Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The sweetest of voices

A couple of months ago, Meghan chose to sing "I Am A Child Of God" for a couple visiting with us. It was the most beautiful sweet and sincere little voice I had ever heard. I have been trying since to capture it with my camera, but she either wouldn't perform and just didn't sing it quite as well. Tonight, it came close. Forgive the darkness- this was in her room shortly before bed. Enjoy!


For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the song, here are the lyrics:

I am a child of God
And he has sent me here
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear

Lead me, guide me
Walk beside me
Help me find the way
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

Nothing like a sweet little angelic voice to remind us where we come from!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Job Opportunity: Tooth Fairy- Start Immediately!!!


One Tooth Fairy for our home.

Experience preferred
Must be able to start immediately
Must be dependable and never forget to visit!
Must have plenty of dollar bills on hand at all times (consider my kids seem to have teeth falling out of their head like snow from the sky....)
Wings optional

Pay: $0

Knowing their will be a happy child in the morning.

Reason why we are looking:

Our current tooth fairy just stinks! She frequently forgets to visit. Our poor children go to bed so excited that the tooth fairy will visit only to wake up and find their tooth still under their pillow! Then, I have to deal with their sad faces! Good thing Santa has a better record!

She frequently does not have dollar bills on hand as needed. In fact, she once took a dollar from one child to leave a dollar under the pillow of another child! Can you believe it?!

This week, Kenny lost two teeth! And, both at school on two different days. Both days, his mangled baby molar came home in a little baggie. His poor teacher....

Well, our tooth fairy forgot the first time earlier this week! I told a disappointed Kenny (who, thanks to his innocence, still believes at the age of 9) that I would be sure to call her and straighten it out! So, she did visit that night but left 4 quarters instead of a dollar bill as usual. (Thankfully Kenny knows this is the same and was still quite happy). He lost another tooth yesterday at school and anxiously put it under his pillow. Last night the tooth fairy visited and AGAIN found herself without a dollar bill! She even checked Aaron's wallet to see if their was a dollar she could steal and found only a $10 and a $5 (which, considering he never had cash, he seemed rich...) but knew this would never work. She even considered stealing a dollar from Jacob but couldn't find his money in the dark room. (Smart kid...) So, she was left to scavenge for change- Kenny received 1 quarter, 1 nickel and 7 dimes. Again, thankfully, he was happy with this.

So- to our current tooth fairy- "YOUR FIRED!!!!"
(please apply soon! The position needs filled quickly as I am sure there will be another tooth out soon- Jacob has a couple that are wiggly!!!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kid speak

A couple of bloggers I know do an occasional post devoted to crazy things their kids say. I had not yet jumped on the bandwagon until now. With recent events involving ghost sightings and Abraham Lincoln look-a-likes, I figured it was time that I record these things for posterity's sake. They did not disappoint this week! This post features Ellie the most, but also includes one by Jacob and one about Meghan. Enjoy the wild ride!

9/11-We went apple picking as a family and went to Wendy's afterward for lunch. I took the girls potty and, while I was still in the stall, Ellie left the stall area and was in the sink area. A large woman had just finished using the bathroom and was washing her hands. Ellie said something that must have been nice because the woman said "Thank you, that was really sweet" and then Ellie said "Why are you a big fat woman?!" I wanted to DIE- I yelled at her from the stall but then took my time finishing in the stall until the woman left- I just couldn't face her. where did she get that? It isn't like her parents or much her family are skinny!

9/12 While sitting in church on Sunday, a conversation with Ellie:
E-Where is Jesus?
Me- In heaven.
E-Where is Heaven?
Me- Far away (I was going to elaborate further but before I could, Ellie says.....)
E- Will we need the Tom Tom??

9/13- I was relieved to know that at the age of three, the girls have finally decided what they want to be when the grow up- They are going to be "Butterfly Feeders!" Sounds like a promising career to me!

9/13- the girls take a pre-k cooking class at the local rec center, which they LOVE. They go on Tuesdays and Monday night, the girls were looking forward to the next day. Ellie asked what they were going to make the next day. The teacher is my good friend, Abbey, so I knew from talking to her it was going to be pasta salad. I told Ellie this and, knowing she didn't really know what it was, told her it was noodles. She said, "I hate noodles!" (strangely enough she isn't a pasta fan....). I told her these were yummy noodles. She said, "will it taste like strawberry shortcake?" I said "No, it will taste like noodles." She said, "Then I won't like them!"

9/14- I was talking to my dad on my cell while driving to Kenny's soccer game. Kenny had to be there early and I had to go somewhere right after so Aaron and I had driven separately. Aaron had left earlier with Kenny and then I left a little later with everyone else. While talking, I forgot where I was going and blew way past the exit I needed so then went the "scenic route" to get there. When we arrived, I was explaining to Aaron what took so long. Jacob says "That is probably why there is no talking on cell phones in New York!!!" (While on vacation in New York, we got a very expensive ticket for Aaron talking on his cell while driving- apparently illegal there....) Ya ya ya......

-Meghan says the word "actually" surprisingly often for a 3 year old. However, it sounds more like "akshee" the way she says it. Makes me laugh everytime!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An Old Dog Can Learn New Tricks!

1 box Borax- $4.00

1 box Arm and Hammer Washing Soda- $2.50

1 bar of ivory soap (or 1/3 bar Fels-Naptha)= <$1

1 bucket with lid= $3.00

Laundry Detergent for about 1 Cent per load...... Priceless!!!!!!!!!!

