Thursday, June 30, 2011

Heading Home

After being here in Oklahoma City for a month, the time has come to head home.

Aidan I have learned is a growing boy, hours spent in the pool each day making friends on his own, and adventures with his sister finding frogs and playing tag. Have shown me that he is no longer my little one but a big boy ready to explore his world with mom looking on but no longer part of his play all the time.


Kathryn I have learned can make friends anywhere. In one month she has become the dog walker for a neighbor and she got paid in Popsicles ,is anything better when you are 10.

Conner I have learned can step up when needed, still loves to pester his younger brothers and sister, and if given the chance will spend way to much time on the computer. But he did enjoy the pool, and eating out more then normal.

Nolan is Nolan, he has enjoyed himself, but looks forward to having his own bed again and not sharing with Conner. He has reminded me this month why we no longer have regular TV at home, I love Netflix when TV shows that can be stopped and watched when mom says you can. He has enjoyed helping out in the kitchen this trip and I hope he still does when we get home.

I have enjoyed the break from normal housework, and look forward to the day when I can have a indoor pet free home :), which with having Kathryn for a daughter is not going to be any day soon. I do hope to simplify our home when I get back, making it easier to keep clean.

 I have enjoyed a less stressed husband this month, well except for the last 3 days, and hope that when he gets back to his regular work that all will go well. And that with our science center pass we will enjoy some day trips this summer.

Tonight we will be in Memphis, before heading to Mammoth Cave National Park on Friday, and then on to Abraham Lincoln Birthplace memorial on Saturday and then on to to Ohio and home on Sunday night.

Looking forward to green grass, and rain.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some Fun Pictures

Where you can find Aidan everyday

A restaurant that serves cotton candy, we are on a trip so sure you can have 5 of them.

It seems no matter where you go there is a Game Spot to be found

Kathryn can find toads were ever we may be, the scary part it is that at that size it still had part of it's tail.

Some clouds for Sarah, not as pretty as the ones at home

It is nice to have a pool that I don't have to clean a short walk from our door

  Mac and cheese on a pizza is a great thing when you are 5. Now only if he could have mac and cheese and meatballs on the same pizza.

Conner having some fun

 Now that is a tree house three stories high, with a pulley system to get things from the bottom to the top, and a launcher on top that you used balls in to hit a target on the floor, and hit a couple of adults standing in the wrong spot.

                Thinking of you Sarah, they had a whole crime seane  laid out for you to solve.

                                              If I only had a pizza as big as this table to eat.

And a picture of Kathryn, yes she is with us but since I am usually with Aidan and I am the one with the camera it's not often I get to catch her in a picture.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cooking with Nolan

I really wasn't looking to start working with the kids on cooking skills until we got home and I had all my kitchen toys to work with. But Nolan was watching the Food Channel last night and at 9pm decided he needed to get into the kitchen and start cooking.

Well he started by beating eggs and placing them in a cup with torn up pieces of cheese as this dish was to make a ham and cheese omelet in the morning for dad. Then he diced up a onion with a bit of help as the knife he was using was to small and yes that is a spoon in his mouth.

Some where, at some time, some one told him that if you suck on a metal spoon you will not tear up when you cut onions. Didn't have the heart to tell him that those onions were tear free and cold. Then it was the green pepper and he did ok on that.

When I went back into the kitchen to look, he had cleaned up his mess and had a plate out with a fork and napkin, and in the frying pan he had the cheese, ham, onion, pepper, pan spray, and flipper all laid to cook for dad . He wanted to be woken up at 5am but that wasn't happening, instead dad cooked it himself and called a few hours later when we were awake to tell us that the omelet was great.

 And to my surprise when I went to download the photo's for this blog he had taken a picture of the finished product he knows me so well.

