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Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy 9th Birthday Latoya!

Well, my "baby" is now NINE! I can't beleive it. Where does the time go, really? We already had her birthday party last monday, but had a small celebration on Sunday (her actual birthday). Yes, the kids are in their pajamas, because we go to church on sunday morning then go back to grammy's and change back into pj's, so we can wear the same thing to church that night. Auntie Jess made her a cake the night before. We had cake and ice cream, then Toya got to open her presents from them. Auntie Jess got her a candy land game, grammy got her a barbie doll set, and auntie Sarah and Uncle John gave her $20. The kids then got to open their Christmas presents from Auntie Sarah and Unlce John (they probably will not sell their house and move home by Christmas) . The kids were very excited, although the twins thought it must be their birthday as well. Toya got another $20 (she loves money now), Jordan got a pixter (which he has yet to put down), and the twins got dora dolls. The were super excited about that. They have been sleeping with them ever since. We are having a great time with all of our family. Tonight after pictures, we went down to Applebee's for supper. We had them sing happy birthday to Latoya, then the four birthday people (Toya, Auntie Jess, Grammy, and hubby) all got free dessert. Auntie Jess has to go back to college tomorrow, so after supper, we had to say goodbye to her. It wasn't as sad, because we will see her again in 3 weeks for Christmas. I posted our professional family pics that we had taken today in a new post below this one. Feel free to leave comments, cause i like them :). Here are some pics and a slideshow from the past couple of days :

Grayson, all handsome for church


Kaylee finally held him, and she liked it!

Professional Pics

well, the title of this post pretty much says it all :) while my two sisters were home, and our family was together for the first time in a long time, we decided to get a family picture taken. the pics came out awesome! let me know what you think. here they are (remember, these are low resolution so you can't copy them):

All 12 of us!

My middle sister Sarah, her husband John, and baby Grayson My family
All the grandkids
Our Four (Kaylee, Toya, Jordan, and Kelsey)
Grammy and Grampa with all 5 grandkids

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Well, obviously this thanksgiving, I am thankful to have both of my sisters home! We have not all been together for a VERY long time. It has been years! We had a wonderful thanksgiving dinner that my mom spent all day getting ready, while watching my 4 kids. I got to go get my sister Sarah, her hubby, and of course baby Grayson at the airport. I took my other sister Jess with me. I was sooo excited to meet my little man. Wow, he is even cuter in person. At first he acted like he might have stranger anxiety, but he warmed up to us after a few minutes. Here's a picture of auntie jess holding him at the airport:

After we left the airport, we stopped by my grammy's for a surprise visit so she could meet her newest great grandson. Grayson made sure to make her feel good by laughing, smiling, and talking to her the whole time she held him. We couldn't stay long, but it was a good visit. Here's Grayson meeting his great grammy:

We were then off to my mom's house. Grayson got to meet lots of new people. He met all of his cousins (my 4 kids) who couldn't wait to hold him, except kaylee who thought he was cute, but didn't want to hold him. He also got to see his grammy and grampa again. I'm sure he doesn't remember them since he was only a few days old when he met them the first time. Uncle Doug even made sure he got a chance to hold him. He was very content with him for quit a while. Here are pics of everyone taking turns holding Grayson:

Grampa holding Grayson

Kaylee meeting Grayson (she refused to hold him)Grammy snuggling with Grayson
Toya was so proud to be able to hold him. She played with him for a long time!
Jordan and Grayson
Kelsey & Grayson
Uncle Doug and Grayson

After meeting everyone, Grayson retired to the swing where he took a nap while everyone ate.

He is such a good little boy! We enjoyed the dinner that my mom made, then Doug and John did the dishes. :) I should have gotten a picture of that. Sarah then woke Grayson up to eat, and he was full of smiles! Here is the best picture I got:

Most of us sat around the table playing uno attack (Toya got it for her birthday). We played till 9:00 pm. By then, the twins were having full fledge meltdowns from lack of a nap and it being past their bedtime. We got home and put the kids right to bed and they were all out within 5 min. So, today was a great day!!! Here is a slideshow with the rest of the pics:

Tomorrow my mom and I are heading to the gym. I don't expect there to be too many people there as everyone will be shopping. I cannot stand going shopping on the day after thanksgiving, plus we have no money anyway, so I am not even tempted to go. :) I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Big Birthday Party!

The Birthday Group!

Well, today was Toya's birthday party. Needless to say, we had a great turnout. There ended up being 16 kids there. I was expecting a couple of parents to stay, but no one did, so, it ended up being 16 kids and only 2 adults. Just me and my hubby! We actually did fine though. The lady that was in charge of the bowling alley told me twice that we were doing an excellent job and she couldn't beleive how well behaved the kids were and how well we kept things under control. I took great pride in that. The kids really were great, there was no fighting at all. I set some guidelines and rules up when we got there as I would with my own children, and the kids all listened and really made my job quit easy. We had three lanes for us, and we split the kids up. When they were finished their game, we ate, then Toya opened her presents while the rest of the kids did some more bowling. Here is a slideshow, and some pics.

