Friday, November 30, 2012

These Hooks Make Me Happy!

This house has a long closet in the laundry room
that I really wanted to turn into a drop zone/mud room,
since it is easily accessed from the garage.
The best part is, that it has doors so whenever the kids mess up my "organization"
I can just shut the door.
This is how we made it work for our family.
(Sorry the pictures aren't the best but space was tight so I am practically sitting on the utility tub to take these.)
 The Hubs hung three inexpensive wood strips from Ikea for a total of 15 hooks, at Hobbit/kid height.
This was much cheaper than buying individual hooks and Ikea had the best price
 (which I don't remember because I bought them 6 months ago.).
 There is an existing coat rack higher at adult height for our coats or laundry that needs to dry a bit more.
 The bins are left over from a bookshelf from Costco.  Each kid, plus mom, has one for their shoes.
In the back, we have two laundry baskets squeezed in there.
One for colors and one for whites.
I love this kind of stuff and the kids don't seem to mind either.
I am a total dork, and I don't care!
I will post in the future about how I keep track (or try to keep track) of 5 kids papers...
Anyone else love a good organization project?
Share, please.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Best Big Brother Ever!

I was trying to get the turkey in the oven for Thanksgiving
when Julia begged me to help put ponytails in her doll's hair.
No one was around...except Porter.
"Um, Porter.  Can you come help Julia do her doll's hair?" I ask.
Porter looks around for someone else and replies, "Uh, okay."
He walks over, awkwardly picks up a ponytail holder and less than confidently says,
"You want me to put this thing in her hair?"

And he did.


Monday, November 26, 2012

My Baby is 3!

  I can't believe it! Our baby is three!
  I love looking back at pictures and believe it or not, I am a little sad knowing that our family is complete
and that Maryn is no longer a baby.
  Maryn is so strong and has overcome so much.
She is so happy and resilent and nothing seems to stop her.
God has his hand on this girl.
Her smile can light up a room and her voice (the nice one) is so sweet to listen to.
Maryn is so smart and beautiful and she has taught me so much.
She taught me how to risk and love with everything I have even when our future together was uncertain.
She taught me how to fight for her when she needed me too.
She taught us, our other children, and our family and friends that love and committment have nothing to do with biology.
She taught me how to better serve the families and individuals I treat with special needs.
She showed me what my incredible husband is capable of.
She showed me the love in my children's hearts for others.
And because of Maryn, we were led to another love of our life, Julia!
Wow!  This kid has accomplished quite a bit in just few short years.
Watch out world!
Here comes Maryn. 
Here are a few pictures to enjoy of our sweet girl.
The first time the Hubs and I held her at the hospital!
The 1st Christmas together after only 3 days was so special!
The 1st smile.
This was taken in the hospital.  She is only 3 weeks old.
I can't believe how small she was.
This is her 1st birthday with cake and also as a Turkey!
Her 2nd Birthday!
And now, three years old and growing strong!
Her laugh makes me so very happy.
Happy Birthday to my Sweet Maryn!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pilgrim Hat Name Card Holder: DIY

I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving!
I am so thankful to have children and a husband who will still hold my hand.
I am thankful to still have a Dad to hug.
I am thankful for a sister, sister and brother-in-laws who love our kids.
I am thankful for our health and home and safety.
I am also, so thankful for the support and love of many friends and family.
I am thankful for God, and so much more.

I am also thankful for fun activities
that keep the kids busy while I cook so...
Here are a few photos of our homemade Pilgrim hat name card holders.
1) Start with Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies, chocolate side up.
 2) Melt chocolate chips in the microwave.
 3) Dip marshmallows into the chocolate using a toothpick and place it on top of the cookie.
4) Put a little dab of yellow icing on the base of the marshmallow to form a "buckle."

 5) Enlist a cute kid to trace out, cut , and color a hand print in a turkey fashion
and add your guest's name.
 6) Tape the turkey onto the top of the pilgrim hat and
there you have it!
Best part is that you can gobble them up for dessert.
I hope that you enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Have My MBA

