Friday, June 28, 2013

A beautiful thing

This morning I witnessed a beautiful thing. 
Most of us are lucky enough to experience beauty everyday in some form or another. Obviously, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and totally subjective... 
Things I found to be beautiful at 20 may no longer be the case and vice versa. 
When you google (yes, Corey, I googled this) beautiful things, you see images of-
palm trees
a horse in a flowery meadow
women in various forms of dress (or undress rather)...
all beautiful things.
But, this morning, the 32yr old mother than I am was witness to a truly stunning display. An act so amazing and rare that one may actually be so bold as to qualify it as a miracle. 
Allow me to enlighten you...

I call this piece 
6yr old boy begs to vacuum on his own at 8:15am  
Truly glorious (insert sounds of angels singing from on high)
Now I realize this seems a bit dramatic, but for the love of all that is holy people, I vacuum anywhere from 1 to sometimes 4 times per day depending on what the kids eat. 
The idea that someday all of these kids will be old enough to where I can successfully farm out a hefty heap of these chores is about the most amazing thought that can cross through my home-making mind right now. 
A little boy who begs to clean...
a thing of beauty? 
Yes, yes it is. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

She's a climber

She can't walk yet, but she sure can climb! 
How else could she hope to see out of the windows with her older brothers and sister?

Friday, June 21, 2013


No matter what they're doing, they always seems to end up together. 

"Sisters don't need words. They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks- expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief. Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs- that can undermine any tale you're telling."
~Pam Brown

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A week of our summer

A summer storm rolling in. 
"Damnit Thor, I hate storms..."
(overheard coming out of Nates mouth, Thor being the god of thunder for those of you not in the know)

Name writing practice.

Long days of warm weather and outside play produces some seriously worn out kids. 

This is what happens when mom and dad buy some new furniture.
I'm sure our neighbors saw this and died a little on this inside from this display of classy fun. 
Hope the people that were looking at the house for sale next door enjoyed the show! 
 For those of you who have been to my home and who have experienced my laundry mountain, feast your eyes on the reason for its existence. 
 This is the aftermath of a trip upstairs to get dressed (in the same clothes I wore yesterday so this was a quick change) and make the bed. Total time away, I estimate 6 minutes?
 These pictures do not do this mess justice. Said mess also found its way over that railing and into the living room. 
me- "Who made this mess?"
kids- "DANNY!"
me- "Danny, did you make this mess?"
Danny- "less"
(Less because when Danny says Yes his Y is an L...said also in a holy crap she's mad so I'm gonna whisper and try to be as sweet as possible type of way)

"You are sure going to miss these days!" is what I hear from mothers everywhere. I'm sure I'll miss some of it, but hear me people when I say

Except for maybe messes like these...

these are the messes that make it all worth it. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Conversations with Sean and Nate

"Lets draw pictures for Grandpa Ned, Uncle Ron, and Washington."
"Who's Washington?"
"George Washington. He was our first president, and he's one of my most favorite dead guys."

"Baby Kate come sit on my Avenger blankie!"
(Baby Kate goes)
"She loves my blankie! Its her favorite because it's so soft and fuzzy!"
(Baby Kate does the unthinkable)
"OH MY GOSH she just wiped snot all over it! It's like she just destroyed my whole universe!"

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cooking for kids- the bain of my existance

I love my kids. 
I love cooking. 
I do not love cooking for my kids. 
I do not love cooking for 6 kids, with 6 different food preferences, 6 different opinions, and 6 loud voices to express those opinions. I do not love the ever present urgent demand for food as if they've woken up from a month long hunger strike at 6:30am and will disintegrate if they aren't fed within the next 47 seconds. 
I do not love that when they are served a meal, I am served with am onslaught of "I don't want that, I don't want milk, but I want that instead, I need more, I need less, I don't like it because it's brown, I need a spoon, I said I don't want a spoon, where's my cup, why does he get the blue cup, I am starving, I hate meat, I only like meat, that noodle is weird, I don't wanna eat ever again!....."
Some parents dream of their children becoming doctors. 
Some parents dream of their children playing in the major leagues. My dream, is that someday I can put food on the table and see 6 smiling faces shoving their faces happily, in silence, except to say "Thank you dear mother for this wonderfully tasty and nourishing meal."  
Something tells me I am more likely to see 6 baseball players with their M.D.'s playing in the world series. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mom secrets

I have a laundry list of things that I do on a daily basis that I'm not entirely proud of but feel are necessary for my survival. These things include, but are not limited to the following... 

