What Do You Do With Grandchildren That Want To Re-arrange Your House????

We’re not talking about teenagers or married grandchildren trying to help the “oldsters” out here — we’re talking about those “almost” 5 year old quadruplets and their big 6 year old brother!!!

One of the quads, whose name I won’t mention (but Brandon you know who I’m talking about!), LOVES to clean and organize things.  His REAL name is “change, re-arrange, organize, move around”, and all those sorts of names.  Several weeks ago he cleaned up the boys’ bedroom — by stacking all the toys, etc against one wall, then wanted me to move the living room furniture into the bedroom to fill the empty space.  I told him if I ever got some new furniture I’d consider doing that.

Well, now comes the REAL story!  A few weeks ago on a pretty Saturday afternoon, I tried to get all the kids to go outside and ride bikes, go for a walk or just do something outside.  Everybody except Brandon went out – he wanted to stay inside and watch TV.  So, because I can’t be everyplace at the same time, didn’t want to force him to go outside, I said ok he could stay inside as long as he just stayed in the chair and watch tv.  He said he would.

While the rest of us were outside, some of them got hot and one by one started coming inside.  Then somebody got hold of a glass flower vase, accidentally dropped it and boy howdy did we have a mess.  That vase shattered into a thousand pieces!  I quickly grabbed a broom to sweep it all up trying to be very careful to get all the corners, etc so there wouldn’t be any little pieces of glass for the next set of bare feet that came out into the garage.

I guess it was about 5-7 minutes later, with the glass completely cleaned up, I got the last one that was outside and told her we needed to go inside and check on the rest of the kids.  When little Sarah and I came inside, this is what we found………

I couldn’t believe my eyes!!!!!  THIS is my front room — you see the door in the very back?  It USED to open so people could come in!  On the far right hand side of the picture (can’t see it for all this furniture!) is my china cabinet against the wall and our “formal” dining room table and chairs, and on the far left side of the room (and picture) – also can’t be seen here, is a roll top desk and a curio cabinet.   All this area that is STUFFED with furniture used to be the OPEN area where people could walk inside.  These little guys had moved little card tables and chairs (far back side by the door) in from the play room to their “new” living room, moved chairs and stools and big cushions from the playroom into this area, moved my living room couch (from the actual living room) into this open area, moved another side chair into this area and were in the process of moving my husband’s recliner into their “new” living room.

The little guy in the blue shirt with the big smile was the ringleader of this change up of our house!  When Papaw came in and looked around, all the kids were so THRILLED with their new living room that he said to leave it like that for the weekend.  They’d worked very hard putting it all together, so the best I could do was dig out the vacuum and clean the “old” living room floor where all the furniture USED to be.

Here’s another view of the “new” living room with the little “change, re-arrange and organize” boy sitting in a chair probably thinking about how he could get the TV moved into his new living room.

Anybody need help getting furniture moved???  We have quite the crew here that would love to help!

ThredUP Clothing Swap Helps Clean Your Closets, While Getting New Clothes

I just found out about ThredUP, a clothing swap website where you can box up your children’s clothing that no longer fit, list them on the site by size for somebody who may be looking for clothing that size.  If you have clothes that somebody wants to have, you can ship them free — I LOVE the sound of that.  Then if you see a listing of clothes that would be the right size for your children, you can request the box from the owner, and at that time all you have to pay is for the $13.00 priority mail shipping.  With “almost” 5 year old quadruplet grandbabies, and their 6 year old big brother, we have bunches of outgrown clothing, and NEED tons of clothes the next size bigger for them to grow into.  Talk about saving money on children’s clothing – this has to be the greatest thing going!

There is a small membership fee to sign up and be able to list your clothing items, etc, and now Heather at MiscellaneousMom.com  is having a giveaway for a premium membership.  The giveaway will end tomorrow night (9/21) at midnight, so run on over using the link in the previous sentence to comment on whose closet you’ll be cleaning out!

Our Trip To The Navy Museum Of Aviation History

One of the favorite places our grandchildren LOVE to visit is our local Navy Museum of Aviation History.  They call it “the museum of airplanes that don’t fly”.  The museum is a two story building that has either on the floor or hanging, all types and styles of navy airplanes from years past, in addition to a complete section about man’s visit to the moon.

Oh, I can’t forget to mention the big play area for children, where they can “fly” some airplanes and have a great time.  Here’s a picture from last Saturday when we went there.

This has to be one of the greatest attractions in our town for tourists – it is awesome.  And for those rainy / cold days a trip to the Navy  Aviation Museum has to be at the top of the list!!