Eating Pizza!

Toya's "gift" from the bowling alley, it is a souvenier bowling pin that the kids were supposed to sign, but we didn't know that was what it was for so they didn't get to sign it. I am having her bring it to school tomorrow and they can all sign it there.

As far as me venting my frustrations, I hope that people did not think I was asking for help. I was not, thus the venting part. I know things will work out. I have found a organization that will help with a few gifts I beleive. My kids are not hard to please at all. My kids know the real meaning of Christmas, but they are in fact still young kids. We are more than willing to help any family we can. I know that there are those less fortunate than us. I also know that gas prices and oil prices are the main issue for alot of people. I would love to be able to sell our van and get a car, but we will not fit :(. Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up. No need to worry about us, we'll be fine and my kids will be fine, happy, warm, and fed!

Well, that is all for tonight. Enjoy the birthday pics! Toya is not officially 9 until the 25th, we just had to get it done before all her friends went away for Thanksgiving. My sister Jessica comes in tomorrow night, and then my sister Sarah and her hubby and baby boy come in on Thursday. This will be a GREAT Thanksgiving for us! We are all going to have a family picture taken with all of us at sears next monday. There will be 12 of us, so that should be interesting! We are all wearing jean on the bottom and white shirts. I will definitely post some pics when we have them taken. I am sooooo excited! I get to go pick up Sarah, John, and Grayson at the airport! You have no idea how excited I am to see my nephew!!!!! I can't wait to kiss him and squeeze him!!! I love him so much already and I haven't even met him. Honestly, how does that happen?? Anyway, I really am closing now. Enjoy your families!!

P.S. I think I can officially declare the girls potty trained.....really! No accidents for 3 days! Wow, we haven't been without diapers in the house for NINE years! I won't know what to buy at walmart anymore :)


Friday, November 16, 2007

What to do (venting)?

well, from the title of the post, i bet you can guess that i have a dilemma! actually i have two of them. the first is a christmas issue. i will be upfront in saying that i do not like to talk about my problems, especially money issues as i am too proud normally, but i have literally been sick to my stomache thinking about christmas. i know, gifts are not everything, but this year, we have absolutely no money for christmas. normally, my hubby gets a check from work by now, but he has not gotten it, so, i am assuming that he will not be getting one this year. you have no idea how many nights i have cried thinking of my kids waking up on christmas morning with nothing under the tree. don't get me wrong, they will not have absolutely nothing, i have gotten them a couple of things, but that's it. christmas just seemed to quietly and quickly sneak up on us. normally we live well, my hubby makes good money, but we do not have extra money to even set aside for things that may come up, mostly due to the oil prices (we live in a big, OLD house which takes tons of oil), and gas prices. so, we do not have a savings account to draw from. i am going to continue to pray and trust in God to help. i know he will supply all my NEEDS, but what about wants for your kids? oh, and did i mention exactly how many birthdays we have coming just this week alone! we have my moms on the 18th, hubby's mom on the 19th, hubby's on the 20th, and my sister jessica and daughter latoya's on the 25th. we cannot afford to buy any of them anything, nothing! i know they will understand, but it doesn't make it any easier. latoya is having a big party on monday. it is already paid for, that's the only reason she is having one. atleast it should be a good day for her. also, just a side note, my kids are eating and the bills are paid, we are not that poor, it's just the extras we don't have money for. once again, i know it could be worse, and i know presents are not everything, but they are quit a bit to 4 kids! :)

anyway, my next problem involves jordan. another sore spot with me is pointing out faults in my kids. i just plain do not like to talk about my kids faults. i do have very good kids in my eyes and normally they are fairly well behaved kids, but, they are still kids. they do the normal kid bickering and pushing mine and their siblings buttons. anyway, like i said, this involves jordan. jordan, while he can be very mean to his sisters, usually gets along great with all other children and very rarely has any issues with them. the past couple of montsh for jordan have been very trying. he has come home 3 times with notes of concern from his teacher. all of them have been for spitting. this time the note said that if he did it again, he would be sent to the principle. he knows there is no excuse, and he gets in trouble no matter what the person did to him. here is the issue though, it always involves the same boy. jordan is not one to start a fight, EVER! he will defend himself, but to do that, he will not hit another child, he turns to spitting. i know it is gross and beleive me, it is not tolerated at home at all! my problem is that this other little boy is ALWAYS the one who has either tripped jordan, hit him, or is involved in some other way. the thing that makes this more difficult is that the other little boy is the teachers son. the advice i have been given is to have the principle talk to jordan before he actually gets sent there. i think that is an awesome idea, and i will definitely do that. my question is what to do about the obvious bully. this is a kid that i have personally seen go up and push jordan and several other kids for no reason, and stick his foot out to trip other kids. don't get me wrong, i am beyond upset at jordan for spitting repeatedly. any good suggestions or things you may have done when your kids ran into a bully. obviously this is a little different since the teacher is this other boys mom, so things are needless to say very uncomfortable for me. it's not like i can just go to the teacher about it. anyway, any ideas would be good.

