Best Birthday Ever

I went for a jog with my son who said he wasn’t complaining because it was my birthday– that was a perfect present. I showered, I meditated, I had some quiet time with my husband, I blogged, I put the snow clothes away, I got some cleaning done, the kids practiced the piano, I got the shopping for the week done and took my daughter to her trumpet lesson, the kids got a bunch of their school work done, and we had a fun little party.  It was nice and warm outside too and then cooled off in the evening.  Truly a perfect day!!  Any day that I get to shower and exercise and blog and teach school and cook and clean is a great day for me– all those things don’t usually happen!!  Everyone did nice things for me all day and they tried hard not to complain about their tasks.  That was great too.


I got bubbles, binoculars, hats, cards, flowers, a nice frying pan, gardening gloves, a wind chime, some books, some money, some garden plants, and some other little things. And the ice cream was great!!  And my husband is going to take me on a Segway tour of Boston.  I am a lucky woman and 40 is not so bad!!


My Birthday and Mother’s Day

So today has been a lovely day.  This is MY weekend.  I was born on Mother’s Day 40 years ago!!  I don’t feel like I’m 40– and I won’t be officially until tomorrow.  Today is the last day of my 30s.  It has been something, I’ll say– so much change and growth and challenge.  So anyway, I made my mother a mother that day, I was her first and she loved me and cared for me and raised me very well, I think.  Thank you mom!  She has been a great mother, and I am very grateful for her.  I had no idea of the level of her love and concern until I had my first baby, and now that my baby girl is a teen, I have a renewed appreciation for my mom for what I realize she did for me– just teaching me to drive for one thing!!  I love you mom!!

The spring is glorious!! Especially if you have followed my record of the amount of snow we had this winter.  This spring is so amazing and wonderful.  I feel so free outside, words are not enough, neither are pictures.  The air feels nice, it feels good to breathe and the smells especially right after a rain, and the feeling of the trees and leaves and flowers, it is almost overwhelming to me especially after the long, cold winter we had like I mentioned!  Here are some of the photos I’ve taken just in the yard. Click to enlarge.

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And as if all that wasn’t enough to be grateful and happy about, to celebrate my birthday which is on Monday, we went to Rhode Island for the first time (we kept missing it on our trips and have been meaning to get there).  It was sunny when we left, but foggy when we got there.  But it turned out to be a very fun outing, the kids got a little wet, but it was just nice to watch and listen to the waves and walk in the sand.  I LOVE the ocean.  It is so calming and beautiful and amazing.  You can see in the second photo how foggy it was, we took turns walking into the void and being lost by sight through the fog even though we weren’t so far away from each other.

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And I LOVE being a mom!!  Before I was married and had children, I would often try to figure out what purpose my life would have, I wanted to help others and contribute to humanity in some way, but I was never really sure how.  Until I had my first baby, then I felt so needed and so fulfilled in caring for her and my subsequent children.  It has certainly had its ups and downs and I can’t say I will ever really miss changing my twins’ diapers or cleaning up blown out diapers or potty training or not sleeping and being in constant, intense demand for meals and cleaning, but I’m really glad I got to do it.  I’m really glad I have a wonderful, amazing husband who has made it possible for me to stay home with them and be able to provide for their needs and wants.  I love taking care of my children, and being with them and enjoying sweet times together.  Here is me with one of my sweet twins who has been a bit clingy lately and makes me feel so loved!


Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Birthday to me!!

Making Bread

I have had so many appliances break it seems.  We have been going back to living like pioneers, but I must say it has been so nice to have dryer again.  I still haven’t gotten the clothes folded and put away, but they are clean and fluffy again instead of clean and stiff which is pretty nice.  Well, my bread mixer is now officially broken, so I have been having my kids help me with it, mostly making a type of no-knead bread.  But after this last time, I think replacing my bread mixer is moving up on my priority list- maybe for my b-day coming up.  The kids certainly had fun, but it took awhile to get them all cleaned up.

