Life with my 8 crazy kids.

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Our newest grandchild and FIRST GRANDSON has arrived!!

April 25th at 4:15am Ezra Josiah was born.

Stats: 7 lbs 4.8 ozs and 20.5 in long. He was 2 weeks early.

Now for some pictures…

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Momma, Daddy, and Ezra

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Once a year we try and do a food challenge of some kind. We have done microwave popcorn, freezer pizza, bbq sauce, and many more. Usually we pick different brands and choose the one we like the taste of the best. This time we decided to do a challenge within a brand.

There are so many flavors of Pringles we decided to find which ones our family liked best. Below are our winners and losers and our commentary on why we voted the way we did. Enjoy!!

Here are the 18 flavors we tried:

Cheddar Cheese
Original
Sour Cream & Onion
Original – FAT FREE
Ranch
Original – REDUCED FAT
Cheeseburger
Tortilla – Original
Nacho Cheese Tortilla
Pizza
Lightly Salted
Loaded Baked Potato
Kickin’ Chicken Taco
French Onion Dip
Salt & Vinegar
Zesty Salsa – Tortilla
Sour Cream & Onion – FAT FREE
BBQ

We had a couple ties and retested when some scores were close. Each family member got a score sheet. The scoring system we used was:

Scale: 1-5

1 = Awesome or you would eat it every day if you could
2 = Pretty good but don’t want it every day
3 = Okay but would rather not even have chips with the meal
4 = Pretty bad but doesn’t make me barf
5 = Terrible please never even show me that can again

We took the scores for each flavor from everyone (all 8 of us) and used the totals to decide the order of the winners. There was  a tie for 8th place so the list starts at #17. We tried to break the tie twice but it still came out the same.

Here they are, the least favorite listed first.

#17 Kickin’ Chicken Taco


“Worse than anything I have ever tasted”
“Good”
“Yuck, fake bacon flavor”
“Stinks”
“Fake bacon”

#16 Original – FAT FREE


“No flavor”
“Tastes like cardboard”
“Weird sweetish flavor”
“Tastes like oil”

#15 Cheeseburger


“Too much condiment flavor”
“Tastes like pickles and a little bit like burger”
“Wow” (in a bad way)

#14 Original – REDUCED FAT


“Tastes like crispy paper”
“Not too bad, not as bad as NO FAT”
“Ugh”
“Tastes like something that’s expired”

#13 Pizza


“It’s okay”
“Goodish, maybe”
“Tastes like all the fake pizza stuff”
“Tastes like tomato sauce”
“Doesn’t taste like pizza”

#12 Lightly Salted


“Blah”
“Needs more salt”
“Tastes gross”
“Great”
“Bad”

#11 Ranch


“Tastes like ranch dressing”
“Not that great then tastes better after a bit”
“Not good”
“Gross mix of flavors”

#10 Loaded Baked Potato


“Love the bacon”
“Yucky smoky fake bacon, yuck”
“Fake bacon”
“Bad”
“Okay”

#9 Zesty Salsa – Tortilla


“Groan – spicy”
“Too spicy”
“Good”
“Worse, worse, and still worse”

TIE  for  #8

#8 Cheddar Cheese

 
“Too much flavor”
“Too much seasoning”
“Overpowering flavor”
“Strong flavor”

#8 BBQ


“Not bad”
“Little too much tang”
“Like the smoky flavor”
“Enough with the smoke sauce”
“Awesome”

#7 Sour Cream & Onion – FAT FREE


“Not bad”
“Gross”
“No flavor, tastes like plain”
“Not that great and the coating on my tongue is gross”

#6 Tortilla – ORIGINAL


“Okay”
“Pringles shouldn’t try making tortillas”
“Looks odd”
“Looks gross, tastes like corn but greasy”

#5 Nacho Cheese Tortilla


“Good”
“Terrible”
“Not enough flavor”
“Doesn’t taste like nachos but pretty good flavor anyway”

#4 Original


“Not much flavor”
“All time goodness”
“Smells like can”
“Can’t beat original” (well I guess you can this time…)

#3 Salt & Vinegar


“Bad”
“Okayish”
“The vinegar flavor kinda disappears at the end”
“Okay but not salty enough, tastes like pickle”

#2 Sour Cream & Onion


“Not great”
“Love it, tad bit more salt wanted”
“Not enough seasoning”
“Not as good as I would like a sour cream & onion to be”

#1 French Onion Dip


“Wow” (in a good way)
“Pretty good, yah”
“Could be sour cream & onion”
“Pretty oniony”

There you have it. Our family has tested and found the family favorites. We were a little surprised at #1 but not #2 and #3. It was fun and we are FULL of chips as Princess would say.

Do you do these kind of challenges? If so, let us know cuz we would love to try another one.

shoes

Our family of 8 decided it was time to go through our shoes and get rid of the too small ones and ruined ones.

