After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Arrow has been screaming a lot lately.  We discovered he had an ear infection, but not before weeks of screaming unless in arms.  On a particular Sunday morning, Zac and I were going about the normal chaotic routine that is getting four children ready and out the door to church.  Arrow screamed.  And screamed.  Zac and I tried hard to keep our patience despite doing everything with a screaming baby in tow, but by the time we got everyone in the car and started down the street, my head was pounding.  I sat looking out the window, zoning as trees passed by, completely overwhelmed.  Logan asked to listen to music.  I did not want to listen to music.  I wanted to bury my head in a pile of pillows and hear nothing for just a little bit.  But how could I say no to his sweet smile?  He was, apparently, completely unaffected by the morning scream fest.  I couldn't say no to his joyful, bouncing smile.  So I turned on my praise and worship playlist and sat back, closing my eyes.  In the back, Logan started to sing. 
"Sing with me, Mama!"
I did not want to sing.  I was so tired.  I still wanted a pile of pillows to bury my head in.  But I didn't need to look at his face to know there was joy plastered all over it.  I could sense his ear to ear smile, his bouncing legs, his bobbing head.  I'd be the biggest grump to tell my smile plastered on son I didn't want to sing worship songs on the way to church.
So I joined him and I sang. 
 "Oh draw me Lord.
Oh draw me Lord.
Oh draw me Lord,
and I'll run after you."
As those words exited my mouth, so did all the anxiety of the morning.  Slowly I could feel my blood pressure calm down and a peace fill me.  I was led to the cross by my son.  And let me tell you, its not the first time.
This boy of mine, he brings tears to my eyes.  He is the most tender hearted boy I've ever met.  He loves people with a passion.  He finds joy in nearly everything.  He has never woken up a day in his life in a bad mood.  NEVER!  He wakes ready for an adventure, talks too loud because he can't contain his excitement, has boundless energy because his joy constantly overflows, and is the most precious little encourager.  He has an awesome grin and a constant twinkle in his eye.  He sings his heart out even when he doesn't know the words, but will also tell me, "Mama, lets turn the music off while we drive and just talk a little bit."  He is every one's friend and he considers everyone his best friend.  He rarely sees flaws in people.
If I had to pick one word to describe Logan, it would be "Joy."  He smiled when he was a week old, and has never stopped.  He never slept as a baby, but he was never cranky.  Just always happy, smiling, and full of joy.  I pray I can learn to be more joyful, like Logan.
I thank God for this boy and the 8 amazing years I've been blessed to be his Mama.  I'm sure he'll never know how much I wish I could be like him, nor how much I pray he will never loose his joy for life.  Happy Birthday (on the 24th) sweet boy!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sum it up Saturday

This boy turned 8 this week!
(more on that later)

Zac didn't have much work this week, which meant lots of family time.  Add in Logan's birthday, and school just wasn't a top priority this week.  But I squeezed it in when we had time here and there, focusing mainly on History.   In Story of the World, we read about Joseph, which has always been one of the kids' favorite Bible stories.  Since the kids love it so much, we parked it in this chapter all week.

I'm trying different ways of reading aloud to my kids.  This week they painted kindling while I read, and it was pretty successful.  Logan especially seems to benefit from doing something quietly with his hands while I read.

To focus more on this chapter, I found these two worksheets online.  Felicity loved the color by number paper and took a lot of pride in it.  I'll have to find her more.
* Add colors to Joseph's coat
* Joseph's color by number coat

We also watched Joseph King of Dreams on Netflix, and the episode on Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors from a Bible stories series that we own (which I can't find online, sorry).

I was excited that Logan received some new games for his birthday.  He also got LOTS of Legos.  So this week we played board games and built a lot with Legos, both of which I TOTALLY count as school!  In the above picture, we are playing "The Ladybug Game" which is a really cute game that was invented by a 6 year old.  You have to get your ladybug from the dirt patch to the rose bush, collecting aphids along the way, which you pay to the ants like a toll to get past them.  The kids really enjoyed it.

Logan also got checkers, which Kian finds intriguing.  I'm trying to teach him to play it, but its still a bit confusing to him.  On this day, the big kids were out with Zac, spending Logan's birthday money, while I stayed home with the napping little boys.  Upon waking from his nap, Kian said, "Hello Mama.  Can we play checkers?".  And so we did.
That was our week.
How was your home schooling week?
Feel free to link up and keep the conversation going!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sum it up Saturdays - The First Post

Well, I'm getting my very first Sum it up Saturday post up on the blog a bit later today than I'd like, but that's ok, because that pattern kind of sums up our week.  We've had a very needy baby on our hands this week.  We have done school when we can, here and there.  One morning, Arrow slept in so I took Logan out onto the deck with me and had him read me his hooked on phonics book while I sipped coffee in the sunshine....eyes still closed.  :)  Yep, one of THOSE weeks. 

