Friday, February 26, 2010

Yeah! It's Friday!

I LOVE Fridays! The kids have no homework and it just feels like a free day. Our small group from church meets the 1st/3rd/5th Fridays and we always look forward to that. The 2nd/4th Fridays are nice too - time to hang out with the family, take our time eating dinner and maybe watch a movie or play a game. Eric is not a huge fan of board games - his wife is pretty competitive and tends to suck all the fun out of it - but once in a while we can convince him to play with us. Maybe today will be one of those days. I could really go for a game of Phase 10!
I was in such a good mood today that I even bought ice-cream. I don't like to have it on hand because if it is here then I will eat it - ALL OF IT! But today I splurged and got a couple of pints of B&J for the adults and some mint moose tracks for the kiddos (I'll probably eat most of that too :O ) Let the Friday festivities begin!

Michael almost didn't go to school today. This is how Eric found him when he went up to check on the kiddos before going to bed. He hadn't actually "worship the porcelain God" but every little thing mentally sets him off. He apparently thought it would be safer to just camp out there last night. He didn't have a fever or any symptoms at all so off to school he went. Happily, I might add, since the school-wide reading party was today and it was report-card day. He is SUCH a first-born!

Today I am using up leftover chicken taco meat from Wednesday. I found a recipe for Chicken Taco Soup that I thought was worth trying. I threw in some leftover Mexican Rice from Wednesday and used pinto beans instead of black beans (Eric is allergic - to the black, not the pinto. This is not a murder plot!) and added in some cilantro. The recipe calls for beer, which I didn't have, so while I was out grabbing the ice cream I grabbed a 6-pack of AmberBock. Since I now have beer on hand I will probably throw together a couple of loafs of beer bread too.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Down Day

The goal today was to do absolutely nothing. So far, so good. I've only done the necessities - get kids ready for school, pack lunches, shower, made bed, boot over laundry, unload/load dishwasher, feed kid. That's it. I'm taking it easy for the rest of the afternoon. Jonathan took a fall yesterday and was crying at bedtime about his leg hurting. I took him to the ER and after x-rays they pretty much determined that he probably pulled/tore a muscle and time would tell. If he is still in pain on Monday we are supposed to go see our family doc. They doped him up so he/we could sleep and sent us on our merry way. I've babied him today which he loves. We aren't letting him stand or do the stairs on his own and I even lifted him onto the toilet. I brought toys downstairs for him (I'm kind of a toy Nazi and want them left upstairs at all times) and he has pretty much just laid around today.

Now that he's taking a nap I'm going to rock out on the Wii with the Beatles and then do homework with the other 3. I'll be ready for bed tonight but I have to gear up for the big "budget meeting" tonight. We haven't revamped the budget since we've moved and our expenses have changed quite a bit. Eric warned me that tonight is the night that we are duking it out. I actually love my budget. It gives me so much freedom. I do not enjoy the process of setting it up though. Since I take care of 98% of the household expenses - and have for about 9 years - Eric is sometimes a little clueless as to how much things cost. Our grocery bill makes the poor guy's hair stand on end. Putting all of these things down on paper is a really good communication exercise:)

This picture actually has nothing to do with anything - Charity just makes me laugh. Eric's sister was here this weekend and she was reading to the kids. Before they got started we sent them up to get ready for bed and this is how Darling Daughter came down.

On today's menu (thanks to my cousin Heather): Chicken Noodle Soup and Cornbread Muffins. Charity might actually eat tonight - that would make 2 days this week. Maybe we'll have the Crockpot Tapioca Pudding that Eric made yesterday for dessert to reward her. (She usually misses out on dessert - we tend to have it on days that she won't eat what we are having.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Catching up Part 2

Two posts within a week - what an accomplishment! We will continue with our little trip down memory lane today and hopefully get us all caught up. So without further introduction:

December 2009

Michael had his 9th birthday party early in the month. The poor bus driver - all those extra boys! Charity promptly escaped to Grandma's house for the duration of the party.

This is the picture I used in the Christmas card this year. The ankle-biters loved standing outside in the freezing cold getting their pictures taken. They looked like little movie stars - putting their coats on "between takes." The pink cheeks (and noses) give them a healthy glow - don't you think?

Christmas morning. No matching pajamas this year - apparently the novelty of 3 boys has worn off. I'm just pleased they are all fully clothed and no hands are wandering into unmentionable areas. WHY DO BOYS ALWAYS NEED TO MAKE "ADJUSTMENTS"?!!

January 2010

We (along with 1/2 the state) decided to head to the children's museum for the day. The crowds were awful but it's always a good time when we get to hang out with our friends. If only we could convince these good people to move closer to us. Did you notice the boys' matching Bear's shirts - I may have spoken too soon about the novelty of three boys wearing off! If you look closely Charity is wearing her "I 'heart' Bear's Football" shirt too. We don't discriminate in our household.

Joseph really wanted a big party for his birthday like Michael had but he just doesn't have that many friends yet so we convinced him to invite his best friend over for a sleepover and a "day of fun". We picked up Hayden around 11am and proceeded to the movie theater for a viewing of The Squeakquel. Eric asked if the movie was going to be good. Honey - it is talking chipmunks - we are talking Oscar worthy here! We splurged and bought popcorn and drinks as well. (Quite frankly the movie itself was a splurge - the only time we ever go to a movie is when the local theater has the free showings during the summer.) We then headed to play Monster Mini Golf. This was a new experience for Joseph and Jonathan as well. Luckily it wasn't that crowded and we could take as much time as we needed - although let's face it - who is going to tell the kid in the wheelchair to hurry up and get his ball in the hole already! After golf - Hayden won - we told Joseph he could go anywhere he wanted to eat. We could never offer this to Michael - we would end up at a high end steak house every time, but Joseph has cheap taste and wanted nothing more than to go to McDonald's and play in the playland! Fun times!

