Another year for the books

Yesterday was my last day of the 2015-2016 GSRP Preschool.   It flew by so fast!   It was a great year.  This was my first year working with Ms. Melissa and Ms. Carol.   They are both amazing teachers.  I learned so much from them.  We all worked so well together.   I am so grateful for them and the 18 students that we had. I was able to get to know Carol and Melissa so well as well as the room next door, Ms. Sally, Ms. Debbie and Ms. Dawn.  This year is Ms. Debbie’s last year teaching, she is retiring and heading up to Alpena with her husband and daughter to begin her retirement life..   Debbie and I had many a laughs during the day especially outside time.  She always had a smile on her face and twinkle in her eye.  When I was with her, we were always laughing (and acting like school children), we sang loudly in the car driving to and from Detroit for a conference..  I will forever remember this amazing woman and am so grateful she came into my life.

IMG_0414Thanks Ms. Debbie for being you.  You are one amazingly, beautiful human being.  I am so grateful you came into my life.  You will be missed by all of us!

My Life. Shared.

It’s time to start this up again.  This was my journal.  A time for me to post pics of my beautiful, irresistibly lovingly kind hearted children.  A time to write about my life. A time to write down my wonderful memories we have created for each other and our SIX children.  And then, one day when my mind begins to go , I can go back to my books that Daniel printed and remember the wonderful times we had together.  I love my life. I am so grateful to have it, to live it, and to love it!

daniel and senta

North Carolina

This summer has been a pretty busy one, but we are always busy. There was EFY, Scout camp, Day Camp, Girls Camp, Park Days, and our Family Vacation. The days have been long, and the kids have been enjoying it all. This year for our family vacation we took a trip to North Carolina, and stayed in a beach house on Emerald Isle. We stayed 8 days and 7 nights, and it was amazing. Our trip started Saturday at Midnight, so I guess it technically was Sunday. We traveled the 13 hours to our destination, in one shot, the kids slept most of the way, so the trip seemed short to them. We stopped In Raleigh North Carolina for Lunch at CiCi’s Pizza. Theses use to frequent Michigan, but now they are all but extinct in our state, the kids really wanted to go to a CiCi’s, so I told them, find one that’s not out of the way on the trip, and we can go. They found one that wasn’t out of the way at all, and I held true to my word. After Lunch we finished our journey and arrived at the house, and after settling in, we hit the pool, and then the beach. The ocean was awesome, and pretty calm that first day.

Monday was pretty much Beach, pool, Lunch, Beach, Pool, Dinner, Pool, we kept it simple. Around 10:00pm we decided to go Ghost Crap hunting on the beach. The tide brings in crabs that are the same color as the sand, and pretty hard to spot. We saw various sizes, some the size of a quarter, to others about the size of your hand. Lots of shrieks and squeals as the craps took off running in random directions.

Tuesday they were calling for rain in the afternoon, so we decided to go to the NC Aquarium. We saw a lot of fish and see life, and in the touch pond the kids were able to touch various sting-rays, and ever a sand shark. Sharks are cool to feel, they aren’t smooth like you would think, there skin is almost like sand paper. As we traveled through the Aquarium, we came to their largest exhibit. It was a replication of a sunken ship, and showed how sea life flourishes around these artificial reefs. We had great timing too, because when we got to this attraction, it was feeding time, and Tuesday was actually the day they feed the sharks too. It was pretty cool to watch. After leaving the Aquarium, we went for ice Cream at a local shop called the ‘Sweet Spot’, if you ever go to Emerald Isle, you need to go to the ‘Sweet Spot’.

Wednesday, was a lot like Monday, lots of Beach time. We did go to an old Civil war fort, Macon Fort. It’s a cool place to visit, they have a ‘night gun’ ceremony Wednesday, and it’s a ceremony where they fire off a cannon like they would have back in the day to announce that the fort was closing. It was loud. Dinner on Wednesday, was a Seafood Bake, a much anticipated event. You slow boil crab legs, clams, potatoes, corn on the cob, and sausage in some seasoned water, it’s awesome.

Thursday was more beach time, and pool time, but in the evening after dinner, we went to a local go-kart place and raced a few laps. It’s something all our kids looked forward too. The last time we were there, we had a few boys who could only be riders, but this year they were tall enough to be racers, and they had a great time.

