Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thoughtless Thursday

I am really going to try to start blogging every weekday, but Thursdays will definitely be the toughest day for this as it is our "town" day - and we usually have at least 4 appointments to go to, shopping to do, filling up the gas tanks, and other errands to we plan a short school day (only 2 subjects), and I am usually wiped out by the end of the day.

So, my posting, if any will be short and sweet - maybe just some bloggers who do a Wordless Wednesday - any ideas on a Thursday title that would work for short blog posts, or no words....Thoughtless Thursdays might work....

My Sweet Valentine - you can see the afghan I am crocheting for Daryl just behind her....

The results of Monday's early morning madness (remember the fire?) - the bread didn't taste like smoke at all and baked fine even though we had to open the door and turn off the oven right in the middle of baking the bread!  I was able to make 6 gallons of strawberry/raspberry freezer jam (bought gallon buckets of frozen berries from Barbie's Berries - where we pick every year!)

The beautiful sunset night before last

Rachel's homemade volcano...needs work, but it was fun

Esther like the shoes she was wearing today - she wore them a year ago, but now they are getting too small...they are my favorite too - pink and white Mary Janes...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I am going to join in on this interesting new blog thing - All in a Day!  Each Wednesday a group of bloggers, including myself, will be posting on the same topic: All in a Day. We will talk about how we are able to accomplish grocery shopping, homeschooling, laundry, cooking and more with many children in our homes.

It looks like the first thing I need to do is to introduce myself and my there may be new blog readers finding me now (yeah!)
I am Ruth, contented wife to Daryl, mother to my busy family of 11 children.  All my children are still living at home, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this will not be for much longer.  Yes, they are all our children, yes, I birthed them all, one at a time. Daryl is a tool and dye machinist turned CAD designer, and has worked at the same place for over 20 years now.  I worked part time until my third child was 2 years old, but I never wanted to work outside the home, it was just what needed to be done (long story).  I have been a stay at home mom ever since.  I started a home business over 6 years ago, selling cloth diapers, training pants, cloth feminine products and adult incontinent products - it's called Snap-EZ .  I am currently moving out of this business so I can devote myself more completely to my family and their needs.
We live on 3 acres (mostly wooded), in a home we designed and had built 3 years ago.  We had to do a custom home because we were required to build a 3 bedroom home, and there are no standard 3 bedroom house plans that can accommodated over 10 we built a house that would hold us all, and my home business - and we accomplished our goals quite nicely - You can read about that adventure in my archives (2007-2008).
Our children range from 24 years down to 2 years old - 6 boys and 5 girls.  Jeremy, our oldest, just finished 5 years in the Marines, so this year is our first year (and possibly our last) to ever have all 11 children living at home.
We homeschool, love to have homemade bread and jam and hope to do canning again this year after a 6 year hiatus.  We love camping and taking trips (but it's a little hard when you don't have a vehicle that contains your whole family!).  We love to have fun together - we regularly play ping pong, video games, card games, board games,  volleyball (in the summer),  or just play together goofy made up games!  We love to have other families over and get to know them better - so if you live around here, or are passing through - drop me and line and let's get together!

Here's a little slide show I put together this year of our family through the years - hope you enjoy it:

And thanks, Renee, for inspiring me to start a blog 5 years ago, and thanks for Ruth D for bugging me to post more often!

Other All in a Day Bloggers:
Renee @ Bakers Dozen
Monica @ Natural Mama

How You Can Join Us!

Here is your chance to introduce yourself to us. Share a little about your family and link your blog post to All in a Day. Make sure you grab our "All in a Day!" banner to link up with us. You can find the banner here.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets
If you are participating in All In A Day!, enter your name and URL in the form below and press Enter.
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Please leave a comment after linking... Thank you!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All in a Day - I hope....

Some days my "To Do" list is daunting to say the least - here's what I hope to accomplish today:

Get up with Daryl, make his lunch, load and run the dishwasher
Have quiet time
Fold and put away my laundry/make my bed
Bake 10 loaves of Bread
Make 1 gallon of berries into freezer jam
Wash Dishes
Switch Laundry Loads/sort dirty laundry
Make 2 phone calls
Pay 2 Bills
Put all 6 Thursday appointment on the calendar (they are on my Iphone)
Look for Esther's missing foot brace
Do Therapy with Dayton
Do Therapy with Esther
Preschool with Dayton and Elizabeth
Be available for questions for big kids schoolwork
Singing with the kids

And I need to get all that done by 1:30 as I have a dentist appointment for my annual cleaning at 2 pm.  I also have to go to the bank when I am finished at the dentist, and pick up a couple of things at the grocery store - milk and cat litter.

Then home to work for an hour or two sewing/cutting/snapping for orders.

Lastly, oversee dinner and the leave for bowling (and dropping kids off for Bible Quizzing Practice) by 6:15 sharp.

So far I have accomplished the first two, and I am halfway done with the next two...

so much to do, so little time....and then, while I was typing that, I smelled smoke and saw this:

So we opened the windows and doors, and I turned off  the oven...but it just kept getting worse...smoke started billowing out of the oven - we checked the warming drawer and it wouldn't open (there was a wire rack in there jamming the door and keeping it from opening....PANIC....and it was pouring out smoke...there were hot pads in there....somehow the warming drawer got turned on (bumped the button???) and the hot pads caught on fire!  I pulled and pulled and gave it all I had and it finally popped open - but how to get burning hotpads out of there????I took a bowl of water and poured it on them and they stopped burning...

