Sierra Spends Her Birthday Money – Cabin Fever!

Cabin fever is rough when you have five kids. I don’t enjoy going anywhere with that many kids but I also get really pent up staying inside all winter with those five kids!
One day during the last week I decided to take my kids to Chik-Fil-A for lunch. I was sick to death of cooking. And Everett didn’t sleep for an entire week because he got two new teeth so I was feeling pretty crazy.

Sierra got a birthday card from her grandma in the mail.  photo 095eresized_zpsq1z2rvz4.jpg

Chik-Fil-A was good. All my kids were good and it was fun. They asked me if they could play in the playplace but I was feeling a little too germophobic for that. I was tempted to just let them but I also thought maybe during the cold season and with all the crazy flus and measles and crap going around I’d just limit us to being in the restaurant but not the play-place.  photo 109eresized_zpsceorttwp.jpg photo 127eresized_zpsxapwecv5.jpg photo 139eresized_zpsqp1md8v0.jpg

We went to See’s Candies next because Sierra wanted to use some of her birthday money on chocolates. In the end I paid for hers and got the other kids each a chocolate of their choice and a lollipop.

And then I really wanted to just go home because it was cold out and I was sick of wrangling my offspring but Sierra desperately wanted to go spend her birthday money so where do we go? Wal-Mart. And it was a gross Wal-Mart. But Sierra got her toy and everyone was happy so… win?  photo 144eresized_zpslkoyj3t5.jpg photo 145eresized_zpswd0sjkzv.jpg photo 146ebwresized_zpsqljscepw.jpg photo 150ebwresized_zpsh90c0max.jpg

That one day when I only took 5 pictures!

Grocery shopping with five children is one of my least favorite things to do as a mom.  photo 255eresized_zpskvjuxu2m.jpg photo 264eresized_zpsreixkdqh.jpg

My friend Jordan measured her kids recently and then asked what my kids’ heights are so I finally got around to measuring them.  photo 293eresized_zpsijorwoxu.jpg

The kids were asking how their heights compared to each other so I wrote that down… that’s what those little stick drawings are on the right side of the board. photo 298eresized_zpsgzqldm0d.jpg

I read the kids a lot of books. I took this picture before sitting down with them because it was cute when I walked up to see a gap on the couch where they were making space for me to sit with them 🙂  photo 304eresized_zpsebnodu9k.jpg

Lunch – Simple Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches!

This is something I make often for lunch. Once in a while when I haven’t gone grocery shopping and we’re low on food I make it for dinner!

It’s just:
-roast beef deli or lunch meat
-peppers and onions sauteed in a bit of butter
-swiss cheese, or white velveeta cheese, or provolone, or really whatever cheese sounds good to you!

I cook a big batch of onions and peppers at the beginning of the week.
To assemble these at lunch time I toast a roll in a pan with a little butter for a minute, I heat up the onion/pepper mixture and the lunch meat and cheese in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, and then I pile everything together.
So easy and so yummy!  photo 235eresized_zpsrfvct6mn.jpg

Lounging in the Living Room

Just hanging out doing nothing more than spending time together.  photo 057eresized_zpsg68g3udm.jpg photo 071eresized_zpsior4vvid.jpg photo 080eresized_zpsndx8nxp1.jpg photo 100bwresized_zpsgaqvdpfw.jpg

A couple days after Everett’s cast came off I noticed this little part of his foot that had the first layer of skin rub off. We were all worried about Everett when we first saw it but it’s just because the skin under his cast was more fragile and with his standing and walking it rubbed the first layer of skin off. It looks worse than it is is what I’m trying to say.  photo 109eresized_zpsi0ziqb9x.jpg

Everett likes looking outside.  photo 136eresized_zpsnc9daiwj.jpg photo 143e2resized_zpsyg1qov22.jpg photo 145eresized_zpsdnbnzzax.jpg

I snapped about twenty pictures in a few seconds on my camera’s burst mode and Everett is so dang cute, I’m including most of them.  photo 158eresized_zpsrp2zzpkg.jpg photo 169eresized_zpsoe4dqwsc.jpg

I like just sitting and watching my kids while they play.  photo 178eresized_zpsnghpqxm2.jpg photo 211eresized_zpsnc0bqorg.jpg photo 214e2resized_zps9is87eta.jpg

Ember loves telling secrets these days. Most of the time they’re not secrets at all but silly phrases or words. She cracks up when I do it back to her, too 🙂  photo 227eresized_zpsvofxwlps.jpg photo 230eresized_zpsm9uhykiq.jpg

USA Geography

I don’t know exactly what the kids are supposed to be learning in their grades at school this year for geography but I couldn’t possibly not do a year of USA geography with them! It’s so much fun! I use Beautiful Feet’s Geography Through Literature books as the core and then have found a variety of awesome sites that give free printables to go along with that. We also use Beautiful Feet’s books to dive off of for science! Though we have also done mini units on the human body and the rain forest this year just because my kids especially like those two topics! We’re learning more in depth about blood right now “on the side” just because with it being cold and flu season the inner workings of the body is intriguing my kids!