i also just wanted to mention that jordan saw the dr. today for the last time for his HSP. his urine still showed only a trace of urine, so we are done with the dr. appts. of course tonight he had a pretty bad stomache ache, but i am hoping it is just a coincidence, we'll see how the night goes. he has not had anymore outbreaks of the rash either. :)

on to other news, the girls are doing EXCELLENT on the potty training. kelsey went all day with no accidents, and kaylee had one. this included going grocery shopping as well as a couple of errands, and the accident that kaylee had was when she was playing. she just got distracted. i also have not changes a poopy diaper for about 2 weeks. for some reason pooping on the toilet came easier for them then the peeing. i know it is usually the other way around, but i;m happy with it! :) i'd rather have the peeing accidents than the pooping ones! sorry, too much info! i'm just so proud of them. it was definitely easier than i thought it would be!

so, that is all for tonight. i do not have pictures surprisingly. also, i was asked a few times what i thought of the kids pictures. i personally think jordan's are great. that pose is jordan. his facial expression and everything, my hubby and i really liked his. so, i think i will keep his. toyas i thought came out great too, i just didn't like how her head was tilted. looked to me like she was straining her neck. anyway, i think i will get toya's done again and keep jordan's. i'm stil not positive though.

i will post another update with pictures of toya's party either monday or tuesday. it ought to be interesting seeing as we will have about 16 kids bowling. i'm not sure what to expect, but i think they will have alot of fun!

i hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Should I keep them?

I bet some of you are thinking I am talking about my kids, but I'm not. I am talking about pictures. Toya and Jordan got their pictures taken at school and we just got them back. I am not going to tell you all what I think, I want you all to give me your honest opinion. I can either keep these ones or get retakes done. Here are the pics (click on them to make them bigger):

The potty training is going fairly well. Kelsey is down to one accident a day for the most part. Kaylee is a little slower. She really lost interest and wanted nothing to do with it, so I stopped training her and concentrated on Kelsey first. I figured it might be just as easy to train one at a time. Kaylee is back on track, but still a little reluctant. They definitely do not do as good with other people, but I guess that is to be expected. I am contemplating taking two weeks off from everything, including the gym, and church to exclusively potty train. I have come too far with them to just let it go and that is what happens when someone else watches them. It can definitely get VERY frustrating. It took me alot of time and effort to get them to this point and I definitely do not want to go backwards. Anyway, I guess we will see how it goes this week.

On wed., we had cubbies during the church service. My mom told the story and then we did a craft. The kids went into the other room after and played hide and seek. It was really cute to see 2 & 3 yr. olds covering their eyes and counting then running around to find their friends. I took some pictures, and here is a slideshow:

On Friday, a group of 5 moms from our church met at the toy library to let our kids play together and get some adult interaction. It was alot of fun and we plan on doing this every Friday. Between the 5 of us, we had 9 kids there. The kids had alot of fun. I don't think they really played with each other, but they all played and had plenty to do and us moms got a chance to talk to each other as opposed to kids all day. Four of us are stay at home moms, so we really need that, and the kids need that interaction with kids their own age as well. After, we went to eat with Briana and her two boys at pizza hut. She works, so I was supposed to watch her kids while she went home to get a few hours of sleep, but her oldest wouldn't stay with me. Her youngest stayed fine and fell asleep, but the oldest had to go home with her. I'm not sure why, but I guess he just doesn't like me. I have watched him a couple of other times and he has never so much as gotten in trouble by me. His mom said he is going through a clingy stage and I hope that is all it is. I take it personally when kids don't like me. Always makes me wonder what I am doing wrong. Anyway, here is a slideshow of our day at the toy library. There are not too many pictures as I was too busy enjoying my adult time! Here's the slideshow:

Today we had a ladies meeting at our church. Grampa was happy to watch the kids, so I got to go. It was a great time. There were alot of ladies there. They had bottled water and they announced that we had gone through 600 bottles of water! That gives you a little bit of an idea. It lasted from 10am to 4pm. They had lots of games and great teaching. We had two special speakers from out of state plus our preachers wife. For lunch, the ladies in our church were asked to each bring a crock pot of soup. There were about 30 different kinds of soup. It really went very well. There was no cost to anybody and there were lots of different churches represented there.

