Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bugs and Insects and Reptiles...oh my!

It's a good thing that I don't mind bugs and insects and anything else my kids seem to find and catch and run up to me in great wonder and amazement and with great confidence and joy! 
I was looking through my pics on my computer to send some overdue pics of the kids and their bday parties to my family members and came across TONS (and I really do mean tons!) of pics of all the little creatures my kids (girls included, thank you!) that they found

One of my favorite...praying mantis' are sooooooo cool!!!!  Yes, it is one of my favorites...if there is such a thing? 
I guess so...for this momma!: )

Look at this little guy!  We have found about 5 or 6 over the summer and they are always a huge hit.  Here is one enjoying our little baby pool (and we were done using it!) so it became his little home for the day.

WOnder and amazement of God's creations...

Looking at his every move--close ups!  My 4 yr old loved to see him pop his head out and then quickly in when he raised his voice at the poor little guy.  It was quite funny, though!

Our little habitat for a friendly toad

Can't get enough of these creatures...

Mr. Praying Mantis-see this one is brown?  The other one in the top pic is green.  They are really cool! :)

God bless,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quote of the day-homeschool edition

I could not pass the opportunity to post this quote that I just found!

We are learning about mice and one of our all time favorite autors, Beatrix Potter, had a super cool quote:

"Thank goodness I was not sent to school;
it would have rubbed off some of the originality."

How great is that?!?!

LOVE it!

God bless,

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let me introduce you to...kid #4-Sunshine girl

She is so studious, huh?  HA HA!!!

Here is my sunshine girl, kid #4, that just turned 6 last month.  She is working hard on the computer learning all her phonics.  She is an excellent reader!!! :)

God bless,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Let me introduce you to my kid #7- Lil' Lady

Haa haa haaa!
(Yes, she does have a bunch of brothers doing this to her!!!)

Isn't she just lovely?!?  Such a lady, huh?!? :)

Do you see the trend here with all my kids pics as I introduce them to you?!?! :)

Lil Lady is 8 months old now.  She is pure love.  She brings out the BEST in all of us!  Thanks God for lil' Lady-we just adore her!

God bless,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Funny Faces

Ha ha ha!!! :LOL!!! :)

This is my 3rd child, age 7. 
I will be introducing you to my kids in pics over the next few days!
Stay tuned.

God bless,

How I school with toddlers!!!

Over the last few days, a few moms have asked me how I school the 'bigger' kids with 3 little ones around.  That's a really great question!  Let me assure you that everyday is something new and life is never dull around here.  My kids are all young (7 of them aged 8 months to 10 yrs).  It is never easy and requires much creativity to get a school day in.

First off, my little ones are 2 boys in a row age 4 and 2(almost 3~on Friday!!!), which in itself is a handful!!! and then there is my sweet lil' lady who is now 8 months old ( did THAT happen?!?).

A biggie is, for me at least, is to let go and allow them to get messy, be messy and let it be.  That schedule that I was talking about HERE?  That has been a tremendous help.  At least now I know WHAT room they will mess up and WITH WHOM they will mess it up with! haaa haaa lol!

We have clean up times throughout the day in which we put the house back together (LOL!). 

Teaching my littles to clean up after playing with a toy or making a mess with graham crackers takes time some time and  sometimes I just wait till I have a few minutes free for that 'teachable moment', instead of reacting quickly right then and there and distracting my bigger kids away from schoolwork.  It depends on what the mess is, I guess!  If it can wait, then it waits. 

I am a huge tag sale/yard sale/garage sale and thrift store junky! lol!  :P 

With shopping at those places for super dirt cheap prices for toys and items to keep them busy has helped with my sanity and getting alll the school work done for the day.  Seriously :). 

We have a "Toy of the Day" and I buy tons  of that specific toy.  Even if I see just one or two toys that would add to the amount, then I get it.  Such things as farms, little people, play dough parts, big lego blocks etc...  I put all of the same item in a big Rubbermaid container bin and only take out that bin on the morning of that specific day.  That toy stays on the train table that adorns our beautiful living room (haaa haaa!).  For example; today is matchbox cars day and the bin holds tons of cars and trucks, a car ramp with the handle on top,blue trak, a big dump truck and a big John Deer tractor.  That's it for the toy of the day.  I have to have enough items for ALL of my kids to play with.  There are 7 of them!!!

