Thursday, August 30, 2012

Camping in Pictures, Days 2 and 3

Day 2 didn't have many pictures, so it was combined with Day 3.

Tettegouche State Park

Baptism River, Tettegouche State Park

Ever is quite please with the PBJ she managed to steal from Roman!

Deacon, those look heavy, what in them?
Bricks I think!

Undisclosed location

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I really enjoyed growing up with sisters.  We had a lot of the same friends, shared clothes and had a lot of fun playing together.  I always thought it would be fun to have a brother, though, too.

Noah grew up with two sisters.  He loves his sisters, but always kind of wished that he had a brother as well.

We are so happy to have brothers and sisters for all of our children.  One of my greatest joys as a mother is watching the relationships between my children.  There is very little that makes me happier then to watch them have positive interactions with one another.

I love it when Deke and Roman have their arms around each other as they are wandering around the yard.  I like to see the spontaneous hand holding and hugging over accomplishments.  I love it when D reaches out a hand to Linc when he is having trouble, or when he puts Everyn on his shoulders.

I love it when they help each other open freezies, and counsel the younger siblings over the loss of teeth and broken toys.

Yes, they fight, but there is also a lot of conversation; a lot of shared dreams, plans and play.  If they are apart, when they get back together there is a gathering, a sharing of experiences that one or the others missed out on.

Yesterday we were at a waterpark with just the boys.  A pregnant woman was there (very close to her due date) and Roman commented to me, "Mom, remember when we could put our hands on your stomach and feel Everyn kick?"  He paused and walked over to me and put his ear by my belly.  "I wonder if there is a new baby in there?"

Can we be done having babies?

Maybe, maybe not.

But I am so glad that we have been able to give our children so many people to love them, cheer for them and support them.  I am glad that we have given them a lesson in the preciousness of babies.  I am glad that they are having a hands on lesson in child development.  I hope that these friendships, forged in childhood, last forever.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Camping, Day 1, in Pictures

Tettegouche State Park

Sugarloaf Cove

Beaver Bay


Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Everyn is nearly 8 months old.

She is the happiest baby we have had.

She is also the most unmotivated.

I cannot believe that Roman was walking just after he turned 9 months.

This girl barely rolls over.

Now, before people get concerned, I really don't think there is anything wrong with her.  She can roll over, she does it occasionally.  She chortles, she laughs.

Her favorite transportation method is on someone's shoulders.  

She doesn't like it when I leave the room, and she gets panicked if I come into a room and don't come get her.  She likes to eat, and I think food may be the key to get her moving.

She loves diaper changes and baths.  Mostly she likes to be naked.  

She smiles often.  As Deacon says, "anyone can get Ever to smile.  You just have to smile at her.  Well, maybe if there was someone REALLY creepy, maybe Ever wouldn't smile at them, but she does smile at everyone else."

I am so excited to watch her grow and change and develop her little personality!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This Is A Big Event

I still remember it like it was yesterday.  
Sunday afternoon, Vikings game on.
Noah and I lounging on the couch, half napping, half watching.

We heard a chortle.  It was too close.

Yes, Deacon had climbed out of his crib and come downstairs.

He was only about 20 months old.

After that, there was no stopping that boy.  Naps were done.

Trying to keep him in bed was too hard.

He is 8 now and still needs minimal sleep.

Then came Roman.

He also was climbing out of his crib long before he was 2.

Then Lincoln was over that edge.

None of the boys could talk, but boy could they climb.

But Berean passed 2 without making any attempts to get out of her crib.
We knew the day was coming when she would realize that she could do it.


she climbs up stairs, slides and rock walls.  She has been known to climb on counters and chairs.

That crib is within her skill set.

And yet she never did it.

Until Saturday night.  On Saturday night we had a babysitter.  The boys got popsicles after Bre went to bed. Only thing is, she apparently wasn't asleep yet and overheard the popsicle consumption.

Boy was she angry.

She was so angry that she managed to heave her 25 lb self over the side of the crib and masterfully reach the ground.  

And then she went to get her popsicle.

And now she shows up in our room when she needs to pee, when she gets a bloody nose or when morning has come.

It is bittersweet.

This morning she came into our room and she looked so happy.  She rambled on about a story  that I didn't understand.  At the end she said, "I happy".  

I asked her if she was happy that she could get out of her bed.  She said, "yes".

P.S. Berean calls marshmallows "arsh mo mos".  Her cousins Alethea and Lydia are "Hi-ya" and "Hi-ya".

Monday, August 20, 2012


I'm not going to go into this sandwich like the one last year.

I don't have the emotional energy.
But here it is, from bottom up.

1. Slice of wheat sandwich bread
2. Olive oil peppercorn mayo
3. One ripe tomato (garden fresh)
4. Sliced, grill-roasted chicken (left over from yesterday's dinner)
5. 3 slices of thick cut, apple-smoke bacon (Festival's butcher)
5. Sauted onion (work community garden)
6. Sauted garlic (fresh from the CSA)
7. Another ripe tomato (this on from the CSA)
8. Premium peanut butter (Parker Farms, all peanuts, all the time)
9. Slice of wheat bread.

