find something soon enough for her though I'm sure since she is growing like a weed! Right now all she really needs or wants is to be loved on, and she gets plenty of that around here!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Grandpa and Grandma arrived just in time for dinner on the 23rd, thats when Christmas REALY started! We did not have any big plans, just hanging out relaxing and playing with the kids. They brought a couple of gifts that needed to be opened early so on the morning of the 24th everyone headed outside to show Grandma and Grandpa how well they could ride their bikes. Grandpa pulled out a new scooter for the kids to share, but to save on arguments they brought their scooters too for the kids to play with. We were all having so much fun, and plenty of neighbor kids showed up too! Later we headed out for a quick trip to the ranch.
We had a few friends over for finger foods, hot apple cider, and treats in the evening. Grandpa had another gift for the kids, a telescope. This is a big cool one that was just as exciting to all of the adults that evening as to the kids! We got to see the moon in a way you usually only see in pictures, it was so much fun! (By the way, we were mostly having too much fun to take pictures, so we don't have many. Oh well!)

The kids got up early to do their stockings, then after breakfast we tackled the presents under the tree. The kids received books, science sets, blocks, train sets, legos and other wonderful gifts. They have been having a great time and we have plenty of fun for later too (we're spacing out some of the sets)!

I was given a couple of special gifts this year too. My dad passed down a family heirloom to me which was very special. The other treasure was a card Miss E made for me from all of the kids. It was a "thank you" card, listing off many things they are all thankful that I do for them! It was so sweet, and has been tucked away in a safe place.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Miss E makes our salads for us just about every evening. She likes to get creative and make the salad look like something/someone. One day this past week she made our salad look like Mr. R with red hair!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas treats

We've been busy this week! We made up quite a few yummy Christmas treats. The kids each took a plate of treats to their AWANA club on Wednesday and we passed out plates of treats to our neighbors on Friday.I listed off all of the choices the kids had for treats to take to their club and they each chose one to take. Miss E chose "Minty Holiday Cookies", so she helped me make those by measuring out all of the dry ingredients. Those have M&Ms and candy cane pieces in them, Miss J and Mr. R were happy to help me break them up.

Mr. R and Mr. M both chose rice krispy treat holly and berries which worked out well since they are in the same class. Mr. R helped me make them and put all the red hot candies on them. Mr. S chose ginger bread men that had already been made up. He was so cute taking them into his class, he was so excited and proud of himself!

Wednesday morning the kids all got to decorate sugar cookies, the little ones got a bit carried away with the decorations, but they sure had a great time! Rob and I made two batches of popcorn balls on Wednesday afternoon after we all went to the bookmobile. Since it was Mr. M's special helper day he helped us out as much as he could. True to the Christmas tradition that someone must get burned at some point in the baking/cooking of holiday foods I got burned by dripping hot candy for the popcorn balls. It was not too bad, but looks yucky right now. I'll spare you having to look at it!

On Friday all of the kids helped me make Christmas mice. Everyone had a job to do (Miss J
assigned herself the job of eating the Oreo tops until Miss E moved the pile away from her), and we all had a great time making them. Daddy tested them when he got home, and then everyone had a mouse after dinner!

Mr. M helped me make up plates of all of these goodies to pass out to our neighbors on Friday during nap time. Then Mr. R and Mr. M scurried around the neighborhood delivering goodies! Of course I saved plenty for us to munch on through the next week!

A fun busy day

We were out of the house and loading up in the van by 8:45 Thursday morning to go to appointments for eye exams. It was just Mr. S and Mr. M that had appointments, Miss E and Mr. R had had theirs a couple of weeks ago. The boys did great at their appointments. I was glad those went well since we still had a full day of errands ahead of us!

We then headed off to Costco to pick up a few things we needed before Christmas. Then we headed over to the PX (post exchange) to pick out new glasses, which took a while. Then we were off to the commissary to do our last bit of Christmas grocery shopping. The kids were all quite good and were told so several times by people while we were out. The kids were all beaming since each favorable comment earns them a candy from our candy bucket (with a limit of five), they hit their limit and then some today! They were so happy to go home and have lunch and get their candies!

