Monday, April 30, 2012

Sick with Strep Throat

When we had gotten back from Arkansas, our bodies were just tired and worn down. So I knew our immune systems were easily ready for any kind of sickness and being around Jason's brother who was sick, I knew we were bound to get it as well. Sure enough we all did.
By last weeks Saturday, we were all kind of feeling better so we had gone to my sister and brother-in-law's house to watch the UFC fight. We then took Ethan and Ava home with us to spend the night.
The next morning I woke up with a sore throat. By Monday, my throat felt "ok" so I had done some school in the morning with the kids. By the time I was done with school, my throat was very soar so I popped in a cough drop.
Tuesday was the same. I did school and my throat just hurt afterwards. Later that evening, I had such a terrible headache so I went to bed. The next morning, my head hurt so bad that I didn't even bother to get out of bed. I had a fever and started having hot and cold sweats. My sister called and said Ethan was sick with strep throat. I was like great, that probably what I have. Sure enough, Jason looked in my mouth and yep, I had it.
I was sick in bed for 2 days and at one point Jacob asked jokingly, "Where's the real mom?" But seriously, being sick just throws off the whole household. Jessica told me she doesn't like it when I am sick. Jason was sweet and had bought meals for dinners so I didn't need to make any. The kids all helped with loading and unloading the dishwasher, helped with meals, and helped get things for me when I needed them.
I am so thankful that I feel much better. Being sick is no fun!
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New Responsibilities

The middle of March marked a huge success of finishing the majority of our school lessons. So now we can slow down a bit as we finish up history, science, reading, and spelling throughout the summer.
My kids are always asking how could they earn money to save. So we decided that they could start by crushing soda cans and when they have at least six bags filled, we'd take it to the recycling center and all four can split the money. They are working on filling bag #2.
A few months ago, my aunt had asked if I would be interested in earning a little money by doing some weeding around her yard. So of course I said "sure". I had told the kids that if they helped, they could get some money as well. They would each start out with $3 for and hour of weeding, but once they start complaining, $.25 would get knocked off of their $3.
The older two boys were just given the responsibility of cutting the grass. By doing so, they would earn $5. Of course they were eager to do the job and so far, both boys have done an excellent job!
The other day, we finally had super glued Jacob's money container (an old coffee container) so that he would stop playing with his money and losing it seeing that he has money from the Easter egg hunt, money from grandpa before we left their house, and now money from helping weed. He liked the idea at first, but an hour later asked if he could open it now. :/ We'll see how long it lasts.
We had encouraged them all to save their money and at the end of summer, they could use some of it to buy something. So far, one wants a guinea pig and another wants a ferret...oh dear!! We'll see...
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Arkansas Trip pt. 2