- I make the boys carry the extra stinky diapers out into the garage.
- Sometimes, when the kids won't stop pushing a button on a musical book, or if it's a book that I just can't stand reading one more time, I wait until they aren't looking and I drop it behind the couch. 
-Since we're talking about the couch, it's not the worst thing if a toy I don't like finds its way under there just far back enough so that it's out of reach. 
-In the last few days I have vacuumed up 2 live spiders and a fly. 
-Kate has become a serious food dropper, so when she gets fussy and refuses to eat, I get her out of her chair and set her down and she snacks on the food she dropped....on the floor. 
-I yell at the kids to clean their rooms constantly even though our is a disaster. 
-Once or twice I've run the dishwasher when it's not necessary just to have some noise to dull the sound of the screaming kids. 
-I say "go play in the basement" 457,569 times per day. 
-My dream come true would be if my kids would turn in to couch potatoes and all veg out and quietly watch tv all day long(ok... so not really but a half our would be pretty great!) 
-2 weeks ago I remember telling the kids we were out of milk and giving them juice because I didn't feel like walking out into the garage to get a new carton.

...and my ultimate moment of shame...

-The other day I actually used the phrase "Santa is watching you and he is disgusted with your behavior!" 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Simple party foods

Our family doesn't typically have big birthday parties because, well, there's just too many of us for that to be a practical option. I like small simple family dinners with a homemade cake and a few presents. 
But, seeing as how Kate is our last "baby", we thought a 1st birthday party was the thing to do. 
I immediately began to stalk pinterest for fun menu ideas and cute decorations... I formed some pretty lofty plans that in the end got whittled down to just the food, as is usually the case. 
Would the pompoms have been cute? 
Of course, but after 2 days of preparing food I was way too tired to be concerned with tissue paper. 
I decided I would attempt to recreate this butterfly cake. I am certainly not a professional baker but I thought I could come close enough using the muffin tins I already had. Below is the end result, and as I suspected, it was definitely close enough!

I made more regular cupcakes also. A good friend of mine thinks they're pretty tasty and calls them my "specialty cupcakes". Well, I have a confession... they're out of a box, and a pretty cheap box at that. This is not a fact I have ever denied. It's just proof that if they're cute enough, people will eat and love them. 

 The cake stand is something I made a while back out of terracotta pots and saucers that I bought at the craft store for a few dollars. I spray painted them white and then used a clear coat on them. I turned everything upside down and stacked it up and there you go. Simple, large, and inexpensive cake stand. It's easily stored because the pieces aren't connected so it all comes apart. I was looking for some color today so I added in the little pink pots last minute. 
Wonderful butterfly cookies from my mother in law which were much appreciated because I cannot make sugar cookies (as you might remember from this post).
The donut tower, or croquembouche if you're feeling fancy, was a pinterest find as well. Seriously, the easiest thing I have ever made and it turned out so cute! Might have been better had it not been 12am the night before but as with everything else, it was good enough. I saw the image here but there's no tutorial, though I'm sure you could google if need be. All I used was a styrofoam cone which I covered with a brown paper bag. I stuck toothpicks in it and stuck the donut holes on one by one. So so easy. I used the Entenmanns Pop'ems, 4 boxes...I bought 3 and at 12am was about 5 holes short. Luckily my husband was more than willing to make a donut run first thing in the morning. 

 Veggies, chips, and dips... nothing special there. 

