Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our quiver is is our van...

All five kids in the Villager

I am finally updating my blog. It seems like I haven't done it in a long time...even though it's just been about 2 weeks. I won't even try to make it short. I did make a few separate posts to categorize the pictures better. (Scroll down for those.)

It has been great having Elden home. I was surprised to learn about the many doctor visits he will have. It makes sense, the dr. wanting to keep tabs on a preemie; I just wasn't anticipating all the appointments. As of right now, Elden goes in once a week for a blood test, and goes in once a week for a weight/temperature check. I really like his pediatrician here on base, so that is good. One thing I really liked is that Dr. Smith told me information, he just didn't assume I knew what to do in caring for Elden. And he did tell me things that I didn't know.

Elden is still anemic. He is on iron drops, plus a multivitamin. He would take the iron drop pretty well, but struggled with the multivitamin. He would spit over half of it out, and then gag for a few minutes after. We finally started mixing it in with my pumped milk. So now Elden gets a bottle once a day with a little of my milk plus the multivitamin and iron, tinted a 70's green. He takes the "fortified" milk very well--which is good. I don't want him to loose the skill of drinking out of a bottle! (My girls did when they were about 10 months old.)

The adjustment to now having five kids all together has been good. Elden doesn't seem to mind the extra noise one bit. The first two nights that he was home were rough=very little sleep for me and Lee. For me, my biggest adjustment was with two kids: having a toddler and a little baby, plus re-learning the baby stuff over again. Even when we brought the twins home it didn't seem like a big deal. Yes, there was more work involved, but mentally it was easy. And now, having one baby after having twins is very easy. I am glad the nights with infant twins are over. Those memories of the twins being babies have been coming back to me since Elden has been home. (Good luck Lorrie and Becky!) There are some things about having a baby that I will never miss.

Elden has gone through SO many diapers since he has been home. He is constantly having small stools in his diapers. I need to ask the pediatrician about this...any thoughts Jolene, Amanda S. or Sally? He has only been home 13 days and has already gone through 110 diapers! I feel bad for the kid. I wonder if it's the multivitamin or the iron.

I looked online the other day for preemie diapers and found a good deal on Elden will be in preemie's for awhile, so I bought a bunch. I got free shipping, plus an additional $11 off my order! I went ahead and got the girls their diapers for the month of June.

This week Lee took Monday and Tuesday off. My friends moved this past week and I wanted to help them out. Lee and I watched their kids on Monday and then had them over for dinner that evening. Tuesday we watched their kids again, at the last minute.

Tuesday night we had some other friends over for dinner. They are moving too!!! I wasn't expecting them to move for another year, so this was a sad surprise for me. I am very sad that they are leaving. It happened to be one of their son's birthday that day, so we had a little celebration with them. My friend's kids were so excited to see the baby, it was cute. And the birthday boy asked if he could hold Elden for me while I ate. How sweet!

Clark and the birthday boy were in the same class at school with the same teacher.

We are going to miss you guys!!!!

The next day Elden had his little check-up at the hospital. I figured out how to get the girls and Elden in the double stroller! Once Elden gets bigger it won't work anymore though. Cal went to Lee's work while I took the rest of the clan to the appointment. When I picked up Cal I met Lee inside so the ladies at work could see Elden. After that we went to the park and met up with two of my friends and their kids (and Lee came and ate lunch there).

Last week I exercised on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Thursday Lee was at work, so I took all the kids with me (minus Clark). There is a community center really close to our house with some nice treadmills and a little play room for the kids. Plus there is cable TV in the exercise room and I let the kids watch some PBS shows. After exercising I went to another community center and picked up two trays of free flowers. Sorry, I don't know the names, but I got some white flowers, and purple flowers. They give out the free flowers every year to people who live on base. Pretty nice! We also did lots of cleaning on Thursday.

Friday was Clark's last day of kindergarten. He had a somewhat bumpy year, especially with switching schools two months into the school year. I even questioned myself if I made the right choice in putting him in. His birthday is in July, so he is still 5 and could have started kindergarten this fall instead. Well, now that it is all over, I am confidant that he went in at a good time. He isn't the smallest in his class (average to even a little taller than average) and he has done just fine with learning how to read and other skills. Plus on his standardized testing, he is in the 99th percentile for the nation--above average. Yeah! Kind of weird that one year of school is done with. We have several more to go!

Friday night we watched Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. It was a cute movie with a fun plot. Thanks for recommending it Mom and Dad R. I forgot to cancel Netflix on time, so now we are doing one more month. They don't give partial refunds, so we are trying to use it as much as possible before June 9th rolls around.

