Friday, October 28, 2011

Let's Discuss The House Work, Shall We?

Alright. If you see these pictures and still come back around here, you're a saint. And a great friend, please move to our neighborhood so we can drink coffee and walk to the bus stop in our pj's.

(we don't really have a bus stop but that's neither here nor there. Or anywhere.)

I have kinda...sorta...maybe let myself get out of my normal housework routine in the last few months or so - mainly the laundry, it's my nemesis. And while I don't believe that everything should be perfect all the time (or any of the time), I also hate when things get to this point and I can't even find MY OWN clothes.

I mean really, for all I know Eric could've been lost in a pile that big.

Its a funny picture, but not exactly an extra entry for housewife of the year :).

Life is busy, and the kiddos are very demanding of my time, so a lot of things in my life have taken a back seat to being an insanely full time momma. It's not a bad thing, its really all I want to do - kiss their sweet faces, help them on the swing set, and play Uno with them on a rainy day. Ahhh, its a good job, and all those things sound a lot better than folding clothes or scrubbing the toilets!

But when I can't find things, or there are so many baskets of laundry that I don't know what is clean and whats dirty, I can start to feel really frazzled and overwhelmed - neither of those things look good on me. Believe it.

I hit my breaking point last week when I was trying to do laundry to quickly because I was so behind, and I washed a pull up. People, have you ever seen the inside of a washer after a pull up has been washed? I have, please don't make me go back and re-live it...

It's too soon. Just too soon.

And while I know we have 6 kiddos and the house is not always going to be running smoothly, I've also felt a tad convicted about staying on top of my duties :). I will still embrace the saying, "Please excuse the mess, the children are making memories"...

but I do want to feel a sense of order more often than I currently do :).

What? You're play room never looks like that? Well then just close your sweet little eyes and think happy thoughts....find a happy place.

SO, this week I have reinstated my laundry system and I am on a mission to keep it going. Whats that you say? I am a foolish woman to think I can keep it up? Well, that may be true, but I'm going to try! 

My system is simple: I got all the laundry done, there is not one basket in any room with one piece of clothing - it took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get to that point.

Mostly tears. And weeping. Lots of weeping.

So now I lay a basket in the hallway, and at the end of the day everyone puts their clothes in it from that day. When all are in bed I take it down stairs and throw it in the washer, and switch it to the dryer before I head to bed. Then the next morning I have a clean load in the dryer to fold and put away and that's it - we're back to an empty basket in the hallway :). Insert angels singing here.

Does this just sound like a lot of jumbled words? I hope not. It has changed my life...again. I had forgotten how nice it was to have it under control.

So I tell you all this so you can pop in sometime soon and say, "hey remember that laundry system you had going? You still doing it? No? Well get back on it, woman!"

You don't have to use those exact words, you can be more gentle.

And that, my friends, is what I've been up to the last few know, when I wasn't eating the pumpkin oatmeal cookies by the handful :).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oatmeal Pumpkin (White Chocolate Chip) Cookies

I know, another pumpkin recipe? I'm sorry, we can't help ourselves. And when you bake this in your home (hopefully for your sake) sometime this week, you'll see why we can't get enough.

I know I said it before, but THESE are the best. Dare I saw they are better than the Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies we made not long ago? Oh yes...I dare.

We basically love any form of oatmeal in this house, so when I came across this recipe I knew we had to make a version of it. I like to think that I usually have pretty good self control when it comes to desserts, unless we're talking about chocolate pudding. Or chocolate pudding pie. Or any pudding pie in general.

Alright maybe I have no control.

Anyway. These were so good out of the oven that we basically finished off the whole first batch. And they make the house smell sooo good. Here are the details...

2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter; softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips (I added more...surprise, surprise)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture; combine until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
5. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

We stacked them. Sometimes we like to do that.

In groups of 6.

Cause we have 6 kids.

I know, we're quarky. Don't let the quarks scare you off. Embrace them with us.

So, please make these, ok? They will make you smile, laugh out loud, jump for pumpkin joy, and possibly dance in the street. Or maybe that was just us.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Things You May Or May Not Want To Know

- These 2 will be 3 in 3 weeks...

- They have started telling each other "you're my best friend". Melts. My. Heart.

