Friends & Family Archives

Not sweating comes at a high price here during the Florida summers, and often the rest of the year too, so I bought one of those Intex quickset above ground pools that I would say is more pain in the butt than it is worth except it’s keeping the kids cool so I don’t have to run the air conditioner all the live long day.

Our electric bill is still unbelievable so I’m not sure it’s working but at least the kids are having a blast doing something other than playing video games.

It’s not the beach though.  I miss walking to the beach every day in the summer.  I would like to live on the beach again.

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Kaity-Jane captured some of the backyard fun with her way cool camera skillz.

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And I got some pictures of Maggie enjoying herself in her little wading pool.

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 I couldn’t get a picture of her looking at the camera or smiling because she would not look at the camera and did not smile even once.  Apparently splashing is very serious work.

Even while sitting on a quilt watching the other kids play she was all business.

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Maggie is closing in on 9 months now and we’re seeing her personality blossom.  Her facial expressions while observing and experiencing new things range from contemplative to downright austere.  She’s got a terrific poker face.
Plus, she took three steps on Sunday so maybe she’s feeling like a grown up or something.  Kait was my earliest walker at about 9 1/2 months. It appears as though Maggie may being trying out for the title.

She does smile though. And often.

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Totes adorbs, people. Totes adorbs.

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Whats do they haves on their faces-es

It would seem lately that masks of any and all sorts are all the rage in my family.  I was going through some recent pictures and found that I have captured quite a few moments where one of my children was wearing some kind of disguise.

Here we have Sam in his new swim mask.  I have already posted a picture of this, I think.  But it fits the post so I thought I’d post another.  Plus, he’s wearing fins in this one so bonus.

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Here is Gabe with the same swim mask on his face.

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The root beer box on his head definitely ties the whole look together, don’t you think?

Sam again.  Not sure what kind of statement he was trying to make but it’s something.

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And Jesse put on this simple, understated, black mask when he got dressed first thing in the morning.

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He continued to wear it through breakfast and then during our writing lesson which, obviously, he was super excited about.

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And as innocent as it may seem, bringing back leftover tortillas from Chili’s has recently resulted in a slightly disturbing mask-wearing episode which included a somewhat humorously creepy video I may or may not get permission to post.

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Legally, she’s an adult.
We’re so proud.

And I will end this post with a random picture of an old man picking his nose because he was just standing there staring at me all eerily calling me mom.

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It’s a wild ride, people. A wild ride indeed.

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You know when it feels like everybody is panicking but nobody is actually panicking except you. Silently. Because you don’t want your kids to see you panicking?
This is a story of that.
Actually, it’s more like a brief summary and less like a story so I’m sorry if you got your hopes up.

Rabbit was adding a lean to onto a lean to because apparently one lean to is not enough when you have 9 bikes and 4 scooters and 12 skateboards and while he was up on the roof doing whatever it was with shingles, this happened.

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At first I was cool with them sitting up there while Dad worked close by but that only lasted about 12 seconds when I suddenly realized that my children were on the freaking roof and I knew with every fiber of my being that I would be dialing 911 any minute.

Rabbit thought I was being a little ridiculous because they were sitting down but I was sure at least one of them could find a way to fall of the roof while sitting in one spot.  These are kids after all. My kids.

At one point Kait was actually dangling her feet off the edge hollering,  YOU HAVE TO TAKE A PICTURE OF ME, MOM!  And I could immediately see the headlines.  “Mother of 9 finally snaps and, as you can see from this stop motion movie provided to us by Google, carelessly takes pictures while one-by-one 7 of her children fall off the roof of their backyard workshop”. 

Then Joe came up behind her and we all assumed he was going to pretend to push her off and I almost lost the ability to keep my eyes in my head.

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He claims to have been trying to sneak in a photo bomb. Because it’s Joe, I believe him.
But still.  Way to almost give your mother a heart attack, teenagers.

