Things Heard in My Home…..

 A peek (a listen?) into my home……

“No, you may not have TV time until all your chores are completed.”

“Avery, quit picking your nose, it’s gross.”

“Destiny, repeating “Hey mom” 20 times to tell me something, will not get you the kind of attention you are seeking.”

“Ty, quit honking your pee pee.”

“Paxton, why are you fussing? Here, have a binky.“

“Avery! I can tell you are still picking your nose, even if you turn your back to me.”

“Ty! Quit! Do you have to pee or something? Go potty!”

“No Avery, I do not want your “booder”, go get a Kleenex and wash your hands…..”

“Oh my goodness, who dumped out all the clean, folded laundry in here?”

“Tylan, don’t come out of the bathroom with your pants still down.“

“Paxton! Seriously, quit spitting your bink out…….Oh, its past the 3 hour mark, no wonder you are so fussy, it’s time to feed you, again!!!!“

“Tylan! Go wash your hands. We always wash after we use the bathroom.”

“Destiny, stop jumping rope next to your sister, you keep hitting her.”

“Can someone bring mommy the phone? No, you can’t answer it, just bring it to me!”

“No Tylan, it was NOT your turn to talk. It was a call for mommy.“

“Listen here mister, if you want to cry, then I will give you a reason to cry.”

“Eww, whose poopy?”

“Ty… Quit Crying! Go sit on your Boo-hoo bed until the happy Ty comes back.”

“Avery, go get me a diaper, you are stinky!”

“Destiny, have you done your homework? No playing until you do your homework!”

“Who dumped all these puzzles out?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

“Avery! Where are your socks? It’s too cold for bare feet, now go find them!”

“Destiny, you are NOT the mommy, you may NOT hand out strikes or punishments!”

“Can’t mommy have privacy when she goes to the bathroom? Quit pounding on the door! I‘ll be out in a second….”

“Of course it’s stinky, no one invited the 3 of you in here…..Now, go play!”

“Avery, you cannot wear your flip-flops, its winter time. GO find your SOCKS!”

“Destiny. Homework. Now.”

“Now who is poopy? Eww, Pax! Why do you always have to poop UP? What a mess!”

“Avery, quit making your big brother cry…”

“Destiny! Why didn’t you make your bed this morning? Go make it now.”

“I need FIRST TIME OBEDIENCE!”

“Avery, where are your clothes?!?!?!?!?!”

DA-AAAAAAAALE! Come deal with YOUR kids……..”

 

Wishing you a fan-tabulous Tuesday….

~T 🙂

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Happy Monday!

 Good-bye Fall break.  Hello, order and routine, bedtime schedules and homework!
  Boy, the kids sure are missing big sister and daddy today!!!!!! What a blessing it was, to have had them both home from Wednesday on!

   Not much going on today, just laundry, & catching up on housework from a busy holiday weekend.  I’d also like to sit down and work on my December menu, grocery list and Christmas baking list, but I am trying to be realistic here!!!! 🙂  The house is decorated and feeling Christmasy, so that puts me in a cheerful mood, no matter how many piles of laundry await! 

 As I told you Friday, we Saran Wrapped our tree last year, so I didn’t have to un-decorate it.  The un-veiling was a roaring success!  No spiders or creepy crawlers emerged as we unwrapped layer, after layer of Saran wrap.  And,Viola!  There was the lovely decorated tree from last year, just as nice as I remembered!  And without much ado, and about 20 minutes of fluffing, it was as if it had never left our living room.  TOTALLY Saran Wrapping it again for next year!  Here are some photos of the finished product…..

The living room……

 The Mantel…..

And last but not least, my little kitchen tree….

Have a Happy Monday!

~T 🙂

 

The Big Reveal

 Soo, tradition states that after stuffing our faces for a full day, and carting our kids from one amazing Thanksgiving shin-dig to the next, we stay home and be vegetables the next day to recover.  AND, tradition also states, that before the weekend is through, we will put up our Christmas decor and bust out the Christmas music. This is the part where Dale groans in agony…he HATES Christmas music, especially this early! What is WRONG with that man? 

