Archive for August, 2009

Saturday

August 29, 2009

It’s 8 am on Saturday and the whole day is in front of me. The kids have only been up for an hour and I got to have 2 hours of quiet, alone time to greet the day and enjoy the fresh, quiet, crispness of the morning. Now to get going and tackle the list of things that must be done today.

I have 2 events at my house this week which means extra cleaning, organizing and prepping. It means the lawn must be mowed and the back patio swept. I’m looking around at the hand prints on the patio sliding door and the smudges on the cupboards. Come on! I’ve cleaned those spots a million + times since living in this house! I’m just feeling tired of cleaning the very same things over and over again! Ok, dishes and laundry I understand. We don’t want to be eating off of icky dishes or wearing smelly clothes. I’ve tried the paper plate route, but they get pricey for a group this size. So, the dishes will continue to get washed, but the baseboards?! The refrigerator door handle?! The inside of the microwave?! The shower door?! I’m really wishing that one, good cleaning or faked blindness could cure these constant issues!

As much as I’d like to ignore these things, I know myself and I’d go nuts letting people into my house without first getting them done. So, off I go to wipe down the patio door and the kitchen counters, once again, knowing that the little ones are right behind me, fingerprints at the ready!

Have a great day~

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Bible Stories According to the Military Child

August 26, 2009

At 4 yrs old Gabi is very interested in reading. She often takes books out and “reads” them out loud to us. Over the last few days she’s been carrying the Children’s Bible around and “reading” various stories to us. Tonight, after dinner, she brought it over to the table and started to “read” to us.

“…and many bad things were happening. So Jesus deployed to the world to save us all from sinners…”

She could not understand my laughter.

Good night~

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Diplomacy Does Not Always a Happy Teenager Make!

August 25, 2009

I have 3 teenage girls at home and each one has 3 chores that they are supposed to do daily. Each week, on Sunday, they are supposed to switch chores. But it doesn’t always move smoothly. If the dish doer of the week has been gone, then the girls don’t want to switch the chores and have the new dish doer inherit all the dishes that weren’t done, etc. This is exactly what happened yesterday.

The dish doer for the week had spent the night at a friend’s house and even though I helped out with the chores and got a load of dishes going, there was still a pile to do when she got home. She wanted to go ahead and switch the chores, but her sisters did not. The argument of whether to switch or not switch went round and round. Finally I stepped in.

I took 6 slips of paper and wrote “switch” on 3 of them and “don’t switch” on the others. I had all 3 girls come in and pick a slip of paper out of a bowl. When they’d each picked I had them read their papers. It ended up “don’t switch” 2-1. She was NOT a happy dish doer! This meant that not only did she have to do the pile that was sitting there, but that she now has them for another week. I’m hoping that a lesson has been learned!

Have a great day~

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Getting JJ Back to School

August 24, 2009

After making one, long list, several shopping trips, some phone calls and an early morning trip to the airport, JJ is back at school. He left yesterday morning and will have a week of soccer camp before his classes begin.

What a summer! He got home and charged straight into making sure his brothers were kept active. He really did a great job with them! I don’t know what it’s like to be a boy. I grew up as the oldest of 9 kids, but the 7 directly behind me were girls. By the time my brother came along, I was in 7th grade and completely self-centered. I never really got to know what it meant to have a boy around. When Kateri was born I was so thankful that she was a girl because I really didn’t know anything about boys. With Clay deployed as often as he is, JJ has seen the need in his brothers to have a strong and positive male influence. He did a great job! He kept them active and challenged them to do well in all they took on. Even after he hurt his knee, he found ways to do things with them. He really did a great job!

Poor guy, though, he was in a really good routine of working out and staying active when he hurt his knee. Luckily, he has the go ahead to charge forward into the soccer season at school.

Whew!

Now it’s time for me to focus on all the last minute details of getting the other 7 kiddos ready for school. I have 2 weeks left to get it all done. I’m a little behind in a few things and need to spend today catching up. Now that I have Kateri, safely, in Germany and JJ back to school, I can get into the routine that we’ll have set for the school year.  This will be the very first time that all my kiddos will leave the house each day. I decided it was best for me to also leave each day and took a job as an aid in one of the classrooms.  It’s been 16 years since I’ve worked outside the house on a regular basis.  I’m a little nervous about staying on top of all that needs to happen in the house.

~big breath~ One step at a time!

Have a great day~

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Operation Love

August 19, 2009

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I wanted to share this wonderful service that was offered to me.

