Friday, December 31, 2010

Favorite Photos from Christmas

All five kids in front of the Christmas tree.

My Eskimo baby.

The kids in front of the Christmas tree at church.

The boys with Josiah's Christmas present - pokeballs!  Sarah would like one, too.

I know this shouldn't be a favorite picture, but I think it shows the after present opening chaos so well!

The four older kids and my nieces and nephew in their hot tub.   Aaron also got in with them ... personally I think they're all crazy!

Josiah playing engineer to Papa's train.

My niece Lauren took this picture with my camera.  I think it is hilarious!  Rachel can not go outside without eating the snow ... and here she has a mouthful.

Christmas Pageant

The kids did a short Christmas Pageant at church two Sunday's ago.  All four of the older kids had parts and they all remembered their lines!!   I was very proud of them.


Caleb was Joseph.

The shepherds lying down to sleep. Josiah is in green.

The angels arrive on the scene. The two angels with pink wings are Rachel and Jada.



My two nieces singing their solo.  They sounded beautiful!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Following our Intuition

I think God has given us  little alarms to let us know when something is wrong.  We've all heard the stories of Mom's just feeling like something was off - only to find out they were right.  I have a story of my own.  It happened back when I was 9 months pregnant with baby #4.   Aaron had taken our oldest with him to do some visiting and I put our 3 year old and not quite 2 year old down for a nap.  Rachel (the not quite 2 year old) was fighting her nap.  She screamed and screamed and screamed.  I was tired and was supposed to be getting a nap myself.  I kept going in and laying her back down, only to hear her scream again.   I finally decided to just let her cry - she needed a nap and I was going to make her take it!

After a little while I heard a small change in her screams.  I was going to ignore it . . . thinking she was just getting more angry at having to take a nap.  But I felt a nudging to get up and check.  When I stood up I smelled something hot.   I went out and checked the stove before heading into her room.  It was off.  I opened the door to her room and it was filled with smoke!   She had pulled a lamp into her crib and her mattress and blankets were smoldering.   I grabbed her and ran her out to the living room.  I then ran in and grabbed the light out of her bed and doused the bed with water.   I could barely breathe - I don't know how she was breathing all that time!  I opened her window and left the room after I knew the fire was out.

I grabbed Josiah (who was sleeping like a good little boy) and Rachel (the not so good little girl) and sat on the porch crying until Aaron came home.   I knew that I had been so close to loosing my little girl.  If I had ignored that nudge like I wanted to she would have been overcome with smoke and I would have thought she had finally gone to sleep.  By the time the smell of smoke would have reached me lying down it would have been too late.

Since that day I've tried to remember to follow my gut on things.   Now - I'm not saying that every disaster would be averted if we listen to that inner voice.  God is in control of all things and sometimes that includes bad things.  But, I do think that He does warn us at times, if we just listen.    I think he gives us feelings about situations and people to help us.  I think these feelings are there so we can proceed with caution in a given situation.

So I encourage you to start trusting your gut.   There'll be times that what we think is God warning us is just manifestations of our own worries.  But, just because we lack discernment in one situation doesn't mean that God isn't talking to us in the next.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some great memories . . .

The main reason that I blog is that I love looking back at my kids and how they've changed and grown.  My memory is full of holes, especially during those years when I'm pregnant or have a small baby.   I found an old post from the first year I began blogging.   I was blogging at homeschoolblogger back then (when I switched to blogger I transferred all my older posts over).  I can't believe how little my kids were then.  Jada was a little over one, and Caleb was six.  So, click on through the link and check out my oldest and fourth telling what Christmas is all about . . . four years ago!
The true meaning of Christmas

If you're strapped on time, make sure to click on the second video!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I ♥ Faces - Self Portrait

It's self portrait week at i heart faces this week.   I haven't gotten any pictures of me pregnant this time, so I decided it was good incentive to get a picture of my pregnant belly!   I'm over 33 weeks pregnant, so only a little more than 6 weeks left to go.  I know it's not the best picture, but it is proof that I was pregnant!

Thursday, December 2, 2010



Sarah was playing with a stuffed dog this morning.   I asked her, "What does a doggy say?"

Sarah answered, "Pease."

Nope.  That's what little girls are supposed to say!   

I must ask her "What do you say?" too often!

(We did get some "Woof woof's" in after a good laugh).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kitchen Makeover

I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of our addition.    In addition to our addition, we did an inexpensive makeover of the kitchen.   Everything (minus the dishwasher) was around $500 and lots of elbow grease.  The dishwasher added more cost, since it had to have plumbing and electrical ran to it, but it was so worth it!   It makes my life so much easier!

