December 23, 2008

How Many??

How many adults are needed to take 4 children to Sam's Club for lunch? Apparently, more than 1 (me). I take the 3 girls to Sam's for lunch probably 3 times a month. Today, I attempted to take everyone, because Adam is home too. It was INSANE! I didn't think that just one more kid would make such a difference. I don't know if it was all the winter attire (i.e. coats, hats, gloves, etc.) or just the change in dynamic. Adam seems to provoke problems that I don't usually have. He bugs the girls until they scream, cry or hit. Then, he complains that THEY are causing trouble. Don't get me wrong. Amelia LOVES to torment her brother too. It all makes me want to scream! Aaah! I was full on screaming at Adam before we left...I guess I should've taken it as a sign. I figured it would be better...that they would behave & listen better in public. Not really. So, I will have to reconsider taking them out anywhere again. I don't know if I can handle it. I just feel kind of bad for them being cooped up inside. It's too cold to go out much. Oh well. I'll finish my shopping later...ALONE.

December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is almost here! We spent the day yesterday shopping. We're done (I think, for the most part anyway). I still have a few "projects" still waiting to be completed though. Church was cancelled today, so I guess I have some time to work on them. Problem is, I'm lazy & cold. It makes me feel like curling up next to the fireplace or sneaking back into bed. Hmmm...tempting.

Here's our family Christmas Card this year. We are happy and thriving here in Illinois. Merry Christmas.

Misc. Ramblings & Thoughts of Family

Christmas makes everyone think about family. So, why would I be any different? I am very thankful for my family. I mean, all of us can look back & "pick at" the mistakes that we think they made raising us, but it's easier to see now that they did the best they could with the skills & experience they had. I love my mom. She was 17 (a month shy of 18) when she got married. I was born 2 weeks before she was 19. Crazy. My dad was only 23. Can you imagine? My parents have always worked very hard to support their family. Dad did what he needed to so mom could be home with us. Now that we are (more-or-less) grown, she is also able to help him outside the home. I have learned many things that I sometimes forget. Our home saw a lot of contention & quarreling with 7 children (3 girls & 4 boys). It always seemed to be some version of "US" vs. "Them".

I was a stubborn child who grew up arguing with my dad. How much frustration have I caused him? Well, I have learned that even though it was not the correct way, I learned compromise & communication. Yes, sometimes the "discussion" was in highly, elevated voices, but we were both learning. My mother has always been the peacemaker. It was SO important to have her in our home. She could always calm the situation & help me to see more than just my perspective.

I love my brothers & sisters, but we have always had rocky relationships I think. I had different interests than my brothers & the girls are 10 & 14 yrs younger than me. Face it, I was a bossy, bratty older sister too. One of my brothers moved back to AZ when my family went to NY. Growing up, he is the one I fought with the MOST. I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know him & spend time with him. I don't get to spend much time with any of my siblings, but I enjoy getting to know them again as we get older. I am thankful that even though we quarreled (A LOT) when we were young, we have an opportunity to make new friendships with each other.

This brings me to think of things I have learned & need to remind myself. Kids fight with each other. Not all siblings get along ALL of the time. (It would be nice, but it IS NOT the norm.) I look at my mother's example also. Though, I am not as patient as her...I make sure my kids know they are loved & try to help them make good choices. I think my parents did a pretty good job with us. It gives me renewed hope that even though my kids fight sometimes & drive me crazy sometimes...maybe it will all work out in the grand scheme of things. It won't matter that Adam cried about cleaning his room or that the girls went to time-out for fighting. I love my hubby & my kids.

I love my parents and my siblings (I even like their spouses). I miss you guys. I think about you often & hope you are well & happy. Merry Christmas!

December 17, 2008

Christmas CHAOS!

This year, I was trying to plan ahead so I could enjoy the season. Well, I have still been busy, busy, busy. I guess that's evidenced by the fact that I haven't had time to blog - for a month!! Well, I think I'm pretty well caught up. I have been keeping occupied with lots of Christmas plans. For awhile, I was working on a special gift for my mom & mother-in-law. I made a super-cute blankie for my new niece (Sharlene then SheriAnn, finally Sharlene Eowin). I have also been working on some sewing projects for my hubby & the kids. I got Fleece on sale & I am making robes & PJ Pants for everyone. Surprisingly, I'm NOT sick of sewing yet. Other than that, I did my visiting teaching early, helped make gifts for the Young Women and have tried (fairly unsuccessfully) to keep my housework under control. Oh well. I need to get a few things done so I can go work on Adam's stuff. I only have 2 more days before he's out of school for the break. Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's off to work I go!

