Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Darn Girls Clothes

Clothing for little girls is so darn cute -- it's hard to resist buying them sometimes. Most of the time I don't look. We don't buy a lot of stuff even with 4 kids. My sister, Monica, hands down her children's clothes. It's so nice but I do look at clearance stuff and I don't mind buying things for the next year but I rarely spend more than $3 or $4 per piece. We couldn't do it with 4 kids. Today Aaron's mom wanted to take the kids to buy them something special for school. Everything she thought to buy they already have: bookbags (they each have 2), shoes (hardly wore the tennis shoes she bought them for Christmas and they all still fit), lunchboxes (they eat have one). I finally thought they don't have a nice fall/spring jacket to wear when it gets cooler. We went to Walmart and Bergner's. Nobody has jackets out yet, can you believe that? A month ago Hobby Lobby had out Halloween and Christmas decorations! Anyway we started looking at the clearance clothes. I haven't gone to the mall in a while and when you start seeing clothes for 70% off -- wow! Aaron's mom bought them each something: Reese got the cute little pink polka dotted shirt and Addison the sweet brown flowered skirt. The boys got Speed Racer t-shirts but boy clothes don't excite me so much. Each piece was $4 or less. It was hard to search with the kids running everywhere and Ethan removing every stuff toy from the shelves to make a nice nest for himself so tonight I think I will go back and look some more for some bargains to put away for next year.
I went with Ethan to Bible School on Monday but it was hard to wrestle him and the baby. He likes it but he doesn't like waiting his turn for something, he doesn't like to sit and listen to explanations or stories. It was hot and after 3 hours of handling him and Reese I was exhausted so last night just Addison and Caden went. Ethan cried a little bit but he got over it fast. He got some time home alone with Mommy and Daddy and I treated him to McDonald's. Tonight he's going to Grammy's to play while I go back to shop with Reese but I think I might take him back to Bible School on Thursday. That way he went 3 out of the 5 days and got to experience some things. If they would only dance and sing to the video they have there the entire time, he would be perfect!
Wish me luck shopping and I'm only buying bargains!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Two Things

1. I am loving Hershey's Kisses filled with Cherry Cordial Creme. I have eaten about 1/2 well maybe 3/4 of the package but I did share one with each of the kids! Now I heard a long time ago that they had lemon ones and I love lemon and I've been searching high and low with no luck. I hope if I find them they are as good as the cherry ones!

2. Vacation Bible School is no vacation . . .

. . . more later . . .

Monday, July 28, 2008

Guess who's going to Vacation Bible School?

If you answered these three,

you'd be partly correct. They all went last night but tonight Mommy and Reese are going too, at least for a while. They are attending Bible School at Aaron's Parents' church and it is from 5 to 8 this week. I wondered how they'd do but they were super excited and I was thinking a 3 hour break each night might be nice. Aaron and I dropped them off last night and we both worried that the church may burst into flames when the Murray kids walked in since we still haven't made church a priority in our family (but we plan to soon). After we got them all settled and we went out to eat with just the baby, ahhhh heaven and made a small trip to Target -- it was so nice not to have to chase after everybody and actually look at stuff. We made it back to the church and the teachers told me that Ethan had some issues. Basically he didn't want to do anything they were doing. It doesn't surprise me, he usually has his own agenda. He had to have his own attendant all night, (I'm sure that Jeanette was tired when she went to bed last night!) So tonight I think Reese and I will hang around for all or part of Bible School and if he doesn't do well again, he may be a Bible School Dropout. On the other hand Addison had a great time and I think Caden did too although he became quite "sad" when he saw us. We were given a CD of songs they are listening to at Bible School and Addison was so happy on the way home when she heard the words, "thankful" and "faith". At least somebody getting something out of it and maybe tonight I will too!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm Challenged!

