Friday, March 31, 2006


This morning we awoke around 5:20am to some very happy little boys. Vacations in our house do not equate with sleeping in, as you can see. Fortunately, Brandon and I were able to lay around in bed for a while since the boys were eager to play with the "new" toys from the Brown's attic. WHooohoooo for Fisher Price! We finally emerged from the covers ( on the floor of the living room with a couple of kids piled on) around 7am and leisurely began the process of bathing, dressing, diaper changes, etc. I made a great breakfast (as always :-) of strawberry yogurt and vanilla granola (yummy!) and then we had some Toaster Scrambles for those people who needed more food. I have trouble deciding whether I like those little things or not. They are greasy, slimy, crumbly, and the food product inside that is reported to be cheese, egg, and bacon has got to be some form of plastic. Yet, on a cooler morning when you want something warm in your tummy, they manage to hit the spot anyway and I have been known to go back for seconds. Alas, the never ending dilema of junk food!

Ok, enough on breakfast. Then we did a hasty clean clothes for all the kids swaperoo (my children sleep in their clothes- down with PJs!!!- except for the days when they are wearing more sand that cotton), we made some sandwiches and we were off. For sandwiches, by the way I splurged and tried something new. Have you ever had sliced Havarti with Dill? That is some scrumptious cheese! So, good sandwiches and then in the car and off to the Rhode Island Children's Museum. The highlight there by far was the Free Pass from the Library that Laura B. had procured for us. We paid absolutely no money! Yeeeehaw! So, the second highlight, which the children would probably say trumps the first was the water room. Oh yes! Tables of water with various size pipes sticking out all over and pumps that the kids could manuver and cause the water to come whooshing out like a small fountain. Then they had pipes and connectors to redirect the water and balls to come exploding out of tubes and water wheels and watering pitchers. Jonathons favorite spot was the dam. They had a dam set up with a little spillway on the side and you could open the flood gates and let it all come zooming out or you could close them up and cause the water to over flow the dam. There were also sand bags to build the dam up higher and then there were various boards to set up to redirect the water current after it went over the dam. They loved that the most.

The other fun things were the magnetic building tiles. These were various shapes and you could stick them together to make a tower similar to the size of what you might create with regular building blocks. James and Rachel played for a while with those. Jeff like ladders. Everywhere there was a ladder, he climbed it. Then, he turned around and whined until we came and plucked him from the top. He did this over and over and over.

The other amusing part was the display on human bones. There was a model of the human skeleton with the different bones seperated so the kids could pick them up and move them around. James looked at it and said, "I'll grind his bones to make my bread!" And then he played there for a good little while.

After the Children's Museum, we ate lunch outside. Jeff followed up with his fettish for dumping liquids and managed to empty one family's entire half gallon of apple juice before we could capture him. I was mortified! They were very nice about it though and Jeff seemed the more unhappy of the two children and in fact the little boy who lost his juice came over and sat next to Jeff while he was crying and talked to him for a little. I think he was trying to comfort him, but he was unsuccessful.

We left ASAP after that episode and drove to the zoo. The objective was to tire the kids out past acceptable and then bring them home. When we arrive, we realized that it might not be worth the money for the small amount of enjoyment the kids would receive that late in the day. We saw a sign for the carousel and went for it instead. James refused to ride, but Rachel had a blast! Up and down went the horse. Up and down went Rachel full of smiles and giggles! Jonathon liked it too and Jeff rode, but with a death grip on my arm. In fact, I might still have marks- just kidding. Then we came home. Jeff slept long enough in the van to be lively and awake when we arrived, but Jonathon and James zonked out in a matter of minutes.

And that's where we are now. Jeff playing happliy, the others sleeping. Brandon's on the computer, Jane is reading, and I am blissfully typing away. If the Sabbath goes as well as today has, we're in for a glorious weekend...and then there's heaven!

