Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Big Family Says Hello!

Well friends, it's been 2 years since we've chatted.  Two years!!! We did our big move to our new home, and I've been crazy-busy ever since!  The best news is, that one month after we moved into our new home, we officially adopted our baby foster child I had written about previously!  She was not quite two years old, and now will be four in a few weeks!  So that makes 5 kiddos for this family!  We are done fostering for now, as these 5 keep us very busy and on our toes!

Also, 5 is the number of passengers (plus 2 more with me and my husband) that fit comfortably in our minivan.  I love my van as it has so much storage space, even with all the kids!  The very back has a very deep compartment for groceries or sports equipment, but especially my stroller!  What would I do without my stroller? Our 3 year old  rides in her stroller on our morning walks, at the park, and in the store.  (No cart for this 3 year old-she won't stay in it!)

So, since we haven't chatted in awhile, I will update you on the family!  Our oldest is a freshman in college! He loves it-Mama not so much as I miss him terribly and am still trying to adjust to him not being home all the time.  We have a junior, a middle schooler, an elementary and a preschooler.  Time goes so quickly, I am just trying to make myself stop and focus on each day, each moment, and get back to things I truly enjoy-like my blogging!  So, more to come on our new home, our small town, and our Big Family soon!
Take Care,
The Queen Mama
Brought to you by our Friends at Phil & Ted's   Visit them for a chance to Win a Phil & Ted’s stroller!!! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Seven House Showings and Zero Offers!

Well, our home has been "shown" seven times in the past 2.5 months, and not a single offer.  The feedback is always the same:  The buyer loves the house, but is just starting to look...the buyer loves the house, but it is too big...the buyer loves the house, but they have to sell their house first...the buyer loves the house, but not the yard...I am ready to throw in the towel!  It is such hard work getting the house ready to show.  Yes, we have a lot of things in storage, but we still usually have 7 or 8 baskets of laundry (whether clean or dirty) that have to lugged out to the car, boxes full of papers and stuff that gets laid around, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing, staging, getting all the kids and the dog out of the house....very stressful!!!!!  Have you ever heard the saying, "location, location, location?"  Hopefully someone will want to buy this big beautiful house on the hill soon before I lose my sanity!!!!
Blessings, and if you are selling a house, I feel your pain!
The Queen Mama

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Home Signed Sealed But Not Yet Delivered!

So, we signed our new home contract last week.  We picked out our brick, siding, shutters, and all the extra options we felt were necessary.  Luckily, with Big Daddy being a veteran, we were able to qualify for a VA Loan.  The main perk was, we only had to pay a fraction of the hand money that non-veterans have to pay to secure our lot and house. VA savings loan We feel truly blessed that we were able to choose a flat lot containing one acre of ground!  That may not seem like much to a lot of you, but to us, it's like 50 acres of paradise!  It was the biggest lot in the plan.  We were offered many incentives being one of the first homes to be built.  Now, we must focus on selling our current house.  We had an agent open house this week, and our realtor said it went well.  Everyone loved the house.  Now we hope that one of them will encounter a family that needs our house.  We pray that our house can be a blessing to someone else as it has been a blessing for us. 
Blessings to you,
The Queen Mama

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The For Sale Sign is in the Front Yard!

Well, dear readers, the For Sale sign is officially in the front yard as of two weeks ago!  Yes, we have decided to go ahead with the selling of our home.  You thought I was at my wit's end and staying put, right?  Well, I was, until we came across a new housing plan about 3 minutes away from our small town.  What?  We are moving away from our small town, hence the name of my blog?  Well, yes and no.  Yes, we will not be directly in town, but no, we are still in a small town, even more rural.  Right across from a farm, actually, and surrounded by farmland.  So, we will still be able to enjoy all the amenities of small town living, but living in a brand new home.
We have our plans picked and the building is starting in December. With mortgage interest rates as low as they are now, we couldn't pass up the deal. Now, we just have to sell our home before the new home is finished.  Please keep us in your prayers that it does! I hope our current home can be a blessing to a family as it has been to us.  We put our heart and soul into remodeling it, (and are still finishing up trim and adding those last minute extras like decking) and I hope it can be a comfortable, happy home for the new owners!
As always, Many Blessings to you and your Family, wherever you may be,
The Queen Mama
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back to School Family Traditions

School starts next week!  Are any of you with children returning to school ready?  Back to school time is always bittersweet for me.  Though I enjoy the quieter days, structure, and fall weather, I miss my children when they are in school.  Some of my friends call me crazy, but I know there are others that feel the same way.  I enjoy  my children, and I can't wait for them to walk in the door at the end of the school day! What am I going to do when they are in college?!!!  Anyway, one of my kids' favorite family back to school tradition is our back to school brownies.  A simple, yet memorable treat to look forward to when they walk in the door.  They get to choose either brownies with vanilla icing and sprinkles, brownies with powdered sugar, or just plain brownies!

