Saturday, July 31, 2004

Ambitious Ideas

I FORGOT it was Friday yesterday! That means that Liz missed a really fun evening fundraising dinner and I missed chat. I HATE when I do that!!! Being summer vacation and having Tom home all week certainly didn't help.

I bullied Tom into taking me into the city while he got his paycheck. I kept saying....the store is right around the corner!!! Why should you run in and then I have to turn around and run back in?!?!? We were almost to the grocery store when I realized....Tom's shop got moved 2 wks ago and the store is on the opposite side (and through a really bad traffic area) of where he needs to go now. OOPS!!! Poor guy. I totally messed up his plans. How does he put up with me? He didn't do one of the errands he intended to do, but I got to the grocery store. When he came to pick me up I asked if we could run through Sam's. He was NOT happy about that either but we did. I'd say it was our date, I'd have liked for it to be a date, but it was a pretty tense time for both of I won't. Maybe next time. LOL

Most of the day way was spent relaxing. Tom was excited because his brother fixed the riding lawnmower. So now he can tidy up the's really been bugging him.

Now the ambitious ideas part of this entry. I am DETERMINED to get some major work around here done. It's already 11am (1.5 hrs after I thought I'd start) but at least we have a couple hours before Tom will be heading to the dump. I plan on giving him tons of things to bring.

I figure what better way to make sure they get done then to announce them to people and then hold myself accountable to them about it later. So here's what I plan to get done today....

Clean both bathrooms
Laundry...TOWELS again and WHITES at least
Clean out cupboards...moths are getting bad
Clean off my counters once and for all!
Wash EVERY dish that's dirty
Wipe down appliances

If everything works out well....even get into the library. The girls have been digging through my totes of fabric and found some things they want me to make into skirts and such. I've been getting a hankering to sit and sew too, so it would be nice to get that area all taken care of. to get everyone moving and grooving! I'll report back later!!!

Friday, July 30, 2004

Late start to a beautiful day.....Thursday....

We wanted to spend the day at the beach. After not getting myself to bed until after 5:30 the night (or is that morning) before I didn't get my rear out of bed until 10. We desperately needed to go grocery shopping so decided to get food on the way to the beach.

We left the house between 11:30 and 12:00, stopped at the grocery store and spent WAY too much money, got gas and hit the road. We pulled into the parking lot of the beach at 2. It was slightly busy there. We set up our tables and protected the food from the agressive seagulls, had lunch and then ran to the water...I know...we're suppose to wait! But oh well.

Tom's not quite used to going to the beach with the kids and went back up to the picnic table shortly after we got into the water. I had a hard time staying in the water with the swimmers and watching little ones playing in the sand. So I crashed his peace and quiet and made him come down to the beach and sit. Poor guy. The older kids dug a huge hole, sat Jake in it and covered him up. Then then decorated him into quite the dish....

Oh yeah! I found out that the newly charged batteries I put in the camera the night before were on the verge of dying. I'd take one picture and it would die. :o( So my idea of getting a group shot while here was gone (Drew didn't come so it wouldn't have been everyone anyways).

The kids had a blast swimming and jumping the waves. Olivia has turned into a little fish this summer!! I just walked in the water, not sure why I didn't want to go under water. Just standing in it was refreshing enough though. I got a bit of sun on my back and my farmer's tan became less noticeable.

I kept telling the kids that this beach was lame. Asking them....How come everyone isn't singing and dancing like in the movie "From Justin to Kelly"? They all thought I was the lame one especially when I started dancing in the water like I was in the movie. We started talking about what if we lived in a foreign country and that movie was the only reference of how American beaches were. How disappointing it would be to really go to a beach LOL

The kids built a drip sandcastle before we left the beach when it closed.

After closing up the beach we headed to the showers and got cleaned up. We finished up the night eating dinner (sandwiches, plums, and chips) while watching the sunset. It got cloudy so the sunset wasn't as spectacular as it could be...but it was pretty nontheless. See for yourself...

We got home, unloaded the van and promptly fell into bed!

Thursday, July 29, 2004


It looks like the rain is about to let up. Yesterday it rained 4 inches in the city closest to us (10miles south). I think it rained a tadbit less here...but not much! The pool is now the fullest it's ever been and it's also chilly!!! It's amazing how much the rain cooled the pool's gone from 79 degrees to 70 degrees overnight. Brrrrrrrrr! I think the bay of Lake Ontario is warmer then that! I know it felt it last week. LOL I'm still having a difficult time getting the chlorine level up to 1 and keeping it there. There's a tiny bit in there and it's clear so I'm not going to fret over it too much. Just keep feeding it chlorine tabs.

We got our electric bill this month and cha-ching! $$$ I was surprised. I totally forgot the pool would add a cost onto the electric bill. The summer months are always the most expensive for us anyways. What with all the fans and dehumidifier running constantly. Guess you could add in the kids electronics too. Being home from school, they play their radios and such more. At least this year I'm not going to have to worry about it....nice to finally have a little breathing room in our budget.

The rain this week has put a damper on Tom's vacation. It's probably a good thing because he's had time to baby his shoulder. The shoulder doesn't hurt so much anymore so I haven't heard about it that much. I've noticed his mobility is still not so hot though. Tomorrow we're hoping to add some fun into Tom's vacation....we're going to SOUTHWICK BEACH! It's Tom's favorite spot in the world...especially at sunset. They have some of the most beautiful sunsets over Lake Ontario there. I'm hoping to remember my camera and take some pics while up there. Maybe even get a GOOD family pic too (I'm always optimistic). Hmmm...just realized it might be hard to get a family picture if Drew isn't there LOL I haven't talked to him a couple days and didn't ask him yet if he wants to go. Hopefully I can get in touch with him in the moring.

Drew and Pat got their college bills with the estimate of what they'll be getting for financial aid and grants. PHEW! One less thing to worry about. Here I thought once the kids graduated high school and turned 18, mothering would let up and be easier....WRONG!!! Guess it's a job I'll be doing my whole life....even when they're 60. Lucky them. LOL I found a nice picture of Pat on my camera while looking for something else. Thought I'd share it.

It looks like they'll have just enough for tuition and books. So for gas and such the part time jobs better hurry up and get here QUICK!! Drew's taking 17 credit hours...Pat is taking 16. I hope they decide to work hard and do well. I know Drew probably will as he knows from experience that working in a factory on the line is NOT how he wants to live his life everyday. Pat hasn't really been conditioning for the soccer team. I hope he makes it, he seems so sure he will. I'm excited to go watch a new level of games. When he played with the adult league the games were always more exciting and intense then the high school one. Guess I can attend all the games this year too, seeing as the other kids won't have any afterschool activities and sports to cause conflicts in his schedule. (district's on a contingency budget)

The kids also got their letters from their teachers along with the supply list. They were all so excited. All I can say is...UGH!!! I am NOT looking forward to going sneaker shopping! Hopefully I can break it up this year instead of doing everyone in one day. THAT was NOT a fun day!

I know they still have over a month until school (go back Sept 8th) but it seems to be flying by and I do NOT want to see it end!!! Although I do admit the really late summer night hours have been known to get to me on a regular basis. I can live with it as long as I don't have to follow a schedule the next day! LOL I have NO idea how I'm going to get them from still being awake at 1am to being asleep by 9:30 for school. Guess we'll start thinking about that in a few weeks.

I took a tour of the gardens for the first time in a few days. I saw some slightly orange roma tomatoes! wooohooo! I'll be able to make some salsa soon but I'd really love for the sandwich tomatoes to ripen! THEY are taking forever. I picked our first zucchini today...about 6inches long. We're a little behind with that crop because the first bunch of seeds Tom planted didn't grow. So a few weeks later he reseeded the rows. We've also gotten 2 small green peppers. The pepper crop looks to be about the best we've ever gotten out of this properties gardens. :o) I'm cheering on the cucumber plants myself. I could eat those all day long! They're only flowers right now. HURRY UP!!!

My flowers in the frontyard are starting to look really nice. I went out to take some pictures but the batteries died. By the time they were recharged it was night. So hopefully tomorrow or Friday I'll have some to show off. The wildflower garden in the back is all weeds, although there's a wildflower here or there (mostly morning glories, a cosmo, and a few black eyed susans). I've decided that I will be planting that plot with prearranged flowers and herbs more of thoes stupid wildflower packets! I'm sick of growing weeds there...we have weeds surrounding our whole property! I do NOT need more weeds to look at! I took one picture of my strawflowers before the camera died. So I'll leave you with that...

Monday, July 26, 2004

Weekend Update

The weather and my fuzziness let up quite a bit on Friday. I spent most of it online getting things done that I had nagging at me. So all around a boring non reportable day. Tom has all next week off so this is the start of his vacation!

Saturday Tom's oldest brother (he has 10 kids...2 live out of state) stopped by about 1:30 and invited us to his house for a cookout. His son B, his wife M and her 2 kids are here from Georgia until the middle of the week. We got there about 4 or 4:30 and stayed until 7:30 or so. We originally had planned having B and his family over (and my bil's family if they wanted) for a bonfire. We'd heard that most were planning on going to the huge fireworks show up on Lake Ontario so I didn't get the house ready at all (bathrooms cleaned...floor picked up...etc). Well guess everyone would rather come over here instead of going to the fireworks so we ran home and did a HUGE quick clean. It was greatly improved but to the untrained eye it was still a bit untidy. Especially to someone like SIL who keeps an immaculate house!!! (MIL used it as a way to get a dig at me. Tom heard it and started playfully jabbing me in the ribs behind her back lol)

It was a nice time!!! SIL didn't want to leave when BIL asked her (which is unusual!) B and his family stayed later and M got BOMBED! Luckily I had taken the littler kids into the house and had fallen asleep on the couch before I could witness that. I noticed her following Tom around. Her sense of personal space with him also seemed to diminish a bit. Hilariously Tom is oblivious to these types of things. One of his brothers had to practically hit him over the head one night when a girl was trying to pick him up. He'd told her he was married with X number of kids (can't remember how many) so thought he was safe. Like that would be enough reason to back off. LOL

Sunday was spent doing laundry and working in the garden. Tom woke up with a REALLY sore shoulder. He thought maybe he fell and broke it or his collar bone. I don't think he had THAT much alcohol last night. I think he has a pinched nerve or huge knot in it. It's a case of men are big babies!!! I have to admit that Tom rarely gets really sick and he almost aways works through minor illnesses. But when he's really sick or hurting....UGH!!!! He's driving me crazy! I touched his butt and he screamed! I pointed out I didn't touch his arm and he said I made him jump which caused his arm to hurt. *rolls eyes* It's not that I don't feel bad for him...I do. I've actually had the samething happen to me a few times....especially after holding a baby all night long for a few nights. I guess it's a good thing that he's on vacation. I couldn't see him staying home from work for this though....then again I wouldn't have to listen to how much it hurts all day if he was at work. LOL

We went to the drive-in last night. Tom opted out at the last second because he couldn't get comfy with his shoulder bothering him. Pat, Michelle and Val went to the drive-in to the south of us and saw....I,Robot, Anchorman, and Dodgeball. I took Liz on down to the drive-in to the North of us. We saw...Harry Potter 3, Sleepover and Dodgeball. We stopped at Price Chopper on the way and bought more snacks then we could have eaten in a week! We put a pretty good dent into them. LOL Olivia and Eileen fell asleep during the last movie....everyone else made it through all three. We got home about 3:30am.

