Monday, April 4, 2011

Yay for Mondays!

Oh, Mondays can be rough around here. There is just always so much to catch up from a busy weekend, especially church twice on Sunday and then getting home late after the evening service.

My family was kind enough to help me get an early start on the day today: first, Becky woke me at 4:45am trying to get into our bed. I would have let her but there just wasn't enough room. She was fine with me picking her up and putting her back in her bed, which is right next to ours anyway. As I lay there trying to go back to sleep, my husbands snoring kept me awake. I guess it's more loud breathing than snoring, but I can only sleep when it is silent. I finally chopped him in the ribs nudged him gently, which made him turn over on his side alright and stop the snoring/noisy breathing, but in the process he woke Anna who then wanted to nurse. As I lay there dozing off while feeding her, I was startled awake by a loud crashing noise from Solomon's room - I am guessing he knocked something (or rather, a whole lot of somethings) off his nightstand. Then the birds outside all started chirping loudly, and it started getting light, so around 6 am I finally dragged myself out of bed. I mean, I did get almost 5 hours of sleep last night, so what is there to complain about?!?

So much to do this week, as usual. As of yet, our vegetable plants are still alive! Yes! I am hoping to get the backyard sprinklers fixed this week (only did the front ones last week), and throw out some grass seed front and back to help kickstart our dead "lawn".

I am also planning to rearrange and redecorate the boys' bedroom. Right now, Isaac and John share a bedroom - they have a bunk bed. Solomon and Miriam also share a room, with Solomon in a loft bed and Miriam in her toddler bed which is still plenty big for her. My plan is to change the setup to where all the boys are in one room, and Miriam and Becky are in the other room. That leaves our bedroom with just us and Anna, and a guest room/office with a spare bed in it for company. Last week, I spoke with a retired carpenter who builds bunkbeds, and ordered an L-shaped triple bunk bed for the new boys' room.

The bed on the bottom is going to be a full rather than twin size, and the loft bed part will be an extended twin size. I am not getting the drawers under the bed, or the chest of drawers, but will put similar furniture that we already have in those places.

The boys are trying to decide on a theme for their new, joint bedroom. Some of their ideas are medieval/castle, undersea, or a rain forest theme. It will be fun to decorate. Please share any tips and ideas you may have for doing this inexpensively.

That will free up room in the other bedroom to move Becky in with Miriam, and decorate their room all girly. I am sure they will want something very pink and frilly. Oh, so much to do, so little time!

Speaking of furniture, I got two beautiful, like-new Crate & Barrel leaning bookshelves for free yesterday! How great is that??!? Love Freecycle!! One shelf is now set up (and already filled) in our living room, the other one is going to be set up in our bedroom, which - you guessed it - I am also rearranging this week at my husband's request. He does not like the placement of the bed in there any more (actually, I don't think he ever DID like it there), so we are just pretty much rearranging the whole room.

The only other pressing chore I have to do this week is getting out the kids' summer clothes, and retiring all the winter ones. Oh joy!!! There are always so many clothes to deal with when there are 8 people involved. Not sure how larger families handle this, it is definitely one area of homemaking I struggle with a lot. 

Of course, all this is in addition to the regular, everyday chores such as cooking, teaching, laundry, shopping, etc. I rarely get to sleep more than 6 hours a night any more, which doesn't sound like a lot, but I really feel fine with that. I think taking the right kind of vitamins and supplements, as well as enjoying lots of fresh leafy greens and other produce, greatly helps with my energy (and patience!) levels. There will be lots of time to sleep when the kids are all grown and gone.

Off I go - I'll leave you with a few photos of my sweet little baby. Oh, what a joy she has been every minute that she has been with us! She is just always smiling and happy. We all just gush over her every day. It is so sweet to see her older siblings coo and smile at her throughout the day, because they enjoy her just as much as we parents do. Sometimes I see bitter people and I truly feel sorry for them - there is so much joy in life with little loves like Anna. She makes me smile whenever I look at her. So sweet and perfect - God is so good for blessing us with her!!!

(You can click on the images to enlarge them.)

 Anna is a little thumb-sucker... how cute is that?!? 

Anna's hair is not really quite as red as the camera makes it look. The curly dark hair is that of my beautiful niece.

I'll share pictures of the other kids tomorrow (hopefully) when I blog more about our April Fool's day. Have a wonderful week everyone!


  1. Those bunk beds look AWESOME - I would have LOVED that as a kid!! Nice score on the bookshelves, and your daughter is beautiful!

  2. We just got one of those kinds of bed's for Lexie. Right now her bed is on top and underneath is a little play area which we put a curtain around so she has a little cave...she loves it. Then when Emma get's older we can put a second bed under there. IT saves so much room

  3. LOVE the bunk beds!!! We just bought our son a twin over full bunk bed in an attempt to remove him from our didn't work quite as we planned it, but it's really cool!! :)

    The castle theme sounds fun. A safari would be neat too if they like animals.

