Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trunk or Treat

Every year our church has a Trunk or Treat event for the kids.  The kids love it.  This year they dressed up as a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end.  The costume only works if the kids stick together, which of course they didn't, but it made a good picture.  I purchased the black plastic cauldron for $7 at Walmart.  I bought the shirts as well, but I don't totally count it as part of the costume budget, because they will be worn as regular clothes again.  It will be fun going out as a rainbow all the time.  (Just kidding.  Maybe just some of the time.)

The Rainbow

Bobbing for Donuts.
After the game was long done and the kids moved on to the next activity, I looked over and saw Wendy (in green) still standing all by herself underneath her swinging donut, trying to catch it in her mouth.  I'm happy that she was being so obedient by not using her hands.  She failed to catch on that the rest of the kids eventually ended up using their hands to scarf down their donuts.

Their faces were sugary messes after the game.

The Pot of Gold

Monday, October 25, 2010


I'm not quite sure what to blog about today.  My neck is out of whack and I have a cold.  I'm not in the most comfortable state of being right now.  Hmmm.  That's about it.  I taught my kids some stuff today.  I'm trying to do better at teaching them penmanship.  Bradley writes don't he doesn't care and is in a really big hurry.  I told him not to capitalize every word in a sentence.  He told me that he just likes to do it that way.  We're working on it. Sometimes it makes me feel like a homeschooling failure, but I know I'm not.  We have successes in other areas. I found a piece of paper that he brought home yesterday from church.  It read:
"Once I Brok a Piggy Bank.  I Hid It.  Mommy Foud It."
That is true.  At least I know my son is honest and repentent, even if every sentence he writes looks like a title to something.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Fun

I'm not a fan of Halloween, but if it is going to exist you might as well have some fun with a little innocent scare tactics.  On Saturday evening we went to Walmart and browsed the Halloween section.  Here is a clip:

Rachel is definitely my quietest child.  She doesn't talk a lot.  I think she might even have a future as a silent movie actress.

This is the mask that she silently screamed at:

Saturday, October 23, 2010


My husband read my blog this morning and chastised me for writing a particular keyword search term on my last post.  I guess it shows my naivety in certain subject matters.  I hope none of you Googled "butt plug".  I'm sorry if you did and please don't if you didn't.  I asked him how he knew about it and he said he learned it from Beavis and Butthead in his college years.  So, I'm sorry.  I will not post anymore keywords that might be questionable.  I'm embarrassed.

It's Saturday.  Our house has been on the market for almost two weeks now and we've only had two people look at it so far.  It's kind of discouraging, but oh well.  As my mom would say, "If it's meant to be, it will sell."  Perhaps the perfect buyer will come and look at it at the perfect time, which I hope will not be until next spring.  I don't want to sell before Christmas because I wouldn't want to risk Santa not being able to find us. 

When I was eight years old my family moved from Western New York to California.  We flew out on December 9th, 1984.  I remember it was very exciting, but sad at the same time.  It was exciting because it was a new home in a new state and it was my first time on an airplane.  I was very excited to go to California and see movie stars and be able to swim all year long. (Much to my disappointment I learned that you cannot swim year round because it does get cold.)  It was sad because we were leaving our almost entire extended family including my maternal grandmother and cousins and others.  However, it was supposed to be a one year assignment for my dad and we were planning on returning back to our old home which was being rented.  I think we even left the furniture there.  I don't blame my parents for taking the opportunity.

My dad's company put us up in a nice hotel for what was probably a week or two while we waited for the moving truck to arrive at our new rental home.  I don't remember the exact date that we moved in, but needless to say it was right before Christmas.  I wish I could ask my mom right now if she was stressed that Christmas.  I'm sure she was, but I remember it as any other Christmas, fun and enjoyable.  I'm sure there were moving boxes still to be unpacked, but I don't remember them.  My parents have always done an excellent job at making Christmas the best time of the year.  I remember getting a Good Luck Bear Care Bear figurine in my stocking.  It was the same Care Bear figurine that I gave my best friend before we left.  I had seen that there was an extra one in one of the moving boxes.  It was that year that I realized Santa delivers presents to parents early on years that they move.