Here are all but 8 shoes (foot coverings) that were in our house last week. How many do you think were here? NOT how many pairs, BUT how many “shoes” total.

We donated 3 kitchen trash bags of shoes and boxed up 5 pairs for kids to grow into.

Each child and parent kept a pair of:

    • muck boots
    • winter boots
    • cleats
    • ice skates
    • slippers
    • dress shoes (sometimes 2 of these)
    • sneakers
    • summer shoes (flip-flops)
    • I think that’s all

What’s your guess? I will post the correct answer at the end of the week 🙂

Reposted from my Organizing Blog.

This is a post for the AWESOME Great-Great Grandmother of my wonderful grandchildren who is the amazing Great Grandmother to my children. This post is just full of pictures from Princesses 5th birthday party. LOTS and LOTS of pictures!!

Here you go Grandma Fred 🙂

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One of my favorites. Johnny (her best friend), Princess, and Isaac (her cousin)

 

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The cake & cupcakes

 

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Ev’s

 

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In order: Artist, Gallop, Auntie Emily, and Angie (Ry & Ev’s mom)

 

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My oldest about to shoot.

 

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The newlyweds who are due in May

 

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Drill sergeant Princess. Actually she was a Fairy Princess this day.

 

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Let’s start. She was giving them directions for playing a game she created call, “Catch the Cat” which they all had a great time playing.

 

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Ry pushing a car around.

 

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Fairy Princess biking

 

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Collector playing B-ball

 

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In order: Pilot, Artist, and their good friend Clark

 

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Cousin Isaac

 

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Fairy Princess again.. It was her party 🙂

 

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Smiling at Clark

 

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Ry going up the slide

 

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At the top

 

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And down

 

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Grandma will you hold me? Ev’s arms are asking.

 

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Gallop and niece Ry. Keeping her from falling on the bleachers.

 

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Isaac rolling in the barrel

 

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Cousin Isaac and Fairy Princess running

 

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Cousin Sam and Fairy Princess

 

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Big sis and Little sis talking

 

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REALLY???

 

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In order: dh, me, granddaughter Ry, and my sister Emily

 

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again

 

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Angie, Ev’s, and Issac

 

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Cousin Sam

 

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The adults: Gallop, my Mom, me, and Dave in the back row. dh, my sister Emily and her husband Scott and cousin Matthew

 

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Time for the cake

 

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Ev’s

 

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Ry eating cake

 

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Oldest boy also Ry & Ev’s daddy.

 

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My oldest boy and Pilot playing

 

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Cousin Isaac

 

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Tech catches the ball

 

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Director & Gallop

 

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Auntie Emily and me holding Ev’s. Saying our good -byes

 

everywhere

When we were children (over 30 years ago) my parents took in many foster children. There were always so many kids at out house and overflowing the station wagon that I sometimes forgot that I was the oldest of three children. We took in many children over the years. Many repeat children came through the doors too.

A couple things we as kids learned:

  • red heads have terrible tempers
  • boys are tougher to raise than girls
  • girls can be really mean to other girls
  • foster children eat a lot
  • they also eat really fast
  • they are not picky about food at all
  • they also swear often
  • my mom is a saint (this one holds true always)
  • lots of kids make lots of fun
  • mom can make food really stretch to feed lots of kids till they are full
  • lots of kids make lots of mess
  • noodles with ketchup and cheese as a wonderful meal (this holds true also)

As adults we realize that some of these are narrow minded childish things BUT we were kids so don’t judge. These children came from very difficult situations and had way tougher lives than ours. The baggage they came with was huge. The way my mother was able to handle this with love and respect was so amazing to me. I always try with my children to find these creative ways to work through problems we come across in life.

What an example of her AWESOMENESS?

There was once this young man who can to our home. He was a swearing one. Man did he swear up a storm. We never swore in our house. It sure was a learning experience for us kids when this young man came to live with us. Mom was kind of afraid to take him anywhere cuz his language was so bad.

wow

But my mom is a genius and figured out a perfect way to correct this problem. She instituted the “EVERYWHERE” swear. Each time she bumped her toe or dropped something she would yell, “EVERYWHERE!” She also had a meeting with us kids and told us each time she said this “swear” we were to act like it was a real swear word and gasp. We could also use this “swear” whenever we wanted.

This was so funny at first till we got that look from mom telling us to, “Do it right” and act like it was a swear.

This new swear word worked, it really worked. This young boy went from saying every swear in the book to using half bad words and half fake swears. It finally came done to him only using “EVERYWHERE” when he felt like swearing.

During all this time my mother still took him everywhere 🙂 with us. (pun intended) As time went on it was more and more comfortable to have him with us. When he would yell that word people in the grocery store would just look at him like he was crazy. He didn’t realize they thought we was crazy he just thought he had gotten their attention with a swear word. That’s all he wanted and needed. He needed to have people notice he existed in this world. My mom knew this and helped him through it. Like I said, she is amazing.

