Tuesday, January 28, 2014


A few months ago, I trimmed Jared's "bangs." 
 He had a long piece hanging in his eyes, so I just cut it even with the rest.
It wasn't a "real" haircut.

Last week, he received his first REAL hair cut.
Mike did the cutting.
I did the distracting to keep him still.

Yes, we did it in the living room.
Basement is too cold.

Unfortunately, I did not save a lock of hair.
I have one from all the other kids.

Next time
as long as I remember.

Monday, January 27, 2014


No more clip-ons.

Time marches on.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I don't know about you, but I always wanted to be a Mom.
I had dreams of rapt faces listening while we snuggled and read aloud stories...
of late night ice skating and game nights and lots of laughter...everyone eating what is put in front of them (ha!) and a perfectly neat, clean house (double ha!).

However, growing up with a large(r) family, I knew it wasn't all fun and games.

Motherhood came very naturally to me.
I didn't flip out with my first born 
(or any of the subsequent ones)
 or not "know what to do" or anything like that.
I honestly don't relate to those who are shocked and scared and out of their mind etc.,upon the entrance of a new person to the family. 
I'm not saying I knew everything or did everything perfectly, I am saying it was not a huge adjustment for me.  
It felt right.

I still dream of rapt faces listening while we read stories..and fun family events and laughter..
AND, a lot of times I even get that.
(My kids LOVE the Magic Treehouse Series (by Mary Pope Osborne) and they pretty much do sit engrossed in the story.  They even gasp at the right parts.  :) )

In between dreams and laughter, we have this thing called reality.

Being a mother (and/or father) is hard work.
Not all days are full of laughter.
In fact many of them, at this stage of the game, are filled with tears.
Tears of anger, hunger, sadness, rebellion, and weariness.
Days are filled with dishes and laundry and vacuuming and cooking and picking up toys for the umpteenth time. Days are filled with dirty diapers and accidents and noise and disciplining.  
Days are filled with running from here to there.
Days are filled with messes.
Days are filled with words.
Kind and unkind.
They can't be undone.

Lord willing:
One day, I will be able to sit and read a book uninterrupted.
One day, I won't have little hands pulling at me for the 30,000,000th time each day.
One day, I'll be able to use the bathroom with out having a single knock on the door.
One day, I won't have to repeat myself so much or yell just to make my voice heard.
One day, I won't have so many dishes or so much laundry or so much mess..

Then again, one day I won't have little hands coming to be kissed with a boo boo.
I won't have someone sneaking into my bed to snuggle in the middle of the night.

You see the tension here.

Those days that are far from the ideal are tough.
I find that I need to be intentional. 

For us, yes, it is all roses.. ;)
most people can't say the same.

All kidding aside,
I don't mean to paint a bleak picture.
It is most certainly worthwhile and wonderful and a blessing--and hard work.
Like I said, it is the in-between times.
Make time to laugh and snuggle and be silly and let the schedule go.
The mess will keep (and lets be honest, it will not only keep--it will multiply!!).
Kids won't.

Motherhood..Parenthood..is hard work.
It is heart work.
As an older mother told me recently, I am in the working/sowing years.  She is in the reaping years.
Press on.

Each day is a gift.
In the grand scheme of things, each day is one to mold and build up to complete a masterpiece.
A human life shaped by experiences, that begin now.
Little secret?
Our lives as parents are changed just as much as those we are molding.

Raising these kids..
it takes a load of patience, lots of prayer and grace.
Learn to cherish each day, no matter what it brings.
We all make mistakes and no one is perfect.

It is however, no mistake that your children are yours.

Happy Parenting.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


MJ's first time.
Apparently, he is a natural.
Hit the bottle (yes, bottle--NOT large target!) 5 out of 6 times.

Maybe we should send him out for deer instead?


Thursday, January 16, 2014


Today, my baby boy is 14 months old.