A couple of months ago, I met a photographer, named Hollie and she told me that she belonged to an organization called Operation Love ReUnited which is a group of photographers who offer photo shoots to the families of deployed or deploying soldiers and sailors at no cost. They then put together an album from the shoot and send it to the deployed service member. The family may purchase photos from the shoot at a reduced cost.

When we met, it was only 2 days before Clay was to deploy, so there wouldn’t be time to put together a predeployment shoot, but over time, we found a date when all my kids would be home and were able to schedule a shoot for during deployment. We are also able to request a shoot of homecoming and if the photographer is available, they will come to the homecoming.

The kids and I had a lot of fun getting ready for it and Hollie was a trooper while working with so many people in such a large age group!

The results are fantastic and I can’t wait for Clay to receive his album! Our shoot was close enough to his birthday, that I was able to combine the whole event and give him a surprise birthday gift.

Here are my favorites from the day
Picture 22

Picture 10

Picture 17

Picture 12

Thanks Hollie for a fun experience and for the great work!

I encourage any of you who are gearing up for deployment to take advantage of this service!

Have a great day~

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A Good Start to the Day

August 18, 2009

For the last 2 weeks my schedule has been thrown off because we had Kateri home and really wanted to be able to do things with her and take advantage of having her here before she left for her year-long adventure. So, that meant I didn’t go to the Y or get any “real” work-outs in.

A few days ago, a friend put out the word that they were looking for an early morning walking partner and I thought it was a good way to get something back into my daily routine that would make me feel good and still not interrupt the day with the kids.

So, this morning was the first day. I got up, made the coffee and left the house a little before 6. We met up, walked 3 miles along the bay and I was back in the house before 7. Everyone was still asleep! They’ll never even know I was gone!

So now I’m relishing the fact that I got a little work out in, am sitting with a cup of coffee and it didn’t impact the kids’ day at all!

By the way, does the walk count if I came home and put ice cream in my coffee?

Have a great day~

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Catching up with the Lang Clan

August 16, 2009

The last two weeks have been full and busy! We are trying to grab the last bits of summer before JJ heads back to school and before Kateri leaves for Germany. Because all the kids are home and together, my regular routine has been put on hold and we have been taking time to enjoy the beach and time together.

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The kids and friends enjoying “game night”

Today is the last little bit of that. Early tomorrow morning, Kateri boards her plane for Germany. We will not be seeing her again until JJ’s high school graduation, next Spring. And after the graduation, it’ unclear when we will be seeing her again because she will, likely, spend next summer in DC. So, it’s been a flurry of grabbing time together and also trying to get important details pulled together and paperwork done. Today, one of my sisters flies in to spend the day with her and to visit with the rest of us. After tomorrow night, it will be time for me to focus on all that’s needed to get JJ ready to leave for the school year. He’ll be going to school a week early for soccer camp. The Dr. gave him the go-ahead to restart regular activity, but to listen to his body and to watch his knee. I’m also getting the school lists together so that everyone is outfitted and supplied and ready to get back to school in early Sept.

There’s been a lot to think about!

Yesterday we celebrated, albeit long-distance, Clay’s 40th birthday. The girls baked a cake and we were all able to talk to him via Skype, to wish him a happy start to his new decade.

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I’m relishing the fact that I get to stay in my 30′s for a couple more years and tease him about being so old!

So, lots going on in this house. Lots of hugs and kisses to pass around and hold onto and many plans for using the computer to keep in touch while we are apart.

Have a great day~

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Tying Up Loose Ends While All the Kids are Home

August 14, 2009

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For the last 2 weeks I’ve had all my kiddos together. Kateri had stayed in DC for an internship, so we only get her for a short time this summer.

While everyone is here and before they scatter again, we have to take care of all the loose ends. A few weeks ago I realized that our military IDs were about to expire and that we’d all have to trek down to the base and get them done. Today’s the day! Not only will we be getting our IDs done, but the sticker on the van has expired. I’m REALLY hoping the little kids are good and patient and that it all goes smoothly. These things can be frustrating. I’m hoping that the visual of me walking in with all 9 kiddos in tow moves things along.

Fingers crossed!

Have a great day~

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Another Recipe to Share

August 12, 2009

Mommy of Many’s Mexican Lasagna

JJ requested this tonight and I realized I had forgotten about it.  For awhile it was a staple around the Lang house.  Having Kateri and JJ home for a little while in the summer brings back some of the things I used to do and have just let get dusty in the back of my memory. So, here’s a simple recipe that serves 8-10 but, as with every recipe I post, it can easily be modified to serve fewer or even MORE!