I guess that saying "Less is More" is true. 

Since my kids all LOVE to be near Momma, we rarely use our downstairs family room/den/play room.  We do have toys down there but those toys usually stay down there most of the time.  We school mostly at the dining room table for 3 of my kids and my 10 yr old does school in our 'guest room' or 'extra room' as we call it.  It is the next room from us, so I can keep an eye on him if he runs out or gets distracted away from that room.  It is a simple room of a desk and chair and that's it in hopes to minimize distractions for him. 

I love having my kids all around me.  I love the camaraderie that it brings.  I love the closeness we are creating and the bond that we all have.  Thank you God for this gift of schooling at home.  They are all hard workers at school and we have to constantly teach them to focus and pay attention.  Their intentions are so pure and desire is to do their school work and learn (well, most of the time!)  There is constantly a whole lot going on and many distractions, but they are learning so many things!!!

This is God's Will for our family and we all know it,
no matter how many times we are tempted to think otherwise. 

On our schedule, I have each of the 4 'bigger kids' assigned a 30 minute time block to play and read to "The Littles" (as we call them).  That frees up 2 hours of wanting Momma "Mommy this and...Mommy that...." is not that apparent anymore.  That is totally amazing, huh?  2 hours!  That is A LOT of time!!!  Lil' Lady still takes 2 naps-1 in the Am and 1 in the afternoon and sometimes a little quick dinner nap if she is cranky. 

Those 'bigger kids' are pretty helpful.  At times, they complain and don't want to play w/the littles but then, for the most part, they realize it's not so bad since they are PLAYING and NOT doing school work!!!

Also, for this school year, something that is very different is that I am not trying to squish in a WHOLE school day to end at that 2 or 3pm mark and then it's over.  This year, I decided that I needed the 'bigger kids' help with the littles so much and that since we home school, we could just do those least intensive school subjects at other times that do not require full focus or major attention, such as handwriting, art, history and/or science.  I have sort of made our whole day a learning day.  I think this change has been great for our family.  A good choice of rearranging our day, if I say so!!! :)

Hope that helps out.

Have a great day!
God bless,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fun @ the Farm

Look at thos piglet!!!

We had such a great time at this farm park that I have wanted to bring my kidos to for over  a year!  Finally we decided it was perfect to go since my parents were here to visit.  It was well worth the effort!

I love the Farm!!!
God bless,

Monday, September 12, 2011

How we do it~ Sundays~Part 3

Le'ts go fly a kite!

You can do it, Daddy!!!

And there Daddy goes! Awesome!

Girls give their pink kite a try-they did great too!!!

See?  It was UP in the air at one point! :)

My 2 yr old on the go, go, go!  He is always up to something!!!
Without shoes, of course!!!
My little monkey...

So, how do you spend your Sundays? 

We really enjoy spending our Sundays FIRST early at 8am Mass, then our after Mass special chocolate chip scones...then naps..then OUT and About!!! This day we went to a park  or it could be a museum, hike, park, playground or the pool (for the summer!). 

We started this almost 12 yrs ago and it has such been a blessing in our family.

How do YOU spend your Sundays???

God bless,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 yrs post 9-11

For the sake of His sorrowful passion,
have mercy on us and on the whole world.

So many other blogs and people and homilies have so much to say about this 10 year anniversary.  I, too, have memories way too vivid ...still. 
I can't seem to wrap up my thoughts on this day, enough to put it on this post.
It's just too much to say, too many feelings, not enough computer time to do it.

May we all remember this day and pray for the lives lost
and the families and friends who mourn them. 

Have mercy on us and on the whole world.

God bless,

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday to my Sunshine-kid #5!

