Wednesday, October 29, 2008

School Days

This is what school looks like at our house (during the independent work, anyway):

She's just waiting for someone to pick her up :0)
I love teaching them but I especially love watching them learn, watching them soak in things, watching their brains grow. It has been an absolute blessing and privilege to homeschool. Not to say it's been easy - it hasn't - but God has given me lots of grace to get through the difficult times. My oldest is graduated, works full time and is going to college - so now I know it can be done. I've got a long way to go - it's always an adventure - it's tiring and sometimes difficult but it's so very worth it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Autumn Fun

Sunday was a gorgeous, sunny Fall day that enticed away from all those duties that constantly call us. Off to the country we went seeking some fun. And fun found us:

The country roads beckon us
Autumn colors
We saw lots of cows, horses, sheep and a pig or two.

We came home with a few boxes of apples - applesauce to come.

A modern hayride
Down in the pumpkin patch
Home again - having more fun

Having WAY too much fun!!
The grand finally - gingerbread and cider.
What a fun day. I am so glad we have the Sabbath to rest and relax and enjoy God's creation. It makes us make time for family and rest. The temptation is always there to tend to the ever-growing laundry pile and other pressing chores. But when my hubby and I resist and commit to setting aside Sunday (after worship, of course) for family it seems so much better. Sometimes, when Monday rolls around and there are undone things because we didn't work on Sunday, I begin to feels stressed but then I know that that time spent just playing with the kids is eternal time - time that is never wasted!! Thank you God for setting aside Sundays!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just for Laughs

This made me just crack up!! Enjoy!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


A beautiful treat from my husband

A yummy treat from my kids - baked and frosted by my 11 year old - so good I snuck a second piece

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sharing Gifts

This day hasn't started too well - I my hubby left really, really early for work and I got woken up really early by his alarm clock (I think I broke it trying to turn it off before it woke baby - it didn't work.) I picked up baby only to discover she had blown through all her clothes - in MY bed - Yuck!! I wandered out to the kitchen to discover that teenage son left the kitchen garbage out overnight and doggie had a midnight feast (garbage now not in can - all over the floor - she's a messy snacker) And I discovered we are out of milk - AHHHH. Today is the day that I officially change the second digit in my age from a 1 to a 2. I'm not going to say what decade that number two would be next to - but I will say that I'm no longer told that I look too young to be a mom!!

Oh well, I've now complained enough. Since it is a birthday I'm going to share about a friend who has willingly shared a gift with me. She has a great gift of finding wonderful things at thrift stores. I love to shop at second hand stores but I really don't have any time to dedicate too it. So... when I realized my non-maternity clothes are in pretty bad shape I gave my friend my sizes and off she went. So far she has found about 5 darling tops and a comfy skirt and

this great basket (I just love it!!)
and these darling shoes (aren't they cute?)
Thank you friend for sharing your wonderful gift with me!! You were so excited to shop for me - I am touched at how willing you are. God has given us all gifts to use for ourselves, our families and others. I hope I am as willing and excited as my friend to share the gifts God has given me (another prayer to pray!!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Skills

I have been knitting for some time but when I've been watching my friends crochet I was intrigued with the art. Crochet seems to have some distinct advantages over knitting - it's easier to correct mistakes and if your hook get hijacked by a toddler you only have to find one loop to put it back - not so with knitting. Crochet is easier to carry around and the hooks aren't dangerous to toddlers - unlike knitting needles which seems to hold an odd attraction to my 3 year old. He seems to think they are either drumsticks or a sword (and a knitting needle can inflict some real damage if used that way!!) So, I learned how to crochet a few weeks ago. After some great demonstrations from my friend and reading several books I got the hang of it. And the best thing I discovered - I can crochet and hold nursing or sleeping baby at the same time!!! (that may change when she gets bigger but for now it's great!!)

