Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jammie Drill

A jammie drill is when parents announce to their kids who are already in their PJs that they need to get their shoes on and head out to the car.  Then the family either goes through the drive through for a treat or goes in somewhere for a treat.

We've done these in the past, a long time ago, but had forgotten about it.  Thanks to this post our memories were jogged and we got to thinking about giving it a try again.  We finally got around to doing one last night.  We took the long way to Village Inn so that we could look at Christmas lights, which we had not been able to do yet this year.

We had a good time and it was just what I needed.  It was something easy to do, but made some great memories with the kids.  It was something silly, but special; it put a smile on my face and warmed my heart.  I think the kids had fun too!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It almost wasn't Christmas

Shocked, numb at times, and grieving; this past week was spent with family preparing for my Dad's memorial service.  Most of the time it was easy to forget that Christmas was upon us, but I had this sweet little red headed travel companion (Mr. R) that was wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  As we made our way back home on Christmas Eve I slowly started to switch gears to Christmas.

I came home to a darling two year old who clung to me and patted my back while saying "My mommy!  My mommy came back!"  The tree was up, kids had already opened gifts from Nana and preparations for a Christmas Eve dinner where underway.  Joy and laughter filled the house; kids have a way of helping you forget your cares, if only for a moment.  After the kids went to bed it was time to stuff stockings and set out gifts.

The grief was still there; just hovering.  There was no way that I could get into "the Christmas Spirit" but there is so much more than Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls to Christmas....  There is Jesus; there all along, through this whole week.  He always has been, he always will be.   This is what we are celebrating, His life, His death, His resurrection, His saving grace which is the greatest gift of all.  Now that I can get into!

Christmas will feel very different this year.  I'm thankful that I still have hope, that I still have reason to celebrate. God's gift of eternal life is why we are celebrating, this year it is so much clearer.

***On a funny note.... Last night when I got home Miss J announced "I helped Dad wrap your hair bows!  Its a surprise though, so you don't know what it is!" and ran off on her merry way not realizing that she had just spilled the beans!***

Want to know more about my dad?  You can check out his web site and this article published just this past week to see his art and learn a bit about him.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Dad

My Dad passed away suddenly last night.  I am shocked.  I am numb.  I am getting myself and two of my kids ready to fly out to Portland tonight.

Prayers for the whole family would be appreciated.  I am so thankful for the love and support that has poured in from friends and family both old and new; near and far!  I am thankful for my wonderful husband that has arranged for me to fly up to be with the family and is caring for the kiddos here at home as well as finishing Christmas preparations!   I am also thankful to God for his peace that passes all understanding.

Christmas 2010 with my Dad
Updated to add- Dad died of a pulmonary embolism.  There were no typical signs or symptoms of the growing blood clot that would end his life.  The one symptom he did show (a strange cough) would not have lead to the discovery of the clot.  He appeared to be a very healthy 60 year old man; his loss was oh so very unexpected.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Early Unwrapping

We received a package from G'ma and Grandad the other day, and while we usually wait until Christmas to unwrap gifts there was a note encouraging us to open the gifts early.  So we did.

Many of the gifts were books from G'ma's library, which will be very useful for school!

The kids are very excited about their new books and have been spending quite a bit of time looking at them or reading them (depending on the age).

It looks like a trip to Starbucks and a bit of shopping is in store for our family too!  Everyone got some cash and a Starbucks card!  How fun!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Christmas musical

This week-end our family got to go to a Christmas Musical at a friend's church. She had extended the invitation, the added bonus being that for our family it would be free since we were military! The musical had a military theme, and the church was honoring military families in the area. We were happy to put on our Camo and fatigues to help add to the feeling of being in a USO show (and the kids were thrilled that I was letting them out in public in dress up clothes!).
All of the kids were great during the show. Mr. K sat quietly or nursed allowing me to stay in with the family the whole time! Yippee! Miss C managed to wait until after the show to go potty, again letting me stay the whole time! Again, Yippee! Miss J was mesmerized by the singing and dancing, asking several times if she could get up there and sing and dance too! She wants to go again. Of course the older four kids were great too and enjoyed the show too.

