Blanket Forts


My kids LOVE to build blanket houses, blanket forts, blanket RVs. This one has been up for a few days at our house, which provides a perfect place for the kids to play and sneak off to and even read (they have a battery-powered lantern in there). They make use of nearly every blanket or bed-sheet they can find, as well as the couch, piano bench, large card table and kid-sized card table. 

Even baby sister likes to play this way... for about one minute before she gets too scared to be inside there!

Fun times and memories in the making!

Adopted Grandparents


Last weekend we had Greg and Ruth over. 
They are very distant relatives, but we treat them like adopted grandparents. They have no children of their own, so they gladly love on ours! 

We had a "chili cookoff" of sorts. They brought their favorite chili and we prepared ours, so everyone could taste both. We also had cornbread and hot dogs (for those non-chili fans) and a delicious pumpkin roll for dessert. 

Dad and Greg talked family genealogy, which is how we discovered our relationship to Greg and Ruth a few years back. Then Greg was overtaken by the two older children who played with his hair. Oh my... pigtails and all! I won't embarrass him by posting pictures here! :-)

Then, Greg was subjected to reading Dr. Seuss books which left his tongue feeling like rubber, I'm sure. Some of those books are just full of hilarious tongue-twisters!

Ruth played a few games with the older kids and then rocked our baby girl.

Family... what a cool idea! 

Homeschooling: Why I Love our Library


We are not a family who gets sick very often. However, we've been sick lately. I've been battling a cough and cold for about 3 weeks. My kids have caught it in the last few days too, causing us to take a few "sick days" off of school. 

My husband, who is a librarian at our local public library, reminded me that our library now has "hoopla." Hoopla is a digital library where you can check out music, videos and audiobooks. It's just like checking out a DVD or CD from the library except that you can do it from home. All you need is a library card and the internet.

So my kids recently have enjoyed watching some kid videos like Curious George and Veggietales while they've been sick on the couch. 

Easy. Free. And we didn't have to leave the house. Perfect!

Thank you, hoopla and our local library, for making my life a little bit easier as I nurse my kids back to health!

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month


Today marks 2 years since my third miscarriage. October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. So for those reasons, today I'm remembering my three "other" children - those in heaven already. 

Grant David. Hope. Isaac. 

I can say that I am healing. 
Two years ago I was a mess and at a difficult place with God. I could not understand His purposes in the miscarriages and suffering I was going through. One year ago I was nearing my due date with a healthy pregnancy. And this year I am keeping up with my busy 10-month old daughter, who doesn't afford me a lot of time to sit, think or reflect. 

But I am at a better place emotionally. Although October is always a dark, dreary month to me, I have been able to see more bright spots this year. I have been able to enjoy some of the beauty.  My focus is shifting. 

And I am at a better place with my Lord. I have stopped asking why. I will never know why. Yet time and perspective allow me to see at least a glimpse of good that has come from my suffering and pain. And having a baby in our home has helped bring healing too. 

So I am remembering my other three. 
I am still sad. I still miss them. 
I still long to see them and hold them. 
But I am also smiling at my baby girl's antics, 
and my 6-year-old son as he almost swallowed a tooth that fell out, and at my beautiful 11-year-old daughter as she roller-skates in the driveway to soak in the last sunshiny warmth of these fall days.

God is good, all the time, because that is His nature. 
He can be nothing else. 
So when He appears to be something else, it is my perspective that is flawed, not His nature. 

1 Corinthians 13 - Now we know in part, but when perfection comes, then we will know fully. 

Until that day, when I can hug and kiss and smile at them as we walk together on those streets of gold, I remember and look forward to the day of truly meeting my other three children.

Baby Girl - 10 Months


In just a few more days this little darling will be 10 months old! 

She is quite mobile now, crawling everywhere. Her crawl is mostly an army crawl, though, with a few occasional belly-off-the-floor moves. She pulls up on furniture but is still unsteady on her feet. No first steps have happened yet, but we're watching for them.

She's been in her own crib in her own room now for a few weeks. That is going great! She is often sleeping through the night without waking at all. Every few nights she gets up once just to keep me on my toes! I find that my body has adjusted to not needing as much sleep as I used to (say, a year or more ago) so I've been spending an hour reading before bed each night. What a luxury! 

She got her first two teeth recently. She enjoys baby food but especially likes to gum up cheerios and soft cooked veggies like broccoli and green beans. 

She says "mama" and seems to know what she's saying. Same with "dada."  She says words that may be names for brother and sister, but we're not sure. She waves good-bye. She loves to clap and patty-cake. 

This girl LOVES dogs. She goes crazy when she sees dogs in our neighborhood and after they've passed by, she cries. We're sticking to our guns, though, and NOT getting a dog any time soon. She'll have to be content with seeing all of the dozens of dogs that live in our neighborhood as they are out and about.

We love you, Little Miss, and are loving these precious days with you!