Yesterday I went to the Stake Relief Society Enrichment meeting. And I went all by myself. Thanks Lee! It was in Rolla, so I had a little drive each way too (it's 30 miles away). I went to three classes: What's for Dinner, Stretching Our Dollar and FHE Ideas. They were good classes, but I especially liked the FHE Idea class. I got some great ideas. Two websites that I am excited about are: and The ideadoor has free FHE lessons from the Deseret Book that were put together from 2004-2006. Chocolateonmycranium has flannel board stories from the Friend all put together that you can just print off and then cut out the figures. And many of you know that has free FHE packets that sound really good too.

Once a week members in my church having Family Home Evening (aka FHE). It is usually held on Monday night. It's a time where we get together as a family and have a spiritual lesson on a gospel topic, anywhere from learning about Moses parting the Red Sea or about learning to be honest. We also sing songs and have a treat. Other things are included too depending on how a family does it, like reading from the scriptures, or having a family member share a talent. It's a great night to learn more about the scriptures and Christ and be together as a family.

Last night we took the kids on a drive after their baths and read scriptures in the van. Our objective worked for 3/4 of the older kids. Cal, Shanna and Haley fell asleep about 10 minutes into our ride. Before our ride Haley was pulling a folding chair into the kitchen and it fell on her right big toe. It cracked the nail and bleed a little underneath the skin. It's a bit swollen too. Poor girl.

We saw this right before the drive. Can you see the second rainbow?

Today Lee took Clark, Cal and Shanna to church. I stayed home with the Elden. Since Haley's toe is still sensitive, she stayed home too. I figured a shoe or even a flip-flop on her foot would be uncomfortable. Lee also taught my lesson for my class that I teach every week--Gospel Principles. We'll keep switching for at least two more weeks. I am not sure how long to keep Elden home from church. But I wanted to do it at least a month.

Thank YOU everyone, for the many emails, and comments and love and encouragement. It's a been a long road, and we still have a bit to go. The support and love from all of you has made the journey bearable and even enjoyable.

Check out the other posts below. If anything, there are some cute pictures that I am sure you will enjoy!

My poll on grocery spending closed several days ago, and here are the results (a little easier to read than the poll on my sidebar.) 76 people voted. The numbers on the left represent the number of people who voted. Sorry for the poor quality. I made the graphs and then couldn't paste them into blogger. We can't convert them into pdf files either as we don't have the software for that. So, these are pictures we took of the graphs off of our computer.

Also, I have included my menu below for the month of June. Most dinner items I or Lee make. We basically don't buy any prepared meals. We do buy chicken nuggets about once a month. Since we are still working on getting out of debt, we don't spend as much as I would like on groceries, though I do feel that we eat just fine and I am satisfied with our current diet. We usually just have a main dish and a vegetable. Plus with little kids, our family doesn't eat as much as one with teenagers. And the other meals: for breakfast we have cereal, oatmeal, or eggs. Lee will make German pancakes or pancakes on Saturday. For lunch we have sandwiches or leftovers. We don't buy a lot of meat. Normally just ground beef and frozen chicken tenders and an occasional beef/pork roast or pork chops. Of course there would be more menu options for us if we bought more meat or even seafood. (I am not a fan of seafood, though I don't mind fish.) Meat here at the commissary is a pretty good price, but money wise for us, it's cheaper to buy less meat.

For snacks we have crackers, or apples, or occasionally yogurt. We will do popcorn sometimes too. I love the Orville Redenbacher's Simply Salted popcorn and I buy a box about once a month. We mainly drink water and milk. I buy three gallons of milk a week. Usually I will buy 2 things of frozen orange juice per week. We will sometimes buy pop/soda for a birthday or a get-together with friends (MAYBE once a month, about every 6 weeks on average) and recently I started buying the $0.15 packets of Kool-aid. (I have only bought 4 packets so far. Two last week, and two for this week.) There is a clear watermelon flavored kind, and we had that when our friends came over. I love that it is clear! We do buy ice pops a lot. The kids usually eat those during scripture study or when Clark would get home from school. We also buy ice cream fairly frequently. If we have cookies I make them. My kids really like a no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookie that I make. And we also love chocolate chip cookies. Basically, all the desserts we eat we make--except ice cream or candy--and we don't buy candy very often either.

If any of you have an Aldi that you can shop at, if anything, there are two items I love getting there and would recommend: animal crackers and tortillas. I LOVE their animal crackers. They are so good you see! And, I LOVE their tortillas. The tortillas are only $.99 for 10 and the texture and taste is better than Mission Tortillas, in my opinion. There are also other great deals at Aldi, but these are my top favorites. Plus I also love their store brand Belgium chocolate. SO GOOD! But, not necessarily something I buy all the time. (I should get a year supply though!)

