Friday, July 20, 2012

He is so proud!

Using the cups to draw Mickeys ears

Adding on Arms and Legs.

Adding the finishing touches

Using ideas he saw on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
He drew a picture of Mickey and Minnie with
no help from Mama!  He is so proud!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What I am currently up to

I thought this would be a fun post.  My friend Bri did this on her blog a while ago and I thought it was a neat idea!

Reading: I read my devotional Bible every morning(a great way to start your day!) and I am currently reading two different books.  One is more for my business, BE A RECRUITING SUPERSTAR.  The other is more for fun: Suck Your Stomach In & Put Some Color On!

Watching: Well if you mean right now, I am currently watching Phineas and Ferb with my kids!  I actually think this cartoon is really good.  I have actually caught myself watching it, only to realize the kids have all left the room.  If we are talking what I like to watch, it would defiantly be any of the Real Housewives Shows.  I know, I know!  I will admit, I LOVE reality TV!  I have to watch something until the new season of Survivor starts!

Anticipating:  Our vacation to visit our family in Kentucky!  We try to go down to see them at least once if not twice a year!  I love them so much and this is a special time for our kids also!  It is still a few weeks out and J is already pulling his suitcase together!

Laughing about: Roxie chasing her tail.  Then catching her tail.  Finally falling head over butt because she pulled her tail to hard and knocked herself over!  What a dork!

Crying about: Uncle F that Dad just went to visit.  He is a great man who has an amazing family!  It will be very hard on everyone when he makes his way to Heaven. :(

Eating: I just finished an oatmeal muffin with red raspberry jelly.  Dad bought me some on the way home yesterday.  It was SO good!

Working On:  I currently have two parties coming up that I want to finish getting together today.  I love doing this and I can not believe I was hesitant at first.

Wishing:  The doctors would find a cure for Cancer.  What a horrible disease!

Daddy's HOME!

I adore this picture of D with Dad!
Late yesterday afternoon Dad finally made it home!  He has been gone visiting family in Kentucky and Mississippi.  The kids did great, but I knew how terribly they missed him.  We are used to him being gone for a few days here and there, but it is a different feeling when he is gone for 5 days and we know there is no way he could get home in one day!  To be exact he was 16 hours away.

We had fun grilling out and playing outside last night.  There was a small amount of disappointment when clouds rolled in.  Not because we were sad it might rain, we were sad it did NOT rain!  We need rain so bad!  We are currently having a drought and we need it so bad!

The reason for Dads visit with family was actually not in the best circumstances.  He went down to visit his uncle.  His Uncle F is in his final stages of cancer.  Dad wanted to make sure he got down to visit him.  Even amongst the circumstances, they all had a good time.  He doesn't get to see this portion of his family that often.  It was nice for him to catch up and see everyone.

I am happy that he got a chance to visit with his family and to see his uncle.  I am also glad to have him home!  I love this man, and our days are defiantly thrown off when he is gone.

Summer work.

C working on her "army guy" letter.  This is the only picture
so far I can get of her doing school work!

J working on his letter.  He made sure to keep his head down.
Don't want to ruin his reputation!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My two Angel Babies

Little ornaments with our babies dates and short poem.

This is an incredibly hard post to write.  I have honestly not talked to that many people about my miscarriages(besides Dad).  I have too hard of a time.  But I feel like there are so many women suffering in silence and wanted to share my story.

We have lost 2 babies through miscarriage.  One in between J and C(baby a), and the second between C and K(baby b).  We found out we were pregnant with baby a when J was about 10 months old.  I had just stopped nursing him, so it really came as no surprise that we were pregnant.  J's pregnancy and delivery went text book, PERFECT!  So we had no reason to think otherwise with baby a.  We told everyone as soon as we could, we were so excited!  We surprised the grandparents by having J wear a "big brother" onsie.  J was a big baby so our doctor always like to do quite a few ultrasounds with me(he was 10lbs and 22 inches and was 2 days late).  We got to week 11(half way through) when doc wanted to our ultrasound and make sure we were actually at that week.

So excited to show J his new baby sister or brother, we dressed him up and got his diaper bag ready.  Called everyone to tell them we were going to go see when baby a was due.  Since I was technically still in first trimester they had to do a internal ultrasound.  Laying on the bed so excited, we saw an image I will never get out of my mind.  Sometime in the weeks before, baby a's diaphragm had not fully developed.  This caused baby a some serious complications.  We knew it was not good when the tech would not talk to us and walked quietly out to get the doctor.  Doc came back in and had me sit up, I honestly didn't want to.  I didn't want to hear this message.  Dad had already figured it out, I didn't want to let myself.  Baby A had passed away... I shut down.  We ended up decided to have a D&C, they fully sedated me, so we stayed in the hospital until I was able to keep food down.  I think we got home around 2am the next day.

