Friday, March 30, 2012

Fun Facts For Friday

Jude is at it again.  He gave me a 7 hour stretch on Wednesday AND Thursday nights and it was oh so wonderful.

In fact, it was so wonderful that I got motivated to hit the gym!  Yes, I went and worked out for the first time in I don't know when, since I got my 6 week clearance on Tuesday.  I have knee issues from college soccer so I decided to take it easy and went for the bicycling instead of the treadmill.  It felt incredible!

Yesterday was one of those days.  You know, the kind where you feel like you have been cleaning up messes all day and you just can't keep up with the pace of your kid's destruction?  I'm so glad yesterday is over and we get to start a fresh day today!

We began our straw bale garden this week.  I'm so excited about it this year.  I have a new motivation.  We are going to pick a small handful of things to grow and just try to do those few things well.  The kids are super pumped to plant the garden.  We've just gotten the "fenced in area" (that's for you Andrew) prepped and started watering the bales.  I'll keep you updated on how it goes.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about you can see our garden from last year and join us:)

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law leave in less than a week (5 days to be exact!) to begin the overseas part of their adoption process.  They are adopting Alethia's best friend from the babies home.  Alethia's response: "Me no share Laiti!!!"  We may have some issues with Chloe Laiti living at her cousin's house and not here, ha!

I've been a book reading fool.  I know you're thinking, "SHUT UP!" But I'm for real.  I go through these kinds of reading frenzies about twice a year and really enjoy myself.  I'm not sure what happens the rest of the year...maybe having 5 kids is part of it, ha!  Anyway, I just finished 2 (Sifted and a Potty Training book), I'm about to dive into 2 more (a marriage book and a parenting book) and am in the middle of two others (Bible Studies).  That would probably be the reason for the inconsistent blogging...that and the fact that I have 5 kids now.  Yeah, I still have five kids, it wasn't a figment of my imagination, ha!

Josh and I usually go to the actual theatre to see a movie about twice a year and since we were celebrating our anniversary last weekend, and since we were kid-less (except for Jude, but when you have 5 and go to 1 who primarily eats and sleeps he doesn't really count:), and since we wanted to see what all the hype was all about, and since this is the longest run-on sentence in the history of man, we decided to go check out The Hunger Games.  Now, we haven't read the books yet...YET...but I am most certainly going to start after seeing the movie.  I really enjoyed it!

I'm really excited for Holy Week.  I'd love to get some new ideas to do this year...hint, hint;)

Sorry for the long, wordy post.  I'm in a giddy mood today.  It has NOTHING to do with the new ALDI that just opened up down the street, or the freedom I found in putting a diaper back on Cai today, knowing full well that he may very well be in them until college:)

OK, for real...

Happy Friday Ya'll!

MMMM - Ugandan Rice And Beans

Ugandan Beans And Rice

Here's another meal to add to my new segment on the ol' blog - Minimalist Meals For Many Mouths

This meal is a staple for the Ugandans.  Josh and I want to help be reminded of, not only our time there, but of the people that remain.  The majority of the world lives on food like this, many times being the only meal they get that day (or week for that matter) and we don't want to soon forget.  We also want to incorporate things from Alethia's culture.  So, we've decided that we are going to make this meal every week.  No dessert or extras (except Pineapple and/or Chapati, which are common staples as well) on this night, as it is a night for remembering.

Here are all the ingredients you need to make a hearty, healthy, affordable meal for your family.


Jasmine Rice - 
This bag was around $7 and we only use 1 1/2 Cups a meal

Dry Red Kidney Beans - 
Under $2/bag - I bought 3 bags and it has lasted about 5 meals

Cabbage -
About $1-$2 depending on sales - 1 head lasts 3 meals


Tomatoes -

Carrots -
$1/bag - lasts about 3 meals - You'll need 3 carrots, chopped

Royco Spice - 
This can be found in Uchumi, the market in Kampala
BUT if you don't make it out that way very often;)
You can order it HERE
About $8 w/ Shipping and lasts several meals - You'll need 4 TBSP

Desired amount of diced onion (optional)


1 - Place beans in pot w/ 4 cups of water and let soak over night
2 - Drain when it's time to begin preparing dinner
3 - Place 3 cups of water in beans and let boil, then simmer for 45 minutes to an hour
4 - Make the rice
5 - Chop the cabbage and carrots (and onions)
6 - Saute Cabbage and carrots (and onions) in some olive oil and
then add the tomatoes (w/ juice) and garlic
7 - When beans are done add the Royco spice and let simmer 5 more minutes
8 - Add the vegetables to the beans and let cook for 5-10 more minutes.
9 - Eat it and ENJOY!
10 - But don't forget to thank the Lord for his ever present provisions:)

