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Some self-promotion…

September 13, 2011

  … or perhaps I should say blog-promotion? Today I found a website called Circle of Moms. Apparently they are having a… what should I call it? Contest? Event? … where blogging mamas with six or more children can have their blogs voted for. One of my favorite mom bloggers is on there: her blog is Smiles and Trials [unfortunately, I can’t comment on it since I can’t get into my blogspot account]. Anyhow, even though I haven’t been blogging long and A Dozen Blessings doesn’t get as much traffic as some blogs… here is the link to vote! You can vote once a day until October 3rd 😉


  Also, I should let you know, I have a blog post written and ready to post about what we did last Saturday, but this came up first. The next post will come soon so keep watching!


Rainy Days

September 4, 2011

  I have never decided whether I love or hate rainy days.

  Sometimes, rainy days can be great. If we don’t have anywhere to go, I enjoy them very much. The kids, cats and I get comfortable on the basement couch and read a book while the rain pounds outside. Sometimes, they can convince Rhonda and I to make cookies, and all together it is a fun, cozy day… except for one very important fact.


  For my middle boys–Steven, George, Jackson, and Thomas–this is an awful thing. It’s awful for them because of the simple reason that they are stuck inside with nothing to do [believe me, I could find plenty for them to do]. It’s awful for me because I have to listen to them constantly exhorting their wish to be outside, they are unable to sit still when I need them to, and they can’t find anything to do and become very bored… and when they become bored, they get into trouble.

  There’s only a small chance of rain this afternoon, but it’s supposed to pour starting at about 8:00 tonight and lasting until tomorrow morning. I sent the boys outside a few minutes ago to get their energy out while they can. Hopefully, it won’t be too muddy tomorrow and they can still get outdoors for a few minutes at least. But then again, they will have Grandma and Grandpa here to entertain them 😉 We’re all looking forward to my parents’ visit. The girls and I have about finished all the cleaning and cooking that needed to be done. My parents always sleep in the master bedroom, while John and I are in the basement.

  One fun tradition we have when we see my parents is that my dad makes biscuits every morning for breakfast. He’s been doing this for years, ever since Lindsay was little. The kids all love it, of course–what could be better than warm biscuits and scrambled eggs for breakfast every morning?


  Lindsay just came downstairs with the news that the dryer has stopped. I likely won’t be posting the next few days, but I’ll put up something as soon as possible!

Fun at the Park

September 3, 2011

  As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday we went to the park with the homeschool families from our church. We were there from 1:00 P.M. to 4:30, and everyone had fun. The moms sat in a shady gazebo and chatted while our kids played on the blazing-hot playground. Later, we fed the ducks. One large goose came up onto the sand. He was being very insistent about the fact that he wanted his food, and he wanted it right that second! He continued to waddle around, collecting pieces of bread from the children, not a few of whom were frightened. Micah, for one, was terrified by this huge, honking bird that was almost taller than him. He ran straight to Lindsay and hid behind her, clutching her skirt.

  Micah is usually very independent; he likes to play by himself instead of with his older siblings. The one person he loves to do anything with is Lindsay. Lately those two have really clicked. Lindsay loves all her brothers and sisters, but these days, anywhere you look, you’ll see her and Micah together. It’s sweet, but Micah is beginning to resist whenever I tell him to do anything [it’s time for a bath, let Thomas have the car]. We are working on this and starting to make a little progress…guess I’m just not as fun as Lindsay 😉


  My parents are going to drive from MS tomorrow to come see us; they’ll be here until next Thursday morning. I’ve already been to the store this morning to buy groceries, and I’ve been cleaning everything in sight. Right now, 7 out of 12 children are doing chores. We still have a large list to knock out, but judging by how diligently the kids are working, I think we can get it done it a couple of hours or so. [Have I mentioned how much I love my kids?!] Anyway, we’re all really looking forward to seeing my parents.


  I meant to do a slightly longer post, but I need to get back upstairs and make sure no one has stolen any of the cookies sitting on cooling racks. Hope everyone is enjoying the blog’s new design; I’ll post again soon!


September 3, 2011

  Wow!! As you will notice, I just changed quite a few things on my blog…there is now a picture, background color, archive, and email subscription box! I was shocked by how different it looks; however, I like it!


  Today the six homeschool families at our church got together at the park to let the kids feed the ducks and play. A post about that will come tomorrow…I had meant to do it tonight but just realized how late it is and all the things I still need to do! One last quick note, the credit for the picture at the top can go to Lindsay [12]. She is a wonderful photographer and today asked if, on the way to the park, we could stop at a few places so she could take pictures. I agreed, and you see one of the results above!

