Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And Six Makes Eleven

As you can see it has been a while between updates, but I have a very good excuse. As you all know I have five children at home, well the past 3 weeks not only have I had my five, but six of my Grand Children, in and out, then a friend of my oldest April. She was with us for 2 weeks, right before the Grands got here. Now for some reason that I just can't understand, I haven't had time to update the blog, (scratches head)?

I love having the Grand kids, last year we had them for two weeks, then they went home for two weeks and came back a week, so I think they love coming to Grandmommy and Grandaddys too. We couldn't do much with them this year, you know the deal with stacation, but we still had a good time. They camped in the yard, we roasted marshmallows 2 or 3 times, ate watermelon, stayed up way past bedtime, and got caught up on all the hugs and kisses we had missed since they were here last. On Friday it was the 10 yr olds Birthday, so we had a Birthday celebration for all 3 of the ones here from out of town, since we didn't get to help them celebrate when their Birthdays came around. I baked 72 cup cakes, then spelled their initials with them, and decorated with Barbie colors and decorations, we didn't need to invite anyone, we had ten here then, and then Analise the Grand born in November, and her Mommy came, to pick up Alyssa and Andrew, the two Grands who live locally. So we had our own party going.

The three from out of town left Saturday, I sure am missing them already. The house feels empty after having so many here. Now it is just me and Hubby, and four of ours, April went home with my DIL who is local. Tomorrow the other four will leave for their Biological Aunts and Uncles house until Saturday, because hubby has a doctors consultation out of town on Wednesday. We may be gone a few days if they decide to go ahead and do something about his arteries. It is supposed to only be a consultation, but he has had problems this past week, so I think they may want to go ahead and do something while they have him.

The rest of my upcoming weeks will be filled with physicals, eye appointments, dental appointments, etc. getting the kids ready to go back to school. All the appointments have been made, so we are set in that respect, with five I have to start early. You know that is a rant I have too. The doctors never want to set all my kids up for the same day on appointments. You would think with gas prices the way they are, they would be a bit more understanding and lenient, but no, those are the rules, tow from the same family in a day. Oh well I guess what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, I should be Wonder Woman by now. Let me see if I can pull up some pictures for you of our antics the past few weeks. Hope I can.....

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sweet Memories

I wrote this in response to a discussion on My Lot, which is a discussion site I belong to, as I wrote it I decided I wanted to share my childhood memories here with you. I hope you enjoy them, and then Talk To My Heart and tell me your childhood memories, I would love to read them.

Oh the memories you brought back, I'm not much younger than you at 51, my memories are gas at 24 cent, bread 25 cent a loaf, 7 cent sodas. I was in 2nd grade in school when Kennedy was killed, we were all terrified, we thought the world had ended. I remember the days and days of watching all the processions on TV, how sad we all felt. I too remember the first man on the moon, "One small step for Man, One Large step for man kind". I remember The pledge of Allegiance being said in school and the pride I felt each time I put my hand to my heart. I remember prayer in school, and the peace it gave me at the start of each day. I didn't worry about being shot in school, or stabbed, the worst thing that happened in my schools were fist fights, then the next day they were friends again.We played outside like you, we made play houses out of leaves, sectioning each room, using stumps and crates for our furniture. Since we were poor and couldn't afford balls and bats, we played ball with sticks and large rocks, had a good shiner once when I missed the "Ball". I remember laying on the grass and watching for the first star to appear so I could make my wish. Catching lightning bugs in a jar, eating honeysuckle the juice so sweet. Those were the best times ever, and the worst, but they sure do make sweet memories.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Got Healthy Kid's, Thank God , Cause Some Aren't So Lucky

I don't normally Plagiarize but in this case I don't think my friend Lahaia will mind. Check out what Lahia wrote in her blog, think about what you would do if it were your child, then do what your heart leads you to. Now I realize some people can't afford to donate cash right now, neither can I, but there is something else I can provide, that is my prayers for these children and their families. Here is a copy from Lahias blog

I usually don't do this but, these children are good friends with my children
I have been knowing their parents since we were all children ourselves.
I'm asking if you wouldn't mind adding this to your blogs as well.
Here is a copy from my blog...
This benfits children who suffer with cancer in our own area...
Thanks Ladies for any help on this topic...

