Friday, October 29, 2010

Family Visit

Short blog today because we are preparing for my Mom's visit from NC. Haven't seen her since May when we were last in NC ourselves. She is bringing her husband and her twin sister with her on this visit and they are planning on visiting Gatlinburg while they are in. It's going to be a short, quick visit but we hope to make the best of the time we have together.

May all of you have a great weekend. Be blessed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - New Vacuum

Can you tell whose responsibility it is to vacuum everyday? I think he was more excited than I was.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Home Remedy

I know that some of you have been waiting for today's post since I mentioned on facebook that I was trying a new home remedy for colds. Well, here it is - 1 tsp. honey (preferably raw) plus 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Take twice daily for 3 days to knock a cold out in a day or two. This comes from Here's the link,+Home,+and+Happiness)

Well we tried it and here are our results. On the first day we tried it Joshua had woken up with a runny nose in that yucky green color (you know what I'm talking about). By the end of the day he had no runny nose whatsoever. It seemed to completely clear up any drainage and stuffiness he had. We continued this for the three days and it really did clear nasal problems, however I noticed that it didn't seem to help coughing. My kids that had started coughing continue to cough so something a little stronger is needed for that. I understand that you should take this at the first sign of a cold and we didn't until after the cold had already occurred. It's possible that if we had taken it in the beginning my kids wouldn't have ended up coughing in the first place.

I am quite pleased with the fact that it helps relieve nasal problems because it seems that every time I turn around my little guy has a runny nose. Next time I will get it in my kids at the first sign of a cold.

So, there you have it, the homemade remedy you've been waiting for. Hope it helps keep your family from suffering with the cold this fall and winter.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Internet Stomping Ground

Recently read a post by on her internet stomping ground and thought it would be fun to do mine and share it. All you do is open a browser and type in a letter of the alphabet to see what it thinks you are going to. It was quite interesting to see where I have been lately on my personal netbook. Try yours and see what are your internet stomping grounds. Here's mine: (Must have been from when my husband's computer broke down and he used mine for a while to build his website) (We are keeping a lookout for a 12 or 15 passenger van) (Our website-the one Jim was working on for my letter b) (Dolly Parton's reading promotion site) (I don't remember why I went to this site, I think there was a coupon involved) (Where we get our movies for Friday Family Night) (Looking up local corn mazes and pumpkin patches)
q-nothing (Always looking for land to hopefully build our log home on one day) (Anyone else do the surveys from the top of your walmart receipt?)
x-nothing (Had a coupon for discounted family pass so I was researching how much a family pass was to begin with)

So there you have it. It really was fun to see where I've been lately. I was a little surprised that facebook wasn't my f letter and a few others that I thought would show up but realized that if you have a shortcut to a site it won't show up in your browser as a site you've visited lately.

So what are your internet stomping grounds?

Veggie Tales Live

Veggie Tales Live is coming to Knoxville Christian Center October 30. There will be two shows, 2pm and 7pm. For ticket information call Knoxville Christian Center 865-690-0855. Hope to see you there.

Click here for more information.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cold Season

Short blog today because I am working on killing this cold germ that has entered my house. The first thing I do is pray. Then I try to do what I can to help my kids bodies function like God made them. So, this morning I fed the kids plenty of fresh fruit instead of giving them juice, which contains sugar. A few weeks back I found a home remedy that is suppose to knock out a cold in a day or two, so I'm trying that out, I will let you know if it works. I made homemade chicken noodle soup with tons of onions and veggies for lunch and tonight instead of our usual Friday Family Night dessert, I will be making all natural granola with maple syrup as our treat.

In case you didn't know sugar weakens your immune system, so we try to stay away from it. We drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest so our bodies can do what comes naturally to fight off this sickness. I'm also considering trying a recipe I've never tried before with elderberries, they are great for colds too.

So, I'm off to finish doing what needs to be done (making sure hand towels are being changed out daily and assigning Micah his monthly chore of wiping down light fixtures and door knobs with vinegar spray).

May you all have a great weekend. Blessings to you and may your homes be healthy and happy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Looking Alike

Everyone tells me how much my oldest daughter looks like me. I can see it, but she can't. I happen to think she is an absolutely gorgeous young lady (of course I'm biased) but I take that as a compliment for me as well, hey at my age I'll take all the compliments I can get:) So many times people will start to have conversations with her thinking they are talking to me until they realize later that they are speaking to a fourteen year old. I think it's kind of funny when she comes to tell me what people say, we get a good chuckle out of it. What I find even funnier is when my daughter will walk in a room with her father and if he doesn't look directly at her (or only sees the back of her) he will begin having a conversation with her thinking he's talking to me. Thankfully he hasn't shared anything too private with her :)

What about you? Do you have a child that looks just like you and do others get you confused sometimes?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Take Along Snacks

Today I have my next check-up at the Lisa Ross Birthing Center. As you know, if you are going to be out for any length of time with little one's you have to be prepared. I make sure there are extra diapers, extra change of clothes (for the youngest guy) and snacks. Today I'm taking assorted Lance crackers. Many times I try to have granola bars on hand, wheat thins or such and always plenty of water.

