Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow Flakes

Last week our children went to school Monday morning. It was not long and the news began listing school districts that were letting out early. The kids did not return to school last week, yesterday was their first day back, parents and kids were both just has happy.

This morning I packed up the kids and waited until the last moment to wake Logan up because slowly school districts were delaying the start of school or closing schools all together. Our school did not make the list and after several failed attempts at calling the school I woke Logan up and we began our journey to town.

About half way there I called the school again and found out that we were delayed 2 hours. We went on our way and got the oil changed instead, while getting the oil changed we got the news that school would not open today.

We headed to Walmart for soccer equipment and when we left the store the snowflakes were big and beautiful I wish I had my good camera to capture these flakes.

Makayla says "look mommy they look like real snowflakes like on TV!" Maybe because they are real snowflakes Makayla.....

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

House Bound Banana Bread

The kids and I have been house bound for two and a half days solid now due to snow and ice and warnings to stay off the roads! Kids have not been at school its getting to be like a boring summer break with no summer camps or anything to do!

I managed to hide some bananas from the kids.....yes I have to hide them! Can you imagine hiding fruit from your kids? I had to hide them so I can make banana bread.....I was ever so excited with the success of my hide.....

Today was a prime time to make the bread.....
and after 40 minutes at 350 degrees.......
It was wonderful! Hubby will be delighted when he gets home!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Our first snow day

It was scary as the snow quickly fell and my husband is an hour away at work. Our cars are very small, the excessive weight they are, they travel well in snow. Unfortunately it is not us we have to worry about!

I made my way to the gas station not far from our home to purchase some gas, bar oil and 2 stroke engine oil. We have a lot of trees on our lot and a very long driveway. To be prepared we need to be ready to cut ourselves out if need be. The forecast was for inches of ice accumulation (different stations had different amounts up to 3 inches) and 3-5 inches of snow which is not a lot to a Canadian but its a lot to North Carolina!

Hubby managed to leave work early and make it home safe and sound.

I woke up this morning delighted to see our bedrooms ceiling fan still turning, that meant we had power, I pull back our blackout curtains and I could see grass poking through the snow. We hardly got anything! The snow fell and then came some sleet and ice which put a crust on top of powder and neither is any good for snowman making, I was so disappointed, I made some coffee and pulled out Fifty Shades Freed. The house was quiet soft snoring came from the children's bedrooms this meant a little bit of mommy time for reading. School had been cancelled since last night and I was going to take advantage of the few peaceful moments I was going to get today.

Breakfast was over and the kids begged to be outside as disappointing as it was this might be the only time to get snow pictures this year and winter is about to be over. We bundled up and headed out into our disappointment...

 Annie's flat snowman!

  I am thinking it was more disappointing for me, they look like they were having fun!

Monday, February 16, 2015

It's party time.....Logan's 2nd birthday

My little man had a Tonka truck birthday party. It was almost perfect just missing Grandma Cindy from http://hats-n-hospitalitea-cindy.blogspot.ca/ and Grandpa Guy from http://peiblog.ca/

It was a wonderful celebration for our little 2 year old!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Getting creative in the kitchen!

First of all, I owe my mom for my creativeness and talent when it comes to the kitchen and crafts, and to the following I owe the wonderful folks who post online to share with others.

We were supposed to do Logan's second birthday yesterday but it was delayed due to a post office delay. So my big plan of the week is all messed up every detail of our busy life is planned day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. I have to admit I am a little excessive and OCD. When things don't go the way they were supposed to it throws my mind into chaos! I had no plan for dinner last night, none whatsoever, because we were supposed to do Logan's party and all the food was planned and a simple swap would not do since Logan's dinner birthday party is now lunch the next day. Figuring out what to cook is very difficult!

Don't get me wrong I can handle change I just don't like change and I can handle everyday foo paws but dinner is huge it is a big thing! The biggest thing is a menu, when I know what to cook, I cook it, it is done! When a dinner is taken away for whatever reason it is so hard for me to come up with a new plan on short notice and my brain does not want to figure out dinner plans. To this I owe thanks to my mom as well. It is easy and fun to cook, thinking up what to cook is a whole other ball park!

One of the kids said breakfast which is great but every Saturday morning we do a big breakfast for all the kids, we don't want 2 meals in a row of breakfast. Hubby said grilled cheese I thought for a minute and hey why not....he quickly added and tomato soup its cold outside it will help warm the kids....perfect! As long as I have hubby's brains providing dinner ideas I can cook with these little mishaps a whole lot better!

I fixed grilled cheese on the waffle makers. I had to make grilled cheese sandwiches for 10 and they take so long in a frying pan I put the soup in the pot and mixed it with milk, I took out the waffle makers and began making sandwiches on 3 waffle makers. It took no time at all and they were the best grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever had!

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Birthday Boy Turns 2!

What kind of mamma schedules a well child visit on the child's second birthday????? This mamma does! Of course it was by accident, not that I forgot my sons birthday its that I generally schedule multiple things all at once based on the day of the week not the "date" of the week! I know this child has therapy this day every week, early release days every Monday, and so on and so forth so I work on a Monday through Friday bases and not pay attention to anything else......After seeing his face I did promise to pay attention to the "date" going forward!
In the waiting room none the wiser eating his birthday breakfast...

The nurse called us back and had me take off his clothes for a weight check. He immediately began crying and it breaks my heart. He has gone into a panic since he was a wee baby hospitalized for a week with a high fever. It broke my heart to see all the tests they did and sticks and pokes! It makes me wonder.....he can not possibly remember, he must react to me! and I try to be happy and calm him down sing to him softly despite not having a singing voice. My poor little man not ever again on your birthday.....mommy promises!

 I was almost in tears over his little face!

