Thursday, July 29, 2010

An open letter to my dishwasher

Dear Dishwasher:

Perhaps you were so busy working that you didn't notice that the refrigerator broke last month. Perhaps since you're in the kitchen, you didn't notice that the clothes washer quit working. Maybe that is why you thought it was time to break?

Stop it. Just STOP!

No wait, go. I want you to go and work! And drain. Please. Please start draining.

D is working very hard to get you going again. The problem is you are old and no one carries your parts any more. But I still love you and my husband is a good handyman, so he's going to try his best to get you working again!

Also, please tell the remaining appliances that haven't been replaced or repaired in the last 12 months...which would be the stove (Yes, the stove is the only thing left in this house that hasn't been repaired or replaced!) that it does not need to break down. It is working just fine. I am happy with it and do not want to (nor can I afford to!) replace it any time soon.



ADD Housewife

Monday, July 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday--July 26

Sometimes I'm a complete idiot. This past week, I got a new crockpot because of my stupidity.

I tossed dinner into the crockpot. Made sure it was plugged in and turned it on. Two hours later, the crockpot is ice cold. I looked at my mom and shook my head. We haven't been having a good run of luck with major appliances and it looked like the small appliances were going to be dying now, too! This crockpot was nearly 10 years old and used frequently. The crock had a large chip in it and someone was going to get hurt on it eventually. It had lived a good life. We're doing Dave Ramsey and there just wasn't any money in any envelope for a new crockpot before the next pay day, so my mommy bought me a new one! :D

We got the new digital fancy crockpot home. It is very light weight. It's actually a slow cooker and not a crockpot. The difference being the crockpot is made of heavy duty breakable/oven safe material and the slow cooker is not. I prefer the light weight and non breakable since I have small helpers.

I wanted to freecycle at least the crock part because replacement parts are sometimes difficult to find. But D vetoed that and marched the entire crockpot to the outside trash.

We finally get the new slow cooker plugged in ... and nothing happens. No digital display. Nothing.

This is where D asked if anyone had bothered to check the outlet.


D walked over and hit the reset button and on went the digital display.

Yes, I threw away a perfectly good crockpot. And yes, I feel dumb about it. And wasteful.

But the new one works great! And there are instructions for making breads in it! Perfect for those too hot days in the summer when we want banana bread. So I can't be too upset about it.

I'm trying to use the slow cooker as much as possible and not feel guilty and/or dumb about it.

Menu Plan

Monday: Meatball Casserole (didn't make it last week) Banana Lemon Pudding Cake
Tuesday: Turkey curry
Wednesday: Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
Thursday: grilled chicken
Friday: Spaghetti
Saturday: Boy Scout Event...eating out
Sunday: Crockpot Cola Roast

Friday, July 23, 2010

Photo tradition

Every summer I torture my children and my husband in order to get THE photo. I used to try to get all the children smiling together and behaving. After awhile, I realized that wasn't going to happen. So I stopped taking pictures of them from the front. For the last five years, I've lined my children up and taken a picture of them from behind in order to track how they've grown.

Here is this year's photo!





2006: I can't find it on CD. I have it hanging in the house, though :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday--July 19

It's been a long time since I've done a menu plan. My life has been suffering because of it. Things are just crazy hectic around here.

School starts back in about three weeks and I can't wait. It's complete and total chaos, especially with D gone this weekend. My mom is here to help, but she brought along my dad and little brother. Little Brother is 18. Dad is the world's pickiest eater. It's bad enough that my kids have noticed and are complaining about the meals. My mom caters to his picky eating and since she's cooking ... we're having to eat bland meals every night.

Hopefully my menu plan doesn't send her over the edge. She's a baker, not a cook. She and Leelee made an amazing Zucchini Bread today. Both loaves were gone quickly. Mom was amazed since she ends up having to freeze zucchini bread because no one in her house will eat anything resembling a vegetable, besides corn, green beans and french fries. If you can't tell by the menu, my dad leaves Tuesday! Mom is staying another week.