Apparently, I wrote too much in where my phone said that it was full and I couldn't finish my novel about our trip. :) So here's part 2, and I promise it won't be as long as part 1!!
Saturday morning, the kids had to rescue the baby robins again. On Friday, the nest had fallen off the rain gutter. So they carefully, with gloves, placed the nest back and carefully put the four robins back in the nest. Well, it tipped over again and one of the babies was dead. But the kids fixed the nest again and put the robins back in and surprisingly the mom came back and fed them.
Later that morning, we all had headed out to go watch Carissa's soccer game! She was so excited to have "fans" and yes she had fans as my kids cheered her and her team on and I took pictures :) Sadly, they lost 0-2, but it was still fun.
The rest of the day was spent playing games with the kids or playing outside. Karma and I had gone to Aldi to get some groceries. Mike was feeling sick with a cold. Some kids were getting cranky from just the whole week of lack of sleep. Hunter escaped the fence that someone had left open and he was "somewhere" in the neighborhood...lovely. We found him a few minutes later.
My poison ivy had now spread to the back of my left leg. I was praying that it would not spread any further.
Saturday night, even though Mike was sick, we play a few games.
Sunday, we all had gotten ready to go to church. Of course, the nest fell again and the kids fixed it and now there were only 2 alive.
The forecast was showing a huge storm...wish we would have brought our umbrellas. Mike and Karma go to this huge mega church!! There was even police directing traffic into the church parking lot! Wow!! Should have brought my camera!! We dropped off Jed and Jacob at one building, Joshua, Carissa, and Rebecca went to another building, Abby and Jessica went to a different building, and the rest of us went to the main church sanctuary building. It was a good service that morning and the speaker spoke on missions...Mike and Karma's heart's desire. During the service, you could hear the rain pouring down. Usually on a roof, the rain sounds much louder than what it usually is, but no, it was majorly down pouring out! So as we adults ran from building to building to get the kids, we were getting drenched!! Karma had to teach sunday school, so Joshua, Carissa, Abby, and Rebecca stayed back to help while everyone else rode with Jason and I back home. I was holding the kids' church papers over my head as we ran to the car, but the dye from the papers started running down my arm! Jason was trying to unlock the car as the younger kids were screaming and crying from this major down pour, Jacob then yelled, "your getting my papers all wet!" What was I to do?? Once in the car, we waited for Mike. We were drenched!
On our way home, we decided to stop at Walgreens. A friend had emailed me a home remedy cure for poison ivy which called for pure clear aloe and liquid silver. Well apparently, they didn't know what liquid silver was, so we went home and I continued to use a cream that Karma had given me when we had first arrived.
After lunch, we just relaxed and played more games. Once the rain let up, the kids played a little outside. Jessica like going to the backyard. They have a little stone pond that has tadpoles inside, so Jessica liked to catch them with the little net and look at them :)
That night, seeing that we were leaving the next day, we ordered pizza and played a family game of Guesstures. That was fun!! The kids and us adults had a lot of good laughs that night :) Later, after the kids were all laying down for bed, the adults played our last game, Peurto Rico again.
The next morning, Jason and Mike had gone to pick up the trailer tires that had finally came in and had replaced the tires.
Another baby bird died, so now there was one left.
After lunch, we had all packed up our things in the boat and car. The kids were dreading the final "good-byes" after having so much fun together for the last week. Jason and I were dreading the drive home!
12 hours later we finally arrived home safe and sound around 1:30 am!! We were HOME!!
We had such a fun time visiting his parents and brother. I was so thankful for the opportunity to have gone down! Even though we had long days, cranky kids at times, some injuries, some "death" (birds)...all the fun outweighed the rest. Hopefully it won't be another two years before we make another visit.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading about our trip :)
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Arkansas Trip pt. 1