Hmm, do I hear a blog topic for another day???  

“Things I Think Are Wrong With Dale”?  

 Naw!!! 🙂  We’ll leave poor Daley-poo alone……..in a minute.  First, I want to stop for a second, and show you a picture of him, taken as we speak:

Here is the love of my life, wearing a camo baseball hat, which BARELY holds to his head, the broken earpiece & mic to his precious Xbox game.  BAHAHAHA!  I love it! Talk about being a hickabilly!!!!  Getter done man!  Apprently, he stepped on it one day after he failed to pick it up, and now, this is the only way his headset stays on!  HAHAHA again!  This is the part, where’d I’d tell my kids that there are natural consequences for not picking up their things, like mommy asked, but since we are discussing my husband, and I love him to pieces, we are moving on! 🙂

 Where was I?  Oh yes, Christmas music playing softly in the background, a fire roaring in the fireplace, a dim-lit family room so the tree really shines….. It just makes me happy! 🙂 

  But this year, will be a bit different.  This year,  instead of pulling my tree out of a box, assembling and decorating it……….I will be UNWRAPPING IT.  Yes, unwrapping!  No, it’s not a present, wrapped in beautiful holiday paper.

 It’s Saran Wrap. 

   Let me explain. See, last year, I was so excited about how my tree turned out (an interior decorator friend from church came and helped me do my house), that I just knew I would never be able to re-create the same look again.  So, I Saran Wrapped our Christmas tree (after removing the breakable ball ornaments), and had Dale & his dad haul it out to the shed for safe keeping.  Tomorrow is the BIG REVEAL! 

Hello my pretty…..

 

Here’s to no spiders, mice, or other yucky creepy crawlers emerging with my lovely tree, from under the abyss of layer upon layer upon LAYER of giant restaurant quality Saran Wrap.  (fingers crossed) I will  be posting pictures later, if I am not too busy screaming and stomping spiders. (Please God, no!)

  Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and are still on speaking terms with your family!  Oh, and that your jeans button this morning.  Ugh, totally a sweats day at my house! 🙂  Mmmm, turkey and pumpkin pie!

It was WORTH it!

~T

Here are some photos from our Turkey Day….I am thankful to have Dale and my families living in the same town as we do. Our kids don’t know life, or holidays, without them!!!!

  Unfortunately, I got zero photos from my family dinner this evening.  Too busy dealing with sugared up, un-napped, crazy kiddos I guess?!  Sorry.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving….

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life… a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seed-time and harvest, the ripe product of the year – and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.  ~Ray Stannard Baker

Psalm 131:6 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;  for his loving kindness is everlasting.”

Praying that your Thanksgiving is filled with God’s abundant love, and blessed with all the good things He takes such joy in giving!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow…..

~T

What the 4th baby taught me….

What the 4th baby taught me……adapted and inspired from an article in Welcome Home Magazine.

Every child teaches you something new. My first baby taught me patience and delight, confusion and coordination. My second taught me perseverance. My third taught me that every baby is unique, that not everything comes painted in black and white, that lovely shades of gray exist in between. My fourth taught me that life is fragile, God is huge and can do great things if you trust in Him! 

With two children, it is easy to label them “easy” vs. “difficult” and “creative” vs. “academic.” The third and fourth babies peel away the labels, because opposites only have two sides, and suddenly there are four to cover, all with very unique qualities and traits.

The 3rd baby, my strong-willed one, taught me that even if I could strive to raise my children “perfectly,” they would still fall short and make mistakes. The 3rd baby taught me I could do everything “right,” even by my own standards, and still not have a perfect child. My third baby taught me how to re-parent all over again, with her ornery ways and temper tantrums.

 Avery 7 months

The 4th baby taught me to treasure baby things and baby ways. With children two and three, babyhood fled rapidly, scooted along for convenience’s sake.  17 month apart babies, and big sis in school, tend to create a survival of the fittest mentality.