As if that was not enough to do, we still had more errands! The kids unloaded all of the groceries and started making their sandwiches while I fed Miss C. After the groceries were put away and our lunch mess was cleaned up we picked Rob up at work. The butcher had called a couple of days ago to let us know his sausages from his pig hunt were ready for him to pick up. We figured it would be fun for the kids to see the place, so we all headed up there. On our way we stopped at the army surplus store (everyone had a great time looking around, even Miss J!). Once we got to the butcher's shop I stayed in the car with the two little girls while Rob took the big kids in. They got a tour of the back of the shop (field trip!)!

We got home and had a quick dinner, cleaned up and then headed out to see some Christmas
lights! Rob made each of the kids a hot drink of their choice to have in their Starbucks travel mugs, and they each got to choose three Christmas treats to eat in the car. We had a great time looking at the lights on "candy cane lane" and even got out at the
little park they had decorated. The kids had a wonderful time running around and getting their pictures taken with the props that were set up. It was a long day, and we were all worn out once we got home, but it sure was fun!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

German Christmas

I did not give up on the Christmas around the world school. We've been doing it, and the planned crafts, I just have not had time to post it all! Last week we did some Scandinavian countries and celebrated St. Lucia's day on Sunday.
On Monday Rob did school with the kids while I went to my doctor's appointment and picked up some antibiotics. He read to them about Christmas in Germany. As luck would have it we have had quite a bit of exposure to Germany in the last year. We got to know a lovely German
family that was stationed here last year and spent time with them during the holidays. Rob's brother is also stationed in Germany right now and had just sent pictures of some wonderful Christmas fun he was having over there, so Rob showed the kids those pictures!
Our craft for Germany was actually done last week. We put together our gingerbread house, and made gingerbread men. These are everyones favorite types of crafts, the kind you get to eat!

Christmas music

On Sunday our church choir did their Christmas musical with the kids' choir. Our oldest three have been singing in the kids' choir for just under a year and have really been enjoying it and learning so much too!

Miss E had a few speaking parts and did a GREAT job with them.
Mr. R and Mr. M each had one small speaking part, and they did a great job with their parts as well!

It was great to see them up there enjoying themselves after the hard work they put into their practicing.

Rob usually helps with slides/sound on Sundays, but had been taking a break since Miss C was born so he could sit with us. There was so much going on in that department though that we figured he should go back to work. Mr. S and Miss J did a great job of sitting fairly quietly and Miss C slept through most of it. They did so well that I was glad we had decided to sit closer to the front this time!

*So the last few days I've really been dragging and my ear was still very plugged up and hurting from the cold we had a few weeks ago. By Sunday I was sure I had an ear infection and since I had been treating it with ear oil and it was just getting worse I figured I should go in. Well, yesterday I went in and my doctor said my ear looked just fine. We figured out it is a sinus infection. So I'm on antibiotics and I'm feeling a bit better today, but still dragging. Bummer.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A bad hair day

On Friday the four big kids were upstairs playing with Mr. M's new RC helocopter while I was on the phone with my Grandma. Miss E came down and asked me for help. It seems the chopper crash landed in her hair!

I don't think it hurt her any since she was laughing about it and when I took her picture she asked if I was going to blog about it. I said "yes, if you think its a good idea" she said she thought it would be a good blog post, so here it is! At first it looked like a terrible mess and I was afraid we would have to cut it out, but it only took me a few minutes to painlessly remove the chopper from her hair.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

fancy phones

last night was AWANA night, but Mr. S's cubbies class was canceled so he got to come with us to run some errands.

We were in the Walmart electronics area getting some pictures printed out when we walked by some phones.  

Mr. S says "Wow! look at those fancy phones!"

Yep, he was talking about the plain old phones WITH cords!   

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bathroom and nails

Over the last few months many things have been left undone around the house and it now badly needs to be de-cluttered. I'm feeling more myself and wanting to get the house back in order, but still wanting to take it easy, enjoy my new baby, and enjoy the holiday season with my kids. I figured I'd just start slowly and see what I can get done while trying to keep up with the regular things that need to get done too.