He is still not walking.
My latest walker.
Now, he is cruising along furniture and will walk holding hands..
in addition to climbing on--or IN--EVERYTHING!!
(including pots)

Well, he did take 3 steps solo, between Mike and I.
He gets excited to walk, but he gets too excited and doesn't want to do the work--so he just falls forward into the waiting arms, 95% of the time!  
It'll come, I know.
He is also still nursing a couple of times a day.
4 on average.  
Another first for me.
I never in a million years dreamed I would be nursing this long.
I have mixed feelings.
Jared loves cucumbers, goldfish, and waffles.
He eats almost anything.
Prefers sauce on his pasta, jelly without peanut butter, and wants nothing to do with eggs.

He loves his siblings.
He loves climbing on and teasing his siblings.
Since he turned one, he does take a nap daily (finally!!)

Jared despises socks.
He makes some very interesting faces.
He babbles quite well.
Says "Mama" when he is upset.
No real talking otherwise--but he will shake his head yes and no.

I'm probably missing some things.

Happy 14 months.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I'm currently reading this book.

(picture courtesy of amazon)

I would recommend it (especially) for all of you young moms, or moms of young children.
It addresses issues such as housework, heart issues, friendship, mentoring and so much more in a simple, straightforward way.

As an added bonus, there are study (or non-study) questions at the end of each chapter along with a video clip if you choose to access it (I have not, at this point.)

Check it out!
It is an "easy" read with some convicting material.

By the way, this is completely my own recommendation.
Neither Amazon, nor the publishers had anything to do with it.  :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


My first thought for today.

When did a having three kids become a "large" family?
I think where we are now (maybe because I come from 5 children?) is a "normal sized" family.
6 or more is becoming a large family.
I personally know families with 8, 9, 10 and even 16 children.
More than one of each (except the 16).

Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
 ~Psalm 127:3

HAPPY is the man that has his quiver full of them!

 Isn't that what everyone ultimately wants?

My second thought for the day.

2013 brought some changes for us, in keeping with our big event(s) every year since 2003.

2003:  I graduated college, got my first full time job teaching, started dating my husband
2004:  got engaged
2005:  got married
2006:  MJ arrived
2007:  Bean arrived
2008:  Bought a house, Mike got a new position at work
2009:  Missy arrived
2010:  My grandfather passed away, we got Heidi, Boogie arrived
2011:  Started Homeschooling, Switched our Church membership
2012:  J arrived, had our first PLANNED homebirth
2013:  Put up pool, Went on our first family camping trip, and Mike got a new position at work

Makes me wonder what 2014 holds.

Third Thought.

This past November, we started Speech Therapy with Boogie.
Just had his hearing tested last week.  
No issues, Praise God!
He talks a lot, but drops a lot of the beginning sounds and the longer the sentence--often the more garbled it gets.  He has come a long way to be sure.  I think he just needs a boost.
Funny thing is, we have the same therapist that worked with Michael.
This time we're going the private route, because he is too old for early intervention-- but she still comes to the house.


I lost my train of thoughts...I started this last week.
Sorry, it happens.
Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I see a lot of homeschool bloggers posting sample daily schedules.
I enjoy reading them.
Maybe someone has a tip or idea that I hadn't thought of, eh?
I can't really post a true schedule.
Every day is different.

This morning, Mike went into work late.
(By the way--he is no longer treasurer for the fire department!!  woo hoo!!  He is now a lieutenant.  He handed over all the STUFF to the new treasurer last night!  He was just a tad bit excited.)
This means he will not be home until late..or early, depending on how you look at it.
Early, meaning after 12 midnight.

We actually sat around the breakfast table, albeit briefly, this morning.
It is frigid out.  So, we're a bit slower getting going in the mornings.  If we have no where to go (I LOVE THOSE DAYS!!), I don't rush anyone out of bed.  It is still dark at 7am..I don't want to get up!

Anyway, days where we can kinda mosey on out and settle in at no particular pace are so much more peaceful.  No, I didn't comb the girls' hair today..but everyone is dressed and whatnot.  
Here is a small glimpse of our morning.

Math games on the tablet.

