Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Don't Forget the Sunscreen

Yesterday, we went to Melton Hill Dam for a picnic and swimming. We wanted to make sure we were there early enough to get a good picnic spot so we left our house around 8:00 a.m. We knew we needed to head to the store for ice and sunscreen but thought we'd go ahead and set up at our picnic spot first, then Jim would make a quick run to the store.

So we got everyone there (took two trips, remember we only have one vehicle) got everything set up and then Jim headed to the store. We decided, before Jim left, that the kids could go ahead and head down to the water and get in if they wanted. Then we would just get the sunscreen on them when he got back.

Well, it didn't quite work out that way. When he got back some got sunscreen and others didn't, or at least not until it was too late.

So the moral of the story is, don't forget to get sunscreen BEFORE you head out to go swimming.

Oh, and P.S. That aloe sunburn relief gel is a great thing to have on hand too ;)

Friday, May 27, 2011


It's that time of year again. If you haven't already, it's time to charge up those power riders, inflate bike tires, inflate balls, check swing sets, get the pool ready, air out the tent, locate all camping equipment, etc. School is out and summer break is here.

I love the smell of summer. Campfires, chlorine, suntan lotion, fresh cut grass, popcorn and fresh air (when we watch movies outside), food on the grill, bug spray or citronella, fresh dirt from the garden, fresh veggies on the table, etc.

I can't wait to go to the zoo, go hiking, go out for picnics, go camping, swimming, visit museums, visit family, see fireworks, etc.

What kinds of things do you look forward to during the summer?

Here's hoping you and your family have a wonderfully blessed summer.

Also, don't forget to take time this weekend and remember our veterans and everything they did that allows us to enjoy peaceful summers (and falls and winters and springs). Have a great weekend everyone.

Kaitlyn being a good buddy and
making sure Joshua doesn't ride
out into the road.

Joshua loves riding this little
power wheels four wheeler.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

For Real Thursday's- Car Shopping

For those of you who have been reading my posts for a while you may remember the one about when our Suburban broke down on the way to the Birthing Center http://b4uask.blogspot.com/2011/01/oh-what-night.html. Well, since that time we have only had one vehicle and it only seats five. My husband and I have had to take turns going to church on Sunday mornings with four kids taking turns each week as well. Every Sunday night Jim goes to church since he helps with Royal Rangers and takes the kids in Royal Rangers and Missionettes, and I go every Wednesday night (with kids, of course). We're always home on the weekends because we can't go anywhere together as a family and that's just the way it is for now.

It's not easy finding a 12-15 passenger van in our price range. We do not want to finance anything so this really limits what we can get as well. It hasn't been easy, but we're making the most of it. I just look at it as each day that goes by is one day closer to the day we will have another van.

If you'd like to join us in prayer, that would be great. We want to make sure we don't settle nor do we buy something that is just going to break down soon after and cost lots to repair. I know that my God owns cattle on a thousand hills and nothing is impossible for Him. I also know that good things come to those who wait. So, I have faith that we will get just the right vehicle just in time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Poor Lizard

One day last week I found a lizard on my kitchen counter. Kinda freaked me out a little at first since it was hiding under a piece of paper and the only thing I could see was its face. I wasn't sure if it was a snake or what. Anyway, we tried to catch it but it ended up escaping us and scurrying under my stove.

Well, last Thursday while at the doctor's office with Kyle for his 4 month check-up, I started getting texts about the capture of this lizard. Poor lizard didn't know what he was in for. Instead of capturing and letting him go, my kids decided to play with it for a while (FYI - it was their father who encouraged it, lol). Here are a few pictures of their "play time."

Matthew with lizard biting finger
(obviously it doesn't hurt).

Micah's turn.

Christiana's turn.

Kaitlyn wearing it as an earring.

Josiah trying it out too.

