100 Happy Days day 4 and other stuff

I almost let the day go by without posting a picture for the happy days challenge. I had a craptastic night of sleep last night. According to my Facebook feed I was not alone in the lack of sleep department.

Sierra and I headed out early to take her to meet one of the owners if an audio studio in Indy. She had a three hour job shadowing session. Her interest lies in music production. Even though this studio works mainly with sound in the realm if commercials, radio ads etc., she was still able to see how the equipment works. She was hooked.

I came back home to work with the little girls, grab a nap, figure out supper and then head out to Zumba. Back home after that. I ate and now I am ready to crash!!

So, here is my pic for the day. My new glasses. They are cute and the fact that I have them means we had the money to buy them. That makes me happy!


Inspiration Struck

Last night we got a creative streak and here are the results:

A picture with a pattern…details for another post. 😉

After searching, with no results,  for finger paints that I am sure the girls received for Christmas I decided to just make our own. Here is what you need.

2cups of water
1/4 cornstarch
food coloring

Mix water and cornstarch together in a pot. Heat on the stove until boiling and mixture becomes thick. Be sure to keep stirring. You can add food coloring now. If you want multiple colors  divide the thick mixture into different bowls and add your choice of colors. Let it cool and voila! you have finger paint. The recipe is not mine. I found it online somewhere and can’t for the life of me remember where or I would give them credit.

The girls wanted multiple colors

SiSi was even bitten by the creative bug. She found directions online for duct tape flowers and made four of them. One is displayed below.

I have been wanting to make some draw string bags for a while now. I find that with a small house floor space is at a premium. Our living room doubles as a playroom so I am trying to use the walls for storage as much as possible. I found a tutorial at The Purl Bee After completing one for our wayward puzzle pieces I fell in love! It is easy and it sews up so quickly.

The one on the left is Emi’s. She wanted me to make a bag for her flower fairies but when she saw the size she decided it would be better suited for a bunch of these.  The other one on the right is the one holding the puzzle pieces.

(and yes, I created a backdrop for photographing the bags. lol)

I am trying very hard to make projects from my fabric stash. I have a decent fabric stash thanks to a great garage sale find last year, my mom who buys boxes at estate sales and sends it to me, my friend Carol who does the same and others who have thinned their stashes and donated to mine! I think it would be a cool challenge to see if I can make all my projects from what I already have. I think the only thing I would really need to buy would be thread. I don’t have a big thread stash just yet.

Oh and next week Thursday is the official kick off of the Sewing Bee with Juls here. If you are sewing something share what you are doing with others! I think it will be a lot of fun to see what others are up to.

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.

The theme at our house this week was laundry and beating it back to the depths from which it came. We were drowning and nearly naked and that is just not cool. Well, actually it would have been very cool since our temps are in the single digits these days. Anyway…I worked hard on all of this


And then I took our 12yo to the laundry mat to help her reset her laundry. It was the quickest way to get a fresh start.

This is what 8loads of laundry looks like compacted into 3 containers.

She wants one of these at our house

All done!

We had a lot of fun. While we waited for everything to be done we played a card game and then some bananagrams. We laughed, we joked, we discussed some serious things. She shared stuff, I shared stuff. Over laundry our friendship grew. We could have done all the laundry at home but we would have missed out on the time together. I’m very glad we went.

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.






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,




A Big and Little Update:


Going in order from oldest to youngest just for Robyn.



·        Going through that hibernating stage.

·        Loves to shop and find good deals.

·        Will now mow for money.

·        Loves picnic for editing her photos

·        Growing up way too fast

·        Beautiful

·        Kind, compassionate and caring even though she pretends not to be.

·        Watched the movie Across the Universe and developed a liking for the music.



·        Loves to read outloud but gets frustrated with herself when she misses a word.

·        A big help with Zoe

·        Slowly losing the little girl features of her face.—I noticed that last night

·        Loves to cook but won’t eat anything she makes.

·        Loves the movie Julie and Julia

·        Loves country music

·        Sensitive


·        Sensitive

·        Learning how to express her big emotions

·        Likes to read to me

·        Is learning to identify her letters

·        Loves to dance and play dress up

·        Still the leader of the Dynamic disaster duo

·        Likes to borrow the camera and take silly pictures and videos of herself

·        A true cuddle bug


·        Our loud child

·        Loves her sisters and tells them often

·        Loves to play in the sand

·        Uses silks to turn herself into a princess everyday

·        Loves to eat

·        Still nursing

·        Wants to do everything herself

·        Loves to give hugs and kisses


·        WALKING….has been for a month now

·        1yo!!!!!!! That flew by faster than whatever is really fast.

·        Waves hi and bye

·        Claps

·        Says hi

·        Puts everything in her mouth..I will be glad when that phase is over!

·        Follows her big sisters where ever they go.

·        Has no fear

·        Loves to give kisses

·        Runs to greet whoever is coming in the front door

·        Has 6 teeth and is working on a couple of molars

·        Tries solid food here and there

·        Still nursing

Busy and Sick

The title best describes life at our house right now.

We have all been sick and it was a nasty one. Sneezing, coughing, lots of kleenex and mucho vitamin C.

We are on the mend though, some have lingering coughs but are otherwise fine.

Let’s see what else has happened??

Oh, Aly went on her first far away trip without her parents. She got to go to Florida for a week with her friend Hannah. They had a great time. At first we said no to her going. I think the thought of her going so far away was just hard for us. We trusted the family she would be going with, no worries there. It was just soooo far away.

We finally said yes and we immediately won the “Most Awesome Parents of the Year Award”

While Aly was in Florida SiSi got to go ice skating with friends.

Tuesday was our day to work at out food co-op. We LOVE our food co-op.

We went to Thursday homeschool co-op as usual.

Which reminds me that I need to do another blog on unschooling math. It was a question that came up a couple of weeks ago.

I started a pair of wool longies for Z.

I found out that a wonderful friend is expecting .

I was super excited to find out and did not have even a twinge of baby fever.

Z has cut her first tooth. I would take a picture but it’s hard enough to get her to move her tongue so you can see it without trying to capture it on camera.

I’m sewing up some cloth napkins. Pictures to come as soon as they are done.

Oh and I actually cooked three meals today! That will likely not happen again this year.