Friday was the day that we took our kids shopping for souvenirs, they had all been working this summer to save up money for this trip, and this was the day they got to spend it. Drew went with Pirate gear, and a toy machinegun…because “it was awesome”. Berkley got herself a mermaid and heart necklace, Lucas bought a Beware of Zombie poster, Jack got a hood that shows he loves America. Nolan got grumpy, and Zoey decided she didn’t really need anything. The rest of Friday was kind of a lazy afternoon, and in the evening the older kids all took the cars and went to get more ice cream from the ‘Sweet Spot’.

Saturday, was more beach and pool time, it was our last day to soak up the sun, and we took advantage of it. That evening the adults all went to dinner, while the kids hung back at the house. We found this small place in Beaufort, NC. It was about 40 minutes away, but so worth it…the food was epic good. After dinner, we got everything ready to pack in the morning.

Sunday, after packing the car we began our journey back to Michigan. Our kids where excellent in the car, they all found ways to entertain themselves, from making up games to playing on phones or kindles. We made it home without incident, and where just glad to be home.

The Week That Senta Went to Arizona

No…this is not about Senta’s trip to Arizona, this is about the week that I had while she was in Arizona…Let’s start…

Sunday

Sunday started out with waking up at like 5:00am to get Senta to the airport, not really a big deal, we had here there well before her flight was supposed to leave and I was going home to get back in bed…all was good…or so I thought. I got home at like 6:30 ish, climbed in bed only to be greated a few minutes later by drew and Berkley who wanted breakfast, and seconds after that Nolan who wanted to play the Xbox. My visions of sleeping a little longer where shot, so up I got. The morning went like most Sundays, kids complaining that they had to dress “nice”, and “…why do we have to go to church anyway?” I said because, that’s what we do on Sunday, we look nice and we go to church…this made me no friends. Once everyone was dressed, and ready, we set of for church at 12:00, “But your ward doesn’t meet till 1:00, why so early” Well we went early because Zoey and Jack where taking part in a special “Youth Only” Sacament meeting, and they had what could only be considered a Dress Rehersal at 12:15. So we all got an extra hour of sitting in the chapel, super fun.

Sacrament meeting went of wonderfully, the rest of church was pretty typical, and we all made it home by 4:30. Dinner went well, and we had zero extra meetings that Sunday, which was good. The kids all got to watch “Once Upon a Time” and I got to watch my favorite show “The Amazing Race”. Kids went to bed at 9:00 and I got some homework done. I was in bed and asleep around 11:30.

Monday

With how well Sunday went I was thinking it would be a pretty easy week…then tragedy struck…Berkley started crying about 2:00am, she was sick, slight fever, and a really upset stomach. We where both up most the night, she finally fell back asleep at 5:30, just in time for me to drive Zoey and Jack to seminary. I got back, and started my morning routine of setting out clothes and making a lunch for Nolan. Berkley was still not feeling well, so I decided rather than dropping Drew and Berkley off at a fiends house for the morning, only to return at lunch time to get drew on his bus for his afternoon at Preschool, I would just Change my half day off to a full day of, and hopefully work a little from home. all was well and good until I realized, I didn’t have the number for the person I was dropping the kids off at…I wasn’t about to text Senta, because 8:00am in Michigan was 5:00am in Arizona. I eventually got the number from another friend, and was able to let her know. She of course offered to watch them later that week, to shich I said thanks, but i’m pretty sure that we are good for the week…little did I know what was still instore for me that week.

I spent the rest of Monday cleaning, doing laundry, and all they other things Senta typicly does during the day. I got drew on the bus at 12:10 and continued with house maintenance. befor I knew it, Zoey was walking in the door at 2:30. I left with Berkley to get drew at 3:00, then on to get jack at 4:00. at this point I should back up to the previous weekend…Drew got into legos the past weekend…like really into them. He played with Nolan and Lucas’s sets and on sunday Nolan and Lucas decided that maybe that wasn’t th best idea, so they told him he couldn’t anymore…this made him really sad, and I felt bad for him and made the mistake of tell him maybe he could get his own set…I ment to say  for your birthday, but didn’t so he took it as I ment tomorrow. So back to picking up Drews from school, the first thing he said to me was…”Are we going to get me Lego’s now…” Crap I though, at this point I couldn’t really tell him no, he had been building it up in his head all day, so…after we got jack I took them to Meijer, I needed to get some Milk anyway. If you ever take your 5 yr old into the Lego isle to pick something out, well…just avoid it. It was a nightmare, he had his heart set on the set that they sell at target with 100 guys and all the vehicles from that old movie…you may be saying, what, I haven’t ever seen a set like that, and you would be right…he wanted me to buy him the Lego Star Wars display case they have set up in Target…