The point of the above story is to prove that Santa does not forget families that move.  But just so I don't leave you hanging.....My dad's assignment eventually turned into two years and then into a permanent position.  My parents sold the house in NY, they bought a house in CA in 1987 and that is where I grew up  for most of my childhood. I lived there until I was 23 when I met my Southern husband on the Internet. So I guess you could say I'm a California girl, but I'm not a native.  Sometimes I wish I had some solid roots to refer to as "home", but I enjoy my triad of state citizenship.

Putting our Buick on the moving truck in the winter snow.

 The Mayflower survived its voyage across the country.
 (That's me on the loading ramp waving.)

This is me in the pool in February.  That's as far as I got in.  If I got in any farther I would've risked the danger of hypothermia.

Friday, October 22, 2010


For a moment today I was bored.  (Ok, so I wasn't actually bored, I was just avoiding my responsibilities.) So I checked my Google Analytics to see what keywords have brought people to my website.  Most of them aren't that exciting, but there are a few that make me laugh as I try to visualize somebody typing the phrases into their search engine.  Some of them I can't even repeat or I would have to rate my website R and that would be bad.  Then I wonder why in the world did this search term bring them to my site? Unfortunately sometimes I do understand why it brings them here.  Here are a few:

melinda rides a butt plug (Never.  What exactly is a butt plug?)
biggest bowel movement ever (No pictures, please.  I deal with plenty of feces on a daily basis.)
bought my husband a nightgown (Never)
bigboob (This is a dream of mine.)
clowns and pie fights (This is a nightmare of mine.)
girls caught flashing (Umm.  No.  At least I was never caught.  JK.)
pregnant inhaling poopy diaper smell (Mmmm.  But I think I'd rather inhale a Sharpie.)
snow white potty training (Never thought about Snow White potty training, but it is an interesting thought.)
spongebob metaphor pubic pineapple (Are pineapples metaphorically pubic?)
what is a floppy and retroverted uterus? (Well, let me explain.  When you have seven children....)
reflexology farted
i got a massage and now i have gas
my foot massage gives me intestinal gas
foot massages make me fart

Ok, so I feel better now that I'm not the only one who has to fart when I get a massage.  I knew there was a connection!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Blog or to Facebook, that is the question....

I joined Facebook two years ago.  I've been a Blogger for five years.  I love them both so much.  I think I understand how The Bachelor must feel when he has to make the decision to give out that final rose on the most dramatic season finale ever.  Don't worry, I will never say good bye to either social network, but I am struggling to find a balance between the two.  You see, I'm rarely at a loss for words, and my husband can attest to that.  It's so easy to walk by my computer in the kitchen and type a Facebook status stating my current mood, activity, kid quote, or accomplishment on my way to cleaning, cooking, or teaching my kids.  Blogging takes a little more time and effort to write a hopefully entertaining post for my followers and my posterity, which makes me more likely to skip a day of blogging.  I never skip a day of Facebook.  Facebook is also more socially interactive, and since I don't get out of the house a whole lot, it substitutes as my social life, and gives me the illusion that I'm going out to lunch, or shopping, or something with friends.

I have people who follow my blog that I'm not friends with on Facebook (because I don't know them personally.)  I have friends on Facebook that don't follow my blog.  And then I have friends who follow both.  So, I try to avoid posting the same thing on both because then my friends who follow both might get kind of annoyed and bored.  Sometimes I come across a picture or thought, and I'm faced with the dilemma, "Do I post this on Facebook or my blog?"  Oh, the stress! So I'm just getting this off my chest so you all can know the serious obstacles I face on a daily basis.  I think I'm coming to terms with it though, and I'm learning how to juggle it.  I'll be fine.

Tonight my husband took the children to their Wednesday night activities at church.  While I had the whole quiet house to myself, I was able to ponder these perplexities of life as I scrolled through my Facebook Newsfeed.  My mind was overstimulated today with education, potty training, social networking, cleaning, etc. and it was extremely nice to have some silence for a moment. However, my brain does not know how to function in silence and I ended up falling asleep on the couch.  When they got home I took some pictures of George.  This one is my favorite and is both Facebook and Blog worthy:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I just want to apologize for all the typos I've been typing for the past two months.  I just went through several of my posts from the past couple of months last night on my 20 something inch monitor, and realized that I've made a lot of what seems to be keyboarding mistakes in my posts.  How annoying and unprofessional!  I'm sure that there are grammatical errors as well, but I likely didn't catch those because my grammar isn't the greatest.  (I'm learning as I teach my own kids.)  Anyway, I just wanted to offer an explanation. For the past three months I have been mostly operating from my netbook which has a 10 inch screen.  I guess it's more difficult to detect typos on a smaller screen that requires more scrolling and squinting.  Or maybe my eyes are just getting old.  Or mabye itts jist mee because I cant ttype.

