Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Teaching Little Ones to have a Quiet Time

In my perfect world, I would wake up every morning at six o'clock, take a shower, exercise, and do my Bible study. Breakfast would be ready by the time my kids get up around 8, and I'd be in a cheerful mood ready to start the day. Oh and the house would be clean, and the laundry would be put away.

However, this is not generally my reality. Most mornings when my alarm goes off at six, I still feel like it's the middle of the night and in my half awake state I turn the alarm off without even messing with touching the snooze button. I'm reminding myself that I won't always feel this tired, that this is just part of being pregnant, but it can be a little discouraging to roll out of bed at 7:45, and have four hungry kids begging for my attention before I've had coffee and spent a little time in God's word.

However, instead of letting it discourage me, I decided to use it as a teaching opportunity. Now when my children are wanting to get up before I've had time to do my Bible study, I send them back to their rooms with their journal, a crayon or pen, and a Bible. If they're hungry, I'll give them a snack to take with them back to their beds. Usually they're able to spend twenty minutes or so drawing a picture for God, or looking at the pictures in their Bible. Jack a lot of times will write out different Bible verses from one of our favorite bible memory books(and no I don't make him do this, he just enjoys handwriting.) After I finish my quiet time(and my cup of coffee) I go back to their rooms and we start the day.

Yes I have had to train them a little in this area, as they would much rather be able to get up right away and start the day. However now they're used to it, and actually enjoy having their own quiet time. They get so excited showing me their pictures, or Bible verses they've wrote out. And I definitely love having a little extra time in the morning to get my heart right before starting the day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hands Full

"My goodness you sure have your hands full!"

"Are those ALL yours?"

"Don't you know what causes that?!"

"Don't you and your husband have some other hobby or watch television every once in awhile?"

"Wow, I'm sure glad I'm not you, I'd go crazy every single day!"

These are just a few of the comments I hear when I take my children out on various errands. Honestly I've been hearing them since I had my second child(Anna) because her and my oldest are only 12 months apart, and apparently having lots of children close in age means people forget that things like pointing, staring, and making rude comments are in fact rude things to do. Judging by some of the things people say, it would also appear that many people believe my children can't hear them.

But of course they can hear them. They also understand, on some level, what's going on. But more importantly, I'm realizing, is that they're waiting to see how I'll react to all these comments.

And do you want to know the truth? Generally, I smile and just keep walking. I've never been one for confrontation and drawing unnecessary attention to myself, and it just seemed easier to smile, nod, and ignore. But really is that the message I want to be sending to my children, or even the strangers making these comments?  Despite the comments, clearly I know what caused "all" these children. I don't want my kids to think that I think they're a burden, and I certainly don't want complete strangers at the grocery store to think I feel that way about my own children(no matter how frazzled I might be looking at the time!)

I was challenged recently by how I'm handling these types of confrontations by an article I read over at desiring god. The author has 6 kids under the age of 7, and at one point had five kids under the age of five. Here's the quote; "When my little girl told me, “Your hands are full!” I was so thankful that she already knew what my answer would be. It was the same one that I always gave: “Yes they are—full of good things!”
Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it."
The next time someone comments on my family size, I think I'm going to say that.  Yes my hands are full- but  they're full of good things. This world wants to say children are expensive little burdens who steal our time and money, but God says children are blessings. If I don't start kindly speaking up for my own children, then I'm just as wrong as the people making the comments.

Linking up with June &

Growing Home

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Wow, I seriously have been slacking on this blog! It's not for lack of trying to write posts, but it seems every time I get inspiration to write I'm in the car, giving the kids a bath, or about to fall asleep. Currently I have about 10 unfinished posts sitting in my blog file. I guess that's how it goes sometimes.

Anyways, I thought I'd post some pictures from thanksgiving until I can get further inspiration. September through Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, and I always look forward to thanksgiving. It was a great day spent with my parents and brother!

The day before thanksgiving my parents and I took the kids to a local dairy farm. Since we're "city" people, the kids weren't to sure what to think of all the animals(well except for the cats, they liked them lol!) Anna, was the only one who wasn't afraid whatsoever. She wanted to pet every animal she saw, and take them all home. 

Anna enjoyed helping make the pumpkin pies and rolls.

Lily loved helping my mom cut up apples for the apple pie and making sweet potatoes.

Jack did help make rolls, but he was so happy to have his daddy, papa, and uncle around the house that he spent most of the day playing with them. 

