Tuesday, August 19, 2014

To Camp or Not to Camp?

Last weekend was our church camping weekend up in the Rockies.
I grew up camping. My husband did not.  And he still wonders why we would want to subject ourselves to all that stress just to see some trees.
So, we have never gone camping.
I am a firm believer that a wife should not nag her husband.  Not a perfect example, but a firm believer!
However...I really wanted to go with the church.  Because when your children get invited each year to go with other families and you just sort of...stay home...it's not very fun.
So...Kenny was kind enough to take us down for an afternoon, to check it out. To see if he even liked it one bit.  To see if he would even think it might be possible to load up our crew and head down for a few days next August.
Man, the drive was amazingly beautiful.  Pike's Peak on our left, trees all around, 75 degrees, bright blue skies.  God is amazing!! Therapy for this Mama.
We spent the day fellow-shipping and playing cards and walking around.
And perhaps, just perhaps, we might be back next August.  With the church.  And a camper.  And all the hassles.  And all the beauty.
Because my husband didn't hate it.
I'll keep you posted.

Emma took Sarah and Ellie up to the Dragon's Eggs.

Love the hands in the pockets. And the rubber boots.  Michael lives in those boots!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

He Has Wings

 It's a strange thing, saying goodbye.  Part of you wants to put it off just a little longer, most of you wants to get it over with.
Last weekend, we drove Joey out to Kansas City where he will attend a ministry/music school for the next four years.
You don't really know how much you love someone until something changes.
As he is looking forward, his Mama and siblings spent some time looking back.  Back to his childhood, his growing into manhood.  Back to where all the children were younger and things seemed simpler. Back to the time it seemed nobody would ever really leave home. Because when you home school, you are just about always together.  Kind of like one giant living thing.  With many, many mouths.
We got him settled into his wonderful new place.  He has a family to live with.  A warm family. A family with eight older children. A family who home schooled. 
He has a roommate.  David is kind and happy and quiet.
He has good neighbors.  He has a good school.
He has the Creator of the Universe.
He has wings.
Joey at his High School graduation, complete with two cool bro's.
Joey and Sarah, climbing the Castle Rock, on the 10 siblings' last full day together.
Kenny and I, heading down our driveway, taking Joey to school.
Little Mikey, waving goodbye.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We Have One Out of His Teens!!

Daniel Stephen, our very first child, turned 20 last weekend.  He's just a great guy.  His name means "God is my judge".  When he was younger we used to tease that he got it mixed up and thought it meant "I am the judge of my siblings!"
 We celebrated with a meager 30 people.  It seems that our tradition of having just one family over for dinner is now long-gone.

Young men's minds amaze me.

Funny faces with cute little sisters!

We had literally piles of food -and per Danny style, it was the same fare as every year...Burgers and ice cream pies. One friend bought six bottles of Vernor's  ginger ale for the birthday boy.  Danny loves the stuff, and so did my Grandpa Robert, who Danny reminds me a lot of.
The jar full of birdseed was a gift from me. When Danny was ten, I made a bunch of I Spy jars for the guests.  I filled the jars with a mix of birdseed and small trinkets.  Then tied on a tag with lists of the trinkets to find in the jar.  There were extra guests that year, and Danny gave his jar to one the guests.  I promised I would give him a new one.  And it took me another ten years, but I made good on my promise!  This new jar not only had trinkets, but gift cards as well!

Chocolate-Oreo-M&M Pies. Not a crumb was left for the next day.

Emma and her buddy, celebrating Danny!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Potty-Training Tales

How can you tell we are potty-training? 
Just look at these pics...
A stack of books on the bathroom counter to keep him busy...

Crackers and cheese, and plenty of water...

Strewn clothes in the bathroom...Apparently someone was in a hurry...

This morning Michael walked into my room, with nothing on except a shirt.  He was holding his underwear, and it was obvious he had messed them before taking them off.  
Mom: Uh, Mikey, did you go p**p?
Mikey: Yup. (with a cute little smug smile)
Mom: Um...Okay, well, where is the p**p?
Mikey: (still smiling) Oh... I will go look for it.
(seconds later, from the hall) I hear "Oh! Here it is!"
Mom pulls out hair and grabs the paper towels.

