Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daddy Rox without a Box

Every one of my kids love to take a packed lunch to school. But most of time they don't because carrying a brown bag is NOT KOOL! (they do not have lunch boxes).

 While eating dinner one of the kids asked if they could pack lunch tomorrow... they all were so excited when Jon said he would pack lunches, because we were behind our time schedule and baths still needed handled.

Once they were all asleep Jon and I sat down and watched a couple of our recorded T.V. shows. Then I headed into the office to read a draft to a book that will be published in the near future. Jon headed to the kitchen to pack lunches!
We were so busy we didn't realize how much time had passed, it was pretty late....
time on our stove
I was so excited for the kids when I seen what my very fun and talented husband had done for the kids. Like I said before taking a brown bag for lunch is NOT KOOL... unless your Dad is a designer and super AWESOME!!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mac and Cheese Fairytale

COUPONS??? What is all the hype about??
Double and triple coupons... WHAT?? what does that mean? Only 2 like coupons per transaction... really who has more then 2 of the same coupon???
And the worst thing I have ever heard... buying coupons from a clipping service!! Who buys coupons??

That was the Heather you all know just 3 weeks ago!
The new Heather has answers and comments for everything listed above!
I am a crazy excited coupon user that still needs to learn a lot but I am willing to listen and read to achieve a lower grocery bill.
Does anyone want to guess what we spend on groceries in a month?? Remember these few details, 2 pre-teens, 6 school age kids, snacks after school, breakfast every morning for all 10 of us, dinner, and lunch for myself and 2 small kids.
It all started when I went online to look for cheap dinner ideas. I found a comment about Walgreens having a special sale on Homestyle Mac and Cheese, and if used these 4 certain coupons I could leave the store with 3 bags for JUST $.50! Yeah right.  Jon and looked carefully and realized we could do this because we just happened to have 3 of the coupons and on of them was in a coupon book in the store by the register (didn't even know they existed). So off we went to get our mac and cheese.. 'ha I will believe it when I see it' I say to Jon on our way to Walgreens.

'HOLY CRAP, we just got 3 bags, which is dinner for our family, for 50 cents!!!' The pair of us were as excited as a kid in a candy store!! It was then that we decided to change some things and learn more about coupons!

With the very little knowledge I have obtained since, we headed to the grocery stores, ads and coupons in hand (yes we bought some from The Coupon Clippers.com) and here is the results that we have personally accomplished in one evening...

Our grocery bills added up to $369 we only spent $194 so we saved $175!!

Just by learning how to read the ads more effectively and matching coupons to sale items!

Ever wish you had done something years earlier? I have been realizing I have a lot of those wishes lately!

Moral of this story, Don't knock it until you try it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Silly String War

Not a lot of typing for this post... just some super fun photos that tell a super fun story about a super fun day thanks to a super nice Aunt!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Scrub with Style

In July 2000 my husband and I were married. In our vows were a few compromises, my favorite one being that I never had to do the dishes!

In July 2010, my husband and took a trip for our anniversary to Texas. We stayed for a week and spent a lot of time with great friends, Nathan and Brittany. One afternoon, Nathan impressed us with his excellent culinary skills, lunch at his place. Once we licked our plates of every delicious morsel, we piled our dishes in the sink. I honestly thought of doing the dishes, but Nathan has a small OCD problem and I didn't want to upset him (and I do not like touching dirty dishes).

A few hours later when Brittany came home from work she started washing up the dishes from our yummy lunch and she was using a long handled scrubber!
Similar to this one


I was so amazed I had never seen anyone use such a kool thing to clean the dishes off before putting them in the dishwasher!! (I know I am sheltered).
I was SO amazed that I made a VERY bold and crazy comment... I said "Jon if you buy me one of those... I will do the dishes!". Of course he laughed, and loudly I might add, as did Nathan and Brittany.