Santa Visit

We went to visit Santa this year at State Farm. We almost missed our scheduled time because the van was acting up. But, we made it in time. Mia was fine with the whole thing.Adelaide did a lot of talking & needed some reassuring throughout the week before our visit. She wanted to make sure that it was OK if she stood next to Santa. She wanted me to know that she did NOT want to sit on his lap. Allison (as expected) FREAKED OUT! Crying...screaming...the whole 9 yards. Poor thing.

I got some other cute pics while we were at State Farm. I love these kids! They drive me crazy, but I love 'em.
Daddy's happy it's over. Now, home to fix the van?Looks can be so deceiving....Ditto.

December 2, 2008

SNOW!!!

We've had some snow! The kids love it. Here are the girls getting ready to go out.
Adam went out & started shoveling the walkway. He made a pathway that is a shovel-width. Not too bad for a kid.
Poor Allison...it's just too cold & slippery for her. After less than 5 minutes, she's DONE.
Adam was a little snowball-happy. Poor guy. He WON'T understand that the girls & I don't want to get hit with snowballs. It's not a fair-fight if they can't make snowballs & throw them like he can.
I tried to take some more pics of the kids together, but they were a little-less-than-cooperative.

Allison is ready to go in the house. What's the quickest way down?That looks like fun! My turn...I'm stuck! *giggle*Snow Angels! I taught Mia how to make a snow angel. She thought it was funny to lay down in the snow.I couldn't get the snow to stick well enough to make a BIG snowman, so I made a snowbaby. Adelaide wanted to hold our snowbaby. Can you see her licking it? "Mom, our snow baby tastes good."What a sweet picture of Mia. Adelaide apparently burried her pink hat (that matches Mia's purple hat) in the snow. Great. Now we wait.

Christmas is Coming!

Things have gotten busy at our house. I've got lots of "projects" started & in various stages of completion. I past years, it's been hard to get the tree up. I usually get it decorated by about the 12th (sometimes later), then I can't seem to get it taken down until mid-January. I know, slacker.

This year, I was motivated. We put the tree up on Saturday after Thanksgiving. We had to re-arrange some furniture, but the tree is up so we can enjoy it.

Well, it's up so I can gripe at the kids to stop touching / taking / pressing / swinging / yanking / flipping the ornaments. We've had a couple of casualties already. The kids all had a great time hanging things on the tree.

What a cute little bunch of kids! How sweet.
We must be super-ambitious this year. Bryan borrowed a super-tall ladder to put up Christmas lights up on the house. I was a little stressed out by having him on the roof. It's probably a good 30ft from the base of the ladder. CRAZY!
It looks pretty. I guess I can enjoy it until it's time to take down the lights. Then, Bryan will have to climb back up. Ugh.

Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving this year, we went over to the Clark's home. Syndy & I split the menu, and Chris deep-fried our turkeys. Yep. That's right...we each had a turkey for 4 adults and 7 kids (9yr, 9yr, 6yr, 4yr, 4yr, 3yr, 20mo.). Leftovers are great!
We had several appetizers while we were waiting. Yummy. We had so much food! Shrimp Cocktail, veggies & dip, parmesan puffs, basil & feta triangles, stuffed mushrooms...mmm. Then, we had the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, whipped-cream fruit salad, homemade rolls, cheesecake & pumpkin pie...with homemade whipped cream (Chris is the expert).
We all enjoyed spending the day with our very good friends. I'm so thankful to have friends like them. It's just a bonus that our kids are pretty good to each other too.


Allison has her "place" at the Clarks' home, and she knows it. When she decides it's time to eat, you can find her in her chair.What a pretty smile.
Poor daddy is tired...Food COMA!!!
I tried to take a family picture for my christmas cards. These are a couple of the "rejects".