We also served sandwiches, pasta salad, and this salad which was so good!
For anyone interested, I used apple for the salad instead of pears, for no other reason other than that's what I already had. 
The sandwiches are made from King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (a family favorite) and deli meat. A tray of these things bought pre-made from the grocery store is over $30 and doesn't taste nearly as fresh as when you make them yourself. Just slice the whole brick of rolls in half, layer on the meat (and cheese if you prefer), place the top half back on, and then cut in to individual sandwiches. Again, so easy and so much cheaper! I've seen similar sandwiches on pinterest as well. 
I love having parties, but I also love that it's a rarity because it sure is a lot of work. But if I'm going to exhaust myself, I think feeding good friends and family is certainly a worthy cause. 
Baby Kate agrees! 

See other cute ideas here!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Messy babies

Good morning!
First official day of summer vacation is looking to be a good one seeing as how it's raining and Corey is at the firehouse and all. Having 5 small children cooped up all day is always a good time.
At least I've got little projects like this to keep me busy.
I wonder who was in charge of the mess-making this time...
 More evidence.
Could it have been...
Believe it or not, he too is innocent... 
Maybe we need more evidence. 
Busted. Baby Kate, caught red handed mid-destruction.
The knuckle dimples gave her away.
Babies are the most fun when they are tall enough to grab unsuspecting bowls of cereal off the table. 
She's ashamed of her poor behavior... can't you tell?
Good news is that she's willing to help clean the mess up... 

which makes the process slow and agonizing super quick!
It is going to be one seriously long day. 
At least the kids left the basement looking like this...
they take pride in not being outdone by their baby sister. 

Check out the houses featured here that are not as messy as mine! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our last first birthday

Happy Birthday Baby Kate! 

You Love
climbing on the bricks
your brothers and sister

You Do Not Love
having things taken away from you
closed baby gates
diaper changes/getting dressed
having your nose wiped

You are a great sleeper, eater, waver, and smiler. 
We could not have been blessed with a sweeter baby. 

I was asked by your father a few weeks ago what we were going to do without a baby in the house...
As long as I have you I will never have to know. 
You may not always be A baby, 
but you will always be OUR baby. 
We love you! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A day at the park

The other day my husband and I sat racking our brains trying to think of something we could do with all of the kids. No matter what the situation, we almost always decide upon just taking them to a park. It's free- perfect! And really, I think the kids prefer it. There are so many in our family that it's almost impossible to please everyone with one particular activity, unless of course, the activity is going to the park. 
I like the less is more approach to entertainment anyways. I love that they are just as happy running around than if we had went somewhere like the movies. 
We drove to one of our favorite little towns nearby ("Frog Jump Capital of Ohio"- how cute is that?), picked up dinner, and had a picnic in the park!
(translation: we spend unnecessary money on food that the kids didn't eat because they were too excited to play!)

 Claire being pretty. 
 Danny showing his muscles. 
 ...just like his father. 

 When Sean and Nate were younger they had a little trouble with this rock wall. Sean was able to do it after  try or 2 but Nate really struggled. Danny, however, flew up this thing with no effort whatsoever. A perk of being the youngest boy I suppose. 

 At some point Kate got a little restless so we took a walk around the park. There's a track that is darn near close to a mile long that circles the giant green field in the middle. 
Claire heard and airplane and convinced herself that it was in fact a lion coming out of the forest to get her. 
 We spotted a small bird house along the way... I may or may not have explained that it had been built by fairies. Never hurts to instill a little extra imagination!
Speaking of imagination, if I were 5 years old again (or 32) I know I would see this barn and pretend I lived on some old farm just like in   this book. This place is honestly the most beautiful park around. I'm so glad that our kids love it as much as I do! 

 How could they not with a view like this?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The best kind of fun

Summer is here, and we are certainly soaking it all up. 
The kids are loving it, and I am loving the amount of energy they are burning through in the process. 

Summer storm anyone? Yes please! 
It's so rare that you get that pouring down rain without any lightening in the nice warm air. 
But when it does come, it's the best kind of fun imaginable. 
At least, that's what my kids think. 
I love that their young minds still know that, I dread the day when they no longer beg to play in the rain. 
Something tells me though that I don't have to worry about that day quite yet...

At least not this summer anyway.