Once we were back home in Ohio, I kept reminding Jon that I would do the dishes if he bought me one... he didn't.
We moved to Houston the 3rd week in August and again I reminded him that I needed a scrubber if he wanted me to do dishes, so off we went to T.J. Maxx.
I couldn't find the same scrubber but I found a super cute scrubber that I decided would work just as well!






I brought home my new very adorable scrubber with excitement to try it out on the dishes. And much to my husbands surprise I have not disliked or avoided the dishes since!!
I did however become a little obsessed with cute scrubbers and when I find one I just HAVE TO HAVE, Jon usually will buy it for me because he like that I now dominate dish washing!
Do not worry, I have shared my love of adorable scrubbers, I showed Brittany my scrubber and she loved it, so for her birthday we set out on a mission to find one she would like...
... here's what we found for her, the dress is a stand to hold the brush upright and I believe she loved it! I mean Brittany has dark hair and I am SURE she looks fabulous in red, so you can why I thought of her when I seen this one! (I am a little jealous I don't have one like this, but I do have 2 more in waiting... for the day mine is in bad shape.


A cute orange flower with a stand. Yes it is the exact same (besides the color) but it is cute. 



This one is cute and meaningful...


Oh I love my scrubbers... and I actually like doing the dishes now... crazy how the little things make such a big difference!

Do you have a scrubber? Does it have style?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Where's Scrappy?

Pictures, pictures, pictures I love to take pictures. I'm not a pro or even good at it, but I love to get the camera (or phone) and snap a pic!!!
Then I dump them all on the computer... THOUSANDS...

I share some on Facebook, I email a few to friends and family, I post some on my blog... but what about the other million photos?
Back 10 years ago, I used crop and stick all kinds of photos in scrapbooks! I loved it!! I told everyone I knew to try it, and I even held scrapbook parties at my house! After a few years of being completely obsessed with scrapbooking I decided to try and sell Creative Memories. I did alright, I probably would have done better if I hadn't spent all my earnings (and then some) on supplies for my albums.





Recently, (approx 3 years ago) I found that I could make photo books on

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Laughter makes my World go Round

My daughter Hannah doesn't like some of the songs I sing to entertain the babies.

My most recent song made Annelise so happy that she dances and sings along!

It all started becuz I couldn't understand what she was saying to me, but once I figured out that 'bony teese o up'  translated into bologna cheese roll up I was sooo excited.... I started singing...

Bologna and cheese rooolll up, bologna and cheese rooolll up 

while dancing to my beat. So now every time Annelise sings 'Bony and teese o up' I know what she wants!
 <3   <3   <3   <3   <3   <3   <3   <3   <3   <3

The older girls love playing dress up especially when they can get LilyKate and Annelise to play too.
Grace is stylin' a beautiful flower girl dress with a dance skirt as her veil

Some times LilyKate and Annelise want to play dress up when the older girls are busy, not interested, or not home. The results are the 2 little ones dressing up themselves... which is usually much more entertaining for me.

It is Isablle's night shirt, inside out and her body is through the arm hole
* ~   * ~   * ~   * ~   * ~   * ~   * ~   * ~   * ~  *

My most memorable laugh was when I we first moved into this house and I realized I hadn't seen Annelise for a bit and I was nervous and went looking for her...

Laughing? Well, I will also tell you this happened 3 times... must of felt like her own little clubhouse.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rockin' Routine

We have a large family but I don't think our routine is much different then most, but maybe.




Having a pretty strict routine is key in this house.
I will give y'all an idea of our daily and weekly routine with 10 of us in the house.

So I have decided to start off our the week on Sunday evening, right after the kids have all laid down for bed.
Jon and I are exhausted physically and mentally, we snuggle up on the couch to check the DVR to see what we haven't watched. Since it's 10pm we see that one of our favorite shows is ready to watch, Desperate Housewives.  (I know your wondering why) We used to live in a house on Hoover Ave in Akron and I swear it was Wisteria Lane!! From the beautiful ladies on the street, with their we are better then you attitude, to the occasional pretend to be your friend smile, including passing judgment on the new homeowner. So we enjoy comparing and renaming the characters. :)
After we have soaked up a couple hours of television and snuggle time we head to bed to start our week...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Danced into my Heart

Last year, 4 of my 6 Daughters and both of my Sons attended dance classes, at Love 2 Dance Studio in Akron Ohio.


