Thursday, June 30, 2011

Church picnic

After the carnival on Saturday we went to stay with the "G family" for the night. We have enjoyed getting to know this sweet family this past year, and we were so glad it worked out to have one more sleep-over with them!
Then we were all off to church on Sunday morning and a great picnic after church! It was a hot sunny day, and they had plenty of games planned to keep everyone cooled off! Mr. M participated in most of the games.
They had a wonderful canopy set up with kiddie pools and a slide for the little ones.
Rob helped run the pie eating contest, and our kids enjoyed participating!

It was a wonderful day of fun and fellowship with some great friends!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Funny boy!

He went out like this yesterday; to run errands....

Yea, he is a funny guy! He showed up at breakfast like this, not even cracking a smile. At first I was not going to let him out of the house like that, but I figured it wasn't hurting anyone and may provide a few laughs.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer School being productive!
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*click on the "Summer School" button to see my other posts on summer break plans and ideas!

Summer is not just for playing and messing around; it's a great time to get things done! Since we don't have to be so focused on school, we have a bit more free time that can be used for projects we have not been able to get to.

This summer it is all the more important that we be productive and not just sit around (or play around). I have plenty of projects that I need to work on such as planning school for next year, sewing, organizing, preparing for baby, and preparing for our move! Whew! I'm going to need some help to get all of this done!

- Every Monday until I have the baby we will focus on one room/area of the house to de-clutter, organize and clean. This should get the house mostly ready for the move. The rooms may get messy again, but at least it will be an organized/de-cluttered mess that the movers will be packing up!

- Rob has been working on some bookshelves, and our boys have been helping him where they can. They have been sanding and even staining the wood for us!

- I'm trying to remember to delegate some of the simple projects that I need to do to the older kids. They like being involved in the school planning process, and my older kids can help me put together some of the activities for my little ones.

Miss E noticed some simple sewing repair jobs that needed to be done and asked if she could do them. I had not even thought of asking her to help me with this! She did a great job, and it was something I didn't have to do!

- There are outside projects that need to be done to prepare for the move too, like cleaning off the outside furniture and playhouse/play set. My bigger kids can do these jobs closer to when we are ready to move, but the little ones will have a good time helping with this too!

What about you? What are some projects that you need to get to? How can you use this time to be productive, AND involve the kids? Please link up with your summer projects and activities! Next week I'll post on finding service opportunities this summer!

I'm linking to organizing junkie today!
link up!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A carnival for charity

This past week-end we were so blessed to be able to go to a carnival that is put on annually by a family to raise funds for various charities (this year the proceeds are actually going to fund the family's one year mission trip to Africa!). Several of our friends have been involved in helping to put this on for years, so we were excited to not only go have a fun family day, but to be able to fellowship with some wonderful friends too!
The kids played games for hours, and even Miss C got to get in on some of the action!

*Miss E trying to "hold" a mentos and coke in her mouth!
All of our kids won fish at the goldfish toss.

We could not pass up the chance to let the kids dunk our good friend (and host for the night) Mr. G.

The weather was wonderful (though a bit hot in the sun). Just in case anyone reading (Grandmas?) is concerned about me and the baby spending so much time in the heat--- half way through the day I parked myself (and Miss J) at the cake walk table, where our friends the "R" family were running the show and I just stayed there in the shade. Miss J was able to eat her snow cone and then go play a few games when Rob and the kids came by, and I was able to visit with friends and rest while still enjoying the fun!
There were also way too many prizes given out and tickets redeemed for more prizes.On our way out we stopped to let some of the kids ride the horses.

Friday, June 24, 2011

finding a few minutes.

Sometimes as moms we think we need to put a bunch of effort into coming up with special crafts or activities for our kids. However; while these things are nice and do have their place (and I DO do these things) I've found that just finding a few minutes and taking an opportunity can be just as special!

