Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I have crickets and baby frogs in my house

Why? Because they're for a snake named Max. But Max won't be getting them, and I'm sure they'll die in a corner somewhere to be found later. Ick.

Max is Mikhail's friend's snake. The two of him caught them when we were over there a week or so ago, and I insisted that Max didn't want to live at my house. He's a tiny little thing, and actually pretty cute - for a snake, but I still don't want him at my house! Snakes dying in corners stink worse then crickets!

So my kids are thrilled with catching little things for Max to eat. They put them in containers, and bring them inside so they don't bake in the heat/sun while waiting for our next trip over there. Unfortunately, we've had a few "prison breaks". Nothing like hearing crickets chirp and frogs croak at night. Just wish they weren't in my bedroom! Maybe today (as the kids round up crickets outside) some will actually make it over to Max's house.

I almost feel sorry for the frogs. They're tiny little things. Just out of the pond (really - they were born in our pond) and starting on life. And then my kids get a hold of them - not even really understanding that Max is too small to eat them. Max's head is about the diameter of a pencil, so not up to much more than tiny crickets!

I'm hoping that Max will make an escape soon, and my house can be cricket and baby frog free for a bit!

Meet Max:

Monday, July 28, 2008

I know you've missed me - right?

It's been a very busy past couple of weeks here! Registering for school, trying to get some sewing done, vacation bible school for the kids, and just life in general. I'm worn out!

Some highlights of the last week -

Eric built a solar hot water heater. It probably holds a little more than a gallon. Not much. Not sure how long, if ever, it will take to recoup the money spent on it! But he finished it - that's what matters. I don't have a half done project laying around my house waiting to be finished.

Of course, he's now thinking of ways to improve it, and change it. So I guess it will be never ending!

The kids had vacation Bible school every night last week. Sunday evening, they sang for the church, and had awards and stuff. I'll add the link to the video feed of the service as soon as it's up on the church's website!

I played some with my mom's old 35mm camera a bit. Trying to figure out what I need for school, and if I want to use that one (I don't!!). Going back to film after using digital is REALLY hard. I kept on trying to look at the picture on the LCD after I took it to make sure it came out all right. Though it did make me pay a lot more attention to the picture as I took it. I had fun, and quickly burned though the 24 exposures. Film is much more expensive than digital!! I figured it cost me about 55 cents per picture to take and develop (including the cd so I could edit and upload!). And if I decide to reprint the ones I edited, add another 20 cents to those. All the pics in this post were taken with it, and so were these.

And the biggest event of the week? Aislinn lost her very first tooth!! Excuse her face! The sun was in her eyes, and she was doing her best to show me her missing tooth!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I broke my serger

Stupid piece of crap. Actually, it's a good serger. But I'm mad that it decided to get all messed up when I have a TON of stuff to do! Doesn't it know I'm on a deadline? And I have some pettiskirts to make when I'm all done with everything else. I promised myself I wouldn't touch them (as much as it's killing me not to!) until it was all done. I want them for pictures on Tuesday, but if I have to take the serger to the shop tomorrow, nothing is going to get done :(

If I could buy a decent one locally, and not have to wait for shipping, I think I would. It's lived a long, HARD life (6+ years), and I think it's wearing out. Poor serger

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gulp... Here goes!

I got my acceptance letter today. Acceptance to what, you ask?


Yes, you read that right. And if you know me, you know I also HATE school. But I decided to take a giant leap and do it. I'll be attending the community turned state college (and therefore no one quite knows what to call it anymore) hopefully to get a AA degree in photography (actually called technical photography I believe), and if it goes well and I actually like it, I may pursue a BA degree. Don't know in what though!

While I was sure I'd get accepted (I mean, really, it's a community college!) it still makes me feel a bit better with the actual letter in my hands. Amazing how such a simple thing can affect you so much.

Now I have to figure out how the heck I'm going to pay for it. Student loans, here I come!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I should be asking my kids that, not myself. Yet, here I sit, asking myself that very question. I'm not sure I'm ready to decide. There seems like there's so much to do before hand. Like raise 7 kids and get them out of the house.

On the other hand, there's no time like the present either. I don't want to be old and gray, and look back on my life and wonder what I did with it. Raising kids IS an accomplishment, and it's something I hope I will do well. But it's not all I want to do either. When they're grown, I don't want to be searching for myself. I want to already know who I am, and what I do.

Of course, when I think about making a career out of any of the things I like to do, I want to run away as fast as I can. I like sewing. But if I have too much paid work to do, I end up resenting it. I like taking pictures. I've taken pictures of two friends' kids (for fun), and it's not something I really enjoyed beyond having someone new in front of the camera. I want to take pictures that make me happy, and not worry about them making someone else happy.