No, I am not joking. I had heard of home made laundry detergent before, but assumed it wasn't really worth it cost or time wise. I was wrong. An amazing person introduced me to this concept a few weeks ago and I had to try it out. In a family of 6, I do about 12-13 loads of laundry a WEEK! I would buy the large jugs of detergent at Sam's Club for about $20 and it would last approximately 5 weeks. That is over $200/ year on laundry detergent! I just spent $10 on these supplies and, aside from buying more bars of soap, it will last a YEAR! Each bucket works out to a cost of about 70 cents per BUCKET which does about 65 loads! That is just over 1 cent per load!!!!

Hmmmmmm....... less than $20 total for a whole YEAR or over $200 a year?!?! It wasn't hard to decide- especially since it only takes less than 10 minutes to make a bucket! Here is exactly how to do it:

Grate 1 whole bar of Ivory soap or 1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha into a sauce pan.

It will look like this:
Add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts. It will look like this:
Add 1/2 cup EACH of the Washing Soda and the Borax (seen in measuring cups above). Stir until dissolved:Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups HOT water into the bucket. Now add the soap mixture and stir (I use a large FREE stir stick from the hardware store).
Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups water and stir.
Put lid on and let sit for 24 hours and it will gel. When you open the bucket again stir well. It will be kind of a semi-liquid/chunky mixture- kind of like noodle soup as I have heard it described.

Use 1/2 cup per load.

That's it!!

A few observations:
-using my usual fabric softener, it comes out of the dryer smelling as good as my laundry ever did. (there are recipes for your own fabric softener too- I may do later....). If you prefer a scent to the detergent itself, you may add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil.

- it is low sudsing so it works for high efficiency washers or regular cheap washers like mine. If you open the lid during the cycle, you will notice no suds. They are not needed. It isn't suds that cleans the clothes but the components of the above ingredients.

- you can pre-treat as usual for tough stains.

Homemade dishwasher soap:
Use 1 cup EACH of the Washing Soda and Borax shown above- place in a Tupperware container and shake well. Use 2 TBSP per load. Use vinegar as a rinse agent! (No need to buy detergent or Jet Dry anymore!)

What's next? I am thinking I will start making my own household cleaners too! So much better for our systems and the environment and so much cheaper. I think I can get into this!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

On this day in:

1189-Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) was crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey1777- The Stars and Stripes (aka Betsy Ross flag) flies for the first time in the Revolutionary War!

1783- The Treaty of Paris was signed-officially ending the Revolutionary War! That's huge!

1894- Labor Day first celebrated as a legal public holiday

1914- Pope Benedict XV named as pope.

1935- Sir Malcolm Campbell breaks the speed world record of over 300 MPH with his 2500 Horsepower Bluebird on the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah

1939- Britain and France declare war on Germany

1967- Sweden changed to driving on the right side of the road instead of the left, to be in common with most of Europe. (Can you imagine the chaos??)

1967- the original version of the television game show “What’s My Line?” broadcast its final episode after more than 17 years on CBS.

1976- The US Spacecraft Viking 2 successfully landed on Mars!

1978- Pope John Paul I as the 264th Pope (September 3rd must be a popular day for new popes...)

1977- I WAS BORN!!!!!!!!
Me at 4 days with Dad and Mom

Me on my first Christmas in 1977- I still have this cow!

So, as anyone can plainly see, September 3rd is a very important day!!!

I love birthdays! It doesn't even matter to me that I am getting older- I still like them! I have been having a great day too! My family and friends make me feel very loved!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Adventures in Canoeing

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to take Kenny and Jacob canoeing with my sister, Julie and her boyfriend, Shawn! It was a first for the boys and they were sooooooo excited!

There was Aaron and Jacob in a canoe, Me and Kenny in a canoe, and then Julie and Shawn each had their own Kayaks. We had a blast! Though, to be entirely accurate- a better name for what we did would not be canoeing, but "canoe dragging" because the water was so low. Many times we bottomed out and had to pull ourselves through the water. A good workout for sure! It occurred to me that I have always gone late in summer when water is low- Aaron and I went two years ago during our anniversary trip and then a few years ago, I went with the youth at church in early fall. We will likely go again next May when the water level is higher!
Aaron and Jacob head out! (Aaron kept splashing us on purpose, which was soooooo annoying!)
Kenny paddling hard! This only lasted about 1/4 of the time though. Both boys tired out quickly leaving all the work to the grown ups! Our trip was estimated to take 1-2 hours, but due to low and slow water, it took us 3 hours!

After going for a while, we took a little break. We started with some photo opps:
My sis Julie and me!
Me and my man!

During our break, Shawn taught the boys how to hunt for crawdads. Surprisingly, Kenny was not at all interested, but Jacob loved it! I thought for sure it would have been the other way around!Shawn helped him catch one! Ewwwww!!!! (Classic boy- look at that smile!)

Then, Julie decided to make sure Shawn knew who was boss:

After a while, we headed on down the river again. Julie and Shawn were really tiring out in their kayaks and we found ourselves way ahead of them in our canoes, so we stopped again to wait. The boys had fun waiting as they explored the water!

They thought it was hilarious to float and let the current carry them! Good thing it was slow- we may not have seen them again! Ha! The water seemed so gross and they were right down in it- I thought for sure they would have diarrhea within a few days, but they never did!

We had a perfect day for it- bright sun and low 70's for the temps. Huge thanks to my friend Autumn and later my dad for watching the girls so we could get away! We don't always get to spend much one on one time with the boys, so this trip was really nice for all of us. We finished off with a yummy lunch at Applebees and we came home and crashed!