What’s In a Couch?

August 27, 2011

  Who knew so many different things could be under the couch cushions? I, for one, had no idea! Just a few minutes ago, we took the cushions off of both the living room and basement couches. We took out all the things we found there, vacuumed the cushions, and put them back on. You would not believe everything we found…


  The first item in the living room couch was pulled out by Lindsay [12]. “Mom! I haven’t read this one yet. May I read it as soon as we’re done?” It was a Guideposts magazine–from 2006. Sure, one of the kids could have gotten it out in recent years and lost it in the couch–but 2006? Really?

  Next Jackson [7] stuck his hand into the cushion. He found a pacifier, a cat toy, and a little ball. Lauren [4] went next: her find was a hair clip. The kids continued taking turns in this way [they all found it great fun, of course].

  In the living room and basement combined, we ended up finding: a Guideposts magazine, two pacifiers, a cat toy, three balls, a hair clip, two socks, a math worksheet, a pencil, a playing card, a pink plastic bracelet, a quarter, a baby toy, a pair of SCISSORS, and a couple of other things as well, plus about a pound of dust, cat hair, dog hair, and crumbs.

  I was shocked.

  And it made me think! I started trying to remember when the last time was that we cleaned under the couch? I thought…and thought…and finally remembered one time, about two years ago. I’ve now decided to make cleaning the couch one of our regular chores; I think we’ll try to do it every two to three weeks.

  The funny thing? The kids are excited. Almost everyone got something “new” from what we found in the cushions. The only thing no one would claim was the math worksheet. Hmm, wonder why not?

What We’ve Been Doing

August 25, 2011

  I started this blog with the best of intentions, but now I have been slacking!


  Mark [13] got his braces Tuesday. They have pretty much quit hurting by now, but he still can’t chew anything. Yesterday was the worst. We made milkshakes with cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream after lunch on Tuesday, which all the kids loved.


  School is going well. The science curriculum we are doing gives us a lot of experiments, and we did one of those today.  We are doing General Science this year. All the kids are enjoying it, for which I am glad.

  Lindsay [12] has been writing three-point paragraphs. She loves to write and is good at it, too, but has never had experience writing anything but stories. Today, her paragraph topic was “The Dangers of Being a ___”. She was supposed to think of a dangerous job [firefighter, policeman, etc.].

  We were sitting on the couch in the basement discussing her assignment. Lindsay was holding Sara Grace [2 months], which was likely why she was not really listening to what I was saying. She was having trouble thinking of a dangerous job to use in her paragraph. Mark was sitting on the couch, also, doing his math. “I have a suggestion,” he announced. “Accountant.”

  “Accountant?” Lindsay protested. “That’s not dangerous!”

  “Sure it is. Let’s see. You have staplers, paper cutters, staple removers…”

  “Staple remover!” Jackson [7] cried gleefully. “That sounds nice and dangerous.” He picked up an empty paper-towel roll that was lying conveniently nearby and challenged George [8], “Let’s sword-fight!”

  Lindsay tried to ignore her dueling brothers as she focused on me: “Can I do accountant, Mom, and make it funny?”

  I agreed, and this is what she came up with:

The Dangers of Being an Accountant

  A person who holds the job of accountant faces many dangers, but there are three that top the list. These three are staplers, paper cuts, and staple removers. Staplers are perhaps the most dangerous of all. Accountants must always be on the alert when stapling papers together to make sure that their fingers don’t get stapled together, as well. The next danger is paper cuts. Although small, paper cuts are actually very painful and accountants handle plenty of papers throughout the day. Last on the danger list comes staple removers. These miniature Jaws of Life are used to pull out staples and are extremely sharp. Some people may think that being an accountant is not nearly as dangerous as being a firefighter or police officer, but accountants themselves would likely say different: staplers, paper cuts, and staple removers hurt!


  Last night was our church’s AWANA kickoff. This is the first year our church has ever done AWANA; I think it will be a good program. I’ve signed up to work in the nursery. Rhonda [16] is going to help with 3/4 year olds, and Carrie [14] has picked 3rd grade. Lindsay and Mark will not be able to help, since our church just rewrote their policy to say that only teenagers 14 and older can help in AWANA/VBS. Lindsay was very disappointed and now can’t wait until her 14th birthday.