Happy Day – Sad Day

School started today and our “babies” – the now 4 year old quadruplets have started Pre-K and are in school full time.  They will be turning 5 the first of October, so didn’t make the cut-off for Kindergarted, however the school in their district has a full time pre-K program that they qualified for.  Big Brother Jacob will be in the 1st grade at school, so they were all looking forward to going to “Jacob’s school”.

Happy Day for them and for all of us, but also a sad day because we (Papaw and Mamaw) won’t be getting to see them as much as previously.  They live about 45 minutes away from us, so it’ll probably be weekends when we can pick up one or all of them for an overnight stay.  Here they are, all decked out in uniforms, stopping long enough to get a picture before heading into school:

Do I really have to quit calling them our “babies”?  They have informed me they are NOT babies – they are big kids now.  Ok, Ok – we no longer have babies at our house – we have all big kids now!!  Congratulations big kids – we know you’ll be having a great time at school!

Life As We Have Known It Is Changing Forever

As most of you know we have 4 year old quadruplet grandbabies – 2 girls / 2 boys plus their now 6 year old big brother that we keep either 2 days or 3 days each week so that their “work from home” parents can actually get a little work done.

We started keeping Jacob every weekend when our daughter was about 3 months pregnant with the quads, on total bed rest with twice a day monitoring.  Our son in law was working himself to death trying to keep up on housework, caring for a  7 month old child, twice daily monitorings, etc, etc so we started to pick him up every Saturday for the weekend just for a little break for our son in law.  That has continued to this day.

Once the quads were born, a couple months early, they needed all the help they could get, so I started going out to their house a couple days a week to help, Betty, our son in law’s mother, would come out 2-3 days a week to help out.  Then a little over 3 years ago my sister, a retired government worker and on-line teacher, moved down from Pittsburgh in order to help with the kids as well.  It was then that we started a little routine of picking them all up on Tuesday morning, keeping them overnight, then Wednesday afternoon our daughter would pick them up after naps.  Then the next week we (my sister and I) would pick them up Wednesday morning and they’d stay at my house until Friday after naps, when Denise would come pick them up.   My son in law’s mother would continue to come to their house the other week days to help take care of the kids.  This has gone on, like I mentioned, for the past three years.

Well, today ended the alternate Tues/Weds and Weds/Thurs/Fri kids at our house because the “babies” start Pre-K next Monday (Jacob will be in First Grade), so we are no longer needed.  Here’s a picture of the kids and my sister -

I would like to say a special THANK YOU to my sister, Diana, for making the move here to help out with the kids.  She will be moving back to Pittsburgh in another month, and I’m gonna have to put together a BIG list of things to keep me busy, because I can’t allow myself to even think about next week without my babies and big boy Jacob or I’m gonna cry!!

What Do You Do With Kids When It Rains All Day?

Another question could be “how much work do you think you could do with 5 kids under the age of 6 in the house when it rains all day?”  The answer is – VERY LITTLE! 

Our 4 year old quadruplet grandbabies (kids as they tell me) and their 6 year old big brother are here for 3 days, and today it rained most of the day.  Well, these guys LOVE projects and “activities”, so I always try to have something we can bring out during bad weather!  Today we first brought out a box of books that had been put away during most of July because of our son and his family coming here to visit (we wanted the house to look like something besides an exploded day care center!), and they acted like they were all new books.   Then they started picking out the ones they liked best and we spent some time reading and looking at the books.  After that excitement was over, we did our project – making crowns.

My sister had gotten a bag of various shaped “jewels” – hearts, squares, stars, triangles, circles, etc in all colors that had a little sticker on the back, which turned the jewels into stickable jewels when the backing was removed.

I made crown shapes our of card stock for them to dress up, then we stapled them to fit each child’s head.  Here is a picture of the super crowns!  Notice how differently each one of them has decorated the crowns.

This project took them over half an hour to complete – and we still had to wait on Sarah to finish hers — she’s the one that had to have everything in a straight line.  Is this an awesome group of kids or what????

Have You Seen Big Wheels for TWO?????

Now I will not say that I’m biased at all, but I believe my quadruplet grandchildren (I always want to call them “babies”, but they’ve informed me they are NOT babies anymore because they are FOUR years old now!) are way advanced in the things they come up with!  Each time they come to our house for a couple days they come up with new and different ways to do things.  Some days they are carpenters and use flaps off every box we have as “boards” and it’s amazing at the things they can build and put together with those “boards”.   The next time they’ll be a mailman or a delivery man and spend an hour or more finding things they can “deliver” to each other and to me.

The other day they “invented” a big wheel for two, and had the best time racing up and down our driveway – changing out the driver from time to time – and having a blast.  Check out these pictures and see if they aren’t just the cutest things on their “big wheels for two”!

The boys were roaring around the driveway first, but the girls didn’t want to be outdone, so here they are in their new vehicle!

