Thursday, August 19, 2010

Can you say BUSY?

Thursday of last week, my husband got up at 4 am to head down to Yuma for his jury trial, where he was scheduled to appear at 8 am. Being the super wife that I am, I got up with him, fixed him pancakes and bacon, ironed his shirt, shined his shoes, and kissed him good-bye. Or maybe I just hit "off" on the alarm real fast, rolled back over, and instantly went back to sleep after asking him to please be very quiet as to not wake up anyone else in the house. You pick which scenario you like better... :) Life changes a little when you have been married 10 years and are expecting the 6th child in that time.

The kids and I spent the morning finishing cleaning out the last closet in the house, as well as the master bedroom, after having made our way around all rooms in the last couple of weeks. My space in the closet is somewhat limited, and does not accommodate my regular as well as my maternity clothes at the same time. I finally moved all my normal clothes out, and all my maternity clothes in. While at it, we also hung/folded all the clean laundry in the house. It's a never-ending job!

Boxing up and moving all the kids' toys out of their reach has been the single best solution to keeping the bedrooms looking nice for an extended period of time. It is so nice to walk past the sleeping kids' rooms at night and seeing them spotless, and to not trip over a bunch of toys if I decide to sneak in and give them each a kiss and a pat in their sleep. They have honestly never once complained about being bored, because they play more with each other pretending to be this and that than they play with toys. Plus, my remedy to boredom has always been to give them a chore when they complain of it, and strangely, I cannot even remember the last time any of them told me they were bored! :)

Nap/Quiet time was spent taking care of phone calls and online business transactions. After the girls woke up, we did several science experiments that all had to do with weight and gravity.

For dinner, I decided to take the easy way out and took the whole crew to get a large pizza at Whole Foods. While there, we picked up a couple of groceries we needed, too. By the time we got home, it was 7 pm and time for the kids to all get in their PJs, as I was determined to get them all in bed on time (they had stayed up past 10 pm on Wednesday, a church night). We did story time and they all headed to bed around 8:30. Since I did not have a dinner mess to clean up, and since we had put away every last bit of laundry in the morning, this gave me a nice quiet evening to relax by myself and work on a couple of blog posts.

Friday was our 10 year wedding anniversary, although my husband was still down in Yuma for his second day of court. He was found "not guilty", but not before 5 pm, which meant he was gone the whole day.

The kids and I were supposed to spend the day cleaning the house (as opposed to organizing/decluttering), and doing some final organizing in our school room, as well as getting the guest room ready. We were expecting company the following Tuesday, and since we were planning on celebrating our anniversary on Saturday, were going to be in church most of Sunday, and Mondays are always already busy trying to get caught up from the weekend, I knew Friday was my last chance to get my house cleaned and hopefully maintain it that way (hahahaha).

Instead, I threw reason to the wind and took the crew downtown to the science center for a fun and easy day. Ah, procrastination... I figured since the house was already tidy, it wouldn't take too much to also get it clean in just one day on Monday.

This contraption simulates a free-fall. It looks a bit like something found in a torture chamber.










Miriam had brought her baby doll along, and was thrilled to find this play shopping cart that had a seat to put her baby in while she went shopping.




My husband got back from Yuma late in the evening bearing flowers and ice-cream. He was slightly confused by the fact that pregnancy cravings got the best of me - I turned down the Ben & Jerry's chunky monkey ice-cream, and instead made myself onions and cabbage fried in a little butter with lots of salt. Yum!! :) I had the leftovers for breakfast the next morning, after which Miriam informed me that I "smelled like bad soup that tasted yucky".

Saturday was the day we "observed" our 10-year wedding anniversary. I had wanted to do something outdoors. Only problem was, the nearest places with temperatures in the bearable range are 2+ hours away. Since we had a lazy morning getting up and ready, it was really too late to go somewhere that far away for the few hours we would have had there. Plus, my husband really did not want to drive anywhere far, since he had just been to Yuma (3 hours each way).

