and kids

and kids

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Break: Day 3

Today, my sister, Heather, and I swapped kids. She took my kids for the morning and I ran some errands. We then met at McDonald's for lunch, let the kids play and she went to run her errands and I took her kids home with me. A big van has it's advantages!I had planned to get a haircut and go grocery shopping for my errands, but changed my mind and just went to the mall and slowly looked around without a stroller and without playing herd ball - it was great! I got a top for Easter and a birthday gift for Jason.

Half-way through the Harris' stay here, the mailman brought a Netflix movie, The Bionicle Saga (very important to little boys). Of course, they were watching while building bionicles (for those of you without boys, that is a Lego product of some sort?).
Mollee had a birthday party to go to at 4:00, so as soon as Heather picked up her boys, we loaded in the van and dropped her off.
Jason is working about 45 minutes away and doesn't have cell service so when I hadn't heard from him to say he was on his way home by 6:15, I started up the grill and grilled our chicken myself. The boys and I ate dinner and at 7:30, when I was loading up the boys to go get Mollee, Jason called to say he was almost home. So, I warmed up his plate and was able to leave the boys home.

Right now they are enjoying Charlie Brown's Easter Special (I remember loving these specials as a kid, but as an adult, I just don't get them?) and will be going to bed as soon as it is over. Then I hope to get to bed early myself for another fun-filled day of Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break: Day 2

Today started with some playtime with a friend, Kelsi. Her mom had to take her other daughter to an appointment, so we had Kelsi come play for the morning. My three older boys have all had claims to Kelsi's hand in marriage at different times, so all were excited she was coming. Of course, she was just excited about playing with a 'big girl's' toys.
After dinner at Cracker Barrel last night, a couple of the kids thought they'd waste $2 of their own on big lollipops, so they started on those after lunch today, which I think will be a part of each day this week (Dear dentist, I apologize).
The Xbox died last night- tragic, isn't it? Of course, the boys (husband included) were very disturbed by this. We started our errands today with a 45 minute wait at Best Buy trying to get our warranty filled. There really wasn't a problem, and our customer rep was awesome, just a lot of red tape, plus we had a game stuck inside the dead Xbox that needed to be returned to some very worried little boys.

After getting our new Xbox, that is better than our old one because they don't make ours anymore, we headed to Toys R Us. I had told the kids they could spend their money over Spring Break. I think we were there for an hour, do you know how hard it is to decide what to spend $7-$10 on?? It is a major decision! Mollee had her heart set on an $8 barbie at Target, so we headed over there next. Plus, she was still in need of white shoes for Easter, so we were able to take care of that task also.

We had left the house at 1:00 and it was almost 4:00 when we got home. Daegan and Capps bought Lego sets and Tavis got some Playmobile. Here is everyone working on or enjoying their new toys.
Jason had to work late so we had a late dinner of 'hodge podge', which means whatever leftovers and such we could find in the frig. What did that mean tonight? Hamburgers for Jason and Daeg, a hotdog for Mac, bacon sandwich for T, deli meat and cheese stick for Capps, and Mollee and I had grilled cheese and bean soup. The kids usually like 'hodge podge' night because everyone is going to find something they like!

My night has ended with a quick trip to CVS (where I got $70 worth of stuff for $29 - including a lot of pull-ups and some expensive meds that I always avoid buying) that I wasn't willing to make with the kids and now blogging and very, very soon - SLEEP!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break: Day 1

Today was the first day of Spring Break. I was still recovering from a rough weekend of a "non-gall bladder" attack (my body still hasn't adjusted to digesting too much rich food after having my gall bladder removed - after date night Friday night, and too much junk food Saturday, ending with burgers, I paid for it Saturday night and all day Sunday).

I decided to take it easy this morning rather than run the kids around to a bunch of fun errands, which is what I like to do when they have a break from school. Mollee had been invited to play at a friend's house for the afternoon, so after she left, the boys and I went for a walk. Grandma was outside working in her yard putting out new landscape bricks, so the boys helped her unload them and carry them to their various destinations.

