Saturday, August 31, 2013


We have some monarchs again this year. My friend Mary finds them in her yard - she's got a lot of milkweed. She gave us 8 caterpillars, then we found another baby one on the milkweed that we picked up to feed the other 8 hungry hungry caterpillars. So we had 9. One of them we let go outside when he was about to j-hook, so then we were back to 8. Then one of the big guys knocked off or ate the tiny one I think, cause one morning we couldn't find him - down to 7. One of the caterpillars got stepped on when he was in his wandering stage cause he got on a stool. Down to 6. 6 of them hooked, then the first one to come out was on Thursday, and he turned black and we could see the wings, but he never emerged. The chrysalis was cracked and we kept waiting, finally the next day I figured he was dead but wasn't sure, so I tried to open it - found out he was still alive inside but for some reason the poor guy wasn't able to push his way out of the chrysalis. But since it had cracked open his wings had dried up inside while they were all small. It was so sad, we felt so bad for him, but obviously he wouldn't survive, so I took him outside and sent him to fly in heaven (I squished him after an "I'm sorry" prayer).  So at our peak we had 9 and now 4 were dead. Hopefully these next 5 all survive. 
We watched the two black ones above come out this morning, so amazing.

The kids had fun with them. One of them was anxious to get on with his life and flew off high in a tree The other one stuck around for a while so we took lots of pictures. They named him Brian -

So amazing. It makes it worth putting up with all the frass (aka caterpillar poop) when they finally emerge. Love it.  I think the other 3 will be coming out tomorrow if anyone wants to come by. :)

Friday, August 30, 2013


One evening this week we had a light sprinkling rain and rainbows. So I decided to go for a quick run, and then the winds came in as did the torrential rain and I got soaked. Opposition in all things (see verse 11). I love running in the rain though, it reminded me of when we lived in Virginia, I got caught in the rain a few times there.
One moment I'm enjoying some reading with Natalie curled up like a cat next to the warm fireplace and the rest of the kids are nicely and quietly playing. I'm able to do some work and get ahead just slightly with chores, then I hear water running. Sophia has made some soup in the tub. I'm glad I caught her before she threw in anything of value. Toys, a towel, blanket, pillow, I can handle that kinda of opposition.
And Natalie's starting to fuss a bit. I think she's missing her siblings constantly holding her now that they're at school. I haven't let her just cry yet, I'm sure we'll get there when I finally decide I really need to start getting things done around here. But no one likes to hear a sweet baby cry, right? We gotta go rescue the poor little creature and kiss her. Isn't this just the prettiest little sweetest face ever?
Oh Sophi, I mean Lily, no (ok Tiff, use your brain...her name is...) NATALIE, you are so pretty!!
I am doing that Bill Cosby thing a lot lately, where I just starting throwing out names when I'm trying to talk to the kids - I asked Abi to go get me a diaper so I could change Sophi, and I said "Can you go get me a diaper for Lily, I mean Abi... I mean...." and Abi looked at me and laughed "Get a diaper for ME?!?!" "A - diaper - for - SOPHI. That is what I meant to say." No current opposition with my brain right now, it's muddled all the time. Maybe I have a few decades of this then the opposition (razor sharp thinking) will kick in when we're empty nesters?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Before Bedtime Laughs

Putting the kids to bed recently one night ~ they were finishing up brushing their teeth and then gathering to the top of the stairs for prayer and scriptures. I was in brushing my teeth and I heard quiet little chatter followed by a big laugh, then again quiet talking followed by a big laugh. When I came out I saw the game they were playing with Sophia - Melodie was wearing her 5th grade shirt, where each student drew a self portrait and they were all put on a class shirt together - Mel wears it as her pajama shirt.
They would ask Sophia "Where is Wesley?" and she'd study the shirt and then point at a portrait, then they'd all laugh. Repeat  ~"Where is Abi?" Hmm - Sophia quietly pondered the faces then made her choice.
Sophi said Wesley was Isiah in the photo above and Abi was Thomas. It is kinda funny, she always seemed to point at the most odd looking people or choose girl drawings for her brothers. Ethan has a shirt like this too, it's become one of their favorite Sophi games. Simple pleasures. :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Snuggle Baby

A few pics of me snuggling my baby - Natalie was so relaxed and it felt so nice to just feel her little "I weigh as much as a bag of sugar" body on my chest I had to get a picture.
She's finally got a really strong new baby smell, you know the smell, right? It's some kind of organic milk smell ~ I love it.
I'll stick my nose into her neck like she's got hers in mine in these pictures and just breath and smell her wonderful baby smell, it's a wonderful stress reliever.
She doesn't seem to mind me close in on her personal space, and just look at that little grin. Natalie sleeps best when she's being held close and tight, especially if her face is kinda covered to get that "still in the womb" feeling.
Enjoying this time. Lots of time to be still and quiet and relax countered with busy and loud running around cleaning up chaos. And still finding and vacuuming up glitter ;) It's opposition in all things. 

