Thursday, December 27, 2007

A-L-Y-S-S-A spells "Isaac". This is what we have been recently informed of by Isaac himself. I think this comes from teaching Alyssa how to spell her name.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Aaron and Lela putting together the gingerbread house

















Brit sent us the cutest gingerbread kit for Christmas, and as I hadn't had a chance to sit down with the kids and put it together, Ed suggested I let them try on their own. So, Christmas Eve, after they had helped clean up, I let Aaron and Lela put it together. I have to say, Ed and I were both so impressed. I didn't do anything besides open the package and then I left them to it. It was so cute to see them working together. They did such a great job, I was proud of them!

Christmas

Well, Christmas is over and we had a great day.
Ed got off from work, and, after he came in, we stuffed the stockings and set out the gifts. I hadn't dared to set them out before...there wouldn't have been any wrapping paper left on them. I let the kids eat breakfast out of their stockings ( I did put a few healthy items in there too....raisins, nuts, a blueberry muffin, an orange...besides the candy). Of course, they pretty much only ate the candy and just nibbled the good stuff. Oh well, Christmas is only once a year, we can go back to restricted sugar after New Year's Day. I had made banana bread too, so breakfast was easy for all concerned ( and yes we had coffee...need you ask?).
It was so much fun to watch the kids open their gifts. The Lord had worked it out where we were able to make a little go a long way this year, and they are enjoying all the new stuff.
I am so excited because one of my gifts from Ed is that he is making me a potter's wheel. I have wanted to get into pottery making for several years now and I can't wait. I'm going to start researching it all online now...materials, a kiln, books, techniques, etc.
The other thing he got me was a game of Pictionary. Besides the fact that I love the game, it's extra special to me because it was the first game we ever played together when we were courting( and we won). And Ed knew that...isn't he the BEST!
We made it down to Wiggins about 2:00 and weren't too terribly late for dinner as they had all opened gifts too. Yay!
We opened some more presents after dinner and then watched a new version of Pollyanna that Lauryn had. It was cute and very like the book.
Everyone had a good time and we snacked all afternoon. We finally decided to head home about 8:00 because I was so tired. Lauryn got to come home with us for the night and we visited some more with her and Pete, Holly, and John once we got home. I headed for bed finally about 12:00.
Then, this morning I could hardly pry myself off the pillow, but it has been so nice to just "chill". You know, hang around the house and do nothing. Well, nothing besides take care of the kids and snack on leftovers and talk to Daddy and the girls on Yahoo and see Pete and Holly off to Iowa.
Yes, I will say, that is having a nice relaxing day. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

sweet talk


more sweet talk
Originally uploaded by cute mommy of 6
I just loved this picture of Mom and Ky. I think it's so sweet.

Memories

Do you ever wish that you could make life perfect? I often do.
I have been thinking about this subject the last several days, and I have realized that so many times in anticipating an event I view it with what I have come to think of as my "perfect syndrome". I see things happening a certain way and then anticipate the perfect memories that we will have to look back on as a result of "x,y, & z". As we all know, though, the reality is that life is rarely perfect. We aren't perfect people and we don't live in a perfect world. Only God is perfect.
I have to confess, I was a little bit disappointed because it seemed Mom's visit was way to fast. I had hoped we would have lots of time to just relax and "create memories". You know....bake cookies, read books together, spend lots and lots of time talking and catching up on the last 3 and a half years....but needless to say you can't possibly do that in just a little over a week. In reality, we spent a large part of the time running errands and taking care of business. I know Mom had hoped for things to be somewhat calmer too and I was feeling so bad for her and then I got to thinking about all this. And I realized something...memories aren't what we have because life is perfect. They are what we have because we were together. In remembering things that happened, we don't remember all the little "flies in the ointment", we remember the good things, the blessings.
Here are all the "good things" that I plan to remember Mom's visit by:
-the kids excitement in getting ready for Grandma to come and getting to go to the airport and pick her up
-meeting Levi and Ky for the first time
-her getting to hold and rock Kyla
-Kyla cooing and talking to Mom for the first time
-our trips to Wiggins (in which we were able to relax and visit)
-watching Pride and Prejudice at Holly's place
-going Christmas shopping ...first with Holly then with Holly and Rachel
-Sunday dinner with all of her "kids" together
-seeing and talking about all of her quilts
-her reading to her grandbabies
-the talks we did get to squeeze in
-dinner at Josh and Rachel's
-saying good-bye (thank you Holly for all those pictures)
-the laughter, the tears, the hugs, the love
-the knowledge that no matter how much time passes or how short the visits she will always be my Mom and I will always be her little girl.
I just want you to know, Mom, that I'm so thankful for the fact that you got to come and that I love you, always. Hope your Christmas is sweet and that you will have lots of good memories to take back with you.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A flurry of activity