We were supposed to pick Mollee up at 5:30, so, after a lot of outside time, we went and picked her up. By the time we got back home, Jason was home and showered and we decided to take the kids out for dinner.

Growing up in a family of eight, we didn't eat out often. However, we did eat out while we were traveling to our grandparent's house. I have many fond memories of eating as a family at Cracker Barrel. Afterwards, Dad would let us pick a candy stick to enjoy in the car. Therefore, that is what we did this evening.

We don't eat out as a family that much either, except to grab some chicken nuggets in the drive-thru. So tonight, we took the kids to Cracker Barrel. With picking up Mollee and having to go back to pick up Jason we got a late start. Who would have thought that Cracker Barrel was so busy on a Monday night? (even the servers were a little stunned) We got seated fairly quickly, but our food didn't come until about 7:15. The kids were hungry, but they had fun playing with the games and coloring their menus.

Afterwards, of course, we let the kids pick out a candy stick. Mollee and Tavis got cotton candy, Daegan got butterscotch, Capps got sour apple, Mac got orange, Jason got bubblegum, and, like every time my Daddy took me, I got cinnamon.

The Backyard

The fact that I'm showing you my backyard is a big deal. Maybe I'm hoping that some time down the road (soon? that is what I've been hoping for five years?) we can get the backyard cleaned up enough to enjoy it - maybe some grand before-and-after photos.

This is the extent of our enjoyment of the backyard, the screened-in porch just off the kitchen. During the Spring and Fall we spend a lot of time out here. It isn't grand, but with a little paint it doesn't seem quite so bad/dirty.

Just past the porch is an open deck, that has been completely destroyed by the sun, besides the fact (my husband would tell you) the whole thing was built incorrectly.The kids aren't normally aloud to go out here for fear of terrible splinters and that they'll push through the 'railing' (as Mac demonstrated as soon as I let him out with me).The stairs have always been a little scary, but last summer Jason took care of that when he bumped them with the riding lawn mower and they completely collapsed.The kids are sitting where the steps should be, but instead there are stacks of retaining wall bricks that Jason took from my parents house when they were getting rid of them. He has hopes of using them, someday??

This is a view of the backyard, which I let the kids play in today under supervision. It doesn't look so bad in the picture. Actually, it doesn't look too bad right now. It just has a privacy fence that is falling, lots of holes for triping, huge ant hills, a pile of brush that has needed to be burned and these bushes that won't die. We cut them down every Spring to the ground, but, by next Spring they are 7-feet tall (see second photo).

It is one of those Catch-22 (someone explain that phrase to me?) scenarios. We would love to do it and Jason could do all the work, but when Jason has time to do it, it usually means that he doesn't have work, therefore, we can't justify buying the materials for a new deck and renting a backhoe for yard issues - even though the expense would be drastically less than having someone come in to do it.

Oh, well.....maybe one day I can show off some glorious "after" pictures!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Today, Ruth's church had a commissioning service for her as she prepares to leave for South Africa next Monday. She has gone to Africa the past three summers for two week terms and has felt the Lord calling her to come for a longer term. She is going to Cape Town for a year and will see where the Lord leads her as she works in an orphanage there.

The service was sweet and, as no surprise, she was surrounded by so many friends that love her, have supported her and will be praying for her. We all took communion with her, which was awesome and I told myself I wasn't going to cry. Then our Daddy prayed a wonderful prayer for his youngest daughter and, well, I did cry. It was a very moving service.
She can be assured the my kids will be praying for her each night at bedtime (which will be early morning of the following day for her). We pray all the living details will be worked out and that the Lord will keep her safe.
We love you, Ruth (I've never been one to call you Ruthie - as Dr. Allen prayed yesterday) and I'm going to miss you terribly!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Don't judge me!

I'm been a mom for 10 1/2 years and we've never hired a babysitter! Crazy, isn't it? This is partly because we have a lot of family around and partly because I'm a control-freak (no one else can do "it" exactly right). And, well, partly because we don't go out much.