Also, I am still accepting more followers ------- >

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oops. I Skipped a Few Days

Ok, quick blog post.  Sometimes I get surprised at how many days have passed without me blogging. I was doing so good there for eight consecutive days.  We were out of town last week and traveling on Saturday.  I was exhuasted on Sunday, and so today I will blog.  Are those acceptible excuses?

But...hmmm... I don't have a whole lot to say.  This is the first week that we've been home as a family without crazily getting the house ready to sell or traveling somewhere since July.  Today we pretty much worked on getting back into a homeschool schedule.  We failed by 8:00 AM when we didn't wake the children up.  They are supposed to be downstairs eating breakfast by 8:30 AM.  They were downstairs eating by 10 AM.  Not too bad.  We were still able to accomplish learning.  I'm thinking of dedicating a post to "A Day in the Life of Homeschooling" since so many people ask me about it.  We'll see.  I might not want to expose too much of my slackness.

That's about it.  I have some pictures to post, but I'm trying to get organized.  The day before we left on our trip I had to have the house ready to list on the market so it could be shown.  I basically shoved all odds and ends wherever there was a closet or cupboard door.  I feel very disorganized.  It's good to be home though.  I think.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Brochure Hoarders and Roller Rink

This week we are tagging along with my husband on a business trip.  Today I took the kids sight seeing and we stopped at a visitor's center.  They had two whole walls of brochures.  My son, Bradley, LOVES brochures and it was like heaven for him (and for me because I love brochures too).  We browsed the brochures and I took several for places that I thought we might be interested in seeing, if not this time, but possibly the next time we tagged along.  There was an older couple that ran the visitor center.  They looked a little annoyed when we walked in, but it didn't surprise me because it's a common expression on people's faces when a group of seven small children walk intp a room.  Usually people expect chaos, but end up pleasantly surprised that my children are relatively well-behaved.  Often people will even compliment them.  I was expecting a pleasant reaction from the couple because my children were behaving well, mostly because it was like an all-you-can-eat brochure buffet for them.  As Sarah took a brochure for some destination that looked cool, the woman said, "Maam, is she going to go there?"

Confused I said, "Um, no.  Probably not?"  

Then the woman said, "Can she put that brochure back?  Because we are running low on those."

They were probably running low because it's a great place to go and now I'm going to not know about it!  Obediently I told Sarah to put it back.  I didn't realize you had to actually plan to go to a destination in order to take a brochure.  If so, I'm in big trouble.  I could tell that this couple's annoyance was not transforming into pleasant surprise.  So, I continued to pull brochures, lots of them.  I congratulated Jason on all the brochures he collected for about 15 hotels that we were planning not to stay at.  I could hear the woman mumble to her husband, "Brochures aren't free, you know."  Then I heard the woman's voice, "Maam, will you sign our guest register?"  I was a little afraid to put my name, city, and state in fear that I would be hunted down for theft of free brochures,  But I signed it anyway.  

Finally with a fat stack of brochures in my hand I said, "Come on kids, it's time to go."  They all clamored to the exit and Bradley, Jason, and Rachel pushed the handicap automatic door button several times each.  Hahahaha! Now that really irritated her, but we were out of there as she was saying, "Don't...push....that....." and on our way to the gift shop.  I have to say I was a lot less stressed in the gift shop with lots of breakable things that cost a lot of money than I was being stared down in the visitor center/ brochure shop.

If you can imagine after two cross country trips, we have a quite the collection of brochures.  I'll have to take a picture of all of them when I get home.  What am I going to do with them?  I don't know yet.  Read them and plan my next vacation?  Or maybe go on a virtual vacation?  I'll be sure to recycle them when I'm finished.


Tonight we took the kids to a roller rink.  It was flashback to the 80's .  When I was 6, 7, and 9 years old I was quite the pro roller skater.  My kids?  Not so coordinated.  Bradley was so proud of himself about 1 hour into the evening.  He said, "Mommy!  I went around the whole rink, without the walker, and only fell five times!"  When we returned to the hotel Bradley said, "Tthat was so much fun.  When I was in the car, I had to pinch myself to make sure it wasn't a dream." 