As many of you may already know, I found out (about 2 weeks ago now) that my Mom was getting to come home unexpectedly to see her Daddy whose health is really bad. We are so sad that it's under these conditions but I'm thrilled that we will get to see her even for a bit. She will finally get to meet her 2 youngest grandbabies.
I have been scurrying like mad, since I found all this out, to get things cleaned up and ready. I THOUGHT I was all ready for her to come and then we get the brilliant idea to paint the living room....this week. So down come all the Christmas decorations and.... we paint. I know, I know,....What was I thinking?! As if I couldn't find enough to do already.... BUT, I have to say, it looks fantastic. I am so happy with how fresh and pretty everything looks. Then that got me to seeing dust and dirt everywhere, so it has been an all-out war on dust. I don't think there is a speck of dirt left...or if it's there it doesn't dare raise it's little head (hopefully). I should be ready for Christmas gatherings with all this cleaning and decorating. I'm hoping to have Christmas dinner here at my house....we'll see how that works out.
The kids have been loving all the goings on and are so very excited to get to see Grandma (Levi is now saying "Mamaw") and Uncle John, who has come back with Mom and will be staying.
As a note, please be praying for my Grandfather and all of Mom's family. He really is in a serious condition.
With all this prep I haven't gotten any holiday shopping done at all, but then, I guess I never do until the last minute anyway. That should be interesting. Especially as the kids have drawn names and are very anxious to go buy their gifts. I have to say they are all very ambitious and are expecting to get great things with their $5. Stuff like bikes and houses, etc. Fun stuff!
Well, hope your holiday preparations are all going great. I'll try to get on here a little more often hopefully...though with the holidays it may not settle down until later. We are planning on going to TX right after Christmas for a couple weeks, Lord willing, so I know I won't be writing any then. But I'm sure I will come back with lots of stuff to blog.

