Archive for November, 2009

Here’s a Gift Idea…

November 28, 2009

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Now that Black Friday is over and we are in full, “it’s time to think of gifts for the kids” mode I wanted to share a great gift idea for those looking for a fun and educational idea for their younger kiddos.

Jump Start Pet Rescue for wii! My 3 youngest have been having a blast with it. And I’m truly surprised at the fact that it’s not only fun but educational. It’s recommended for ages 3-6 but my 7yr old and our 8 yr old friend have been enjoying it too.

The kids have been enjoying JumpStart.com for awhile now and getting Pet Rescue was another way for them to have fun and learn with all that the Jump Start family of products has to offer.

Good luck with all the holiday shopping! I hope all your gift choices can be as easy as this one!

Have a great day~

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Some Good Stuff on Our Thanksgiving Break

November 26, 2009

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This is the scene I came out to this evening. I walked into the living room and all of my 5 youngest were sitting with books or LeapFrog Learning Pads, quietly reading. It was a great end to our first day of this Thanksgiving break. We moved the TV out of the living room about 7 months ago and now the room is available to enjoy reading or games and I like it so much better!

We are usually so busy with sports, school and errands that we don’t get quiet days at home. Today we stayed home, rediscovered some of the things in our playroom and took care of housework. Other than a trip to the beach or the Cabrillo National Monument (if you’re in the San Diego area and have never gone, you should!) I think we’re going to have quiet days at home, getting ready for all that Christmastime brings.

Since it’s a time of giving thanks, I’ll say that I’m thankful for a little time at home to get things done and to enjoy where we live!

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope it’s a peaceful time of family and reflection for each of you.

Good night~

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Mommy of Many-Morning Short

November 23, 2009

You know the laundry is officially out-of-control when you don’t need the step ladder to reach the supplies on the shelf. Instead, I simply climbed the pile of clothes and grabbed what I needed. And THIS is AFTER 5 loads were done today.

Laundry Fairy, where are you?

Have a great day~

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Focus For the Holiday Season

November 21, 2009

As Thanksgiving approaches and the stores and ads are filled with all the shopping enticements, I’m having to spend a little extra effort keeping myself focused on what’s important and what the spirit of the Holiday Season is really all about. I’ve already found myself in moments of feeling down because I can’t do things a certain way or fulfill particular gift wishes. This season really requires balance and focus! I look around and I want to get caught up in all the frenzy of shopping myself into oblivion and then feel overwhelmed because I know that I can’t. Then I have to take a big, deep breath and remember all that’s in front of me. The beautiful people who touch the lives in my family each day. The friends who step forward to lend a hand. The kind and thoughtful gifts that are brought on random days, just because. The people who have shared their time and talent with my family. I have to think of our health and the fact that everyone is safe and free to speak their mind. I need to remember that each member of my family will be together on Christmas and that it isn’t about what’s going to be under the tree or in the stockings but the fact that the feeling of the season will be alive.

The media and stores work hard to get us to forget all of that! They bring on a HUGE guilt trip if we can’t fulfill our every desire. After-all, it’s the Holiday season, it’s about shopping our pockets inside out.

I’m just trying to keep reminding myself that the important thing about this season that’s upon us is the beauty in our lives, how we live and seeing the blessings in each day. I challenge each of you to keep focused and to enjoy the true spirit of this time.

Have a great day~

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Big Sisters

November 19, 2009

I don’t know what it is about big sisters. They have an almost supernatural power of persuasion over their younger siblings.

Tonight, one of my older girls was looking for the bicycle pump and couldn’t find it. She asked and asked where it could be. I finally remembered seeing the little kids playing with it, in the back yard, on our hill. I let her know where I thought she could find it. But because it was after dark, she didn’t want to go out and get it herself. So, what does she do?! She comes into the room where the two youngest are snuggled into bed, watching a movie, and announces, “Come with me! I have something exciting for you to find! The first one to find it wins!” Of course, the warm, peaceful, snugly, little ones jump out of bed and run to follow her.

This flashed me back about 7, or so, years ago to when Kateri was home and helping babysit and she convinced the kids that water with lemon was SUPER exciting by calling it a “lemon-o” and offering it as a reward for doing her bidding. She had kids drinking “lemon-o’s” for days!

I guess as long as there are big sisters and younger, gullible, eager-to-please, siblings, that these little tricks will continue.

Good luck to all the younger siblings out there! And to the older sisters…Hee Hee! I remember just what this feels like! ;-)

Good night~

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What Number Are You?