The only times I've slept away from my kiddos is while in the hospital with another kid or the one anniversary Friday night we took this past October to stay in a nice hotel. For some reason, I want to be the one to kiss and tuck my kids into bed. They are growing too fast anyway, I might as well enjoy it while I can, right? If I was in the hospital having a baby and couldn't leave the hospital or even in the hospital with Mollee for the week after her tonsillectomy from hell and wouldn't leave the hospital, I made sure Jason would go tuck them in and then come right back to me. I'm sure that wasn't necessary, but it always made me feel better.

When Jason and I get family to stay with the kids, we usually just go out to eat and come right back - which definitely is a treat and I can still put my babies to bed. Plus, I'm not really a night person. That is Jason and I's biggest personality difference. He'd rather stay up late and he hates getting up in the morning and I'd rather go to bed by 10 and I cannot sleep-in in the morning. Even in high school, I'd go to bed by 9 or 10 and then get up at 5 to do my homework and laundry. Weird, I know!

So, tonight we had plans with friends - a double date!! We assumed it would be a late night, so we got a babysitter instead of dumping the kids at my Mom and Dad's and getting back for a late bedtime. We take a girl from church, Alyssa, to school each morning, so we asked her to babysit. Our friends had to cancel last minute, but since we already had a babysitter coming, we decided to just go out, take our time, and enjoy ourselves. Of course, Alyssa did a great job and the kids were so excited to have her come play with them.

It was weird for me to be on the other side of that transaction (the 'how much do you pay' and actually having to take someone home afterwards). I babysat from the time I turned 11 (for Millie and Jeff Henry - doesn't that make me feel old) until I started having my own babies (Jason and I still babysat for a few families after marriage - the Hobbs, the Griggs, and the Schreiners).

So, I survived. I didn't even worry about the kids - really, I didn't! I knew they were in good hands, I knew they were probably having a ball, and I knew my parents were right down the street in case of an emergency.....

and you better believe I kissed my babies goodnight as soon as I got home!

Oh, yeah, and we had a great date too!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Southern Savers

This is a post for those that have asked me about my coupon adventure, but aren't in my Mom's Group (those ladies already took Coupons 101). I don't have a lot of knowledge, but wanted to give you an example of savings. I use a website called Southern Savers to help me see the specials. It lists all the sales for local stores, along with coupons that have recently been in the Sunday paper or a link to print a coupon.

I know why I have never jumped into this before....because it takes a lot of work and time, but it is worth it and gets easier as you do it more and more.

The theory is that everything goes on sale in a 10 week period and you stock pile while things are on sale and then have them when you need them, instead of running out and paying full price. Also, something I learned is that you can use a store coupon and a manufacturers coupon on the same item. Some stores, like Publix, will take any store coupon (Target, BiLo, etc.).

So, today, this is what I got:

ALL laundry detergent was B1G1free, regular $5.99, sale $2.99. I had 2 $1 off coupons so I got 2 bottles of laundry detergent that should have cost $11.98 and it only cost me $3.99.

Lance Snack Crackers were also B1G1free, regular $2.89, sale $1.44. I had 6 $1 off coupons so I got 6 packs that should have cost $17.34 and it only cost me $2.67 (we eat a lot of these crackers since some of my kids prefer them instead of sandwiches so I did this deal twice - there are print limits to some things and I had to print some of my coupons at my moms).

Talking with some of my friends who are half-heartedly trying this, they seem to believe the family eats more with more in the house. This is probably true, but my husband has a strange sense of security when our cupboards are full, which isn't always true when work is slow.

I'm trying to come up with storage space for my extras, more on that another day.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Some friends of ours have moved (starting their journey yesterday) back to Papau New Guinea. They were home (in the states) for a year to raise money to be able to return as house parents for the children of missionaries. They rent their house out here while they are gone and needed to get rid of a piano for the current renters.