I started with the bathrooms this week. I figured it would be more encouraging to me to spend a little bit of time in a place that my effort would show the most. Too many things had just been left sitting/hanging around in my bathroom. In only 15 minutes my bathroom was looking great! Miss J helped me clean up, and Mr. S helped me clean out the bath toys!

We replace the regular towel racks that our houses always have with rows of hooks for towels. This has been a great way to handle the many towels we have, I got this idea from an e-mail loop for large families that I'm a part of.

Later I organized the space under the kids' bathroom sink. This only took me about 4 minutes with Miss J's help, but it made a big difference.

After doing our morning chores and a bit of school Miss E asked if we could watch "the fourth wise man" and do nails, so that is what we did. Since the boys' can't do their nails they sometimes ask to do mine. This is what happens when 4 and 6 year old boys get a hold of their sisters nail polish and do Mommy's nails!

They were so cute when they were doing them. They knew what colors they wanted and worked so hard to make them look nice.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One month!

Wow! Has it been one month already since Miss C was born? Time sure flies! I can't imagine life without her and it seems as though she has just always been a part of our family.

Besides getting the cold that her big sister so sweetly shared with her (with all of those kisses followed by sneezing on her), she is doing very well. I had her in to see the doctor this week just to make sure her cough was nothing to worry about (doc said she is fine) and she weighed 10 pounds! Thats about two pounds in two weeks! Obviously she is a good eater, is thriving, and growing!

Despite having a cold she went six hours between feedings last night! She normally goes about five hours. Its nice to see those times stretching out! She is also having more alert times during the day and responding more to us!

Everyone still thinks she is wonderful, and they are always asking to hold her. Miss J does not seem to mind that she is not the baby anymore. She loves to take care of Miss C, kiss her, and pat her. Miss J is growing up too, she sleeps in the bottom bunk in the girls' room now and I can tell she is ready to potty train, she keeps telling us she needs to go and wants to sit on the potty. No success yet, but then we're not really in potty training mode yet, I'll get to that in the next few weeks (once everyone is feeling better).

Thursday, December 3, 2009


There are so many titles I could give this post- "trial by fire" - "sink or swim" - "feast or famine" are a few that come to mind.....
Not only did my mom leave on Monday, but the day before Rob headed out of town for a convention in Florida!  I've been on my own with five sick kids and a newborn since Monday morning (and I've been fighting off whatever the kids had, but never fully got it).  I was a bit worried, mostly because I knew I would not be getting much sleep, but also because Miss J and Miss C often seem to "need" me at the same time. I knew I'd be fine during the day, its the evenings that seem to be hard when daddy is gone.  All went fairly well this week though and Rob is now on an airplane on his way home to us now that the convention is over!  He will be here in about an hour or so!

I'm so glad I made the effort to plan ahead for simple school/Christmas activities for this month.  I think it really helped us this week to have those little things to do, and I did not even have to think about it!  Today I knew we needed something else and I knew just what to pull out!  Auntie J had sent a box before Miss C was born and I was saving it for a "rainy day" and today was it (it arrived the day before Miss C was born, I WAS going to pull it out the next day.)!  It had a little goodie for each of the kids as well as a puzzle and some Odyssey CD's.  This box kept the kids busy all morning!  So, that coupled with some spiced cider and pumpkin cookies for snack I had a bunch of happy kids and I was a happy mama!  Just what Rob will want to come home to!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Russian Christmas activities

Every year at Christmas time we do some "Christmas around the world" school, its a fun way to learn some geography, learn about other cultures and even see where some of our traditions come from! It can also be a good way to learn about family history. This year I asked the kids what countries they would like to do, and also mixed in some that had something to do with family and/or friends.
One of my Great Grandfathers came to America from Russia, so this was one of the countries we did this year. We talked/read a bit about Russia and then read the story of Babouschka. Looked at our Matryorshka dolls and then made ornaments by covering balls with fabric scraps. Then Miss E and Miss J made a Russian spice cake for us (Miss E is feeling quite a bit better, but I was not sure she was up to baking. She told me she wanted to make up the cake. The girls seemed to have fun with it). This all had me thinking of Auntie B too, I always think of her when reading the story of Babouschka or when I see Matryorshka dolls and she always seemed to have great crafts for us to do at Christmas time.
We kept it quiet for the rest of the day since everyone is still dragging. At nap time after I took a quick nap with Miss C I made up Egg Nog Lattes for me, Mr. M and Mr. R. Oh, and for snack this morning Miss E and Mr. S got to eat a pomegranate. Miss E had asked me to pick one up for her, those two enjoyed it- the rest of us passed on it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

