Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day Thirteen

Day Thirteen: I am thankful for this little guy's smile

Trust me, some days I want nothing more than to shove him in the backyard with the dog and lock the door. He has been getting under my skin like no other lately. He is getting closer and closer to being two and every part of his attitude proves it.

However, when he flashes me his sweet smile with his bright blue eyes, I forget all about his attitude. That is until he throws another tantrum a few seconds later...

It has always been easy to get Cade to smile

all you have to do is look at him and he will giggle.

When he was younger, he would just see the camera and know what to do.

It didn't matter if he was covered in oatmeal

or dressed like a pumpkin...

the kid was always smiling.

Even though he would rather run from the camera these days, I'm still able to catch a few good smiles from him...

although most of them happen right after I snap the picture.

He sure is a handful right now, but I forget all about it when I see his sweet smile!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day Twelve

I didn't get around to posting this weekend so I'm behind again...what else is new??

Day Twelve: I am thankful McKinly and 'Uncle' Clay are so close

I was looking through old pictures this weekend and I realized my little brother, Clay and McKinly have always played well with each other. They have grown up together and have known each other since they were just a year old.

(look how much McKinly and Cade look alike!)

They have always loved playing together...

...whether it is swimming

or sleeping in the forts they made, they always have a great time.

Now that they're older, they don't really 'play' as much as they 'hang out'

or attack each other with silly string, whatever works!

As they get older, they are becoming closer and closer. I have loved watching them grow up together and I love when McKinly calls him 'Uncle' Clay (considering he's only a month older than she is)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day Eleven

Day Eleven: I am thankful for being able to take my kids to the zoo in the middle of November

Yesterday was an awesome day. It has been kind of chilly here the past couple of weeks and a cold front is coming through again tonight. But for just one day, we were able to enjoy perfect weather in the 70's without a cloud in the sky.

I don't know how many more of these kinds of days we will be able to have, so I decided to take the kids to the zoo. We met Cody's friend, Tristin and his mom up there too. We also brought along Cody's friend Kylie as well.

All the kids were perfect. There was no fighting, no screaming, no crying, etc. A rare occurrence with three three-year-olds and two one-year-olds plus a newborn.

Playing on the Lion Statue

Cody loves wearing his Rhino shirt Aunt Leslie got him. The kid is terrified of elephants, but loves Rhinos...go figure

Feeding the ducks

The bears are always a favorite

Aren't you my dinner next Thursday?

Just Chillin'

Can't leave the zoo until we've played at the park

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day Ten

Day Ten: I am thankful for my 3 month old baby boy!

Cole, today you turn 3 months old!

You are the most laid back baby I have ever met. You are still content just hanging out on your Boppy pillow watching your siblings run around. You smile and kick your little legs like crazy any time anyone talks to you. You are just so happy.

You can get a little angry if we take too long fixing your bottle, but once we shove put it in your mouth, you're back to your happy self.

You are still an amazing sleeper for such a young age. You are starting to wake up a little earlier in the mornings, around 6:30 am, but once you're fed a bottle you go back to sleep for a few more hours. You still sleep in our room but not because you're not ready to move in with Cade. It's because I'm not ready for you to be big enough to move in with Cade.

Oh, but Cade would love for you to be roommates with him. That little man adores you! He can't get enough of his little brother. If I put Cade in the car first, and you're not there, he will cry for "baby" until I reassure him you're coming with us too. He could hold you for hours...when I say hours I mean 30 minutes at the most...but to him, that's hours! You make him so happy, even if you think he's crazy sometimes!

No one can make you smile more than McKinly. The two of you can just "talk" to each other and it never gets old. The photographer from our family pictures even captured a great shot of it the other day and I can't wait to get it framed.

We are very happy you have come into our lives and now I realize our lives were just not complete without you! You are our little man and we love you so much!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day Nine

Day Nine: I am Thankful for my son's imagination

Cody has always had a pretty big imagination, as most three year olds do. He's been a pirate, batman, a builder, a shark rescuer...you name it, he's probably played it.

But his friend "Jack" is what cracks me up the most. You see, "Jack" is imvisible, as Cody would say. He is little like him, lives with his little brother and two dogs...no parents (hmm??)