I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
What mom hasn't done that lately?
Whether I am at work, home, at my kids' schools, or out with friends
it all comes back to one thing.
I am a Mom.
A while back, Leah came in after watching one of those cheesy yet catchy
commercials for an online degree program and said,
"Hey Mom, why don't you get your degree?"
I was a little irked as I replied, "Leah, my dear, I do have my degree."
We went on to discuss the details of my bachelors program in occupational therapy,
so the misunderstanding was resolved.
Then she wanted to know if I wanted to go get my Masters degree.
"No," was my response.
  Seriously, my mind is already overwhelmed with educating the children in my care at the moment,
all the while keeping them fed, clothed, and alive.
Also, in my field, I have some other interests and continuing education courses that
I'd rather invest in so that I enhance my clinical skills so that I can provide better care.
I forgot about that conversation until last night.
I was trying to make a special breakfast for the kids
since they are off school and I'd be at work when they woke up.
My mind was filled with things about each kid.
I found myself thinking,
I am a professional mom at this point.
That doesn't mean that I am
always good at it
(Lord knows I am a mess sometimes!)
but I am in this up to my neck and
I am committed.
We all are.
Heck! This week, I survived taking all five kids to the orthodontist while filling out
paperwork in a small office, not the waiting room,
for 45 minutes of the hour long appointment.
Also agreeing to pay them large sums of money, whereas the orthodontist proceeded to give me a concerned
 look and say, "Please tell me you are babysitting?"
We also had 6 kids sleeping at our home Friday night and 7 kids
 (including one who beganvomiting) on Saturday night.
And I can't forget Saturday, when my alarm on my phone reminded me at 5:20 that
 Porter had a 3rd grade Bible retreat (that also was a Potluck)
that started at 5:30!
Of course, we had forgotten all about it and had a friend on his way over for a sleepover.
The hubs and I kicked into high gear and then called in a pizza for carry out,
washed some strawberries, called the kid's mom to get permission to take him too, and barked orders at Porter to get
his Bible and get in the car.
We were there by 6:10 and didn't miss a thing.
Thank God.
This week has been beating me down a bit
but we're good.  We made it and I am thankful.
Sometimes I flew off the handle, didn't hug enough,
and barked orders,
but I did some things right too.
I can't always forget that and
sometimes I need a little pep talk too.
So in the spirit of that, I have decided that I do have my MBA...
in motherhood.
Sometimes, I'm a mom with a Major Bad Attidude
or I feel like my Mind will Blow at Anytime.

And sometimes, just sometimes, every once in a blue moon
 this Mama's a Bad A$$!
What have you done right or survived lately?
You rock!
Consider this your pep talk too!

Tell me all about it my fellow MBA's.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so thankful to be a Mom.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Good Buys

No, I have not started my Christmas shopping.
I have, however, made a few good buys.
Here are two of my newest favorite things.
I have wanted new pj's for a long time but couldn't find the "perfect ones."
Well, honestly, I found a lot of "perfect ones" but never at the "perfect price" until...
$18.99 for these SUPER soft and just a bit fuzzy dream pajamas.
I love the gray and pink together.
They had 4 different patterns and colors.
Run out and get you some.

And then, Marshalls came to our town!
I went in to browse for some stockings and found this cutie.
 I couldn't resist this adorable little mouse...
 and his even more adorable price!
Anyone else find some unexpected new loves out there lately?
Please share?

Friday, November 16, 2012

I Used it All Up

Josie strikes again...

At cheer practice, Josie rushed off to the bathroom.  
She even kept chanting cheers as she did her business.
Then she started a strange conversation with me.

Josie: I used up all of my poop today Mom.

Me: What??

Josie: I used up all of my poop today so you need to feed me more food, seriously.
I love poop.

Me: Why??

Josie: It's brown, Mom, and brown is my favorite color.

Later, when I told her father (whom I blame for all of her gross tendencies) this disturbing story
she interjected,
"Brown really isn't my favorite color.
I just like poop."

Then she smiled and ran off to put on some glittery lip gloss.

What is wrong with that kid?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Josie: Look!  Patrick gave me another ring, Mom!

Me: What is this?

Josie: Mom, he has a crush on me.  Have you seen his face when he looks at me??

Me: What does his face look like Josie?

(This is her interpretation of the little boy's I-like-you-face.)

Hubby: I need you to stop liking this boy Josie.

Josie: But I love him!

Josie: You are trying to stop a girl from liking a boy.

Hubby and I: redirection, blah blah, not appropriate, blah, we love our family and friends not boys yet, 
blah blah

Hubby:  I blame this all on you, Krista.

Lord, seriously help us!

(Patrick is not his real name, but the Hubby is keeping an eye on this little guy so his
name has been changed for his safety. Just kidding.)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veteran's Day

Thank you to all of the Veterans that have
served our country.

Thank you to all of the military that are currently serving.
and to all of the sacrifices that families make
to protect and serve our country.

Our families have so many men and women to
be proud of!
I am so thankful to each of you.

Last week, my Dad came to Leah's school and
talked to the kids about being 
on a Navy ship
during the Vietnam War.

 He did a great job!

I've never been prouder!

