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Raising Four

One moms journey on raising her children

Updated: 2014-10-02T22:09:58.032-07:00


Last Day of School!


I have not been blogging much lately, as I've been feeling kind of blah. Today is the boys last day of school, already! Normally, each year I am really looking forward to summer and having the kids home with me all day... this year, notsomuch! I don't want to deal with all the fighting, whinning, arguing, and crying. They don't want to play outside that much, so I almost have to force them to. I am hoping to turn things around though. My mission for the next couple of days is to come up with a bunch of cheap/free stuff that we can do this summer, to keep us busy! Then come June 1st I'm going to get all the things we need to have a fun summer! Wish me luck!

Growing Up


I got asked today if I was a little bit sad that Katy is growing up so quickly, and I am... just a little because she's my last. I LOVE babies and I love the newborn stage! I think I was a lot more sad when my oldest was little and I saw him growing up soo fast. Now, I'm at the point where I actually look forward to each new stage with the kids, and I am mostly happy that they are growing up.

This weekend my oldest made brownies all by himself! I was so proud, and so was he. He was able to read the directions on the package, mix them up, and put them into the oven and turn it on all on his own. Then I was sitting on the couch and Ryan came and sat by me and read a magazine article to me! I was shocked! I did have to help him with a few big words, but other that that he was able to figure out the rest of the words on his own. I just can't believe how well he is reading considering he just turned six and is only in Kindergarten. Andrew continues to amaze me every day with how well he is speaking, and the things that he knows. He is growing up too! Unfortunately, he has no desire to go potty in the toilet like a big boy. I asked him last night where his potty should go and he told me "in my diaper". LOL. Ah well, you can't have everything I guess. :)

I'm an Aunt!


For the first time! My nephew Weston Myles was born last night!



We were given free tickets to the Circus that was in town, so yesterday we loaded up the whole family and went to see the Circus! We had never been to the Circus before, so I wasn't quite sure what we were in for - but over all we all enjoyed it, even the baby! She was very interested in the gymnast women who performed up near the ceiling on ropes and fabric. She also liked it when they turned down off the lights and you could see all of the kids' light up toys that they bought. Our boys were a little upset that they didn't get to buy any of those toys! We rarely carry cash, but we had a few dollars that we used to buy pop and popcorn. They also wanted to ride the elephants during intermission, but we didn't have enough cash to buy the special tickets for it and you couldn't pay for anything there with a credit card.

I really liked the elephant tricks, and the kids liked the clowns. There was one who had these stuffed animals that he was 'winding up' but it wouldn't work until he got to the elephant. So he gets the elephant to follow him around, but it keeps falling down at a certain point and he picks it up ... well it turns out that the stuffed elephant robot toy - is a little DOG in a costume! I was shocked! LOL. Anyway, it was fun and something new and different for us to do. They kids enjoyed it, but unfortunately my husband did not bring the camera so we didn't get any pictures!

6 years/4 months/Easter


We had a very busy Easter weekend. Ryan turned 6 years old on Friday! I can't believe how big he has gotten! He has changed and grown so much over the past year. He is doing wonderfully in school! He really likes going to school, playing with other kids, doing puzzles, reading, math, running, playing, etc. He's doing great!

We traveled to the Twin Cities over the weekend to visit family for the Easter holiday. It was really nice to see everyone again. My grandparents are back from down south, and we got another 4 generation picture with my grandma, my mom, me and little Katy. I will have to try and get some pictures on here. The boys had lots of fun doing an Egg Hunt and playing with my cousin's kids. They also got to spend time playing games and doing puzzles with their grandparents. We went to the Mall of America with my in-laws and ate at the Bubba Gump Shrimp resturant which was fun, and then the boys got to ride in the Nascar race cars with Daddy and thier Uncle.

Katy turned 4 months on Saturday, but we've been so busy that I didn't get her in for her check-up until today. She is 24 in. long and weighs 14lbs.4oz. She's growing and getting stronger every day. She really loves being held and talked to, but she is also enjoying playing with toys these days. I set up the Exersaucer for her and she likes that for a bit too. She wants to sit up and play and be a part of everything. She's a very happy baby, and she traveled really well!



We had some spring/Easter pics taken of all 4 kids over the weekend. I love them!




Well, spring is officially here... and we spent yesterday afternoon at the park enjoying the nice weather! It was so nice to get outside again, and the boys are loving it. I am looking forward to summer too.