As if the show was not enough, there was a whole room filled with goodies after the show. The kids enjoyed the cookies and candies as well as some hot drinks!

It was a wonderful family evening and we got to get to know our friends a bit better too. Two of their girls were in the show, and it was such a pleasure to watch them sing/dance with such joy! Thank you "N family" for inviting us and making us feel so welcomed last night. We had a wonderful time.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Potty trained!

Miss C has been ready to potty train for several months, but with the new baby and move it seemed wise to put that off a bit. This past week was the earliest that I felt up to tackling potty training and Miss C was thrilled to take on the challenge.
Candy is a major motivator for Miss C, once she realized we would give her candy every time she went she decided that she was going to get as much candy as she could! I think she has been accident free for 4 days now (including church on Sunday!). So at 25 months she is officially potty trained! Yay!

I must say that potty training with older kids around to help is so much easier. When she announced that she needed to go and I was nursing the baby someone was always around to help her. They have all been so encouraging of her too.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cloth diaper reviewers needed!

Midnight Mommy is looking for cloth diapering Mommy bloggers to review and test out some cloth diapering products. Go here to sign up! I'm hoping to get to do some reviews and giveaways here or on my other blog.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Locks of Love

This week Miss E decided that she was ready to donate her hair to Locks of Love (again). So the two of us went out to get haircuts on Saturday afternoon.
Her hair sure had gotten long, she was able to get 12 inches cut off!

She is enjoying having shorter hair again and has been told by a couple of people that the shorter hair makes her look older.
This was her third time donating her hair. The first time she heard about Locks of Love she was five years old and was determined to do it as soon as she could.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Guest posting- Go laugh with me!

I'm guest posting over at Laugh with us. If you want a good laugh go check out my post there.

If you are visiting from Laugh with us, welcome! Thanks for visiting and please take a minute to visit me over at my other blog Large Family Living in a Small Family World. I've got a give-away up over there too!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ear piercing

For over a year Miss J has been asking us to get her ears pierced. A few months ago we thought maybe we would do it, but a quick pinch to her ears and she decided that maybe she didn't want to. About a week ago she started asking again, and this time pinches had no effect. She still wanted them done! Given the timing of Christmas and then her birthday coming up soon too we thought we would go ahead and take her to have it done.

She was so excited...
then she got a bit nervous.

We were all there to cheer her on.
I guess it hurt worse than she expected.
A lollipop will make it better...
but not quite all better.
See my pretty earrings?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The bone yard

On Wednesday right before Thanksgiving Rob was in one of those "welcome to the base" meetings and I was at home with all of the kids preparing for Thanksgiving when I got a call from him at about 10:10 AM "The meeting is ending with a free tour of the bone yard, it leaves at 11:00, want to come?"

Knowing that this tour is a fairly expensive one (especially for a family our size) and that the kids would love getting to go I said "Ummmm.... Sure we can make it". Kids were all over and most of them fairly dirty from playing outside in the dirt or helping me with cooking. "Ok everyone, go get errand day clothes on and get ready to go! We need to be out the door in 10 minutes!" Amazingly no one asked "why" or "where are we going", without a word everyone flew into action and we were out the door in 10 minutes! Everyone even looked presentable!

Oh, are you wondering what the bone yard is? Why we would be excited to visit it? It is where the military stores all of their old planes or the ones that have been taken out of rotation for now. Acres of airplanes lined up, row after row. Yea, to say the kids were excited would be an understatement. We drive by parts of it regularly on base, but can't get in. This was our chance!

The stealth fighter is invisible not only to radar, but on the ground too! (ok, it is actually in storage elsewhere right now)
The kids loved seeing the rows of airplanes, helicopters, and even spare parts.
A good time was had by all!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here. We had a slow morning and enjoyed our time together. Then we headed off to be with some friends right up the street.

We had a fairly large group, but most were kids. We had 20 kids, from just three families!
All of the kids had prepared speeches, songs or some sort of presentation.
We had a wonderful feast and great time of fellowship.
After our meal we enjoyed some English Country dancing.

