Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

Yesterday, after work, Karl was playing with Emma. She asked him to have a tea party with her. They tried sitting at her little table with her little chairs....sorry, but Karl is not quite small enough to fit in toddler-sized chairs! So, he proceeded to sit on the bottom step of our stairs that lead to the second story, since it was right next to the table. Well, Emma then proceeded to get her tea cup, walk over to the other side of the stairs, and sit down to 'tea'. It was too funny...we had to tell her to come back to the table and explain why Daddy was on the step. :)

Moments later, never having had a 'tea party' before (and not realizing this was poor tea party etiquette), Karl was playing with the Velcro on the wooden apple Emma had given him as a snack. Emma looks up quickly and says, "No Daddy, don't play with your food!" I wonder if maybe she's heard that before?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our house-cleaning adventures...

Our weekend was great! Well, after a rough start it was....I traveled up the turnpike, as we usually do, but was unaware that it had been closed for a 14 mile stretch due to a fire. So, about half-way to our exit we came to a standstill. We got to sit in traffic for about an hour, traveling about 2 miles in that time. It was quite stressful, mostly because other drivers get impatient, go around on the right....then cut back in up ahead when they find out they can't actually get around....thus causing me to have to wait that much longer. Overall, it wasn't too bad. I had a migraine by the time we arrived at Karl's parents' home, but Excedrin Migraine took care of that pretty quickly. The kids did well.....though we did have to make a stop at the first rest area we came to after exiting, for a potty break. :) Once we got to my in-laws' house, we were able to have dinner, get the kids settled in, then Karl and I headed to our house to clean up. We met with the realtor at 10 am on Saturday, had the house listed immediately, and got our first 'lookers' that afternoon. We did some touch-up painting, sweeping and mopping, some minor repairs, and a few light bulb replacements. We also ordered a new dishwasher, since the old one is really old and does not work. It will be installed on Wednesday. Saturday evening we had a nice dinner out, then went to a movie. It was great to be able to do that, knowing the kids were well-cared-for and having a great time with their grandparents. Sunday morning we had a late breakfast at our favorite pancake house, picked up a few groceries, and then heard from the realtor that we had another potential buyer stopping in at 2 pm. We were still working at the house but stepped outside when they arrived, to allow them to look at their leisure and in private. We traveled back home Sunday evening (the kids and I...Karl had to work there on Monday and pick up some things from the house). Karl got another call Monday from the realtor......yep, 2 more showings that day. And an offer.

We were discussing this morning how we wanted to handle the offer....when Karl spoke with the realtor and learned that we had a second offer. Let the bidding wars begin! Actually, we have already accepted an offer (we ended up with asking price when the first family found out there was another offer on the table) and signed paperwork, so as long as nothing happens we will close in about a month. I am amazed at how quickly it all happened. We priced the house aggressively....and it paid off! We will only have to make one, maybe two, of our mortgage payments before the new family takes over. That is a huge blessing! I am so thankful for God's provision. I am a little sad to be selling.....we have 8 years of memories in that house......but I do realize it is best.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A weekend to ourselves...

We're packing today. The kids will be staying with their grandparents while Karl and I head to our house in Palm Bay. The renters moved out while we were on vacation so we're gonna go clean up, do repairs, etc. We are meeting a realtor on Saturday morning so he/she can look at the house, we can set a price, and hopefully get it sold quickly. Please pray for my in-laws. They are very capable and I'm sure they will have a great time with the kids, but 5 children is a lot and extra prayer is always helpful! :) Thank you Ron and Pearl for being willing to have them in your home so we can go do this. It will be a working weekend, but it will also be some very welcome time away.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Saturday Confessions......5

1. I'm doing Saturday Confessions early because I won't have Internet access on Saturday.

2. I'm stressing over my husband's job....is that weird?

3. I do not enjoy getting up before 7 a.m., yet it is the only time I get completely to myself so I do kind of like it.

4. Today I read Proverbs 23......it was enlightening.

5. I am reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult....it's really good.......I'm almost done and really don't want to be. Do you ever feel that way about a book?

6. My baby is in 9 month sizes now....I really don't know where the time went....how can she be approaching 1 year already?

7. I almost always end my 'confessions' on #7......why is that, ya think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Showing compassion....

