Monday, February 28, 2011

Moaning Monday

I'll make it short, because I really don't like complaining!  My house is a mess.  Scott is allergic to something, so in horrible pain and missing school today.  Emma's in the loud questioning stage.  And Cecilia just pooped.  The End

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Best mom ever!

You have to love Saturdays, since it's when all of the cool stuff happens!  Sadly, Ben's school trip to the circus was cancelled.  But, it meant I got to sleep in, for real!  It's been so long!  I got laundry done and went to the grocery store to get all I needed to make Taco Soup.  I love Taco Soup!  Quick recipe:  2 lbs ground beef or turkey, 2 packages of taco seasoning (I use Cheesy Taco Seasoning to cheese it up), 2 small cans of tomato sauce, 2 cans of black olives (drained), 2 cans of corn (drained), 2 each of black beans, pinto beans (mostly drained), and kidney beans (mostly drained).  Cook the meat and add the seasoning to follow the seasoning directions.  Then add the rest of the ingredients (making sure to drain all but the black beans) and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Tada!  Eat with tortilla chips and cheese or sour cream (optional).  Either way it's delicious and fast!  Thanks to Jenny Westhoff for clueing me onto the recipe! 
So, I made the taco soup and we went to the church for the Pinewood Derby.  We worked really hard on Ben's Cheetah Mobile (after we added weights it was called "the Pregnant Cheetah").  It looked really cool, but went super slow.  Ben was really disappointed, but happy to race it some more for fun, after the real racing was done!  Then we got to eat and Ben got his Bobcat!  Now I officially have only wolves in my Wolf Den!  Woohoo!

                                                His medal for most artistic car.
                                           Holding his Bobcat.  I'll have to remember to sew it on!
                                         The whole Cub Scout group!

We went home for a little while and then I took my three oldest to the movie theater for a fundraiser.  It was to raise money and food for "Food for Students."  It's a program that provides food for needy students' families on the weekend.  How cool is that?  We paid $10 and 2 cans of peanut butter to watch "Despicable Me."  The kids used their smiling money from Mamaw to get a treat.  I paid for everything else.  Luckily this was a very reasonable priced theater!  As soon as we got to our seats Emma dumped her popcorn.  Then after the potty break, she poured the rest of her drink out.  So, she won't be coming next time!  The kids did really well, until the last 20 minutes when Ben started freaking out, because it was too scary!  Poor kiddo sat right next to me to help him out.  At the end, Emma hugged me and told me, "You're the best mom ever!"  I'm still not taking her next time.  It's "Wizard of Oz!"
                                         At the movie theater
                                       In the girls' bathroom!  There was a chaise lounge too!
I love this baby and was super glad to get back to her after the movie!  She was happy to see me too!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


My husband thinks umbrellas are useless.  So he doesn't like the fact that I bought the bigger kids their own umbrella a while back.  As it was raining today, I was so excited that my kids have their own umbrellas, so I could use mine!  Too bad that Kira's was in the backyard and I was already running late to class.  And Ben couldn't buckle his seatbelt, because it somehow got put on the backside of the seat.  Ben couldn't share his umbrella, because:  "It's too small, mom!"  Bummer!  So, I had to give up my umbrella for Kira.  I don't want her getting wet and sick and it was bad enough that I was dropping them off on the corner!  I get to school and there are no parking spots anywhere close to my class (that was now starting).  I can usually find a spot (that I still have to pay for) across campus, so I parked there.  Then I needed to run across campus in my hoodless coat and heavy backpack in the cold rain.  It would have been more fun if I wasn't running so late!  I really do like running in warm rain when I'm in shape!  Funnily enough,  that shape isn't round (which is what I am right now).  The good news is that by the time I am in shape, we'll be having warm rain!  Then I'll be fine running in the rain.  In the meantime, I'll be buying more spare umbrellas to be prepared! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm not sure what's going on...

