Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Its not them, its me. Sigh......
I had to post tonight:

can someone explain to me the appeal in disassembling a toy-literally, one with tiny screws and somehow rendering the toy inoperable because the pieces to it are spread everywhere? not sure whether to be amused and consider buying an erector set, or be frustrated/angry at the specifics (not to mention that I just bought replacement parts for it so we could have more fun with the toy). sigh....

Matthew disassembled a toy-one I had just bought replacement parts for, ones that took me awhile to find, then order, then wait for the order. I was patiently waiting for a day we could take it to the park and play with it. It was a rocket shooter thing, something I don't understand, but the boys have been fond of. I was so excited. And then I saw him crouched down near his closet, unscrewing tiny screws with a kitchen knife, and I startled him-actually, I was startled too, since I entered intending to do my nightly check in and did not expect a shadowy figure by the corner of the room. I was fit to be tied-I tried asking him what he was doing, but I could sense I was freaking out-yes, over a toy. I had to walk out before I snapped, yes, over a toy. But I walked out because letting loose was not something I wanted to do, and once Robert came out (he had entered the room to see what the commotion was about) I went back in. I crawled into bed with my son, and tried to understand his train of thought. I tried to tell him how I was more worried about him bleeding or getting cut with a knife than anything (which I was too), but most of all, I tried to tell him that I didn't know if I was going to be able to fix his toy *which had been hidden in my closet, which was another point that had me riled up. Sigh....I love my children, I really really do. But after this-not to mention any toy that had had a back is now missing its back (which has happened over the past week), I'm torn. Do I put away toys that have screws, or invest in this?

Monday, June 27, 2011


Elijah's burn is healing. The worst looks like its behind us (and I'm not even thinking about medical bills here). We go back on Friday to the burn unit for a third time, hoping it heals more and the skin comes in smooth. Time will tell.

Caribbean chicken salad sounds delicious for dinner this week. We just need a mango, and considering we're low on fruit already this week, we'll add that to our list.

Summer reading program is this afternoon. Kids are going to bring their summer reading logs and get a prize. I'm also taking one of their friends with us-but its a surprise. ♥ it!

Looking for school/life supplies is happening. Always one to stretch our dollars/and conserve resources, I'm finding inspiration and love for reusable sandwich wraps. I found an awesome site http://www.reuseit.com/ that has been given good feedback, as well as http://baggubag.com/#Shop; I love http://www.etsy.com/, and I'm thinking we'll do a mix of all three sites to buy what we need for our family. I know when its all said and done, it will pay off-I hate waste, and its an easy way of being frugal too.

Our coffeemaker bit the dust last week. I asked for feedback from everyone I knew for recommendations. Their suggestion: Keurig and Bunn. While I love the idea of a one cup machine, both Robert and I drink at least two cups each in the morning, and then maybe a cup in the afternoon when its cooler weather. I love iced coffee too. So between our frequent coffee consumption, and the combination of unfriendly environment k-cups, and the cost of the machine, and the negative feedback on how long the machines last, it was a no-go. Although there were lower end Bunn coffee makers, it was more than I wanted to spend (and the glass carafe was not appealing, as we've broken several in the past). This is what I ended up with: Faberware Percolator. I grew up with my parents owning the stove top version, but with the kids and our lifestyle, I thought this was a good compromise. I will be on the hunt for a stove top one at a thrift store-if I come across one, then great; if not, electric one will be used. Oh, and it was free too. I used survey points to convert into an amazon gift card. Score! It would have had to wait until Friday (payday) only since I didn't want to use the rest of our wiggle room money on a coffee maker since the end of the month is so close, so this made me extremely happy.