- The kiddos are on the mend, knock on wood. Although little Lincoln has quite the cold that is hanging on and won't let go.

- I ventured onto Pinterest not long ago - and although I almost never get on because it can be ALL CONSUMING, I occasionally hop in there to get some inspiration. I'm a visual person and they have lots of pictures...and well, mama likes pictures. If you haven't been on, beware - It's kind of a "people go in but they never come out" kind of situation.

Anyway. I found this little thing that has revolutionized my (sometimes) messy car. (right now the husband is reading this somewhere and saying, "sometimes??") If you are the person who thought of this cereal container trash can please contact me so we can be BEST FRIENDS. Thank you.

- I took my 6 to the library.

- We checked out 17 things. Who wants to guess what our late fee will be? And why can I never get them back on time!?

- In an effort to take the crazy level down a notch during the early evening/homework/dinner time hours, I have picked up some new crockpot recipes and some easy freezer meals as well that are making life a tad less stressful. I'm going to share some soon!

- Another thing I'm working on (via Pinterest) is finding out who made this or someone who can make it - the link to the original website isn't working, and I want to get one and hang it in my living room...or dining room. Where can I get this??

- I'm planning a small overnight girls getaway for the older 3 and I :). They have never stayed in a hotel before, is that shocking to anyone? When you have 6 kids in 6 years you don't vacation much...or at all. They are SO excited for our 1 little night away! 

- Reese lost her first tooth this weekend, she was so proud! She said the kids at school said the tooth fairy is paying $20 these days. I beg to differ.

Isn't she sweet :)? Love that (really, really, really) strong willed little girl.

Well that's all for now, I'm off to get the house in order after a busy weekend! Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Let Them Be Little

I keep telling myself that.

Only once, only for a short time, only now are they little.

So we should let them be just that, little.

Let them run around the living room, let them ask a bajillion questions, let them test you, let them hang on to your leg, let them tell you about their day, let them tell silly stories, let them know you're listening, and let them teach you how to color outside the lines...

Let them be little.

Let them play with your hair, let them help with the dishes, let them be your stress reliever, let them sit on your lap while you work, let them giggle in their room at bedtime, let them sing in the car, let them crawl in your bed when they're afraid, let them be rocked to sleep, and let them fill your space with their things...

Let them be little.

Let them call your name 100 times, let them stand at the bathroom door, let them follow you everywhere, let them tell the person behind you in line your business, let them pick out a treat, let them wear 2 different socks, and let them have their favorite sugar filled candy (gasp!!)...

Let them be little.

Let God use them in your life, let them help reveal your faults, let them help Him mold you, let them teach you patience, let them remind you about whats really important, let them come first, let them know how important they are, and let an exersaucer replace your coffee table...

(and yes, that pumpkin has no eyes. He's been picked on know.)

Let them be little.

Let them run wild at the park without caring what the other moms think, let them do things kids do without apologizing for them, let them act goofy, let them be carefree, and let them be themselves.

Teach them, train them, and guide them. But for the love, let them be little :).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


The girls and I always sing this to our 6 MONTH old Lincoln...we kinda made it up...and I'm pretty sure it goes along with the slinky tune.

Everyone needs a Lincoln...

You've got to get a Lincoln...
(taken the day I had him below)

Lincoln, Lincoln, go Lincoln go!!

He smiles every single time we sing it, no lie :).

6 months old. Half a year! Say it isn't so!

(hold me)

(alright, I'm better)

We love that 6 month old babe. He was definitely the missing "Linc" to our family :).

More Photography - I'm Feelin' Strappy (My Camera Couture Giveaway!)

Not sure "strappy" is the word I was looking for.

But it's catchy so let's just go with it.

Morning, all! Hopefully this post makes sense cause I am running on very little sleep :).

Taking and editing pictures is somewhat therapeutic for me. More the editing than the taking, actually. There is something about popping a picture into my software and playing with it till it looks perfect that helps me clear my mind. It is a creative outlet after a long day of taking care of sick kiddos :).

What software do I use? Oh the usual. Photoshop and Lightroom are my 2 main programs that I work in, with Lightroom being my absolute favorite. Although Photoshop is great for tiny details, Lightroom is great for quick edits and really cool effects. It's like Photoshop on lot's of caffeine.You can actually go HERE and download free trials of both, it's totally worth a try!