Nate Goes to the E.R.

When your big family van starts smoking and the mechanic tells you it will be $850 to fix it, you go to plan B and figure out how to get 4 of your men to their places of work, each in a different city, with only two cars.  Then, when your husband's Subaru freaks out and the mechanic tells you it will be $1,500-$2,000 to fix that, you sigh a little and suck it up and realize you will be spending the rest of your summer as a taxi driver.  Juggling children of all ages. In 90 degree weather.  With no air conditioning in the car.  
1 car x 4 workers x 4 different cities = Taxi Mom.
And when you have two weeks to get everything ready for your son to go to music school in Kansas City- your very first child to leave home- and everyone is weepy and his housing situation has changed at the last minute and you still need to get your school books and plans together for your remaining children and your littlest boy is only sort-of getting this whole potty-training thing and your third son wants to change his plans for his early college just when you had decided on them then you may find yourself thinking that this. is. a. lot.  But you can handle it, because it's your life.
Then, on park day, when one of your boys has your only car in Denver, and two boys are in Castle Rock, and one boy is at a friend's an hour away (just about near Kansas!) and another boy is down the road at a friend's, and your husband is working on getting a ride to a church men's meeting, you might be a little surprised to get a call from the friend down the road telling you that your 8 year-old just broke his arm.
And when you hear his crying in the background of the phone, your start to cry yourself. And when you climb into your friend's car and sit next to your little boy, you kiss his fuzzy head and look reassuringly into his eyes and you think, "You know, all that other stuff will take care of itself.  This is what I'm doing.  I get to comfort this little guy all evening."  And the rest of the night you get to be his best Mom.  
I think that's the best thing in the world.

Nate didn't even fall off the trampoline.  He fell on it.  Problem is, his arm was under him.  And he had been bounced very high before he fell.
He was so tough in the ER.  I was really proud of him.

Waiting for the green light to go home.  He was pretty loopy here.  His eyeballs were just not doing normal things.  And in between saying loudly, "This is weeeeeeird!" he would look for me and ask for me.  And I was right there, rubbing his fuzzy head.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Summer-ful of Hummus

Hummus is kind of a big deal these days, in case you hadn't noticed.  It's pretty much everywhere, and most definitely in the Sargent home. We find it to be a healthy alternative to Ranch dressing for dipping all kinds of veggies and corn chips.  Lately, I had been picking up the large-ish sized tubs at Costco.  But I started to notice that, while quite delicious and convenient, they are a bit pricey and disappear so very fast with my older boys (ahem, Joey) so I ventured out last week and made my own.  YUM.  And CHEAP. And maybe even HEALTHIER...Nothing added to keep it fresh in the store.
I know, kind of a gross photo, right?  I probably could have wiped the bowl out before taking the picture.  But most likely there were children vying for my attention at this very moment. Or some sort of something like that.
I bought dried garbanzo beans in bulk for 99c a pound, probably about 3 pounds.  I soaked and then cooked them in my crock pot overnight and kept the liquid in them to add to the hummus. When the beans were cooled the next day, I processed them in batches, adding to each batch minced garlic, sea salt, coarse-ground pepper, cumin, lemon juice, and onion powder.  I made up this recipe, so everything is to-taste.  I know tahini is a usual ingredient, but I forgot all about that until it was too late, so I just didn't use it.

The hummus turned out really tasty. And all this for a little over $3.00! I try to keep food bins filled with some kind of cut-up veggies in the fridge for quick snacking.  The yellow container here went in our fridge to replace my Costco brand hummus.  And the six containers with blue lids are now in my freezer for later!  As someone said when they saw these stacks, "Wow! We have a summer-ful of hummus!"  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

There's a Magician in the House

Ever heard of the Jack of All Trades, Master of None?  Well we have a son who is the Jack of All Trades, Master of Many.  He loves all things, and does them well.  Sometimes he even thinks he knows better than I do when it comes to cooking. *clear throat*

Here he is, performing magic tricks at the dining room table.  I'm not a huge fan of magicians, but even Tommy entertains me.  And isn't his audience just about adorable....

Absolutely Mesmerized!