Monday, August 26, 2013


Abi finally started school today. She has been looking forward to this day for over a year. She is really ready. She was even anxious and ready to go last year, but poor girl, her birthday was 2 days shy of the cut off, so her friends went off to school and Abi had to wait. Today the wait was over and she was up and ready to walk out the door at 7:40, an hour before she had to leave. Then she asked why it takes so long for the bus to come.
I thought I should make her wear some of her new clothes or atleast doll up her hair a bit special for her first day, but she got ready by herself and didn't want me to do her hair.
Her brothers were anxious to show her the ropes of catching the bus and they walked with her to the bus stop. Happy Kindergarten Day Abi!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Who Left Out the Scissors?

Lily was over playing at a neighbor's house when Joseph informed me that there were clumps of hair on the floor of his room. I asked "Light brown or dark?"  "Light.... it looks like Lily's." When she returned home, I summoned her to come before me. Sure enough, cut hair isn't something you can talk your way out of. We'd found the guilty party.
Lily, what do you have to say for yourself?
So, I got my scissors and tried to see how we could fix it. It's not the first time Lily's cut her own hair, and I'm pleased to say I handled it like a pro. I calmly put her on the bathroom counter and made her hair symmetrical. Luckily it's still kinda long in the front, so I thought it turned out cute. As she checked herself out in the mirror some haircut remorse set in. She says she looks like a boy.
Hopefully she'll decide not to take her hair into her own hands again. As for me, I get so hot with my hair that cutting the hair off of her neck looked very appealing to me.
You're still gorgeous Lily.

For a little laugh, here's a cute video I saw today - The Hungry Games, My favorite part, where the daughter says "You can feed us but we'll still be hungry!" So true. Usually it's right after I've finally got the dishwasher loaded and going and the table wiped off that a kid comes into the kitchen, opens the fridge, and asks "Can I have some food?"

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wave Crash

The good news and the bad news - the good news is that I think I'm on my way out of my slump that I've been for probably the last 5 days. Bad news is that I'm on my way out cause I hit bottom last night. To use Mars and Venus terminology, my wave crashed.

Dinner was done and I was in the bedroom doing the usual, watching tv while Natalie nursed (NOVA Making Stuff Stronger, pretty interesting, not that I understood much of it..."At 8:03, my brain exploded!"). All the kids, I thought, were out participating in the funeral services for our pet Twix who passed away on Tuesday. Well, they come in from the funeral, I tell them to get ready for bed, they tell me the toilet is clogged again (someone is using to much tp, can't find the culprit) and as I go out to fix the toilet, I notice there are little sparkling pieces of glitter here and there. I wasn't alarmed but I should have been. Before I got to unplugging the toilet, I happened to glance into the playroom, and that is where my crashing began. Glitter all over the floor. "ABI! LILY!" I then learned that most of the kids were outside burying Twix except for the 2 that I need to keep an eye on. Abi found the glitter which the older kids (said with an angry tone) had left out within the reach of little hands - they used it for fairy dust or something and sprinkled it on his grave during the eulogy.
So, Abi found it and took Lily with her into the one room of the house that I had cleaned after the kids got home, the play room, and they closed the door and proceeded to make glitter soup and have a glitter party with it. Luckily the older kids knew the drill of what to do when Mom is going to explode and they quickly helped clean up the mess.
Sophia, intrigued by the sparkly stuff on the floor, got down on her knees to get a better look. I'll let you know that that picture does NOT do the mess justice. I put Mel to task on the stairs as the glitter had been tracked all through the house from the back door through the kitchen (Hyrum was sweeping there) and up the stairs and into the bathroom, laundry room, and all of the bedrooms. I put Joseph to task trying to vacuum it off of Abi's sticky sweaty head (they were throwing it in the air and pouring it upon themselves).
And I'm thinking "WHY do I even BUY this stuff?!?!?!' I don't know why. Some sort of brain damage I have.
We had both the vacuums going, had the dyson do the first run through as a surface cleaner, then brought out the big guns and let Mr. Kirby finish cleaning up the stuff that was hiding.