Also, topping it off, a Mason jar of Newman's Own Extra-Virgin Lemonade and a commandeered Chipotle napkin.

Summer is awesome!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer is Almost Over!

Summer is almost gone,

but we have been enjoying every last minute that we have.

I have not yet posted about camping,


bike rides,

plans for fall,

quiet (?!) times at home,

and the worst moment of the week.

This coming week I am planning to post every day.

I want to take care of some of these summer memories and pictures before I forget.

I am also planning to work an extra shift and soak up some more summer,

so I guess we will see what gets done.

But until then,

enjoy this video.

It could be our life.

Only we are rhythmically challenged.

This is our life

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

As requested

As requested by Grandpa Chris, who loves WWII armor...and his grandsons.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Day in the Life

 Wow!  It feels like I just did the spring DITL.  Time flies!  Well, here we go!  (this day was a little atypical for us because my husband was home and we were preparing for a camping trip- pictures of camping to come later!)  Thanks Laura for hosting!
The Crew:
Noah (husband)
Julie (me)
Deacon (8)
Roman (6)
Lincoln (5)
Berean (2)
Everyn (7 months)

Ever still sleeps in our room and we are trying to convince her that she doesn't need a night time feeding anymore.  She was sleeping through the night fabulously before we took her on vacation in May.  After vacation she started waking up and wanting to eat.  We hadn't started her on solids yet and she seemed legitimately hungry, so I would nurse her in the middle of the night.

Now, however, she is a big girl of 7 months and she eats lots of food.  She doesn't need the feeding, so we are not feeding her when she wakes up at night.  She is not too happy about that.  She woke up and I let her cry.  Noah left the room to sleep on the coach.  He can't stand it.  Ever finally settled down and slept again until morning.  I fed her and dozed until 9am.

Yes.  9am.  You didn't think anyone with 5 kids got to sleep until 9am, did you?  It actually has been typical this summer.  Ever nurses in bed with me and will usually sleep til 9, Berean often won't get up until 9:30 and the boys get up around 8, but they do their own thing.  All that will change in about 2 weeks though, because school will be starting... (since I work night shift I take sleep whenever I can get it!)

Ever and I head down to the kitchen and I plop her in her high chair for breakfast.

Noah and the boys are out on the deck husking corn and chatting.  The kitchen smells like bacon.  Sure enough, Noah has been cooking and serves me BLTs and corn on the cob for breakfast.  We have a lot of veggies from our garden and CSA that must be eaten before we leave!

Some members of the family turn their noses up at the meal, and insist on their typical breakfast: cereal for some, toast for others.

Lincoln likes to 2 fist his toast.

Berean is proud of her Elmo Jammies.

After breakfast I enlist the kid's help in unloading the dishwasher.  We divy up jobs.  Noah is going to take care of the girls, clean up the kitchen and start on the garage.  The boys and I get ready to head outside.

 I guess I didn't take any pictures of us working.  We are trying to clear the weeds, sticks and junk out of our new lot.  The boys and I pull weeds, weed whack, and pick up sticks.  We fill both of our yard waste containers.  

The boys take a break to argue with the neighbors about who the best Pokemon characters are.  Their little friend comes over to play and that is the end of my helpers. 

After a couple of hours I head back into the house (I had been getting updates about the goings on inside the house from my little spies).  I am surprised that Noah hadn't come to get me to feed Ever, but when I came in he told me that he had put her down for her nap already.  

I look out the window and see all four kids (and the neighbor kid)  out on the deck picking out aquarium rocks from between the deck slats.  It is a long story, but suffice it to say that it was their fault that the rocks were in the slats in the first place.

 You can't really tell from this picture what I cleared out, but it was a lot:)  Really :)

1pm.  Noah is puttering around in the kitchen, making saurkraut as well as lunch for the kids.  I eat my leftovers from Texas Roadhouse and start to head out to the garage.  I hear Ever fussing so I get her, nurse her and she accompanies me to the garage cleaning.

Our garage houses 9 bikes, a trike, a burley, a wagon and 3 strollers.  It is a 2 car and no, we do not actually keep the cars in it during the summer.  In the winter we put everything up and park in the garage.  We need a shed or something, but we want to figure out a master plan for our lots instead of just putting things up willy-nilly.

Today I am cleaning up, getting the camping stuff down and making sure we have everything that we need.

We have a serious acorn problem.  Sometimes when I get home from work in the morning I could swear that squirrels are pelting my car with acorns.  They have been crazy busy dashing up and down the trees and dealing with all their nuts.  

I spend about an hour out here and get all the camping stuff neatly oraganized.  In the meantime the kids are running around the back yard with the neighbor.  Noah is dealing with them and working on camping prep.  Noah informs me that one of our children seems to be in a bad mood and hasn't been getting along well with the others.  I suspect that he is anxious about the trip ( common for him).  It does not excuse bad behavior, but it does help me understand him a little bit better.

