Poem on Children

6/23/2017


A poem on children, 
as I prepare to welcome another child into our family. 


ON CHILDREN
by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You my give them your love but not your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
As living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves also the bow that is stable.

Zoo Field Trip

6/20/2017 


I'm late in posting this, but nonetheless I want to share some of these pictures. Last month our family took a field trip to the Fort Wayne Zoo. This was done in conjunction with our homeschool co-op, so there were nearly 30 other families from our group also there that day.



 
There was a petting zoo with basic farm animals like goats, sheep and rabbits. Our youngest kids enjoyed this, of course.


The zoo is divided into three basic sections - an Indonesian rain forest, an African journey and then Australian adventure. Each section has a snack area and bathrooms throughout, as well as numerous seating areas. Despite being 30-some weeks pregnant, I walked the entire route (albeit a little more slowly than my usual pace). Our 3-year-old was my partner for the day, wearing her leash/backpack which was much-needed to keep her within sight.



Highlights of the visit for us: 


The giraffes! There is a wonderful 2-story observation tower in with the giraffes, allowing everyone to be eye-to-eye with the giraffes! This is a friend from our group feeding the giraffe. 


To be up-close, just inches away from a giraffe. Very neat!

We didn't get a picture of the sea lions, but watching them swim around was one of our favorite things to do. So graceful and beautiful under the water. 


Seeing the zebras were fun. Unfortunately, the lions were not on exhibit that day so we missed them. 


We saw peacocks all over the zoo. There were probably about a dozen. So pretty!

Overall, the visit was a success. We wouldn't want to make the long drive to Fort Wayne on a regular basis, with our little ones in tow, but for a special one-time trip it was a fun outing! And we were able to enjoy some animals that our local zoo doesn't have. 

Visiting the zoo always makes me thankful for the creativity of God - to think of all these variety of animals, so different, so beautiful in their own ways. Thank you, Lord, for including all these animals in our world, for us to learn about and to enjoy. 

Kids and Laundry Baskets

6/15/2017

My kids and laundry baskets. 
They've always gone together like bread and butter somehow. :-)

Here are a few of the dozens of photos I've snapped of my kids in baskets. 


My now 13-year-old daughter, back at age 1.


My now 9-year-old son, back at age 2. 


Both the older two kids together in baskets, ages 7 and 3. 


Here's my now 3-year-old in her 3-month portraits... being "dumped" out of a basket. :-)


And this is her at age 2 and 1/2.


With her little brother in a basket, about 1 year ago.


And my current youngest just recently in a basket.


Funny thing... as we were going through old family photos from my father-in-law, we found this one of him in an egg basket back in the 1940s. 

Playing in baskets... apparently it's been a thing for a long time! 

Siblings

6/13/2017

 
One of the beautiful things about a large family are the multiple sibling relationships. Each is so dynamic and ever-changing. This is great (when they are getting along well) and not-so-great (when they are in quarrel that seems to last way too long). But once in a while, there are opportunities for fun togetherness. Here are a few pictures we snapped during the best of times. 


The two boys in a happy moment of playing together. One of the current favorite things to do for our 21-month-old boy is to play with the dishwasher silverware. He loves to put things in and out, in and out - keeps him occupied for quite a while (until he tries to climb into the dishwasher, breaking the door or starts pulling pieces of the machinery off the inside... yup, I speak from experience).


Here our 3-year-old girl gets a piggy back ride from big brother. 


When watching something on the computer screen, both the little ones want to sit on a lap. Here big sister does double-duty.


Though not necessarily together, here are the youngest two reading books. A rare quiet moment as they were both quite engrossed in their favorite books.


The youngest two in the bathtub, full of fun and bubbles.


The two girls playing with their black olive fingers!


Here are the youngest two playing together outside.

Hooray for happy moments together!

Outdoors Boy

6/12/2017 



My oldest boy - age 9 - loves the outdoors. In fact, this week he's participating in a farm camp, spending 6 hours a day doing outdoorsy, nature things. He loves climbing trees, playing in the pond, taking nature hikes, etc. 


And if that isn't enough, he comes home from farm camp and immediately asks "Can I play outside?" :-)


Here he was with a "friend" he found in our own yard. Bugs don't bother this boy. Too much sun... no problem (he tans easily and rarely burns). He is in his element these days. 

