Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Centus: Deviled Eggs

Once again Saturday has rolled around, and that means it's time for the Saturday Centus blog challenge from Jenny Matlocks blog. This weeks challenge is a photo prompt and we are to write 100 words in rhyming form using this picture.

If youd like to give this a try (its a LOT of fun) or read more blog entries you can check them out HERE. Now on to my entry.

Little fingers creeping over so slowly,
Across the counter they inch towards the plate.
Blue eyes watching moms face so closely,
If she was caught, who knew her fate.
Almost to the plate, and mom cracks a smile,
Hands her a deviled egg and places a finger to her lips.
As parents we have to play along once in awhile,
Indulging little ones and not always with denial.
A smile and a hug, and away she will run,
All to soon she will be grown, moved, gone.
Relax and love, have some fun,
And cherish every stroke made with crayon.

Me Late? Never... Well Almost Never

The flock likes to claim that they can count on one hand with fingers left over, how many times they remember me being late. They are probably right, I have this thing about not only being on time, but being early. It could probably classify as OCD if you want to get technical. If Im on time for something I feel like Im running late, and if Im late even by a minute or two it affects my whole day, leaving me feeling rushed even when Im not. It is nothing for me to be 15 to 20 minutes early for things.

One thing I am almost never on time for is tv shows. I cant remember the last time I started watching a show when it first came out. My favorite shows were all watched by accident when my regular schedule was changed for some reason. I started watching House in the 4th season, Charmed in the 6th season, Supernatural just last week actually and its in the 8th season. See Im normally a creature of routine, I constantly watch the same old shows over and over again. Nick at Nite and TV Land are some of my best friends. So if youve started watching this great new show, dont worry, I'll catch up with you in a few years.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saturday Centus: Thank you Beryl!

It's time for the Saturday Centus challenge once again. In case you don't know, Saturday Centus comes from Jenny Matlock's blog. if you would like to try it out or read more versions you can do so HERE. Todays prompt is "Thank you Beryl!" and we have 103 words to use it in... Ok, off we goooo.....
Sitting in the lawyers office in uncomfortable clothes, watching, as the family of the little old man who lived on the corner fought and argued, wondering why I had never seen any of these people visiting him before. I spent alot of time over there, sometimes I straightened up his house or made him a snack, but mostly I just listened to the stories he told of his life. I hadnt seen him since I left for college so why was I here... what did the lawyer just say? He left everything to me because I was there for him? Thank you Beryl!

Eyes On the Tiger...

Wow, spring break has been good for the most part. A few blowups have happened, but isnt that part of family life anyway? Weve played, enjoyed staying up late, sleeping in, shopping trips, homemade milkshakes and so much more!

Yesterday we took the flock to a big cat refuge a few towns over from us. This is one of our favorite places to go. It isnt anywhere near as big as the zoo and they have guided tours telling you about each of the cats they have. So much more interesting and the kids learn something new every time we go.  

This was our favorite big cat shot of the day, its amazing to think that a tiger, even in the wild will eat several pounds of food a day, and then spend 20 hours or so lounging around and napping!

This is one of my favorite shots of the day, Dede just looks so thoughtful and reflective. Its not often that the whirlwind comes to a complete and utter stop in this manner. I think I took this as the intern was telling us about how our favorite tiger from last year had passed away. His name was Puppy and he had such a goofy personality, he "talked" to and showed off for us as we stood watching him. 

To me this is one of those places that is a big families dream. We  can get a years family pass for cheaper than we can get in for one days visit. Those are always great deals in my book.
Its a great deal as far as the flock is concerned too! 
Yes, we are THAT family, you know the ones... we dress similarly quite often, not because its cutesy, but because its so much easier to put your eyes on your flock when they all match to some degree.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What's An Hour?

An hour.... at times it seems like forever, other times its passing in the blink of an eye. Look forward to something and that hour passes as slowly as the changing seasons. Spending time with the one you love? That hour will never last long enough. Take that hour away completely and you have a houseful of little lambs who will spend the next week trying to adjust their sleep patterns. 

Thank goodness time change coincided with spring break this year. Sissy and the princess seem to be having the most trouble adjusting. Its amazing how something like that can throw their little inner time clocks so out of whack. I'm sitting here now waiting for the princess to enter that magical place in dreamland where she can be moved to her bed without waking up. I don't think we are far off.... 