As you may have noticed, I have an 'ad' for Compassion International on my sidebar. In February, we began sponsoring a child through them. He is 7 and lives in Nicaragua. For $38 I help provide for him....schooling, meals, etc. I have already received 2 letters from him, which I love! I have been able to write to him as well, and a great thing about their site is that sponsors have the option to send a letter via email. The translators still print it out and then hand write the translation, but it is so easy to just write it up online and press send. I have done that twice, and I also make my payments online......you can set it up to be an automated debit if you like. Please check out the web site. It really is a worthy cause, truly helping so many children. You will be able to choose which child you would like to sponsor.....there are pictures with their names and information about them to help you decide. It has been a very rewarding experience for me already, being able to show the love of Christ and meeting some of his practical needs as well. Take a look.

Monday, June 20, 2011

More pictures are up....

Most of our vacation pictures are over here. Take a look, if you want.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday Confessions...4

1. I'm very proud of Logan for how he conducted himself while at leadership camp. He did not miss a single bus, meeting, or meal the entire time! And according to him, he and his group (4 boys including him) were early at most of the sessions, meals, and to leave for the parks. Yay!

2. Along with that 'pride' is the humble realization that I only have a few short years left with him at home....and that we are very blessed to have a 13-year-old son who is talking to us, and even enjoys it!

3. I realized again today how very blessed I am to have 5 children when I heard another mother talking about how she and her husband hadn't wanted to stop at 2 but that it hadn't been in God's plan for them. Thank you, Jesus.

4. I was so pleased to receive a special gift this week, and it wasn't even my birthday or anything. Thank you Aunt Sandra for the bread booklet! I'm hoping to use it this week.

5. I still have not kicked my Coca-Cola habit that I allowed to flourish while we were on vacation....it's getting the best of me. :{

6. I'm going to really miss having the boys from Logan's Life Group come by each week.....we had our end-0f-year party at the park today. Complete with a water balloon toss, tug-of-war, and some good food....everyone had fun. It was nice to spend some real time with some of the parents too. I can't wait until it starts up again in the fall!

7. I'm feeling tired but extra-blessed today.

Link up with Melissa today....it's good for the soul, ya know. ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Logan is coming home!

Logan is coming home tonight, after 4 days away! I can't wait to hear how it all went and I plan to have him write an update himself so you can all hear (read), too. It has been odd not having him here. We've missed his presence....even though he may be in his room sometimes and we don't see him...it's strange. I know his siblings missed him a great deal, and of course, I did. His dad even commented the first night about how weird it was not to be able to talk to him. Update coming soon!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another shopping trip....

I went to Walmart and Publix this morning. I really do not like to make any trips to the Walmart here, but I needed a highchair, some clothes for Hailey, a protractor, and potting soil....all of which are not to be found at Publix. (Well, maybe the protractor but it would have cost more.) So, we endured it. I always leave there feeling very stressed out and vowing never to return!

Our visit to Publix was much more pleasant. I came away with a lot f goodies but I wasn't able to save as much money as last time. I had 2 coupons........ a $5 off of a $30 order as well as $6 off of Enfamil. The rest of my savings was due to BOGO. I also had to buy some items that usually are not on sale, such as produce and some special birthday cake things that I wouldn't normally have on my list......Corbin's birthday is Friday. My total savings was $58.22. :{ Better than nothing I guess, but I really wanted to save more. One good thing is that I have plenty of pasta, sauce, bagels, chicken, ground beef, potatoes, rice, beans, and flour to create many meals. I should only need to go back to get fresh fruits and/or veggies for a while. I do plan to take advantage of the sales again next week, at least somewhat.......still have to see what is left in our budget. I also plan to be armed with lots of coupons that I'll find here and here. This week I didn't have time to do that due to just returning from vacation, plus our printer is low on ink and is not printing very well right now. I can't wait to get the sale paper tomorrow though, and start planning! My eventual goal is to save more than I spend....you know, spend $5.00 and save $82.00.....we'll see how long it takes to get there (if ever). :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday Confessions Number 3

Well, I am late again....BUT, Melissa over at a familiar path was too and she says it's okay. ;) Oh, and you should link up some 'confessions' with her. It's kind of fun. :)

1. I ate A LOT of Oreos while on vacation.

2. I drank A LOT of Coca-Cola while on vacation....and now I'm having withdrawal. :(

3. Those two above are the reason I gained 4 pounds in one week....

4. They are also the reason I am beginning my diet anew......just as soon as I finish this Icee I had to run out and buy to curb my withdrawal symptoms as mentioned above!