Jack and I both attempted to explain that you can’t buy that, but he wasn’t hearing it. We eventually settled on a “minifighter” x-wing set, and he was happy, Berkley on the other hand discovered they had Logo’s for girls, so…she got a small set to. We got the other things from Meijer and left for home. By this time, Nolan and Lucas where home, and already playing the Xbox. I made them stop, to get chores done and that was pretty much the next 2 hours of my life. Dinner was made, eaten, and cleaned up. the kids got put in bed, and at 9:00, I drove Zoey to her Dance class, I was home an hour later. I got stuff readt for the next day and headed to bed myself.

Tuesday

Big issues Tuesday Mornig…I woke up at 7:00

10 things I said my children wouldn’t do

I didn’t write this, I borrowed it from scarymommy.com, but I so could have written it…this is my life. 620-x-400-frazzled-mom The people who can raise a perfectly well behaved child are those people who don’t have any children. You know who these people are because they don’t have dried pudding on their jeans, and there wasn’t a toddler close enough to quietly put a booger in their hair while they struggled to adjust the cart seat strap. Before I had kids, I was also an expert on raising children. Here are some of my “expert declarations” and a brief rundown of my “actual” findings…

1. My kids will never behave that way in public. 

By “behave,” I meant they’d never throw tantrums in the store. Those hysterical fits that sound like they’re being chased down the cereal aisle by an actual shark. When tantrums actually happen in public, I react the way anyone in my situation would. I ask random people if these are their kids. Or, I’ll whisper to the people next to me: “I’m the nanny.” Occasionally I compliment my children on their form as they thrash and contort their body in ways that defy both human biology and physics.

2. My kids will not eat crappy food. 

My toddlers are picky. So, getting them to eat anything that isn’t a sticker or a crayon is a small victory. If they pass on green beans and carrots and choose to inhale chicken nuggets or pepperoni, it’s an amen-arm raising-hallelujah-kind of moment. I always toss in a gummy vitamin twice a day, this is how I live without guilt.

3. I will never leave the house looking like that. 

Oh, but I do. It’s not that I don’t care about how I look. I mean, mostly I don’t really care how I look, but a lot of times I actually forget to do things like brush my hair or put on makeup or brush my teeth. I have, however, never forgotten pants. You’re welcome.

4. My house will never look like that. 

My house looks like a Build-A-Bear Workshop exploded in it. There are stuffed animals, clothes and toy parts scattered everywhere. I’ve learned that cleaning up after kids while they’re awake is like trying to clean up splattered food from an open blender, that’s still running. It’s exhausting. The only way my house will ever be clean is if it spontaneously combusts.

5. I will never be late anywhere. 

The slowest my children ever move is when we have to go anywhere that has a start time. On any given day, my kids burn around the house like their pants are on fire. They move with the energy of 80 toddlers, breaking the sound barrier as they circle the dining room table for the billionth time. The second I have to be anywhere, time goes backwards. It turns into negative time. That’s how long it takes them to get to me. -15 minutes. Don’t get me started on putting coats and shoes on. Let’s just say that no one can put their arm through the coat holes when they’re too busy trying to put their shoes on their ears.

6. I will never negotiate with my children. 

Negotiation is a powerful tool. It gives my children the chance to exercise decision making. Thus pushing them towards successful independence. Just kidding. It gives me my way. For example, if little Susie wants ice cream, she has to eat three more chicken nuggets. If she doesn’t eat them, everyone else at the table gets ice cream. Raising a child is like a business. It’s all about incentives. Okay, maybe it sounds more like bribing. To-may-toe. To-mah-toe.

7. I will not allow my children to watch TV.

During winters such as these, when your family is one snowflake away from mumbling themselves into full-fledged cabin fever, TV is a sanctuary. A magical box that emits irresistible sounds and colors that buy me at least 15 minutes of motionless activity. Where I can resume banging my head against the wall without interruption.