Monday, December 3, 2007

why we are always late for church

Well, I spent some time sniffing around on other people's blog pages today, and since this particular topic has already been bouncing around in my head, I thought I would go ahead and blog about it and see what came out.
The struggles of a large family to get to church on time and manage to get something out of the service....
My Sunday mornings go something like this:
Get up running (doesn't really matter if it's early or if we overslept, it's still the same).
Feed Ky while stressing about all I have to do in "how many minutes?". Grab a quick shower, and then check on the outfits I laid out the night before (if I was on top of things) or scramble to get everyone something out that doesn't need ironing and coordinates with everyone else. Yes, I do realize that all my 6 children do not have to match and that I would save myself a ton of worry if I just didn't care about it, but, what can I say? It's one of my "things".
I say check on the outfits, because more times than once they have disappeared or been rearranged or something similarly catastrophic. And shoes....I think that is my worst gripe. NO ONE can find shoes on Sunday morning. Or if they find shoes the laces are gone. Or if they have shoes and laces, they can't find socks.
Then, I start getting everyone dressed. The older ones usually dress themselves but I still check to make sure Aaron's buttoned straight, Isaac has a belt to hold his pants up, Alyssa's dress isn't on backwards, etc. Then, it's always a toss up to dress Levi first and stand and feed him myself, or let him feed himself, then clean him up and dress him. Not sure which takes the most time. Then I dress Ky. Then I start fixing hair. On a good day I can braid or something cute, on a bad day it gets a brushing and clippies to keep it out of their eyes. (They all take turns eating while I work on each one.) Next is inspection: Clothes-check, shoes-check, hair-check, faces-check...Ok everyone checked, I dash to throw on my clothes. Then, "Mommy, Isaac spilled his milk!" Run find new clothes for Isaac and "Aaron mop up that mess". Come back, mess still there. "Aaron, why didn't you clean that up." " I can't find a rag." " Well, there is one on the back porch...the rest of you go sit on the couch and read a book." Run back and take
my hair out of it's ponytail. "Mommy, Levi is on the porch and about to go in the street." Run to the porch and grab Levi. Me:"Who opened that door?" Chorus: "Isaac did". Swat Isaac with one hand and put him back on the couch, go put Levi back in the highchair (how did he get out anyway?), and run back to put on shoes. Pick Ky up to put her in her car seat and find she has a dirty diaper and leaked all over her outfit. So I tell everyone to start loading up and go to change her. (BTW, Ed has been making us all breakfast and making sure everyone eats so we don't starve. Otherwise we would....starve that is.)
I get her changed and loaded up and get to the truck. Then we start the "run-and-go-get" game. Oops! Forgot diaper bag. Run back and grab it and make sure it's stocked even though I'm pretty sure I already did that. "Aaron did you get the Bibles" " Oh, I forgot". Run and go get Bibles. Get back in truck, "Hey, Baby, did you see the keys?" "I think they were on the bookcase." Ed runs to go get them, while I check my appearance in the mirror. Oops! Forgot to brush hair...run back in house and grab brush. Finally, it seems we have everything we need and everyone is buckled and settled and we take off. Then I can drink my coffee and eat my bagels which I haven't had time to do before now. Take a deep breath and try to relax before we get there.
Of course, right before we arrive I try to go over the "rules" again(we have to do this every time, some people have a bad memory). "Sit still, be quiet, no kicking the pew in front of you, no playing with Levi or Ky during church, no talking people's ears off,...." and the list goes on. We get there and usually everyone is already singing so we try to inconspicuously (haha) slip into a back pew but no back pews are available so we have to go for one about halfway up the aisle. Two seconds later Alyssa taps me on the arm, "Mommy I have to go potty". Right, I forgot to make sure everyone went before we left. Sigh. So I slip out the back and take her. We get back just in time for Kyla to start fussing because she is hungry now. So I get Ky and diaper bag and go back out. This time I just stay in the nursery. The service is almost over anyway by the time she is done and I've changed her again. Back out in the auditorium everyone talks about how good the kids are and so well behaved, and "I don't know how you do it". They don't know that I'm about to pull my hair out or cry or both. What else can you do but give them a limp smile and say "thank you".
(P.S. Not every Sunday is this bad, sometimes I do get to hear part of the message before Ky gets hungry. =)

It's so sweet to see Kyla light up when she sees Levi. He says, "Hi, Ky-Ky" and then gives her a very wet kiss on her nose.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Levi got up (after being put to bed) while Jecca and I were watching a movie and this is how we found him.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Things that work for me

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I love organization. I am always reading new books on the subject and trying different things. I, by no means, consider myself an expert on the subject but I have lately found a few things that are really working for me.
One is, I have a dressing room. When the kids moved upstairs, their clothes (and shoes) stayed down stairs in what is now the nursery. I have outfitted the closet with a dresser and 3 hanging rods ( no it's not a big closet, it's actually pretty small, but this does work). And we have another larger dresser in the room along with a changing table, two cribs, and a loveseat. I can't tell you how much easier it is to not have to worry about clothes upstairs. Dirty clothes are rounded up and washed ( nothing "forgotten" under beds) and then put back away in just one room. I am LOVING it. I can find stuff now, and getting ready for church, or any outing, takes way less time than it used to. Oh yeah, and all the shoes go in a big laundry basket on the floor.
The other thing I have found that is really working, is a giant white board in the washroom. Someone gave it to me a month or so ago but I couldn't find a place to put it at first. It's not gorgeous and I didn't especially want it hanging in a really public place, but then I thought about the washroom and it works wonderfully. Now when I think of something (grocery item, to do list, don't forget ..whatever) I can run write it down. It doesn't get lost like my notebook, it stays right there on the wall. And one of the things I love most about it is I can write laundry notes on the board and then write "see board" on the lid of the washer. I use a dry erase marker and it wipes right off, but it's a great reminder if I need to check stains or hang something dry. Frees up alot of brain space.
That's what is working for me.