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And then the 2 yr. old played in the sink for awhile and then we had to find him some new clothes.  Never a dull moment, the bread tasted good the next day although the girls complained about having to make it into flatbread on the griddle (I do that when I need the bread quickly and don’t want to wait for it to rise and then bake) because the dough was so sticky.  But hey, everybody liked it and it was healthy, tasty and filling, and the girls learned how to go with the flow and work with super sticky dough!!  So you know, good is coming from this, but I’m sure I’ll post when I have a mixer again!  I have been buying bread more often too– which is of course the easiest, but there’s just something about homemade!

My dryer is fixed!!

No more crunchy towels, no more super wrinkled clothes and no more stiff socks!!  Yay! We went about 6 weeks without a dryer.  I bought a clothes rack to dry hang the clothes, it actually wasn’t too bad, we could manage without the dryer, but then I really got behind on the laundry and I could only do 1-2 loads per day without the dryer, plus the 2 yr. old went through a season of diarhea so we had more laundry than usual.  We got our act together and had the repairman come back with the part that was needed, it only took about 10 min. to fix.  Yay– if we want to wear something tomorrow, I can wash it tonight or in the morning and it will have time to dry!!  I now know why ironing was such a big deal in the days before dryers– everything is stiff and crunchy and wrinkly without a dryer.  So, yay for dryers and yay for not having to iron so much– not that I did– we just wore wrinkly clothes, nobody minded.  There is my fixed dryer and my drying rack and lots of clean clothes to fold and put away!!

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Another good reason to have a dryer?  We were gone all day for my daughter’s robotics competition, and I took the other kids to the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire between sessions.  Hanging clothes on the rack just takes more time, I’m thinking that I may get caught up on the laundry sometime this week– I was doing pretty well with it when first the washer broke- got that fixed and then the dryer.  Hopefully they keep working for awhile, it is so much easier to get out the door when everybody can find their clothes.  One of the hardest things about getting everybody out the door for things is finding clothes that are clean and that they like and will wear.  This will certainly make it easier!  Plus if something is dirty, I can wash it on the quick wash and then dry it, if something is wrinkled I can get it wet throw it in the dryer and voila, so yay!! I had no idea how happy and excited I would be about this– living without certainly makes one appreciate living with!!

So my daughter’s team is #2342 — Team Phoenix.  She designed the phoenixes on their robot which you can see pretty well on here.  She also designed their logo which they used on buttons and on the laptop they used to control the robot.  The team booths are in the background where they wait their turns.  You can see their mascot in the next photo and you can see their robot successfully stacking yellow bins with the opposing team for extra points. They did great today, currently in 1st place!

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Here is my son in front of the Children’s museum.  It was a nice outing, the little people especially enjoyed it.  The 2 yr. old was in heaven.  Notice that there is still snow everywhere and it snowed today.  This has been the longest winter, Boston made a new record for the amount of snow they received and we are not too far from there.  But notice the grass coming through under the tree.  My deck is reappearing.  So although it still looks like winter and often still feels like winter, it is spring!!  Can’t wait for it to be fully spring!!

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Clean house, groceries

I finally got my bathroom all nice and clean, and the upstairs.  A clean house feels so good!!  I love when it when I can get to that point.  It is happening more and more.  I went years after the baby twins and with moving with just messes that I just couldn’t get to.  I would feel like a failure and I would feel lazy, but when I would take inventory of my daily activities, I found that I was not lazy, just everything takes time and twin babies– just the amount of time I spent changing diapers each day was significant.  I have also made home cooked meals mostly from scratch a priority and that takes more time too, not just in cooking it but also in cleaning it up.  I never looked forward to cleaning as I thought of it as a boring chore, but when I really ran out of time to do it, I am happy to do chores now, I am glad that I am healthy enough to do them and that I have time to take care of those basic needs.  It also helps that my kids are older and they actually help, my daughter did a bunch this weekend which was great.  They each have a zone to keep up and vacuum and everything, they don’t do the best job, but every little bit helps so much.