Good Evening to you all!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sleep, Baby, Sleep

Yesterday we (Jane and I) wore the children out finally. We took them to town and ran errands in the morning and then went to the playground for lunch. A hearty lunch of PB&J was followed up with some heavy duty sliding, running, and jumping. Then we all came home for nap time. Jonathon and James skipped this activity and instead went outside to experiment with the new training wheels on their bikes. Later, we had dinner and they all had a bath.

Usually they go to bed around 7:30pm. James found me a few minutes after 7pm and said, “Can I go to bed now?” Brandon told him he could read books on his bed since it wasn’t quite bedtime yet. Jonathon came into my bedroom at 7:20pm and said, “Mama, can you please put us to bed now? We are very tired.”

Needless to say I was very amused and decided that I should write it down that they actually requested to go to bed since later I would think that I had made it up!

This morning they are all rather perky and energetic. We are planning to head to Rhode Island today for a little relaxing getaway this weekend. Hope you all have a restful time as well.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Babysitter's Nightmare

Thursday was the most eventful day I’ve seen in a while! It began in the morning, as days usually do with me awaking around 6:30am. The sunlight was already streaming in and for the second time since Jane has been here, I felt perky. Brandon seems to scoff at the idea of me being “perky” in the morning, but that’s what it was. (I should mention that Jane has been here for a week and plans to stay until the second week of May when we will head south all together for a couple of weddings.) I bounced out of bed, got dressed, made breakfast, washed dishes, fed the family, and was in my painting clothes getting some paint out by a little after 8am. To make a long explanation short, I was painting the boy’s closet so we could put their toys in their and leave the door off completely, but it was a pale green color that made the place dark. I trimmed the closet in- good ole dover white- and then Jane swapped with me and I cared for the kids while she rolled the closet. We had three coats trimmed in and two coats rolled by lunch time.

At lunch I fed the kids Jane’s help and then she graciously allowed Brandon and I to leave early for his doctor appointment and have lunch out together. We had a lovely lunch at Longhorn’s thanks to a coupon we’d been given for a “buy 1 get 1 free” lunch entrĂ©e. I had some LaFayette Chicken and Brandon had a burger. We got Fried Cheesecake for dessert and that was some of the most yummy stuff I’ve had! Afterwards we ran a few errands and made our way to the dermatologist. Brandon was scheduled to have three moles excised and I was just along for the ride- or the drive home rather. We arrived just before 3:30- the time for his appointment and as we were pulling in, I called Jane to see how things were going:

Mary: Hi, Jane. I just thought I’d call to see how things were going there.

Jane: Well….it certainly has been a different afternoon.

I’ll stop the word for word stuff here because I won’t get the rest accurate, but I think I can communicate the basic idea. JEFF! Actually, Jane told me that Jeff had gone down for his nap at 1pm, but that at 2pm, when she put Rachel down for her nap, she discovered that he was engaged in another activity altogether than napping. She found him sitting in a pool of white paint on the floor just inside his bedroom. To be more precise, it was about 3 and 1/4 quarts of white paint- the entire gallon can having been emptied. You see the top hadn’t been put all the way firmly on and Jeff just thought it was a great thing to play with. Jane later told me that he was completely white from about the chest down with a few spots in his hair (some still remain) and on his face. So she spent the next 2 hours and 30 min. cleaning up Jeff and the paint.

When I called about 3:30pm- I phoned Kimberly and asked her to please go over and help Jane and she did. I was comforted knowing that someone was there to help her and just be a support as well as keep Jeff out of trouble while Jane cleaned the floor.

Brandon got out of his appointment just after 4:45pm and as I was leaving around 5pm, I decided to phone Jane again and see if things were back to normal. (I think somewhere in there I had called her to see if Kimberly had come and she had.)

Mary: Hi, Jane. So….are you dead yet?