I think cooking with kids should be alot of fun this summer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

All in a Day - Summer Routine

Routine in the summer is a bit harder to stick with, without a school day to build around. So we build our day around meals and activities. Right now we are away from home so our day looks something like this :

Wake, eat breakfast, pick up the apartment, go swimming, eat , rest, go swimming, eat, play outside, eat, baths, and bedtime. They seem to do alot more eating in the summer but that is because they are doing alot more physical activities. This month we have been pretty lax about times as we don't have all the kids with us, and there really is not much work for us to do, and no driving for me during the day.

Once we get home things will change a bit, the plan is for our days to look something like this :

8am breakfast ( you can sleep in but mom cooks once)

leave for swimming lessons, and take Sarah to work at the same pool we have lessons at. Then Monday- Thursday if she doesn't work after lessons , I will take the younger kids to the library, big playground, etc after their class and we will all head back home together at 12. If she has to work right after lessons then we will head home right after ours. Also in this time we will fit in a 1/2  hour or more of reading under a shady tree someplace.

Lunch- is at 12:30

Then chores need to get done, then we can have fun.

Right now it is looking like :

Mondays- Cole Park - take the kids to the beach
Tuesdays- running around day if needed, otherwise at home
Wednesday-Town Pool
Thursday- at home
Friday- Town Pool, family Friday nights if they have them again this year
Saturday-  dad's choice
Sunday- at home

The days really don't matter as it all depends on rain, Sarah's work schedule and so on, but really we want to go to Cole park 1x a week, and the town pool for open swim 2x a week.

Then it's snack time at 4pm

Afternoon chores

outside play ( back yard pool, kid invented games, and so on)

Dinner 7pm

After dinner chores

Outside play time at least a few times a week ( flash light tag, manhunt, fire flies, campfires etc.)

9pm baths for the younger ones

10pm quite time

So in the summer our days are built around meals, with chores and lots of fun added.

This blog entry is also linked at All in a Day

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Garden Scents and Memories

The time for lilacs has already past, but there is something about the scent of certain plants that brings back memories and for me it is lilacs.

To many people lilacs are just a pretty smelling spring flowering tree/ bush. But to me lilacs are so much more.

When I was little the house we lived in had a lilac tree in the way back of the yard, it was my tree, well I did share it with my sisters but it was really mine. I spent many hours climbing that tree, finding the perfect branch to sit in and read a book. When we had to move I wanted a new house with a porch to play on and a lilac tree to climb. Well the new house had the porch but not the tree, and while there are lilacs in my mom yard today they still are not big enough to climb. And I am much bigger then I used to be.

Then there was Grandma Fees house, she had a white lilac tree in her backyard along the fence, hers smelled a little different and was more of a bush then a tree. But there was always a lilac to take home.
And I think there was one in my Grandma W back yard but that I am not sure about.

The lilacs I have in my yard today came from the ones that are growing in my mom's yard today. In the spring I can often be found outside taking a deep breath and then dreaming about my special lilac trees over the years. Lilacs to me are the  scent that holds the promise of summer to come, once I start smelling that wonderful scent I know for sure that winter is over and spring has arrived.              

I dream about the day that my trees are big enough to climb in but for now I will settle for the scent and beautiful color.

What garden scent unlocks memories for you ?

This post is linked at an oregon cottage

Monday, June 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- 6-20

This is our last full week in temp housing, next week we start our trip home.

Monday- Salisbury steak, w veggie and mashed potato

Tuesday-  chicken nuggets, with french fries and onion rings

Wednesday- chicken Alfredo

Thursday- Hot dogs and mac and cheese and baked beans

Friday- Taco's

Saturday- dinner out

Sunday- something with eggs

Breakfast- oatmeal, and cearl and eggs.

Lunches- leftovers and sandwiches

This post is linked up at Menu Plan Monday

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oh my I forgot to teach them to cook

I realized when my 19 year old son called and asked how to cook corn, not corn on the cob, or even frozen corn but canned corn that some of the children are lacking some very important skills. My 17 yo daughter can cook just about anything and since she does such a great job when I have needed help in the kitchen I have called on her.

