Sunday, August 30, 2009

Amish Family Reunion

We went to the reunion tonight and had a great time. We ended up being over an hour late because we had to wait for Tony to get home from work. When we walked in the men were all sitting at the tables and I think it was Sammy who started clapping and the others joined in. As if we made some grand entrance or something. Ernie Lorene came up and apologized that she must have given me the wrong time. I explained that we had to wait so it wasn't her fault. They still had some food out and they FORCED us to eat. Ha ha ha.
We brought some dessert which made everyone happy and it was gone in a flash. After everybody watched us eat the entertainment began. Aunt Elva had a relay game with all the adult males on one team and a bunch of grandkids on the other team. Sammy and Uncle Ernie were being smart with her while she was setting up so she made them sit at the end of the line. Everyone was hooting and hollering how funny they were being.
So the race began and they had to run across the room and grab something from a bag and put it on and run back to there team where they took the item off and handed it to the next person who put it on and then had to run to the bag and put on another article. That's why Aunt Elva made the naughty boys go to the back of the line because then they had to look the most ridiculous wearing everything.
By the end Sammy was wearing an apron, one sock, some clogs, a huge fake ear, a necklace, a tie, a hat, some sunglasses, a belt, a handkerchief, and he was carrying a bucket, a purse, a shovel, and some other things. It was really funny and all the ladies were just laughing at them. It ended up that the kids won by a nose. It was perfect. Then Jacob and a girl who I didn't recognize did a skit, and Aunt Elva and Ernie Lorene did one, and Susie, John and a boy I didn't know did a skit. I think I even saw Uncle Marvin entertaining the men at one point. If I was braver I would have done Ruth's Farley routine, but I didn't.
Then Tony talked with the men and I talked with the women and the kids played outside. On the way home the boys told me about playing outside. Some of the grandkids were kind of mean to them at first but then by the end they were friends. I guess they haven't had much chance to play with English kids at these sort of things because so far all of our cousins have stayed Amish so that's what they're used to. They came around though and my boys absolutely loved it.
I wish I could have had all the families stand in groups to find out who everybody was but I just tried as best I could to figure it out. I talked with Regina a lot. She has five boys now and she wanted to know the trick to having a girl. When I went over by Tony and Sammy they were kind of talking about the same thing so I told Sammy that Regina told me she wanted to keep trying. He then said that he had to go home right away. It was really funny. I said I was just kidding though because Regina said no such thing. She did say that she already has to do so much sewing to keep clothes on her boys that she never catches up and there is always more sewing to be done. So Sammy lucked out. He has five boys to help him with his work and Regina has zero to help her with hers. Doesn't that just sound like Sammy?
It was nice to talk with Aunt Elva, Ernie Lorene, Leo Lorene and Fern. Glen's weren't there and Nina wasn't there. Or at least I didn't see her. Marvin was there so maybe she was just where I wasn't. So I didn't get to see everyone that I wanted to but it was still great to be there. If you want to know what there skits were call me. It would take forever to type them out plus you wouldn't get the inflections. But they were really cute. They asked about everybody and how our reunion went. I felt free to tell them everyone was great and that they should plan on seeing you all in two years.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spiders II

I guess some of those baby spiders that I was plagued with a while back have grown up a bit. Two days ago we found a nickel sized reddish spider in the kitchen. I caught it and threw it out in the street. It was really scary because he was quick and he liked to hide. Today Koen saw a quarter sized brown spider crawling on the floor and Koen caught it. I had to take it outside though. Again, I threw it in the street. I think the big one today crawled on Brandis last night at the dinner table. Brandis just screamed all of a sudden last night and wanted on my lap. He kept looking back at the bench and crying. Then this morning he wouldn't sit at the table to eat his breakfast. I kept looking for something but I didn't see it.
After Koen caught it I figured that's what scared him and asked if it crawled on him and he said yes and cried. Now he doesn't want to walk on the floor. He wants someone to carry him from the table to the couch and from the couch to the stairs. I guess he doesn't know that spiders can go upstairs too, because once he gets to the staircase he's fine going up and playing in his room. None of the other boys are too bothered by it. I thought they'd all get shoes and and sit on the furniture to play but that's not the case. They're all barefoot and playing and walking on the floor. Well, I am too so maybe they don't think they should be scared because I'm not acting scared. Who knows, but now I'm raising some future spider hunters for some lucky future wives.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Queen of Cheap????

My sister recently posted about my fair post where she said I was the queen of cheap. I started wondering if I really was cheap. I think I do a lot of things to save money but I think it's just being smart. Here are some of the things I do to stretch a penny.
1. I buy groceries with coupons and ads. I don't even buy milk or cereal unless they're on sale. I probably save $50 a week doing this.
2. When we go to McDonald's we do not buy Happy Meals. We either get McDoubles or 10/20 piece chicken nuggets. I break the box to make two and divide them up. We also all share one drink and get free refills. If we go to Taco Bell we get the 10 taco grande meal and share one drink. We spend less than $10 when we go fast food usually.
3. I buy used kids clothes. I can't even imagine buying full price for new clothes. That would put me in the poor house. I usually don't buy clothes for myself but I did recently find a used clothing store that has adult sizes. So I bought some jeans for $10.
4. I buy laundry detergent when Meijer has their buy one get two free sale. That's right buy ONE get TWO free. That costs me $12 for enough laundry soap to last six months.
5. If I don't get my kids clothes at a consignment shop I get them from eBay where you can buy a whole box of clothes for less than $20.
6. We only go to the cheap movie theater and we watch the matinee so it's cheaper. We also bring our own snacks which I know you aren't supposed to but why pay twice as much?
7. I bake instead of buying expensive goodies.
8. I put things on the shelf at the checkout counter if I realize it was an impulse buy and I don't need it.
9. I also do without. If it's hard for me to pay THAT much, than I don't buy it.