I failed to mention that my sweet sunshine girl turned a big 6 years old about a week a half ago!!! :)

All she wanted for her birthday were twin tiny little baby dolls and a baby highchair. How Cute!  That request I could manage!

Off I went to the store to buy her the twin dollies.  But the ones I saw, I just knew, were not going to be to her liking.  Until I found these tiny little dolls-they were only $1~ and I was not at a tag sale!!! They really were that cheap~ and I could not resist so I bought her sextuplets-there were 6 different kinds so I picked one out of each.  She was so excited~the joy was priceless.  Her face lit up as she laid out her 6 teeny tiny babies on the table. 

She quickly began to name these babies:  Avila, Hannah, Johanna, Rose, Felicity and Theresa.  

Then her big brother wrote their names on their tags.  It became quite the family event!  In fact, by the end of her bday-day, she generously gave the pink teeny tiny baby to her big sister so she could 'keep her forever'.  This sunshine birthday girl has such a gentle, loving and kind spirit, unlike anyone I have ever met for her age.  She is only 6 and yet she is teaching us all how to live unselfishly.  She did not let those teeny tiny baby dollies out of her sight for the many days following.  She motherly wrapped them each in a little blanket, swaddled them, cuddled them, fed them and carried them everywhere.  I also came across a 'look-alike' Vera bag and so I picked it up b/c they could fit the dollies in each of its' 6 compartments inside the bag.

Sweetness is seeing my sunshine, with her easy going phlegmatic spirit, so content and full of joy on her birthday.  She did not need or want much and yet so content.  How we can all learn from her! :)

She did request a "My little Pony" birthday cake.  We had such fun with decorating it.  I can't seem to upload pics right now but I will try sometime over this weekend again. 

God bless,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Moms of boys should never boast

Seasoned Moms just know things...

I think I may just be starting to be one!!! :)

A minute ago, my 4 yr old son came upstairs asking for duct tape that my oldest son needed to tape up a box.  (All 4 boys were downstairs.)

I ripped off 2 feet long of duct tape and handed it to him.

But as I handed it to him...I asked, a bit cautiously, "No one is in that box...right?"

"No, Mom, no one is in it."

Phew.  Good.

See?  I NEVER would have thought to ask that question a few years ago.  Then again, I did not have 4 ACTIVE and CREATIVE BOYS either back then either! haa haa

Life is full of lessons!
God is always teaching me things. 

OKAY, did I mention I have BOYS?!?! HA!!! HA!!!
I was just about to post this above and then my oldest son ran up asking for more duct tape and told me with great excitement that he was boxing up the 2 yr old boy but that he also put in '2 breathing holes so don't get worry, Mom".  (WHAT?!!?!)

I guess I may never understand boys and that they will ALWAYS have something brewing that will make me shake my head, wrinkle my forehead in disbelief.  Boys!!! :)  Gotta love them.

Gd bless,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Faithfulness in little things is a big thing. "
-- St. John Chrysostom

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lil' Lady LOVES water!

Have you ever had a baby that absolutely LOVES water?!?!?

I have some children that really enjoy it and we call them little fishes but never have I had a baby that really really loves water!:)

Changing diapers is always a test of my strength, as the changing pad is right next to the sink on the vanity.  She is so strong and turning this way and that way to get to the water faucet.  Just this past week she has learned to use her strength to pick her body up and plop it down.  Not quite the crawl that I am used to, it sort of reminds me of an inch worm in which its' back part of body does not move. Ha!!! It is quite funny as she inches her way over to the faucet where I am washing my hands post diaper change.  If in a rare moon that she is crying (like this morning while I was out having coffee mulling over my schedule plans for school this year-I'll post that later in the week :)), we bring her right over to the kitchen sink and VOILA!  she stops! haa haa :)

She so loved the pool this summer and the baby pool on our back deck.  We were all so sad that our last pool day of the summer was this past Saturday ;(

She loves splashing all about in the water.  Water on face?  No problemo!  She is even happier if its on her face!  SO FUNNY!