Have I mentioned that we have had a COLD winter. I hate being cold - and apparently so does Jonathan. He even broke down and put on Grandma's hat as he and Olivia curled up on the couch. She makes a great "electric" blanket - if you can get past the licking! Look - even the dog has a coat on!! Send in the warmer weather, I'm way past ready!

February 2009

We moved at the end of January to a bigger house - what this means to my kids is SLEEPOVERS!!! Charity was the lucky one who got to go first. Our school had a teacher's in-service day scheduled so these two sweeties got off the bus with my little troublemaker last Thursday. They had a great time exploring the house and finding all kinds of "treasures" for the 24 hours they were here. The boys are all ready for it to be their turn next!


I have several friends who ask me this question on a regular basis. I am no Julia Child - and have no desire to be - but with 4 children and a husband, let's face it, a good portion of my life revolves around food. So, with that in mind I will stick our dinner offering for the day at the bottom of each post. If anything ever looks interesting and you want info just give me a shout (comment style) and I can fill you in.

Today we had Italian beef (courtesy of my cousin Bonnita). This is a favorite in my Chicago loving household. I butter and broil the buns with provolone or mozzarella cheese on them and then top them with this wonderful beef. Even Charity - the pickiest one in our house - looks forward to this meal. I served it tonight with Ore-Ida Zesties and green beans sauteed in butter with McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning. Yummy! Maybe I'll eat leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Time for some Catch Up

Okay, so saying it's been awhile since I updated would be an understatement. When it comes down to it I just can't take dial-up internet - so I went on strike. I was going weeks on end without even looking at my email, let alone logging on to the internet to do anything fun. Luckily my darling husband felt my pain and was keeping me informed AND he got me a new house which is in the lovely land of DSL wired bliss. So - we're back. I've realized already that I may have been using the dial-up as an excuse since I haven't updated and we've been in this house for over 3 weeks....

So today's job is to update the blog - while keeping an eye on 6 kids (Charity has 2 friends over) and cleaning up the messes they make by just being kids. (I love these ankle-biters like crazy!!!) I thought I would just start captioning our way through the fall and winter and get us caught up that way. We'll see how this goes.


This picture pretty much sums up our fall. Michael (#80) and Joseph each played football. This is Michael's favorite sport by far and it was Joseph's first attempt at playing. It went well and everyone had a great time. Michael's team went undefeated during the regular season but lost in the local championship game - 1 game short of the superbowl. He was devastated. Joseph's team was in a "rebuilding phase" and so victory was not something they tasted a whole lot of. He had to live vicariously through Michael's team. Charity played soccer again this fall and Eric helped coach her team. They lost only one game (not that anyone keeps score :) )and Charity scored several goals so it was a successful season for her as well.

Charity and Michael attended our church's 2nd & 3rd grade retreat (Joseph had a football game and had to miss out.) They headed down to a camp/retreat center about an hour south of here and had a great time learning about the "Unbelievable, Inconceivable Love of God". In this picture is the wonderful Ms. Lisa - our incredible 1st-4th grade pastor.

Here's the toothless wonder in all his glory. Jonathan has lost 6 teeth in the past year - only 2 of them have come back in. Stinkin' cute!

One of our favorite fall activities is making smores in the fire pit on the deck. Joseph is kind of a weirdo and prefers to eat vegetables instead of sweets, but even he will indulge in the delicious gooey fun of marshmallows, chocolate and grahams.

H1N1 hit our house this year. Charity was the one afflicted and luckily it didn't spread. Poor thing was quarantined to her room and any time she left we made her put on this mask. She hated it!! The one redeeming thing for her was that her sucker of a daddy picked her up a "Snuggie" when he was picking up her Tamiflu prescription. I guess it was all worth it.

These are 8 of my favorite kids on the planet!!! My cousin Heather's kids and my kids love spending time together. We don't get them all together often enough but when we do - watch out! They have such a great time together.

Charity is not a girly-girl but she absolutely HATED scooping the guts out of her pumpkin. We had 2 huge pumpkins and 2 smaller pumpkins and of course Charity had drawn one of the big ones - that meant lots of guts!!!

Pumpkins - (left to right) Jonathan, Charity, Joseph, and Michael. Michael's is especially appropriate - he has a sensitive gag reflex :)

They look so different at night! Not bad for a bunch of elementary students!! Okay - Eric did his fair share of work on them but I still think they look great.

The four bank robbers and their trusty steeds. Charity's was a unicorn. I'm not really sure where they came up with this but all four of them wanted to be old west bank robbers. It annoyed them to no end when people called them cowboys!


Grandparent's day in 2nd grade. They had to split their time between the two classes but I think a good time was had by all.

Joseph looking very much like an American boy on his first Thanksgiving - last year Eric and I spent Thanksgiving at McDonald's in Sevastopal. This was way better!

My baby brother and my favorite (and only) niece. Kaelynn wasn't quite sure what to think of Uncle Brian. She'll figure out pretty soon - uncles are a lot of fun!!

Aunt Teri with Charity and Jonathan. Aunt Teri spoils my kids rotten - the best kind of spoiling - they are the center of her world when she is around. They LOVE it when she comes over.

I just love this picture of Michael. My father-in-law took it and I just think he looks like such a little man. He apparently didn't get the memo that my kids aren't allowed to grow up because he has been doing a lot of it lately!