Maybe I never will "grow up", or actually have a career. I like my hobbies, and they're for the most part self supporting (doing some paid sewing pays for new camera stuff as well as new sewing stuff). And I'm fine with keeping them as hobbies. It's more fun that way.

I think I'll hold off on an answer for a bit longer.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Girls think my baby is cute...

OK, so maybe at almost 13, he's not exactly a baby anymore. But I'm still unprepared for him to be in the "girl likes boy, boy likes girl" phase. And yes, I realize that he'll be in this phase for the rest of his life, but it really just hit me today. My oldest baby boy is growing up.

I had already accepted that Chrissy was growing up (she DRIVES!!), but I didn't even begin to think that it would hit me this soon with Mikhail. I still can feel his fuzzy little baby head when I think about it.

It's amazing how as young parents (not just in age, but the age of our children) we don't even put much thought into our soon to be teenagers, because it's so.far.away. And in reality, it's not, it sneaks up on us much faster than we realize. It's amazing how fast time flies when you have children, compared to when you were a child yourself. Similar to how a pregnancy tends to drag on, and the first few weeks/months of your baby's life are gone in a blink (another issue I'm dealing with at the moment!).

But what brought all this reflection on? Apparently there's a few girls at church that like my boy. They think he's sweet, and cute, and not in the way I think my 8 month old is sweet and cute. I feel a protectiveness coming on for him that wasn't there before. The same one I have with Chrissy. Someone please tell them they're not allowed to keep growing up? Well - he can grow up enough to get out of the attitude-y, know it all, stage he's in right now.

He makes my heart melt sometimes, and I should be the only girl who's heart is melting over him!!

Someone wants me to get nothing done today

I find I'm distracted too easily by things like this. Of course, there's the part of me that has to "win" too, so I'll keep trying and trying until I get it! I'll see ya'll in a couple of days!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday America (and Fred)

A day late. It was a busy day yesterday. I got a wild hair to move all the kids' bedrooms and my sewing room around. All I can say is, never again. That was pure torture, even though I got a room to completely call my own for sewing.

Besides that, we just did the regular 4th stuff. Hot dogs, ice cream, and fireworks. Had the pleasure of watching one go off under the chair of a man about 15 feet in front of us. Thank you FL for allowing us to shoot ones up into the air! Thankfully it was a smaller one, and he didn't get hurt at all. And even more thankfully, the people shooting them off stopped after that.

Here's some pictures from our evening last night.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Am I really asking too much?

Where the heck did I go wrong, and how in the world do I fix it?

My kids are slobs. Bona fide slobs - and it's all my fault.

I grew up in a messy house. Clutter, and dirt, and more clutter on top of the dirt and mess. I don't want my kids to grow up that way. It's been a real challenge to overcome the slob in me, and it still peeks out more often than I'd like.

I taught my children to pick up after themselves. They don't. I'm sick of having to constantly be on them to clean because they don't. You'd think they'd get it, but again, they don't! Example - I picked up fast food for dinner because we're rearranging rooms and I didn't want to cook (nor do I ever want to cook). Not one kid threw their wrapper away. Of course, with getting ready for church, feeding the baby, and eating my own food, I didn't notice until they were gone. Is it really that hard to walk 10 feet to the garbage can and throw a little piece of paper away? I guess so.

I don't know how to fix the problem. It's beyond me. It's on a scale way bigger than food wrappers and not clearing places from the table. Them not cleaning up after themselves is the biggest "make mama mad" thing we have going on. It happens daily. I'm sick of yelling. I'm sick of reminding. I'm sick of having anything nice for them to ruin. Nothing I've done or tried has done any good, so why bother?

I know it's NOT because there's so many of them. I have friends with more kids than we have that don't have pig sty houses, and they don't spend all day cleaning like we sometimes do either. How do I get them to put things AWAY!?!? Everything does have a place, as I know that's the first thing to making sure putting things away is easy. But towels and dirty clothes, and toys, and shoes still end up under the bed, couch, in the closet, stuffed under the dresser.

Eric isn't much better. He cleans by moving things off the floor, and on to any available surface. It's almost as if it's too hard for them to try to think where something belongs, so they'll just put it anywhere. We don't even have that much stuff. Really, I promise! My 7 kids all together have less clothes and toys than individual kids I know (hmm hmm - Kim).

It's frustrating. It makes me want to farm them all out to military school. Of course, my luck would be that they would learn how to make perfect hospital corners on their beds, and how to fold their shirts into perfect 6" squares, and ignore it all to stuff things under the bed again.

Anyone got a bulldozer I can borrow?