Thursday, July 31, 2008

LOK Cooking Challenge done and posted

I did my first LOK Cooking Challenge and posted about it on my food blog Growlies for the Gang (link in the bar above)

Here's a direct link to my entry.

I have to run out the door in a few minutes. When I get back I hope to post about yesterday (and poor Eileen) and some cool things Val's been doing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's one of those times when you say....

kids? What kids? I don't have any kids?

My kids are freaks! They like to do something just because they think they probably shouldn't. Ok...maybe it's just the fact that things that we probably shouldn't do are also things that seem like they'd be fun to do.

This afternoon saw dark clouds rolling in along with thunder and lightning. Danielle was following me out to the chicken coop when there was a clap of thunder. I never saw her move so fast trying to catch up with me, yelling STORM mommy! I let her know and I was trying to get things done before it came.

Shortly after I finished up in the coop it started sprinkling. I knew the storm was still moving in so went to the front (west) side of the house. One of my favorite things to do is to sit on the front porch and watch storms move in. You can usually smell, hear and see the rain across the street before it gets to the house, it's pretty neat. When I came around the front of the house I found almost all my kids that were home in the front yard dancing in the sprinkles. It wasn't too much longer before it starting pouring. Any normal person would go inside and get out of the rain. But my kids?....NOPE! My kids decided it was the perfect time to play in the middle of the road.

Being airplanes...

Boot camp anyone?

They couldn't hear me screaming at them to get up and out of the middle of the road. I'm always trying to be a funsucker GEESH!

Yes! We are insane! But we're having a ball!


This is the end result of the tye-dye duo. They smell YUMMY roasting in the oven as I type.

Drew's turn for the spotlight

My blog seems to be pretty heavy with stories about the littlest kids. So when I can share about the older ones, it's nice...especially those that aren't living here anymore. Drew's band is back! They took a little hiatus but they've been pretty busy the last few weekends.

On Saturday they were booked to play from 2-5 and maybe longer at a local ice cream stand celebration. 2pm rolled around and so did the thunderstorms. Being an outside venue they had to delay things but luckily were up and running by 3. Unfortunately for me I had to delay going since I had to pick up Michelle from work at 3:45. Tom took Danielle, Eileen, Olivia, and Luke in the van and headed to the ice cream stand at 3. I left at 3:15 with Liz, Carrie, and Sean in the car. After picking up Michelle we ran a few errands, it was almost 5 by the time we arrived at the ice cream stand. I wasn't sure how much longer they'd be playing so I got busy with my camera!

The whole band from left to right...Drew/bass, Brian/guitar, Nate/drums, Mitch/guitar

Drew's turn at the mic

My kids and their friends enjoying the music...
Standing...Michelle, Allison, Liz, Carrie, Pat
Across from Pat...Alex and TJ

Sharing Eileen's cotton candy ice cream cone

By 5:30 the sky was getting darker and there were a few distant claps of thunder. The band kept trying to decide whether it meant they needed to quit or not (electrical equipment under a tree...not a good thing in a lightening storm). They managed to belt out a few more songs before it was decided that enough was enough. About 5:45 they started packing up as it started sprinkling. Luckily it was a light sprinkle and didn't last long. Still, the girls and I decided it was time to head home.

The sky clearing up on the way home...

Having fun during the ride home (who'd have thought it was only a 6 mile ride?)

And a compulsory picture of Sean

Last but not least...Video clips of the band (just happened to get one of each singer)
1st..Brian on guitar then Mitch on vocals...Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here
2...Brian singing the beginning of the Rolling Stone's Jumping Jack Flash
3...Drew having fun with Collective Soul's Gel with Pat worming in a cameo.
4...Some random guy rocking out

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The deed is done

I decided I needed to move the chicks into the main coop and last night was going to be the night we did in the roosters. Before I could change my mind we had those boys feet bound and hung ready to become dinner. The kids asked to watch but Tom sent them up to the house since he had no clue what he was doing. He also forbid me from taking pictures. lol I wish I could say that killing them was done easily and quickly. Although the second one was a lot quicker then the first. We already have a plan to make it even quicker and more merciful for next time. (in about 3-5wks)

Plucking them wasn't as hard and messy as I thought it would. It also went really quickly. Next time we'll let the kids will help and they're excited about it. Dressing them out was my job and grossed me out at first. I finally just took a deep breath and did what I had to do. Again, the second one went a lot faster, easier and cleaner.

