Friday, August 31, 2007

Fire Safety

Yesterday evening we had dinner at Adam's County's social services building. Their foster parent support group was holding their annual fire safety day. The fire department set up multiple trucks, a "smoke house", and a "hot pan" for us to learn about fire safety. They also showed a funny 1980's era video about bike safety for the kids.

One nice thing was that the minute we walked in the door Gloria recognized a friend from her Sunday school class (2nd photo above). The girls got to walk through the smoke house, ducking low under the smoke, climbing the stairs, and then coming down the ladder to safety and running to the meeting place at the mailbox (1st photo above). Danya said that was the best part of the whole event. Daniel and I both got to use a fire extinguisher on the pan fire. We learned that the fire extinguisher is only supposed to be used to help you get your family out of the fire, not to actually put the fire out. It only lasts 30 seconds at most.

The one down part of the meeting was that we met some of the couples from our original adoption/foster parent class. We may be the only ones who haven't had kids placed with us yet. We're praying that they'll call us soon. We'll just keep checking with them every week and hoping for the best. For those of you praying with us, thank you!

Personal Best

For P.E. we're always thinking up games and things that we can use our timer for. Yesterday at a park a few blocks from home we came up with a new one. The playground is circular and surrounded by a concrete ledge (you can see it in this photo). We took turns running around it and using our watches to see how fast we could make it around. The runner had to do their best to stay on the concrete, not the grass, but there was no penalty for slipping.

I made it in 25 seconds. Danya started out at 43 seconds and worked her way down to 26 seconds! Gloria's fastest time was 31 seconds. I forget Daniel's time but he was the fastest by a long shot. He always is. That boy was built for speed. We try to encourage the kids that these sorts of games aren't about competition. The fun part is beating your own record.

We saw a little boy at Walmart today who was about a year older than Kevin. His mom was chasing him into the McDonald's there and wrestling a candy bar out of his hands. He must have weighed nearly as much as Gloria. It was sad and awful to watch. I think that ruining a child's health like that should be criminal. I've never read about a case yet of extreme child obesity that wasn't the parents' fault. Some people might read our blog and see pictures of us eating out with our kids and assume that we never feed them healthy foods. On the contrary, even when we eat out we teach the kids how to make healthy food choices. We very carefully look at the nutritional info on our groceries picking things that are low fat, lower calorie, high fiber, etc. We've had total strangers come up to us when we're out somewhere and compliment our kids on their healthy food choices. To paraphrase the bible, "All foods are acceptible, but not everything is beneficial."

India, Spitballs, and Math

This week in our Story of the World: Ancient Civilizations book we are learning a little bit about India. This picture has nothing to do with that, but I just laughed when I saw it. It makes me think of that strange statue with all the arms that represents some Hindu "god". We're also currently reading a book called "First Kids" for American history. It's a level 4 reader about kids who have lived in the White House. We're reading a chapter a day.

Tonight we read about Theodore Roosevelt's children. He had six kids! It sounds like they all ran wild in the White House shooting spitballs at famous paintings and letting a snake loose at tea parties. The girls didn't know what spitballs were, so I taught them how to make them and how to make a "shooter" out of a pen tube. I couldn't have their education lacking, could I? lol. We threw them against the wall in Gloria's room and taped paper with our names up next to each one. That way we can watch over the next couple of days and keep a chart of which one falls down first. I get them to make charts and graphs and they think it's yucky fun. Works for us!

We've also moved into division for Danya while still reviewing the multiplication tables with both girls. It's hard to know if we should continue moving forward at such a fast rate with Danya or just repeat and drill. I want to make sure she has all the times tables down pat and be certain they're in her long term memory. It always seems like there aren't enough hours in the day for all the things we want to learn!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rolling with Friends

Tonight while I was up on stage practicing with the praise band Daniel and the kids hung out in the church gymnasium. There were alot of other kids there with nothing to do. When they saw that the girls had wheels in their shoes they all wanted to take turns pulling the girls around. They would grab Danya and Gloria's hands and run, rolling them across the room, and then let them go flying.

They all had so much fun! They were giggling and racing to do it again. Even a boy not much bigger than Kevin, maybe 3 years old, took Gloria's hand and started slinging her into walls. She thought it was hilarious to be pulled by such a little boy.