Health Benefits:
Cabbage - cholesterol lowering, and cancer fighting
Carrots - can greatly lower your risk cancer, stroke and heart disease
great for improving your vision
Beans - high in protein, energy booster, improves digestive tract 
(among other benefits)
Rice - rich in carbs for energy, low in sodium, cholesterol free,
reduces cancer and heart disease

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Are We There Yet? - Repeat

Josh and I used to make our living on the road.  The more and more kids we've added to our family we have traveled less and less...well, at least I have been traveling less.  More for my sanity and the kids stability than anything.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise to us that our kids aren't the seasoned travelers they used to be.

Either that or they have just become increasingly impatient to get to the exciting destinations we are driving to.

They used to be able to drive a 5-hour trip, no problem, but now we can't get 10 minutes down the road without the infamous question, "Are we there yet?", being asked every 20 minutes.

I had remembered someone telling me to have some kind of countdown that would help the kids be able to visualize how close we are getting to our final destination.

So here is what we did before we headed out on our last adventure:

1 - Map out how long the trip will take.  This particular trip usually takes between 3 1/2 -4 hours.
2 - Divide the trip into 30 minute segments.  You can explain this by telling your kids it's the length of a SuperWhy! show on TV.  This particular trip has at LEAST 7 of these, but I put 8 just in case we had a couple of stops or hold ups.  I also added a BONUS one in case of traffic or other cause for delay.
3 - I made a sticker chart to count down every 30 minutes of the trip and taped it in a place on the front of the car that each of the kids could see.
4 - Make a game out of it.  See if they can "catch" you placing the sticker on the chart.  For some reason this makes the time go even faster for them:)
5 - Place a sticker on your chart every 30 minutes until you have reached your destination.

This little trick worked wonders!  The kids did start to ask when it was time to put another sticker on the chart, but we nipped that one really quickly, ha!

Oh the squeals of delight that came from the back seat every time another sticker was added.  And you should have heard them when we only had 1 more to go:)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Story In Pictures

*Not Pictured - numerous friends suggestions and offers 
to help with Alethia's wayward hair.  THANK YOU ALL!!!*

The Lord knew that I just needed someone to show up on my doorstep to help:)

And that is exactly what happened!

Our neighbor, Lisa, from across the street came over
and offered her services for FREE!!!

We have had an on-going relationship with her over the past year and a half.

 Alethia wasn't sure what to think about all this.
I assured her that Ms. Lisa was here to help fix what Mommy hadn't been able to do.

And Areyna thought SHE had it bad, ha!
It was probably good for Areyna to see that she isn't the only one 
who has pain to have pretty hair.

*Not Pictured - Zeke's continual efforts to treat Alethia 
with suckers and candy for her brave attitude*

Now she was beginning to see the pay off...

 How cute is my little girl!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How The Princess Found Her Joy - Chapter 5

Although the Princess was secretly growing weary of waiting on her Prince and wondering if he would ever ask for her hand in marriage, the Prince had a secret of his own.

He had been SAVING his gold and silver and looking for THE PERFECT RING to buy for the Princess, to affirm his love for her and his desire for her to be his wife.  Now he was JUST WAITING FOR THE RIGHT TIME to present his hard-earned treasure to her.

One day, while out taking a ride in her carriage, the Princess got into a terrible ACCIDENT.

Although the Princess fared the accident alright, which unfortunately can't be said about her carriage, she was VERY SORE and BRUISED from the collision.

The Prince thought the best thing for her would be to get away from the place that overlooked the NORTH gate of the city of GREENVILLE and ride FURTHER NORTH to a small village called TROUTVILLE, where the Prince had grown up with his FOUR YOUNGER SIBLINGS and MOTHER AND FATHER.

Early the next morning the Princess was awoken by a KNOCK ON THE DOOR.  She was staying in PRINCESS JOY's chambers, Prince Fro's youngest sibling.

It was the Prince.

He told the Princess that he would like to go see the sunrise with her up at THE PEAKS.

The Princess WASN'T THRILLED at the idea, as she just WANTED TO SLEEP and was still very much FEELING THE EFFECTS from the aftermath of THE ACCIDENT.

