Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What a Big Boy!

Look what I discovered! Someone changed the toilet paper after finishing a roll. After a short investigation I found out it was Baby Bear because, "I used up the other roll." He didn't throw away the empty packaging (left in the cabinet) or the old tube (left on the back of the toilet), but we talked about it and he now knows to throw them away next time. I made a big deal about it and I hope he will continue to replace it when needed. I think all my children will be good at this for a month or so, hopefully the newness won't wear off before it becomes a habit for them.

As I was taking this picture Baby Bear pointed to the holder, "Do you know who put this here? Daddy put this here."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Surprise, surprise!!

Okay, so here are the details of my Mother's Day surprise for Brandi. She had requested that I make an almond cheesecake (sorry, no recipe. Family secret ;~) as her only present. I have nicknamed it "The Diet Killer" as it includes almost 4 cups of sugar and 6 bricks of cream cheese. It also takes almost three and a half hours to create, and then has to chill overnight to be ready to serve.
On the Friday before , Kitty was going on an overnighter with a church group, and Brandi was dropping her off. I told Brandi to go grocery shopping, take her time, and relax. I would watch the other five kids. Brandi and Kitty were barely out the door before I was pushing the rest of them to get ready to go ourselves. I still needed some ingredients, and something for dinner.
Within 1/2 hour, we got to, through, and back from the store. A major achievement, even if I do say so myself. As I cooked dinner I also prepared the cheesecake. I am NOT a multi-tasker by any stretch of the imagination,but the children were extremely helpful. To complete the secrecy, we had to wash all the dishes and come up with an alibi for the time spent. We accomplished both, got the kids (almost) ready for bed, and hid the cheesecake in our spare fridge that she rarely sees.
Brandi took me at my word on taking her time, and took nearly four hours to relax with time to herself, even if it was for groceries. When she returned, there were no visible traces of our adventure (try working with5 children ages 3 to 13 in a kitchen!!). As I had hoped, she was too preoccupied with putting away her purchases to notice the missing bricks of Philly. The next day, I was held over at work (4 1/2 hours extra) so I called Brandi to apologize because we had originally discussed making the cake on Saturday. She decided it would be alright to make it on Sunday for Monday. I let her.
On Sunday, we woke up late (by design??) so I helped her get everyone else ready, and said I would follow in my car.On the way to church, I stopped by Frisch's where we had planned to meet with both grandmas for their Mother's Day treat. The restaurant held the cheesecake for me until after church, and after we had finished eating.
When the waitress presented Brandi's present, she got so excited and confused at the same time that I think she forgot to breathe, because she almost passed out from being lightheaded. That was when I knew I had succeeded.
She spent the next few hours trying to piece together the who, what, when, where, and how's leading up to the unveiling. She couldn't even speak in complete sentences.

"When did you....?"

"How did............?"

"How could....?"
After a full explanation, she said it was a wonderful surprise, and no, I didn't have to make another one that afternoon.

Busy, Busy, Busy

Things are pretty busy around here. We've been working on the bathroom, end of year schooling, ball, and cleaning.

We're having family over for a cookout Memorial Day. Not everyone can come, so there will only be about nine extra people over for a total of seventeen people (eighteen if my brother shows up). We now have the bathroom in working order. It's not totally finished, but we can focus more on getting the rest of the house and yard ready now.

I'm trying to get us finished up with school for the year. I have some light schooling in the works for summer, but I need to get this year finished, write up reports about Froggie and Birdie, and schedule evaluations for the girls. I also have a lot of planning for next year to do.

Kitty Kat, Birdie, and Monkey all have ball practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This past Tuesday, Jon's team had a bye (sp?) so he was able to take Monkey to her 5:30pm practice on one side of town. Meanwhile, I took Kitty Kat and Birdie to their 5:00pm practice across town. Jon took the boys with him and I took Froggie with me. The kids who are with me and don't have ball practice with a team play catch with me for at least half an hour. While Monkey was practicing, Jon took a walk with the boys to order our donuts for our parade breakfast Monday.

I still have a lot of cleaning to do to be ready for company. Hopefully, I can get it all done. It's usually two steps forward and one to six steps back when it comes to cleaning around here. I have to find a way to get everyone to work with me instead of against me. lol


Jon decided we should take our moms to Frisch's Big Boy for Mother's day this year. We took two vehicles to church so I could go ahead of everyone and put in our request for eleven (us + Jon's mom and my parents). I got to Jon's car and there was a card propped on his steering wheel for me. Jon rounded up the kids and we all met at the restaurant.

