Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I can't believe I'm actually on the computer at this time of day.

You know that time.

After school. Before dinner.

Homework. Notes to sign. Snacks. Lunchbags. Play clothes to change into. Dinner to get ready. You know.

Today? Doesn't seem so bad, really. Maybe because just my eight are here. And lately, that's unusual (although we LOVE having our cousins!).

Since I missed last week, I couldn't let the day go by without posting a Thankful List.

Here goes:


(sometimes it's hard to get going. . . )

1. The rain. (I don't know why I should be thankful for it, but I'm just GOING to be.)

2. The falling leaves. So pretty.

3. Our cabinet full of hot delicious goodness (hot chocolate, chai tea, cappuccino, etc.). Comforting and yummy.

4. The end of Jr. High football season. It was fun. But Son #1 missed the last half because of his knee injury. And it just wasn't the same without him out there.

5. The Coach will be home on Monday nights, now! Yeah! (well, except for when Jr. High basketball starts in a couple of weeks - but some of the kids can go with him on those nights)

6. Laundry caught up (for today).

7. Dinner in the oven.

And while we're at it. Have I shared this recipe with you, before?

Chicken, Potatoes and Beans
(from my good friend, Laura - thanks, Laura!)

In a 9x12, fill one third with chicken breast (I cut ours into strips), one third with potatoes (peeled and chunked) and one third with green beans (canned or frozen).

Sprinkle 1 packet of Italian Dressing MIX over all.

Pour one melted stick of butter over all.

Cover and bake one hour at 350.

So easy and so good.

My version has to be made in two pans. One with chicken, one with beans and potatoes. I use two packets of dressing mix (one for each pan), but only the one stick of butter for the two pans.

You're welcome!

8. Grandmother and Granddad are back from California! We missed them!

9. Not sure if I missed this last week (or was it the week before?) - but Daughter #5 has her cast off! For good! So grateful. Here's the first cast:

Here's the second one (notice they are BOTH blue!):

10. Same orthopedic visit that Daughter #5 got her cast off, we found out that Son #3 has a broken finger. But he's OK and we're taping it ourselves. He's learning to be tough! Ha!

11. ALL boys clothes sorted, organized and cleaned out. LOTS to give away, LOTS being used and plenty saved for Little Man. What a blessing. And SO nice to have our playroom back. Ha!

And THAT, my dear friends, is all she wrote for tonight.

Blessings on each of you as you enjoy this wonderful season of color and cool weather and time together with family.

And while I'm here with you - would you pray for Daughter #6? She broke out in hives on Tuesday night and has had them (and a lot of misery) ever since. Took her into the Pediatrician yesterday, but it's kind of hard to tell WHY one gets hives. As some of you probably know. In the meantime, she's been home (missing school) and although she's been just fine overall, it's not a lot of fun.


Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just passing these along. . .

I've been meaning for quite some time to tell you about a few "new" blogs I've started reading. My blog reading is kind of a temperamental thing, here at the troops.
For one thing, there isn't really much time for reading other blogs.

And a mom only has so much time and I don't want to waste any.

So my blog list has changed a bit over the years.

And most of the time? I don't even get to those! But I wanted to share a few really good blogs that you might enjoy.

First off: My friend Shannon and her family of ten (just like ours!) - she's a bit further down the motherhood journey than I am (older kids) and I really enjoy reading what she has to say. And it's SO encouraging to read about how she does things and think, "I do that, too!" Her post about lists made me laugh out loud - because we do that! Huge help.

Another friend I've started keeping up with via blog, is Magnolia Mama. You'll love her recipes and household tips! I'm going to make her homemade laundry detergent. One of these days! :-)

When I need a fresh perspective on my own life - and a reminder to pray for others who are dealing with MUCH more difficult circumstances, I check in over here (I don't know them, but they are friends of a friend). This amazing mom has chronicled the care and death of their fifth son (their second to die of a rare genetic condition) and the healing and recovery of their other three boys. It breaks my heart to read it, but it is a privilege to pray for this family. And a reminder to find JOY in the daily life here at the troops. Because while I will never be able to understand what they have gone through, we ALL should have the eternal perspective that their sorrow and loss has given them.

What is your favorite "new" blog these days?

I'm going to quit here, because it's getting harder and harder to type with Little Man climbing all over me. Ha!

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A day like today. . .

A day like today reminds me why I have the most wonderful life ever. . .
A day like today helps me forget yesterday (when I thought I could stay home all day, but in reality missed getting something really important taken care of - ugh). . .
A day like today makes me wonder why I get so discouraged. . .
A day like today makes all of my complaining seem so ridiculous. . .

Because today?

The Coach slept in.
Chai Tea in the morning.
The sun is shining.
The kids are playing with cousins.
Calls from good friends.
The laundry is caught up.
The house is *somewhat* clean.
My aunt came for a visit.
Beautiful hand-me-downs for the girls from a friend.
The Coach's little sis stopped by.
Cookies are baking (and being eaten as quickly as they come out!).
The Coach is coming home early. Woo hoo!
No football tonight (and they won last night!).
And best of all, everyone is WELL at this particular moment in time (although this fact is subject to change and probably will at any moment).