So here I sit...almost 1pm and have kids that have just gotten woken up. What a waste of a day. Although I've been up since 10:30 or so. I still haven't gotten my first cup of coffee or done anything. Drew and Pat are out at the temp agency looking for work. I hope they come home with a JOB!!!!!

Friday, July 23, 2004

Hot and Hazy with a touch of Fuzziness....

Today was a very weird day. I'm not so sure if it was the weather or me shutting down for the day. I'm hoping it was the weather. I really don't want to start into a spiral of shutting down on a regular basis. Not after having been so active around here lately. I also have no reason to start shutting down.

It was hot and humid here today. I don't feel I really have the right to complain about it because it's not like down south where this would be a cool day. I guess me complaining about the heat and humidity in Central NY is like Georgia shutting down when they get a dusting of snow on the ground. While our kids still have school after 6 inches of snow on the ground and it still falling heavily. I'm not prepared to handle the heat....they're not prepared to handle the snow. I could have gone in the pool I guess but I was too wiped out to get out of my chair. Yep, it's what I did most of the day....sat in my computer chair.

What got me worried about today is how I felt. I was swollen (not uncommon for me and my high blood pressure) and my brain felt fuzzy. I went to take Carrie to her "class" was the library. I started going to had to go in a circle to get to the library. I went to pick her up...I drove PAST the library. Liz yelled from the back seat...where are you going mommy?!? Oops! Guess I better turn around. I kept trying to go to my message boards and write responses to people but it wasn't coming. So even though I was in front of my computer I didn't really get anything done! I didn't even really want to come here and write. I guess I must have REALLY felt it because K and Ja's mom came to pick up Michelle and Ja tonight. She looked at me and said...been a rough day? You look a little dazed. I just said yeah, I guess it was.

I did almost NOTHING around here all day. OK...I did a few dishes twice and fixed dinner (which took all of 15mins) but that's about it. The kids bugged me nonstop until I finally relented and took them in the pool at 8pm. (they were in with the older kids earlier...just that none of them were home tonight and they wanted MOM to come in with them). It was nice while I was in there. We had to get out because the mosquitoes were covering whatever was sticking out from above the water. It made me wonder how anyone could survive in a swamp/marshland overnight. I was imagining myself floating in the water all night with what little of my face stuck out of the water being covered in mosquito bites. :o(

I guess some would probably wonder how a Tons of Kids family functions with a mom doing what I did today.....let's just say it's not a pretty sight. My house is a MESS, my kids finished off the lunchmeat and ate mostly snacks all day, they were clingy (which compounded my problem!) and were out of sorts themselves. I've dug myself a little hole that I now have to try to get out of tomorrow. To make it even better....Tom let me know that we will probably be hosting a bonfire on Saturday I have my work cut out for me. UGH!!! I do NOT want to do this this weekend!

I made my roast beef and gravy over mashed potatoes I've been wanting for a couple days. There weren't many people here....6 youngest ones, Michelle, Ja and myself but we barely had enough for us. I guess I'll have to at least double it next time. It was 4cups of gravy, 1lb of deli rare roast beast and a whole box of potato buds instant potatoes. I only got a few scraps of meat in my bowl and barely wet my potatoes with gravy. Luckily some of the little ones didn't really feel like eating so I ate their leftovers. I'm sitting here hankering for something to eat again. Chicken wings or chinese sounds good! :o) I'd love a candy bar which is weird too as I usually prefer fruit flavored things like Starbursts. Hmmm....maybe I need to take a trip to the gas mart in the next town over. I'm not so sure it warrants a 30mile round trip though.

Had to take a break and jump in the pool for a late night (or is that early morning) swim. Mosquitos weren't out as bad as they were at dusk but we got our fair share of bites. LOL When we came in Olivia woke back up again...she's now laughing at the lightning bug on our ceiling. GO BACK TO SLEEP ALREADY!!!

OK...if I wanted to share anything else I've forgotten it. I think Olivia's asleep so I'm heading into bed too. Let's hope tomorrow is a LOT different then today. At least the heat and humidity is suppose to let up for a while. Maybe I can get something done around here then. REALLY! I mean it!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A day in the sun.....

My sil with 14 kids, D, and I had made plans to go to the beach today. That quickly changed the night before when sil remembered 2 of her kids had dentist appts. Oh well, it eased up my todo list that night....that's for sure. I figured we have the pool what's the sense of going to the lake. So I just enjoyed sitting and chatting that night instead of working.

In the morning I was surprised when all the kids started whining to go to the beach! I didn't understand it but if that's what they want....well, maybe we won't. Yeah we might as well...welllll, nawwww it's getting late. Oh come on! We can stay there all evening until the park closes! I finally decided we'd go at 2:30...we were out the door 45mins later. Problem is, I ended up taking the whole neighborhood with me! Of course K and Ja had to go! Michelle and Val can't function unless they're with them (Ja had spent the night so was already there). Then it came out that it was C's day off of work and Michelle wanted to spend some time with he came along too. Val would have asked JH to come along if he hadn't had a soccer game at 6pm tonight.

It was a perfect day for the beach! Sunny and humid at home....breezey with lots of shade at the beach. I had all the kids eat a sandwich or two before we left, then brought chips and grapes for snacks. For drinks we brought our 5 gal igloo water jug, bought a bag of ice on teh way to the beach and filled the jug from the faucet at the state park. YUM!! I also brought along powdered iced tea with sugar and lemon mix for those that wanted some flavoring in the water. I prefer mine just plain.

As soon as we pulled into the park with our blue spray painted bus we were the sideshow...people staring, jaws hanging, fingers pointing, whispers murmurred. That is until...D surprised us and showed up with 11 of her 14 kids! LOL Then we just turned into a giant funloving mess. LOL Drew, Michelle and C left early which was ok because Drew was a grouch anyways. Val, K and Ja tried not to be seen with us too much and just kept walking around the park and up and down the pier. The rest of us went between digging in the sand, swimming/wading in the lake, playing on the playground or sitting at a picnic table stuffing our faces! We stayed in the water until they closed the beach, then we hung around the picnic area until it was getting hard to see to get our stuff together. We actually ran into DS and his 6 kids out for an evening at the park. SS showed up about half an hour later. So we all stood at the lake's edge talking (I waded) while the kids took their final dip in the water.

All this made me want to go CAMPING!!!! Tom has next week off and if we do decide to go camping on Sunday then we have a LOT of work to do between then and now. I'm not even sure what we'll camp in. We could register the popup either tomorrow or Friday and go to a state park. Or we could rough it a bit and go buy a new 2 or 3 room tent. Wal-Mart has them for about $70. Even if we bring the popup we still need to have tents for people to sleep in. I have to FIX the popup has a rip in one of the bed roofs that needs to be repaired and sealed. I'm not even sure how clean the thing is.

Anyways...back to our day....everyone left the park nicely without any temper tantrums (that I noticed lol) So looks like we can do this another day afterall. :o) As I was driving home I saw something swoop down and back up again, but it didn't make it all the way up over the bus. We nailed a bat out hunting for his lunch. :o( I have NO idea how we did it, bats are usually pretty good at avoiding objects....especially LARGE ones! The girls were ewwing and oh grossing in the back seat as they heard the bat take his tumble down the roof of the bus.

Before we pulled into the driveway Val asked if K and Ja could spend the night. Softie that I am, said yes. They're giggling away in Michelle's and Val's room as I type. It's a good thing they're nice girls and I like them...they live here enough!!! Actually my girls were asking if K and Ja could go camping with us! Not so sure I'm up to that or if it would be fair to anyone else who'd want to bring a friend (which I'm sure they all would!)

After we pulled in everyone scrambled out of the van with bags of wet towels and trash in hand (it's a carry in...carry out park!). Liz jumped in the shower, Val, K and Ja ran out the backdoor and jumped in the pool with Drew, A, Michelle and C. The rest of us fixed deli sandwiches for dinner. Looks like my idea for grilled ham and cheese for dinner one night this week just changed to plain old grilled cheese. The ham has been devoured in no time flat! LOL

After watching From Justin to Kelly for the zillionth time, all the little ones zonked out all over the place. Some actually made it into their rooms and their beds! Val just walked by on her way to the pool to take a dip. I'm sure some at least K and Ja will be following behind her shortly. Me, I can hardly see I'm so tired. So guess I'll have to decline Val's invitation to join her in the pool for a quick dip. I'm off to bed!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Sanding musings...