American Cancer Society Relay For Life

Sebastian & Sloan Vegas are good friends with my children (The Moon Dogs),
they are raising money for
American Cancer Society Relay For Life
in our town. We are asking if you would please
take time to donate a dollar amount to help the children who have cancer
for better treatment to heal & get well.

Link below is directed to Sebastian's page
You can donate Online OR print out a forum & mail in your check.
The last day for collecting money is

by 4:00pm Central Time on Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Relay For Life Link

Thank You All So Very Much!!
Any Dollar Amount Is Much Appreciated!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When Life Hands You A Lemon, Make Lemonade (Gods Way)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When Life Hands You A Lemon, Make Lemonade
(God's Way)

If you read my blog about what can go wrong, you know that the past few weeks weren't going very well for the Oliver household.

I want to regress a bit; we bought our home in February of 2007, the house is perfect for my large family. We were living in a 3 bedroom double wide, small bed rooms at that. All 4 of my girls were in one bedroom, in bunk beds and were crunched together with no space of their own. I hated it, but at the time we had no choice.

When we decided to try and buy, everything was so expensive, and the ones we felt we could afford were no better than what we were renting. My friend Claudia had called me a few months before we moved and told me about this house. Because of financial problems when I had to leave my job and apply for disability, our credit was terrible. We had lost our home, car and just about everything, waiting for the government to approve me for disability, it took five long hard years, and finally an attorney, before I got approved. So we knew what ever we got had to be owner financed, not so easy to come by.

Well I have never been known for being shy when it comes to something we need/want, so when Claudia called and told me her friends Mom had this house and described it, I thought OMGoodness, that would be perfect for us. Four bedroom, 3 full baths, LR, FR, Kitchen, Play room, almost two acres of land. A shop/garage combo, so I would have a place to put my hubby, when he gets in the dog house, LOL.

So I pick up the phone call the lady, and she says "No she can not finance, she needs someone who can get their own financing", well what could I say or do, I just prayed and kept on looking, at that time we didn't have an answer on my disability, and knew it would be a few more months. Now I am not one to procrastinate, I was still looking the whole time.

I was finally approved, so I doubled my efforts to find us a home that would have enough room. In January 07 I found a place that i thought might work, it only had 3 bedrooms, but was in our price range, and had a family room, that we could convert to a fourth bedroom, while it wasn't the ideal situation, I felt we could make it work. I actually told the man who had it that I thought we would take it, he said he would draw up the contract, and get back with me. We left feeling somewhat better, we had found a place that would work, with owner financing.

When we got home, I still had this nagging feeling like something wasn't right, (God). So I prayed, Lord, you know that if this is what you have for us, I will be perfectly happy, and make the most of it, but Father, you also know my heart, and you know that if I had my druthers, you know my heart is set on the other house, but now I am gonna praise you either way, and be happy with what you provide, I want your perfect will for us. I amened it and left it in His hands.

The next day I was sitting in my living room, thinking about the new house and what we could do to make the family room work for a fourth bedroom. My phone rings and I pick it up. It is the lady I had spoken with about this house. She said that she had had the house on the market for a year, and it still had not sold, she couldn't keep making two house payments and had decided she would work with me on owner financing, if I was still interested. Now isn't that just like God? I had never even seen the inside of the house, all I had was Claudia's description, but I knew it would be perfect. We made arrangements for us to come on out and look, so in the car we go.

The house was just what I had envisioned, and we agreed on the terms, while we were here looking. The next day I called the other guy and told him, we would not be getting his house, and explained to him why. He was very understanding. I started packing, and we were ready to move in on Feb. 1st.Other things happened along the way, like finding out we could actually get financed, but I won't go into all that.

As I said the house was perfect for us, when we moved in I started making the house a home for us, I decorated all the children's rooms just as they wanted them, you know with a rental you can't do that. The girls wanted Disney Princess, our 17 year old wanted "Pink", our son settled for Harley Davidson. They finally had their own spaces. There was one thing i wanted, but had to wait because we ran out of remodeling money, I wanted to do the floors in wood, or false wood, but I knew it would have to wait, and I was fine with that, all things come in good time.

