Thursday, August 30, 2012

More Ants

  Here is the mostly 'final' ant farm. The ants seem to be satisfied with their tunneling system and now just scurry around in the tunnels as opposed to digging extensively.

After yesterday's ant escape, many of the ants seem hopeful that the top will open up again.  Quite a few are clustered near the top, waiting eagerly and forlornly.  Forget it, ants!

As a slight aside, I am enjoying a book written by the caretaker of a reptile house at a large zoo.  One chapter recounts the excitement when a king cobra escaped from its cage.  King cobras are large and extremely venemous.  It took 3 hard, scary days of searching to find it, and they were able to recapture it.

As I said to Kevin, after reading about a king cobra escape, an ant escape seems very minor!

Cute (and Confined) in her Overalls

Someone kindly gave me these overalls and, truth to tell, I wasn't too enthused about them.  They are darling, but they don't have snaps between the legs, so getting to the diaper is not easy.

 Two days ago, that liability became a definite asset!  I walked into the little girls' bedroom and smelled something...bad.  I won't go into gory details, but Sarah had created a diaper malfunction and the results were a long way from pretty.

Kevin then told me he had seen her separating the tabs on one side of a diaper so that it fell off.

Houston, we have a problem.

Enter the overalls. There is no WAY that girl is getting to her diaper with those overalls on!

Problem solved, until the overalls needed washed, which didn't take long!

Today we're trying pants that fit quite snugly around her waist and I'm hoping for another Diaper Disaster Free Day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ant Escape

I had the best of intentions.  The ant manual said that once a week, I should open the ant farm to give them a little oxygen, though they don't need much.

So I did.  The top is on tight and it takes some strength to get it off, so while the opening I made wasn't big, it wasn't a teeny crack.


Apparently they can bite so I just shoved the top back on and killed the ants that escaped.  I think I killed 4 and a 5th got crushed by the top.

So, lesson learned. I'm not opening the top unless they are ALL are at the bottom of the ant farm.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ant Farm

The ants are SO COOL!

Here are the first couple of days of tunneling.

Here they are on top of their gel. The gel is translucent and is suitable for tunneling and eating. What more could some nice harvester ants want?

 And they are off!  Tunneling, I mean. This is from yesterday.  They've dug more since, of course.  I don't have the pictures on the computer yet but will update soon.

 They are way more interesting than most television shows.  The kids have spent many happy minutes watching them carrying gel to the surface. 

Today's Cute Interaction

We were driving to the library and 11 year old Lydia and 6 yo Miriam were pretending we were on a rocket going to the moon.

Lydia:  Thanks to the power of space travel, going to the moon on a rocket is as easy as taking a taxi!

Miriam:  What's a taxi?

Had to laugh. She knows rockets, but not taxis.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Injured Ankle...

Not mine, but Kevin's.  He was playing racquetball Wednesday and came down wrong on his left foot.  We were concerned he had done serious damage but he took yesterday off and has spent much time being careful with it, and it is much better.

One small silver lining to his injury is that I appreciate him even more than I usually do.  There are things he does around the house that he always does, so I tend to take those things for granted.  Well, the children or I have had to do some of them the last couple of days. 

Tonight I should probably take the trash out, as that requires strength and leverage.  Our big kids are getting fairly big, but none of them are heavy.  Lydia is our heaviest child and she isn't 90 lbs yet.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Birthday week!

Angela turned 5!

Here she is, waiting for her presents.  She liked them all.

Daniel hung out doing some tummy time.

Naomi and Lydia made a cake for Angela.

Later in the week, Joseph turned 8!

He is excited about an ant farm.  Ants are on order!

Our 2 littles didn't have a birthday, but get a picture posted just because they are cute.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chore Shuffle

This weekend, in all my "spare time" I am thinking about the various tasks that I and the children do around the house. And I'm thinking about what jobs I do that the kids can do, and what jobs the big kids do that the younger children can do.

Yes, it is a "chore shuffle" in progress. It's a big job to train people to do something new, but once they know it, life is much easier.

I've been feeling stressed with more to do than I have time to do. There are things only I can do.  I am realizing that I should have the kids do the stuff they can do that I am currently doing.

Stay tuned!

Friday, August 17, 2012


Ok, I am one happy mama!

Sarah's pink glasses have been found!

I had nearly convinced myself that they were lost outside or had fallen into a trash bag and been carted out to the trash. But no, they were found, obscurely, on the big girls' desk in their room.

Nothing like saving a couple hundred dollars.  I am happy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


It has been an interesting week.

2 good things are 2 birthdays. I will post pictures later.