Monday--Taco Rice
Tuesday--Hawaiian Haystacks
Wednesday--Meatball Sub Casserole
Thursday--crockpot Turkey Roast with summer squash risotto
Friday--Homemade Pizza
Saturday-- Spaghetti
Sunday--Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Pork Lon

Friday, July 16, 2010

The poop story

D's been a bit sensitive lately about what I've been posting on the blog. Some of the stories are getting back to him. But, he posted this on Facebook, so I'm assuming rights to his story and posting it here. I alluded to the incident in my last post, but here's the whole's a classic, and it contains poop, so be warned...

As I've mentioned, I'm recovering from a hysterectomy. I'm supposed to be taking it easy. With six kids, that's not exactly easy. I've had amazing help from friends and family.

When Wednesday night rolled around, I was not in the mood to deal with Little Miss and The Terrorist. Leelee has been a great help, but she can't juggle both of them either. I begged D to take The Terrorist with him to the church. He reluctantly agreed.

About an hour into things he texts "Guess what your daughter did?"

I knew it involved bodily functions because I know my kid and I know that he probably wasn't paying total attention to her, because I know my husband.

I haven't been to church in a few weeks with all the illnesses. My job at our church is to handle the library. With me being gone, people had just thrown things in and it was all out of sorts. D was being helpful and decided to put things away. Instead of entertaining The Terrorist with paper and crayons he put her in the nursery without an adult (biggest mistake you can make with a kid nicknamed TERRORIST)

At some point in his organizing, one of the moms tracks D down and hands him The Terrorist who is sopping wet, stinky and no longer wearing any pants.

The Terrorist is very self sufficient. She is three and no longer needs help to do anything. When she had to go to the bathroom for poop, she took herself. And when she didn't make it in time, she decided to clean herself up. In order to accomplish this, she took off her pants and undies and dunked them in the toilet as she had seen me do many times at home during our efforts to potty train.

She also realized that her bottom had poop on it and the dry toilet paper was very ineffective. She remembered that when she had an accident, I would toss her in the shower. Since there was no shower available, she climbed up on the counter, turned on the water in the sink and proceeded to try to clean her hiney off in the sink.

It is at this point in time, she was apprehended and placed into the custody of her father.

D then had the wonderful task of cleaning this mess up. Someone had come to his rescue with a spare pull up, which she promptly finished pooping in.

After the stress of the last few weeks, I really needed that laugh. I needed him to have a poop experience. After six children, he finally got to experience one of those days.

When they finally got home, my darling little Terrorist continued to live up to her reputation by swallowing a penny. We've never dealt with swallowed objects before. The other children preferred to stink things up their noses. She's able to eat and drink, so I'm not worried about the penny at all. This too shall pass...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I know I shouldn't laugh

But life in our house is going on as normal as ever. That means The Terrorist has been dishing it out in rare form.

Tonight, I actually felt sorry for what she put D through. He took her with him (and the boys) to scouts. I practically begged him to take her. And, let's just say it's a good thing he's going out of town and I'm not able to take the kids to church on Sunday. It will be awhile before we can look certain people in the face again.

And just to keep us on our toes, tonight she decided it time to swallow a penny. This too shall 24 to 48 hours. We hadn't actually had a child swallow a penny before. My kids usually prefer sticking weird objects up their noses.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

5 tips for summer reading with boys

Sitting on my tooshie recovering from surgery is giving me lots of extra blogging time. That means two posts from me today!

I took an outing today. First, D and I voted in the run-off election. Then, we headed to the library. That's the other thing I get to do all day besides think of things to write about: read.

I have been blessed to have most of my children be very eager readers. When Danger Girl was almost 3, she realized she didn't know how to read. She burst in to tears and wanted to go to school. Needless to say, she started kindergarten already knowing how to read.

The Boy and Leelee will stay up hours past bedtime devouring books. The Boy reads the cereal box for fun. He's weird.

Little B is a different story. He's my reluctant reader. Books haven't really captured his imagination like they have for the other kids. He reads when he has to for school. It's been a challenge finding books he enjoys. Heck, with his attitude lately, it's been a challenge finding anything he enjoys at all!

So, to encourage my reluctant reader, here are some things we've been doing. You can find more blog posts about encouraging summer reading over at Twittermoms!