Another tradition they are not fond of is "practicing getting up early 3-4 days before school starts to get back into routine.  My teenagers who like to sleep until 1 or 2 pm have to get up for school at 6 a.m., so this tradition is very important so they make it through the first day of school without falling asleep!  If any of you have favorite back to school traditions, please post or email me!  I would love to hear them!
Many Blessings to you and your family!
The Queen Mama
PS-The Gooseberry Patch CookBooks and Christmas Books are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITES!!!  I collect them and have TONS!!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What a Beautiful Family You Have!

My husband and I took our children and foster baby girl to the river for the weekend.  Dear friends of ours have a beautiful vacation home right on the river, and offered it to us, free of charge.  They knew we had not been able to take a vacation this summer because we had been caring for Cutie Patootie and Sweet Pea.  Since Cutie Patootie was sent to live with her grandparents, we jumped at the chance to go. (much less chaos in the group.)  Anyway, we had a great time.  Saturday, Big Daddy and the boys went down the river in big inter tubes.  They had a blast.  Princess, Sweet Pea and I waited on the shore for them, and a light rain had started.
 They all showered, and we headed out to dinner at a local restaurant.  It was crowded, but we managed to get a table for 7 fairly quickly.  I noticed what looked like a wealthier retired couple sitting next to us.  They were dressed very nicely, and drinking wine from fancy glasses.  Here sat me, with my frizzy hair from the rain, no makeup, and my crew~all of us in "play clothes" because we were at the river.  The couple kept looking at us and talking in low voices.  I cringed to myself, thinking they probably wished all these children were not seated right next to them.
So, to my surprise, when we left, the couple stopped me (everyone had gone ahead of me).  The wife said, "Excuse me.  What a beautiful family you have."  "Thank you.", I told her, waiting for the BUT part to come.  It never came-she went on to say how impressed she was with our children, that they were so well behaved, and how you don't see big families anymore, and how much she loved seeing big families.  I told her thank you again and how blessed we feel to have a big family as well.  I did not go into the "We are foster parents shpiel (is that even a word?)"  or that we adopted through foster care.  I simply grinned from ear to ear as we walked to the car, happy that our family looked like it belonged together, knowing that we do. 
Now, Queen Mama is a BIG advocate of foster care and adoption through foster care and usually always tell curious people our story.  But, for this weekend, I just relished being a family...not a foster family, not an adoptive family, just a beautiful family...
Blessings to you and your beautiful family,
The Queen Mama

Candles, Anyone? My New Moms Work From Home Business!

Well dear readers, The Queen Mama has added another business to her plate.  I love the blessing of being a stay at home Mama, but living on one income with many children does have it's setbacks.  I am an entrepreneur at heart, having worked transcription, data entry, sales, and customer service for the past several years.  However, with the addition of our new baby, the foster kids that come and go, being on the phone, or transcribing with little ones has become next to impossible.  So, I have found a wonderful business called Soylicious that sells yummy scented soy candles, soaps, and sprays.  They burn clean and best yet, are made in the good ole' USA!!  I always burn scented candles to help my home be welcoming and hospitable.  Check out my website: http://www.soylicious.com/candlequeen (like my name? Thought I would stick with the Queen theme)  You may find something you just love-great for your home or gifts for any occasion ~CHRISTMAS~ will be here before you know it!  OR, if you've always wanted to work from home, visit the OPPORTUNITY page on my site.  You can sell strictly online!  It's that easy! Blessings! The Queen Mama

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Small Town 4th of July Traditions!

Fresh corn from our local farm just a few blocks away!

I hope you are enjoying your July 4th Celebrations!  Big family celebrated with just us today and our two foster children, ages 7 months and 2, both girls. It was so hot, we spent most of the day inside just watching movies.   The two little ones are in bed, and Big Daddy took the other 4 kids to the fireworks in our neighboring small town.  So, I thought I would share a favorite July 4th Big Family traditional meal with you.  This tradition comes from my husband's side of the family, and has been passed down for at least 6 generations! Corn on the Cob smothered in homemade Elderberry Jelly on bread.

The Elderberry Jelly was a gift from my wonderful Mother-in-Law.

So here's how you do it~Start by buttering a piece of white bread, and spreading with Elderberry jelly.  Then wrap the bread around the ear of corn, and rub up and down, turning the corn so all sides are covered.  Yes, that looks like ketchup on the corn, but it's really Elderberry jelly!

Then, you dig in!  The Rock Star eating his Elderberry Jelly Corn-on-the-Cob. My husband's Grandmama says that the bitterness of the Elderberry Jelly brings out the sweetness of the corn.  I thought they were all crazy when I first saw them eat this 16 years ago!

Don't forget to eat the bread! 
I love family traditions!  So thankful for the many blessings and freedoms we have!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Making Memorial Day Memories

Do you have big plans this Memorial Day Weekend?  Big Family is taking this long weekend to spruce up the outside of our home and property (to get ready for the house listing).  Still a ton of stuff that needs done on the inside, but we are getting a little stir crazy and figured since it will be nice and hot, we will take a break on the inside stuff and get outside to work!  Yes, we still have to squeeze in a baseball game and run our two oldest to their grandparents' camp, but we can do it!  Oh, AND, Big Daddy's car bit the dust two days ago-the mechanic said it was not worth fixing-repairs outweigh the worth-so we also need to find Big Daddy a new vehicle.  Okay, maybe we won't get as much done as we want to, but we sure will try! We will cook out on the grill, squirt water guns, and play with the little ones in the yard.  We will all have a blast, I am sure.