She is very well equipped, a paci in her mouth and one in each hand! Some nights that is just the only way to keep those little hands still, she often wakes herself up searching for something to hold, her blanket, her shirt, most often her paci which is when she wakes up because she pulls it out of her mouth. 

We have had a very good start to our spring break around here, Mimi has her first formal dance coming up in a couple of months, it just makes my heart ache to think of my 7th grade daughter attending a formal dance! I took her out yesterday for her birthday lunch and a bit of window shopping and... well... we did more than window shop lol. We found her the PERFECT dress at a FANTASTIC price and there was just no way I could pass that up. So of course, any woman knows that the next stop is SHOOOOES! So she is now ready for her dance, whether momma is or not.

We took part of the flock out to eat tonight, half of the lambs are off having sleepovers. What good is spring break without a sleepover or 2? While we were out our waitress actually fussed at one of the lambs for using manners and saying "Yes Ma'am" and "No Ma'am" and that her mother had given her a name to be used, not replaced with a word like that. I was in such shock that I almost responded to her in an ugly manner, I mean, I myself had been saying "Yes Ma'am" and "Thank you Ma'am" to her. My first thought was how dare she undermine my position as a parent. However tho, I politely told her that our children have been taught to use their manners and to respect other people. Why is it that so many people are uncomfortable when people use manners? Yes, I know it is common place for hatred and ugliness to be the norm, but you would think seeing a teenager using manners, being polite and having respect would be something that an adult would appreciate BECAUSE of all that ugliness we see every day. What really got me was that she said absolutely nothing to the people she went to after us who were rude and hateful to her. As we left I wished her a goodnight and shook my head as we walked out the door. 

Once we got home the princess once again reminded us that you don't need a bunch of expensive toys to have a good time. I snapped this shot of her bypassing her toys to play with an empty peppermint bucket.

And now that the little princess is good and asleep this tired momma is off to catch a bit of a nap before the rest of the household wakes up.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Centus: Code Red!

I'm going to try something new, it's called Saturday Centus and its from Jenny Matlock's Blog and if you would like to give it a try or read more for yourself you can do so HERE. Now without further ado..... 
So living in a houseful of very excitable little lambs, sometimes the most simple thing can turn into an epic moment of what you would think is code red proportions by the over exaggeration that can go on. Little Princess has a simple dirty diaper? Youd think she smeared it all over the house! Dinner time? They havent eaten in months! Hugs? You can bet they will be the tightest, most loved filled hugs youve ever received. Would I change anything? Not on your life, it may be pure chaos at times but I hope to continue to encourage their heartfelt enthusiasm!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Whipped Cream and....

Birthdays! It's official, we now have another teenager on our hands. Today was Mimi's 13th birthday. We usually do a small family thing here at the house with a cake and then the birthday lamb and I take the day together on the weekend and go have lunch, window shop and just spend a little time together. It's so hard to comprehend that she is already 13, wasnt it just yesterday that she was watching the Tigger Movie and snuggling beside me? Well yeah it was but you know what I mean, Im sure. Kids grow up so fast, they grow up faster now then we did. They go from our little babies to these half grown strangers that we dont even recognize seemingly over night. See what I mean? 
From this

to this

Even having a messy hair day she is still so photogenic, she always has been. I could probably count on one hand how many bad pictures shes taken in her lifetime.... unlike me lol

We tried a new recipe tonight, the flock all really enjoyed it. I thought it needed more cheese personally lol. Look how cute these are.

They are super easy to make, heres the recipe:
Create Your Own Signature Mini Pie (and an easy way to get rid of leftovers!)

Mix 1/2 cup of Bisquick, 1/2 Cup of Milk, and 2 eggs together for a base. (put about 1 tablespoon in each muffin cup)

Top with about 1/4 cup of any "fillings" you want. - Cheeseburger, Pizza, BLT, Chicken and Veggies, etc.... You can mix it up in the pan (any meat should already be cooked)

Then top with one more tablespoon of the "Bisquick Mixture" - and bake at 375 for 25-30. It's a great way to get rid of your leftovers! These can also be frozen! Just pop them into the microwave for a quick meal on the go!
Recipe from Betty Crocker
We used ground beef and cheese in ours but the flock came up with so many interesting ideas, I do believe we will be having these again soon. Paired with a salad they made for an amazing meal!