You may have noticed I haven't been very active on here lately, just been busy with regular every day stuff. We did have one interesting incident though. Our van was stolen. Now we live in a smallish rural community, that has a very low crime rate. I never thought we would have anything like that happen. We all got up one morning and my husband was leaving for work, and our van was just gone. We called the police and they came and took a report. I sent an email out to everyone I know who lives in my area. My van had been in the garage, but our garage door is sort of broken and we had always (for the past six years since we moved here) kept our keys a compartment inside the vehicle. Not doing that anymore! Now we're making sure to lock everything up tight and bring the keys in the house. Luckily, the police found our van later on that day! It was parked in a near-by trailer court and my husband was able to go and get it. Everything was still there! So its almost like it never happened, but yet it did.

What I found this morning...


A sock filled with popcorn. Not kidding. That is all.



We had Katy's baptism over the weekend, and it was quite eventful! She screamed the entire time! Ah, such is life... lol! She just was not feeling good at all that day. We had all of our families and a couple of friends over to the house afterwards for food and cake. It was a nice time, and we are glad that mostly everyone got to come. Katy wore the dress that I wore when I was baptised, and my mom also wore it as well. She looked beautiful even when she was crying! :) The boys all got new dress clothes and they looked very handsome as well! They had a lot of fun w/ all of their grandparents!



Well, Lucas got glasses a couple of weeks ago! At first, I thought it made him look a lot different and so much older... but now its as if he's always had them. It's like, that is what he is supposed to look like! He is doing very well with them. He doesn't need to wear them all the time yet, just for seeing things far away like the board at school and while watching TV. He wears them most of the time though, just not when he's outside or roughhousing. He picked them out himself, and I think he looks very handsome in them!



Over the weekend we had heart shaped pancakes, heart shaped muffins, and heart shaped brownies! Yum! Too bad I didn't get any pictures of our heart shaped food though. On V-day I used turkey bacon to make the letter "I" then I used a heart shaped pancake, and a pancake in the shape of the letter "U" to make up every one's plate for breakfast. I gave the kids each a new book and some chapstick. DH and I didn't exchange any gifts, we usually don't give each other presents for any holidays.
The boys wore their new I "heart" gaming t-shirts to school on Friday for their Valentine's parties. Then they came home and dumped all their candy out. Baby Katy wore a bunch of little Valentine-y outfits all weekend too. We had a nice relaxing weekend at home. We did go out to eat as a family on Sunday evening. The kids had yesterday off school for President's Day, and today they had a late start so my whole week is kind of off.



Today Katy had her 2 month check-up, and Andrew had his 2yr. check up (late). Katy is 11lbs. and 22in. long! I was concerned about her breathing because she has a cold, but the Dr. said her lungs sound great! Andrew weighs 29lbs. and is 36in. tall! He is doing great! They both had to get shots today, which is always so sad to watch but they are both fine now.
This afternoon I am taking my oldest to the Eye Dr. for the first time, as he has been having some trouble seeing in school. He always passes the screening that they give him, so we'll see what they say this afternoon. We figure that at least 2 of the 4 kids will need glasses considering both Erick and I wear them!

It's my Birthday!


Today, I turn 30! I haven't thought tto much about it, been busy! We went out to eat and now I'm going to watch the season premire of LOST! Yay!

Meal Plan for week of 2/1


I am late getting this up, and apparently I never posted a meal plan for last week... Only a month into the New Year, and I'm slacking already! Not good.

Beef Stroganoff
BBQ Chicken, w/ mac and cheese and carrots
Scalloped potatoes and ham
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Sloppy joes
Burritos and spanish rice
Pizza night

Home behavior vs. School behavoir


I've been wanting to write this post for the past few days, but due to sick kids and a busy week I haven't had time. My kids got their report cards last week... one was very good, and the other could have been better.

My husband was quite surprised by the comment that Ryan's kindergarten teacher wrote. "Ryan is a joy!" He thought she hadn't met Ryan and was talking about some other kid. LOL. It's funny because I remember going to Lucas first confrence in Kindergarten wondering if the teacher had confused him for someone else. She told me how quiet and shy Lucas was, and I was just thinking in my head 'are you sure you're talking about MY child?'. Lucas is the kid who started talking in sentances when he was 12mos. old and hasn't stopped talking ever since!

My boys are both very well behaved at school, which is great, but I wish they were so well behaved at home too. I remember my mom telling me when I was younger that if your kids are well behaved at school, you're doing something right. It's true that often our kids are better for others than they are for us. It means that they trust us, and can be their worst for us and know that we will still love them. So... I must be doing something right.