I have a lot of pictures from the past week and weekend. Right now, I'm feeling lazy and don't want to connect the camera, the whole nine yards of connecting pictures to the blog. I'll probably do it tonight.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Recipe corner

I am what you call a novice foodie; I love more than just basic meat and potatos, but not quite comfortable dishing out gourmet meals. My meals tend to be a cross between Paula Dean, Rachel Ray, and Sandra Lee. The magazines that inspire me are Whole Living and Everyday Food. For international cuisine, I gravitate towards the internet, and learn as I go along. Sometimes canned, sometimes bagged; but leaning more and more towards whole food cooking. I may be a great couponer, but as I've learned, coupons do come out for fresh meat, produce, dairy, and other items. You just have to be savvy about shopping the sales.

I'm going to add recipes to my blog. Things I come across, things I've tried. I hope to get inspiration on those nights where I look in the fridge and say "Yeah, dinner out would be nice, but we have a ton of food here, but I don't know what to make." Enjoy!

What I made for the baby shower this morning and for the girls night in tonight:
Fruit Pizza

What would make a great dinner for us this weekend: Summer Squash and Zucchini Bites

Friday, June 24, 2011


Gabriel sat with Rebecca this morning and played pat a cake with her. My fiercely independant, fun loving, loud five year old was sweet, gentle, and mellow with his seven month old baby sister. The look on both their faces-priceless. Contentment, joy, love for each other. Hard to believe a couple of years ago I was on the fence about adding to our family, and here we are with our four children ♥ We are so blessed ♥

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday-burn unit

Tuesday morning Elijah woke up, and his right eye appeared swollen shut. I made the call to drop off the older boys at Vacation Bible School, and call the ped for an appointment. We literally flew to an appointment a half hour later, and were given more ointment and eye drops. The pediatrician was able to look in Elijah's eye, and determined it was fine. She was, however, concerned about the burn itself. She was worried about scarring, since the blisters had come off so quickly after the burn. I was told that a referral would be made, and while I was on my way home to pick up the boys from VBS, I received a call to be at the local hospital's burn unit in 90 minutes. I dropped the older boys off at summer camp, and then picked up Robert who went with me to the hospital. We were seen quickly, and the staff were phenomenal. I had never expected this to happen, but they put us at ease, and Elijah was really brave. We received more ointment, and instruction on how to care for his face. We also have a follow up appointment on Friday to see how his new skin is developing. We were at the hospital for an hour, and I was so glad to leave when we were done. Passing by the waiting room on that floor; all my problems felt so minute, and I was so relieved to have my little boy with me going home.

There haven't been blame games here. Robert and I both know its an accident; even Elijah said it was an accident. I hate that it happened, and both me and Robert would gladly take Elijah's place so he wouldn't be in pain. Elijah slept in our bed again, this time more comfortable and not in so much pain. He was clingy, but that's to be expected. Healing takes time, and we'll do what we need to do to help him.


Monday was a nice, relaxing day. It started out with Vacation Bible School, and the younger two kids and me hanging out in Reedley. It was fun-and the older boys enjoyed themselves. We came home for lunch, and I started to prep the second flat of nectarines for canning. It was going well, I finished all the prep, made the jam, and started to heat the water on the stove. I had all the kids occupied/Rebecca was in her high chair w/ cheerios, and the older three were playing in the playroom. I told the boys to stay out of the kitchen, since I was at the stove. They all understood-they see me there day after day, prepping, cooking, cleaning. I thought it was okay.

Right as I'm getting ready to place the second filled jar of jam into the hot water bath, E comes near me. I told him to back up, since I didn't want the hot water to splash up on him. No sooner do I say those words, a few drops come out of the pan and hit him in the face. He looked at me stunned, and then all hell broke loose.