Just so you know the lizard was released outside and is fine. I think he learned his lesson and figure we won't see him again in this house EVER. Poor thing, I couldn't help but laugh at my kids but did feel a little sorry for the lizard. Maybe he'll tell his friends and they won't come in my house as well :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Saving Toilet Paper

Having a large family, you tend to go through lots of toilet paper. So after reading how another large family makes their toilet paper last longer I had to add it as one of my Tuesday's Tips.

New roll of toilet paper.

Smash roll down so it is no longer round.

Place on holder.

Since the roll is no longer round it will not roll as well, therefore dispensing less toilet paper. We all know that with little kids in the house they tend to just pull the toilet paper and let it roll out way more than they need. This keeps that from happening. You actually save toilet paper and have a lot less overflows due to too much paper in the toilet.

A very inexpensive way to save toilet paper. That's my Tuesday's Tip :)

Monday, May 23, 2011


This morning when Josiah went to put some mail in the mailbox this is what he found in the road just down from our box.

You can see Josiah's shadow.
BTW it is still alive.

We're not sure what kind of snake it was (Josiah said it had about four lumps in it so it had just eaten something). It had a rounded head so it's not venomous, and it appears to be a grayish white color with black diamond shapes along its body. He didn't see the tail but figure that it's not a rattlesnake since its head was rounded and not diamond shaped.

Anyone know what kind of snake this is? (Sorry no closer images available)

Friday, May 20, 2011


Well the weekend is here again and hopefully you won't be so busy that you need a weekend after your weekend. I know we have plans; one kid getting ready to spend the night with a friend tonight, graduation celebration with friends tomorrow, then church on Sunday.

Here's hoping you all can get some rest this weekend. Have a great weekend and be blessed.


"Sleeping like a baby"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

For Real Thursday's - Marriage Tune-Ups

Every marriage is a work in progress. Every married person at some point or other has thought "Ok, I give up. I'm done." Keeping your marriage in check is one of the things that will help you stick in there when the going gets tough. Maintaining your marriage is just as important (actually more important) as maintaining your vehicle. If you want it to run smoothly you need to get a tune up every now and then. Marriage is too disposable these days. It's much easier to give up than to stay in there and fight. But to be a champion you have to stick with it and not give up. Besides those who give up without a fight miss the joys of the victory.

Tonight, my husband and I are going to a marriage class that's being taught by some friends of ours. I am really looking forward to taking this class and I believe it will be lots of fun. Our marriage has had it's share of bumps and bruises along the way, but I'm glad to admit that we stuck in there and pulled through.

Marriage gets sweeter and sweeter as you go. So make it a priority to have tune-ups along the way. It really is fun and well worth it.

What kind of things do you do to "tune-up" your marriage?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - I Think He Likes It

His first time in this bouncer at church.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Let Them Explore

Yep, it's that time of year again when all the creepy, crawly creatures come out of hiding. My kids like to pick them up and bring them inside to show me. I don't mind, in fact I encourage them to explore what's around them. Although I'm not too thrilled when the cute little frog they find jumps out of their hand in my house, I do enjoy watching the race that follows.

So whether you're one of those parents that's a little skiddish about such things or not, just be open to allowing your kids to show you their finds and let them explore. After all, it's all a part of the learning process.
Matthew with his latest find.

Earthworms! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Picture Perfect?

With the modern technology of cell phones and games and cameras on your cell phone I find all kinds of pictures from my phone these days. Since Joshua has learned his way around my iPhone so well he now takes pictures when he can get a hold of it or when I'm letting him play games on it. These are just a few of the pictures I find when I download the pictures from my phone. Keep in mind that I usually have about 1o copies of slightly different versions of the same shot.

Do you find this happening with your phones, or am I the only one?

Finger shot
Another finger shot

It's so obvious who's taking this
picture (like I had any doubts).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Sweet Baby Boy

What are they doing to my baby? Oh well, he doesn't seem to mind ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boys Will Be Boys

Went outside today to take sandwich orders for lunch and found the boys playing "Spy" games. They often like to play "military" or "spy" and can play for hours, making up each move and strategy as they go. I love it when they play outside like this, it's the way boys are suppose to play (at least I think so).