This baby blanket is what I've been working on: But it's time to set that aside for a short time and begin working on some Christmas presents: I love to keep my hands busy and I have found that when my hands are busy my brain does not tread down paths that it shouldn't. Because of that I actually think my busy hands even in my rest time pleases God. It's good discipline for my mind and helps with the family budget when I can create gifts from home. So, what are you working on? Are you creating Christmas gifts this year?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Walk in the Park

On Saturday while running errands with our smaller ones we made a visit to the local nature park (we call it the turtle park). It was a beautiful sunny autumn day with a little bite to the air. We had such a good time checking out all the little docks that hang out into the lake. As it was an impromptu visit I didn't have my camera. My hubby however, had his cell phone (his weekend on call for his job at the hospital) so I was able to take pictures anyway. They are a little fuzzy but I'm glad I was able to capture the fun.

Look carefully and you can see why we call this the turtle park Can you see it? The turtle is at the end of the log sticking into the water. There we also two tiny ones there as well - just didn't show up in the picture. They were very cute though!!
Counting turtle - they counted about 15 sitting on logs sticking out of the water
Walking on the boardwalk
Sunshine - enjoy it while we can

We love these unplanned visits to places like this. It makes life fun. We had such a good time. Even though this park has no "toys" they all climbed all over some awesome, big weeping willows, ran up and down the boardwalks, picked up leaves and looked at God's creation. Hubby and I even got to walk together for a while (until he got paged that is!) And through it all baby snoozed happily in the sling - so everyone was contented with this outing :0)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ripples vs. Splashes

In our family it seems babies enter in one of two ways - with barely a ripple - adjusting to the world with apparent ease. Or with a splash - making themselves known with vigor and lots of noise. Number eight has been with us for just over two months and she falls into the splash catagory. A GIANT splash!! She is adorable of course but she is testing all my Mommy skills. Whether her poor gassy tummy is bothering her or she is tired or just generally fussy we are all getting used to the sound of a crying baby. I don't like not being able to meet the need that she is crying about - I hate not being able to fix it. God is giving me lots of grace to deal though - as I am one who will leave a store rather than listen to a crying newborn. With all the walking and pacing I do with her I have to wonder why I am not 20 pounds lighter with arms that have no jiggle!! :0) (as I am writing this big sister is holding her and she is cooing and smiling up a storm - making a liar out of me!!)

Quick - snap this picture!! So cute!!
Awww - what's wrong?
We all love her

Thursday, October 9, 2008


An interesting thing happened to me the other day. I was at my homeschool center carrying my tiny one - arms full of school things and my toddler hanging on to me. I was trying to get through a very heavy door. As I struggled through a woman brushed right past me almost knocking my three year old down. I was miffed for a while. Didn't she see me? Couldn't she have waited a few seconds? Could she have helped with the door? Did she think I was opening the door for her - me with my arms full of babies and things - her with her arms empty? After fuming for a while I calmed down but the incident stuck with me and I realized that she made me feel invisible - an uncomfortable feeling. After thinking about it for some time (not stewing - just thinking - honest!!) I was convicted. Do I make people feel invisible? Is my agenda more important? Do people just fade from view in my quest to get things done? Does checking things off my to-do list take control of me? Am I unpleasant, ungraceful or unloving in order to be productive? Am I self-absorbed?

I want to be filled with grace - the kind of person that even in a casual encounter someone will know that Jesus resides in my heart. I want to be able to stop and care even if my agenda is delayed or even set aside. And I think the area I need to work on that the most is within the four walls I call home. Sometimes (maybe even often) I get going on "Getting things done" that my children are set aside- after all a clean house is a mark of a good stay at home mom right?

So the result of all this - I prayed a prayer. I admit I was somewhat reluctant because being shown where you mess up isn't always comfortable (but I know that God will keep bringing this up if I don't obey). I prayed that God would show me where I don't offer grace, where loving people isn't first in my life, where rudeness instead of courtesy comes out and I asked Him to change my heart and my actions. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey. I suspect I'm far more self-absorbed than I ever imagine. But I am excited - I want to touch lives for Jesus and this is a good place to start I think. Jesus calls us to be that light of the world - that's what I want to be.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Nightstand

It seems that I'm a terrible copycat. Once again I am copying my friend Simplystork and her blog. This time it is not my fault - it's hers!! She asked to see what was on our bedside table and since she was brave enough to share what was on her it thought I'd join her.

