Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A {Coy} Hello

I don't have much to say...

but {desperately} wanted to say "hello"!

We are having tons of fun with our four litte ones...

and trying to survive the {blissful} organized chaos!

Maybe one day soon-ish I'll start squeezing in some more
frequent "hellos" and posts containing more than 25-ish words!

For now, though, you're left with this coy little smile
from our newest little {12 week!} boy...



Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Griffin Silas

September 27,2010

10:34 P.M.

6lb 5oz




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sweet Surprise


(butter toffee with hazelnut creamer),

my favorite fall-time snack

(candy corn & roasted peanuts),

and a card...

What a great


from Bella!
I love you,
sweet girl!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Almost Time...

Yes, here it is finally... Here's the pregnancy picture that I've been promising for a gazillion years now. The time was right today! A) I wasn't in my PJs when I remembered finally and B) I got half-way decent pics with Bella this time. {No, I'm not usually still presentable for taking pictures for all to see when Mark gets home at night. PJs, remember...}

I was thinking my baby tummy wasn't this big all along, but whoa! The camera adds like 10 lbs, right!? RIGHT!? I just compared myself with this picture again, pregnant with Brigham at 35 weeks, 1 day. {These pictures are today at 35 weeks, 5 days.} Earlier in the week I swore up and down that I was nowhere near that big this time. That was until I saw these pics from today... I measured almost a week-and-a-half small at my last visit with my midwife too. We'll see what she says on Tuesday for my next visit! It's just so hard to believe that my baby bump was so tiny just over four months ago and that he's grown into this now. What a miracle, each and every time.

I still feel great most of the time and have no major complaints. {I don't really count not being able to roll over in bed anymore without strategic planning as a major complaint, only minor...} The baby is head-down, yet not engaged as of last week and still growing and moving quite well. Our midwife will deliver at home anytime past 36 weeks, so it looks like this homebirth might really happen! {Not to mention she starts making weekly home visits this next week! Yippe!}

We are getting so excited to meet this little boy, and I'm daydreaming way.too.much now by speculating how and when it will happen. Isabella prays every night now that Mommy and baby will get through contractions and be safe.

Yes, be safe, Sweet Baby Boy... We can't wait to show you to the world.

Monday, August 30, 2010

First Week of School {My Father's World Creation}

We're starting our second week of school today, which means that we survived our first week last week! I'd like to think that we didn't only survive, but thrived! :) Since the lessons in kindergarten aren't terribly long or take up half the day, I decided to do our school in the afternoon when Brigham was napping for the first week. This way, I wouldn't have the extra distraction or frustration from wanting to focus on the older two but having to deal with a new-two-year-old's demands. While this worked out well, I found myself wishing some afternoons that I had already completed school in the morning getting right into a routine, instead of looking forward to it all day and not being able to start until early afternoon. I figured I'd do school in the morning this week then, and compare the pros and cons of morning vs. afternoon school. This will truly test my multi-tasking and patience, though, having to keep Brigham happy (and quiet!) for school time. Afterall, I won't always have the luxury of only having a mostly quiet four and six-year-old around for each day of school!
Wanting to make the first day of school special for the kids, we headed to IHOP for breakfast on Monday morning followed by them picking out a new outfit for the day and fall. We enjoyed our morning, strolling around the shops and making our stops, preparing for the big afternoon! When we were ready to start, I still of course had to take the "first day of school" pictures in front of the house! :) There were the initial moans and groans coupled with very sunny skies, but in the end, we found a shady spot and got a couple of good ones...

Once inside it was all smiles and even though I was a bit nervous on how to "start", we were rolling in no time. Each day the lesson took just a bit over an hour, as I served them a "creation snack" along with the lesson. These were easy, fun ideas that I mostly got from the My Father's World message boards. (A huge wealth of information!) We waited until the near-end of the lesson before our last coloring project and song to have snack, as to not disturb the "core" of the lesson.
Day 1: Oreos & milk {God divided the light from darkness}

Day 2: Blue water & marshmallows {God divided the water above & below the sky}

Day 3: Pudding, crushed oreos, & strawberry {God made sea, dry land, & plants}

Day 4: Nachos & lemonade {God made the sun, moon, & stars}

Day 5: Goldfish crackers {God made living creatures in the sea & birds}

{I will also not confirm or deny that anticipating what the creation snack would be ended up being the kids' favorite time of school...}
Bella did a great job with her letters (and numbers) each day, as she already knows them all with their sounds. These first two weeks are definitely review for her, but I came up with a couple of speed games with the alphabet cards to challenge her a bit. This helped her along with not becoming bored during the lesson. As the year goes on, I expect things will pick up for her with more letter blending and reading. She also loved the "This is My Father's World" hymn that we learned, and loves singing along to the laptop music many, many times as we close each lesson. As expected, Lincoln drifted in and out for parts of the lesson. Some days, he was quite interested in the letters and numbers and others not. He did enjoy the crafts, though, coloring and pasting. With him being in preschool still this year and a newer four-year-old, my focus with him will be review of his colors and shapes, while teaching numbers and introducing letters. Of course we will all do a lot of quality reading too, as that's a huge focus of the My Father's World curriculum! :)

