Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Color Coding - WFMW

Meet my new best friend!

As we've added more children, keeping up with everyone's things has become harder and harder. At Christmas we bought the kids some identical gifts and needed to be able to tell them apart. The boys have blankets that I made last year so we decided to carry the colors of the blankets over into other parts of their lives. The only downside - Kent says  they're going to have an aversion to their color when they're grown! I say, once they don't live here I don't care how they keep up with their stuff. :-)

It started with cups. I purchased these here. They were inexpensive and came in enough colors that I could have a different one for each of 7 children and have other options in the future. I ordered 6 of each color. I also decided to purchase them with lids and straws for use by Henry (3) and Mary Claire (2). Mary Claire still uses a sippy cup if she needs a portable drink. She doesn't drink enough for me to be comfortable not allowing a cup in the car. At home, she uses her pretty purple cup with lid. Liberty (10 months) doesn't quite have a handle on sippy cup usage so she'll wait a bit before getting her polka dot cup.

After cups, I started to realize all the ways duct tape could make anything color coded. Here I fixed water bottles for a picnic. Now I could know who drank theirs, who left the bottle on the ground/ in the van. It also ended the "Eww, gross! Someone got food in the water!".

I also color coded the coat racks by the back door. Even Mary Claire knows where each person's coat belongs. Each child gets two knobs with a piece of their duct tape in the middle. Griffin and Ben are very close in size and were fighting over jackets. Duct tape to the rescue yet again! I placed a piece of tape over the label. Since it's a jacket, the tape doesn't touch skin (due to the shirt underneath) and there is no more yelling "That's mine!".

 Pencils seem to disappear around here. I cut small pieces of tape and labeled those as well. I also decided to start charging the kids when they can't find a pencil. If they need another, they have to buy it from me. They also have to pay one another if they use someone else's pencil. It's amazing how our pencil consumption has drastically dropped.

My latest use for color coding is snack cups. The girls already had cups with their names. Liberty's {far left} is from The Shifty Fox. We have gotten tons of compliments on her owl insert. Mary Claire's cup {far right} came from The Pink Llama Shop. I love the combination of the pink and green. {I know the owner's of both boutiques personally. I can't say enough about the quality of the items you will receive if you order from either lady!} Though these are technically not the girls' colors they have their names so they are good enough.

The other cups came from Aunt Kristen. At Isaac's birthday party the "loot bag" was a snack cup the kids could fill with rainbow colored goldfish. The colors matched up perfectly for the boys. Since Madisyn is nearly 12, I let her use a baggie.

The best thing about the snack cups is once again, the arguments it ends. Each person gets their own cup. When it's empty, it's empty. No more "He got more than me!, She didn't share!, He spilled it!". Each person is responsible for their own. I also told them that if they lost their cup, there would be no snacks next time. Anything that keeps me from having to keep up with their stuff is a winner in my book.

Want some more great tips? Head over to We Are That Family and join in the Works For Me Wednesday fun!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

You can also checkout Raising Homemakers for some great homemaking tips.

{It sems I am frequently asked how I do various tasks. I'm a member of a wonderful online community and have friend who are always willing to share their successes {and failures}. I plan to share a few of the things that work for me over the next few weeks. Most of my ideas are not original creations, they have morphed from places like Pinterest and Facebook. There is no reason to re-invent the wheel and I'm more than willing to share how I made it work for me. If you would like to know how I do something, leave a comment, send an e-mail, etc. I'll be more than happy to work up a post on the topic. You can e-mail at Stacy at .}

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lion's Club Auction

Papaw calling bids

Each year the local Lion's Club has an auction. Kent, his dad, brother and uncle all donate their services of bid calling. Local businesses donate the items for the auction.

Daddy ringing 

We started the night off with Papaw calling bids and Daddy, Unc, and Uncle Phillip ringing with the Lion's Club members.

Unc took bids as well

Uncle Phillip is part of the auction, too.

It's important to brush and floss

In addition to the auction. they also have a Fish Fry. We ate a late lunch so I didn't sample anything but the boys had their fill on pickles. My kiddos love pickles so much that Nana and Papaw have a pretty pickle jar setting on the counter at all times. Griffin and Ben asked if they could go back and get A pickle. I agreed. They returned with 15 pickles! They ate every one.

The boys

One of the best parts of the Lion's Club Auction is hanging out with Nana and Papaw. They know everyone, so there is always someone to talk with.

The girls plus Henry

I recently started color coding everything that more than one child owns. Even the youngest, who are no where near reading. know whose cup is whose based on what color it is. Thanks to Aunt Kristen we had snack cups in yellow, blue, green and red. I filled each person's cup (the girls already had cups but no boy colors) and when they ate their share, it was gone. I'm telling you, color coding is my sanity right now.

Unc calling bids

As the auction went on, Unc had his turn at calling bids. The only family purchase of the evening was fried pies, which Unc sold to us.