Today, I get to spend the day with my favorite
Thank you too, my love.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Poor Nawnie

Josie has a lovey, 
that she calls "Nawnie."

Nawnie, the once cute pink and gray floppy elephant
was a baby gift from our friend Allison.
Nawnie now has lost one ear, one eye, and most sadly, her trunk.
No quality of life for this poor elephant.
Five years later,
Nawnie now has lost one ear, one eye, and most sadly, her trunk.
No quality of life for this poor elephant.

I find myself sitting on the couch
stitching Nawnie's mangled head back onto her body,
shaking my head, and thinking
"Is it even worth it?"


Anybody else's child have a lovey that you can't seem to part with?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Kids on Politics

While I have despised being called 15 times everyday,
disgusted by how much money is spent on political mailings alone,
and saddened by the bad manners of our candidates and supporters,
I also feel blessed to live in a country where
we have the right to elect our own leaders.
I have also enjoyed hearing our kids
talk and debate during this
election session.
Here are a few conversations that took place around here.
Keep in mind, we did not offer our opinions. 
Me:  Why do you think so?
Porter (while laughing):  Because it sort of rhymes. hehehe
Leah (in a scholarly tone):  Don't you mean that it is more of an alliteration?
Leah: I think that I sort of agree with Obama about smaller class size.  That way teachers
could spend more time with each student.
Porter:  I think that it would be less distracting with less kids in each class too.
Leah:  Well isn't our debt like one million dollars?
Me (with a chuckle):  No honey, it is in the trillions of dollars.
Leah:  Whoa!
Porter:  Wait a minute.  If classes are smaller, then they would have to build more classrooms
and that would kill our debt!
Leah:  What if we just put an extra teacher in each class? 
Then there would be less students per teacher.
Me:  You know guys, you make a lot of sense.
I'd vote for the two of you because you have worked together more in this one conversation
than both parties in the last 20 years!
Leah (with a pout on her face):  I am voting for Mitt Romney because the
First Lady took away our churros in our school lunch.
Tonight at dinner the churro conversation continued.
 Leah and Porter pretended to be each of the candidates and debated.
Romney (played by Porter):  You took our churros away!  It doesn't matter if they are healthy or kids aren't fat!
Obama (played by Leah):  Yes they are...and so is your wife!
Everyone busted into (inappropriate) laughter and I broke it up pretty quickly!
I guess the kids have seen too many slanderous commercials. 
Here's just a few funnies from my friends on Facebook and their little ones. 
L's son says: He "is voting for Mitt Romney because "Obama steals from the rich to give to the poor." So we asked (him) what he thought. He said he "is voting for Obama because he wants to give houses and food to people that don't have them." He also said that only one other girl in his class is voting for Obama so he is going to lose. LOL!!!!
S says: My son "wants me to vote for Obama because he thinks the first lady is cute!! Lmao!! Only my girl crazy little 7 year old!!"
T's says her five year old  "keeps telling us to vote for Obama because he IS our President."

K overheard a kid at school say he/she wouldn't vote for Obama because he took away their snow days.

My favorite came from my 11 year old L.  His mom says, L doesn't like Obama's electric car/hybrid initiative. He thinks people should be allowed to drive SUV's. He wonders how the (my) family will fit into a Prius.
Believe me, I know that this election, and any election, should be taken seriously.
I am praying for those voting and for the leaders of our country.
Voting is a right in our country that I don't take for granted
but I need to focus on the lighter side of all of it tonight,
before tomorrow's election chaos begins.
I am hoping that I don't have to stand in line for too terribly long,
and I hope that there are no "hanging chads" this year!!
Before I go, I have to share this picture of what I saw in the claw machine at Kroger.
Ridiculously funny!
Come on.  Share with us what is being said at your home.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Recap

Oh my friends, it was a cold and wet Halloween!
The Hubs and I rushed home from work and
pulled out old costumes because
the little ones' costumes were not going to be warm enough.
Don't laugh, but they are a little small on Josie and Julia
but they didn't mind.
Hope that you had a great one.

 Leah said that it isn't fair that I let Porter go as something evil...
A New York Yankee!
 Leah's creation
 Julia's happy pumpkin with a bow in her hair.
 Maryn was going to be a pirate so this is Captain Hook's hook.
Porter chose a detailed New York Yankee symbol
Josie chose a peace sign.
Just so you know, my older kids took it upon themselves to trade
out all of the candy that wasn't Porter-safe.
So while I really love them for that,
I was a little bitter not to have much selection after they all went to bed.
Just kidding.
The kids had fun and we'll be ready to do it
all over again next year.
Have a great weekend.