December Randomness

 Just a few more posts on our December journeys and we’re all done.  So, it’s time for some random cuteness of my kids.

Let me set the stage…Tracy’s in labor and I’m her friend-doula.  However, we committed to another friend’s son’s birthday party that very afternoon.  Mark comes home gets quick instructions and I leave.  And then he takes seven children to Chuck E Cheese with my friend Kristina.  Super dad of the year!  Especially since there was excitedness and smiles all over the place when I got home!
They are building the last house on our street and Bryant frequently has to sit down and watch the construction workers.  I love his thoughtful observations.

He yelled, “I Superman!”  That’s Malachi’s bib on Bryant’s back.  Backwards.

Ready for his first day on the job!  That shirt has a tie on it but Mr. M decided to keep his hands in front of it.  I thought the diaper matched exceedingly well.

Zoe has taken sewing lessons this past fall.  And she loved them!  She told me she would be able to help sew pj pants this year and she did an amazing job, from cutting them out to sewing them together!  She made three pairs.  She helped pass the time and saved me quite a bit of it as well.

We saw the UGA Accidentals in concert.  It was the Tuesday after Alabama barely beat them.  We all resisted wearing our Bama gear though.

Ceili Rain wanted to “wear” her baby and Bryant told me he was feeding Enoch (the Elephant).  My adorable MIT and DIT!

Now both the DIT and MIT in their slings!

Nine Months Ago…

Nine months ago we got our seventh little gift!  Malachi is growing stronger and has more personality every single day.  I can’t believe how much he has grown in changed in the past few months.  I know everyone says that but it’s true.

I think he’s outgrowing the basket!

Here’s what he’s up to:

Waves hi (mainly flails his arm around) and says, “Hi!” on occasion.
Up off his belly more when crawling.
Pulling up on everything, including pants legs and furntiure and brothers and sisters.
Cruising around furniture.
Laughing and smiling and generally loving his brothers and sisters and mom and dad.
Totally picky about who he will go to (besides immediate family) and very rarely will stay with them long…but bonus is if you are wearing a lot of clunky jewelry.
Eating table foods mushed up or blended.  Refuses baby foods.
Eating finger foods.
Drinking from a sippy cup.
Wanting “Beary the Bear”” always and chewing on his ears and tail.

Doctor stats:
19 lbs 3 oz (56%)-That makes him the biggest at this age.  Mainly he wins the title because Josiah went on a nursing strike at seven months as he cut four teeth at once and had a virus so he lost a few ounces.  I think he also wins the title because when he started baby food I put avocado in everything. Bananas and avocado, Squash and avocado, sweet potatoes and avocado.  Nothing like fattening a baby up with some good ol’ super foods.
28 1/2 inches long (58%)
18 3/4 inches head (96%)…Big heads…ah yes.

“Um, I love smiling for you mom, but why am I in here?”
It’s pretty safe to say that we are all as smitten with him now as we were nine months ago.  We are all totally in love with this little man!

A Bunch of Characters vs. Chattanooga

Believe it or not, Chattanooga survived us!  We met up with Mark’s family in Chattanooga and toured and visited and laughed and giggled for a few days.

How fifteen children in one house can get along so well is nothing short of amazing!  They continue to grow close and it just blesses this mama and aunt’s socks clean off (How’s that for a Southern colloquialism?  Oh, and ya’ll will be happy to know that I didn’t need a spell check on “colloquialism.”)

 How’s that for posing!  We rocked the quick pictures before we left.
 Grandmere and a helper getting ready for supper!  Just so ya know.  When we’re all together we typically rotate who is in charge of supper and go light on lunches and then rotate breakfasts.  And yes, we plan out each meal ahead of time.  It’s really a necessity with our large crew.

 My nephew T.  Ceili Rain was in Baby Heaven.

 Chattanooga has the Tennessee Aquarium.  Everyone enjoyed acting trapped in the piranha tank.

Group photo…at least we got them all in the pick.

 And a train ride for my train lover.  I was informed by him that the train ride was boring but he loved the tour of the machine shops and watching the train on the round about.  He’s an engineer to be!

 All smiles after seeing the trains in the trainyard and listening to the tour guide talk about restoring trains.

 Visiting Civil War Battelfields.  The lives lost were tragic and the courage of the men on both sides was amazing.

 The matriarch and patriarch of the family!  I think Ace took this picture.

 I walked outside to get a picture of the beautiful scenery and hear, “Aunt Abbie!” above my heads.  My nephews were having some quiet play time on the deck.

 A beautiful view!

We’ll be back

Ah, Christmas season is upon us and while our calendar looks decent there are still so many things that need to get done so my blogging is sporadic right now.