    Can't wait to see what you decide on!

  4. Our girls share a room, and they love having the bunk beds. It frees up a lot of space, too. And wow, those pics of sweet Anna sure do make her hair look red! How nice the boys will be able to share a room. The medieval theme sounds like such a fun idea to me!

  5. Here is my best inexpensive tip for decorating. Your boys can go through clip art or safe internet sites and find pictures they like for their walls. If your church has an overhead projector, bring it home. Print the pictures onto transparencies and project them onto the walls. Then you can paint easily and in proper proportion. I've used this to paint several kids' bedrooms and classrooms, as well as to do accent walls in adult bedrooms. It works very well, even for those of us not gifted with art as a natural talent!

  6. I have framed fabric squares for my daughter's room. I let her choose a few prints - use spray glue to adhere the fabric to the cardboard frame backing, then frame and make an arrangement on the wall. I'm sure you can find prints to go with any theme you choose. We are on our third set of
    fabrice art; once you have the frames, it's just a matter of swtiching the fabric. We love it.

  7. Freecycle is THE BEST! Good scores! I struggle with clothes too and I only have three! Do you keep all the outgrown clothes to pass down? Like all the boy clothes for possibly the next boy or just give them away and trust the Lord will provide when the time comes? If I had a spare room I would love to do a family closet. It seems like it would cut down time on all the putting away and free up more room in the bedrooms. I can't wait to see your finished projects!

  8. We are getting a set of triple bunk beds built for our three boys, except they are styled like standard bunks, with the first one on the floor, the second one at jr loft height and the other at full height. All we had to do was buy the wood. The wood shop class at the high school my husband works at is building them for us. So thankful God provided them cheaply for us.

    I'm just using colors rather than a theme in my boys room. The oldest boy has lime green bedding, the middle one has teal bedding, and the youngest has brown. I chose art for their walls that is in those three colors, and their curtains are brown. If I ever get to paint it I'm going to do trims in one of those colors, and am thinking of doing a half chalkboard wall for them to scribble on with chalk.

  9. I really hate the laundry monster. I got an idea from another large family. Here it is...I do all my laundry excluding towels and sheets etc on monday. Then I wash a few loads of towels on Tuesday, on Wednesday I take a break. Thursday I do all the laundry again. Friday I wash sheets or towels, really whatever is leftover. Then all weekend I take a break from the laundry monster. I don't even go into my laundry room on the weekend unless I have too. This has made my life a lot easier. Except when I am trying to fight of the "do I have to" monster and then I get behind.

    I am also gearing up to get out my kids' spring/summer clothes and put away their winter stuff. I lady I knew that had 8 kids gave me some good advice that I now do with my kids and it works great. It works best to start when they are newborn but here it is. Take a box and label it girl/boy 1 then set it in a place where you can easily put clothes that kids have grown out of including shoes, coats, hats, etc. Once the box is full you can store it for future children and know exactly what size is in there. Then repeat the process with box girl/boy box 2 and continue that way indefinately. I have run into a bit of trouble when I try to find weather appropriate items such as coats. And newborn-12 month items like bibs, burp cloths, and towels/washcloths. So they go into a different box.

    Just thought I would share some of the ideas that have helped me while tending to 4 kids 4 years old and younger.

    May God be your help in all you do as a great mom/teacher/wife and the list goes on!

  10. Wow, I didn't even know you could get triple bunk beds. Hope all the rearranging goes well with minimal fuss. And the baby's very cute :)

  11. Okay, first off, that is my dream bunkbed set that I've seen before! Goodness! I have got to invest in one of those when I get a chance.

    Second of all, your baby girl is incredibly cute! I've always wanted a thumb sucker but didn't get any. lol

  12. Can you share the info for the man who builds bunkbeds (for us who live in AZ)? We have four girls that will eventually all be in the same room.

    We are also in the midst of switching out clothes. I'm trying to find a better method for storing clothes, but I'm not sure there is a better way.

  13. Anna is precious and beautiful!!!! Had to laugh at your insane morning!! :) And elbowing Pastor A!!! :) Hey check out my post. You will see where I am now popular on a site that is ran by many of your commenters and mine! Maybe you know this already. Let me know what you think. You dont have to publish this.

  14. This is sort of a random question but I've been wanting to ask you and since you're talking about sleeping arrangements, I suppose it fits. We have been co-sleeping with our daughter and I love it but I'm nervous about switching her to her own bed. I was wondering at what age and how you made the transition. Any tips are greatly appreciated :) And by the way your daughter is beautiful!!

  15. The best way to store clothes is to space the kids so close that when one outfit is outgrown by one, it instantly fits the next. This method requires either having all of one gender, or having twins of mixed gender each and every time. And all the children have to be average in size, no growing too fast or toddling behind is allowed.

    Alas, my kids seem to be 2 sizes apart from each other and the genders are all mixed up. So I have to store everything for a year or several years.