Jane: Yes (sob, sob, wail, wail)
Jane explained that Kimberly had to leave to check on some food at home and while she was gone and Jane was in the bathroom, Jeff escaped from the house. When she went searching for him, she found him on the steps in the front hall of the main house having just emptied an entire bottle of baby shampoo onto the stairs, both hardwood and carpet, in a puddle. At that point I think she sort of lost it. I personally don’t understand why she didn’t loose it over the paint, I would have, but she didn’t. It was the shampoo that did it. She told me also that when she came back home from the shampoo and finished telling the older boys to go outside she found Jeff standing in the kitchen with an opened bottle of PineSol prepared to dump the contents on the floor. She caught him just in time.

I called Kimberly again and she had already found the shampoo and was cleaning it up, so I thanked her again for rescuing Jane. When I got home, I told Jane to go take a break and that I was sorry that every thing had gone so hard.

Mary: You’re probably not going to let us ever go anywhere again!

Jane: No, you just have to take Jeff with you!

I’m still not sure why God chose to let all these things happen, or why it happened to her, or why it had to be on a day that I wasn’t around to do anything, but I do know this: Jane had a great attitude about it and I would have cried long before she did. She also was seen holding Jeff in her lap later that evening and I realize how perfectly it displayed the love of Christ. And there’s nothing that helps like getting out and shopping, which we did after the kids went to bed.

I’ve joked to a lot of people that I have slave labor at my house for the next few weeks and she does have a servant spirit, but even slave labor doesn’t have to possess the kind of love and self sacrifice that she displayed that day!

Now, don’t get worried…my kids aren’t always like this- in fact, I told Jane I thought she had dealt with one of the largest disasters in our house I had ever heard of. The paint and shampoo were way above the level of the toilet fingerpainting, or James hitting Jonathon in the face with a hammer to wake him up in the middle of the night (though that was more violent). This was by far the most time consuming and potentially the most difficult because there was virtually noone to be a support. Well, there was Kimberly, and I don’t mean to discount her help, but I usually have Brandon at my beck and call for emergencies and we were both gone!

Since that day, we’ve kept the paint out of the room. Actually, the closet is finished, but even if it wasn’t there would be NO paint in there. Friday, we were more vigilant with Jeff’s discipline and as a result, the second half of the day he was very obedient.
Well, there’s my Sabbath post for the day. Hope you all enjoyed it. I’ll just leave you with a few disclaimers. I did not make any of this up. If reading this makes you feel that you should avoid having children or getting married or babysitting my children or babysitting children in general, or visiting my house ever again, please call me to discuss the situation before making such rash decisions and I’ll be happy to give you the other side of the coin. I do love them.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 about a great shot of all four! James, Rachel, Jeff, and Jonathon. I love my children! Posted by Picasa

For those of you who would like to check my blog with out the picture of the toilet at the top, I give you Rachel in her 9 month picture. Of course this picture is about 2 weeks old now and she has four top teeth now that are not seen here. She is certainly the princess in the house! Her brothers love her and all show it in different ways. Jonathon is very protective and "helpful". He takes her here and there and plays with her. James loves to hug and kiss, and rub and pat, and sit on and smother...and well, you understand. Jeff...he says "hi" to her and that's about as far as his public display of affection goes, after that he just shoves her down because, after all, she was touching HIS toy! Anyway, for those of you who feel like pictures just don't do justice...come and visit...we'd love to have you! :-) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ahem....what James can do to your bathroom if you leave him alone for 2 minutes Posted by Picasa

The cutest girl in the my humble opinion! Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 06, 2006


Below are pictures of the recent event: Spring Cleaning Day at the Aldrich house. This does not mean anything was cleaned at my house...oh no, in fact, if anything it is dirtier, but Spring Cleaning Day at Fairwood meant that the little boys came to play so the mothers could work. We did two of these boy parties, the first included 8 boys and the second included 7. We played with trains, read books, ate lunch, watched a movie, and generally had a great time. It was a great excercise for me- puts things in perspective you see. I may have 4 children under 5, but I don't have 8 boys and one girl 5 and under...can you imagine!!!!!