I entered another scrapbook layout (click on the photo to see it bigger) for this challenge on a blog called Scrapping the Music. Each week they pick a song and you use the song as inspiration for a scrapbook page. This week was the song "Magic" by the Cars. I'm really getting into these challenges -- they are just fun to create pages from a basic idea or list plus let's face it I can't get a damn thing done unless I absolutely have a deadline and I complete it within minutes of it being due -- I work best under pressure!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Story Matters Challenge #1

Here is my entry for a new scrapbook challenge blog, The Story Matters. This one was titled: "Me, Right Now". The only thing I forgot to put was "rushed". I got it done 25 minutes before the deadline!

Favorite Thing Friday

I normally don't buy as seen on TV products as many of them turn out to be not so great but Keely's SIL said she loved this and then Marie from Make and Takes said she loved it too so I broke down and got mine at Walgreens. It's the PedEgg that will make your feet much more summer-like. Seriously it works and if you don't believe me my BIL, Jeremy, is considering on becoming the next spokesperson for this product. He was using Keely's while we were visiting last weekend and I think he could do a commercial for it. He even has ideas on how to improve it some even though it does work really well as is. It's basically a cheese grater for your feet but it doesn't hurt at all and it gets rid of all that dry, yucky dead skin. I've seen it sold at Walmart and CVS too and CVS had the replacement blades 3 for $10. So if your feet need some summer pampering pick one up -- if you're still unsure call Jeremy, he'll talk you into it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Catch up time

Funny how sometimes I can blog every day or every more than once a day but once you stop for a day or two it's hard to get going on it again. Sorry for my extended absence . . . I'm sure you're dying to know the intricate goings on in our life the last few days.

Aaron and I decided we didn't argue and fight enough so we thought roofing our house would be the perfect way to add more controversy and we were right. I don't even know why we are arguing about it because it's not like I'm up there on the roof with him although at this point I'm about to get up and there and just do it . . . he borrowed a scissor lift machine from work and all it does is break down. By the time his work gets it back it will be newly refurbished -- good for them! The weather has not been cooperating . . . Neil, our neighbor (who is probably ready to move so he's not our neighbor) offered to help us and Aaron isn't quite sure how to do it perfectly he's relying on Neil to show him how. We've only been discussing reroofing our home for 7 years. The day we moved in it was raining and there was a waterfall in our downstairs bathroom. The seller who happens to be another neighbor offered to pay for half of reroofing that part of our house (our playroom and the bathroom). We picked a completely different color of shingles for the new part with the intention of reroofing the rest of our home soon. We have gotten bids 3 or 4 years in a row. Why we didn't do it before the kids were born and we had more money and time -- I don't know but now the cost is outrageous even "friend's" bids were as much as big companies. Our roof is super steep and nobody wants to get up there including Aaron. Neil said he could save us thousands by doing it ourselves and he's right the materials were $6000 less than the entire bid. Of course if we keep putting money into the scissor lift our savings may be eaten up who knows!

The kids and I headed to Keely and Jeremy's for the weekend so we would be out of the way of the roofing. We mostly just hung out and played and Keely and I scrapped. I made 3-1/2 layouts. We stayed up until 3 am on Friday and until 1 am on Saturday. We really shouldn't do that but it doesn't happen very often. Addison and Caden slept in their Ready Beds at their house really well and we figured out that a crib tent does fit on the pack and play good enough to keep Ethan in so he doesn't have an all night party like he has the last few times we've gone there. Hopefully soon Ethan can use his ready bed too. We had a nice time and took them all to the park too. Jeffie had fun swinging -- he's so cute he just started walking not too long ago and he tries to keep up with the 3 year olds but that's hard when there's 4 of them running and screaming all over the place!

Keely and Jeremy still had a garage full of tubs of left over yard sale stuff to donate to Goodwill. So we filled up my van and Keely went and dropped it off. I took a bunch of the left-over baby clothes to sell at my yard sale next month and now Jeremy almost has his garage back. We brought back 5 tubs of baby clothes plus all the stuff we took and so there wasn't much breathing room for the kids. In this photo you can barely see all 4 kids but if you look closely you can see the top of each one of their heads.

