Birthday Girl Turns 14


This girl is 14 years old! 

She has braces in her pictures this year, which is new. 

Still as beautiful as ever! Her hair has a red tint in these shots, which is so pretty! 

This year she's grown up a lot. She's had to help run our household these last days, with a new baby in the family. But she's stepped up to the plate and learned new things, from cooking skills to childcare techniques. 

Some of her favorite things include: pets; riding the rip-stick and painting her beautifully long fingernails in bold colors. 

Happy Birthday, Bright Eyes! 
We are so thankful God has given you to our family!

Baby's First Month

So my baby boy is a month old now. Here are some pictures from his first month on this side of the womb. 

Me and my baby. 

His favorite place is definitely in my arms.

A little playtime. He's not really into this at all yet.

First bath. 

First month picture.

We love you, little man, 
and are so glad you're part of our family! 

A Baby as a Trust


I found this quote recently and it really spoke to my heart, as I have just been entrusted with a newborn. 
So precious and beautiful...

by Theodore Cuyler (1896)

"When God lays a newborn babe in the arms of a mother, He says to her heart 'Take this child and nurse it for me and I will give you your wages (Exodus 2:9).' The answer of maternal love should be, 'Oh God, You have put Your noblest workmanship into my hands. I accept the precious trust. I will shelter this young life under Your mercy seat. I will be truthful that it may never learn falsehood. I will nurse this soul in its infancy with the sincere milk of love, that in after years it may bear strong meat for strong service of God and righteousness. Oh, Heavenly Father, make my life in harmony with Yourself, that this young life may reflect Your blessed image in following my example!' 
To such pious fidelity God offers the highest wages; 
He pays the heart's claim in the heart's own coin."

Independence Day


Our whole crew decked out in red, white and blue! 

And our first family photo with all 7 of us! 

Baby is Here


Our new baby has arrived. 
It's a boy and he's healthy and he's wonderful! 

Here are some pictures of the older children with their littlest brother.

We love you, Bumble!

Pregnancy Update - Week 38


38 Weeks Along

This means lots of heartburn, lots of baby kicks and pokes, 
lots of times up in the night to go potty, 
lots of doctor appointments to ensure baby is healthy. 

This also means we need to get serious about choosing a name and packing the hospital bag! 

Baby Bumble, we love you and look forward to seeing you really soon! 

Plans are to induce labor later this week, after I hit the 39-week mark. So very soon! 

Poem on Children


A poem on children, 
as I prepare to welcome another child into our family. 

by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You my give them your love but not your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
As living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves also the bow that is stable.

Zoo Field Trip


I'm late in posting this, but nonetheless I want to share some of these pictures. Last month our family took a field trip to the Fort Wayne Zoo. This was done in conjunction with our homeschool co-op, so there were nearly 30 other families from our group also there that day.

There was a petting zoo with basic farm animals like goats, sheep and rabbits. Our youngest kids enjoyed this, of course.

The zoo is divided into three basic sections - an Indonesian rain forest, an African journey and then Australian adventure. Each section has a snack area and bathrooms throughout, as well as numerous seating areas. Despite being 30-some weeks pregnant, I walked the entire route (albeit a little more slowly than my usual pace). Our 3-year-old was my partner for the day, wearing her leash/backpack which was much-needed to keep her within sight.

Highlights of the visit for us: 

The giraffes! There is a wonderful 2-story observation tower in with the giraffes, allowing everyone to be eye-to-eye with the giraffes! This is a friend from our group feeding the giraffe. 

To be up-close, just inches away from a giraffe. Very neat!

We didn't get a picture of the sea lions, but watching them swim around was one of our favorite things to do. So graceful and beautiful under the water. 

Seeing the zebras were fun. Unfortunately, the lions were not on exhibit that day so we missed them. 

We saw peacocks all over the zoo. There were probably about a dozen. So pretty!

Overall, the visit was a success. We wouldn't want to make the long drive to Fort Wayne on a regular basis, with our little ones in tow, but for a special one-time trip it was a fun outing! And we were able to enjoy some animals that our local zoo doesn't have. 

Visiting the zoo always makes me thankful for the creativity of God - to think of all these variety of animals, so different, so beautiful in their own ways. Thank you, Lord, for including all these animals in our world, for us to learn about and to enjoy. 

Kids and Laundry Baskets


My kids and laundry baskets. 
They've always gone together like bread and butter somehow. :-)

Here are a few of the dozens of photos I've snapped of my kids in baskets. 

My now 13-year-old daughter, back at age 1.

My now 9-year-old son, back at age 2. 

Both the older two kids together in baskets, ages 7 and 3. 

Here's my now 3-year-old in her 3-month portraits... being "dumped" out of a basket. :-)

And this is her at age 2 and 1/2.

With her little brother in a basket, about 1 year ago.

And my current youngest just recently in a basket.

Funny thing... as we were going through old family photos from my father-in-law, we found this one of him in an egg basket back in the 1940s. 

Playing in baskets... apparently it's been a thing for a long time! 



One of the beautiful things about a large family are the multiple sibling relationships. Each is so dynamic and ever-changing. This is great (when they are getting along well) and not-so-great (when they are in quarrel that seems to last way too long). But once in a while, there are opportunities for fun togetherness. Here are a few pictures we snapped during the best of times. 

The two boys in a happy moment of playing together. One of the current favorite things to do for our 21-month-old boy is to play with the dishwasher silverware. He loves to put things in and out, in and out - keeps him occupied for quite a while (until he tries to climb into the dishwasher, breaking the door or starts pulling pieces of the machinery off the inside... yup, I speak from experience).

Here our 3-year-old girl gets a piggy back ride from big brother. 

When watching something on the computer screen, both the little ones want to sit on a lap. Here big sister does double-duty.

Though not necessarily together, here are the youngest two reading books. A rare quiet moment as they were both quite engrossed in their favorite books.

The youngest two in the bathtub, full of fun and bubbles.

The two girls playing with their black olive fingers!

Here are the youngest two playing together outside.

Hooray for happy moments together!

Outdoors Boy


My oldest boy - age 9 - loves the outdoors. In fact, this week he's participating in a farm camp, spending 6 hours a day doing outdoorsy, nature things. He loves climbing trees, playing in the pond, taking nature hikes, etc. 

And if that isn't enough, he comes home from farm camp and immediately asks "Can I play outside?" :-)

Here he was with a "friend" he found in our own yard. Bugs don't bother this boy. Too much sun... no problem (he tans easily and rarely burns). He is in his element these days. 

Happy summer from the great outdoors! 

Grandma R


My husband's parents live nearby. We see them once a week or so. Yet, we rarely take pictures of/with them, which is sad. My husband did take this picture recently, though, and it's precious of Grandma R and our 3-year-old princess. Sweethearts!

Happy 17th Anniversary!


Happy 17th Anniversary to my love! 

Pregnancy Update - Week 32


32 Weeks Along

I have not been good about taking pregnancy pictures this time around. But here I am, at 32 weeks. 

32 Weeks. 
Well into the third trimester now. 
Feeling big, though I know I'll get bigger still.

Started feeling some heartburn for the first time. The old wives' tale is that heartburn equals a baby with a lot of hair. This is one tale that has held true for me. Always plenty of heartburn and my babies all are born with a head of dark hair. 

I've pulled out my baby boy and baby girl clothes from storage now. I still need to pack a hospital bag.

Baby Bumble, we're getting closer to being ready for you! We love you!