8. I will never get annoyed by my children. 

Sometimes I initiate a game of hide and seek that I don’t tell anyone else about. Then, I’ll hide in places where a 3-year old would never think to look, like inside the dryer. And I eat candy.

9. I won’t let my kids stop me from traveling. 

Taking a trip to Target requires more items than settlers needed for the westward expansion. If our forefathers had mostly toddlers in tow, they’d have made it as far as Ohio before one of them realized they left a toy behind. After the meltdown was over, everyone would mutually agree that Ohio was “west” enough. We do travel now that we have kids, but I’m not up for discussing our experiences. I’m still trying to sort it all out in therapy.

10.  My kids will listen to me. 

I honestly believe that early childhood development doesn’t include the ability to listen. Hear, yes. Listen, no. For whatever reason no one hears me until I’m in full blown auctioneer mode, rattling words off at 115 decibels. By the time anyone in my house responds, I’ve sold a sheep and four tractors at a farm auction six counties away. There’s nothing more humbling than becoming a parent. There’s no experience in life that challenges your character, patience and endurance like raising children. Well, maybe surviving the Alaskan wilderness in the winter after being chased by a pack of ravenous wolves is more challenging. Hopefully those wolves were chasing you at -40 miles per hour and mostly kept their boogers to themselves.

Originally posted by Christina, for ScaryMommy

She sleeps when she can get it in…

Seminary ended last Friday. Drivers Ed ended.  I hope I will see less of her like this….

she sleeps

Poor girl, she is tired all the time.  She wakes up at 5am everyday for Seminary. She leaves at 5:40am, goes straight to school after seminary.  She gets home at 2:40pm.  For the month of May she got off the bus and into the car for me to take her to drivers-ed from 3-5pm. On the days she droved it was usually 5-7pm or 7-9pm.  She had to figure out how to get her homework done in between.  It was a hard month for her     (and me) But she made it.

The Birth, part 1

I got a call from Senta on Monday, she was driving to her doctor appointment. This is pretty routine, her OB\GYN office is literally 5 minutes from the house. She arrived at the office and said she would call back, ths was at noon.  At One she called to say, my blood pressure is really high, so my doctor wants me to go and have an ultrasound done. At two, she called from her labor and delivery room… Apperently the ultrasound was fine, but she was given two options, one get admited and induce labor because her blood pressure kept rising, or two, go home and lay in bed for the next week… Hello easy answer. Since it would be impossible to lay in bed for a week with 5 kids, one of which was 13 months old, she choose to be admitted.  I got out of work by 4, due to the fact I was the only one in my deartment working Monday and tuesday, other than our intern, that is, so i had several things i had to juggle around. I went home, said hello to Senta’s parents, Hello to my kids, changed, gathered Senta’s needed items, and was out the door to the hospital.  I arrived about 5 after they had given Senta ? to help her contractions along.

It is now 12:35 am Tuesday morning, her contractions have slowed, and her doctor was kind enough to give her ambicore to sleep, but i didn’t get any, and it’s a good thing to. Senta got a little nausious about 45 minutes ago, not to mention the sleep aid has made her a little loopy.  She is getting a shot of fenerin, to help with the nausia.

Right now we are in a holding pattern until the morning, at that point i beleive they will be pushing potosin, and the real fun should begin.

from Food Network

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/3 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2 1/4 cups bagel chips or Melba toasts
  • 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt (2%)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs or halved bone-in breasts (about 6 ounces each)
  • 2 bunches scallions
  • Harissa, chili sauce or ketchup, for the sauce

Directions

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Set a rack on a foil-lined baking sheet and generously coat the rack with cooking spray.

Finely grind the cereal and bagel chips in a food processor and transfer to a large resealable plastic bag. Add 3 teaspoons olive oil, the paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste and toss.

Whisk 1/2 cup yogurt and the mustard in a shallow bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat, then transfer to the bag; seal and shake to coat. Place the chicken on the rack and mist with cooking spray.

Toss the scallions with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and place alongside the chicken. Bake until the chicken is crisp and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees F, about 30 minutes.

Make the dipping sauce: Mix the remaining 1 cup yogurt and harissa to taste in a bowl. Serve the chicken and scallions with the sauce.