Now…. Leave a comment and tell me something interesting you have used with your children in guiding them through life.

Enjoy those kids!

corn maze

Our family and friends standing outside the Corn Maze

This month we were able to attend a free Family Farm Day at a local farm. It is always awesome to have free events with so many people in our group 🙂 We had a wonderful time.

There was a Corn Maze, piglets and sheep to see,

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Princess loved the sheep.

a Pig Roast,

pig patrol

Amazing pig roast.

games, face painting,

pirate

Collector as a pirate and Princess with a star.

hay rides,

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View from our hay ride. It was wonderful and relaxing.

and lots of great people to talk with.

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Gallop and her husband

One of our favorite things was the corn maze. We even went back later in the week with the homeschool group.

The corn maze was a phrase written in the corn. Here is an aerial picture of the maze:

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Aerial picture of the corn maze.

We knew we had made it through all but the MILK part of the maze in our first attempts. So when we went back with the homeschool group our plan was to make it to that part of the maze. We had a copy of the aerial picture with us this second time and we were able to make it into that area of the maze.

Family outings are so important to our family as a whole. We each need time to just have fun and actually work through minor grievances by just enjoying our time together. It’s true that laughing and playing together heals many emotional wounds. These times together strengthen us as a family.

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Part of our family walking down to the corn maze.

On another note. We have been asked many times how we are able to have children that are:

  • strong in who they are as people
  • so different from each other
  • so happy
  • so helpful and giving of their time

I think it has a lot to do with making these memories of good times together. We have times that we work hard and then we have times that we play hard. It really works for us.

Along with the children enjoying our day as a group they also enjoy it in their own ways. An example would be how important it was to Princess to see the piglets again and again. The pigs stunk worse than any pigs we have ever had. I was also glad that my dh was willing to take her so many extra times back to see the piglets. We have not had piglets since Princess would remember, she is only 4. Seeing the pigs meant a lot more to her than say to Director who was able to help raise our pigs in previous years.

We recognized that she was answering questions in her own head about these piglets by just observing them. By seeing how they reacted to her presence and the sounds around them she was able to add this to her brain in a storable and rememberable way. (pretty sure that is not a word) Observing these piglets was important to her as a person.

pigs

Princess adored the pigs!!

Not sure but I feel people have a misconception of either large families or homeschooling itself. The misconception is that we will have all cookie cutter children. Children who have exactly the same interests and are, well, boring.

NOT SO! These are all individual persons with their own fears, likes, hates, loves, and favorites.

Now… leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

Hay ride

Princess in my lap and dh with his winter beard.

Enjoy our blog!

Our six kiddos still at home. Rear left to right: Artist, Tech, Director, and COllector Front row: Princess & Pilot

Our six kiddos still at home.
Rear row left to right: Artist, Tech, Director, and Collector
Front row: Princess & Pilot

I was at a friends house this week. She and I were talking about homeschooling and discussing what we would each be doing for the rest of the week. We were having a snack, laughing, and then she asks me, “So, are you done yet?” I held the carrot in my hand and looked at her. She can see I am still eating this. Oh crap, she is asking me that question. She wants to know if my husband and I are done having children yet. Isn’t that a little personal? I think to myself.

I hate that question. I really do. Yes, we are “done” as she says. But at what cost? I have lost five babies through miscarriage. I have had so many days when I watch other newborns with their moms and think that that will never happen to me again. I look at pregnant mommy bellies and remember how wonderful it is to feel them moving around inside me.

Yes, we are “done” but I would love to have more and would, if life were different. I would welcome another eight children in my arms. I really would. I would gladly wake up at 2am and 3am and 4am and take care of the cries of my newborn. But life is what it is. I am the age I am, my babies are having babies, and I will try and be content.

It doesn’t bother me all the time. Nor does it really affect me everyday. But those days when people ask me that question… I feel like saying, “No we are not, and I am expecting triplets.” just to see their expression change.

The people who ask me are so happy when I say that I am finished having children. They are thrilled that I am happy to just watch my grandchildren grow-up. They are thrilled and I am crushed by their joy that I am done. (I am so happy to be able to watch my grandchildren grow-up, don’t get me wrong.  That sounds wrong when you read it quick. Sorry.)

Why are they happy? Because they believe I have finally come to my senses? Yup, they think that all this time I was crazy and had no idea what caused all these babies popping out. But now that I figured it out and have done something about it now I am: good, acceptable, right, like them, not crazy, etc.

Actually I am completely crazy but that is beside the point.

I am not upset in any way while writing this. Just sad. I understand how it must look, us having 10 children (his mine and ours). But I am happy and love my children, all of them, and yes, I would have had another pile of them, but….. {sigh}

Hay ride

Dh, myself, and Princess (our youngest) This big girl will be 5 next month.

Happy Parenting and Hug those kiddos, all of ’em 🙂

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