Photo: Our youngest grandson Max on Thanksgiving...he loves cranberries...can u tell??

Max loved the cranberries! 

It was a great day of giving thanks, spending time with family, cooking and lots of eating. My mom and I did all the cooking, so I was pretty much exhausted by the time the day was over, but it was such a nice day! Did the rest of you have a nice thanksgiving?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Home School- 2 months In

The first questions I get asked these days is about homeschooling. How it's going, how Jack likes it, and how I like it.

In the spirit of being real with you all, I'll just come out and admit that home schooling is way harder than I ever anticipated!

It's not that Jack doesn't enjoy learning. In fact, he loves learning, and really likes doing school. And I do enjoy it, sometimes. But the fact is homeschooling does require some sense of self discipline and organization. These would definitely be areas I tend to struggle in. Sometimes I can get overwhelmed when I think about all there is to do in a day.

I have been learning what seems to work for us, and I've been learning from some women who are further along in this journey and gleaning whatever wisdom I can. My husband and I have had some good conversations about what our long term and short term goals are. And I'm constantly asking the Lord for wisdom and guidance, and asking Him to help me love my children the way he does. This is where God has us. This is the conviction God has given Erik and I in regards to education, and at the end of the day I have to trust that God will equip us to do what he has called us to do.

It's certainly not been without it's wonderful moments too. It's fun watching your child learn to read. It's sweet hearing them request to do school on a Saturday. I love that I can work at Jack's pace, and that we can take our time if something is giving him trouble. And the best part is being able to give him a Christ centered education.

So, yes, I suppose I am enjoying home education. It's harder than I ever imagined it would be, but I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be able to this with my children.

Growing Home

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The mystery of Boys

Being a mother to boys can be very funny to me. Prior to having Jack, I didn't have a whole lot of experience with babies and children in general, and the ones I was around were always little girls. I have an older brother who's five years older than me, so I don't remember how he acted when he was younger.

My parents would tell me stories of how my brother and his best friend could be found wrestling in the back yard, sometimes fighting and rolling around on the ground. Supposedly one time someone was wearing a batman costume and it made the other one so jealous a huge fight ensued. My parents still laugh and tell me they were just sure that they weren't going to play together anymore, but 20 minutes later everything was fine and all the jealousy was forgotten.

So far Max and Jack have been much more laid back babies than Anna or Lily were(let's hope that trend continues!) And watching Jack interact with his little friends is so very funny to me. For example last Sunday one of Jack's friends came up to him and started calling him a porcupine. This caused Jack to fall into a fit of laughter, and the next thing you know they're in a ball on the floor calling each other porcupines.

At our weekly classical conversations group whenever there's free time the girls can be found sitting quietly talking and eating a snack, and the boys are generally chasing each other pretending to fight the bad guys, and wrestling.

Truthfully I really enjoy the differences. I actually encourage the sword fighting, super heroes, and pretending to be knights off to slay the dragon. I love that they desire to protect others from such an early age.

Raising boys is certainly an interesting, and sometimes confusing journey for me, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Luke or Olivia?

Well normally I prefer to be surprised when it comes to finding out our babies gender. I've only found out with one other pregnancy(Anna) and swore I'd never do that again...

But, this time around has been so different than the others, and Jack, Anna, and Lily are so excited to be welcoming another sibling, that Erik and I thought it would be fun to find out what we were having this time.
So yesterday at my ultrasound I found out the news.

It's a BOY!!! Right now the name we have picked out is Luke, but no middle name yet. Everything looked great. I'm so looking forward to meeting him this March!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blueberry baked Oatmeal

So as far as pregnancy cravings go, I actually haven't had too many this time around. However, this morning I woke up thinking about how much I needed blueberries. I already had some oats soaking on the counter, so blueberry oatmeal was the obvious choice, and let me tell you, this recipe made this pregnant mama very happy!

6 cups rolled or old fashioned oats
3/4-1 cup raw sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups plain kefir ( I just use 1 cup and then mix it with a cup of water to stretch the kefir), I'm sure you could use milk, buttermilk, or yogurt.
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup blueberries
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

If you want to soak, mix the oats, sugar, kefir, and oil the night before. The next morning add all the other ingredients, bake at 375 degrees for 30- 35 minutes.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Simon Says

The other night Erik was playing some games with the children. As the night went on, and Anna and Max had gone on to bed(they had just gotten back from a visit with Papa and Nana and were thoroughly exhausted) Erik suggested a game of Simon says. Jack started out as Simon, and when his turn was over Erik suggested that maybe Lily would like to be Simon now.