As you can see from my fair blog and some of these. We still get to have fun. We still go out. I just don't want to pay more than I have to. I never thought of myself as cheap though. I do know that if I wasn't as frugal as I am that we would probably be staying home all the time with nothing to do but wear our one name brand pair of jeans and our one shirt and we'd be eating bread and eggs. Also, my kids don't seem to mind all this so much. I think they are just happy to be doing something. Maybe when they're older they'll think it's embarrassing. I'll just tell them to get a job.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fair Week

I love going to the fair. This week is the Berrien County Youth Fair which is the one that we go to. I like it because they don't have the games there. It's just animals, rides, the commercial buildings and the FOOD! This year we had the perfect fair experience. I will now tell you the parts that made this the best fair experience yet for the Bullocks.
First we went on Monday the opening day. We got there at 6:30 am. We took our breakfast with us and we slept in the van until it was time to go walk around. We watched the tractor pull. That is Tony's main part of the fair. The boys liked it and even I got into it. We went through the commercial buildings which is so much fun. I know when I was a kid I thought it was boring but now we all love going through for some reason. We got to watch a woodcarver make a bear, a dolphin, and a bird. The boys got to go through a farmer's display where they got to gather eggs, milk a cow, pick cherries, go fishing, dig potatoes and a couple other chores. They also got to play in a corn box. It was like a sand box with buckets and shovels but it had dried corn kernels instead. They had a blast in it and it was so clean.
That was pretty much all we did on Monday. We went back Tuesday morning at 7 am. We ate breakfast in the van again and then the kids and I walked around the rides to pick out which ones we would ride later while Tony got a couple extra hours of sleep in the van. After we got Tony we ate some Korn Dog corn dogs. This is my favorite place to eat at the fair because they have the best corn dogs and breaded cheese on a stick. They also only charge $1.50 each. That is so cheap compared to all the other fair food. Oh I guess I should explain why we go so early to the fair. It's because I'm cheap and I don't want to pay the entrance fee. Tony says it's like stealing but I just don't think it makes sense to pay so much money when you could get in free by going early. I don't know if that's dishonest or not. So anyway, back to the food. We also took our own apple juice and we used drinking fountains to keep hydrated. Any way to save a couple extra bucks.
Alright, then we got to the rides. Koen and Eades were big enough to go on some of the adult rides so I went with them and Tony took the younger ones on the kiddie rides. Koen and Eades and I had so much fun. We went on the scrambler, the gondola, the the crazy dance or twister, the bumper cars, some insane ride that I thought I was going to wet my pants on, the gravitron or starship 2000, the spider, the slides, and some hang glider thingy. It was so much fun. We went on discount day so it wasn't too expensive either. It was great to go with Koen and Eades. I think it strengthened my mother/son bond with them. We literally rode until we were sick.
We met up with Tony and looked through the R.V.s and sat on the tractors. We saw a dog show. We went through the wonders of life barn. We looked at Tony's mom's picture of when she was one of the fair queens. We ate some cotton candy. We saw a ton of friends and our kids played like wild animals while we sat and talked. We stayed all day until night. Then we went on a couple more rides to see the lights. It was great.
We got home and the kids just crashed. We did everything that we wanted to do. The kids can't stop talking about it. We set the bar so high that I don't know if we'll ever be able to beat this year's fair. We'll still try though.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Reunion Experience

I went to Nevada for a week for a reunion. I decided Wednesday night when I got back from a YW activity that I should probably start packing. I packed everything up and had it ready for Tony to put in the van the next day. We woke up early and got everyone ready and headed out. We made it to the airport and Tony helped get us to the gate and saw us off. We flew there and the boys did alright for most of the flight. The last hour they started getting antsy. We arrived and granddad was at the gate to greet us.
That was the trip out. While there we had something to do everyday. We went on a train ride, had a reunion picnic complete with a talent show and games, went to an old world market where I found a beverage I had been looking for since my mission, went to a children's museum and wore gram and granddad out, went to a fiesta, went to Lake Tahoe, went to Virginia City, went to some candy stores, went to a fruit market, had some GREAT food including giant green olives, foot long hot dogs, red hot popcorn, grilled chicken and burgers, pizza, homemade root beer, a ton of candy, and chicken and noodles. We even went to Jack in the Box once. The kids and I had so much fun.
We got to play a lot of games together and even got to watch an old family favorite movie. It was fun to see the grandkids play together and it was fun to be around my parents and sisters again. I think we even had a couple of inside jokes throughout the week. It's too bad we only get together once every two years.
After the week it was time to come home. We had a one hour flight to SLC which was really fun because the plane was fairly empty and we all got to look out the windows. It was a short flight and we had fun exploring the SLC airport once we got there. Then we got on our final flight and all the boys feel asleep except for Brandis. So we had an alright flight home. Tony met us a baggage claim and he said we all grew. Well, not me, he wouldn't make that mistake. I probably did though with all that yummy food around. We had a nice drive home where I told Tony all about the trip. I don't think I left out anything.
So basically I had the time of my life and I am so thankful to my mom for staying in the hotel with me the whole week. I would have lost my sanity otherwise. I am thankful to my dad for driving me everywhere and enduring my kids fighting in the car. I'm thankful to my sisters who saw me struggling with five kids and helped out and even took some of my kids off of my hands a couple of times. A trip that could have been a total nightmare for me turned out to be fantastic. I love to be around my family and even though we are all so different and have such varying lives there is still something so Miller about us all and I love it. I can't wait until the next reunion.