Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Budgetting Life

What are the children doing now that we have had a budget cut?

We are doing all good things...
 and watching our pennies
while we do it!

Sometimes different situations come as blessings
 so we are trusting in HIM,
that this is the case!

We have been abundantly blessed
and have had the pleasure of many
experiences and activities.

We are thankful for each and every one of them.
We are thankful that our children are HOME!

We are creating more of our own fun
and a less structured activity schedule
with the budget in mind.

We purchased a groupon at the local bowling alley!
It's the deal of the century and we are going bowling once a week!
(for literally pennies each time! Shhhhh!)

 While our kids bowl....
Selinda and I get to visit!
We are pretty close to figuring out all the important questions in life!
This is a highlight of my week!

The local YMCA is an amazingly family friendly place!

The kids do swim lesson there for a very affordable fee!

Because we are homeschoolers we can do swim lessons
 in the quiet afternoon while all the other kids are
at school!

Our kiddos have become really good swimmers!
They are on track to be potential life guards!

Jake, Grace, Luke and Joey are working on their skills!

The other kiddos are in the swim crew class.
Competitive swimmers, we are not but good solids swimmers, we are!

Jake accidentally took the larger shirt and left the tiny one for Sam!

Some of our kiddos are amazing organizers!

 As we continue to go through things to~
1. get rid of,
2. throw away,
3. give away, and
4. sell

This is soooo helpful!

Organization brings me peace!

Thank you
Melissa, Jenny and Madeline!

The kids have been watching some cooking shows lately!
Wow, it makes a difference!
They really know what they are doing,
including how to peel an avocado!
(currently looking for my other cooking pics)

We really have fun cooking together!
These Easter egg dishes turned our GREAT!

We happen to have a fantastic sledding hill right in our yard!

What goes down must come up!
Perfect way to tire out 16 kids!

Sunshine or snowstorm,
either way they have fun!

 And sometimes in March the sun feels quite warm and the jackets and hats come off!

When the snow melts they get creative!

 Instead of attempting to slide down a muddy hill
the throw snowballs into their inner tubes!

 Got one in!

 They have been doing a whole lotta this lately!

Kids that were not readers and now avid readers!

The complete
Harry Potter series,
the Chronicles of Narnia series,
The Among the Hidden series,
Michael Vey series,
Lemoncello series,
and soooo much more!

We have also watched the movies after reading the books!
The kids love watching movies with Mom and Dad!

So, although budget cuts are not my favorite
we are making lemonade out of our lemons!

God is so good!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Top Ten Things I Say... All. The. Time!

Thank you Connie Darnell Johnson for this post idea!
And, thank you Auntie Mimi for our Valentines donuts!

In a family with 16 kids at home,
I find myself saying things over and over again...

Here are my top 10-

(Restocking the pantry in Minnesota!)

10. "Uh huh, okay, uh huh, yep, yep, that's great!"
When I'm completely not listening to to anyone.

(Random pics for this post. Our grocery store helpers!
Next time we will mix it up and have 4 other helpers!)

9. "Does everybody understand?"
It's usually met with many blank faces looking back at me.

8. "That is so NOT okay..."
When they do something they know
was not a good choice.

(Unfortunately, we have found 2 shrews in the basement- ewwww!)

7. "I've said this maybe 10 times, no 50 times. 
Actually, I think it's been at least 100 times...
Maybe even a million... PLEASE LISTEN!"
Repeating myself over and over and over again...

(The dogs sunning themselves on the deck!)

6. "Okay, pick a number between 1 and 100!"
When too many kids want the same thing and we don't have enough.

(Ash Wednesday!)

5. Let's go! Let's go! Let's go! Get into the van!
When we are trying to go somewhere.

(Our kitty cat Celia, will sit next to Sarah
for hours while she does school!)

4. "Hmmm, I forgot... did I really say that???"
They all help me remember! 
I don't need a mind, they(our children) are my mind!

(Tom, hangs out with us while we do school!)

3. "Do we have everybody?"
At which time, at least one child will answer back, 
"I'm not here!"
Hahaha, very funny!

(And Mike hangs out with the 6th grade kids!)

2. "Do we have everybody?"
Noooo, We are missing ______!
Yikes! They have saved me (and a child) so many times!

And last but not least...
drum role please!

1. "Where are My Helpers?"

Truly, this family could not function 
without constant TEAMWORK!
There is so much truth in "Many Hands Make Light Work"
Doing things together 
makes our family chores fun and interesting. 
It's during this time 
that we have the best conversations, 
the most laughs and we get the job done quickly!

(Careful Dad, don't spill the dogs water! Haha!)

After writing this I realize that 
there are a few things I need to say more often...

Let's Pray About It!

There's always room for improvement!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Dear Abby~

You are amazing!
Our little miracle girl!
Which one is she?
The one in the purple, of course!

Yes, yes, yes, that one!

Happy 12th Birthday to our dear Abigail!

We were all set to name her Mia Elizabeth
but God intervened and told me that was not her name.
I prayed about it and opened my bible...

Right to 1 Samuel 25 where it speaks about Abigail.
It's the only place in the bible that mentions her.
I knew that is what HE wanted us to name her!

So she became Abigail Elizabeth 
(and our Mia adopted 14 months later, is Mia Christine).

She came to us in December of 2011
with a diagnosis of pre cancer (MDS) 
and so very very sickly.
She was over the moon happy to have a family 
but then it all set in and the tears flowed.

The before and after pics of Abby are mind boggling...
She is so healthy and vibrant now!
Praise God for leading us to her!

These two LOVE to read!
I never thought Sam would become a reader but he has!
The Michel Vey books got him going and 
the Harry Potter books keep him going!

I know they aren't exactly what I prefer for him to read but,
 Hey, at least he is reading, interested in reading and he's comprehending!

Abby got some fun gifts!
Colored hair markers, a watch, legos and

 light up gloves!

On the review for the gloves, 
a grandmother said that they were too big for her granddaughter 
but she didn't care because they were so much fun!

We knew they's be too big for our petite 12 yr old 
and we didn't care either!

Abby has spent her last two birthdays... moving...
she is easy going, joyful and flexible!

Because on her actually day 
a truck arrived and we unpacked it.
(We did go out to dinner and gave her plenty of happy birthday wishes, too 
but that was it... 
too much happening at once.)

Make a great birthday wish sweetheart!

On the plus side, she got to celebrate over many days!

We are blessed to be your Mommy and Daddy!

We did have an unexpected guest for her birthday!
Someone forgot to shut the lid tight to the dog food!

On her actual B-day we went out to eat after a long day of unpacking!

She got to pick the place!
Cheesecake factory!

We went nice and early on a weekday
to avoid the crowds and a long wait!

It was delicious!

One of the days we celebrated with a Viking game day-
 hence, all the purple the kids were wearing!
This boy gets particularly excited for game days!

At this point we had no TV's...
Thank you Kim for inviting our large crew over!
Kim is Kelly's Mom- Billy's fiancee and soon to be mother in law!

The Viking fans watched the game 
while the other kiddos watched Disney downstairs!

This was so amazingly exciting!

And such a shocking WIN!

So much energy and excitement!

as it was happening, we were in disbelief...

We have to keep reliving it here in Minnesota
after the game that followed it...

Even though we are not in the Super Bowl 
we plan to have our own little party!

It was a great season to be a Viking Fan!