Monday, March 31, 2014

Odds and Ends - Quick Update


I haven't been able to post much on my blog lately. So sorry! After I made it through my last quarter of school, I went on a thinking/writing vacation. I will work on getting back to posting more though, I promise. :) I now have a nice long break from school until the fall.

So some odds and ends updates...

First of all - NO BABY yet!  However, it can be pretty much any day now. Keep watching the next two weeks and you'll see a baby announcement soon enough. :) We still don't know if we're having a little Caleb or a little Eden. When we know - you'll know!

As I  mentioned my classes are over until the fall because I'm taking Spring quarter off. Yahoo! I also made the Dean's list for first quarter, and my second quarter grades are actually just as good if not better! I got a 110%, 100%, and 98% in my classes. Awesome Possum!

The boys are doing well. Its been a rough couple of months. Alex didn't make the high school soccer team that we've been waiting for the last two years. That was a major bummer. :( However, he focused his efforts on a new exciting avenue...DRIVING! He turned 15 and started Driver's Education classes. I can't say I'm not a little frightened by the idea though... He, however, is ecstatic of course.

Next Owen is doing well - super excited to be turning 10 tomorrow!! He's been doing well in school and is starting soccer now. Yay!
Billy Jr  tried wrestling, but I'm afraid it didn't pan out so well. He thought it was fun at first, and then he started losing matches at the tournaments and wrestling lost its "fun factor" for him. Perhaps he was just a tad too young still... maybe we'll try again next year. He should get plenty of practice with his brothers!
Gabe is doing well in preschool and is now officially signed up for kindergarten! Oh my gosh! He's pretty excited to start kindergarten in the fall.
Abby is growing and talking more and more. She may even be done with her speech therapy by this summer. Yay! She refers to all of her brothers as "Brother". No names, they just all are "Brother". Its pretty cute. And she still has them wrapped around her finger of course! She loves babies, but I'm not sure how he's going to do with sharing the spotlight... time will tell soon enough!

I left Brayden until last on purpose, because there is a lot to tell there. Right before Spring Break started he was chased and corned on playground equipment by four kids in his class who had the intent to "beat him up". One of them pushed him off of the top of the playground equipment, in which he landed on his arm. As he lay crying on the ground saying that his arm was broken, one of the kids continued to pick on him and kick him to try and get  him to get up and fight back.  They left him alone eventually but Brayden did end up breaking his wrist - in two places. He now has on a cast for the next few weeks. He's doing okay now and the kids responsible are getting into big trouble. :(

That is about it for now though! Daddy has been busy working and now coaching soccer again! We have some big projects in the works including a new garden and a new front patio/entertaining area... hoping to get that done this spring.

Keep checking back for a baby announcement as well!

Until next time....

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lots of updates!

Oh wow - what a busy 2014 and its only barely just March!

So some quick recaps and pictures (of course)...


Not long after Abby's birthday, the oldest two boys tried out their new snowboarding/skiing lessons. Unfortunately, the first day of lessons resulted in a broken wrist. One might think it was Brayden who broke his wrist, considering how active and energetic he is, but no - it was Alex. At least he got a full day of snowboarding fun in before breaking it during the final few minutes before he was to leave...


Next we celebrated Gabe's 5th birthday! Unfortunately I didn't get any good pictures, even though we had some awesome Minecraft cupcakes made for him, because he was sick on his birthday. :(

I also got to take the oldest three boys to a hockey game because it was Boy Scout night. After the hockey game, the boys got to ice skate on the rink for over an hour. It was a long night, but fun!


February is our big birthday month! Because Owen's birthday isn't until April, I decided to take him out and have a fun "mommy/son" date with shopping and ice cream. But shhhhh...I'm not supposed to call it that according to Owen! He says its just an "outing".

Now for birthdays....

Billy Jr turned 7! What a big boy. He also started wrestling (a few pictures down...)

Alex turned 15! Scary how time flies... He will be starting Driver's Ed very soon!

Then Brayden turned 12!

As mentioned previously...Billy Jr started wrestling. He's having a fun time with it, I think. However it may be a bit intimidating for his first year. He had his first tournament and did good in the beginning but then soon was way too tired/overstimulated. He gave up on his last match and when we got home he slept for four hours! (Billy is in the blue...)

Abby is doing good - spoiled as ever. I love this picture - here she is getting horsey rides from biggest brother.

 Also! Brayden got on the honor roll last semester! Way to go!!
 (I had a picture to post..but realized that it says his school name which I don't really want posted publicly....sorry!)

And finally, baby seven is still growing well! We're still on track for an April delivery. :) So stay tuned!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Technology is evil!