I was proud of myself this morning. I got Carrie to school early and I remembered to pick her up at the right time! I know most are thinking....HOW can you forget to pick up someone!!! But believe you happens here a LOT! Mostly I get lost in my own little internet world, or get busy doing a task and time is flying by unobserved. It's SO embarrassing to get a call from the kid you've forgotten or the adult who's in charge of them, that's ticked off because they want to go home and can't because...YOU FORGOT YOUR KID!!!! Then as you walk in, you see them shaking their heads with their thoughts right on their face....That woman has too many kids to take care of!!! Look! She forgot her kid! I think I'd forget a kid even if I only had ONE of them. My mom always used to'd forget your head if it wasn't screwed on your shoulders! (gee, hadn't thought of that thought in a long time)

After "school" was done for Carrie I just piddled around the house for a bit. Finally I got the gumption to get to work on the picnic table. FIRST I wanted to take a before picture of it...but NOooooooooooooo! Patrick informs me I can't because MY camera is at DAVE's house. WHAT is it doing there???? Oh well, I don't want to wait any longer. We need a place to sit and eat comfortably out back. I also want to finish it so it can be moved from the front yard to the back. It looks terrible out there. So I got to work, I restained the new boards, stripped and sanded the paint off the legs. I tried to take the top boards off the table but I think I'm going to need some HE MAN power to do that. So I'm at the mercy of Tom and his ongoing projects now. Who knows...maybe I'll get so sick of waiting I'll just rip them off with my teeth! LOL

After that was done I then moved on with the sander. I became a sanding fool!!! I started sanding the front porch. I painted the front porch one year only to find, Tom was NOT happy!!! He wanted to stain it and didn't like the color I used...even if it did match my front door! Well fooling around with the sander I started taking whatever paint the weather hadn't gotten to already. It's slow going and dirty work but I actually like it!

I like seeing the gross looking piece of wood turn into a beautiful piece of wood. I can see my progress which is always a good thing for me. I used to NOT clean one square of our kitchen floor just so I could see how clean I was actually making the rest of the floor while I mopped. Anyways...back to the sanding. I also like how the noise of the sander leaves me in my own little world. Don't get me wrong...the outside world comes into my sanding world....but it takes a bit. I couldn't do this job if I didn't have older kids around to help keep an eye on things or alert me to when something needs my attention. I think the kids might like it also because I tend to let them do more themselves...have snacks for lunch so I don't have to make it, etc.

While in my sanding world I found myself thinking about a lot of different things. About my family and how it's one unit one second and 10 individuals with 10 unique needs another second later. How I've had to do what I felt was right in terms of my family size...even if those that I care about the most were telling me it was wrong. How those people now think I made some great decisions and enjoy showing off my brood and seeing people's reactions when they hear the number of kids I have. LOL

I thought about the different phases of raising them....chaos with tons of little ones needing me left and chaos with older kids needing help with homework and little ones needing me...utter chaos with teens needing to be driven, kids needing help with homework, and little ones needing we have some semblance of reigning in the chaos...with no more real little ones, older kids to drive and babysit, still other kids needing help with homework though. LOL

I thought of those older kids. How they've got some tough decisions to make now...I was thankful it wasn't ME who had to make them. I wondered why none of them really know what they want to do in the coming years (ok...Pat MIGHT know...but the other two have no clue). I thought about how different an 18yo is now compared to when my dad was 18. I wondered what being 18 would be like for my grandkids....WOULD I get grandkids? I know that quite a few of my kids have mentioned having a ton of kids...but will their spouse agree to go along for the crazy ride too?

I thought of Tom and I and how we've changed. From immature individuals always butting heads, trying to find our common ground. To individuals with so much on our plate we didn't take the time for each other and became bedsharing strangers. How as the kids got older, we found a little extra time for each other and took the opportunities to get to know each other again. How I look forward to being alone with him in our old age when before it scared me to death.

I thought of a lot of other things but I can't keep my eyes open to type them and this is alreay long enough.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Poor Michelle...

Michelle's ear has bothered her for a few days. I was pretty sure she had swimmer's ear. It wasn't gross so I'd been letting it go. She was been bugging me to DO SOMETHING about it already!!! I called the dr hoping they'd just call in a script to the pharmacy up the road. No go, it seems Michelle hasn't been seen in their office in over 3 yrs. OOPS! I can't help that she's my healthiest kid. She's had a physical every summer at school for sports so need to go to his office for that. So in we went. The examination only took a few minutes then we were out the door with a script in hand.

Onto Wal-Mart. I'm really getting to HATE this store!! I only needed to pick up Michelle's medicine and maybe a few snacks, fruit and veggies. NOTHING ELSE!!!! While standing in line I kept thinking of Chris and how she's nicknamed WM the $100 store. I WISH it was only the $100 store!!! I spent almost $200 tonight!!! I almost started crying while I signed for the purchase. I bought a lot of stuff but how could it add up to that? There must be a mistake...but I've looked it over a few times and it's perfect. :o( I did get a lot of great deals though...mostly bathingsuits. I'd have felt better about spending this money if I'd come home with a week's worth of food. But I don't even have that! Although there are lots of yummy snacks! LOL While unloading the trunk of the car I was too easy to unload for that amount of money! Where are all the bags!?!?!?!?! UGH!!!

So much for getting the kids to bed at a decent time. It was after 8:30pm when we got home and I still had to feed the masses. Tom threw hotdogs on the grill. I micro'ed a couple of clearance premade things I bought and we had a buffet. The kids put on their new suits and jumped in the pool. I sat here and tried to catchup with my online stuff. After everyone fought over the Sega game at least once each I had had enough and sent them all up to bed.

Carrie came down about midnight to ask if tomorrow was Tuesday. I then realized that she had to be at school by 9am in the morning!! I'm not even sure she has anything clean to wear. Think her teacher would mind if she wore her new bikini in? It's clean! While chatting with Chris online I heard a snicker behind me. Turned around and found Carrie snuggled under her blanket on the couch...watching TV! HOW did she do manage that!?!?! She had to have walked right by me to get to the couch. I told her it was 1am and to GO TO SLEEP! She was out cold in 5 mins...if only it was that easy EVERYNIGHT!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

A surprise visit......

Our oldest nephew (or niece) B on Tom's side drove up from Georgia to visit. He moved down there last year for a teaching job, he's working on his masters right now. I'm pretty sure he's hoping to move back up here when he becomes fully certified. They (him, his wife and 2 stepkids) drove straight through yesterday and got here this morning. They drove Tom's mom to church and decided to stop by to say HI on the way home. It was a nice surprise!!! His younger brother M (nephew #2) will be home from California on the 26th with his wife and stepson. I think we'll all be getting together after everyone's home. I hope so at least.

I ran into the city and picked up Liz, Carrie and Eileen. I found out my sister gave Eileen a singing dog backpack for her birthday. I asked my nieces if they'd mind if I beat their mom up now or did they want me to wait. LOL My niece J wanted to come back home with us again. She had the perfect plan. My sister's 3 kids could come out and stay at our house on weekdays (my sister works) and they (sisters girls and 3 of mine) could stay at my sister's house on the weekend. My sister suggested that we send them to my house forever and I come and stay at my sister's house while they're here. LOL She's one of those...I don't know how you do it type of people. It's gotten old and I really don't know how to respond to that anymore.

I haven't gotten any extra projects done. I hope I haven't lost the gumption to do them. I hate how flighty I can be about those types of things. I'm always worried it'll happen with this blog. Going like gangbusters everyday and then PFFFT! nothing anymore. I did vacuum the pool this morning, but it didn't REALLY need it. Not much more to do on it. I have the wood from the picnic table and wooden pool gate yelling at me to polyurethane (sp) them. It's a little hard seeing as we have had rainshowers everyday (or almost everyday). I have been working in the garden weeding and dreaming of when all the newborn veggies and flowers will be pickable. I'm DYING for a tomato sandwich!!! I have some decent size green ones...they're just starting to look like a blush is setting in. So hopefully I'll be bragging how yummy they are soon.

Tom's been on call this weekend...which was a bummer as I really wanted us to do something this weekend. I guess it can wait until next weekend. (yeah right) He's been having to go into work at least once a day/night. It's a good thing figuring he's getting paid overtime, but I'd rather have him home. Then again, I'd rather not have him to go work period! Where'd I plant that money tree???

So now we're back just our 10 kids. Let's see how long that lasts. I'm sounding like a broken record around here lately....Drew and Pat....go fill out some applications. Drew and Pat...go find a job. Drew and Pat...did you call so and so about a job? UGH!!! Hopefully Monday morning will be their lucky day. They have to finish up some paperwork at the community college too. Will be nice to get that task out of the way!!! I always thought once they turned 18 and were out of highschool...the mothering load would lighten up....yeah ok! It's actually been added to it, figuring they're adding people into my mothering realm (fiance and girlfriend). I guess it'll really get heavier what with spouses and grandchildren coming up in the future.

Now that they're all here, I wonder if I can stuff them into bed at a decent time! LOL

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Death by ice pop...

I didn't realize they were capable of such malevolence but those little plastic tubes of frozen sugar water killed my keyboard last night!!! Apparantly someone opened one for me and put it on the side of the monitor so I could enjoy it later. While I slept it slowly dripped into my keyboard and fried the thing! The kids had played with the keyboard from my old computer so I had to go out and buy a new one. Against Drew's better judgement I opted for a cheapie ($10) instead of the wireless setup he advised me to get. I think I would have enjoyed the next step up...logitech for $15. But I put it back.

We only had 7 kids here this morning and it was SO different. I had to argue with Luke about what station of cartoons we would watch...just so I could feel like I was still at home. At least he got the joke, it's no fun when my kids just look at me like I'm an idiot when I'm trying to be funny. We all went swimming in the late morning. The pool is BEAUTIFUL still! It's so nice to climb up on the deck and see the sun sparkle off the bottom of the pool. Olivia swam without any floatation devices (aqua ring or arm floaties). This means we're really going to have to keep an eye on her now. Before she wouldn't have thought of going near the water without floatational help. She scared the daylights out of Drew. She jumped in the pool while Drew has his back to her. He hadn't heard her because he had earplugs in. He didn't realize she'd done it until she grabbed his arm to gain leverage and help keep her head out of water.