Mommy Confessions


I read a post on another blog - and I could relate to a lot of what she posted! She started a confessions post that she got from another blog too. Years ago I started a blog called Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom but unfortunatley I didn't keep it up. Here is a link to it -

Soo... my mommy confessions for today:
- I hate, hate, hate cleaning, and my house gets messy super fast. Sometimes I let it go all week and then just do a big cleaning on the weekends.
- My older kids still use sippy cups just so they won't spill on the furniture and carpets. (Yes, they eat in the living room!)
- My kids watch too much tv and play too many video games. They also eat too much junk food.
- I hate the cold and my husband hates the outdoors so we bascially 'hybernate' all winter long. We force ourselves to take them out once or twice to go sledding or something but that's about it. I do enjoy taking them out when the weather is nice though.
- Since I found out I was pregnant I have lived in pj pants and I'm just now finally getting back into wearing my jeans.
- On weekends, my oldest will wear his same clothes from friday all the way until sunday night when he takes a shower. Bad I know!

That's it for now! Feel free to share your confessions too!

Meal Plan for week of 1/17


Got my meal plan for next week done!

Mexican Pasta Skillet
S & S meatballs - we didn't end up having these this week (we had Arby's instead), so I'll make them next week!
Creamy Chicken Pasta bake
Baked Potato Soup
Cheesy Beef and Macaroni
Parmesan Chicken

6 Weeks



Wow! It's hard to believe that Katy is six weeks old today. My baby girl is growing so fast already. She now weighs over 9lbs. and has grown 2in. since she was born. She's now fitting quite nicely into 0-3 clothes and size 1 diapers. She just started smiling at me this week too! I love those baby smiles! She hasn't been feeling well, and she still has a fussy period in the evenings but hopefully those things will be getting better soon. Some people think she looks like me and others say she looks just like my boys (who look a lot like my husband). I just think she's pretty cute! ;)

What's for lunch?


I always seem to get in a terrible 'lunch rut' with the kids, so I could always use some ideas for cheap, easy, relatively healthy, kid-friendly lunches! Typically, we have grilled cheese sandwiches, soup, cheese pizza or mini-pizzas on english muffins, cheese quesadillas, or macaroni and cheese... that's a lot of cheese! LOL. Occasionally we have chicken nuggets, fish sticks, corn dogs, or hotdogs. They sometimes will eat a meat sandwich or a pb sandwich, but they don't like mayo, tuna, hard boiled eggs, or jelly. I give them cut up apples, grapes, or applesauce w/ lunch. Sometimes we have peas, carrots, or corn for veggies if it goes with what else we are having.

Last week we were running low on groceries and I came up with a neat easy lunch idea - a "dipping" lunch. They had cheese quesadillas with salsa to dip, cut-up apples with peanut butter to dip, and baby carrots with ranch to dip. Anyone have any other fun lunch ideas?

Meal Plan for week of 1/10


Here is next week's meal plan to get me started on my New Year's Resolutions!

Homemade Chicken pot pie
Lasagna w/ salad
Sweet & Sour meatballs in the crockpot, w/ rice and stirfry veggies
Easy Southwestern Soup w/ dinner rolls
Farmhouse chicken dinner w/ rice and carrots
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas
Pizza (either frozen or delivery)

So that's my plan for next week's dinners/suppers, whatever you want to call them. I never plan certain meals for certain days because I decide what to make based on what I'm in the mood for that day, considering I'm the one who has to cook it! :)

New Years Resolutions


I've sat down to make this post about 3 times now, but every time I try the baby wakes up! :) So, last year I made a list of about 10 goals for the year and I've done okay on about half of them and the other half... not so much! So this year I'm just going to start with a few goals and really work on them until they become habits! So, my New Years Resolutions are:

1. Clean House. I often get behind w/ the house cleaning and things can get very messy very quickly! So, my goal is to do 2 loads of dishes, and 2 loads of laundry every day - one in the morning, and one in the afternoon/evening. To be sure and get the laundry folded and put away each time! I don't mind laundry, but I never like folding it all and putting it away and we end up living out of laundry baskets, so I need to work on doing it right away! The kids and I are also going to do a "10 minute tidy' each day when they get home from school and the whole family each night before bed! I'm going to start following this plan: for home organization and cleaning today! I have tried flylady twice in the past and failed, but I think this plan is much more 'doable' for me.

2. Meal Planning. This I tend to go in spurts with... I'll do really good for a while and then I slack on it. I think that by keeping up w/ the menu planning I can be sure and get all the groceries that we need when we are at the store, and avoid multiple trips. Tied into this is eating out less and eating better... it's way to easy to have my husband pick up something on his way home from work when I don't feel like making anything. Plus, we could all stand to eat better all the time! So, hopefully this will save us a little money and get us to eat healthier too!