We took it! I'd love for the older kids to take lessons, but haven't priced that yet? I took lessons for about three years and wished I was a better player, maybe I should start up lessons too. :) I've always wanted a piano, but we don't really have room for one and I didn't want to buy one that I was worried about the kids destroying. Well, we still don't have room, but we've squeezed it into our den space and since it is already "well-loved" I won't worry about the kids messing it up.
The only unfortunate part of the whole deal (more for Jason than me) is that the kids like to make up songs and play them endlessly. Maybe I need to make that call about lessons........................

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Caines Clan

Today we had a big family lunch at my mom and dad's. The youngest sibling of the Caines Clan, my little sister, Ruth, is going to Cape Town, Africa for a year. Her birthday is in May and today was the best day for all of us to gather, say goodbye and wish her a "Happy Birthday". We tried to get a family photo. One of the twenty-one grandkids was sleeping and got cropped in to the photo (I won't say who?). I haven't perfected the cropping yet, but wanted this to my entry today and figured the quality didn't have to be print perfect to be on my blog.
We had a good day (a little chaotic since it was raining and kids couldn't play outside) and a nice time of prayer for Ruth.

Friday, March 19, 2010


For the last month, Mac has done fairly well with his potty training. I still have to help him each time he goes because he insists on sitting instead of standing and he is too small to get up on the potty himself. But, he is doing well! He is also insulted if I suggest we put a pull-up on for running errands, so we just risk it and hope for the best.

Pooping on the potty has been another story. He usually just waits until bedtime when he has a diaper on. We've had Herald the Helicopter sitting in the bathroom windowsill ready and waiting when Mac decides to poop on the potty.

Today was the day and he'd tell you he finally got his "hoptycopter"!!
I am one step closer to being diaper-bag free, still needing extra clothes and a juice cup for the little guy. Not sure if that is a happy thing or a sad thing??

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wear Orange!

Did you know that Protestants are supposed to wear orange on St. Patrick's Day?

This is what I'm told: Orange is symbolic of Irish Protestants while green is symbolic of Irish Catholics. On the Irish flag, there is an orange stripe, a green stripe and a white stripe. The orange is for the Protestants, the green is for the Catholics and the white is for the hope of peace between the two.

So wear orange! (and maybe a little green because you will get pinched by someone)

Tavis, on the otherhand, went out of his way not to wear green today - he even wanted to make sure he didn't have speck of green on his underwear! What a nut!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Aunt Heather

Today is my sister-in-laws birthday (yes, the kids have an Aunt Heather on both sides). I love her to death and I'm proud to call her my sister. And the kids think she is great, so I want my post today to say:
H E A T H E R ! ! !

Here we are at her bridesmaids luncheon (I was pregnant with Mollee):And at the wedding (I was supposed to be a bridesmaids, but pregnant in an outdoor wedding in August didn't work out for me, but I was glad to be an honorary bridesmaid):Some pics with the kids:

Mollee's 3rd birthdayMollee benefitting from Aunt Heather being a professional ballerina

With Tavis at the beach (I love how she always jumps right in with the kids)

With Daegan

With Capps (Ok, I couldn't find a pic to scan with Capps - this happens to me everytime I'm doing a photo project - no picture with Capps, my loner is always hiding or something??)

Holding newborn Mac

I knew Uncle Daniel (Jason's brother) would whine if I didn't include him in any of the pictures - plus, this is one of my favorite pictures: I love you, Daniel! :)

Heather, We Love You!!! Happy Birthday!!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

9 going on ???

Saturday Mollee and I got to go shopping by ourselves for a couple of hours. She tagged along while I did some grocery shopping and then we went to Target, Kohl's and Payless hoping to find some white Sunday shoes for Easter (which we didn't find yet?). We spent a lot of time in Kohl's looking at clearance racks and whatever - I had an extra 30% off and wanted to make the most of it. We found this perfect dress that fit Mollee perfectly and was absolutely beautiful. She gets mostly hand-me-downs so we don't buy her many new things and I think we only ended up paying $11 for it.

But after she wore it at home for a fashion show for the boys, I wondered it if was "too old" for her?? But Daddy said it was ok, so....