We went and got haircuts this week. Addison bangs are almost down to her chin so I asked if her hair could be cut one length. So it was. It looks so cute. I don't think we'll have all the tears with the tangles as much and it certainly doesn't look as stringy as it did before. Aaron said he was surprised I cut it but my opinion is it's just hair it will grow back anyway. I think Addison likes it quite a bit too!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blog Feeds . . . Revolutionary

well they are to me. I'm not even going to try to go into depth to explain about blog feeds but last week I emailed simple mom because she seems to be a guru on saving time and having brilliant ideas that work for me and I asked her how can I read blogs in a timely way without having to go back and check some several times a day. Some people update everyday or more and others are luckily to check in a couple times a month. My blogs were saved in various folders (to make it more complicated) in my "favorites". Since I have the world's worst memory sometimes I couldn't remember if I had checked some of them or not or sometimes time runs out and I don't get through them all. Then at night when I'm getting super tired I'm spending 45 minutes going through every blog to see if it's updated. . . I know I need to get a life! Anyway simple mom answered my question and told me about Google Reader which is about the best thing I've ever heard of . . . at least today it is. It took me a little more than an hour to get it all set up and now I go to one place and it tells me if any of my favorite blogs have been updated and I can read them right there from Google Reader. To leave a comment I just click on there site but it's so simple. I even added that feature to my blog so other people can subscribe to my blog if they want through a feed. Anyway if you want to save a bunch of time reading blogs go to simple mom's site and she fills you all in on how to do it!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here's your Sign:

I sometimes feel like I should attach the above sign to me and my kids when we go out in public. This was the case yesterday at the zoo. Same questions over and over again. I guess most people don't take 4 children to public places alone. Maybe I was drawing a lot of attention because Caden and Addison were always about 25 feet ahead and Ethan was 25 feet behind and I am yelling both ways to "slow down and wait" or "hurry up"! I know people are interested but it's hard to keep your eye on the kids and listen to them while complete strangers want every detail about our life. I want to be nice but I am a little bit busy and they all know because every single person says "you've got your hands full" or "you must be busy". I know people are just trying to be nice but it becomes extremely annoying when it happens every time you go somewhere and it's all you hear. At least yesterday, no one said the "If I had triplets, I'd kill myself" line that us multiple moms hear quite often. I don't even know how to respond to that statement when people say that.

Even so the zoo was pretty fun. It was a million degrees and Reese instantly turned bright red after about 2 minutes of being there. She finally fell asleep for a little while.

We saw the giraffes run around their pen for a little bit. Those animals are just awesome but to see them run is breathtaking. The baby monkey we saw a few months is getting bigger and still very cute!

We spent a long time in the Reptile House because we were out of the sun for a while and I am thinking I should invest in a Water Monitor. A Water Monitor is this alligator looking reptile that my kids thought was the best thing ever because it was trying to climb the glass. They laughed and giggled so much!
One of the highlights for me are these giant fans the zoo has has that also spray a mist of water on you. I wouldn't mind having one of these in our yard. It was very hard to walk away from and Ethan loved it a lot too!

We rode the train but I had told them earlier (several times) that we would not be able to ride the carousel since I couldn't hold the baby and lift them all up onto a horse and hold on to them all during the ride. They were very good about it as we passed it and didn't cry a bit about it. I let them play on the playground equipment for a while at the end but didn't get any photos since some mom was doing research for my unauthorized biography. Addison had a total meltdown outside the zoo door and fell into a pile in the driveway and I contemplated leaving her there especially when she wouldn't get up and follow us to the van. Finally we all got in and blasted the a/c and we all felt better.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Crunch Time Again