So now we have 2 good size guys in the fridge waiting to go into the oven. They'll be dinner for Monday night. Not knowing how old they are, I'm just hoping they weren't so old that they are tough (and require stewing instead of roasting). I'll let you know how they are tomorrow night.

So today after dropping Michelle off at work I bought what I needed for the coop. When I got home I went to work. The 53, almost 6wk chickens are now in the main coop and having a ball exploring, roosting as high as they can and trying to figure out who's going to rule this new area. I stood and watched them for almost an hour.

Hopefully tonight I'll get up pictures and videos of yesterday's activities...listening to Drew's band at the ice cream stand.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Motivated to dust things off

This article motivated me to dust off my food blog. (link also in the nav bar above) I made up a menu yesterday and wrote up a little commentary today.

Danielle is getting so big

I've shown off Sean a lot lately. Now it's Danielle's turn. While I was picking up Michelle from work, Liz decided to use my camera. (like how they listen? lol) She was taking videos of Danielle and got a good one of her singing her ABCs. The she's startled by a bird flying out of the pine tree next to her.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The end of an era

Call me lazy but I can't help it...I'm cross posting what I wrote on my blog over at the LFN (Large Family in the bar above). I tried to come up with something different but it didn't seem right. So here it is with lots of pictures.

I know I've thought it before with Olivia (who was suppose to be our last one). This time though it's for real. I am officially done with babies of my own :o( (grandbabies are another thing and not too far into the future). Sean turns 1yo today, rolling off the infant stage and crawling into the toddler arena.

I'm excited about what's ahead for him. I love to see him explore, learn and mature. It seems like he's drinking in things at an unbelieveable rate. I can't take the smile off my face as I watch him. And watch him I do since he hardly sleeps. I'm always saying it's a good thing he's the smartest and cutest baby in the whole wide world! Otherwise I'd have sent him back a looong time ago!

I'm trying to grab hold of and keep each moment with him. Not because he's my last, but because he's mine. This time is so short, before I know it, it'll all be gone. He'll have places to go, things to do and people to see. He won't believe it when I remind him that he needed me to hold him 24/7, even as he slept. That he was too cautious to take his first step even though he could do it no problem. Yet he could climb to the top of matter how high, without an ounce of caution. Hanging off the side or teetering on the edge with me on the verge of a heart attack.

While part of me wants to look back and think of what I'll be missing. A larger part of me is looking forward to what is ahead of us...the adventures, the happy times, the heartaches, the mistakes. Things that would seem to break us but make us stronger. Things that you wish you could live without but know you can't. Things you wish you could live with forever but are fleeting.

Life's continual motion and energy...I remember there being times when I've can it go on? Like after the deaths of my in laws or Carrie's cancer diagnosis. I thought...How can these people keep going like everything is the same? Why can't everything just stop and let me catch up? It's THAT push to go on and never stop that makes us get through those tough times. Life is good!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

After the party

It's amazing how everyone feels about the house right now. Quite a few of them have asked if we could keep the house like this. If they could invite someone over. It's also made them want to keep their bedrooms cleaner. Now if I can only get them to keep up that attitude not to mention keep up the maintenance. Michelle and Liz seem to be the main maintenance workers right now. I'm trying my hardest to keep it up too. (hard to do when you suck at it)

For myself it's made it so that I want to cook again. I've always loved cooking and baking, it was just so hard to do in my messy kitchen that I didn't bother. I'm wanting to bake cookies again, even in the heat and humidity. Yesterday found me making a huge batch of simple syrup which I've been wanting to do for a loooong time. I mixed some of the syrup with kool-aid mix and made shaved ice flavoring. I have also used it to made 2 half gallons of sweet tea. Liz keeps asking me to pick up a sweet tea from McDs after picking up Michelle from work. She didn't believe me when I told her I could make it at home. *sticks her tongue out at Liz* Told ya so!