What do you keep on hand when you are going out with your kids?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - A Healthy Alternative

You know how during the hot summer days kids love those frozen juice tubes. But do you realize how much sugar are in those things? Well, today's tip isn't really a money saving tip so much as a healthy alternative to those frozen pops. Go Gurt has made it so easy to take yogurt with you in an easy dispensable tube. What we do is freeze them, and my kids LOVE them. They are much healthier, and I don't have to feel so guilty giving them to my kids. They aren't cheap like the frozen juice tubes, but they are a nice treat every once in while. Try it, I'm sure your kids will love them too (I do as well).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Beautiful Ordinary

Today's post comes from a blog called Nothing Gold that was shared with me by a friend of the author. It was so good and put things so well into the perspective that we should have everyday that I just needed to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

The Beautiful Ordinary

Filed under: General — Rachel at 1:05 pm on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I’ve been busy. Really busy.

But I’ve been happy.

Really happy.

I’ve been trying to consciously focus on the beauty that surrounds me every day. I am rich. I am blessed beyond measure. I am surrounded by luxury that most of the world can’t even fathom. My cupboards, on their barest day, are vast storehouses of abundance to the mother in Ethiopia. The books on my shelves…the magazines on my tables…the Internet at my fingertips is a fathomless well of knowledge that the woman in North Korea can only dream of. I can only imagine what the domestically inclined mother of one in China would think of my four children that fill my home with laughter. I step in a hot shower every day, choose from an array of wonderfully scented soaps, scrubs, and shampoos, and I marvel at the decadence. I open drawers and peer in my closet, and I am astounded at how much I have. I have debated whether to send my children to a private Christian school or to choose from a plethora of available resources to homeschool them, all the while knowing that if I chose to do neither the public education system would educate them for me. We are so blessed. We are filthy, stinking rich, and most of the time we don’t even notice.

I decided to notice.

I have noticed that my house is always messy because it is filled with children. Children who live and laugh and love in this house every day. There is dropped and forgotten food on my kitchen floor more often than not because we have plenty. They have plenty. They never go hungry. It’s always available for them to help themselves when the least feeling of hunger presents itself, and that is the story that the cracker crumbs and sticky yogurt residue tell. The laundry piles up when I’m busy with other things because we have clothes to last us many days without doing laundry. If we run out of anything, we go to the store. If we get sick or hurt, we go to the doctor. If we want to go to church, we go. No one stops us. No one even makes it difficult. We are rich and free and abundantly blessed and we didn’t do one thing to deserve it anymore than those who live in Ethiopia or North Korea or China. God has showed us his unmerited favor, and that has a way of changing your perspective.

I’ve chosen to look around today, and marvel in the beautiful ordinary. The ordinary mess that is the rule rather than the exception. The noise level that can drive you crazy if you don’t take the time to see that it comes from wrestling boys, a little girl learning to play the piano, or the baby singing, “Mommy! Daddy! ‘Lijah!” in a musical testimony to being surrounded by love and family and good things from birth. The busy schedule. The college education, the good job that pays well, the church family, the karate lessons, the piano lessons, trips to the park, playdates with friends, family get-togethers, a little brother’s football game, and on and on and on.

How can we not realize how beautiful our lives are? We have everything we need! We have Jesus. We have family. How can we not revel in every beautiful day? How can we not marvel that our ordinary lives are beautiful, decadent, extravagant displays of wealth and favor?

Take a look around you. If you are rich enough to be able to log on and read this blog post, you are blessed. You are rich. I dare you to notice your ordinary today. Gratitude will follow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Having lots of children who love Christmas means that in my house I begin hearing Christmas music in June. I do limit how much we listen to too early but I must confess that come October when the temps cool down I do allow them to play it more often. As of lately it has been an everyday occurrence and I have already taken my older children out to buy some Christmas decorations they wanted for their rooms and such. I tell them that I can truly see them working in a Christmas shop year round and never getting tired of it.

For instance, my girls already have a decorated mini Christmas tree in their room and a string of white lights around their door and across the wall. I tell them that they can decorate their rooms, but they are not to decorate any other part of the house until after Thanksgiving.

With Fall being my favorite time of the year I do try to keep them grounded and enjoy Fall and Thanksgiving. They are good with that and they enjoy Fall as well, so it's not too hard to keep them focused.

More than anything though I want my children to realize the true reasons for the holidays we celebrate and try to make sure that they don't focus so much on decorations and such. As holidays come closer we gear our thinking around what holidays are really meant to celebrate. As Christians we focus on being thankful to God and His many blessings around Thanksgiving and the birth of Jesus around Christmas. We try to make sure we do things for others and not focus so much on ourselves and try to teach that giving is more fun than receiving.

For Thanksgiving we do a thankful tree and before we sit down to eat we have five kernels of corn on our plates to remind us of the pilgrim's struggle and God's provision and care. At Christmas, we go through an advent calendar and make things for others. On Christmas Eve we read the nativity story before bed and on Christmas morning we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. I would like to do some visitation at a nursing home this year and possibly try to work at a food pantry.