It’s not like we don’t have enough big wheels – there is one for each of them, plus a tricycle, plus a bicycle for each of them, but whatever they want to ride on is fine with me!!

Where Has The Summer Gone?????

WOW!   I can’t believe I did NO posting during the month of July!!  So now you ask “where have you been”?  Well, my son and his family were here for a little over two weeks during July, plus as you probably know, we keep our 5 grandchildren (4 year old quads and their big 6 year old brother) either 2 days a week or 3 days a week, and Jacob the 6 year old spends every weekend with us.  Does that sound reasonable, or does it sound like an excuse for not writing?

In addition to all of the above, my daughter has been swamped with orders for her coupon clutches, which we help her sew, and how many of you have tried to do major sewing projects with 5 young grandchildren in the house PLUS 2 additional adults and their 5 & 9 year old children (my son and his family)?   Plus trying to keep up on the laundry, cooking, drag the vacuum out once in awhile, and try to hit a couple spots with the pledge.  Am I digging the hole deeper???

On a different note, my daughter Denise and I went to a BlogHer convention in New York City last weekend and met some wonderful bloggers.  There were about 2400 women there who blog about everything from couponing  to mommy blogs to fashion to politics and everything inbetween.  There were tons of info sessions available as well as specific meetings and lunches for the various areas of blogging.

Now we’re back, and hopefully I can get back to doing some writing.  I want to thank all my readers for waiting for me to return to the “alive and well” category!

Does Your Freezer REALLY Need To Be Replaced?

A few years ago we bought a small chest type freezer to keep in the garage for all the “extras” that didn’t fit into the top of our regular freezer.  The freezer worked great for about 3 years then we started hearing a beeping sound and upon opening the door a light was flashing.  We called the repair people at the place we bought it and they simply said it sounded like the freezer was about to go out and that we needed to replace it.  There was a “reset” button which we did use, but the beeping / light continued to come back on.  After a few days of this we did go ahead and replace it because the last thing we needed was for it to go out while we were out of town several days, and come back to find all of our freezer items ruined.

Well I just saw a post over at ShopperStrategy  entitled “Freezer Don’t Fail Me Now”  talking about this very problem.  It appears that after much research and no thanks to the Sears repairmen, Denise discovered that there was a battery that controlled the beeping / flashing light that had gone bad.  Boy howdy!  Now I’m MAD — and I am convinced that we should not have had to replace our freezer!  I showed my husband that post and he said he never knew that freezers had a battery to operate anything.

Hop on over to ShopperStrategy  and see for yourself how the battery works, where it is and what to check for.  Thank you Denise for the couple weeks of research and no thanks to the Sears repair people who actually got all this worked out!  You might want to pass the information along to your friends and family who might just be having similar problems with their freezer and the problem could be solved very easily and MUCH cheaper than buying a new freezer!!

My Grandchildren – Always “Working”

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a bunch of kids whose “play” is almost always centered around “work”.  The boys, Jacob, Brandon and Zachary are constantly “working” with their play tool sets, building a house out of a box and using the flaps we’d cut off other boxes as boards to fill in the top for a roof, or building gates, fences, etc out of blocks.

We have a supply of roasted peanuts that we are shelling to make honey roasted peanuts, and Jacob LOVES to “crack” the peanuts.  When he’s at our house we have a box set up on a little table for him with his own bowl for the peanuts, bowl for the shells and zip lock bags to put them in when the bowls get full.  It never fails, if he’s here on a Friday night and the peanuts are set up, he’ll wake up Saturday morning, half stumbling half asleep into the living room, and when we ask him if he’d like to lie on the couch for a few minutes he always says “no, I have to do my peanuts”!  Now THIS is the kind of worker anybody would be proud of!!

A few days ago when the quads were here we had a new “job” little Zachary came up with.  Early in the morning he gathered some sheets of paper that I’d printed extra coupons on – wanted to make them into a “book of coupons” for Mommy, so we put a spiral binder on the pages.  He then got a length of string that they all like to play with and had me tie one end to the binder so he could pull it around.  Later when they got to go outside to play, he took a hand cart and filled it with small branches where Papaw had been trimming a bush.  He informed me he was the “garbage pick up man”, to which I let him know what a good job he was doing.  Later I saw him tying the hand cart filled with branches to his bicycle WITH the string from the coupon book he’d made.  He did a great job of tying it all together and spent the rest of the day pulling around the cart with his bicycle so he could find more garbage to pick up.  Check out this picture – doesn’t he look like a great ”workin’ man” — that’s what they always say they are….. a workin man!

Boy howdy!  I hope they keep this work ethic when they grow up — we’ll certainly have aome “workin men” in this family!