I want the babyhood of my 4th to last forever. I want to cherish his sweet breath on my neck when I snuggle him, every sigh of contentment as I feed him, every face he makes when he is nursing that no one else will ever see, every grin and giggle, the joy I feel in my heart, when he turns at the sound of my voice, and the feeling I get, when only I can stop his incessant crying because I am mommy, and for now, I am his EVERYTHING.

But I know babyhood cannot last forever, I know that I will love each and every stage more than the last. I also know this fourth baby, is my final baby. I know there will be a day when my heart longs to hold another newborn in my arms. I know that I will have to deal with sadness, the first time he crawls away from me and discovers a whole new world out there. I know the Lord will have to help me be content with 4 in Heaven and 4 on earth, because that is His plan for me. And, if the 4th baby has taught me anything so far, its to slow down, to enjoy each moment, and to live in the present; for the moments in the present quickly move into the past with the last baby.

The third and fourth babies taught me that babies don’t need lots of toys and baby gear. Those babies have all the hand-me-down baby toys any child could imagine and still prefers his big brother and sisters to any toy.

The fourth baby taught me to let go of the little things that make me crazy, based on my own high standards for myself. The fourth baby taught me to come up with creative solutions instead of striving for perfection. Who has time to maintain a perfect home when you have 3 kids ages 3 and under?

The fourth baby taught me that fair doesn’t mean equal. When the fourth baby came, I realized fair means that each one gets what he needs, in turn if necessary, not just what they want.

The fourth baby taught me, that once again, love does not divide, it multiplies.

The fourth baby taught me that children aren’t meant to be raised one at a time. That a family works best as a group, not as individual members.

The fourth baby taught me that nothing is so inspiring as seeing kids give each other hugs, a big sister reading to “her” baby, a little brother grinning up at big brother, the third baby racing up to the 4th to give hugs after a nap, as if they are long-lost friends.

The fourth baby taught me that there’s always room for one more, no matter my time line, God’s ways are the perfect ways, and I could never have scripted such a life for myself. It is perfect for me, and a gift from the Creator Himself.

What has been precious about the fourth baby though, has been what the fourth baby has taught me, and what he taught the first three through the miracle of his birth:  To trust in God even when all seems lost, to accept your circumstances, and to allow God to use them to make you stronger, individually and as a family unit.
Baby 4 has 2 big sisters and a big brother that will help him discover and grow. He will learn that any of us will pick him up when he falls, read to him when he asks, play with him when he’s lonely, and show him the wonders of the world. He will also learn that he doesn’t always get what he wants, that he can’t hit siblings (even when they make him mad) or throw balls in the house.  That he must talk nicely to others if he wants them to talk nicely to him, and that Mommy gives out snacks, four at a time, so everyone can have one.
For me, the fourth baby has taught me to relax, enjoy everything those little monkey’s throw my way. They have taught me to just stop, and enjoy those little moments that mean the most!  I once heard that people stop having children too soon. It’s true. The first baby interrupts a life made for two. With the second, you realize raising two children is hard work! What no one tells you, is that those first two give you practice. By the third and fourth babies, experience tells you that nothing is impossible, that problems have solutions, that children will grow past many things–and that each new baby will teach you something you’ve never thought of before.

Making the decision to have a child–its momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Your life will never be the same, and you know what…….

You wouldn’t want it to be!

 Seek the Lord about HIS plan for your life.  Ask HIM if He desires for you to continue to grow your family.  His plans are far better than our own, plans to give us hope and a future. {Jeremiah 29:11}

~T

Weekend Fun

   Well, Monday is here again, and we survived the weekend!  What a fun one, but man, did it fly by!  Our activities included: visiting Great Grandpa and Grandma, working around the house, going to my nieces 2nd birthday party (combined with Papa Don’s 17th? 57th? birthday), a surprise playdate for Destiny with her friend, Dori, who moved to Florida this summer, and the grand finale of me staying home from church with sick little ones. 😦  Poor babies!  No fevers or anything, just one with an itchy rash, and 2 with tickley coughs.  Tis the season, I guess!