The whole thing only lasted minutes as I quickly demanded that they all get down. A process that made me even more nervous.

Of course, nobody fell off the roof and I didn’t have a heart attack. However, I’m not advocating for more children to be sitting on roofs because I don’t know how much more silent panic I can take.

Also, Kait is holding up a peace sign, not giving me the bird.  Just thought I’d clarify that because it isn’t perfectly obvious in the picture.

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A couple of weeks ago Rabbit had a large pile of rocks dropped off in our backyard.  He was creating a storage place for the kids’ bicycles so he could get them out of his workshop because the workshop is only for doing work things like the sawing and the hammering and the man stuff according to him.

So we had this pile of rocks outside and Lucy suddenly became very interested in what was going to happen to those rocks and followed Rabbit around the yard asking questions and giving her opinions about everything.  When Rabbit got his shovel out to start moving the rocks Lucy grabbed her little red shovel and decided to help him out and I took pictures and then Google kindly turned them into a stop motion movie for me which I am now going to share with you because this is my blog and that’s what it’s for.

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I might add that at three, she is as good at shoveling rocks as some of her older brothers and she is a pretty hard worker as long as it means she get’s ask as many random questions as she wants.  Like, Are there any whales swimming in my pool? And, Why don’t I see any elephants? And, Why does Dad get the big shovel?

If you turn around and ask the questions back to her she usually has the answer. I think she just likes to start conversations.  Either that or she’s testing human intelligence because she’s planning to someday maybe take over the world because she dearly loves to be the boss of things. Only not in a leader type of way, but more in a Gremlin-y way.

You know…  Give me all your candy and popcorn and entertain me or I’ll get growly.

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Can you even handle the cuteness?

The last two weeks have been sort of nuts around here.  First we all got a somewhat diluted form of the crud.  Most of our church family got it much worse and it was so abundant that our pastor even cancelled Wednesday night church that week.  In our house it was just a mild cold and/or a fever, but it did keep me mostly house bound for a week while it went through a few kids.

Then we had a break for a few days and we did some stuff, stuff which I wrote about in previous posts.  It was a good couple of days even though I was quite tired from being a mom all those days the littles were sick.

Then we got this stomach thing.  We haven’t had a stomach thing for 4 years, people.  Again, it was very mild, but it took a full week to get through the family, picking and choosing days and people it would strike.  It was only a 2 hour bug for most of the us.  Except for Joe, who was only sick for one day, but felt off for a couple of days.

So now that we’re all better and I missed a week of blogging, I figured I’d better make it up to my couple or 3 blog readers so here is pretty much the cutest thing you’re likely to see all week.  Or ever.

 

Maggie started crawling a couple of weeks ago and decided pretty quickly that she didn’t like her knees touching the floor and now crawls on her hands and knees pretty consistently and I can’t even handle the cuteness, y’all.

[PINCHME]

Note to Kait:  Don’t really pinch me.

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A conversation with a 3 year old.

lacyintoyThe scene for this conversation is in my room.  I was getting ready to lay Maggie down in her bed for a nap and Lucy was following me around talking to me about church and swimming and how to sit like a lady.
I saw that she had some dried blood on her leg – the kind that comes from a very small scratch but looks like you’ve probably lost a pint or more of blood and may require some gauze and tape and possibly a nurse.
Also, throughout the entire conversation Lucy was never alarmed, just surprised.

Me: Lucy, you have some yuck on your leg. Here is a baby wipe so you can clean it up.

Lucy: Where?…  Oh!  That’s blooood!

Every time she said blood she said it with a murderous scowl.

Me: Yeah.  Wipe it up really well.

Lucy:  What happened? Why is there blooood?

Me: You must have gotten a little scratch without realizing it or something.

She continued to wipe quietly for a few seconds.  Then suddenly…

Lucy (incredulous): WHO BITE ME?

Me: I don’t know. Why do you think someone bit you?