But I love it!  Cecilia took a long nap today and I got so much done!  My living room, kitchen and main floor bathroom look livable again!  Woohoo!  My brain is still sleep-deprived and not functioning fantastic, but I can still clean!  Phew!  I started a book I will be reviewing in a few weeks and I'm really enjoying it!  I love the fact that I'm getting to review books that I didn't have to buy.  Hurray!  Buying books is very expensive, but worth it!  What a great stress relief!  Since I'm starting to review books, I have to join all of these different websites and one of them is forcing me to get on twitter, so I did.  Now to figure out how it works!  That will be another day, because I am ready for bed and Cecilia is waking up!  The kids did well today!  Emma was cracking me up during Family Home Evening when we were talking about being quiet (Emma is SO loud!) and Emma states matter-of-factly, "I am only quiet when I sleep!"  Oh-kay...  Then "I didn't snore last night, but daddy, you snored."  She has a tough time being quiet, as do my other kids.  We were playing the quiet game and Ben and Kira had to fake sleep in order to be quiet and at one point Ben picked his tired head up and said "It's hard to be quiet!"  Yes it is Ben, yes it is!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

That Leah!

Leah had a great day, which didn't make things work very well for me.  She's lucky enough to have siblings that are perfectly willing to leave things out for her to destroy! It all started after church (thankfully) when she found an almost full can of peanut butter that was open and low enough for her!  I looked at her and I was not happy camper!  I was trying to eat lunch and there she was covered in peanut butter.  I documented it though:
After she got cleaned up (Scott and I both worked on her), she did well for a little while, until she got ahold of the box of Whales crackers.  Everyone was pouring out a few in their hands.  Not Leah, she poured the whole box on the floor!  Luckily it wasn't even a half-full box!  Then she had a blowout in her diaper that I had to clean:  her and the computer chair.  Someone gave her pudding, so she was covered in that soon after.  My house is a mess and, of course, my husband invited a friend in.  My youngest three were only in diapers from my not having a chance to get them in new pjs.  Oh well!  Then she decided she didn't want to go to bed, so I let her cuddle with her daddy.  That didn't work!  So, she stayed up awhile after her bedtime.  Gggrrr....  She's alseep now though!  Phew!  Now to my crying baby, but here's a cute picture of her in her obvious pjs.  Why put "baby" on pjs?  Can someone not tell?

About Me...

I am lucky enough to have been chosen as a reviewer for a website, see box on the right side, so I need to write some info about me.  So, here goes:

My name is Tamera, and I live in a pretty small town in Kansas where my husband and I are both going to school.  I am working on my Elementary Education degree, in order to be a teacher for a few years and work my way up to a Masters in School Psychology.  My husband and I have been married for nine years, as of last December.  We have five children!

Ben is eight and a half and is my avid reader (he's read the Percy Jackson books) and researcher.  He LOVES animals and if he hears about a new animal (or makes one up on his own) he HAS to look it up and research it!  He is a Cub Scout (and I'm the Wolf Den "mom").  He is a very special kiddo in that he has Autism and ADHD, so he teaches us a lot everyday! 

Kira will be turning seven in April and is our musical/artistic/dramatic daughter!  She likes to make up songs and plays, dance around and get all the attention she can!  She loves to learn and tell others what she knows.  She's my social butterfly!

Emma is three and a half and is currently in the throes of the "tyrannical threes."  She says "no" to almost everything and "why" to everything else!  She smiles very nicely as she does the opposite of what you ask her too and poses!  I'm looking forward to the day when she realizes I am right!  She wants to do everything her big brother and sister do and wants them to share everything they own with her (they don't like that personality trait at all)!

Leah is almost two and has already hit the "Terrible twos" in that she wants to do everything herself and when she does she makes a huge mess!  She takes a lot of baths!  She is a snugglebug who loves sitting with her mom or dad and is a sweetheart that is willing to share almost everything (but her baby dolls)!

Cecilia is my little baby!  She is seven weeks old and is growing fast!  She was almost ten pounds when she was born and is almost thirteen now!  She smiles and lights up my day and doesn't wake me up too much at night, so therefore a great baby!  She puts up with a lot from her older siblings, so here's hoping that means she will have a laidback personality!

