Thursday, September 29, 2011

Soccer, Music, Wallpaper and Love

I've been busy. Driving to multiple soccer games and practices--Go Fire-Dragons and Raiders!
 #3 in action
 (My mom and dad came to cheer on #1 at his Atlanta games this weekend)

 Keep that back foot planted!

Making many, many instruments for my classes--
 Christmas is in the air--time to make jingle bell sticks!

Egg shakers. Easy as rice to make, and soft on the ears!

Tearing down even more wallpaper---no pics of this. It's too depressing....

And coming across the sweetest love notes ever.

Oh, to be in 3rd grade again. <3

Friday, September 23, 2011

Soccer weekend!

This is our first season of travel team soccer. Ever. We have been living in this safe bubble of CYS (rec) soccer for many years, and now the bubble is gone. Now #1 is on a Premiere or Select Soccer Team and they travel, sometimes 4 hours to play a game.
I don't really mind the driving.  We checked out a great book on CD to listen to--Half Moon by Eoin Colfer. We got a chance to talk about things that we don't usually talk about with the younger 2 kids.
We laughed at silly things, sang to the radio, complained about how long it was taking us, etc. :)

The only thing that really gets me is that we lose a weekend. We lose the opportunity to sleep in, chill in our pj's on Sunday, possible miss church if we get back too late for the Sat night service. By the time we get home on Sunday night, we are ready for the weekend to begin!!
This was us last weekend. Thankfully hubs could stay home with #3 and #4, so it was only #1, #2 and myself driving for the 14 hours.
We have two more travel games this weekend. But this time they're in Atlanta, so that means we get to go to my parents' house and stay with them! It's like a two-fer!

Go Raiders!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Nemesis....the bench

This is my nemesis. 

I bought this bench 1994. It  has been in every one of my homes since then...
which would be 11, so far.
Each time yard sale season comes around, I try to put it out for sale, but hubs brings it back in. He says that since I've had it this long, I really should just continue to hold onto it. (For some reason the show Hoarders comes to mind...)
The color of the wood is wonderful, very rustic, and I love it. It's the heart that I dislike---a lot.
Gag. What I mean is, it's just not my style.
I thought about cutting straight across right under the heart, 
but it dips below the sides of the bench, so I'd be cutting into the sides. 
This is when my creativity gets stumped. Help.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Birthday #11 for #2

Every family have their own special ways to celebrate birthdays.  In our house, the "birthday fairy" comes in the middle of the night and decorates the birthday child's room. Then the birthday child gets to pick their breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, have their siblings do their chores and then the days winds down with 1 or 2 gifts.

Last week was #2's 11th birthday. She asked 3 or 4 times if the birthday fairy was going to come visit her room. That meant the pressure was on. But of course Dad was in the field, so it was me and the 4 young-uns and I didn't have time to go to the store, alone, to buy balloons and streamers like I usually do.
So I, the birthday fairy, threw together a birthday banner to hang in her room directly across from her bed, so that when she sat up in the morning, it would be the first thing she saw. :)
I used scrap scrapbooking paper, leftover letter stickers, and ribbon. It took just a few minutes, but made a great first impression on a great 11 year old young lady!!

She loved it!!!

Linking up to:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Coming of Age...

Our household has a "coming of age" tradition.

And since my sweet #2 just had a birthday (more to come on that in a post tomorrow), she achieved the next step of her "coming of age".

In our house, the Harry Potter series is something you have to wait for. You may read the first book at age 9, the second at age 10, and then depending on maturity levels you either read the next one in 6 months, or at your next bday. So #2 was given book #4--The Goblet of Fire and the movie for her 11th birthday.
It's amazing how something as simple as a book, can be so looked forward to.  Part of me thinks it's not just the book or the series, but instead acknowledgement from mom and dad that the child is now officially more mature.
Either way, she was thrilled!

**On a side note, she also received a Ripstik...or a mustache...I can't tell which.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

$1 bags of Teddy Grahams

Every so often, the commissary knocks the price of Teddy Grahams to $1. I love it when that happens! These bags are the perfect thing to grab when I'm on the way out the door to soccer practice, a game, or just a long van ride running errands w/ the kids.
And one dollar! You can't beat that with a stick!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ooh look! Something Shiny!!

So sometimes I purposefully distract my kids with the, "oh look! there's something shiny over there!" approach. 

Probably the best example was when the kids and I (of course hub wasn't there, all the good stuff happens when he's gone) were in the van driving on I70 from Fort Riley, KS to Topeka, KS. We were driving along and #1 asks when my anniversary was. I answered, "next week, June 28th". He asks, "so how long have you and dad been married?" I answered, "Well, honey, next week it will be 8 years." 
He looks out the window for a minute thoughtfully, then turns back to me and gasps, "Wait. I turn 8 on my birthday. You mean you were pregnant with me when you got married!!!" 