Overall, great advances have been made in technology and some of those advances are quite beneficial,  even life-saving.  However, the instant easy access that every one - young and old - have to constant interaction, the Internet, etc. is scary.  Often it reminds me of the movie Wall-E in which people just float around on their electronic scooters attached to their phones, tablets, whatever it may be. No interaction other then of the virtual type.
The next thing you know, people are going to be seriously hiring another person to lead them around so that they don't have to look up from their phones.

I watch my own family, and see how easily we can be swept up into the virtual world. Given the chance, my boys would stay on the computer or video games all day...only surfacing for meals and bathroom breaks. I know that can't be healthy for their growing brains! One study I read suggested that extended periods of video games can even cause symptoms of psychosis in children/adolescents. Yikes.

We made the mistake of getting a smartphone for our oldest son. Now we have to figure out how to go back on it without being totally mean parents. Or maybe that's just what we need to be. I guess the first children are for learning on, and learning from mistakes. Oops.

There are so many scary stories in the media of children and youth being bullied, sharing inappropriate pictures, bullying others, or sharing personal details with random strangers who sometimes are child predators. I just didn't have that sort of issue to deal with when I was a kid. The home had one shared family computer. Nothing else connected to the Internet. And the Internet we did have was dial-up. If too many people in our town were on the Internet at the same time, then we'd get a busy signal and have to wait awhile. It was first come-first serve. I found chat rooms and "IM" (instant messaging) when I was a teenager. I remember how addicting they were. My dad once threatened to throw the computer out of the window.  I now know how he feels. I want to throw the cell phones, the ipods, the xboxes, and the computers out of the window at times as well.

The future scares me. I hope that all this technology is just like a shiny new toy and we'll figure things out soon, such as limits, boundaries, and moderation. However, I don't think that is likely to happen. Instead of things getting better with more technology, they seem to be getting worse.

In closing, take it from my first-hand experience, kids have enough to deal with. The world of technology is often outside of their maturity level. Let them be young and innocent for as long as they can. They really won't suffer if they don't get the latest smartphone. I never had a cell phone until I was a young adult. I didn't miss it. I wrote notes to my friends and called them on the house phone. I survived.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year and a Happy Birthday too!


Happy 2014! Last year wasn't too bad, but I'm hoping for even more good things to come in this new year.
To start with, we'll be welcoming our new baby to the Bunch in April. We decided not to find out the gender. So that will be an exciting surprise to look forward to!
Half of the family thinks baby will be another boy, but a few of us think girl as well (myself included!)
We shall see!!

No other super excited updates to post. However, every time I come to my blog and see how many wonderful visits I get on average each day - it makes me feel so guilty for not posting more!
SO...faithful visitors...what do YOU want to see on this blog? How can I make it better (with the number one choice being posting more obviously)?

Classes are starting back up again for me in a few days, however it will be my last quarter before the new baby comes. Then I will get a break until the Fall quarter. Yay!!

Some possible new posts to look forward to in the new year, however, includes another attempt at trying to change the way we eat. Specifically I'm looking at the Feingold diet to help with ADHD-like behaviors. I'm being more and more suspicious that many of my boys are just sensitive to artificial dyes and certain foods. We are an allergy-prone family after all.
Also, I'm in an organization kick and hope to post some ideas I've found that works for me and my Bunch as well as before and after pictures.
THEN after April, I will start working on getting into shape and losing weight again. Yahoo!
Oh, of course there is the ever-losing battle of getting my family whipped into a routine and working on behavior. I'd love to post more about that - what works, what doesn't work, and maybe even bounce some ideas off you all.
Of course, photos are always appreciated I'm sure. So I hope to post more photo updates here. I've not been good at even taking pictures lately! that's out of the way. Let's move on to the BIRTHDAY GIRL!!

Little Miss Abigail is TWO! Two years have gone by. I don't know how that's even possible.

Here is a fun little collage I made of her first two years...

And now.. TODAY starting her Terrific Two's! She's two sweet to be in her terrible two's. I refuse to call them that. :)

Until next time!


Monday, September 16, 2013

My new morning routine...

School season. I couldn't wait for it to come, and now I look forward to weekends. There just is no pleasing me, is there?

Here is the reason that school season is not so fun.

On a typical school day I wake up at 5:30am to wake the teenager up. He has to go to seminary classes, which is something our church does for high school aged kids. Its scripture study, for the most part.  Since the teenager isn't really a morning person and doesn't yet see the merit in seminary class, I have to bribe him out of bed. I promise him breakfast, made by me, if he gets out of bed in a timely manner. I'm happy to make him breakfast if he "happily" goes to seminary classes every morning. Now, I never said what kind of breakfast. Sometimes he gets pancakes, or sometimes just cold cereal. It works.

Then I drive him to seminary class by 6:30am and get back home to wake up the rest of the kids. For some reason none of them can dress themselves without me standing there handing them each article of clothing.