Picture if you will(because unfortunately I didn't take one), an adorable two year old in her tinkerbell footie pajamas marching to the other side of the room. At first she started out very shy, unsure of what she was suppose to do.

And then she realized that for the first time in her life she could tell her daddy and older brother to do anything she wanted them to do, and they would obey.

Suddenly little Lily was demanding Erik and Jack to,"Turn around! Go upside down! Now stop! Now go upside and spin around! Keep spinning! Don't stop!"

But the best part of the night came when she said,"Now, Jack you go that way!"she pointed to the end of the hall way. Then she told Erik,"Daddy you go that way!" and she pointed to the kitchen.

Now picture my six foot tall husband dutifully marching to the kitchen with a petite 2 year old little girl marching behind him sticking her finger in his back making sure he did what she said.

"Ok, daddy, now open the door!" I heard the door to the laundry room being opened.

"Now close the door!" The door shut.

And then I heard the laundry door open again, and Lily says in her sternest voice yet,"Now play light sabers with me!"

By this point my parents(who were here visiting) and I were practically on the floor we were laughing so hard. It was just so funny no one had the heart to remind her that she was forgetting to say "Simon Says."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hello World

Whew, how is already the last day of September? I definitely never meant to go almost a month without blogging! We've had a busy month. We have been to the zoo, the kids came down with the stomach flu, Erik got really sick and was basically home for two weeks, my new niece was born, and I got to go to the True Woman conference up in Indianapolis. And of course we've been busy with school, gymnastics, community group, family visiting, and church activities. I've been feeling really well with baby number 5, and we'll get to find out what we are having in a few weeks! I'm so excited, especially since we have our names picked out. Anyways, here are some pictures from the last month.

Yes we were the weird family that told our children to put their bathing suits on when we finally got some rain earlier this month! At least the kids had fun splashing in the puddles. :)

Jack with his plant cell in his classical conversations class.

Anna and Lily reading the Bible together. You can't tell from this picture, but they were looking at Proverbs 31. They were so excited because it was high lighted in pink. 

Being archaeologists in the back yard.

Photo: Lily the dinosaur

Lily dressed up like a dinosaur.

What have the rest of you been up to this month?

Thursday, September 6, 2012


We have a winner of the all giveaway! Mary S, please email me at, so I can send your info to my blog spark! Thanks to everyone who participated!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This Moment

Do you ever have those days where you wish you could just capture time in a bottle? Tonight I had one of those moments. It was just an ordinary night with the kids laughing, having sword fights with Erik, and practicing their crazy gymnastics skills. But it was special. It was a sweet reminder that even though these days seem very long and drawn out, there are some very special moments that come with this crazy season of life I'm in. There's so much I want to remember!

I love watching how Lily tries so hard to be like Anna, and how Anna nurtures Lily like she's her little mommy.

Max is very into hats right now, and cracks himself up every time he puts one one.

These days are filled with cuddles, cute sayings, kisses, simple prayers, and innocent questions. Of course they are also filled with diapers,  various bodily fluids, disobedience, and tantrums. And while I go to bed every night completely exhausted, I wouldn't trade this crazy season of life for anything.

Be sure to enter my giveaway for free laundry soap here!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Laundry Giveaway!

 My Blog Spark recently sent me two packages of All Small and Mighty Action Packs( 48 loads in all), a beach bag, beach ball, and beach towel. They also have another set they'd like to send to a reader of this blog.

The action packs are really handy, I love that you can just throw them in the washing machine and that you don't have to worry about spilling detergent everywhere. And my kids were thrilled to have a giant beach ball to play with!
  • all mighty pacs are an innovative laundry solution that simplifies the laundry experience, without sacrificing cleaning efficacy
  • all mighty pacs are conveniently pre-measured to contain the right combination of powerful concentrated detergent with active stainlifters™ to deliver the same cleaning and stain removal benefits that consumers expect from the all brand.
If this is something you'd be interested in winning, leave a comment in the comment section, follow along with this blog if you're not already(you can also subscribe by email), and tell me how many loads of laundry you think you do in a week(unless that's too depressing to think about!:) I'll pick a winner next Thursday!