Imaginative play.
(while wearing a bunch of layers)

Reading to one another.
(nope, I didn't put away the outdoor clothing from the other day yet)

Don't mess with a good thing, right?

Around 10:30, we sat down to do some book work.
We stopped around 1pm for lunch.
Break after lunch for 2-3 hours or so..
and then finishing up a few things before dinner.

One of the nice things about winter--
we don't do sports (other than dance) and keep our activities to a minimum.

What do we generally cover in a day?

Bible, Math, History, Science, Language, Spelling, Handwriting, Reading.

We alternate days with poetry, art, and music, and animal studies.
Science and language sometimes are also alternated, depending on the lessons for the week.
Throw in a bit of Kindergarten work and there you have it.

The order and length of time spent on a subject varies from day to day.
It sounds like a lot.  
It is a lot.

Especially when you factor in housework, meals, two little ones that don't have schoolwork yet, discipline, etc. etc. etc.

And yet, there is so much more I want to do!!!

Can you relate?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I don't remember if I've shared this or not.
If I have, my apologies.

This past September, I started meal planning.
It correlated with the start of school.
It's little things like this that can make "things" go a whole lot smoother.

I found a couple of different templates online,
 but this is the one I've been sticking with and it works for me.

I plan out a month of meals at a time. 
Breakfast, lunch and dinner for the weekdays. 
 I do not plan the weekends..(though that may change soon, ahem!)
We grocery shop one time a week and thus have all the supplies for the next week's meals.

Now, meal planning may not be for everyone, but it is working here.
I hope I can stick with it.

#1 It cuts down on the stress of having to wonder/worry what is for dinner (or lunch or breakfast!)
 every night
#2 It cuts down on the grocery bill and unnecessary or multiple trips to the store
#3 There are usually enough leftovers for lunches or one night of "clean out the fridge" for dinner
#4  Most of the time prepping is easier, because I have all the ingredients and it is not last minute
#5  While I have always used the crockpot..I use it even more now
#6  Planning out a month of meals at a time, I try to add in new things here and there instead of rotating the same meals over and over again

I am not super strict. 
 I do sometimes change up the order of the meals during the week or like a few weeks ago, Mike told me he was bringing dinner home..no problem!!  
Dinner is the main issue.  Lunch, I don't always get specific.  
For example, I might say sandwiches and fruit. 
 Dinner is specific.

It takes about a half hour or so of time to plan the month's menu, 
but saves me much, much more.

There you have it.
Have you tried meal planning?  Want to try meal planning?
Successful?  Unsuccessful?

Monday, January 6, 2014


The end of the year brought a lot of activities.

A sit-in dance class.

or two..

Singing of songs to celebrate our Savior's Birth.

A winter wedding in a snow storm.

Sorry, bad pictures.  
They can't do the room justice at all.

Lotsa pictures.

Lotsa baking, crafting and gift making.


Hanging with Family.
(not many pictures in that department this year.)

Gingerbread house decorating



And starting anew with LOTS OF SNOW!

Happy New Year!

Today it is back to the normal routine.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Don't you love it when it all comes together?
Prior to Thanksgiving, we were reading "A Pioneer Thanksgiving."
There are all sorts of fun pioneer crafts and recipes along with the story, so we decided to make our own cranberry sauce to add to the Thanksgiving meal.

It was super simple and super yummy
as evidenced by little boy.

I haven't been posting much lately.  The busy holiday season, plus being sick..we're only just getting back into the swing of things.  Oh! AND I misplaced my cable to download my pictures!  I hope to write more this coming year, Lord willing.  I'd like to document our homeschooling journey more as well as just plain old write.  Yesterday, we were looking through old blog posts and pictures--the kids really enjoyed it.  I haven't scrap booked (??) in years.  This is it.  
So, I'm hoping it will all come together and I can put aside more time for this.


Here is a quick glimpse into the progress of our remodeling.

It is slow, but as you can see--there is some progress.


Happy New Year!

From our family,

to yours!

~Health, Happiness and Abundant Blessings~