and kids

and kids

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Sad Morning

Have you ever seen Bill Cosby's stand up when he talks about his wife dealing with their kids. Sometimes, as I get frustrated with my little angels, I can hear him imitating his wife saying, "I have had enough!!" It brings a smile to my face.

Last night I went out with my sister and sister-in-law. They both had had a stressful day and needed to get out and my husband so "Go, have a good time", so I did.

It is a rule in our house, when you get PJ's on, you pick up your room and the toy room for a fresh start the next day. Apparently, Daddy didn't remind them to pick up last night, so this morning the toy room was a mess, not terrible (like maybe they cleaned half way) but still a lot of toys sitting out.

My thoughts: "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!"

This morning I boxed up all the toys that were still on the floor. I keep threatening to do this to the items they don't take care of, and today was the day. Every toy left on the floor I boxed up and put in the closet until further notice. There were some tears shed, but when Mommy is at the end of her rope - look out!

This mean Mommy is just trying to teach responsibility. Right?

(Can you tell that I may be eager for school to start so my house can stay in order a little better??)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

tickle, tickle

We gave our changing table away about three kids ago. I just never used it. We had a box of wipes and a few diapers at various places in the house and the floor worked just as well.

A few months ago I was changing Mac (yes, we should be potty training but.... well....). He was laying on the floor, I was sitting at his feet with my legs on either side of him. Daddy was home and thought it would be funny to show him how to tickle mommy's toes (since they were placed at the perfect spot).

Good one, Daddy!

Now every time I lay him down to change his diaper (and I usually don't have shoes on at the house) he says, "tickle, tickle" in the cutest voice that makes me laugh every time - even if he hasn't 'tickled' me yet.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


OK, I am not the best mother in the world to talk to about getting your child to do chores. This is an area I really struggle with. I'm OCD, and I want it done my way. For example, when the kids put their clean clothes away, nothing makes it in the drawer still folded.

Over and over again we've discussed different things that they could do, but never put anything into action. I'm not saying that the kids don't help out and I walk around like a maid (although, I feel like that sometimes?).

Well, I've decided that I am not being a good mother if I don't teach them responsibility. So here we go, again!

Here is what we are doing (on top of 7:00 clean-up before bed):

I think Mollee (3rd grader) and Tavis (2nd grader) need a little more responsibility than the others. When I need her to, Mollee has to shift the laundry from washer to dryer and then from dryer to basket. Tavis has to take the kitchen garbage out to the big can, which usually needs to go out once a day. He can't push the full can to the road for pickup, but after it has been dumped, he has to pull it back to the house. Mollee and Tavis also tag-team the dishwasher. Mollee does cups and plates, Tavis does plastics and silverware. Mollee is also learning to wash the dishes after she bakes with me.

Daegan (going to be in kindergarten) actually loves to do chores. He always gets the mail for me and when I have some to be picked up he takes it to the box in the morning. He also empties all the little garbage cans into the kitchen garbage once or twice in the week. He likes to run the vacuum if he can, but our vacuum is heavy and sometimes is hard to push. He always wants to set the table for dinner and loves to help me collect laundry.

Capps (5) and Mac (2) have a lot less to do, but I think that is only fair, as long as they have to help with things down the road. Capps is responsible for getting the paper, which he loves that it is his job. Sometimes, he'll empty the garbages instead of Daegan. Mac can clean his own room, which really means all toys are thrown in his closet.

After dinner everyone has to clear their plate. Mollee has to clear Daddy's plate and Tavis has to clear Mommy's plate. As I said before, I usually get them to help me put the laundry away and just don't look at the state it is in later on - it is clean, right? I also have enjoyed getting everyone to help carry in groceries. Even Mac will get the lightest bag to carry in.

I know there are other little things they do, but I'm open to suggestions if you've got some?

