Friday, February 27, 2009

Flashback Friday: Little House On The Prairie Style...

Old Fashion Sunday (not sure of the year?)

We were just about to watch Little House on the Prairie, when the kids and I picked this picture for flashback Friday. They had the following conversation:
"Dad looks like Albert!"
"Aunty Nadine looks like Mary all grown up!"
"Nana has Mrs. Olsen's hat... but she's not mean like Mrs. Olsen."
"...and Papa has Mr. Olsen's suit!"
Oh, and all the girls want a bonnet like Aunty Nadine...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Future Fashion Designer?

I'm so glad that I have girls. I mean, I'm glad I have boys too...but I'm so glad I have girls! I get to relive all those fun, girly, childhood things- like wanting to be a fashion designer one day. Only now...as an adult... I can actually go out, buy the fabric, and make the clothes! Well, attempt to make the clothes...

The girls have spent hours designing outfits with the "fashion studio" kit Keona got for Christmas. They've created some stuff I would wear. Some others... maybe not so much.


Anyhow, Keona and I decided we were going to make her a dress. I went out and bought the fabric this week. Now I am not a seamstress... I actually have no idea what I am doing with a sewing machine. I just read "how to do it yourself" instructions online. In spite of that, I came home quite excited with the fabric I got on sale, and yesterday we started drafting. We measured, and sketched, and measured, and outlined, and cut....and re-measured, and re-cut, and pricked, pinned... Finally, I got around to the sewing part last night. I'm almost as excited as she is. I can't wait to finish the dress and see it on her!


Supposing it actually fits....and stays together...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
I always wondered why women ate when they were upset or stressed out... it never made any sense to me. How in the world does eating make you feel better?? Fast forward to last week when I was upset and stressed out about something- I most certainly did not find myself sitting on the couch with a giant bowl of ice cream throwing myself a pity party. That would be pretty sad.. and like I said, how does indulging in food make you feel better anyhow!?

Recently, Ella has been showing a bit of her temper. Mostly towards Jed... If he takes a toy from her or tries to feed her when she isn't hungry, or even just touches her when she dosn't want to be touched.... she does this high pitched squeal. Honestly, sometimes her mouth is opened and no sound comes out. I think it's like a dog whistle or something. Too high for the human ear... Anyhow, I did not find myself handing her a toy and then snatching it away to try and get her to make this face for the camera.


I think I may have posted this picture of Jed as a baby before:
We decided to try and re-create it with Ella this weekend. She usually LOVES being thrown up in the air, (like laughs and bounces on your lap until you do it again -kind of loves it) so we thought it would be fun. She hadn't been feeling all that great though, and she wasn't too pleased when Scott tossed her up there...

I most certainly did not ask Scott to do it one more time because the picture was blurry. Thankfully, she has a sane father who felt bad doing it to her again.

...and I did not laugh hysterically, all by myself, late at night when I uploaded the pictures and saw her face.
My poor drama queen baby... I will not try to convince Scott to attempt this again once she's feeling ok so that we can get a better shot. Nope... not me!

What did you NOT do last week? :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Flashback Friday

I don't do "flashbacks" to Jed very often because...well... there isn't all that much to flashback to! :)


This is from our trip to Quebec for the Carruthers' wedding 2 years ago.

I know I may be just a tiny bit biased .... but I have the cutest boys ever!!
Elijah with the flower that I thought he had picked for me. Turns out it was for another woman... the bride. :)
I happen to think that my hubby is pretty cute too! ;)


This was my favourite age for Jeddy. He was so good while we did all the road-tripping that summer. He was such a doll at that wedding. Other than the 20 times I had to "excuse us" so that I could go and nurse him!

I love my "mamma's boys!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bored???...

I cannot remember the last time that I felt "bored." Ok, correction- I have "felt" bored, but only because there were 100 things waiting to be done- that I didn't want to do. Like tonight for instance. I sit here with laundry downstairs (and upstairs), dishes in the sink (and dishwasher), shirts to be ironed, book reports to be marked, books to be reviewed, paper work to be filed.... the list goes on. Surely, I'm not the only one who procrastinates. ;)

So instead of doing all those things, I thought I'd review my day.

6am: Alarm goes off. I hit snooze.

6:30am: The alarm goes off for the 3rd time. I tell Scott it's time to get up.

7am: I wake up to this. It makes me smile.


7:10am: I send Charity to get my camera so I can take a picture. :)
Jed does this...


It ends with him hitting the floor...hard. He cries. I console.

7:30am: I get the last one out of bed. Guess who?? None other than our very own, Sloth!