He is Cody's best friend. Every weekend he asks if he can go to "Jack's" house. Sometimes we have wondered if Cody really thinks "Jack" is real but he is very aware that he is imvisible (not imaginary, Cody will correct you).

We have never let Cody go to "Jack's" house because "Jack" lives in the Purina Dog Food Factory.

Sometimes "Jack" comes over to our house but he always leaves when the kid's come home from school.

Whenever we pull into our neighborhood and Cody see's The Purina Dog Food Factory "Jack's" house, he let's us know his imvisible friend lives there!

One of these days, Cody will forget all about "Jack" but until then, I'm thankful he has such a love for his little imvisible friend.

*poor kid has to either play with his imaginary friend or Scuba Steve, who now only has a torso*

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day Eight

Day Eight: I am Thankful for coupons in the Sunday paper!

I realize I'm a huge dork, but I look forward to getting the Sunday paper every week. Most of the time, I get the early edition paper that comes out on Saturday. That is just how cool I am!

I have studied the coupon world for a couple of weeks. I used to think it was more trouble than it was worth cutting out all those little coupons every week. Now that I have learned the little tricks and trades of the coupon world, I save a lot of money. Plus, our pantry is always full.

There are some things I buy that I probably would have never bought without a coupon, but I just use it in place of something else I didn't have a coupon for. It has worked well and we have never let anything go to waste. There are 7 people who live in this house, 5 extra kiddos everyday, and my brother and his girlfriend here on Sundays...trust me, nothing gets wasted!

Today I studied the ad for our local grocery store that doubles coupons and decided what I was going to buy. The key is to only use coupons on the items that are on sale. Half of the time, you can get an item for practically nothing.

Like the box of ice cream bars I got for $.29

Or the dressings I made money on

Or even the peppers that only cost m
e a nickel.

Don't forget the Chex Mix Bars, they were only $.50.

Some days are better than others. Today was a better day.

All of these Groceries rang up to $85.29

After coupons, I only paid $42.96! Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

*not pictured, because I had already put them away before I decided to be a nerd and take a picture of my groceries; 2 boxes of Rice Krispie Treats, 2 jars of fruit, 1 circle loaf of Hawaiian Bread, and 2 packages of buy one, get one free stuffed chicken breasts from the meat department!*

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day Seven

Day Seven: I am Thankful for everything McKinly does for our family

A few days ago, I wrote about how much I appreciate everything McKinly does around here. She is such a great girl and I couldn't leave her out of my "what I am thankful for" list.

McKinly is my step daughter but I have known her since she was three months old. I couldn't ask for a better big sister for my boys. She loves them and protects them through everything they do. She is there for them whenever they need her. To tell the truth, Cade chooses her over T.J. and me most of the time. After his nap, she is the first person he asks for. When we pick her up from school, the whole way home he repeats her name...over and over and over again. She gets annoyed with it after a while but I think deep down, she really loves it.

I am very proud of everything she does. She is doing really well in school, has even been bumped up to sixth grade math. She helps tutor kids in the younger grades during her recess time and she also has started helping out in the library during any other free time she has at school.

I might not have a biological daughter, but I think that's God's way of showing me I already have the best daughter I could ask for.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I CAN count!

Just for anyone who noticed, I realize it went from Day Four to Day Six. That is not a mistake on my part. I have each day scheduled to be posted at midnight. However, for some reason unbeknown to me, Day Five never posted. I'm not sure why that is, but as soon as I can figure it out, I will let you know. I will go ahead and continue posting in order but will let you know when Day Five is available.

I can count, I promise!

Things to be Thankful for...Day Six

Day Six: I am thankful Cole sleeps so well!

My day is chaotic to say the least. I have nine kids in and out of here throughout the day and at night, I have 3-5 kids plus my husband who I have to feed, bathe (well I just have to bathe the kids, my husband can bathe himself), and put to bed. On top of that, I have to find time to get to the gym so I can try and lose the weight my three precious boys helped me gain.

When everyone finally goes to sleep, it's my time to have a few minutes to myself. I finally get to bed around 11 pm so I can wake Cole up to feed him one last time.