I immediately applied an ice pack/cold water to his face. When that didn't soothe him, I had the kids get dressed, Matthew buckled Rebecca in her car seat, and we left to go to Urgent Care. I called Robert from the road, and told him I would call him as soon as I knew more. That was the fastest trip to Urgent care-both in getting there and getting seen. The end result: Elijah had second degree burns on his right side of his face, and nearly missed his eye. His eye appeared okay, yet Elijah would not let us near it. The dr. recommended we let him go overnight, and take him to the ped or emergency room if we were concerned with his eye-from the outside, there was no visible burn or injury to it. I made the call to wait-Elijah had calmed down once ointment was applied, and tylenol was given. We made it home, the kids went to bed, and Elijah slept with us. It was a long night-I don't think any of us slept for more than a half hour at a time, but at least we were home.


Its been a whirlwind 30+ hours. I need to focus on taking care of E and his burn, and making sure he's comfortable. I hope to post an update today during quiet time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thoughts for today

I love making cards. Father's day cards rocked this year :)

Swimming pools are fun to have in the backyard; getting pool equipment stolen, not so much.

Trips to the donut store are fun; both for the kids who get to choose, Dad who gets to splurge, and Mom who gets one chosen for her.

Seeing baby's first tooth is just as sweet the fourth time around.

Weekends with family together, morning coffee, bbqs, chips and gauc, making memories

The attic fan rocks. We haven't used our a/c at all. Combined with the pool use, this summer is going to be nice and cool.

Family time is the best-kisses, hugs, planning trips. Just being together. That's wha its about :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The kids and I camped in the living room yesterday. Amid the giggles, and carrying on, somehow we all fell asleep. Well before dishes, laundry, and housework was done. It was fun hearing Rebecca giggle at her brothers, her brothers talking about swimming that day, and something about dinosaurs and who wanted to do what this morning. Its amazing that we woke up this morning in good spirits, and not cranky. I woke up around midnight and cleared the kitchen-took a half hour and it looked decent. Big plans today. Swim lessons, playtime at a water feature park, more canning & baking, popsicle and smoothie making. ♥ summertime

Monday, June 13, 2011


I'm posting what we did after we went berry picking, but because we're going back today to pick more berries, I may just post the ones from that trip, instead of last week. This weekend, I canned. and canned. and canned some more. It was fun-and delicious! I think I need to go and buy more jars-because 4 cases are not enough when I've already used 1 1/2 just for blueberry and blueberry nectarine jam. The recipe was easy. Fresh fruit and sugar. How delicious is that-its amazing! I cannot wait to see what other creations I can come up with.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

kindred spirits-a lesson learned

I sat down to write about one thing, but fate is leading me to write about another. My friend Jennifer wrote this blog post Reconnecting and it hit home. We can get so caught up in our own stuff, life falls through the cracks. Whether its clothes that pile up, the floor that needs to be steam mopped, or the another load of laundry needs to get run-it happens. This week life happened. The house sat and we played. A lot. We went out everyday, had swim lessons, summer camp, errands for groceries and canning supplies. We had lunch out (oh my, I cracked open my wallet! ;) ) and we had easy dinners at home. Life happened.

We were late for swim lessons one day-and I had an epiphany while we were getting ready to head out. When you yell and out-you get nowhere-fast. I have grown accustomed to juggling four little bodies, but what I have yet to get accustomed to is having three of those four help out as much as we need to-as much as I'd like, if I want to remain sane years from now. I asked, cajoled, threatened (which of course did not work, and I apologized after the fact). Finally, I said we're going in x number of minutes, I've told you what we needed, you had time to get your stuff, and we're going. The kids said they had their stuff, so we went to swim lessons. 40 minutes later, the kids are back at the car, and we're looking for towels. No one had brought them. I said well, we know for next time, right? They were glum for a few minutes (and I felt bad, but I felt like I did the best I could getting everyone together for at least 3/4 their swim time). Thankfully it was a warm morning, and once the boys were in warm clothes, they were in better moods. The next day was smoother of sorts, the stuff that had been forgotten was not forgotten again. It still wasn't "perfect", but life never is truly "perfect".

