...Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 This is the journey of our lives...

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Christmas card blogger

Merry Christmas

From the

Zimmermann Family

Noah, is a good big brother. He takes being the oldest very seriously and enjoys being a big help around the help and to Daniel. He has been learning how to hunt with his bow and arrow and is looking forward to next year, when he can get a deer tag! He loves to read, he reads about a book a day, mostly mysteries. The Hardy Boys and The A-Z Mysteries are his favorites. He just started a new math program on the computer and is loving being more independent. The three older kids are attending a Home School class once per week in Mesa. It's a free enrichment program that offers music, art, computer, PE, Science labs and writing. Noah, is really enjoying his computer and science classes. He is a huge help these days, I think Quinn likes him as much as she likes me! He is constantly "on baby watch", he seems to like it. Everyone loves to babysit Quinn, more or less. Cozette, seems to think that includes; feeding her "people" food, spinning her excersaucer around and around and dragging her by her arms across the tile. Not such a help, thankfully I have three older ones to help me keep Quinny safe.
Graham, last year, was having a hard time with letters and numbers. He was diagnosed with Dyslexia this last September. Since then, I have been working with him with some occupational therapies and lots of figure eight patterns. Since September, he has mastered all the letters of the alphabet and is reading three and four letter words and beginning to recognize sight words. He has a super attitude about learning and his eagerness to read and write is furthering him still. I'm so proud of his progress. It has been no easy task and he just really works so hard for it! He loves his horse Gunny and helps Uncle Josh with some horseshoeing. He usually has two things on his mind, horses and food!
Braxtyn, is amazing at most things. She writes songs and sings, she loves Justin Beaver (Beiber), and girly things. She wears dresses most often and jewelry to match. She is very dramatic and always has a quick smart response. We have learned to argue with her away from a mirror, it seams if she can see herself she will give an even better performance with the argument! She is doing 1st grade work with Graham and loves her school day on Wednesdays. Her teacher, Mrs. Wallen has bragged about her eagerness to learn and how quickly she acclimates to change. She has been taking gymnastics and really loves to do cartwheels and handstands around the house!
Cozette, is my busy body these days. She is 2, ans that just comes with the territory! She finally beginning to speak in sentences. Daniel and I have both been surprised at her quick sense of humor and ability to communicate exactly what she needs with only ten or so words! She is a sunshine girl, she loves the mornings and is rarely unhappy. Unless she is tattling on her siblings, which she has quickly learned to do. She has a love for all her brothers and sisters and seems to try to keep the peace between them and comfort them when they are sad. Especially her sissy, Braxtyn. She is not one to be left out and tries to do everything by herself. And this week has decided to be potty trained. We'll see, but I think she's pretty serious about it!
Quinn, is 7 month old and learning to crawl. She mostly inch-worms across the floor, but she very fast! She is eating baby food and screams if you don't feed her fast enough. She is very vocal and loves to be entertained by her siblings. She is very mommy attached at the moment and won't let many people pull her away from me. I don't mind it, I'm savoring these baby moments and they are flying by so quickly. She slept 7 hours last night, and I'm hoping we are on to a new trend, called sleep, very soon!
Daniel and I are enjoying the daily chaos, not so much the daily grind..but they pretty much go hand in hand! He is working hard and enjoys his job. He has been hunting as much as possible and loves taking the kids out to hike the mountains. I have been keeping busy with home schooling the kids, laundry, cooking and even fitting in some fun with the Cowgirls Historical Foundation. I try to get in a few rodeos and special events throughout the year. We are looking forward to the year ahead and whatever it may bring! We just never know where this journey will take us next!
Merry Christmas 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Three girls and a souper night

Three girls = Sweetness, drama, laughter and triple the need for coordinating dresses and shoes

Baby, It's cold outside
Time for soup and bread
Homemade bread with butter and sliced elk meat steaks with a creamy potato soup with broccoli and carrots. I haven't had cream soup in so long..it was very tasty. I used almond milk instead. It was good, but a little sweeter than with regular milk. The elk steaks were left overs from the night before. Brittany had marinated them in something awesome and they tasted better than beef steaks. Can't wait for our elk meat to be processed! Brittany shot a huge elk this weekend, just for me :)

Christmas has made its way into our house and all the decorations are up. with all this space I had to get a second tree! I have been wanting a smaller tree for all of our western ornaments. Now if I can only find the rest of our other ornaments..they were falling out of a box as we moved in. I placed them in another small box and marked it. And of course, now I cannot find it! Hopefully it will turn up as we organize the garage. I think we will finally finish moving in!

Hope you have a "souper" night as well!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

just some photos

Graham was being funny.. he wouldn't smile
Can you believe Quinn, was this little just 6 1/2 months ago?

Ok, now Graham is smiling. That kid won't give me decent picture

Miss posey..

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Immanuel's Veins

I love to read.

