Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our New Year's Resolutions, From Mine down to the 3-Year-Old's

In the year 2010, I resolve to... The Word of The Lord each and every day....before I start blogging.

...pray each and every morning with the kids before they go to school. We're pretty good at night time and meal prayers, but morning prayers need improving.

...speak to my kids more kindly and politely, like I would a guest, or a friend.

...clean or organize something for 20 minutes each night after the kids go to bed.

...stop piling miscellaneous items around my house, especially on the kitchen counters.

...put on my make-up an do my hair every day, whether John is out of town or not.

...actually read the Sunday school lesson before attending Sunday school each week.

...consider the needs of my husband more often than I consider the needs of myself.

...make and give away an apron on my blog at least once a month...because I love you!

...complain less and compliment more.

In the year 2010, the 17-year-old boy resolves to... 40 miles at one time before his mission. The Book of Mormon before his mission.

...graduate high school with good grades.

In the year 2010, the 14-year-old girl resolves to...

...get rid of her love handles. able to run fifteen "suicides" up and down the basketball court.

...not fail history or "civismo" (civics, taught in Spanish).

In the year 2010, the 13-year-old boy resolves to...

...earn and save $500.

In the year 2010, the 9-year-old boy resolves to...

,...have time to exercise and study more.

...keep his room a little cleaner.

In the year 2010. the 7-year-old girl resolves to...

...color everyday.

...exercise everyday.

...fold her clothes everyday.

...remember to say her prayers. the scriptures.

...wake up at 6:00 everyday for school.

In the year 2010, the 3-year-old boy resolves to...

...not bite the babies.

...not hit the babies in the face.

...not go to Uncle Glen's without asking.

,..not steal from the babies.

...not kick, punch or push the babies.

Wish us luck!

What are some of your New Year's resolutions? I would really like to know. Inspire me!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Mansion and a Stomach Virus (How Our Travels Are Going)

It's fun when you are staying with your sister-in-law in her mansion museum home...

(Photos currently not available)

...with your 8 kids, and your 3 three and under contract a vomiting/diarreah virus all at the same time.....and she has cream-colored carpeting throughout.

Just thought I'd share.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Homemaker Monday: Always Write a Packing List... Or Else!

Welcome to the 73rd weekly edition of...

Thank you for joining us! If you're new to this carnival and would like to enter your post, please check HERE for the rules and regs.

YOURS: Today's "YOURS" goes to Stain-Removal-101 dot com! I swear this has to be the most interesting stain removal site I have ever seen. Listed here is a stain-guide removal chart from A to Z. Ever wanted to know how to get out apple stains?

Baby food stains?

....or Carrot stains?

Go no further! This site lists common stains, and how to fight them, from A to Z! I am definitely bookmarking this website and will probably be referencing it on a daily basis! To view the entire A to Z list, click HERE. Thank you so much, Stain-Removal-101, for linking up to Homemaker Monday! Please feel free to grab the "I Was Featured" button on my left sidebar and we hope to be hearing more about stain removal from you on a regular basis!

MINE: Here is some inspiration to help motivate you to write a list when you pack. If you'll remember last week's Homemaker Monday, I wrote a comprehensive list of the items I would need for our two-week road trip...with all ten of us in attendance. Doing this is not characteristic of me, but more like something my ultra-organized husband would do. But this time he didn't....he got too comfortable and confident...and unbelievably, he forgot his church shoes. He was thus faced with the choice of wearing his brown faded suede sandals with his gray church suit and tie, or borrow some of his brother-in-law's shoes, which were a half size too small. He opted for the latter option, but because the closet was dark, and because his brother-in-law could be considered the male Imelda Marcos of shoes, according to his children, he ended up at church, unawares, in these two shoes...

When I asked why one shoe had a tassel and one did not while we were sitting together in a meeting, he looked down at his feet, and began laughing, silently of course, because we were in church, so that just his shoulders moved and his face broke into a huge grin and his eyes wrinkled around the outsides, and he said through his silent laughing that he must have put on two completely mismatched shoes.

In his days of yore, before he met me, when he would have spent over $200 on a bottle of cologne, this would have been completely unacceptable and inexcusable. Now, 4.5 years and 9.5 kids later, after his silent laughing ended, he smiled and simply said, "Okay, I'm going to my next class now. See you when meetings are over."

