Monthly Archives: July 2013

Getting Kids organized for school

blog-calendar1Keeping 7 kids organized is a task in itself. I am often asked how can I manage to get all kids where they need to go. I have a calendar… actually I have MANY calendars. I have an online calendar that my husband can access through google. This allows him to post to the calendar and it emails me when he does. I have a paper calendar that I carry. I seem to like that one better than the online one. And I have a new one just for kids.

This is a removable vinyl whiteboard that is sticky on the back.  This allows me to write a schedule for all of the kiddlings to see. Breckin gets many anxiety issues with not knowing a schedule and routines are very important to Berlyn.  Since they are both reading now (at least Berlyn can read his name), they can both check each day and know exactly what is going on (or at least that something is going on that day) without coming to mom to check. The kids get so excited to see their names on the calendar for an activity. I tend to write them in color code as well (That reminds me to pick up some new white board pens while everything is on sale)

Having many calendars can often times be a problem if they are not “sync-ed”. Every morning before I get kids up and going, I check my emails and check all 3 calendars just to make sure that they all match for that day and the week. Then,  I adjust as needed.

So, no matter how much I don’t want to go someplace, I still can’t use the excuse that I didn’t know about it… it is bound to be on one and then all 3 calendars here at our house. … Getting there on time? That is a totally different matter. 😉

Summertime activities – Positive Behavior System – Quarters

We have had SO many views of our POINTS AWARD SYSTEM (Click here to see information on this) that I wanted to share another system that we have been using this summer in our home.

Quarter Reward System

On the first of the mquartersonth (or what ever day works best for you), each of you children receive ONE roll of quarters in a jar. Mom also needs to have a roll of quarters as well.

Every time a child in our home is disrespectful or mean to another (and mom or dad hears or sees this happening) then that child owes the other a quarter. If they backtalk mom, mom gets a quarter. Mom can hand out quarters to any kid who is going above and beyond – doing a chore without asking, being extra nice, etc.

If a child runs out of quarters in the month, then, they will have to do an extra chore for each time that they act out.

One the first of the next month, the child will get to keep ALL quarters that they have in their jar to save or spend… And mom starts over with a new roll of quarters.

This has worked AWESOME with our new little boys… They do NOT want extra chores and LOVE to help extra around the house to earn quarters.

Summertime Activity – Enjoy to sights and sounds

Grif and one of his good friends, Scott, enjoying Fain Park in Prescott Valley, AX
Grif and one of his good friends, Scott, enjoying Fain Park in Prescott Valley, AZ

Take time to spend a day out enjoying God’s beautiful sights. Everyday, I give my thankfuls for everything that I can. I was taking photos for a wedding and I spotted Grif and his friend Scott  just sitting there, looking out over the lake.

I challenge each of you to take a minute out of your day and sit still. Listen to the sounds around you and just relax.

Happy Gotcha Day, Breckin & Trystan!

It is a hard story to tell, but an important one to say the least. No Child should have to go what my boys did prior to moving in with our family.

One year ago today, Larry and I received a call at about 6pm. It was a CPS rep looking for a placement home for 2 little kids under 6. They had no idea whether they were boys or girls or their exact age. The only information that we received was that they were severely beaten.

Larry and I in a heartbeat took them in. At about 10:30 pm, CPS showed up with 2 little boys ages 6 and 4 who were malnourished and severely beaten.  They were starving, filthy and black and blue all over. They showed up with a pair of sweatpants on and a bag of muddy clothes that were taken off of them at the hospital that didn’t fit anyhow. We bathed them and got them settled down for the night.  They ate by shoving into their mouths, they asked if we were going to put them in cages to sleep. What we did… We hugged them and told them that they were safe. After getting them to sleep, Lar and I went to bed and prayed for these children.

Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid . . .  for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.Deuteronomy 31:6

The other kids in the family stayed up late last night to make Breckin and Trystan this poster!

One year later, our adoption has been finalized for 2 months. They still “shovel” their food, but we are working on “tasting” it. We have good and bad days…. There have been locks put on cabinets and alarms on doors. We have to do a room check for missing kitchen items (and sometimes dad’s tools). We have offered them a Christian home to teach them what they need to know including loving Jesus. We are growing as a family and look forward to the future.

Today is Breckin and Trystan’s Gotcha Day. We are thrilled to have them in our household. We LOVE you boys and can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives being your family. We are offering you love and safety.

