Friday, November 27, 2009

Let's Get Physical!

mmmm Thanksgiving!A new stuffing.
What's Grandma doing???
ahhhhhhh, that's what she was doing!
My lil' cutie!
Thanksgiving breakfast. Emerson ate 4 bowls of cereal.
Stinner Family Fun Night this week was Twister. Believe it or not, I am under that pile of kids. They thought it was fun to pile on mommy!!

Thanksgiving and More!

Before the holiday we needed a week of catch up. I finished with the boys physicals. They now have all had their flu shots and everyone is healthy. We of course did not need the H1N1 vaccine because we assume we are immune. We where hoping we are immune. I have talked to quite a few people about the swine flu. I explained that we had it and we survived. I heard stories of people driving across state lines to try and get the vaccine. One woman in the doctors office told me I should write a letter to an online blog about my families experience with the swine flu, since we had so many levels of the sickness. I am in the process of writing it and will send the link when it is complete. I personally think that people are freaking out for nothing. OK, if you are immuno-suppressed or have severe underlying conditions like a recent surgery, chemotherapy or a staph infection than by all means protect yourself by any means necessary. But if you are healthy, contracting the swine flu will be like any other flu you have had before. So calm down.

Thanksgiving was wonderful as usual. We had a lovely meal with my family. The kids ran around and played while the adults enjoyed dinner and talked. At one point I did see my mother giving the children "spray whipped cream" by directly spraying it into their mouths. This is very typical of her. She's such a kid at heart. I realized we have so much to be thankful for this year. We have 5 beautiful, happy, healthy children. We have family that loves us unconditionally and we have removed negativity from our lives and vowed to replace it with love and happiness. Life is good.

The holiday shopping season is upon us. I myself am done shopping. I try to finish in advance so I am not scrambling around trying to find impossible items. This year I went out on black Friday. I leisurely got up, had breakfast with my kids, cleaned up, showered and left around 9:15am. I only needed a few things and didn't feel like getting up in the middle of the night to fight with people. I surprisingly got everything I needed with no hassle. I wasn't out for the big ticket video games or big screen tv's so I had no issues. The stores where unbelievably dead. I had no line at Target, Kohl's and Home Depot. Kmart was a little crazy but it was close to the 11am deadline. I was home by 11:30am and enjoyed the rest of the day with my boys.

At this time of year I can't help but miss the people I have lost. I spent the afternoon with my Grandpa today and reminisced about my Granny who we lost in August. I realized I wouldn't get that sweet handwritten card from Granny this year and it made me rather sad. I can't imagine how he feels. I am missing my other grandmother who has been gone almost 3 years and I realized how fragile life is. You can be called home at any time. So this holiday season, love your family. Show them they are important to you. Life is too short!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Family Fun Nights!

Griffin ready to play Waxk a Mole
Austin pouting.
Dinner before Family Fun Night!
The Boys on their new bench. They are shirtless becuase there was ketchup involved! Good looking out , daddy!

Family Fun Nights

The kids had a great week. Everyone is healthy and happy. Griffin is teething like crazy and has decided to only sleep 2 hours at a time. It's terribly frustrating for me but eventually he will be in his own room and I can get some sleep! The 2 year olds are good. Emerson and Maxim had their evaluation for speech therapy this week. Within the next few weeks they should be starting. Although they are delayed in their speech quite a bit, they now seem to be talking more and more. I am also looking into music classes for the boys. I would love for them all to learn an instrument. They LOVE music. We sing and dance all day. Between my mother and myself we have gotten them all the First Act instruments. I can't wait to get a drum set. I always secretly wanted to be a drummer! Austin is amazing. David and I had our first teacher conference this week. His teacher said he is a smart boy. He is the best reader in his class, reading at a 2nd to 3rd grade level. He is having some issues in class with talking. I guess he's like me and a bit of a class clown. He also is having issues with writing. We are not sure if it's his poor eyesight or a concentration issue. We've decided to get him a tutor for a couple of months and than move on from there.

Since the children are getting older(I know 10 months, 2years and 6 years isn't "older", but bare with me), we've decided to have "Stinner Family Fun Nights". These are evenings we either go out, shopping, dinner, sight seeing etc... or we stay in and bake cookies, pop popcorn, watch a new family friendly movie, make a craft or play games. We are hoping Santa (wink, wink) is bringing us more little person friendly games (they are on the lists) so we can expand our horizons a bit. We started on Sunday and the boys had a blast. There were occasional frustrating points when someone didn't want to follow the rules of the games but all in all the kids laughed while catching butterflies with Elefun, laughed while slamming furry creatures in Wack a Mole and saw who was faster in putting the game pieces in Connect Four. I think this weekend may be "COOKIE BAKING". I can almost imagine the mess now. It doesn't really matter what we do as long as we do it together. I love this phase of our lives. The kids are so interesting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ready for Anything!

