Family Fun at the Pumpkin Farm!

Not too far from us is a really cool farm that has a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, and a whooooole bunch of activities. Barrel role, bouncy houses/slides, hay bale rides, rain barrel rides, and then the other section of the place is this area with dozens and dozens of pop up tent vendors with food and treats and a boatload of other items for sale.01 (138)cloneefbblog

The kids went in the barrel races and inflatable slides when we first got there but I didn’t take photos until we went on the hay bale ride. Here we were waiting in line. The man ahead of us was with his kids and was upset with how they were acting and scolded them in a really big way and man was that awkward. He literally told them they were acting like babies and to grow up. I wasn’t even aware that they were doing anything wrong. They seemed to be Payson and Ember’s ages. It was awkward. And then Brooklyn told Sierra how awful that guy was and the guy overheard so I was like, I hope I don’t get beaten up in the parking lot after all of this. 01 (100)efbblog

But the ride was fun! haha01 (111)efbblog01 (113)efbblog

It was a very cold October day so after an hour or so of fun we went and got apple cider. Oh yeah, first we all had to go potty so we went to the porta potties. It was the first time many, most I think, of my kids had used one and that was an adventure all on its own! There was a long line so everyone was right there to watch you go in. The porta potties were gross. In the one I went in there was a used pad on the ground. Then the water station to wash hands was tricky to figure out. Some other woman there helped us. That was nice of her. It was funny. Porta potties. Crucial and also not my favorite.

 

So… onto the apple cider.01 (116)efbblog

This was homemade apple cider made with apples from the farm we were at and it was honestly the best apple cider I’ve ever had and I’ve never been the same since. haha. Just kidding. But I do consistently wish I could have more of it.01 (122)efbblog

Only two of my kids liked the cider and I can’t remember which two. Sorry. Probably Sierra and Payson. I’ll ask them later and edit this post. Or I’ll never do that and never remember. ha01 (123)efbblog

After getting warmed up inside and having our cold fingers warmed by the hot apple cider cups we went back for more fun! The four little kids mostly wanted to go on all the inflatable bouncy things. There was this huge one that they absolutely loved.01 (142)efbblog

Brooklyn didn’t want to be there and kept asking to go home.01 (151)efbblog

I felt torn between being there for her and for the other kids. It was a rough time in our lives. In my life… balancing her needs and the other 5 kids’ needs. I decided to make her come with us and stay through the whole thing. The other kids needed that family fun.01 (162)efbblog01 (167)efbblog01 (171)efbblog

Right before going home I set up my camera to take a timer picture just to have the whole family in a shot. These are what I got.01 (185)efbblog01 (186)e2fbblog01 (188)efbblog01 (190)efbblog01 (191)efbBLOG

And this one of just the kids is cool.01 (195)efbblog

A man there offered to take our photo and took this and I liked it so much it hung on our living room wall for a few months 🙂01 (196)cloneefbblog

I also filmed some of it:

Seeing a Play at the Park!

A theater group from a different state was traveling around the country doing plays for free in parks. So that’s what we got to go do today! First we stopped at our local store to get snacks!020efbblog

Lyla had fallen asleep in the car and stayed asleep when I moved her to the stroller!022efbblog024efbblog

Some of the things I brought. I always have so much stuff when we go on errands!027efbblog035efbblog

I bought these space saving camping chairs for our whole family. Same ones we used during the 4th of July. They’re super small when folded up and crazy light! If you have a bunch of people to bring chairs for and only one adult to carry them… I’d highly recommend them!038efbblog041efbblog047efbblog049efbblog

Cam you tell it was SUNNY!!?053efbblog056efbblog058efbblog064efbblog

Lyla, as Lyla always does, spent most of the time trying to run away. At one point a theater member came from the direction she was heading in, dressed up in a crazy outfit, and scared her! Not HER on purpose or anything, she just got scared. She spent the rest of the time with the family! 066efbblog072efbblog074efbblog

Getting ready to leave 🙂077efbblog089efbblog091efbblog095efbblog097e2fbblog102efbblog104efbblog105efbblog107efbblog108efbblog111efbblog

We’d parked at a nearby school. Heading back to our car.118efbblog122efbblog135efbblog137efbblog

Chairs for all 7 of us are in that small box on the left in this next picture. ALL SEVEN CHAIRS! What?141efbblog

If you want the chairs, which wasn’t the purpose of this post but seriously I love them, you can find them in this affiliate link here:

Moon Lence Camping Chairs on Amazon

What’s an affiliate link?

