Life With Nine Kids

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We forgot our anniversary. But it doesn't really matter.

Even though we have a kid-free night planned this Saturday with the intent of going out to a nice belated anniversary dinner we hadn't thought about it in weeks. It just hasn't been on our minds, living day to day seems to be our focus lately. It's really that bad. I'm tired and busy, he's tired and busy at work, the little kids-are complete handfuls. Life is just really trying this fall, and that's okay -it happens. We'll get through it. I only found out it was our anniversary because I checked my email between cooking oatmeal, chasing after crazy kids and sending Layla off to school this morning. In my email I saw a note; Ricky's mom wished us a happy anniversary. I thought it was sweet and how many days...early? Or a week? Wait, WHAT DAY IS IT?

 I looked at the computer screen date and it was like a dream. 10/16/12

It's our anniversary. I called Ricky to share the news.

Did I feel like our life is too busy, too hurried, too kid focused to remember our anniversary? No.
I smiled and laughed. We had spent extra time snuggling in bed this morning, we even locked the door. We are good about that... making time for each other. That's why it doesn't really matter that we had a near miss with the day we vowed to love each other 'without end.' We really love holidays, traditions and special days, but we do make time for each other every day regardless of what day it is.

In and out of: crazy days, long work days, teething babies, fighting kids, too many chores and nearly too many kids...we don't take each other for granted. Soft loving eyes, loving kisses, gratitude for this love and life, looking in the same direction, compromise, holding hands when we fall asleep... that's the foundation for our marriage. It all started from just two people who wanted to build a family together. When we met we were both fumbling around alone in a world where it seemed no one valued love, commitment or family anymore. What an enormous blessing our marriage is, a day doesn't go by without us thinking so. We just want to take care of each other, and we do.

Not our actual wedding ... I brought my wedding dress on vacation for professional beach wedding pictures just because I wanted some! Ricky had no idea I was planning it or that I had packed my dress. I told him to be on the beach at 6am, and I came out in my dress. haha :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Busy months, ready for holidays, homeschool/toddler burn out, saving money, Charlotte's 16 now...

Just a long busy week, actually long busy September AND October....
Lots of responsibilities and trying to get back into a routine this week, and mostly not having much fun. (but I'm not feeling fun anyway :)

 Ricky's work computer crashed last night for the THIRD time this year. The first time they fixed it, the second time they replaced the hard drive, now I don't know what they will do. Poor thing, he's so behind because of various projects and working so hard. I'd be a lot more stressed out than he seems! We are still on the 'leaves every day at 5:30am and gets home at 7 or 8pm schedule'. I'm so tired of getting the kids dinner and ready for bed alone. It's not really that bad, but it's sure not fun! This type of work load seems to happen for several months out of the year, I'll just hope it gets better by the holidays! He has a smile on his face when he gets home though. We still find time to love each other, spend time with each other, have coffee, talk, hold hands. This makes my life 100% perfect and able to deal with anything that comes our way. I don't take it for granted, not even for a day. He is amazing.
~~~
The little girls each had their first Girl Scout meetings this week, they had fun. I'm an actual co-leader in Penelope's troop now.

Right now I am focused on school work and routine with the kids, and just added yard work to our to-do list. Outside is badly neglected and needing some attention before it gets too cold to do anything. So the kids have been working hard too. I've felt really high strung and irritable lately, like everything the little kids do annoys me. I can't wait for that to pass. I realized recently that I was totally burnt out. Burnt out by the kids, homeschool, toddlers, responsibility, serving dinner to whining, complaining preschoolers, Layla's mood swings...TODDLERS!
Everett is a typical two year old. A good portion of the day he is in tears and a good portion he is running around like a crazy person. He dumps out toy boxes. He mimics every single thing -bad or good- that the other kids do. He is sweet, but he is a pain. He nurses when he's bored. I'm so tired of that. (again typical)

Pretty much the only way I get through burn-out stages is to *know* it's going to get better and work really hard at pushing through one hour or one day at a time, and taking a nap if possible in-between long days. As much as I want to throw my hands up in the air and give up I know it will only make things worse, so I work hard at not getting behind. And I work hard at not throwing the broom....
I hit the broom on the floor six times really, really hard the other day and yelled, "I'm SO FREAKING TIRED OF THIS CRAP." LOL. :) I totally felt better afterwards. I needed a time-out. I need a soft bat to hit things with. I need to be grounded.

This too shall pass.

Penelope just showed me that she drew 'ice cream cone monsters' on a piece of paper. It's really cute. Almost everyday I take the little kids across the street to the old quiet, grassy cemetery to sit in the grass, play ball, read and do an activity. This gives the older kids some quiet work time too. We made a leaf bar graph yesterday. (counting fall leaf colors).

My oven works again. It broke last month and we just did not have time to care. (Well we cared, but we couldn't do much about it.) Ricky finally had a chance to fix it and it only cost $27.00, yay! We have a few other repairs that are piling up and we keep ignoring them...for now. I hope to make pie and cookies today and tomorrow. I just now thought it was Thursday, but it is actually Wednesday. So I have an extra day. Humm, not sure if that is bad or good.

So the oven...I was happy we could make cornbread to go with chili last night. It's baking season. Soon Christmas cookies will fill the air. I love pecan snowballs. I am working on a blog post about Christmas. We are not buying a bunch of toys this year, but instead only giving the kids a filled stocking with a toy from Santa. We are really focused on saving money right now. We have cut out so many things because we just have too many expenses and debt. We also dream about buying some acreage so we can raise chickens and geese for meat (for us and to sell). Maybe goats too. We definitely want a milk goat. Oh and there are these small breed milk cows I dream about having! So we are going to try and save up just in case some good property becomes available. We adore our home though, but if it were just on more acreage darn it! I've actually found some neat property, but we need to get on track and spend way less to make that possible. We decided we should never go into Target ever again, stop buying little things here and there, almost only shop second hand and I'm stocking up less at home in the way of food. We are trying weekly shopping for a while. We usually go on a couple HUGE shopping trips a month, but I find it's too hard to regulate spending/eating this way.

So this Christmas we are focusing on creating an old time family style Christmas. Cutting our own tree down, making decorations, stringing popcorn and cranberries, Christmas caroling, having a hot cocoa party, and making a homemade Christmas village that we will start next month and work on for all of December too. I started a Pinterest board for Christmas ideas too. The idea is to fill our December with even more family time, crafts and meaningfulness than usual, instead of spending money on more 'stuff.' We clearly do not need more toys. I am starting a list of what activities we are doing and how much they will cost. Supplies can really add up, but the idea is simple, cost effective, meaningful. I'm still looking for a perfect Christmas Day activity. I wish I could count on sledding and tubing, but we may not have snow.


I can not wait to make these! I hope we are awesome at it.


Well there is my run-on update. Oh and Charlotte is awesome.  (Sage and Ethan too!!) They sense my recent irritability and they know the little kids have been a total handful, so they have really been trying to help me out and are being compassionate to my cranky overwhelming-ness. 

Our oldest, Charlotte turned 16 last month. We had an elaborate Alice in Wonderland Party for her 16th birthday. This is the link to the party Blog, all nice and updated with pictures The party was fantastic. I was so busy planning her delightful party that I hardly noticed or cried about my baby girl turning SIXTEEN!
Photo area I made for Charlotte's party

Since I decided to blog this morning I will pay dearly...Everett got into the cornbread and crumbled it all over the kitchen.  There is also play dough everywhere!