That leads me up to the flood, and what happened yesterday. As you know we had a disaster, a couple of weeks ago when my hot water heater had busted lines, the house was flooded in the kitchen, living room, dining room, family room, and in hubby's closet and part of the carpet in our room. I had called the insurance company the day after the flood, I told them the floors were still seeping water, and I would prefer to wait until everything dried out to see what kind of damage we had. Well the vinyl in the kitchen started bowing up in the middle, the carpet is molding, the chair railing turning black, so I knew we were going to have to get the adjuster out here. I called Thursday of last week, they called me back today, and said they would have a company they work with to contact me. The man called me yesterday afternoon, and said from what I had described they would have to replace the vinyl, and carpet, and wanted to know if I wanted him to go ahead and bring carpet samples when he came. Well I decided to go for the gold, I said, "To be honest, if it would be possible I would prefer to have wood flooring, instead of going back with the Bur bur" He said Bur bur? I said yes, he said he had wood flooring, in stock, that was comparable, to the price of the Bur bur, and it would be no problem.

Now isn't that just like God? When the water heater was shooting water all over the house and me, all I could do was stand and cry, thinking what a disaster, and mess. God saw an opportunity to fulfill one of His children's dreams. Boy am I glad He is my Heavenly Father, and on my side. He always takes the LEMONS, in my life, and makes the sweetest lemonade.

Speaking of Lemonade I would like to share a goodie with you, that Anjie over at http//:www.flbyu.blogspot.com/
Shared with me.

We're so confident you'll love True Lemon, True Lime and True Orange, we're giving away free samples!
Believe me when I say, you will love True Lemon! I use it in lemonade, tea, cooking, even sprinkle it on fresh fruits and veggies to keep them from turning brown like they do, especially bananas. Use True Lemon just like you would fresh lemon juice. I can't tell the difference, bet you can't either, and it won't cost you a penny to find out. Get your samples now.

Talk to my heart, tell me what Lemons in your life, have been turned into lemonade, I just love hearing about good things that happen in peoples lives.

When Life Hands You A Lemon, Make Lemonade

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A goodie for the kids

My children are collectors, stamps, stickers, post cards, what we call our treasures, (things people give them, or special awards, special BD or other cards), I started a treasure box when my first child was born, and have done it ever since, so when my children saw it, they decided to start boxes of their own. Anyway, back to the goodie........

http://www.iswsc.org/iswsc_free.shtml When you click on this link, it will take you to this site. Just follow directions and send for the stamps. Very good Deal for just the cost of an envelope and stamp.

What I like most about hobbies like this is that you can work with your children and create lasting memories. Hobbies also teach your children patience, because they have to take their time if they want a nice project.

Hopefully I will come across some more freebies like this one before the summer ends, I know if your children are like mine, they are getting bored already, and I am scrambling to find free, or low cost things to keep them occupied. With my crew if I don't they will play Cowboys and Indians , and you know who will wind up the Indian!

So talk to my heart, tell me what hobbies your children are into, and any freebies you have found for them.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

We have looked forward to this weekend for a month or more, I had looked up all the special July 4th events going on close to us, (remember the stacation article), I found some awesome buys on steaks at our local Food Lion Store, http://foodlion.adplexonline.com/StoreLocator.aspx?&checked=1
Click link to find your local store and while you are at it sign up for their "Shoppers Companion Newsletter", It comes once a week to your in box, has coupons, whats on sale, weekly contest and much more, I love it. So I buy ground beef for burgers, NY Strip steaks, for half price, baking potatoes, salad mix and then start calling to invite my family for a good old fashioned cook out. Including my family of 7, we had 16 confirmed for the party, and then we were going to all make a caravan to the park for rides, games, bands and of course fire works. I prepped on Thursday, and had everything ready to go for the 4th.

Well when I called my sister morning of the 4th to make sure she if she was going to have any of her Grands coming I couldn't get her, called her hubby's cell only to find out her MS is acting up and she is in bed for the day, I should have know then that Murphy's Law was about to kick in.