Here is a before picture.   I had a lot of trouble finding a before picture ... the kitchen wasn't a place that I took many pictures in, because I disliked it so much!   This picture is verrrry blurry, but you get an idea of what the cupboards looked like, and the lovely pink counter tops.   You can't see the gross disgusting floor in this picture, but, trust me, it's there!


And here's the after:

We painted the cupboards (not a fun job) and walls.   We put new hardware on the cabinets.  We replaced the counter tops, light fixtures and flooring.  It's amazing what a difference those few little things made!




TodaysMama & Gamestop Giveaway Meme

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama (link to: GameStop (link to: giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.
1. What is your holiday wish for your family?  My wish is for my family to focus on Jesus and his birth and enjoy one another this holiday season.
2. What is your Christmas morning / Hanukkah Nightly tradition? On Christmas morning we wake up and eat a breakfast of cinnamon rolls and egg casserole.  Then, we open gifts.  We open one at a time and the person who opens a gift gets to pick the next gift to be opened (and it can't be to themselves).
3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?  A couple of new lenses for my camera!
4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?  We do Secret Santas, lots of baking, watch Christmas movies, and drive around and look at Christmas lights.
5. What games did you play with your family growing up?  A favorite was Balderdash - it was always good for a laugh.
6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?  Lots of yummy sweets!
7. Where would you go for a Christmas/Hanukkah-away-from-home trip?  I don't think I would!  I like being home for Christmas!   Now the week after - someplace warm!
8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?  Wii Fit, A Nintendo DS for Son #2, Grand Turismo 5 for PS3

Monday, November 29, 2010

I ♥ Faces - Scenic Black & White

It's been quite a while since I participated in the i heart faces photography challenge (let's face it - it's been a long time since I've blogged anything!!), but I thought this week's theme of Scenic Black and White sounded like fun.   I used a picture from our trip to Niagara Falls earlier this year.   The picture has a beautiful rainbow, but I thought I would just try it in black and white - and I liked the result.  Sure - a rainbow is most beautiful in color, but I think the beauty still shines through, even without the color.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Hello Turtle!

I Heart Beef!

This week at i heart faces is a little different.   This week the theme is beef!   Along with the normal contest, someone also gets to win a $250 gift certificate for beef!!   This  photo is a shot of my Best Burgers on the Block.   Yummy burgers stuffed with hot pepper chesse . . . yummy!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Climber

Caleb loves to climb things . . . trees, rocks, hills.   He was off trail more than he was on when we went hiking last week!!

Rock Climbing

Ironically, he and I were talking about our trip to Chicago last year and I mentioned that I'd like to go back to go up in the Sear's Tower.   He said he didn't want to . . . because he was scared of heights!   Silly boy!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Look Who's 7!!!


Happy Birthday, Rachel!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

School Room Pics

Here's a few pictures of our new school room.   There are still a few more things I want to get put up in there, but for the most part it is done.

This first picture is of the whole area.   Around the top of the room I have a timeline.   The top rain gutter shelf holds  all of our Sonlight Core 3 books.   The other gutter shelves are just for free reading.   I have a magnetic calender I still want to hang on either side of the pass through (if we haven't lost all the magnetic numbers through this whole process!), and maybe hang some of the kids' art work.   If you look closely down the hallway you can see a chalkboard.    We don't really use this for school, but the kids all enjoy drawing and writing on it.  

This picture is of the wall that you can't see in the other shot.   I plan on moving the map up and placing assignment lists for the boys above the cubbies.   More on that if I ever get it finished!   Each kid has their own cubbies for all their schoolbooks (they are the messy ones, in case you were wondering).   The rest of the cubbies hold my teachers manuals and books we are currently using.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Apple Picking


Thursday we went to pick apples.   It was 90 degrees.   Not exactly ideal apple picking weather . . . but we had a great time anyway!   We were dripping with sweat and picked half of what we planned, but the experience was well worth it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rain Gutter Bookshelves

We're finally moved into our addition!!!   I'll be posting more pics over the next several weeks as we get things looking the way we want them, but I wanted to share our rain gutter bookshelves with you.   Yep . . . you heard that right.   Rain gutters.    I first heard about these several years ago and couldn't wait to use them.   Here's how they look!



Super easy, inexpensive and I think they look great.  

If you want in depth instructions on how to make them, here it is.


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