At the Movies...Without You

Daniel and I had been trying to go see the movie "No Reservations" for our anniversary when we got lost and never found the theatre. Today we decided to go see it as a family for the matinee. The only theatre that was showing it at a good time was at the Westminster Promenade AMC. Unfortunately their prices are horrible.

When we got there we found out it was going to be almost $10 a piece for the adults and $7 each for the kids, yikes! We almost left, but Daniel decided that the girls and I should go watch it by ourselves while he returned some items to a few different stores with Kevin.

He missed out on a great movie! I really really liked it. I would even recommend it for kids if you cover their eyes during the kissing part like we did. The girls eyes lit up when the pillow fight started and that was just some of the fun. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I may actually buy this movie when it comes out.

Good Food, Good Deals

We took the kids to the Westminster Promenade mall today. They played by the fountains, rolled around on their heelies, and generally had fun. We even took them to a little icecream shop. They shared a waffle cone dipped in sprinkles with orange sherbet mixed with gummy bears... they thought that creation up, not me, lol.

Daniel and I shared a chocolate dipped cone with peanut butter and banana icecream. Not good for my diet plan, but very delicious. Kevin wasn't cooperating when I decided it would be a cute place for a photo shoot. This one of him on the chair is one of the only two half-way decent photos I got.

The overalls and jumper that the girls are wearing in the right hand photo are new. Kmart is having a really great sale right now. Half off of all their clearance items. We got Kevin about 30 new clothes for under $30. I got a couple of shirts and the girls got a few things, too. Everything we got was less than $3 and most of it was under $2!

Music to My Ears

We took the girls' trumpet in to the music store today to see if they could fix the springs to make the valves work properly. We expected to have to pay between 30-40 dollars to have it fixed. They looked at it and said it was just very dirty. They sold me a $2 tool to push a cleaning rag through the holes and showed me how to wipe off the valves. They told us to take it home and give it a bath, literally. So that's what we did. Isn't it great when something turns out to be an inexpensive easy fix?

My second day of praise band practice was tonight also. I didn't do as well as last week because the music was faster and almost all in keys I'm not familiar with. I'm going to keep trying though. I've been practicing every day, so hopefully I'll be ready in a couple of weeks. The other trombone player has been playing 3 times a week since 1991, so at least I've got a good teacher to help me over the rough spots.

Fire Fighter Training

Tomorrow night the Adams County Foster Parent support group is having a meeting where we'll learn how to use a fire extinguisher. The fire department is sending some guys with a fire truck and the equipment. They'll demonstrate it and then we'll all get a chance to actually try it. The kids get to participate, too!

I don't know who's more excited about it, Daniel or the girls. There will be pizza served and free childcare for Kevin. We're all looking forward to it. Meanwhile we're anxiously waiting to hear if they've matched us yet with a group of kids.


The girls wanted to have a campout. I was going to buy Daniel a new tent for our anniversary since our old one blew away last year (or was it the year before?) in a strong Oklahoma wind storm. However, Walmart was particularly nightmarish the day I tried to buy one and I ended up leaving the store, abandoning my full basket and with a very surprised check out girl staring after me.

Instead, Monday night we had a campout (or is it, camp-in?) in the basement. We watched a movie and ate pretzels and banana bread. The girls wanted to sleep out there, but when the movie was over they changed their minds and we moved all the pillows and blankets back to their rooms. Despite that, it was a fun evening with the kids.

Kevin's New Slide

This is the race car ramp, I mean new slide, that we got Kevin at a yard sale for $2 the other day. He doesn't slide on it much, but he does love to push his race cars down it. Actually, what he does is stand on the first step and yell until someone hands him another car.

We've started setting the entire box next to him so that he can just bend down and grab another without having to climb down. He'll happily continue rolling cars down the slide until the entire box of about 400 cars is empty. I like to think that this kind of focus and determination will serve him well later in life. lol.

Learning About Money

Monday night Daniel and the girls made banana bread from scratch for Home Ec. Danya and Gloria followed the recipe all by themselves! It came out very good. The whole house was filled with the delicious smell of fresh bread.

Danya and Gloria are growing up and learning to help with more and more household tasks. They also are interested in doing extra jobs to earn money. This week we created the "Elliott Bank" so that they could start a savings account. They designed the logo and helped me create a bank statement. They each deposited some of the money they'd saved from their allowances. They'll earn 5% interest each week on any money that they keep in the bank for a whole week. They also learned about compound interest which has them very excited.