I'm taking this week off but it's also encouraged me to get the rest of the house done. I never finished my room but it's very doable and I already have the paint for it. The little bedroom was almost clean and then we started cleaning the rest of the house. It's not as bad as it was originally but it needs a good hard cleaning. Eventually I'd like to paint that too...before Danielle and Sean move into it. Of course the rest of the kids have big plans for what they want their rooms to look like...paint colors, how to paint it (sponging, polka dots, etc) and whatnot. I see lots of little jobs that would add the special touch to the house, like the curtain I've been planning on making for the small bathroom closet door.

Sunday it rained most of the day. Luckily Drew had brought over his 32" high def TV, Xbox 360 along with games and movies. Namely Rockband.

Carrie on bass, Liz on drums, Luke on guitar and Michelle on vocals.

We've been playing it nonstop and having a ball! It's amazing how certain kids have certain talents and it helps them show through. I knew that Carrie sang well. I didn't realize how well she did. She schools us at every chance! Eileen is banging on the drums with a lot of clarity and rhythm. I wouldn't mind forking over for lessons after seeing her enjoy herself so much these last few days. Me, I'm glad to have the opportunity to bang on the drums myself. When I had the chance to take music lessons in school I wanted to learn the drums. I was told I couldn't because I was a girl!

I'm really thinking we're going to need to buy a new tv, game system and rockband. Granted I could buy rockband for our PS2. Problem is rockband is a good chunk of change and I don't want to buy it for a system that's so iffy (it's old and can be tempermental). We'll see.

The cutest moment of the whole weekend was on Sunday when Sean climbed up on the couch, grabbed the microphone and started rocking out. Here's a video (a bit cut up for brevity sake)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How the girls got two parties

For a few months the girls were saying their party was July 18th. Me being the dingdong that I am, assumed that the 18th was a Saturday. It wasn't until about 3wks before the party that I realized it was a Friday. Actually I had to have it drilled into my head.

I just happened to be looking at a calendar while we were talking about the party. Michelle mentioned the 18th and I noticed it was a Friday. I corrected her...she meant that her party was the 19th. No mom...the party is on the 18th. Michelle! The 18th is a Friday, you mean the party is the 19th. NO MOM! Our party is the mistake about it.

It just so happens that the 19th is a huge all day rock concert in the town over from here. That means a lot of their friends will be there. Also being young adults, most of them have to work on Saturday.

Well I refused to do the work for a party I'd be able to enjoy for a few hours! People don't get out of work until 6 or so. That meant they only had a few hours before the mosquitos were out and/or people had to go home to put little ones to bed.

So I declared the party was as much for me as it was for the girls! So they could still have their party on Friday (since people had already been invited for at least a month) and I would have my own party on Saturday.

Tom and I got a bit nervous as Friday night went along. It's a huge responsiblity to have all those young adults on your property. Luckily they are a good group of kids. They were responsible and respectful. I was laughing that we've been louder with just our family around a fire. There was no screaming, yelling, fighting or funny business. They didn't mind Tom nor I hanging around and observing or even hanging out and having a conversation Although if the little ones had tried to join in that might've been a different story (we kept them up near the house)

I can't say that it went perfectly. There was some drama but it was one of my own kids that caused it. (not Val or Michelle) Unfortunately that drama resulted in me getting about half an hour to an hour sleep total that night.