Pat, Michelle, and Val went to Pat's girlfriend's birthday party at 2. That left...Drew, Luke, Jake and Olivia home. We decided it would be fun to go out shopping together. We ran to a few dollar stores and spent way too much money. I got everyone nice goggles, a vinyl/netted shower organizer to keep them in, fun noodles and net slings to turn the noodles into floating pool chairs. We then headed to microplay to buy some Sega games. Yep, you read that right....old school Sega Genesis games. Drew brought home my parent's old console (although we have one or two of them around here too...just no RF switches). We have a bunch of games around here too, or use to. I'm not sure where they are or if I just ditched them after moving them for the hundredth time while cleaning. I'm afraid it's the latter, but I'm hoping I'm wrong. :o( We bought Sega 6 pack (6 games in one), Sonic 2, Jurassic Park, and College Slam (basketball)....we own or have owned all of those previously. I wondered if we should spend the money on them even if they were really cheap. Luke suggested we buy them, then if we find our originals we could sell them back to microplay. He sold me! I inquired on a RF switch for our Atari 2600 too, but decided adding one console at a time was good enough for now.

I bought Jake his birthday present (Aug. 7th). He was seeing all the game consoles and started crying he wanted a gameboy like Luke's. I convinced him to buy a Game Boy Color for $16. I then let him pick out a game. He picked Yu-Gi-Oh although I found out later he wanted another Pokemon instead. It was $13 and he's not too tickled with it...what a waste of money. At least we have other games around here he can play. I guess I'll have to start watching ebay for christmas presents.

We ran around the outside aisle of the grocery store and then went to Wal-Mart. I had to get pool supplies and my keyboard. They were sold out of the huge container of chlorine...and only sold the aforementioned wireless keyboard. I decided we needed to backtrack to Staples and get a regular plain old plug in keyboard. As I was checking out, Jake asked me to buy him a Yu-Gi-Oh Starter pack!!! UGH! Kid has no sense of when enough is enough.

On the way home we stopped at the chinese take out place and bought 2 trays of seasame chicken and some eggrolls. By the time we got home everyone was starving! It's hard to eat though when the pool's calling (Olivia) and the Genesis is sitting there screaming...PLAY ME!!! (the 3 boys). Can't forget my new keyboard was raring to go too. I didn't learn my lesson and sat at the computer with my plate, trying it out.

It's nice to be connected again. I can't believe how many times today I thought....I'll look that up. Not just having fun...surfing stuff or even my message board stuff. But good old need to know knowledge stuff. It was frustrating to say the least! Amazing to think it's only been in the house for 6yrs.

Since I started this the other kids have come in the door. They are oohing and ahhhing over all the new purchases. Pat and Drew are playing a game of Golden Axe (on the 6pack game). Everyone keeps saying..I remember this! I remember that music! Oh yeah! I remember now... LOL Wonder what it'll be for their kids when they are 18 and 20 and looking back?

Oh yeah, AF visited me today, so no oops this month. I was just saying in chat I needed to chart because I keep forgetting exactly when she's last been here. So I guess if I make a little note in here I can backtrack and find it. I thought I had another week. Guess not. I should have had at least until Monday before she paid a visit though.

Well Drew is teasing me with the Columns game (on the Sega 6pk). Guess I'll have to stop writing and show him how it's REALLY played! Just hope I get SOME sleep tonight. ;O)

Friday, July 16, 2004

Happy Birthday Bean!!!

I have to hurry up and write something before I get called away again. I feel like I have a million things to say, yet no time to say it in. Now lets hope everything doesn't try to come out at once and make this a rambling disjointed entry.

First...HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEANY!!!! Today is Eileen's birthday...although we had cake and ice cream on Monday for her...we'll be having it again today...poor us!

J and E stayed another night. At 3pm yesterday I'd have had them flown home if that is what it took. They've all gotten very familiar with each other and the "guest" mentality has worn off. I've noticed more fights and even some swats. By the time I talked to my sister, it was almost bedtime and I didn't want to have to pack them. Plus things seemed to have calmed down. I also wanted Eileen to be home for SOME of her birthday. So they stayed until this evening and my sister is picking them up after work, taking Eileen, Carrie and Liz with her. They'll stay until Sunday morning.

I realized last night that I had NO food essentials (milk, bread, eggs, etc) in the house. Luke was having a friend, R over for the first time and I didn't think starving him was the first impression I wanted to give him or his family. So I got up with Tom this morning around 6:15, took a shower and headed off to Walmart. I had to be home by 10 (when R was coming over).

My experience cooking meals yesterday caused me to breakdown and buy a double electric griddle. Mine had burnt out a long time ago and I really liked it (broilking brand). I was hoping I'd find another one around here but no go...the store that sold them closed down. So I opted for a GE one. What prompted me to breakdown? Trying to cook pancakes for breakfast (2 at a time) and grilled cheese for dinner (3 at a time) in a chicken fryer and burning my forearm in the SAME SPOT about 5 times. It won't happen anymore!

The older kids went to the County Fair with some friends. It was teen day and they were having a battle of the bands competition. Some of their friends were in bands that were competeing. The girls got their pictures taken and made the front page of the local section of this mornings paper. None of the girls were impressed with the picture. The photographer told them it was a kind picture and they looked amused. He lied...and they don't look amused to me! LOL See for yourself...

left to right....K, Val, Michelle, Ja

Pat came home from the fair with some news. First he had to snuggle with me and whine my name so I would know he loved me and had to tell me something. When I said...what do you want or what happened? He stuck his tongue out at me. It looked funny because it was PIERCED!!!! I think I surprised him by not freaking out or demanding he take the bar out. I'm not sure why they think so little of me sometimes. The kid is 18yo and can make his own decisions...even if I don't agree with them. I have asked him to practice speaking now bothers me....he doesn't think he talks funny. To tell you the truth, I'm just glad he did it there where it's indiscreet instead of his eyebrow like he's been talking about for years.

It was rainy and chilly but the kids still went swimming on and off all day/evening. I finally made the older girls come in at 9:30 because it was raining, getting chillier and dark. I finally got a chlorine reading....was a 2 or 3...perfect! I took some tablets out of the skimmer and had to put one back today as the reading was a .5. Today's weather was rainy in the morning but cleared up nicely by 11am and actually became hot and humid.

R's visit went very well and seemed short. His mom only let him stay for about 7 hrs. His mom and I stood outside chatting for 1.5 of those hours!!! I told her if I'd known we were going to talk that long I would have invited her in for coffee. LOL We got to chat again when she picked him up....had to wait for him to change out of his suit and gather his things.

Ja and K came back over! LOL They may as well move in! ;o) Pat, Michelle and Val drove into the village to grab 2 copies of the morning paper so we could have their picture. While they were out they stopped at Ja and K's house to show it to their family. They then got pulled to our house for fun time. They've been swimming, gone to the village to play basketball and are now hanging out in the girls' bedroom. They're really no problem.

For the kids' birthdays we let them pick out dinner. Eileen picked pizza. It's something we usually eat a lot of but without a working oven right now we don't have it much. So Tom is picking up 4 Little Ceasars. We normally need more than that but we also have cake, ice cream and salad. If anyone is hungry after that they can use leftovers from lunch and make another sub. (which was VERY yummy btw!!!!) I bought 3 clearance cakes from Wal-Mart....a chocolate peanutbutter cake, a carrot cake and double fudge one. To go with it we have a gallon of orange sherbet and vanilla swirl. I'm planning on sending one to my sister's with Eileen. She picked the double fudge to go.

Well Tom's home with pizza...I have to pack 3 girls and make sure J and E have all their stuff.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

It's raining, It's pouring....

and I feel like snoring!!!

I've surmised you CAN make it rain if you try hard enough. Ways to succeed....

a) Water the garden VERY well (as mentioned earlier)
b) Be ready for tons of kids to use the pool all the next day with all their towels and suits conveniently hanging on the line overnight.
c) Don't bother to check a weather forecast so you can convince yourself that YOU had a hand in the rain making it's appearance.

K and Ja's mom came and picked them up early this morning. But have no fear....C and Ja #2 took their place for the day. Oh yeah...and Ja #1 returned! LOL I found out this afternoon that Carrie misunderstood her cousin and she won't be coming to stay tonight. So if I get J and E home tonight, it will be just the 10 kids here. (J and E are balking at going home. It's 5:30 and I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with them. LOL)

I took advantage of everyone being in the house and put them to work!!!! We swept out from under the couches and chair in the livingroom. Cleaned both the bathrooms well (haven't had both of them cleaned on the same day in a looong time!) and worked in the kitchen. We won't talk about the potato mess I found on the microwave stand...why do rotten potatoes smell so GROSS!!!! It's looking nice around here and I can see this place getting in great shape soon!! Even thought about working in the library again then I could start sewing. But it hasn't happened yet. The laundry is piling up. I'm trying to get the well filled a bit more before I start doing some major washing again.

I'm such a mean mommy/aunt. After lunch it looked like it was clearing up. I said everyone could go swimming. They all ran and put their suit on and ran out the door...with me following. As soon as I got out the door I noticed the sky was getting darker and there was thunder rumbling on all sides of us. OOPS!!! They all had to go back in the house without swimming. Tom called shortly after...he's working overtime (he's also on call this week). Heavy rain makes for slow moving sewers that need help.

I did make it onto the deck though and discovered....the pool water is CRYSTAL CLEAR!!!! YEP...It's sparkling!!! There's no chlorine registering yet and it needs to be vacuumed again (was killing me not to be able to do it right then). I threw in a few more chlorine tablets....I WILL get some chlorine in that thing!

I talked to my SIL D, who's been my bestfriend since 6th grade (it's how I met Tom). We hadn't talked in about a week which is a long time for us...we normally talk almost everyday. She's talking about taking most of her 14 kids (ages 19yrs-2mos) to the county fair tomorrow and suggested we come along too. I guess we'll see what the weather holds....I think it's suppose to rain again. :o(

I'm on the phone with my sister now. She's trying to find out what we're going to do with her girls. Neither of them want to go home! It surprises me that E wants to stay...she's had a little bit of difficulty at bedtime. She even talked to her mom and still says she wants to stay. LOL I guess they're staying (I'm too nice!) It's more work to pack them up and drive them home then to feed them dinner and put them to bed (she says now)

The sun is peeking out and everyone is bugging me to go swimming. So off to vacuum it and watch them freeze their rearends off.

