Family Photo Friday


The last Friday of the month of November is here. Christmas is now less than one month away. Here are a few photos from the week that just flew by.

Here is Eli - the little guy we watch during the daytime - in the johnny jump up. He is 9 months old now and is on the go, crawling everywhere. He is full of smiles and giggles more often now - such a fun stage.

Here is my daughter reading a book to Eli. He likes this a lot and helps turn the pages.
Here's my husband with a homemade pizza that looked (and tasted) sooo good. He doesn't get enough air-time on this blog, but I am happy to share photos of him whenever I have them to share.

My son has been really into floor puzzles lately. He has two favorites that are both construction scenes. If there's a cement truck, crane, dump truck or digger involved, he is glued to the picture. He returns to these over and over. He can't do them completely on his own yet, but he's enjoys doing them with me or big sister at least once a day. One last shot of my son, looking so adorable and grown up in his Sunday suit. He turns 3 next week. Mind boggling. And yes, his tongue is sticking out in this picture. It's genetic and runs in my husband's side of the family :-)

Happy end-of-November to you! Make it great as there will never be another November 2010 to relive.

Happy Thanksgiving

On this day that is set aside for giving thanks, let us lift up grateful hearts to the Lord who is the Giver of all good gifts.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Children's Reading List: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Our most recent read-aloud book was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I had never heard of this book until a few months ago when a teacher friend, Mrs. Conrad, was cleaning out her classroom and offered us some of the extra books. She mentioned this book as a classic that she just loved. Now we now why! It is a great book.

I read the book myself before reading it with my daughter. I noticed the theme of compassion running throughout this book. I asked my daughter to look for examples of compassion as we read and we found at least six different instances where one or more of the animals were showing compassion on others.

The author - Robert C. O'Brien - does a masterful job at drawing the reader into the story and giving a sense that you are right there with the animals throughout their drama. And with unexpected plot twists, the book is a real page-turner that was hard to put down.

Two thumbs up for Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH!


Last weekend we decided to do some rearranging in my son's room. The plan was to make just one change, but one thing led to another and we ended up making major changes.

The toddler bed came out and a huge futon / loft bed went in. My son is now sleeping on the futon bed consistently. He loves it.

The crib was also still in the room previously. That is now out also, leaving more space for a reading corner and play area.

The beds we removed were moved to our "blue room" - our spare room that is waiting for a foster child or two to arrive. It now has room for 6 - three twin beds, a trundle bed (hidden under one of the twins), a toddler bed and a crib. We have been blessed with many beds... and this just weeks after we put "our need" for beds out there amongst family and friends. My daughter was counting it up and we have beds for 17 people in our house right now (as long as 3 of them are babies). I don't EVER anticipate needing room for 17, but yes, we are ready for guests! :-)

Family Photo Friday


After what seemed like the longest week in history to me, Friday has arrived! We've been battling sickness all week long (and still are) so very little happened this week that was productive. We homeschooled one day and I did bake a few batches of Christmas goodies one day. Otherwise, it's been a week of resting, laying low and general ugh-ness.

We watched Eli 3 days this week. One day we decided he might like a slow ride in the laundry basket, courtesy of my daughter. Indeed he loved it!

Then my son hopped in too (careful not to sit on Eli) and I grabbed a picture before it got too crazy (and filled with toys) and the basket needed to go away.

We had our adopted grandparents Greg and Ruth over for a meal last weekend. Good conversation, time to reconnect and lots of fun for our kids. We love these guys! This is Ruth with big hugs for my daughter.

Here's Greg reading a book with my little guy.

And here's Ruth playing with lincoln logs with my son. Fun times for everyone!

We're looking forward to a weekend with very little going on. We need to kick this sickness once and for all! Say a prayer for healing for us, if you think of it.

Happy weekend to all!

Family Photo Friday


It's Friday! It's Friday! I'm doing the happy dance :-)

Here are a few photos from our week.