Simply put, I used to read, no devour a book a day. And although my everyday life does not allow that. I still hunger for a great book. For many years we had this awesome book club. I think we read and sometimes re-read some of the greatest books ever written. They impacted our lives for ever. It's the like the first moment you opened, Anne of Green Gables and realized you loved and wanted to live in Avonlea and dive into the depths of despair with your best friend Diana, or when you went into Hogwarts with Harry and battled Voldemort, yes, I am Harry Potter fan. I cannot help myself. I love so many types of books. Well, anyways, this week my entire family got the flu and in this moment of laying around recovering and letting the house go and the laundry pile up. I gave into some amazing books. yep two...I haven't read this much since all four Twilight books. A few thousand pages in a matter of days. This wasn't so different. My eyes are blurry after the 378 pages since yesterday. I am a huge Ted Dekker fan. This may seem strange since I HATE scary movies, and in turn cringe at every scary reference in a book. I'm a wimp..I stick to the old Hitchcock movies. They are enough to frighten me. See, so Ted Dekker and me, we have this strange relationship. I know I can trust him, I know he writes the truth, it's just I have to decide to dive in and hang on til the end. Then I can breathe again. If I stop short, I may not have the courage to pick it up and reap its benefits. This week I was in that kind of mood. I am a huge Circle fan. These are an amazing adventure! A mythical journey into another world that makes an allegory seem week in describing what he does in this trilogy. Well, he wrote a fourth book, that...get this! You can read before or after the other three. My suggestion: Read Black, Red, White and then Green.. then you have to move on to the Paradise series, which for me, I could only (and barely that) read Showdown. That book was too much for me. I mean I get it, but oh my, Ted Dekker can really write EVIL. However, it does help you appreciate the book Green. OK, so after I read Green, and so appreciated more story added to the Circle. I grabbed Immanuel's Veins. Now if you are a die hard Twilight fan...READ THIS BOOK! I was gripped, I couldn't put it down and I wanted more. AND..if you are not a Twilight fan..READ IT! I am sounding silly, when really this book can be life changing if you haven't thought about the reality that he writes about.

First off the book is a total challenge to you when the cover says: This story is for everyone, but everyone is not for this story. I mean come on! How can you not read it now. But to be serious, its pretty intense and although I love Anne of Green Gables, Redeeming Love, Harry Potter, Bella and Edward, A Voice in the Wind, and...I'm terrified of a scary movie..please don't let me deter you from trying this tasteful telling of an amazing story about the richness of love and loss and a compelling tale of Good vs. Evil. If you've read Dekker before, you will be surprised at this one. Ok, its 10pm and I'm exhausted from all this intense reading. I have intense laundry and house cleaning to catch up on tomorrow. I'm no book critic but I will leave you with this:

A dangerous tale of time past. A love story full of deep seduction. A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice. With a kiss, evil will ravage the body, soul and mind. Yet, there remains hope, because the heart knows no bounds. Love will prove greater than lust. Sacrifice will overcome seduction. And blood will flow...But remember, not everyone is for this story.

Ted Dekker

Immanuel's veins

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween Pictures

These pictures look better on Doni's blog, but I had to re-post these on mine for keepsakes.

It just occurred to me, that last year Noah was wearing a helmet to hide his face! I don't have one new picture of him, that I can actually see his beautiful face! Oh, well. I have some picture work to do and some catching up with Doni, to get some more recent pics! How time flys, just one year ago we were doing Halloween in North Carolina. We miss the Fall there and the fair and our wonderful friends. But we are very settled and happy to be home.

Happy Fall

Friday, November 4, 2011


http://x.jimanddoni.com/?p=4415 visit this page on Doni's. You know I don't take my camera out of the bag when Doni is shooting. I mean what's the point? When you check this out, you will see that her shots are fabulous!

Halloween, what fun!
Noah made his own costume he was a robot, Graham was an army man/hunter, Braxtyn was a masquerade princess, Cozy was a lady bug and Quinn was a bumble bee. I was a Geisha and Daniel, was his very own wonderful self:)

The day was Monday, so we had to school, right? NO! Public schools do parties, so we did too! We baked and made adorable little salt dough pumpkins. The kids had a blast and minimal cleanup!
About 3pm, my sweet friend, Michelle came over to help me get the troops ready. We had a photo shoot at 4:30, which I was late too anyways. Well, it wasn't for trying, Michelle and I were up to our elbows in curlers, tights, fake eyelashes and silver cardboard.
We met up with the other cousins and took lots of beautiful pics and then we headed to In & Out Burger and to Josh and Brittany's for a little party. We trick or Treated and ate lots of goodies! Cozy was so excited about getting candy at other people's houses she began just walking right in the front doors and asking for some! She did say a loud thank you and waved good bye!
She won't stop talking about the wolf mask my dad wore, he about scared her to death. She was not happy about that and let him know that it had to GO!
Quinn was a happy bee, she loved all the attention and cuddles. The older three were running with their friends and having a blast in their costumes.
All in all, it was an excellent Halloween night.
We chose to buy the candy off the kids! This idea came from some of our good friends, the Mains. The kids kept 10 pieces and we gave them $2 for the rest. So, no more fighting over candy every day, it's almost gone....And the purchased candy? Where is that? Well I've frozen the chocolate for late night parent raids and movie dates:)

Now go check out the pics at www.jimanddoni.com

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cozette Grace...

Age: 2 years, 5months


Movie: Tangled

Color: Blue

Words: Too many to list, but not in full sentences and in her own language.

Animal: Ayla (horse)

Loves to dance, jump, and find trouble

Hates to be buckled, tucked, dressed or held unless it's her idea!

I love you sweet Cozy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Aaaahhh...& Mmmmm...

He's home! Daniel is home and I am happy! It was a long week, but we all made it. I had lots of help and I'm so thankful. It was just no fun doing all this work without my R&R time with my amazing husband.

I was experimenting in the kitchen and gave some cookies a little fall boost with pumpkin and allspice.