Here is the 2 yr. old “helping” me with the bathroom.  His luchador mask gave him super cleaning powers.  He actually did help and it is nice to have company when cleaning!’bathroom

We went and visited our friends and this Santa is on the side of the road on the way!  I guess there used to be a museum there, pretty creepy!bathroom2

I was playing around with my camera because the autofocus seems a bit touchy, and I realized I haven’t taken photos of all the food I buy in a week.  It is an enormous amount and takes me a while to gather and then everybody has to help carry it in and then it takes some time to get it all put away, and this photo doesn’t include the box of wipes another box of oranges and another box of food from Costco.  It really is a lot of work just feeding 10 people everyday!  But I’m so glad I can do it and it has become second nature to me, I don’t have too many days where I don’t know what we’re going to have for dinner.  It’s nice, because when I went super healthy 10 years ago, I had a lot of days like that.  I’m glad we can afford the food too.  Lots to appreciate in these photos, don’t mind the mess of coats, boots and gloves down the hall in background…

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Super Busy Week– Survived!

We pulled off a whole bunch of activities this week, and I am proud of us!!  It started last Sunday night with a scout meeting for my boys’ cub scout troop that we had to plan. Then Monday we went skiing.  The toddler ran a fever on Tues. and didn’t feel well most of the week.  Tuesday, I had scouts with my son and then we left to get the new glasses ordered for my daughter, then we dropped her off at Robotics, dropped my son off at home and my husband joined me to go back and finish ordering the glasses she picked out since we forgot her prescription earlier.  We also finished the grocery shopping, ate out and then picked her up at Robotics.


This is where my daughter meets for robotics, it’s pretty cool.

 Wednesday was the twins birthday and family party. Here’s one of the twins with his new backpack and sleeping bag, both twins wore them around like that all day looking forward to “camping out”.


Thursday, my son is playing church basketball and my daughters practice right after him, I am the coach– it is really a lot of fun for me to coach the girls.  Then we all stayed at the church afterwards for youth night.  Friday morning, I took my son in for an eye doctor appointment, it took 3 1/2 hours and over $800 for just his new pairs of glasses.  His eyes are pretty bad, but he does great with the glasses and needs to see! Then we got a bunch of schoolwork done and worked on cleaning and my daughter went to robotics again.

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Then Saturday, my son and my daughters and I had basketball starting at 9 am, then I dropped off the one daughter at Robotics and went home to get ready for the twins’ friend birthday party.  My husband went to pick up the son from b-ball practice and to get some intertubes for sledding.  Then we went to the sledding hill for the party– my husband left early for a church meeting and everyone else came back to our house for hot cocoa and cake.  It turned out really, really great.  I think everybody had fun and was comfortable.  I was especially glad about this because one of the moms who brought her kids, I have had a difficult time with, but she was great and it was really nice and I was glad I was able to get along fine with her. It was very pleasant and happy for everyone.

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Then we woke up in the middle of the night to a puking boy.  Very sad, it’s so hard when these cute little ones don’t feel well.  The ones who were feeling alright went to church and then we all chilaxed as my boys like to call it, ate and played a board game.  It ended up being a nice evening after a very busy week.  I don’t want to be that busy again for awhile, but we did it!!

Christmas Shopping — done, check

My husband and I went out together today and finished up the shopping for our kids.  It was really, really nice.  Usually I end up going late at night by myself to pick things out for everybody usually a couple days before Christmas.  We may pick out a family gift together and order it online, but the fun individual stuff I have done mostly by myself.  For years, it was a matter of practicality– we couldn’t take the kids with us– they were too young to stay home alone, then with baby and toddler twins, it was a matter of just plain not having any other time to go– we were so busy changing diapers, cleaning up messes and making and dishing up food for them. Plus we seemed to have a lot of celebrations to attend and I love putting little gifts together for people, so Christmas has been rather rushed especially the last couple years.  So this year it is quite remarkable that I am done 5 days before the big day, I even feel like wrapping presents!  and I got a bunch of Christmas cards out.  It is awesome.  Another nice thing is that we got to drive our small car instead of the monster van shopping, so we didn’t have to park far away or beep when we backed up.  We parked close, we were in and out.  We found things the kids will enjoy, and we are pretty much done.  I will buy extra food on my weekly grocery trip, and I have plenty of things to clean and organize at home, but I may actually get to it and that is a good feeling!!  This is how civilized people live, it’s coming back to me and I appreciate it very much!!