Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I love resolutions. I really do. I can't help it. Just the thought of starting new things is like getting a new book that you just haven't read yet but you really want to because you know you're going to learn something great. I always have great plans and hopes - not that I always keep them but it's just fun to try :)

Last year I had 3 resolutions:

1. Finish a novel
2. Spend less
3. Become more organized

Unfortunately I only really did 1 out of the 3. Well, I think I did ultimately spend less but not as little as I would've liked. I did, however, finish another novel and had more success in the writing world then I expected.

So for this year my resolutions are similar but I've added a few more specific ones:

1. Get up a half hour earlier to have devotions - I'm just not doing it daily at other times so I need to make it a priority.

2. Finish another novel - stay tuned - I will be posting on my other blog and if you'd like to read it just send me a note and I will add you to the reading list. And everything will be different this time around - I am really excited to share!

3. Attend another writer's conference - at least I really hope so!! American Christian Fiction Writer's is in Colorado in September and I really want to go.

4. Get published - or more published - my second article just came out in SUPERTWINS magazine but I'd like to really work on getting my fiction published or at least a lot of proposals out.

5. Become more frugal - seriously frugal - I've had great success with The Grocery Game so my plan is to extend my savings everywhere. A good friend and I will be starting a new blog to chronicle our year-long attempt so stay tuned for that too and I will let you know when it's up and ready.

6. Clear the stuff out of my life and get more organized. I did do some this past year with the basement but I need even more.

7. Eat healthier - not really dieting but just healthier and a bigger variety. I'm also hoping to eat out less - less fast food for sure. This will help my diet and the budget!

8. Have another baby - ha ha! Are you laughing? This isn't on my list really - at least I don't think so :)

Have a Happy New Year and I pray that 2009 is a wonderful and prosperous year for us all.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jumping For The New Year

Well, not really but it sounds good :) Tonight was the third time we've let the kids jump on these trampolines at the mall but the first time for Julianna and Alyssa. We didn't let Rachel try since she is just too small - 20 pounds is the lower limit and she is just barely that. It made her upset till we gave her a pretzel :)

They didn't do amazingly well but they sure looked cute and had a lot of fun trying!

I hope all of you have a wonderful last day of 2008 and that you and your family have a prosperous and exciting 2009!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sea World In December...

...Is very crowded! Apparantly everyone likes the 70 degree weather (which, by the way, is MUCH better then the 80 degrees and way too hot weather) and they all decide to go to Orlando for vacation. Today they were all at Sea World. So, if you're missing any friends or relative I'm pretty sure I know where they are.

Speaking of friends in Sea World today we got to spend some time with some of our Virginia friends, The Nash Family. Random, huh? They were to visit Disney, we were here to visit family so we met at Sea World. Kaitlyn was thrilled to have her good friend, Savannah along for the day.

My favorite parts of the day were the whale show and dolphin show. We sat in the splash zone for the dolphin show - they're tiny and their splashes don't go so far - the whales - no way - we sat safely further back :)

Some shots that are probably on the cameras of every person who has ever been to Sea World:

And the dolphin show: My camera was running low on batteries so I got very few pictures of the dolphins which means I cannot share the water version of Cinderella (at least that's my guess - it was a girl and a guy running around and lots of people dressed up as birds doing cool tricks like flying and diving - we're just not sure what that has to do with the dolphins...)

Waiting for the dolphin show - guess who's hoping to get soaked? Guess who isn't?!

And the last photos we got before the camera just died and refused to work (darn batteries) - this is us waiting for the Polar Express pretending to be cold :) But once we got past the ride that was just okay we did get to see the arctic animals like the polar bear and the walrus - very cool - literally.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Yes, They're Wearing Shorts

It is just too darn hot in Florida for me at Christmas time!! 80 degrees is just not normal. Where's the snow?? Having lived in Florida I am aware that it is warm. I was not, however, prepared for how warm so we have had to go out and actually buy shorts and short sleeves for all 7 of us because of the heat. Nice, huh? Well, Old Navy seemed to think so when they got some of my money :)

On the plus side it does mean that we get to get out of the house with all the kids to work off some energy and play with some Christmas gifts.

Caleb with his remote control car. Seemed to be some of his favorite gifts - anything he could fly or drive remotely.

Kaitlyn on her new skates! She loves to roller skate and I think she's doing great for a beginner!

And the closest the girls will ever come to snow angels in Florida are chalk angels drawn by Grandpa. They were "patiently" waiting their turn!

I couldn't resist. The girls were constantly running in circles together and whenever they do stuff together I find it very cute and funny. Notice as it gets closer to the end just who's in charge of these three!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Festivities

A glimpse into our Christmas festivities :) We spent Christmas Eve at Kirk's brother's house with their kids and grandkids (and some on the way) and then returned home to prepare for Christmas Day.

Just a note - as you see the tree - until Christmas Eve the tree was completely bare - no lights, no ornaments, nothing. Our Christmas tradition growing up meant the tree was bare and there were no presents until Christmas morning. It was the best thing to wake up to then and I think all 5 kids really enjoyed the tradition this year as well! I don't think my photos did their excitement justice...