It went very well (for all you overwhelmed pessimists) and we had fun.

Later TJ came to dinner and the boys enjoyed him hanging around just long enough to watch an episode of Popeye with them. James love language is physical touch, so TJ scores big points for lounging on top of him actually! James gets a kick out of any contact- hugs, kisses, and the occasional body slam on the floor- it all counts.

For those of you who are not familiar with the "other" children in the picture- there are 3 families that live here at Fairwood that have young children. We are one of them with 3 boys, one girl. The other two families have 3 boys and 2 boys and more boys are on the way...but they aren't mine this time! "mwahahahahaha!"

The appropriate way to watch a movie and bond with James at the same time! Here's to TJ and how much our kids love him! Posted by Picasa

Hands up...Left to Right: Peter, Timothy, Jonathon, Gabriel, James, Jeff, Michael. What a crew...we're only missing Ian...this week-heh, heh, heh! More to come soon! YESSSS! Posted by Picasa

BOYS!!!!!!! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ode To Helpers

Ok, maybe this won’t be an ode, but I certainly will take the time to say how great a blessing it was to have some help yesterday. I went shopping for the feast. For those of you who are not familiar with our activities here, Fairwood hosts a feast three times a year in keeping with the ones described in the Old Testament. We have a Feast of Passover in March, a Feast of Pentecost in May, and a Feast of Tabernacles in September. The one coming up, the Feast of Passover, is to remember the Israelites being brought out of Egypt to the Promise Land and specifically the blood of the lamb on the door posts that interceded for them when the Angel of Death passed by their doorways and, thus spared their first born sons. More importantly, we celebrate our “Passover Lamb”, Jesus Christ coming and interceding for us by sacrificing himself on the cross and the shedding of His blood brings salvation for us all.

Now I’m excited and talking about help around the house seems so little! But anyway, we have over 100 people attend this feast and someone has to get all the food for the event. I got (sort of volunteered) the job this year and went out yesterday afternoon to fill my carts to the brim with good things to eat. One cart would have made any health nut pleased- loads of vegetables. The other would have made the same person cringe- brownie mix, 50 pounds of margarine, cocoa mix, salad dressing…when it all is there together it almost seems gross.

So, I was gone and some of the Bible School girls babysat for the afternoon. I mentioned to Brandon that if all the kids were quiet at the same time, then maybe one of the girls could do a couple of jobs around the house and to my surprise it happened! So I got my dishes washed and the bathroom cleaned! There weren’t many dishes- just lunch dishes, so that wasn’t bad, but the bathroom…OH! All you people who have preconceived ideas of what kind of mother I am can either plug your ears so you won’t be disappointed, or can listen and be warned that all your imagined greatness will come crumbling down or all your realistic gross ideas will be confirmed. The bathroom hadn’t been cleaned for over two months! It was disgusting and I was planning to clean it myself, however, due to many interuptions I only managed to tackle the shower. It took me about 10 minutes to do the shower, but you would be amazed how many interuptions you can have in one ten minute period! So the toilet, sink, and floor were left.

Katherine to the rescue! She ended up with the nasty job and to my great delight she did a marvelous job and the place sparkles with little cleanliness stars all over now! It was wonderful. I went into the bathroom several times yesterday afternoon and evening and every time I smiled a great big smile of pleasure when I walked in a saw the beauty before me!
Perhaps some of you are thinking that I’m weird for enjoying the bathroom so much…I’ll just say- your’s obviously has never been very dirty, cause if it had you would appreciate the clean one so much more! This is not an encouragement to let your bathrooms get dirty, mind you- just an effort to point out that those who have experienced the “dark side” of the bathroom can appreciate the brightness all the more after it turns to the light….ok…enough on bathrooms…back to the real world.

P.S. James comment of the day at the breakfast table, sitting next to Rachel:
"I like my sister Rachel. I like her. I like her so much, I don't want to chop her hands off."

(hmmm....she has high status if she gets to keep her hands!)