Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chloe is 11 months old!

These pictures are from my sister Bethie. Aren't they beautiful? Chloe is 11 months old and growing so fast. She has taken her first few steps. She can stand on her own for a few seconds. She has five teeth. She can say Mama, Daddy, hi, bye, Gidi. She just started clapping on Sunday. So much fun and getting so big!

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 4th Cook Out

We had a great July 4th with my family, it was pretty much the only day that it hadn't rained in quite a long time...it was hot and great for the pool! We had swimming, food and then some fireworks. We left early so that we could be just in time for the fireworks on our mountain where we can see the whole valley. It was raining but the fireworks still went on and were a great view!
Pops with Chloe
Pool time
Swim time with distant cousin Noel
All three 2012 babies playing on the piano
Asher is talented enough to play piano with his feet!

Sparklers, thanks Uncle Zach
Isaiah was not a fan of the fireworks
Zach, Amy and Asher

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Yard Sale Week 9

So I was able to squeeze in some yard sale shopping this past weekend. Just stopped by when we saw some signs when we were out doing errands. Here is what we picked up...
Love this kitchen set--had two bags of play food and dishes with it $20 has an oven that sizzles...so cute. Right now it is in our kitchen so that the kids can play with it.
Cinderella play set $3
Lamp for guest room and crocs for Chloe to fit into hopefully soon. $3

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pirates and Princesses

Thanks to a man from our Church we have some great new dress up clothes...and my kids love to play dress up! Look at Gideon dressed up like a pirate and Tirzah as a princess...

Love this picture, look at those stunning eyes!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trip to Our Local Zoo

After trying two times previously to make it to the zoo, we finally got there for a family outing! Our local zoo is small but lots of fun for our kids. There are snow leopards, otters, snakes, bird area you can walk inside, a train to ride around in.
Gideon thought the goat was the most fun
Cutie pie children!

Gideon has definitely warmed up to the camera
Happy Chloe playing with keys

Monday, July 15, 2013

Family Camping Trip 2013

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to go camping with our good friends Ian and Crystal for a weekend. We were crazy to do it seeing as we had seven children 4 and under. But we just went for it and it was so much fun! We picked a camp ground that had things to do there so that we wouldn't have to go far with our kids and they wouldn't get bored. So there was a pool, a playground and even mini golf. The kids had fun and we enjoyed time together. This was our first time not camping with Joshua's parents who always remember everything for camping and this was Ian and Crystal's first time camping as a family. So it was an adventure but we were prepared!
They had a train that rode around the campground a couple times
We went on a beautiful hike close by at Otter Dam that had a nice little waterfall...notice Gideon's new poochie lip look
Toddlers playing mini golf is really dangerous.
Ian and Crystal with their four little ones: Aria, Jack, Charlotte and Truett
How many trips across water does it take 4 parents to get 7 children? (New math word problem)
Chloe sleeping in my arms while we were walking around--so sweet!
Our cooking site
Joshua with his girls
Ian with his two little ones
Swimming at the pool
Family picture time

Saturday, July 13, 2013

No Spend July

We decided to try something new this year and take a month and try not to do any extra spending then what we absolutely had to spend. This was to show how much money we spend on a daily basis and be more aware of spending. We are also able to save a little bit of money. We are also gone for a couple weeks at camp so it makes my life a little easier. So here is what that means:
  • We still have to pay rent, utilities, gas
  • As for food I decided to just lower the amount we use per month because I don't normally stock pile too much--I normally buy what we need for the month.
  • As for transportation we are cutting back on any extra trips. So we are hanging out around home a lot.
  • As for eating out, unless it is a mystery shop where we are making money we are not eating out--this can be hard because we find we are used to stopping and getting a drink when we are on a trip or just eating out when we are tired or busy. Our eating out money normally comes from money we make from mystery shopping so it doesn't really come out of our budget.
  • No miscellaneous money (used for postal, and general miscellaneous things that don't fit a category)
  • No household money (this means paper goods, dish soap, things that are consumable.)
  • No relationship money (we use this money for date nights--eating out, etc.) We had a nice date night doing that photo shoot at the beginning of the month and will be creative otherwise.
  • No clothing money
  • No gifts so if a gift comes up I will have make do with something I already have or make something. Thankfully there is only one birthday and I already had pre-ordered the present. 
This has been a rather challenging month I find. I  have noticed how many times I have wanted to spend money online, sales, etc. How many times I tell myself I need something but I have found out that I don't really need it and I just learn to make do.

Last Saturday I was working hard in my garden and found that my tomato plants were growing along the ground and desperately needed to be staked or have tomato cages. Well, knowing I couldn't spend any money I did what any resourceful person would do and went searching in the woods for the straightest sticks I could find. And guess what, they work just fine.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Tale of Potty Training: Tirzah

So I'm not sure if you remember our story of potty training Gideon but I started out really enthusiastic at 18 months when he seemed ready and was being successful. Then he decided he wasn't very interested any more and we went back to diapers. It went back and forth for a long time and I eventually moved to trainer underwear. I tried everything--m&ms, stickers, prizes, etc. I was so discouraged. Around three, Gideon was just ready (like everyone told me to wait for) and then boom he was just potty trained. I couldn't believe it myself. All that to say when Tirzah came around I was not about to start early, no matter what people told me about girls training early and that she seemed ready I was not about to go through what I did last time. So I had two in diapers.
After Tirzah turned two she started being really interested in Gideon and anyone going potty. She would say she wanted to go potty and would want to sit on the potty and pretty much do nothing except gas. We would praise her for sitting on the potty but I didn't really pursue it.
Then I started hearing rumors that her cousin Judah was potty training and I thought, well I better start getting with the program and at least seeing if she is ready. I already had big girl underwear that I had been collecting so at first I started trying Tirzah in big girl underwear but not really remembering to tell her to go potty (we have a little potty and of course regular one) and putting her there all the time so she pretty much was wetting and frustrating me. I wasn't really ready.
One day I was getting the kids ready for baths and Tirzah said she needed to go potty so she climbed on the big potty and lo and behold she went peepee. I was totally surprised! She was surprised. So we bought some m&ms and I started to remind her to go potty but she was on the ball she would say she needed to go all the time and sometimes went and sometimes didn't. She did have accidents but she was pretty ready. So this was about a month ago. Within the last two weeks we switched to only underwear and guess what--she has figured out the peepee and goes all the time and in fact has even woken up dry the past few nights. She has figured out the poopoo somewhat, if we remind her when we see she is ready she does fine, otherwise she still has some accidents. So far it's going well...we'll see if she relapses like Gideon. She loves her m&ms and Gideon lucks out since I give him one if she goes as well. My little girl is getting to be a big girl!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What do toddlers do at Camp?

Joshua and I both grew up serving the Lord at summer Bible camps and we got to know each other before we were married at Bible camps so it seems quite natural to be helping out as a family at camps in the summer. This summer we are helping out at three different weeks and Joshua is teaching the Word of God at all three. They are each a different age group: 8-10, 11-14, 14+ My job is to be Mommy to our three little ones and to support Joshua with love, prayer and time to be able to study and prepare. So what do our three little ones do at camp for the week? I thought you might enjoy some pictures of what they do, the first week we were at camp they were blessed enough to have two cousins to play with.

 Tirzah and Judah spraying each other
 Helping in the kitchen by doing dishes (notice the common theme of water?)
 Drawing on the board
 Bath time
 Taking babies for a walk
 Going for a walk up the big hill
 Playing at Grandma's Cabin
 "Helping" Grandma in the Kitchen make desserts
 Eating together
 Taking care of baby
 Playing with Water Guns
 Water Fun!
Play Piano