“Disclosure:  The information, products and additional all mighty pacs gift pack was provided by all® through MyBlogSpark.”

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Details and a Thank you

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments here, and on my facebook! Telling people you're expecting your fifth child in five years is a little....nerve wracking, to say the least. Generally speaking, with each pregnancy we wait a little longer to tell people we are expecting another child, mainly for fear of what the reactions are going to be. However, with this one I started "showing" literally within the first week, so we started telling people a little earlier! Thankfully for the most part people have been very sweet and encouraging, though we have had to deal with some negative reactions. So here's a little more details, for those of you who are interested;

- I'm 10 weeks along, and am feeling much better than I was a couple of weeks ago. But my morning sickness has not been nearly as bad as it was with Lily or Max( with those pregnancies I had to be put on medicine.)

-We actually do believe in some forms of birth control. We have personal convictions against the pill and other things like that, but we are not against other methods- though none of them seem to work for us! :)

-With that being said, no this wasn't a "planned" pregnancy, but ultimately we believe God is sovereign in all situations, and we firmly believe children are blessings from Him. And even though the thought of having a fifth baby is a little overwhelming, I am clinging to the promise that I can do all things through Christ.

-Max will actually be able to claim himself as the baby longer than any of my other kids. I was telling someone yesterday that I've never had a baby turn one and not been at least 5 months pregnant. Max will be 20 months old when the baby, Lord willing, is born in March.

We are very much looking forward to meeting this baby, and the kids are all very excited to have another brother or sister to play with. Thanks again for all of your encouragement, it meant so much to me!

Be sure to enter my giveaway!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Coming Clean

Well, I believe it's time to let you all in on the little secret I've been hiding for the last few months..

Yep, Baby number 5 is expected to arrive this March!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Anna!

Seriously where does time go?! How on earth did this little girl go from this 

To this

in what feels like five minutes?

Today my sweet Anna turned four! Because family is sort of spread out all over the place, we just had a little party at home for her(which is pretty much what we've done with all the kids since moving last year.) Last week my mom and dad came in town, and my mom and I took her out for a birthday date, which was really special. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday she said,"Pink cake with pink icing and pink ice cream." So that's what we did!

Anna is very sweet, pretty easy going, and finds so much joy in things. She's a lot of fun to surprise because she jumps up and down and gets so excited. My mom and dad got her gymnastics lessons for her birthday present, and when they told her she literally dove into their arms exclaiming,"Thank you!"

She loves reading, her favorites are Curious George and the Berenstein Bears. She very much wants to be my helper, and takes the jobs I give her very seriously. She's Jack and Lily's best friend. She loves Max, but she doesn't seem quite as interested in babies as Jack or Lily.

Happy fourth birthday, Anna! We love you so much, and can't wait to see what God does in your life!

First Day of School

Why yes my five year old did try to wear this for his first day of school. Aww the beauty of home schooling! Though he didn't wear it very long, apparently it's difficult to work on memorization with a knight helmet on.

This past Monday we officially started kindergarten. On Mondays we go to a group called Classical Conversations, so technically Tuesday was our first official day of home school. So far it's going pretty well. Jack is doing very well with his memory work and reading, and Anna is enjoying learning her letters and numbers. And everyone enjoys reading books with mommy. :)

My plan for now is to do school while Max is taking his morning nap. Lily being the crazy ball of energy that she is doesn't always care for sitting at the table and coloring/ looking at books, but it's only the second day and I'm still figuring things out. My basic plan for the next couple of months is to get Jack reading and writing well, and to do our CC work. I also plan on reading a lot of good books, and sending him outside to play a lot! In a few months I'll probably start adding in some more things, but for right now I feel like this a good balance.

Be sure to enter the giveaway for some free laundry detergents!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

5 Years Old

Five years ago, we were blessed to become the parents of our sweet Jack. I'll admit that this birthday makes me scratch my head and wonder where on earth time has gone. It doesn't seem possible that he should be five! 

He's goofy, and silly. But he's also incredibly sweet, and has a heart full of love. He genuinely loves being around other people! Doesn't have a shy bone in his body..

He's a great big brother, and Anna, Lily, and Max all adore him(even if a certain two year old enjoys getting a rise out of him.)

He's learning to be a gentleman by holding doors open for the ladies, and helps carry in the groceries. He asks us often when he's going to be old enough to get married, and right now he's pretty sure Anna or Mommy will be his future wife. He loves all things musical, and loves fixing things. Erik has started teaching him how to use different tools, and Jack takes that job very seriously!