Anyway, I snapped a few pictures while I was out there and thought I'd share them with you.

Coming down the hill behind our house.

Shooting at the enemy

Moving on to higher ground

Up the hill

Taking cover as a helicopter flies overhead

Up the on hill

Everybody to the house!

Moving into position

Discussing their next move

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Good Advice

My tip for today is, if what you're doing is not working then be willing to try something new. Proverbs 19:20 says "Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise." Proverb 12:15 says, "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice."

I read some information yesterday that I wanted to pass on in case you may need it. It speaks of how to handle temper tantrums while on vacation (or at home). Although this was a secular article (I only say this because I usually only read Christian articles/authors) I thought it was helpful. Hope you find it helpful as well.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

Yesterday my day started with breakfast in bed and my precious children giving me a basket of goodies such as a candle, lotion, body spray etc. (all my favorites which they picked out themselves). But even more precious than the gifts, the card and a relaxing day, is the reason I get to be celebrated.

I LOVE being "Mom" to my eight precious blessings. To think that God has decided to grace my life with them is amazing. I feel privileged to be their Mom and am filled with such gratitude when I think of them. Yes, Mother's Day is a day to celebrate our Mothers, but I also celebrate the privilege of getting to be a Mother.

My Mother's Day balloon

Picture Christiana took of me this Mother's Day

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Just Love My Kids

I just love this picture of Kaitlyn. She had taken him for me because he was crying and I couldn't get to him right away. I thought it was so cute so I took a picture.

I love my kids soooo much.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

For Real Thursdays - Challenging Children

This is my precious, sweet, cuddly Joshua. He is also my most strong willed and challenging child. You literally can't take your eyes off of him for 5 seconds or he's in to something he is not suppose to be in to, or climbing on something he's not suppose to climb on. He always tests his boundaries and always tries to get away with something. He knows where all the hiding places are and how to reach them, so nothing is safe. He loves to talk loud and lets himself be heard when things don't go his way. But, oh, how I love this precious child.

I think so many times when we face challenges like this, that instead of always looking at the challenge and getting frustrated because of the way they are we should look at ourselves and the way we are. Maybe sometimes God is using these opportunities to refine us. He's making us a better person through the challenges we face with children like these.

I don't blame Joshua for his behavior, I also don't accept his temper tantrums or misbehaving as acceptable behavior. I deal with the issues at hand, but I pay close attention to how I deal with them.

My Bible tells me that love is patient, kind, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres and NEVER fails. It also tells me that I should have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. And that since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

So I take these words as a challenge for me to keep in mind as I raise our children. It's easy to get angry and discipline harshly, because it's what my flesh feels like doing. It takes a lot more self control to discipline in love. But I can guarantee you that the outcome will be so much more worth it in the end. Besides, if I think about it, isn't God patient with me? My strong will may not be as obvious as my two year old's but how many times has God gently and loving taught me the same lesson again and again when I stubbornly do the opposite of what He tells me?

So love those challenging kids of yours. No one said parenting was easy, but if you do it God's way it's soooo rewarding, for both you and your child.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Mud Prints

This is what happens when you let your children stay outside puddle hoppin' too long...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Soft Butter

This is something I learned from a friend when I lived in Vermont.

Do you like butter but hate how it doesn't spread very easily on nice warm bread. You don't want to use margarine because of the hydrogenated oil but like that it's spreadable. Well here's how you fix this problem.

Buy one of those cheap butter dishes at Walmart for about a dollar, I think you may be able to find them at the Dollar Tree also. Instead of using it like a traditional butter dish with the flat part on the bottom and the cover on top turn it upside down so now the flat part works as a lid. Place butter in dish and leave on counter, do not refrigerate. Now you have soft butter. As long as you use butter regularly you shouldn't have any issues with leaving it out.

I do this all the time with our butter and love having it ready to spread whenever I need it.

Butter dish with lid off

Butter dish with lid on