  But everyone got to go to the kickoff: inflatables, snow cones, popcorn, and face painting! Jayne [6], my little tomboy, ripped her skirt in the moonwalk. Rhonda offered to mend it for me. Rhonda is a huge help around the house, as are Carrie and Lindsay; I love having them around! 🙂


  Now we are scattered in different spots all around the house. Sara Grace and Micah [2] are asleep in the bedrooms. Carrie is in the living room reading a book. Mark, Steven [9], and Thomas [5] are in the backyard with Sadie, Ginger, and Everest [dogs]. Lindsay, Jackson, Jayne, and Lauren are playing Indians [as I type this, I can see Lauren’s face peeking around the doorframe and Lindsay whispering to her to get back]. And much to George’s dismay, Rhonda has employed him to help clean the bathroom. I’m sure that as soon as he’s done, he’ll race outside to be with his brothers.

  Tomorrow we’re going to my sister Kathryn’s house; she has two daughters and one son that are 12, 5, and 3. Saturday will be a stay-at-home, clean-the-house day…Sunday, church…


  …and Monday it will all start over again.


August 19, 2011

  [Note–I’ve had this written since Wednesday, but haven’t gotten a chance to post it until just now!]


  I love to listen to my kids talk and interact with each other–so much, in fact, that I often jot down their words. I’ve kept a journal for sixteen years, ever since my oldest, Rhonda, was born. Any spare time I have, I’m writing down things that have happened during the day. So anyhow, here are some of my favorite interactions/conversations from the past few days [and also one from two months ago].


  This afternoon the kids were trying to think of something to play.

  Lindsay [12]: “Let’s hit…” The rest of her sentence was lost in a sneeze.

  Thomas [5]: “Each other?”

  Lindsay: “NO!!! Of course not!!! A ball.”


  Lauren [4]: “Why did that lady at the store tell me I was cute?”

  Rhonda [16]: “Because you are.”

  Lauren: “She told Sara Grace she was cute, too. Sara Grace IS cute. Why do ladies always tell kids they’re cute?”

  Mark [13]: “Yeah, why?”

  Rhonda [laughs]: “It’s just a girl thing, I guess.”

  Lindsay [12]: “They never tell me I’m cute….I guess I’m too old.” She shoots a mischievous look at Mark. “When you get this age, they just say, ‘Oh, you got braces!'”

  Mark makes a face.


  Lauren: “We need some new Indian words. What can be a word for ‘piano’, or ‘microwave?'”

  Lindsay: “Umm…Indians didn’t exactly have pianos or microwaves. Why don’t you work on learning the words we already have first, and then we can maybe think of some more?”

  Lauren: “Oh, I know the words already!”

  Lindsay: “All of them?”

  Lauren: “Well, uh, a couple? The ones we use lots?”

  Thomas: “If Indians didn’t have microwaves, how did they cook their food?”

  Lindsay: “Oh, Thomas, you haven’t been playing Indians with us enough! They cooked meat over a fire! And some things, like berries, didn’t need to be cooked. They would eat berries straight off of the bushes.”

  Thomas: “Bushes? I thought berries grew on trees.”

  Lindsay: “Can we talk about this another time? I think we’re supposed to be watching Rhonda and Carrie do their science experiment.”


  Every morning during our Bible time, we recite our memory verses. A month or two ago Jackson [7] decided he wanted to spice up Philippians 2:14. He said the verse– “Do everything without complaining or arguing” –and then flipped backwards off of the couch as he said, “Flip-pians 2:14!” Needless to say, the rest of us, or at least all who were old enough to get it, started laughing. The next day at Bible verse time, George [8] and Thomas [5] decided they were going to do it with him. Now, every morning, the three boys flip backwards in unison as they say “Flip-pians 2:14!”



  Next Wednesday night is the AWANA kickoff at our church [and John’s birthday, as well!]. This year is the first time our church has ever done AWANA’s. The kids are all really excited about it. I think it’ll be a good thing for them to go to, but I have to admit I’m not too happy about having to go somewhere every Wednesday night. It doesn’t start until September, however, so we still have a few weeks.

  Mark is getting his braces next Tuesday; he’s not very excited about it. [I believe I put August 20 on my Teeth! post, but it’s actually happening August 22.] He’s supposed to have them for about a year. He was actually going to get them last April, but we just didn’t have the money and moved it to August instead. His teeth aren’t really that bad, so we figured it could wait a few months. 

  Hailey, my 12-year-old niece, got braces last Monday. She, also, needs them for a year. She told Mark the first day isn’t so bad, but the next couple of days her mouth was very sore. We’ll see how this goes–it’s a totally new experience for us, since Mark is the first of the kids ever to need braces. [But definitely not the last…]