Thursday, April 30, 2009

4th grade recorder concert...

Woo-hoo! Tonight was Josh's long-awaited 4th grade recoder concert!!! And we were all on the edge of our seats in anticipation of the event- well, we were on the edge of the seats, but it was more in anticipation of the end of the concert!!! Josh has been practicing since January and has worked hard to earn his recorder belts- little pieces of colored string that the kids earn when once they learn a song.
The musicians did a really good job, and the concert was over fairly quickly (after just 4 songs), but Matthew really didn't care- he was much more obsessed with picking at my feet...

Gee, do you think it's time for a pedicure when your 3 yr-old notices how awful your feet look?!?
Well, I wouldn't know since I don't get pedicures, but Matthew seems to think I should do something about my feet! As for the rest of the kids- they were fortunate enough to get to attend the concert since all their activities were cancelled due to bad weather! And after listening to Josh practice at home day in and day out, they just couldn't contain their excitement about the upcoming event!
Sophie was especially thankful to be spending her time supporting her brother in his 4th grade rite-of-passage....
And Noah simply can't wait until he gets old enough to tackle the complicated fingering of the recorder...
Emily thought the music was simply marvelous, especially when it was accompanied by some background music being played on a CD... and Sophie was trying hard to contain her emotions...

What a wonderful family event! Thank goodness someone invented the RECORDER!!!

Bag of tricks...

If you ever wonder how a busy mom of 7 makes it through her day without having to be committed, here's a look into my fabulous bag of tricks...
First of all, there are several things that I keep in the back of my car and never leave home without... I always have a double stroller, and even though I would love quit carrying it because it's so heavy and bulky, I can't tell you how many times it's come in handy. My kids are so used to travelling during the day due to all our activities, that they easily fall asleep in the car and even transfer from car to stroller and back to car without ever waking up. There are times when I push a stroller and pull a shopping cart- it's nice to have options. I also still carry 2 diaper bags in the car at all times. I have a complete change of clothes for BOTH boys ( to include an extra pair of socks) as well as diapers, wipes, cream, medicines, cups, pacifiers, snacks, and a few toys and small books! I do drive a suburban, and you can see how full it is with the necessities, but if I buy groceries, I simply stand the stroller up and fold the seats down ( I don't usually have all the kids in the car at once!). And this is one of the best inventions ever!! This is one of my two Buggy Baggs, designed for the shopping cart seats in stores. There are lots of different brands out there, but I really love this specific one because it comes with a detatchable pillow and is much more padded than others I have tried! You used to have to order them on-line, but I did get my second one at Babies R Us.
And I always have extra blankets in the car- at least one baby blanket and then someting for the kids to sit on if we are at a game or the park. The baby blankets are great for shielding from the sun, wind, cold and rain!
This next picture is so funny, but it's a great example of why I like to be prepared! Normally, when I go to the store, I need 2 carts. Partly due to the fact that I always seem to have to buy so much, and partly due to the fact that I still like to keep Matthew restrained! And these cart covers make it that much harder for Matthew to get out of his seat! On this particular day, we went to the store after lunch and both boys fell asleep as we shopped. Thanks to my great Buggy Baggs, I was able to lay the boys down on their own personal pillows so they could nap comfortably as I shopped! Unfortunately, this doesn't happen often, but I am prepared when it does!! And you can't see it in this picture, but their feet just hang over the sides. If you try this, just be sure to watch their feet- if you get too close to a shelf, their feet will take out half the stuff on it! Also, I have bent their feet several times when I've taken a corner too close- oops!
And here are several of the items that I am sure to have in my purse at all times! Obviously, being a mom of 7, I am always sure to have some form of a strong pain-reliever in my bag--you know, for all those pains in my neck...! And how often do you need a bandaid when you're out?! Well, we may use more than the average family, but I can't tell you how many times I have come to the aid of other mommies who are caught without a bandaid!

