...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Monday, August 24, 2015


My kids regularly remind me that I am not exactly "hip" (which you can tell because I used the word "hip").  This is in no way a surprise to me.  I don't think I was ever particularly cool, even back in the day.  But sometimes I do things that really seal the deal and earn me an especially exaggerated eye roll.

One of  those came up this week.

I mentioned that my baby brother got married last Thursday.  Our family was in charge of making treats for the reception -- and I can do that -- but I realized I really didn't have much in the way of serving trays to use to transport and present these sweets.  In the past I have just covered a baking sheet with tinfoil and called it good, but that didn't exactly seem up to snuff for my brother's wedding.

So, being low on funds, I headed to DI (I know, I know, waaaay more classy) to see if I could find some serving trays that wouldn't cost a fortune.  And I did!  There were actually tons of great trays (I am not fully stocked on serving trays for the rest of my life...wait, no, I have children, they probably won't last that long).

However, after scoring big on trays I decided to meander the aisles and see if I could stumble upon any other treasures.

And I did.

Hidden on the bottom shelf of one aisle I spotted these two, unopened reams of 11x17 copy paper for $3.  


We use TOOOONS of paper around here for everything from homework to wall decorations and this is good stuff.

Then came the part where my kidlets rolled their eyes because it occurred to me that if I chopped all 1000 sheets of the 11x17 in paper in half I would magically acquire 2000 sheets of 8.5x11 paper which is printer sized and in high demand around this house.  

Double score!

So I busted out my paper cutter and started chopping.  I did not get even one single paper cut throughout the endeavor (that's a pretty big success if you ask me).  My kids made fun of me while I sat in the living room singing to myself as I sliced five(ish) sheets at a time (my paper cutter is not exactly industrial strength).  They said I was weird.  They said this project was silly.  They said I should just let them use the paper as it was.  But I didn't listen (although I might have prophesied that this is the kind of person they could become too if they stayed in school).  Despite the laughter, I kept at it.

And now I am the proud owner of a large mass of white copy paper in the perfect size for everything computer oriented.  But my kids think I'm a dork.

I still call that a win.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

That time I attempted to poison my children.....with sandwiches

My children accused me of attempted murder last night.

Through their tears.

And their dry heaves (seriously guys?).

You may be wondering what I did to deserve this heinous indictment and I will tell you.  

I gave them sandwiches.  
For dinner.

(rolls of death also known as chicken sandwich rolls)

Lest you think there was actual poisoning involved you should know that I did actually eat some of the food before forcing it on my offspring (that's how I know for sure it was non-lethal).  However, despite this selfless act and its resulting proof of their non-toxic nature my babies still nearly died when these rolls hit their plates.  Death by cheese and lunch meat.  

I know, I know, this crime is nearly unforgivable.  I actually REQUIRED each child to eat at least one roll before getting up from the table.  It almost qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment.

It's a sad day for me as a mother.
I don't know if they will ever forgive me.

(FYI: My brother's new in-laws were super super sweet and sent us home from the wedding last night with this tray of rolled up meals and darned if I was going to let them go to waste just because my kids were afraid of how they looked.  My babies like chicken and cheese and tortillas and lettuce so really, what is the problem.  Sigh.  Oh well, it made for one truly dynamic evening, but in the end everyone came out unscathed.)

However, it was nothing a little ice cream couldn't cure.  We all ended up full bellied and happy by the onset of night.  
It's always an adventure around here.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The baby Whitmer ties the knot

Last night we celebrated the wedding of my tiny baby brother, Joel, to his adorable sweetheart, Paula (for those keeping track that is Paula number two for our family...two Joshs, two Paulas, we like to double up on good things).

It was a lovely evening to celebrate a fabulous event.  We are so grateful for our family.

Here's some of the fun!

Flower girls

Aunt Heather pretties Ellie up for the big event


Flower girl fun

A bunch of our boys

Grandpa and Becca

My cutie pie oldest younger brother and his wife and son

Say cheese!

Rock, paper, scissors with the girls...they had sooooo much fun together

Awwww, brothers.

Here comes the groom (doesn't he look dapper).

Parents...yes, folks, she's already crying.  She's like that.

The main event!

Dork dad (love you)


My first family.

The very good looking and very happy couple (and their parents).
One handsome lad.

flower girl selfie.

flower girl not selfie


Um...I don't know...Gavin and cousin Jake

Hugging the plant

So pretty


Ellie and Bryce tearin' it up

Congratulations Joel and Paula.  Our family is absolutely thrilled to watch you begin to build your family.  We love you both and wish you the very best happily ever after.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Educate those babies!


That's right.  We started school.

I know, I know, we aren't exactly the only ones on this party train, but it is still a bunch of fun and most of us are pretty excited about it.

 Man oh man I love these cutie pies!

The elementary school crew.
 To up the ante, the parents jumped on this educational band wagon as well.  

You all know Josh is a teacher so back to school is a yearly event for him, but this year I got to play along as well because I started a job today at our local elementary school as a classroom and lunch aide.  It's part time so I only work while Ellie is in class, but it means back to school was a family affair this time around.


Here's to increasing our smartness one little day at a time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Behavioral adjustments a la one of my favorite books.

Some people around our house were causing trouble on Sunday.

Some people were tormenting and harassing and annoying and bothering all the peeps.  Like AAAALLLL the peeps.  It was sort of frustrating.

I talked to them about it, but their rebellious, sneaky side won over their "I want to do what Mom asks" side.  Hrmph.

So, after multiple, multiple infractions and then multiple requests to stop and several pleading soliloquies asking for peace and even a Scotch blessing or two you would think said trouble makers would reluctantly adjust their behavior and humble look for a new profession.  

But no.
It was not to be.

Sadly, the mother of these tyrants does not have infinite patience.

Fact! (Possibly understatement of the year.)

Something had to be done.  

And suddenly I remembered my favorite book from childhood, "The Phantom Tollbooth."  This little gem of children's literature offers several fabulous characters but the one I was thinking of was a demon who gave the champions of the story trifling (and ridiculously time consuming) tasks convincing the heroes that these tasks were of great importance the point being that if they were wasting time on these trivial jobs they wouldn't have time to complete their real mission.

And ta da!!

If my kidlets are busy completing a similar task then they won't have time to fight and distress and plague their siblings.

And so, I gave each offender a small bowl of uncooked rice and assigned them to count the grains.

"There will be no need to talk," (I added some Harry Potter for good measure).

Ready.  Go.

After about thirty minutes, I came in to the kitchen to check on my littles and found them deeply engrossed in their worthless work.  We had a little chat about the "fun" of counting rice and how such an activity might be avoided in the future(what?  there was a way out of this?).  To a chorus of promises of reform and good behavior I released my detainees to the world and (surprise surprise) the level of din in the house stayed at an acceptable measure which involved little to no angry screaming for the rest of the day.


Thanks book friends!  Here's a bit of proof that reading really is of great worth.

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Lot can Happen in 16 Years

Sixteen years ago today Josh and I started putting together our own version of Happily Ever After.  It's worked out pretty great so far.


(FYI:  This is Parker, age two, jumping on his own from the high dive...he did it over and over and loved it.)

Six children, four cars, surgeries, illnesses, new jobs, broken limbs, broken appliances, sadness, joy, so so much fun and everything in between...yup, in sixteen years you can do almost anything.

Here's to many many more fabulous adventures to come with the very best partner I could ever hope for.  I love you to bits Joshua Kerr and I'm grateful every day that all of the very best of my fancy moments are with you.  

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