Happy birthday, Jack!! We love you so much, and pray every day that you will grow up to love Jesus. 

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word." Psalm 119:9

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Candy Soup

My poor children. Up until about a year ago, I'd say we ate a pretty typical diet. You know, white pasta, white bread, hamburger helper. Any veggies that were consumed in our house typically came from a can, and really they were probably just set on the table for decoration, because no one in this house was going to eat them.

Then I got all weird, and "natural". My dad says I've become a hippie. Regardless of whether or not that's a fair name for me, my point is we've been eating significantly healthier around here. However, we still struggle with eating vegetables. It's tough trying to find ways to prepare them so that they still taste good, but don't lose all of their nutrients.

To their credit, though, my kids have actually done pretty well with learning to eat more veggies. There is only one vegetable they absolutely do not like. Broccoli. Oh my word, the battles we have had over broccoli(which is probably another reason why they hate it so much!) But Erik and I like broccoli, and we really like broccoli cheese soup. So this past winter I decided to make some, using this recipe, and it was a huge hit for my husband and I.

My children, who had seen me chop up the broccoli, wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.

My natural reaction when my kids refuse to eat something is to tell them they have to at least try one bite before they can get down. But before I could say anything,I hear Erik telling the kids in a really cheerful voice,"But it's candy soup, guys! Mmmm candy soup is so yummy!"

And would you believe it if I told you, that they actually believed him?

They devoured it, and were soon asking for second helpings, and even third helpings.

To this day they still refer to broccoli cheese soup, as "candy soup." Jack even wants it for his birthday dinner.

You know, I've always been really big on not lying to my kids. But I guess I can make an exception if it gets them to eat more vegetables.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July

We had a really nice fourth of July! It seems the older I get(yes the ripe old age of twenty- six), and the more kids I have, the more I enjoy these "low" key holidays. Holidays like the Fourth, New Years Day, and Labor day, just seem so easy compared to Christmas and Thanksgiving. Granted since I'm a stay at home mom, I don't really get a "break" from my job, but usually my husband is home and we just have laid back days. There's no guilt. There's no rush. We all take a nap in the afternoon, and just relax.

Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, I was talking about yesterdays festivities. As I was saying we had a really nice day. It didn't start out that way though. Erik wasn't feeling well, and some other stressful situations were going on, so I didn't exactly wake up with the best of attitudes fourth of July morning. Thankfully, the Lord changed my heart and by mid morning I was able to enjoy my family, and try to make the day special.

I saw an idea over at money saving mom about making fireworks in a jar, so we spent quite awhile yesterday morning making those. The kids really enjoyed it, and it was a craft I was actually able to do(I'm not very crafty!)

After a dinner of steak, cheesy potatoes, zucchini, and red white and blue cupcakes, we headed to Erik's office to watch the fire works. The kids were so excited, and they all enjoyed watching them(at least for a little bit.) It was 2 hours past bed time by the time the show actually started, and that was a little rough on them, especially Max. 

How was everyone elses Fourth of July?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Reading List July-December

I decided to link up with Sarah Mae's blog and write out my reading list for the rest of the year. This was really fun for me, because it actually made me stop and think about what I wanted to read this year, and what I could realistically get through each month.


The Core

The Mission of Motherhood

Charlotte Mason Companion


Kings Cross

Educating the Whole Hearted Child


Real Food: What to eat and Why

The Meaning of Marriage

Kisses from Katie


Jesus+Nothing= Everything

Shaping of a Christian Family


Erasing Hell

Future Men


Grace and Truth Paradox

Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

What are you all wanting to read this year?

The Weekend

We had such a nice weekend, this past week. We got to go back to our home town and visit with family and close friends. Even though we've lived in our "new" town for close to a year, our old town still feels like our home.

On Friday, I got to hang out with my best friend, whose name is also Jessica, and we had such a great time hanging out. In fact, it was 2 o'clock in the morning before we finally made ourselves stop talking! Her older sister owns a little bed and breakfast/ Inn, and very sweetly offered to let us spend the night there Friday night, so that's what we did. After about five hours of sleep we dragged ourselves out of bed, still talking mind you, and went and got breakfast. It was so much fun.