Happy Gotcha Day - Here was one of your "firsts" this year!
Happy Gotcha Day – Here was one of your “firsts” this year!

We have had the honor of spending a year of the “firsts” with us…. First lost tooth, first Halloween and Thanksgiving (Yes, turkeys are THAT BIG, Trystan), First Christmas, New Years, Valentines, Easter, 4th of July, Birthdays with parties. First movie and camping trip, First road trip, first bubble bath!

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  1 Corinthians 13:8


Summertime Activity – Repurpose old furniture

Poor Shelby… Her room in our home doesn’t have a closet. I am assuming that it was meant to be an office, but, she decided when we moved into this house 3 years ago that she wanted that room. 

We found the next best thing… a “yard-sale” dresser can EASILY be converted into a wardrobe! And we even painted it to match!



A surreal feeling – Yarnell Fire and a last alarm

The final photo Arizona firefighter Andrew Ashcraft texted to his wife before dying in the Yarnell Hill fire.

Last week, I posted how we were under a possible smoke evacuation for the Doce fire in Prescott, Arizona. It was a crazy situation. The fire was only about 10 miles from our home and smoke was filling the valley.

Then that fire was 100% contained, and the flames were down (except for a small flareup on the side of the mountain last night that we could see from the house again.) The firemen and hotshots got everything under control with no injuries, no structures burned.

Then, we got word that there were several lightning strikes and that there was a small fire in Yarnell, Yes, just a SMALL fire!. I remember reading the paper to my hubby on the way to Prescott on Sunday morning to drop Griffen off to catch his scout camp ride and that the Yarnell fire was at 200 acres. After returning home, I jumped back on the computer and saw that it was at over 1500 acres and that there were firemen trapped. I called my dad. Next thing I knew, there were reported deaths.  My heart dropped. My dad got choked up.

I called my dear friend Stacey. She and I have grown close over the last several years. Her brother was a friend of Larry’s in high school. She and her hubby, John, homeschool as well. She let me know that the Parker family had lost their son. NO! I have known the Parkers for 20 years! Like father, like son, both AMAZING FIREMEN, Both heroes in our community’s eyes!

Jesse Steed, Gone but not forgotten
Jesse Steed, Gone but not forgotten

Then I saw a fellow alumni from CVHS, Cassidy, brother to another firefighter posted a message that Jesse Steed (Federwisch) was gone.  Jesse and I weren’t close in high school as a matter of fact, I was never really accepted into the popular group after moving here in 8th grade. I was an outsider.

But Jesse was always kind to me. He was a joke-ster. He played soccer. He was really good at soccer! We were in the same class at Chino Valley high school, class of 1995. I have been reading facebook posts and blog posts from friends. And the tears continue to stream. He grew to an amazing man (a marine, a husband, a father, brother and a great friend to many).

Yesterday the list came out. I will mourn these great heroes as will hundreds of thousands of others all across our country. So many we knew or were customers in the shop. We have seen them around our community.  How do you mourn for so many? How do you grasp that “MANY” someones are gone doing what they love?  That is exactly how I have to see it. The passed away doing something that they loved. And we will remember these fine men for that. Pray for their families. Or better yet, tell a police man or a fireman THANK YOU! They put their lives on the line everyday to protect us! Godspeed to all of these fine men. Thank you for your service.

Your last alarm sounded.

A picture of Granite Mountain Hotshot Wade Parker sits at a makeshift memorial near the Hotshot crew’s fire station in Prescott. Parker was one of the 19 firefighters who died Sunday.

Ashcraft, Andrew – Age: 29
Caldwell, Robert – Age: 23
Carter, Travis – Age: 31
Deford, Dustin – Age: 24
MacKenzie, Christopher – Age: 30
Marsh, Eric – Age: 43
McKee, Grant – Age: 21
Misner, Sean – Age: 26
Norris, Scott – Age: 28
Parker, Wade – Age: 22
Percin, John – Age: 24
Rose, Anthony – Age: 23
Steed, Jesse – Age: 36
Thurston, Joe – Age: 32
Turbyfill, Travis – Age: 27
Warneke, William – Age: 25
Whitted, Clayton – Age: 28
Woyjeck, Kevin – Age: 21
Zuppiger, Garret – Age: 27

John 15:13 says “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”

Thank you Carrie Z for reminding me of this scripture!