5. Corbin's birthday (Friday) does not count and I will not be dieting that day.

6. I read two books during vacation week.....staying up way too late when I knew I had to get up at 6:30 with the little girls (Yes, they decided to continue getting up early, even on vacation!)......Gods in Alabama, a novel by Joshilyn Jackson and Expecting Adam, a true story written by Martha Beck. I don't know how long it's been since I read two books in one week....probably a year ago when we were at the cabin.

7. I already miss our morning ritual of getting breakfast and coffee together, a bottle for the baby and milk for Emma, bringing it all up to the balcony on the third story (where our room was), and gnoshing while enjoying the view and sounds of the river.....and the sounds of our beautiful girls' voices so early in the morning. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rambling on and on about nothing.....

Do you ever just want to write, but you're not sure what the topic should be? That's me tonight. I posted on my other blog about our day....not too interesting really, but a little. That was specific....documenting our vacation. Often, I will sit down at the keyboard with an idea, a specific thing I want to say. Other times, I will sit down not really knowing what it is I will say, just with a general idea of a few things. Still others, I won't even be in front of the computer. I blog in my head sometimes. Do you do that? I kind of think all writers do.....and yes, I consider myself a writer. Is that weird? I am not a creative writer.....I'm much better with factual, real things. My two oldest kids are creative....they make up stories, pages and pages of words. That's not me. I write about the mundane, and try to add a little humor to it.....probably not the kind that most people get, but sometimes I will get a chuckle out of my husband. That's all I'm really going for.....I don't dream too big. :) I've thought about having my blog made into a book, (each year) then giving it as a gift to someone....like my mom. But then I think "Why would she want to read all that?" Then I think about doing it for myself, but I can log on anytime to read.....just thoughts I have.

This week I have taken A LOT of pictures, but I haven't posted any yet.....mostly because I haven't felt like I have had the time. Then again....I've had so much time, but I've been reading.....sometimes I like to do that more than writing. I'm guessing all those photos will just have to wait until we get home and settled back in.....but I have been blogging in my head about them. We have some awesome shots, huge things happened. It's been great! I can't wait for you all to see. These things sometimes keep me awake at night.....odd, right? I love it, though. I always enjoyed writing as a teenager......poems, mostly. But I did pretty well in high school, then college, in my writing courses. I really enjoyed my history writing assignments in college! Amazing that I despised history throughout most of my elementary and high school years, except for a year or two when I had a really interesting history teacher. I love it now.

I find myself wondering what my 'readers' would like to read about. I do have some readers, and I'm so glad. But, really, how full of myself can I get?! Like anyone really spends much time thinking about my blog and how they can't wait to get here and read what I have written.....if you do, I'm so grateful. And....er....I wonder if you need some help?! Just kidding.......;) That's how I think, though. I vacillate between being confident and doubting myself....in ALL areas of my life. I land on the 'doubting myself' side the majority of the time. I'm working on it.

Anyone else out there in bloggy-land feel like me?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

About those labels up top.....

I just wanted to let you all know, those labels up top, they're 'under construction'. I'm experimenting, trying to figure out how to create pages for my blog, in hopes that I can combine my (several) blogs into one, with categories. So, if you click on one of the labels and find there is nothing there, that is why. I haven't figured much out yet. If they disappear, don't worry. They may appear again soon....but maybe not.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A little surprise early in the morning...

Autumn wowed us with a 'surprise' this morning. She has her first tooth! I've been checking every so often and nothing, but today, Wammo!, there it is. She will be 8 months old on Friday. I think she is the oldest of all my babies for getting their first tooth. It's possible her preemie, oldest brother took longer, but I'm not sure. I'll have to check his baby book when we get home. Anyway, we're very excited for her. She's on her way, now.......

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday Confession # 2

1. Every time we go to the cabin in Georgia on vacation, I want to move there. I'm sure my husband is tired of hearing me lament our 'city' life.