      They are quite good at playing with their food

This summer things are changing I am going to make a effort to teach the 19, 14, 13 ,and 10 year old to cook and bake. It is the perfect time of the year as we do not have many evening activities this time of the year, and the kids usually are home for dinner.

  banana cream pie - Nolan wants it, he gets to make it.

I plan on having each child in the kitchen at least once a week, working aside me in following a recipe, and learning to prepare that recipe. The goal is that by the end of August they will be able to prepare at least 3 different meals from start to finish and I will have 4 new cooks that can help out in a pinch.

As far as what recipes we are going to learn, that is still in the planning process, but they will all be things that they love to eat and baking will be simple muffins, quick breads, cakes and so on.

My 17 yo dd on the other hand is going to work on some bread baking, canning, and food shopping with me.

And what about the 5yo well he always in the kitchen with me anyway so I am not going to worry about him yet.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

All in a Day - Summer Vactions with kids

I love to travel, and having kids hasn't changed that. I love to take the kids camping and to see educational sites, my dh on the other hand likes hotels and sitting back.

So we do both, this year so far we have tagged along with the my husband on a business trip across the country staying in hotels and in short term housing.

 In fact we are still in Oklahoma City on that trip, we did only bring 4 of the 6 kids due to work and school for the older 2.

Lunch Time

Top of the St. Louis Arch

We have seen St.Louis on the way here, and will get to stop at Mammoth Cave National Park on the way home. Plus enjoying the sites of Oklahoma while we are here.

OK city Zoo

Then we are home for a few weeks before heading out to Allegany State park for our family camping trip and to make it more fun my parents and sisters, brother and all the cousins join us. What is more fun then 6 kids camping, 17 kids camping we do get 3 cabins and share our meals as a group. Camping does involve planning but I love to plan, and the fun the kids have makes it all worth it, and the husband grins and bears it because it makes me happy to camp.

                     Getting ready for some fun

           The husband and oldest daughter

And this is a big year for trips, as we are also going on a cruise , which is another type of vacation we like to take the kids on but not until December .As who wants to escape a NY summer it's the winters we want to run from. It is cheaper for us then a week at hotel  and it is the type of vacation that makes my husband who works hard to provide for this family happy. There is something for everyone from the youngest to the oldest to do, but because of the cost we have for now limited cruising to when one of the kids is a senior in high school and when they run the kids cruise free promotions.

They do have table manners

Sarah and Pat

Each type of trip involves different types of packing, and planning, but a good list makes it all possible. I will amit that the day before we leave I am a bit stressed making sure nothing is forgotten, but once we hit the road I am ready for some fun.

As far as spending all this time in a van with 6 kids, well since we live 4 hrs from family and up to this last year we went home 1x month 4hrs each way the kids are great in the van. Our favorite things to do are books on tape, we really like the Focus on the Family radio theatre Cd's. The kids do have game boys that they will play with, and for this trip to OK City we bought a DVD player as 4 days in the van was going to be a long time. But we talk, laugh, sing, read, and just have a good time together.

                    Three youngest with grandpa

But every Vacation has to come to a end.

This post is linked up at yes-theyre-all-ours

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Early summer Favorties

2 more weeks before I get to see my garden again, but the ones at home are taking good care of it.

                                                                         summer 2010

 Each month the garden gives us different favorites, early in the year around the middle of June we have lettuce and spinach. The kids really don't like spinach cooked and neither do I so we have lots of salads. Then next is the broccoli, I didn't plant any this year but the kids love to cut some off and have it with dip for a snack.

summer 2010

Strawberries are another early summer favorite the first ones from the garden just eaten as they are picked, and then a trip to the strawberry farm to pick buckets full to eat, and freeze. There is nothing better then eating strawberries in the middle of a snowy winter, thinking about the fun you had picking them on a bright summer day.

What are your favorite spring/ early summer garden veggies ?

This post is also linked up at .an oregon cottage