So what are some of the things you do to keep your focus on what Thanksgiving and Christmas are really about? I'm always looking for new ideas and ways to help us, so I would love to hear what you do.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Monkey See, Monkey Do

My three little monkeys enjoying their bananas. One does something and the others copy :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Hair Cuts at Home

One way we save money in our house is by cutting our boy's hair at home instead of taking them somewhere and paying someone else. With our first son, I did take him to salons to get his hair cut because I had no idea how easy it was to do on my own. After watching a couple of times (and paying close to $10), I remember thinking, I can do that. So, I bought some scissors and tried it myself, with success! I have been cutting all my little guy's (and husband's) hair ever since. Of course, now it is so much easier with an electric razor and various size shields. It really is so easy and hard to mess up with an electric razor. You can save yourself so much money by doing this yourself, especially if you're like me and have 5 going on 6 boys and a husband in your house.

Yesterday we gave Joshua his first haircut. Here are some pictures of before, during and after his cut.

Joshua just before his first haircut

Getting started

Working on the crown (Kaitlyn's hand is
out because we always save some of their baby hair)
Now for the back

The finished product :)

Monday, October 11, 2010


On Saturday I took the kids (Jim and Christiana were on their way to FL for a wedding) to the circus with some friends who had invited us. We had so much fun. It was the first time we had gone to the circus here in Knoxville and the kids were so happy. They had only been to a little one ring circus at a local fair when we lived in VT, so this was quite a treat for them. Here are a few pictures. Enjoy.

Tigers and trainer


Joshua loved the elephant. He
clapped the whole time for it.

These guys made me so nervous.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Jonathan's Experiment

Jonathan was so excited the other day when he decided to do a test to find out if ants like brown sugar or white sugar better. I thought it was so cute at how excited he was and the fact that he thought of this on his own. Here are a few pics of him setting things up.

We will have to wait for results and test again later due to the fact that it rained and drowned most of the ants that made it to the sugar.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

We Changed His Name

We changed his name from "Baby" to "Houdini." Can you tell why?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

And the Results Are...

Ok, so yesterday I had my ultrasound so that we could find out for sure if there are one or two babies, what my real due date is and if we are having a boy or girl. You see, I've been measuring four weeks further along than my due date and my mother is an identical twin and my dad's brother and sister are fraternal twins, so both my grandmother's had twins.

And the results are, we are only having one child (I'm measuring large due to the fact that this is my eighth pregnancy), it's a boy and my due date is January 9th.

So, I will get to deliver at the birthing center so long as there are no complications and we will be having our fifth boy in a row (six boys altogether) and our fourth child with a birthday in January. God keeps things interesting in our house. I'm curious to find out if anyone will share their birthday. We have one on the 5th, one on the 12th and one on the 19th and this one is due on the 9th but I generally go 41 weeks which would make this child's birth date closer to the 16th. I guess we'll have to wait and find out.

Without realizing it we have followed a J, M, J, M, J pattern in naming our boys. Our kids seem to think this next boy needs a name that starts with an M, but there really aren't too many M names left that we really like. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Going to have an ultrasound today. Will there one or two babies? Boy or girl? Will let you know...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Balloon Festival

Friday night our family went to Knoxville's Balloon Festival for the Balloon Glow. It was really neat to see all the balloons lit up at night and synchronizing their glow with music. My favorite part was when they did the National Anthem with a huge American flag hanging from a balloon raised slightly off the ground. Another neat aspect of the balloon glow was that it was done around a pond so that all the lights reflected off the pond.

Here are a few pictures of the event.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Love the Fall

Fall is my favorite time of the year. There's not much about it I don't like. I love the breeze, apple cider and roasted pumpkin seeds, the changing of the colors, the leaves that fall, raking and jumping in piles of leaves, the kids playing outside, the smell of leaves burning, the smell of chimney smoke, fall decorations and Thanksgiving. I even love wearing turtle necks and flannels with jeans.

I've heard that some people get depressed during the fall because everything is dying. I don't see it that way at all. I think that as a Christian, fall represents death perfectly. I think that God demonstrates it through this season as it should be. We all know that death is just a part of life, but if you are a Christian it is a beautiful thing. When we have lived out our seasons in life and it is time to die, then just as beautiful as the leaves changing colors so is our passing into eternity with our Father who awaits our arrival.

I hope and pray that when I am old and grey, my passing will be as beautiful as my favorite time of the year. I pray that as I and others look back on my life it will be beautiful and lived without lots of regret and sorrow. That my children and family, although saddened will rejoice with me.

How about you? Do you know Christ as your personal Saviour and will your death be as beautiful and colorful as fall? I encourage you today that if you don't know Jesus as your Saviour then get to know Him today. You don't have to be perfect and have everything in your life perfect before asking Him into your heart, He will help you fix what's messed up. It's really easy. Just accept that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus was born of a virgin and died for your sins and rose again and has prepared a place for you called heaven, and then confess your sins to Him. That's it. Then live your life everyday to its fullest. Read the Word (if you never have then starting in the New Testament in the book of John is perfect) then live by it. I promise you, it's not boring, it's wonderful and you will be much happier then living any other way. Blessings to you and have a great weekend.