Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January..... almost gone already

We are finding a rhythm here at this humble space we call home. Most days are smooth sailing with just a little chaos, because what house with 4 kids or 2 kids or 8 kids or no kids doesn't have a little chaos? 

Liam loves tummy time! He coos and smiles and is getting stronger and stronger every day. Also, I have to put a new outfit in the clothes bin just about every day that he has grown out of! BIG BOY!

There's a lot of reading. Math. Videos. Games. Water on the ceiling. Avett Brothers. Food cooking. Food burning. Food on the floor. Lack of vacuum again for 2 weeks. Beautifully stacked firewood. Coffee. 
Legos. Diapers thrown into the kitchen. Laundry. Bible study. Working out. Just a little. Yarn strewn about the living room, AKA spider webs! 
Laughter. Tears. More laughter. Baby smiles! And 6 souls thoroughly enjoying it all together. Constantly together. 

I'm reading a new book. Home-Making by J.R. Miller. I have wanted to read it forever and finally bought it. It is simple and inspiring and I will make each of my children read it when they are older. It will prepare them for marriage and parenthood and family and life. Make your home lovely. It really is important. What we do everyday is important. Make the good habits strong. Make sure to cultivate love in your home. 

Zade's favorite song lately is More love, more power. I have sung this song for years. It's a good one but lately God has been showing me how to love deeper and as we sang it over and over this morning, I found tears in my eyes.
I so desire more love and more of His holy power moving through me and my home. Lord, let it be so.  

Being at a new church is so encouraging. I get giddy hearing the word of God. I am frantically trying to keep up and write down all the good nuggets being taught.  Terrible handwriting but the words are there. God's love sent down from heaven to meet with us. Save us. Show us the way. Him being the way, the truth and the life. Is it a coincidence that I read two of the exact passages that our pastor shared early Sunday morning while everyone else was still sleeping? Is it a coincidence that I just finished John and the kids are reading John in school and memorizing John 14:6? I'm just following the plan in our bought program! When God speaks, He really goes for it and makes it come alive and repeats Himself as much as He needs to. I'm so so thankful for that because I used to think I was a quick learner but have since come to realize I don't pick up on things too quickly. And I need it repeated. And then repeated again! 

It's was a fantastic week. We are celebrating Z's birthday this week and he has learned from his Aunt that it is WAY cooler to celebrate the whole week long! 
I have a few special things planned for his actual birthday. A couple things I have never done. Yay for new traditions! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I set up a little schedule for the kids and I to do chores. It rotates every week so we don't get burned out on the same task. 

Last night we were all in the kitchen and I realized it was the day to change chores so I looked at the list to see who had dishes and this is what I saw.......

Me on everything!!!

I laughed so hard!
Turns out it was Gracie who did the rearranging. She was quite pleased with herself! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2 months and going broke

Welp. The little man is 2 months old. He has at least doubled in his weight and has received at least 500,000 kisses! Not a bad couple of months if I do say so myself. ;) I think he looks like my sister! Took me two months to figure it out! I would love to compare baby pics. 

Fact. Baby toes are SO MUCH CUTER than adult toes! 

I still get giddy looking at him! He is such a blessing to our family. 
All the siblings just love him and hold and kiss and cuddle and kiss again and laugh and exclaim over all his little coos and burps and farts and sweet baby things! Daddy thinks he will be an early talker because of all the noises he is making. Just add it to the chaos I say!! It is not hard to get smiles out of him either and the kids LOVE that! He barely has to make a sound and he is immediately swooped up and taken care of. 

On other news, we've got two kids losing teeth and therefore I make it a point to have cash on hand! I tend to never have any but what a disappointment that would be to them! They lucked out when all I had was 5's and 20's! They got the 5 I should add. :) Grandma was here when Z lost his first tooth and she got in on the giving too. ;) 

Speaking of Grandma's... 

their other wonderful Gma sent t-shirts and pecans in the mail. Who doesn't love getting a surprise package in the mail?! They love their shirts and I love the pecans. I have a bag next my bed for late night movie snacks. 
Thanks Mom! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

5 hours + more snow + books books books

We are done with our second week of the year! I woke up at 3:45 Saturday morning and realized it had been 5 HOURS since Liam had eaten!!  I was so stoked! I actually went to bed the same time as him, so I got 5 hours in a row! It's been at least 7 weeks since that has happened! That's my big news of the week. :) 

It snowed a ton this week. Way more than last and it is the nice fluffy powder! It is beautiful and sparkly and the kids love it. 

Micheal and the kids shoveled snow all day while i enjoyed a nice quiet, warm day inside.
I do not enjoy the cold. Not a day goes by that I haven't dreamt of Hawaii! I long for the water more than anything. Warm water with sand between my toes and the hot sun on my back. Maybe this year we will get over there again.  A girl can dream. :)

Since I have had so much time indoors, I have tried to read as much as possible. I think we may have a long winter ahead of us so I hope the reading continues strong. I just finished Radical by David Platt and loved it. I wish it were my book because I would have highlighted a ton of it. It was an easy read as far as reading goes, but oh so challenging as far as living out Christ in me. I recommend it to anyone who thinks the American way of Christianity is lacking and wants a clear direction to the Jesus of the Bible. 

I just started the Hobbit! I am loving it so far and totally want to get wrapped up in it and not put it down till the last page, but having four children and homeschooling and cleaning and cooking just won't let that happen! Darn! Maybe this weekend. 

I also started a book about David Livingstone. Good but a bit dry. Older style of writing/language so it's just different. But I kind of like it that way because it challenges me more. I really would love to work on my vocabulary. Micheal was teasing last night because I was reading the dictionary! 

I am hoping to read at least one book a month. 

Any recommendations? 