Sunday Lunch/Dinner

For Sunday Dinner today we had a big gathering at Mom and Dad's after church. It was the entire Caines Clan (six kids, five spouses, and twenty-one grandkids). Plus, my Uncle Paul and Aunt Sharon were still in town, with their daughter, Dana. My cousin, Alice, was also still in town with her husband, Mark, and their three boys. And my grandparents are in town and will be staying for a couple weeks.

There were 20 adults and 25 kids. Mom wasn't sure about having that many people, but we convinced her it would work if she did pork roast and the rest of us just brought side items. The dining room table held the 20 adults fine with high chairs on the outskirts, the big girls and the little (2-yr old) boys were at the kitchen table, and all the other boys were at various picnic tables on the deck (we were thankful it didn't rain).

It was a wonderful lunch, great fellowship and the cousins always have a good time playing together. It is actually getting a little less stressful as we get together with fewer and fewer toddlers that need more strict supervision. Although, the noise level with that many kids is loud no matter what the age.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cross Clan Reunion

Every other summer there is a Cross Clan Reunion. Cross is my Grandma's (mother's mom) maiden name. She is one of eleven children and for many, many, many years, they have been numbering people as they join the family (whether it is by birth or marriage).
My Grandma is #8. My Mother is #26. I am #94. I have cheated to remember this because that is the year I graduated from high school. Jason is #184, Mollee is #216, Tavis is #231, Daegan is #249, Capps is #262, and Mac is #292. Don't worry, I don't just know this - we had name tags with our numbers on it to help us out. In all, there are 332 in the family. Jason and I haven't been to a reunion since Mollee was a baby because of the expense to travel, but this summer it was in town for us and I think there were about 150 that were able to attend.

Friday night we had dinner and a presentation of missions from a few different people in the family. I wasn't as loyal taking pictures as I wished I had been, but here is one of the kid tables:
This morning (Saturday), some met for a bible study and then some went on a train ride and then all that were available met back at the church for lunch. This afternoon some went to ride horses and some went to a pool that was made available by friends of ours. Again, not many pictures, but here are the girl cousins (Mollee, Abby and Eleanor) lounging in the pool.
And Tavis and Thomas doing.....working on their tan? trying to impress girls?
Tonight (Saturday) there was a fancy dinner. We did not sign up to attend tonight, because it seemed like too many activities in a 30-hour period to tote everyone around. We found out that my cousin, Esther, and her family weren't going tonight either. Since they were staying in our neighborhood at my parents house, we invited them down for dinner. Apparently, my two brothers, Philip and David, and their families (who were hanging around after the pool) didn't sign up to go to dinner tonight either so they ended up picking up pizza and coming over also. It was a great 'smaller' reunion that lasted from 5:30-7:00 and then everyone was on their way for early bedtimes.

Avery loved the horse and wasn't interested in pizzaWith all the different activities we had invited my nephew, Thomas, to join us for the weekend. He stayed Friday night and is sleeping over tonight also. Cousin friendships are so important in this family!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Flower Girl

This is totally for nostalgia's sake.

When Jason and I got engaged I was a nanny for some great friends, Warren and Hella Smith. They have two children, Daniel and Madeleine, who were 5 and 2 at the time. I have many fond memories of being with them.

When we got married, there was no doubt who would be our ring bearer and flower girl (Ginny Henry was also my (not Jason's - she refused to do it for him) flower girl - FYI).
I recently saw Madeleine and it made me feel old.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Busy Thursday!

Today has been a busy day. It started with dropping off a meal for a friend that just had a baby. From there we went to the school library, which is open during the summertime from 10-2 on Thursdays.

I had packed picnic lunches and we headed to a playground near the school. I called a friend to meet me there and we had a nice visit while the kids played. The kids have a name for different playgrounds around town (the Buddy Walk Playground, the Wooden Playground, the Train Playground, etc.). This is the Big Slide Playground. Here are Tavis and Mac coming down the slide in typical 'goof fashion' and Mollee and Daegan waiting at the bottom to be knocked over like bowling pins.