Instead, we had lunch at a really good Bavarian/German restaurant in Mesa. After that, we stopped at a favorite thrift store of mine that I rarely go to because it's a half hour drive from our house. My husband entertained the kids while I shopped for an hour. In the end, I bought 30 books (for the kids), a maternity dress and maternity shirt for myself (both like new), a "My Brest Friend" nursing pillow, and a very cute gardening apron for a wonderful friend of mine who had mentioned she needed one.


The books I was particularly excited about finding were:
  • American Grub: This will go perfectly with this year's curriculum: Cantering the Country. We are supposed to cook a dish from each of the states we cover every week.
  • Everything Kids' Travel Activity Book: We spend a lot of time in the car going places, and love books like this one. I gave away our last similar book to a family who had a 7 hour road trip with few to no stops ahead of them with four little kids in the car. This is a wonderful replacement. Plus, the book has interesting information on all 50 states, which again will tie in nicely with our curriculum.
  • American Girls Paper Dolls: new and in great condition - Miriam and Becky cannot wait to cut these out with me and play with them. Very good quality and sturdy paper dolls, which is hard to find. I love the style of clothing in this book, too!
  • World History by BJU Press: We have several of the BJU Press history books, and although I do take issue with many things that BJU stands for, it is still nice to be able to find a history book that has a Christian perspective and starts out with creation, rather than "billions of years ago" and cavemen.
Each of the kids has their own favorite books from the above selection. I never go to the thrift store without buying a stack of books. It always makes for a very quiet rest of the day as the kids sit and read for hours without so much as stirring.


(apron not in picture, but it was cute)

With all the sales that day (6 of the books were free, and the cashier picked the most expensive ones to take off the total, rather than the cheapest), and the fact that she also used a $3 off coupon that I did not give her (she was just being nice), the total came out to $34.01. That's an average of $1 for each of the above items! I LOVE getting good deals shopping. It is so much fun - like treasure hunting!! Even though we could probably afford to buy our stuff new, I so much prefer to shop at thrift stores. It's frugal, it's fun, and the selection is endless! The maternity section had literally dozens and scores of clothes that I liked, whereas a department store usually only has a couple that I would consider (because they carry everything in multiples in each size, taking up all their store space). The only reason why I did not buy more clothes was because I already have so many. Plus, it saves time. I would have had to go to three "regular" stores to buy the same items, or to a mall, which I hate.

I was also very excited about finding that particular nursing pillow. I almost bought it at BabiesRUs when Becky was a baby at the regular price of $40. Mrs. Duggar has mentioned it several times, and I have seen her wearing it in their weekly show. Because it wraps all around the waist and clips on the side, it can be worn while walking around, making it easy to nurse one-handed while getting other stuff done around the house. It feels VERY comfortable because it offers really great back support, also. Another great feature is that the pillow has a slip cover that can be very easily removed for washing - definitely a must with a new baby and five siblings that want to constantly have their grubby little hands all over their newest little friend.

After the store, we headed home because the girls needed to nap, and the heat was unbearable. We had thought about going to a nearby lake and go paddle boating, but it sounded like torture given the heat. Instead, when the sun finally started going down around 7, we left the house again to go to a nearby kiddie amusement park where my husband and the boys took a paddle boat ride while I bought some ride tickets and took the girls on the carousel.


When the guys came back from the little lake, we spent another hour or so letting each of the kids go on a couple of rides, and snacked a bit on a dinner we had brought along. The temperature at that time was still 103 degrees, in spite of the fact that it was now completely dark. I found it almost unbearable. This pregnancy more than any before, the heat is really bothering me. The most I can take is 5 minutes at a time, which is just long enough to get from my van to a store, or from a store to the van and pack up what I bought. Right before the summer heat started, I had already been landlocked by my severe morning sickness, so I think I am now going on 5 months straight of being cooped up indoors - can you say "cabin fever"??









Sunday was church in the morning and evening, as usual. We had yet another record attendance in the morning service, which was exciting. It was also creating a space issue, as we have had consistently high (and increasing) numbers in all three weekly services ever since my husband started pastoring full-time a little over a month ago and scaling his fire alarm business back as much as possible. Him and several other men from the church started doing some work in our building on Monday to make the auditorium larger.