back to "normal" and sick kids

Well, my mom left yesterday. It was so nice to have her here and she was a great help. Miss J got a cold early last week and passed it on to the other kids, it was rough enough around here with Mom's help, we would have been miserable without her!

Miss E and Mr. M were still feeling fairly sick yesterday morning. But after Mom left I felt that the best thing to do was to try to at least do a bit of the school I had planned. We did a little bit of Christmas reading and then I told them I had a craft they could do if they wanted. That got Miss E and Mr. M off of the couch. They all made a couple of paper chains for the school room and a couple kids made little pagoda lanterns with the "holy family" since our quick little lesson was on Christmas in China. After lunch Miss E seemed to go down hill again and spent most of the afternoon resting on the couch. Mr. M seemed to be making a better recovery and was outside playing in the afternoon.
Everyone is doing better today, though Miss E is still rough around the edges and everyone still needs more time to recover fully. Today was errand day and I had an eye appointment. This was my first time out with all of the kids on my own, and it went quite well. This was a good errand to run for the first time out with all of them since we are in that office so often everyone knows what is expected of them, and this doctor is always quick and on time. We'll take it easy the rest of the day to give everyone more time to recover.

Since today was December 1st we got to start our advent calendars today! SOMEONE bought 6 of the kind with chocolate in them even though we only really needed 5 this year. Since Miss C has one and I would hate for her to miss out on her chocolate I guess I'll be eating hers this year.... I'm thinking Rob will help me out by eating hers when he is around at lunch time though, I don't think she will mind missing some. Miss J was quite excited to see that hers contained chocolate, I'm sure she will be even more excited when she finds out we will be doing this everyday!
*after her evening cry Miss C settled right in and fell asleep holding on to me this evening. She is awake more and more during the day, and doing better at sleeping at night!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Deck the halls!

Well, there are no "boughs of holly" yet, but we did get a good start at putting up the Christmas decorations this week-end. We always have a great time putting up the tree. The kids love helping Rob put the tree together. We all enjoy pulling the ornaments out, remembering when we each got our special ones. It is so cute to see the kids pick the "perfect" spot for each of their ornaments.
Each year the youngest capable child gets to put the star on the tree after we've put all of the
other ornaments on. This year was Miss J's turn, but she had a cold and was not in the mood to do it, so Mr. S was more than happy to step in and help us out!

Rob hung all of the stockings up on the piano for us. I think they look so cute there. After we do our gingerbread house we'll put it on top of the piano to fill in the empty space up there.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a fun Thanksgiving this year. We expected it to be a bit quieter, but we ended up having some extra guests! It is fun to see who God brings into our home each year. This year a friend from church who could not be with her husband because of military assignments got to join us. Also a family that we had been stationed with in Virginia came over (it is an interesting story, we had no idea they were here, but through the need for a computer monitor and craigs list we met up just before they moved on. They would have been spending the holiday in their hotel room otherwise.) It was nice to have them all here with us.
We all had a great time. Nana spent much of the morning holding Miss C or playing legos with the big kids. We all enjoyed the wonderful meal, dessert and plenty of play time together!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rob's first pig!

Rob went hunting at the ranch yesterday and got his first pig! He had so much fun, and was quite excited. He got to go hunting with our pastor; the two of them had been looking forward to this hunting "trip" for a while now. Rob is also learning to bone/butcher a pig, and took the kids with him today to finish up the job. They were so excited for their Daddy (cheers arose around the house when I read the text to them that he had got the pig), and thought it would be great fun to see the pig! Miss E even got to help.
So, along with our Turkeys we'll have plenty of pork this year in the freezer! Rob made up a little bit of wienerschnitzel soon after he got home last night to try out his pig. She shared with me and my mom, and it was very good!