I also have been known to play around in Picnik and Picasa. Both are (basically) free and wonderful :).

My Camera Couture is one of my favorite companies and a go to place for me to find some fun accessories and must have items. They have straps, lens cozies, wrist straps, and more!

You know what one detail I LOVE about some of their straps? This...

You can get straps from them that are reversible or even ones that have the above phrase on the backside. Love, love, love! The owner and designer Julia Kozak is very talented and each strap is handmade in her know, when she's not chasing her two kiddos :).

SO, today she is giving you one of her straps!

To Enter - It's simple, you can enter 2 times by leaving 2 separate comments. Just pop over to their site and let us know in one of the comments what you love, ok? The winner will be chosen through this time next week.

Good luck!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm Still Here...

but I'm under a pile of sick kiddos, and that has been keeping me quite busy.

One has it, then they give it to another one...and another one...and another one...and so on. Before I know it, it's swung back around to the one who had it initially. Sigh...

I'm tired.

But thankful that I've had some extra snuggle time with my loves :).

3 of them have croup tonight, one of those being Lincoln, which is really worrying me since he's so little. I hate croup, it just can get scary so fast. He's asleep right here beside me and I'm praying that he (or the other 2) don't get any worse through the night.

(this is where you hug me and remind my tired self that everything will be alright.)

(or you could send Starbucks. Yea, Starbucks would make me feel better too.)

SO, we'll be back to our goofy selves soon...

Or at least I hope we are, these germs are really cramping our style.

Target hasn't seen us in 8 days, I don't want them to start to worry.

I'm out for now to catch some zzz's while my little's are resting. Hope you all had a great weekend and a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

They Need Their Mama

But oh, how I need them.

They don't need that lady who's rushing to get all the housework done...

who is always looking at her phone...

or who is clearing them out of the kitchen so she can sweep.

They need their mama.

They don't need that lady who is maxed out...

who's yelling at them at Target just for doing things kids do...

or who is telling them to just wait a second while she answers a text.

They need their mama. 

They don't need the lady who's trying to meet her deadlines...

who's worried about every bill...

or who is concerned with "the mess" that she always has to clean up.

They need their mama.

They don't need the lady who is at her wits end...

who is losing her temper...

or who's patience has worn too thin.

They need their mama.

They don't need the lady who's on her computer instead of playing with them...

who feels like every email needs answered immediately...

or who often forgets that life is actually NOT an emergency.

They need their mama.

I was gently reminded today that the housework and lots of other things will always be there, they'll only be little once.

They need the mom that God wants me to be, the mom who is seeking Him always instead of sometimes, and the mom who wants to run in the leaves, lay on the trampoline, and stare up at the clouds floating by.

They don't need my busyness.

They don't need my to-do list.

They need me to be organized, ready, and attentive.

They need my hugs.

They need my patience, and they need my time.

They need their mama.

But at the same time...

I need them.

They are fresh, vibrant, energetic, lively reminders to enjoy what God has given us, and to lay down the distractions of the day that cloud my view.

They remind this mom that I'm part of something bigger - a story written by the greatest Author, that's bigger and far more important than the day to day trivial things I let bother me.

And that my friends, is why I also, need them so :).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Let's Chat About Photography (Mod Strap Giveaway!)

Giveaway is now closed! The winner is number 10 - The Romberg Family! Please email me at!


I like to take pictures.

I get a lot of questions about what I use, what lens is my favorite, and where on earth did you get that strap???

I'm so glad you asked. Over the next month or so I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite photography tricks, gear, and the companies that I love the most.

I'm a Nikon gal. It's all I use.

I would say my favorite lens, and the one that takes the pictures that get the most questions, is my 35 mm f/1.8G Prime Lens. This lens is simple and is the one I use to get that "clear focus, blurry background" look that everyone asks about.

I use it when I'm inside with low light and no flash...

and I use it in situations when I just want to focus in on certain little things, like a mini guitar on Lincoln's shirt :)...

The amazingly wonderful and modern strap that is on my camera right now is this one from Mod Straps...

Oh and I also have this cap saver from them as well...

I know, don't you love them!?

And now, it's your turn. They have all kinds of straps to go on your camera, and fun cap savers as well if you need one. Today Mod is giving one of you 1 strap AND 1 cap saver! 