We have so much to be thankful for, this year has been such a busy one and we've had so many transitions happening the last few months. God has taken care of us and provided for us every step of the way. What a blessing to see that all come together in a relaxing morning spent in our wonderful new home and then going on to some great fellowship with new friends. All of which God provided in some amazing ways. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A quick tour

Now that we've been in the house for nearly two months I figure its about time I did a quick tour of some of the house. We are really enjoying this house, and are so thankful to our friends that helped us pick it out!

Here is the living room. Since we have loads of kids living here, it looks like kids live here! We set up a doll area in the corner for the girls, they spend hours over there taking care of their babies and having tea parties. Mr. K likes to hang out with them over there too.

The dining room was the easiest to get moved into. We need to turn the china hutch to be next to the door. Miss E sewed up the table cloth for us!
This is the first time we've really had a school room. In the past it has always been a part of the living room or dining room. We're enjoying having a place set apart for school, but still in a main area of the house. I love having the couch in here so that we can cuddle and read together in here while little ones work on activities at the table. We spend quite a bit of time in here.

My kitchen is yellow again! I love it, though it does not show up well in the picture. Miss E and I are enjoying having plenty of counter space in here. I also love that there is a large laundry room off of the kitchen with plenty of space for one of our freezers!
Down this hall you'll find the bedrooms, that I'm not quite ready to show you. Maybe after Christmas? There is still plenty of work to do to get us all settled in, but as you can see it is quite livable. We are really enjoying the layout of the house, I think it is our favorite so far!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm starting a new blog!

This blog was started to be a way for friends and family to keep up with our kids. As I started putting more home management and large family living things on this blog I began thinking that I should have another blog for those sorts of things.

I'll still be posting here with the personal family stuff, but putting the organizing and large family management on the new blog. Please come visit over at...

Thanks for coming to Gabe's babes (and please continue to come!), and I'm looking forward to seeing you over at my new blog!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Making pasta

A while ago I received a pasta machine from my grandparents. I have fond memories of making pasta with grandma, mom, aunties and cousins. When Rob (who loves pasta) and Miss E saw it while unpacking they thought making pasta would be a great idea.
Miss E and Mr. R worked on making noodles.
Mr. M helped a bit too after helping me transfer chicken broth into containers to freeze.
Once the big kids were done working on the pasta Mr. S and Miss J decided to get in on the action. We cooked the pasta up and put it in our soup for dinner.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pack rats!

We've all heard of pack rats right? You know, people that can't seem to get rid of anything. Well, that is not the sort of pack rat I'm writing about. We have real live rodent pack rats here! They like to collect things and put them in dark places..... like under the hood of a car, and while there they may just chew up some wires!

Mr. M's sharp eyes spotted one heading into our van, which made us realize we needed to do something about these pests sooner than later. We didn't want a bunch of traps in our yard as that would be a hazard to our little ones. The solution?

Cats of course! We have a friend with several cats/kittens, that are good little hunters, who offered us some of hers! Yay! We ended up with a mama cat and her three kittens.

These cats are outside only cats and are here to work (though our children sure are enjoying them). They all have food related names to help our kids remember that the cats are here to make snacks of pests around here, but may also become coyote snacks themselves. They have a place of shelter on our porch and will generally be safe there so we hope they will be with us for quite some time.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Signs of fall!

It has continued to feel like summer here even though the calendar says it is fall. Slowly signs of fall have been creeping into the home.

Like the pumpkin seeds that Mr. M roasted. He requested them, so I found a recipe for him and he did the rest. They are quite tasty.

Miss E made Pumpkin cranberry scones and cranberry butter to have for our tea party.
We've pulled out the Thanksgiving toys....
...and our sensory bin is all ready for fall too!

The table cloth the Miss E helped me sew is on the table and some other fall decor is out too!
And the biggest sign of all? One morning this week we all awoke to a rather chilly house! I scrambled to find fall clothes for the kids who were shivering in their summer clothes (I guess they've acclimated!). Fortunately I plan ahead and I had nearly everything all set and waiting to be needed!