"Tell your children of Him, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation." Joel 1:3

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Weekend

Happy Day after Thanksgiving! It's Black Friday and we are in Illinios with my in-laws for the weekend. We had a really nice Thanksgiving yesterday. Stayed at the house and everyone came over for way too much turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes. I got so full.....twice. I couldn't seem to learn from the first meal that I should take it easy on the second...reheat at 8pm...meal. Jason and my father in law were in charge of the turkey. They deep fried it! It was fondue for a 22 pound bird. Oh my gosh! I took pictures and a video of Jay lowering it in the vat of oil. It was pretty cool actually....I got a bit nervous about the kids being out in the garage around it though. They had strict instructions to stay away! It was so yummy!








video

I was looking through the ads yesterday to see if there were any "can't do without" items worth getting up at 3am for. There were a few and I was seriously considering going to Toys R' Us at midnight when they opened......but decided it wasn't worth it. I just remember last year when Amy and I went there......Oh. My. Lord! What a zoo! Instead, Jay and I got up at 8am, had some breakfast and took our time getting to the places we wanted to. First Walmart where I had one ad item I was really hoping for. I can't say here what it was, but let's just say it was in the electronics section and I was holding out NO hope that they would actually have any left. There was an employee in the area asking everyone if they needed help finding things.....I figured...what the heck, can't hurt to ask. I did and, as expected, he said they were gone first thing this morning. But wait......he reached behind himself into a cart of odds and ends things that had to be put away and pulled one out! I couldn't believe it. A woman next to us got excited and asked if there was another one...yep, one more. What luck was that!!

Today we'll play some pinnacle and eat some leftovers. Tomorrow it's off to see Jay's grandma Mary and then to his cousins house at night. The boys are pretty excited about seeing their cousins......they love all the new stuff they have there to play with.

All in all, having a good time! I only wish I could sleep in a bit....I've been up before 8am each morning so far. I think I miss my bed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lemonheads

I was looking for pictures last night for my Sunday post and came across a short video I had taken. It was from Feb. 2006 when Tanner was just a year old. I had forgotten all about it until I watched it....and then watched it again.....and then called Jason over to watch it with me. It's so adorable! The best part is in the middle with Tony. He is 2 1/2 yrs. old and too stinkin' cute!! Oh my gosh, that voice. I just had to share.

video

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Snapshot

I've been neglecting my blog this week, so what better way to get back on board than to brag about one of the boys....an easy thing to do. ;)

This week's Sunday Snapshot is Tanner (So far, I've done Tyler and Tony) Tanner Bananner....my Tanner baby. He's going to be 5 in January and yet he is still my baby. Seems weird that when Tyler was 5, he was already a big brother to 2 others. I suppose though that it's normal to mooch on the youngest for just a bit longer.

Tanner was our big surprise baby. Everyone's gotta have one a those, huh? I had 4 boys already between the ages of 9mos. and 6 when I found out about this new little one. I was a tad overwhelmed to say the least. I will remember always that evening when I got home from work and was going to tell Jay. I sat him down and barely had to say a thing.....he knew. He always knew....he was a pro at it, in fact. I remember I started to cry. Not because I was upset....never could I be upset about the news of a new life. But I was a busy mama with 4 crazy boys and not a ton o' dough...so you get the picture. He said the sweetest things to me and made me feel a ton better. Nine mos. later, there he was....and oh my goodness, we were in love.



Since then, Tanner has been such a joy. He is a total daddy's boy....Jason's heart melts for that kid. He's a moosher for his mom....aren't all boys. And he has managed to be the one brother that none of the others ever get mad at. Seems no matter what he does to annoy, bother, distract, or bug....they take it and laugh. His brothers get as big a kick outta him as we do.



He talks with this expression on his face...his eyes moving and opening wide as he tells you something and his mouth exaggerating it's pronunciations as though every word it so vital and important....you just have to listen. It's the cutest thing and so often I find myself just grabbing him mid-sentence to pull him in for a squeeze.



He has a blankie that started out as a soft minty green receiving blanket when he was an infant. It is now an unrecognizable fraction of it's former self. It's torn and tattered....barely a fourth the size it once was. It's color is now a dirty, dingy, light-light-hardly-green-at-all color. But oh, how he loves that thing. Just the mere threat of taking it away for the day will get that kid to do just about anything for you. Frankly, I couldn't care less if he hid it away in his suitcase and brought it with him to college.......problem is, he sucks his thumb whenever it's in his hands. So, as much as I hate to.....we're going to have to "lose" it.....soon. His dentist is threatening metal contraptions and electric shock therapy if we don't break the habit. What can I say, I told you he was our baby.