Rolling right along

I can finally say....the pool is clear!!!!!!!! The kids are amazed...especially Drew. It still doesn't show any chlorine in the water but at least it's clear now. The kids used it most of the day and got a little too much color (luckily no one is in any pain from it). It really bothers me when that happens though...especially concerning Carrie. Her skin cancer risks are so much higher now after having total body irradiation for her bone marrow transplant. I went in for a few mintues too. Swam three laps...testing it out for future use. lol I was laughing at myself...even while I'm in the pool trying to enjoy it I'm working on it. I went around the pool and tightened up the beadlock (it holds the liner in the groove). The kids were following me around watching intently, like I was putting the finishing touches on a masterpiece.

We still have my nieces J and E here, along with K and Ja...Michelle and Val's friends. They all should be going home tomorrow but M...a niece from Tom's side of the family is suppose to spend the night tomorrow. Luke is trying to get ahold of his friend R to see if he can come over on Thurs. LOL

Tom did end up staying home all day. He concentrated on his patio in the back (between his 2 sheds) and mowing the really needed it! I concentrated most of my workday in the kitchen, either preparing, cooking or cleaning...though you can barely tell. At least it's a start. I didn't fix the dishwasher yet so washed dishes by hand. While washing them a few thoughts occurred to me....

1) This is a definitely a job the kids should be doing.
2) I have to stop being a wimp and get the kids doing actual jobs (instead of just helping here or there)
3) We have WAY too many cups!!!! Last I counted we had over 40 of a certain type of cup in a rainbow of colors.
4) Paper and plastic dishes/utensils are GOOD! :o)

The older kids all went to the mall for the afternoon. It was quiet here. Those teenage girls can be LOUD and obnoxious!!! Please tell me I wasn't like that when I was their age. OK...I know I was.

I made a really yummy pork tenderloin roast on the grill. Even if my sister called just as I was ready to take it off and left me unable to get to the grill...overcooking it a tad (but it was still moist!). I sliced a huge 8.5lb roast into 3 sections. On the first I mixed oil, lemon pepper seasoning, zest and juice of 1.5 lemons (I ate the other half lol). On the second I mixed oil, garlic powder (nothing else around), minced dried onions, salt and pepper, zest and juice of 2 limes. Both of those went into the freezer. Today's roast I mixed with Bauhman's BBQ sauce (blue label...the best! tastes just like Arby's sauce), brown sugar, garlic powder and soy sauce. This marinated in the fridge for the day. On high heat I seared the outside of the roast on all sides (brushing with sauce before each turn). Then I turned the heat to low and moved the roast to one of the cooler spots of my grill. I closed the lid and cooked it for 10-15mins, brushed and turned....a total of 4 times. Actually the last time was SUPPOSE To be for 10-15mins. Was more like 30mins. So that side was well done on the outside but that's ok...I like charcoaled stuff. (I's NOT good for me) We had salt potatoes and summer veggies marinated in italian dressing (green peppers, cukes, tomatoes...all store bought...can't wait until the garden starts producing!)

After dinner the kids went out in the pool again then we all sat in the livingroom watching the American Idol...first season...that I bought at the $1 store. WE had a bowl of ice cream as a snack. E started to get all weepy. When I asked her what was wrong she explained....J (her sister) has been playing with Liz all day and I haven't been able to get any hugs or kisses. She needed to snuggle! So we snuggled and then J snuggled with her too. I eventually went upstairs and laid down with her until she was out didn't take long.

I chatted for the rest of the evening in the TOK Chat. It was nice to catch up with a few long lost friends (you know who you are!). Well off to check the pool filter one last time tonight then on into bed I'll jump. Maybe tomorrow will be a little more exciting then today...but to tell you the truth...I hope not. There's something to be said for uneventful summer days.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Rise and shine sleepy head!

I woke up at 5:45 this morning without Tom in bed....hope he's on the couch. I'll check in half an hour when I have to get him up for work. I fell asleep and started dreaming about the pool of all things (I can't get away from it!!!) Woke with a start an HOUR later...If Tom didn't get up himself then he's late to work!!! Ran out in the livingroom to find him snoring away on the couch. Woke him and informed him that he was late...he decided to take some time off (one of the perks of having a county job). I'm not sure if it's a few hours this morning or all day. I've tried to get the info out of him but all I've heard are mumbles so far.

Decided while I was up I'd run the pump (one more time and I think the pool will be filled!!!!), test the pool water (no chlorine reading yet), and vacuum it. The water looked a TINY bit cloudy but it could have been the early morning lighting and the whiteish "dirt" on the bottom of the pool that was there before I vacuumed...but is now gone. So the pool is ready for the kids, including clean and dry towels and suits I washed last night. All they need to do is wake up, eat breakfast and clean up quickly around here.

While writing about Monday I lost track of time. Looked up and realized it was 8:45am....Carrie was suppose to be at school for a "Summer Fun Club" at 9 and she was still sleeping....OOPS!!!! So I then had to run like a chicken with my head cut off to get her up, dressed and out the door....we were late. :o( I hate that I feel like I do but Carrie's teacher is one of those people who while being nice to you makes you feel like she sees the true you (in her opinion). I'm not sure if I'm explaining it right or not. Anyways...I have to remember to pick her up at 11 now. Hope I don't forget LOL.

Pat was up and showering when I left for school. He's suppose to be at the community college at 9:30 to take his placement tests and register for classes. He needed to get a few dollars (he's down to a bunch of checks (graduation presents)...that he needs to cash)and a form from me but he was gone by the time I got back...hope he's ok. OH well, he has his tracfone he bought with his graduation money. He can call if he runs out of gas. Oh rats! I just realized I forgot to buy Thank You cards for him yesterday!

Well kids are starting to stir and I've already heard an "I'm Hungry" at least once. Time to make the masses some breakfast. Let the day begin!!!!

Busy! Busy! Busy! (Monday)

*said in my best Professor Hinkle voice (Frosty the Snowman)*

I got up bright and early on Monday and piddled around here....ran the well, checked the pool, (not that I could do anything anyways) checked my email, lurked online....everything but cleaned. Then Carrie and I got dressed and headed out the door at 8:45am. We were only going to go to the pool store, dollar store and Wal-Mart. Well we did and we got home at 1pm!!!! GRRRRR! I hate how shopping eats up so much time (not to mention money lol)

So we lugged everything in while getting drenched. (started pouring while we were in Wal-Mart) I unpacked the groceries to the tune of...."We're hungry! All we had was a bowl/cup of cereal while you were gone". So I threw them all a cup of yogurt from the dollar store (4/$1! can't beat that) and a disposable spoon and quieted them down for 5 mins. Everyone cleaned up the livingroom and kitchen floor and table. Granted it should have been done by 1pm already and without me having to tell them...but it got done so that's good. They all then grabbed their bathingsuits and we went out in the sprinkles. Next thing I know I have 2 more friends over for 15 kids in all. It's neat because the pool doesn't even look full! It supposedly holds as much water as my parents' 21ft round pool but it definitely is more spacious (MY kids make my mom's pool look full LOL)

I broke out all my new purchases and started to work. I put a new eyeball cover on the discharge now the water REALLY comes out hard...can you say MASSAGE!?! We fastened the flanges for the ladder down and I secured the ladder no more moving ladder! :o) I tore down the filter and pump and put it back together again.

While putting the filter back together I kept hearing....E's hungry....E's hungry. My kids would have just grabbed a handful of cereal or a piece of lunchmeat. But I totally understood E's need for food...I just couldn't get to it at that second. I started the corn on cob and got the grill going, went back to the pump, Tom turned off the corn, I was still working on the pump. Finally it got all together and I threw on burgers. One of my kids tried to say I never make meals like this for them...burgers, cantelope slices and corn on the cob and mac salad both leftover from my family's cookout on Sunday. YEAH RIGHT!! I admit we tend to do more throw together and eat meals lately....but I cook like that...sometimes!

The kids went back into the's looking pretty cloudy but I can't really do anything until I have the pump up and running again. Tom helped me get it under the deck and I hooked it up. After all the kids were out I tried running it...TAAAADAAAAA! We have filtering from the skimmer like a REAL pool!!!! I called my dad because I kept thinking about how much earth the box said I should put seemed like a LOT. (1 coffee can=1/2 lb of 8 cans!) I know my dad measures his earth by a coffee can and it's the same pump so I asked him how much he adds......5 cans! So that's what I did...and it's working like a charm!!!!!!!!! Wooohooooo! *doing a happy dance*

I threw some chlorine tablets into the skimmer and some clarifier into the water. All night I had to deny myself from going up on the deck and trying to peer into the water. Like I'd be able to see what it looked like in the night anyways. OK...I tried to peek...but only once! The mosquitos are TERRIBLE out there!!! I don't think I've ever seen them this bad. Stop for one second and you're covered. They finally drove me in the house. Of course I probably should be dealing with the mob in the house anyways.

While at Wal-Mart we decided to celebrate Eileen's birthday a little early, (it's on Friday) seeing as we already had a crowd at the house. We bought a clearance birthday cake and had them write Happy Birthday Bean on it. You should have seen the look the decorator gave me when I asked her to write it. Oh well she's not the first one to think I'm crazy. We won't mention the look and OMG!!! a mom who's kid tripped me in the sock aisle (getting Tom his birthday present ROFL!) gave me after I told her it was OK...I had 10 kids and was used to having kids under my feet. Oops...a little side trip there...sorry.

ANYWAYS....we had cake and ice cream at 10pm last night. I fully intended to get the kids to bed IMMEDIATELY after they were done but the phone was my sister (J and E's mom). We ended up talking for a while and it was 11:30 again (swore the night before they wouldn't stay up this late again) before I got them upstairs. When I finally got so I could sit and relax (and write in my blog) Michelle was online and having problems with our connection. I promptly fell asleep with Olivia on the couch waiting for her to finish up. Olivia and I finally moved into my bed at 1am. I thought Tom was in there but he wasn't....hmmmm...hope he's not sleeping outside in a chair, getting all his bloodsucked out by mosquitos. Of course being the nice wife that I am...wondered and then rolled over and fell back to sleep.

