Friday, April 27, 2018

dishes and a farm

I can't tell you how nice it is to have G and M doing the dishes.  My sister T mentioned a few months ago that I should have them do the dishes.  I thought "Oh they're still young..." but they can do it and now is the time to establish the expectation of chipping in.  They are easily bribed to do this job and keep doing it even when we sort of forget to ever reward them.  When we had company 2 days in a row and 3 loads of dishes were done in one day, M complained but G didn't.

I love my children.
We went to an Agricultural experience recently.  It was very nice and the children were very nice.  I was so proud to be their mom. 

We have a picnic basket that we keep with wooden bowls, a knife, gummies, spoons, etc...  When we go someplace we just throw some apples, bread, cheese, whatever, in the basket.  This day we even had juice boxes from some previous gathering.  I love being able to have a picnic with them. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


This is the view outside my office with a train of thunder storms rolling through.  The spring green is being replaced by a darker summer hue and the contrast of light on the leaves is more distinct.  I love looking out at this green beautiful space.


When I die my children will fight over who gets these treasures:
Or perhaps I'll commission my sister in law to make 5 sets of them someday.  She made these for us in 2016 for Christmas.  They are so lovely.

On the back of each is a phrase the children said.  

"Oh stop it.  You're making me blush."

 "Can you tell me some of the ways you know you love me?"
 "If you believe in me then I can do it."
 "I will be so cute!"


Saturday, April 21, 2018


Last night we had 2 families over for pizza and Macguyver.  There were 5 adults and 12 adults.  It was a great combination of kids.  One of the dads brought out Lotteria, a spanish bingo game.  We had a good time figuring out what the spanish word was for each picture.  The illustration for "El Mundo" showed a speedo clad man holding the earth, sometimes with long and sometimes short hair.  Is the man "El Mundo"?  No.  El Mundo is the world and the man is just Hercules according to the man but perhaps he meant Atlas?  We laughed to tears over "La Chalupa" which showed a woman in a canoe.  Was it the woman or the canoe?  Our friend told us it was the woman in the canoe.  And we just laughed an the joke that a woman in a canoe was an important word to know in spanish.  I love it when something is that funny but will never come across as that funny in print.
La chalupa does mean narrow boat, but this is what the image search shows.  Believe me.  It was hilarious.

Today we had another 2 families that sign over.  We had 12 kids again and 7 adults this time.  Hurray for getting to have so much friend time out of cleaning my house just one time.  I made 10 pizzas in the last 24 hours and a half flat of strawberries is no more. 

I'm so grateful for our home.  It has plenty of room to have friends over.  It's such a blessing and P emphasizes to the kids that we can show our gratitude by sharing our home.

Sand pit and together time

 We've lived here for 7 years now and for the last 2 years we've been letting the children enjoy the front yard a lot.  I used to feel self conscious about whether the neighbors would think ill of me if we were seen in the front yard.  But after I started walking I realized that everyone is isolated on their acre of land.  The lawns in the neighborhood are in varying degrees of being covered by trees and leaves.  Nobody is judging my lawn and if they are, too bad.  So we let the kids dig this hole instead of ever building a sandbox.  Surprise, there is sand under the grass.  Recently M and G got very enthusiastic and dug the hole down 3 feet.  The 4 older children got inside and B and P couldn't get out.  So after taking this picture I told them they had to fill it back to a safe depth.
 I love going places with all my children.  Sometimes we part ways or I even leave some kids home with G.  We all went to the park the other day and walked out to the intercoastal.  The tide was as low as I've ever seen it.  The kids went down on the dock and lay down staring into the murky dregs.  They saw crabs, and an osprey catching a fish.  I am so grateful to be raising them in this incredibly beautiful town.  The variety of nature we encounter daily is breathtaking. 
They lined up like this themselves.  I love how P and M are holding on to L.  It was so beautiful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


P was in charge of FHE treat and was finally giving the children the box of peeps.  They stood on the bench and eagerly took the treat.  B and L didn't know what they were and it took a while for them to eat them.

Here they are still nibbling long after the big kids have gulped theirs down.

Apparently B liked his a lot.  He savored it a long time.  P only gave them each one and left the other 6 in the package on the counter.  That night we talked about how unusual and good it was that the children don't sneak the candy or steal the money out of the bowl on top of the fridge.

In the morning 1 peep was gone and nobody would admit it was them that took it.  We don't care about the peep but we do care about them lying.  So P put all 4 big kids in the front room and said they couldn't come out until they figured out who took it.  After about 10 minutes M told B that he could whisper to her and mom and dad if he did it.  I wasn't sure if M had told him to admit to it or if she had helped him find a way to come clean with some dignity.  It seems it was the latter.  P let the children out and gave everyone but B a peep.  B had his earlier and was ok with that.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Spring Break

 In an uncharacteristic move, we took the kids to Tampa during Spring Break.  This is uncharacteristic for us because we don't have any family in Tampa and it is not of historic significance nationally or to our church.  But Tampa does have 2 children's museums and we have Science museum memberships this year.  So we drove down one day and went to this museum with an amazing climbing structure.
The kids played on this for an hour!  They only got off when they were done, there was never any "Time's up" call from the people running the equipment.
 We drove out to the west coast to watch the sunset.  Between large crowds near the awesome playground and the clouds on the horizon covering the actual sunset, we didn't see the sun set.  But we had a great time and saw some amazing street performers.
 We stayed at a hotel then got up to explore another science museum for 7 hours. 
 Prior to this year we only ever went to free museums.  These pay to play museums are incredible.  Now we'll never be able to take our kids to a free exhibit again because they'll think that they should touch EVERYTHING!
 This museum was aimed more at the young children.  It was kinda like a toystore with all the educational interactive toys you could ever want.
L and I took a little break but woke up for the goodbye parade. 
The staff rounded everyone up and gave them instruments.   Then they led a parade through the corridor and down the stairs, collecting the instruments as children reached the exit.  I thought that was an intensely brilliant way to collect all the children and get them out the door with little crying, hiding, or chasing.  Wow!

Once again P takes us on wonderful adventures and we try and walk the line between being spoiled rotten and just living a bountiful life.

Friday, April 13, 2018

I what!

M is taking lessons with a new teacher that has a different approach to music theory.  She uses a lot of computer aps for the children to get practice with sight reading.  I thought it was so awesome we actually bought an ipad just so the kids could use these aps at home.  Crazy!

Here is G enthusiastically working on his piano levels with no CI.  He's been using an adult method for a few months so it's not like this is totally new.  He also had to learn to play a few songs on the recorder. 

I'm pretty excited to have an Ipad and even more excited to have a purpose to keep it from becoming a toy and addiction in the kids lives.

MR. Fix it

P has been amazingly amazing this past week.  He installed the doors for the shed, 2 conduit boxes, and lights for the shed.  He rebuilt the computer and made it come alive again when the upgrade proved too much for the motherboard.

I'm so grateful the kids have such a competent father both as an example to them and so their lives are full of functioning things.