Tuesday, January 29, 2013


It's great to be 3!
A podium makes a perfect seat.

Taken after first period of co-op

Monday, January 28, 2013


Every parent wants what is best for their children, right?

This past weekend, I was able to attend a talk on childhood vaccines.
  There is so much surrounding the issue and there have been so many changes over the past decade regarding the schedule and number of vaccinations and so forth and so on that it is hard to know what is truth, when everyone has a bias in one way or another.  
It is a hot topic.

On our end, children 1-4 have been vaccinated to date, but on a modified schedule.
We did not give them the cluster shots, but spread them out over a time period.
Number 5 has not been vaccinated.

Did you know that NJ has one of the most rigorous vaccination schedules for children?
Did you know there is no proof that vaccinations make for a healthier person?
Do you know what is IN those vaccinations?
Did you know that the story of Raggedy Ann is based on a vaccinated child?
Did you know that vaccines can be linked to many different illnesses/diseases/conditions?

Did you know, other than a medical exemption (which is extremely difficult to obtain), the only other exemption NJ accepts is a religious exemption?  Look up NJ vaccination laws sometime, I found it rather comical.  "They" cannot question you at all and have to accept your exemption as long as you mention something about religion, even if you are not "religious" per se. 

There was so much in the 2 hour talk..
I wish I had been able to take notes, but I had a two month old in my arms.

Yes, this person was passionately biased against vaccinations.
I understand that.
It is a personal decision for every family and so, so important that no matter what you choose to do, you are informed in your decision.  

Here are some websites and books on the subject 
(compiled by the speakers, not me!)
in case you wish to do some research.

Vaccine Epidemic edited by Louise Kuo Habakus & Mary Holland
Vaccines:  Are They Really Safe and Effective?  by Neil Z. Miller
How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor by Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD
Vaccination is Not Immunization by Dr. Tim O'Shea
Vaccination:  100 Years of Orthodox Research by Vera Scheibner

There is so much more that can be said on the subject, but I'll leave it there--for now.

What do you think?  Do you vaccinate your children?  Were you vaccinated?
Strong feelings either way?  Not sure?
Let's talk about it.

I certainly do not have all the answers.
Just getting my feet wet.


The many faces of Mr. J.

Caught ya!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


After several years of hunting deer..
Mike got his first one tonight.

Into the freezer she will go!
Congrats, dear.  ;)

Friday, January 25, 2013


Photo: 1st tooth came out


Number 5 means you "go with the flow" and not too much is going to bother you...
whether it be a vacuum while you nap, a million sticky kisses or toys on your head!


Two Months Old.
14.3 lbs
24.5 inches

Still sleeping well.  The record is 11 1/2 hours, but normally it is about 8-9 hours a night.  He has rolled over a couple of times from his stomach to his back.  He is very strong--while in his seat or swing, he will pull himself up to a sitting position instead of reclining.  He is wearing six month clothes pretty consistently.  He has never cried during a bath to date..I wonder if having a water birth has anything to do with that, because Travis never did either.  Hmmm.. His rash has cleared up nicely as has his scalp.  He is getting more and more aware of his surroundings at this point.
  Overall, Jared is doing well.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


It has happened!
Carina has her first loose tooth.

It took a bit of convincing (Bean, being Bean) that it was something exciting.

It is really loose, so I'm sure it will be out soon.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Were you wondering how we're getting along homeschooling these days?

I thought I would give you a little update.

I have stopped writing my lesson plans the week before.
This is what I did last year right up until Jared was born.

Now, I fill them in after completion.
Call me crazy, but if it is written down I am compelled to do them, ALL.  
That day.
Even though I only write in pencil and not in stone.
It just was NOT working with an infant.

So, now I don't feel the amount of pressure to get it all in.
What we get done, we get done.
Most days, I'm happy with what we accomplish.
My kiddos are in "K" and "1st" grades..
Pre-K is an issue to address another time.
They are both reading, both writing, both can add and subtract..
so, if we let a couple things slide for the time being and work them back in when we can, 
I'm okay with that.
For the record, I do try to always get in Reading, Math, and Bible.

We were also last year and this year attempting to have our schoolwork finished by lunchtime.
Since the new baby, we mostly begin our work AFTER lunch.
(Though as of last week, Jared is now sleeping better in the mornings and this may change again!)
Being flexible is key.

We still have our weekly outings to dance and the library and now the bi-weekly co-op.  
We're busy.
As we look forward to Springtime, 
I hope to get out for more "field trips" and play dates and Little League!!


Yesterday, we had the privilege of baptizing our newest son.

The Scripture reading was from Deuteronomy 6:1-9
and the sermon was entitled
"The Christian Family."

Jared was a good boy and didn't make a peep.
Thanks to all who came out.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Travis and Jared.
It appears they are forging a special bond.
Travis is very interested in everything that Jared is doing..will come up a give him kisses randomly throughout the day..if Jared starts to cry, Travis is the first one to run over and see what is wrong.  He still will not call him by his name (on purpose to be a wise guy!), but often calls Jared, "baby boy."

Saturday, January 5, 2013


2013 has arrived!
I hope you all had a blessed Christmas and holiday season.
I am working on a new memory card for my camera, so I will have to get previous photos at another time.  These pictures are from the Christmas get-together with my family.
We had brunch..a meal with food that EVERYONE likes! 

Pancakes, french toast casserole, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, quiche...


This year all the kids (and some adults) got to wear their jammies!
Here they are doing the pajama party dance!

Travis just watched.

Sleep time?  

Once upon a time we all bought for everyone..but that time has passed.
For the foreseeable future anyway.
We all pick a name for the adults and each child gets a gift.

Waiting patiently to open.

Tabitha needed a little bit of help with her presents.

A pretty new hat made by Aunt Sheri!
In her favorite color, of course.

 Hula Hoops made by Aunt Essie and Uncle Joey.
They were a big hit.

 The girls modeling their new headgear

Hula Hoop demonstration.
Travis was so impressed that later on he picked up his hoop and asked Uncle Joey for more.

 Spy gear.
Perfect for Michael.

Some of the boys showing off their new things.

The girls got new homemade tutus!

 Someone got a little wrap-happy and Dad was the recipient.

Notice the pile of newspaper wrapping..and he was still not done.
Oh, I didn't mention--each layer of wrapping was encased in packing tape!

So, there you have it.
A small glimpse of one of our "Christmas" celebrations.