2. I am spending this week drinking Coca-Cola, guilt-free. There is plenty of time for diets and guilt when we return home.

3. I spent the hour between 5;30 and 6:30 this morning on the couch in the living room, dozing, while waiting to see if my baby was actually awake or just 'talking'. When she dozed back off I was able to spend one more sleep-full hour in the bed downstairs. :)

4. My children had a very tired, cranky mommy to deal with yesterday, thus making the first day of vacation a not-very-fun one. :(

5. Today has been way better.....we all got some much-needed sleep last night.

6. Holding my baby girl makes me wish I could have another (or more). What's 1 (or 5) more when you already have that many? ;)

7. Having a teenager in the house is interesting....weird that we're that old already.....and sometimes difficult....but it's not so bad. He's fun to be around and I like watching him learn how to be an adult.

8. Seeing my children playing happily, together, in the river causes me to wish we lived here. Wait.....did I already say that?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Relaxation has begun!

We left Florida around 7:30 last night and with stops and all we made it to the cabin by 8 a.m. That included a 5:30 a.m. shopping spree at the local Walmart and breakfast at the local IHOP. I do not like to travel all night....for lots of reasons. But, I will say it was nice NOT to be getting in and out of the car, taking extra-long stops at rest areas etc., because we had to ALL get out of the car. We stopped for gas twice and combined potty breaks with those......I think that was it. I can feel myself relaxing already. The bubbling water over rocks, being surrounded by the green trees, feeling the cool breeze, being able to see the beautiful blue sky (okay, we can see it in FL too, but this is just different!), looking forward to grilling, tubing, relaxing.....aaaahhhhh. It makes me think of moving here every time......a girl can always hope, right?

By the way, we have the two girls napping in the same room here. Out of necessity, really. When my family gets here they would have to be in the same room, so we decided not to bother trying to put them anywhere else just for one night. At home, they already sleep in the same room over night....have been for months now....but I've kept them separate during naps, even when they got on the same afternoon schedule, because i was afraid of possibly losing Emmas' nap altogether. She only takes one nap a day now...and it is needed by ALL! No need to have worried.....they did perfectly. And now, once we go home, I can start putting them in their bedroom together for naps as well. That means no more playpens being moved from hallway to bedroom (Hailey's) to hallway again each day......AND Hailey will have her room back during the day for drawing, reading, etc. She will be very happy about that!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Going on vacation....

We leave tomorrow for Georgia. I don't know if I'll get to blog again before we leave so I wanted to let you all know. If the Internet is working well there then I'm sure I'll be posting either on this blog or here, so check both. We cannot wait to start our week of relaxation. See ya!

A shopping trip

I took the little girls with me to Publix after dropping the bigger kids off at summer SAINTS this morning. We leave in a couple of days for our week in Georgia, but I wanted to take advantage of the sales anyway. Plus, our pantry and freezer will be stocked and I won't have to rush right out to the store upon arriving home. Most of the items I bought today were Buy One Get One. I had two coupons for grocery items and some coupons for diapers as well, but the diapers I payed for separately as we're trying really hard to track our food purchases right now and I don't want to have that confusing me. We may add diapers and formula back to our food budget eventually. We need to get our costs down with the actual food first.

I was very happy with how much I got for the money and with how much I was able to save just with buying on sale. I usually take advantage of the sales, but this time I paid very close attention and did not get much that was NOT on sale, maybe a few items like brown rice and cream cheese that we use all the time. I also tried not to buy too many sale items that were prepackaged convenience items......frozen pizza, boxed cereal, etc. While cheap and easy, they are not necessarily healthy and we are trying to go a little healthier route these days. I did get some hot dogs and some BBQ pork.......we will use those as Family Fun Night meals. Everything else I should be able to use easily in simple casseroles, soups, quiche, or alone with a side dish. I still need to buy fresh fruits and veggies when we get home, but I feel sure that what I got will feed us for two weeks once I do that, maybe longer.

I took a picture of my receipt. You can see what I spent and how much I saved......not bad for my first real try in quite some time. The photo is a little blurry but that's the best my phone could do.
I will update each time I go shopping. I'm looking forward to finding out just what I can get, and save, when I begin using more coupons along with the sales.