Friday, September 12, 2014

Summer & Consequences

Our summer was very full and by its very nature, very fun.  Of course we read... a lot. 
We spent two hellish weeks in Florida while John taught a class.  All five of us in a hotel room.  Well, the four of us while John worked long hours.  We managed 3 trips to the beach (an hour away); two of those trips were by myself (what was I thinking?!)  I was glad to get home.
Caroline went on her first date with Dad.  Quite possibly it could be the best thing that has ever happened to her.  She talks about it all the time.  The dress was my sister's.
These cherubs? They look so angelic, don't they?  This picture was taken while we were in Florida.  I think that is when the sibling rivalry and bickering just about drove me to...well, let's not go there.
My husband and I came up with a list of consequences.  I've stored them in the "notes" of my phone for easy access ...because I can easily get sucked into the emotional vortex of the fighting and my brain stops.

Sometimes they simply need space from one another.  Sometimes they need something productive for their little hands and feet.  And so,

My quick access list of consequences for the oldest two kids:

Money (JI has been mowing lawns this summer.  I will pick up his stuff and charge him $1)
Clean windows (The Raineys at FamilyLife recommend that bickering siblings clean different sides of the same window.)
Mop floor in kitchen and/or dining room
Scrub toilets

**FlyLady says, "Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family."**
Take out trash/compost/recycyling
Eat sauerkraut (JI hates it but CJ loves it)
Run around the block, CJ run in backyard
Pick up sticks in the backyard
Gather dirty laundry from upstairs
Write a letter to someone
Sweep out garage and/or driveway
  optional:: leg tied to sibling
Stack firewood
Help prepare dinner, set table, chop veggies, stir
Wipe down kitchen cabinets
Lose privilege, ex: friends coming over
No dessert or sweets

Banish to their rooms
Look at one another and say, "I love you and want to be your friend for life."
One more thing, I'm on Instagram now as @mommamajors. I'd love to follow you if I'm not already.

What consequences work with your tribe?
I'd love more ideas.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Urban Rednecks

I spied some firewood.
 And convinced my husband to grab it.
 'Cuz nuthin' says L-O-V-E to me
like F-R-E-E!

This piece had a woodpecker hole.

Inside it had pecked another hole.
 Luv my hub.  He's so good to me.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Caroline is FOUR!

Caroline turned four.  How can this be?  Her actual birthday was almost two weeks ago.  She was in Kentucky (being spoiled by BOTH sets of grandparents!)  It rained most of last week (I wanted an OUTDOOR party.)
So Sunday after lunch I said to Hubby, "How about a party tonight for Caroline?"  He agreed and I texted all our people.  Crazy enough, people actually came on short notice.  She felt loved.  All the children were standing in front of her, or behind the camera.
The weather was cool enough that we were able to have a bonfire and roast marshmallows for s'mores {insert pictures}.

Oh how you are loved!  You bring so much joy to our days.  We are thankful for your sweet disposition, your attention to detail, your love for all things pretty, and most of all - your heart for God.  ~ Momma

Some Caroline sayings:

:: I don't want strawberries, I'll take just cream.

:: She begins most questions with do or doo's, I suppose it is a form of does.  For example, "Do it gonna rain today?"  More seriously: "Doo's God the father sad when his son died?"

:: Caroline: What are you doing?
me: praying for Daddy to be like Jesus...don't you think he's already like Jesus?
Caroline: yeah, except he doesn't wear much white clothes
**ironically he changes into a black t-shirt after work most days.

And while I'm ratting out my kids, this one is about my oldest:

John Isaac often takes his Action Bible to church and reads it during the sermon. Last Sunday John was preaching.

At one point JI looks over at me with bright orange earplugs in his hand and asks, "Can I put these in my ears? It is hard for me to read while dad is preaching."


I found four caterpillars on my parsley. 
  Two found new families, one died.
 This one remains.
 Last night it morphed into its chrysalis.  So cool.
 Here's a time lapsed video (different species) if you've never seen the transformation.  Truly amazing.
And now we wait for the swallowtail butterfly to emerge.

Related: This podcast from Radiolab.  I listened to it just days before finding the caterpillars.  I heart Radiolab.  Anyone else listen?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Outfits

I tried to add these pictures to the previous post, but for whatever reason, Blogger didn't think I should.

Anyway - here were our costumes outfits for Easter morning (all compliments of my mom).  Caroline's dress was from my sister's daughters (both wore it).  Schaeffer is 15 months and still not walking (totally fine by me) but I love smocking and Peter Pan collars.  I know he will probably hate seeing himself in these outfits.  I suppose he can pay me back when he chooses my funeral clothes.  Wouldn't that be funny - an old lady wearing smocking and Peter Pan collars...
And I was so excited about my dress.  I scored it from Ann Taylor for $5.88 - regularly priced $149.  Who pays retail?!
Hubby wasn't in the photo shoot because he was still getting ready.  He had a slow start because he was a saint last night with Mr. Schaeffer, who decided to celebrate Resurrection Day a bit early and cried until 2am.  We have no idea what was wrong.

He is Risen!