Everyone was supposed to be here at 3, the first car pulled in at 1:45, just as I was getting naked to get a shower, I told the girls to entertain them until I could get the skunk off, and get dressed.
Meantime 3 more showed up at 2:10, my brother and his family, Larry came in to tell me they were here, "good I say, they can entertain each other", Larry was making a quick trip to the store to get the paper plates, I had forgotten. I had no sooner got out of the shower, Larry who was supposed to have already left for the store comes in and says your brother just left, OMG! Why, said he was sick, 3 more gone. I have food prepped for 16, now all of a sudden, I am 5 + with Sissy's Grands that are usually hooked to her hip like Siamese twins, she normally has at least two of them with her everywhere she goes.

I am thinking what am I going to do with this food, I send my daughter up to my neighbors, would she like to come eat with us, she is leaving for her daughters for a cook out, call my friend who has a family of five, she is going to the same cook out, as she is friends with neighbors daughter. By now I am wishing I had been invited to that cookout. I look out and my grill has not been set up before Larry left for store, so I go get the charcoal in, my 3 o'clock meal plan is gonna be an hour delayed, I take my burgers out to put on the grill, and you would have thought I had added gasoline to the grill, flames shooting up everywhere, I know the coals were right, there was just more grease in the meat than stated on package. So I move my burgers to the holding rack, to wait a little longer. About that time Larry got back from his "quick", hour long trip to the store. I put the burgers back on, and still my grill has dragon breath, so I decide they have enough flavor from the grill and bring them in to finish cooking on my griddle, and put the steaks on to cook, thank God, they cook perfect.

Now today just happened to be the hottest day in a week, and by this time, I am so hot, and sweating so badly, I can't see, because my eyes are full of sweat. I finally get the last steak off and come in shaking like a leaf, I had gotten so over heated. I looked at the family and say no way are we going to the park, until later when it is not so hot. Meantime I get everyone fed, including me. Well the food made me sick, because I had gotten over heated.

Now we are waiting for the sun to go down a little so we can head out for the park, I am talking to one of my guest, and all of a sudden, BOOM! BOOM! Well the perfect end to Murphy's Law, here comes the rain! Well at least I know it's going to cool off now, LOL. I look at Larry, and say, "I'm going to go see if I can find some fire works, Forget this.

Well all was not lost, we got a nice pack, started the grill back up, let the kids roast marshmallows, and light sparklers, Larry set off our fireworks and we had a wonderful time, right in our own back yard, one of the neighbor kids came down, and was so happy to get to participate, he even got his own box of sparklers, so I had another happy kid on my hands. We even got our dog Sassy in on the festivities , she got some marshmallows and a big sugar rush, running back and forth like a young pup. It was so funny to watch.

So what started as a potential disaster of a day, turned out to be another happy memory moment, for us and our children. Now to see what tomorrow brings, one thing about it, our lives are never boring.

Talk to my heart, what adventures did you have for the 4th of July, 2008 edition?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Do You Have Stacation Plans?