Lucy: Maybe it was a shark.

Me: A what?

Lucy: A SHARK!

Me: A shark?  In our backyard? I don’t think so.

Lucy: Oh.  Well, maybe it was Sherlock. (the puppy)

Me (I’m laughing now): I don’t think the puppy bit you.

Lucy: It hurts.

Me: No it doesn’t.  You didn’t even know it was there until I told you about it.

Lucy: So it doesn’t hurt? Why doesn’t it hurt?

Lucy continued to wipe up her leg while we chatted about sharks in the backyard.  When she finished she held up the blood stained baby wipe and proclaimed it disgusting and continued to talk about who might have bit her while I tried to laugh as quietly as possible because Maggie was THISCLOSE to being asleep.

It’s yucky? It’s blooood?
Does it hurt?

Who bite me?
Probably Sherlock.  Or a shark.

I would like to say, for those of you who might be feeling deep concern, that we don’t, nor have we ever kept sharks in the yard. Or anywhere.  Gabe is the closest thing we’ve ever had to a shark and he hasn’t bitten anyone in 9 or 10 years now so I don’t know why Lucy suggested she might have been bitten by a shark.  And Sherlock is about as innocuous a puppy as they come.

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It’s all about the fruit right now.

I have a berry picking compulsion. Or addiction, as my friend Hannah would say.

This has brought me somewhere around 50 pounds of berries this season so far and I’m not even done yet because there is still a month or more left in the season.

Yesterday I went blueberry picking for the second time in a week.  I woke up late and almost missed meeting up with some of my best good buds and that would have been tragic for sure because I would have missed out on this glorious pail of sweet deliciousness.

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And some good proper conversation that had me in stitches some of the time and snorting blueberries out of my nose at other times.

I may or may not have taken these photographs myself.
Okay, it wasn’t me.
Anybody who knows me knows that I am a total derp when it comes to taking pictures which is sort of odd because I grew up with a photographer for a father.  I took along with me my personal photographer and she did right good at getting me some fabulous pictures to go along with this post.

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That’s Maggie.  She looks worried in the picture but I can assure you that she was not.  Or maybe she was.  I really don’t know because I am not a baby mind reader. Or any kind of mind reader, really.  I can’t even read my own mind most of the time.

Maggie stayed sleeping in the ERGO carrier for most of the picking but I eventually dragged out the stroller when my bucket started to get heavy.  My shoulders are a little achy still.

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These two plump berries had already been claimed.


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Kait’s camera is broken and the one she used today is her backup.  Pretty impressive backup camera pictures, I think.

 

Can a person get blueberry poisoning?  Because I think I might have eaten my weight in blueberries today.

 

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Yesterday we got this last minute idea that we should gather up all the kidlets, get them fed, washed, dressed, teeth and hair brushed, washed again, clothes changed again because that’s not what I meant when I said wipe your face, and then we loaded everybody up into our giant white van and went to the National Naval Aviation Museum because it’s free and we’ve never been and we like to play torture the parents every so often.  We live on the edge around here, people.

I don’t love aircraft or space or flying or heights but things being what they are, having a pilot as a husband, six boys who think giant metal flying objects of all kinds are amazing, and an adult daughter with an interest in old military aircraft, I’m kinda forced to spend a at least a little bit of time listening to discussion about flying machines.

So we spend a few hours at the museum and the kids absolutely loved it and although it wasn’t really my cup of tea, I had a great time because they were having a great time. It was so much fun just watching them explore.

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And since my phone updated last it has been taking my pictures and making little stop motion mini movies for me so I’m going to throw a couple of those in here because I find it exciting and new and it isn’t annoying yet.

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It doesn’t really look like that giant of a place but even after almost 3 hours we still hadn’t seen everything in the museum. That may or may not have something to do with the fact that the kids wanted to sit in every. single. aircraft. we passed.  And they wanted to touch all the things and every water fountain we passed was like an oasis because apparently it’s hard, dehydrating thing walking around slowly in an air conditioned room and the water I brought was apparently not cutting it taste wise even though I filled it up at one of the water fountains.

