The Culprits

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fall Stuff I Forgot to Blog About

#1. Olivia's birthday. She likes cats.
I bought her a bunch of kitties from the thrift store cuz I'm cheap like that. But it made her happy anyway.

Auntie Emmy made her an awesome Hello Kitty cake.

#2. Justin's birthday. He turned 40. He's still a handsome young stud to me. But I am much, much younger than him.

#3. My sister-in-laws, Jubilee & Melanie came to visit. They brought their friend, Gina. They also brought my nephew, Aiden, whom I had not seen since he was a newborn. I performed the amazing feat of rocking him to sleep, which is something he usually only allows his mama to do. Even though my youngest baby is now almost 3 whole years old, I've still got the knack.

#4. Uncle Joshua & Auntie Heather came to visit.

#5. Halloween happened. Wait. I think this should have been #1 or #2. Oh, well. Not gonna fix it now.

#6. In the middle of my frantic packing for our trip to WA, for Thanksgiving, Seth decided to go for a bike ride, hit a pot-hole, fly through the air for a bit & "break" his arm. Very inconvenient for me when I had to load everyone up in the car & head off to the ER for our monthly visit. However, it was just as well, because the staff was starting to miss us & wonder if we were OK. Heaven forbid. But I suppose it was no picnic for Seth either, as it was his arm which was injured....poor kid. I felt so sorry for him that I did his chore, the dishes, for the whole next month. (Yes, I do dishes on vacation. But when you have teenagers, they should help, right?) When we returned from our vacation & had the doctor re-X-ray his arm, it turned out to not be broken after all. Simply sprained. Hmmmmmm.....Suddenly, he's able to do the dishes again. Thank you kindly.

#3: PART 2: When Jubilee, Melanie & Gina were in town, Justin's work was having an early Christmas party. I asked them to babysit the boys so that I could go with him for a date. Not only did they watch the boys all evening, so Bonnie & Clyde could go out on the town, they (along with the boys, whom they paid) cleaned my house from top to bottom. They cleaned & scrubbed things I had forgotten even existed. That was a HUGE blessing & I can't tell you how loved that made me feel.
Another highlight of the evening, for me, was when I beat Justin at poker. That has never happened before. He beats me at every game we ever play......cuz he's smart like that & I'm.....not so much. Well, technically, I just finished ahead of him (that's the same thing, right?). I also relieved a bunch of guys of their chip stacks, so I was pretty dern proud of myself. A good time was had by all, except for the guys whose chips I stole.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts about our vacation.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WA Thanksgiving Trip/Goodbye to Grandma

I feel like I have been living an alternate reality the past 3 weeks. Justin, the boys & I went to WA for Thanksgiving week. I knew my Grandma was doing poorly & that I'd likely be seeing her for the last time. We stayed at my cousin Regina's house & had a wonderful visit with many family members from Justin's side of the family & even more on my side. I did have a chance to visit with my Grandma & say goodbye to her, after Thanksgiving. I thought she probably had a bit more time left, but I knew that I would probably never see her again, alive, as I live so far away. The morning we were planning to leave to come home, my cousin came into my room to tell me our precious Grandma had died a couple hours before. Justin had bereavement time available at work, so we just stayed there to wait for the funeral. All in all, we were gone from home for about 3 weeks. It was a wonderfully bitter-sweet time. I became very close to my cousin Regina, who was an angel (as was her husband, Chris), to house 8 people....6 of whom are fun-lovin' & rowdy boys.....for almost 3 whole weeks!!!!! I think there may be a special place in heaven for her. But now we're finally home. Half of December is suddenly, mysteriously, just gone. The boys got somewhat behind in their school work. Reality is sometimes a big bucket of cold water. It's Seth & Jarod's finals week & all of the boys are catching up now....or trying to. Mama is trying not to freak out about it all & just have them do the best they can. Mama is also bribing them with King-sized candy bars at the end of the week if they work very hard. Around here, with all of our happy chaos, we do what can to get the job done, ya know? The boys have their own special way of trying to focus as well, and shut out the constant distraction of active littler brothers (see below). I have taken a break from the SweetTarts & am trying to prepare for Christmas. I am nowhere near ready. 