This is Eli - the little guy we're watching during the day - in the high chair grabbing his Cheerios. He loves those Cheerios!

We've had a pet bird named Weezy for over a year now. In recent weeks my daughter has been asking more and more if we can get Weezy out of her cage and let her fly around the house. This has turned into "daily exercise" for Weezy now :-) Here's the pretty bird with the pretty girl.

We allow our daughter to take one extra-curricular class in the fall. She chose ballet, which is offered through our local Parks/Rec Department. Here she is showing a ballet position she has learned.

My husband snapped this shot of my son and me. Don't know what we were laughing at but my son's happy laughing face is classic. Love it!

Happy weekending!

Freebie Bonanza

It's been a freebie bonanza lately! :-)

These 4 freebies arrived in my mailbox yesterday - a sample of laundry detergent, a pair of socks, coupons for completely free Barilla pasta and My Faith Box" (a journal/scrapbook specifically for tracing your faith journey).

I had coupons to get all of the items in this second picture free - 8 boxes of Toaster Strudels (twice "won" while playing the daily game here), 1 package of Advil and 1 package of Cottonelle wipes. Totally free thanks to coupons...

If you too would like to get in on some of the freebies, check in with Money Saving Mom on a daily basis to find links to all kinds of giveaways and free offers.

Children's Reading List: Sarah Plain and Tall

I had never read Sarah, Plain and Tall before but knew it is a popular "classic" book. So I ordered this one from Paperback Swap and we picked it off the shelf a week ago to read. It's a surprisingly short book, so we finished it in just one evening. At the end of the book, my daughter declared it was her new favorite book (this happens at the end of almost every book we read :-)).

I was pleased that my daughter saw numerous parallels between the situation described in the book (children with no mother; a mail-order bride/mom shows up) and what foster children must be dealing with. Having not read the book in advance, I didn't expect that, so it was a surprising conversation starter that opened our eyes to more of the feelings foster kids experience.

Another great book. Two thumbs up. Glad to have this one on the bookshelf to read again!

Family Photo Friday


The first Friday of November is here. And around here that means that I post family photos from our week.

We've remained a bit under the weather this week, with colds, runny noses and coughs. But we've maintained a somewhat regular schedule that included watching Eli all 5 days this week and fitting homeschooling in 4 days out of the week (which is our regular schedule).

Here's my little man playing with playdough - which is one of the many activities he does at the table when I'm "doing school" with my daughter.

And here's my daughter working away on a writing assignment.

We had some professional pictures taken of the kids this week. Here are some of my favorites:

I'm so thankful for my family and my kids.
I can't imagine life without their smiles and laughter and love!

Happy weekend, y'all!

Works for Me Wednesday - Thankful Tree


The start of November is significant at our house. We have a November tradition - making our Thankful Tree.

October 31st or November 1st, we make a thankful tree out of construction paper. We mount it in our dining room where we see it throughout the day.

It's a simple tree trunk with 30 colorful leaves. We write one blessing on each leaf and put it on the tree. Everyone helps with ideas to put on the leaves, but snow and toys and church and food are some things that always are included.

As each day of November goes by, we take down 1 leaf and thank God that day for that blessing.

This is a simple way to make "thanksgiving" last throughout the whole month rather than just 1 day in late November. And the official Thanksgiving Day is much more meaningful when you've been cultivated a spirit of thankfulness for weeks.

It works for me!

Children's Reading List: James and the Giant Peach


Ever since reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a few weeks back, we have picked up two other books by Roald Dahl. Next in line was Charlie and the Glass Elevator, which is intended to be a sequel. Then this week we read
James and the Giant Peach.

My daughter claims this is her "new favorite" book. It's a typical Roald Dahl book full of fun and imagination. There were a few simple pictures, but most of the fantasy story is left up to the listener's imagination to run wild... as the giant peach takes off down the hill, with James and other travelers inside!

Two thumbs up from this mama and my 7-year-old for James and the Giant Peach!