The kids are moving forward well with Hooked on Phonics.  Logan passed another book this week.  He is basically in the middle of the 1st grade program and picking up speed as we go.  If he had more confidence, he'd move forward even faster.  He will resort to sounding out words he knows, just to make sure he gets it right.  He second guesses himself and it slows him down.  Ideas to help him gain confidence?
Felicity is currently working on the K Hooked on Phonics program but is still in the beginning of the program.  We are taking it nice and easy. 

I invited my Papa to come do school with us on Monday.  Best idea ever!  Oh my goodness, the kids had so much fun with him.  He walked the kids through their reading and handwriting lessons.  Then he sat in on our History lesson.  It was such a boost for us all!  It was amazing to see my kids work with someone else and it was good for me to see someone take different avenues with our same old same old. 

We started Story of the World Volume 1 recently and are really enjoying it.  This week we learned about the first forms of writing.  Here's some pictures of the kids giving Cuneiform a try using play dough and popsicle sticks. 

 Can you see Kian's K?
 Logan's "J".
 I wrote the kids' names in both Cuneiform and Hieroglyphs.
The kids LOVED learning about a Pharaoh in Egypt named Narmer who conquered another king, joining "Upper" and "Lower Egypt" into one country.  However, they weren't too interested in Sargon, King of Mesopotamia who basically did the same thing.  Hmmmm.  I have a feeling its because King Narmer was portrayed with an eagle on his arm.  The boys ate that up!
We started "Bible Copy" this week.  A few months back I figured what better way for the kids to learn reading and handwriting than straight from God's Word.  Zac wasn't sure if the kids would be ready for it but after stumbling upon a blog where another home schooling family did the same thing, I decided to just give it a try.  If they're too young, we can always stop and try later.  Logan did really good and I look forward to doing this with him.  I decided to hold off with Felicity though and have her just practice copying small sentences that I write for her.  Logan and I are starting in Genesis and just going for it.  We'll see what becomes of it but I'm excited.

No math this week as a friend is taking a look at our curriculum.  But Logan is having a hard time grasping skip counting so any tips would be appreciated!

So, how did your homeschooling week go?  I'd love to continue the conversation in the comments field.  And if you care to write your own Sum it up Saturday, PLEASE leave a link!  I'd love to read it.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sum it up Saturdays

When I love something, I tend to want to throw myself into it, and rarely tire of it.  I think of it constantly, make plans for it, dream of it, etc.  For example, I love to garden and sew.  When its Spring and we are FINALLY planting our jiffy tray sprouts into the garden, I would let everything go...laundry, home school, dishes, meals....if I could just be in the garden all day.  Of course I can't do that so I have to try to remember that other things exist.  But its hard.

I've often thought "I WISH I'd just get the home schooling bug!"  That and the read my Bible every day bug.  That would be great.  For years I've wished I loved home schooling so much that I dreamt about it (and not in a nightmare kind of way), and wanted to let everything else go just so we could get in one more chapter of Story of the World.  I'm not quite there yet, but I feel like something is stirring!  And trust me, I'm going to help that stirring along ALL I can.  So, I've decided to start "Sum it up Saturdays" where I will post what we've done all week in our little home school.  It will be a good place for me to record our accomplishments so that, on the hard days, I can look back and see that we ARE making progress.  It will also, simply, be a place to record our progress in case the dreaded "they" ever ask for proof on what all these kids do at home all day long.  And, like a garden journal, it will be a good place to simply mark time.  That way, I can look back when its time to do Hooked on Phonics K with Kian, and see the simple little things I did to make it fun with Lissy when she was in HOP K. 

Also, I THRIVE off of accountability.  So, I'm hoping to get other bloggers to join in on "Sum it up Saturdays".  I'm not going to create a "link up party."  For one, I have no clue how to do that.  And two, I like my simple little blog.  Link ups seem distant.  I'm hoping other Mamas will leave comments and/or share a link to their "Sum it up Saturdays" post in my comments area.  That way we can have a growing conversation in the comments area as well as links to each others' blogs where we can go see what we're all up to, therefore gaining ideas, inspiration, and accountability. 

I hope all my home schooling Mama blog friends will consider joining in.  I'd love to learn more about what you all do each week so that we can encourage one another, learn from one another, and, when needed, commiserate with one another. 

I'm looking forward to this Saturday.
Will you join me?
Making cheese with rennet, just like Ma.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

6 Months

Someone is 6 months old today!

And he can sit up!!!
 Well, he's still perfecting the skill.  :)
He also hates naps, loves to co sleep (a.k.a. "plaster himself to Mama" sleep), is a Mama's boy (he even cries for "Ma Ma"), thinks he's a koala baby because he wants to ride in the Beco on my back ALLLL day long, is still exclusively nursing, is bigger than his sister was when she was a year old (we're thinking he's closing in on 20 pounds but we don't own a scale), loves things that crinkle, gums his fingers but never became the thumb sucker I thought he'd be, is getting interested in our animals, loves the wind in his face, isn't too patient with our "baby vultures" (a.k.a. the siblings), gets kissed on so much that for a month now he's been leaning in for kisses on his own, "asks" for lots of kisses when he's excited or doing something new (how cute is that?!), gets pinched A LOT (we've never had such a chunky baby in the house before and we can't help ourselves!!), makes the MOST pathetic sad face, kicks his feet when he's excited, does not have a special lovey (who needs one when you're plastered to Mama all day long), is wearing 12 month clothing, and has grown a little halo of honey blond hair that I rub my face in constantly.
He is a complex little guy who I'm still trying to figure out in so many ways.
He is a joy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Exoskeletons at Breakfast