Tortillas

1 can refried beans

1 can black beans

1 can cut tomatoes (you can use any type or even substitute a chunky salsa or Rotel if that’s what you have on hand)

1 can corn

Cheese, sour cream, salsa, olives, avocado….whatever you want to top it with after it’s been cooked

Preheat oven to 350

In a large bowl dump the refried beans, black beans (drain first), can of tomatoes (do not drain) and the can of corn (drain first).

Mix well

Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with tortillas. I use 3-4

Top tortillas with mixture from the bowl

Top mixture with tortillas (again, 3-4)

Cover pan with foil and bake for 35 minutes

Uncover, top with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted

Cut and serve with chosen toppings

Done!

EASY and INEXPENSIVE!

Let me know how you like it or if you modify it and, as always, feel free to share your recipe ideas.

Good night~

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Rod Stewart, Reunion and Back Again

August 11, 2009

What a great, full and exhausting weekend! It’s taken me this long to be able to get my bearings enough to even write about it.

I got to start my weekend on Thursday night, by flying up to Washington state to meet up with a good friend, spend the night and then the 2 of us would head to the concert.  I had already had a regular M.O.M. day at home…wake-up @ 4:15, morning routine, took kids to the beach, packed, etc. Now, here I am in another state at 9pm and I’m feeling my second wind!  We started talking, drinking wine and laughing our heads off.  Then we decided a movie was in order.  So…2:30 am rolls around and it’s suddenly time for bed. Yikes!  We spent Friday driving…and driving…and driving some more.  We finally got checked into our hotel and headed to the concert.  We were like giggly school girls! I had forgotten to bring my iPod adapter of the car, so we each had an ear bud and laid the iPod between us (shhhhh…I’m not sure this is the BEST way to drive!). By the time we got to the concert, we had visited many songs that we hoped we’d hear and had decided that Maggie May would, most likely be the encore. We found our seats and settled in.  After the first few songs we realized that we had purchased tickets in the “Please Don’t Act Like You Want To Be Here” section.  Seriously! The whole place was having a great time and we were surrounded by serious-faced, arms-crossed, cotton-in-ears, old fogies! It made us giggle which was REALLY not appreciated.  We were even called “Very rude, young ladies”. Yeah, that made us giggle even more!  But, the concert was GREAT!!!!  Pilar had liked Rod’s music before but I do believe that now she is a bona fide FAN. Yes!!! As for me, well, I was caught swooning…just a little. And we called it correctly, Maggie May was, if fact, the encore.  ~sigh~ I can’t wait until I can go again!

But then it was onto the Dance of the Weekend! We drove back to the hotel, listened to a man across the hall yelling and yelling and yelling and finally fell asleep with the music of the night playing through our heads. A few hours later it was up and out to the airport so I could head to Sacramento and revisit my high school days.  My 20 year reunion had arrived. 20 years!

I gave that reunion a lot of thought. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the whole thing.  Yes, there were people I wanted to catch up with, but so much time had passed and my life had been so full over those years.  I got married, had 8 more kiddos (I delivered Kateri in April of my graduating year, so everyone knew I had at least one kiddo), lived in 3 states, started Mommy of Many, etc. etc. Who were these people and were we going to have anything to talk about?  When I think back to high school, I really don’t get the warm, fuzzy feelings that I hear a lot of people talk about.  I always felt like I was struggling through each day.  The school work seemed to overwhelm me and the social aspect was a game I didn’t always understand the rules to.  But, something inside me still wanted to go and give it a try.

I must say, I’m glad I did! Yes, a lot of time has passed and a lot of life has been lived, but we were a room full of people who had shared (however loosely) a few years of our lives in the same place. There were many faces that instantly brought back memories. There were people whom I had forgotten had touched my life.  I enjoyed conversation with a couple of people who I am sure I had never had a conversation with before.  All-in-all, it was a really nice night and I’m glad that I carved out the time to go.  I look forward to keeping in touch with some of the people that I was able to reconnect with. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for me to have my kids with me for the family picnic that was the next day.  I needed to get to the airport and head home!

My kiddos had been home and under the guidance and competent supervision of Kateri.  But I think everyone’s patience and tolerance was wearing thin.  It was time for Mom to get home and get things back in order.  I got in, had a cup of coffee with Kateri and braced myself for all the happy bombardment of being home.  Whew!

What a great, whirlwind of a weekend! I now feel a little more connected with my past and the people who were a part of it and am ready for the VERY NEXT Rod Stewart concert that I can manage to get to. Good Stuff!

Have a great day~

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Mommy and Me Time

August 6, 2009

With a house full of kiddos, one-0n-one time can be hard to find.  So, over the years I’ve learned to grab opportunities that allow for me and one child to spend a little time together.