Well as you see, I finally posted just a fraction of the over 250 photos of our trip!! It makes it hard to post when you don't have a computer, but after going to Walmart and the library a few times, here are just a few to enjoy :)
With the car loaded and the boat packed, we left Friday the 6th around 9:30pm to begin our 12 hour trip. Jason had done most of the driving, thankfully. I am a big wimp! The trip down went well and I did do some driving toward the end to give Jason some rest. We took the ferry, once again, which took us right into Peel and from the end of the ferry to his parent's house was only 5 minutes :) A half hour before we had gotten to the ferry, the kids were starving, but because of the windy roads and how badly car sick we all get (well, the kids and I), we had them wait until we had gotten there. We even took dramamine just to be safe!
Jason's brother had already left on Friday, they are only two hours away, so they were already there by the time we had gotten there Saturday morning.
We finally pulled into their mile long or so driveway, and with much anticipation from the kids, I drove like a snail down the driveway until we heard, "Come on!! Let's just get there!" Jason and I were cracking up :) It was so nice to see his parents and brother and family again. His other brother, John, and his wife, Lori, were there too for a few days, but he stayed on his property because his wife's kids were coming to celebrate Easter with them. We did get a chance to visit for a little bit with them.
With all the excitement of seeing Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt and Uncle, and cousins, the kids forgot all about their hungry bellies even after I tried getting them into the house to eat, I just wanted coffee! :)
Mike and Karma and their kids stayed in the basement of the house and we got the whole trailer to ourselves. The only downside to that was that the water heater tank isn't big so you had to take quick showers or wait two hours before the next shower. The house is hooked up to the outdoor wood burner so there is never any issues of heat loss. In the end, it all worked out :)
Once we had unpacked, launched the boat, and had gotten settled, we worked on boiling the eggs. After dinner the kids all had fun coloring them. Some of the eggs were going to Jason's mom and dad's church for the little egg hunt there.
Some of the many fun things at his parents house for the kids were: driving the mule, jumping on the trampoline, swimming in the freezing water, feeding the chickens, collecting eggs, and playing with cousins. So there was a whole lot of that going on during our stay :)
Later that night after all the kids were in bed, and we had visited with Jason's parents before they went off to bed, Mike, Karma, Jason, and I had headed downstairs to play games. I was sooo bummed that I had forgotten to pack our games!! That was the last thing on my "to pack" list and I had forgot them. So we played what Mike and Karma brought and they didn't bring much because they thought we were bringing ours :) Thankfully they brought our all time favorite...Settlers!! We LOVE that game and the only time we ever play it is with them, so it had been two years since playing it last. But first we had the job of filling all of the kids' Easter baskets. Holy Shamoly did his parents go all out on candy and small trinkets!! There was even a basket for the "moms and dads" :)
Once the candy was sorted, we set up our game. I love that game, even if I lose. Karma had won that night :)
Sunday morning, the kids were eager to go to the house to see their baskets! We let them all splurge for a little bit, then had them eat breakfast, and then whoever wanted to go to church with grandma get ready. I was going to go, but I stayed back with kids who didn't go. After church, they had their egg hunt, so whoever had gone to church also got more candy :) After lunch we had our egg hunt. Grandma surprised the kids by putting a $1 bill in each of the plastic eggs!! They were pretty excited!! The rest of the day was spent either the kids driving the mule, the kids jumping on the trampoline and begging me to join, and then taking the kids swimming. Jason and Mike went fishing. The kids went on a few "adventure" walks, but after getting somewhat lost once, they decided to not go anymore adventures. With 96 acres and not being 100% of where you're going, I would be a little nervous too.
Later that night, the kids all had a "sleep over" in the trailer. The plan was for them all to sleep in the trailer Sunday night then all in the house Monday night. Abby and Jed stayed in the house. After much begging and pleading from the kids if they could stay in the trailer alone all night with no parents, we came to a compromise....the parents would play games in the basement in the house and the kids could stay up until 10:30pm, but that Jason and I would be in there when we were done playing games :) They were happy with that. So I popped popcorn for them and turned on a christian radio station (there was no tv in the trailer). They had fun and when we had gone to check on them at around 10:30, they were all sound to sleep :)
That night I had won the game of Settlers!! I think that was only my second time EVER in all the years we have played that game!! So I was excited :)
Monday was Abby's 6th birthday, so it was going to be a fun, special day of celebrating. Rebecca has been taking some cake decorating classes and had a book on some ideas. In the picture, she had made flower cupcakes by using strawberry short cake gum and M&M's for the center. It was a strawberry cake with vanilla frosting.
The morning was spent working on the cupcakes while the kids played. After lunch, Abby opened her presents. I think the stuffed kitty was her favorite, I didn't see it leave her side the rest of our stay even when we stayed at their house :) We then all had cupcakes while Mike and Jason came up with a plan in how to hang up the pinata. After a couple of straps, some rope, and a plastic pipe, the pinata was ready...stick and all, well, pipe. Abby was the first to go then it was youngest to oldest so Jed went next, then Jacob, Jessica, Joshua, and Rebecca but then the bottom broke open and all the kids went crazy collecting candy. The older two were a little bummed, so Jason and Mike had made a few adjustment and it was up again. Jesse and Carissa then had their turn :)
The rest of the day was filled with eating candy, going on adventures, driving the mule, trampoline...yeah, you get the point :) After much pleading and begging from the kids, I finally said that I would jump with them on the trampoline, of course I made sure I went "potty" first cause well, ya know, I'm not a youngin' any more! I DID IT!! I won the "I Survived the Trampoline with NO Tinkles" award!! Ha! Sad, I know. :)
Later that evening, we all, except Jason's parents, headed down to the lake for a bonfire. We cooked hot dogs, brought down chips, baked beans, drinks, and some veggies and of course, stuff for making s'mores :) Some of the older kids set off to go find roasting sticks and once they came back, my boys pulled out their pocket knives that Jason had gotten them last year and began sharpening the tip of their sticks :) When supper was done, the kids couldn't wait to make s'mores, Karma and I couldn't clean up fast enough! Finally, they were all making their s'mores and making a big sticky mess. Once everyone was done, the guys thought it would be fun to let the kids fish off shore. Oh my goodness!! That was a ton of fun!! Even though they were catching "small fries", they were still having a blast catching fish right and left!! Jason's mom walked on down to the lake to watch the kids catch fish. I was the "cameraman" because I love taking pictures, so I was trying to run back and forth on the rocks to take a picture of the kids and the fish they caught. Finally, I said, "That's it, I am done taking pictures! I have enough!" (Basically I couldn't keep up, they were catching them so fast!) Most of those pictures were sideways and because even after I had rotated them, when they were put on a cd by Walmart, they all rotated back to the side :/ otherwise I would have posted more pictures. I still posted them all on facebook, ya just have to tilt your head every now and then :)