After a half hour it was pretty cleaned up, although I'm sure I'll be seeing little sparkles on the floor here and there for the next week. I thanked the kids for helping and told them that I'm sure I'll laugh about it very soon. Then I told them how Joe and Mel made a big mess when they were little, playing with the laundry soap like it was sand. I broke out the old scrapbook from 2003 and showed them a picture. 
They got a good laugh from it and we were able to end the evening on a good note, I gave Abi and Lily a hug and I'm glad we're all still friends. So that was our evening last night, and now I'm going to go vacuum some more (found another pile of glitter by an air vent.) This too shall pass...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I'm feeling like a wimp, like I'm not even bothering trying to do anything since I'm 98% positive I won't be able to do anything cause as soon as I start, a certain little angel will notice that she's been left temporarily unattended and will want someone to cuddle her. But then I think "Oh, the dishes aren't going anywhere, but this little one is." You know the little poem, right?
Still, there is a family and a home here that I need to run. I gotta try to figure out how to do stuff with all my helpers gone. I can sit at the computer and nurse at the same time, and I can also read or watch tv while I nurse, but I cannot clean or cook. I hope I can figure things out without getting overwhelmed. The older 3 are home now, I better go put them to work while I have a chance! First assignment which Melodie happily took was to watch Natalie. I went to peek on them, Mel was trying to rest on her shoulder while she held Natalie -
Looks about like how I'm feeling. :)  Ok, here I go, gonna go face the mess.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fun With Broken Glass

There is a desk in Corey's office, and that desk had a piece of glass over it to protect the wood. That piece of glass broke yesterday. I picked up the items that were on top of the desk, and then instructed Joseph to take the big piece and Melodie to take the smaller piece and go put them in the garbage bin. And it was in these circumstances that I learned once again that Melodie is a goof.
She couldn't take the glass out to meet it's untimely death without trying to make it feel like it reached it's full potential and made a difference in this world... 
Hence, she pressed her face all over it. (Those two pics above were my favorites, you can tell how hard I'm laughing by how blurry the picture is.)
We were both laughing so hard we had tears. Joseph said he thought it was funny, but didn't know why we were crying about it.
Part of it was that she had to try not to laugh for the blow faces to work, so as she tried not to laugh I had to try not to laugh so I wouldn't make her laugh as I looked at her with the camera. And trying not to laugh, of course, always makes people laugh even harder. And she thinks her dad is weird! Well, he is pretty funny, and that must be where she gets it from. And I betcha no one she meets at school tomorrow would ever suspect there's such a silly girl behind her shy and quiet demeanor.
Mel's just great. When I go grocery shopping, I'll tell Mel "I'll pay you a candy bar if you clean while I'm gone...." and she'll readily agree and have the house spankin' clean when I get back, and is awarded a Skor or Heath candy bar (chocolate and toffee, yum! she's a girl after my own heart). It's a win-win situation.
Love you Mel, thanks for making me laugh. I'll miss you as my babysitter and helper and friend while you're at school tomorrow!

Monday, August 19, 2013

It Begins...

Three of the kids had their first day of school today, then J and M start on Wednesday, and Abi will start kindergarten next Monday. Kinda nice to have it broken up like this to help me ease into it. With her older siblings gone now, Lily apparently feels the need to take it up a notch on her end to make sure I still get enough messes. Whilst I was nursing the baby this morning, I was informed that she had gotten a red permanent marker and expressed herself creatively. Luckily it was only on herself and a mirror in the hall. 
It came of her face ok for our first run through in the bath, but Lily still doesn't get to go out in public today. I haven't tried to get it off the hall mirror yet, but I think the magic eraser will be able to take care of it easily enough. I must say I was impressed with her spelling...
She wrote Abi's name on her legs, since that is the word she sees the most as her and Abi draw pictures together. Pretty good for a 4 year old, and that she did it upside down. (Abi denies it, but it makes me slightly suspicious that Abi was her accomplice.)

So, nothing else going on here. A few things from over the weekend though, we had a mother and two baby dear in our yard which everyone was excited about.
On Saturday Corey invited a recently arrived family from Brazil over for a BBQ - it was someone he knew from teaching the GMAT there, I first met him there when we went to Brazil in 2007.  The men enjoyed cooking up the meat outside and we ladies admired the baby inside, while the kids ran around crazy.
And lastly, Natalie was given a blessing at church yesterday, love this little angel!!

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