Scott and I are convinced that there must be some sort of relation...


8am: Keona serves Shreddies while I change diapers, and attempt to put on some makeup and look half decent.

8:30am: Chores are done. We start school. We read Matthew 25 over Ella's crying, while Jed washes his hands and floods the kitchen counter. I clean it up.

9am: Jed says he has to go to the bathroom. It's too late. Repeat this every 15 minutes from here on out. Ella continually interrupts school by waving at everyone while she sits on my lap. Of course, everyone at the table has to wave back at her while saying, "Hiiiiiiiii!" in unison. The girls gush over her newest trick, and how cute she is. I tell them to ignore her and get back to work. (mean Mom!)


I won't bore you with all the details of school... let's just say Eve argued with me and I sat silently reading my Bible. I then taught them the saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all." If only I could always be so disciplined...


12pm: I feed the kids apples, oranges, and banana bread, while eating an apple and quizzing them on geography.

12:30pm: Scott surprises us by coming home for lunch. I eat Mr. noodles (my latest totally unhealthy addiction) and tell him that the skit he is doing, is dumb. (so much for the whole, "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all" speech...)

2pm: I wake Scott up from his nap and he goes to work. Keona goes outside to dig up our frozen soil for a science experiment.


3:00pm: I clean up the soil from off the counter and try to keep Jed from throwing it everywhere. Eve's practising violin and someone is practising on the keyboard downstairs.

4pm: I serve spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner. I wonder why in the world I was so mean to Scott. I have no idea... I feel horrible and wonder how he puts up with me.


6pm: Chores are done. Little House On The Prairie is over and the kids are quiet??? Jed knocks Ella over, and then proceeds to squeeze her cheeks while repeating, "Chubby chubby!!" over and over again in her face. Ella's not impressed. It's no longer quiet.




7pm: It hasn't been quiet since 6pm. Ella goes to bed. Keona and Charity are colouring, Eve wants to know why no one will play with her, Elijah is playing gameboy, and Jed is banging on the piano while singing, " Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, on on my mind!!!!" I go to the cupboard for some chocolate. The kids ask what I'm doing... I put it back and say, "Nothing..." I go back into the livingroom to play the piano and sing along with Jed.

7:30pm: I call Scott on his break and apologize for calling his skit dumb.

8pm: I throw the triplets in the shower together cause I don't feel like cleaning up the mess they make showering themselves. Elijah and Jeddy are in bed, Keona is looking for a story for Scott to use as his "expressive reading", and the triplets want me to make them look like "trolls."

9pm: Everyone is in bed, the house is quiet, and I'm... bored relaxing.

Wordless Wednesday

Keona during school
(oil painting effect)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Last week, I had a very long to-do list before leaving our zoo house to Scott's parents while we went off to the annual couples' retreat. Complete with 8 kids under the age of 9. It would not take two totally crazy people to volunteer for that job! ;)

Being the responsible and organized parent that I am, I would not leave everything until the last minute and then bribe my kids with "chore points" to help get the work done...


I did not try to trick Keona and Prayer into helping me fold the mounds of laundry...

Me: Come on...you know you want to help me!

Them: Ummm...no, we really don't.
Me (resorting to guilt): I'm going to be folding all night... you could help and make it sooo much quicker.

Them: No thanks Mom.

I would not resort to guilt tripping like that. Especially not after the kids had helped me out with stuff all day. I did spend all night folding laundry though...


I did not skip Wordless Wednesday and Flashback Friday last week because I was too lazy tired every night...

I did not fail miserably at making a Valentine's Day card for Scott with the kids. We tried to get a picture of all of us to use in the card and this was my best "digitally altered" shot. Pretty sad... any one notice what's wrong??? :/
I left tons of time to get this done... I did not decide to take a spur of the moment picture on a Wednesday night, right before I get all the kids ready to head out to church by ourselves! I never leave things to the last minute.

We had a wonderfully relaxing "Family Day" holiday here in Ontario today. We played Wii and Phase 10. Keona went to friend's house. (she's growing up!)

I did not attempt to bribe the girls with Pringles, so that they would "skip" Scott instead of me...after all, he is the cheater when it comes to card games. Not me!
And... we did not let the kids wrestle for an hour before bed. If we did, we did not let it get a little rough at one point when Prayer was squishing Elijah's head against the floor and he was screaming, "Stop! You're killing me!" I am not in tears right now, laughing so hard picturing that... I mean, that's not funny! Right!?!?

I wonder what I will not do this week... ;)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Invisible Woman

For all the Moms...