I took the oatmeal cookie recipe from the top of the quick oats box and then made the following adjustments:

1 c. butter

1/2 c. raw honey

1/2 c. brown sugar

1c. Turbinado sugar (great white sugar substitute)

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. pumpkin

1/2 tsp allspice

2 c. flour

1tsp baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 c. oats

1 bag butterscotch chips

My goal for all this cooking is to provide healthier snacks for the kids, and although I was able to substitute almost all the ingredients to organics and unbleached products, the butterscotch chips remained tainted. 2nd ingredient in, was Hydrogenated soybean oils:(. The only thing I can find to sub. butterscotch chips is to make them myself. Not sure if I'm up to that and not sure of the ingredients would actually result in them tasting the same.

So, they were delish and provided a Fallish twist on a family favorite!

We are carving pumpkins tonight and in Sunday evening tradition, eating breakfast for dinner. I found an amazing homemade pancake recipe. If you've noticed most baking mixes are filled with lots of fake ingredients. So in my quest for better eating, I have developed this yummy substitution for my usual Bisquick pancakes. It actually took about the same amount of time to whip up, and we liked them better!

1 1/2 c. unbleached whole wheat organic flour

3 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 Tbl. raw sugar, turbanado sugar or raw honey

1 1/4 c. Almond milk or regular milk

1 egg

3 Tbl. butter melted

In a large bowl sift in flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Happy Fall

Happy Baking

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's the little things

Don't you wonder how we survived our lives before motherhood?

Each day I look into their precious eyes and laughing smiles and wonder how I survived a day without them. Sometimes, when my day looks like a Johnson & Johnson's or Fisher Price commercial.. I wonder, how my heart beat, as it was so very small, without these adorable babies to love. I know I write a lot of sarcasm about mother hood, but I'm serious when I say how much I adore being a mom. There are days I am glad there are toys strung all over the floor, and loud laughter, and even middle of the night feedings.

....I am also a believer in the truth and the fun of motherhood. And those, can be those little things that creep up on you and then WHAM, knock you to the floor!

The moments you never saw coming and wonder what's coming next! I remember taking an hour to get ready. By myself. Not finding my best lipstick on my two year old.Not wondering where my brush was. Not sneaking around to paint my nails. And now, I mostly hope I look and smell ok as I rush out the door to gymnastics, grocery store, church.. I used to complain that I couldn't find a bathing suit to fit. Now, I just want a chance to wear one! Float on a raft. Keep my hair dry...
It's the little things in miniature..my motherhood reality...

last week, for instance, I picked poo off the rug with my bare hands, thinking it was chocolate. Note to self: ALWAYS USE A PAPER TOWEL WHEN CLEANING THE FLOOR

My sweet Cozette, who is learning language and conversation at a rapid pace, has been rubbing my belly and talking to a baby in there. And to make me feel even better, Noah told me that from the way I was standing it looked like I had a baby in my tummy. Unknown to them, that would be a medical miracle, and yet I don't know that that would stop their sweet assurances. Their is NO baby in my tummy.

I am also learning something new as my little boys grow to be big little boys...they like girls and don't know why. So they just act like maniacs and totally lose their heads. My sweet Jacqueline, helped my boys totally lose it. I don't blame them, but man they can't stop themselves from flexing, climbing trees, doing handstands, giggling maniacly..Oh..my..what's to come?

...And don't you love, bedtime? Need I say more? I didn't think so.

So in any case, enjoy motherhood and be sure to remember the little things.
Because our little things, are growing up so very fast!

Waving a white flag over here


Its' the title of the song that they sing to me...

It goes like this:

I want to dance in my bed, I want to sing in my bed.

I don't want to sleep in my bed

I want to scream in my bed, I want to yell in my bed.


I am picturing an anthem type hard rock rhythm and small diapered children with messy hair jumping on lots of beds in the middle of the jungle.

Now that we are on the same page and picturing the fiasco..

Let me summarize the chorus, it would go something like this:

We only dirty our diapers at nap time.

We only have major "poo"ccidents in our beds at night.

We don't need no pajamas!

We don't need no mamas!

Are you hearing it too? I think I'm onto something.

This has been a hardcore, messy house, late night, no sleep, dancing on the tables, jumping on the sofa, did anyone bathe today?, find food for yourself, mess of a week.

Hint: Daniel's out of the country for a week. (Skype is not cutting it)

*Thank you to all who have ventured in to help me tame the natives, your names have been engraved on my wall of heroes.

Although, I think it might be covered in glittery stickers and permanent marker, glued to the ceiling somewhere.:)

A special treat for my little monsters!

It is here! My favorite cereals are here. No matter how healthy we are trying to eat, I cannot diss a yearly favorite..

It's that time of year!

A special treat for my little monsters

Smoothie face!
Recipe for a great smoothie:

In your blender:

handful of fresh spinach

2 Tbl. of flax seed

1 or 2 cups of frozen berries (mixed)

at least 1 Tbl. of honey

1/2 cup of orange juice

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk or yougurt

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I will give you three guesses!

And who does this remind you of?

Remarkable isn't it?

There is a picture like this out there of the grown up version..I jut can't find it

It's really uncanny

It was time...
Long overdo

For a new do...and now we have

Daniel Zimmermann the 2nd

Mr. Noah Daniel Zimmermann

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Carmelized onions..