We were happy to know that he was all caught up on shots and only needed a finger stick because his hemoglobin is usually low. This he is used to and doesn't mind at all!

Time to head home I have a lot to do with a birthday party this week!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Surviving multiple children takes a lot of patience and organization......This is how we do it......

I recall arriving at the zoo, one of my favorite places to take the children we park our 2 little Toyota Prius' together and get out of the car to stretch and unfold the stroller. I stand as kids file out and find their buddy and I watch folks pass by staring at us like we are crazy and I am sure wondering to themselves do those people not know what birth control is????? To all of those people I say "Yes, as a matter of fact we do know what birth control is! We did not plan our life, we chose it knowing full well what we were getting into, a full on team made up of two divorcees that fell madly in love with each other and our combined 8 children, a Brady Bunch of the sorts with a couple of extra, and this is how we do it...."

The bathroom closet where a normal family would put towels, washcloths and some personal items has been reinvented......shelves with buckets labeled for each child and their toiletries inside, This was a must and I set this up about 2 years ago when we moved in. Our old house was built in the 50's and was a sizable house but lacked cabinet space, closet space and storage. So each day was a challenge. I promised myself that when we moved everyone of our children would have their own spot for their own things so nobody can touch or use someone else's things by accident. There is nothing worse then a frantic kid running to you saying "so and so used my toothbrush now I want a new one!" We went through toothbrushes like crazy even with their names wrote in sharpie as we had some kids that could not read.
Our bathroom closet houses items found at a great bargain....

Closets are labeled by child and clothing....."Makayla Pants, Annie PJ's" and so on.

Bedrooms look like army barracks, and the formal living room and formal dinning room double as a bedroom and office. We have even converted part of our very large laundry room into a bedroom for Tyler who would rather share his room with the washer and dryer then share with his younger brothers......Pre-Teen boy.....who can argue with that?

Laundry is excessive! Can you imagine, let me put it this way out of the 8 children 4 of them are girls, girls change on average 3 times per day so out of one week if you do not do at least one load of laundry per day, you can hang it up your weekend is ruined by piles of laundry! I have this down to a science though, I wash and dry then sort. Avery and Gavin have one hamper, Tyler has another, Savannah has one, Annie and Emily have one, Makayla has her own, Logan has his own and there is one labeled for mom and dad. As I pull clothes out of the dryer anything that belongs to that specific person gets tossed into their basket for them to fold and put away. I fold all the towels, sheets, Logan's items and adult clothes and put those away. It took a long time to come up with this system but it works great and it makes laundry a whole lot easier!

Our table is large, one that is difficult to find a table cloth for but it only has 6 chairs. The company that built the table had since gone out of business so chances of finding matching chairs were slim. I spent some time on craigslist because I can not be the only person with this table but I was unable to find matching chairs and I soon gave up. My parents came for a visit and I asked my dad to build us some benches for the table so we can all eat as a family and we could stop sitting in the living room to eat and pulling computer chairs to the table and so on.

Our built in pantry doubles as a game closet and extra storage for large kitchen items, Tupperware and multiple waffle makers and crock pots. Can you imagine making waffles with 1 waffle iron for 10 people?

Our kitchen is equipped with 2 ovens and a large 5 burner gas stove. We have 2 refrigerators and a chest freezer that is the size of the couch, this is much needed and very much appreciated as we live a minimum of 25 minutes from the store. We live on a large beautiful piece of land in a house my husband grew up in, built with love on land passed down through generations.

The back of our fireplace is all brick and faces the table. I stuck command hooks on it to hold our chore chart, rules chart, behavior chart and reward chart. To the right of that is command hooks for each child where you can hang "items we are most proud of" giving the children again a special place to "show off" their accomplishments.

The foyer houses our calendar, a messy chicken scratched jumbled mess dictating each and every day. Today is the 10th of February and there is very little space to write anything else on this calendar. The calendar taped to the bottom is the children's activities...my car carries a well used 280,000 miles trying to keep up.

Our office was once the "living room" you know what I am talking about. Back in the 70's when they built houses every house had a living room that was set up that nobody used unless there was company and it also had a den which was used by the household daily. Today this large living room is used as my craft space, as well as a computer lab/office and it houses our large food pantry!

One meal in this house to feed all 10 of us consists of:
-2 family packs of chicken legs
-3 cans of corn
-3 cans of green beans
-5 pound bag of potatoes
This does not include the seasonings for the beans, the milk and butter for the mashed potatoes or the flour, spices or oil for the friend chicken. This will probably double as the kids get bigger!

Pizza night is no less then 1 large supreme, 1 large cheese, 2 large pepperoni and bacon, and 2 large pepperoni and sausage!

Breakfast consists of 24 eggs, scrambled, 3 lbs of home fries (hash browns), 2 lbs of turkey bacon, 1 loaf of bread. Meet our breakfast makers......
Yes, we have blue eggs! We have 1 rooster, Bob and 8 hens, Sophia, Nugget, Snowball, Snowy, Snowflake,Whitey, Tiger, and Black Beauty.
Popping microwave popcorn for this gang on movie night can take 30 minutes if you stay ontop of it and consistently remove and add a new bag. I often missed much of the movie making sure everyone had their snack and drinks. That was before.......

Our hallway is home of my best friend....the Command Hook! I owe many thanks to the person who invented this wonderful useful tool. They are used throughout our house.....who wants to put gigantic holes in their walls to hold up jackets?
With 8 children and my love of photography we would not have walls left if it weren't for command hooks. Can you imagine the nail holes that would have been left over after this???
It takes a lot of team work to run this house and no one person can do it alone. Brian and I make a great team which is good for a marriage with or without children, if you make a good team you can do anything!