Baby b was a little different.  We had just found out we were pregnant a week earlier.  While I was at work I started to bleed.  We honestly don't even know how far along I was with baby b.  I just remember telling my boss(a great friend, thankfully) "I can't go through this again".  At the hospital they checked me out, but the doc said I had either already lost baby b or I was still OK and we were just really early in pregnancy.  I was not bleeding super heavy enough to confirm I was loosing baby b.  This put a small shimmer of hope in me.  Dad was driving truck and was miles away, but he did his darnedest to get home as quickly as he possibly could.  That night as my two precious babies (J and C) slept, I went in early(way early) labor and delivered baby b at home.  There was no way to get to the hospital and honestly they could not have done anything about it.  Baby b was way too early.  They figured I was only 6 weeks.

You really realize how precious life is.  I was sent a card from a lady at church.  She had just lost her 30 year old son to cancer.  She wrote a line in there that I will never ever forget.  Loosing a child is hard, it does not matter if they child is 30, 3 or still in utero.  You become attached to this child as soon as you know you are pregnant.  There are some people who do not understand this(unfortunately some of those people were close to us at the time).

J in his infinite wisdom of a 4 year old(we have always told the kids they have 2 baby siblings in heaven) informed me one night, "Mommy it is OK, God has a rocking chair.  He rocks our babies! And when God is busy, the Angels help watch them."  His words have meant more to me then what anyone else has said!  Kids see it stuff as it truly is!  I love that!

I am blessed that God has given us 4 earthly babies and 2 angel babies!  We know that our 2 angels are watching and waiting for us in Heaven!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

This is actually my second attempt at making Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap.  The first recipe I used did not work like I hoped it would.  It got the clothes clean, but they didn't smell clean!  So this recipe I actually found on The Duggar Family website.  This one called for a different kind of soap (Fels naptha) which smelled so good!

I half this recipe because I do not have a bucket big enough to hold it all!  I also store mine(after it has set over night) in cleaned out milk jugs.  They are easier to store.

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - I found mine at Walmart.  Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Soap all grated up.


The 5 gallon bucket I use

"Army Guy" box

Just a sample of what we put in the box.

I had the kids assigned a solider, a Marine actually, to send a care package too.  His name is CPL Tyler Rollins.  The kids are so excited.  Today we are doing crafts and each writing a letter to add to the box.  They love the fact that this is going to an "Army Guy". 

Now I know that some people may get offended because not everyone is an Army Guy.  However, I hope that you understand that some of the children doing this box are small.  Their uncle was an Army guy and that is how they make the association.  J is old enough now to understand there are different branches of Military, but it is just easier with D to say "Army Guy".  They associate that with any solider what-so-ever.

Today we will be finishing off the box with personally wrote letters from the kids(little ones will be drawing pictures).  They have been waiting for this day, and I am a little anxious at how many edits I will have to make to the letters, and what exactly is on their little minds.  They have a pretty healthy understanding of soldiers (as much as kids should), they have 2 uncles and 1 aunt who served in Iraq.  Also lots and lots of family who served on some branch of military through out our history.  Dad and I teach our kids to be very proud of these people!  They have fought for what we have today!  In all honesty I think I am probably as excited as them to send this box off, and wait for their response!  Can't wait to see their faces.

The name we got was actually a name from a fellow Thirty One sister whose husband is stationed overseas currently.  They put together a fun project call "Operation Pink Box".  Our Thirty One boxes are hot pink on the outside, so it is very distinct when they get them in the mail!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our summer school

K was the only one who would let
me take his picture while working!
I have been working with some school work during this summer.  Very minor stuff, but enough to keep their little brains in thinking mode!  It is all review we do with J,C,and K.  D we are working with learning colors, shapes... that sort of thing.  I try to keep it light and when they want to do it so it doesn't seem forced.  I don't want this to become a fight, I want them to want to learn!
A small sampling of the flash cards I made.
I am currently on the look out for J and K for some great books.  This is a slight challenge because J LOVES anything non-fiction and about animals.  K on the other hand, loves fiction!  Anything about Dinosaurs!  So they have two VERY different interests! 

