Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Frankenstein school treats

With a storm upon us and Halloween (the real day) imminent we decided to make some favors for the boys classmates.  I had not heard of either of their rooms doing a Halloween party.  I just don't get it, that is such a fun part of being a kid, but I am guessing it is because of the hyper kid sugar issue.  I had to bring the boys into school today anyways so I figured I would bring some Halloween, the teachers love my disruptions (very sarcastically!)

The boys actually both had 8 AM dentist appointments today.  Yes I know it is Halloween, yes I know I will not be getting a mom of the year mug for this one but with how hard it is to get dentist appointments we take them when we can get them.  Great check up no cavities!  And my oldest will not be needing braces in the future!!  The other four are to young to tell yet.

We did not stay home during the storm.  It was not the big deal people were making it out to be.  The first day we did a playdate and lunch.  And the second day well....

I had planned to do a project/ treat for the AWANAS kids at church.  Since babies are abundant in our house we have lots of baby food jars I horded kept.  But with the HUNDREDS of children that attended our AWANAS program I still did not have enough.  I asked the church and more bags and  boxes of jars came in but still not enough.  Plus my husband and I had both been looking for green candy to fill the jars with for months but could not find any.  When we did it was green/sour apple flavor (yuck) or mints and kids are not to fond of that.  Plus the green/ sour apple flavored jelly beans or liquorice that we did find we would have had to buy in such large amounts and we were not even getting bulk pricing for it, an it was ridiculous in cost.

But with the 2 days off for Frankenstorm we had time and and urge to craft.  the boys love it and it keeps them busy.  Knowing the schools strong avoidance to sugar I though we could just fill them with play-do.  Why did I not think of this earlier for the AWANAS kids?  Oh yeah because the go from 3 years to 6th grade and most 6 graders no longer play with play-do, I think?.

I looked up play-do recipes online and I had what is needed to make it so we went ahead with their project.

My crazy boys glued google eyes to 40 baby jars.  36 students make up their schools 1-3 grade, lower elementary.  They are divided into 2 classes 1  of my boys in each one.  Then just a few extra because you never know.


While the eyes dried we made the play-do.


Basic ingredient ratios:
5 cups flour
6 cups warm water
3 cups salt
7 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
food coloring 
scented oils or I used a packet of mulling spice since I had it

This made a lot of play-do.  This is enough for 7 kids to have a nice amount  but still barely enough to put an inch and a half in 40 jars.

Well I thought I had enough but as I pored the salt I realized I did not even have half a cup.  I had to go out.  I had to go out after the hurricane hit and I knew most everything was closed.  Heck Walmart even closed.  They never close.  I went to the closet gas station which is a Rutters and if you know what that is it is one of those gas stations that also has a small convince store of whatever you might need for astronomical prices.  But it was sold out.  I wondered where else I could go?  I did not want to drive all around from one closed place to another.  I did not have that much time or gas.  Plus as I ventured out I could see what had happened to my little town and it was severely flooded.  I could not believe all my lucky neighbors who now have ponds on their property.  But how many of them have pools in their basement like I do?

I thought about the local Amish market I bet they are open.  They are always open unless it is Sunday  Don't fool yourself if they can make money they will.  They will be open.  They probably did not even know the storm was coming.  Nah, they do do get newspaper, because they can sell them.  It was just another mile down the road so I went and yes they were open.  I was able to get my salt and a few other items I did not even know I wanted but that looked good.  And they laughed at me as I told them what I was doing.  "kids driving you nuts Karen?  Need something for them to do?"  Aw shut up Amish girl.  (She won't even know I wrote that about her!)


After you have everything you should have in the first place mix it all together over medium heat.


I saw a note that said if your dough is still sticky cook it longer.  Mine was so I tried this and it seemed that it was starting to burning to the pan.  So I gave up and just added more oil.  Not the best idea either but at this point I was tired of our project.


Start stuffing it into the jars.  Then to keep it from hardening I put a small piece of tin foil over the top. i thought it would be okay if a little silver showed it after all Frankenstein was a built monster.  The boys drew on faces and then we covered the foil with a small piece of black fabric to look like his hair.  To fasten it on and make it look like Frankenstein we took pipe cleaners and warped them around the lid of the jar and where the ends meet we twisted them to look like his blots.  Our pipe cleaners were multi colored so that is kinda what they ended up with.


But I hope they were a hit with their friends.  