Entertaining Lyla!

First off, um, classic Lyla. Take noodles out of bowl and lay them on the table to eat. 156efbblog

So this next picture is of a bunch of cheapy but cool toys I bought at WalMart for Lyla. Seeing this gave me a huge wave of anxiety. (It’s been 5 months since then)

My ex, the kids’ dad, took me back to mediation to make changes to our custody arrangement. It was a huge battle. Disagreements. Frustration for me. Obviously I can’t share a lot about it but it was so bad.

One small part of the anxiety I had was leaving Lyla with a sitter while we went back to mediation. Children weren’t allowed in the appointment so I had to either find a sitter or leave Lyla with Brooklyn. Brooklyn has never babysat the kids, despite practically everyone I know telling me to leave them with her. She is dealing with a WORLD of issues of her own and I’m going to leave 5 kids with her? No.

But the OTHER option was magically find someone I trust. I don’t know if you are new or have followed along but I lost all my friends in my divorce and have yet to make a deep connection with anyone new. Sure I’ve had new friends and dated people (not that I’d EVER leave my kids with a man, nor even introduce them to anyone I date) but no one I trust.

So I asked Brooklyn what she thought about watching all the kids for a few hours. I told her they could watch movies and I’d buy brand new toys she could open up and that it should be okay because of that, and I’d pay her, and she seemed totally into it. So- at least that problem was “solved.”

And by solved I mean I still hated it and felt anxious the whole time I was in the appointment. BUT did you know that when you do mediation you can be in a separate room from your ex? I didn’t know that and wasn’t excited about having to sit at a table with him watching him lie, which is what I assumed would happen, but instead I got to be in a room and talk to the mediator alone. She went back and forth quite a few times as we worked things out.

Nothing about the appointment went well for me. But whatever. Am I still angry? Yes. Very frustrated with the legal system I’m in. But whatever. I try not to think about it. I try to just be the best mom I can possibly be when I have my kids and be thankful it’s not worse.162efbblog165efbblog

Our 4th of July!

Guess what Costco had this year! Fireworks! I was so dang excited when I saw them because for a huge box it was “only” $50! Normally when we buy fireworks at the fireworks stand it’s twice that! So I got a big box of fireworks from there and then we went to a stand to get sparklers and pop its! We got a variety of sparklers to try out!

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Brooklyn had stayed home, she doesn’t like to go on most errands. Once home I painted nails… anyone who wanted them painted got them painted. Me, Sierra, Ember, Everett, and Lyla.

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I had bought 4th of July themed shirts the second I saw them in WalMart probably a month or more ago! The kids finally got a chance to wear them!

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We packed up our fireworks and lightweight camping chairs in the back of the van and I noticed someone had thrown an applesauce pouch into the back and it spilled everywhere! Luckily I keep baby wipes in the van and was able to wipe it up but sheesh.

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One more sad part of getting divorced and moving into an apartment is we don’t have a yard and legally you can’t set off fireworks unless you have private property and I looked up the laws and you can’t set off fireworks at parking lots or parks or on streets that aren’t yours… luckily there is a special parking lot set up for people to set off fireworks! It wasn’t close to where we were going to watch the fireworks in the sky so I was a little worried about making it back in time to see the big fireworks but it all worked out and I was so thankful for this area to do personal fireworks!

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The kids’ dad was there, we share holidays, and I have pictures of him with the kids but I’m not posting them because ya know, I keep him off my social media, but in case you were curious, he was there and so far we’ve decided on sharing custody on all holidays and birthdays.

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Payson and Ember doing peace signs ♥174efbblog198efbblog

And now… fireworks!

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Lyla was thrilled. She kept trying to run up close to them so keeping an eye on her was a full time job. Like with every second of every other day. haha!

I told the kids that I think once they’re 10 years old they could light fireworks as long as they light it and then immediately hurry back toward the van. So Sierra lit her first fireworks!