The moral? No matter how confident in your packing skills you are, always write a list!

P.S. The 17-year-old boy and his cousin just looked over my shoulder, asked what I was blogging about, acted disgusted that I was blogging about my husband's mismatched shoes, and stated that if I wanted people to be interested in my blog and to think I was cool, I would blog about how the Cowboys won 17 to zero. There....blogged. I hope you think I'm cool now, but maybe not.

OURS: Okay, let's see what all of you wonderful homemakers have for us today. If you haven't posted anything recently, please feel free to go through your archives and link anything homemaking below! Thank you, all of you, for your visit today and I hope you have a wonderful Homemaker Monday!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Just so ya know...

Due to the fact that our family of ten will be traveling to visit friends and family from now until the end of the year, I'll be posting somewhat sporadically on my three blogs...

-11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven,
-365 Days of TV-Free Toddler Time, and
-Mega-Family Blogs 

However, come 2010, I'll return to my regular posting schedule and I certainly do look forward to being part of your lives again in the new year! Thank you so much for all you, as readers, do for me! You have definitely made my world a better place by letting me share my life with you, and by sharing yours with me, and I hope we can continue to share one with another in 2010!

Christmas Eve Traditions

What are yours?


...ate Mexican posole, made by my sister, Robyn, a wonderful pork and hominy soup garnished with avocados, cilantro, chile, and limes,

...took turns reading Luke chapter 2 verses 1-19, each of us explaining what the verses mean in our own words,

...each opened one gift and practiced gratitude by thanking and hugging the person who gave us the gift...

...roasted marshmallows, a gift Uncle gave the 7-year-old girl, and placed them on graham crackers and Hersey's bars, gifts Uncle gave the 9- and 13-year-old boys. His goal was that they practice team work, and they did!...

I hope all of you enjoy a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to hearing how your day was!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where is Blogger the Frog?

Blogger the frog

I have a new friend. His name is Blogger and he got to come visit me in Northern Mexico! Blogger is going on an adventure around the world thanks to Mommy's Camera and The Blog Frog, and I'm one of the lucky ones who have been chosen to host him as a guest in my home and blog about his adventures! Here goes....

Blogger isn't one who likes to sit around in the hacienda, so we took him to the big town nearby for some fun. First he met a Tarahumara Native American boy...

This boy spoke neither Spanish nor English, so it was a little difficult for me to communicate to him that I did need Blogger back, a situation which created raucous laughter from the 17-year-old boy. Eventually I succeeded. I then asked if the boy's mother would also like to hold him and have her picture taken, and even offered her some American cash to be a part of it all, but she really, really didn't want to hold him...

But because she let me take her picture, I still gave her the cash.

Then, because Blogger knows how much work running a family with 9.66 children is, he thought we should check out the mop and broom store...

But he also knows that our family has to have some fun, too, so we looked at some pinatas...

He then spent some time studying the local architecture...

Everyone knows that after a shopping trip, you get hungry, so Blogger had some lunch at the local nacho and paleta (popsicle) store....

After Blogger's adventures in Mexico, he got to come to the border town of El Paso, Texas with us for some Christmas festivities with family and friends. One of the most fun things we did was go to see the lights at "The Plaza" in downtown El Paso.

Blogger saw Christmas Trees and palm trees...

...and bonded with my infamous sister, Robyn...

He perched up on a Christmas wreath...

...and saw the drummer boy's drum...

After walking several rounds around the plaza, he got hungry, ordered some dinner, and waited patiently for the "Elote en Vaso" (Corn in a Cup) man...

...but got tired of sitting up on the counter, so spent some time at the condiment table...

Yes, El Pasoans love their Valentina sauce!

Blogger also got a little chilly, so some hot chocolate did him good...

We all had such a great time with Blogger and we'll  be sad to see him go, but all good things must come to an end, so he is about to depart to his next destination. I'm not telling where, though. You can see where he's been and where he's going by checking out...