Monday, July 12, 2004


Tom turned another year older today. Time has treated him well, well I think so anyways. He's maturing gracefully if I do say so myself...the handsome devil! ;o) I've always loved his salt and pepper hair...although it's mostly salt nowadays. I felt bad because we didn't have a cake, ice cream or any presents for him. I don't know WHY his birthday always seems to ambush me and come without me realizing it. I did think to have the big kids stop at the store on the way to the cookout and buy a cake and ice cream. They had Happy Birthday Daddy written on it. They were tempted to try and get something "offensive" like changing Daddy to Weinerhead, just so they could see if she'd really write it or refuse. I'm glad they stuck with daddy. It was fun to watch some of my family (who forgot it was Tom's birthday), figure out exactly WHO Daddy was. LOL

When I got up this morning I didn't head straight to the pool like I normally do....I headed to the well. I ran the well a few times and decided it was too late to try and fit a run to the store in before we leave. Hence the big kids running errands for me. Gee, I've been taking advantage of the younger drivers in this house lately. I've also been handing over my debit card a little too freely. Thankfully they are responsible and good kids (I hope! lol)

The pool had cleared some but wasn't as clear as a few days ago. I've decided I'll run to the Pool store on Monday....need to go to Walmart for my blood pressure meds anyways. Hopefully if I take a sample in they'll be able to tell me what to buy and use to finish playing around here. I threw the chlorine float in this morning even though the chlorine level was a dark 5. Figured it might keep SOME chlorine in go....when we got home from the cookout there was NO chlorine reading at all. I threw some more shock in tonight. Around and around we go again.

While Tom and I were sitting in the shade of the house on the front porch....drinking our morning coffee. We got to talking about the picnic table. I asked if I could have the wood from the benches (I told you I thought they were still good!). I've decided to turn them into benches for our table. Having 12+ chairs that don't really fit around the table in the kitchen is driving me batty!!! Seems I'm always walking into or around a chair to get where I want to go. I'm hoping these will be able to be pushed under the table when not in use...staying out of my way!!! I have the perfect legs for them....bottoms of old cafeteria chairs. Maybe I'll have to make a howto page for it.

We got out the door about 45mins after I had wanted to, but considering it was before 2pm....we were doing good. We had to take 2 cars because on the way home I was suppose to have 3 extra girls (my sister's kids...ends up only 2 came home with us). The big kids left about an hour before we did. It was nice to see my uncles and their families again. My mom's 2 younger from the area and one from Tennessee were there with their families. My sister and brother with their families (RATS!!! Just realized I should have snapped some family pictures today! I always forget!!!). We all pretty much just sat around, ate and talked. The kids went in and out of the pool all day. It was muggy and very warm out and at one point I felt like I could hardly breathe. So I put my suit on and jumped in my dad's pool. Not before I noticed how crystal clear and beautiful his water was and got hit by a pang of jealousy. He's had his pool up since 1976!!! I think this year will be it's last. He's always saying he's going to take it down but structurally it's starting to show it's age. I will be very sad to see it go....but it did good by us!

We left last (as usual) about 10pm. My mom had become hosted out by then and it was VERY obvious that it was time to go (actually if you ask her she'll probably tell you it was an HOUR past when it was time to go LOL) I loaded up my dad's old filter and misc pool parts (including a mechanical seal for the pump! YIPPEEE!). He was going to take it to the dump and I think I can use some of them. I know he babied his filter and brought it into the basement every year. I know the previous owner of our current filter abused it at least one year (and he got it who knows what the owners before him did). Tom was not happy to have to load everything in the van but I think he will be if it saves him a huge chunk of change down the road.

We got home about 11 to find the older kids in the pool. They scared the daylights out of me while I was hanging up wet towels and suits on the line. They stayed really quiet in the shadows and when I went to see if they were in there (their towels were hanging on the fence) they RAAAAAAAAAAH'ed me! It was a madhouse here and niece J was feeling like she should be helping me, or that I needed it. I didn't feel like it of course but I couldn't convince her of that.

Niece E started crying for her mommy after we finally figured out sleeping arrangements. So I kicked J out of her to her sister...and snuggled with E until she fell asleep. I think she'll be fine once morning is here. If not, then I guess she'll be going home. I am starting to wonder about Niece A...she hasn't slept here the last few times her sisters have. I don't know if I did something, someone else did or the noise and chaos here are too much for her.

I got a nice surprise when I went to plug in MIL's well tonight. My BIL...B...who stays in a trailer on our property quite a bit...(he "owns" the lot next to us that's not developed) put a switch and a timer on the well plug!!! YIPPEEE!!! No more scary plugging and unplugging a weird plug in anymore. Now I just have to flip a switch. The only thing is...I asked for the switch quite a few years ago and wanted it at the TOP of my cellar stairs, so I wouldn't have to go up and down all the time. Oh well, I have to keep telling myself that the stairs are healthy for me. Wish my knees would agree.

I was a little disappointed today when I weighed myself at my parents' house (only scale I have access to). I didn't really lose any weight like I'd hoped to have done. I know being active has made improvements...I don't get short winded going up the stairs anymore, I'm feeling more energetic, etc. So that's good. But I really thought I'd lost weight too. :o( I'm not really sure I'm trusting their scale though....although they'll swear by it. I've weighed very differently there (like almost 10lbs) from day to day. I would say it was waterweight, but that's a LOT of water to be holding.

Well, my lids are staying closed longer then they're staying opened. So I'll end this now. I probably should figure out what I'm going to feed the 13 hungry mouths come daybreak (forgot to mention Val is having her friend Ja stay over too).....naaaaahhhhh....I'll figure it out tomorrow when they're crying they're starving. Can't get my act together TOO much! ;o) Although I'm already looking forward to getting a crack at our projects....but NOT the housecleaning!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

I talk about it enough....

So I decided to take a pic and show it off. Here's our pool...

It's gotten cloudier again. I sent Drew to the store for some things and made sure he picked up another box of shock. It's gotten the super shock treatment tonight. We'll see if we can see the bottom in the morning again. The kids enjoyed it whether it was crystal clear or not. As long as it doesn't grab them and pull them to the bottom they're fine with being in it. ;o)

I woke up before everyone this morning, and I was raring to go. While I was in the bathroom I cleaned it. Then I headed out the backdoor to the pool. I wasn't entirely too sure what I was doing out there....even if I tested the water I couldn't treat it. I climbed up on the deck and noticed that it was getting cloudier. You couldn't see past the 2nd step now. :o( Here we go again! I hope this ends soon....I'm running out of patience and money. Maybe I'll run to the pool store in the morning and see what they say. (if there's no clearing from the super shocking I gave it tonight)

I worked on our newest project. Tom brought home a junkpicked picnic table. The legs were fine but the top was rotting and falling apart. I thought the benches were fine but Tom's decided that we'll replace them too. So he bought wood yesterday after work. This morning we realized we were 2 boards short. So between the need for the wood and shock for the pool and my need for some fruit and veggies for tomorrow....we sent Drew off to Wal-Mart and Lowes. While they were gone I got busy and sanded the surfaces and rounded the edges with our palm sander. It took me at least 3 hrs to do it. This evening I stained them a honey oak color. They look great! I'll take a picture of the original table in the morning. I know the difference will be unbelieveable!

Unfortunately while I was busy working away my farmer's tan was getting even darker (actually redder). My kids are always picking on me because my hands and forearms are as dark as they've ever been. My shoulders are still a pastey white. I'd say I need to start wearing tank tops outside....but it doesn't bother me! LOL

The kids were begging me to come in the pool tonight so after I was done and cleaned up I changed into my suit and jumped into the pool! MY first time!!! Woohooo! While washing the stain off my hands I noticed the water spurting and spitting like the well was about to run dry. I ran outside and checked the well...THE BUCKET IS SHOWING!!! (upside down bucket that got dropped in a long time ago...when the bottom of it is showing...we're almost out of water. HOW could that happen??? There was a LOT of water in there last night. The only thing that we used water for was 2 loads of laundry (frontloader so super water efficient) and a few showers. RATS! That means that we have to stop filling the pool and concentrate on the well AGAIN! It's gonna be a looong summer if it keeps up like this. So much for my great water supply plan.

We had the ribs tonight. I threw them in the slow cooker and they cooked all day. I couldn't make salt potatoes because of the lack of water, so we had canned green beans instead....NOT a good substitute!

After dinner we had a bonfire. The kids enjoyed roasting (burning) marshmellows and cooking polish sausage on sticks. Luke did get to be quite the marshmellow chef and toasted them to a golden brown. We had a few marshmellow butts out there. Seems someone dropped a warm marshmellow on a seat and left it there. Olivia and Luke both sat on it. I washed it off with a papertowel dampened with a bit of my beer. Good to know beer is good for something else besides quenching my thirst during a hot summer day. We sang tons of songs...lots of silly ones and the kids asked me about some of my dreams. I told them about a few of them....falling and having to crawl away from dinosaurs, finding coins whereever I look, knowing what bad things will happen but no one will listen to me!, having a house that keeps changing...adding rooms/wings, typical school dreams...lost schedule, forgotten locker combination, lost rooms and having a baby on the library table. By this time Eileen was dozing in my lap and Olivia in Drew's so we came in for the night.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day. It's Tom's birthday and my uncle is up from Tennessee with my cousins who are Drew's and Michelle's ages. We're having a cookout at my parents' house. I know Tom would rather stay home and work on things. But it won't kill him to leave it for a day either. I forgot to have Drew buy a cake while at Wal-Mart (my oven doesn't work). Maybe I'll run out first thing in the morning, or stop on the way into the city.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

And it continues.... Friday night

Well dinner ended up being the rest of the bay scallops we had in the freezer. A few months ago Price Chopper had cooked shrimp and bay scallops for $2.99/lb. I made the best of the lowest prices I've seen on these and bought 20lbs each. I had to be ESCORTED to the front of the store with the boxes of seafood because I had over $100 worth of it. We finished the cooked shrimp on Tuesday, bay scallops today. Only the 6 youngest, Tom and I were eating but the 6+lbs I cooked wasn't enough!!!

I've discovered something wrong with my tranquil rest stop by the well, waiting for MIL's pump to stop running so I can turn it off. As soon as I sit down on the well I realize....I HAVE TO PEE!!!! and I mean NOW!!! I usually have a bladder of steel but not under these conditions. LOL I ran the pump for at least 8 cycles and the water level rose over 3ft, plus I did about 6 loads of laundry. It's a start. Tomorrow morning I'll run MIL's well into the pool and finish filling it.