Saturday was a small and quiet party. As the day got closer I started regretting cutting back on the number of people I'd invited. My dad said it was too bad I had since my aunts' grandkids graduations cost my dad over $100 this summer. It wasn't fair that his sisters and brothers were getting off for free. lol I admit, another reason why I opted to exclude them is that I have so many kids. I feel guilty that an invitation would make them feel obligated to fork over money to the grad or grads and they've done it so many times already. Oh well, I probably would've had enough food for them too.

Somehow I lost the pictures I took at Saturday's party (there was a good one of my mom too!) The only ones I have are the ones that mistakenly were put on my camera's internal memory (didn't realize the memory card was still in the card reader). Luckily they were cute pics of Sean being fed yummy colorful frosting from the cake.

How NOT to get ready for a graduation party

Sorry for the length of this. I was afraid I wouldn't finish it if I broke it up into more then one post.

So with no where to drive last weekend I got busy. I did a bunch of stuff that (as usual) isn't noticeable to the common eye. I also went in the pool, cooked real meals and had a REAL conversation with my husband for over an hour! (rare time where the kids slept in) I can't remember when the last time that happened. Over all it was a very good weekend.

I'd decided to cut back on things for the party due to feeling overwhelmed and lack of time. I decided I wouldn't call my aunts and uncles because the house wasn't in the best shape and I'd be embarrassed for them to see it. Everyone else knew what it was like here normally. lol Also I didn't really have the finances to feed everyone. That took a lot of pressure off of me.

I'd also decided there wasn't enough time to paint. I felt the state of the house had gotten so bad that we wouldn't be able to do both paint and clean. Michelle and Val told me if I picked out COLORS (meaning no boring antique white), they'd do the painting. So after picking Michelle up at work on Monday we went to Lowes and picked out paint colors. I decided on Bayside for the livingroom and Steeple gray for the kitchen. What I told the paint guy was totally different. Michelle looked at the paint chip I referenced for the livingroom and asked why I changed my mind on the color. I realized my mistake but it was too late, he'd already mixed it. He had to mix me up a new one and mark the original can as a mistint...oops! When I got back the can of gray I noticed it said Feldspar on it. I looked at the paint chips and sure enough...I'd pointed out the WRONG chip to him. I couldn't bring myself to cause another can of mistint and ask for the lighter steeple grey, so we took it home.

The girls went right to work....

The thing about painting have to pull the room apart to get it done. So while we were suppose to be making the rooms neater. They were getting destroyed! UGH! We finished the livingroom in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (yes, I ended up painting too...I know...they said they'd do it...but still, they can't have ALL the fun lol).

Tuesday morning we were up bright and early, ready to take on the house again. Val got to work on the kitchen and Michelle had a brilliant idea...NOT! Hey Mom! Can I do the kitchen floor!?! You see my kitchen floor was a mess! It's 19yo almost bottom of the line linoleum. To make matters worse when we put our refrigerator in (when the house was just being built) the fridge ripped the linoleum. We never managed to fix it correctly. Over the years the rip has slowly grown so that a huge section of the flooring is missing in the middle of my kitchen, almost all the way across the room. It looked horrible. I'd bought boxes of cheap vinyl tiles to temporarily lay down until we had the time and money to put in real tiles. The boxes have been sitting in the corner of the kitchen for well over a year (might even be two years). I've asked for them to be put in for birthdays, mother's day and christmas presents but there they sat. So Michelle finally had the gumption and incentive to do it. Val agreed to finish the painting on her own. I of course said sure...go ahead! Deadline...what deadline? I laugh in the face of deadlines! HA ha ha!

We push everything over to one side and Michelle and Carl start ripping up the linoleum. Hmmm this wasn't going to be as easy as we thought. What hadn't chipped away was securely glued to the floor. By the time Michelle needed to leave for work they had a third of the top layer off, the backing and adhesive were still there. After dropping off Michelle I ran to Lowes and bought some adhesive remover and putty knives to try to remove what was left behind. Carl and I worked our fannies off and it wasn't going so well. I picked up Michelle and the 3 of us started back on the floor again. All the time I'm thinking...I'm suppose to be CLEANING! lol We mess with that third of the floor into the early hours of Wednesday. I was getting blisters from the putty knife and my shoulders were killing me. At least Val got the kitchen painted. Poor Sean was really irritated because he couldn't have his mom whenever and however he wanted. Luckily the little girls and my nieces were here to try to keep him and Danielle busy.