Mommy‘s Camera

Thanks, so much, Jamie, for letting me host Blogger the frog and I hope he has a great time at his next destination! Bye Blogger!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ten of Us

An Old Woman in a Wheel Chair at an Airport

My sister was due to arrive at our airport at 10:30 PM and we were all expected to go for the ride in the 15-passenger van to meet her. She just likes that kind of thing. She usually waits for us on the sidewalk with her one small carry-on backpack, but this time she was nowhere to be found.

So we circled and circled and circled some more. The 17-year-old boy was driving and I intently watched the passengers as they greeted their family and friends for the holidays.

But there was one woman who especially caught my eye. She was a very old woman, with dark hair and a dark shawl covering her shoulders sitting in a wheel chair. Beside her, sitting on a raised wall, was a bored airport attendant, with an identification tag hanging around his neck, obviously there as an employee waiting with the woman for her family.

But she sat and sat and sat in the cold, as we circled, with no sign of her ride. I became lost in my thoughts about her and the other passengers I observed, but the 13-year-old boy broke me out of my reverie. He said...

"I really feel sorry for that really old lady in the wheel chair."

Others in the van agreed.

"Yeah, she's been there, like, the whole time we've been driving around," added the 14-year-old girl.

I agreed and also expressed my similar feelings.

"Well, I wonder when her ride is going to come, Mom," said the 13-year-old boy. "And I wonder what they would do if no one ever came."

I pondered that and realized that I had no earthly idea what the airport attendants would do in a situation like that.

The 14-year-old girl suggested that they might put her in a nursing home for the night, and I went back to my daydream state and thought that if I worked in the airport, I would offer her a place to stay in my home for the night. The expression of these thoughts continued as we circled around one last time, and as we neared the old woman again, we saw that the attendant had hopped off the wall and was wheeling her to a nearby vehicle.

The kids all expressed relief that her ride had indeed not forgotten her and as we continued down the lane a few feet, we saw my sister as well, on her cell phone, no doubt trying to reach us.

What struck me about this conversation was the kids' compassion as they thought of the needs and feelings of someone else. Sometimes I wonder if they are ever going to stop thinking of themselves first, but moments like these make me realize that they truly do have the light of Christ and are on the right track.

Just another blessing in disguise, attached to the fact that we had to circle the airport 7 times. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for a glimpse of my childrens' kindness I would not have experienced otherwise.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Homemaker Monday: Packing List for 10 and Yet Another New Website!

Welcome to the 72nd weekly edition of...

Thank you for joining us! If you're new to this carnival and would like to enter your post, please check HERE for the rules and regs.

Before I introduce YOURS, MINE, and OURS, I am happy to announce the winner of the HotSlings Baby Carrier! First let me thank all of our entrants for making this so fun! I loved getting your comments and retweets everyday, so thank you! After going to random dot org, the generated winner was .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

JESSICA from "Jessica's Treasures"! Jessica is the cutest girl with the cutest blog about family, life, thifting, decorating and DIY. She is going to look just darling in her new sling....oh, and so is her baby! Congratulations, Jessica! Just email me your mailing address (at mom2my9 [at] gmail [dot] com) as soon as possible so we can try to get it there before Christmas.

Okay, on to Homemaker Monday!

YOURS: This week's "YOURS" goes to Tara over at "Feels Like Home" for her post on Candy Cane Cheesecake! What could be a better dessert for the holidays? Just look at the glory of it...

As the 9-year-old boy was looking over my shoulder as I copied this photo, he was making all kind of guttural noises expressing extreme desire for this cheesecake! I can't wait to try it, if not just to see the satisfaction on his face! Tara, as always, thank you so much for linking up every Monday! Your posts are always amazing and your blog is inspiring. For Tara's recipe, click HERE. We look forward to seeing much more from you in the New Year!

MINE: Although we love spending Christmas at home, this year we look forward to traveling for two weeks to visit Grandma in our U.S. border town, then off to Central Texas to visit an aunt and an uncle, attend a wedding, then finally visit another Grandpa and Grandma. For some reason, I'm going to post our packing list (excluding John stuff), just in case you care...