Back to geography:
We read a chapter or two in our book and then we talk about things we just read, we watch youtube videos, we fill out printables, we answer questions, and then that’s it for geography and science for the day. It’s the girls’ favorite part of their school day! Payson and Ember don’t join us for this because the books we read are way over their head. Their science and geography is totally different than their sisters’. Though they will do some of the printables and learn about things the girls are learning but in an easier way.

This book we just started (from Beautiful Feet) is called Minn of the Mississippi. Here are the printables (all free) we used for the first few chapters:
 photo Minn of the Mississippi_zpspg7zh5fq.jpg1: USA printables
2, 3, and 7: Little Schoolhouse in the Suburbs
4: Writing
5 and 6: Kidzone Geography

Some videos that went along with the first couple chapters.

Sources for state facts.
Minnesota State Facts
More Minnesota State Facts

I want to mention, all the sites I linked to above are sites that have great printables and information about all 50 states! So as we go through our geography books I can go to those sites each time we start learning about a new state and print things about that state. I love the internet and the people who willingly share free stuff for the rest of us!  photo 049eresized_zpsikxd1ce2.jpg photo 050eresized_zps6r9xirjw.jpg photo 052bwresized_zpsikpdta1l.jpg

Feeding Everett

Everett’s goofy when it comes to food.
Not about what foods he eats but about how he eats!
Everett doesn’t like eating off spoons or forks. He’ll happily feed himself with his hands but he’ll turn away and whine if I offer him the same food on a utensil. But he’ll also happily eat if I offer him food with my fingers!

I give him a spoon and fork (whichever is better for the meal) with every meal and sometimes he plays with them and even pokes at his food with them but he won’t attempt to eat with them. He plays with the utensil for a bit and then throws it and eats with his hands.

He also doesn’t like mashed up anything. He loves casseroles, soups, and oatmeal, though. And he loves things with lots of flavor and he doesn’t like cold foods as much as warm or slightly hot foods. He loves pickles and those are a quick snack I can give him to munch on while I prepare his lunch.

Mostly he eats meats, fish, beans, eggs, rice, potatoes, oatmeal, and fruits and vegetables. Whole foods and no gluten.
He just loves food and he loves eating food with fingers!  photo 467eresized_zpsuuncz2bu.jpg photo 031eresized_zpsaerwnm0d.jpg photo 277eresized_zpsak5ktjkz.jpg photo 279eresized_zps0rrul0wr.jpg photo 283eresized_zpsbmbn2pal.jpg


I let the kids stay up a little late one night to see Allan. We hardly see him so once in a while a late night and seeing dad is a good thing. We played a quick game of hangman and Payson was adorable up there during his turn!!  photo 418eresized_zpspyanfs43.jpg

The words he’d chosen were midnight creepsters. It’s a game our family plays at night sometimes. We go in our basement and turn off all the lights. One person is “it.” They count to ten and then start crawling around trying to sneak up on the other people in the family. Whoever they grab (and startle!) first is then it. It’s a lot of fun.  photo 422eresized_zpsgxypwccj.jpg

This was the next morning, Payson was learning about dinosaurs.  photo 432eresized_zps1srcccap.jpg

He loves learning about dinosaurs. It’s fun when he learns a particularly cool fact about a dinosaur because he lights up with boyish excitement. He got a huge kick learning about velociraptors! The triceratops was his favorite to build out of our kit, though!  photo 442eresized_zpsmpav0ufl.jpg photo 444eresized_zpsljllhrjm.jpg

The girls learned about dinosaurs, too. They also took a particular interest in velocipraptors! photo 451eresized_zpsnqtimtjc.jpg

My Cooking Buddy

 photo 401eresized_zpsc4beqyq5.jpg

We had enchiladas.  photo 412eresized_zps5seqxxhx.jpg

The recipe I used was found here: creamy cheesy chicken enchiladas

But I don’t use a can of green chiles because I take away half the milk and use green enchilada sauce in its place. So instead of 3 cups of milk I do 1.5 cups of milk and 1.5 cups of green enchilada sauce. Macayo’s brand is our favorite. Or if your kids hate too much spice 2 cups milk and 1 cup enchilada sauce. And I don’t cover our enchiladas with foil.

Payson had rice with olive oil and then I added in the parts of the enchiladas that he could have. Chicken, a little cheese, onions, and some enchilada sauce. Sometimes I put it in a tortilla but he prefers it over rice.