 Our small town hosts an annual tribute to Veterans at our local cemetery with the elementary school band playing music, a guest speaker, and an honor to veterans.  Big Daddy is a Navy vet and we are so proud of him for serving.  He is so shy and humble, though, that he refuses to stand up and be recognized, so we bestow tons of hugs and kisses and salutes to him at home.  My stepfather is a Vietnam veteran, my deceased grandfather is a Korean war vet who was also in captivity for 5 months, Big Daddy's deceased grandfather was a veteran, and my brother-in-law is an Iraq war veteran (unfortunately wounded and permanently disabled). We are so proud of all of them and so thankful for every person who serves this wonderful country!
Many Blessings to you, and may you remember, honor, and thank a Veteran!
The Queen Mama

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Moving Schmoving. I'm Close to Giving Up!

A beautiful weekend spent running around like chickens with our heads cut off.  I feel like we are getting nowhere fast.  A storage unit almost full and it seems like the house is nowhere near being ready to list.  With two mini tornadoes, two teenage boys, and an infant living here, it seems like every time we are finally making progress, another mess is made somewhere else.  OR we have to stop to run to baseball games or dance class.  Taking care of the baby (Whom I absolutely LOVE and wouldn't trade for ANYTHING) makes spare time a hot commodity in this house. I am so ready to give up and just stay put.   I'm NOT complaining.  Okay, I AM complaining, but truly, my family and their needs/activities come first. AND, I am happy to be able to do those things for them. The house will get on the market eventually, though probably not in the prime selling season.
  The most productive thing I got done this weekend was planting half of my annuals in the front of the house.  The flowers for the backyard will have to wait.  We also bought new bicycles for The Champ (birthday present) and The Rock Star(desperately needed a new bike-was riding the Champ's old one for the past  years.), bought the Princess and Sweet Pea a kiddie pool, and promised Little Big Man a new bicycle helmet he had been wanting. (The store was out of the design he wanted, so Queen Mama told him she would order it.)

Well, I hope you enjoyed your weekend!
The Queen Mama

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

This is an older picture (a little over a year ago), but it's one of my favorites!

It's Mother's Day.  A day to honor the one you call Mom.  I love Mother's Day, because it gives me a chance not only to honor my Mom, but to pause..to reflect on my family, my babies, the ones God has chosen to place in my care, in my heart.  I'm so happy to be a Mommy. 
We aren't doing anything super special today.  Big Daddy is still remodeling, and I am still packing.  We may take flowers to Grandma Grace as Big Daddy's Mother is out of town.  But, super special my day will be anyway, because I will be surrounded by my children,(including Sweet Pea) by all the laughter, noise, and activity that comes with a big family, and I will LOVE every minute of it!
Big Daddy just surprised me with a Mother's Day card as I was typing this (which he made sure to tell me he bought a week ago-impressive!), and Princess B just woke up and came down the stairs hooting "It's Valentine's Day!!". Hahaha!  I love my kids!
Happiest of Mother's Days to you!
The Queen Mama

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Share the Prayer Kids! Sibling Rivalry

Now do these two look like they would ever not get along or compete with each other? Sibling rivalry rears its natural but ugly head frequently between Little Big Man and Little Princess.  Granted they are 4 1/2 years apart in age and different sexes, but they must always outdo one another in many different circumstances.  I had to laugh to myself this morning, when it was time for our morning prayer on the drive to school -and it was Little Big Man's turn to say it-the Princess insisted it was her turn (which she insists almost daily).  So, Little Big Man so eloquently said the morning prayer with such patience while the Princess was howling the whole time in her car seat that it was her turn.  Rivalry over saying the PRAYER for goodness sake!  This also happens at mealtime.  Luckily, at bedtime, I say prayers with each child separately, so they have private time with me, and with God.

Help! I Think I'm a Hoarder!

We are still in the process of moving unnecessary items to a storage locker before we list our house for sale.  Actually, we already filled up a 10 x 10 storage, and had to move everything from it to a bigger 10 x 25 storage unit.  Thank goodness Big Daddy has a wonderful sense of humor and is a good organizer.  He insists I'm a hoarder.  I insist I'm not....but after seeing all of our "stuff", and knowing we still have more "stuff" to put in it...well, okay, maybe an organized hoarder.  Really, a lot of it is clothing.  With a big family, I save the kiddos' clothing to be passed down to the younger ones to save money.  But, I'm really not saving money now that I have to pay for storage.  Hope it's a good motivator to get this house ready to sell!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Small Town Coca Cola Advertisement and Antique Street Clock

This painted Coca Cola ad has been on the side of this building for many many years! Isn't it wonderful?

I found this great looking Coca Cola train for all you collectors!


  And this Coca-Cola Tee!

Isn't this antique clock wonderful?