Well, that concludes this post. Please leave me your opinion on the pictures, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a great week!

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Few Good Things!

First, I can't beleive it has been almost 2 weeks since I posted. Jordan has been off the steroids for a while now and is doing alot better! He still has some joint pain and some stomach pains, but they are more things that he just casually mentions before going to bed. I have not had to give him anything constantly, only when he really needs it. Since he has been off the steroids, I have only had to give him tylenol 3 times. He had a follow up appt. today and there was still only a trace of protein in his urine, so that is good as well. He is still breaking out with new forms of the rash, but in much smaller sections. He will be seen again in 2 weeks for another follow up for his urine, but they expect that to be the end of it. This is VERY good news!

Last Saturday was very busy! We started out by cleaning the church, and then headed down to my cousin's b-day party (he is the same age as latoya). I actually have 3 cousins born on that day, but he is the youngest of the 3. Michael turned nine! Here is apicture of him with his b-day cake:

After the birthday party, we came home and got the kids dressed up for the harvest party at church. It was a last minute thing, but the kids did have fun and received plaenty of candy! I didn't get any pictures of Latoya because they split up the kids this year and I had to stay with the twins. We were so excited to see cousin Ben (the baby scarecrow). He enjoyed lookingat all the kids. We don't get to see them enough. We were also happy to see Miranda and her two kids. Here is a picture of my kids with Ben, and the slideshow is following:

on the actual halloween day, we went to visit grandparents and then went to a local nursing home. we found out about this about 3 years ago now and have done this ever since. They have 4 floors and take groups of people and take them to different floors. on each floor, they have the residents out of their rooms and standing in the hallway. the candy is donated by lots of people and they give each of the residents a bucket and then they get to hand out the candy. i love doing this for a few reasons:

1. the people in the nursing home really enjoy all the kids
2. it is a one stop place
3. it is inside (it's usually quit cold this time of year)
4. the kids still get their candy while brightening someone elses day

after the nursing home, we went to the mall and they did sometrick or treating there. we were late, so quit a few stores had signs saying they were out of candy, but the kids had plenty anyway. my kids do not eat candy really, we usually end up donating it to the church for their kids activities.

The rest of the week has just been kinda crazy. I haven't really been doing anything extra, but it just seems like this week left me with no time for blogging. Some of that has to do with the fact that I now go to the gym with my mom 3 days a week. I thoroughly enjoy it. I actually look forward to exercising and maybe someday you all will actually see a picture of me :). We got a really great deal and paid $99 down so now we only pay $10 a month for the rest of our lives (or for as long as we want to be a member). They also have child care which only costs $1 per child for 1 1/2 hours! We usually exercise for about an hour, and then we go in the dry sauna for 20 min. It sure is hot, but we do it!

The girls surprised me last night when she insisted that she go poop on the potty. Keep in mind that since the first time I tried potty training them (about a month ago), that I have not even tried at all to potty train and had put all their underwear away and the potty away and have never asked them to try going on the potty. Anyway, she said she had to go poop and i said so go. she said no, she wanted to go on the potty. i got down the little potty and sue enough she went. of course i made a big deal about it and gave her a treat (this is where the candy from trick or treating will be going now) and kelsey came running up and got all excited and said "give me high five kaylee, your a good girl"! it was sooo cute. kelsey then decided she would try. she sat on the potty maybe 3 times before she finally got a little bit of pee to come out so she could get a treat too. :) jordan also decided it was a good idea and ran upstairs and did his business then came running back down and said "i went potty, do i get a treat"? haha, nice try! needless to say i was very excited, but was not expecting too much from them. this morning they got up and immediately wanted big girl undies on (dora ones). kelsey went pee right away. i kept asking them if they had to go potty and making them sit on it every now and then. kaylee actually ended up peeing in her undies both times she went, but kelsey stayed dry all morning. the thing that shocked me the most was that while we were eating lunch, she just announced that she had to go. i put her on and she did her business and went back to eating. i put diapers on for their nap, and a pullup for when we went downtown to do our shopping. they used one pullup for the whole night! at each store, we would have them sit on the potty. kelsey went poop at walmart and they both went pee while we were out. they did not come back completely dry, but they weren't too bad either. i am going to take it slow and let them determine how fast we go with it. while i am at home, i will keep them in undies (as long as things keep going like they are), and when we are out either pullups or diapers. i have no problem bringing them to the potty even with a diaper on, they can be put back on! so, that is where we stand, sorry it was so long, but i am very excited and wanted to document it! i promise to try and be better about blogging! i hope everyone has a great week! :)