Last week something challenging happened.  Kevin made a decision that I didn't like.  As a Christian wife, I believe that wives are to submit to their husbands so long as the decision isn't counter to Scripture. It was not counter to Sciprture.  Actually, his decision was based on the very purest of motives -- he had some concerns about a situation not being the safest or best for our children.

I didn't feel the same way so I was disappointed and upset.  Furthermore, his reason was based more on intuition than a 5 point of explanation of why he came to the conclusion he did. 

Like Job in the Bible, I totally want a WHY when something happens that I don't like.  And Kevin wasn't able to give me a why.  So that was even more upsetting.

It took a couple of days, but I finally realized that I needed to trust Kevin with his decision and trust God to work in the whole situation.  Our children sometimes don't understand when I say "no" to something and THEY want an explanation. And yes, sometimes I can't or am unwilling to give them an explanation.  The situation, the decision, is what it is.  They need to trust that I have their best interests at heart. I need to trust that God has our family's best interests in His heart.  I need to trust that He will guide Kevin.  I need to trust Kevin to lead even though I know that he is not perfect because Jesus was the only perfect person.

I know many a Christian wife longs for a husband who is willing to make the hard decisions in leading the family. I am blessed to have a husband who prays for wisdom and will make an unpopular decision if he feels led to do so. 

So I am thankful for Kevin and his leadership.  There are still some challenging aspects to the situation and we're waiting on the next step in what to do, but that's Ok.  I know God will show us His best plan for us.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pink Glasses

 Including the basement, we only have 5000+ square feet of living space.  How hard can it be to find one pair of little pink glasses?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Good Questions

All of our children who can talk ask good questions. I'd like to highlight a couple of Miriam's questions today.  She is 6 years old.  I point out her age becuase it shows even young children can ponder things deeply.

Last night, in her bath, she asked me, "Mom, since God knows what everyone is going to do, why doesn't he just create the people who will be good." 

Whoa, deep question!  I was just reading about that very question in a fascinating apologetics book called "Letters from a Skeptic".

My answer to Miriam is that while God is outside time and knows everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen, He DOES give us free will.  So people are able to make choices.  God has not made us into robots and we are able to make decisions that lead us toward God or away from God. To SOME degree, God is an observer.  He knows the future and the choices we will make, but He doesn't control those decisions.

I realize not all Christians have that particular view, but this is what I believe. 

This morning, Miriam asked me, "So, were Adam and Eve always old?"

I realized she meant "adult". To her, any adult is old.

As she said, "If God made them as babies, they would die because no one would be there to take care of them."

I think Miriam is a budding philosopher :-).

Friday, August 10, 2012


  Our big boys have been in Michigan this week, visiting my parents.  They have had a great time. Today I meet my parents halfway and get them back.  The house has been surprisingly quiet with 5 girls and one small boy, but I miss them and am glad they are coming home today.

  I took Daniel to a physical therapy consult yesterday. He has torticollis, which means ... well, you can look it up if you want details. The crux of the matter is that he preferably turns his head one way and his muscles are slightly out of whack in his neck.  A very nice physical therapist showed me some exercises to do with him daily.  She said his case isn't severe and that therapy should resolve the problem.   She was actually very impressed with his head control and how easily he can turn his head the "non preferred" direction. We've been working on it the last couple of weeks and perhaps that helped.

 After several weeks of multiple appointments, I think we are done with all things medical until the end of August when 2 more kids have dental appointments.  Oh, and I need to schedule an orthodontics consult for Naomi.  But that won't be 'til later.

  Kevin is in the midst of a major computer upgrade. He is super experienced with computers and does amazing things with them, things that are totally over my head.  Our "big computer", which is the main one in our family room, is very much a work in progress.  Right now, there is no obvious way to download the pictures off of our camera into the computer.   So no pictures today!

  My mental health state has not been the greatest the last couple of days though today is better.  I am by  nature quite a serious person, and I am prone to depression on occasion.  I am much improved from my teens and 20's, when I had fairly prolonged depressive episodes.  So I'm thankful that usually I feel joyful about life.  It is encouraging to me that being sad and even depressed isn't totally weird...the Psalms show that David sometimes battled depression and discouragement and sadness and anger at the difficulties of life.

  May God bless us with His strength and wisdom to walk the hard road of life.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Little Humor...

Check out this perfume on

I presume the people selling it didn't MEAN to be funny, but the whole thing is delightfully absurd. I particularly like the added touch that shipping is NOT free.

Oh, the comments are hilarious too, though I think there might be a few less than courteous words. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Daniel Update

Daniel had bloodwork on Friday and his bilirubin levels were WAY down from 10 days before.  He was above 7 and dropped to a little above 2!  Praise God!

I'll blog more soon.  My parents are in town and it has been a busy few days.

Look at the tiny egg!