I Am So Thankful I Have it All Together

Summer is in full swing and its moments like this that I am glad I have it all together in my life. Yup. In order to inspire you all, I decided I would share with you today:

Ways I am Thankful I Have it All Together:

* I am so thankful that I would never take a five year old to the doctor for his well-child visit with filthy feet. Filthy feet I didn’t notice until he removed his sandals.  I would never be caught in a situation where as soon as the nurse left  the room I popped my son on the counter and scrubbed his feet with water and paper towels. I am glad that would never happen to me because if it did my son might drip muddy water on the floor which I then would have to hastily mop up with more paper towels, all the while desperately praying the doctor didn’t walk in. I then might turn around and see he had climbed on the exam table and left muddy little footprints there as well. Nope, that would never happen to me, because I have it all together

* I would never, ever send a blank check (signed and everything) to the school district so Hezekiah could attend Math and Science Camp. Nope. That would be embarrassing and potentially disastrous. Nope, that would never happen to me, because I have it all together

* I am also glad to say that I would never, ever go to the grocery store with my carefully written super-efficent list and meal plan. I would never painstakingly select each item and cross them off my list, with a trail of children behind me. I would never get my cartful of itmes run up and then, then realize I have left my money at home. I also would never then leave my cart, drive all the way home to get my money, and then return to pick up my stinkin’ groceries.  Nope, that would never happen to me, because I have it all together. And it would be really embarrassing.

Whew, do I feel good after typing all of that. Remember, if you’re having a bad day, you can always be thankful you’re not me.


How about you? Are you as awesome as me? Make me laugh with your comment and I’ll give you 17 bonus points. We moms need to stick together.


Minion Birthday Breakfast!

{This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #The7thMinion #CollectiveBias}

When I was a kid and would spend the night at my grandma’s house, she would always have  special breakfast for us: doughnuts, cereal and frozen orange juice. My grandma wasn’t the kind of grandma who knit sweaters or baked cookies. She was the type of grandma who went to water parks and took college classes with me. And the frozen orange juice? I have no idea where that idea came from or why we thought it was such a special treat. She would get the cylinder containers of frozen orange juice and scoop it up like ice cream into tiny bowls for us. I can distinctly remember sitting at her counter, on an avocado green bar stool, and nibbling at the bitter frozen treat while I watched her fix the rest of our breakfast. And by “fix breakfast” I mean putting out boxes of cereal (the kind with prizes inside) and arranging store-bought donuts on a plate.

Remember Tucker’s Despicable Me party a few years ago? I thought the movie was really cute, but wasn’t much of a fan of the minions. My kids on the other hand? They think the minions are hilarious. This year we decided to have a low-key birthday party for Avi and Apollo, so we had a couple of of other special activities throughout the day…starting with a minion-themed breakfast.


My kids were thrilled to wake up to the table decoration and an array of CEREAL to choose from. I can’t even look at a box of Lucky Charms without thinking of our family in New Zealand who is deprived of this breakfast option. 


Seriously? That picture of a table full of kids? My lifelong dream. Our large family hasn’t been easy and we’ve gone through some major trials, but oh, how I love my kids and a having a houseful of laughter, games, arguments and puberty. Okay, maybe not that last part, but it’s all part of the deal, right?



When this minion toy fell into Hezekiah’s cereal bowl, the kids were all shocked. While I have memories of searching through the cereal for special prize (at my grandma’s house) my kid didn’t even realize cereal sometimes has toys in it! Once they realized that a bit of chaos ensued and everyone tried to find a minion in their box of cereal. 

Find the 7th minion!

As I mentioned in the birthday party post, I was so proud of Avi! She has been working on “focusing on the moment” and not getting anxious or worked up about exiting things that haven’t happened yet. During breakfast she started asking about when we were going to see the movie and when her party was, did I get her the Dolphin Cruiser… I only had to remind her once to “enjoy the moment right now” and she did. This girl is making amazing progress, I tell you!  

7th minion

This special breakfast was pulled off with:

1 trip to Walmart

1 $0.97 table cloth

1 $0.97 package of yellow cups

1 $0.97 package of yellow plates

2 bunches of bananas

1 gallon of milk 


4 family size boxes of cereal

Seriously. The kids were thrilled. I didn’t have to make breakfast and Avi and Apollo were thrilled with their birthday celebrations. Have you ever done a themed breakfast? Have you tried to find the 7th minion?