Next year however we will try something different.  And yes that is Santa in the background.  We have been counting down since August.  He is always watching!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


We made it through the storm.  It was and still is a lot of rain but not that bad of a storm.  We had minor damage, never lost power and got to spend two extra days home with the kids.  Believe it or not they would like to stay home another day.  I think it really is they just want to stay up late.


Not my kid but I can imagine them saying it.  Of course I did take some pictures but my camera battery is dead.  I will have them later this week.

Monday, October 29, 2012


It is after 8 Monday night and we still have power.  We have had rain all day but it did not stop us.  We still went out for a "Hooray, schools out for hurricane days!" play date and lunch.  It was awesome.  We got to spend time with great friends that between all of us we can never seem to find a time to catch up for more than 5 minutes.

The good news is we still have power!!!  We still have light.  I have ALL the clothes in the house washed but what we are wearing.  BELIEVE me that was a feat, I was so many clothes and sheets daily we are talking about 3-4 full loads a day.  I have every dish clean, tables and counters sparkling because with out power there would be no hot water to clean with.  The kids and I all got showers in.  We are okay for the night if the power goes out.  I have piles of blankets by the beds and candles spread throughout the house, that has not looked so clean in quite some time.

And the best part... well since it was just rain so far today I did my homework for tomorrow and submitted it.  And again my school should thank me because it is closed tomorrow too!!!  No school till Thursday!

The storm is picking up so this may be my last update, I am typing fast.  But we are going to bed soon NOT setting any alarm clocks and we will be fine.

However there has been one major downfall.  There is no trash service tonight, or for the next few days.  Yuck!  They don't understand the amount of diapers we go through a week.


Schools Out

Yesterday before it even started raining schools started closing one by one all of the schools and colleges around us started closing.  In all the counties the schools are closed for two days.  A nice unexpected 4 day weekend for most kids and people.  However for me it is an 8 day weekend, yea baby!  And you know why because I got this weeks homework finished and turned in BEFORE they canceled school.  Because you know if you have work to do and it is not done there will be no snow day, or in this care hurricane day.

No the real reason I have had such a long break is because of Halloween.  Every year I explain that here in PA we do not celebrate Halloween the 31st but the Thursday before Halloween.  In the case Halloween falls on a Thursday they still will celebrate it the week before.  It is the attempt to keep the children and the drunks off the road at the same time.

And lucky for us we got Halloween out of the way and done with before all this rain hit because many other surrounding areas have had to cancel Halloween.  The boys picked out there costumes for Halloween.


Ugh I miss the days I could dress them.  I wanted Gregory to be Wheres Waldo, he is really into that lately   He is so tall and skinny it would have been cute.  But he wanted to be the scream.  You might know this scream costume from the movie scream but he does not.  I assure you he has never seen a horror film he hates being scared.  He thinks this scream is from Edvard Munch's painting The Scream.


 Again I love my kids school.  He is probably the only one around here that would relate the costume to art not macabre horror.  But he still had fun making the blood run down the mask after all he is a 9 year old little boy.

Evan wanted to be a Ninja.  Smiley wanted to be a monkey. And Faithy was a cute flower.


My little girly Grace well she was a pumpkin.  I went through a couple costume ideas but as the day was upon us we went with pumpkin.



We meet up with our normal trick or treating crew to go out again this year.

Most of the kids have got to old to trick or treat or have themselves photographed in the group shot with the little kids.  But as others grow up I have more babies that come in.


Only 2 of these are not my kids the Hulk and the black Ninja.

They had so much fun.  Faith did not know what to think.  She just put all the candy people were giving here wrappers and all in her mouth right away.  By the end of the night she figured it out and trick or treated like a pro.  She would toddle up the stick out her bucket and get a bunch of candy.  Her and Smiley were just so cute they worked the neighborhood while people were giving candy to Faith he would go and empty the bucket.  And they were so cute they got away with it ever time!


Aw my sweet, spooky, SUGAR HIGH boys.  It was a hard night once we got home.



But they loved it, they love Halloween.  I love seeing the kids dressed up.  And I love this year it was not cold.  It was really warm as a matter of fact, a beautiful night.  And I loved we got to go.  We got it in before the storm.