Of course, Capps was off doing his own thing, he wanted to stick closer to me because there were 'other kids' there. After we got home late I decided not to put Mac down for a nap because I didn't want him to sleep too late and get to bed late. I put a movie on for him to watch while I made cookies for a family reunion this weekend. I made seven dozen sugar cut-out cookies (with help-ugh!) and six dozen sour cream cookies (a family favorite) and I made dough for ginger snaps (which has to sit in the frig overnight before baking).

By 7:00 this evening all the kids were bathed and ready for bed, thankfully, Mac was already in bed and asleep. Once everyone was in bed, I cleaned house a little, messed around on the computer and then got on the treadmill around 10:00, but I only ran/walked for 20 minutes and was too unmotivated to go any further and got a shower and went to bed.

Did I say busy?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Harris Cousins

Today I had my sister and her five boys (who live 8 doors down) for lunch and a playdate. She needed to run to the grocery store, so I let her boys stay to watch a movie. What a bunch of boys! (and Mollee too)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Lake

This evening we had the fun opportunity to go to the lake with some friends. The kids had a blast and they were nice and exhausted when we got home. The kids couldn't believe they got to ride in a boat - on top of that excitement they got to ride on a tube that was pulled by the boat. They also got to ride on a 'water motorcycle'. As I kissed the kids goodnight just now, Daegan stated that it was the best day he ever had! Thank you Stork and Family!

Here are way too many pictures to show the fun we had:

Mac, looking way too small in a life vest and on a boat-
Capps, holding on for dear life as he sits in the co-pilot seat (he wasn't sure about this boating thing at first but ended loving it and even riding the tube with the Stork's 15-year old son and loved it)
The boat scene with the tube being pulled behind
Mollee riding the tube with Anna, of course, she loved it.

I won't bore you with a picture of each child on the tube, but Daegan went second (here he is on the tube, but below he is anxiously awaiting for his turn). He insisted on going with one of the older girls (not the boy!) and he kept asking for it to go faster. I'm suddenly a little fearful about his teenage years.
The 'water motorcycle' was a big hit
..Jase and I took Mac out on it
A swim break in the middle of the lake (of course, Capps had no part in this, he stayed on the boat)
Mac helping the Stork drive the boat back to the dockJase and I after a fun time on the lake, hungry and ready for dinnerAfter our time on the lake we retreated to the lake house for dinner and enjoyed some time swimming in the pool. I didn't really take that many pictures at the pool, but here is one I got of Mollee that made me laugh because I felt like she was in a perfect pool-side pose.
Mac got lots of attention from the older girls, which was nice for me I didn't have to worry about him one time the whole evening.
One more pic for fun. As the parents were getting everything cleaned up and ready to leave, the kids found their way to the car with a TV in it and were all watching TV until time to go.Thanks Friends for including us in this fun time - Sorry about Maggie (unfortunately, when they got home their 13-year old lab had passed away while they were gone).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saving Money

In today's economy it is fun to save a few bucks here and there. A friend of mine has just started this new blog about saving money around town. Check it out!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


One of my fondest memories as a kid was bowling. Because of expense and the number of people in our family (which goes along with expense) there weren't a lot of extra curricular activities. But, Christmas break we always went bowling.

A few years ago, Jason and I started taking the kids bowling for New Year's Eve. I don't know how that got started, but the kids love it and we always go with our good friends, Dusty and Rachel. In April, I received some information about a free bowling pass for your kids to bowl any/every day of the summer (I think it is supposed to be motivation for 'family time'). You also had the option to add adults to the pass for $20. Of course, I signed up, and, of course, it is mid-July and we still hadn't gone.

Today was the day! The kids did great (they were ready for their turn and courteous of the bowlers in other lanes) and had a blast. The boys were very much into the competition and would run to the screen to see what number they got after their turn - too bad for them, Mollee beat them all! Dusty and Rachel joined us again this time and we invited Grandpa (my dad) to go with us.
Of course, the kids had bumpers!

