New Family Members!

6:14 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
We have new family members!

This morning, after I woke up from sleeping in (I love my DH!) and ate a very yummy chicken and fruit salad my DH prepared, he asked me to get the kids dressed and ready to go out. I had no warning as to where we were going and neither did the kids. They sat in the backseats of the van asking each other, "Who knows where we're going?" "I dunno!" "Somebody HAS to know where we're going!"

He drove us to a local farm supply store where he went in and met, rather secretly I might add, with one of the kids who works there who promptly jumped into a beat up old pick-up truck and pulled out of the drive-way, my husband following in his tracks.

We drove out, the kids still baffled but I was starting to get an inkling of what was going on. When we got to the kid's house (and he put up his bloodhounds- gotta love Tennessee! lol) they walked together around the back of his house and stayed for about 15 minutes- the kids in an uproar the entire time because they had no clue what we were doing there and didn't understand why they couldn't get out to visit.

When Josh walked back around the house, he was carrying a box. He shook hands with the kid and climbed into the car. He handed me the box and I opened it and can you guess what was inside?

Rabbits! Two of them!

Turns out Harmony had been telling her dad how much she wanted a rabbit and he had talked to some friends of his and found out that he knew of a kid who was selling his rabbits because he had gotten a job, plus high school, football, etc and didn't have time to take care of them so Josh put in for them!

One of them is over 8 years old, she's a white and orange rabbit (I don't know the breed) named Ginger. The guy said that she didn't know her name, but she seemed to answer to it when we called her. The other is a dwarf of some sort that's a little under a year old without a name (we're still working on that because the kids want to name her Phineas and we don't like that name lol).

The kids were ecstatic!

We stopped by a building supply store on the way home for Josh to pick up some lumber. When we got home, he built the rabbits a cage while I ran to the store to pick up some cedar chips and a plastic thingy to go under the cage. We got them all set up in the living room now (Where we can keep an eye on the interaction between the bunnies, children, and cats) and it's taken forever to get the kids calmed down enough to go to their bedrooms for bed tonight (Notice I haven't even mentioned sleep... I think it'll be quite a while before they are asleep!)

Harmony's Sparkles!

10:10 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
This afternoon, Harmony was looking at cheerleading videos and came across the Titans website. She saw that the Titans cheerleaders host a clinic for kids each year and that she was old enough to be included in it. She immediately asked me if it was something that she could be a part of.

I looked through the site and found out when the deadline was, which is right on top of us, and how much it was and told her I thought it was awesome, but she'd probably have to miss a game or two (or three!) from her cheering schedule this year because the clinics on Saturdays and that she'd have to ask her daddy.

She sat and thought about it for a while and came back to talk to me.

"Mom," she says, "I don't want to ask Daddy for $300. That's a lot of money and he might say no! Maybe I can just save my money and go next year!" (The deposit that's due is only $100 with the remainder due in September but she wasn't hearing the $100 after she read the $300! Josh told me after she went to change clothes this evening that he most certainly would have said yes but since she wants to earn it, he was gonna let her!)

"That's a good idea, Harmony! I bet that will make Daddy proud when you tell him the plan you came up with and I'm sure he'll agree!"

So she goes and decorates herself a "Jr. Titans Cheerleading Fund" jar out of a jumbo sized pickle jar (cause "that's a lot of quarters!"), empties her piggy bank into it, and sits to think about it some more.

(There may or may not have been an episode or two of Phineas and Ferb in there-lol!)

She comes back to talk to me.

"Mom- how many pennies are in $300?"

And I tell her.

"Well, how many quarters are in $300?"

So I tell her that too.

"That'll take me forever to save!" she says.

I try to reassure her that she has almost an entire year to save it and I'm sure that she can do it, but it doesn't do very much to comfort her. She starts trying to come up with ideas of how to make money. First is raising mice (which she told me this evening she 'hadn't ruled out yet!' although she's decided she'd rather raise rabbits than mice so the snakes don't eat them), then selling old toys on ebay (but she got discouraged when I told her how much she'd spend on shipping for the toys she was thinking about selling, even after I told her other people would pay for the shipping).

Then Jude walks up and hits her with a necklace.

"MOM! I can sell necklaces! I can make them too! Kyla taught me how!!"

I told her that was a great idea and we talked about it for a few minutes. She's thought of a business name (hence the 'Harmony's Sparkles'), 'borrowed' $27 from her dad (to which she said "I don't want to keep it, Daddy. I want to spend it and make money and pay you back!"), bought all her supplies (and spent exactly $27) and made her first necklace and bracelet tonight all by herself! (Ok, her dad helped her tie the clasps on, but she did all the bead-work!)

We went to the drive-in where she took her newly made jewelry into the concession stand and walked out a few minutes later beaming because she'd sold her first two pieces. :) (Which btw, were really pretty and I tried to talk her into giving to me, but she wasn't having it unless I paid for them- the little stinker!)

So for everyone who asked (including me since apparently I don't qualify for a free sample!), I've been instructed to tell you all that Harmony will sell her jewelry for the following prices:

Necklaces- $5

Bracelets- $4

Rings- $3

Complete Sets (matching necklace, bracelet, and ring)- $10

(I can't make up my mind whether she's charging exorbitant prices, or undercharging but that's what she says she wants to sell them for so that's what I'm telling you!) In all fairness, she's very good at making them and all the patterns are her own originals she's designed and you can't really even buy comparative jewelry at a flea market for those prices!)

So, if you're interested, just send me a message or call me and let me know and I will pass it on and she will get to work on it for you!

The Long Awaited Series!

11:50 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
Got your attention?

I am not starting this today, but I've been thinking a lot about it and I do believe that I am finally going to post to you a series on organizing a small kitchen for a large family!

Now, you might ask, "What makes this woman think she can tell me how to organize MY kitchen? It can't be done!! My kitchen is just too small, my family is just too large... I need a renovation or, better yet, a bigger house!" I am here to tell you that I can tell you how to organize your kitchen- it's just up to you to know whether or not you're going to listen to me!

My kitchen is 12x10. Not only do I keep a kosher kitchen, but I also buy groceries for the month for 8 people (that's including FOUR BOYS and one hungry husband)as well as extras for holidays and treats and special occasions. We don't buy convenience foods: we bake, we slice, dice, and puree. We stir-fry and broil, and saute. We make sauces. Tonight the girls and I are making cinnamon rolls from scratch.

But that's not all. I use my kitchen as "Command Central" for my house: My desk is in the kitchen and office supplies, my gardening supplies, book, and small tools, the kids' school supplies and umpteen- million books are in here, we have a 2x3 dance floor, ballet barre, my tools and building supplies, and scrapbook and other craft project supplies and projects in various stages of completion... all stored in this small area. Sounds like a lot of things in a small space doesn't it?

Let me tell you something.

My kitchen isn't cluttered. Things are not lost, never to be found. The only things sitting on my kitchen counters are a bowl of fruit, 2 vases of flowers, a microwave, and a coffee maker. I could walk to the cabinets and find exactly what I'm looking for, and I have SPARE room in all my cabinets that could be filled up! I'm not superwoman, and my house does get messy (who's doesn't with a houseful of children?!) but in this one area, in this one thing- I know I know what I'm talking about. And I want to share that information with you because your kitchen should be the heartbeat of your home and too often it's the most hated room in the house. So- It's my hope that someone, even just one person is blessed by what I'm planning on sharing.

I think I will post one day a week until we work our way all the way through, and we'll get started next Wednesday.

Whatcha think?
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