He started preschool this year and has a love-hate thing going on with it. He enjoys it while he's there, but still wants to tell me every morning he goes that he'd rather not. He says he misses me too much while he's there....now, THERE is a good reason to not want to go to school. ;)



He's got a quiet nature around new people and surroundings. He can be a little unsure of himself if he's out of his comfort zone. But when he's at home....he's all boy and quiet is not even an option.

He has dimples for days........



He LOVES Cars. Cars, the movie....matchbox cars....convertibles he sees outside....anything to do with cars and he's a happy camper.



It will be really interesting to see how he is as a big brother. I know he'll be a good one, but it will be a whole new world for him. He'll lose his 'baby' position. Well.....I'm sure I can still keep him my Tanner baby.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What a week

Busy, busy, busy! There just never seems to be enough hours in the day. I thought yesterday would be a good day to clean, relax, do my 'snapshot sunday' post....but I opted to spend some money instead. Ha! I called my sis in law and we headed to Ikea. I had only been there one other time, years ago, and really wasn't crazy about it. Well, I don't know if my tastes have changed or what, but I could have gone pretty nutso in that place. I was looking for stuff for Christmas, (can't say what yet on here cuz I have a certain son who just might see this) but I can tell you afterwards. Let me just say that I am SOOOO excited for Christmas and the huge surprise we have for one of our kiddos. When I'm done doing daycare and we can maybe focus on re-doing and updating some of our house, that will be the place I go first. I haven't mentioned to Jay yet what I spent there....hey, he hasn't asked. It was not bad considering what I got and besides....I feel like I got it all for free. I had the chance to make a little extra cash on Sat. night. I'm not saying how.....all I'll say is "thank you, John the dealer, for all those blackjacks". That's all I'm saying, nothing else. My brothers are such a bad influence on me (I'm blaming them......).

I just told a daycare parent this morning that I would not be able to watch her son any longer. She told me a few weeks ago that her husband was getting a new job that would have him home Monday through Thursday, so could I just watch him on Friday. I said yes before giving it any thought. It wasn't until a couple days later that it occurred to me he would be here until 5pm on those Fridays. Um..no. I'm getting spoiled with everyone else being gone by 3:45 and having only this boy until 4:30. But NOW....if he's only here on Fridays and until even later, it's just not worth it to me, and that's just what I said to her. I was really dreading it actually. I really like his parents and he's a nice kid too, but for the $10 I get on the days he's got Kindergarten (every other Friday) it is not worth him being here over an hour longer than any other. She was pretty disappointed. She said she just hates to take him out of my care because she feels so relaxed with me watching him and totally trusts me with him. A nice compliment from a mom. She even asked if I would reconsider if she was able to find a way to pick him up by 3:45. I told her I would 'consider' it. I didn't want to make the same mistake as before and answer to quickly. So, we'll see.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

On this Veteran's Day I am feeling a bit more patriotic and emotional than usual. Maybe it's because my heart has been with the 13 soldiers who were killed last week by someone they should have been able to trust. Maybe it's because I honked and waved to an older vet today who was waving a flag on the highway overpass. Maybe because our country is at such a time of turmoil and uncertainty....where many have really forgotten what has made this country great.
To all the military members...past and present...and their family who sacrifice along side of them. God bless and Thank you.

Saying goodbye for a long time....







Sending dad our hugs....


Two Marine Corps Birthday Balls.....





It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag....

God Bless America!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Snapshot

You may remember that last week I started something called Sunday Snapshot. Well, this week, I'm gonna brag about Tyler. Hey, if a mom can't brag about her kiddo, who can.



Tyler is my oldest, my first born, the one who made me a mama. He was our only one not born in Minnesota. We were stationed in North Carolina, so New Bern is his birthplace. Jason was deployed to Italy when he was 2 mos. and was gone until he was 9 mos. old, missing his very first Christmas.



Tyler turned 12 this year and has started 7th grade. As always, he is doing so well. He's the sort of kid who has to study very minimally to get A's and B's in school. His teachers always comment on what a nice kid he is......this year, his new Language teacher told me that she's the sort of kid she could take home. What a nice compliment that was.



He's played the trumpet for 3 yrs now and absolutely loves it. His band directer says he has a natural gift.