Of course, she didn't mind the photo shoot!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Daegan's 7th birthday!

Today, my Daegan, turned 7 at 2:35 in the afternoon (the kids always want to know what time they exactly turn their new age).

Friday night we celebrated with the Brown'sSunday we celebrated at Grandma and Grandpa's, but Grandpa missed out since he is in Africa for two weeks.Today I went and ate lunch with Daegan at school and then tonight we celebrated as a family. Jason picked up McDonald's for dinner and Daegan, like the smart boy he is, wanted chocolate covered Krispy Kreme donuts for his birthday cake, which I happily picked up. I love all the kids here leaned in to watch the gift opening.
He got right to work on the building his new Lego sets.
After dinner and presents he wanted to have a family game of Parcheesi, which, wonderfully, he won!

I've just looked back at his birthday post last year, but I didn't do a picture memory show for his birthday. Therefore, I will post my favorite picture of "little Daeg"

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Team Keegan!

Keegan's mom had shirts designed for Keegan's battle with his brain tumor. I thought it was a great idea - shirts for those that wanted to show their support during this time in their lives.

I ordered one for Daegan and he was so excited to get it today when Keegan got to come for first recess and visit his school buddies!

The back is a knight in shinning armour with a "K" on his shield (it was hard for Daegan not to want to turn his head while I was taking a picture, thus crumpling the graphic for me to take a picture).I love them, what a great idea!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Today I kept Lucy and Clyde as a favor to my friend, Mindy. Of course, I took pictures....
....much to boys chagrin. Even though this is blury, it will have to do. It is all I've got since it was hard to get them to stop wrestling long enough for a picture.

And the girls made paperdoll clothing with a kit Lucy brought, which was quite cool.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Good Day!

Today was going to be a little crazy, but ended up being great. I was supposed to be babysitting for baby David today, but his mother called and because he had a little fever, she was going to take him to his Mimi's instead of exposing us to new germ. My mother also called and invited Capps and Mac to play with Miles and Townes (my nephews staying with my parents this week) for the morning. I had Mom's group and, apparently, I was headed with no kids in tow. As I was leaving, Jason was coming home because of the snow, he couldn't get to his job site up the mountain. By the time I got to church, I found out that school was being called off within 30 minutes. Instead of leaving Mother's Group I was able to just call Jason to go get the kids. My sister-in-law, Sarah, showed up to group and since she had no kids with her (school and pre-school) and I had no kids, we went to lunch together. That isn't something I do often (or ever?) - take a leisurely lunch with a girlfriend with no kids....but I liked it! It was a great treat and Jason didn't complain a bit when he ended up at home on a possible 'day off' with a house full of kids. After lunch I was able to take a nap, hang out with Jason, play way too many rounds of Toy Story Yahtzee with the kids and make a fun dinner of homemade waffles.

Yes, indeed, it has been a good day! And now I have stayed up way too late!


The kids can go days without watching T.V., but on Tuesdays, when I have baby David, it is a nice distraction to keep the boys downstairs, while David is napping upstairs (being an only child he seems to be a light sleeper).

This is how the boys were watching T.V. this morning, from the window sill (the chair in front of them is aimed at the T.V.)

And here is David in his big boy sweater and learning to sit up like a big boy!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Uncle David Cousins

My brother, David, who travels a lot with his work, got to take his beautiful bride along this week to L.A. My mom is keeping their two boys and Mary's mom is keeping their two girls - works out great! Last night we had the boys at our house for a few hours.
With all the chaos at Mom and Dad's for dinner, I don't get to see Mac and Townes play together a lot (there are both January '07 babies), but they had a blast last night. They cracked me up. They followed each other around the house in one form of play or another (whether it was superheroes or Star Wars). They had a blast! *note the height difference, yes, Mac really is small* :)

Miles was anxious to watch Star Wars, and my boys didn't protest, except when Miles had to leave and they didn't get enough playtime, guess he'll just have to come back soon!

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