Two weeks have passed and my cleaning lady is coming today! So we are picking up for her so she can get to those dirty surfaces but I must say that this time it has been so much easier. Really my house stayed decently clean -- it does need it again but it looks pretty darn good still. Having the whole house cleaned gave me the motivation to keep things cleaned and picked up better -- I said better not perfect! It was such a boost to my psyche that I was able to do other "projects" that normally would just get put on the back burner for weeks and months. I rehung photos (some that were leaning against walls on the floor), I made artwork, I scrapbooked, I rearranged the kids' room and their play closet yesterday. I'm sure there's more too but I can't remember. I still need to clean out those stuffed closets and I start to hyperventilate if I have to open them so I try not to do that but Grammy has offered to watch the kids next week maybe I could do a speed clean of the worst closet while they play there. Heck, I even have more energy overall. The whole cluttered, dirty house was draining. I'm still working on the decluttering but it's coming along -- it's definitely a process, one that is ongoing. So with all my extra energy I'm off to take the kids to the zoo in the 90 degree heat but it will wear them out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Strawberry Cake

The kids and I made this yesterday:

It looks so pretty and it tasted pretty good. I never make homemade frosting but this recipe sounded easy and it made a ton so I could cover up my mistakes on the cake but it was super rich and a little sliver is about all anyone could stand. Even my kids, who are the sweetest of all sweet tooths, couldn't eat all the frosting on their pieces. I really like to cook. I'm not so much into baking but baking is a good activity to do with kids since there is so much measuring, pouring, stirring, and best of all licking (the spoons). You can teach counting and fractions and reading (recipes) and time for baking when you cook with them. They are at the stage where they are learning the names of ingredients and taking turns pouring and stirring. They really are help with it too. I can have them get out the egg carton in the fridge and yesterday Addison could keep the mixer bowl turning while I washed the dishes. Ethan isn't too much into helping yet but I think in the next few months he will be more interested. Caden ran and grabbed their play apron while we baking -- so cute!
The internet once again has inspired me on the cooking front. I would like to do more and more food from scratch (the cake above used a mix). I like to cook and I think I'm pretty good at it. I easily become bored making the same foods over and over again and I enjoy trying new things. I'm not the type of person that orders the same thing at a restaurant -- I like to venture out (not too far out). I'm not a perfectionist at cooking I add and subtract ingredients and amounts and eyeball some stuff too. That's why I don't like to bake -- you have to be precise in baking but cooking in general is all up for interpretation. Cooking does take some time but mainly it takes more planning which is ultimately the time-user-upper especially if you are going to cook from scratch. Menu planning, grocery shopping, recipe reading and planning all take huge amounts of time so maybe this is not the perfect time to start but I am collecting ideas and sites to visit. Joy the Baker is where I got the cake recipe from, it's a fun place but beware the photos of her food look really good! Even Reese wanted to try a piece of that strawberry cake:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Me as a 1930's spouse?

Just for fun I did this . . .


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

Now I can tell Aaron that I am a superior wife and I have proof! Just for fun . . . try it yourself!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm back, BABY!

well back with some scrapbooking energy that is. I found this challenge on Stacy Julian's blog last week and I thought I have 15 minutes to create a page. I based it on Monday's blog entry about Ethan's feet. It took me a little more time than 15 minutes but not much and I didn't stress over any of it -- I just threw it together! I hope to get more scrappin' done this week since I cleaned off my scrap desk AGAIN --I know -- how many times have I said I wouldn't let it get so bad?