Mollee had a great first game - straight down the center. She even got two strikes in a row. She ended up winning with a 99, but the second game her arm got tired and she finished out the game with her left arm.Tavis bowled well also and came in second place the first game, but got first place the second time around (with a 91).Daegan was dressed a ready for cosmic bowling. :) He has been the winner every year in the past, but today he got third place. Capps, well, he's Capps! His ball went as slow as it possible could without coming back down the lane. He really seemed to have a blast and was 100% ready each time his name was highlighted for his turn.We didn't sign Mac up for an entire game, so he just threw a ball here and there for his siblings and he seemed pleased with the amount he got to play.To be honest with you, I'm not sure how the adults did (Sorry to whoever won!). I didn't play because of some vertigo issues that I have been too embarrased to blog about after all our other medical issues (maybe more on that another day). I sat on the sidelines and made sure the kids (ok, really Mac) didn't wander off.

It was a good day and I hope that we can do it again before the summer is gone!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mrs. Laura

At our church, Mrs. Laura has been the teacher for the 2-year olds Sunday School Class for many years. She holds a dear place in the heart of my children (Mac is learning to like her) and is a dear friend of mine.

Today we met Mrs. Laura for lunch at the playground near her workplace. It was a wonderful time for the kids to be with the one and only Mrs. Laura, and for me to have some adult conversation with a good friend.

We love Mrs. Laura!

Here is Mollee 'striking a pose' in her new hat.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fifth Disease

*Medical Section*

You guys are going to think I'm crazy. We have had an incredibly healthy winter (I think Mollee having no tonsils has helped the entire family in that regards), but now we are having one strange thing after another. Granted, I'm very grateful that we are just dealing with a bunch of little things instead of something bigger like my dear friends are dealing with - like swine flu. Plus, I love to learn!

Of course, Daegan is always the culprit, our little 'petri dish'. He woke up Saturday looking like he had a little sunburn on his cheeks. Knowing our previous days schedule, I knew that was impossible but didn't think much of it. By Sunday he looked even more burned and Monday morning he woke up with very red face cheeks, liked he'd be slapped over and over again. I decided to have it checked out (after a winter of not going to the doctor, it was my third trip in eight days).

It is Fifth Disease. Your gonna love this! It is a virus, is highly contagious before the rash shows up and you don't do anything about it and there aren't really any symptoms. Sometimes it can get itchy in overheated situations and sometimes you can get a low grade fever. There is nothing dangerous about it, except to first trimester pregnant women.

Why is it called Fifth Disease? This is your medical lesson for the week. Because it was the fifth rash on the charts back in the day and instead of coming up with a real name, they just chose fifth disease. Hmmmm!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Queen Mollee

OK, so really we call her Princess Mollee, but this blog is really about a Queen Bee. This is for all of those out there (even strangers we meet) who feel sorry for Mollee being in a house full of boys. Here is Mollee playing with her doll house, along with all four of her brothers. They were playing like this for almost two hours yesterday. Of course, she was the boss of how to play, but the boys didn't seem to care, they just went along with whatever she was playing. Don't worry about her, she loves being the only girl!

Of course, Tavis' "blank" is right at his feet??

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Five Year-Old Appt

The nurse at the pediatrician's office, who knows us all too well, says that the 5 year-old check-up is her least favorite appointment on any given day. I'd have to agree. I never liked my babies getting shots, but I could handle it. But when I have to take one of my bigger kids in for shots I hate it. I don't tell them what is coming until right before it happens and I hate that because I feel like I've tricked them. Ok, maybe I have? But I never lie about it. Mollee was always the one that knew (somehow?) what was coming and would always ask all the questions I didn't want her to ask.