Today, Gabi had her school physical and she was such a trooper! She received 3 shots and she didn’t even, so much as, flinch. She even watched each shot!  Her bravery (and the fact that all the other kids were at the beach) earned her a lunch date. She chose the restaurant and off we went.

One of the things I notice about the Mommy and Me time with any of the kids is that they get to speak their mind in a way that doesn’t usually happen in the house.  It’s hard to let me know exactly how you feel about something when you’re shouting it over the top of everyone else.  These little slices of time, always give me a different view of the child that I’m spending time with.

No great epiphany happened in the little bit of time that Gabi and I grabbed today, but it was nice to sit with her, let her decide on the food she wanted to eat and to be able to praise her for her bravery.  I cherish those little pieces I get and am happy to be able to give a little different Mama than the one who is always Doing the Dance of the Children!

Good night~

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GetAMom.com

August 4, 2009

A funny exchange with some of my kids;

Gabi-I want 7 more brothers and sisters

Lex-I want a baby

Gabi-Mama, when are you going to have another baby?  We want a baby.

Me-I’m not going to have any more babies. These are all the babies I’m going to have.

Gabi-We need a new mom who will have more babies

Me-Hmmm…..that’s interesting! You think it would be a good idea to get a new mom just so there would be more babies?

Gabi-Yes!

Me-Where are you going to get a new mom?

Mariah-GetaMom.com

Leave it to Mariah to have an answer for every problem!

Have a great day~

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It Was Not My Day!

August 3, 2009

Sometimes you have to wonder what makes people chose the profession they go into.  Take my primary care doctor, for example-

I started seeing her a year ago. The first thing we discussed was my overall health, how many children I have and if there were any concerns that I had. After a couple of visits, she ended up referring me out for various tests and ultimately, I saw a different doctor at a different facility for my hysterectomy.  About 5 months later, I went back to the primary care Doc for a different and less serious issue. Her first question was how I was doing and what had been happening in the months since I last saw her.  I told her I’d had the hysterectomy.  She seemed very surprised. I gave her all the details and then moved onto the issue that had brought me in.  I was put on medication and then told to come back in a month.  I took the meds and came back in a month. At that visit, she acted like she had no idea why I was there.  I went over the issue and the meds. She prescribed another round of meds and sent me on my way. A few days ago, I went back because the meds were gone and it was time for a recheck.  She walked in with my chart and sat down. She says, “Jennifer? Are you Jennifer?”. I snickered, rolled my eyes and said, “yeah, that’s me.” She starts flipping through the chart and says, “you were here for pain in Oct. How’s the pain?” I looked at her in disbelief and said, “I had a hysterectomy. That pretty much took care of the pain.” She was indignant and tried to explain to me that there could be other reasons for the pain I had been feeling. I reiterated that the hysterectomy took care of the pain.  Then she asked why I was there.  Huh?! I explained that she had been treating me and that the meds were gone and it was time for a recheck.  Then I stopped, stood up and said, “never mind! You obviously don’t know who I am or anything about why I’ve ever seen you. This appointment is over and I’ll be looking for a new doctor. Can I please have my record?”!!!!!!!!

Good lord! Usually doctors remember me on sight! Come on! I’m kind of hard to forget….9 kids!

So, I’m in the market for a new doctor. Maybe one with a memory?!

Have a good day~

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M.O.M. and the Secret Life of Fleas

August 2, 2009

First off, I must give credit where credit is due.  The title is Clay’s idea and it was catchy enough that I decided to use it.

I don’t know what’s happening with the poor dog this year, but the flea issue has been unbearable! Every summer we have to treat the yard and the dog, but I’ve never had to treat my house before.  I started keeping the dog outside, about a week ago but the problem had already moved it’s way inside.  Two mornings ago I treated our playroom carpet, but the issue became apparent in the rest of the house, so yesterday, I set off foggers.   I’ve never done this before and was completely afraid that I was going to end up blowing up the house! I enlisted the help of a neighbor’s husband to make sure the pilot light on the hot water heater was out and then room by room, set them off.  Then, I loaded the kiddos up and decided what to spend the next several hours doing.  We did the Costco shopping and then took dinner to a park.  The kids thought it was funny to eat chicken and salad at the playground.  We killed the rest of the time by heading to Target.

So far, they seem to have worked.  Thank goodness! I was at a point that I didn’t even want to be in the house anymore! I was ready to have JJ pitch the tent in the back yard and give the house to the dog and the fleas.

After it’s all been said and done, the whole thing ran more than $100! Not an inexpensive venture!

But at least I no longer have to outfit myself in long pants, long sleeves and socks before walking through the house!

Ick~

I truly hope the season has been kinder to your pets and your home!

Have a great day~

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