Kyla-10 wks


Kyla-10 wks
Originally uploaded by cute mommy of 6
Just had to post this pic...I thought it was so cute. Kyla is getting so big and is so much fun. She smiles at everything and is the most content little thing. I wish I could just sit and hold her all the time...one reason I'm so glad I breastfeed. =)

And now...

Since Thanksgiving, I have had a busy two days. The kids have been begging me for weeks if I could decorate, not just for Christmas but also their rooms. ( We just switched around all our rooms a few weeks ago.) Anyone who knows me knows this is one of my favorite things. I have been looking forward to doing this since we did all that moving, but I just hadn't caught up on the laundry or cleaning enough to make any progress.
SO, anyway, I had already decided that when Ed went to work I would get busy and get all the decorating done. Yesterday I started by telling the kids that if they wanted to do it the house had to be clean first. Talk about motivation. They did such a great job, with arguing kept to a minimum =). Yay! Then I was ready to have a hot chocolate break, but Aaron was so anxious to get started that he asked if it could be our reward when we were all done. haha. I agreed, and we ended up having it about 11:00 that night with animal crackers and all the lights off so we could see our christmas lights around the window. Then today I got up, and lunch was already in the crock pot and the house was nice and clean, so all I had to do was fix breakfast and work on the kids rooms. It did take me most of the day but they are thrilled and I had a lot of fun. I think they look pretty cute too. ( I'm putting the pics on Flikr, I hope they turn out ok.)
I guess the only thing left for me to do now is just to get my work room organized and I will feel like I'm back on top of things again. I love organization and pretty(clean) rooms. I will feel ready to tackle the rest of the holidays and homeschool too.
To date, our homeschooling has been erratic ( hey, they say confession is good for the soul) at best. I'm really praying that I can get better at that whole routine thing.
Well, I guess that's us for now.
P.S. The kids now think that Christmas is now just a day or so away. I had to reintroduce them to a calendar. =)

Thanksgiving

I am so thankful for the Godly heritage I have, not only in this country and the whole reason behind the first Thanksgiving, but also in my own personal family. Thanksgiving has always been, in our family, the favorite holiday. A day we could celebrate all the Lord's provisions and blessings for that year. A day specially for thanking HIM, and remembering all HE has done for us. If we were Stateside we would spend the day with all our family, if we were overseas we would invite as many Americans as our house would hold. There was always tons of food that we cooked, especially Mom's famous apple pie with the perfect crusts ( I guess I didn't inherit that gene),... all the usual fixings. Then visiting and games.....but the most memorable to me were the times we spent all gathered in a circle for song and testimony. Scripture would be read, we would sing old hymns (that I love to this day), everyone would take turns telling things they were thankful for, and then we would pray. I cherish that time of hearing my grandfather as he prays aloud for each member of the family in detail and praises the Lord for all His blessings. But to me, the best part of all that, is that my children can now share in that heritage. They are building memories of their own. This Thanksgiving we went down to Wiggins again and it was the usual celebration...food, family, and lots of hugging. I am just thanking the Lord that our children can grow up knowing our Godly heritage.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Birthday Traditions
















Yesterday was Alyssa's 5th birthday. I can hardly believe it has been that long. The time has just flown, and now she is getting to be so big. She started kindergarten this year and is so excited about her work. She is showing good progress too. It is so fun and interesting to see our children change and develop in their personalities. Lyssa is very spontaneous and sunny (for the most part)...she tends to be a dreamer and spends a good part of her time "pretending to be..." something or someone else. She loves to come in from playing outside, her hands tucked behind her back and say, "Mommy, you will never guess. SURPRISE!" and presents me with a wilty bouquet of the latest wildflowers in her tiny, grimy fist and delight dancing in her eyes. To me that is more precious than anything, and I exclaim over it in pretend surprise. ( And she can repeat this 50 more times too. =)
We started the tradition last year of making a special birthday breakfast with a "happy face plate" for the celebrated person. Sometimes they get it in bed, sometimes at the table, but always on a tray with pretty dishes. I got the idea from a magazine and immediately adopted it for us. All the kids love it and look forward to their own turn.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Life is NOT boring