We have already talked about the price of gas, and everything else going up. Apparently a lot of us are in the same boat this year, enough in fact that someone has created a catchy little name for what we will be doing, "Stacation." I happen to like this name, it makes me feel like I am doing something interesting. Instead of telling someone I am staying home and doing nothing this year, I can tell them, "Oh we will be on Stacation!" Now doesn't that sound much more interesting? I have already started our Stacation plans. The children love the great outdoors, fishing, camping, swimming, birdwatching, catching butterflies and lightning bugs and all the things that go along with this fun activity. Well we have all of that and more in our own back yard. We have two decent sized tents, so a few weeks ago when the kid's wanted to "Camp out" I allowed them to set up the tents. They have used them twice since then and as a matter of fact, as I type they are camping tonight. I have decided it makes them so happy, I am letting them make it a permanent fixture for the summer. Swimming? I bought a large 41/2x18 ft pool from Sam's last year, now if my hubby can get the green out, (his current honey do), they will be swimming by the weekend. Fishing is a bit tougher, my Beta who's name is Cleatus, is watching me type, so I have to be careful what I say here, shhhhh! Most farmers will not let people fish their ponds anymore, because a lot of people abuse the privilege, leaving trash, or tearing up the fields with their cars/trucks. I guess we are lucky because the children's Aunt has a nice fishing pond, and her sister who lives beside her has one too, so we can go there to fish, and we will be doing that this Saturday, but it does take about 20 minutes to get there, much better than 4 hours to other places though, and straight shot from our house. I am teaching all 5 of them to be good fishermen, they even put their own night crawlers on. The last time we went we caught 70 + bass and bream, then I had fun cleaning them, with a little help from one of my Grand daughters, Lauren. Then we had a fish fry, oh they were so yummy. We use House Autry fish breader, best on the market, we think. We have already grilled a lot this year, burgers, steak, shrimp, veggies I love cooking anything on the grill. We have a burning ban here because of the draught, so I came up with a way we can still do smores, and roast marshmallows outside. I have the kid's to gather our kindling, and small branches, we put it in the grill on top of the burnt coals, and start our fire in the grill, works just as well as a campfire and no chance of it getting out of control, and burning all the dry grass and such around. The kid's can empty a bag of marshmallows in ten minutes, they love them. The rest is easy, God has provided the birds to watch, butterflies and lightning bugs to catch, and He even throws in the lizards and pill bugs that my 3 youngest love to put in a container to display. We have Bluebirds nesting in a birdhouse on our back deck, and I have three humming bird feeders hanging up out there too. I got hubby a telescope for Christmas, so he and the kids can see the stars up close and personal. When the kids get too hot during the day they can get in their cooling station that I got a few months back, from a Good Deal Alert, from Anjies newsletter you can join here....
It is a big blow up playhouse like thing, that you hook the hose to, and it sprays fine streams of water. It retailed for $129.00, I got it for $9.99, I got my Grandchildren who live here in town one too, now I am kicking myself for not ordering more, but I think at the time I could only get the two. because of my budget. Less than $25.00 for both with shipping, and the kids are loving it.
This week is July 4th our very favorite time in the summer. Thursday, we will go to the local park, where they have activities planned most of the day, rides, bands then fireworks when it gets dark. Friday, they will have a parade in the morning, then open the park back up at 12 for more fun, with things going on all day, then more fireworks Friday night. We are having family and friends over on Friday for a cookout, then we will all head for the park around 4 and stay until after the fireworks show. Sat. we will go to the kids Aunts house, do some fishing and cook out again. Then the kids have an invite to stay the rest of the weekend at her house, that will give me and hubby a little much needed time alone. Our house is usually full the whole summer, our 5, then one or more of the kids usually have a friend spending the night, well more like the week, which we don't mind, it keeps ours occupied, helps the other parents out, who have to work and what is one or two more anyway? Then we have 3 of our Grand Daughters coming in on the 12th, when they get here, the 3 who live here in town will more than likely come too, they all get along so well, because they are so close in age, so then we will really have a house full, it is also possible that our other 2 from out of town will come during that time too. They keep me hopping when I have them all here like that, but I love every minute that I get to spend with them. They grow up so fast, and the ones who live away, only get to come a couple of times a year, I miss out on so much of their lives, so I make up for it in the summer, every chance I get. Now you may think I am just one of those prejudiced Mom/Grand mom's, and you can think what you like, but I have the most awesomely wonderful, beautiful, talented, sweet children/grand children in the world, if you don't believe me, just ask me, LOL.
That's it for this installment, Talk to my heart, tell me if you have any Stacation plans for the summer, I may need some more ideas before it's over!

Keeping Our Children Safe


This link is for publications geared towards 4th graders, to help teach them about abuse. It is Parent interactive, which I feel is very important when we are trying to teach our children about personal safety. I feel it is the Parents responsibility to teach our children about abuse, molestation, predators and sex education. I use tools to help, but I don't want a stranger telling my children, their beliefs, and impressing their moral values on my children. I wish more parents felt this way, and I really feel that if Doctors offices, and other agencies provided parents with tools to help talk to their children, more parents would. HHHMMMM, Maybe I need to get creative and make some literature, just for this. See I am doing that dangerous thing again, (thinking.) Seems like this blog just brings it out in me.
Talk to my heart, comment on this info, or ask me any questions you have on this issue. Have a blessed and safe 4th of July.