The pool....It's killing me that I'm out of shock and will be falling behind in the race to get the pool clean. I was JUST getting ahead of the game too. I'll have to run to Wal-Mart tomorrow...have to get ingredients for the fruit salad and pasta salad for Sunday's cookout anyways.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Something Good this way comes....

Something hit me today, why can't I be more obsessed about the condition of my house? It would make everyone happier! I think I did a pretty good job of taking care of it today.

First I had to deal with my main obsession....the POOL! Went out this morning and saw that we could see the bottom of the pool!!! That hasn't happened in a long time. Late last night I hooked up the skimmer to the filter like it's suppose to be. The water level is about 1/4 inch over the bottom edge of the skimmer. Just enough to create a suction for the vacuum attachment. So I vacuumed the pool this morning. It's always been one of my favorite pool related jobs...both as a kid and as an adult.

The chlorine got eaten up again as soon as daylight hit again. I'm not sure what's up with that...the water is a chilly 74 degrees it's not that. It was cloudy and actually black out not sunlight. The PH level is just about perfect so not that. And no one was in the pool swimming so it wasn't bathers. I'll have to look online some more for reasons.

After the levels of the pool disappeared I let the kids go swimming. Almost got in there myself but decided to get some work done instead. (I haven't been in the thing yet!) I went down in the basement where the defrosting freezer had leaked onto a pile of dirty clothes and sorted them. Threw in a load of laundry. Then my folding table looked like it needed attention. So I folded all the clothes that had been thrown on's all cleared now! Around everyone's baskets there were clean clothes on the floor that had been stepped on and were starting to smell musty (from the basement). I HATE when people knock things out of their baskets while looking for clothes. So I cleaned up the floor and sort those clothes...not too bad...only 2 loads.

I've devised a system now where I can keep adding water to our well and get the laundry done at the same time. It's always a problem for me to remember to turn my MIL's water pump on every hour or half an hour...letting it run for about 10mins tops and unplugging it. So now I fold the clothes in the dryer, put them in the appropriate baskets, switch laundry and throw in more. On the way back upstairs I plug in MIL's pump and head out the front door. Go out, take the cover off our well, sit on the well and watch the water falling from MIL's pipe into our well. There's something relaxing about falling water...makes for a nice rest period. After the well has run it's cycle I go in the house, down the stairs and unplug MIL's well. So far so good. I've ran it for at least 4 cycles. I still have a lot to go though if I want to get ahead of the water demand and keep up with all the laundry I have to do!

After working in the basement I came upstairs and started the dishes...the discovered we're out of dish detergent. (forgot that and jelly when I went grocery shopping) It's ok, I can still load the dishwasher. I was proud that I was making a dent in things. I turned on the dishwasher only to find out that the dishwasher isn't draining....UGH!!! I'll have to fix it tonight. My back was getting sore, Tom pulled in the driveway and I needed to sit down for a few minutes.

I TRIED to sneak a candy bar while sitting in the backyard but Eileen found me. When she walked out the door I hid it under my leg. As she climbed in my lap she asked...Why does your breath smell like candy bar?? SNOT!!! I shared it with her then promptly walked in and passed out a candy bar to everyone LOL I could just hear them as soon as Eileen went in the house...I want a candy bar too!!!!

I guess the other thing I should be thinking about doing is FIXING SOME FOOD!!! I'm sure everyone is just as hungry as I am. I'm tempted to try and fix something fast but I know the packages of various clearance ribs need attention. Maybe I'll slow cook them in the roaster tonight for tomorrow's dinner. That'll let me off the hook again tonight. LOL

Thursday, July 08, 2004

I've become obsessed!

WITH THE POOL!!! I've worked and worked on it today. Took up almost the whole day. When I wasn't working on the pool I was weeding the garden. The inside of the house isn't really lacking but it's not getting better either. I'm sure Tom wishes I'd become obsessed with getting the kitchen to look sparkly clean.

I took the filter apart and cleaned all the fingers. Seems the person we got it from left it filled with gunk all winter long. It took a loooong time! I have to give me dad credit here. Everything I learned about the filter and pool upkeep I learned from working and watching THANK YOU DAD!!! While I had the filter off I decided to call Pat down and have him help me fix the leaky discharge pipe. We removed it and I made a few new gaskets out of a sheet of rubber. It's FIXED!!! We are now filling it and it's JUST at the lip of the filter. We need to put some water into our well so not sure if we'll get the pool filled tomorrow or not. But it WILL get filled!!!!

Our problem now is that the water is still cloudy. I'm fighting and fighting it! It's either a problem with the water itself (sulfur) or it's algae. I'm hoping vacuuming it today will have helped. Today the chlorine got eaten up in NO time (a few hours after daylight hit) so I SUPERchlorinated it again tonight.

It's NICE to have groceries in the house. The problem with lunch was trying to decide what to eat I settled for a ham sandwich made by Jake while I was working. I don't think I even tasted it. LOL I was foolish with dinner though and micro'ed chicken nuggets instead of eating the fresh meat waiting to be cooked. Guess we'll have ribs tomorrow...the porkloin roast is dated for the 16th, so should be ok to wait another day. (actually I have to divide that into 2 or 3 meals before I cook up some of it.) While I opted for the easy main dish, for the side I went with sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, green peppers and celery....all store bought though. I know in another month or so I won't even want to look at a zucchini or yellow squash (garden is behind with growing that crop...first planting didn't sprout) but for now...YUM!!!

The kids begged me to cook them some onions. We don't normally have onions in the house because they literally make Tom sick (upset stomach and cramps). Lately though I've been buying a few (I love them!) and using them in MY dishes. I've also been micro'ing them with some margarine until they JUST start to brown around the edges and then just eating them. Last week a few of the kids got a taste of it and wanted MORE! So I bought a small bag of Vidalias this week. We micro'ed 5 of them and every crumb got eaten.

I mentioned that it was getting late and the younger kids all decided to get a book and go to bed early like I threatened last night. It made for a nice night, although they did end up coming back into the livingroom while we were watching Hot Chick. They're now back in bed but I can hear someone crying a protest about it's not a night totally without problems. Guess I better go see what the problem is.

I KNEW the pool was going to be a lot of work!!!

I've been bumping down the filter every hour! It's constantly losing suction. So I decided to clean out the filter and regenerate the earth. The earth that came out was GROSS. I did it myself and by the time I was done I was totally soaked! I had to jump in the pool to get the vacuum cleaner off the bottom. I spent the whole day soaked...yuck...wet clingy clothes. While the water doesn't look gross anymore it's still cloudy. I'm not sure why...the chlorine and the PH are at perfect levels! I think it's algae, especially seeing as the pool turned GREEN after the kids went in it. Not sure if it's alive or just dead on the bottom.

All day I messed with the filter and chemicals. Looks like the "new" pump is starting to leak along the shaft too. I looked it up online and it seems I have to change a few seals...can't I just buy a new pump!?!?! *whine whine whine* I decided to superchlorinate the pool overnight and see how it is in the morning. Kids probably won't be able to go swimming in the morning and will be disappointed.

I also realized today that the outlet pipe for the filter is LEAKING!!! It's not tight to the pool wall and as the pool fills it leaks more. We don't have the tools here we need to tighten it. So I've stopped filling it...I swear we'll NEVER see this pool filled to the proper level!!!

I MADE it rain!!!! LOL I KNEW if I watered the garden it would rain. We've been hemming and hawwing about watering it. There kept being chances of thunderstorms for the last week and the sky always looked it. This morning was blue skies and I decided it couldn't wait anymore. So I spent 1.5 hrs giving EACH plant a huge drink. As I was finishing it started misting out. By the time I was completely done the sky was BLACK. We ended up getting a major rainstorm. At least the pool got filled more (although it'll probably leak out)...water level climbed about 1/2 an inch!

It was nice to have food readily available. Now the problem is deciding WHAT to eat first. LOL Oh and not letting the kids eat EVERYTHING the first few days....there's no more grocery shopping until next payday which is 10 days away.

Tracy never called me so I'm not sure what's up with her kids. I told her if they didn't want to miss out on the field trip on Thursday then maybe we should plan on me taking them home on Sunday after the cookout at our parents' house. Now I'm thinking I should either pick them up on Thurs night or Friday day and return them at the cookout on Sunday. Not sure if they had plans for the weekend or not though.

Tom and I have decided to call and make an appointment for a tour of a Resort (fancy campgrounds actually) nearby. I got an invitation in the mail and according to their gift card we've won $750 cash (2:15000 chances). It says all we have to do is call within 3 days of receiving the invitation, visit within 10 days of calling, have both spouses available for the 90 min tour, and have an income over $35,000. We know they will pressure us intensely, but really we can't afford it. I don't think they'd want us there anyways....most resorts don't want a family of 12 around. LOL (my sister used to have a membership there but has given it up). I keep looking for a catch to the thing and tiny print, but I haven't found it yet. I'll call them tomorrow.

Things have to change here concerning bedtime. By the time I relaxed and realized the kids were still up it was after 11pm!!! TOO LATE for everyone, especially Tom and I. It took a lot of work (actually yelling) to get the kids to bed. I think they all finally fell asleep about 12:30. Well, except Pat who was on the computer and didn't get off when I wanted him to because I'd fallen asleep on the couch waiting for him to get off! I'm ready to make them all go to bed at 5pm now! Who cares if we don't eat dinner lately until after 7:30! All the more for me! LOL

Playing Catch-up....

PHEW!!!! I can't believe that time is flying by! I've been pretty busy and what online time I've had has been in bits and pieces. Makes posting to my message boards hard, much less writing out the day's events here. So now that I'm sitting here with my cold coffee and only a few kids awake....I'll try to catch-up.

I'm really liking my new activeself...though I miss my online friends. It's nice to feel like you're making a difference around here (although the inside of my house hasn't really benefitted! LOL) It might even be benefitting me healthywise. I took my pressure on the machine at Walmart Tuesday night and it was 117/78!!! I haven't been that low since I don't know when! Granted that's a reading while under the influence of meds and the machine could have been calibrated wrong. Still it's NICE to see those numbers and makes getting in shape seem "easier".