Illustrating the Creation Book

Ready to start! {I love this picture, as many of you who know Lincoln knows that he does NOT smile or cooperate for pictues...}
We're really looking forward to this week, the second week of Creation, and even more so to the themed weeks that follow! Of course the kids are already counting down and asking for when their favorite themes are coming up. I feel great that we have our first week done and confident to move on, finding our rhythm and the schedule that fits best for us before the baby is born.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Snippets, Ramblings... Anything!?

Ahh, blogland, it's been a busy couple of weeks and again there's not much coming from this end in the way of creative thoughts, cute pics, or really... anything! When life gets a bit busier {or even if I just want a break from something!} the blog is always the first thing to go. I guess that's better than most things like the children, hubby, or laundry, though! :)

I've missed chatting with you all and hearing from you here, stopping by your blogs to hang out and comment, and just plain soaking in my bloggy friendships! I'm not sure if any of you noticed I was absent, but oh how I've missed my daily fix of checking in with my friends! :)

Like I said, it's been a bit busier the last weeks or so, but I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things very, very soon! I'm hoping to expand on a few points and goings-on around here, but for now I'm just going to ramble. I like to ramble sometimes, and I think it's long overdue here! :)

~ This little cutie-patootie turned {TWO} this week...

{I can't believe it either! I started this little blog when I was pregnant with him... We had a "Cars" party and tried to spoil him rotten. Not that that doesn't happen on a daily basis around here! Such a cute age...}

~ My parents were here for a week-long visit and we tried to fit in quite a few yummy restaurants and fun outings. I'll miss the extra help and extra food...

~ We'll start school at home this Monday the 23rd! I'm so excited, but feel like I have a lot to get together this weekend still. Hang things on the wall, freak out, pray, order a few more books and supplies, buy more art supplies, freak out again, pray again, trip to the Christian bookstore, look into homeschool groups... I figured out that I just needed to set a date and start or there would always be something left to do, so that's the date we set! I hope to be able to keep up on here with what we're doing every couple of weeks. We have a perfect little dining nook off the kitchen with built-in shelves and our table that we'll be using for our school area and storage.

{Here's a pic from when we moved in... Love the shelving on both sides and the bare wall space to hang and store lots of school stuff!}

~ Mark's schooling is going very well so far, and I've lovingly started calling him a "nerd". Studying advanced-level pharmacology, biochemistry, anatomy & physiology, statistics, and anesthesia research would do that to the best of us, I believe. {Just between you and me, though, I think he sort of likes it...} Classes and exams are really heating up now and in full-swing, but he's doing an amazing job of juggling school with plenty of family time. It's hard to believe, but in a couple of months we'll probably know where we'll be moving on to next for phase II, starting next summer. I'll let you know which state we'll be the newest residents of when we find out!

~ Last, but certainly not least... If you haven't noticed, our newest little boy-blue will be arriving before we know it! I'm feeling very good and just can't believe that it's nearing the end already! I'm getting sooo excited to meet him, see what he looks like, and see how our first homebirth unfolds. Did I even mention yet that we were having a homebirth with him!? Hmmm.... Well, we're planning on it! We love, love, love our midwife and look forward to the new experience. Of course there's a list that I want to have done by a few weeks time, but we're really trying not to overreact with crazy unnecessary preparations for this one. By the fourth, I think {hope!} things just fall into place a bit more. But if I'm wrong on that thinking, please don't burst my bubble... ;) And yes... I promise an updated baby belly picture before too long! Oh, I just can't wait to share his name with you all too...

So... What's new with you all? I have some catchin' up to do! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010



by siblings...

Please send help.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

...and Now She's {Six}...

Tucking Bella into bed on Sunday night, she glanced at her Hello Kitty clock like she does every night and announced the time, "It's 8:56..."

I usually say that it's way too late to be awake still, but that night it took my breath away... Six years ago, I was holding my first child, a sweet and tiny 5 1/2 lb. baby girl only five minutes old.

"Yes, you were five minutes old six years ago! You had just been born at 9:51 at night in Ohio."

"I waaas?!"

"Yep! You surprised Mommy and Daddy by coming early! We weren't expecting you yet!"

"How long did I have to stay at the hospital after I was born?"

"Six days... Not too bad, huh!? Then we brought you home..."

We brought her home, not expecting her to be Daddy's only little girl in a house full of boys...

We brought her home, not knowing she'd have a bubbly (and loud at times!) personality that shines and shines...

We brought her home, not knowing that {six} years could possibly go by so fast.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

More than a Lemonade Stand...