Scott is my husband and is quite the husband!  He's in school to become a Spanish Teacher and does a great job with the kids while I'm at school (we swap off)!  He's learning how to do laundry and dishes and is super helpful!  He loves helping others and is one of the first to volunteer for things (especially if he knows it will be okay with me)!

Back to me, I LOVE to read and I do it a lot!  I also love to craft!  I make hair bows/clips, tutus, applique, and make personalized baby items.  I love making matching shirts for siblings (the boys get appliqued ties).  I also love to paint, sketch and work with wood and clay.  I painted a mural in my sister's room of a sunset and I still love it!  I can't wait to have my own house and put a mural in as many rooms as I can!  I enjoy family history and taking pictures!  I'm an amateur photographer only because I don't have a good camera or a studio!  I'm great at Photoshop though!  I love to cook, but not clean, so I don't do it as often as I would like.  One of my favorite things to make is brotchen (German rolls).  I love to knead dough and shape it!  One of these days I'm going to get trained in making cool cakes, right now I just make it up on my own.  I also have written poetry and a song (too bad I have such a hard time figuring out the notes).  I really want to use my talents to make childrens' books for kiddos with disabilities!

My family loves to spend time together watching good shows (our favorites are Wild Kratts, Mythbusters, Extreme Home Makeover and Cake Boss), playing games, painting and cooking.  We go to the Zoo, Library, L & L Pets, on walks or bike rides as often as possible!  We have lots of fish (six tanks), and are adding to them fairly often.  My favorites are the fancy guppies and the Rainbowfish!  That's pretty much my family!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Feel like this?

 So exhausted you crash on the stairs?  (I brought her up to bed right after I took pictures)
 So happy your eyes squint when you smile?  (I love that she lights up when she sees me)
Loaded down with children, but happy to do it?  Fun times at the Westhoffs on Saturday morning!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cecilia's first college class

Like some college students, she slept through the whole class.  Which I was very glad about!  My teacher wanted me to bring her, and since everyone else in the house was asleep, I brought her with me.  She was doing fine until I had buckled her in to go, and took her back out for the teacher to hold.  Then she wasn't so happy.  Oh well!  She made it through and that's all that matters!  It's been a great day, so nice outside!  Yesterday was crazy, but we made it through!  I had my six week appointment and I lost 24 pounds from my last prenatal appointment!  Cecilia weight 12 pounds 13 ounces with her clothes on.  Pretty good!  We did lots of errands, including getting a new faucet for the kitchen.  Luckily I got a break by visiting Ashli!  Phew!  When I got home from Parent Teachers Conference, Ann came and gave me a beautiful blessing dress for Cecilia!  Another sigh of relief!  I had one that's going to be way too small for my "little" girl.  Our new washer and dryer are still working on their large workload.  And I have classes that I can take this summer!  Woohoo!  I also get to review one book in March and one in April!  Since I'm a critic, it's pretty easy to do so!  I have no problem giving my opinion!  Hurray for the weekend!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love holidays, but I really prefer they don't fall on Sundays or Mondays, so we can do fun things.  This year each of my girls got a heart locket with a picture of their dad and me in it.  Emma and Kira put theirs right on (woke me up to do it, as a matter-of-fact).  Ben made his Lego Ben 10 character with just a little help from me!  Then the kids had to write their names on the Valentines we bought.  Ben didn't want to, so Kira did it for him!  How sweet!  I hope their Valentine's Parties went well!  At home I needed to figure out how to get a cheap washer for under $300.  I called one place and they told me what I wanted to hear:  a washer for $100!  So, Emma and I went straight there and bought not only the washer, but a dryer too (Emma picked it) for under $200!  I feel very blessed!  We took the washer home first and I helped Scott get it inside.  Then I went back for the dryer and when I came back Scott had cleared the area out and was vacuuming!  How sweet!  We got the old ones out and the new ones in (Scott did all of the hard work) and we were able to get going on our huge pile of laundry, within two hours of me leaving to buy it!  Woohoo!  Happy Valentine's Day!