The Prince WOULDN'T TAKE "NO" for an answer as he confidently held out his hand for her reluctant one, in spite of the Princess' OBVIOUS IRRITATION and GRUMPINESS.  Her MANIPULATING CHARM wouldn't budge his determination.

He hopped up to the seat on his carriage while she stepped up to her place with CUTTING EYES.


HIS GIDDINESS ONLY FUELED HER IRRITATION as he kept talking about looking at "all the deer around" them and the BEAUTIFUL SCENERY.

She COULDN'T UNDERSTAND why he had ALWAYS BEEN SO SENSITIVE to her needs UNTIL NOW, when she clearly just wanted sleep.  A bouncy carriage ride up to THE PEAKS was the LAST THING ON HER MIND, as her aching body screamed in defiance.

They FINALLY MADE IT to their destination and Prince Fro EXCITEDLY jumped off of his perch from the carriage and began UNLOADING A BLANKET AND HIS GUITAR.


He LED HER to a place by the water, OVERLOOKING THE VIEW and began to TAKE OUT HIS GUITAR

The Prince told the Princess that he had WRITTEN HER A SONG.  She was thinking "oh boy, he is going to sing a song with lyrics like,  'Am I Your Hero, Or Do I Just Wear A Funny Looking Cape'."

The Princess WASN'T VERY IMPRESSED with his performance, remember she was A BIT GRUMPY, and tried only to endure the gentle strum and sweet lyrics.

It wasn't until she heard the Prince sing the words, "I LOVE YOU" that she realized just what was going on!

Her ATTENTIVENESS GREW as the Prince continued on in his lament.  TEARS BEGAN TO WELL UP in her eyes as the song came to a close.

Prince Fro then placed the guitar gently on the ground and LOWERED TO ONE KNEE.  He then pulled out the TREASURED RING for his Princess and told her that he LOVED her and asked for her to GROW OLD WITH HIM AND BE HIS WIFE!

It was in that moment that the Princess found her TRUE JOY as she thanked her TRUE LOVE for this wonderful blessing!

FIVE SHORT MONTHS LATER the Prince and the Princess got married at the CHAPEL OF ST. LUKE's where they began their...



It has been said that this fairytale story is true
and that this couple later resided in the village of Rolesville
where they reared their five beautiful children.
They can be found sitting out under the bright stars
reminiscing of the day they spoke those sweet words at the gathering
and making beautiful music together
as Prince Fro gently rubs Princess Tasha's weary feet.


In Dedication to my wonderful Prince of 10 years.
I love you Josh Via.
Happy Anniversary!

How The Princess Found Her Joy - Chapter 4

The time had come to pack up their camp and make the trek back home to the place that overlooked the NORTH gate of the town of GREENVILLE.

Prince Fro took his place behind the rungs while Princess Tasha cozied up next to him on the bench of the carriage.

They now knew that they had a MUTUAL LIKE for each other, and while they still APPEARED QUIETER and MUCH MORE SUBDUED than most couples around them, they were QUIETLY CONTENT just being together.

At some point Princess Tasha had used her MANIPULATIVE CHARM to somehow place her weary feet on the lap of her beliked Prince Fro.  He was a master at steering the stallions with one hand, which left one hand free to GENTLY RUB THE TENDER FEET of the Princess.

The Princess was giddy inside as she realized that this really was, in fact, the Prince she had hoped for all these years.

They playfully exchanged SIMPLE WORDS, LONGING LOOKS and FLIRTATIOUS GIGGLES all the way back to their village.

Upon their arrival from the gathering, the Princess continued to be flooded by thoughts of Prince Fro and his close relationship with THE FATHER.  Over the course of the next several months this poured into her own life as she began to seek a more intimate relationship with THE FATHER herself.

Not only did THIS TIME IN HISTORY mark the beginning of a BUDDING RELATIONSHIP between the Prince and the Princess, but MORE IMPORTANTLY between the Princess and THE FATHER, which in turn, confirmed in both the Princess and the Prince's hearts that they were meant to be TOGETHER FOREVER!  It did not, at all, seem bizarre to them that the two growing relationships were to go hand-in-hand, although it may have seemed a little strange to any other observer.

Over the course of the NEXT YEAR the two fell MORE AND MORE IN LIKE with each other.