Monday, August 27, 2007

"Not Back to School" Party

Last night we got an email from "P" who found us through this blog and apparently had seen us at the final performance of Danya's homeschool charter school last May. She's got kids almost the same ages as ours and homeschools, too. So we invited her family to come with us to the first official event of our new homeschool group. And she came! Yeah!

So after driving around for a while near the mall we finally called and found someone who could tell us exactly which fountains we were supposed to be meeting at, lol. There were three other homeschool families there and plenty of kids to play with. The girls and Kevin had so much fun! Actually, I had a great time too, getting to know the other homeschool moms better. Daniel, unfortunately, was the only dad who works nights, so he played with Kevin most of the time. Our next event will be a Sunday picnic, so all the other dads will hopefully be there.

Kevin finally got brave enough to play in the water and took a break from crawling over everyone's food and knocking drinks down. When it was time to go Gloria got stung by a bee beneath her upper left arm. One mom, "D" was thinking fast. She ran to a nearby restaurant and got a ziplock bag full of ice. We left just as Glory was starting to calm down. She's doing much better now. On the bright side, she and Danya made instant friends with "P's" two daughters and they have a playdate with "D's" sons tomorrow afternoon. I'm so glad they are making more friends. It's definitely an answer to prayer.

Scenes from Our 11th Anniversary

For our 11 year anniversary yesterday Daniel gave me flowers and a really sweet card. He wrote a list of things he loves about me and almost had me in tears on the way to church. I, romantic that I am, gave him a wheel barrow so that he can landscape the backyard easier. He really wanted one. In church we got to stand up and announce our names and number of years married, which I've been looking forward to for months. After church we took the kids and Shannon out for lunch at Olive Garden to celebrate the beginning of our family 11 years ago.

In the afternoon we went to hand out food with the bikers in downtown Denver. Shannon came, too. One of the things they were giving away was fruit snacks, Kevin's most favorite food. He was smiling and crawling up to the people and they were offering him their fruit snacks. The little charmer got offered 3 bags that I saw and Daniel says he gave Kevin a bag also.

Last night Sarah and Shannon babysat for us for a little while so that Daniel and I could go to a movie. We couldn't find the theatre and ended up exploring downtown Denver. While Daniel drove I took photos of the architecture and the sun behind the clouds. It was really beautiful. We ate dinner at CiCi's pizza since we had a coupon. Then we hung out at a bookstore with a Starbuck's coffee shop in it. Daniel, not usually a coffee drinker, got a "Java Chip" drink because he had been awake for more than 24 hours. I drove home.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Baking for a Crowd

Today we baked about 100 peanut butter cookies (and still have 3 dozen to go). We're bringing them to downtown Denver after church tomorrow. There's a group of Christian bikers, one of whom is part of our adult Sunday school class, who feeds the homeless on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. We join them when we can.

We like bringing home made cookies since most of what they get is prepackaged food. Last time we had alot of requests for peanut butter cookies since all we had brought was chocolate chip. The girls love handing them out and the adults love the kids' contagious cheerfulness. Danya and Gloria practically skip around the parking lot handing out cookies and crosses. Tomorrow is my and Daniel's 11th wedding anniversary. What better way to celebrate love?

Hair Raising Experience

At the park today Kevin decided to announce his independence. He wanted to climb the stairs all by himself and go down the slide. He only wanted one hand from Dad to help him go down the steps. Daniel took these cute pictures of Kevin's static filled hair as he came down the slide.

On the way to the park about a mile and a half from our home a strange dog came running out of a house barking at us. It was loose and had lost its I.D. tag off of its collar. This dog was about 3/4's of Gloria's size, black, with a white chest. It looked like some sort of boxer. It followed us all the way to the park barking and running at us full speed before veering away at the last second. Gloria kept talking to herself under her breath repeating, "I don't like that dog. Go away, dog." I thought she and Danya both handled it well since they are so nervous around dogs. Thankfully, the dog decided to stay at the park when we left.

Walking to Yard Sales

We pulled the kids in the wagon today for a 3 mile walk. On the way we visited a few yard sales. I got some books (big surprise, right? lol) and Kevin decided that it would be amusing to throw them out of the wagon every few feet for the next couple of miles. So technically I got extra exercise. I got to walk a long way and I had the joy of bending over repeatedly to pick up the books.