Wow!  I didn't know they had that much fun while we were there, because they spent a lot of time crying from falling down and hurting themselves.  I guess my kids would've loved the 80's.  It was a pretty cool decade.  I told him he's probably going to wish it was a dream because he's going to be pretty sore and bruised tomorrow.

 Sarah using a walker.  It looks like I'm using one too, but I'm helping Rachel.

 Couple's song.  Awww.

 Bradley and his walker.  He eventually ditched the walker and skated on his own.  It seems like every time I turned my head to look at him, he was sprawled splat on the floor.

Daddy taking Rachel for a spin as she put her feet up on the walker and went along for the ride.  She's waving to me.

Wendy didn't like skating on the wood because she fell down too much, but she did enjoy skating on the carpet. 

Emily did pretty good, but hurt her wrist.  While we were there I was thinking it was a good thing we have health insurance.  Thankfully I don't think we will need to use.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Yesterday I was putting on my makeup.  Wendy asked, "Mommy, you put that on so you can be pretty?"  I told her, "Yes."  Then I was curious if my daughter thought there were times when I wasn't pretty, so I asked, "When am I not pretty?"  Her reply was, "Sometimes when your hair is crazy."  Then she paused for a moment and said, "..... and when you fart."  Awwww.  Sometimes I just can't help it.  Emily still has me beat though.  I'm sure she could win some contests.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blog Meets Blog

I have this blog friend, Beth, who lives in Colorado.  She randomly found my blog a couple of years ago and we've been following each other's blogs ever since. She has seven children as well.  I've come to love this family by reading about their life as a big family, seeing pictures of their cute children, seeing before and after pictures of a messy and clean room, and other stuff that I can truly relate to.  On my drive home from California, my dad and I stopped in Denver and had the opportunity to meet Beth and her family in person.  It was so fun to make a virtual friendship become a reality!  For two years I've seen pictures of her house, her children, her yard and it was very cool to see it all in person.  It was kind of like being on a movie set.

We got our families together at their house, the kids played in the yard while the adults talked, and then we all went out for pizza.  We took a picture of 13 of the 14 kids before we left.  (One of her daughter's was at a friend's house.)  I got to meet her parents as well, who are also part of our blogging triangle.  That was exciting too.

Although I was very excited to meet them all, I have to admit I was a tiny bit nervous.  I guess I was self-conscious that they would think my real life personality didn't match my blog personality and that they would possibly be disappointed.  I am much shyer in person.  I think I sometimes have a tendency to try to act cool and sophisticated around people I don't know, which really isn't my style.  But I realized that they pretty much know who I am.  I don't hide much when it comes to blogging.  I think they already know that I'm not cool and sophisticated, so I didn't bother trying.  While I was there I witnessed something which validated why I like this family so much - their 2 year old was drinking chocolate milk out of a bottle.  I thought that was AWESOME, especially since he got the bottle, milk, and chocolate syrup all by himself.  I had a great time spending a couple of hours with them.  It's too bad we don't live closer and hang out more often with all 14 kids.  However, it is nice to have friends from random parts of the country.

The kids (minus 1)

Our little girls became instant friends.

The Bloggers

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Jason turned 4 today. This will be his coolest birthday ever on 10-10-10.  We bought him a shirt with the #4 on it. He wore it to church.  We also got him a glow sword.  Over the years, I have learned that young children don't realize "value".  They are completely satisfied with a toy from the grocery store, and my wallet is satisfied too.

No birthday would be complete without a crown made by Emily.

His Glo Sword.  He was more excited about it than he looks in this picture.

My neighbor coincidentally saved my day.  I did not bake Jason a cake because we needed to clean the house to get it ready to put on the market on Monday.  I didn't want any extra dishes to wash.  My next door neighbor just happened to bring over a dozen cupcakes as a "Welcome Home" gift.  We stuck four candles in one and called it a "Birthday Cake".  

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Last Day of Being Three

Today Jason graduated from the Terrible Threes.  He received an A.  Tomorrow he commences the Fabulous Fours. The previous four children were required to give up their pacifier for good on their 4th birthday, however, Jason was not a pacifier sucker.  We are going to require him to give up the temper tantrum.  Sometimes I wonder how this happy-go-lucky kid can be so rotten at times.  We have learned that if you just let him open the van door, life is so much easier.  