We are supposed to be without power for a couple of days so I will let you all know how we fared the storm when I can.  But here is to hopping we don't lose it.  I am not exactly fond of the idea of being stuck inside with 7 people with no power, no will, no light, no tv, no heat, no escape.  We might live in Amish country but I don't want to live like one.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


The craziness continues!  People are out of there minds.  They have bought all the generators off the shelf's up here.  The grocery stores put out an apology that the traffic has been worse than before thanksgiving times.  My county all ready declared a state of emergency with many others following suit.    People are getting ready for the Hurricane Sandy.  I saw this someone made too CUTE!


I have not been so worried.  My kids realize this as I throw them outside saying play until the hurricane comes because you are going to be stuck inside for a couple of days.  The answer back mom is a hurricane really coming or did you make that up!  Hum!  Smart kids.  They think it is all a ploy to keep them from wii and tv.

But I was wondering about it this morning.  I watched the dark clouds that were looming overhead.  I kept checking the weather map before I made the final decisions to take the kids out.  But all reports said it was holding off till 2.  So at 10 am we piled in the Suburban and took off for a jubilee at the kids sleep away camp.

They were so happy they were going to go but so disapointed I was not going to leave them there.  Now the camp is not that close it is in the same county but still almost an hour away.  As we were getting really close Faith kept crying.  The roads I were traveling on twist and turn so much I could not look back or stop.  If they flood I would have been screwed that is also why I kept an eye on the weather.  But Faith is crying and I am almost there then I hear it, projectile vomiting.  A lot of it!  GROSS!!!  It was green, yucky, smelly and everywhere  and we were 5 minutes from the camp. I could not do much.  Because of the roads I had to keep going.  I went to the camp.  I looked at her there and she seemed to be so much better.  Covered in puke but so much better.  I guess she just needed to get it out of her.  I had extra outfits in the car and lots of baby wipes so I cleaned her up, the car up and we decided to stay.  Fresh air could not hurt.  Plus it is such a nice day.  I wore a sweater and wish I would not have.  It took a while but we made our way to the events.

We saw some beautiful draft horses so we climbed into the wagon and took a ride.


(Notice then bland grey sky void of fall colored happiness)


The kids would not stay sat during the ride.  Strangers grabbed Faith for me once, I was thankful.

Then we ate, we feasted, we were full and ready to do more.

The babies Loved to play in the leaves!



The big boys wanted things more challenging.


Evan.  He got up there and decided he was afraid of heights.



Gregory, no fear.  He wanted to do hard but I made him do medium.  He did awesome.


This picture is a bit a way because as I was taking pictures of the boys climbing Smiley wondered off and climbed up to a 30 foot platform and got stuck!  I heard him screaming mom there is no slide.  I went running .  I had to climb up a ladder I have no idea how he got up to carry him back down firefighter style.  I had to leave my girls (with Evan, and trust me that is not being well watched) to save him.  I had had enough.  We missed out on a lot of activities.  We left with kids crying.  But we did what I could do and we beat the rain.


The next Jubilee is in the spring we will try again then but for now whew.  At least I came with 5 I am leaving with 5 and for the time we spent out it was fun and  the weather was wonderful.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Preparing for Frankenstorm

So there is a little storm headed our way.  The weather channel calls it Hurricane Sandy but the Locals call it Frankenstorm.


Yes that 2 AM white S dot is right over my place.

It is all the inescapable buzz around here.  Twitter, the news, facebook all are reporting continually.  Do I believe it?


Again the big L, yup thats me.

No not at first I did not.  It is not the first time we have got a hurricane or the first time we have had a lot of rain.  It is just people make so much to do about nothing out here.  But I kept hearing about and finally looked it up.  And I saw all these pictures I have posted (from the weather channel)


Okay this one I added me to.  Hanging out there in middle of it.

But the overwhelming  facts is it looks like we are in for a couple of rainy days.  Ugf...

At least we got our trick or treating done yesterday.  And I am not one of those crazy people who clear out the stores shelf's   But today I did buy an extra pack of diaper and made sure the baby has food and water.  We are not going to sit around waiting for it to come we have too much fun stuff planned.  But we will see how it all plays out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just in time for Halloween

My little one lost another tooth


And we have got our own Jack O lantern.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tortilla Soup

I love tortilla soup and I came across this recipe (but made it my own) and wondered if it would be close to one of my favorite soups (form Chilies, Outback).  I had everything I needed; a huge bonus and a sign to go ahead and make it.  Gather up all your ingredients...