Here are a few photos of the weekend:

Destiny decided to surprise us and let us sleep in until 7:30, by reading to the kids. What a sweetie pie!

Here she is later that day, at her play date with Dori. Such sweet friends!!!!!!!

 Playing at the park while we waited to pick up Destiny.  Brrr!

The Birthday Girl!

  

Here are pics of the locker crackling DISASTER!   Needless to say, as I sadly watched entire sheets of brown paint slide down the lockers, I knew I would be re-doing portions of them on Monday.

 

 

This is what it SHOULD look like.....

Time to get back to work on the lockers.  Fingers crossed it works this time, because I am out of ideas!!!!!!!!

Happy Monday everyone…..

~T

ABC’s with Avery

   I was just sitting on the floor today, enjoying my one on one time with Avery during Paxton’s morning nap.  Of all my children, I feel as if I have “missed” her the most. She came into this world just 17 1/2 months after her brother, Tylan, and when she was only 15 months old, we found out we were pregnant with Paxton.  Shortly after that, I got put on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy, and now she has a newborn brother to contend with!!!  Poor thing!  Good thing she has so many siblings to distract her! I definitely have some guilt about her not getting the same mommy time as the others.

  Next year, Tylan will be attending school 5 days a week, as opposed to just going Friday’s like he does now.  <Sniff sniff>  I am not sure I am ready for that!  😦  I am just not good at sharing my children with the school system, who gets them more of their awake hours than I do!  At least they are attending a school near and dear to my heart, one that I know will teach my children from God’s word, and back up what we are already teaching at home.  Having him in school every morning next year, will allow me to really commit to some quality time with Avery, during Paxton’s morning nap.

  So today, while Ty was at school, Avery requested we do puzzles.  I love to do puzzles with her, as opposed to the other option, which entails her dumping each and every puzzle we have out in the playroom and not putting them back together again!  She gets in BIG TROUBLE for that! 

We were doing an ABC puzzle together and I was naming each letter as she placed it on the board.  We got to the letter U…..I say: “U”. 

She looks up in awe and amazement!  “MEEEE?” 

“No Avery, U.”

“Oh! Me????” 

“No sweetie, the letter U.”

“Oh. Me.”  She is clearly not as impressed this time, why does mommy keep repeating herself?

“No Avery, this is the LETTER U.  Say the letter U.”

“OH!  You, momma?”  (points to me)

I am laughing too hard at this point to correct her again.  Man, I love that kid!  Two is one of my favorite ages!!!!!  🙂

Wishing U a great day……  🙂

~T

Project Laundry Room continued….

Here is the messy laundry room, mid-project and mid-laundry day!  I was hoping we’d get the room totally done, before we all ran out of clean underwear and socks, but it was not so.  Oh well, at least it’s a pretty color now, even though its a mess, right?   That’s what I keep telling myself so I can sleep at night.  

The color of this photo is WAY off! This room is more of a deep golden yellow, not mustard. You will see it in the final post of this series!  Another great feature of the finished laundry room, is we used some old closet doors to hide the water heater, score!

  See that blue door in the mirror? It’s our current back door, and my nemesis of 8 long years. You better believe, as soon as we have a paycheck with some extra, (does that ever really happen?) we have a beautiful door picked out, with a nice big window that has a grid in the middle of it, what’s that called?  Whatever it is, I love it!

Here are the AWESOME lockers we got from a good friend of Dale’s, I plan to crackle paint them to age them a bit… 

First step, a rich butterscotch gold base coat the same color as the walls.  (Remember, these photos are turning out a MUCH different yellow than the actual room color, so use your imagination!)

  See that top section where Tylan’s pumpkin school paper is displayed?  That was an angled piece of metal that went towards the wall, my clever dad and husband bent it up, and stabilized it with framing, so that it can be used to display special artwork above each child’s locker. 