Easter Weekend

Seems fitting the last post was Valentines Weekend...and now Easter Weekend.  Maybe this will turn into a "holiday" blog.  :)

Hubby had Good Friday off, so we packed up the fam and headed about an hour north to Petit Jean State Park to hike.  Gorgeous weather.
It's a short hike.  The bummer is the trail is straight down at the beginning, which means straight up at the very end when everyone is hot and tired.  Nonetheless we enjoyed a nice picnic lunch at the falls.
 Caroline was a trooper until after lunch.  Then she demanded to be carried the entire hike back.  Hubby carried her and I carried Tubby, Schaeffer.
 The view from the lodge and top of the hike.
Saturday morning we dyed eggs.  Raw...and used them for the egg toss later in the day.
We hosted a neighborhood egg hunt in our park and used the Resurrection Eggs to explain the real meaning of Easter.
 I *think* I counted 20 kids pre-hunt but I felt a little crazy as cruise director.  :)  Something I did differently this year: I explained the story, opening all the Resurrection Eggs before the hunt.  Then, I told the kids, "If you find one of these numbered eggs, bring it to me.  I will give you $1 if you can tell me the significance of the object."  Of course I gave them the dollar when they brought their egg, regardless if they were able to re-tell the story.  By telling the story before the hunt I think this helped keep the attention of the children.  For future egg hunts I will do that again.  Because after the hunt, no one wants to listen...they just want to eat candy.  Who can blame them?
I asked everyone to bring 12 eggs filled with candy.  The friends I knew who were bringing kids, I asked to bring extra eggs in the event kids came without eggs.  Turns out each kid found about 20 eggs each!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentines Weekend

Friday morning, HB and I tackled a mini-batch-cooking project.
 Friday afternoon, I took the kids to The Wonder Place, it's like a children's museum near our house.

 HB made this outfit (pants and shirt) for her girls and passed it on to us.
John Isaac spent the last 15 minutes of our time at the Wonder Place cleaning up ...of his own volition!  A worker saw him and rewarded his efforts with this token.  I was really proud of him.
Saturday, while Schaeffer slept and Hubby put the finishing touches on his sermon, the big kids and I went for ice cream at the Green Corner Store.  I love that place. 
My parents sent cash earlier in the week to treat the kids, so we continued the splurge by watching the Lego Movie.  (I thought it was terribly boring but the kids enjoyed it.)

Today is Sunday.  Hubby preached a sermon on remembering from Psalm 78.  (Once posted, you should be able to listen to it here.) An older couple from the church joined us for lunch.  The weather was nice so John Isaac was biting the bullet to be in the creek with his buddies.  The rest of us had naps.

After waking, I did my menu planning and headed to the grocery and came home with some blood oranges.  I peeled several and offered some to Caroline.  I thought she would love them because she loves oranges and because they are red inside.  She was appalled by the name.  It was as if I were offering her severed fingers.  Never did it cross my mind that it would gross her out.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

SNOW! Glorious Snow

It's been a cold winter all across the US.  Little Rock has had more than its fair share of snow this year (I think 3 times!)  We don't complain about's the ice that breaks power lines.
Because of ice earlier in the week, we had an overnight guest (who needed to be at the airport early the next morning.)  Mr. Sommer slept in John Isaac's bed and we had JI sleep in the master closet so we wouldn't have to root Schaeffer from his room.  Anyway, JI made a GIGANTIC pallet in the closet and loved it so much begged to recreate said pallet in his floor.  He's been sleeping in a tent this week.
 Major Grandparents mailed enemy gear a nice hoodie.
Friday night, Hubby and I were on a hottttt date when it started snowing.  We left The Fold (yum) to chat in a coffee shop but decided -en route- to go straight home.  The roads went from passable to very slick in ten minutes; we almost had to walk home.

Saturday morning, our eldest woke us up EARLY.  He was dressed and ready to play in the white stuff.  Below he was trying to make a snowman but it was still too cold to stick together.
Sister was "so 'cited!"

 My man should get a snowman making award.  He made two frozen people on Saturday.
The second one was decidedly larger than the first.  Actually he only helped with placement on the second man.  The middle ball was too heavy for JI and company to lift.  
 I think these boys could have stayed in the snow all. day. long.
 Sister just wanted to eat the marshmallows out of the hot chocolate.  :)
 Later in the day, I took my shift as "snow-playing-parent."  I rallied the neighborhood troops (via texting moms) and organized THE ULTIMATE NEIGHBORHOOD SNOWBALL FIGHT.  That's me in the Stormtrooper helmet.
These were the first to arrive.
 This was "Team McCarley."
This team called themselves "Ice Screamers." One boy brought a Rubbermaid tub full of pre-made snowballs.  Awesome.
 I think I counted 13 boys and 2 girls.  Lots of testosterone.
 Beyond a free-for-all snowball fight, we played capture the flag and a distance and accuracy game.
Good times.  And more snow is predicted for tomorrow.  Yay!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Weekend Happenings {Super Bowl}

We switched Schaeffer to forward facing (even though I know the recommendation is rear-facing until 2 years old.)  The seat we have borrowed from friends is a tank.  I can't remember the brand but it is heftier than Britax.  It's crazy sturdy.  It reclines ever so slightly so he looked really uncomfortable riding backwards.  Despite the picture below he was really happy about being turned around.  Big Brother put the glasses on him and he looked really cool until I pulled out the phone for a picture.  Then he decided he wanted them off. 
I've started The Count of Monte Cristo.
 The "Sweet Potato Lady" stopped by with a delivery this weekend.  John Isaac and pals had the best time playing with these 40 pound boxes.  They played for HOURS with them.  Who needs gaming systems when you have sweet potatoes?
 I had helpers making the Super Bowl treats.  It's a pepperoni football with mozzarella laces.
 He made a fruit stadium with kale for grass and an orange seed for the football.
We watched the game at our neighbor's.  Schaeffer sat for about 15 seconds in this chair.
Ready for another week?


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