For lunch, we had roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, steamed string beans, and tomato salad on the side. It was so good! Then the kids and I spent the rest of the afternoon resting and relaxing at home, while my husband was out soul-winning in the scorching heat. I cannot fathom how he can go for 5 or more hours every single day in this weather.

Monday, we finally had to get down to the business of getting ready for company the next day. I also was in charge of making lunch and dinner for the men who were a the church building working, so that made for one busy day.

My husband took the oldest two along to help with the project, while I took the three younger kids to the store to buy the food needed to feed hungry, hard-working men. I served a huge platter of sandwiches, as well as banana-cream pie. Since it was all made from scratch it took me all morning to get all that done.

Then my husband informed me that a news station was coming to the house to do an interview at 1 pm. For me, it meant cleaning up the messy kitchen and floors in time for that. After they were all done and left, my husband again took two of the boys to work with him, and I was able to nap for a couple of hours.

I spent the rest of the evening making dinner, and FINALLY cleaning up the guest room and guest bathroom in time for my mother-in-law's visit. Having raised four kids, she is really not at all the type who expects to arrive and find my house all clean and perfect - it's just something that would bother me if I didn't get it ready in time.

Tuesday
morning, my husband went back to work on the building project at church, while I spent the morning doing some more chores and then fixing lunch for all the men working at the church building (burritos, and peanut butter chocolate bars for dessert). Grandma arrived just in time for lunch.

Later, she helped me make dinner for the men (egg rolls made from scratch), who finished the remodel at church in the late evening. The new, larger auditorium looks great, and added room for as many as 50 more people (although for now we spaced the chairs out more comfortably and only added about 20 more chairs).

In the evening, after the kids were down for the night, my husband and I went out on a date to The Melting Pot for our 10-year anniversary with NO KIDS in tow, while my mother-in-law stayed home watching the sleeping kids. At least we thought they were sleeping. As we found out the next morning, Solomon had quietly slipped out of his room, roused Isaac, and they were sewing clothes for Isaac's stuffed teddy by the light of a flashlight. I had timed the dishwasher to run just as we were leaving, because it gets the girls to fall asleep immediately, and my mother-in-law was in the kitchen washing and slicing 8 lbs of strawberries to help me, so she did not immediately hear their little stunt on the other side of the house. When she did, she sent them back to bed and that was the end of that, and thankfully, the boys did not wake up the little girls in the process.

Anyway, my husband and I had a great time. This was the first time in SIX years that we have been out by ourselves. It felt strange riding in a 5-passenger vehicle, just us and no kids. I can honestly say that I did not miss the kids for one second, or feel bad about not having brought them along. My husband had wanted to bring the kids, and we have been to that particular restaurant with them on several occasions, but it is not nearly as romantic and relaxing when you constantly have to make sure no little fingers are getting burnt on the hot stovetop on each table, and no eyes are being poked out with the pointy fondue skewers. Plus, it would have tripled the cost of the date! He is not around the littles 24/7 like I am, so to him bringing them along would not have been a big deal. I should clarify that we do not allow anyone to watch our kids ever, but Grandma is an exception because obviously she raised my husband and all his siblings, so it's almost like one of us parents is watching the kids. Plus, she is a Christian who believes like us and we don't have to worry about her trying to undermine our parenting. Best of all, she is not the type who would call just to tell us the baby is crying, which would obviously ruin the evening.

Wednesday, the kids and I took Grandma to the science center, where we watched an undersea documentary at the IMAX. I thought it was okay, but the kids really loved it. Except for Miriam, who was scared of the 3D effect and kept asking me if we were really under water.

My husband suggested that since his Mom was going to be at our house that night as well, we should go on another date because it's so rare that we get to do so. After church, he teaches a German class that keeps him until about 9:15 pm. I took the kids home after the service, and had them in bed by the time my husband got home an hour later. That night, I made sure to clarify that they were not to leave their beds under any circumstances. To help, I had let the kids go swimming for hours in the afternoon, which combined with being out later than usual for church that night had made them so tired that they actually were too tired to even think about getting out of bed.