Around this time, SEVERAL OTHER COUPLES around them were confessing their undying love for one another and committing to engagement and future marriage.  In fact, TO THE PRINCESS, it SEEMED as though she was the only Princess NOT ENGAGED to her Prince yet!

While the Princess was MORE THAN OVERJOYED for her many friends taking this next step in their relationship she was SECRETLY, and sometimes NOT SO SECRETLY, BECOMING VERY IMPATIENT with her Prince.  She WONDERED IF HE WOULD EVER ASK for her hand in marriage.

But the Prince continued to WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE FATHER to give His consent.  See, Prince Fro always wanted to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that HIS CHOICES WERE THE RIGHT ONES, and didn't even let his Princess sway him to push forward until he was quite sure it was the right decision (which made him painfully slow in this area).

So the Princess had NO OTHER CHOICE but to WAIT IN FAITH that the Prince would one day ask her to be his forever.

Friday, March 23, 2012

How The Princess Found Her Joy - Chapter 3

While at the gathering, Princess Tasha kept a close eye on Prince Josh.

HE WAS DIFFERENT than all the other Prince's whom she had beliked in the past.  He had a relationship with THE FATHER like no other Prince she had met, and this relationship was contagious.

Princess Tasha had a relationship with THE FATHER as well, but it was very shallow and immature at best.

This peculiar relationship between the Prince and the Father made the Princess just that much more in like with the Prince!

Over the course of the next three days, as the gathering commenced, the Prince and the Princess began exchanging SIMPLE, YET FREQUENT, conversations about their friendship and growing relationship.

In fact, one of the other Princesses overheard this very conversation in the midst of their camp one night as Prince Fro and Princess Tasha sat alone together under the bright stars:

Prince Fro: "So, uh, like, um, what do you think about our relationship?"

Princess Tasha: "Well, I like what we've got..."

Yes, the exchange was short (as they were particularly slow in this area), but the words were deep and only fueled the flame that was already burning in each of their hearts!

They were both secretly awaiting the trek back to the place that overlooked the NORTH gate of the city of GREENVILLE so they could sit together on the front bench of the carriage, knowing that they each had growing feelings for one another, even though they both had a hard time verbalizing it to each other (as they were particularly slow in this area).

How The Princess Found Her Joy - Chapter 2

The next few months were spent getting to know each other.

Princess Tasha believed very early on in their relationship that Prince Fro was THE ONE, but never voiced it to him, nor to anyone else, except for Fairy KELLY.

Fairy Kelly was a fairy whom Princess Tasha had befriended during her frequent outings around town when she was antsy to get out of her Castle up on Mt. Howard.  Tasha would confide in Fairy Kelly, feeling that it was a safe place to confess her undying "LIKE" for Prince Fro.  (Princess Tasha had vowed never to tell a man "I Love You" unless he was to be called her husband, a feat much harder than it would appear.)

What Princess Tasha did not know was that Prince Fro had also been confiding in Fairy Kelly as well.  He had confessed to his "LIKE" in Princess Tasha, but was too shy and uncertain in his feelings to share this openly with his "beliked" Princess, so he held it in (as he is particularly slow in this area as well).

They continued on like this for several months, uncertain of their deep "like" for one another, but continuing to deepen their friendship.

One day those who lived overlooking the NORTH gate of the city of GREENVILLE were invited to take a journey to a city far, far away called MEMPHIS to join with thousands of other prince and princesses around the nation at a gathering called PASSION.

They were placed on the same carriage throughout their voyage, which I'm sure had nothing to do with Princess Tasha's MANIPULATIVE CHARM.

Prince Fro had been DESIGNATED THE DRIVER of the carriage.  Princess Tasha took the job as NAVIGATOR, since we all know that every good driver needs a navigator who can keep them awake and on the right path.

The voyage was long and hard but the companionship within the carriage was blooming!

Upon their arrival at Passion they PITCHED THEIR TENTS and MADE THEIR CAMP together with the others who had fared the journey with them.

This would be their HOME FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS, and would soon become A PIVOTAL TIME IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP that they would not soon forget!

How The Princess Found Her Joy - Chapter 1

Once upon a time there was a Princess named TASHA who lived in a castle on the TOP of Mt. HOWARD overlooking the NORTH gate of the city of GREENVILLE.

After several years of foolishness she had come to the realization that she may never find the ONE who would bring her TRUE LOVE and JOY...