Most of Saturday was spent helping my sister in law and her family move. For me helping meant trying to keep the kids out of the way! The kids did a pretty good job at their grandparents house, but there was some definite sleep issues while we were there. Oh well it all works out though, because the past two days all four kids have slept until 9. See? There's a bright side to everything! I also got to go out for a little girls night after my kids(finally) fell asleep. It was so much fun hanging out and catching up with everyone again.

Sunday we went back to our old church, and had a great time worshipping with other believers. Jack, who hadn't gone to bed until ten o'clock the night before and was up before six in the morning, had a little bit of a rough time sitting through church, but that wasn't that big of a deal. In the afternoon we took Anna, and our niece and nephew to the theatre to see Brave. It was Anna's first time in a movie theatre, and she did excellent. She started out on my lap, but as soon as she saw the bear come on screen she quickly decided that daddy might be able to protect her better than mommy and moved to his lap.

We got home Sunday night around 8. We let them burn off some energy before putting them to bed, and then Erik and I curled up on the couch and watched the gymnastics Olympic trials(yes my husband loves me a lot to sit and watch that with me!)

It was a great, but very busy weekend. I didn't get a whole lot of pictures, but here's one I took Friday before we left:

Anna and Lily are very into being princesses right now, Jack was doing something else so he wasn't available to be Prince Charming, so they decided they could just dance together. :)

This is the Bible verse I've been repeating to myself a lot throughout the day; "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, in which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:15-16

Sorry this post is so boring! Did the rest of you have a nice weekend?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day in the Life- Tuesday

Photo: She put my veil on this morning and said she wanted to marry daddy and have 20 babies :)

6:00- My alarm goes off, and I wonder why my alarm is going off in the middle of the night. I am very sad to discover that it is in fact six in the morning, and this is the time I should be getting up at. BUT, I'm tired. So I turn off my alarm and go back to sleep, hoping to stay that way until Erik wakes up for work.

However, Max has other plans, and wakes up around 6:30. I try to get him before he wakes up Jack, but it's to no avail. Thankfully, I tell Jack he needs to go back to sleep for awhile longer and he does.

Max and I eat some baked oatmeal for breakfast, and I sit down with my Bible. Some friends and I are working on memorizing the Sermon on the Mount, but my brain is not working this morning, so I just read Psalm 34, and Matthew 6.

8:00- Erik is off to work, and Jack, Anna, and Lily are up and ready to start the day. It's then that I realize Max and I finished off the oatmeal, and I need to make something for breakfast. So I have them watch an episode of What's In the Bible and make some blueberry pancakes for breakfast. We do our catechism, and read the story of Daniel in the Lion's Den. Then we clean up and I let them finish their video while I try to steal away to take a shower. :)

9:00-11:00- We go outside and the kids (minus Max who is taking his morning nap) spend the morning swimming in their little pool. There are many, many "teachable" moments, reminders about how we are suppose to obey and how we say please and thank you. It is a really nice morning though, and I definitely enjoyed watching them play.

11:00- Max is up, and we all eat a little snack before lunch. The kids have pretty well emptied out their pool by this point, and are happily pouring water all over the tree in our back yard. Jack keeps telling me he's going to turn the tree into a hot dog(hey, at least they're all playing nice together!) So I take Max and Lily inside with me and try to get some house work done, while Anna and Jack play.

12:00- Erik comes home for lunch, and we eat left over lemon garlic chicken. The kids have peanut butter and honey, and tell Erik all about their day. After lunch I stick dinner in the crock pot(which saves my sanity most days!) and read a few books to the kids.

1:30- Everyone goes down for "naps." I use the quote marks because I have to go into each child's room and remind certain children that it's nap time, not play time. 

2:30- Everyone's quiet, and I'm hit by how tired I am, so I lay down for a little while and try to take a nap- which I do(yay!!)

3:00- I do some laundry, clean up the living room and kitchen, and make myself a smoothie. I would much rather have coffee, but we are all out. :)

4:00- Every one is awake. I get them set up at the table with crayons and paper, while I try to finish dinner and make myself look presentable.:) At one point I discover that Lily has gotten a hold of a maker and has tried to eat it. This is the point where I start anxiously waiting for Erik to come home and help me regain my sanity. 

5:15- Erik is home! We eat chicken curry, and do our family Bible time. 

6:00- Erik plays with kiddos, while I clean up dinner. We all sit down and read some more books, and Jack practices reading by himself. 

7:30- Bed time. Kids go to bed fairly easily tonight, which is definitely a blessing.