Shirts - 63
Pants - 63
Undies - 63
Bras - 6
Socks - 63 matching pairs
Everyday Shoes - 9 pairs
Sunday Shoes - 9 pairs
White button-down Sunday shirts - 6
Sunday slacks - 6
Ties - 6
Belts - 4
Sunday dresses - 3
Sweaters - 9
Coats - 9
Beanies - 8
PJs - 14
Sleepers - 35
Saline Nasal Drops
Pre-natal Vitamins
Thyroid med
Prozac (just kidding!)
Lens Cleaners
Diapers - 140
Boxes of Wetwipes - 2
Brushes - 2
Hair rubberbands - 14
Hair Straightener
Hair Spray
Hair Glue
Hair Wax
Baby books - 9
Grown-up books - 6
Earrings - 14
Scaves - 7
Cell Phone (Mexican and US)
Cell Phone Chargers
Camera cord
Camcorder charger
Pack'n'Play cribs - 2
Stuffed animals -3
Blankets - 9
Pillows - 9
Piano music
PS2 Paraphernalia
Gift for Mom (homemade fire starters)

Okay, I'm tired now. I think that's it. Let me know if you think I forgot anything and wish me luck!

And now to announce my new website.....

It seems as though many people are fascinated with Mega-Family living. Thus, I have started a website that lists bloggers with 7 to 37 children. Yes, I have found a family with 37 children. Plus, Mega-Families love to read about equally large or larger families who are experiencing the same challenges and joys they are.

So, if you love to read about Mega-Families or if your family can't legally fit into a Yukon XL (you have 7 children or more) and would like to get on the list, click the button below to join...

We already have over 25 Mega-Family listings and we hope you'll come take a look! :)

OURS: Okay, what do all of you heavenly homemakers have for us today? I get so much out of your posts and I truly appreciate you linking up every week. Thanks for joining us today and I hope your holiday season is going splendidly!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

HotSlings Giveaway Winner Will Be Announced Tomorrow! Stay Tuned!

Just wanted you to know that if you entered the HotSlings giveaway (see top of right sidebar), I will be announcing the winner tomorrow. Stay tuned and good luck!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Letter to My Sister's Therapist

I've mentioned my sister before, my sister with the Ph.D. She is brilliant, truly a genius, probably, but recently has decided to receive therapy from an LDS family therapist. While Robyn has always been a delight to be around, there were sometimes events that triggered, shall we say, unpleasant behavior from her. Since receiving therapy, however, our entire family has noticed a marked difference, an improvement, in her psyche.

We've all mentioned this to her, and she, in turn, has mentioned it to her therapist. Upon hearing her testimonial, Dr. F. asked if she would write a letter about her change to use on his website. She decided, however, that because I had been the one to notice so much improvement, I should be the one to write the letter.

Here is my letter, after editing...

Dear Dr. F.,

I wanted to write this letter to express what a dramatic improvement wonderful change our family has noticed in Robyn since receiving therapy in your office. Robyn has always been a brilliant woman, and a delight to be around, but she certainly had her moments where we counted the days until she left town to go back to California. During the last two visits our family has had from Robyn, we've noticed that she doesn't yell at us as much get ruffled as easily, and gives thoughtful, considerate advice when needed, but is not overbearing and totally in everyone's business, a pot-stirrer shall we say, as she sometimes tended to be before.

Robyn also seems to have developed a closer relationship to The Savior and seems to see the brighter side of life, whereas before, she would incessantly complain about everything and everyone. She seems to be generally much happier, and thus, when she comes for a visit, we are no longer counting the days 'til she leaves happier, too!

When she told our mother that you said you felt she no longer needed therapy, my mother nearly fell over herself insisting that she continue receiving therapy, as she has gotten SO much better gently suggested that Robyn continue with her therapy and not stop, as she has seen such an amazing improvement!

Thank you, Dr. F., for helping Robyn help herself. Not only have you made an individual's life better, you've made our lives MUCH more bearable! an entire family's life better!

Eternally Grateful Sincerely,


(Robyn is shown here with the newborn twins during one of her happy moments.)

And guess what? Robyn pre-approved this post and she's okay with it! Yes, that's how close we are.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

This set of bowls, given to me by my mother, as a gift to be used in our Mexican hacienda...

These salad servers, hand-made by my favorite aunt...

This talavera-style pear, purchased at Ross for $5.99...

This talavera pot, purchased by my husband at a fair in the Mexican border town where he works...