Until that beautiful evening when she was invited by BISHOP STEVEN (who now takes full credit for this future relationship by the way:), who was a very well-known in the city, to go play music at the BSU Ball at the Court of HAYES.  There she ran into the MOST BEAUTIFUL CREATURE she had ever seen!

His name was Prince FRO.


until she simply could not keep her distance from him any longer.

She began to use her MANIPULATIVE CHARM to get closer to this beautiful being.

Instead of quickly packing up her own musical equipment and dashing out into the night like she was known to do after any other Ball, she began slowly putting her things away in order to keep her place next to Prince FRO (as he was particularly slow in this area himself) for a longer amount of time.

Surely he would notice her now.

But alas, he had not taken heed of the eager Princess yet.

She continued to find ways to woo him only to remain unseen by the mysteriously quiet Prince.

Until she finally came up with a brilliant idea.

She grabbed her carriage and her trusty car colt named "TURKEY" and raced it back over to the ball to see if Prince Fro needed a ride back to BRUCE Palace where he resided.

When she arrived in her carriage to pick him up their eyes met for the first time.

And so their flourishing relationship began...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From Chaos To Control - Lost And Found

Last year I began a series called "From Chaos To Control" as I focused on some small steps we can take to simplify and organize our lives around the house.

I thought that I'd share my strategy for those things that get left behind by visitors or have been borrowed or simply belong to someone else.  It's the little odds and ends like these that so quickly pile up around the house or that end up leaving your house looking cluttered.

You know, that sippy cup or baby bottle that belongs to your niece, or the maternity pants that your friend lent you.  Then there are those Coke Points you collect for your sister-in-law, or the book you borrowed from a friend.

Where do you put all that kind of stuff?!

I have a simple system that helps keep those loose objects contained and readily available for pickup.

I have a "Lost And Found" basket by the side door where most of the traffic comes in and out.

If I find something while cleaning up the house that I know is not ours or that simply doesn't look familiar I'll go throw it in the blue bin by the door.

If I know someone is coming over I can simply lay out their belongings so I can remember to give them back to them before they leave, usually so I can make room in the bin for more objects that get left behind from the newest visit:)

It helps me remember to stick to my word and not hang on to items that I am just "borrowing", because I never want to be the friend that forgets to return borrowed items.

If the blue bin is beginning to look too full it's time to take action!

I then have to make it a point to return the lost items.  I'll make a special trip to my fiends house to drop off her pants or collect all the coke points in a little bag to take to my sister-in-laws.

All the leftover things that I'm not sure belong to anyone I'll just throw away!

Yup, that's it.

I firmly believe that everything in your home should have a "home".  If there isn't room for it, it shouldn't be there!

So, make a place for all those little things that belong to someone else and make sure they find a way back to their OWN homes so they don't clutter up YOURS:)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thinking Of Chloe

The other day I walked into the girl's room to wake them up for the day.  They were already dressed and ready for the day.

They had woken up with an agenda!

The kids knew it was Friday and that Friday's are good for Yard Sales.

They were gathering many of their belongings, both loved and forgotten, to sell in a yard sale in the front yard to make money to help bring their Cousin Chloe home from Uganda!  (Her court date is in less than 3 weeks!)

At breakfast Areyna and Zeke were eagerly making plans about their sale they would be hosting in the front yard in a few short hours.

It wasn't until Zeke came in and said, "But mom, we can't talk to strangers!", that I realized how serious they really were.

I quickly reassured them that Zeke was correct, but if they set up their sale by the front porch where I could see them they would be safe.
So that is exactly what they did!  They all got to work laying out and organizing piles (like we had for our yard sales last spring).

They got Josh to bring their picnic table out and found all their "money" to go with their cash register.

Zeke was in charge of the money while Cai kept a close watch for accountability purposes I suppose, ha!

The girls made signs to bring in the crowds.

After an hour or so they called it quits.  They were sad that nobody stopped by to buy their well thought-out treasures but were grateful for the honks and waves by the passersby:)

I love that they are so eager to give.  I love that they worked so hard together to accomplish a goal they had thought out.  I love how they refused to take their toys back in their room because they are determined that their sacrifice is going to help bring Chloe home!

I love my kids and their hearts for the fatherless that are now part of their family!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Not Me Monday

I did NOT eat Mexican food for lunch yesterday

that lead to an upset tummy for little Jude all evening

and into the night

on into the wee hours of sleep time

causing no such sleep time to occur

for me

or little Jude.