To Enter: It's simple, you can enter 2 times by leaving 2 separate comments. Just pop over to their site and let us know in one of the comments what you love, ok? The winner will be chosen through this time next week.

So head over and soak up all of their cool products! You can also see them on facebook here, or catch them on Twitter here,! 

Good luck!

Friday, October 7, 2011

On A Lighter (Pumpkin) Note

Oh it's good. Well, both of these recipes are good. Amazing actually.

I thought it would be a good idea in the middle of all our pumpkin madness to bake some things on the lighter side.

Although I guess eating 3 muffins in an hour sorta cancels out the "light" part. Not that I've done that. Ahem.

So, first are the best and easiest Pumpkin Muffins. Just 2 ingredients...

Mix the cake mix (don't add anything, no eggs, oil or water) and 1 can of Pumpkin together. Put mixture into a cupcake pan...try not to eat ALL the batter, you could if you wanted to though because there aren't any raw eggs :).

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. And enjoy some yummy, pumpkin-y, heavenly muffins.

We sprinkled powdered sugar on top...

Next is super popular around here and another light and easy recipe - Pumpkin Fluff Dip.

All you need is: 1 can of Pumpkin, 2 packages of Instant Vanilla Pudding, 1tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice, and a container of cool whip...

(I heard that some people add 2 containers of cool whip, I may try that next time to make it a little more whipped)

Mix it all together and serve with Graham Crackers...

SO good, friends! And I read that it's only 64 calories a serving, however I don't know what "a serving" is.

Lets just pretend that...oh I don't know, half the batch is a serving. That seems reasonable to me.

(denial is an ugly thing)

There they are, our latest pumpkin adventures. The dip is good, but you MUST try the muffins. They are the real deal, sisters.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My (Interesting) Day

1. We all wake up, the older girls hop in the car, and we peruse the book fair at school so we can grab some good reads.

2. I go to the doctor because rumor has it I tore some ligaments in my ankle at some point during last weeks half marathon (you know the one I did even though I wasn't fully trained??)...and because apparently I AM NOW OLD...also known as "your knees and ankles aren't what they were in college.".

3. I pack the younger 3 up and head to lunch with my mom where I realize that Raya is having an allergic reaction to something and starts swelling up in welts and big red patches.

4. I kinda freak out. And then maybe tear up a bit on the way to the doctor while she starts to get "real sleepy" as the reaction gets worse.

5. I remind myself to take a deep breath.

6. The doctor thinks that is definitely an allergic reaction and we are now on the hunt for what caused it. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully this was just a freaky one time thing.

7. In the parking lot of the Dr's office the school nurse calls and says that Charlotte is sick with a fever.

8. I get all my loves home and call in Grandma and a friend to stay with my crew while I go get our prescriptions and meds.

9. I drop off my prescriptions at Target and walk up and down the aisles while I wait. I then top off my day when I realize that my shirt that I've been wearing in public is INSIDE OUT. Seems showing down the sides, tag in back and all. I actually thought maybe I should just pop in one of the aisles and turn it over but could just hear someone over the walkie saying...

"uhhh, you know that lady who's always here with all the kids? Yea she's in aisle 14 changing her clothes. She's clearly finally gone off the deep end...she thinks she's in the fitting room!"

So I didn't. I continued my shopping trip sporting an inside out tank top with my head held high.

Please, don't try to hang out with me all at the same time. Ahem.

(you have to laugh at the craziness sometimes, don't you??)

10. I came home, fixed dinner, gave baths, distributed medicine, and squeezed my little loves.

I checked on Raya a million times through the night to make sure the reaction wasn't worse and Charlotte to see if her fever was I'm a tad tired, but that's what us mom's do, right :)?

Here's hoping for a more non eventful Thursday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Know I'm Partial...

but that is one cute human, isn't it??

(a sweet bloggy friend made that hat for my little man, it looks so cute with his chubby little cheeks!)

(alright, I'll stop gushing over him.)

(for now.)

We made Light Pumpkin Muffins yesterday that only call for 2 ingredients. 2! They were the best we've made, I'll have to share the recipe this week. And yes, clearly we have a pumpkin addiction going on...the girls are hooked :).

That's all for now! Hope you're day is great!