Happy summer from the great outdoors! 

Grandma R

6/8/2017


My husband's parents live nearby. We see them once a week or so. Yet, we rarely take pictures of/with them, which is sad. My husband did take this picture recently, though, and it's precious of Grandma R and our 3-year-old princess. Sweethearts!

Happy 17th Anniversary!

5/26/2017



Happy 17th Anniversary to my love! 




Pregnancy Update - Week 32

5/12/2017 

32 Weeks Along


I have not been good about taking pregnancy pictures this time around. But here I am, at 32 weeks. 


32 Weeks. 
Well into the third trimester now. 
Feeling big, though I know I'll get bigger still.

Started feeling some heartburn for the first time. The old wives' tale is that heartburn equals a baby with a lot of hair. This is one tale that has held true for me. Always plenty of heartburn and my babies all are born with a head of dark hair. 

I've pulled out my baby boy and baby girl clothes from storage now. I still need to pack a hospital bag.

Baby Bumble, we're getting closer to being ready for you! We love you!

Homeschool Co-op Wraps Up

5/12/2017

Our homeschool co-op recently wrapped up the spring semester. Our co-op runs for 12 weeks from February through April and then has one final program at the end. We meet on Wednesday mornings from 9 to 12:30 at a local church. 

My 13-year-old daughter had these classes: Double Dutch, Worship Song Leading, Games, and Engineering Challenges. 


Her Worship Song class led a song at the end-of-semester program. Great job, everyone! 


Her Double-Dutch class also performed, which was a real crowd-pleaser at the program. Hard to capture a still-shot of that. The group did so well, after just 12 weeks of practice for 45 minutes each week plus two additional practices. Excellent work! 

My 9-year-old son had this line-up of classes: Gym (always his favorite), Colonial America, World Records, and States and Capitals. He learned all 50 states and capitals in this class, so I was thankful for that one! 

My 3-year-old princess had her first semester in the preschool class at co-op. It was rough at the start, but after she got used to her new classroom and teachers, she loved it. She learned some letters and sounds and they focused on a different community helper (ie. doctor, librarian, garbage collector, etc) each week. 

And my youngest boy was in the nursery all 4 hours this semester WITHOUT ME! This was a big adjustment for him, as last fall he was with me constantly, making quite a fuss when left in the nursery for even a few minutes. But he adjusted fine and enjoyed his nursery time when he'd gotten used to it. 



I taught an Elementary Mindbenders / Logic class this time around. This class was challenging for us teachers - to come up with enough material to keep the students busy and challenged. But we made it and the students really enjoyed it. 


Here the students worked with pattern blocks. They also did logic word puzzles, riddles, Rubik's cubes, minute mysteries and many other mind puzzles.



I taught a Jr High Speech class this semester. 



Here are a few pictures of students giving demonstration speeches in that class - one making cookies and one making frosting. The students worked hard and gave some great speeches.


The entire group of children (around 125 kids) stand up and recite the Scripture memory passage together. Each week of this semester we studied 1 Peter 5:5-11 with the goal of memorizing the entire thing. Those who can do it get a special prize at the end... in addition to simply having God's Word hidden in their hearts for the rest of their lives! 

We really love our co-op. 
Great families. Great friendships. Great classes.
Great opportunities. Great prayer time with the moms. 

Thank you, God, for how You use this group in our lives!

Liz's Wedding

5/11/2017

We attended our friend Liz's wedding recently. 
My kids absolutely adore Liz! 


She is Mary Poppins, I tell you! 
She is the best baby sitter ever.
Her career now is a Child-Life Specialist - basically, someone who is great with kids and can help them at the hospital ER to deal with whatever trauma they're facing. So she is like a clown, a nanny, a bubbly cheerleader who loves making kids happy! She will make an incredible mommy one day.


Anyway... she recently married Logan. They had a simple, elegant, evening wedding in a rustic barn setting. One highlight was staying until dark when the guests had a sparkler send off for the new couple. 

God bless this new marriage! 

Princess

5/10/17

 
This 3-year-old loves to dress up. 


She just can't get enough of pretty dresses. So she wears them almost daily, just around home or wherever we happen to be going that day.


Here she was closer to Easter time, having received some new dresses to show off. 


She loved having a little fashion show, putting each dress on multiple times!


Sure do love you, Little Miss!