Just yesterday Miss J and I were reading our "We help Mommy" little golden book (from my childhood, it is now out of print, but can be found in the Eloise Wilken LIttle Golden Book collection). She asked if we could make the same treat for daddy that the little girl in the book was making. I told her that was a great idea, but not today.

Today I was making up some pies to take to a church picnic.... Oh, I had dough and filling left over! Miss J was called in to the kitchen. "Do you want to make a treat for daddy, just like in your book?" This took about a whole 5 minutes, and was an afterthought, but it was very special for her. She was so proud of the good job she had done and can't wait to give it to daddy (though in this technology age, she knew to request that I text him a picture!). Now every time we read the the book she will remember that she got to make that very treat for daddy, and her mommy helped her!
Taking the time to listen and remember. Keeping your kids close to you. Noticing the opportunity. Finding a few minutes. Thats part of what builds relationships and makes those sweet memories!
*picture taken by Miss J!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Energy spurt, then a slow down

As I mentioned earlier I'm in nesting mode! Fun! Loads of things are getting done around here, AND we're having fun too! Inspired by this post, I finished up some spots that really needed to be cleaned up.

With all of the de-cluttering I've been doing our upstairs landing seemed to have become the resting place for quite a few things that needed to go downstairs or just get out of the house!
It took me less than 30 minutes to get this all in order (and get everything where it should be), and boy did it feel good! The suitcase has another home, but it has been used so much (and is going to be used one last time soon) that I just can't bring myself to put it back and pull it out again with my big belly in the way. So it will stay here a bit longer.

This closet had been the drop off/holding point for some things that we were getting rid of. Not everything made it out. To make matters worse some of the kids had been playing in there, so there were all sorts of random pieces of sets in there. It took me about 20 minutes to clean this out (and put everything where it should be) and what a relief it is to have that done! (the bins on the shelves hold holiday toys, books and decor. Only one bin per holiday. The telescope was a gift from my dad, which does not get enough use due to our often overcast skies. :( We should have better luck with it in Arizona!)
I was so excited to be getting so much done on Saturday, and I was looking forward to seeing what I could do this week. Monday found me dragging and muttering about allergies flaring up. By Tuesday afternoon it was obvious that I was sick, most likely that mild cold/allergies I had been dealing with the week before had lead to a sinus infection. :( NOTHING got done on Tuesday or Wednesday except nursing myself back to health with plenty of sinus irrigation (YUCK, but it works!), and naps. By Thursday morning I could tell I was on the upswing and while I was still a bit slow I felt much better! Books got read to sweet little girls, banana pops were made with a bouncing little boy, and we all felt so much happier!

I'm linking this to Organizing Junkie today!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Christian Cinema review and giveaway!

For the last year or so we've been using and I'm so excited to get to review their service and give away two free 4 month memberships!

Like other similar services out there you make up your rental list on their web site, and they send you your DVDs through the mail. No late fees, yay! The difference is that ALL of their movies are family friendly/Christian movies (some are not suitable for younger viewers due to subject matter, but for maturity reasons not because of obscenities etc.)!

There have been many times that we've heard about a certain movie that we would love to see, but it seemed that the only way to watch it was to purchase it since it was not widely available. We don't buy a lot of movies because of the expense and because it results in more "stuff" in the house, so we were missing out on some great family movies and some wonderful documentaries etc. Then we started using's rental service (they sell DVD's too).

One aspect that we like is that when you mail in your DVD, you can immediately mark it as mailed on their web site, and they will send your next DVD right out, so you get your next movie sooner!

Some of our favorite movies that can be found on are...

Runner from Ravenshead - "little rascals meet Indiana Jones" this sweet movie is made by a family with five children (but this is no home video!), and they ONLY use their 5 kids as the actors! We've mentioned this movie before. Rob and I enjoyed the movie and thought it was sweet. Our kids LOVED it! (Rob was also impressed by the high production value.) This film received the Audience Choice Award at the 2010 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.