We call Kevin "Dr. Destructo" because wherever he goes he leaves a wake of destruction in his path. His favorite, by far, is pulling books out of the bookshelf. He also loves to prove me wrong. When he was once again pulling out all my big boring not-for-Kevin books about parenting and homeschooling, I showed him the inside of a book and said, "See! No pictures! This book is not for you." A minute later he pulled out my Usborne Easy Spanish book which, essentially, is a comic book designed to help you learn Spanish. It's chock full of bright colorful pictures. He showed it to me with a look as if to say, "See! Pictures! This book must be for me!"

His new trick is to steal a book and use one hand to slide it down the hallway as he crawls away. We've been finding books in every corner of the house. I think the truth must be that he can secretly read already. He's devouring novels and nonfiction in out of the way corners so that we won't get suspicious when we see our one year old moving his lips while he looks at those books. But I'm on to him!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

About Me

Just for fun I thought I'd answer the questions that I read on Paula's Reality.

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Telemarketer
2. Phone Book Typist (Data Entry)
3. Software Instructor for a Petroleum Company
4. Software Tester

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Lord of the Rings trilogy
2. Anne of Green Gables series
3. I. Q. (or really anything with Meg Ryan)
4. Sense and Sensibility (I really like Jane Austen books/movies)

Four places I have lived:
1. Virginia
2. Pennsylvania
3. New Jersey
4. Oklahoma

Four T.V. shows I loved to watch:
(we don't currently watch t.v., so I'll put old favorites)
1. The Dukes of Hazzard
2. The Cosby Show
3. Extreme Home Makeover (Notice my son's name: Kevin Tyler)
4. Any kind of designing show

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Florida (twice now and once when I was a baby)
2. Sacramento (for Daniel's job)
3. Texas (to visit our kids' godparents)
4. Kentucky (for our honeymoon) thanks for the reminder, Glenda!

Four websites I visit often:
1. Rush Limbaugh
2. Answers in Genesis
3. Christian Homeschool Fellowship message board
4. Adopt US Kids

Four of my favorite foods:
1. pretzels from Sam's Club
2. home made pizza
3. strawberry ice cream
4. Smart Portion Muffins

Four dreams I have for the future:
(I'm swapping this one out because there's nowhere I'd rather be!)
1. Renovating an old school, library, or church to live in
2. A house full of children, maybe 10, mostly adopted and foster
3. Finish my degree because some of our future plans may require one
4. Daniel and I someday working together full time in a home based children's ministry

Trombonists in Training

I was practicing playing my trombone today while being interrupted every 2 minutes with "Can we try it now?" So the girls finally got a chance to practice holding it properly, which is hard because their hands are small, and trying to blow while moving the slide.

It's a tricky maneuver when you first play the trombone because if you move the slide back up too fast you end up smashing the mouth piece into your lips. Both girls did well, in my opinion. By the time our kids graduate from homeschool I plan for them all to be able to play the trombone, trumpet, piano, and any other instrument they take an interest in after that. Guitar would be fun. Maybe Uncle Matt will give them lessons?

Science Up Close

Today we were reading a beginning science book about big and small creatures and things. It showed a picture of human skin under a microscope. The girls were both so fascinated that I knew it was time to pull out the kids' microscope kit Daniel and I had bought on sale at Walmart last year sometime (I think).

Once we figured out how to adjust it, we looked at carpet fuzz, fingernails, hair, and some prepared slides of parts of plants. They each drew a picture and wrote what they saw when looking at a piece of a fern. It was a fun day in science at our house!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm With the Band

Well, today I finally got up my courage to join the band at our church. They've been asking for a couple of months every Sunday morning if anyone who's interested would come to band practice. I talked to their one trombone player a few weeks ago, but I got so nervous at the thought of sounding awful that I didn't go.

A couple of years ago I sat in with our church band in Oklahoma. Usually, the worship leader will write music (for whatever instruments are needed) that goes along with what the praise team is singing. That music was so complicated and in such strange keys that I couldn't even begin to play it. Thankfully, the trombone music written by the music director at our current church (a guy named Dean) was fairly simple and easy to learn.

Apparently they've been praying for another trombone player, which seems strange to me since alot of people say that trombones are a little too noisy for a small group. I'm going to get a copy of the music on Sunday and sit in with them for a couple more Wednesday night practices. Then, hopefully, I'll start playing with them on September 9th. That's my plan anyway. Daniel says that the next time we have my high school band reunion back in Oklahoma I won't have to be nervous. Doing the math of it, if I practice every Wednesday and perform every Sunday (52 weeks in a year minus a couple of snow days) I'll get to play about 100 times per year. LoL, that's like playing every day for 3 months of the year. Hope I'm up to it!