And did I mention the sun is shining?


All on a day like today. . .

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It has never been my intention to only blog once each week.

But life happens.

And lately at the troops?  A lot of life, happening a lot.

Today I'm so thankful for:

1.  A day at home.  First day in a couple of weeks that we haven't HAD to get out - so we are camping out here, today.  So much catching up to do.

2.  That my sick kids are improving.  In hindsight, we're pretty sure it's been the flu (our doctor said it didn't matter which one and no need to test - we've got it!), and depending on how far back we go, maybe six have had it?  I'm hopeful that they have because that only means 2 more to go.  

3.  Daughter #7's birthday this week.  She is sunshine and smiles and laughter and joy.  And LOUD.  Ha!  Love her.  And can't believe my baby girl is FIVE!  Ouch.

4.  A WONDERFUL visit with this sweet friend on Saturday.  SWEET baby and fun times.  And lots of chocolate and laughter.  Doesn't get any better!  Except maybe for the Coach who stayed home with the sick kids so I could go.

5.  Patriotic Program at school, yesterday.  Daughter #6 missed being there, but I so enjoyed watching Son #3, Son #4 and Daughter #5 participate.  Our wonderful school gives me hope for the future of our nation.  

6.  A new kitchen sink!  Woo hoo!  My Daddy gave us theirs (from their water damaged induced kitchen remodel) and I LOVE it.  How fun is that?
Here's what it looked like before:

And here's the much improved "new" one:

7.  Thursday night football game tonight.  Because that means we'll have Friday night at home.  Together.  On Friday.  All of us.  (it's been awhile)

8.  For a full night's sleep last night.  No little ones sleeping on the floor beside the bed.  No kids coming in and out and in and out.  I can handle three or four hours of sleep for a few nights, but I think I'd reached my limit.  And I'm pretty sure the Coach had reached HIS limit for dealing with me when I'm so grumpy and tired.  Ha!  And for those of you with new babies?  Who are up every night?  Getting very little sleep?  I'm so sorry.  I've done that a few times, myself.  

9.  That Little Man survived the "Febreeze Incident".  I did almost cry when I saw two whole bottles of Febreeze sprayed all over our breakfast room, kitchen, computers, desk chair, window, window sill and floor.  It was my fault for asking a flu-stricken daughter to watch him while I picked up the kids.  She fell asleep!  We keep him around because he's so stinkin' cute, though!

10.  For a day OFF school, tomorrow.  Ahhhhhh.  If only the Coach were off, too!  But I'm going to enjoy the fact that he'll be home with us on a Friday night.  The break will hopefully help everyone recover and catch up on rest around here.

11.  For e-mail and Renweb - such a blessing to have an easy way to keep in touch with teachers and get missed work.  And such wonderful teachers they are!

12.  For "Window Markers" - which sound awful, but have, in fact, been a lot of fun!

13.  For Playmobil - which has made these MANY rainy (and some sick) days go more quickly.  When the kids aren't fighting about who gets the treehouse.  Ha!

14.  Prayer.  I struggle a bit with knowing God is completely sovereign, yet knowing He asks me to bring all things to Him.  But when life gets overwhelming (like now) I understand more and more why I need to "continue in prayer".  I'm learning.

And now, my dear friends?  I'm going to take full advantage of our day at home (with two extra kids who are still home from school)  to get the bathrooms cleaned and some of the sheets washed.  And make something warm and comforting for dinner.  

Happy Thursday - may the Lord give you His grace for today.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thankful Thursday

1.  Thankful for the rain and thunder (every time he hears it, Little Man runs, grabs my legs, and says "THUNDER, Momma, THUNDER!" - which is better than when he used to say, "It GET me!" because Daughter #2 told him it was a tiger).  We've had a lot of rain, but I don't mind.  It's cozy and we don't have to water!

2.  Thankful that Son #1 is low maintenance.  Because he's home sick.  And other than hanging around trying to infect everyone, he hasn't been any trouble.

3.  Thankful that Son #1's knee is going to be OK after hurting it in Monday night's game.  We spent the morning, Tuesday, at the Orthopedic and getting a brace, but his ACL is OK and nothing is broken.  Kind of depressing that we spend so much time there, but I'm grateful that they take such good care of us.

4.  Thankful for Netflix - and instant play episodes of "Mythbusters", "Survivor Man" and "Future Weapons" to occupy Son #1.

5.  Baked potatoes and Salad with Chicken on top for dinner.  Yumm!

6.  Library.  I may pay my share of fines and the cost of lost books, but it's SO worth all of the books we check out.  My six are READERS of the most earnest sort.