Journaling reads:

The other day I ran across the footprints on your birth certificate and I became quite emotional after I compared them to your brother and sisters’ footprints. My, how tiny you were: all of 2 pounds 6.6 ounces. All the memories of you being born so small rushed back to me and brought tears to my eyes when I think of how you looked in the NICU isolette with all the tubes and wires hooked to you. We were told you probably wouldn’t make it but you did. We were told many scary things about what your future held but as of today, your future looks pretty darn bright. You’re talking and laughing and playing and learning and running and jumping and wearing us out. You are one challenging little boy at times but you are also one sweet and loving little boy too. You sleep hard and you play even harder – everything to the extreme. You love life and you do things your own way but I love that about you. You do have a zest for life that is definitely different than others.
Right now you love:
*being naked, anywhere, anytime
*Dora, Diego, and SpongeBob
*Eating: especially meat off pizza and fruit
*dogs: big or small doesn’t matter
*playing in the sandbox
*dancing to the Wiggles
*watching yourself in the mirror while pretending to sleep, eat, dance or talk on the phone
*Running away from us in stores (although it’s getting better)
*Your Papa Ronn
*Saying, “Stop, Wait, Where are you going?” at the top of your lungs
*Being dramatic whether it’s fake crying or choking or laughing. You even like to run with open arms to someone saying their name – like a commercial.
*not wearing shoes

. . . you still have tiny feet . . .

i love you and those feet

Friday, July 11, 2008

Favorite Thing Friday

I guess I have what is considered by today's standards a large family. I don't think 6 people in one family as large until we go into restaurants and have to wait forever, even when it's not that busy, for a table. Or buying a vehicles that can hold 4 carseats -- it's hard to find one (ours can hold one more but that would require completely taking out one carseat every time someone wanted in or out of the backseat along with LOTS of sweating and cussing). So that's how I'm formulating the large family opinion. Then I found out here the average American household size is 2.61 people and since we're over double that so I guess my family is HUGE! Another way I came to the conclusion that our family is big is when I recently decided we should start the tradition of family Sunday breakfast. Sometimes we go out, the kids like IHOP but it's an hour away and last time it took over 45 minutes to get our food and I overheard the waitress telling other customers that it was taking so long because it was Sunday -- HELLO? -- isn't that when most people go out for breakfast? On the weekend? Maybe I'm wrong, I don't think so, but maybe . . . After waiting forever for a table then some more time waiting on food with 4 HUNGRY kids it best if most of the time we eat breakfast in. I like to make pancakes, bacon or sausage, eggs, toast, etc. This is a difficult task because everything takes a while to cook on the stove and you have to do it separately . . . and when your cooking for a large family you need a pound of bacon or sausage. That's a daunting task when most skillets can't hold much bacon or sausage at once and the more you put in the longer it takes to cook. Pancakes create another problem too because I can only cook one or two at a time by the time I get a few cooked the first ones are either cold or devoured . . . and I end up standing endlessly at the stove, have a million pans dirty and eating by myself. Not exactly the way I pictured our breakfast tradition.

So as the kids and I were searching the aisles of Target for a father's day present, I stumbled upon this:I know Aaron wasn't exactly thrilled when he opened it but I told him why I got it (along with golf balls and a shirt) and that it would be easier to flip his over-easy eggs on it and he seemed to understand my thinking -- after all isn't it the thought that counts? So our breakfasts have been easier, as I can cook a whole pound of bacon at once and several pancakes and we don't have to eat grilled cheese in shifts anymore either. Happy Father's Day to me every Sunday and Daddy is not complaining about me fixing a big breakfast either! Now I need a really good blueberry pancake recipe (or any other pancake recipes) -- please share!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Project

Here's what I made with that 2 by 3 foot canvas. Nothing too hard but I like the way it turned out. I got the idea here from simplemom who got her idea from here. Big ART with little cash!

The Perfect Tee

Grammy found this shirt for Ethan and it describes him perfectly! He's wore it a couple times but it's hard for me to get a photo of him in it because usually it's in a pile somewhere . . .

and he looks like this. Won't be long and he won't have any tan lines!

