Showing posts from December, 2012

What a year! And photos to treasure....

2012 was an amazing year for our family. It was a year we tried new things, shook up habits and watched Lucy grow from a baby to a miniature person before our eyes. As a parent it is so much fun when someone else adores your child, having all these big kids delight in the baby's antics has been an unexpected highlight. Our five handsome guys She has taken to calling us first and last name, it is "Mama OOTus" at the top of her little lungs with a hand perched on her hip. She is bubbly and feisty and wakes up ready to see people, heaven forbid a quiet day at home. God knew she needed to be the youngest of eight. A rare moment of Daddy relaxing, Lucy sporting a necklace to give away the season The other kids seem to be finding their own grooves, own interests and curiosities. As the kids get bigger and we have more time to hang out and enjoy them as people Sheff and I are floored by how much we are already learning from them. Our three beauty girls The d

Teaching How to Give

This month Sheff and I have talked about how to get our children more aware of giving. The trick is that there are a lot of us and it is simply too much to manage all 10 of us volunteering at the same time. We also know many charities need resources more than anything else.  So what to do?  First off an Otis stand by, divide and conquer. Sheff took two kids along to work for two hours at Feed My Starving Children Annie and Mark told everyone about the boxes they packed and yummy the meal was they were invited to sample. I had Daisy and Mickey help me make cookies to donate to the St Rose bake sale which benefits our school and James, John and Nate pack new pajamas for local homeless shelters in our area. We made sure everyone had a chance to be involved, but not at the same time. Something new we tried this year was to have our kids teach US about organizations. We choose five organizations to donate to in different ways, facebook gifts, donations in a love

We All Fall Down

On those hard days when things seem to be unbeatable it is really handy to have a toddler. Minor car accident (Suburban side swiped by driver trying to turn before oncoming traffic on a green, no fault but high stress and need to fix the car) and school stress (2 out of 8 isn't bad, I know) and poor Lucy is sporting an ouchie eye. In the midst of a stressful moment Lucy grabbed our hands and pulled me and Daisy to the Christmas tree, running off to gather all the family members she could find into a circle. She pushed and pulled on back pockets and shirt hems until she had us where she wanted. Then she started singing a song. It took a moment but Mark guessed it! Ring Around the Rosie. She squealed with glee when all her hulking brothers and even Daddy fell when we got to .."we all fall down!" Long days, phone calls, paper work, decision, wishing there was a manual for parenthood is all paled by a toddlers game. We have changed our remodel plans to a build to be mor

Filling in for Mom, 3 Things I Care About

One of the boys decided to post a paper he wrote on three things he cares about. He has more heart than sass and is such a help when things get busy. His biggest mistake this week was trying to zip-tie the handle of the snowblower so he could get it started more easily. This was actually a pain for Dad trying to undo it later but heart in the right place and all that;) THINGS I CARE ABOUT by JSO Jr I am going to tell you three things that I care about. I care about sports, houses, and my family. Those are the three subjects I am going to write about. Each one effects me each day. The first thing I am going to talk about is sports. I think sports are one of the best things ever because they keep me in shape and give me something to do with my energy. Sports also keep you healthy and keep you from getting the flu. My favorite sport to play  is basketball. It is all right to steal something, the ball! I also play football and baseball but basketball is hands down the best.

Envy , giving and missing St Nick

One of the kids has been coming home with reports of a classmates Elf who leaves daily chocolate treats, like chocolate treats the size of the largest chocolate treat our kids receive from the Easter bunny. The green monster of envy has entered our advent. To add insult to injury I always mix up St Nicholas day and do the treat in the evening of the day, i.e. tonight rather than last night. In part I forget and in part when I was a preschool teacher we would celebrate the day OF St Nicholas day and I have not adjusted. To that I can hear James' voice in my head well, ya you have only had 13 years to adjust Mom. It is in every kid's nature to look through Christmas catalogs and circle their wish list. It is fun to watch commercials and see the latest invention in the world of toys. I totally get this and remember how fun the huge Sears catalog was to look through. That said it is stressful for mom. Sheff is more pragmatic. He is constantly reminding everyone to think abo