Saturday, July 18, 2015

a day downtown.






my shift key is still broken.  
no upper case letters.
no exclamation points.

i could use my laptop.  frankly, that's too much work.  i download my pictures on the desktop.  so...lower case and bad punctuation and all, here is our life from today. 



we headed down town this morning to take in some of the fun things to do in milwaukee.  the kids had earned discovery world coupons through the reading program so we thought we would use their coupons up.  like i always do before we go anywhere, i google for coupons.  i read an article that the entertainment book had a buy one get one free coupon for admission and i knew we needed to find one.  a few moments later....we did.  a friend from high school that lives in the area had one and off we went.  all nine of us got into discovery world for $18.00....boom.  even the admission lady was impressed.  if we would have had to pay full price it would have cost us $134.00.  need i say more.  
 we took random pictures with random sculptures.
 we took more pictures.
 dan and the kids were in a space movie.  their space ship took off from the moon without them so they asked for earth to send them bologna sandwiches.  wouldn't that be the first thing on everyone's list?
 most of the kids laid on a bed of nails....dan did too, of course.
 they played a huge game of operation.  pretty stinkin' cool.
 griffs talked to the snot faucet guy.
 and learned about hiccups.  i did make my way into one picture today....see me back there?
 we went on a model boat and headed down into the aquarium part as well.  the pictures didn't turn out from that part.  boo.  overall, we had a great time.  would i have paid full price?  no way... but for $18 it was pretty awesome.  we were not savvy and didn't pack a lunch.  we paid more for nachos and drinks than we did to get in to the museum.

 after we left discovery world we headed to the fountains.  we took the kids there a few years ago and i can't wait to do some photo comparisons from our last trip there.  griffs wasn't born yet and i remember snugs being just a little girl.  i can't wait to post some past pictures.
 griffs didn't want to get his shorts wet.  naturally he jacked up his shorts super high showing off his pasty white thighs.  oh, griffs...how we love you.
 so my kids are pretty versed at pictures by now.  i don't position them.  i don't tell them where to stand.  they just do it.  they know not to stand by someone wearing the same color dress...it is quite nice.  occasionally i have to do some minor adjusting...but not much.  sisters hooking arms? yes please.  snugs posing with a bent leg and a hand on it?  are you kidding me?  doodle bops having perfect ballerina fingers....come on now.  yup....one blessed mommy.


 we tried to replicate some past photo spots we have used.  the sun was super bright so that made things a bit hard.  some of the kids have super sensitive eyes when it comes to the sun.  someone's eyes are always closed or squinted.

 we made our way up to the art museum and back down to the fountains.  we had a long trek back to the car so we stopped under a bridge for a picture of course.

 we rented a family bike and stopped at one of our favorite picture places ever.  i think this was our third or fourth time taking pictures there.  nothing fancy, but the kids love climbing around the sculpture.  we didn't have much time to play because a storm was coming and we only had our bike for 30 minutes.

the kids love love love renting these bikes.  we try to do it once a year but some years we forget.  even though huge storms were coming and dan and i tried to get out of it, they all started to cry so we pressed on.  we beat the storm. we made the kids pedal for us occasionally.  and at the end hill a few kids got out and pushed us up the hill....cause that is how awesome we are ;0

it is days like this that i remember just how blessed we are.  to us, having 7 kids is totally normal.  when we go out in public we get reminded that we are really not that normal.  i love being abnormal. people ask us all the time how we do it.  i don't have an answer for that question.  this is 100 percent totally normal and doable for us....and we love every minute of it.

man, i wish i could use exclamation points.