8:30- Erik goes to meet some men from the church for their accountability time. I hang out and watch an episode of cake boss and get on the internet. 

9:30- I am SO tired. I don't usually go to bed this early but decide I probably should. I fall asleep thankful for being able to spend a nice day with my family.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In Which I Panic

The other day it finally hit me.

Next month, my oldest child Jack will be turning five.

And do you know what that means?

School. And that my baby's growing up! But school is the point I'm getting at.

For the last couple of years my husband and I have been pretty sold on the idea of home schooling. This is not a new concept for me, I've been planning on doing this for awhile now. However, even though I've known for quite some time that I'm going to be home schooling, it finally sunk in last week. I'm going to be solely responsible for my child's education.

Me, who was just an average student.

Me, who just has an associates degree.

Me, who struggles terribly with being organized.

Me, who is already crazy busy keeping up with house work and caring for my little ones, I'm going to home school?! What on earth were we thinking?

Thankfully, though, I've had some encouraging talks with my husband, who has graciously reminded me why we're wanting to do this to ourselves(and our children) in the first place. I've also got plugged in with a Classical Conversations group close by that I'm super excited about.

I'm still a little overwhelmed at the idea of what this new season in my life is going to look like. I'm definitely concerned about what I'm going to do with my younger children while trying to teach Jack. But I'm also getting really excited about it. It will definitely be an adventure!

Growing Home


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gymnastics & Motherhood

Throughout most of my junior high and high school days I participated in competitive gymnastics. I can remember the first time I ever went to a meet and the excitement I felt over competing. I loved going to the gym for practice. All I wanted to talk about was gymnastics, and if there was a meet on television you can be sure I was watching it.

But then the newness wore off, and my excitement faded. There were lots of times I didn't feel like going to practice. One of the things I did to keep myself motivated was by reading articles about gymnastics, and by watching big competitions. On some level I think I realized that if I really wanted to stick with it, I had to find ways to keep motivated.

Sometimes it feels like this is the way I approach motherhood. When I first became a mom no one had to tell me what an awesome blessing this was in my life. I loved everything about being a mommy. But now that much of the "newness" has worn off, I have to look for ways to keep me motivated. 

One of the main things I do to keep my mind focused, and my heart encouraged is by reading books. I love to read. And most of the books I read have to do with Christian living or motherhood. This is a great source of encouragement for me. 

It's so important to remember that what we're doing a moms matters. When we start to lose focus, and feel like we're not doing anything important, it's only a matter of time before we feel completely burned out and overwhelmed. 

So tell me, what do you do to stay motivated as a mom?

P.S. If your curious about which books on motherhood I've particularly enjoyed, here are some of my favorites; Loving the Little Years, Feminine Appeal, Womanly Dominion, and Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. 


Sunday, June 10, 2012

One Years Old

A year ago today we were blessed with this precious boy..

He's brought us so much joy.


And has blessed us with his sweet, content disposition.


Happy first birthday, Max! We love you so much, and pray that you will grow into a godly man who loves and serves the Lord!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Yep, I'm still Alive

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, so I haven't had much time to blog lately, but I'm hoping to get back into blogging more consistently this week. So what have I been up to lately? We-elll.... Here's a little hint for you..

Why yes that is the beach! See, a few weeks ago my husband found out he was being sent out to Los Angeles for job training. When I heard he was going, I thought it'd be fun to go with him for a few days, but didn't think it would probably happen. Truthfully, I really wanted to go, but wasn't sure I could handle being away from my babies!

Well, Erik, my parents, and his parents figured out a way for me to be able to go, and both sets of grandparents said they would be willing to take the kids, as long as we divided them up. Even though I was nervous about going, I really couldn't turn down the chance to spend some alone time with my husband(not to mention alone time on the beach!)

Photo: Freezing in Los Angeles but hey at least we are at the beach !

This was a very relaxing trip for me. I honestly didn't realize how burned out and overwhelmed I had been feeling, and it was nice to take a little break. I sort of used this week to have a "personal retreat", and spend a little extra time with the Lord and pray more specifically for my family. I'm hoping to post a little more about that later this week. 