7.  Naptime.  Because Little Man wears me out.  Especially today.

8.  Haircuts.  Got mine, yesterday - and ahhhhhhh.

9.  Kids old enough to babysit.  Most of the time someone is here who is old enough and responsible enough to stay with whoever doesn't want to go along.  I don't take it for granted - I remember the days of 5 kids 6 and under.  Ha!

10.  Baby gifts from here.  Love them.  Order lots of them for sweet friends and nieces and nephews.  So sweet.

11.  Son #3's new fish.  We lost two of the original three - and it took awhile to get the water to test alright.  But it finally did this week and we've added three more fish to the family.

12.  Good friends who don't mind talking to Little Man when they call.  He's all about talking on the phone, and only a good friend would listen to him talk about hitting his head on the door and his animals and the thunder.  That's friendship!  

Happy Thursday, All!  

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Laugh or Go Crazy

Someone asked me, yesterday, what it's like in a household with eight kids, teens down to toddlers.  Here's a glimpse into our Saturday here at the troops:

1:00 this afternoon found:

The Coach?  Home working in the yard, after a morning of watching film of last night's game with the team.
Son #1?  At an Africa picture party with my parents and nephew, after mowing the back yard this morning.
Daughter #2?  Had a cousin over, after visiting with Sweet Sitter, A, and helping me around the house this morning.  Went to another cousin's house around the corner.
Son #3?  Sick.  Fever.  At home.
Son #4?  With cousin at other grandparent's house playing football.
Daughter #5?  Getting the girl's room cleaned up after having Sweet Sitter, A, spend the night last night and stay for donuts this morning.
Daughter #6?  With me in the car, taking. . .
Daughter #7?  And a cousin to a birthday party at a friend's house.
Little Man?  Following the Coach around the yard, but going down for a nap.

The Coach didn't end up getting much done in the yard - because Little Man didn't take a nap. #1 did enjoy the party (and I managed to get some brownies made for him to take), but was late getting home.  #2 had fun with cousins (but I'm sure they were exposed to the virus that #3 has).  #3 is still running a fever, but slept and watched movies all day (he's determined to follow me around all of the time when I'm home - what are the chances I won't get sick, too?).  #4 played hard all day, but has a tummy ache.  #5 got a bath tonight, but that cast sure is getting dirty!  #6 hung with me while the little girls were at the party.  She's sporting her new glasses and we talked all about Webkinz and school and her A.G. doll.  #7 came home with a kitty cat face and lots of treats.  And Little Man?  He was pretty tired, tonight, but LOVES the new jammies that Grandmother brought from Florida (size 3?  Seriously?  Where IS my baby?).

The Coach and I enjoyed an early dinner out and a few errands, tonight, while the kids ate pizza.  Came home to do baths and put the youngest four (and the sickie) to bed.  And now we're watching the football game and eating popcorn, while the laundry runs and the windows are open letting in a cool Fall breeze.  And washing our hands frequently.  Ha!

My eyes are starting to cross.  Think I'll say goodnight to my football fans and call it a day.

And here comes one of the little girls walking in her sleep.  

Happy Saturday!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I missed yesterday, completely.

In a blog sort of way.  

But when Little Man smeared Vaseline all over the girl's bathroom AND himself, yesterday, during naptime, I was issued to challenge to find something in THAT to be grateful for.


Not sure I'm up for it, but how about this?

1.  Thankful that Little Man's skin is even more baby soft after the liberal application of Vaseline to his arms and legs, yesterday.

2.  Thankful that the girl's bathroom is cleaner (although I keep finding more Vaseline), now.

3.  Thankful for our sweet sitter, A, who is here after spending the night.  How fun is that?  Even got the kids all off to school - in spite of the fact that I'm sure they all wanted to stay home!

4.  Homecoming football game tonight.  We might freeze, but it will be fun!

5.  Mom and Dad coming home, tonight, after a week in Florida.  We've missed them!

6.  Sweet sister-in-law to walk with in the afternoon, yesterday, after school.  12 kids playing in the front yard - too fun!

7.  Fabulous Chai Tea AT HOME!  Thanks to my friend, S, who brought me some!  If you are a Chai fan, it's "Tazo Chai Latte" concentrate.  Just add your skim milk.  Yum!

8.  Berry Scones to go with our tea - brought from the tea room by Sweet Sitter, A!

9.  Late night grocery shopping at Wal-mart last night.  Which means waking up and NOT having that on my list, today!

10.  A trip to the Farmer's Market last week which yielded pumpkins and pansies for the front porch.  Now if I can just keep Little Man from digging in the flower pots and carrying the pumpkins all over the yard!

11.  Being back in BSF.  I missed my first week, since the kids were out of school and we went to the farm (no broken arms!).  But I'm already grateful for the two lessons I've done.  So good to be back into a Bible Study.

12.  Date night.  Without it, I'm pretty sure I'd be a basket case during football season.  Wait, don't ask the Coach - he would probably say I'm a basket case, anyway!  But think how much WORSE it would be if we didn't get out by ourselves for a couple of hours every weekend.  Ha!

Off to get the day going.

Happy Friday, All!