Well I better bring this to a close, tomorrow I get to go to town to buy the items needed to make a 3rd grade solar system with Dede.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Joy of Homemade Toys

So today I made the flock a Sensory Find It game. We had seen one in a learning store a couple of years ago for almost $40 It was so much cheaper to make it myself. I used a 2 liter Dr Pepper bottle, filled it with rice and a bit of glitter and then wandered around the house picking up miscellaneous items. I found, well rather stepped on, a little yellow lego, (Holy sheep dip that hurt!) various buttons, beads, rubber bands, just the typical junk that collects around a house. After my collecting spree I had a total of 67 objects of varying size, shape and weights (don't forget to include a penny) I then made a printout list of each object and laminated it with clear packing tape so the kids could use an Expo (dry erase) marker to mark out each item as they found it. I then attached the list to the bottle with a piece of ribbon and screwed the lid on. I might go back and GLUE the lid on to make sure it doesnt "accidentally" come off lol. The kids sat and played with this for hours this afternoon  taking turns doing it alone or helping each other, even the older kids had a blast with it. I sat and helped Brother Bear by keeping track of the items as he found them. I was super proud as he managed to find all but 9 items by himself. I was truly amazed at how long this held his attention, I finally had to make him put it up for bed time.  With all of his special quirks there isn't much that holds his attention longer than 10 or 15 minutes but this was a real winner! Here is a pic of our game. If you try making one Id love to hear how you did it, what you used, and how your kids enjoyed it!
I sat for the second night in a row watching the princess attempt to climb into her crib. I think Ive mentioned before that she has already managed to escape from it once. She piled her blanket at the end of the bed and reached out and pulled herself up with the bookshelf and then climbed down the shelves. She hasnt been able to do it again since we moved her bed away from the shelves. Last nights attempt to climb in was done from the end of the bed, tonight's was from the side. I swear she is going to grow a little monkey tail any day now lol

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Art of Catching the Bus

Maybe I'm weird, well there's no maybe about that. Anyone who knows me will be glad to tell you I'm plenty weird, but I own that weirdness in an amazing way lol. So let me start that sentence over.

 Maybe I'm the only one who does this, but it works for us. I have multiple alarms on my phone to start our every school morning. At 5:30 the first alarm goes off rousing me from whatever amount of sleep I've managed to attain, letting me know that I have 15 minutes to shake the exhausted stupor from my brain before the next alarm goes off at 5:45 signaling that it's time to get the grumpy little lambs up and ready. 6:00 am, there goes another alarm signaling each and every straggling lamb that they only have 10 minutes to finish their tasks of getting ready before time to walk out the door. 6:10 the final alarm rings as books are gathered, jackets are put on, back packs hoisted, and little feet tromp out the door and down the driveway for the 3 minute wait for the bus. 

Barring that inevitable, last minute, frantic rush, to find that misplaced object, (jacket, backpack, homework, a left shoe) that never crossed the mind of the little lambs in question, even tho they have been questioned and reminded multiple times, until that last alarm rings signaling time to walk out the door, we have that timing down to a science. (Note the run on sentence, much like our run on lives  lol) 

Yes folks, its a science... No, no no no.. It's an ART, (yeah, that's it, an art) getting our flock of lambs out the door, to the bus, with all the needed (and occasionally some not so needed) objects, at the same exact time every day, so much so that many of our bus drivers set their route time by our kids. See, we live in the country and our little driveway is the first stop of the morning. Our route is one of the largest as well, and we have a high rate of turn over on drivers for our route. 3 or 4 and sometimes more drivers per year. With the exception of one day out of the past 5 years (other than the first day of school) that day happened this school year, after a particularly long string of sleepless nights with the princess. I somehow managed to sleep thru every alarm. Yes, all 4 blaring, screaming alarms. Funny thing is that even tho I never heard those screeching alarms I did hear the bus and it's not like our house sits on the road either lol. So the flock got to be car riders that morning. 

What goes on after the bus pulls away? Well it's nap time of course.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Meet the Lambs...

7 kids, all ours whether we conceived them or not, fall into the category of our children. Most days you would think it was more like a house full of roaring hungry lions than cute fluffy sheep. R and I were married just shy of 5 years ago. It was just me and my 3 girls, who for all blogging purposes will from now on be called, Sissy, Mimi, and Dede. R had his 2 boys, henceforth known as Bubba and Brudder Bear. Along with his 2 boys he often had his ex step daughter with him as well, let's call her Nikki. (All the aforementioned little lambs picked out there own names, so I say A+ for each of their participation skills) We made an instant connection, we hit it off as well as the kids and did lots of things together as a family before we WERE a family.