We flew home late last night, and got home at four o' clock this morning. We slept for a little bit, then went and got Anna and Lily from Erik's parents. Tomorrow my mom and dad are bringing Max and Jack down. Even though I'm so thankful for getting to go, we were both so happy to see our little girls this morning! And I can't wait to see my boys tomorrow!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Healthy(er) Cinnamon Rolls- Bread Machine

Cinnamon Rolls are one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast. My children and husband love them just as much, if not more, than I do.  Recently I've been experimenting with making my usual recipe a little bit healthier(I realize it's still not exactly healthy, though!), and I think I've found a winner. Here it is:

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp of warm milk
1 Tbsp Coconut oil
2 Tbsp Butter
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup raw sugar(or regular sugar/honey- if using honey 1/3 cup)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
3 tsp yeast

2 Tbsp melted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with a tablespoon of cinnamon


1/2-1 tsp milk
1 cup of powdered sugar
2 Tbsp of butter
1 tsp of vanilla

Pour all ingredients in bread machine in order listed. Put on dough cycle. When done, roll out and spread filling, roll back up and slice rolls. Let rolls rise for about 20 minutes in greased pans, then bake at 325 for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

I usually get 16 rolls from this recipe, and usually bake one pan, and freeze the other. If you want to freeze them, just pop them in the freezer right after you've had them rise. Enjoy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Same Team

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Tell me if you've ever had this happen to you. Your husband arrives home from work completely exhausted and starts telling you what a rough day he's had. Do you sympathetically scratch his back and say,"Oh I'm so sorry, honey, why don't you go lie down for awhile? I'll try to keep the kids quiet so you can rest." Or is your response more like,"Well at least you weren't stuck here with the kids all day and you got to have adult conversation! These kids are just as much yours as they are mine, so suck it up until bedtime!"

Guess how I usually respond? If you guessed the first response, as much as I hate to admit it, you'd be wrong.

Recently, I've realized how competitive I am with my husband. I treat our lives, and our different roles in our family as a competition. I'm not sure how long I've done this, but it comes so naturally to me, that it's hard to stop. But I absolutely must stop. The Bible says married couples should complement each other, not compete with each other over who has the harder job!

My job is is to help, respect, love, and submit to Erik. It is not my job to tell him when it's ok for him to be tired, or to convict him of sin. Besides, can you imagine if the roles were reversed, and he was doing that to me? I would be miserable!

Life gets hard. I think it's safe to say that I'm in a difficult season of life right now, with seemingly millions of children running around(or, you know, four.) I feel isolated, overwhelmed, and frazzled quite a bit. But you know who probably understands how I feel better than anyone? My husband! How silly of me to try to compete with him, when he knows what I'm going through better than anyone else. Yes we have different jobs, and no he's not home all day every day, but he's still taking care of and providing for his family.

The bottom line is that I must start remembering that Erik and I are on the same team. We have different roles, but when it's all said and done we both want the same things for our family.

"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Proverbs 14:1

Growing Home

Linked to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home & Yes they're all mine

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Oh the Things They Say(and Do)

These children of mine sure can make me laugh. Here's a summary of some of the funny things they've been saying(and doing!) lately.

The other night when we were doing our family Bible time, Erik asked Jack,"Do you know what a Psalm is, buddy?"

"Oh, sure, daddy, of course!"

"Ok, what's a psalm?"

Pause. And then, "Row, Row, Row your boat gently down the stream!" 

Well, he's close, I guess.;)


The other day I got frustrated with Jack about something, and when he realized that I wasn't too happy about something he had done, he goes, "Oh, Mommy, I like your hair!"

Hmm, I wonder who he's learned that from?!


Every morning Lily asks to wear a "pretty dress." Whenever she gets it put on, she'll sigh and say, "I so beautiful!"

-Speaking of pretty dresses, last week I came out dressed in a comfortable shirt(but something completely acceptable to wear out in public), and Anna says to me, "Why are you wearing daddy's shirt? Go put on something pretty!" Ouch. :)

-For whatever reason Lily has decided that first thing in the morning is a great time to take off all her clothes, climb out of her crib, and get into bed with Anna. Needless to say, most mornings I wake up to Anna screaming for Lily to get out of her bed. 

-Instead of "Amen" at the end of a prayer, Anna has started saying,"The End" when she's done praying.

-Jack has had to wear his spider man costume to bed every afternoon this past week, that way he's ready to fight the "bad guys" when he wakes up.

And this one is one of my favorites, I told Anna we could go on a date this week, and when I asked her what she wanted to do, she says,"Go to the health food store and Starbucks!" Yep, she is so my daughter.

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