Large Family Happenings

Christmas Baking with my Oak

Christmas Baking with my Oak

Here we are, getting ready for Christmas THIS WEEK!  Let’s not procrastinate.  So, here is my Christmas Baking with my Oak.  Every year, my Oak comes and bakes with me.  We have done this, faithfully, since I moved out when I was 20.  I am sure we have missed a year or so, but I honestly only remember 1 time that we missed.  So, we have been baking for 29 years.

Christmas Baking with my Oak

List of Goodness

We are baking Bobbie Hill’s Nuts & Bolts (yes please and thank you).  This takes the longest as they cook on low for about 2 hrs.  They are SO good and bring me so much joy (and swelling).  Mom always makes (and screws up at least 1 batch) of chocolate and peanut butter fudge.  Crack. I will be making Crack.  It is SO good.  I think we will do some White Trash, Bon Bons, maybe some Oreo balls.  I was going to do Haystacks but forgot to get the noodles.  I have a recipe for a quick chocolate/butterscotch fudge that I may do.  There are other things that we will make, but that is what is coming to my mind.

Delivering the Goodies

We were not able to give the teachers anything because Hunter had a doctor’s appointment that day.  I am going get some cute little containers, wrap up the goodies and deliver them to his teachers.  He will be excited to see them.

My kids eat a lot but we also give away a lot.  This year, I would like to give some to my new neighbors.  I have yet to meet 2 neighbors and I really need to do that.  I’m such a procrastinator.  Actually, not a procrastintor.  Moreso I just don’t want too. I’m really not that friendly and I have massive trust issues.  We have not had a good history with neighbors.  However, the family that we have met are super kind!

Preferences

I actually prefer that NONE of my family be here when we bake.  Selfishly, I just want some alone time with my mom.  However, my kids are out of school and Bart will be home for part of the day.  My bigs got wind that Jojo is coming and now they are making plans to “pop” by.

Seriously people.  I don’t want you here 🙂  Jojo LOVES it when they all show up.  She loves sneaking sweets to the kids when I turn my back.  All I hear are giggles and people scurrying around.  It makes my heart so happy.

These are memories that will forever be embedded in their minds.  I pray that the Lord allows me to bake with my kids (which will happen on Wednesday) and grandkids one day.  I want to pass this tradition on.

I am so excited!

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Fingers Foods and Decorating

Fingers Foods and Decorating

Fingers Foods and Decorating

I have NO idea why my picture is so tiny.  I can’t figure out how to make it bigger BUT it does have all of my kids and grandkids in it 🙂  (Minus my daughter….wish she was here to have fun with us).

It was such a wild and busy day.  Jude had basketball for half of the day.  I handled that and Bart did all the running with the other 2 boys.  There was Co-vid testing to be done, playdates, work, cleaning house, and some outside work.

Yet, today was the day that we were going to decorate the tree and eat!  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love that we all just come together to eat.  Feeding people is one of my favorite things.  Another favorite is having people over who may not have a place to go.  Loving on others, making new friends, Charleigh’s first Thanksgiving, warms my heart.

Now, onto Christmas.

Benjamin (the one with the glasses) has a serious love for Christmas.  The boy has plans for my house and next year, he will probably be in charge of decorating.  I’m feeling like my house will end up like the one in National Lampoon’s, but hey…it makes him happy, it makes me happy.

Once I got home from basketball, I started cooking.  The kids decided that they wanted finger foods.  Actually, Alyssa decided and because she is pregnant with Apollo, that is what we are having.

Bart did his sausage balls, we had chips and I made cheese dip, a crudite’ plate, cheese ball, a pot of potato soup, cinnamon roll sopapilla, apple pie type sopapilla, weiner winks, and crack dip.  They messed and gobbed throughout the evening.