                                       Our "new" washer and dryer!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Trip to Olathe

Nothing against Emporia, but I was thrilled to finally be able to go up to Olathe!  I think it was October the last time we went up.  I wanted to do family pictures, so we went to our favorite spot.  Sadly, it had not been shovelled at all and the snow was up to the kids' knees in some places!  My dad carried Leah, Scott carried Emma and I had Cecilia in her sling.  The pictures turned out great!  They're up now in black and white.  I'm so glad they turned out well with my mom's camera, since mine has been taking pictures with really light pictures!  Ugh.  Too bad my washer broke, otherwise Scott might have been willing for me to find a better camera via some bargain.  Instead I will need to find a washer.  The good news is that it looks like we'll be staying here.  Scott and I have been discussing it and there's a TON more pros to staying here!  It was fun to think about moving, but it's better for me to figure out ways of making negatives into positives.  It's not Emporia's fault that I'm not happy here, it's mine.  So, I'm going to figure out what I can do to make Emporia better.  Back to work on the park...
                                        Leah in the snow
                                          My sign is completely broke!

Friday, February 11, 2011

It hit me

Lately I've been commenting about how I feel "like tiredness hit me upside the head."  And it really has!  I've had all five kids home all day every day (except Monday), so trying to clean, feed them (those two are my picky kids), and keep them entertained has been exhausting!  Scott hasn't felt well, so he has done all he can.  Either way, we both NEEDED a break and got a little one yesterday when we got to out.  Too bad we had nothing to do!  We drove around, took some great pictures of the sunset and walked around Wal-mart.  And it cost us $20 for an hour and a half of babysitting.  Wow!  It's worth every penny!  I enjoyed it so much that I ended up crashing at 9:30!  I usually do everything I can at night after the kids go to bed.  It was nice to get enough sleep!  I love my family, but they need to realize that I am not a slave or paid labor.  We're working on it!  In the meantime, Cecilia has started smiling when she sees me and she's started cooing.  I LOVE it!  This is what makes all the effort worth it!

                                           See how sweet!
                                   The sunset on our date.  I want to paint it!
                               Kira HAS to hold her at least once a day.
                                     Check out those eyelashes (thanks to Scott's genes)!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Yes, another plug for Thredup.  I even have a referral link, so if you go through it you get $5 off your first order!  It's: .  I love the whole idea of Thredup!  You register and they send you the tall medium flat rate boxes to pack.  You pack great quality clothes in the same size, writing what you're putting in, and taking pictures, then put all the info into a box on the website.  You wait and when someone picks your box, you print out the shipping label, tape it on, put the list of items (that prints with the label) in the box and they schedule a pickup for the next day.  It even includes delivery confirmation!  When it is confirmed that it is shipped (when the Post Office starts tracking it), you get a credit to pick your own box!  Woohoo!  I have six boxes all packed up and ready to go!  I'll bring them to the Post Office after I pick Scott up, because I prefer having the room in my house over the convenience of having my poor Postal Carrier having to hold onto that many boxes (you can click on the link that cancels your pickup if you are going to take them yourself)!  So, in the next week I'll hopefully have six very happy people say good things about me, and that will help the rest of my boxes go.  I have a lot more boxes to pack too!  I'm ready to clear out some serious clutter in my house!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Great nap!

Yeah, that's the highlight of my day.  Sad, I know!  But, I only slept maybe five hours last night, so it was very much needed!  Poor Scott tried to wake me up and I told him that I couldn't do it, so four hour nap.  Wow!  I woke up to help put the kids to bed!  It was fantastic after the crazy morning we had!  I was so excited, because I was up early , and we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast (YUM!).  Baths take forever though!  And none of my children are completely accident free yet (that's why they're called accidents), so I don't feel secure in doing Saturday baths.  Does that make me a bad mom?  I hope not!  Either way, we were late to church, but not too late!  It would have helped considerably if my kids didn't take off for the water fountain as soon as we get there.  It was really sweet of a sister telling me that she thought I was doing a good job.  I looked at her dumbfounded and responded, "But my kids are running down the hall and I was just getting upset at them."  She replied, "But you're bringing them to church."  Well, good news, I'm doing something right!  Phew!  That was incredibly nice of her to say!  One of the Elders saw me on the other side of church (after chasing the kids down) and asked me how I was doing.  I'm exhausted!  That's how I'm doing (which I proved with my 4 hour nap)! 
Nursery was fantastic though!  I love those kiddos!  Trowtt and Addie both made it through the whole second hour of class without crying for parents!  Woohoo!  Ann did a fantastic job of entertaining them in a different way than usual, so we didn't even break out the toys!  I'm very glad they put her in there with me! 
Ben just fell asleep, but before he did he was cracking me up with his inventions.  He decided that gerbils needs scuba diving suits (with hand flippers), because they don't swim well and birds need winter clothes, because it's so cold.  He had some other ideas too, but I wasn't paying as close of attention!  What a great kiddo, now to get him in bed!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just Another Day in Paradise