I finally go the pool filter hooked up and running!!! It wasn't without it's little problems and delays but it's going and that's what's in important. Funny, I'm the one who never wanted a pool all these years because of how much work they are. (had a pool when I was growing up). Yet, here I am doing the work to get it functional. With Michelle's help on Tues I hooked up the vacuum hose from the bottom of the pool, directly to the filter. (water's still not up into the filter!) While working it hit me...I have a WIC appointment!!! I got there 45mins late, luckily I just had to pick up checks and the ladies there are super nice. I was in and out and back home in no time. All set for another 3mos!

In the afternoon I realized that the pool pump was leaking along the shaft of the impeller. UGH!!!! Another setback! Sometimes I really wish we'd just go buy stuff NEW! It would save ourselves a lot of headaches. I called Tom at work to complain about it and he asked if we could use the pump from the pool's original sand filter (we've installed bil's old earth filter). I ran downstairs after I got off the phone and TADA!!! It's exactly the same! Just a matter of replacing one for the other. After I got the other pump hooked up I went to plug it in...GRRRRR!!!...the tines on the plug are in the opposite configuration then the adapter I have (it's a special plug). Luckily we could switch the heads of the plug from the old pump to the new one. I let Pat do that. While I don't mind messing with machinery, electricity makes me VERY nervous (and yes, I know I can't get zapped from working on this...but still...what if I did something wrong?)

Liz, Eileen, Olivia and I finally got out the door to go grocery shopping at 5pm. Which meant that we were out until LATE! (almost midnight) It usually takes me 5-6hrs to go grocery shopping and as a treat we sat inside and ate at McDonalds. Val's boyfriend, J works there and on his break came out to talk. He asked if Val could go to the mall tomorrow. I'm not sure I want to be so nice...seeing as I haven't seen her since Friday morning! Even though he's a great kid I'm still on edge about allowing Val to "date"...seeing as she's only 14. It's hard to let go of my no dating until you're ready to get married ideals, even if I know the kid has decided NOT to follow along with them. :o( I left him hanging as usual (I HATE making those type of decisions!) We went to...McD's, Save a lot, The Dollartree, Sam's Club, Walmart and Price Chopper and spent too much money. I'm still not sure how much...should figure that out because I think I have to transfer money. I really shouldn't rely on our overdraft acct to back me up.

It wasn't a happy time when I came home. EVERYONE was still awake (Tom was in bed) and became totally hopped up when I came in the door. Me on the other hand while humming along I was also BEAT! I wanted to get the cold stuff put away and get online so I could see if anyone was left in the TOK Chat. I definitely didn't win the mother of the year award while trying to get that accomplished.

Finally everything was put away and I got Pat to get off the computer. Mabear/Catherine was still there and Karen came in a few minutes later. So it was nice. I hadn't chatted since Friday night and I NEEDED a chat fix! LOL

Monday, July 05, 2004

Ahhhhhhhhh Monday!

That feels odd to think, but that's what I thought of when I woke up. Of course it helps that Tom didn't have to go to work and there were no set plans for the day. I dozed on and off from early morning until the phone rang at 8:30!!! Was one of my bil's looking for Tom.

I ran a load of water into the's SO close! We then realized that our well needed to be filled today, so looks like we're not going to get to where I thought we would (water into the skimmer and the pump running). It's a gray and muggy day here so the kids are going in the pool anyways. I guess you could pretend it was a pond, it definitely has less seaweed in it then the lake did yesterday. LOL

Val called and asked if she could stay another night camping with the D family. I agreed. It's amazing how things change around here when someone's not around. I'm not saying that in a BAD way. Sometimes it's a good thing, other times it's bad. It just changes.

I thought I was sick of hotdogs but guess not. I went out of my way to make them for lunch. I also made a pot of salt potatoes...YUM!!!! WOW! I knew the price of the salt potatoes had gone up ($3 a bag....$1.50 on sale) but the price of them at that site is outrageous! (Although it does include shipping) I was tempted to cook up the second/last bag but figured it was best to save it for another occassion.

I emptied out the basement freezer finally. It was in need for being defrosted so badly that the door didn't close all the way on the top. So I guess we'll be having chili this week and tonight we splurged and ate the 3 huge packages of porkchops that were in there. I love it when Price Chopper has their $.99/lb porkchops....I need them to be on sale again. Nothing like letting 12 people pig out on porkchops and only spend $10 or so.

My sister, Tracy, called tonight. Wanted to know what the plans were for tomorrow. Seems when I said later in the week, Tuesday or Wednesday....all anyone at her house heard was Tuesday. So now I'm even MORE of a bad guy because I said no to Tuesday. I want to get the pool going right and go grocery shopping tomorrow. Oh well, it's not the first or last time that I'm an a funsucker! Minor problem though is that she signed her kids up for the parks summer rec program and they have field trips on Thursday...this week being the first one. So she wasn't sure whether they wanted to miss it or not (trip to the movie theater). She'll have to talk to the kids and call me back.

MORE family time....Sunday

Another day, another cookout. Today we were invited to my uncle's house on the lake. I'd planned on leaving by 2 but as usual it didn't pan out. We're SO close to getting the pump running on the filter, I was trying to work around the water not being up at the filter yet. It was a no go...but I'll try again on Monday! LOL Also I had to do laundry so I could have clean clothes to didn't finish until 2:30. So we left the house at 3:15. It's about an hour or so ride to his house. I was worried that my sister was not happy that I was so far behind schedule. She parked her van behind us as we were getting out of the bus! LOL PHEW!

I told you about Tom's family....guess I should mention mine. It's a LOT shorter!

I'm the oldest...10 kids (6 girls, 4 boys 20-4yo)
My sister........3 girls (13-5yo)
My brother.......2 kids (1 girl...4yo, 1 boy...2yo)

My brother didn't show up but that's ok there was plenty of other kids there for my kids to play with. My dad is one of 13 kids and we have about 50 cousins....some of them came with their kids. It was fun to watch the cousin's oldest daughter with her kids. It's one of the few people I've felt I had to tip my hat to. She has 5 kids with the last 4 being 2 sets of twins. When the last set of twins were born she had a 3yo boy, 2 18mo boys, and 2 newborns...girl/boy. (all naturally conceived btw) Now the oldest is 4.

I got a LOT of comments on how weird it was to see me without a baby in my arms. How they couldn't believe I didn't have a baby YET! I must feel lost without one. Am I pregnant yet? Am I going to be soon (answer....yes, in a few hours....why? wanna watch? ;o))

There was tons of food as usual and my aunt brought lots of fun things for the kids....punch balls, glow stick necklaces and fiber optic flashlights. It was so cool! All around the lake were HUGE bonfires and fireworks going off (you wouldn't know they were illegal in NY state LOL). Somehow some went off in my uncle's yard too. ;o) We left a little after 11pm, after the last firework was magically lit.

I got the mean mommy award as we were leaving. As it usually happens my neices wanted some of my kids to spend the night at their house. I told them no and the tears started flowing. Awwwww! Too bad so was LATE, tomorrow was the last day of a long and busy holiday weekend...I didn't feel like having to do anything that day, adn they didn't have any clothes (although that really wasn't a problem). As usual I decided to open my mouth and soothe some hurt feelings. So they 3 girls will be coming to my house later in the week. Guess I need to finish cleaning up, especially the kitchen and get my rearend to the store to get some food!

The ride home was uneventful and most of the kids were sleeping when we got home at 12:30 so bedtime wasn't a problem. We kicked the older kids to bed, went outside for a while, had an icecream cone and then it decided to sprinkle. We decided it was a good time to come in and go to bed ourselves. time...Saturday

Was a holiday weekend this weekend, and a busy one too. We went to Tom's brother's house for a BBQ on Saturday. It's only a few miles away but just getting out the door is a huge pain. It started at 1pm but we didn't get there until after 3 *blush*. Between Tom going to the dump (we drive our trash to a garbage truck at the town garage) and me needing to run to the store to buy food to bring to BIL's. I was told to bring either a fruit or tossed salad...not both. I listen well and brought both! And I wonder where my kids get it from. LOL Well I wanted both! What was I suppose to do? It got eaten! It was one of those times when I was appreciative of having teen drivers (that seems to be happening a lot more lately lol). I made up a list, gave Drew my debit card and sent him to the store about 10miles away.

The BBQ seemed quiet, I couldn't figure it out. Then it hit me....most of the big kids were gone! Some were in Toronto with our church doing demolition work as a fundraiser, a few were at a graduation party and a few of my kids were with friends. It's amazing when we get together to realize there are so many kids in one area...they all get along well for the most part. Counting all our kids there are 43 grandkids on Tom's side of the family. The count goes....

Oldest girl.......7 girls (21-11yo)
Oldest boy........10 kids (6 boys, 4 girls, 27-9yo)
Tom...............10 kids (6 girls, 4 boys, 20-4yo)
Younger brother...1 boy (18)
Next brother......not married
Youngest sister...14 kids (9 girls, 5 boys, 19yo-2mos)
Youngest brother..1 girl (2yo)

While driving to bil's house I hear a tiny voice speak up out of the's Eileen. She asks..."Can we go camping tomorrow?"....I respond "No honey we can't". She counters with..."Can we go today then?" ROFL!! Oh to think like a 5yo!!!

The BBQ ended at a fairly early hour. A few of the families were going to a local beach/park to see the symphony and fireworks. We left last (arrived last too), came home and started a bonfire. It was so nice out! I made popcorn (NEED to go grocery shopping!!!!) and soda. Eileen brought out her sleeping bag and pillow and promptly fell asleep on the glider. I was joking that I was going to go to sleep out there too. Olivia informed me that I couldn't because then who would carry me up to the house. When I named off people who could bring me up....her, Jake, daddy. She had a different excuse for each person...their too small, I'm too big, daddy's not strong enough). The little sweetie was so diplomatic and mentioned everything but that I'm too FAT to carry! LOL

I was planning on getting the little ones to bed and then rejoining Tom out at the fire. Unfortunately I fell asleep on the couch with Olivia. Oops! Poor Tom waited for me for a while.