3. Figure out bedtime routine. This is something that I need to get figured out still... I haven't been able to read the kids bedtime stories much since the baby was born. Also, we do baths/showers every other night which has always worked just fine but then sometimes on the non-bath nights I forget to remind the kids to brush their teeth! So I want to make sure they are doing that every night, and find a way to read books again w/ out the baby crying. Our bedtime has just been soo rushed and stressed and I want that to change.

4. Friday Night Family Nights. This was something we started a few years ago, and actually we do pretty good w/ it but I wanted to list it here as a goal so that I can make sure we keep up with it. I know soon enough the big kids won't want to spend much time w/ us as a family, and certainly not on Friday nights! LOL. But what we do is on Wed. evening at supper we plan out what we will do for family night on Friday. We all get to make suggestions for what we will eat that night and what we will do. We usually will do something like play board games, rent movies, play cards, or go bowling. We will order pizza or I make tacos or something that everyone likes. It's fun once we are all participating, but its just the getting everyone to want to participate that doesn't always happen. The kids love it though!

Okay, so I'm starting my resolutions a few days into the new year but today is the kids first day back at school and so I'm hoping that will help me to get into more of a routine. Wish me luck!

Everything falls apart...


Or when it rains, it pours. Things were going so well since the baby came home. Then we got about 14in. of snow in a short time causing my husband to have to work long, long hours and the kids got bored of their new Christmas gifts already, the baby got fussy, Andrew got hurt again and again, and now all six of us are sick! Not fun, and because Erick has been working a lot I have been having to deal w/ most of this on my own.

We all have bad colds which is par for the course in winter, but w/ a newborn I just hope that it doesn't become something worse for her. She has been gassy and refluxy about 2 or 3 nights a week I guess. It's not horrible, but it makes it hard to get anything done in the evenings. Bedtime is the worst. She's crying, I'm screaming, and the kids are running around! I need to come up w/ some way of getting 4 kids ready and into bed that works. Poor Andrew burned his finger on the stove one day, and banged his head really hard from falling off the table the next day. All while he is not feeling well either. :( The boys have been fighting pretty badly the past couple of days because the "newness" of their Christmas gifts has already worn off. Geez! Well, here's hoping things start to get easier for us in the New Year!

Merry Christmas!


We had a very nice Christmas, despite having blizzard-like weather outside. The kids and I have been shut-up in the house since Tuesday afternoon, so I've been trying to keep them busy with crafts, games, toys, and movies. We also baked Christmas cookies! Unfortunatly, Erick has had to plow a bunch but luckily he did get to spend a bunch of time w/ us today! I made a french toast casserole for breakfast and he made us a turkey for supper, and we just snacked the rest of the day.

The kids had a lot of fun playing with their new toys all day too! The big boys got dual action lightsabers, remote control cars, StarWars bedsheets and comforters, a 100 piece floor puzzle, a board game, a computer game, and a movie. Andrew got these magnetic building pieces that are safe for toddlers (Magnetos), Clippos building blocks, a toy car, some new bath toys, and a whole bunch of wooden puzzles. The baby got a play mat, a baby toy, a rattle, a new onsie shirt, and a comb and brush set. All in all in was a very fun day! I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!



We took the kids to see Santa on Sunday afternoon at the mall. There was a really long line, probably since it was the last day Santa would be there. We walked around a little and looked at books and things and then the kids all got to sit w/ Santa and have their picture taken. They all told Santa they wanted remote control cars for Christmas this year.
Then we came home and I got some cute pictures of Katy in her Christmas dress, so that I could make up birth announcements to send out. Then I put the younger two down for a nap and Daddy took the two big boys to see a movie! We don't often go to see movies in the theater so I think it was a nice treat for them. They saw the Avatar movie. I don't really know much about it but they seemed to like it. They were gone for a really long time (its a long movie) but they did great, and they brought home supper when they came back! It was a nice day for everyone!

2 Week Check-ups


Today Katy and I both had our 2 week check-ups! :) She now weighs 7lbs.5oz. and is 21in. long, so she's grown! She looks good and is a healthy baby! My c-section scar is looking good and I'm feeling pretty good too. Yesterday was the first time we really 'went out' since she's been born and it wore me out a little, but other than being tired I'm doing good. Kathryn sleeps really quite well at night, but she's been stuffed up so I'm not sleeping as well as she is because I'm constantly checking to make sure she's okay and sucking out her nose as needed.

We went to MOPS yesterday for our Christmas party and I put her in a little Christmas outfit, with a white hair bow, and little socks that look like black Maryjanes shoes. They are too cute! Then we had to run Ryan to school, and later pick the boys up. We got some packages in the mail so the boys opened up some of their gifts early and totally trashed the living room in the process. I haven't yet had the energy to clean it up!