Summer, Sponsored Content and the Library

close up of book in black and white

I had a blog reader recently tell me (nicely) she was sick of my sponsored posts. I totally respect that. I thought today I would explain a bit about how the process works and how I choose which sponsored posts to participate in. In a perfect world, I would do 3-4 sponsored posts spread out across the month…this would help offset the cost of the blog, as well as  bring in a bit of money. It would also, hopefully, not be overwhelming. The thing is, I get about one out of every ten or twelve sponsored posts I apply for…and because of those odds, have no idea how the dates will fall on the calendar. I might apply for two posts weeks apart from each other, from different companies, and have them due to go live a day apart. I can’t predict this. And if I have ten applications out there, I don’t know if I will get five of them, or none of them.

I will tell you this, I only apply for posts with a) products I already use or b) products I am actually interested in using. I am very selective about what I post about on this blog. I sometimes laugh about the offers I get…this one for instance: 

[Our company] wants you to recycle your period pad into something fun, funny and creative while inspiring women everywhere ditch their period pads for [our product] instead. 

I’m just going to assume that no one reading this is interested in my menstrual cycle or how I “recycle my period pads”!

So there you have it. I hope that explains the process a bit to you. I also want to add…I often blog about products I love, such as my 

Bombas post and my love of Birkenstocks. Neither were sponsored or compensated.

kids selecting books at the library

We have already been to the library several times this summer. I love that my kids just can’t get enough of books! And I’ve gotten over the awkwardness of whipping out my camera here. I love capturing these moments.

boy choosing library book

Mordecai starts camp today! It is day camp (not overnight). I am excited for him and all the fun he will have. Avi has begun summer school and Hezekiah a month-long math and science camp…that means a whole lot of driving for me, but also a ton of fun for the kids. The rest of us are enjoying the heat and spontaneous trips to the lake.

kids at the library


And piles and piles of books.

Keziah came for a visit yesterday. I am frequently asked for updates on my adult children, but try to respect their privacy. I will say, quickly, we are beyond proud of Keziah, Ezra and Boaz. All three have received high school diplomas now! This opens many doors to them. All three are living and working independently. Keziah has big career goals that I hope she is able to fulfill. She only lives about 45 minutes away from us. The boys live several hours away in a different part of the state.

BEN! and Adalia continue to do well. Both are working full-time and remodeling their house in their “spare” time. Their dog, Rascal, is doing well  expect when he chews up their clothing.


Avi and Apollo’s Minecraft Party

Avi and Apollo are now 10 an 5. Can you believe that???  They are growing up.

Avi got her ears pierced for her tenth birthday (per family tradition). We celebrated with a fun birthday breakfast (that will be a separate post) and a movie. Then we had a low-key birthday party. Well, as low-key as you can get with 8 kids in the house and inviting a family with six kids over. Let me tell you, I have seen so much growth and maturity in Avi over the past six months. She struggles hard with appropriate social behavior and relationships…Yesterday, she did brilliantly! We have been talking about her upcoming party and birthday with her psychologist, and I believe the work has paid off. I am so proud of her!

Food ideas for a Minecraft Party
Avi and Apollo both wanted a Minecraft party, and you know I can’t resist a themed party! I don’t play Minecraft and actually know very little about it. That is where Pinterest comes into play. I made a Minecraft Party board and set to work. I pulled this off (the planning and prep) in about two hours the morning of the party. The kids loved it!waterfight-2

Then, since it is summer and sweltering here, the kids had a water fight. So simple and so fun. I love this shot of Apollo spraying Owen. He literally didn’t see it coming. And there is really nothing cuter than seeing Apollo (a tubie) and Owen (a former-tubie) have a water fight with 60 ml syringes (a very basic tube feeding supply). waterfight birthday-marmite 

And it wouldn’t be a birthday in our house without the Giving of the Marmite. 


And, this was her reaction to the LEGO Friends Dolphin Cruiser. A LEGO set she has wanted for over a year. For Apollo I purchased the LEGO Juniors Construction Set and the LEGO Juniors Princess Play Castle.

(^^^affiliate links ^^^)birthday-party  

The top photo here captures these two perfectly…Avi giving Apollo a sidewards glance, to check out his cake…and Apollo, cautious at the idea of holding a flaming cake.

It was a perfect birthday for both!

You may want to read Avi’s adoption story here. And be sure and check out last year’s LEGO party!

1 2 3 4 424