We were on our way to church last night and I commented to Holly (my sil) that life for the Blakeman family is not boring. She laughed and replied "Or for anyone associated with your family."
Pete and Holly had come over for lunch and then Pete lay down for nap while we cooked for the fellowship at church. In the chaos of getting everyone ready to leave Levi makes off with Peter's glasses, and we then have to spend the next 30 minutes searching the house over to find them. Try thinking like an 18 mo old.... Not easy. Especially when you consider all the places he could have gone and left them. We are well on our way to being even later than usual, when Pete finds them stuffed way back under an armchair. Whew, finally! We scramble to load everyone up in the truck and Pete goes to comb his hair.
Once on the way, he casually comments to me, "Hey I think I may have used your lint brush to comb my hair."
I laugh and reply, "Was it round with little spokes?".
"I'm not sure but it was really spiky."
" I think you just got our round hair brush, I don't have a lint brush. I really don't like it, it pulls my hair." Then I add, " Hey, at least you didn't get the dog brush".
His horrified eyes meet mine in the rear-view mirror, "You have a dog brush?!"
I begin to laugh...his reaction was so worth while. "Oh yeah, but it's not like a human brush, don't worry."
" Was it in the bathroom?"...even more worried now.
Then in dismay ( but laughing harder than ever) I remember that, sure enough, the dog brush had been in the bathroom on the back of the toilet. "Oh no! was it green with little wire spikes"
"YES"
Gasping with laughter I try to apologize..."I'm so sorry, I never thought anyone would use that"
Peter, by now thoroughly disgusted, " I didn't even look at it that close. Ugh, gross!"
I laughed most of the way to church. "Sorry Pete, but life in our house is, at best, unpredictable."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Roses


roses again
Originally uploaded by cute mommy of 6
My darling surprised me with these last time he came home from work. Aren't they gorgeous! I love roses, they are my favorite flower....especially red ones. And these have a sort of stripe to them. Don't I have a doll of a husband? I think so too!

Feedback

Just wanted to let everyone know that I love getting comments and feedback on my blog. Let's me know how I'm doing, etc, etc. For those of you who have already commented, Thank You! Please keep it coming.=)

Refreshed

We just got back from the Mt. Pisgah Bible Conference this past week and it was sooo good. The preaching and fellowship all ministered to me, like they usually do. It's refreshing to be among so many other brethren of like mind, and to just be able to get encouragement that we aren't crazy.
Cause, sometimes, I really get to feeling that maybe we are crazy. Maybe we're not really living by faith, maybe we're just being stupid. After all, it doesn't make sense (to most people) to just let the Lord decide how many children you have and how close together you have them. Or to trust the Lord to provide for our needs. Or that we are doing the best and right thing to homeschool our children. Thank the Lord for friends (brethren) that can encourage you to just keep trusting and walking by faith.

Monday, November 12, 2007




Levi playing cowboy


Levi playing cowboy
Originally uploaded by cute mommy of 6
I thought this was so adorable...he sees his big brothers run around playing Roy Rogers, etc. and he loves to imitate everything they do. So what if his horse is upside down...rides just as good that way too. My favorite part if the one-sock-and-one-bare-foot.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Just mundane things...

OK, so I'm still new to this whole blogging thing, and still trying to figure out if laundry and dishes qualify as good topics. If so, I would literally have mountains to talk about...but I'm pretty sure you all have the same things going on at your place too, so I'll just try to find some other "cottagey" stuff to talk about.
The beautiful weather lately has been so distracting. I try to get stuff done and then end up sitting and staring out the window at the kids playing in the treehouse or swinging on the swing. I have to confess, I did get on the rope swing the other day for a few minutes and it was like being a kid again myself. ( I was halfway scared it would break but it didn't.lol)
I do have a huge blessing to report...Ed has fixed our truck and got it running again, better than before. We found out we had a cracked head and instead of putting it in the shop (which would have been prohibitively expensive anyway) he got the parts and did the job himself. I learned a whole lot more about engines (ok, ok,... a little bit more about engines) and which tools to hand him. I'm a good "hang-out-and-hand-you-tools" type gal. And I honestly love the smell of engines. Isn't that weird? Maybe that's why I fell in love with him in the first place...when we first met he helped fix our car a couple different times. =)
Anyway, Thank the LORD, when it was all put back together, it cranked up with no problems and has run like a dream.
We are giving God the praise!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