It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, 'Who is that with you, young fella?' 'Nobody,' he shrugged. Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, 'Oh my goodness, nobody?'

I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family - like 'Turn the TV down, please' - and nothing would happen. Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, 'Would someone turn the TV down?' Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, 'I'm ready to go when you are.'
He just kept right on talking.
That's when I started to put all the pieces together. I don't think he can see me.
I don't think anyone can see me.
I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more:
Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.' I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.
She's going... she's going... she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.'
And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell his friends that he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.'
That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself.
I just want him to want to come home.
And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

-From the book "The Invisible Woman"
by Nicole Johnson

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Bugzibit"

Two years ago, Scott and I took the kids to a "Bugzibit" at the zoo over March break. We saw all sorts of crazy bugs... African Spiders, Hissing Roaches, and I even got to hold a Wood Nymph!


The kids were all too afraid to hold one of the big bugs. Though, Keona did try chocolate covered crickets...something I would not be able to do! :S


Ever since then, they have been telling me how, "they wish they had held a bug." Well, this past Saturday the zoo had another bugzibit on, and we have a family pass, so it sounded like a plan! Of course, Scott was supposed to come and we were going to bring all the kids...but then he had homework, grandma offered to take Ella, and Jed said, "No thank you! Grandma's house please..." So, I was on my own with the 5 oldest. Which was actually kind of nice. Since usually Scott gets bored quickly and wants to move on. We took our time at the exhibits and learned lots of neat facts we wouldn't have otherwise noticed.

Prayer's picture of what we saw at the zoo...
Notice the little one giving the big one a piggy-back?...
Nice, eh?...
I was speechless.

But the bugzibit was great! The triplets got to hold "Matilda."
Elijah and Keona stayed as far away from the bugs as possible! We met up with two polar bears. A stuffed one... And one that use to live at the zoo...
...still does, kinda...

We were just in time to hear the elephant trumpet, which was really cool. Last time we heard the male lion roar. The ground rumbled... it was pretty amazing. We got to see the tiger(ess?) walking around. Charity growled at it... it looked over and licked its lips. Not good... we left after that.


By this point, Elijah was done. He was tired, hungry, and just wanted to go home. (sounds alot like Scott!) The girls decided we could leave and come back another time. We just had to go back to the bugzibit to pick up their picture with Matilda. While we waited, they were absolutely enthralled with the donation/coin bin. (where the money rolls around in a tornado-like fashion) It was a good thing I had lots of change in my wallet, because they raced pennies and nickels for about 10 minutes.

Then they touched a giant snail, poked him in the eye/tentacle and the poor thing sucked everything back into its head. It was pretty interesting...never seen that before.

Finally, in Elijah's words, we headed out to the parking lot.

Elijah was being a grump until he saw the lady handing out free Valentine's Day chocolate...

She made his day!

We raced through the parking lot, had two geese follow us to the van- where I told the kids they were going to eat them! They laughed and ran faster. My kids are great... :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.




As some of you may know, I have 4 girls practicing piano everyday and one that just started violin too. I'm usually pretty good at tuning out all of the noise that creates and just think about "in the long run." Even when I have a piano, a keyboard, an organ, and a violin all going at the same time. Throw in 3 or 4 other kids and it could put you in the nut house can get just a wee bit noisy. So today...when I had a headache, and had to make a zillion phone calls... I did not bribe them away from their cognitive development... with the Wii... No way! What kind of mother would do such a thing?? And seriously, what kind of children actually enjoy practicing for hours on end!?!? Only mine...

About 2 years ago now, my Mom gave me her treadmill when she got a new elliptical. I vowed to myself that I would use it everynight... for atleast half an hour. Then I got pregnant with Ella and decided that I would start up with it as soon as I recovered from her birth. I most certainly did not give away that very same treadmill this past weekend. I mean, it didn't just sit in the basement totally unused for the past...2 years. I did not just give away a treadmill that had only been used by my kids... not me! Also, I am not the kind of mother that would watch my kids running on the treadmill and go over and crank up the speed just for fun. Nope... not me! Even if I did do that... I do not wish that I had gotten it on video camera before giving it away.... Definitely not me!

Ok... I think that's more than enough about what I didn't do last week! ;)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Flashback Friday: We were so young...


