These Past Few Days

These past few days we have dealt with, and a couple are still dealing with, a stomach bug. It really hit SiSi hard. This was her spot for the better part of two days.

There was tower building.


Laughter between sisters.

TV viewing

A rare photo of the teen…sort of.

She was watching this:

(The Colbert Report for those who aren’t familiar)
*Correction, this is the John Stewart show. She does watch both.

Computer time.

Craft Time

And then there was much practicing of the art of camouflage.

Can you spot the 12yo that didn’t want to be photographed?

Oh and that is our dog Mazie….she’s a chicken dog and that is a whole other post.


Update on our Fab Five

Since it is the beginning of a new year I thought I would get back to blogging with an update post on the girls. I hope to be a better blogger this year since I have discovered that I do have family members that read here. J

I will start with the youngest and work my way up to the oldest, just to mix things up a bit. 😉


Miss Z

  •  Loves to watch Cailou
  •   Likes to throw the wet clothes into the dryer
  •   Is a great jumper. She jumps on the bed, the couch, from one couch to another…you get the idea.
  •   Her favorite movie is Toy Story 3
  • She will sit and let you read to you forever or until your voice gives out.
  •   Sings her ABCs
  •   Loves to count things
  •  If she asks you for something and you say “surley” she will say “I not shirly.”
  • Wants to keep up with all of her big sisters.


  • Has been the only child in this house to cut her hair herself and it acutally turned out cute once I even it up in the back.
  •  Loves to jump off of everything. She may be a stunt woman one day. I think that would be really cool.
  •  Dresses, dresses and more dresses.
  •  Afore mentioned dresses are best if they spin
  •  Even better if the dress sparkles
  •   Favorite color is drum roll…………PINK!
  • Loves to paint
  • Asks every night before we go to bed “What are going to do tomorrow.”
  • Must be able to touch your skin when she sits next to you.
  • Taught herself to do a backbend.
  • Tells jokes  a lot.


  • Lost her bottom two teeth last month
  • Is anxiously awaiting for her top teeth to come in.
  •  Just learned to tie her shoes.
  • LOVES to craft
  • Is  copying words from books onto any piece of paper she can get
  • Signs her drawings and paintings. 
  •   Loves to be read to.
  • Loves to dance to country music videos
  • Adores her older sisters


  • Will be a teenager this year!
  • Is hard to find sometimes because she is either wearing a camo jacket or is wrapped up in her camo comforter.
  • Is a gamer that likes Sims and Virtual Villagers
  • Loves card games
  • Is now 4’10.5” and is super excited about that
  • LOVES Mt. Dew
  • Wants horses one day
  • Listens to country music
  • Is a U of Michigan fan
  • Is a faithful friend
  • Is reading the Percy Jackson series


  • Loves to watch Colbert, John Stewart and Bill O’Reilly
  • Has a great sense of justice
  • Is reading the Percy Jackson series and Mae West biographies
  •  Loves camo
  •  Wants horses one day
  •   Wants a truck
  •  Dyed her hair black
  • Loves country music
  • Still loves photography but on her terms
  • Is a faithful friend


And all of them challenge me, in a good way, to be a better mom and friend. I am grateful to them for all the joy, insight, and honesty they bring into my life. I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for them.

Ahhhhh December

The absolute fastest month in the entire year. The rest of the year drags by but December? December moves by like a freight train with a driver that just drank a Monster drink. but this blog isn’t about December just yet. I have been a bad blogger and have not posted in a while. I went looking for a new home for this blog, thinking maybe I need a change. So far I haven’t found anything that I like more than here.

So I need to back track to November and the earliest part of this month to share with you some birthday goings on.

First up is SiSi. She turned 11 this year! Her request for her birthday was bowling. Request granted! I loaded up the 5 kids, 20 or so cupcakes, a few large bags of candy and my debit card and away we went.

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I love that smile. It comes from the bottom of her toes and spills out through her eyes.