The kids eating candy in Jerome
Something totally new for me...enjoying an onion. Normally onions are on my "No thank you" list, but last night a new flavor opened up my taste buds to caramelized onions. Ok, so my new recipe first and then you can try this tasty delight in your own home. Expect some burning of the eyes, but totally worth it!

First you need:

4 chicken breast

2lbs red potatoes

1 large red onion

flat leafed parsley

Parmesan or mozzarella

balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

olive oil

Fresh Spinach

Easy easy, cover your chicken in a simple Italian salad dressing, garlic salt and pepper. Throw it on the grill. cut up your potatoes into cubes and boil them until tender, then drain water and add parsley (cut up), butter and parm or mozzarella (depending on how cheesy you want them). Set them aside to keep warm. Warm up 1 tbs. olive oil and 1 tbls. butter and add your sliced red onion and 3 tbls balsamic vinegar. Cook those babies until they are almost burned or they say, caramelized about 15 minutes and then at the end add 1/4 c. water and scrape the black into them.

Put the chicken on a bed of spinach and layer it with the onions and add the side of potatoes! So my love of caramelized onions begins...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hello Autumn, Hello Fall, Hello fair weathered friend!

Adios, Summer!

I can't believe it is October. We celebrated with none other than a trip to Jerome, AZ. I did not realize Halloween was their thing. Until, we walked along the quaint streets in which windows boasted many a freaky things. I'm not a big fan of creepy. So in Jerome's defense, I am not the best judge. Our visit was, a Creepy Cute kind of adventure. I believe they stopped reproducing in small towns, Daniel and I could of had our own window display called, "YES WE KNOW WE HAVE FIVE KIDS!" "AND WE LIKE IT (most everyday)!"... Geesh, don't those people watch DHC channel? We don't have anything on Kate and Michelle. Anyhow, we had a wonderful time exploring the history and enjoyed lots of candy and winding roads through the forest, a creek and some In and Out Burger goodness!

I celebrated October with a Pumpkin Latte, my Cozy Cabin Candle and, one of soon to be many, large orange pumpkins on my porch. I will then begin my movie marathon, "must see for fall" list which includes;

You've Got Mail

Sleepless in Seattle

When Harry Met Sally

And when you've had enough of Meg Ryan,


Baking has also ensued, some homemade granola bars, apple muffins and my fave Fall candy!

With all this baking I have been experimenting with sweeteners. Trying to cut down refined sugars in our diet, I am using only raw honey to sweeten them. The Candy Corn in this picture however is as refined as it gets:)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Oh how she's grown..

Quinn Ryin Zimmermann

5months old

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I have five kids...WHAT?

Ya, I know it should be obvious to me. But sometimes it just hits me, usually square in the forehead as I'm sliding through spilled something on the tile floor, or when I get everyone ready to go and Cozette is in the driver's seat with no shoes and uncombed hair..OOps, forgot one!

It's the very funny moments when I'm sitting on the sofa, holding Quinn, and I look around me at five amazing kids. I look at Daniel across the room and we just smile and shake our heads at the chaos. Sometimes the chaos is beautiful and sometimes, I find myself in the middle of a tyraid about watching out to not trip on the folded laundry pile as they march through the living room wearing motorcycle helmets and handmade weaponry. They cannot see the laundry on the floor, they are wearing helmets..of course, I did not realize.
Or...there are times I say things I never saw coming out of my mouth, like,
don't lick your sister.
Stop using my toothbrush for that!
Did you get that out of the toilet or the sink?
And my favorite.. Are you wearing underwear or socks? No? Well, then when we get home from Costco you and your brother can wash them all so I know that you have plenty and can come fully dressed when we venture out....get your hands out of your pants..
Are you wearing shoes? No? Well it's too late to drive all the way home, now young lady, you will have to ride in the cart next to your sister all the way through the store.
Who left the scissors out? ...silence..
Cozy, "I did!"
...No Cozy your the one who used the scissors on your clothes.

It's hard to realize, in the midst of confusion, that these five will one day grow up and be big people with stories to tell. Some days are all about survival. Raw, treacherous, daily survival skill.

These are the longest days of the shortest years of my life..

Dear Lord give me super powers and give me a sense of humor...Amen

Something New

Yes, it's time to explore another passion:)

I know I made it clear in an earlier post, that I despise making lunch. That's only because it falls right after cleaning up breakfast and then right before the dinner rush. It's just a pain to come up with lunch ideas...I don't know if this is reasonable, but it's one of those times in the day I wish I had "Alice". What did Mrs. Brady do anyways?

So on the flip side of hating lunch, I actually really like making dinner. I have my usual dinners, spaghetti, tacos, hamburgers, chicken, steak. I have my fall backs, crock pot roasts, lasagna, ect.. But at least once per week I get creative!

Here is tonight's creation: I stole the idea from Rachel Ray, but added my own adjustments.

I grilled pork chops, sauteed red onions, red and green bell pepper in olive oil with garlic and lemon. Steamed rice and made an avocado spread with parsley, lemon and garlic. And a side of sourdough loaf. MMMMMM mmmmmm! It was so good and had tons of flavors and colors. The kids plates looked exactly like this one, and...to my delight, have learned to not scoff at mom's hard work:). They ate what they liked and complimented me on the pretty plates.

It was sort of like an unmixed Chipotle bowl, but better:)

Avocados and red bell peppers go with everything, except ice cream and chocolate.