Monday, July 13, 2015

a weekend of 1st's.




first of all...my shift key is broken on my keyboard.  now i know there are two shift keys on my keyboard but i am totally not used to utilizing the 'other' shift key so i will continue to type this blog using my broken shift key.  for your warning...there will be no proper punctuation of capitalization.  every time i need to capitalize a word, i still hit the shift key.  my exclamation point key doesn't work either so there will be a 1 at the end of my sentences occasionally ;-0

this weekend was filled with so many new first time things.  i was exhausted on sunday night, but in a good way1

first, i finally wrote a quote from a recent sermon on my chalkboard.  as soon as i heard it, i wrote it down.  this was right after i stopped working at church and was battling with feeling like i had to be doing something special for God.  feelings of worthlessness and self doubt crept in.  but, ahha1  no more my friends.  just cause i don't work at church anymore doesn't make me any less of a christian.  working at church didn't make me 'better' in God's eyes.  i am a child of the King and He will use me to do His work even outside of the church walls1  1=exclamation point, remember ?
 ok moving on.  this weekend we were invited to a party on friday night and on saturday afternoon.  that never ever happens to us1  so we were pumped.  friday night we spent at the beach with good friends and yummy food.

 satruday afternoon we were invited to go boating with friends.  again...amazing.  lots of  yummy food and great conversation along with potty breaks and maintaining chip intake by the littles.
 we were going to walk to a local ice cream store for a treat but boom shakalaka....the ice cream truck came by just as we were getting ready to walk there.

 ice cream treats all around. yummy yummy1
 g-dog lost his second tooth.  and by lost i mean he actually lost it.  he was eating his ice cream and we think maybe he swallowed it.  it is so very sad because he actually lost his first tooth too at school in the lunch room.  two teeth..both lost...literally.
 this weekend i had my very fist photo shoot.  like real, legit, got paid, lots of pressure photo shoot.  and below are just a few of my favs.  i still need more practice for sure.  i was just doing this for a friend for practice and i am so happy with the results1  i am no professional but if i can help people capture memories with my shady photography skills i am all about that1



 and another first....i ran in my very first 'race' .  i don't think it was actually a race per say, but we still had fun1  i signed up for the color run months ago.  i asked a bunch of people to run with me and no one signed up.  i was totally all set to bail.  i wasn't going to go solo.  no way baby.  and then it happened.  last monday i got a text from tiffany saying she signed up.  for reals...you mean i can't bail now?  so i started training on monday for the race on saturday.  super. awesome.
 i was sooooooo nervous.  these ladies are legit runners.  and then there was me.  legit fast walker for 5 days.
 it was fun.  it was rewarding.  it was hot.  it was crazy.  most of all i was so proud of myself.  i ran further than i thought i could.  i think we stopped at 1.4 miles before we walked.  then they would let me catch my breath and push me to start back up again.  we finished in 39 minutes.  i felt bad because i slowed them down, but felt so accomplished.  i will be back, ladies... and next time we aren't doing any walking1

 i took 10 kids on a picnic last week all by myself, which could potentially be a first for me.  all the daycare people were staring at me.  yeah...i got this...and i didn't even loose any1
 and my final first....we sent our oldest off on her very first mission trip on sunday.  all by herself like a big girl.  boo hoo.  i didn't cry.  i know God is going to do a big work in her life and am trusting in that.  she has a heart for service and i am praying this is the first of many mission trips for her.  she has given us lots of updates and even face timed with me today.  she is working in a childcare this week for homeless children.  today she told me she helped two little girls that didn't like each other become friends.  and just like that she is all grown up.

 i am back at summer school teaching this week.  a small group this week, but the groups are much bigger the next two weeks so i am going to enjoy my small class this week1
 my house is a tornado zone.  toys are out everywhere.  random socks are just laying around.  i am doing everything else possible than cleaning up.  once i start i won't be able to stop until it's clean so i think i just won't start11111

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Eh....I will not get back into a funk....I will NOT!!!





I have had a hard week.  Found out some really truly sad news last week.  Like rip my heart out and take it to Florida news.  Just. Plain. Sad.   I have cried numerous times.  

I also heard from my long lost Dad this week.  I haven't heard from him in years.  I randomly found his email address on line.  I thought contacting him would be a good idea.  It wasn't.  I will now fight through that for the next few months focusing on re-healing my heart.  

One child was down for almost a week with Salmonella poisoning.  Need I say more?  

