Showing posts from July, 2012

Enjoying the Summer Days, Weeds and all.

As July hits each year the weeds strive to take over our walkways & yard. Each year they usually win for weeks at a time. Then we go out as a force and with muddy hands pull them out the best we can, make a bonfire for sticks and fill the compost up with garden debris. This year after a big lightning storm we were left with multiple huge trees down in the yard. After feeling a bit hopeless to tackle so much we went out with a bag of marshmallows as reward and armed the bigger boys with saws. Three hours later our yard was on the way. We still have a weekend of burning, cutting and stacking ahead of us but that first day of work is always the hardest. Getting our vegetable garden ready to plant last year Seeing the kids work so hard, and all that Sheff can accomplish so quickly reminded me to be grateful for all we DO get done and stop worrying about the weeds that always seem to win. We are going to tackle the yard jobs the best we can, buy some extra s'mores fi

Being Fit, ENERGY as a Family Priority

Last night as I was sweating on the treadmill I was thinking about how to raise daughters with a positive sense of self and a healthy desire to be fit. It is not an easy thing to do. I actually see the influence of their brothers being the motivating factor in playing pick up games, races and eating what they want. Growing things, taking care of flowers and gardens are a wonderful way to teach daily health, I am trying to do more every year! I would think everyone at some point is found worrying about food and fitness. The happiest I have ever been in this area is now as a mother. In part the context is so important. My happiness is based less on my self than any other phase of life. Being a good wife, being a good mother and being a good friend are the building blocks of daily life. Finding time to pray, exercise, make good meals and keep a clean home map out my day. A good book, show or conversation are the icing. Looking back at being a girl growing up, I wouldn't go ba

Life's a Beach

There is a country song that has the refrain "Some beach, somewhere..." I am on that beach with the kids this week. I am choosing the literal interpretation, beaches are a highlight of family time. We have been getting out daily to swim, build sandcastles or splash in the wading pool. Look out world James is 12! Last week when the heat hit advisory highs we hunkered down and felt very American in our multi TV air conditioned home. Sheff whipped up 3 levels of wooden storage in the basement so the kids have been helping me sort clothes and holiday decorations so everything can be stacked in the new storage. Love it! Feels like I am shopping at Costco finding the new size Ballet slippers. Finding sea treasures in Maine Doing summer activities with 8 kids is so much fun. Sheff took kids to John's game last night (I was at Church book club, it included wine and was heaven talking about books with smart women). Sheff said  at the ball park they found an empty fiel

17 Kids for a Hike!

All of us other than Mrs. Otis, taking the photo! Yup, we took 17 kids on a 3 mile hike. 1.5 miles each way. It was hot, long and ...we did it! This weekend we went up to our friends the Corniea's cabin near Backus MN. Mickey holding Lucy with Mark on the tree swing at the cabin The trickiest part are the bookends of getting away. The packing, cleaning and subsequent unpacking: whew, it is a workout. But the time hanging out as two families just having fun are truly some of our kids best summer memories. The kids pair up beautifully they have 6 boys and 3 girls, we have 5 boys and 3 girls. Can you tell Otis vs Corniea? Some are tricky from  the back! I attempted to have the kids pack for themselves (Gretchen does this with her brood but admitted it does work better to pack for the youngest 5 ). Mickey packed 2 pairs of sweatpants. Yup, that is it,  no boxers, no shirt, no swimsuit, no toothbrush and mind you it is 90 degrees out this weekend. Thankfully I had pa