Marriage Retreat


 Last weekend my husband and I were privileged to be able to attend a marriage retreat hosted by our church. 
What a blessing this time was!

The retreat was held at a retreat center in Kewanna, Indiana. There was plenty of room for our 14 couples to have private rooms and plenty of space. Meals were enjoyed together in the large kitchen and dining room. Conference sessions were held in a large open room in the basement, perfect for larger group activities.

The setting was so idyllic. A beautiful secluded lake. Gorgeous summer weather. No bugs. 

The dock and the lake reminded us of our roots - we met at a Christian camp that was set on a similarly-sized lake. 

Both my hubby and I enjoyed some precious relaxation!

Thank you to all who participated and who put this on. Marriage is worth celebrating and supporting!

Grandma K visit


My mom (aka Grandma K) visited last weekend. 
We enjoyed having her around! 

We visited a local park together. 

Such a neat park and the weather was gorgeous for our outing. 

Grandma was a good sport to try some of the playground equipment! :-)

We also visited the nearby zoo. 
She hadn't been to a zoo in decades so it was time! We were able to see the usual zoo animals, plus the ostriches put on quite a crazy dance show for us. We also saw the banded mongoose feeding time, which involved brown paper bag lunches of live insects. Very memorable! 

My youngest enjoyed doing hair and fussing with rings and such. 

Grandma K and my oldest daughter played a number of games together. 

We also celebrated her birthday while she was here, eating out at Texas Roadhouse. The employees wished her a hardy "Yee haw" and made her hold their toy pony-on-a-stick. 

Happy birthday again, Mom! And thank you for making the long trip to spend some time with us. We love you!

My Full Heart


My heart is so full. I have 4 beautiful children to raise here on earth and 3 more I look forward to meeting in heaven. The Lord has been good to me and I thank Him daily for the chance to live this life with these wonderful people! 

Here are a few group pictures we've been able to snap in recent weeks of all 4 kids. 

I am loving them at their various ages and stages!

Home Improvement: Cabinets and Contact Paper


I am embarrassed to admit that we've lived in our home for over 7 years and I've never tried this super simple way to "improve" our nasty kitchen cabinets. 

Contact paper! Ever used it? What a simple and inexpensive way to change the look of your old cabinets. Just like a fresh coat of paint, it can change the look completely!

I bought 4 rolls of contact paper. Those 4 rolls covered the cabinets in these pictures (with bottom and upper shelves), as well as an upper cabinet with 3 shelves and one small drawer.

There are many colors and patterns to choose from. I chose a simple light color that matched our kitchen flooring. Even though the inside of the cabinets is not something visitors to our home would ever see, I see them every day. So this home improvement was simply to freshen up my work-space not to impress anyone else!

For someone who is not at all crafty, I am very pleased with how this turned out and proud of the fact that I did it all by myself! 

PS: I have to share this picture of my "helpers" enjoying the empty cabinets.

Girly Girl


This little girl. She's 2, almost 3, years old. 
She's in the "I love dresses" phase of life right now. 

Every single day demands a new dress. It matters not whether we have plans to leave the house. A dress is simply a must! 

This adorable dress was a homemade hand-me-down from some friends. With the adorable matching purse... so precious!

 I don't mind this at all. My older daughter never went through such a phase, so I'm loving this! 

This one loves to have her done, in a "pony" every day. 

She loves to wear bracelets and necklaces. 
In this picture, she's got a pretty hair tie as a bracelet.

Love you, my fashionista girly-girl princess!

Sonlight Box Day - 3rd Grade


Box Day is here again... sort of! 

Box Day is the day when our new curriculum arrives. However, as my son is second in line to use this curriculum, we already own it. I did pack it away after my daughter used it 5 years ago, though, and brought it back out now for my son to open and uncover for himself.

Digging for true treasure in the box!

This boy is ready to start 3rd grade. 

We are using this homeschool curriculum from Sonlight. Sonlight is a literature based program, that includes dozens and dozens of great books. This boy of mine has been a reluctant reader (when reading by himself) but he LOVES to be read to. So, at least at the start, I will probably be doing double-duty with him - reading both the read-aloud books and those that are intended for the student to read by himself. 

This year he will be studying American History, Part 1 (of 2). We've already begun reading the first few books about Native Americans. Pocahontas, Squanto, Mayans and Incans and Aztecs. Why wait?! 

Happy Box Day, my son! And may God bless our school year!

Baby Boy Turns 11 Months Old


  Here we are again, marking another month of growth! 

This little boy is closing in on his first birthday!

He got a haircut a few days ago - a buzz cut to match his brother's hair. 

At the start of this month, this guy stayed in one place most of the time. Not any more! He is on the go, as a scooter! He doesn't crawl but he scoots on his butt and gets everywhere just fine that way! He now opens cabinets, pulls out all the contents and pinches fingers. 

My two boys sharing a bear hug.

Having a big sister who loves jewelry and bling means that this little man gets dolled up with necklaces often. 
Sorry, buddy! At least he doesn't mind at this point!

I love this picture of him and his big sister on their new little couch. Perfect for the two of them!

We love you so much, Mr. Man! 
Every day is a new adventure, embracing growth and change... as it should be!

Sonlight Box Day - 8th Grade


Box Day is here again! 

This is the day when our new school year curriculum arrives. And it rivals Christmas Day in excitement at our house! 

My daughter. She's 13 now and ready to start 8th grade.

We've homeschooled all the way. I am so very thankful that we've spent all of those hours of school together rather than apart! I wouldn't trade the relationship we've built for anything!

We use a curriculum called Sonlight. We have used it for the last 5 years and really enjoy it. Sonlight is based on great literature and our family LOVES to read together. I'm a little sad that this year, she reads all of these great books independently with no help from me. I'll miss out, but she won't! (Truth be told, I wouldn't have time to read a lot to her since I'm also teaching her 3rd grade brother).

She's a ham, as you can tell from these pictures. She has become such a fun kid to be around. I'm really enjoying her at this stage! 

She wrapped up like a mummy in the packing paper.

And was just all-around goofy!

Happy Box Day and here's to a wonderful school year!