My kid #5 was so anti-water, it took him to 1 1/2 yrs old to take a bath without screaming and crying.  It was awful-I felt like it was the worst thing I could do to him, and I think it was.  For that year and a 1/2, he only had maybe one bath a week.  I just could not muster up enough courage and patience to put him through the pain of a bath.  It really was that bad.  Then, one night at bath time, I put him in and he did not scream.  He did not cry.  He was not overly happy, but just content.  And that was that.  Weird to say the least~!

So, to have my Lil' Lady loving water is such a delight!!!

God bless,
p.s.  Happy labor day!  Now, go rest and have a cup of coffee ! LOL! :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How we do it-Bulk and Buy on Sale-Part 3

I wonder how many parts I will end up writing!!! haa haaa!!! :)
Not sure but once a thought comes that stands out in my mind as "Aha!  That is the way we do it with big families! :)", then I jot it down.

Here is Part 1

Here is Part 2

So, here we go with "How we do it-Part 3"

Buy in BULK and buy what is ON SALE.

CHALK:   We do not have the cute colored chalk that holds 8 chalk.  No, we have 52 sticks of colored chalk.  Yup!  My kids LOVE chalk-you should see all over our driveway, walkway, sidewalk and the road...and even our back deck!  It is quite hilarious!!! :)

ART SUPPLIES:  20 glue sticks, 10 paints, 72 pencils, case of printing/copy paper, 20 boxes of crayons, 20 cases of markers, 5 huge piles of construction paper, 20 cent composition books and 1cent staples notebooks.  Found LOTS at Walmart and Staples. 
I usually go through almost ALL Of this before Christmas so then I ask for arts and crafts supplies as the main need for presents!

CLOTHES FOR MY KIDS:  FREE! from generous and awesome friends-we are so thankful!!!

If I cannot find things on sale-then I look for it at the thrift and goodwill stores.  If not there, I can usually find it at tag sales!  God SO provides, all we need to do is be open to HOW God wants to provide for us!!! :)

THere are so many other things that I know I forgot so I will add them as time permits.

God bless your Sunday,

Friday, September 2, 2011


You know what warms my heart?

When one of my children compliments one of their siblings....without prompting them to!!!

I just heard "That's a nice picture!" from my 4 yr old little man to his 9 yr old sister after showing off her painting of a rainbow.

So sweet.

This is just one of many....Lord, let me relish in this and think of these moments often.  It is truly THESE moments that I know you are honored and glorified.  Thank you for my children.  Amen.

God bless,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Super Dad!

*Warning:  This post is ALL about my husband!*

I warned you.  See above?

Yes, this is all about my wonderful husband.  Okay, ladies...he has his quirks but don't we all?  But I can't help but post on what my husband has felt called to do lately.  I don't intend for this to be a bragging post, and I apologize up front if it is coming off that way.  That is not my intention.  Frankly b/c I am in complete awe of this man God has given to me and our family.

You see, a few weeks ago, he felt that he was called by God to go weekly food shopping for our family, so it is one less thing that I have to do.  Not by himself, mind you.  He is taking ALL 7 OF OUR KIDS WITH HIM while he goes food shopping!!!

This is NOT something I would ever venture to do, unless I was in dire need.  NOWAY would I do this.  So, this is why I am in utter AWE of this man!!!

He even takes the 7 month old baby!!!

He straps on the hiking baby backpack with baby in it and hands off a walkie talkie to our oldest son.  He hands out the list to the oldest 2 kids and they are off with one shopping cart while he pushes the other cart with other kids in tow.

He is my hero. 

Every Wednesday night he is off doing this.

I am on strict orders to take a hot bath and relax.  Just so that I can relax and have a little down time to do whatever.  What ?!??  I think I manage that.  It is so hard to comply with these orders! haa haaa

Now you see why I love this man?!?! 

He continues to amaze me.  I bet you too, right?

This is a completely selfless generous act on his part ...for me.  What an act of love.

He is always willing to improve, willing to figure out ways to make things work for the better for our family.  Thank you God for this man I married.  I never would have guessed he would be the person he is today.  Thank you God for him in my life and our family.

God bless this man of mine.

God bless you too!!!,