Christmas Gifts


Here's a peek at Christmas gifts given and received at our house this year. 

One important gift was given... SMILES! 

The littlest man received some rattles and a bumbo seat.

I received a wall plaque with a nice message, a candle, slippers and a beautiful grandmother mantle clock! I didn't get a picture of my husband with his gifts, but rest assured that he was there with us! 

2-year-old Little Miss received a sit-n-spin which was probably her favorite toy. She also received a necklace, some bath toys, a Little People car with 2 people, and a tunnel to crawl through. Lots of smiles and giggles from her!

My older son received a set of cones, a test-tube science kit, a mini-drone, a Lego truck and some candy. He was really excited about all of his gifts, but he loves all things Lego so that was probably his favorite.

My oldest daughter received a pair of roller skates, a spirograph, a mini safe, a slinky and some MadLibs. Sounds like a lot of retro toys, doesn't it? All things from her list that she is excited about it. The spirograph was the first thing she got out to experiment with and quickly shared her beautiful designs. 

Love Christmas morning with these silly kids! 

We've had years of lean and years of plenty. This was a year of plenty for us. A year where we saw clearly the Lord's favor on my husband's employment. We give God the thanks and praise for that! We were able to give more than we've ever given at Christmastime because of His favor on us. Truly, we give because God is a Giver, who gave first to us! 

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Baby Boy is 3 Months Old


This baby boy is three months old now! 
It's been a month of smiles and first belly laughs!

He smiles with Mommy!

He smiles with Daddy!

He smiles in his sleep! 

He likes to play with on his activity mat in the playpen. 

And he likes to watch and "play" with his big siblings.

And, of course, he's excited to celebrate his first Christmas!

And when it's all said and done, Mama is still his favorite person in the whole world and he doesn't like to be far from her for even a minute! 

We love you, Little Digger and are so thankful that God blessed our family with you! 

Happy Birthday, Little Miss!


This growing girl just turned 2!

I still remember giving birth to her. We waited to find out the baby's gender until the birth. So I asked "So! Is it a boy or a girl. I don't have my glasses on and can't see a thing!" The midwife held her up and said "It's a girl!" That moment was one of the best in my life. So exciting. 

And, as all kids do, she has grown and grown and grown. 

Last year she was too young to enjoy her birthday or Christmas very much. This year will be different! 

This girl has the sweetest, helpful spirit about her. She is quick to help out with cleaning projects, throwing away diapers, and loves putting dirty clothes (and sometimes clean ones too) down our laundry chute. 

She speaks very, very clearly for a 2 year old. I've heard from many people that they know 3 or even 4 year olds who doesn't speak as clearly or have the vocabulary she has. She strings 4-5 words together to make sentences and regularly uses words like "probably" and "Christmas tree" in her conversations. She's a talker alright! 

We love you, Rosebud, and are so very 
thankful to have you as part of our family. 
Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Happy Birthday, Big Boy!


My oldest boy has turned 8! Whoa!

Eight years have passed since this big bouncing baby joined our family. We had waited and prayed, cried and prayed, and waited some more before this boy was conceived. What a delight it was to discover we were pregnant. And then to welcome this big baby, our "double blessing" weighing over 11 pounds at birth. God is good and He poured His favor on us. 

Then watching this one grow. A boy is certainly different to raise than a girl. This one and his older sister are night-and-day different. This boy has been daddy's little helper since very early on.

And he's growing up and still is a great helper. 
He helps in the kitchen with food prep...

And in the kitchen doing dishes...

And with outside projects...

And with his younger siblings.

We love you, son! Happy 8th birthday!

Baby Boy is 2 Months Old!


This little guy is not so little any more. 

He's 2 months old and weighs almost 14 pounds! 
He's got chubby cheeks now.

Here he is in the nursery at our homeschool co-op alongside a newborn. Nothing like a tiny baby to make him look huge! 

This is a shot of one of his first smiles. I love it when babies start smiling back at you... it feels like a reward for all of the hard work it is to care for them. He is just now starting to settle into a routine, so life is settling into a new normal for all of us. 

He's received so many cute outfits as gifts. I've enjoyed seeing him in his new outfits, like this one, as well as in some of those I'd saved from his big brother. A walk down memory lane...

I've noticed that we are not taking as many pictures this time around. Need to change that and make sure we capture more of his milestones and precious moments on "film" as I know that my memory is too overloaded to remember them all! 

We sure love you, Little Man, and are loving watching you change and grow!

PS: Just for fun, here's a shot of his older brother at this age. See any resemblance? I sure do!

Embracing Motherhood


This week I've been thinking about motherhood.

I'm a mother to 7 children - 4 on earth and 3 in heaven. Being a mom is hard work. Lots of people comment to me now "You have your hands full!" This is true. But I like to respond with "Yes and my heart is full too." 
I love kids and I love my kids.

This week I had a follow-up appointment with my midwife. In the course of our debriefing of life with my baby, she heard my relaxed tone. She saw me respond to my baby when he needed to be nursed. She heard me when I told her that I am sleep-deprived, but I know this will pass soon enough. 

She then paid me quite a compliment. She said that she loved that I was embracing my role as a mom. She loved that I was cherishing the moments with my newborn rather than wishing them away for the sake of my convenience or sleep or career. She had tears in her eyes when she spoke of how few patients truly embrace mothering or seem to enjoy their role as mom. 

How sad, I thought, that this is the case. How sad because most of these other women are missing out on one of God's greatest gifts - the beautiful moments of mothering. 

I know that our culture de-values the role of a mother. 
But I also know that God's Word is the opposite, giving honor to the role of mom. And I know from my own experience how fulfilled I am when I embrace my role as a mother and wife. I am not seeking any other career. My children are and will be my masterpiece. They are eternal souls that are worth my time and effort, worth my literal blood, sweat and tears. 

And so here I am, with my four living children. I'm so tired that I could sleep for a week and not be caught up. I don't get a chance to shower as much as I'd like and my clothes constantly have spit-up stains. I am juggling homeschool read-alouds with my 7th grader, spelling lists with my 2nd grader, filling juice cups for my toddler and nursing my son around the clock. 

And yet these days are fleeting. I am being poured out. 
My life is being spent as I embrace mothering. 
And rather than be bitter at whatever "sacrifices" I have had to make, I rejoice in the privilege and opportunity to be a mother to these special people. 

My Toddler Girl


My toddler. She's just under 2 years old now. 

Such a sweet girl she is.

It's been a rough transition (as we expected) as we have welcomed baby brother home. This girl is wanting more attention than we have to give her. Big sister has had to step in many times to hold her and love on her in my stead.

She loves "hide and seek" in the hutch.  

Here she is helping do some baking in the kitchen. 

This is Aunt Sheila showing her some loving.

She really enjoys books. Daddy tries to read to her each night before bed. She soaks it in!

We love you so much, Rosebud!