Wednesday was Eileen's 10th birthday. She'd really wanted to do something so Tom took the day off and took her to the beach for the day. (he's such a sweetheart!) He had Eileen, Olivia, Danielle, my sister's youngest and a few of his sister's little girls. They surprised me and stayed until the park closed.

Val was pretty happy to see them go. She was painting the hall which is very difficult to do with people walking up and down it. Tom and I decided the kitchen floor didn't have to be perfect since it's intended to be temporary. So we ripped the floor up and scraped what we could, making sure there were no lumps to mess up the tiles. (if we had the money we'd have just laid luan down over the old flooring...problem solved). The job that I thought would talk a month went quickly after that. We were ready to lay tiles that night. Everyone sat around watching Val and I lay them down. New floor installed by 2am! Yay!!! What a relief!

You can see the color of my kitchen in this one too.

Thursday morning I dropped Carrie off for the school bus then Michelle, Sean, Cory and I got ready to go shopping for the food. We made good time and pretty much stuck to the list, still it was HUGE carload! Everyone helped unpack the car when we got home. We started putting the newly painted rooms back together. It was great having the kitchen tables back. I just don't have any counterspace to work on. Poor Danielle she didn't get it. She kept asking me...can I have some? Only to be told...that's for the party. I finally relented and let the little girls have some treats for a much needed movie night in their room.

Having everyone settled down for the evening I did what any sensible person getting ready for a party would do....I recovered my couch! I bought 2 queen size sheet sets and got busy with a staple gun, needle and thread. I was talking to my sister on the phone and she couldn't believe I was doing it. I told her too bad, I'm enjoying it and I'm gonna do it. Besides if I don't want to sit on my couch, how can I expect anyone else to? I'm quite proud of my work...if I must say so.

Notice the new white blinds too?

Incase you were wondering what it looked like before...

Can someone PLEASE tell me why it's almost impossible to find blinds in any color besides white? You used to be able to get green, black, blue and rose off the shelf no problem. Now all they carry is white or alabaster. What about some nice black room darkening ones!?!

Anyways Thursday night we finished putting the rooms back together and took care of all the odds and ends that needed to be done. Well with a bit more being done on Friday morning (mostly odd kitchen stuff that I have NO idea what to do with in my limited cabinet space).

Friday afternoon I started the cooking. We were eating what I put out shortly after the first guest pulled up. The work was done and the fun was about to start!

Unique week

Before I go into how much we did the week before the party I'll mention what happened the week before.

For most of the week and all of the weekend almost all of my big kids were GONE! Liz was at my sister's for the week, (came back the Monday before the party and brought my nieces with her), Michelle was working and then at Cedar Point, Jake went camping for 17 days with UB, Carrie was at school, Luke was in and out...doing things (spending the night) with church friends (as was Carrie after school). So the only kids home were Eileen, Olivia, Danielle and Sean with Carrie and Luke flitting in and out.

Danielle showing off the latest clothes line...Baby Brother's

It was actually a neat time. I could discipline someone without having a "trial". Meaning having someone trying to defend the little one and get them off the hook. I also wasn't told how I could do it better or what I should've done. (when we were little, you would've....) The little kids don't need to go anywhere. They're content to stay home with us most of the time. So the pressure to go and do was gone. They're only one "age group" of kids. I wasn't juggling older kids' needs with younger kids' ones. We could play silly little games and sing silly songs without the eye rolling and balking. When it was was bedtime! No odd kid up into the wee hours of the morning. (now if only Tom could stay up past 9pm ;o) lol)

Sunday morning found only Tom and I up for quite a while. We sat on the front porch, drank our coffee together and had a real conversation with WHOLE sentences for over an hour! Pure bliss.