<<<Now let's stop for just a sec. He was only 7. His birthday is in November. The kind of math skills required for him to be able to figure that out was not what I was expecting at 7 for crying out loud! I was hoping to delay this conversation for at least 4 or 5 more years! >>>

Back to the story. Where was I? Oh yes, the gasp, "Wait. You mean you were pregnant with me when you got married??" 
To this I replied, "Yes. <pause> Who wants to stop for  ice cream??"

Like I said---oh look! Something shiny!


Hey look, it's me------------------------------------------------------>

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Babysitting: the good, the bad, the money!

On military bases, when kids turn 12 and take the red cross babysitting course, they can babysit (certain restrictions do apply). So when #1 turned 12, we let him begin taking some responsibility with his younger sibs. 

But of course he wanted to be PAID! So here's what we worked out:
*he makes $2 per hour baseline (yep, I'm aware how cheap that is...  :)
*if he does certain add on niceties (like play catch nicely, color with them, etc), he can make more $
*if I ask the younger sibs how he did as the babysitter and they said he wasn't great, he gets $0
*if the younger sibs call me while he's babysitting and ask us to rescue them...he pays us!!

So far, so good!!

*I had to capture this moment. This is #1 being the helper side of the tween instead of the needler. The needling took place 2.2 seconds after the photo was taken...

I love these kids!

Camera Shenanigans and Tomfoolery

Yep, the kids got a hold of my phone and took random pics again.  
I think they know how much of a kick I get out of looking at them.  There are many pages in our scrapbooks that are made up of their random shutterbug shenanigans.  Their tomfoolery = a glimpse of their unique perspective of the world.

 Crazy kids. I love 'em.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kids' Art Wall Gallery

Kids' Art Wall Gallery...that's a mouthful. Try saying that 5 times!

So while my one and only daughter, #2, was sick and home from school, she and I tackled the large wall in the entryway. I just wasn't sure what to put here. I thought about framing a large map of the United States and mark on it where we had lived. I thought about framing prints of the states where we have lived and put them there in some fabulous design. But both those options required funds which we were putting into other things at the moment. Things like back to school supplies and clothes for 4 kids, food for 4 kids, and fixing up of the fixer-upper house that we bought 2 months ago.

So as I was surfing around blog-land, I came upon this post at House of Smiths, and it was like the angels in heaven were singing! I was going to create a wall gallery of the kids' art that I already had framed!
In our last few houses, (we're a military family, so we move often) I've hung the kid's art in our kitchen because we've had lots of wall space and the bright colors add alot to the off white wall color that the military provides in their quarters. But here in this house that we bought, the kitchen has virtually zero wall space. So I had all this art with no where to go...until now.

#2 and I gave ourselves a time limit of how much time we could devote to the project so that we could watch a Harry Potter movie before the boys got home off the bus. And we knocked it out in exactly one hour! We are a pretty good team, if I do say so myself!

I love that #2!
Linking up to Sew Many Ways!
Linking up to Polly Want a Crafter!
Linking up to Craft-o-maniac!
Linking up to Skip To My Lou! 
Linking up to Nifty Thrifty Things!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How the "Tween" got its name~~

I always thought it was a kitschy word used to describe the years that are between childhood and teen-dom.

But today it dawned on me, that in my house, a tween is an offspring caught in the middle between being a needler and being a helper.
They go back in forth between the one giving wedgies to the younger sibs, to being the one who tries so hard to get the younger sibs to hurry and get their shoes on so mom doesn't get mad, or reminding them to wash their hands after the toilet.
Being a tween in this house is a very difficult position to be in. I wouldn't want to be them. Hopefully I can help all of us with this transition because I see some pretty awesome stuff on the horizon. I'd just like all of us to get there in one piece. :)
I love these tweens.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I know I'm cheap.

I know I'm cheap.

I have a huge bin of cleats of various sizes. Each time the kids want to sign up for a sport: soccer, baseball, football; I have them go to the big bin and search for a pair that's close to their foot size.

Let me point out here, that I never played sports as a kid. Ever. Not one season of soccer, softball, nothing.

Back to my story, so as the 3 boys are preparing for soccer practice last night, the boys I notice that #3 is wearing baseball cleats instead of soccer cleats. At this point I'm still not sure why that's a big deal, until #1 shows me that in baseball cleats there is a tip pokey thing. Technical term.