We’ll have to go back sometime and see the rest of the place because the kids really did enjoy themselves and the little school tour we were able to take was very educational.

Now if we could only tackle this car sickness thing a couple of my kids have going on…

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So we have this dog now…

A year ago we had to find a new home for our Jack Russell Terrier because he turned into the incredible hulk whenever another dog was present and having nine children means our doors get opened a lot and when that happened at the same time that somebody was walking their dog by our house it was on like Donkey Kong and not very many people were pleased to have their dog attacked by our little 15 pound Tasmanian devil.  Except for our friends across the street who had two 130 pound dogs.  They found the situation somewhat humorous.

He ended up with a large family and ten acres to run with not a neighbor in sight and, although we were a little sad to see him go we were super happy that we could open our front door without fear of confrontation.

And Rabbit and I decided right then and there that we would never get another dog.  Ever.

puppy1

 

Yeah.  That didn’t last very long.

Here’s what happened.

Kait.

We told her, because she asked relentlessly, that she could get a dog when we bought a house and had a fenced in yard and bla bla bla because it would be years before that happened and she would probably be out of the house before then anyway.

And then right after we said that SURPRISE! Dream house.

We could not say wait to this dining area because what other house in our price range would come with a table that seats 14 to 18 people?  How long would it take to find a house so perfect?

house6

And the front door is teal, people. Teal. The whole house was calling my name.

So we bought a house and had a backyard within just a couple of months of telling Kait that she couldn’t get a dog until we bought a house and we had a backyard and she sweetly reminded us of this every second of every day until she had this furry little red dog in her arms.

puppy2

So now we own a new house and have a 5 month old puppy running around inside of it.
Sherlock.
He’s an Irish Setter and has pretty much changed my mind about how I feel about never having another dog.

He’s a derp and is always tripping over his own legs and stepping on my feet and sometimes that really hurts and I may or may not holler at him.

And he really likes people and you would think this was a good thing for a future therapy dog.

puppy3

Except that he wants to smell them, all of them, and sometimes when non-dog-people come over (Like I was just a few months ago) he spends as much time as he can trying to aggressively convince them to be dog people and we end up having to put him in his crate.

Other than that, he’s pretty awesome and I’m convinced that once Kait has moved out and taken Sherlock with her I will not only feel sadness at her absence, but at the pup’s absence as well.

puppy4

 

(Above photo credit: Marty Hadding)
(All other photos are credited to Kaity-Jane)

 I will not, however, miss having my feet stepped on all the time because that hurts.

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I had a long day today and Maggie has been off and on fussy and feverish since 12:30am and I am exhausted but we had leftover coconut chocolate goosefoot cake after our friend’s shrimp fry today and that really made the whole day a win.

That and teaching Jesse and Lucy how to fry up some green tomatoes.

If you think a 3 and 5 year old can’t really cook much in the kitchen just come over and watch my kids and learn that you’re pretty much right.  I’m not going to pretend like they are professional chefs or anything because that would be a lie.  However, they did learn to fry green tomatoes and actually did a few slices all by themselves.

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And nobody burnt themselves or anything, not even me.

Jesse was so surprised and proud of himself.  Lucy was just as bossy as ever.

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Like I said, they did great helping to coat and fry the tomatoes, but also decided to hit the counter and the floor with egg and almond flour too.  It is a pretty big mess, cooking with littles.  And they’re so much more adept at making the mess than cleaning it up.

 

 

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It’s so worth it though.  They were so happy to get to help and the fried green tomatoes were a perfectly delicious way to end a tired day.

 

 

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On a side note, my children do not have spray tans, nor are they jaundice, nor do I let them roll in doritos.  The colors in the pictures are just all wonky.

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