So here goes: My nightstand is very old - not antique old - just battered old. I've had it since I was a little girl. The handle has fallen off the drawer and there is a sticker on the front that my daughter thought I might like and for the life of me I can't get it off - it's been there for about 9 years. The nice thing is that it is very familiar to me - I know just how far to reach to get what I want since this table has been next to me at night longer than my hubby has!!:0)

My reading light was given to me by my mother-in-law. I think it was her mother's. I really love it and I use it all the time as I can't sleep without reading for a while.
My Bible and my reading book and all my recent sermon notes. I like to reread what our pastor spoke on throughout the week. My current reading book is The Quilter's Apprentice. Very good so far. I also have a small pile of jewelry that I take off at night and forget to put away and of course that ugly green binkie!

For decoration I bundled two antique Bibles and a Hymnal and put an old oil lamp next to them. I also keep a bottle of lavender oil on my nightstand. I put a drop or two on my reading lamp's light bulb right before I turn it on. As the bulb warms up it fills my room with a lovely scent. I keep my lotions next to my bed to remind me to use them before I sleep (gotta do something about those wrinkles around my eyes and those rough heels!!) There also seems to be an unfortunate amount of dust on my nightstand - someday I'll get to that ;0).
So there you are - for all my many readers that were dying to know what I keep on my nightstand :0)!! I have to say that I feel that it is good practice to keep a Bible close to where you awake and fall asleep. His words are good to have ringing in my ears as I drift off and the first to have in my head when I wake up (although it is often "Mommy what's for breakfast?" at 6:00 am).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Blessed Day

Yesterday was our littlest's two month birthday. She was also baptized yesterday. What a blessed day it was. It is hard to describe the feelings as we stand at the alter with our babe in my arms committing to raise our little one with God at the center of our lives. Our pastor loves to do baptisms and it really shows - he just loves the little ones of his congregation.

My Mom made this beautiful dress for all the grandbabies to wear for this special event - it would not show up for the camera - the lace was handmade by my sister - it is really very beautiful!! There is so much tiny detail in this gown - making it was an act of love!!
While it was a truly blessed event - Esther really did not appreciate it - she cried through the whole thing :0)!!
At the alter
What a lovely Sunday it was!
P.S. Esther now weighs 10lbs 7 ozs. (she had her 2 month checkup today)

Friday, October 3, 2008


It is Friday and I am so very glad!! This has been a crazy, crazy week around our home. My friend Simplystork did a Day in Pictures today so I thought I would do a week in pictures and you will know why my week has been nuts (as well as why nothing new has been written all week!!)

Computer went off to the computer hospital for the week - it had a terrible virus :0(.
Doggie went off to the doggie hospital - she has a terrible abscess :0(.
This huge box of kleenex and ibuprophen had my name on it - the hospital may have been a more peaceful place for me (just kidding - I don't even go to the hospital to have a baby!!)

While it has been nutty week there has been much to be thankful for - computer came home today and we didn't loose the pictures or our budget as we feared (or our older guys itunes stuff - which was huge to them). Doggie is going to be fine and the kids are overjoyed (even though she has a drain sticking out of her head - gross beyond words!!!) My cold is much better and Baby doesn't seem to be catching it (I love nursing!!) We had just set up a Rainy Day fund (although we didn't plan on using it so quickly) but our credit card was left just where we want it to stay - hidden!!!
A quick preview of our weekend:

Saturday: repair the damage from this week:
Sunday: Esther is going to be baptized - what an amazing privilege to stand and commit our little girl to God!! It truly makes this week seem not so bad - after all God was here this week. He was with us when we committed each of our children to Him and He knew there would be rough times as well as good times while we raise these little ones he put in our life. I can't wait until Sunday!!!