We made an interesting site going places like the zoo. People often stopped to stare at our group which stair stepped so perfectly it was ridiculous. Many even made comments to which R and I just smiled and chuckled over later. 

So anyway, off to meet the lambs... 

First we have Sissy who is now 16 with a diagnosis of ADHD. She chose two years ago to go live with her father. It was a rough move on the other members of this household, like so many things a teenager does, there was a better way to handle it. She lives roughly 3 miles down the road and we get to see her every other weekend and the typical divorce holiday schedule. She was my first baby and to my dying day she will always be my baby. I hope and pray that one day our relationship will again be as strong as it once was.

Second we have Nikki who is now 15 and has a diagnosis of Bi-Polar and ADHD. Nikki led a rough life with her mother and ended up moving in with us for awhile. Our area lacked the proper resources to give Nikki the proper help that she needed so she ended up settling in with a member of her biological family in a greater metropolitan area. The resources available to her are outstanding. 

Third we have Mimi who is almost 13. Every other weekend she goes to her dads house where Sissy now lives. The rest of the time she is the oldest little lamb in the house. She takes her job as the oldest quite seriously, sometimes TOO seriously. Mimi is the type to stand up for the under dog, if someone is in need of a friend, she is the first to step up. She is a loyal and a sensitive soul.

Next we have Bubba who is 12 and has a diagnosis of ADHD. He is a little powerhouse, who flies thru his day at lightning speed. He talks as fast as he moves, getting in 4 times the words as the average person lol. He's a typical brother, likes to pick on his siblings but look out if someone wrongs one of them. As quick and scattered as he is, he has proven more than once that he can be counted on during an emergency.

Then we have Brudder Bear who is 10 and has multiple diagnosis including, Aspergers & ADHD. There has never been a sweeter, more loving and compassionate child than Brudder Bear. He almost always has a smile and a ready hug for whoever he thinks might need one. 

Next we have Dede, an 8 year old whirling dervish of blonde hair and big blue eyes. Dede has been diagnosed with ADHD. She has been my sick baby from day one, if there is something going around you can bet shes going to catch it... twice. She is also our child with no volume control, hard to believe that when she was born her cry was so quiet you had to be next to her to hear it. Guess shes making up for lost time lol.

Finally we have the princess. At just over a year old it's probably safe to say she's the spoiled princess as everyone dotes on her. Certain members of the lamb population have to be watched for endless spoiling. We don't want a rotten princess after all. Her current hobby is climbing, I don't think there is a person or object in the house she hasn't tried to climb. She has even managed to escape the confines of the crib with some well placed blankets.

So there you have it, our little flock of lambs and probably the longest blog post I will ever make without pictures lol.

Starting over.. kind of

So, it's been quite awhile since I started (sort of) this blog. The fact that life went nuts and I never posted anything and the blog took a back seat is testament to our world. Its been almost 3 years to be exact. So much has happened in that 3 years that it is unreal. We've had a new diagnosis on one of the kids that sure made a lot more sense, even tho at times it still doesnt make any sense. We went thru our fair share of hell to be honest, and our share of happiness with a new addition to the family as well. Technically we probably dont fit the Brady Bunch logo anymore unless you want to throw cousin Oliver into the mix lol.

Last January we were blessed with the precious little princess. Shes more like a spoiled princess now with the way her brothers and sisters and, yes, even mommy and daddy, dote on her. She has filled out our not so little family quite nicely, and brought some much needed smiles along the way. She delights us daily with the way she quickly learns something new and has such a happy, loving, playful personality.

Along with the smiles and laughter there have been many tears shed. 2 of our lambs left the flock, our guardian child moved to be with some biological family members in an area where there are more resources available for her needs. Thats part of life in a small(ish) town, you just dont have access to mental health professionals to the extent you do in metropolitan areas. We still struggle with that on a daily basis with our 10 year old. The other fleeing lamb decided that it was time to go live with her father, the way that was accomplished left some emotional and trust issues scattered throughout the family. I remembered that being a teenager was hard, I never realized until I became the mother of a teen, just how much harder that job was. 

Here we are now, left with 2 preteens, a 10 year old, an 8 year old and a soon to be toddler. Wow, how crazy can you get? I'm not sure, but we are about to find out as I attempt to chronicle the perfect messes we tend to make! Come along and join us for the ride.