Family Christmas


 We enjoyed our family Christmas. 
With the little ones, we didn't even try to get a family picture. But we had fun anyway! 

My husband with one of his gifts. 

My older two kids with their unopened gifts. 

My youngest daughter sat on my lap to open her gifts. While the rest of us stayed in our jammies all day, she was donning a beautiful short-sleeved dress and non-matching Christmas bow in her hair. :-) For her, this was the year that she wanted to help open all the gifts, whether they were hers or not.

Me with one of my gifts - a scarf hanger.

This was the year that my little boy had more fun with boxes and wrapping paper than with actual gifts and toys. He enjoyed stacking up wrapped gifts, then knocking them down. He liked climbing inside big boxes. Who needs toys?! 

We enjoyed a relaxing day at home together. We read the Bible's Christmas story. We opened gifts. We played games together. We relaxed. It was a great family day! 

A Daddy's Heart


I'm so thankful for this Daddy to my children. 
He has a tender heart for them. He loves to come home to his family at the end of a work day. And the children love to welcome him home too. 
We love you! 

Happy Birthday, Big Girl!


My littlest girl turned 3 this week. She is such a sweetie. 

Here are some of her birthday portraits. 

It took her a while to warm up to the photographer, but once she did her smiles were abundant and genuine!

She received this princess tent from Grandma K in Wisconsin. 

She opened the gift with Grandma watching via Skype.

Little brother had as much fun in the tent as she did!

We enjoyed ice cream cake to end this special birthday. She kept saying "Mama, am I three now?" She has been waiting FOREVER for her birthday to come. It's so hard for her - with the rest of our family's birthdays start in July and all of them come before hers. She waits and waits. And asks "When will it be MY birthday?" And finally it came! 

Happy birthday, Rosebud! 
We are so glad you're part of our family!

Baby Announcement


Hear ye! Hear ye! 

I sent my kids on a fun scavenger hunt the other night. 
They were all over the house finding clues in a toilet paper tube, in the dishwasher, in the freezer, and finally in the currently-unused baby cradle. 

The surprise ending... we are expecting a baby next July! 

Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father. 
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! 

Homeschool Co-op


We participated in another semester of our homeschool co-op, Home Grown Hearts. The fall semester just wrapped up, with a big program. 

Here's a picture of all of the kids who participated - around 150 of them. They all go on stage to recite the Scripture passage we worked on memorizing this semester: Psalm 34:1-10.

My 3rd grade son took an Oregon Trail class this semester. Here he is with a few of his class projects.

And my 8th grade daughter took a canvas painting class (again). Here are some of her paintings from this semester. It's fun to decorate our walls at home with her beautiful paintings. 

This is my toddler girl in the nursery at co-op. She will move up to a Preschool class in the spring, since she turns 3 next week.

My littlest boy was with me pretty much all the time this semester. He really struggled when I left him in the nursery. So we were together in the nursery for some of the time. He went with me to a Sr High Book Study for one hour (heard all about Fahrenheit 451 and Edgar Allen Poe) and was also with me most of the time for my prayer/snack hour.  So it was a rougher semester for me, with him at my side all morning long. It was harder for me to connect with my prayer group and to devote the necessary thought to the Book Study class.  

Overall, though, I am so thankful for our co-op group. 
We enjoy the social outlet and the educational aspects. 
We all enjoy some of the bigger group activities that we would miss out on otherwise, as homeschooling can be so isolating. Thank you, God, for our co-op! 

First Snow


We had the first real snow of the season this weekend. 
My almost-3-year-old couldn't wait to build a snowman. 

What a simple way to make memories with a child! 
Thanks, Daddy, for helping her build this one!

Happy Birthday, My Boy!


This oldest boy of mine has just turned nine!
What a handsome young man he is! 

He likes Legos so he was excited about this Lego idea book, which he received as a gift.

And walkie-talkies. He loves these walkie talkies! 

Grandma K sent some gifts from Wisconsin, which he opened while we skyped with her. Neat technology!

He opened some gifts at Thanksgiving time at Grandma R's house. One was a solar robot, which took hours to assemble, but was fun once it was done.

He wanted an ice cream cake, even for his December birthday. Brrrr... and mmmmm!