Once it had gotten too dark to fish, we packed everything up and drove back up to the house with the four-wheeler pulling a trailer and the mule. The kids all ended up sleeping in the trailer once again and once again they all were asleep when we checked on them at 10:30. Jason won at the game of Setters that night :)
Tuesday, Mike and Karma and the kids had to go home. Carissa had a soccer game that evening and then on Wednesday both Carissa and Rebecca had state testing to take for being home schooled. So all morning all the kids were trying to get in as much play time with each other before the sad "good-byes" (even though we would see them again on Thursday).
After Mike and Karma left, I worked on laundry while the kids played outside. Jason's parents gave him their old fishing boat, so Jason was working on pulling the boat out of the weeded area behind the barn. The boat had poison ivy vines growing inside, so obviously, it had gotten all over his arms. My mother-in-law and I had made a quick run to Dollar General to pick up a few odds and ends and by the time we had gotten back, Jason had the boat pulled out and was hosing it down in the driveway. Later that night, after he had thoroughly washed his arms, he jokingly wrapped his harm around my neck and said, "Ha, now you're gonna get poison ivy." Um yeah, not a good thing to do to a person who is highly allergic to poison ivy!! So there it was the next day, poison ivy on my neck!! Yes, he felt bad seeing that he wasn't intentionally trying to give it to me. He thought his arms were ok after washing them....guess not!
Wednesday, the kids helped grandma get rocks out of the garden. She was making her garden smaller and was turning a patch into a grassy area. The kids did a good job with the rocks and had gotten a few wheel barrels full to dump. The rest of the day was spent with the kids driving the mule and me in the passengers seat as's kind of a weird feeling. :) We also pulled the boat out the lake and cleaned it up and put our things into the new boat. Jason was giving our boat to his brother.
It was nice to be able to have those two days to ourselves with Jason's parents before we would leave to spend time at his brother's house.
Thursday morning we were up bright and early!! It was the day we were going to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO with Mike and Karma and the kids!! The day seemed to go by so fast from all the fun and excitement. This theme park has only ONE roller coaster called Wild Fire, so that was the first one we hit. I think my stomach was in my throat as we made the drop! They had other coaster rides, but Wild Fire is the only one that goes upside down. Fire in the Hole is fun, because we've been on it before in the years past, so you're anticipating that blackout and drop, and just when you thought you knew where it was, it wasn't and then came the drop and ya lose your stomach for a moment only to lose it two more times from the other two drops! :) Thunderation was like a train ride but it was a coaster ride with twists and turns and drops. Powder Keg...oh dear, is like an explosion! You sit on this coaster and ya get blasted off at the start towards a huge hill with a huge drop! Jacob had gone on it for the first time, and the expression on his face as too funny as the coaster blast off!! He wanted to go again, but with me, but just as we were next in line to get on, they had technical difficulties and had to shut down. Bummer.
We saw a neat little magic show and Jessica was able to go up on stage and "assist" with one of the tricks. It was a neat show, because at the end of his show he gave the salvation plan by using a deck of cards...ya don't see that everyday. We all had fun doing much other fun things while there. At the end of the day, we all had to stop and get a funnel cake before we headed home. It was such a fun day.
So now we had plans, plans of going to his brother's house after Silver Dollar City. It closed at 6pm. So seeing that his dad gave him his boat and we were giving Mike our boat, we had brought our boat to Silver Dollar City to give to Mike. We would then go back to his parents, which is and hour and a half from Branson, pack up our belongings in the new boat and then leave to travel two hours to his brother's house in Bentonville. Wheew! After saying our "good-byes" to his parents, we were on the road. We finally arrived at his brother's house around 11:30pm. We were exhausted, and after getting a few things we all went to bed right away.
The next morning, Karma had made us all breakfast. By this time my poison ivy has spread all over my neck and a few spots were showing up on my arms. My biggest fear was it getting to my legs. I could NOT let that happen for fear of getting cellulitis, again.
The kids had fun playing with each other again, playing in the back yard, playing with the scooters in the road, playing with the go cart, rescuing baby robins, playing jump rope, riding bikes, and whatever else kids like to play! :)
Later that morning, a little baby was dropped off that Karma usually babysits for. Jessica was in her glory! She loves babies, so she had fun helping take care of him.
Mike and Jason spent all morning trying to find new trailer tires, because we didn't want to travel. 12 hours home with old trailer tires. After many phone calls later, the cheapest tires would be in by Monday and we had originally planned to leave Saturday, but now we were leaving Monday :)
That afternoon, Karma already had plans of getting together with her home school group to celebrate Easter by having a little Easter egg hunt and games. Her friend was so gracious enough to include us as well! Before we had gone to her house, Karma said that she would take us past the Duggar's house!! They live a half hour from the Duggar's, but her friends who we were going to see, lives 15 minutes away. My niece's friend has babysat for the Duggar's. We finally get there and we turn around to drive past it again. I felt like a huge stalker as I was taking pictures!!! Haha!! Yes, I'm psycho!!
We finally get to Karma's friend's house, had some snacks, coffee, and then had the egg hunt. The older kids hid eggs for the younger kids and when they were done, the younger kids hid eggs for the older kids. The hunt was going good, until Jesse had fell and hurt his shin real bad. Some eggs were hidden in the fenced in pool area and the pool is an in-ground pool. The family had the winter cover on, but it was as flat as the cement, so Jesse, not fully realizing what was under the cover, had stepped on the cover without thinking, and fell and hit his shin on the edge of the pool. So that was a pretty dramatic scene. Right before that happened, Jed fell and scraped up his knees and was bleeding, so I was carrying him back to the house when Jesse fell. So I passed off Jed, to help Jesse. Once things settled down, we played a Bible trivia game and if the kids guessed right they got a prize. Basically, they all got prizes :) later, we said our "good-byes" and went back to Mike and Karma's for supper.
Karma was feeding my Duggar addiction by suggesting to go play Broom Ball at the Jones' Center. The Duggar's usually go there every Friday night. There is a half hour "free-time" for the kids to play broom ball before the adults go on. So Karma and I had taken the older kids and left 3 at home with Jason and Mike. The Duggar's never did show up, but we were asked by two little boys if WE were the Duggar's!! Haha!! We had a lot of fun! We ended up playing against another family who was very competitive :) On our way home, we drove past Josh Duggar's car dealership, but it was too dark to take pictures :)
Later that night, Mike, Karma, Jason, and I had played a different game other than Settlers :) We played Peurto Rico, another fun game.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Arkansas Part 2