I am able to do everything I need to do during the day because Cole sleeps through the night. I don't know if I could function as well as I do if I was getting interrupted sleep.

Cole is already on the same schedule as the other kids. He wakes up in the morning around 7, I feed him a bottle and he goes back to sleep till 9 a.m. He stays up and plays for a few hours and then around 11:30 a.m. I feed him and put him down for a nap. He sleeps a good 3 hours and half the time, I have to wake him to go pick the kids up from school. Around 5 p.m. he starts getting sleepy again so he takes about an hour to two hour nap. We wake him between 6 and 7 p.m. to feed him another bottle and then he's down for the night around 9:30 p.m. This is how it has been since he was four weeks old and I love it!

I am very thankful to have such a laid back baby. He is very happy the majority of the time and I couldn't have asked for anything more :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day Four

Day Four: I am thankful for my relationship with McKinly and Ty's mom

As weird as it might sound, McKinly and Ty's mom, Cathy is a great friend to me. Over the years, we have grown closer and closer. We have a lot in common, other than the fact we have both been married to T.J.

Besides T.J. and the kids, she was the only other person I knew when I moved here. It was a little strange at first, I will admit. I'm sure to her too. She and I have worked really hard to make sure everything we do is in the best interest for McKinly and Ty. They were the only thing that mattered and we made sure we were always aware of that, we still do.

However, if she would like to admit it or not, she has become my friend. I'm sure there are things she doesn't agree with involving how I raise her kids but she always supports me. Whenever I have a problem with the kids, she's the first person I go to so she is aware of the situation and she does the same.

The day I was going to have Cody, she took the whole day off of work and sat at the hospital with us while we waited to have him. She left to go get the kids so as soon as their brother was born, they'd be the first to see him. She rushed the kids up to the hospital as soon as Cade was born as well.

Since Cole was born on the first day of school, she took pictures of the kids, got them developed, and brought them up to the hospital because she knew it was killing me not being able to be there like I have every year prior. She was still at the hospital when Cole was actually born (not in the room because that would have been a little weird) and besides for me and T.J., she was the first to hold him.

Some people find it strange we are all friends, but I am very thankful that's the way it turned out. I appreciate everything she has done for us, because she truely has done a lot. She loves my boys and I know she would do anything for them if I asked and that makes me extremely happy. My boys even call Cathy's mom "Mimi" just like the other kids. I'm working on a name for my boys to call her because "grandma Cathy" isn't cutting it (Cody is a little confused because he has a Grandma Kathie so he thinks that's what he is supposed to call her too). She doesn't find it nearly as funny as I do!!

Today she even took Cody to get his hair cut because she was already taking Ty to get his cut...for our family pictures.

I don't know if we tell her enough how much we appreciate her, but we do.

So yes, I am very thankful for T.J.'s ex-wife and the relationship we have all been able to have with each other!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day Three

Day Three: I'm thankful TJ didn't get "fixed" as soon as we had planned

TJ was supposed to get "fixed" last May as soon as school got out. We didn't really have any extra money at the time to pay our deductible for it, so we decided to wait a little longer.

If TJ would have had the surgery when we originally had planned, then this little guy never would have been born.

Because of our lack of extra money, we were blessed with another perfect little man...my little man (who will end up costing more than that little deductible would have cost us, but that's beside the point).

I am very thankful we were blessed with one more baby, but I am also VERY thankful we can't have anymore.

*I'm also thankful Kyle and Cortney gave us the little blanket in the background with his name on it. Works for a great backdrop in a picture too! I'm NOT thankful they moved away from us :( *

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day Two

Day Two: I am Thankful for the new kid's Nike Shox

This might not be something I should be thankful for but let me just explain.

You see, I'm very picky about my kid's clothing (I know, big surprise) and that includes shoes. I'm not real into Velcro once they pass a certain age but it is very difficult trying to teach a three year old how to tie his shoes. When you have many small kids at home who are unable to do things by themselves, getting out the door every morning can be a long and tedious process.

I've been looking for a new pair of tennis shoes for Cody that he can put on himself. However, I don't like the look of tennis shoes that Velcro and I'm pretty much against character shoes so I put myself in a little predicament.