P.S. Isn't he getting so chunky?!! I squeeze and smooch him all day long! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winter sunshine

It was early. Well, early enough to see the sun come up and shine through the living room! 
We have had more of those mornings lately. 
This boy is always happy when he wakes up. He needs a haircut, but when I look at this picture I'm glad we haven't cut it yet!!

Loving these lazy days together. 

Hello sunshine in my face.
Hello You who made the morning and spread it over the fields....
watch now, as I start the day in happiness, in kindness. 
-Mary Oliver

Week one of this fabulous year, 2013

I know that most people don't write checks anymore but I still do and I have to say I was a bit surprised to write my first check of the year and not put the wrong year! Still looks a little weird to me but we have a few hundred more days to get used to 2013! 

I have never really done resolutions but this year I compiled a little list of things I would love to improve on or accomplish. Some I will make happen with sheer determination and by the grace of God  and some will probably just stay in my notebook sad and lonely, wanting more attention. The kids and I read that Ben Franklin kept a list of things in his pocket that he wanted to work on personally. He would take the notebook out and look it over every once in a while to make sure he was staying on track and to remind him to keep doing them. I love this idea! I am hoping to make a pretty list and hang it up in my bedroom so I can see it often. I need constant reinforcements and reminders! 

As you can see from the picture above, paying off debt is a big one this year. For the last few months, 
Micheal and I have been really making a plan for our lives and we don't get far because we know we must pay off debt first. As Christians we plan, but ultimately we pray for God's will and pray our stubborn hearts will accept God's will. :) 

Part B of paying off debt is to save money. From every paycheck. God will show us what to do with the money when the time comes. 

Leading our children in the Lord. Always on the forefront of my brain, but not always executed well. 

The word of the year for me is VISION. 

Having a vision will help things get done. The priorities will take their proper place and the rest will be thrown out. I plan to keep going back to my list to keep myself focused on the vision. 

I want to see productivity and accomplish things! I am a procrastinator and honestly just not that passionate of a person. I want to work on those things though! I have been praying earnestly for passion in all the right places. 

Cultivate a new friendship. I just read Living on the Edge by Chip Ingram and was inspired to figure out who exactly God created me to be and to walk in that. Also to serve others with a happy heart and to love, love, love, even (and especially!) when it is hard. I tend to want friendships but not be willing to give all of myself. Lord help me to be vulnerable with a few close friends. 

Limiting distractions and practicing restraint are the two that will prove to be the hardest for me. 
I love sweets but want to lose this baby weight and be healthy. 
I love the internet but my husband, children and home need me. I need to use my time wisely! 
I love sleep but life is, well, life and there is always something to get done or enjoy. Quiet times in the morning before my kids wake would be beneficial!  
I love to shop but our savings plan will. not. happen. if I don't commit to it. 

There are SO many more but those are the ones that I am really committing to and praying over. 

Lots of snow the last couple of weeks. It is melting away today so I am glad we jumped out of the car and snapped a couple pictures yesterday! All these feet are growing so fast! 

I finished this quilt finally! I love it. It is sewn terribly but that's alright with me. I hope to do another one but take my time and make it as nice as possible instead of just trying to get it done quickly and literally shoving it through my sewing machine like this one! Yeah. 

This first week has been a good start to hopefully a great year! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I have a few goals concerning photography this year. Last year I started a picture a day project, only to get barely into February and fizzle out. That was lame. Was it really only into February?!! Ha! And to think I scoffed at the Project 52 with just a picture a week. Wellll, I think that may be the goal this year!
I have a few themes rolling around in my head but mainly the photos will all be lifestyle. I am finding I like these kind of photos the best. I tried scrolling through a lot of our 2012 photos (WAY TOO MANY!) and I CANNOT believe how big the kids have grown through the year and all the fun we have had! SO thankful for all those pictures! I have the worse memory so they really mean a lot to me.

Another goal is to take some of those 2012 photos and put them into a book. Also to keep some of the really great ones I take this year in a folder to make it easier to order and make a book next year. I started making a book and quickly realized how hard it is to pick just a few out of thousands. 

# 3 is to work on my editing. So much to learn. Yikes. Definitely my most daunting goal.
#4 is to get more creative. Different perspective, lighting, flash, going the extra mile to set up a fun themed shoot with the kids, etc.
#5 is to just plain enjoy the process of photo taking. I got a little tired the end of last year. Being pregnant will do that to ya! I hope to find some new creativity this year.
#6 is to actually order prints and get them up in our home. I am terrible about this. Seriously lame.

6 goals. Shouldn't be too hard eh?

Okay. I just added one more to my list.
#7. Be okay with crappy photos. A crappy photo is better than no photo and when one of my sweet
kids says, "Mom, can I take a picture of you?" when I have just woken up and have bed head and puffy eyes, well, I just know I will appreciate the above picture someday! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

6 weeks

All is well in our little world....

Little Liam Lover, as we like to call him, gets plenty of attention. Sometimes maybe we get a little too close for comfort though.....

What happened you may ask? Little Liam Lover turned into a little fighter! Ha! Not really. He is strong, but not too strong yet. Zade got head butted! 

He is 6 weeks old today. He is in a nice little routine. I noticed just a few days ago. Sleeps and eats through the night and doesn't try to stay awake, awake during the early morning, sleeps through the afternoon and is awake again in the late evening. He is looking around a lot more. His eyes catch the fan when we lay on the couch. He smiles! Love that big ol smile he has! He is held pretty much the whole day, unless we can slip out of his embrace and not wake him up! He loves the loudness of our family too and I think he may be our loudest yet. What a grunter he is! 

I try to journal when I can. Time is gone so quickly and then all I see is an eight year old. Man, Grace is so big and so in love with Liam. What an amazing sister she is. 

Loving the new year so far!