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Next up is Ace. Can you believe that she is 3?? That means this blog is now 3yo. That’s another post. Onto the wonderful world of 3!

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And there it is, the slipping away of the babyness and the ushering in of the little girl.

Ace and I share a birthday. Thanks to her I am forever 32 years old. See, when you have a baby on your birthday then you automatically get to be that age for the rest of your life! Isn’t that awesome?? Makes you want to have a baby on your birthday doesn’t it? No? Maybe just a little? 😉

My wonderful husband did get me a new camera for my birthday and I got to have Applebee’s take out for supper that night. And lest you think that is a bummy thing, that I should have gotten to go out for my birthday, let me assure you that it was not. I celebrated my day with the ones that fill my life and we didn’t have to get anyone ready to go out.






A puzzling good time

I recently unearthed a big box of puzzles from under our bed. I hadn’t had them out since the bigs became too big for them.

Emi and Ace thought it was the best thing ever.

I admit that I became overwhelmed with all the pieces and had a slight, ok large meltdown but we recovered and away they went putting the puzzles together.

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Reconciling Differences



If you have been reading here any length of time then you know that we have a 6 year gap between our 2nd and 3rd daughters. We coined the term The Bigs and Littles when Ace, our 4th daughter joined the family. In essence we have one big family with two different dynamics.

I have already seen my oldest two learn to read and the journey was sweet, easy and educational for me. Aly loved to be read to and would sit for a very long time to listen to just about any book I read out loud. This includes chapter books with no pictures. Being an avid reader this was wonderful for me.

Then SiSi came along and she was a different child. She preferred picture books and would wail in agony when I would sit down to read aloud from “chapter books”. If it didn’t have pictures she wasn’t having it. She was also not really big into sitting still while I read. She didn’t want to look at the pictures and turn the pages like Aly did. She would put puzzles together while I read.  I was amazed that later, even though she had been occupied with something else, she could talk about what I had read.

Aly learned to read mostly from being read too and playing games. SiSi learned from being read too and from “Reading Made Easy” by Valerie Bendt. She asked for a reading curriculum and so that is the path we chose. She would go through several lessons in a sitting, leave it for a few weeks, come back to it and then one day we both realized that she was reading and we hadn’t even finished the entire book.

There were no tears (ok, a few in the kindergarten stage before I loosened up), no huge struggles, just us flowing at their pace in the ways that they learned best.


Then there are the littles. I don’t think I’ll make it through the process of them learning to read. Reading aloud to them makes me want to pull my hair out. Seriously, the act of sitting down to read to them is something that I really want to look forward too. In reality though, I am mentally running in the opposite direction shouting “SAVE ME! SAVE ME!” There are no tranquil moments of reading while the children are quiet beside you or at your feet. When I read to the littles it looks more like I am trying to wrangle chickens. I can’t get through a sentence without someone asking a question about the picture on the page. Someone is usually trying to turn the page before I am ready or I can’t see to read because they are practically on top of the book trying to see the pictures. Then you throw a 1yo into the mix who thinks that the ripping of pages is the coolest sound on earth and you have one very stressed out and disillusioned mommy.  

I was pining for the days of old, remembering how wonderful it was and wondering why in the world it wasn’t that way now and it dawned on me. When I had the bigs there were three years between the two of them. Not to mention that SiSi was very content to play next to us instead of be in the same space with us and the book.

With the littles I have a 4, 2, and 1yo that are all acting very normal in their development, all at the same time!!!! A 4yo should be curious and ask questions. If it was just her I know I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed. But it isn’t just her. Ace asks question too. She has no concept of sentences and the end of the page yet. Z thinks my lap belongs to only her so she constantly fights to remove her sisters from that space along with whatever book I happen to have there.

It is just different and I have a feeling that everything with the littles will be different. Closely spaced siblings are definitely a different dynamic than those that are spaced out.

I will have to be more creative, find different approaches to doing things and most definitely I will have to let go of preconceived ideas based on my past experiences and embrace the experiences that I get to have now in this moment.


Living and learning,