I am doing a color-run THIS Saturday.  I started training for it....wait for it...YESTERDAY.  

There you have it.  The lowest of my lows over the past two weeks.  Just plain poopy.  

Aside from hitting a "low" we have had many good times as well.  I have adjusted to no longer working at church.  It took about a week.  It was hard letting it go.  However, I am back into the swing of being a full-time mom and loving it!  I have gone to church alone once and with my family once.  Something I haven't been able to do in a long time!  It felt SO good!  I am thankful for the time I had there, but even more thankful that God told me it was time to go.  I am looking forward to planning crafting sessions for the fall (and summer if I get my act together yet), volunteering at my kid's school, diving deeper into the Word, going on dates with Dan, and keeping the refrigerator stocked!  Oh, and practicing my photography....I am gonna keep trying!  

We went up north for Father's Day.  We actually were able to spend the night up there because I didn't have to work!!!  We haven't been able to do that in years!  Dan's grandparent's own a lake cottage on Green Lake.  Dan grew up going there on the weekends.  When we were dating I would drive up there and spend the weekends with him and his family.  This year the kids are all old enough for it to be enjoyable.  No babies.  No naps.  Just playing and having fun!
We did a lot of fishing from the pier.  I think we caught 8 or 9 fish and lots of minnows.  Dan taught the girls how to fish a hook through the minnows eye ball....GAAAARRROOOOOOSSSSSS.  Ewe.  Yucky.  I had to have Molly put my minnows on for me.
This was the calm before the storm.  Poor "G" got super sick on Sunday.  Fever and lots of time in the bathroom for days.  We took him in and had him tested and he had Salmonella.  It wasn't fun at all.  He lost quite a bit of weight and look very sickly.  He spent most of his day in the bathroom.  We learned a lot about Salmonella.  We had the health department call us.  I am now a germ freak.  I make the kids wash their hands a million times a day.  I can't eat chicken anymore.  It will take some time to get over my freakishness.
I don't know the last time the kids were able to go tubing.  They each got to go for a short tube ride with Daddy and cousin Christian.  I think the pictures speak of the fun they had!


The 4th of July was spent with friends.  I also got to practice more picture taking!  What a great day we had with people we love.  We went to a parade, had some yummy food, swam, played with friends, and watched fireworks.  There isn't any better way to celebrate!!
(Brie, I LOVE this picture....Everything about it, I love! )


I tried to get a good picture of the kids.  I waited until the end of picture taking time and this is the best I could get.  Can you say, "overtired?"
I taught one week of summer school this summer so far.  5 days of crafting with kids??  Yes, Please!  I had a small group the first week which was nice.  Starting next week I will teach 3 weeks in a row!  I am looking forward to it.  I would love to have gotten my degree to be a teacher.  Maybe one day.  For now, if they let me teach summer school I am good with that!  We made butterfly canvases and pinwheel boards and painted rocks and on and on!
All 9 of us were invited to a wedding.  That is a rare occasion.  Usually, the invite is only to Dan and myself.  This time ALL of us were invited!  What a beautiful wedding it was.  The reception was like a carnival.  Bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals and ice cream sundaes!
There was an amazing balloon artist there.  Only my child would ask for a blue cow.  And a blue cow he got.
Dan and Christian were busy one day digging a pond in our yard.  Dan had all our pond equipment from our old house and has been itching to use it.  One day later, we now have a pond with 20 goldfish!  I did some weeding and plant transplanting....pray for those plants....yikes!
We landed awesome seats for the fireworks and I got to snuggle with baby "Bwighton" during them.  It was the best.
Dan and I went to Woodman's on Sunday.  Two carts later...we have restocked our panty and fridge.  I hate grocery shopping.  I hate spending that much money on food.  It makes me really crabby.  Feeding a large family is expensive.  But, then we come home and all 7 of the kids run out to the car and help unload groceries and help put it all away and then I remember why I LOVE having a big family.  Even if they will eat all the food within the week, I still love them!

I can't believe it is July already.  I feel like we need another month or two for summer vacation!