What's a cheap mom to do 5 minutes before practice??

That's right. Get out a steak knife and saw that puppy right off the tip. Ha! Got it done!


Linking up to Nifty Thrifty Things!

Who is Clay Trobridge??

Sweet Cherub #4 has announced that he wants to be Clay Trobridge for Halloween. Huh?? Who in the world is Clay Trobridge?
I asked #1, 2, and 3 and they quickly informed me that, "Mom, he's a guy from the Lone Ranger!" And they said it with the universal "duh" look on their face.

Then I got it. Since moving to Georgia, hubs and I decided we were going to try to not have cable TV. We have never gone without cable TV in our 13 years of marriage. In fact, in our poor years, we would still have cable TV and just go without other things.

So since we have been cable-free for 3 months, the kids have been watching whatever DVD's we have around the house or ones we check out from the library. Lately, they've been watching the Lone Ranger while in the van as we run errands. Evidently we have been running ALOT of errands lately, because they not only know the characters in the episodes, but they now want to BE them for Halloween.

Now I have to watch this Lone Ranger episode to see what Clay Trobridge looks like and what on earth #4 will wear in order to look like him. I also am going to see if I can come up with a quick and easy way of explaining who he is to each and every person who will ask "Who are you for Halloween, little man?" Because we all know that they'll look at me and say exactly what I said, "Who is Clay Trobridge?"

This was #4 for Halloween 2 years ago. He was Tow Mater. That was so much easier to explain...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pool Rules

Every pool needs a set of rules. I think Shakespeare said that. :)

We needed a set, especially with cousins and friends coming to swim, not to mention my 4 kiddos.

So....I grabbed a piece of wood from the garage and spray painted it bright red. Then used white contact paper in my cricut and cut out all the letters and stuck them to the board. Nice and easy, right??

Next, a couple coats of clear poly and it was ready for use!

Linking up to Sew Many Ways! 
Linking up to Skip To My Lou!
Linking up to Polly Want A Crafter!

Healthy kids? Yes, please!

So for the last two weeks, my one and only girl, #2, has been sick. First we thought it was strep, so she was treated with amoxicillin. Then we found out that, nope, it was mono. Problem was that if you treat mono with amoxicillin, bad things happen. Horrible, body covering, itchy purply red rash happens.
But thankfully, after some corticosteroids and anti-itching meds, she is back at school again.

Now, it's #4 with conjunctivitis. And not the bacterial kind that you can treat w/ antibacterial drops for 24 hours and send back to school. No sir-ee. It's the viral kind that you can't send back to school until it clears up...however long that might be.

Don't get me wrong. I love my sweet children and even love having them home with me when they are sick. (It's the only time I get them one on one!) However. I am growing weary of going to the doctor every day and having to miss work.**I've got to get paid! Did I mention we bought a house that needs some serious fixer-upping!***

Well, I am going to go wake up precious cherubs #3 and #4...and I am hoping and praying that #4's viral conjuntivitis has cleared up! If not, at least I know we have another day of coloring, watching Star Wars and snuggling on the couch. :)

Hope you all stay healthy and happy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A friend of mine put this as her facebook status last week:

"I have a theory about why it appears that self-injury, including tattoos and piercings, have increased so much. It involves the decrease in physical pounding that comes from daily active play as children and adolescents; I think there is a neurobiological need for a certain level of touch/pressure feedback that our most recent generations have not been getting in their "diet," leading to cravings for it later on."

I commented that if that's the truth, then my kids will never get tattoos. :)

Catching Snakes

I hate snakes. Really hate snakes. In fact, most wildlife I enjoy more when it is behind glass.

After only a few weeks of living in our new house, a snake came onto our back porch. Gag. Of course it happened while dear sweet hub was TDY (short trip for the Army). Everything happens while hubs is gone.

He might look tiny, but he was scary!!
So I am well aware that I am not going to be able to wrangle this snake on my own. So I start thinking that this might be a great opportunity to let #1 be big and bad. Give him something to tell his buddies about.

So #1 trapped that snake while I was freaking out and yelling at him, remaining calm and collected. The look of pride on his face was priceless.

#1 Snake Wrangler. Confidence Boosted.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Middle Child Lovin'

Being the middle child isn't always the easiest. My #3 is not only in the middle of the 4 kids, but he is the middle boy. Here's our breakdown: #1-boy, #2-girl, #3-boy, #4-boy.

Sometimes he just needs a little special attention from Mom.

He got it! :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wow moment

WOW. Today was a wow day. I love wow days.

My sweet tween (male version) came up to me, put his arms around my neck and said, "I'm sorry for being so disrespectful".

I love this guy!