As far as the pain-relievers, I don't prefer one specific brand over the other- anything will do, although I do stick with some form of ibuprofen. I do always take 3 pills however- there's nothing like 600mg to get the job done!!
And if you have kids, then you know how often a quarter comes in handy! From gumball machines to horsey rides to slot machines... just kidding, of course I don't let my kids gamble! But sometimes I do feel as if I'm gambling my quarters away! The kids will come and beg for quarters and when they return and I ask them to show me their loot, they smile and proudly display a hard green piece of plastic that vaguely resembles a frog and is supposed to fly through the air when you push its back- WOWWWWW! Now that's value!!!
And although I'm not a big germ-freak, and definitely have no problem letting my kids eat things that have fallen on the floor (hey, it does build their immune systems!), I always have some antibac in my purse. You see, we use it in place of washing our hands in the restroom so that we can avoid getting completely soaked and having to do a clothing change- this saves us time and laundry;-)
A calculator is another must! Great for figuring out tips- I'm not so great at math- or for entertaining your toddler! LOTS and LOTS of buttons, plus they can't call China like they can on your cell phone...
And since we have 7 kids, we always need lots of pens! When one wants to draw, you can surely bet that they will all want to draw!!
And of course, they need something to draw on- something besides the checks in your checkbook. Yes, in moments of desperation, I have used checks before....! Isn't it funny how you'll give your kids anything sometimes just to shut them up? Like when you're trying to sign the paperwork to buy your house and they're crying and you say here honey, here's my purse, do anything you want, but do it quietly please.....!!
OK- pay attention, cuz this is a biggie! All kids love gum! And if you want to bribe them- did I just say that? I would never bribe my kids!- this is one of the BEST ways! And it doesn't matter what kind of gum you give them either- trust me, they are not picky!!!
If you're short on the gum, then here's a good alternative! Mints are great for most ages, although I do try to avoid giving them to my kids under age 2!
But I rarely need to worry about being short on treats..... you see, I have the answer to every stressed-out-mommy's-frustrations! The BEST trick of them all! The one that I should be ashamed of, but could really care less because it works so darn well!! The one that I really should think twice about before pulling out at the doctor or dentist offices! But really, I just don't care! Because when it comes down to my sanity v. possible tooth-decay or sugar-highs, I'll take my sanity any day!!!! And here it is.... the worn out ziploc bag of candy that I NEVER leave home without!
And no, I am NOT ashamed!!! I have learned over the years that you do what you have to do to survive sometimes. I'm sure that some will shun my methods, but I am here to tell you that, more often than not, I am praised for having such well-behaved and wonderful children when I'm out in public! I can take all 7 of my children to any restaurant out there and, thanks to my bag of tricks, actually enjoy a meal with my wonderful family- even if all the kids are eating is candy!

Be sure to leave me a comment and share some of your tricks! I'm always open to new ideas!!

Ya know it's time...

Ya know it's time for new jammies when you see two big 'ol toes hangin' out the front! And ya know it's time for a nap when ya fall asleep in your highchair...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Caught in the act...

I think it's so funny when you catch your kids in the act of doing something that they know their not supposed to do, and then not react as they would expect you to! Take Jacob for example- here he is eating yogurt that Matthew left on the table..... it's running down his arms and all over the front of his shirt, which means we will have to do an outfit change.... But, notice the big grin on his face? That's because when I caught him, I simply said hey buddy, that yogurt sure looks good! At first, you could literally see the surprised look at my response float across his face, but once it sank in that there would be no retribution, a big smile took its place!
And once I got out my camera, he knew he was homefree!! That's when the fun started...


Isn't it fun to change things up a bit every once-in-awhile- let the kids do something they don't normally get to do?! I think that's how memories are made. They won't remember all the times you yelled at them to clean up their room, but they will remember the time you started a pillow fight in their very messy room w/o ever saying a word, and then helped them clean it all up when the fun was over. But that takes time... but sometimes that's the most important thing we can give..... our time!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Blog Frog community forum!!

