We had a garden this year. We tried square foot gardening. We had green beans, sugar snap peas and a few tomato and pepper plants. We then ripped everything out and planted some fall crops of green beans and lettuce. Those are producing right now, giving us some yummy veggies to keep for ourselves and to share with others. 

Thankful Thursday


Thankful Thursday

A day to be thankful for the little things... like purple leaves.

Until the last few years, I have always hated fall and the month of October (if you're curious, you can read more here). God has "redeemed" them for me now,though. I am learning to not just endure them but to cherish them for their own special beauty. 

I love the color purple. So I thank God this week for purple leaves. It's true! I have found hundreds of purple leaves this week while walking in my neighborhood. A red maple tree's leaves are just turning red. The back side of the leaves a beautiful shade of light purple. 

I take these purple leaf sightings to be messengers from God. "I created fall. Fall has its own beauty, just as each season does. Just look deeper and you'll find it." 

Found it, God! Thank you for purple leaves!



October is a month set aside for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. 

That statement seems so sanitary and carries no emotion... unless it has reason to resonate more deeply. It does with me. I've lost three babies to miscarriage. And those years were the hardest I've ever struggled through. 

There are many dimensions that make it difficult. One of them is the unexpected nature of miscarriage. When one becomes pregnant, it is assumed that one is "going to have a baby." That is, that the baby will grow for 9 months and then be born, happy and healthy. Miscarriage seems to catch everyone off-guard. 

In our situation, we had struggled with infertility prior to our miscarriages. So we were so very thankful to become pregnant - it was like reaching a mountain peak. When the first miscarriage happened, it made the valley below that much deeper. 

I've written many other posts about our experiences with infertility and miscarriage (click on the link on the right side bar to read more). At this point, I just want to encourage you to be sensitive to those who have experienced infant loss. Many suffer in silence. Many stifle the tears and push down the pain. Having a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen can open the door to healing. 

I am comforted in knowing that God, our Father, welcomes little children. He loves them. His Word says "Do not hinder them (the children, from coming to Him) for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 

He knows them. He knows their names. 
He holds them in His hand. We will see them soon enough and get to spend eternity with them, forever. Knowing how much I love my earthly children, I can hardly wait! 

Chalkboard Paint Update


We did a small bit of painting in our kitchen, using chalkboard paint. 

We are in the process of repainting our kitchen cabinets. They are wood grain. We are painting them white. 

But this particular section of our peninsula is a perfect place for the kids to be creative with a chalkboard.So we took the plunge and did it. They love it! 

Bonus, the paint was on sale at ALDI (of all places) so it was cheap. And my older two helped with the painting, which they enjoyed as well. Win-win!

Sweet Girl


My little girl. She's almost 3.

She's got a very tender heart. 
She loves to sing praise songs to the Lord. 
Her eyes get big and fill with compassion when she sees someone in pain.

Recently we were on a walk. 
She found a dead dandelion. 
She insisted that we pick "the flower."
She insisted that we take it inside.
She insisted that we put it in a vase. 
She insisted that we fill the vase with water.
She insisted that we set it out for all to see. 

I love her! 

Homeschool Field Trip: Fall Farm Fun


A farm in the fall makes for a fun field trip! 

We paid a visit a nearby farm for a homeschool field trip. Dad had the day off so he was able to join in the fun.

There were many hands-on activities to try out, like this water pump. There was also a petting zoo.

The highlight for everyone was the corn box. 

Even the older kids played around in the corn and then buried Dad in it.

Our littlest guy loved playing in the corn too and DID NOT try to eat it. Yeah!

There is a jumping pillow - like a huge trampoline - for the kids to enjoy.

There was a "cow train" that our family filled all the way up! What a bumpy ride that was!

There were peddle cars on dirt tracks.

There were multiple corn mazes. Here was a musical-themed one.

I'm thankful for fall fun as a family! 

Baby Boy at One



Baby boy is now one. Here are his one year portraits. 

What a sweetheart he is! He babbles a lot now. He says Mama, Dada and Hi. We think he might say bu-bu for brother. 

At one, he is all boy. He is full of energy and rarely is still. In his high chair, he is a head-banger if he has to wait more than few seconds for more food to be shoveled into his mouth. 

He scoots! He does not crawl and is oh-so-close to walking, but scooting is how he gets around. 

One of the beautiful things about having multiple children is to see their different personalities and physical traits. This one has very light colored hair now, while his older brother has dark hair. This one scoots while none of the others did. This one has a musical bent - he loves to play with jingle bells, egg shakers, or drums. He claps in rhythm and loves to play piano with mom. His humming to himself is very precious to listen to.

We love you, Mr. Man! 
We thank God every day that you are a part of our family. What a wonderful gift you are! 

Birthday Boy


My little guy has turned 1. 
Here are a few pictures of our various celebrations.

He enjoyed a whipped cream cupcake.

The uncertain look. "Is this is for me?"

Yes, it's for me!

Happy birthday to me!

Grandma and Grandpa R came over to celebrate. 

Opening gifts was a highlight for Big Sis, who was more into the unwrapping and playing with new toys than the birthday boy himself.

We celebrated with my mom when she visited a week or so ago. 

So here was little man with his packages, ready to open.

And playing with new toys after opening.

So much fun turning one!

Baby Boy Turns One


My littlest son has turned one! 

Someone once said of this baby stage: 
The days are long but the years are short. 

This is one of my favorite pictures of little man's pout!

We sure love you, Mr. Man! 

I thank you, God, for this little boy's life. 
I thank you, God, for entrusting him to our family for this time. What a privilege to raise Him up for your glory... to pray for him, to teach him about You, to teach him to sing Your praises. 

"Every good and perfect gift from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights." 
We praise you, God, for the good gift of life!

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!