 The owner is a brilliant teacher and just as personable as they come. Her standards must be set high, due to the amazingly talented (and beautiful) staff she has hired.


They are just strict enough to keep me happy and fun enough to keep the kids excited to come back. The recitals are ABSOLUTELY DIVINE! I was so happy to see my kids dance so well, I cried!
I have always loved watching anyone dance, but it is heart swelling to watch your own offspring.

Dancing is fun to participate in, as well as watch. I tried (not very successfully) Zumba and Bellydance. I HIGHLY recommend that everyone at least try Zumba and all women should take a bellydance class, you will be extremely happy you did! It really boosts self-esteem and sensuality.

Thank you Emilie, for introducing us, and thank you Love 2 Dance for dancing your way into my heart. I am hopeful that some of our kids will continue with dance for a long time, it brings me such joy to watch and see them grow stronger at the art of Dance.

Do you like to dance?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Painful Toys

"I'M THROWING ALL THESE TOYS AWAY!"

Every time I step on a hot wheel, lego or pet shop I threaten to toss 'em all.
But why do I do I threaten to do this? I am the one that paid for those toys. I am the one that needs those toys to keep my kids happy and busy while I clean the house, make dinner (not that I do that often, my husband is a great cook), blog, read a book, etc...
I am the one that invests the time to look for the coolest car, the most original legos, or the cutest pet shop.

Truth is I should threaten to keep the toys for myself. I love to play with all the said toys. I could collect them and sit in my room and set up a pet shop city, build a kennel out of legos and have the hot wheels drive the and deliver the pet food.

Is there small painful toys around your house? How do you react?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Such a funny word --Y'all

My 9yr old daughter comes home from school and says "Mom, ALL my teachers say y'all."

"What Isabelle?"

"I'm not kidding Mom, they say 'Y'all need to get your books out', 'y'all need to line up', 'y'all better hurry and finish y'alls lunch', it is so funny." The whole time, her hand on her hip.

I agree it is a funny word to us. It is not a word we heard often in Ohio, but here down here in the south it is very common.

So I have been trying to think of other words that are different from place to place and I have heard my 11yr old daughter talk about her friend from Scotland and she has different words for many items that Hannah thinks are funny. Such as she calls chips -crisps, and fries -chips and Mom -Mum.  I pointed out to Hannah that if she thinks Daisy's words are funny, then Daisy probably thinks the words we use are funny.
I tell Hannah maybe a conversation Daisy has with her Mum goes like this 'Mum', while laughing 'my friends at school call crisps -chips, and chips- fries, isn't that funny Mum? What exactly is a fry?'
Hannah laughs picturing the conversation, and then realizes it's true.


Have you learned 'funny' words during your travels?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pictures says a lot

Just some of my favorite pictures of things not people, over the past few years...

This is a HUGE light bright and Jon did this for me.

Beach in Destin Florida

Made on my Grammy's stepping stones to her garden from flowers pieces Hannah found on the ground

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Love

 

"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved."
--George Sand
That quote sums up how I feel. Especially when I think of my family. It all started with my Husband, Jon.

I have loved him now for over 14 years! It just keeps getting better!



"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."
That quote describes Jon perfectly. He will go to any lengths to make me happy (sometimes that's a pretty hard task), and every time he attempts to make me smile, I end up laughing. He is my Mr. Perfect!
One of his small ways to make me happy!




"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies."
 The bond that Jon and I share is truly amazing. It is often believed a love like ours only exists in fairy tales.