He just finished his 2nd year of football and really enjoys playing. He had a bit of a rough time this year, but is not going to quit....just switch teams next year. He loves it.



He opted out of wrestling this year. His season doesn't start until January so I'm really hoping he reconsiders.

Tyler loves to fish and really wants to learn the ins and outs of golfing. We went camping a lot this year and he would be happy just standing on a dock fishing all day. That is so his nature.





He's such a kind heart. He's not too old...yet....to come up and give me a hug and ask how I'm doing today. Sometimes he'll even come up behind me on the couch and play with my hair and ask if there's anything I need. Gosh, I love that boy.

He's anxious to get his own room, something we've promised him is coming when I'm done doing daycare, and having some privacy from his little brother.

He's a great big brother to his 4 younger ones and he is so completely excited to have a little sister.
This summer he was having a really hard time with me doing daycare. He was frustrated and tired of it....I know how he feels.....so we went to the park, let the kids play, and sat down to talk.
I told him we were going to make a pros and cons list. We started with the cons to having me do daycare. He came up with things like....They get into my stuff, I have to share mom, mom gets tired easier, we are stuck at the house all summer, mom can't chaperone field trips.....fifteen things in all that I have always done, but can't for the last year because of doing daycare. Then the pros list. It had only one thing on it. Three words, to be exact. Getting a sister. We then looked at the list.....heavily weighed in favor of me quitting daycare....and I asked him. If I told you I could quit doing daycare, but then we would not be able to adopt....would you be happy about that? He said no. I want you to finish. I want a little sister.

She'll be lucky to have you, sweetie.


Ni Hao Y'all

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Christmas ideas

I'm doing pretty good this year so far. I've already started shopping for the boys and am likin' what I got so far. I am not one who shops early to avoid the hustle and bustle and lines of the mall at Christmas time.....I actually really like the season and the feeling in the air with the music and decorations. I do it more for the cost to be spread out. We don't go too crazy on gifts for the kids....Lord knows with grandparents and Godparents, they get enough. But even 3 to 4 things per boy can be 20 items and that adds up. Here are the things we've already gotten....maybe one of them will be something you'll like for your kiddos.

I was reading the reviews on this toy (something I always recommend) and one parent that said she wrote "I love you's" on this when she tucked the kids in so it glowed when they turned off the light.....that got me, I'm sold.
Look at Amazon.com under Crayola Glow Station


And this....gotta love Crayola...



Then I saw this at the Toys R' Us and couldn't resist. My boys love when we go to the science Museum. They have this device in the Human Body section that you put on your skin and a magnified picture appears on the screen in front of you. Hair on your arms looks huge and the subtle wrinkles on your skin (well, on THEIR skin it's subtle anyway) looks liked a cracked mess. They love the find little open sores and and are always tempted to put the thing up their noses to see what may be inside....they're boys, what can I say.
This is an at-home version. I can't wait until they find a spider or ant to look at close up. Blah!
Look on Amazon under Eye Clops = Bionic Eye


Had to edit my post to add one more thing. It is actually a gift my hubby gave me a few years back and it's one of my faves. I think he got it at Kohls at the time....but here is a link to one just like it.

http://www.weddingaccents.com/accessories/mm-photo-bracelets-m0122.htm

and a pic....



Head over to http://www.nihoayall.com for a whole host of ideas from other mama's. They're even organized in age groups. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Football woes...

I really love my boys being in sports and enjoying it, but this season of football for Tyler has been less than a perfect experience, to say the least. I felt so bad for that kid last night. He just hung his head and held back the tears. It's not right the way his coach has handled that team. I sat down and wrote an email to him this morning. I'm not sure if it will do any good, but I sure felt better getting it off my chest. Here it is....

M***,

This is a long time coming and I feel it's important to let you know how upset my husband and I are about the events of this football season. Our son, Tyler, started his second year of football with high hopes of being challenged, learning more about the sport, and being a part of a team. Unfortunately, that just wasn't the case. Tyler felt very frustrated at many points during the season when he was not given the opportunity to play in the games. He played a very minimal part, usually consisting of only a couple plays per game on kick returns...never stepping foot on the field for any sort of defensive play. My husband and I felt his frustrations, but kept quiet and encouraged him to continue to do his best at practices to allow you to see that, although he may never be the most athletically inclined kid, he was trying and working as hard as the other boys. We have been a part of organized sports with our 5 boys for several years and are not the type of parents to get in the middle of things. We teach our boys to be respectful of the coach and to always try their best and never quit.