C on the other hand is super easy!  She is currently reading anything that I used to read!  The American Girl collection are popular right now, Samantha is her current favorite followed by Molly.  Next is Little House on the Prairie, and she is excited!

D loves anything to do with Tractors, Big Trucks(Semis) and Elmo!!  So he is super easy and we still have a bunch of those kinds of books from the other 3.  In all honesty I can't hardly get through a book with him because he wants to tell me what he sees in the pictures, or gets bored!

I would love any suggestions on books for the boys!  What did your boys love to read at the ages of 8 and 5?  We have read some Magic Tree House.  It is hard to find non-fiction that is at a high enough reading level for Joseph.

No Soda

Some of you may know, but I have challenged myself to stop drinking Soda.  I grew up drinking it, I honestly really like it.  As a goal Dad and I have promised to live a healthier lifestyle.  We want to instill this in our children, so it becomes a second nature to them. 

I have researched why exactly soda is bad for you.  And, for obvious reasons we do not let our kids drink anything with caffeine and would prefer they didn't drink any soda.  Well I was being a complete hypocrite for telling the kids they can not have soda as I sat and drank one right in front of them!  What kind of example was I setting!?!?

I have tried many other times to stop but I would always cave!  This time I am bound and determined to see this through.  Guess what!  I am going on 3 months now with no soda!!!!  I am so happy!
I have not really seen any weight loss per say, but I just feel so much better about myself.  I make conscious decisions when we go out to eat.  Instead of ordering a soda, I just order water.   It was easy to stop while I am at home.  We don't keep anything in the house except milk, water and coffee.  The challenge is when we are out and about, or when I am running errands when I just want to grab something quick.

Now I will admit that I did have 1 soda in this time.  That is only because we had Root Beer floats for a snack!    I am by no means judging anyone who does drink soda.  This is a personal choice for myself and my family.

What are you doing to keep cool?

J sailing down the slip n slide!

C landing hard.

K finally being brave enough to fly down!
Honestly the tarps worked better then
the slip n slide!

And then there is D. Not wanting anything to do with the
water!  I seriously hopes he gets over his fear of water.
I can tell that he wants to have fun with the other kids :(

How can you be irritated!?

With Dad being gone this week, the kids have decided they want to share my bed.  I usually am totally fine with this, but when it is more than two of them at a time I get NO sleep!  3 of the 4 kids do not sleep still!  Well as you can see last night I ended up with two visitors, but honestly how can you be irritate when you see how they are sleeping!   This melted my heart this morning!  I had to get a picture of it, and yes I know I risked waking them up way too early.  I couldn't pass up the chance!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I win I win....

I will brag it up in this post!  First of all let me say, K and D did not want to play with the rest of us this night.  Dad, me, J and C played the Big Game Hunter on our Wii.  We decided to pick one animal out and do a hunting contest.  We chose Water Buffalo(I thought it would be easier for the kids and not something small like geese).
Well needless to say I kicked tushie!  I will brag, because I never ever win at these games!
I love this picture, but I forgot to post it from the previous post.  This is D watching the Barges come in.

Mini Trip

Heading to the water park!
We surprised the kids with a weekend trip to a local Water Park and Hotel.  They kids love going here (and honestly so do Dad and I). 
Being silly at BWW
Love D checking out Daddy!

We had a room that over looked the river, which the kids loved!  They even got to see a Barge come in loaded with John Deere tractors!  We took them out to a fun restaurant (buffalo wild wings) and had an early supper. 

J and C being goofy!
We went back to the hotel afterwards and got ready to go the water park.  J,C,and D were SO excited!  It was cute to see how excited they were!  D on the other hand, well he is not a fan of water play!  Yeah, let's just say he was almost dry when we left 2 hours later, and he screamed just about the whole time!!  I hope he gets over this, I would have loved to see him have as much as the other kids did!

K :)
Watching the Barge.
After we got back to our room, we were all craving something sweet, but room service was closed.  So Dad ran to A&W to get some goodies and we sat in the room watching a movie and eating.  The kids crashed right away, which we figured! 
I love this picture!

The next morning after getting ready to leave, we headed over  to the next town and at breakfast at
this fun little cafe.  We have eaten at
this cafe often when we are in town.
Great hometown food!
It was such a great weekend and everyone had a blast!  I love being able to do these sort of things with the kids!
J and D doing maze puzzles.
C waiting for our pancakes.
D and Dad waiting for Breakfast.