Normally

Now, normally, we would be playing a Christmas movie but someone I know (Benjamin) wanted to watch football.  #notChristmasyatall  It’s all good.  I realized though that I am going to need a ladder in order to get pictures because my kids are huge.  The room is a bit smaller than my other living room (at our former house) so it was a bit more cramped.

However, it was full of joy, laughter, calmness, fun, and then there was Charleigh.  That baby.  That.  Baby.  She is freakingn glorious and BRILLIANT.  She can crawl, wave bye bye, and is just the funniest thing ever.  She is almost 9 mths old.  I cannot believe that she just entered this world 9 months ago.

Her first Christmas.

She is enthralled with the tree.  Grabbing at it, looking at the lights, letting it tickle her hands…I could eat her.  The kids didn’t leave until late and I love that.  I love that my kids love to be home.  I love that they feel safe, comfortable, loved, and at ease here.  Warms my heart.

The only thing that could have made it better was if ALL my kids could be here.  We sure did miss our daughter.  Her stocking will be hung by the fireplace with love.  One day, we will all be reunited and it will be a healing and glorious time.

Next year, we will have Apollo and Charleigh.  My cup overfloweth!

Merry Christmas!

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A Hiatus from My Hiatus

A Hiatus from My Hiatus

A Hiatus from My Hiatus

Well, after taking a blogging break in 2016 (with the exception of the many great giveaways)…I am back 🙂  I have realized that writing is very healing and therapeutic for me, so I am determined to get my blog rolling again.  A Hiatus from My Hiatus in a nutshell.

Our New Years Eve was good….we made a bunch of soups and finger foods because I didn’t want to “cook.”  I had all 7 of my kiddos, with one of my bonus girls and my oldest daughter’s person.  We also had some friends over, who have 4 kiddos of their own and we ate, laughed, and played games.  It was so nice to just enjoy the company and the good food.

Incredible Highs

Our family spent 10 days traveling to the east coast.  My kids got to see the Atlantic Ocean.

We adopted our 7th child.

Our oldest had a big year, graduating college, getting a new car, getting a new job, and getting engaged.

Then, our second daughter finished high school and did fantastic her first semester in college.

Our oldest son is flying through his sophomore year and he has had the opportunity to work with a friend, who is a contractor, so he is been able to earn money, save it, and spend it.

Next, our second oldest son is reading so much better and he is doing so much better in school.  We were able to get him an official dx, so that has helped to guide us through his education.

Our next son has blossomed in sports (baseball and basketball).  He was approved for a bone-conducted hearing aid, so he will have that surgery at some point this year.

And our baby is growing like a weed…he is such a joy.

We have also found our forever home church-wise.

And to top it all off, my Lady is doing wonderfully!

There have been lots more highs…but that is just a beginning.

Incredible Lows

There have also been some significant lows….one of our daughters is still struggling and we have had to make big decisions regarding her future.  It has brought lots of hurt and tension to our home.

Our adoption of our 7th child did not come easily and the circumstances around his adoption are still tender.

My daddy had a stroke this past summer…thankfully, he is doing well.  We had to put 2 of our beloved pets down, Sadie and Little Buddy. That is always difficult.

Full of Promise

This year is full of promise.  Full of intention.  Full of purpose.  365 days to make a difference for the Kingdom of Christ.

I do not make resolutions because, frankly, I think they are super stupid.  I do, however, make some changes and more times than not, I stick through them and then they become a habit.  This year, I plan to stop making excuses for myself or my family. I plan to start saying no.

Also, I plan to stop apologizing for who I am and how I do things.  I just want to live.  Honestly, I realize that 1/2 my life is over…done…I cannot get that part back.

Now, what do I want my second 1/2 of life to be like?

  • love my family without abandon
  • be intentional with my relationships with my family
  • Love my husband and submit to him more
  • Dig deeper into the Word
  • Plan a wedding
  • Send a kid to a place that may help her
  • Get involved in church
  • Go to Hawaii

So many possibilities and so little time!  365 days….what are you going to do with your new year?