I cannot be everywhere at once, and just need to stay in the moment. So I did the best I could, I took care of the baby, helped Elijah get dressed, the big kids learned a lesson, and I didn't rub it in their faces. I am always telling the kids, I'm doing the best I can, if we're partners we'll get further, and go more places. It just takes time, and at the end of the day, I want my kids to remember the stuff that counts. Like me taking them for swim lessons, and not me yelling over forgotten towels.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer fun

I love hearing this song on the radio, catchy tempo, love the end line-don't know where you're going-you might end up somewhere else. Sounds like how we're planning to be this summer.

Summertime is here, and we're having fun. Blueberry picking was on Monday, today is cherry picking. This afternoon is canning, and perhaps a pie or two.

The week is flying by-we have been keeping busy-or maybe it just seems that way. Party planning is underway for an event I'm hosting-my friend who is super creative gave me some ideas on where to look for favors/games. Excited to see how it turns out :)

Another fun filled day ahead-swimming, library, pie making. Its summertime!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dave Ramsey would be proud

Then again, I already am. Yesterday we had our whole house attic fan and new attic/roof fan installed, and today both passed the city's inspection. I am thrilled beyond belief -it is the first home improvement project we have paid for in cash. No credit, no payments, nothing. Fully paid for in CASH. That is a wonderful feeling. $742 is now spent-but considering our average a/c bill last summer was $350 (and we still paid $100 per month for gas), the outgoing cost will reduce our energy bill, and we don't have to sweat it out at home.

I did all the homework on this project, and kept Robert abreast of it before giving the final go ahead. I had people come out, I researched fans, I compared vendors. I did it all. I told Robert this morning that having led this project is a defining moment for me being a grown up-even more so because of how we planned it ahead of time, saved, and then spent our money on it. The kids have heard us plan, discuss, go over how it was going to work. They saw people come out, saw the installation take place, and saw me pay the contractor. I am thrilled-thrilled because this is something that will benefit us and we are not going to owe anyone anything for it. Seriously I cannot get over that feeling. I will not be haunted every
time I pass by the fan and wonder how long it will take for us to pay it off-because it already is.

For anyone who thinks I'm boasting too much-oh well. No one can rain on my parade-this is huge for us. Onward and upward to our next home improvement project. And yes, it will be paid for in cash.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer anthem

♥ my boys and girl who make me feel on top of the world. We had an incredible weekend getaway, and a wonderful start to our summer vacation today. Batteries on the camera are dead again-but at least it means I'm taking pictures :P Any hesitation I may ever had about having a larger family disappears as the days go on, and doing stuff like this weekend and today with my whole crew just reminds me that just because we're saving money/local bound, life doesn't have to be boring. Let the music play, and be our soundtrack for the summer :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Don't blink

The days this week were long, but in retrospect, they passed by in a minute. We had end of the school year activities, homework (up until the last day of school) and a junior high graduation. I had a bunco event last night, and enjoyed the company of some of my friends. I set up the installation appointment for our whole house attic fan, swim lessons, planned out weekly activities for this month, and made plans for one of our trips this summer. Its been a whirlwind, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I loaded up on pictures this week-its striking to see just how big the kids look in comparison to the beginning of the school year. I'll post some up later this weekend. It feels like just yesterday I was pushing the two older boys in the double stroller, wondering how I was going to survive those incredibly hard days of having two children close in age. Yet, now, with both of them in school, one going into second, the other into first, grade next year, and two more little ones with me, it really does go by quickly. I thought about my friend K, whose son passed away two years ago; his 7th birthday was yesterday. It made me sad, and made me want to hug my boys more-knowing just how much has transpired in the past two years. I wouldn't trade my crew for anything-each of them are a piece of our family-and without them, life wouldn't be as sweet.

I'm excited about summer, and the weeks ahead. We have fun times ahead and memories to make. Travels and adventure await. I often say I'll sleep when I'm gone, and how true that is. I don't want to be a passenger in life, I want to be the driver. I can't wait to see where the next bend takes me.