  A trot through the park.

His walking stick. 

We had a little early birthday party for him the last night my dad was here.

Jason ran his fingers in his empty ice cream bowl and sucked the ice cream off his fist.  It was his favorite flavor.  He calls it, "Cookies in the Cream."

Friday, October 08, 2010

You Know You Want One

Who would've thought a plastic toilet seat could be so cool?  I was led to believe that wooden toilet seats were the "in thing".  I was duped.  Never again will my children slam a toilet seat.  Here is 22 seconds of pure enjoyment.  I'm sorry if the video is all jumpy like it is when I play it on my computer.  But just so you know, there have been no special effects added to this video.  It's all in regular time.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


For the past two years, Sarah has suffered from a severe rash on the backs of her legs.  It's itchy and she scratches it so much that it bleeds.  I took her to an allergist and he assured me that it was atopic dermatitis and that it wasn't caused by anything.  It was just the way her skin was and I accepted it. He prescribed an ointment and told me to have her soak for 30 minutes everyday in a tub and once a week put 1/4 cup of bleach in the water.  Nothing seemed to alleviate the rash.  We took certain things out of her diet, used dye and perfume free detergent, and some other obvious things that might have been causing it.

During our six weeks in California her skin totally cleared up.  It was very encouraging to know that it wasn't a permanent thing.  We could always move to California or a drier climate.  We used the same detergent while we were there, her diet was the same, and everything else seemed to be pretty much the same as when we live at our house. The only things I could think of that she might be allergic to were our couch, the Southern humidity, or the fact that the people who lived in the house before us had cats (because we do know that Sarah is allergic to cats), or something in the water or regional milk.  I was hoping that when we returned home that her skin would remain clear, but it didn't.  She broke out again on the backs of her thighs, close to her buttocks region.  I finally determined that it must be the toilet seats because she's only broken out on the skin that touches the toilet seat when she sits.

I looked it up online, and sure enough there is such thing as Toilet-Seat Contact Dermatitis.  Most practitioners fail to even consider this as a diagnosis.  We have wooden toilet seats with Microban on them. Sarah started breaking out when she was about 4 years old, around the time that she quit using the child potty seat on top of the toilet. So tonight my husband bought some plastic ones and we will see if it works.  My dad has wood toilet seats at his house too, but they must have a different paint or varnish or didn't have the Microban on them.  I'm so excited to find out if this will solve her issues.

On the last day of our trip, we asked all of the kids what their favorite part of vacation was.  Some said, "Disneyland."  Bradley said, :"Hollywood."  Sarah said, "My skin."  The poor thing has suffered miserable itchiness and discomfort for 1/3 of her life.

My mom always thought it was the toilet seats, but I never agreed with her.  My dad said he would take the old toilet seat and set it by her grave with a sign that says, "You were right."  Let's hope she is.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Is it better to blog everyday even though some posts might be boring?  Or is it better to blog less often with good posts.  I can't decide.  Help me.

Today I cleaned out the garage.  We are getting ready to try and sell our house.  The market isn't looking so hot, but we are going to try because my husband has a new job.  Right now he is working remotely, but they expect us to move there by next summer, which means a new city and state.  I would like to say that I cleaned the garage to make it look nice for prospective buyers, but the truth is I needed to make room for more junk, because I need to declutter the inside of my house.  Seriously, why do I have some much stuff?  When I was gone for two months, it wasn't like I missed any of it (maybe a few things, but not much).  We have 12 bicycles in our garage.  Various sizes in boy and girl versions.  My biggest challenge is downsizing the shoes on the shoe shelf in the kitchen.  I think we have, like, 24 pairs of shoes there right now.  My other challenge is trying to make the kids room look like an actual master bedroom. (Right now all of our children share the master bedroom because my husband uses the third bedroom as an office.) I'm tired from all the cleaning and painting, but I'm excited to have a fresh, clean home.

I know I need to post some pictures and documentation of my trip.  I'm not crazy about Blogger's photo uploader.  It seems to take forever.

Monday, October 04, 2010

I'm Home

I'm home from our trip.  It's just taking me awhile to get back into the swing of things.  I'll be back soon.....