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Can’t

Have

Anyone

Over

Syndrome

I do not know if it is because my life, for the last month and a half, has been CONSUMED with baseball or if the last few marbles that reside in my head are slowly falling out…I just don’t know.  Life has been nuts and the summer is halfway over and I don’t even feel like I’ve had a moment to stop and enjoy it.  I haven’t been in the pool….at all.  Sadness.

DC Moment

Our vacation to DC was amazing.  It was 10 days of togetherness and we didn’t kill each other.  That is a huge plus.  There were moments.  You can’t be a large family and not have moments.  I’m not going to lie…I almost threw one or two kids out of our vehicle, but it was a short-lived moment and we all ended up surviving.

Life Happens

Once we were home, life hit us square between the eyes.  An issue that emerged, before our trip, had to be confronted and dealt with.  The blow of this issue caused my health to flip flop around and I ended up with bronchitis and a double ear infection.  I was slow pressed to do anything.  My cousin passed away, unexpectedly.

My Lady

A few days after that, my Lady had a couple of strokes.  I stayed with her as much as possible during the time that she was in the hospital.  In between hospital stays/runs/visits, we had a minimum of 4 baseball games a week.  One boy plays in one county and another boy plays in another county.

Another Dog

Let’s add in we got another dog (gasp), but the dog was going to be put down because A) he is old B) he is blind C) he is toothless.  All that added up to the fact that he needed me and I needed him.  He hadn’t been home a week when one child decided to take him out and in the process broke his leg…I was at *you guessed it* baseball when it happened.

We took him to the vet, the next day, and the bill was going to be WAY more than what we can afford.  We were prepared to put him down.  I explained to the vet how the dog came to live with us and our family situation.  His kindness began to shine and he did the needed surgery for free.  We have still paid out way more than we are comfortable with, but he wrote off a huge amount.

Looking Up and Looking Down

My Lady finally came home and I go over probably more than I should LOL.  I like to take care of her and I love to glean all knowledge out of her head!  She brings me joy.  Let’s add into this fun with one child getting strep throat and then a couple of weeks later contracting a bug.  A car died…completely and totally.

Rundown

One girl got a job for the summer and it is her car that died.  Sigh.

One girl got a new job where she is driving more.  Panic.

A broken window…thanks to boys and said baseball.

A leaky roof.

Broken gutters (that are brand new).

A fridge that has leaked so bad (no, we didn’t know) that it has RUINED my floor.  A kitchen sink that leaks so bad, it ruined the cabinet and the other part of my floor.  A broken microwave door,

and a broken-down truck….do you get the picture?

I’m going to blink and the summer is going to be over and I will have no school work-ready.

But

Kids have gone to movies together.

The family has gone to baseball.

They have played in the rain.

Our garden is growing.

They swim until 9 pm.

We have planted/weeded/cleaned my Lady’s courtyard.

A friend and I are putting together an AWESOME mentoring meeting that we hope to spread across all local churches.

Kids sat on the laundry room floor and matched socks while giggling hysterically.

Tetherball.

Hamburger/movie nights.

Lots of books being read.

Family get together.

Bible school.

Lessons learned.

Tears shed.

It has been CHAOS in my house.

Parts, I would not like to repeat.

I would love for a money tree to sprout in my backyard (I actually had one of those and it died.)

I’m glad baseball is ending next week (Boo won the whole thing and earned a gold ring with his team).  I plan on doing a whole lot of nothing during the month of July.  However, I do want to get my house cleaned.  Also, get people to fix the things that need to be fixed.  I want to repaint the laundry room (due to the water damage).  Finally, I need to get schoolwork put together so I can take that concern off my plate.

The older I get, the more time FLIES.  It is flying but I realize that we are getting closer to the Lord’s return.  When He returns, we will be in new heaven with no more pain, no more sadness, no more water leaks, no more broken down vehicles, no more darkness…..O, what a GLORIOUS day!!!!!!

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