Then kids woke up, Sean ended up with a really high fever for 2 days (don't know where he got that one but oh well), big kids trickled home and brought MORE kids with them, and a deadline stared me in the face. It was fun having things different for a while but this is my life now...and I kinda like it! ;o)

Poor Carrie

Poor Carrie got the bus ride home from hell last Monday. Seems their bus driver doesn't care for noise too much. Kids have complained to parents that they can't even talk. (not sure how exaggerated that is though). Well it seems that the bus driver deemed it necessary to pull the bus over and park on the side of a busy road for over 30mins in extremely hot and sunny weather, during the hottest part of the day (1:30). What did those terrible kids do? They whistled. Well actually someone whistled and then someone else blew a whistle. She was bound and determined to find out WHO did it and they weren't leaving until she found out. She never did, although at least one kid offered to say he did it as long as she started driving again.

They were over 45mins late getting back to school. To say the kids weren't happy is an understatment. They were HOT, thirsty, hungry and lots of them had to go to the bathroom (I know my kids hold it until they get home, they hate using the bathrooms at school). I was NOT happy. Lots of days that happening would've made Michelle late to work and risk her getting fired. Luckily she started work at 4 instead of 2:15. I learned a lesson...always change into clean clothes (had painting clothes on), put on your shoes (yep, I was barefooted), and don't ever think it's only going to be a quick 20min trip there adn back and it's ok to leave the baby home. Because that'll be the day that it'll be an hour trip.

I put in a call to the principal (who talked to everyone on the bus before they were allowed to leave). I wanted to know if that was acceptable for the driver to do because if it was...Carrie was going to be driven to school by ME! I'm not about to allow my child...who was innocent, be held hostage by an irritated bus driver who should probably think of a new profession, from the sounds of things. I was assured it was NOT protocol and she won't be doing that again. So far so good on the bus these days.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's a small world

Michelle was gone the weekend of the 11th. She went to Cedar Point with a friend and the friend's mom and brother. From all reports, they had a great time. On the way home Michelle called me and asked if I'd meet them at a park and ride lot off the Thruway so they didn't have to drive so far. I agreed. When I pulled in Michelle was gathering her stuff when I hear...YEP! I knew I knew her!

I looked at who was speaking and she looked familiar. I kept trying to think if I knew her or of it was because she looked a bit like one of my cousin's grown children. Then she said the magic words...I think I took care of your daughter before. AHA! I knew who she was. She was "A", Carrie's main nurse when she was in ICU for 3 weeks with meningitis! Carrie just happened to tag along for the ride so she got to see her. She was amazed at how grown up she's gotten.

Seems A was looking through the photos on my camera (yes, I let Michelle take my camera!) and thought she recognized my face. Now I know Michelle wasn't lying when she said she had fun...the woman is a riot to talk to! As we were putting Michelle's stuff in my trunk, Michelle's friend was pulling something out of a cooler and throwing them in the trunk. A said...I picked these up for your family. I knew you probably could use them. It was stack of white hotel towels! OMGoodness!!! On the way home I said to Michelle...they'll charge her credit card for those. Michelle said no, she pulled them from the cleaning lady's cart.

So now I have hot towels hanging in my bathroom.

Friday, July 18, 2008

All work and no play

All work and no play make Kim a dull blogger, mother, wife, aunt and friend. Not only dull but grumpy and on the edge too. Let's just say it hasn't been very fun around here this week. We're working our fannies off getting things done before the girls' graduation party which is tonight and tomorrow (how a 2 day party came about is another post).

Anyways, I don't have tons of time to write but wanted to let everyone know I'm still around. Hopefully I'll be back on Sunday or Monday to share the experience.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's gonna be a scorcher

I'm not complaining...although ACK! It's hot and humid here again. I wish mother nature would make up her I suppose to be shivering or broiling? I was saying we should've brought winter coats to the drive-in on Sat night and last night I couldn't breathe in my room it was so stuffy. Of course the fact that the window was CLOSED might've had something to do with that. LOL Actually after opening the window sleeping was quite pleasant last night.