Subway Schooling

This morning we enjoyed the beautiful slightly overcast day by taking a family walk almost two miles to Subway. We brought some school work with us and worked on that after we ate lunch.

The girls seemed to enjoy learning in a new environment. They got all their worksheets done quickly and then raced each other to see who could call out the states and their capitols the fastest. We've been focusing more on science and history just lately, and taken a break from adding new states for them to memorize. Next week we'll add five more. Right now the girls are concentrating on insects, the human body, and space.

Danya was disappointed in a video about the planets that we got from the library. It's narrated by Patrick Stewart (from Star Trek) and she says it was incredibly dull. They're also a little tired of the study of ancient Rome already because all the different books and materials we've found keep repeating the same information. I need to find something to make it more exciting. One success, though, was the Schoolhouse Rock DVD that Daniel ordered for the girls. They've been watching it over and over and singing some of the songs. We've only had it two days and already they love it.

Can you hear me, Now?

My hearing appointment was yesterday. They did some tests to see if I had an inner ear problem. They tried to make me dizzy in multiple ways, but none of it worked. The doctor thinks that's a separate issue and that I'm just getting dizzy when I stand up because of poor blood circulation.

He also says that I have hearing loss in my right ear, but not really significant in my left ear. So they're ordering a hearing aid for my right ear only. That should arrive in the next week or two. I'm just glad to know that there really is a problem, I'm not just imagining it or not paying attention well enough. I was wondering how it was possible that sometimes I could hear people and sometimes I couldn't. I'm guessing now that it just depends on whether they were talking on my left or right side.

Safety Inspection: Approved!

She didn't check nearly all the areas we spent time cleaning, but she did approve all the areas of our home that were important. We have to attach the window well cover that we bought a while back. She said it just has to be secure enough not to blow away in the wind. It's more so that kids won't accidentally step into the hole while running through the yard.

We mail in a piece of paper today saying we agree to the safety rules for foster parents, and then we sit and wait for that phone call. There's nothing left for us to do and no more inspections or hurdles for us to jump. The upside of all our worry over what areas needed to be cleaned and decluttered, is that our house looks really good and I even cleaned all our closets out. So our house looks really good if any friends or family reading this blog want to come visit right now :) !

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fast Update

Sorry I've been busy, not much time to post. We're working to get the house ready for inspection tomorrow. We've been cleaning, decluttering, and finishing a few projects. Daniel cut down some dead tree limbs, hung cabinets in the laundry room that had been sitting on the floor, and cut and nailed up some trim pieces along the floor. We also got caught up on all the laundry. Our washing machine broke last week. We had to order a part to fix it. Daniel replaced it all by himself! He's so handy! The water hadn't been draining. We had somehow washed one of the girls plastic bracelets and it broke a plastic part that sucked the water out. It's all taken care of now, and I have to say the basement looks amazing. I even cleaned up my whole scrapbook area, organizing, throwing away acumulated paper piles and I also organized the homeschool materials cabinet. I'll post pictures tomorrow or the next day.

Wish us luck on the inspection and on my final hearing examination tomorrow! Just for fun I've added the before and after photos of the downstairs bathroom.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

This is a link to a 30 year old marine and the poem he wrote about why America is fighting the war against terrorism. I just had to share: She Called

This morning Daniel took the kids out to play tennis when he got home. For some reason he could not serve the ball right at all. He did, however, manage to bounce it off Gloria several times. Poor Gloria! Gloria is already the "walking wounded". Her scab (from falling on the concrete the other day) is peeling off of her knee and leaking. I know, too much information. Daniel and I played tennis, just us, later on and I actually did pretty good against him!

Danya is having her own difficulties. She's having trouble eating with the gap in her teeth from losing her front tooth. That made me think about the possibility of our new kids having dental problems. But Daniel said that if they are young we can expect all their baby teeth to fall out and good healthy ones to grow in. Kevin is growing a couple of new teeth on his front lower jaw. It's making him fussy and clingy. He did good at McDonald's play land today, though. The girls took him through the tunnels and he babbled happily all the way through.