1. Designate a reading time each day. The school encourages 20 minutes of reading during the school year. We encourage it over the summer, too.

2. You can stay up late, if you read. I know. It's bribery but it works!

3. Boys generally prefer non-fiction books! We've been reading many gross facts books or The Big Book of Boy Stuff.

4. Comic Books are OK! Boys relate to superheroes and reading about them in comic books or graphic novels are a gateway into enjoying other forms of reading. It's all about learning that books can take you away.

5. Get hands on. Be sure to ask questions and engage your child (boy or not) in what was read. Do a project together. Make the reading mean something.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an "I Can Read!" book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

I Can Read! BooksBecome an I Can Read! Member

I'm a good mom!

It may be a newsflash to my kids, but really, I am a good mom.

I don't make this statement based on several recent reports that my children are well behaved in public, nor upon how certain kids have really stepped up since my surgery. It's not based on their academic successes. I don't even base it on the fact that they think I'm the worst mom in the world because I make them do chores, play outside and limit tv and video games. Oh and I don't believe in giving them allowance either! I don't get paid for the work I do around the house and neither should they.

No, my big pat on the back for being an excellent mom comes from the fact that Little B, until the age of 6 or 7, had no idea of the existence of Hamburger Helper. At the time, we were experimenting with cutting our grocery bill and using an awesome organization called Angel Food Ministries. In the monthly box of food, there were packages of the dreaded Hamburger Helper. Little B looked at it, moved it around his plate and declared it looked like barf. He refused to eat it.

A few months ago, D was complaining I never cooked normal food. He requested the dreaded hamburger helper. I had some coupons and they were on BOGO...I made up a package for his lunch. He came home that day and asked if I were trying to kill him! So much for the fond childhood memories of boxed dinners.

Today, we reached another milestone. I had another coupon for a dinner kit meal and this came with a package of Kool-Aid. The big kids were excited. We used to drink Kool-Aid regularly, but stopped when I got on the eat healthier bandwagon. I asked The Terrorist if she knew what was in the little package. She had no idea. She's almost 4!

I think the great Kool-Aid experience tonight was a bit of a wash. The Terrorist loved the Kool-Aid but Leelee hated it. I'm not surprised since she is a bit of a food snob.

They also willingly tried sushi. The Boy wouldn't try it, but everyone else did and loved it. Except for Little Miss. I gave her a piece of raw tuna and she stopped eating for nearly a week. Well, that's not the whole reason she stopped eating but I'm pretty sure it didn't help ;)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Glue Dots Project!

I love Glue Dots. I've always been a scrapbooker and one of the biggest hang ups for me is that in the summer, I can't really scrap because it's too darn hot! Most glues dry up even before I get the pages put together. It's very depressing. Glue dots solves that for me :) Totally fan them on facebook.

I had a chance to participate in a Glue Dots blogging contest on twittermoms and with everything going on in my life, I decided that the perfect project would be one my kids could do without me.

With me being in the hospital and having major surgery, I knew the kids were going to want to do something for me. And, D is not so crafty. I set out the glue dots and these cute little gift boxes for the kid to decorate and fill with goodies for mama.

All the pieces were pre-cut and the kids just needed to use the glue dots to make them cute.

The kids drew me pictures and cards. And filled the little boxes with licorice. Little B glued my favorite chocolates on to the side of the box.

All in all, it was a very good project and the kids had fun. They were so excited to give me the boxes and I was excited for the chocolate ;)

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Glue Dots blogging contest to be eligible to receive a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My life is getting better and better!

Looking back over the past six years, I am amazed at how far we've come! A twittermoms discussion on how we've become better over the years prompted this post. Read more!

Six years ago this week, our lives started to change in a way we just couldn't anticipate. We were still living in a trailer next to my IL's house. D didn't have a teaching job for the fall. We had no idea what we were going to do.

In a single phone call, our lives changed. My grandmother had a car for us in Florida. We were in Oregon. The plan was for D to drive the car back to Oregon. Then, the inspiration hit. D's brother had a house in Alabama and told us we could live in it if we wanted to teach in Alabama. The whole idea was impossible considering we had no way to get D to Alabama for an interview! And so, my grandmother's phone call set things in motion.