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These are tightly cropped photos from larger versions since her dad was with her. The originals (which is what I’ll use for our scrapbooks) are so cool! I think cropping up close like this is better than blurring faces though! Do you?245ecropfbblog

I didn’t get pictures of the other kids lighting fireworks because I was also filming parts of our day…I vlogged a lot. So as soon as I edit that I’ll add the video to the end of this post.

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After we set off our last fireworks we drove back to our city to see the fireworks in the sky. Our city does a really good job and we always get “front row” seats. Literally as close as you can get, we get. It’s AMAZING! It’s like we’re sitting right under the fireworks!

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Several of the kids wanted to sit right between me and their dad to be close to both of us during the fireworks. That was tricky setting up chairs. We were basically bunched together in a big group. It worked well and was touching that they were so concerned with being next to both of us.

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Lyla liked the fireworks, she sat on her dad’s lap through most of it and Everett sat on my lap. But you can bet that she also wanted mom and mom’s boobs a few times throughout the night. haha

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After the fireworks ended the kids’ dad went home since it was late. We went and did sparklers over by where we’d parked our van.

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It was awesome having three different types of sparklers! We liked each one for totally different reasons. It was a blast. Such a perfect day.

Going to See Toy Story 4!

I was 12 when the first Toy Story came out and I loved it. I’ve seen each movie since. We went on the opening day of Toy Story 3 back in 2010!

So when I heard about the fourth Toy Story of course I planned on going opening day! Unfortunately we couldn’t but we did go a few days later!

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I actually didn’t even get that excited from the trailer, it didn’t look all that funny, weirdly enough. But my whole family was laughing the entire time! I hated the ending and my kids really hated the ending (Woody LEAVING his child?!?!) but whatever. It’s a movie. haha

Oh my gosh Forky: my kids were roaring with laughter.

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After all that laughing and good endorphins my kids had so much energy. They wanted to run around and play outside the theater for a while before heading home.

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They always want to have pictures here:048efbbblog059efbblog

Little rest.063efbblog067efbblog071efbblog080efbblog

Back to the van.083efbblog091efbblog

We needed to go to Costco for some groceries and Lyla fell asleep on the drive over so I put her in the ergo while we shopped!

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She woke up in the store and wanted to breastfeed before heading home!

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It was such a great day! 🙂

New Fans and Camping Bunk Beds!

The A/C in my apartment is not working and despite the apartment “person” (I don’t know the title) coming to check on things and try to fix it, no luck. They called the A/C company (again, not sure the name of this stuff) but they’re ignoring the request for service for now so we’re just sweating to death in our 80 degree place. The REAL problem was this was the same week we got sick and all had really bad fevers!!! I kept the windows open all day but at night we were still pretty warm. I promptly bought some fans from WalMart and now we’re sleeping in breezy peace.

Also if you’re wondering about Payson and Ember in those cot-like bunk beds (camping bunk beds!) it’s because most nights they come in my room and sleep on my floor (“we’re scared!”) and it’s often enough that I felt bad for them on the floor and got them these. During the day they drape blankets over them and pretend the bottom bunk is a fort 🙂

You can find them using this Amazon affiliate link. (Cost is the same for you with my link but gives me a few cents and as a single mom of six, I could use even a few cents. haha)

I have a lot of other camping gear that’s really space saving and useful for a large family, let me know if you’re interested in a future post about that!

A Mom of 6’s Life= CLEANING!


 
My favorite laundry soap is Molly’s Suds. I get mine on Amazon.

 
I keep cleaning products in each bathroom so that I don’t have to run to one bathroom across the house to grab something. Almost all the time I’m wearing Lyla and saving time by staying in one bathroom with everything I need right there is nice.


 
I hang my spray bottles up in my laundry room closet to save shelf space above.

 
Two of the things I use a lot. A spray bottle with my floor cleaner and Meyer’s all purpose cleaner.

 
Cleaning put her to sleep.

 
Then it was time for grocery shopping. If I’m not cleaning I’m buying food or cooking food! Or breastfeeding or changing diapers. haha

 
Everett LOVES sample day at Costco!