Beach Day


On one hot summer day last week we headed to the beach with our friends. 

We make this trek once annually, which honestly is about as much beach as this mama can handle!

I have my 3 kids - ages 11, 6 and 8-months. My friend Leah goes with us with her 3 kids - ages 8, 6 and 3. Leah is also pregnant with her 4th. So our hands are full when we make this trip, though we are thankful for our older children who help to keep an eye on the younger ones. 

Two things set this beach day apart from the rest. One, we remembered to take our sled which helped greatly in transporting our towels, snacks, etc. over the sand. Two thumbs up - must remember this for next year! Second, this was the year of the biting flies. For whatever reason, these pesky biting flies would not leave us alone! They stayed near the ground, not coming higher than a foot off the ground. So our legs looked good to them and they bit, bit and bit all they wanted! The kids were in constant motion which kept the flies at bay, but for Leah and myself we had to wrap our legs tightly with towels to keep the biting flies away. Ugh! 

Another summer bucket list item crossed off! 

Baby Girl is 8 Months Old


I knew it would happen, but it still seems to shock me - my baby girl is growing and just won't stop! 

She's 8 months old now. 
She weighs 20 pounds plus a few ounces. 

She eats a jar of baby food at lunchtime. 
She eats another jar at suppertime. 

She still is not the best sleeper, though she has fallen into a more regular pattern of daytime naps. Nighttime is still a struggle, as she is up many times a night. She does consistently go to bed around 7 pm and wake for the day at 7 am, which is a blessing. 

Happy 8-months, baby girl! 

Birthday Celebrations


We recently had a birthday bash to celebrate my daughter turning 11, as well as my birthday (which is 2 days after hers) and my husband's birthday (which was 3 weeks ago). 

We have such a fun time! 

 My hubby grilled out shish-kabobs. Yummo! We also enjoyed watermelon, custard eggs, pasta salad, homemade pickles from our garden, root beer floats. 

Some folks hung out outside. 
The weather was great to be outside.

A view of folks chatting inside the house.

Here's my daughter with her 11 candles and cake.

My silly husband and myself as we listened to the birthday song and prepared to blow out our candles. Yes, he decided to smoke his candle :-)

Here's my littlest daughter being entertained by Great Uncle (a.k.a. Gruncle) Greg. 

Here's my daughter opening up a gift. She received 2 lava lamps, which were on her wish list. 

They have provided hours of entertainment since she opened them. 

My son had to get a good grin in for the camera. 
He's such a sweetie! 

On my actual birthday, my niece Racquel was over to spend some time with us. She and my now 11-year-old daughter decorated a cake and cupcakes. They also cleaned up after themselves in the kitchen, which was a great birthday gift to me! :-)

Fun times with family, celebrating life. 
Thank you God for these precious times together!

Grandma Visits


My mom visited us recently. She comes down from Wisconsin once or twice a year for a weekend visit. 

She always brings us fresh, squeaky cheese curds. Mmmm. 

And she lavishes love on us while she's visiting. She snuggles and cuddles with the kids. And she takes us out to eat as a family, which is a rare treat for us. 

Grandma plays a few board games with the kids. Here they are playing Clue, a family favorite.

She was a good sport to play with my kids outside. 

Here is Grandma with my three kids. 

We love you, Grandma! Thanks for the visit!

Birthday Girl


My oldest daughter turned 11 this week! 

It's such a delight to get to experience life with this girl every day. She brings joy to our lives, for sure! 

This girl keeps shooting up, taller and taller. She will probably pass me up in the next 12 months. She's learning and growing. Little by little, she's inching out of her comfort zone and trying new things.

I can see her maturing. She's becoming more and more helpful around the house - in the kitchen, with the younger children, etc. She's less into little-kid-toys and more into decorating her room with cool things. Her favorite birthday gift this year was a lava lamp. She actually got 2 - one red, one blue - and loves them!

We love you so much, Bright Eyes!
Happy Birthday!



A few days ago my brother Todd and his family were passing through Indiana while on vacation. They stopped by to visit for a few hours. We had a nice time, chatting and eating together. 

Here is my sister-in-law Becky and niece Isabelle playing with my little girl. 

Fun times with family! 



The zoo.

I'm thankful that we have a zoo nearby. Once or twice a year we head that way and enjoy a few hours at the zoo. 

Recently we went to the zoo, along with my friend Leah and her 3 kids. With 6 kids between us now (and another on the way -  Leah is expecting her 4th), the zoo is more of an adventure than it used to be!

This was my baby girl's first time at the zoo. She's too young to really get it. I think it was just like a long stroller ride for her.

The highlight of the zoo is always the zoo train ride, which is brief but fun. In second place, though, would be the river otter exhibit. With an under-water viewing area, it's entertaining to watch the otters dive and play underwater.

Already looking forward to our 2015 trip to the zoo with 7 little ones in tow! Wowzers!