Today, I got to sleep in a little while Grandma fed the kids breakfast. Even so, I was so tired from having been out late two nights in a row that once I had made the dough to bake this week's bread, I lied down again in the middle of the morning for an hour, and then took another nap after lunch while the girls were also napping and Grandma was playing board games with the boys.

We dropped her off at the airport in the afternoon for her to fly back home, and then the kids went swimming again at the house. After dinner, we are going to head to the library until bedtime. I plan on getting to bed early tonight myself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

This gives you a little glimpse into our everyday life. It's fun, but very tiring. I am completely done organizing every room in the house, except for the laundry room (which is not too bad) and the school room (mostly done, except for one big book case). We are starting school August 30th or September 7th, still not quite decided on that. The kids have been doing some school work all summer long, but it was a very light schedule.

This year, Solomon (8) is in 5th grade, Isaac (7) is in 3rd grade, John (5) is in 1st grade, and Miriam (3) is doing Pre-K. I'll write about my curriculum choices in another post.

We definitely have very busy months ahead of us: all five of the kids are celebrating their birthdays between late September and mid-February. Add to that the birth of the new baby in December (now that makes 6 birthdays within 4 1/2 months), as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas, and you can imagine how burnt out I feel after the last birthday passes in February and the "party season" is over. It will be nice to have another Christmas baby, though.

Hope you are all enjoying the end of summer with your families!


9 comments:

  1. Sounds like you're one busy mama! So glad you got to spend some time with your husband!

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  2. I enjoyed your crazily busy life post!!! I am so glad you got out by yourselves, how special. Oh, I loved the beginning how you said you made eggs and bacon and shined his shoes, you had me feeling really bad. Chad got up the other day at 3:30 and I was like"don't wake the kids" :) rolled over and went to sleep. Glad I am not the only one!!!! Fun seeing all the pics of you all.....um, one question, where are you????!!!!!! I want to see you pregnant!!! :) I am sure you are hardly showing. We have still been enjoying Pastor As sermons. He makes us laugh always and pumps us full of real good meat. Oh and I dont know how you do it in the heat. I felt like dying when we visited you and I was not pregnant!!!! :) Try to stay cool.

    Love
    Jessica

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  3. Loving the glimpse into your days. Busy and fun, just like mine :)

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  4. You sound like you have so much fun with your kids. I know people who don't want to give up their independence to have children, but you get to do so many fun and rewarding things with them. What a joy!

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  5. great post! you are such a fun mama! glad that you and your husband were able to enjoy a date together.
    we've been busy here too, organizing, decluttering, etc..but i only have 3 and i'm not pregnant.

    i can relate somewhat to the heat. here in tx it is bad. my husband is a mailman, and i don't see how he stands it.
    when you aren't in the midst of schooling what (besides chores lol) do you do to keep children occupied when it is so oppressively hot outside? i find myself relying on the tv, but i'm trying to break myself of that.

    thanks!
    liz

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  6. Here on Long Island,NY we start homeschooling after Labor Day. I wonder about BJUP- I know they use to ban "inter-racial" dating at their college and that their history texts are regarded by some to be anti-Catholic. One science text was organ donor friendly. I never found out if they were KJB only like Abeka( we bought some of our Abeka books through ChristianLibertyPress.com).

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  7. Busy busy! Glad you got to get away kid free for your anniversary. Happy 10 years! I'm sure the kids loved seeing their grandma.
    I'm happy to hear his trail went well... again. I hope this is the last of it!
    It's GREAT to hear how much your church is growing!!! Oh, how we'd love to move out there and join. Hopefully one day we can afford to... if the heat doesn't kill us first lol

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  8. Aaah birthday season! My husband and I, plus our 6 kids have all our birthdays between 9/9 and 12/29. Throw in our wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving and Christmas and the Fall is crazy busy here. But we do get a 9 month break!

    God bless you and yours, especially the next precious blessing!


    Melody

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  9. I made the peanut butter bars last night - my husband thanks you!!! They were great! :)

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