The Widow's Might- A great movie about standing up for others, and for what is right. This film received the Best of Festival Award at the 2009 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.

Torchlighter series - a great kid's cartoon series of great men and women of the faith. We've seen a couple of them and look forward to seeing more!

Now for your chance to win one of two free four month memberships (at the MV2 level which is 2 DVDs out at a time!).

1. Post a comment here (with e-mail address or other way to contact you should you win)

2. Check out their site and let me know what interests you on their site (leave another comment)

3. Be a follower of my blog (leave another comment)

4. FB or blog about this giveaway (leave another comment for each one)

I'll run this giveaway for about a week.

Giveaway Day

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Where did the baby go?

This is my view these days when I look down. No, I can't see my feet! Not only that, should there be any small children lurking around by my feet, I can't see them either!

Yes, she was there when I took the first picture!

Pregnancy update- I'm about 32 weeks pregnant now and into nesting mode big time! Baby K and I are doing well. It seems that he may be on the larger side for one of my babies (mine have ranged from 8 lbs 13 oz. to 7 lbs 2 oz) and I'm carrying him way out in front like I did with Mr. R (the largest baby).

I'm starting to think about pulling out baby things, going home outfits (for me and baby), pulling out the infant car seat, and packing the hospital bag. I'm not quite ready to be done with this pregnancy, but I'm getting there.

We are all itching to meet this little guy! Miss J and Miss C love to give him/my belly kisses. I think Miss C plans to be his mommy when he arrives, Miss J may have similar ideas! The kids all have plans for caring for him and loving on him. I'm thinking I'm glad I'll be nursing; just so I'll get to hold him a bit!

Summer School back-up plans!
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*click on the "Summer School" button to see my other post on summer break plans and ideas!

So, even the best made plans can easily get messed up. Weather man wrong about that beautiful sunny day you were supposed to have? Kids wake up sick? A friend has an emergency and needs you to watch her kids? So many things can come into play that can change everything about the day you were supposed to have. If you plan ahead a little bit with some back-ups disaster can easily be avoided, and everyone can still have a great time!

I have a couple of back up plans in mind for once our summer really starts. The first two are great for bad weather alternatives as well as for entertaining extra children!

Kool-aid play dough and Homemade GAK! My little ones love playing with playdough, and I like giving them home made stuff since I know (mostly) what is in it! The smell of the kool-aid makes these even more popular! Miss E loves to make this up for the little ones so this works for four of my kids! However; I wanted something that my older boys could have fun with too. I saw a few posts recently on homemade GAK and thought my boys would not only love playing with it, but making it up as well!
Sorting, stringing, patterns, and a snack too! This is a super simple activity, but one that can appeal to infants AND older kids! Just keep a bag/box of some sort of "loop" cereal on hand (I purchase the cheap stuff in the bag since I can see that the holes are big enough to get the yarn through. I've noticed in the past that some brands do not have large enough holes for this activity!).
-The littlest ones just like to sit and snack while they watch everyone.
-Toddlers and pre-schoolers can sort the big bowl of loops into smaller bowls of individual colors and string them on their yarn.
-Kindergarden and Elementary aged kids can FIRST either draw or write out what pattern they intend to use and then string the loops.
*since we have VERY tight limits on the amount of sugar our kids are allowed just pulling out the bag of these loops causes quite the excitement!

While these first activities could be nice for sick kids too, having a special movie on hand that the kids have not seen could be just what the doctor ordered if the kids (or mom) end up getting sick or you just need some quiet time. **While we love using Netflix, and have for several years, we've started using as well! I'll be posting a review AND a giveaway for them in just a few days, so watch for that!** Having some lunch or snack foods on hand that are special and easy to eat infront of the TV make this extra special for the kids.

Next week I'll post on being productive. Summers are not just for playing! Not only do I want to make good use of our summer, I really NEED to! I plan to get the kids involved in some of the things that need to be done around here, or getting them going on their own projects!

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