Birthday Boy Turns 2


This boy... what a handful he is!

It's hard to catch a picture of him, as he's in constant motion. But here he was dancing with Daddy and big sister in the kitchen. 

He can count very clearly from 1 to 10. He speaks very well and is adding new words to his vocabulary daily. 

He loves to manipulate things - whether pulling all the books off the shelf or all the pans out of the cupboard. He loves to stack things up and knock them down. He loves to move things from one place to another (like the pumpkins during his photo shoot).

He is a great sleeper. He sleeps 12-13 hours each night, without interruption, and he naps 2-3 hours each afternoon. 

He loves to be tickled. We enjoy some good tickle time at least once a day together. Tickling is what got him loosened up for these pictures. 

Let me tell you about this kid and guitars! He ADORES guitars. He wants to regularly watch music videos that include close-up guitar shots and he walks around the house with this play guitar ALL THE TIME! "Guitar" is probably his most common word these days. 

This child has no fear. I predict he will be the first of our family with a broken bone. He is regularly climbing up on furniture. He knows what I will say... "Be careful!" so he looks back at me and clearly repeats "Be careful!" but continues to do what he wants to. 

He still has his favorite blanket that MUST accompany him to bed each night. We have weaned him off of carrying it around all day, so it now just stays in his bed. He still sleeps in a crib and so far has not even tried to climb out of it (not sure how that jives with his constant climbing on all the rest of the furniture, but it's true). 

We sure do love you, Mr. Man!
Happy 2nd birthday to you!

Baby Boy is 2 Months Old


Baby boy has turned 2 months old now! Time is flying by.

Sleeping... what babies do best!

Here is the little man laying in the heirloom cradle that Daddy built 14 years ago.

Checking out some toys in the playpen. 

Chilling with Daddy.

This is his first train ride, at the local zoo. 

My 3-year-old girl just loves the baby. Most of the time, she calls him "the baby" or "my baby" rather than his actual name.

Here is my oldest son with my youngest son. 

He's much more alert now and enjoys sitting in his chair, watching the older kids play nearby.

This month he smiled for the first time... at his big sister who just loves on him all the time. 

We love those smiles, little buddy!

Birthday Girl Turns 14


This girl is 14 years old! 

She has braces in her pictures this year, which is new. 

Still as beautiful as ever! Her hair has a red tint in these shots, which is so pretty! 

This year she's grown up a lot. She's had to help run our household these last days, with a new baby in the family. But she's stepped up to the plate and learned new things, from cooking skills to childcare techniques. 

Some of her favorite things include: pets; riding the rip-stick and painting her beautifully long fingernails in bold colors. 

Happy Birthday, Bright Eyes! 
We are so thankful God has given you to our family!

Baby's First Month

So my baby boy is a month old now. Here are some pictures from his first month on this side of the womb. 

Me and my baby. 

His favorite place is definitely in my arms.

A little playtime. He's not really into this at all yet.

First bath. 

First month picture.

We love you, little man, 
and are so glad you're part of our family! 

A Baby as a Trust


I found this quote recently and it really spoke to my heart, as I have just been entrusted with a newborn. 
So precious and beautiful...

by Theodore Cuyler (1896)

"When God lays a newborn babe in the arms of a mother, He says to her heart 'Take this child and nurse it for me and I will give you your wages (Exodus 2:9).' The answer of maternal love should be, 'Oh God, You have put Your noblest workmanship into my hands. I accept the precious trust. I will shelter this young life under Your mercy seat. I will be truthful that it may never learn falsehood. I will nurse this soul in its infancy with the sincere milk of love, that in after years it may bear strong meat for strong service of God and righteousness. Oh, Heavenly Father, make my life in harmony with Yourself, that this young life may reflect Your blessed image in following my example!' 
To such pious fidelity God offers the highest wages; 
He pays the heart's claim in the heart's own coin."

Independence Day


Our whole crew decked out in red, white and blue! 

And our first family photo with all 7 of us! 

Baby is Here


Our new baby has arrived. 
It's a boy and he's healthy and he's wonderful! 

Here are some pictures of the older children with their littlest brother.

We love you, Bumble!

Pregnancy Update - Week 38


38 Weeks Along

This means lots of heartburn, lots of baby kicks and pokes, 
lots of times up in the night to go potty, 
lots of doctor appointments to ensure baby is healthy. 

This also means we need to get serious about choosing a name and packing the hospital bag! 

Baby Bumble, we love you and look forward to seeing you really soon! 

Plans are to induce labor later this week, after I hit the 39-week mark. So very soon! 

Poem on Children


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

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


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.