The whole week before Mother's Day the kids (especially Baby Bear) had trouble keeping a secret about a gift Monkey was planning for me. I tried not to hear them and was surprised by her gift when she gave it to me. She gave me a little bag that came with a bath set for her birthday and two golf balls she had found at the park. Wasn't that sweet? Kitty Kat gave me a homemade card and had cards for both grandmas as well.

After we were most of the way done eating, I came back from the ladies room and the waitresses came around from behind me. I didn't see or hear them until they were beside my seat and that was startling. But the real surprise was when they set down an almond cheesecake in our springform pan. I had requested that Jon make one for me, but I thought he was going to make it that afternoon. The kids never let on that he made it ahead of time. Not one child leaked a hint! I was so surprised that I got light headed and almost fainted!

I was going to let Jon post about this, but he hasn't had the time. Perhaps he will post later about how he pulled off the surprise (hint, hint, hint).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

There was a crash, ...

but no one got hurt.

Our computer rebelled yesterday afternoon. We finally got the restore program to run, but we lost everything that we had ever changed/added since 2005. Fortunately, Jon made a set of backup disks a few months ago. Unfortunately, the backup disks didn't restore everything. We lost all our documents, pictures, music and games that were uploaded/downloaded . . .

We even lost Kitty Kat's math up to this point. Yep, she is using SOS (Alpha Omega Publications Switched On Schoolhouse) Math this year and I had to re-install the program and reassign the units she hadn't finished. Her math records for this year are nonexistent. It's a good thing she tests well. We had already purchased AOP Lifepacs for Kitty Kat for next year and I'm glad we did. She likes the SOS, but it was difficult havng her tied down to our only computer for math.

I kept telling myself that I needed to back up everything. I had good intentions of burning disks with my school files and resources organised on them. I was also going to burn some picture album disks. Hmm . . . I guess there's a little more motivation to follow through with that as I rebuild my files. Yikes, that's a daunting task!

Speaking of rebuilding, I lost all my bookmarks to the sites and blogs I visit. Please leave me a comment so I can find you again. I have located a few of you, but it would make my life a lot easier, if you would just drop me a line. I'll put moderation back on so you can send me the information without worrying about others seeing it. If you don't want your comment published just make a note of that in the comment.

TMBMT, I need your blog info. please. I couldn't get there through past comments.

Update: We also lost everything from our address book.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Please, Pray For Ed and P./Locks of Love

My mom called me this morning and informed me that my dad's coworker Ed has lung cancer and the granddaughter of one of her (Mom's) friends was diagnosed with Leukemia. I don't have permission to post her name so I'll just refer to her as P. From what I understand, P. had been fighting a low grade fever on and off for a couple months. Recently, her legs began to give her some trouble and last night her family was informed that she has Leukemia. P. is seven years old and I know that her family would really appreciate any prayers for her and her family.

Thinking about P. and the long hard road she probably has ahead of her reminded me of Locks of Love. Locks of Love uses donated ponytails to make hair pieces for children under eighteen who have hair loss due to medical conditions. Some hair salons will donate their time to cut and style hair, and send in the ponytails to LOL. My older three girls and I (Monkey has had her hair cut by a sister a couple times) have donated our hair every couple years for the last 5+ years. This year is an off year for us, since our hair is not yet long enough to donate. I encourage everyone who is able to consider donating their hair to this worthwhile cause. If you want more information or need to find a salon that will donate to LOL, you can follow the link above.

Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Our Little Celery Experiment

We are working on a biology unit. Our current topic is plants and on Monday, April 28th (the day we studied stems) we started an experiment with celery and colored water. We put one stalk in red water, one in blue water, and we split one and put a part in each color. When asked what they thought would happen, the kids said, "The celery in the red water will turn red, the celery in the blue water will turn blue, and the celery in both will turn purple." I bit my tongue and let them wait to see what would happen for themselves.

This is what the celery looked like on Wednesday, April 30th. The split celery had one side with red coloring, the other side had blue coloring, and the stalk was bent. The stalk in the red water did have red coloring, but it didn't look very healthy. The stalk in the blue water had blue coloring and actually looked better than it did starting out.

It didn't take long (probably within an hour or two of starting the experiment) for the kids to realize that the split celery would not turn purple. They had several good ideas of how we could get purple celery though. Some wanted to switch the stalks to the opposite cups, some wanted to mix the blue and red water and start over with a new stalk, and some wanted to make new colored water with red and blue food coloring and use a new stalk.