Today was Capps' appointment. Like every other check-up in his life, he was 50% for height and 50% for weight (which is huge for one of my kids). He did great on the eye chart, he loved peeing in a cup, and he did every physical activity the Dr. asked him to do (hopping on one foot, walking on his heels, etc.). Then came the immunizations. When Mollee fought her shots (at age 5, I must add she didn't fight anything during her allergy test) her drama would just make me mad, but when the boys just sit there and grin and bear it, that kills me. They always say, "I'm going to be tough as a soldier - will you tell Dad?".

Well, Capps did great, he cried and probably will be bruised tomorrow from being so tense, but he sat still. I did something today that I never did for the other kids, but just felt the need to do it for Capps. I saved one of his birthday gifts to give him after his shots. I didn't tell him I had it until we were sitting in the waiting room. For him, it wasn't bribery (that would be if I wasn't going to give it to him if he was bad, right?), it was just something to look forward to after the appointmen. As soon as his shots were over he got to open his gift - the Webkinz monkey (because he is a monkey) he has wanted for awhile. He told the nurse he was going to name it George for Curious George, even though the Webkinz monkey had a tail. Did you know that Curious George doesn't have a tail ?- a big concern in our house. Capps' response to this issue, it doesn't matter because he is a monkey and he doesn't have a tail either.
The Dr. (who is a family friend) told Capps that since he did so great maybe mommy would get him some ice cream on the way home. Therefore, Capps got a Webkinz monkey and a McDonald's sundae on the way home.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Capps!

Happy Birthday to Capps!
Happy Birthday to Capps!
Happy Birthday Little Monkey!
Happy Birthday to Capps!

This was the requested version of Happy Birthday for our family birthday dinner tonight. For dinner, Capps requested spaghetti and cupcakes. Usually we have a stack of iced sugar cookies, but Capps wanted cupcakes. Of course, after he blew out the candles he said, "Can I just have vanilla ice cream?"
-excuse the spaghetti sauce, there was no time to clean his face, we had to get the party started; also, Mollee insisted on taking the pictures and this was the only one she took of the birthday candles???
He got coloring items, playdoh, and a Batman toy. Of course, he had to start coloring right away and I am very happy/proud to tell you that the first thing he made was a card for me. This is the front of the card and the other side was orange with "THAnK YOU" written in a brown marker - therefore, it didn't show up to scan.

Capps MacCallum Brown is hereby named:
'My favorite five year old'

Capps is Five!!

My Cappers is turning five today. I'm sure I'll post pictures from his birthday celebration tonight, but I wanted to take a trip down memory lane.

Capps MacCallum Brown was born at 7:59 PM on July 7, 2004 (aka Uncle David and Aunt Mary's anniversary). He was by far (by a pound and a half) our biggest baby weighing 8 lbs 9 oz and 20 1/2 inches. Capps was a good baby, especially if he could find his thumb and his frog, which he still sleeps with.

Our first Christmas Card photo with four kids:Capps with Mommy at his first birthday:
Here is Capps bundled up and looking cute at age 1 1/2:
The Incredible Hulk (this was a practice round for Halloween '06, but I love this picture because he has his glasses on and he is making muscles - for the actual Halloween we spray painted his hair green):Christmas 2006:This was a common look for Capps after eating an oreo - March 2007:This is my favorite photo of Capps with Daddy at the Park. Maybe it is his pure/happy smile? (sometimes Capps has a awkward time smiling for the camera as you'll see in the next photo):This next photo (with 'the Capps smile') is from December 2007, Capps is 3 1/2. We have a family friend who titled this picture for us as "Old Spice": In almost every group of pictures I have; whether it is Easter, Christmas, Birthdays or just family fun events, there is always a picture of Daegan and Capps together - I love it!! :And here he is my little monkey (which is what he prefers to be called) with his birthday breakfast:

I'm looking forward to this next school year of getting to enjoy Capps (and Mac) a little more as Daegan heads off to kindergarten. Capps is my kid that could slip through the cracks. Many times you will find off by himself if too many people are around or if his siblings are being too crazy.


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