Grif eating like a big boy!
Alex looking less than impressed.
Emerson looks like a big boy with his hair cut!
Is this kid gorgeous or what?
My big boy showing off his new glasses.
and than, his new Transformers costume!
This is what happens when Emerson finds the bag of chips I left on the counter!
That's spill it, you clean it! Child labor laws do not apply in my house!

Ready for Anything!

Now that we are feeling better our life is finally returning to normal. We spent the last week getting the children physicals and catching up on other doctors appointments. Not only did I need to make sure my children where over their recent illnesses but I realized with the busy summer we had, we completely forgot about yearly physicals. For the first time ever I decided to split the children up and only bring them one by one to the doctors. This is so we keep everyone straight. It's hard for me to take 3 children at a time by myself anywhere let alone hold them and let the doctor examine them, not to mention comforting them after shots. Most of my friends and family know I am not a huge advocate of childhood vaccinations. I think immunities came from actually contracting childhood diseases. I mean, I didn't die from the chicken pox! My mother contracted mumps and measles and went on to have four amazing children(good job, mom). I am very selective about the shots my children receive. In fact I opt out of several mandatory shots. I only allow my children to receive the ones that are absolutely necessary and they NEVER receive more than two shots in a sitting! This is a a well thought out and researched decision that my husband and I have come to. We do not in any way advocate that other parents refuse to immunize. So please don't think that is our motivation or agenda.
We have been having several repairs done to our house lately. It seems the lightening that struck our home in August did some major damage to our roof, chimney and electrical system in our house. This is frustrating. I cringe when I need to flip on a light and it flickers. It's unbelievable how powerful that one bolt of lightning was and what an enormous amount of damage it did.

Since we purchase our home in 2007 our family has grown considerably. We actually found out we where pregnant the day we put our first bid on the property. In no way did we imagine that we had three little bundles of joy on the way let alone a fourth to follow just 16 months after! Now here we are less than 3 years later and we have seriously outgrown our home. We have children and their paraphernalia EVERYWHERE! We have begun looking to the future. Eventually these 5 little men that we have been so blessed with will be 5 teenagers. This house in it's current state will not be enough to sustain our growing brood. We are weighing all options including selling, buying a preexisting home in another suburb, adding an addition or building a brand new home. It's frustrating the thought of packing and moving with 5 little ones but we are just seeing what's out there before we make any haste decisions. If I had it my way we would build elsewhere. But we love the neighborhood and school district where we are. We have commissioned an architect to draw up plans for an addition but with the current economy we may be better off just moving to a new neighborhood and starting fresh. We will see what happens. I have been praying that God will lead us in the best direction for our family. We are the Stinners 7 strong and we will be fine no matter where this new adventure takes us, we are ready for ANYTHING!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy, Healthy & Halloween!

All my boys!
Griff as a skeleton/Woody

I couldn't resist! Griffin is the happiest baby EVER!
Emerson as the Alien from Toy Story!
Griff as Tigger
Alex as Buzz, Em as the Alien and Max as Woody! The dry run before Halloween.

Happy, Healthy & Halloween!

Well, God is good! We are healed! That was the longest two weeks of my life. We are ALL feeling better. The swine flu has officially left our system and are finally returning to our normal routine. The kids came through like champs and just in time for Halloween.

As I've said before, we don't do the traditional Halloween celebrations. We omit all the death, terror and ghoulish parts. Instead, we carve happy pumpkins, dress in positive costumes, occasionally go door to door(to our immediate neighbors and only people we know) and use the opportunity to go see family. Unfortunately this year Halloween was freezing. Not only that we had 40 mile an hour winds. At one point I think I saw Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz fly bye...Auntie Em, Auntie Em!!!!!!!!! We had to rearrange our plans a bit but we had a great time. We took the kids to the Kenmore Halloween party. This was a little difficult because of the weather but we got them balloons and snacks all while walking around admiring all the costumes. Aside from some vampires the costumes where fairies, monkeys, super hero's and the occasional spider. I didn't see too many that where really scary! We headed home after only a short time because the wind kicked up. Later that evening we dressed the boys up...Emerson as an Alien, Maxim as Buzz and Alex as Woody from the Toy Story Movies. Griffin was Tigger and Austin donned his best Batman! They all looked so cute. We had done a "dry run" a few days before to make sure the boys would tolerate being in a costume. Aside from 1 minor mishap(Maxim would not keep the cowboy hat on for the Woody costume)it went off without a hitch. At my mom's house the boys got visits from their Aunts, cousins as well as their Papa and his wife Robin. It was nice to see everyone and the kids where nice and toastie instead of freezing and blowing down the street! It was another successful Stinner holiday, now bring on the turkey!!!! Thanksgiving is right around the corner!