We had a lemonade stand in our front yard on Sunday...

It's something that the "big" kids have been bugging me to do for a long time. Like going on two months long... Isabella would ask weekly, "Wheeen are we gonna have our lemonade and sucker stand!?"

"Soon, Honey... Let's wait until summer
so it's nice and hot."
"Soon, Honey... Let's wait until the
weekend so we have more customers."
"Soon, Honey... It's raining today."
"Soon, Honey... Let's wait until Daddy is
home and can see you and help."
"Soon. Soon. Soon."

Can you tell yet that it was one of "those" things that I put off not due 100% to the reasons given, but for my own selfish ones? will be work to put it together, and it will put me out of my comfort zone, and what if I have to meet a lot of new neighbors, and what if nobody comes and my heart is broken for my children's hearts, and, and, and...

Sunday was the "perfect" day... It was summer and hot. It was the weekend. It was beautiful and sunny. Daddy was home.

We made signs during Brigg's naptime, prepared our lemonade, and gathered our supplies. We set up in a whirlwind while keeping kids corraled off the street. The babes were blissful.

I was worried that nobody would come, since it was close to supper time. Did they come? Boy, did they ever!! A flurry at the beginning, a few in the middle, and selling out during a flurry at the end, forcing us to cease operation until another time. Another perfect day...

As I sat there on my blanket next to our stand watching my oldest scurry up to the table-sit-smile-wave as each car turned the corner, I learned so much. This was more than just a burdensome lemonade stand to me, and so, so much more than a lemonade stand to them. When I look at these pictures of our three babies sitting in a row behind their stand, my heart swells and aches. It truly was the perfect lesson, the perfect day...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Homeschool Roundtable

Well, our homeschooling journey will begin in another month or two, and I'm getting both very excited and anxious! We're feeling confident and peaceful that this is what's right for us and our family now, so all that's left to do is take a deep breath, jump in, and do a lot of praying! :)

I know that I have some veteran homeschooling mamas as readers, and I've come to you and scoured your blogs for ideas and inspiration, but now I was hoping for you to come and give some encouragement and your best, most useful ideas and resources.

We'll be using My Father's World Kindergarten curriculum for Isabella. Lincoln will be able to sit-in on a lot of the kindergarten activities that are non-reading/math as well as doing his own preschool reviewing and activities. {Brigham will be getting into a lot, and the baby will be nursing and sleeping a lot also...} ;) I've put together a few questions or points that I've been thinking about.... Any thoughts on any of them?

1) What books do you suggest that I read before starting this journey into homeschooling, whether to inspire or for information?
2) Other than ordering MFW-K curriculum, what should I be buying? What are your "schoolroom" must-haves? Dry-erase board? Lots of good books?
3) How do you set up your space for school? I'm sure this will evolve over the years!
4) Any really useful websites or magazines you frequent?
5) How do you keep everything running smoothly in your house as you keep up with both housework and schooling?

Whew! Again, I'm so excited to get things rolling and start down this new and winding path that we're led on...


Sunday, June 27, 2010

This Morning

Somebody is {cold}...

and takes matters...

into her own hands.

Wishing you a Sunday that's filled with

{blessings} and {warm fuzzies}!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spending Time

As I mentioned before, Mark was blessed with a couple of weeks off to spend with us before starting anesthesia school this last Monday. Although he was super-anxious to get started with classes and the next 2 1/2 years of this journey, there was nothing better for all of us than having some restful family time together before the craziness started. {And by craziness I'm not just talking his school, but also a certain baby's appearance and new homeschool adventures in the near future!} I've been absent lately, and for good reason, right!? We packed so much into the last two weeks while balancing it with good plain hanging out at home.
There were {little} things like...

* Eating out at old and new favorite places

* Shopping excursions to Costco and Toys 'R Us {Have you ever tried to keep a handle on a crazy 1 1/2 year old darting around Toys 'R Us?! Good thing I wasn't further along in my pregnancy, or I might have gone into labor smack in the middle of the Power Wheels aisle...}

* Giving haircuts at home to one Daddy and three children {Bella's hair got chopped -pics to come- and Brigham accidentally got "Dumb & Dumber" Lloyd bangs -pics not to come...}

* Lazy days and near-summer evenings spent at home


There were {medium} things like...

* Wonderful trips to quaint towns we love, just strolling and enjoying the sights


* Celebrating our 7th {already!?} anniversary... I Love You to the Moon and Back, Hon!

* Another trip to the drive-thru wildlife park to see crazy ostriches that made us keep windows rolled up, zebras that liked to bite children's fingers to make them cry, unnaturally large longhorns that smelled so icky that it almost made Mommy lose breakfast, and lots of other more gentle, well-behaved creatures


Those are just a few of the adventures {big} and {small} that have kept us busy the last couple of weeks... More to come tomorrow!