That is, until I found the shoes of all shoes. The best invention Nike has ever come up with.

So, today I present you with the these Nike Shox.

They look like regular Nike Shox

But shhh, there's a secret...

They're Velcro!!!

They are a life saver, more of a time saver but you get the point. Cody is able to put them on himself and they look like regular Nike tennis shoes!

For those with kids, or a teacher of young kids who is tired of tying shoes, then you will understand why I am so thankful for these!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things to be Thankful for...Day One

I'm a little behind, but my original plan was to post something I am thankful for every day this month. Here it is the 11th of the month and I am just starting. Oh well, better late than never! I will try and post something everyday for the rest of November!

Day One: I am thankful for the Science Museum

Since the kids were out of school last Friday, I had the privilege of having nine children at my house. It was a little cold out that day so there was NO way I was keeping those kids cooped up in my little house all day.

So, we ventured back to the science museum and since the science gods were looking out for me, it happened to be "chemistry day". They had all these little stations set up for kids to do experiments.

Cody testing out hot and cold mixtures

McKinly, Ty, and Laney making slime

Cade and mommy making his slime

We also got to do some other stuff we were unable to get to last week.

Ty and Nieko on an old airplane

McKinly and Cody on the Mercury Capsule

We were there for over five hours and I couldn't have been more thankful for all the things that kept them entertained. After we got home, the kids played outside for an hour and then it was time for everyone to leave and the little ones went down for a late nap! A successful and eventful day!

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Do you notice something weird with the second row??

No?? Look a little closer because you will notice someone...

decided to eat the tops off the crayons while I wasn't looking.

Don't worry, he spit all of them out...

on my white carpet!

Thank God for Resolve!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Did you know...

that this girl right here...

happens to be The Best girl in the world?!?

And I'm not saying that just because she's partly mine. Let me just explain what she has done this week.

First of all, she unloaded the dishwasher without me having to ask. She claims it is because there were not enough bowls for the breakfast she was making for all the kids that morning, by herself, but we both know she has done it before and will do it again...because that's just who she is!

Second, she helped all the little kids the other day with their homework. If that weren't enough, when one started having trouble, she made up a little game to help them learn in a different way.

Then on top of all that, Friday night I had to go to her parent/teacher conference and I felt bad sending all five kids to the neighbor's house (TJ was at his school doing parent/teacher conferences) so she said "you're only gone and hour, I'll watch them."

Now, I know she's only ten but she probably takes better care of them than I do :) I wouldn't have let her if Jen and Shawn weren't right down the street. They knew she was home alone with them and she had their number if anything were to happen. Cole was with them and they would have taken all the others as well, but we think McKinly really wanted to do this. Plus, she really wanted me to buy her some books at the book fair.

On my way home, she called my phone. I was thinking she was getting a little overwhelmed and wondering when I would be home, but all she wanted was to tell me Ty helped out a lot with Cade and that maybe I should get him a book as well.

This is just who she is...other people come first, she loves her brothers more than anything, she helps out around the house without being asked, we never have to remind her to do her homework and no matter what, she always makes sure everything is fair (unless it's her getting something special, which happens quite a bit, but she makes sure her brothers don't notice so they don't get their feelings hurt).

I am VERY lucky to have her in my life and her brothers adore her...we all do!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Science Museum

The other day I decided to take the kids to the Oklahoma Science Museum. They always have so much fun there because everything is hands on and there is even a five story tree house to play on.

Since it's about to get cold here, I decided to go ahead and purchase a season pass. There is nothing worse than all the kids stuck inside our little house all winter long.

I knew McKinly and Cody would have fun (Ty didn't go because he was at a friend's house) but I didn't realize how much fun Cade would have.

Cody and Cade spinning

Cody cutting his "airplane"

Watching it fly up the tube

Cade building with blocks

Cody making his race car

Watching it go

Cade waiting his turn

McKinly and Cade going down the five story slide

Cody's turn...it's a little fast

Riding the teeter totter

How Tall??




Cade playing at the water table

Since we only got to do half of the museum, we're going back Friday since the kids are out of school. I promise will try not to post as many pictures next time :)