Nope, that would be absolutely miserable!

My husband would then kindly take my cue (stating that "I might be a tad bit irritable and grumpy this morning") and wisk up the little guy

taking him downstairs to be loved on by his Meme

so I could get some sleep

into the wee hours of the afternoon (1pm to be exact).

And that would NEVER happen!

Nope, never:)

***Thank God for an understanding husband, a Meme who loves her grandkids and some uninterrupted sleep!  Oh and mouth-watering Mexican food which USED to be my favorite.  I guess we'll have to say good-bye for about 10 more months:(

Saturday, March 17, 2012

If These Dishes Could Talk

It's funny...I've never had Areyna fight me about unloading 
the dishwasher on the days that the dishes talk:)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fun Facts For Friday

I'm blaming the crazy beautiful weather, but Areyna has had a really hard time accomplishing much of anything productive this week.  Unless, of course, you consider a swing for bear made out of sticks and black electrical tape, grass-sand soup for the family and making sure she can keep her "Who Can Swing Highest?" title, accomplishments:)  It literally took her 6.5 hours to complete her school work yesterday!  Let's just say that we were ALL glad when it was all done, ha!

Jude is officially in cloth diapers this week.  No baby bootie has ever been cuter:)

Another thing that makes that baby cuter than any other on the planet right now is the fact that he let me sleep a consecutive 7 hours 2 nights ago.  Yes, I know, it was only 1 night, but man was it magnificent!

Areyna's job is to unload the dishwasher every morning.  Her and Alethia have been taking this to the next level this week.  They have been washing all the breakfast dishes too!  I am pretty sure Alethia instigated this.  She's a little addicted to playing with water in the sink:)

Zeke, bless his heart, frantically came in to where I was making dinner because the hole puncher had come apart and little paper circles had fallen on the floor.  Instead of simply picking them up and throwing them away like I'd asked, he decided to "throw" a party.  This is how he "cleaned up" the mess, ha!  Mama was NOT impressed with his creativity...

We are going on Jude and Alethia's first road trip next week.  We're heading up to Roanoke to show off our two newest littles to Josh's extended family.  Nena is going to eat them up...well maybe just smother them with pink lipstick grandma kisses:)

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

X-Treme Multi-Tasking

I have reached a new level of multi-tasking over the past month.

I don't want to brag, because this has clearly come about out of a means of survival, but this truly is an accomplishment that is blog-worthy and worth noting!

***If you are of the male gender, consider yourself warned!!!***

I can now accomplish everyday tasks while breastfeeding!

No longer will the kids fight over toys or punch each other in the face because this mama can breastfeed and discipline at the same time.  I can also help unload the dishwasher, teach school and print off super hero coloring pages...all while providing nutrients for little number five:)

Now, I know I'm not the only multi-tasking breastfeeder out there, so here's your chance...what have YOU been known to do while breastfeeding?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MMMM - Intro.

Minimalist Meals for Many Mouths

A family of seven.

That's what we are now.

We have also been watching what we eat in a whole different way.  Josh got this cool app on his phone to calculate his calories and it also calculates what you need more of, like protein or iron, so this has added a whole new twist on the grocery budget and shopping.

I feel as though I'm finally getting my groove back, though.  I have been cutting coupons and beginning to re-stock our pantry, but I have realized that we needed to get practical and realistic.

We are really seeing that "little" really is "more"!

We don't have to have extravagant meals to be healthy and to get in the kinds of foods that we need while still filling all of our bellies, we just have to get creative.

So, with all that said, I decided it would be fun to start a category for posts that highlight our meals/snacks/foods that make our bodies healthy, our tummy's full and our pocket-book happy:)

So, here is our first MMforMM:

Hard boiled eggs.  

Yup, that is it!  We have a family just down the road with a farm.  They have been selling us their eggs and they are yummy!  We can get a dozen, brown, organic eggs for $1.50.  We have been going through 2-3 dozen eggs a week.  We can use them in all three meals or for a simple, healthy snack.  ALL the kids love can't beat that!

I usually boil a dozen eggs as soon as we get home with them and put them in a bowl in the refrigerator.  The kids will eat one with lunch, or we'll cut one up in our salad or just grab one to go for a snack.

Allowing the littles to crack and de-shell their own eggs is also a fun activity that keeps them occupied long enough for you to fix your own plate!