I love to grill, so although this recipe called for a pork loin cooked in the oven..I bought the cheaper cut of pork with the bone in, grilled it and then cut it into strips.

So tomorrow night, is a little more risky. Grilled Tilapia with toasted almonds and sauteed bok choy. I may not get the same cooperation at the dinner table.... I might have to make something chocolate for afterwards.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ghetto Greens...

Ok, we did it. It's Ghetto, All the pots are recycled things we painted. Its a little hot still, sooo I'm hoping things sprout. And I've never gardened in containers before.

The kids call it, Our Pot garden!

Haa Haa!

I will post pictures when something sprouts:)

For now, a sideways pic of my helpers...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What's my passion?

What are you passionate about?

I'd like to think I'm a passionate person. I love trying new things. With each new thing, there sits an old thing that is forgotten..so for the next few weeks we will explore some things we like to do...When I say "we" I mean me...but you should try it too!

This week...I'm passionate about sleep. I have had less sleep this week than any other in my whole life..you think I'm exaggerating, nope. about 4 hours uninterrupted, then constant interruptions from a 2 year old sleeping on the floor, and sick kids coming in and out with sick tummies...
I promise myself a nap and even when presented with a moment, I turn to the laundry pile and my nap is lost amongst the filthy nasty white socks that seem to creep up out of the laundry basket.

So to begin, I must list the things I'm never passionate about: (unless you count passionately hating something, but we are not counting those things..for now)


My first task is to decide how passionate I am about Gardening.
This house will put it to the test. I live in the city and I want a garden because I supposedly love it. We will see how much I love it, when it is this hard. I don't live in California. So to begin: I'm making it a school project for the kids and using cheap labor from the minors who live with me. Yes, I know, good plan:)
2nd - I have made a list and I am going to attempt container gardening, so I can control the soil. Arizona has terrible soil for veggies after a long Summer.

I always think I love something and for like one whole year I will master it and then, a new love creeps up like sewing, or cake decorating, painting, ect ect.. The problem is I get overwhelmed deciding which thing to do each day and then only do half. So here's to doing one thing good this week.
Oh and the circular stuff I do each day, every day, (laundry, cleaning, feeding people, teaching, yada yada... gets in the way.

So be patient.

My little laborers and I have a plan, it is in writing (3rd grade list making), it is in picture format (Kindergarten art), it has been researched (1st grade computer lab) and so my plan is on the move.
I love having a plan. Hmmm. Am I passionate about plans? These too seem to fall away as a new plan comes up...so we shall see.

Goal 1: Find containers and paint them fun colors
Goal 2: Place them in the yard so it looks cool (Noah's idea)
Goal 3: Plant the seeds
Goal 4: Water it
Goal 5: grow it
Goal 6: Harvest and enjoy yummy organic greens:)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Some catching up..

Arlo and I had our first ride after Quinn was born! We did great and although the arena was muddy, it was so fun to be back in the saddle!

Braxtyn at Family Camp. She always can find a mud puddle, and due to the weather, they were easy to come by. Daniel took the kids camping while Michelle and I went to the Payson rodeo. We met up on Saturday and drove back Sunday.

We had a special weekend camping with our friends, the Mains. It was lots of fun and of course, we had adventures...A tree was struck by lightening right by our camper. The Forrest service had to come cut down the tree. Michael and Daniel and 7 of the kids were caught in a terrible rain storm at the river and had to wait it out in a cave. All was well and the kids had great stories to tell.

September 11, was Graham's 7th birthday. It was also his buddy, Micah 's 5th birthday. So, Debbie and I took them to see Spy Kids 4. Just the four of us had a special time together and enjoyed the movie!

Quinn is already 4months old. The time is flying by. She is such a sweet baby. She loves to smile and be held. She is very happy and loves her brothers and sisters.

We all spoil her but for now she is always with mommy:) and that's where she likes to be. Tomorrow is daddy's day, so I'm hoping she will treat him nicely...I will only be gone for a couple of hours. Did I mention the other 4 are sick with the flu?

I know, good time to run away right?

No, I'm feeling a bit guilty about it...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My sweet girls

Last night we had a photo shoot for the upcoming CHF calendar. And..my girls will be featured. These are some extra shots we took with just the two of them. They were so sweet and did amazingly well as we had to get both of them, a mare and her filly , Natalie and myself, all looking great of course. Whew..it was tough but I think there are a few with girls smiling, horses ears pricked up and Nat and I fashionistas:).

The best pictures are the ones featured right here!

Braxtyn Funny: Braxtyn was spending the night with her Aunt Sissy and as she was getting out of the bath she suddenly announces that her heart has moved from one side to the other! Aunt sissy asks her why this has happend and Braxtyn says very matter of fact. "God moves hearts".