3 cups cooked chicken meat
2 10oz cans of Ro-Tel -any kind is fine but I used 1 chunky and 1 regular
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn
1 onion, chopped
3 14.5oz cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro

tortilla chips
sour cream
shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
fresh cilantro
salsa brava - if you like a little extra heat, I do!

rice and beans for a side, plus my tiny team loves it

Then combine the first group in a stockpot.


Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or till you feel it has married properly.  Let cool. 

While cooking make the rice and beans.  Simple, easy just follow the directions on the package.

When it cools to a temperature you can enjoy sprinkle with Mexican blend cheese, then crushed tortilla chips, add as much cilantro and salsa brava as you like, then a dallop of sour cream.  Enjoy!


It came out good.  I enjoyed it.  Yumm...  Jay said he would have rather had steak than chicken (I don't agree).  It was better than the restaurants but tasted nearly the same.  I will make again.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

18 months for Faith

Today is our pretty princess last day to be 18 months old.  She has turned into a toddler.  She runs, jumps and chases after her brothers.  They jump and reach to pull her down from everything she has climbed on.  We all love her so very much.  She is a tiny pink blessing that lights up all our lives.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

International Day 2012

Our poor house smells thoroughly confusing this week.  It does not know what country it belongs in, not even which hemisphere.  It has been non stop internationally preparations going on at our home.  Both the boys had International Day at school this week and so did I.  We all had to learn  about a country do a report and presentation on it plus make food from there to share with the class.  Should I be happy my boys are learning the same thing I am or should I wonder why am I doing the same thing as them?  Humm...

I gave mine in Spanish though, at least 90% of it. ( I even threw in a No Reservations video plus the food I did AWESOME!!)  But I love public speaking, cooking and power point so it was right up my ally.

Sine Monday I have been cooking up international delights.  I have been making dishes from Nicaragua, Costa Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, Mexico, and other Latin American countries.  Some dishes turned out good.  Some are okay but questionable.  I wonder is this really what it taste like in that particular country?  And some... so bad I had to through them away!  I had to do most of the cooking during the hours the children slept and one night before the day they were due I fell asleep while making what could have been a great trini dish curried pumpkin and rice but by the time I woke up past the microwave beeping it was more like baby food.  I had to throw it all away :(

So on Thursday I ended up bringing a lot less to the boys school for international day than I had wanted.  But it was okay.  It was still a very nice day.  Much like last years it started out with the Montessori peace dove then followed by the children country parade.


The little babies march first and boy are they ever and always cute!  This year I took a picture of them but it does not even come close to expressing the cuteness.


They were dress up and crying for there moms as the teachers tried to walk them past their sitting parrents.

Then came the lower elementary's flag parade.

Evan had Trinidad and Tobago.

Gregory had Russia.

They worked hard the past few weeks learning about their countries and painting the flags.


They sang a song from Africa, I tried to google it to get the name and no matter how many times they repeated it for me I have no idea how it is spelled, can't even come close.  But I have them singing it on you tube!

44 seconds.  Apparently the music teacher knows their abilities!

(3 days now I have been writing this post little by little, it makes me question the time I really have to devote to this blog.  But I think it is important.  It is a way to share our family with you and a way for me to remember the daily times.  But sometimes feel like it feels like a weight.)

I left soon after that not because of the singing but because I had 3 babies at home to watch.  The kids were then going to eat their international feast.  Some of the parents brought in really good looking dishes.  One even made  a monkey on a tree.

See the perogies on the right and cake on the left both are me!

Glad that event is over and was a success   I was ready to take a much need cooking break and spent the next to nights with fast food and pizza.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

bad night

There are days and times that are frustrating even scary.  Days you wonder why....

The other night was going okay but it changed quickly.  The other night seemed normal soccer, grocery store, dinner.... pretty normal nightly events.  But there were a few things changed in the mix.  I never go to the kids soccer practices this year.  I have school the same time so Jay takes them to practices and I take them to games.  But school was canceled so I jumped on the chance to go.  After soccer I had to register the kids for a winter event which meant I had to bring all their birth certificates and social security cards with me.  I have never carried all of these important documents with me before nor do I ever.  But I ran from soccer to there then the grocery store then to home all rather quickly.  I came home to 3 crying kids, nothing started in the way of there dinner, a missing piano book, Jay frustrated, just chaos.  I was not even out of the car before I was bombarded.

