Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What I Know

I graduated high school in 1996.

This pretty girl was born one week before my graduation.

Therefore, I went through my senior year of high school being pregnant. I graduated with honors and in National Honor Society...which was extremely comfortable walking across the stage of our National Honor Society night receiving my award and honors ribbons nearly 8 months pregnant...NOT! But the fact that I was receiving this award, was still in the NHS, and would soon be graduating with a 3.9 and already being accepted to the University was a pretty tough accomplishment if I do say so myself.

And when Jenna was just 3 months old, I began college. During these 5 years I endured a lot of challenges. I divorced, took a little time off of school, worked forty hours continuously through college, had another baby and got married again, enrolled back in school, and had another baby right before I graduated with my BS in Early Childhood Education with a 3.7 GPA and having made the Dean's or President's list each semester.

I remained strong, focused, and determined that I would graduate and make my family proud. And I did it! All before I was 24 years old I became and wife, mom, and teacher. I had accomplished everything I had set out to do.

I started teaching when my 3rd child was 6 months old. And as I continued this journey I was all along saying "what's next?". So another 2 babies joined the family, I quit teaching for awhile to focus on raising my family, opened up my own in home daycare, and continue to be a wife, mother, and teacher everyday.

But is this it? What am I working towards now? For the last 3 years I've kind of been in a small depression. Things in my marriage haven't gone the way I had always expected, raising 5 kids is quite a challenge, and working from home makes me feel stuck a lot of times. So I have often found myself asking "Is this it? Is this what I worked so hard for?".

Well, after a great talk with an "old" friend last night I woke up feeling stronger, focused, and determined again! I felt a spark this morning that I haven't felt in many years. She helped me see there is more and it's never too late to start something new.

So today I wake up with a new view of life. More determined than ever to pick myself up by my boot straps, grab the bull by the horns, and get my butt living again!

Big changes are coming, only time will tell, but I will not let anything stand in my way. I'm ready to LIVE again! And it feels great.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

If your daughter joins the photography club...

You might find a few silly pics on your camera...

And a few sweet surprises...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Week 3 and settling in

This is week 3 of the 4 "big" kids being in school. And we are settling into our new routine. I must say it's really great being back on a schedule...especially at bedtime. I love 8:00 bedtime!

This year I've changed things up a bit. Mornings are super hectic when getting 4 kids ready and fed, a toddler who wakes up but shouldn't, and 4 daycare kids being dropped off. This makes for a very hectic 45 minutes, but each day I'm learning new things to do to keep it as smooth as possible. I do as much prep the night before as possible (pack lunches, set clothes out, shoes by the door, agendas signed and backpacks all ready). I have started waking them up about 5 minutes earlier so I can get them started before my first child arrives at 6:30. I give them 2 choices for breakfast and then they each have a few responsibilities to take care of before the bus arrives around 7. Jenna has it a little easier since her bus doesn't come until 7:45 so she usually writes and listens to her IPod for a little peace and quiet.

Afternoons have been changed dramatically. I let the boys come home and play and have snack for about an hour and a half before starting our "quiet time". Around 4:00 the daycare kids start going home and all are gone by 4:30. So during this time I am prepping dinner, cleaning up, and preparing for the next day while I have the boys sitting getting homework done. This way we can put on some quiet music and I can be available for homework help. If they do not have homework or finish early then they are allowed to leave the table and find a comfortable place to read a book. This quiet time usually last 30 min. to an hour. With the exception of Chase everyone is taking to it very well. I am trying to find quiet things for him to do that will hold his attention so he leaves the big kids alone and they aren't whining at me telling me they can't concentrate. This has been great because we can eat around 5/5:30 and then begin our evening activities. This week baseball starts for 3of them so this schedule will be very important to make sure all hw and reading is done.

And then baths/showers and I begin clean up and prep for the next day so we can do it all over again.

So what's your school year schedule? Any tips on more exciting lunches? And more importantly what do you do with your toddler to keep him quiet while the others are working?

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Daydreaming: An escape from the madness of life, a way to dream of things to come, wishes you'd like to come true...

I daydream...A LOT! I love to dream of ways I'd change this or that. Or about things coming up in our life to be excited about. But lately I've been daydreaming about work, school, kids, house and how I have so many ideas and so many things I want to change.

If real life was like my daydreaming I would be able to just be "mom". I'd love to be able to homeschool my children, learn at our own pace, take field trips for real life learning, and most of all spend more time together as a family. I am glad my job allows me to be home and available for my children, but it makes me extremely tired and there isn't much time for myself while I'm taking care of kids 16 hours a day. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to not work.

My daydreaming life has really cute furniture, very organized rooms, everything in its place and easy to find, and I'm always very nicely dressed. I have lots of time to study up on new fun curriculum to teach my kids with, I read for my own enjoyment, and I am at the gym or running a lot.