Daddy calling bids

The most expensive item of the evening was sold by Daddy. He auctioned off a diamond necklace. Needless to say, my jewelery box is not any fuller than it was before. ;-)

This video is only about 30 seconds so it should load quickly. Anytime we meet someone and they learn that Kent is an auctioneer, they ask if he can talk fast. Click if you want to hear Daddy "talking fast". ;-)

Monday, February 25, 2013


After a nasty week of rain and cold, we needed to get out. The forecast for Friday looked warm on Monday but by the end of the week the high had dropped 10 degrees. However, with all it's paved walkways the zoo was something our yard wasn't - dry. One of the greatest values for a family of any size in the Mid-South is a membership to the Memphis Zoo. We visit 5 or 6 times a year and never feel that we have to see the whole thing in one day. This keeps the littles happy and the bigs {Mommy included!} from getting too worn out walking all over.
The Memphis Zoo has a new baby (7 months) sea lion on display. When we arrived for the Sea Lion Show, Teva came right up to the fence. We later found out that she has a tendency to bite. Fortunately, we discovered this before she nipped any little fingers poking through the fence. Unfortunately, it was after Ty's quick reflexes saved his fingers.

 Another aspect that made this trip to the zoo more enjoyable was being joined by our new friends, the Tims Family. It was a fairly cool day, so attendance was low which meant the people walking around with 12 kids didn't attract too much attention. ;-)

After the show ended we headed to the observation bubble. The baby sea lion proved to be lots of fun here as well. She would swim right up to the bubble which thrilled the kids, especially the 3 and under crowd.

We continued on to the Northwest passage. I think the kids looked a little more like clowns climbing in their car than Indians heading for a hunt. Griffin has his own beat. Notice how all the other children posed in the boat?

 As we prepared lunch, the kids had a great time checking out the playground. The zoo has one of the nicest playgrounds around. It's always clean, children are supervised by their parents and it's well maintained.

Mary Claire enjoyed the "swinging bridge". She would giggle so much when the bigger kids ran by that she almost fell over. She may be "a runt" but she thinks she is a big as everyone else.

 Another highlight at the zoo is the prairie dog exhibit. This year, all of the bubbles have been replaced! Lots of minor construction projects are taking place as the zoo crew is gearing up for the Spring kick-off.

After walking around the zoo all day, it's nice to sit and relax a bit on the porch.

 I think Mary Claire has made a friend. JoAnna was so sweet walking beside Mary Claire. She kept guiding her around puddles and pointing things out. They were so cute together.

The boys were the navigators as we made our way around the zoo. After Madisyn expressed vehement opposition to visiting the snake house, the boys became more determined to visit it. Here they were comparing their map to the large displayed map. Just to the left of  them is a huge 4' x 8' sign with Snakes and an arrow pointing the way. The girls noticed the large sign and headed that way while the boys continued to determine where they were. :-)

Somehow we've managed to not walk by this dino skeleton in the past. Several of the boys wanted their picture made with the dino all by themselves. We have some dino loving kids! Last summer we heard several talks by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis. The kids have also been listening the the Jonathon Park Radio Dramas. Both explore dinosaurs and creation and I can't say enough good things about both programs. We highly recommend both! We had a wonderful time looking at the ways that God made various animals with features that help them thrive in their climates.

{Disclaimer - Jonathon Park is produced by Vision Forum. We have used lots of their resources and continue to enjoy them. However, the owners of Vision Forum do promote and believe in the Calvinist doctrine of pre-destination, which holds that a finite number of people of pre-determined souls will be saved, which we do NOT believe or endorse. As with any program or product please hold it to the standard of the Bible and don't take our word or any other's word alone.}

Friday, February 22, 2013

Painting with 4-H

photo by Jennifer Martin

 Last month our 4-H chapter met and created works of art.

 photo by Jennifer Martin
Our 4 oldest attended the event as Liberty was ill. They had a great time creating abstract art.

photo by Jennifer Martin

Of course, the word asbstract doesn't mean much to most kids so we ended up with a few landscape paintings.

The finished products . . . .

And just because they're cute! :-)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

First Haircut

 Mary Claire had her first haircut this week. She wasn't real keen on having it done {perhaps Madisyn influenced her}.  But she did great!

 She sat on my lap and was wonderful. She got to wear the penguin cape and smiled the whole time.
Once Mrs. Crystal finished, she played in the salon while Mommy got a trim. I think she checked out every mirror in the place. That little girl that kept showing up looked too friendly to not play with her. ;)

All done!

We even kept a little curl to remember the special day. After we left we visited Daddy and Unc to show them our new dos. It's amazing how much different little girls are from little boys!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy 6th Birthday, Raegen!

Happy 6th Birthday, Raegen!

To the little boy that made me an Aunt . . .

And our first cousin

We hope you have a fantastic day!

We made you a little package

We spared no stickers in the making

We even got to stay up a little later than normal to make sure the mail lady picked it up first thing.

We hope it brings as many smiles to you as we had while creating it.

Happy Birthday!