But it came to a head for us when you played a game in which you were winning by a score of 26-0 most of the second half and he STILL did not get in...at all. My husband told him to go up and ask you if he could get in for a play. My husband watched you look up at him and then walk away....having never even acknowledged his request, much less give him a chance to play. The following game, when he played two kick returns only, my husband did go up to your asst. coach and have a conversation about this. He was very non-confrontational about it, but just felt it was time to talk to someone about our concerns. You asst. apologized and said he agreed and would try harder to get him some play time. That last one game...he went in for 6 plays which he was thrilled about. After that, right back to the same as before.

I realize that this is a competitive sport and the team wants to win, but it's also a team of 12 yr. olds. This is the age when they should be getting the opportunity to play and learn to prepare them for the possibility of playing in high school. If this were high school football, we would not have an issue....we understand it is possible to ride the bench if you aren't a good player....but even in high school they play the 2nd and 3rd string guys when the score is seperated by 26 points.

Last night was the icing on the cake. We were there....in the rain and cold....his grandparents there to see him.....and do you even know how many plays he was in?? None. Zero. Not even a kick return. There is just no excuse for that. He left there feeling frustrated and defeated and very uncertain whether or not he would be playing ever again. This is what this type of coaching does to these young kids. It discourages them to the point of not wanting to play anymore.

He deserved a bigger effort on your part to get him some play time and to feel a part of a team effort. We paid the $150 for him to play and learn...he was at every practice....he was at all but one game....he did his part....we did ours.

I really hope that you consider some of this when you coach again next year. I can tell you that we are not the only parents that felt this way. Tyler's a good kid. He will never be a star athlete, it's just not in him....but he should have been given more of a chance to improve. Who knows, he may have surprised you.

Sincerely,

Jenny and Jason *******

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Clothes...

.....as far as the eye can see. My gosh, where do they all come from. It's like the loaves and fishes....you fold, you put away...there are still just as many.
This is the result of my twice a year change out of the boys' clothes from summer to winter. Over the years, I've gotten it down to a science (though my pictures of the madness may show otherwise).
Here are the steps to this dreaded task.
1. Get all laundry done so that the summer clothes are all clean.
2. Have the boys empty their drawers and bring the clothes into the family room. See picture below.
3. Take a deep breath upon seeing all the clothes from all 5 dressers.
4. Start folding and organizing them by child and season. Each boys 'keep in my drawer' pile and each one's 'pack away for winter' pile....that's 10 piles for those keeping track.
5. Bring in the bins from garage with all the winter clothes....scratch that...have HUBBY bring in all the bins from garage.
6. Go through them one by one to see if they will fit one of the boys for winter...then place it in the "keep" pile.
7. Put the summer clothes IN the bin to be stored til spring.
8. Have boys bring up all their respective clothes piles and fill their drawers once again for the season.
9. Have hubby put bins back INTO the garage until it's warm enough for shorts once again.
10. Thank God that I only have to do this twice a year.



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday snapshot

I'm starting something called "Sunday Snapshot" thanks to a great fellow blogger who is starting the same idea for her kiddos....thanks Stefanie....
Every Sunday I'll brag....er, talk....about one of the boys. That should be easy to do.

Today I'm starting with Tony. No particular reason...just why not.



My Tony Baloney, our Tony Spumoni, my favorite 6 year old....he's such a warm heart. He's my toughest little guy, and he would wrestle 'til the sun came up if we let him...but he's also got the warmest spirit.



He has started his second year of wrestling for a team. I figured since he does it at home all the time, why not get a mat under him and an apponent to face.





More than any of his brothers, he absolutely loves babies or any child younger than he is. He dotes on his little cousins and gets excited when he sees a baby at the store.






He has struggled a bit in school, but his teacher just told us at conferences that he is doing great and is in the high reading group and is helpful to his classmates when they don't understand. What a difference from last year, thank you God.



He is one of my most affectionate boys. He came up to me the other day, grabbed my face and said "you're cute....let's smooch" I love that kid.





I lost a baby before getting pregnant with Tony and I've often thought about that moment and what bad news it was....but God had another plan for us and for our family. He had this sweet soul in heaven waiting to come down and be a blessing to our family. God always knows best, doesn't He?! Thank you for trusting me with this wonderful gift.





Ni Hao Y'all