And for the one of the cutest Christmas concerts you will ever see check out my friend Misty's girls at Triplet Blessed - I just laughed and laughed - it is soo adorable. I cannot believe my girls will be singing like this next year! So hard to believe!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Traveling Statistics

Time Left: 7 AM (an hour late)

Temperature upon departure: 43 degrees

Miles to go: 910

Stops made: 4 (probably a record - would've been 3 but a potty break was a necessity)

First stop: Breakfast at McDonalds in VA - 8 AM - the kids were hungry!

4 hours later we stopped again at a rest area in SC so the girls could run around. As Julianna would say "I running!"

Kids in the car:

Time spent sleeping:

Kirk: 15 minutes
Dorinda: 20 minutes
Kaitlyn: 35 minutes
Caleb: 2 naps 30 minutes each
Julianna: 1 hour (at 9:45 PM)
Rachel: 3 naps 20 minutes each
Alyssa: 0 (yep, not a single minute!)

(We did make one more stop at a Florida McDonald's to see an old co-worker of Kirk's but I got caught up in talking and forgot to take a photo)

Number of hours girl's spent screaming: between 2 and 3 - you would think that when the sun goes down all would be quiet and everyone would sleep but no, that was not the case. Instead 3 cranky girls alternated screaming.

Most number of kids crying at one time: 2 (yes, I'm grateful it wasn't 3 but that joy isn't as great as you think it would be)

Most number of kids asleep at one time: 1

Time arrived: 11:30 PM

Total number of hours traveled: 16 1/2

Tempurature upon arrival: 73 degrees

Number of people arriving safely at Grandma and Grandpa's house: 7

A photo of our van packed - this is how you travel with a family of 7!! It was tight but we made it - Christmas presents and all :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

School's Out (For 2 Weeks)

Kaitlyn and her teacher:

Caleb and his teacher:

Julianna thought it was really funny to run away from me and not let me take her picture!

Why won't my kids look at me??

Same issue here - no one wants to look, no one wants to smile!

So what does this 2-week break mean for us? A seventeen hour drive to Florida. Oh joy, five kids under 8, 3 of them just two years old and 2 adults crammed into a mini-van with luggage and Christmas presents. Wow, are we excited?!! Ask me tomorrow. But I am loaded down with new DVD's and prayers that that will bring peace and quiet for an entire day - that and lollipops cause we don't have room for anything else!! And, of course, prayers for a safe trip.

Talk to you on the other side :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

School Christmas Program

The kids had their yearly Christmas program tonight - this year it was more like a sing-a-long but the kids each had their own parts and they did so well. Said all their lines and spoke loudly and clearly.

Kaitlyn telling us about the meaning of the candy cane. She didn't seem nervous at all which I find amazing since there were well over 50 people there!

Caleb and Zoe reciting their verse: Luke 2:11 - they did a great job and remembered all the words. They even said it twice which made Caleb think they did the best job of everybody because "they asked us to say the verse twice since we were so good." He has no lack of self-confidence!

I tried getting pictures of the girls but mostly just got the backs of their heads. Sometimes they just don't cooperate!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

They Are Sisters!

I think we have turned the corner of "individuals" doing the same thing to a "group" in the sense that the girls look for each other, talk to each other and play with each other. Each of them knows what belongs to them and what belongs to their sisters. Julianna is the one who often tells me where Alyssa's seat is or where Rachel's cup is. They are starting to know each other. They are starting to act like sisters.

Here they all are cuddling under mommy and daddy's covers. Alyssa usually starts this game because she really likes to be in our bed but the other girls very quickly follow.

Julianna knew I was taking her picture and posed accordingly - I swear - I didn't put her hand there and she kept putting it back even after a few takes! How funny is she?!

Rachel (not crying, it does actually happen) - the girl is really taken to reading and drawing and can draw circles, put eyes in them and look at me and say "face"! Wow, I think that's really cool.

Sweet Alyssa. She is talking more and when she says "thank you" it is seriously the cutest thing I have ever heard! It's like "thk u" and she says it all the time - even if you take something away from her. I love this age :)

I have to say we were lax on brushing the girls teeth for a while. The thought of brushing their teeth really scared me. But I shouldn't have worried - they all do very, very well with it. We had only one fight with Julianna over who got to brush first but after that they all line themselves up on the edge of our tub and wait their turn. Julianna will often say "my turn" as she sits and waits. Love it.

Waiting "patiently" - at least Julianna will say "cheese":

Love their brushes - basically they love sucking the toothpaste off of them.

How well they sit after they have their teeth brushed.

And thank God for the basement! The five kids go down there and play for hours. Seriously - it is wonderful :) Tonight they made a "cave" under the stairs and we were dragging the girls out to go to bed. So cute. More pictures to come but we haven't had a chance to paint the rest - someone had a baby this weekend that I just had to see :)

More pictures to come - the girls have had a very busy social calendar this week - Christmas party, playdates - but I forgot my camera for all of them - how sad is that? Go mom, huh? Fortunately there were other cameras so all that is left for me to do is hunt those people down and steal their cameras. Either that or just ask them to e-mail me a copy. Whichever is easier...