Next, I will use a crackling medium, followed by a beautiful umber brown color…..

If all goes well, it should look like this except with the gold crackling through the dark brown….

See that color swatch? THAT is the color of the laundry room, not that horrible school bus yellow it looks like in photos.

Here are the letters I am painting to make into future locker magnets……one per each child’s locker, to help identify whose is whose….

Also, painting some picture frames in the same brown as the locker top coat for laundry room art….

Here is my section of the lockers….being organized makes me happy! 🙂

More pics to come….

~T

Finished project here.

Brunch recipes

 We try to do 2 big family breakfasts a month, on quiet Saturdays at home.  This gives me the opportunity to try some of the breakfast cake and casserole recipes I have been eyeing!  The kids love to help with the coffee cake or pancake prep, and Dale is the expert egg scrambler and sausage fryer in our family.  One of our favorite breakfasts is Eggs Benedict, but who has enough time to poach 6 eggs and make Hollandaise sauce, all while keeping those items warm, plus the english muffin and candian bacon, all while walking around the kitchen with 2 kids hanging from your legs, crying that they are STARRRRVING?!  Not me.

 Here is an easy and tasty solution…….

 

Eggs Benedict Casserole (click here for an easy printable version)

 6 English Muffins

10-12 oz. Canadian bacon

8 large eggs

2 cups milk

1 tsp. onion powder

1 – 1 oz.  packet  Hollandaise sauce (plus ingredients listed on the packet)

Spray a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking oil spray. Scatter half the Canadian bacon evenly in bottom of dish. Scatter muffin cubes on top of Canadian bacon. Top with the remaining Canadian bacon, scattering it evenly over the bread. Pour egg mixture over the casserole. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours, to let bread absorb egg mixture.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove casserole from refrigerator and cover the casserole with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove dish from the oven, remove foil, return dish to the oven and continue to bake, uncovered, until the eggs are set and the bacon on top begins to crisp, about 20 minutes more. Remove the casserole from oven and let it stand 5 minutes before serving.

While casserole bakes, make Hollandaise Sauce.  To serve, cut casserole into squares and place them on plates. Spoon about 2 tablespoons (or to taste) warm Hollandaise Sauce over each square just before serving.

Makes 10 servings.

 

Orange Butter Breakfast Cake

Orange juice makes this cake extra moist and delicious!

1 yellow cake mix
1 (1 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 c. orange juice, divided
1/2 cup cooking oil
4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350*.  Mix together yellow cake mix, vanilla pudding, 1 cup orange juice, oil and eggs.  Pour into a greased and floured Bundt cake pan and bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  While cake is baking, heat the butter and sugar in a small saucepan on high heat until melted, then reduce temp to medium and mix in 1/2 cup orange juice.  Cook just long enough until all ingredients are melted and bubbling, then remove from heat.  After cake is out of the oven and still warm in the pan, pierce the top with a fork several times.  Pour warm butter mix over the top and allow to soak into cake.  Once it has been absorbed and the cake has cooled enough to handle, take a butter knife and separate the cake from the edge and invert onto serving plate.

 Happy baking!

~T

 

Good-bye for now….

 We are sad to be saying goodbye to Papa & Drea today.  We had a wonderful week with them, finishing it off with a delicious meal at Grandma Eileen’s restaurant yesterday.  After all, its tradition! 🙂

   The next few days will be a bit hard, as the kids adjust to a smaller lap-to-adult ratio, and our days will be filled with questions about where Papa and Drea are, and when will we see them again?  Are they coming over tonight?  Destiny in particular, felt sad that she had to spend most of her days away from them in school.  But, we hope to make a trip to them when school is out, so that makes her smile! 🙂

 So long, Papa & Drea, farewell, adieu, and thanks for coming to cold Kansas and warming our hearts with your love, generosity, painting skills and fun! 🙂 

How blessed we are, to have 2 such people in our lives that are so hard to say goodbye to!

Love you & hope to see you soon,

~T