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

catch up

So tired, so very tired..and yet here I am posting at 10:30. All children are asleep in there beds..for who knows how long. Last night I was visited by two little girls and the third attached to me most of the night. However, my need to stay up and have a life of my own is overtaking all sanity. The Sanity to go to bed immediately!
All is well..other than me not putting in the correct address on Paypal so to receive my camera cord!!! Arg..yes that's pirate for a curse word. I am so crazy these days I can't even order off Amazon without messing up. Well still no pictures, my bland pictureless blog is boring, I know but I truly do have pictures awaiting on my little pink camera.
School has begun with all its glory...oh the triumphs and the frustrations. This year is not easy. Mix 3rd grade, 1st grade Kinder and a 2 year old and nursing baby into the mix and all hell breaks loose on a good morning! But then we have these beautiful moments of inspiration and learning all the while Cozette covers her body and her toys with a dry erase marker. At least its washable!
We are reading A Story About Ping, we are going to visit the Chinese Cultural Center next week. And make chinese food for dinner for daddy..that will be fun. Noah read the BoxCar Children in 4 days, he's so awesome! We are doing right brain integration with Graham and he is learning his letter and reading three letter words!!!!!! I can't believe how amazing this program is for him. I am so thankful for the resources we have these days for learning disabilities. Graham is such a bright kid, he is so much like Josh. I can't wait to see how this helps him.
All right I must go to bed.
My next project is to sew cute blankets for each of the kids. Hoping to have them done by Christmas....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

camera soon..

Yeah! I ordered a new cable for my camera..Poor Quinn has hardly been featured. I have so many cute pictures of her. So in 3-5 business days, they will be posted:)

Target today..the kids were pretty well behaved considering I bribed them with popcorn and coke, and now I'm living to regret it as they are acting like wild animals due to the sugar and caffeine:( Seriously it sounds as though they are dying in the back room, with all the screaming and yelling. They assure me it is fun...

Today is cleaning day, it started out great until I realized we were out of wipes! A terrible thing to be out of in this house. So the above store we visited and I found more than wipes, of course. It's Target! Oh Yeah, and my vacuum is gone, Daniel "borrowed " it for a job and now I'm out one. Very aggravating. However, I finally have the computer and printer that works! So I can print coupons and school materials.

Speaking of school, we are getting ready and getting excited. The school room is about ready and I have a little bit of curriculum to purchase.

Oh my.. the natives have entered my quiet room, I suppose lunch will help the situation...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sinking My Heart Out

Graham is becoming a singer song writer.. here are the lyrics to his new song: (He told me he is not finished, this is his first start)

Baby Baby Baby
I don't got no money
You steal my money
Baby Baby Baby
(guitar solo)
I don't care about money
I don't care about cactus quills
She's stealing from me, I'm going to prison
I'm sinking out my heart
Hey Baby Baby Baby

Yes, it's sinking out my heart, not singing out my heart.
I asked...

I guess we need some guitar lessons..the solo is not Richie Sambora, but he makes it look good anyways:)

I ask Cozette, how are you?
She says, I two..

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Camera down, slow posting...

Ok, it's about time I got back to my family blog efforts. I have been reluctant to post since I cannot find my camera cord to upload pictures. So as it stands I have to visit Walgreen's and and upload photos to a CD and then upload them to my computer. And let me say, how much I enjoy a trip into Walgreen's with my five adorable children. Its kind of like shopping in a grocery store in the middle of Sun City. Those things are not on the top of my list...However, I have much to say so I'll begin and hopefully in the next day or so will have found my cord or visit the above said store.

So we moved into our own place. It worked out beautifully and we now have 2200sq. feet of our very own and a pool! It is not my ideal idea being in the city, but I feel blessed to have all the room and be able to drive about anywhere in10 minutes or less. We are very close to all our family and friends, the park, library and grocery stores. It def. saves time and money.

Our journey continues to amaze and sometimes frustrate me...this year has been a circus. 5months to and back from North Carolina, 5 months with my parents, add in pregnancy and baby #5 and you've got yourself a three ring circus. There are many things I wish I would have done different, none of them having to do with not moving. I'm thankful for the moves physically and spiritually this year. The #1 thing I wish I'd done and continue to hope I'll one day grasp...is being relaxed in the knowledge that God's got this, I don't have to juggle it. And whatever I think I'm juggling isn't the real deal anyways. Basically, I don't control what I think I control.

We are still muddling through the newness of yet another home and a new precious addition. We are enjoying our family time so much and cling to the moments we all get to just enjoy our time together. We welcomed a sweet new nephew to our lives and I am enjoying close friendships that have encouraged me in so many ways. Our close connection to family has brought us through so much this year. So in a nutshell we continue to grow and learn in the this journey and are excited to see what's next.

Noah and Graham have joined an archery team and will be competing this year. They are very excited and so is daddy and uncle Josh. New archery hunters up and coming!

Noah is starting 3rd grade and is reading so well. He devours mystery books daily! He is not so excited to start school but will enjoy PE and archery I'm sure.

Graham is starting 1st grade. He enjoys studies on history and anything western. He has been halter showing his horse Gunny and winning many blue ribbons.

Braxtyn is now enrolled in gymnastics, she is loving it. Her class has 5 other students and Braxtyn is a head shorter and full of energy! She will be starting Kindergarten this year. She is very excited to do school with her brothers.

Cozette is a very sweet 2 year old. She is her name sake and enjoys cuddling and taking care of everyone. However, she can hold her own around here and makes her presence known! She will be doing some pre-school this year. She loves her new baby Quinn. She is very attentive and hears the baby cry before I do!

Quinn is 9 weeks old. She is beautiful like her other two sisters. She is very easy going and is sleeping pretty good through the night. She has acid reflux like Cozy did, so she's on some meds for it, she also seems to be lactose intolerant. I've quit all dairy and the rash on her face cleared up immediately. So we'll see how that goes.

I have been preparing for the new school year. I love having a school room to decorate and prepare!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baby is here..but you already knew that.

Yes, it has taken some time to get me back in front of the computer. I have been in survival mode and plan to remain there until all is back to normal..well in it's own crazy normal way.