Here’s two funnies to tide you over (well, only if you’re not on facebook…hi mom).

***
Before breakfast I told Ceili Rain that she must go get dressed.  She walked off to her room saying, “If you say so.”

I said, “I say so.”

“If you say so.”

“I say so.”

This went on until I ended with a stellar rendition of “Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So.”  She was not really impressed.

***

At supper, the kids decided to name all of the
people in the Nativity (which is in our dining room). 

Obviously,
Joseph, Mary and Jesus were named first. 

Then the rest of the Nativity
visitors had to be named. 

The wise men include Frank,
Murray and Goldberg. Their camels were George, Bob and Roger. The
donkey’s name is Don Quixote (get it. Donkey-Don Quixote). 

The
Shepherds were Tim, Ben, and the boy
shepherd was Jotham (a character in the Advent story we’re reading).
The sheep include Joshua (from Lucado’s The Crippled Lamb), and all the
rest are Barbara (at which point Mark and I launched in to Barbara
Manatee). The one cow we have is Bessie. Josiah wanted to name one of
the sheep Cold Cuts though.  He came up with that on his own.

One Day

I am about three days late with this post but I thought I would share anyway.  The “assignment” was to photograph one day in your house.  The date set was for November 14th which happens to be my birthday.

Starting the day off with a little bling.

 Breakfast!  My dear, sweet husband brought home cinnamon rolls so I didn’t have to fix breakfast in the morning.

 How can you not start out with a good day when you see this sweet face? And his brothers and sisters as well!

 Morning Table Time-Bible, Greek, Giggles

 Time to get dressed. 

 And brush our hair (and pose)

 Diaper changing time.  On the floor.  It’s much easier with a wiggley baby.
 Time to brush teeth.

 School time
Meanwhile…

 Ceili Rain and Bryant put baby down for a nap.

 And played hide-n-seek.

They hid in the same spots over and over again and thought it was so funny when they found each other.
Special treat with supper out at the pizza buffet.
And chocolate cake made by Mark and the rest of the bunch!

And then off to Awana for some chocolate pudding Bible memorization.

Not a totally typical day but close to it.  This was fun to document and is a must to do again!

Photo Op

A home school day at the lake turned in to a photo op for my adorable little ones.  The older kids were too busy being “anti-social” to take pictures (playing games like four square and skipping rocks with friends kind of anti-social).

 If I keep smiling, she’ll never know I just ate a leaf.

 Josiah is refusing to dress like it is fall. 

 Hands down, Malachi is Ceili Rain’s favorite person right now.  Do ya’ll remember Elmira from Looney Tunes?  Well, it’s that kind of favorite.  Bless him, despite all she puts him through he still smiles and laughs at her.  I think he either forgets that she carried him by his toes all around the room or he’s just letting off that nervous “don’t come near me” laugh.

 I scored some cute rainboots for Bryant for $4.  He had to wear them.  They take up almost all fo his foot.  And make him look 10 billion times as cute as he is.  Especially when he has a stick for a sword.

 Oh, back to me…okay, time to ham it up!

The little kids with their little friends.  They explored, pretended and romped around until we finally had to tell them it was time to go.

October Randoms

 In October, Malachi is slowly getting out of the commando crawl.  As such, he likes to stand on his feet and move around like a bear.  He won’t crawl.  Just stand and move one foot around and then get back on his belly and go.  He’s now taking more and more crawl steps on his hands and knees though. 

 Do you see how cute I am?!

 Because, I’m really cute.  As cute as my brothers and sisters!  He crawled to the mirror and proceeded to “kiss” the baby in it.

 Game time in Awana.  You never know what will happen.
 We got our cultural studies in at a concert of Czech-Slovac Folk group at a local concert.

 One crazy afternoon, I had Kristina’s kids and had to take Zoe to piano and the boys’ to golf clinic.  So, I loaded all ten of them up (one was with Kristina) and off we headed.  And being that Kristina is a bestie, she stopped off at McDonald’s and got lunch for our crew.  And we picniced.  At the driving range.  In the parking lot.  We’re cool like that.

Chick-fil-a hosted a Pirate’s and Princess night.  Ceili Rain informed us that her Colonial dress was a princess dress and she was most happy to wear it and get free ice cream. She also enjoyed getting her face painted.

Zoe’s First

So, awhile back I mentioned that my parents have mad skillz when it comes to finding awesome furniture at great prices.  Awesome in that it is old and used and needs some updating and that is fine with me.  That kind of awesome.