This is what an angel looks like, in case you were curious (the pretty one holding the less-angelic one):

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkins Painting

We don't do things the "normal" way very often. We don't carve our pumpkins. We paint them. It's just what we do. It prevents a bloody mess from carving-knife-mistakes, it saves on the mess of gooey pumpkin innards getting everywhere & it provides the children with a lovely, round, orange canvas to let lose their creativity upon. It only stains the carpet, their hair, their skin & any clothes they might be wearing ("washable paints" is a bold-faced LIE), but that is a positive, since it all just blends right in to all the pre-existing stains. For clean-up, I just take them out back & hose them off. I get to laugh while they shiver. Everyone wins. OK. I don't really do that (in cold weather), but painting does seem an easier clean-up (& safer) than having seven children carving pumpkins & trying to make sure no little ones get ahold of any knives. Yup. I do take the easy way out way out when I can. However, it's kind of become a tradition on our house & the kids love it. 

Pumpkins painting pumpkins.........                        
                           Artists at work...............

            A couple pretty lil' pumpkins.


My Mr. Potty-Training-Do-it-Myself-Backwards-Underpants-Pumpkin had a jolly time painting his long as I didn't try to help him, heaven forbid.

                             Mr. Creative & Unique-Artist-Pumpkin's interpretation.


Mr.Perfect Pumpkin was very proud that he was covering every square inch of his pumpkin in his favorite shirt even. I was very proud of him for not getting upset about the mess on his shirt, which did actually come clean with an Oxy & bleach combo in the wash.

Artists left to right:

Abigail, Isaac, Jarod, Mommy (the only pumpkin with decent eyebrows..I'm just saying...) , Micah, Gideon, Titus & Olivia (squint at your screen, look really close & you'll see's the one in a rock disguise). Seth was far too cool to paint his own pumpkin.

......and the Pumpkin Family lived happily ever after, until they all rotted & had to be thrown out.
The End

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Struggling with a little writer's block lately, but here goes anyhow:
We went to the Pumpkin Patch.  

It was fun. (How am I doing?)

We made corn angels.

We played with corn.

We played IN corn.

Some of us more than others.

We went on a hay ride.

                                         We picked out pumpkins. The virtual academy we are a part of paid for our admission to the pumpkin patch as well as our pumpkins. The kids were each allowed to pick a pumpkin that they could "carry out".
Some of them 
                                                                        took this very seriously.
Titus had to find the perfect pumpkin, of course. He inspected each one he came across quite carefully for the perfect roundness, size & color. This was not his pick, but it was a close second.

We ran into some fellow homeschoolers/church friends at the pumpin farm.

Was hoping to maybe get a nice picture for the Christmas cards I probably will not end up making this year.
                                                         It was not meant to be.

                           Maybe I'll use this American Gothic replica instead.

Rockin' the fanny-pack. Don't be jealous. 
The pumpkin that finally made the cut.

Happy trails to you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nasal Object Extraction 101

Today consisted of school lessons, girl-cousins visiting, a bead pulled from a terrific two year old's nose, more picture fun with my cam wow app & lots of giggles resulting from said fun with cam wow app. Those were just the highlights, of course. Yes. A bead. I am an expert bead-from-nose-extractor, didn't you know? Isaac came to me and started yelling at me hysterically, to "take it OUT, Mama! Take it OUT!!!" He was so anxious to have it removed, I thought that just maybe he might hold still while I worked on him. HAHAHA! Oh, sorry. When the holding still thing didn't work, I swaddled him in his old baby blankie, with his arms pinned down. I had Seth hold down his legs, to prevent thrashing & avoid nasal injuries. His scream changed to, "Leddeee down, Mama! Leddeee DOWN!!!" I used a pimple popper to extract the bead. Hey, don't knock it! It has that nice small, curved, NON-SHARP, tip.....unlike big, bulky, sharp tweezers, which tend to push an object further into the nostril. I was able to get gently behind the bead & push it forward and out in under 10 seconds!!! I am just that good. Isaac giggled happily about his vacant nostril....... then promptly yelled at me to, "Give it back, Mama!!! Give it BACK." I did not. Other stuff happened today too. Feeding kids. Comforting kids. Settling kids' fights. Practicing for a gig on Friday. I'm singing lead in the 2nd set. Aaaack! Excited! Scared. Mostly excited. And scared. Feeding kids. Comforting kids. Settling fights. Yup. That's it. Oh. And poorly constructed blog sentence fragments. The usual.