"I love you, not only for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you."
--Roy Croft
Jon has helped me grow, as a woman, Mother and wife. I am a better person because of him.

"You're nothing short of my everything."
--Ralph Block




 I am a very lucky and blessed woman to have Jon! He is my best friend and my heart!

In this field of tulips, I found one VERY rare and AMAZING tulip.

Just as I found Jon, a VERY rare AMAZING man!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Expectations

Why do people place such high expectations on other people?
I am as guilty as the next person. I had high expectations that someone I looked up to would change her ways and be a better person, and of course I was let down.
A friend of mine has high expectations that her Ex will step up and be the person she believes he can be, it will not happen.
A relative of mine had high expectations that family would be there when needed, a let down.
Having expectations is good but not when they are set too high.
I have been working on setting any expectations I may have, somewhat low, so if they meet them I am happy and if they exceed them I am THRILLED.
I believe people would have a lot less anger towards others, if they set their expectations lower.

More generic examples.. If you didn't have high expectations that all people should drive as you do, you would have less let down when someone cuts you off.
If you didn't have such high expectations that everyone should be on time, then when your friend shows up late you wouldn't be so upset.

Ok I am going a little overboard, sorry.

Getting let down plain out sucks. So if each person would set expectation standards for themselves higher and set expectation standards for others lower... wouldn't that bring a better quality to life?

I know today's entry was a little over the top.. but it's hard to feel disappointment, and for me even harder to watch others be disappointed.

Anyone agree or disagree? I would love to hear about it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Patience is a Virtue

My 3 year old daughter is completely different then my other kids were at 3.  They were so defiant and pushed my buttons, I have told everyone that kids at age 3 and me are like oil and water.

However now I have LilyKate, she is so sweet and hardly ever does ANYTHING defiant.  As a matter of fact she asks permission before he does anything, its cute. Her whining and crying at the drop of a dime drives me crazy but it is usually easy to smooth over.
2 year olds have always been the cute little darlings, that are funny and sweet and cuddly. UNTIL NOW!! Annelise is by far the most difficult to understand and please child of age 2, I have EVER encountered.

When the pair of them are getting along and life is happy, whine free, and drama free... they are quite entertaining, loving and sweet.
Here is pictures of

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Judgement

Something that bothers me about being a Mother and watching my friends as Mothers... judgement... worrying about being judged, and passing judgement. (ok I am aware some cases are serious)

If I am yelling at my child and someone gives me that look,  I feel like I am doing something wrong. But if I don't correct my child (and yelling is my tactic) then I would get that same look for an unruly child.


Since I am less embarrassed by that look then most people, I am speaking for friends and family members that have a much harder time dealing with judgment.

EVERY Mom wishes she were perfect. However NO Mother is perfect, even if the part she plays appears that way. "Be kind, everyone is fighting their own battle."  This quote helps me, so I will give y'all my translation. Maybe just maybe that Mother that you seen smack her 12 year old son today, has more going then you see. Maybe she just lost her husband a week ago and her son his saying to her that it was her fault. You only seen the smack, and shot her that look!
Maybe you know someone personally that you don't like their way of discipline. But maybe she has a problem with you letting your 8 year old daughter ride her bike across a main road, or that you let your 13 year use profanity!
See everyone is different, we should help one another rather then judge.

I am a Mother of 8 children, I have changed my parenting many times over the years because of lessons learned and helpful tips from people that DID NOT judge me. I was a much more unorganized and over the top grouch with my 12 year old when he was 2, compared to how I am with my 2 year old today. I have many friends that I know, do not agree with my style of parenting, but they are still my friends. I have made many mistakes, as do most Moms. But life is not perfect, parenting is far from easy and never perfect.

Please try harder the next time you feel the urge to judge a parent on a single situation. (like I said before some cases are serious)

My Mother always said to me 'You're entitled to your opinion, even if it's wrong.'
She sure was a smart one.

Take Care and remember...
Be Kind, everyone is fighting their own battle.