So now we are freezing with all the windows and doors open as the house got so filled with smoke that the kids had to crawl around in the kitchen in order to keep from choking on the smoke...
On the lighter side - here are some photos from yesterday:
Kimmi thought school was preschool and it was naptime....

Esther loves playing the piano

The sun was out, so I sent the kids outside for some fresh air - they had a lot of fun with...

Esther - can you tell she was enjoying herself?
I'd better get going with my to-do list now that we have had out excitement for today....I hope the rest of the day is just busy and no more excitement!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I found my camera!

I knew I had put it in a bag to bring into the house, and I had looked in every bag brought in, I thought....but I forgot about my afghan bag - the one I used to bring the afghan I am crocheting for Daryl to my mother's house and back home...I had taken out the afghan, but not emptied the bag....I found it by accident when my rocker wouldn't was hitting the camera in the bag...thankfully the camera is unhurt and now I can share photos from the last 6 weeks!
Christmas Hats - Jessica made the one Elizabeth is wearing!
Dayton appreciating the cake Rachel made for him - it's a golf course green!
Happy 7th birthday, Dayton!

what doesn't belong in this photo?

Our current schoolroom set up, as seen on an average morning

Dr Elizabeth, service with a smile!
 Here are some things that have decorated our dry erase board lately:

Esther and I one Sunday morning
 And here are some photo's showing Esther's super flexibility:

Esther loves to help play foosball!

She looks happy to be all dressed and ready for church!

The little girls were a little tired after their trip to Grandma's house!

Jeremy doesn't always like getting his photo taken!
real smiles!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sorry I have been absent

Life moved into the fast lane - the holidays, life with this many people living under one roof is just plain busy even if there isn't anything out of the ordinary happening!

I don't have the time or the memory to catch you all up, but know that we enjoyed our holidays, keeping them simple as usual.  We enjoyed two relaxing weekend pretty much just hanging out together.

Once the New Year was welcomed in, I set about in earnest to get Rebekah, Rachel, Reuben and Daniel all set up with Switched On Schoolhouse (Alpha Omega).  It took some work, and I resurrected 2 desktop computers that had been put in storage when they crashed, dredge through bins and ordered a few spare parts, and now have 2 networked computers for them to do their schoolwork on.  This is a huge improvement, although it took and is taking some adjustments for them to get used to the new system, but it is so much more manageable and do-able.  They are all 4 taking the same grade in Bible, History and Science (it works for us right now), and starting Monday we can work on them all together (I just got the fourth computer running this week, and then I had to get them all on the same lesson).  That should be much more efficient for me instead of going through the same lesson 4 times as they need help.

On top of our mornings of school, we have been inundated with appointments -
Jessica is still having weekly chiropractic and massage therapy from her car accident in Sept,
Jonathan is in the last month of braces,
Rebekah has grown so fast that her muscles are not keeping up, so she is starting physical therapy,
Rachel is getting her braces off in 2 weeks but ended up with a root canal this week PLUS she has had som back problems from the accident that we are finally getting her seen for so she is also starting physical therapy.
Reuben is starting the process of braces, and after several meetings/consultations I am awaiting instructions as to the next step to getting  insurance to cover it (his is medically necessary and has been approved by the insurance),
Daniel is just fine,
Dayton is back in speech therapy, and his therapist thinks his improvement over the 6 month break in therapy is next to miraculous - when he started 2 years ago he had only vowels, now he only has trouble with "L" and final "s" and "sh".  Dayton has also been seeing a doctor for another problem, but that has been resolved with her help, thankfully.
 Elizabeth is in great shape, growing like weed (75% height, 50% in weight) but loves to tag along to appointments.
Esther is doing great over-all, but ended up in ER a week ago due to a choking episode.  She has fought off the bad cold that went through our house with only a slightly stuffy nose for a few days whereas most of us were pretty well laid out for a week or more, so her immune system is doing great now!  She also saw a new endocrinologist, and he said that if we do quarterly blood draws, he doesn't need to see her again for a year as long as there is no changes.  Last June, if you missed it, Esther got a reprieve from cardiology check ups for 2 years, and late last summer she was put on thickened liquids due to two near pneumonia bouts over the summer, and has had all her breathing difficulties vanish - praise the Lord!  No more breathing treatments!

When I compare our busy-ness and little trials with those of people we know well, not so well, and have only heard about/prayed about going through life and death struggles every day, losing their little ones suddenly to accidents, mothers getting cancer, fathers killed at work or in accidents...I am so thankful that my God is so big that I can trust Him with my family.  I know that no matter what tomorrow holds for us, that we are all in His hand and that NOTHING can touch us unless it has first passed through His loving hand.  He orchestrates everything for our good (the process of becoming Christ-like), and His glory.  My only responsibility is to live each day serving Him by serving my family, not worrying about the what-ifs or may-bes...because He does not give me the grace for those - He will give me all the grace sufficient for the trials He does send my way, but when I start taking on tomorrow possibly trials, I am on my own....

If you have the time, please pray for the following families that I know who are battling deadly cancer - the Gustafsons (Debby, the mother has stage 4 colon cancer) and the Andersons (6 yo Jenson is spinal cancer),  and the Jacksons (Javonn, the mother has cancer).  Pray for God's grace and peace for each and everyday.  If you are on Facebook you can follow Julie Anderson's updates on Jensen and support them in prayer as they travel this most difficult road -

The camera is missing in action, so I'll share with you a photo slideshow I made last month of our family through the years!

If there's anything you wanted to hear about - just ask me in the comments!