Health Facts:
Eggs are rich in Vitamin B (specifically B12), and protein.  They also help fight memory loss, are good for your heart and help our eyes.  It doesn't hurt that they are low-carb either.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Not Me Monday

Like I've said before, I am awesome at coming up with sides for dinner and remembering my plan.  Therefore, I did NOT bake some yummy potatoes for dinner the other night, only to find them 3 DAYS LATER, still sitting in the oven, a little less yummy and quite a big colder.
Oh no, not me!

I did not have to tell areyna that she could NOT wear eye shadow to Ashley's wedding on Saturday...because she IS NOT growing up.
Nope, not my daughter.

I did NOT sit on the couch taking an obscene amount of pictures of my little Zeke because he was actually wearing real clothes.  And looking super cute in them:)
Zeke in real clothes?
Looking super cute?
Because he's growing up?

I don't think so!

Jude does NOT have his one month check-up tomorrow afternoon.

Nope, I just brought him home from the hospital.

I have NOT spent countless amounts of time on the phone with Pediatricians and Pharmacies trying to track down the right Malaria meds for Alethia.

Oh no, not here in America!

I did NOT spend Sunday afternoon blog stalking a new favorite blog of mine.

Nope, I don't blog stalk anyone, not me.

Sunday afternoons are just like any other day around here, so the fact that we came home from an awesome morning at our church to lay on a blanket under the bright blue sky...

taking a nap next to the cutest baby(s) on the planet...

jumping on the trampoline with the delighted Areyna and Zeke...

and taking fun pictures...

would NEVER happen.






But what a refreshing day that would be:)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Jude - 1 Month

Jude Warren
1 month - 10.4 lb.
Our sweet Jude has been a part of our family for 1 month already!

It really has gone by so fast.  I feel as though he were just born, except for the fact that I can now sleep comfortably on my belly and I'm waking up feeling more rested than I did after the first few days post-pardum:)

Jude has proudly taken up his role as the fifth child like a champ!

Besides his growth spurt that literally lasted a WEEK!, Jude eats on a fairly consistent 3-hour cycle during the day.  At night I still feed him around 10pm(ish) and he'll wake up at 2:30am and then again at 7:30am.  Unlike the other kids, I haven't really minded these sleep interruptions.  I'm not just trying to coast through motherhood waiting for my child to sleep through the night (which typically comes around 8 weeks for my littles), but instead I am using my time in the quiet of the house to soak in the quiet (since "quiet" doesn't occur very frequently in this house anymore) and enjoy my little boy before he grows too big to cradle in my arms.

His cries don't make me nearly as frazzled and frantic as my other kids cries did at this age.  Maybe it's experience as a mom, knowing that he is really okay, or the fact that I have 4 other kids who may or may not be crying at any other given moment in the day as well, ha!

He is a very efficient eater!  Normally around 10-15 minutes and he's done, depending on how awake he is:)

His eyes are opening up for longer periods of time, which is exciting for everyone!

Tummy time and the bouncy seat are his favorite times of the day.

He's literally been holding his head up since he was born, but you can tell his neck is getting stronger and stronger each day.

After several blow-outs I reluctantly switched him from Newborn to Size 1 diapers:(

He is beginning to be very aware of his surroundings as he follows movement and sounds.  We've even gotten a few smiles out of him, although all of his giggle spells are still in his sleep.

We love having a baby around the house, so Jude, if you're reading this, don't try to grow up too fast, k?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lessons From The Classroom - February

Wow!  We had a busy month during school this February.

We kept right on trucking with our lesson plans until Jude decided to make his grand appearance.  We took about a week off before hitting the books again.

Our kids do best with consistency, so we didn't take too long of a break, since school gives them something that breaks up the day anyway.

This month we learned all about Laura Ingles Wilder and read several of her children's books each week.  The kids absolutely LOVED this time.
We learned all about pioneer life and even made "Pioneer Delight" which turned out to be nobody's favorite, but hey, at least it was fun for them to make, ha!

We learned the history of Valentine's day.  We decorated cookies and celebrated the day of love:)

We had a special week designated "Random Acts Of Kindness".  It fit perfectly with their Bible Verse for the month...
"Love each other deeply.  Honor others more than yourself."
Romans 12:10

We learned about and made Jell-O. Did you know that gelatin has horse hooves in it?

We learned the structure of a Fairy Tale and constructed our own with good guys, bad guys, a moral/plot and complete with a magical element!

March is proving to be equally fun!