I love country music and this song pretty much sums up this post, so you've been warned!  Yesterday was another snow day and I was pretty excited, since I was sure that I could get so much done.  I know you're laughing.  It's okay.  I keep forgetting that I just had a baby a month ago.  Can you believe she's a month old already?  Anyway, she has a hard time being far from me, as does Leah.  Sheesh!  I sure feel loved.  So Emma comes to me while I was feeding Cecilia and asks me to smell her.  That's never a good sign and she smelled a lot like cinnamon.  Then Kira came in saying her eyes were burning.  What!?!?  So, I tell her to rinse her eyes.  She cried saying how much it hurt.  So, I asked her what happened and she told me that she had sprayed Scentsy room spray all over her and got some in her eyes!  I checked on the bottle and it said she had to flush her eyes and if it didn't work to call a physician.  I called Scott down (he was taking a nap) to help.  He helped her flush her eyes for fifteen minutes and had me call the Doctor.  The nurse told me to call Poison Control, so I did.  It's been a long time since I've had to call, which is nice.  They told me to have her stand in the shower and have warm water hit her forehead for fifteen minutes and then wait 30 minutes to see how she was doing.  She looked so much better after 30 minutes!  I was pretty worried until then!  She sure did a lot of screaming and Scott did very well with her.  I finally finished feeding Cecilia and noticed big red splotches on Emma.  Turns out she's allergic to the room spray being on her skin.  Imagine!  So, I had to scrub her and then put lotion on, because it burned.  Then Leah got tired and needed me to hold her.  What a bad couple of hours!  Kira and I walked to Braum's to get a few groceries and it was fun, until we had to carry the heavy bags back.  I'm glad we live so close! 
Then no more school off for us.  Cecilia has been quite the night owl lately, so I'm exhausted!  Scott helps when he's up, which is awesome!  I woke up this morning to a lot of fatigue and not a lot of help.  I had to get Cecilia and Leah dressed (luckily everyone else can dress on their own), pump to prepare for the next 4 hours and convince Scott to get up, dressed, and shovel out our driveway so we could get out.  He wanted to gun it and hope we would make it.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  Needless to say, I was late to class!  The teacher was pretty nice about it though!  We got done early anyway, which gave me time to study for the test in the next class.  I finished it in thirty minutes.  Woohoo!  But, then I had to hang out for thirty minutes and wait for the second part of the class.  Oh well, I couldn't have left early anyway.  Scott came to get me and I went home to make us lunch.  I wanted to do laundry (it never ends), but the washer isn't draining!  Ggrr....  I didn't have time to look at it, just enough time to look up what could be the problem.  And I really needed to get to class.  We just went to the Kansas Teacher of the Year Reception and got to talk to the Teachers.  Pretty cool!  When that was over I went to the grocery store to get a few things and picked the kiddos up from school.  Now, back to my crying baby that I love so much! 

                                         He loves to read!
                                         Daddy with a couple girls
                                               Me and my baby
                                       Kira playing outside

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Good deals!

