Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Peach Picking

I found some pictures of us picking peaches from the end of August.  You must look at these pictures while singing Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America ... at least that's our theme song for anything involving peaches!






Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thoughts from the Laundry Room

As the mother of 6 children, I spend a lot of time folding laundry.  I often find myself thinking and contemplating while I work.  These are some of my musings.

Everything is a matter of perspective.

As the weather has turned cold, I'm in the midst of switching out clothes.  Over the years I've passed clothes onto my sister and she in turn passes clothes back to me.  So, I have totes full of clothes for my little man to wear - many that have been passed down through 5 older boys (his two brothers and two cousins).

As I've been folding the laundry this week, I keep being flooded with memories of my two older boys.  It's funny how seeing those little clothes can transport you back in time and you can just picture exactly how they looked back then.  More, I keep remembering what I was thinking at the time.   I remember how big I thought those boys were when they were wearing those 3T clothes.   I have to shake my head at myself now, because I now realize how little they were back then.

Joe (almost 1) and Caleb (2 years 9 mo.)

When Caleb was Alex's age, not only did I have one year old Josiah, but I was also expecting Rachel.  He was my big kid.  I look at little Alex now, who looks so much like his oldest brother, and think he's so little.  He's my baby.  Next to his almost full grown teenage brother, he's tiny.  The size of my almost three year olds isn't any different.  But my perspective has changed drastically.

Perspective is important - but sometimes our perspective is skewed.  Unfortunately, we can't always know when our perspective is off.   We view everything in life through our own experience and knowledge.  Sometimes we allow our own perspective to affect the way we treat others.  We make judgements.  We look down on others.  We lack grace.  We allow our perspective to destroy others.  When, maybe, we are just looking at things wrong.

Alex (age 2 years 9 mo.)

My perspectives have been slowly (and sometimes not so slowly) shifting over the last few years.  As I look back at the way I've looked at things in the past, I see they were not only unloving, but also  ungodly.  As I move forward in this life, my prayer is to see people the way God sees them.  I want my perspective to be God's perspective.

Let all we do be bathed in love and grace.  Let us be there to pull others up, not push them down.  Love God.  Love others.  Let us see others how he sees them.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Preschool - Letter A

This year I'm doing preschool with Sarah (age 4) and Alex (age 2).  We are spending the first 26 weeks going through the alphabet one letter at a time.  We started with "A" this week.  We spend about 60 minutes Monday-Wednesday-Friday, and 30 minutes Tuesday-Thursday doing preschool.  I've printed and laminated A LOT of activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler.   I considered making my own stuff, but decided not to reinvent the wheel.   I figure that I can reuse them over the next couple years as my two youngest move through preschool and kindergarten.  Pinterest has been invaluable in planning our preschool activities!  I also bought them both a couple of cheap workbooks from the dollar store for them to do while I work with the other kids.

Every day we do a Bible story and song.  These stay the same all week.  By Friday, my goal is that they can tell me the Bible story (and Sarah was able to this week).  Sarah is also working on writing letters at some point during the week.  This week she used a dry erase marker and marker board.

Bible Story:  Adam and Eve
Song:  Ants go Marching

Day 1 - Read Berenstains' A Book
           -  Read "A" section of My First Picture Dictionary (Pictureback(R))
           -  Fingerprint Ants       
           - Ant activity pages from Confessions of a Homeschooler
           - Applesauce snack




Day 2  -  Read Amelia Bedelia and the Baby (Amelia Bedelia (PB))       
            -  Make Apple A's (found on Totally Tots)
            - "A" page in Cuisenaire Alphabet Book (Grades K-4)


Day 3 - "A" pancakes for breakfast
           - Read Apples by Gail Gibbons
           - Read "A" pages in Museum ABC
           - Apple Activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler


Day 4 - Today was Dad's day off, so we spent the day with him.  We did make Alligator A's (found on Totally Tots) in the evening.


Dad 5 -  Read How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (Dragonfly Books)
           - Make mini paper plate apples (found here.  We used crayons instead of paint - and they did                    them independently.  Ours didn't look quite so nice, LOL.)
           - Make an apple pie, using the recipe in the back of the book




And, yes, Sarah does wear clothes for multiple days in a row.  Less laundry, right?

This post contains Amazon Affiliates links.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

First Day of School - 2013

Today was our first day of school.

Jada - 3rd Grade, Caleb - 8th Grade
Josiah - 6th Grade, Rachel - 4th Grade

Sarah - Preschool

A picture of all 6!  We've taken their picture in front of this little tree for the last several years.  The kids keep getting bigger ... but the tree does also, LOL.

Previous year's 1st day posts ... I can't believe, looking back, how much they've changed:
2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fourth of July HIke

We had no plans on the fourth and the kids needed some pictures for their 4H projects, so we decided to take a small road trip to find a nature preserve an hour or so away.   We ended up finding it, along with a rock outcrop that was really cool.  The kids were using my camera to take pictures for 4-H, which left me with my phone's camera.     It's hard to believe that these areas were here in Northern Indiana.

#hangingrock. Life on the edge.
The girls posing at the top of Hanging Rock, overlooking the Wabash River.

Caleb.  It's hard to tell in the picture how high we are, but you can kind of see the treetops as we are above them. 