November 8, 2009

This morning I had to run to the store to finish the soccer snacks. I woke up realizing that I had forgotten the oranges. Usually when I dash off to the grocery store one or two kiddos run out to the car. But it was still early (6 am) so there was only one store companion with me. The checkers know me and the kids and the older girls are, often, in the store on their own. This morning the checker greeted me and then looked at Maddi and said, “What number are you?”. She really didn’t know how to answer. She just looked at him with a funny look on her face. I explained to her that he wanted to know what # in the family line-up she is.

This is always a funny question. My kids never know how to answer it because they aren’t referred to by #. We use their names because we know their names and their personalities and what’s happening with each kiddo in each day. The “What # are you” question is a bit dehumanizing. It lends to the attitude that because I am Mommy of Many children, that I would just slap a number on them and dish out bowls of food and clothing as if they were the nameless masses.

I’m glad my kids don’t automatically know what number they are and I can only hope to keep giving them the personal and individual attention that they’ve come to rely on.

Have a great day~

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High School Days with my Kids

November 4, 2009

Yesterday I attended the Junior Unity Liturgy and luncheon with Mariah. I couldn’t help but be brought back to the same day and the same celebration 5 years ago, when I was sitting there with Kateri. FIVE years?! I can hardly believe it! The high school years go so quickly! Kateri is already in her third year of college and JJ is a Senior this year!

It was so nice to be able to take the time to attend this celebration with Mariah. Because I have so many children at the elementary school, it makes sense that most of my time and energy is put there. But I end up feeling disconnected from the high school and all that they have going on. Not only was it great to be there with Mariah, but I was able to say hello to parents who had children go through school with Kateri and now, also have kids who are in Mariah’s class. It’s always nice to hear how everyone is doing.

It seems that when the kids are going through k-8th that high school seems so far off. Then they get there and it’s a whirlwind of time that passes in the blink of an eye! I was so glad to be able to grab a little piece of it, yesterday.

Have a great day~

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Thank you and a Correction

November 4, 2009

I want to thank Sheri Ledoux of Knott’s Berry Farms PR department for her quick and thorough response to my disappointment. I have been assured that the promotional offer for the Armed Services will apply to the spouses of deployed service members who are holding a valid ID card.

Looks like the Lang Clan will be heading to Knotts on our annual trip after-all. Whoo Hoo!

Have a great day~

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Two Lang Traditions That Will Go Undone This Year

November 2, 2009

Now that October is over and I’m taking down the ghosts, skeletons and witches that the kids have made over the years, I realize that we didn’t make it to the pumpkin patch this year. Uh! It’s always a challenge to squeeze it in because of the busy afternoons and the jam-packed weekends, but somehow, we always manage. But this year I got too comfortable buying the awesomely-priced pumpkins at our local market. Once they were on the front porch, I let the urgency of getting to the pumpkin patch slip and here we are, looking back at October with no visit to Oma’s. I’m a little sad.

I’m even sadder when I look ahead, through this November and see that there will be no annual trip to Knott’s Berry Farm. Sad! We’ve been going to Knott’s, every November that we’ve been in California, since Arianna was small enough for me to carry her in the backpack. Knott’s has a Salute to the Armed Forces each November and the whole family looks forward to this trip. BUT, this year the park has changed it’s guidelines for entrance and the military member must be present for their families to take advantage of the offer. Excluding the dependents of deployed service members doesn’t make sense to me. It makes the sting of deployment even greater when the children who look forward to a tradition are not able to participate because Dad is gone. Ugh! Why don’t I just take them on my own, without the promotion, you ask. The wonderful offer that Knott’s puts out every November is for the active duty member and one guest to get in for free. They are then able to purchase up to 6 additional tickets for $15 each. Regular admission for adults is $44.99 and kid’s tickets are $23.99. Kid’s tickets are based on height. So, I have 4 “adults” among the 7 children that I currently have at home and 3 “kids”. I’ll let you all do the math to figure out the difference in the price. But you can see that it’s a great difference. Once you do all that math you’ll see why the Lang Clan never storms a theme park without an awesome promotion, especially around the holidays.

So, while I’m thankful that Knott’s puts on this really wonderful deal each year, I’m confused at their thinking. If a dependent is holding a copy of the Active Duty member’s orders and an ID card, I think it’s a shame that they will not be able to take advantage of this offer. And I’m really sad that for the first time in 10 years, we will not be going.

Have a great day~

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