As you will see we rarely go out to eat. The only time that we are planning on "going-out" is when we will buy a pizza on the way home from a temple trip the middle of June.

June Menu

1 Monday: Tacos
2 Tuesday: Macaroni and cheese
3 Wednesday: Pancakes and eggs
4 Thursday: Cheesy potato casserole
5 Friday: Black beans and green chilies with rice
6 Saturday: Pasta salad

7 Sunday: Croissants with cream cheese filling
8 Monday: Baked potatoes
9 Tuesday: Beef stroganoff
10 Wednesday: Vegetable stir-fry
11 Thursday: Homemade Chicken noodle soup
12 Friday: Spaghetti
13 Saturday: Pizza from Little Caesar's

14 Sunday: Beef roast with potatoes
15 Monday: Tuna pinwheels (like cinnamon rolls, but with a tuna mixture inside)
16 Tuesday: Chicken nuggets and shoestring fries
17 Wednesday: Bean Dip (homemade refried beans, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes) with chips
18 Thursday: Chicken and cream cheese gravy over rice
19 Friday: Macaroni and cheese
20 Saturday: Hamburgers and homemade french fries

21 Sunday: Stuffed Shells
22 Monday: Black beans and green chilies with rice
23 Tuesday: Quesadillas with leftover black beans and rice
24 Wednesday: Broccoli soup
25 Thursday: Cornbread chili casserole
26 Friday: Spaghetti
27 Saturday: Roasted potatoes cubes

28 Sunday: Grilled cheese sandwiches with baked beans
29 Monday: Mashed potatoes
30 Tuesday: Green pepper casserole with rice, hamburger, and canned diced tomatoes


Sandra said... also does FHE lessons. I suscribe to her blog.

Megan and Jeremy said...

So glad you are all home and your van is full to the brim. I still can't believe you're the parents of 5 whole kids ;-)

Something I do to make food stretch farther--I cook Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then I always make enough so we have the leftovers Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then we make something really fast/easy like pancakes or an omelette or something on Thursday. And I'm starting to use beans a lot more lately because they are SO much cheaper than meat and healthier too. So if you run into any good bean dishes send them my way :)

Shannon @ Lifelong Impressions said...

I'll read the rest of this marathon post tomorrow!
Blake is a very frequent pooper! The doctor doesn't care since he is healthy and growing appropriately. Too bad. Changing a minimum of 4 poopy diapers every day stinks (plus 1-2 from Madison). He has been a frequent BM kid from about 4 months of age. Hopefully Eldon will start having less frequent BM's soon. Glad to hear everyone is well!

Photo Crazy! said...

Tyson was my pooper when he was a baby. Every time he ate (nursed) he pooped. I think that makes a happier/healther baby anyway. I also think that babies that poop a lot get fatter faster. Sounds like you are getting back into life. Best wishes.

Ashley said...

Hi Ruth, thanks for the updates! I enjoy seeing the pictures!

Regarding cooking...unfortunately, Bryan doesn't "feel" like he's eaten dinner unless he eats meat. So we spend a little more in that department to make him happy!

Would mind either posting or emailing your recepies for mac&cheese and the no-bake chocolate-oatmeal recepie? Thanks so much!

Gianetta said...

Elden looks so cute being held by the kids! Sounds like you are doing amazing, as usual! You have such a great attitude, so even on those crazy days I am sure you are a better mom than most!
You are so organized with menus for the whole month--I am impressed!
Ben loves that simply salted popcorn, too!

MissouriMormonMama said...


I love the pictures of your full van! Thanks so muc for your help last week! It really made a week that could have been murder easier to handle ( : And, I'm impressed with your grocery budget. John and I used to be really good about that, but have slipped up a bit since hitting that debt free mark last year. Way to go!

Scogin Family said...

Wow what a post! As for the dirty diapers, I was also worried once we got Sienna home because wow did she have massive amounts of dirty diapers. I asked our doctor about it and she said that most babies for the first month or so will have lots of dirty diapers especially if they are breastfed. I would watch to make sure that he does not get a rash and can put some destin or balmax on for preventive measures if you need to. Also, our doctor said that you should expect at least a dirty diaper at every change or at least every other change as a breastfed baby. Hope this helps:)

JenniferJT said...

Wow Clark has gotten so big, and I can't believe it's been that long since we saw you guys last, but its fun catching up with blogs. I'm glad you guys are all doing well now and that Elden is home. I am also glad our meal plan isn't so different from yours that makes me feel normal. I love all your pictures, it motivates me to take more.