Oh, and on a side note, I've been managing to eat well even when we go out. I've also been doing really really good with my exercise. As of this morning I'm down to 158.8 lbs! You can check my weight loss journal to see pictures of me before and currently. I keep it linked on the left side of this blog, too. It's exciting to be so close to my goal. I'm getting there!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Dollhouse is ALIVE!

Danya and Gloria's dollhouse comes to life! We got this video here.

Mini Homeschoolers 8: Many Teachers

Danya and Gloria dispell the myth that homeschoolers only have one teacher throughout their whole schooling experience. Some people say that homeschoolers need to adjust to different teaching styles from many different teachers. Here is a short list of just some of the people who have taught either Danya, Gloria, or both:

Mom (me)
5 teachers at Danya's Tuesday charter school
2 Sunday school teachers (that change often)
4 to 6 Truth Quest teachers
Awanas teachers (plus extras for story and music time)
teachers at summer programs (like their art classes)
librarians at the library story time
Choir teacher when Danya was in Kids' Choir

That doesn't include the teachers they had for pre-K before we homeschooled them.

Mini Homeschoolers 7: The Daily Routine

Danya and Gloria describe a normal day of homeschooling at our house.

7:30 - wake up, make bed, get dressed
8:00 - breakfast and clean up
8:30 - morning walk with Dad
9:00 - school time
Noon - Lunch
Afternoon - whatever's left for the day, frequently reading and arts and crafts

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Carts and Confusion

Here's a picture of Kevin when he decided to snag the shopping cart and walk off tonight. We were at Target (again) and he just stood up, grabbed the cart, and began pushing it down the aisle! He was so proud of himself. He kept looking back as if to make sure that we were noticing his amazing accomplishment, lol.

We were shopping for a baby gate for the bottom of our staircase. We ended up finding one at Walmart for about $20. Daniel put it in the cart, then later I added a few things to the cart, and we checked out. I think Daniel messed up when grabbing the original box. He thinks I added items to the wrong cart. Either way, we ended up with a baby walker instead of a baby gate when we got outside the store. He didn't notice when he paid for it either.

So Daniel will be returning it tomorrow. If he's right, and I actually grabbed someone else's cart who just happened to be near us with only one item in the cart that looked just like ours, then someone may be loading their vehicle right now and discovering that for some reason they just bought a baby gate.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Multiplication Rock!

Today the girls and I danced 'til we were breathless while listening to Multiplication Rock on our cassette player. I found it at the Broomfield library yesterday. We all really liked it. We were all shouting out the answers when they were singing about multiplying by 3's. Shannon just sat and laughed at our silly dancing until I told her she had to either join us or find another room to hang out in. She joined us and we just kept right on dancing and multiplying.

I love School House Rock videos and songs. I'd like to have a whole collection of them someday. I think Shannon thought I was a little crazy dancing unselfconciously with my girls. I don't mind looking foolish if I'm having fun with my kids. Some of my best memories of my mom are of times when she would act silly with me. I liked to sleep with the radio on when I was younger. My mom would come into the room late at night and lip-synch to the music while dancing around my room in the dark. I've always loved my mom's playfulness. I hope my kids remember the same thing about me.

Girls at Work

The girls and I assembled some shelves I bought recently. They did a good job helping. The shelves came out really nice. I'm using them in the homeschooling area to store and display materials like flashcards, art supplies, and a few other little things.

Until now I'd been using big plastic tubs with lids. The problem with those is that I hardly ever open the tubs. I forget what's in there and so it doesn't get used. I'm going to try using the tubs in the laundry room instead. When I pull clothes out of the washer I can just toss them into individual plastic tubs to be delivered to each room. I don't fold much laundry anymore anyway. What's the point when they just get shoved around and unfolded in the drawers?

I'm learning to use lots of little time savers. Recently I read a book that said I shouldn't make the kids wear P.J.'s and it made total sense to me. It's just extra money and extra laundry. They can sleep in a clean t-shirt and shorts or an outfit they plan to wear the next day if we aren't planning to dress up for a special event (like church). So once they outgrow their current ones, we don't plan to buy anymore.

A "Chip" Off the Old Block

Tonight we made chocolate chip cookies from scratch. They are always so much yummier that way! Kevin helped scoop cookies... into his mouth. Shannon helped with the actual baking. Shannon is becoming down right domestic, lately. She made dinner for the girls when Daniel and I went out to get groceries the other night. Granted, it was only Ramen noodles, but she did a good job. She also helped put away most of the groceries. I may be calling her all this week asking where she put things, lol.