Monday, July 7, 2008

tiny toes

Trying to catch up from the busy weekend and get back into the routine of things like preschool today after not being there for 2 whole weeks. Lots of stuff to do but I am determined to do some "play time" for myself in scrapbooking, sewing, and other fun stuff this week. So I thought I'd catch up on a little paperwork today before the fun starts. I had to make copies of the kids' hospital birth records for something. I was surprised how emotional I got when I looked at Ethan's footprints and even more so when I compared it to Reese's footprints.Reese weighed 6 lbs 0 oz and was 19 inches long born at 39+ weeks gestation.

Ethan weighed 2 lbs 6.6 oz and was 15 inches long born at 32 weeks 6 days gestation.

It's so amazing the difference. I guess at the time the triplets were born there was so much going on with all three of them and even though we knew things were touch and go with Ethan in the beginning, I don't think a lot of it sinks in or maybe it's more of a defense thing not to let it sink in order to keep hoping. Maybe I'm more emotional now thinking of all the things he went through and how he looked in that NICU isolette and how horrible it was to see him so sick and not understand everything that was going on and what the future held for this little boy while at the same time trying to keep tabs on Addison and Caden who were small too but in no way had any of the problems Ethan did. Maybe it's because now I see him jumping and talking and learning and laughing and I can be more relieved that he's going to be okay. Maybe now that I had Reese who didn't start off 2 months behind and is a healthy baby meeting her milestones, I see how scary it can be to have a preemie . . . I didn't really know the difference since preemies were all I knew. Or maybe it's just because I am a mom and that's the way we are built . . .

Ethan still has tiny feet and I love every inch of them!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Firecracker Day

We had one busy 4th of July! Aaron worked on painting the fence most of the day. The kids and I painted too but we made fireworks pictures with paint and glitter. They loved it and they turned out so cool. We are going to hang them up somewhere. I got the idea here.

We walked to the town cemetery which isn't really that far unless you are pushing a stroller and trying to get three kids to follow you there. Ethan, who normally runs everywhere, suddenly becomes a 90 year old man who can barely walk when we are on a mission. Anyway for patriotic holidays they line the cemetery road with flags. It looks so neat and the kids loved it and ran all the way down the road.

For lunch we made Bomb Pop drinks. The were really fun to make and the kids were so patient. Here's the recipe and Aaron and I thought they tasted yummy!

On Thursday we made t-shirts. I let the kids do it (except Reese) and they were fun. Too bad they didn't stay on long once we got to Grammy and Papa's house -- too hot in the Bounce house and then Grammy had gotten them new shirts -- Hulk beat out the stars. We'll keep wearing them throughout the summer anyway. The directions to make these shirts can be found here. Too bad the shirts turned out better than the photo . . . oh well.

We went to Grammy and Papa's house for a BBQ and to play with cousins. Then we watched the fireworks. Last year Caden and Addison were scared and Ethan loved them (for the first time, he used to ignore them). We have been discussing the fireworks for days and how they can be loud but they are pretty. They were fine once they got going and once again Ethan loved them and said on every one "Here it goes" loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear. Reese liked them too.

It was a long day filled with lots of fun events. Hope you had just as much fun!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

Enjoy your freedom!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sweet Summer Day

This is what we did while our house was being cleaned -- I love donuts and so do some of my offspring, can you tell?

This is what I bought at Hobby Lobby while my house was being cleaned -- special project, stayed tuned for an update and see what I do with it -- this canvas is 2 foot by 3 foot, hmmmm . . .

This is what we did when we came back from shopping to a super clean house! I didn't want them to mess up the house too much before Aaron had a chance to enjoy it.

This is my first Etsy purchase. If you haven't been to Etsy -- look out especially if you love quirky, funky, handmade items. I try not to look but I wanted Reese to have a cute headband and I hope she grows into it a little better but it's still adorable. Aaron says it looks like something from the '50s, but I don't think the '50s were bad -- I think that's the decade I would like to live in if I could choose like Mayberry or Happy Days.

This is me enjoying my clean house even if it only lasts for today!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh . . . sweet summer!