When last they came to visit, they dropped off a beautiful old vanity that needed a bit of updating.  I decided that Zoe was just the age to learn how to refurbish an old piece of furniture.  We scoured Google and pinterest and found the same vanity updated and she said she wanted hers to look like that.  So, we set to work.  Her design required staining too.  I believe that it’s been at least 10 years since I’ve stained furniture so this was a good refresher course for me.  I think I only had to call my mom once to make sure we did it right.

This is the determined/concentrated look.

 Staining!  I forgot how much I enjoyed staining.  Polyurethening is another story.  I’m always worried I’ll have too many bubbles and it’ll look horrible!
We had an audience that day.  Can I just say that I love having a garage to work in?
Here’s our inspiration:

Beautiful! And shabby chiced too! We didn’t go shabby chic but we did the dark stain on top:

The girls’ love it.  I wanted to go for another bright pink but was vetoed by everyone I said it too.  So, classic white with stained tops it is.  We’ve still got to find a chair so I’m on the look out for something with character (ha.ha.).

Didn’t Zoe do a wonderful job?!

Tour Da House…Kids’ Rooms

 I know.  I’m behind again.  So sad.  I’m still working hard.  As evidenced by this room.  The girls’ room.  I gave Zoe control over it when we unpacked.  But she soon realized that she needed a bit of help (okay, I told her she needed a bit of help).  I took a Saturday in October and we spent two hours in this room.  Two hours in one room…just organizing and rearranging.

We made it through though.

 Ceili Rain has the bottom bunk.  The girls’ bed was a Craigslist find.  Mark and a friend from church headed out the night we closed on the house and picked up the bed.  They took it to the new house in a down pour very similar to our move in day.  On the way home, they saw a guy on a bike.  He was trying to peddle home in the down pour.  They had room in the van for the guy and his bike because the seats were all out.  So, upon the suggestion of the friend, they picked him up.  Mark and our friend said that this guy would not stop talking the whole trip.  Apparently, his “motivation was in the tank” and he “used to be a cabby in Philadelphia” or somewhere like that.

And that has nothing to do with the girls’ room.  I just thought I’d share.

Ceili Rain stuffs things around her bed.  I have since scooted her bed to one side and will be getting a bookshelf for the other soon. 

I know.  I know.  She did her best with what she had.

This is a before of the closet.  The girls love American Girl dolls so having a walk-in closet was wonderful!  They now have a place for the girls to “live.”  And these girls typically live in a style of luxury.

 One of the “sold me” parts of the house was the walk-in closets in two of the bedrooms. 

This is the organized after picture.  Ceili Rain was showing me where the girls were sleeping.  We arranged it so they could get to each of the dolls.  I moved the bookshelf in to the closet so they have more space for something I’ll show tomorrow.

I’m keeping their bed linens in this small hang up place.

I repainted their dresser before we moved.  When we first purchased the dresser it was painted red.  I repainted it with a castle on the front drawers but I knew Zoe was getting too old for that and the white flat paint that we used as a base was getting dingy.  So, we found a bright pink, funky fabric, and pink spray paint.  I dipped the fabric in fabric softener and smushed it on the drawers.  The ends got frazzled and still are, so I hot glued ribbon around the edges.  It won’t stay but we can swap it out easily when the girls get tired of the fabric.

 I can see the floor!  And two adorable and beautiful little girls.

Jumping for joy!  Just had to throw this in there.

Boys walk-in closet.  We mainly hang up church clothes in both rooms but having the walk-ins allows them to have play space and, we’ll have plenty of room to hang up “real” clothes when they get older.  Josiah enjoys helping give tours.  Okay, he enjoys photobombing.

Ties, colonial costumes, and backpacks.  That’s what we store in the boys’ closet!
See.  Tour photobomber.  We have four boys in one room.  Malachi has a separate room that will eventually double as a guest bedroom.  For now, it’s all his until everyone comes in to play with his toys.  His bedroom does not have a walk-in closet, is not finished, and really only contains his crib.  Hence, I didn’t see a need to post the pictures right away.  I’ll do that later.

I purchased over the door shoe organizers for the boys’ and girls’ rooms.  This gives the girls plenty of space for their dolls and it keeps the boys’ shoes organized.  We only keep Sunday shoes in their rooms since the rest are in the mud room so that gives extra storage for whatevers.  The girls keep their few Barbie dolls in them and I’m not sure what else.  The boys’ still haven’t figured out what to do with theirs.  But Bryant was very upset this past Sunday when he couldn’t find his shoes (that were in the organizer).

You can head over to A Bowl Full of Lemons to see some better more organized kids’ spaces.  We are continually working to stay organized and clean and right now, my goal is to have a place for everything.  Making it look cute will come when I win the lottery that I don’t play later.