D stopped in Alabama and applied for a job. He had one in three days. We had a place to live and we had a car!

With two weeks notice, we sold everything we could and packed it in a U-haul and headed east. It was like Beverly Hillbillies in reverse. We were leaving the culture and comfort of Oregon and heading to an unfamiliar place where we didn't speak the language.

Six years in, we're still working on the language. We've become accustomed to the foods (love some fried okra and catfish!) and to the heat (even tho it's in the 100s!). I don't think I will ever get used to the giant roaches, the fire ants, or tornadoes. I've learned I can survive just about anything with a few creature comforts like air conditioning!

And we've picked up some good friends and two adorable souvenirs (Little Miss and The Terrorist). People often ask if we miss Oregon. I do. I miss our favorite teriyaki place and the family (don't miss family drama!) But there's plenty I don't miss, like the traffic! I'd completely forgotten what traffic was really like. Here, we get traffic reports that involve cattle on the road.

What is even better is I've discovered so much about myself and my resilience. It's so much easier in Oregon to swim upstream when it's the cool thing to do. Having a natural birth and breastfeeding is expected. People don't even bat an eye if you tell them you had a waterbirth. Being in the south has let me discover that I do have a passion for helping mamas and babies breastfeed. I don't think in a community where it's expected that I would have developed a passion for it.

Six years in, and yes, I'm better than ever for this experience. Some days, I wish I could go borrow a cup of sugar from my mother-in-law but sometimes, being far away from those things that comfort us are the things that make us grow the most.

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I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Dove® gofresh™ blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card and some product. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (include this link to the discussion page:

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

And now I'm back from the hospital

I know, right?

But this surgery had been in the works for a long time. I scheduled back in February so I could make sure I had the first slot of the day!

I'm feeling pretty darn good considering I just had major surgery.

D is going to be in charge of the ADD household for the next little while. It ought to be interesting! How many wives have said they'd love for just one day for their husbands to go through all they have to do without any support? Well, the secret is you need to have surgery! It's better than a vacation because then you get to watch it all fall apart around your husband's shoulders.

I wasn't at all surprised (tho slightly disappointed) to come home this morning to food on the counters, butter smeared on chairs, cereal spilled on the table and no laundry done. The kids have been bickering non-stop and two have been sent to their rooms for the rest of the day. The best part (for me) is that since I can't lift more than 10 lbs, I can't lift the baby so he gets to take Little Miss with him everywhere bwahahaa he tried to leave five of the kids with me IN THE HOSPITAL so he could go run an errand on the other side of the hospital, but I melted him with my laser eyes and he at least took the Terrorist.

I've explained to my mom that D is in charge of cleaning and I am in no way responsible for the state of my house when she gets here next week. I don't even want to think about what the house looked like yesterday *before* he tried to clean up!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And then smoke billowed out of the kitchen

I wish I were joking.

Little Miss is on day 6 of her nursing strike. I was in the bedroom pumping and had asked Leelee to start the rice for dinner. I had to pick up D from the car rental and was really pressed for time. Originally, I was going to drop off kids, have Leelee make the rice while I'm gone. She cooks so it wasn't a big deal.

But, I decided to pump first even though it would mean being late picking up D

Such a small inconsequential decision and it probably saved my children and my home.

As I was pumping, Little B ran down the hall screaming "The kitchen's on fire!" Little B is trying to learn to be funny and will say things that aren't funny as "jokes" so I didn't move as quickly until I heard another child scream "FIRE!"

A pair of scissors was close enough to the gas burner that the scissors burst into flames! I calmly (I can't believe I was calm after the week I've had!) turned off the burner and put out the fire.

This was a good reminder to always have your kitchen fire extinguisher close at hand. Mine wasn't. I had to dump a cup of water on the flames.

My children weren't sure what to do. They were panicked. I don't blame them!

What made the situation even more threatening is our land line wasn't working today. If I had left right away, the children would have had no way to call for help. The fire could have gotten completely out of control. It was one of those moments where after everything that has happened to us, I was reminded of tender mercies. It was one choice. And now, I guess I can say breastfeeding literally saved my children's lives.