On May second we went to the hospital to be induced. I was done, as last recognized in the previous post. My Dr. knew it, my husband knew it, my children knew it and alas, the date was set. My inductions are carefully planned out because I wanted to have a natural birth, I DID NOT want pittosun (sp?), awful stuff if you don't have an epidural and I was not going to go there. So my body has to be ready to do its thing after my water is broken. That part is not so natural, but again, I was done and baby needed to make an appearance. 11:00am my Dr. broke my water and Daniel and I began our long walks around and around the maternity floor. This is our special time to talk without interruptions and just enjoy a visit. For a couple hours we walked and then they needed to check baby's heart rate so I settled into bed for a while. Well then they started, about 2:30 I was contracting pretty regularly and breathing through them without too much effort. So we walked some more...by 4pm I was back in bed with some serious contractions but still had time in between to catch my breath and even doze of a bit. I was having some back labor so my awesome nurse, had me turning over from side to side to flip baby, she was sunny side up and we needed her head looking the other way. Amazingly I felt her turn and labor progressed quickly. After a quick trip to the bathroom, I guess my bladder was holding her up:), I stood against Daniel and got through some pretty tough contractions. Daniel was able to hold my back and breathe deeply with me to help control my breathing. It was amazing to share this experience with my husband. He is such an amazing coach! I laid back down and after another contraction told them she's coming get the Dr.. They wanted to wait but Daniel and I told them that was not a good idea...And at the next contraction here she came! Dr. Foltz ran in and grabbed her at the next contraction. And there she was our beautiful baby girl! Quinn Ryin was born at 5:10pm, 6lbs 13oz, 20in. To see her pictures go to www.jimanddoni.com mama's diary's/Quinn.

Recovery has been difficult but it's only been two weeks. She is a good baby and sleeps allot, which is good for now as the others are busy busy!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Can I tell you something?

I'm tired, yep it happened. The pre-delivery, I'm so tired I'm out of my mind, has happened. I have this list. The kind that grows as you think of things throughout the day..ugh. Anyways, I lost the list and I don't even care. Actually, I feel better.

I have been in labor since Sunday, my body is making the most of this...

Oh thank you body, I had nothing else better to do, than labor for a week. I'm at 3cm and 70% and contracting each night inconsistently..If I were a first timer, I may have headed to the hospital last night, but knowing better I resisted the urge to charge in to the L&D and demand them retrieve this child at once! So today, I did get the tire changed and ate at McDonald's which, yes gave me heartburn:). And I am now sitting relaxing by my computer while the children are either sleeping or watching an educational movie, The Karate Kid. It makes me feel better to think they are learning Spanish or something rather than how to karate chop one another. Survival mode has begun, to the point where my dad came to me this morning and said cancel dinner prep., I'm bringing home Pei Wei. I cried a happy tear and then did a happy dance as I cleaned the kitchen for the one and only time today...

Tomorrow: chiropractor and a pedicure. I will not admit to how long it has been since I've had a pedicure or the fact that it doesn't matter, I cannot see my toes without a lot of effort anyways. However, as I stare at them while I deliver this baby, I would be sad if I didn't get one. It's one of those things that becomes an aggravating focal point as we count backwards from ten.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cowgirl Bust'in some Mutton

Braxtyn, she is one of my favorite girls in the whole world. I have a long list, but for some reason this picture just reminds me of why I love her.

She was the last to ride out of all the 4yr. olds, about 15 of them. She watched them ride, get stomped on, cry and chicken out. But she waited holding her daddy's hand until it was her turn. She told me in the car, that she wasn't sure she was going to do it. I told her just to let me know whichever she decided and that was OK.

Braxtyn: Mom, I'm going to ride that sheep.

Me: OK, if you want to you can.

Braxtyn: I don't know. I like sheep, they are cute, but they're a little bitey.

Me: I've never had a sheep bite me or seen one even try.

Braxtyn: OK, I'm going to do it. You can pay for me.

So, we paid. And Daniel and I had our suspicions that if our little girl had a hard time walking down the aisle as a flower girl, she might not want to climb in a chute, climb on a huge sheep and ride. We were wrong. Something happens to my little princess when the dress comes off and the boots and jeans go on. She won 4th place and got stomped on the knee, but walked away with a big purple ribbon and matching knee. The rodeo queen carried her out of the arena and that was a highlight for her. This picture was actually taken by that very rodeo queen and sent to us.

So far she wants to be a rodeo queen, trick rider, and drill team rider; a ballerina, a movie maker and a puppy seller. She has much to accomplish and I know that my little determined girl, will do anything she sets her mind to it.

A quote to leave with you:

Braxtyn: I work everyday because I need to what I need to do.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Needs met...

God knows me and knows how to answer a prayer when it's time. I'm so thankful for that, I'm thankful that I don't make these decisions. Most days I wish I was making them, but truly god knows better. Yesterday I found an amazing deal and I am a happy girl and get to go where I want when I want! Today..we went to Kid to Kid and found a great baby swing for less than 1/2 the price, new shoes for Noah, bathing suits for the girls, some nursing tops for me and many other little goodies that I'm so excited about! I love to find great deals and bargains, so this was kind of shopping trip. And lastly, Quinn has dropped and I'm 1cent. dilated..all about on track for me at 36 weeks. Which probably means I will have her the first week of May sometime. 4 weeks and counting!