You know you're a mom when:

You use a smiley face ball for a tub stopper and you have a plastic hippo floating in your bath water.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lessons on forgiveness and turnip greens

Today was one of those days where about the middle of the afternoon you are ready to throw up your hands and say forget it. Like the proverbial woman in the shoe "give them some broth without any bread, and spank them all soundly, and send them to bed". It all involved unfolded laundry and no naps and 6 rambunctious kids (ok, so Kylie wasn't exactly running around but she was sure contributing to the noise). Everyone knows lack of sleep makes you grouchy so that is my excuse....but anyway, to get to the lesson part. I really was ready to just call it an early evening and give up all plans of reading and making bread etc., but... I took a moment to think what tactic to take (sending Aaron to his room temporarily). I guess taking time to think has it's merits because I calmed down enough to realize I would be even more frustrated with myself if I gave in to my impulse and called it quits...I would spend the rest of the evening wishing I could go back and start over. So instead, we took time to talk and pray for better attitudes on all parts. Sure wish I could remember that one more often because it made for a much better evening. Cups of hot chocolate and a game of chutes and ladders instead. Still didn't get the baking or reading done, but that's ok. We can do it tomorrow, Lord willing.
By now I'm sure you are wondering where the turnips greens come in to all this and what I learned from it..... We were given two big bags of turnip greens the other day and I didn't have time to get to them right away, so, by today, they were less than pleasant smelling and somewhat slimy to boot. Long story short, I was dreading the cleaning and cooking and said as much to Ed. He suggested I get the girls to help me saying they would love it. I'm thinking "yeah, right" and said a noncommittal "that's a thought". Well, I hung up with him, and seeing as I couldn't put it off any longer, began the process of sorting and washing. Wouldn't you know, in just a few minutes the girls both come bouncing up and after watching me a bit, eagerly ask to help ( go figure)....so of course I tell them to have at it. And they love it. When will I ever learn that husbands are always right, and that kids can enjoy even the worst of jobs if they get to work beside you. Oh yeah, and I was reminded ( again) that putting off a dreaded job only makes it worse.
So, there you have it...forgiveness and turnip greens. Isn't God good?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fall

Isn't fall beautiful! I usually think of spring as my favorite time of year, but every season in it's turn is special. Just now I'm ready to do some serious baking...cookies (cut out and decorated with the kids of course), pies, breads.... all the yummy things we think of in relation to the holidays. Thanksgiving is almost here, and I'm not really sure what we are doing for it yet, but I know I'm going to be fixing lots of food.
The kiddos have been working to pick up pecans the last couple days...or should I say, I have been working to get them to pick up pecans. This is our first year to actually have any pecans...they haven't really produced anything worth eating before now. We are kind of thinking that maybe Katrina broke off enough old growth that it made them start producing better. Anyway, I'm glad for it. Even if we can't eat them all we can sell them, and I told the kids they could earn money for however much they picked too. That seemed to get a little more enthusiastic effort.
They keep getting distracted playing Robin Hood and Lady Marian.( Seems to work out pretty good for them as there are enough fun characters to go around.) Aaron even proposed that I make them some costumes, but I told them they could just keep pretending. Works for me!

Hey ya'll ( I can say that, I live in the South)

Since I didn't get to actually write yesterday (more than just the title) I guess this is my first real post. I have resisted blogging for awhile now thinking it would hinder my scrapbooking (which I love) or personal journal (which I rarely write in but also enjoy). But, as I'm sure all of you who blog have figured out already, it really just makes all of that easier. So, I'm joining the rest of the blogging world in the hopes that all of you family and friends can keep up with my life just a bit more and I can post all those cute pictures I have that I don't always get time to send to everyone.
You will probably see changes as we go along here...this will be a learning experience for me, but I'm looking forward to it and to hearing from all of you as well. Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007