#hathawaynaturepreserve #waterfall
Just a few miles away is the Hathaway Nature Preserve.  It was beautiful and peaceful.  We got to view several small waterfalls up close and personal.

Waterfall #2. #hathawaynaturepreserve

A waterfall you can actually stand at the top @peerdaddy

We enjoyed a small picnic next to one of the falls.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

May and June Recap

Our summer break is quickly coming to an end.   We've had a busy, but relaxing summer.   The last few months were consumed with summer camps, VBS, 4H projects and our oldest becoming a teenager.   We have two weeks to breathe and then we begin another year of school.   Here's a few phone pictures from May and June.

The girls are driving me around!! #cedarpoint
The girls driving at Cedar Point.  We took the older four and had a blast riding coasters all day.  The favorite of the day was Millennium Force.

Jada getting dropped off at overnight camp!  She showed no signs of fear. #bearlakecamp #braverthanhermom
Jada getting dropped off at camp.  She didn't know anyone else, but showed no fear and had lots of fun.

We made it down the river without getting wet!
While Jada was at camp, the rest of us went canoeing.  It was my first time and I'm looking forward to going again!

Rachel getting dropped off at Bear Lake Camp!
Rachel's turn for camp.  She was lucky enough to have her close friend in her cabin with her ... but she still thought a week was a little too long to be gone.

Dropped off our last camper for the summer.  #bearlakecamp #bestfriends @morgebby00
Caleb and his best friend ready for their week of camp.

It's swim time!
Jada enjoying a little pool time at Aunt Kristen's.

Parade time!  #charteroakchurch
The church's float in our local parade.  Jada is in the white one, with Sarah, Alex and Rachel directly behind her.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cherry Coffee Cake

Since I first made this recipe years ago it has been a favorite of mine.   The recipe came from a cookbook that was made at my Mom's place of employment that she gave us when we first got married.   This cake is moist and delicious and stays good for days.  The only change I've made over the years is substituting greek yogurt for the original sour cream.



3 cups flour                                               2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. baking powder                                 1 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp. soda                                                1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar                                               1 can Cherry Pie Filling
1 cup butter

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup sugar                                            2 T. melted butter
1/2 cup flour

1-  Whisk flour, baking powder, soda, and sugar together.

2-  Cut butter into mixture until crumbs form.

3-  Add eggs, yogurt and vanilla.  Mix well.  The batter will be very stiff.

4-  Spread half of batter in the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 inch pan.  I use a little over half for this layer.

5-  Spoon the cherry pie filling over the top.  Then spread evenly with the back of the spoon, covering the bottom layer.

6-  Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter on top of cherries.  Using two forks, spread the batter over the cherries.  You can leave some cherry showing through.

7-  Mix the crumb topping.  I usually melt the butter in a small bowl, then add the sugar and flour.  Stir with a fork until mixed well.

8-  Sprinkle crumbs over the cake.

9-  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Deviled Eggs


After coloring easter eggs, there is only one logical thing to make ... deviled eggs!  These are a favorite in our family.  I know that many different deviled egg recipes exist, but mine is slightly sweet.  The recipe was developed from combining two recipes from a church cookbook I have from when we first got married, along with a little tip received by my Grandma.  We love these eggs, and we dare you to eat just one.


6 hard cooked eggs
1 tsp mustard
1/4 cup miracle whip
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
sugar to taste
1 T. butter, melted

Cut your eggs in half, removing the yolk and placing in a bowl.  Place each half of egg white onto a platter or egg holder.

Mash yolks with fork until there are no longer any lumps.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.   I usually add 1/2-3/4 T. of sugar, but we like them pretty sweet.  You can use less or more sugar to your taste.

I then place a spoonful of yolk mixture into the hole of each egg half.  If you want to get fancy, you can pipe them full.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Josiah is 11!!

Josiah turned 11 today!


He's funny.

He loves football.

His favorite team is the Bears.

He loves video games.

He never stops moving.

He's sweet and thoughtful.

He hates anything involving work ... including school.

He likes to golf.

He likes to play basketball.


His favorite food is Moroccan Lamb (he had it at Disney).

His favorite song is still "Moves Like Jagger".

His favorite TV show is Adventure Time.

He sometimes runs his mouth when he shouldn't.

He's a homebody.

He makes life more fun.

He's 11!


Wordless Wednesday - Super Egg Hunting


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Organizing Under the Bathroom Sink

Our Master Bathroom sink is very small and we have little storage.  I was not utilizing the area under the sink at all.  It was a disaster most of the time, with everything just thrown in haphazardly.   The small area limited what I could do, but I had a small lidded container that fit one third of the space perfectly.

My embarrassingly messy BEFORE.

So, I made a quick trip to Walmart and picked up 4 more.  They fit my space perfectly.  Although, they aren't pretty, they are functional.  I accidently got the wrong lids for three of them (that's what I get for trying to shop with kids!), so I need to exchange those for the correct sizes.  



A place for everything ... and everything in it's place.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Egg Hunt

Yesterday we had our annual Easter Egg Hunt at my Mom and Dad's .  Here are a few pictures.

All 14 grandkids.

Best Friends - Sarah and Reuben







Joe, Micah and Shad put an egg on the ground for Alex to find ... he took off on a run!

I meant to get a picture of my six altogether, but they were to busy to be corralled long enough. 


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