Monday, April 4, 2011


So...in my head when I prepare for a new baby, I get this "NEED" thing that happens. It just takes me over. I need to paint, sew, clean, decorate and buy things the baby and I must have...Daniel is used to this neurotic side of me during pregnancy. He attempts to pacify me with a trip to Babie's R Us to look or buy one special thing for the new baby. Unfortunately it only tempts me more. With baby #1, this emotional need sometimes referred to as "nesting", was easily quenched. We needed everything. However, baby #5 not so much. I pretty much have everything and "need" nothing. Ho hum. I suppose 5 diaper bags, two bouncy chairs, tons of girl clothes...ect.. should suffice, right? NO! So in my attempt to just look, I have purchased new pacifiers, little white onesies and button shirts that I am currently embellishing, a bottle, 2 new nursing tops, and I have shopped numerous times at Target. Perusing the baby aisle for anything new they might of invented while I wasn't pregnant. Amazingly, they have...I don't feel so badly when I buy one of these new, can't live without items, because I know that eventually Brittany and Michelle will have babies. What kind of sister-in-law would I be if I didn't pass down the "I can't live without collection"?? I know that in my attempt to complain, without whining, you can hear the whining behind the keyboard. I do look forward to the tears and neurotic behavior to go away, but I know I have at least a few more months of it, including the post-partum fun.

Here is a riddle... I sent the kids to turn on channel 8 for Braxtyn, so they could finish school in peace. Now I'm finding peace because they have all taken the liberty to watch Word Girl. Hmmm. Do I bring them back to work on school, or do I take a nap with Cozette and allow the peace to reign???

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting ready to show!

A horse show!
Graham's first:) he is thrilled!
Gunny's was gifted to us by Susan, she has been training Graham and Gunny to drive a cart but we are not quite ready for that yet. So on April 10th, Graham will do a halter show with Gunny. Gunny has much more experience than us, so we are really just along for the ride. We have been blanketing him every night to get all his hair off, but he will still get a full body clip and bath next Friday.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I hate toilet humor...(Warning graphic dialogue)

My children are a little like Adam Sandler....funny, yet they tend to go overboard with the toilet.

Let me explain...

yesterday morning began with Strawberry shortcake getting a bath in the bidet (pronounced - biday)...Cozy found this a perfect bathtub for her dolly. It was easy to reach, a doll fits in perfectly. Unfortunately Braxtyn thinks she's french and uses it daily. Never the less, Strawberry, got a real Clorox bath.

This morning as the girls were bathing, they both started screaming as #2 floated amongst the bath tub toys.. I know..I'm gagging too. YOU didn't have to clean it up.

So, in short I'm over toilet humor.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Random catching up...

This is Ayla and my mom

(These are two of Cozette's very favorite things in the world, she speaks of them to everyone we meet and asks about them at least every hour:))

5,6,7 weeks... What is the difference? This is by far the hardest time in any one's pregnancy. Except for my first. With Noah, there were a lot of naps, I went to work and someone really appreciated everything I did, I finished projects, I came home to a clean house, I rarely cooked big meals and I spent most evenings relaxing on the couch next to my sweet husband. Noah came two weeks early, his nursery was ready, his clothes were washed, and I spent two long guilt-free days just lying in the hospital with him and Daniel. Ahh, that is called first baby bliss. However, to be fair this also included my hardest recovery, hardest new-mommy adjustment, total confusion, colicky baby every night kind of homecoming. so since then each new baby it has been easier and easier...

On the other side, the last few weeks are a nightmare. I have been having painful contractions since last night. They stop when I lay down. So no real worries, IF I COULD LAY DOWN!:) it has been painful to just stand up, bend over, pick something up, and walk around... so all my daily activities are a joke. I know I'm not in labor and its my body just doing what it knows how to do, but its a little early for this!

Well since I've last posted, Braxtyn has found many things to occupy her time... burying the key to the little tractor cart, losing some earrings, and of course cutting her hair! I never thought she'd do it but sure enough. She has bangs now and a few short layers on the sides. ugh..it's not easy to fix with such long hair!

Graham has also lost the pin to the trailer for the cart, lost his cowboy hat and needs new boots after just three months. I should learn how to make boots..hmm..

Cozette has found her will, she enjoys getting her way and lets us know very well when she doesn't. she is learning new words, but mostly talks about the dogs and horses. she loves to tell stories and uses big hand movements and uses her limited word choices to describe everything. Very entertaining, not very coherent.

Noah is at a very helpful age. He is very willing to give a hand. He has however, figured how to pull the " Do what I want to do quietly and no one will notice I'm disobeying" trick, or the "I'm such a great kid, how could you tell me no!" thing. Funny how they figure things out so quickly.

Quinn is miss active throughout the night. We have some adorable ultrasound pics of her and are just anticipating her arrival.

Daniel and I are very happy. We are enjoying our stay with my parents. They have been amazing, and although we are looking forward to our own home very soon. We will miss our communal living experience. If you can believe it, the kids are happily sharing one room! Daniel is working like crazy and enjoying every challenging minute. We are at home quite a bit and I'm thankful we are staying here during the most beautiful weather months in Arizona. We spend most of our time outdoors. Cozy's first request in the morning is "I want a gack (snack which means food), Ayla and Zip pease (let's feed the horses and dogs please). Zip, is the dog that puts up with Cozy's affections; mainly because he knows it comes with food and crumbs.

6 weeks and counting!