 Ever, once again, does not sleep very long.  This is odd for her, because she usually is a 3 hour napper.  I suspect it is due to all of the activity in the house.  I decide that she should accompany me while I run some errands.  I spend too long getting coupons together and then we leave.  Noah and the boys are getting their Pokemon cards out to "battle".  At some point Noah has put Berean down for her nap.  

First we go to Kohls.  I have a 30% off coupon and they had randomly sent me a $10 gift card in the mail.  I have a lovely Fossil Watch that Noah had bought me several years ago.  The band broke a couple of weeks ago.  I am sure I can bring it in there and get it fixed,  but I kind of wanted a new one.  Anyway, I found one I really liked on the clearance rack.  It was 80% off, coming to $17.  After my 30% and my $10 gift card I ended up getting the watch for around $2.  Can't beat that :)

Next we went to Rainbow for double coupon days.  Everyn started out doing really well, but then started screaming at the top of her lungs.  I was getting looks from people like, "how could you bring that poor baby out in public.  Don't you feed her?  Don't you change her?  Why is she so unhappy?"  I took her out of her seat and she immediately cheered up.  In fact she cheered up so much that through the rest of my trip through the store people kept telling her what a happy baby she was.  Obviously they didn't realize it was the same child who had been screaming just one aisle over.

It is hard to juggle a 7 month old, a cart and a bunch of coupons.  It is especially hard when the baby is very interested in the coupons and really likes to eat paper.  At one point she grabbed my list and started stuffing it into her mouth.

With much trepidation I put Ever back into the van and we head for Walmart.  Every time I go to Walmart I swear I will never go back.  But then I run out of Swiss Miss and I go return to the bulk food aisle.  Walmart is the only store that carries the bulk size containers of Swiss Miss year round.  With a family as big as ours, buying the regular sizes turns out to be an exercise in futility.

Things at Walmart go more normally than normal.  In fact I think I only raised my eyebrows 3 times.

The trip wore the baby out, but once again she didn't sleep long enough.

I get home to find Berean still napping and the boys engaged in "screen time".  Noah is cutting up veggies for supper.

 I consult  my list and start working away on some computer stuff that I have to take care of.  Fall curriculum ordered. check. Bills paid. check.  I realize I haven't gotten to the Y yet, or been out on a run.  Since it is 6pm, I figure it is probably not going to happen. sad.
I start cutting up vegetables (trying to get things in order before we leave)  that were laying around on the countertops.  The boys come in for supper.

The boys are told they need to take a shower after supper.

Hamburgers, noodles with veggies and peanut sauce is what's on the menu!  I forgot to take a picture...

I went to grab another fork and knocked the cheerios off of the counter.  They landed next to the headless baby barbie doll.  Berean was so proud earlier when she managed to get the "purple shoes on all by myself". It didn't seem to bother her that she somehow lost the poor girl's head in the process.

After supper I continue to work on the vegetable project.  Some get frozen, some go into a bag for my mom.  I shred the zucchini.  I clean the kitchen. The boys run around outside and Noah finishes feeding Ever.

Just a little burned on the back of my neck.  I guess I forgot to take a shower today.

I finish the vegetables about the time that the boys come in and finish up their showers.  I nurse Everyn and pop her into bed about 8:30.  The boys and I read stories (a Bible story, a book about Ella the Elephant, Maizy Mouse and Jack's Talent).  I send them off to bed and Noah and Berean head out to the store to pick up a couple things.

A few nights ago I was internally a little judgy about a small child that was at CUB at midnight.  Now my little 2 year old will be the late night child at the store.  I felt bad about not cutting the other mom a little slack.  Maybe her little girl had napped until 6:30pm too!  (B only naps on the weekends.  There had been some late nights and apparently she was quite tired!  We could have woken her up, but I think there is a parenting rule somewhere about letting sleeping 2 year olds sleep.)

I consult my list and start sorting things into piles.  I start a double batch of Zucchini Bread and Chocolate Cookies.  I clean up the kitchen and work on laundry inbetween moving cookies in and out of the oven.

Noah and Berean arrive and Noah puts her in bed.  She doesn't appear tired.  I finish up in the kitchen and start working on this post and packing clothes for the trip.  Around 11pm I head out on a mile walk.  It is a beautiful night and my legs feel weird from all the standing activities today.  I need to stretch them.  

The end of the day.  Still no shower.

I think we finally  finished everything up and fell asleep around 1am...morning will come too soon!

Sorry...not much time to edit today...I think I got everything in here, but maybe I will clean it up later.  But probably not.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Yep, we've been watching a lot of Olympics around here.  In fact, the Olympics have sucked me in most evenings and left my "to do" pile...well, in a pile.

But the Summer Games come but once every 4 years, so I guess it's ok, right?

See ya when it's over!