So, lately I've gotten very into deals and free things.  Probably because our tax return is going to be about as big as it was when we only had Ben.  Yeah.  Maybe Ben and Kira.  Either way, yikes!  So, I've found this website,  Of course, if you want to join up, let me know and I'll send you an email to get you $5 off your first order.  What it is is awesome!  You pay $16 for a medium flat rate box full of what you want.  For instance, they have boxes full of clothes in all different sizes and brands, and you can pick whatever box you want!  Super cool!  I've ordered my first box and am waiting patiently to get my boxes to start packing.  The super cool thing about it is that you get boxes to fill and post them, and if someone picks your box they send you an email to print the postage label, the postal carrier picks it up at your house and you get a credit for a free box!  So, you're swapping not needed clothes for needed clothes!  I'm so incredibly excited!  I'm going to pare my kids clothes down considerably, because who wants to keep ten totes around full of clothes when youknow you can swap to get the clothes you need when you need them?  I'm going to keep my favorites and some of every size, so I'm covered until a box can come in.  Either way, I'm pretty excited!  I've already pulled the stuff Cecilia has outgrown and stuff Leah is unwilling to wear (she's picky)!  I've also discovered, which I think is trying to become like snapfish and shutterfly.  They are super cheap, have great deals, and just for signing up you get a ton of free stuff!  Awesome!  I'm getting over 1200 prints for free over the next year, plus free photo gifts.  I'll be doing my Christmas shopping early this year!  Either that or really cool Birthday presents.  And if you want some mindless entertainment, there's another blog hop giveaway.  This one is over 100 blogs and they're giving away something handmade at every one!  I signed up at maybe ten and got tired.  Super cool stuff though, if I thought I could win I would sign up at most of them!  You can start here:
I'm completely loving these snow days!  Not going to school that is.  And how lucky do I feel that the longest day of the week and the day that I had a test is one of the snow days?  Woohoo!  Though I did get a 91 on the test I took last Thursday (without studying)!  Not that I suggest that at all, but I'm still barely functioning.  I'm getting about 5-6 hours of sleep, max.  If I'm lucky.  Last night, and the night before she ate and ate and ate and was super gassy and would not go to sleep.  At about 1:30, Scott swapped me, so I could go to sleep.  He says that he gave me the baby and I fed her at some point, but I don't remember it at all.  I woke up with Cecilia on one side and Leah on the other.  Surprise!  I must have been super tired!
Yesterday we managed to get the main floor looking pretty good, so Leah could crumble the yummy cake and muffins I made on the floor and for Emma to put the Stain Release gel all over the toilet seat, the washer lid, and the sink in the downstairs bathroom; squish out tubes of stuff (I'm not sure what all she wasted and I'm scared to know, so Scott helped her clean it up), pour Dawn into a cup, Baby bath (two of them) into cups and stick them in the fridge.  Um, yeah.  I'm glad she's good on the weekend for my family. 
On the good news side, I randomly got a package I wasn't expecting.  I guess I won something at the blog:  iamareadernotawriter.  I got three children's books in the mail.  I like "The Ballad of the Rag Man!"  It's a poem about a little girl who is scared of this guy that picks things out of the trash until she sees him take her teddy bear that was trashed and she follows him.  She finds that he fixes things and she wakes up to find her teddy bear all fixed at the end of her bed in the morning.  Very sweet story.  "Do Witches Make Fishes?"  is really not what I was expecting.  The illustrations are not drawn well, and the words do not rhyme as they should.  I doubt any child would enjoy this book.  I think the whole premise of a kid not wanting to eat real food, only candy is believable, but suddenly he wishes his mom away and she turns into a witch who says strange things, so he throws candy at her and then wishes his mom back.  Strange.  The title has nothing to do with the story.  Strange book.  The last book I got was "The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob: Blue Ocean Bob Discovers His Purpose."  It looks like it could be great, after reading the words, but the outside is very off putting.  I didn't want to open it, because of the front of the book.  There's too much going on and once again, the illustrations are not well-done.  If I can draw it that well, that's not a good sign!  Since I've had no training whatsoever!  My kids don't care though, and Ben still hasn't read this book, though he was thrilled to read the Ballad of the Rag Man and when I read it to Emma, he coame running over, "I knew that was the Rag Man!"  I'm glad I got these books for free! 
Now back to the real world.  Ha!  The land of a crying baby and messy house.  Here's hoping I'm smart enough to check the dryer, so the clothes don't freeze, like they did yesterday!