They'd be content with just going in yesterday's shorts and mustard-stained t-shirt if I let them. Some mornings I have to practically drag them into the shower and threaten that I will wash their hair myself if they won't! (always works).

So, after the dragging out of bed, making sure there is breakfast and washing out bowls (because for some reason we can't keep dishes in this house and only have four cereal  bowls at the moment), handing out clothes and making sure no one has sneaked off to play video games...I take the 11 yr old to middle school first.
For some reason the schools around here can't start on the same, or near same, schedule. The middle school, junior high, and high school all start at 7:45 but the elementary schools start at 8:25. Big difference since I can't drop off my elementary kids until 8am at the earliest. So I make another trip. I drop off the 11 yr old and come back home, hoping and crossing my fingers that the younger kids have finished getting ready as I instructed them to.
Usually that is not the case.
 Usually no one has shoes on yet, and no one knows where their shoes even are. Often we finally get everyone clean, dressed, shoes and all, and into the car only to find out that someone left their back pack inside. Sometimes I don't even realize this until we get to school and someone is missing a backpack, so I have to mad dash back home to grab it and get it to them before the school bell rings.

Finally, finally. 8:10am is my happy time. The house is quiet. Everyone but the 4 yr old and baby girl are in school. This is when school season is really worth it. But, of course the quiet doesn't last long and in seven hours I have to do the rat race all over again, figuring out where my big kids are and how they are getting home and waiting in the car line to pick up the younger kids, hoping and crossing my fingers that they are on time getting to me today because the 4 yr old has to use the bathroom, my morning sickness is getting the best of me, and the baby girl is tired of waiting in her car seat.

School season - its a love/hate relationship.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Big promised.

Last week I hinted that I had an update to post very soon.

Well, I am happy to say that I can post that announcement now.

In April of next year the Bunches O'  Boys and One Little Girl will be getting a new sibling! I may have to change the blog name to "Bunches O' Boys and Two Little Girls" never know! ;)

Baby makes 9 (including mom and dad). Wow!

No, I never imagined I'd have such a big family.

No, I don't know when we'll be done having children...that is kind of up to my husband and I.

Yes, we are happy even though it's a bit of a surprise.

Yes, we know what causes it (obviously).

There is so much negativity out there about large families, I have found. I'm not sure why everyone likes to make it their business on how many kids people choose to have. One kid or ten, its no one's business to judge. Yet, judge they do.

I've yet to hear (too many) negative comments, but I am sure its coming. LOL! I will just put on a happy face and throw positive things right back to the naysayers.

Here  is a close-up of baby #7:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back to school confessions

So...summer is over. It went by way too fast. Don't take that to mean that I was sad to see the boys go back to school, because I wasn't. I was excited. And I am not ashamed to admit it!  I tried to keep the boys busy this summer with trips to grandparents' houses, zoo trips, amusement parks, bowling, beaches, and regular city parks. Its exhausting, however. Not to mention how much my house suffered. I wish I had boundless energy and ten arms, but I don't (or not, that would be weird).
The simple truth is that I can't entertain the kids, make them all happy, serve them three healthy meals a day, and keep the house clean. Nope. Can't do it. It was either one or the other... The house suffered.

Now the boys are back in school and I have quiet afternoons with just the 4 yr old, baby sister, and me. :) I can pick up a room and it STAYS that way.

As a bonus, the boys LOVE school. They prefer to be at school anyway, because at home they have to compete with their brothers and help me clean. So its a win-win as I see it!

Next confession, I am a big dreamer but not a great do-er. Before summer started I was making Pinterest lists of cool summer things to do - fun summer crafts, outside activities, summer fun to-do lists, and so on. I even made up laminated summer schedules for us. Yep, I even laminated them. Did we use them? No. Did I do anything I pinned on Pinterest? No. I am ashamed to admit that we didn't even make it to the library once, *gasp*.  I just lack the patience to bring all the kids into a quiet library. My kids don't have volume control. And toys in a library are just begging to be played with, and played with loudly. So we avoid the library. Still, we could have done SOME reading. So yeah...I slacked off there. The school sent out a comparison sheet of the kids who read every day compared to those that don't. Big time guilt trip. I thought about it every day, but it was just easier to give in to the kids then fight about reading. Oops. Next summer will be better, I promise!

Now school has started and we are trying to start new, better, habits right away. I have found that suddenly changing the boys' normal routine can cause major drama. SO, we are trying to start the year off right. That means no video games before school, homework and go through backpacks, sign any paperwork, etc. as soon as they get home from school and get their snack. No computers, video games, etc. until homework is done. This may mean a later dinner, but I've found that leaving homework until evening quite often means homework is done too fast and sloppy or just all-together forgotten. Oops.

Here is to a successful year and good routines!! :)

Psst....Check back next week for an exciting update. ;)

(Don't forget the non-school kiddos too! Enjoying home time with mommy)