...and this wok, passed down to me after my father died. I'm sure he purchased it during one of his frequent trips to his favorite thrift store, where he loved to pick out and purchase brass knick knacks for my mother. My mother could never get him to understand that it was not brass she liked, but copper. You can read more about the issues that caused HERE.

Just thought you should know. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe on the Planet

John tweaked this recipe a bit, decreasing the amount of sugar and butter, but it still turned out beautifully. Oh, and John says that because they have red craisins and orange peel in them, they are considered holiday cookies. So there you have it.

Oatmeal Orange Craisin White Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
The grated peel of 1 1/2 oranges
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 cups oatmeal, uncooked
3 cups white chocolate chips
2 cups orange juice
2 cups craisins


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 1: Soak the craisins in the orange juice for one hour.

Step 2: In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar.

Step 4: To the sugar mixture, add eggs, vanilla, and orange peel.

Step 5: Add sugar mixture to dry ingredients and mix.

Step 6: Pour in drained craisins and white chocolate chips, and combine.

Step 7: Place in one-inch balls on greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 8 to 12 minutes, or until very lightly browned.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Remember When I Told You How Ridiculous My ChristmasTree Looks? per THIS POST? Well, when I do my midnight snack run to the kitchen, it doesn't look so bad.

I guess I'll keep the twins. Thanks for listening!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Please Join Us Today for The "Make It From Scratch" Carnival!

Welcome to this week's... carnival! Being the host, I got to be the first to see all of the wonderful things people are making from scratch in the blogosphere during this holiday season. Rather than tell you about them, here - let me show you!

Jeff V. Brimley presents "Santa's Little Helper" posted at Brimley Studios.

June Tree presents Turkey Pops and a Happy Thanksgiving 2009! posted at The Digerati Life.

Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads presents Handmade Christmas: Doll Bed posted at Marine Corps Nomads, saying, "Handmade American Girl doll bed set."

Lori Vaughn presents Make It Yourself Christmas #4 Glitter Ornaments posted at Telling Secrets.

Brooke Allen presents Glittery Holiday Cards posted at Rambling Brooke.

Rhiana presents Frugal Food: Homemade Croutons posted at A Frugal Life - Just the Two of Us.

Kimberly Clay presents Antique Christmas Gifts – Top 3 Antique Christmas Gift Ideas posted at Central Kentucky Antiques and Collectibles.

Stephanie presents Making Cloth Napkins from an Old Shirt posted at Stop the Ride!.

Jessica Christman presents Christmas Craft Project – Button Wreath Ornament posted at

Kara presents Food as Gifts posted at An Hour In the Kitchen.

Revanche presents A Gai Shan Life: Giving "invalid fare" a new meaning posted at A Gai Shan Life.

Abi presents Cupcake tree ornaments posted at lighter side.

Sarah presents Our First Jesse Tree posted at Glory In The Clutter.

Kristia presents Chunky Potato & Leek Soup posted at Family Balance Sheet.

Amanda Louden presents Winter Squash Drop Biscuits and Weekly Dinners posted at Daily Diner.

pbmedia presents How to Unclog a Toilet posted at jammer(six).

Thursday Bram presents Picking the Best Fonts for Invitations posted at Desktop Publishing.

Deb Harbour presents These cookies make great gifts posted at My Kitchen Table.

SimplyForties presents Stuffed Focaccia with Onions, Zucchini, Mushroom and Fontina posted at SimplyForties.

RecycleCindy presents Crocheted Kitchen Gift Set posted at My Recycled

Lucky presents Recipes For When You've Run Out posted at Making My Own Luck.

Alexandra presents Make Your Own Magnetic Paper Dolls posted at Happy Hearts At Home.

NerdMom presents Easy Chocolate Pecan Pie posted at Nerd Family Food.

So there you have it! Hope you have a great time perusing all of the awesome "Make It From Scratch" posts. Don't forget to leave comments to let our writers know they are appreciated! Next week's carnival will be hosted at Frills in the Hills. Make sure you don't miss it! Have a great day!

As a side note, if you love working on projects and learning new skills, consider taking a couple of classes online. Did you know that you can earn a PHD or a nursing degree over the internet?