Hey all- I'm in the process of cleaning up my blog a bit! There is WAY too much on my sidebar, so I have enlisted the help of the best blog designer out there- my sister! Check out her very cool website- she has awesome free backgrounds that are different than what everyone else is doing! Anyway, while she's designing, I thought I would try to clear some stuff off my sidebar and even move some of it around a little. I have really been enjoying THE BLOG FROG widgets- the chat wall, the community, the news feed- and want to encourage you to visit "my community!" It's a place where you can post a question, a comment, a recipe, or anything else you can think of and others can reply right there on the page. I've been posting questions on other blog communities lately, but haven't been using my own- what a shame! I need to be sure that everyone knows it's there so I can get some action!! And on that note..... be sure to visit my community before you leave. It's on the sidebar and you just click the bottom of the widget- that will take you to the forum. Be sure to look around- it's soooo cool! I just posted a discussion about VERA BRADLEY BAGS- check it out!
P.S. check out what happened to my newest VERA in this post from a couple months ago!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sleep...







Donate!

Ok everyone- lets help out the Freeman family now! Go over and check out their blog! We plan to give them what we would normally tithe to our church at the beginning of May! It's nice to be able to take some action for them and maybe make a small impact on their situation. And please, continue to pray!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Life goes on...

Well, my heart is breaking as I look at the picture below and realize just how close I came to being Mckmama's 10,000,000th hit tonight:( Actually, I wasn't close at all! It sounds like someone hit it right at the 10 million mark- wow! The idea was to refresh the page until you got as close as possible to the turnover and then take a picture of the number. I honestly hadn't planned on even trying to catch it, as I've watched this happen in the past and know how hard it is, but this time I got really excited as the time drew closer and closer. And NO, I did not sit by computer for hours waiting for this to happen. Those of you that read My Charming Kids know that this takes place in just minutes. In fact, when I first logged on, there were still about 6,000 hits to go. Then I refreshed and it was at 4,000- that's when I ran to get my camera! Unfortunately, those lost seconds cost me the picture!!! And at first, I was so proud to have gotten so close- I was in shock to learn that someone hit it exactly, especially since so many people hit the blog at the same time- amazing! Anyway, I was happy to be a part of it and will cherish the memory as life go on...;-) And Matthew learned today that life goes on no matter how big of a fit you throw or how much you hate everything and everyone! Here he is in the middle of a rant. He spent about 5 minutes telling me that he hates mom and he hates dad and he hates Tigger and he hates airplanes and he hates cheesesticks and he hates doors and he hates floors and he hates chairs and he hates pillows and he.... OK, I'll spare you the rest of the rant, but suffice it to say that he hates every member of our family, every living thing in our house, every piece of furniture and even the walls themselves!!! Now, I know that some are asking why is that precious 3yr-old child using the word HATE so much?!? Well, first of all, this IS Matthew we're talking about (check out his very own blog to get caught up on his past), and second, he does have 3 teenage sisters at home that use the word hate as if it were goin' out of style! I mean, really, don't we all when you think about it? I HATE IT WHEN MY COMPUTER FREEZES, I HATE THAT COMMERCIAL, I HATE THAT COLOR, I HATE BUGS, etc, etc, etc... I do try to catch myself and say I don't like... but more often than not, that word finds it's way back into my vocabulary. Anyway, the reason Matthew was so hateful yesterday, was because I told him he couldn't have a cookie- yep, that was it! I offered him a cheesestick instead, which he took, albeit grudgingly, before beginning his rant. So, here he is, one shoe on and one shoe off, acting as if he will throw the cheesestick at my face...
And here he is, opening the cheesestick that, by the way, he HATES, all the while talking about the things around him that make him sick and he hates. And when it was all over, he simply sat down and played with Noah- ya know, the brother that he hates!!! Yep, life goes on...
And here we have Allie! Yes Allie, life DOES go on even when your hair isn't perfect cuz the dang wind is blowing it all over the dang place...
Here I'm getting the really I don't want my picture taken but aren't my red sunglasses cool anyway look...
Trust me my dear, there will be days when you wish you had your mama around to stick her camera in your face and although it's a chore now, I promise you will appreciate these pictures when your old and gray, cuz really, life goes on...

Just cute...










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