Fun at Silver Dollar City!!  We had spent 4 days at Jason's brother's house in Bentonville

The end of the day....getting pretty tired

Yes, I am a stalker....The Duggar's House!!! :)

Playing Broom Ball at the Jones Center...we were also hoping the Duggar's would have shown up, but they didn't

Carissa's soccer game...she's number 2

They lost :(

Our last night at his brother's, we ordered pizza and then we all play Guesstures :)

Jed made up his own

Jacob randomly making up his own as well

I look so thrilled to get my picture neck has poison ivy all over it :(

Arkansas Trip Part 1

Coloring eggs just hours after getting to Arkansas :)

Getting ready for the egg hunt Easter Sunday---in shorts and swim suits

Crazy kids!!  The water wasn't THAT warm!!

Trampoline time...even I survived it!!!  YAY!!

Celebrating Abby's 6th Birthday!

Pinata time!!

Getting the candy after Rebecca had broke the pinata

Giving the older two a chance at hitting the broken pinata

We found a wounded butterfly by the tree

Joshua riding one of the girls' scooter

Swim time again!

Maybe the water IS cold!!

We had a campfire down by the lake and cooked hotdogs and roasted marshmallows

Carissa and Joshua making roasting sticks

Abby and Jessica

Jed and Jacob, what a pair :)

Angry face

Silly face

Darn sun in the eyes

We all walked down to the lake to do some fishing with the kids

This was my only picture that was not sideways