    I use random colored rubbermaid bins but wish, wish, wish I had invested in clear color bins instead. Or at least done a better job of coordinating colors--like blue for boy, red for girl or something. The clear are nice because you can put a big label on the inside (where you can read it from the outside) with gender, size and season. I have the hardest time getting any label to stick to my rubbermaids. And when they do manage to stick, the toddler pulls them all off and decorates his shirt.

    Melting at Anna her hair. One of mine has red hair and she gets so many nice comments on it
    : )

  16. Karen R.

    What I do is I keep my absolute favorites of whatever my older kids have worn, and get rid of the rest. I find that's still enough clothes for the next one, as people give me stuff in all their sizes all the time anyway.

    As for the lady who asked about laundry, this is what I do. I do one load first thing in the morning every morning. Usually it's only one load that I do now that I have a bigger washer. I may have to change this plan when the baby is born. Then, on Saturday or Sunday I do as many other loads as it takes to catch up so that we start the week with all the laundry done. School uniforms are ready, work clothes are ready, nice new sheets and linens etc. Helps my week start off better as Mondays are the worst days of the week for me.

  17. I also struggle with laundry. there are only 5 people in my house ( 3 foster children) but now Ive got one of my own on the way! Not sure how I am ever going to manage, but any laundry tips you could provide will be greatly apperciated.

  18. I love our triple bunk, but ours is 3 stacked on top of each other, not the "L" shaped design. Sort of like military style bunks. Sometimes they have trouble making it and Ethan always needs help changing his sheets.

    I wish now that I had the foresight to order extended twins! Good thinking.

    I, with you, loathe switching out the clothes. I've gotten a pretty good routine though. It used to take me days, but now it takes an afternoon (for the kids, that is).

  19. I LOVE the bunkbeds too!!! WOW! And Anna is looking more and more like your hubby every day! :)

  20. Are you not concerned about a son and a daughter sharing rooms?

    I would also like some tips about transitioning from cosleeping to their own bed.

  21. Those bunk beds are awesome! Great job on scoring free bookshelves. Can one really ever have enough bookshelves? :) Anna is so adorable....I think I have baby fever just looking at those pictures. Blessings!

  22. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

  23. Thank you all for the kind comments and decorating suggestions. I suggested to the boys that the theme of their new room should be "Landfill", because it would require no work on my part! ;)

    The bunkbeds should be done by next weekend. They come unfinished, so once I have sealed them I will share photos on here. The carpenter making them is kind of flooded with work right now, but if you would like his contact info, please leave me a comment with your email address and I will sent you his number.

    Holly, do you have any tips on where I could borrow an overhead projector?

    I'll do a separate post on laundry some other time. What I have been doing for the last year works pretty well, but I am just afraid that as soon as I post about it, my system will fall apart just because that's a law of the universe. So, I've been afraid to share my system on the blog!

    Last anon, we have had no problem with Solomon sharing a room with Miriam. Every day, one of them gets changed in the room, and the other in the bathroom. Other than sleeping, the kids spend virtually no time in their room, so there have been no conflicts regarding decorating.

    As far as switching to their own beds, I take a pretty relaxed approach to that. Up until Miriam was a toddler, all the kids and us parents slept in the same room (the boys must have been 3, 5, and 6 at the time). When we parents moved out with Miriam, they didn't much care, because they still had each other. As the younger children have grown, they usually switch from sleeping in our bed to their own toddler bed in our room when I get pregnant again. No struggles there, because it's considered a "big kid step".

    It has helped a lot to think of us parents sleeping in the kids' room, rather than the other way around. We do have our own private room, but we just think of that as the guest room, while we sleep in the kids' bedroom. Just totally changes the perspective, and takes the stress out of it.

    Whatever sleeping arrangement works for you is what you should do. Sleep is hard enough to come by as a parent.

    All our kids are GREAT sleepers. To this day, even the oldest ones love taking turns sleeping in our bed when my husband is gone on a business trip. I just cherish it, because I know it will be over much too soon.

  24. Thank you for saying "whatever works for you is what you should do.." You have NO IDEA (well, actually you probably do) know how much adversity I face just b/c my son will sleep with me. He is 41/2 and is scared to death to sleep alone. Literally. He always has been. I have tried everything I know to try. He is adopted from Guatemala and I was not fortunate enough to have him until he was almost 12 months old. In the children's home he came from, the babies co-slept together. Sometimes three to a crib! :( I've always thought that maybe that had something to do with it. I do not want sleeping/nighttime to be a stressful/scary time for him. My husband and I are on the same page, so no concerns there...

    Thanks for your comment. It encouraged me. :)

  25. Zsuzsanna,

    Sometimes public libraries have overhead projectors available to check out.

  26. I hate ironing and I like to line-dry my clothes to save money so what I do for laundry is immediately put it on a hanger as soon as it's done washing. That way when it's done drying I don't have to do anything else to it but hang it up.

  27. Would your carpenter contact be able to share the plans. We are looking to build the bunk bed that you have pictured.

    Thank you



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