Some things I know I can make possible, but others seem so far out of reach. I just hope one day the line between reality and daydreaming becomes a little thinner.

Until then I'll keep working away to pay the bills and dreaming of bigger and better things for our family.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Every day I:

Serve 10 breakfasts
Serve 5 snacks
Pack or serve 10 lunches
Serve 9 snacks
Prepare dinner for 7
And often make desserts

Each day that makes 41 meals

Each week that makes 205 meals

Not including feeding 7 people at least 3 meals a day on the weekends

And my husband wonders why I spend so much on the groceries each week and why I bring a ton of food home and mid-week he says "There's nothing to eat".

And no wonder I'm a bit tired! And this is why since we've taken the house off the market I've begun suggesting a kitchen make-over. After all, that seems to be where I spend most of my day.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A breakfast must try

A yummy breakfast I've been eating lately that is only 2 WW points! Well, unless of course you eat two servings like me.


1/2 a peach
small handful of blueberries
1/2 tsp. of non-fat marg.or butter (place in seed pit)
sprinkle w/ light brown sugar

bake @ 350 for 30-40 min.
top w/ half a Fiber One Vanilla Yogurt

So Good!

I usually bake 4 peaches @ once and save the rest for dessert or breakfast throughout the week (just warm peaches and blueberries and then top w/ yogurt).

This morning I had two peach halves and topped w/ blueberries, 1 yogurt container, and sprinkled low-fat granola. It was 5 WW points so for a whole breakfast that's pretty good.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More fear and anxiety...being a parent is HARD!

So last week I told you how scared I was for Princess to be starting high school. Well this week brings a new fear.

With four kids being in school there is a lot of paperwork that comes home to fill out. I dread it every year actually because I know it will take up my whole night and my hand is killing me from so much writing. I am the one to fill out the paperwork, at first it was because my handwriting is neater being a teacher and all, but now it's because I am the only one who actually knows the information.

Full names, birthdays, ss#, student ID number, emergency contacts and numbers, addresses, phone numbers of all sorts...apparently hubby doesn't know any of it! As I sat filling the paperwork out all night he says, "Wow that's a lot of information you have to remember. You should write it all in a book and label it 'If I die'." What? He thinks I might die? But he's right. He has no idea most of the important information about the kids or myself.

So it really got me thinking. Maybe I really should make him a book. A chapter for each kid. I should include all the #'s and facts that pertain to each one. Various doctor numbers and who goes to each one. But what about all the things that I do that he doesn't know about?

Like the fact that Chase (Little Monkey) likes warm milk before bed, still requires a pacifier and blankie to sleep through the night, likes to run his hands through my hair when we read and snuggle, and hates to have the water dumped over his head when washing his hair. He only gets half of a vitamin at breakfast, does not like orange juice, likes cinnamon and peanut butter in his oatmeal, is deathly allergic to ants and requires an epi-pen, and wears size 2 shorts but size 3 shirts. And how about all the words he says that only I understand? And when he sings "ashes ashes all fall down" he is really singing the "clean up" song.

Ryan(Tooker) likes his milk warm before bed, prefers to wear his hair in a Mohawk, prefers showers over baths, and likes his eggs over easy. Likes ham sandwiches no mayo, likes his yogurt frozen, and says he wants Coke but really means Sprite.

Kyle(Bubby)loves to have his back scratched every night, likes his hair super short, would wear sport shorts everyday if he could, has to be reminded constantly to use the bathroom before bed and to brush his teeth. He writes with his left hand, but plays baseball right handed. He will not share any information with you unless asked directly and often forgets important papers in his backpack. He is good at flying right below the radar.

Tyler(T-man) has to have his feet and back massaged each night, likes it scratched and pounded in a silly way, has to be reminded to take a shower and wear his glasses. He will not read unless he is told to, can get away w/ murder b/c of his charm, and really likes to be told how cute and awesome he is. Tyler does not enjoy school at all except for socializing. He, along with Kyle, likes his eggs hard boiled but calls them "rotten eggs".

Jenna(Princess) can often be found lounging on her bed writing. Her nose is always in a book and I-Pod headphones are always in her ears. But she is taking it all in at the same time. She loves to text and socialize with her friends as long as they don't stay too long. She prefers an early bedtime and can become grouchy if she doesn't get her sleep. She hates doing dishes b/c she hates to touch other peoples food, but will be more than happy to help pack things when it's time to go somewhere. And she loves to try new foods!

Being a mom sure does require a lot of a person! I better go get started on my dad book...this could take awhile. I sure hope God doesn't need me anytime soon. And I promise the next post will be more upbeat...any requests:)