I grabbed the groceries and went inside.  I tried to settle them down and fix dinner.  Jay started spaghetti  noodles but nothing else was done.  As things got a tiny bit calmer more problems exploded!!  We had no spaghetti sauce, there was no frozen pizza I could just throw in, we are out of eggs, I was able to come up with doughnuts and hot dogs I KNOW what a healthy dinner, but hey they liked it and ate it all up.  I think I might have gave them milk too, so that cancels out the rest, right? The worse part was I had just came from the grocery store not knowing we needed any of these things.

Still unable to find the missing piano book I start wondering humm where is my purse?  I looked around quickly and did not see it and then I really started wondering where is my purse and thinking about what was in it.  I could not find it.  I started panicking   I looked all through the car in the dark over and over, nothing.  I called the grocery store no one turned it in.  I was in a lost stage.  It was not for the money inside, my license, checks, or credit cards even key to my car and house which my address was also with because of the license, but I was suddenly in a tormented frenzy because I had the only copies of all 5 kids birth certificates and social security cards.  They were all together. Talk about something priceless.  5 unused completely original and legitimate identification.  I would have the hardest time replacing any of the birth certificates without the social security cards and vice versea.  Someone could now take one or all my kids id's and destroy there future.  There are far to many people who hunt this stuff down and for me to essentially hand over 5 of them!  I was distrot!  I was heartbroken for what might be done in their future.  Still unable to find my purse I jumped back in the car and took  off I made it to the end of the street before I ran out of gas, great and I have no cards to put gas in it with, what else really?  I reversed home ( I live on a one way street) and quickly swapped cars.  I grabbed my Suburban and flew.

I watched my speedometer go higher and higher as I flew down country roads.  But in my mind thinking of a 32 year old who died the other day in a car accident leaving behind a young wife and 2 babies.  So I slowed down.  After all I could replace everyting it would just be a big battle.  But I could never replace my life.

So I started praying, fervently, Lord help please let me find my purse!  What a silly prayer.  But I was so worried about those papers.  I was so sad for what could happen.  God answers big things and small things, I knew he was hearing me I just hope he would answer in my favor.

I got to the grocery store I asked everyone had they seen it?  Has anyone turned it in?  No was all I would get.  I looked at all the carts, nothing.  I looked through the parking lot and it was not there.  My last hope was some one just grabbed my wallet and through the rest away so I dug through all the garbage cans.  It was not there.  By now who ever had it could be anywhere they could have thrown it anywhere.  Defeated I went home.

Saddened on the way home over the papers mostly but also over my phone.  It had pictures I had took of the kids just earlier that day.  I did not want some stranger to have their pictures.  I had other pictures too from school and sports it just made me feel real creepy thinking someone had these pictures and my address.  Laughing at my happy family saying "haha do you know how much I just sold your kids id for.  I ruined their life, yours too and I don't care."  I was miserable I did not know what to do.  Should I stop at the police station on the way home?  I just kept praying  Lord please let me find my purse when I go home maybe it will be in the driveway or fell somewhere I couldn't see it the first time.

I got home I did not go inside but back to my car and kept looking.  I could not find it.  Saddened I kept my head down and did not even notice my husband and son and walked out till he said did you find it?  No I mummered out as I still kept looking.  Finally I looked up to see him.  To see him with my purse slung around his shoulder!  I could not believe it!!!  My son found it after I had left but could not call  to tell me since my phone was in there.

I was so happy so relieved, my prayers had been answered!  I let them God let found find mommy purse for me, thank you all.  I grabbed the  papers out and immediately locked them back up in the safe.  Still shook up from the whole episode.  Still amazed and relieved that it was found.  It was hard to get over those feeling that night.  Worry, sadness, frustration, desperation, joy, relief.

Source: via Carrie on Pinterest

I am writing all this down not because I feel like telling you what a crazy night I had.   How I lost my purse and my mind.  How dumb I was that I did not find it at my home.  But because of what the pastor said on Sunday.  I took all the kids by myself and we made to and through church.  With some troubles, it was NOT easy but we will keep trying till it gets easier   But the pastor said write down your answered prayers.  I have had a lot answered and many that haven't been.  But I had this one just answered the other night

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Corn Shucking

It's corn shucking time!
             Nooooo Moommm I hate corn shucking time.


Is the response I always get.  But they like corn and it doesn't hurt to help mom.  Plus with four of them doing it they go a lot faster than I could.  They just don't want to.


Gracie got out of it this time, as you can see she is happy about that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...