The kids keep begging me to go with me in the air conditioned car. It's one of the things about having the car that bugs me. The limited amount of kids I can bring with me. I hate having to make the decision of who to take. It's so much easier with the van....just letting anyone that wants to go, go. The fact that I seem to be spending a lot of time in the car makes it even worse since I'm missing out on spending time with the kids. Granted I could take the van. Thing is it has a hefty appetite for gas which we don't have the funds to freely feed.

Carrie started summer school yesterday. I felt like crying when I dropped her off. I know she was nervous and didn't really know anyone. Yes, she knew of the people that were there but they're not people she's hung around with, most of them being high schoolers. She really does cover all topics in school, including phys ed. And she had a good bit of homework to do when she got home. :o( I know this is the best thing for her, but it still makes me sad. From what she talked about on the way home, she seems to have had a good day and made some friends (3 districts combine for the classes, so some new kids were there).

Luke spent most of the day yesterday in his room, cleaning it. Quite an impressive feat considering what it looked like to start with. I know he'll work hard to keep it like that too. I haven't progressed too much around here. I've fixed a few the screen door, done laundry and regular cleaning which of course you can't see or is totally undone again. I'm still trying to figure out which colors I want to paint the livingroom and kitchen. As the days tick by I'm not sure if it'll get done. It's not like the party will be ruined if it's not done. It's just a good motivator to do it (I work best under pressure).

I'm getting excited about this weekend. Michelle is going away to Cedar Point and Carrie doesn't have any classes, so no driving to do!!! Woohooo! Ok, there probably will be some driving to do, but no planned driving as of right now.

Danielle has decided she is afraid of the roosters now. She was leary of them but functioned ok when outside with them. This morning she fell apart and froze, requiring someone to get her. Luckily she still likes the chicks. My hope is that the chicks will get big gradually and she'll be ok with them when they're big. Otherwise she's going to have a problem! LOL

The Volvo is gone! Our driveway looks weird now and we've lost a "shed", but it's gone. Tom's friend came and towed it out of here Sunday evening.

I forgot to mention, I got a letter from my old insurance company. Seems I'll probably receive notice of a lawsuit against me concerning my accident. They also let me know that the suit will probably be more then my $100,000 limit and I may want to seek my own legal counsel as I'm personally responsible for anything over the limit's amount. It just floors me! You couldn't even tell her truck was in an accident by looking at it. She refused treatement at the scene despite her friends mentioning they should check her over a few times (she's a volunteer at the fire department that attended the scene). Granted she could've felt the effects of the accident afterwards and went to the hospital later. I know I felt it and wondered if I should have Sean (who was 4wks old at the time) checked out more thoroughly. But over $100,000 worth medical damages? She was walking and talking, directing traffic and whatnot! I've been told that most likely she'll settle for something close to yet under my insurance's limit before it goes to court. But that right? I don't begrudge her what she's entitled to. I just can't see how it amounts to the amount she says it is. Even if I agreed with her and WANTED to pay her myself, it's not going to happen. I mean...if I don't have enough money for groceries, where does she think her money is coming from? Oh well, I try not to think about it as it's not a definite thing.

And just because I don't want to end my post on that note. Here's pictures of a few things that are growing in my very neglected garden...


Phlox (grow wild around here too but not as full)

Lady's mantle

Red Sedum (turns red in the fall)

The weeds are even pretty

Monday, July 07, 2008

Now what was I saying?

No one was going to use my camera? Did I actually say that? I think I did. A lotta good it did. I took some pictures of my garden last night and when I went to upload them what did I find?

Carrie and Liz fooling around with my camera...

Someone taking pictures of Val...

And Carl....

We had visitors yesterday! Tom's little brother J came by with some friends...

and his son Jjr.

They also brought over two....

TYE DYED Roosters!