Seeing this picture brought back so many memories of our dungeon first little basement apartment. We were so young, and things were so simple! For instance- the only chair we had was a big plastic lawn chair... we put a pillow on the seat and threw a comforter over top of it, and it became our nice, cozy, "recliner!" We had to climb over our bed to get into our bedroom. We watched mice come in under the door to steal our cats' food! I was absolutely terrified of bugs at this point (now they don't even phase me...which is why we're going to the "Bugzibit" tomorrow!) and there were always centipedes. One day, there was a huge centipede in the living room while Scott was at work. I was so scared that I packed up Keona and took a bus over to my Mom's house and spent the day there! There were other times that I was trapped in the bathroom by a centipede on the door that I was convinced would jump on me or something if I went near it!...


But you know what...we couldn't have been happier. We were proud of our lawn chair recliner! So quickly we forget where we came from. Now we have a house, several couches and chairs, 2 vehicles...it's amazing to think about how the Lord has blessed us. We have a 3 bedroom townhouse and people often make comments like, "How do you all fit in there!?" Honestly, the kids have never noticed that it may be a bit of a tight fit in here. (Well, except when there is a line up outside of the bathroom door! ;) Recently with the economy, and Scott's hours being cut back, we've had to really start watching what we spend. It has made me realize how we have never had any real "needs" that weren't taken care of. Sure, there may be days when we think a 2nd bathroom would be nice... or to be able to spend a bit extra here or there would be nice. Then I think about all the things we DO have and I can't help but be thankful and humbled.

I have an amazing husband, 7 beautiful and healthy children, a warm home with food on the table, great friends and family, and an awesome God who cares about me! What more could a girl ask for?! :)

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. -1 Timothy 6:6-8

Monday, February 2, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


It was NOT me who poured cold water over top of my brand new casserole dish that had just come out of the oven. I did NOT watch it explode into tiny little pieces all over my kitchen sink...

It was NOT me who broke the leg off the end table by simply moving it 2 inches across the floor either.

I am so NOT a klutz...

And...It was NOT me who stuffed my sick, cranky baby full of cereal last night right before bed hoping she might, maybe, possibly, sleep for more than 2 hours straight. And it was NOT me who then woke her up by walking into everything- in the dark while on my way to bed.

P.S. It is NOT me who will be attempting to fiddle around with html and change up the blog design a bit...so if pictures, or stories, or anything for that matter goes missing...it is NOT my fault! ;)

Sick Babies (again) and Ladies' Tea!

Last week Ella and Jeddy were both sick. I was beginning to think that I would never sleep again... Thankfully it was probably just my overly tired and hormonal state sending me those thoughts. :) I was too tired last week to write about Ella standing for the first time...
...or Ella saying, "Mama" for the first time. (yes, she already said dada...several weeks ago.) I'm bitter...they ALL said "Dada" first...ALL of them. And you know the only time she says mama? As she crawls across the floor crying to come drool on my feet while I'm trying to do school, or cook... or whatever it is I may be doing. Ha.. I'm not actually bitter at all :P I think it's adorable when they get all excited to see Scott and start chanting, "Da dadadadada" I even think it's cute when they cry, "Mamamamam..." The girls find it hilarious that she only says my name when she's crying.
This past Saturday, the girls and I went to a Ladies' Friendship Tea at church. We got to watch a fashion show...
...and then my favourite part (said with total sarcasm) when the girls got to do their Mom's hair and makeup. :D *big cheesy fake smile* Or in our case got to do Mom's, Grandma's, Miss. Madge's and another friend's hair and makeup. I tried to be a good sport... I just wish I hadn't spent the half an hour before the tea party curling my hair! :P Notice the big "M" on my forehead? For "Mom".... (didn't have one with her eyes open...)

Future beauticians I tell ya! :/
We were even spoiled with Starbucks hot chocolate to drink!

We had a great time, and the girls are already looking forward to next year's tea party. I thought I'd add this picture of Keona and Grandma from the "fancy hat" themed tea party. (2 or 3 years ago?)


My wonderful hubby stayed home and watched Elijah, and miserable Jed and Ella. Supposedly, she spit baby food all over his face (in his mouth) and that's why he's now sick too... ha! I'm sorry, but I couldn't help laughing when he told me... knowing how disgusted he is by sick, snotty, coughing, sneezing, drooly babies! ;)

After the kids were in bed, and HNIC was over (we love Don Cherry!) Scott and I watched "Fireproof". I don't generally talk about movies, because quite honestly, I can't remember the last good movie I saw... other than Open Season 2. (that little squirrel or chipmunk, whatever he is... is hilarious! And I laugh every time someone throws a bunny!) But yes, this movie was SO good. I cried like a baby, and would recommend it to any married couple. I even adored the ending... won't spoil it...but definitely a must see. Made me remember how thankful I should be for my sweet hubby! :)

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