They're real cool looking. They bought them from a farm on Thursday (they were originally white!) and took them camping with them for the weekend and gave them a dye job. They never intended to keep them for a pet (kid they bought them off wanted to know if they wanted them butchered when they bought them) So now they are here, living out their days until it's time to become fried chicken. And we'll get some practice processing them. Seeing how big huge chickens act and mess, I'm starting to wonder if keeping 40+ of them long term is such a brilliant idea. LOL

Here's a rare picture of me...and it's a breastfeeding one at that!

Which resulted in this...

And just for fun. Here's our backyard...
Looking up toward the house...

Looking back toward our sheds, the firepit and weedy gardens


Sunday, July 06, 2008

From dusk to dawn

It had been decided...We'd see firework on Friday night, go to the drive-in on Saturday night. The kids were stoked! Friday night came and we debated on whether to go local (10 miles away) to the county fair display or venture further away to a bigger village. We decided county fair. MISTAKE! We saw better fireworks during the trip to get to the display then we did at the display! Maybe it was our vantage point since we decided to park along a major road instead of going to the fair to watch them. But it lasted all of 6 minutes. It took us longer to figure out the best place to park then it did it see them! By the time Sean and Danielle figured things out, it was over. Sorry, I try not to complain, especially about FREE things. But I was dumbfounded when I realized what I'd just seen was the grand finale. I actually asked Tom if he wanted me to drive to the bigger village to try to catch those ones (we had about 30mins to get there and might have made it). He decided it wasn't worth the effort, especially since we had more fun on the docket with the trip to the drive-in the next day. Oh well.

Eileen had been to her friend's camp for the 4th. When Tom brought her home on Saturday she came in with a bouquet of flowers. I let her take a picture of them (please ignore the background...half put away laundry and cooler for that night's activities)

Jake had been working on a model rocket Fri and Saturday. When it was finally completed we all gathered around for the liftoff.

Jake with his masterpiece

A little late with this picture...smoke trail

Carrie watching Jake put it together for a 2nd trip.

The 2nd trip went off well but didn't end well. He upped the ignition and it went HIGH. Unfortunately the rocket body came off the tether to the parachute and plummeted to the ground. The parachute and nosecone enjoyed a ride on the breeze for quite some time. Neither sections were recovered. Think I know something more to get Jake for his birthday next month. He really seemed to enjoy it.

Then it was time to make dinner and get cracking on drive-in preps. Michelle played EARTHQUAKE!!! with Sean and Danielle to keep them busy.


What was playing you ask? A great lineup!...Wall E, the 2nd Narnia, and the 2nd National Treasure. I love the drive-in because you can bring your own snacks and drinks with you. I know, they have a concession stand and it's the main source of profit. We almost always manage to buy things there, freeze pops, etc. This time the older kids used their money there. (although why you'd buy freeze pops when you're a popsicle yourself baffles was COLD out!) Anyways, onto the drive-in pics...

All the kids in the car...

Jake entertaining us. The sound comes over a certain radio station. They play music before the movie. Jake was dancing.

Everyone settling into their seats...

It didn't take Sean and Danielle long until they were out cold. I had brought my FP sleep and play dome.

It worked out well for the first 2 movies, they both snuggled in together. I didn't have to worry about them getting cold since they had bodyheat. Sean stirred during Narnia but I just nursed him and he went back down. Unfortunately as the 3rd movie started Sean woke up again and woke up Danielle who then went into a screaming fit. I grabbed them both and went into the van. This was NOT conductive to movie viewing...sound was muffled outside, windows kept getting covered in dew, and I was wrestling 2 little ones behind the steering wheel. Finally I got them situated and we settled in for a snooze. I did see some of the movie but not enough to say whether I liked it or not. The other ones I liked...especially Wall E.

As were driving home we realized that the northeast horizon was brightening! (my camera wouldn't take a picture of it) We pulled into the driveway and climbed out of the van. The birds were singing! It was 4:45am!!! UGH! But at least everyone had a great time.