After making my coffee each morning, I take a stroll in my garden and pour the coffee grounds at the base of a plant or two.  The other morning, the coffee grounds went to my lettuce patch and while there I discovered what looked like an exploded bee.  Yes, it looked like a bee sat on my A frame, exploded out of his skin, and left a shell of himself behind.  I was VERY excited about this as our last two science co ops have focused on exoskeletons.  After the kids finished their breakfast I told them what I'd found in our garden, and the hunt was on for who could find the exoskeleton first.

Logan was very proud to find the exoskeleton first and just as we were admiring it we saw something even better...ANOTHER exoskeleton with its old inhabitant sitting right on it!!!

We were VERY excited!  I mean really, what are the odds?!

This little girl very excitedly gathered up the three exoskeletons we ended up discovering.  I swear, this child isn't afraid to touch ANYTHING!  I love that about her and I have often had to hide my disgust with the things she's brought me, so as not to discourage her.  I have to admit, exoskeleton collecting right after breakfast made my stomach turn a bit, but it sure beat the dead alligator lizard she proudly brought me yesterday.  Lovely specimen.....but......oh my......I just wasn't prepared to look up from my gardening to see my little girl in frilly dress and tights presenting me with a dead alligator lizard!

Here's a close up of her garden treasures.
The kids had so many questions about exoskeletons and our own skeleton.  So we hurried inside, leaving our treasures on the deck table next to the succulents, and I dug around to find an old book I'd saved for years knowing that one day it would come in handy.  In it we discovered many wonderful facts about our skeleton, which led to more wonderful questions about our circulatory system.
Oh, my, it was a home school day that unschooling Mamas DREAM about.  Like God just dropped a free ranging lesson plan right in my garden.
Gotta savor it for sure!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Too bad my Mom is so boring.
She really should get out there and interact with her grandchildren more.
I mean, she's not going to be a young chicken forever.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Girls' Weekend

My Mom's best friend had a daughter the month after I turned 1.  Sarah Katherine, who goes by Katie, and I were inseparable.  We saw each other almost every day because we lived right around the corner from each other.  As tiny girls we spent long hours in each other's back yards, deep in our own imaginative worlds.  We climbed trees, decorated our bikes and had parades down the street, had countless slumber parties, vacationed together, and promised to be each other's maid of honor and name our daughters after each other.  Even after Katie's family moved to Portland when we were still very young, our friendship remained.  We were lucky that our parents were best friends because family vacations basically revolved around visiting each other.  And those were the best times of each year.  Better than Christmas.  One of our families favorite spots to vacation together was "the beach house."  It was a huge house on  Muscle Shoals.  The basement was full of countless beds and all the kids bunked down there together.  Our days were spent in the ocean. 

I turned 33 on 3/3 (pretty cool huh?) and today, Katie turns 32.  We wanted to do something special for our birthdays so we decided to have our own little trip to Muscle Shoals.  "Our" old beach house is way too expensive to rent these days but Katie found a cute little quirky place just across the highway.  So off we went for a girls' weekend away...Katie, Felicity Katherine, Arrow, and I (nursling boys get to join in on girls' weekend).  :)

On Saturday, we headed down to the beach.  We decided there was no better place to "park it" but right in front of "our" old beach house, where our families made about a million memories together.

 Arrow was a HUGE fan of the sand.

 My Katherines at "our" beach.

 It sure was fun to watch my daughter play here in this magical place, just like Katie and I had when we were her age.

 His first feel of the Pacific.
 You can't see it in this picture, but those windows look out across the highway and over the ocean.  The couches in this living room faced away from these windows, and towards the TV on the back wall.  Um..........?!  So, Katie did a bit of rearranging and faced the couches so we could sit and watch the sun set over the waves.
Here, Felicity is talking to her brothers on the phone.  All three of them thought it was so much fun.  They talked forever!  It was so sweet to see how they missed each other and then it dawned on me that they are rarely ever apart.  In fact, this may have been the first time they've talked to each other on the phone.  It was really cute.
 Before leaving on Sunday, we drove into Santa Barbara to walk through the botanical gardens.
 Lissy wanted a picture of her and Katie "holding up" this boulder, which I thought was funny because she's never seen photos where people do this. 

We had a wonderful time creating memories for a third generation at "the beach house."
Happy birthday Tatie!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter 2013

One little boy's Easter booty came stuffed in a much needed new helmet.
And one "little" boy's Easter booty came stuffed in a super fly new hat.
Felicity's Easter booty came stuffed in a straw bag which she carried her Bible in to church.  She also wore her new Mama made Easter dress to church.
There was an egg hunt or two at Grammy's house.

And some egg dying.

And for a certain someone who's having texture issues at the moment and was nervous about the dye, there was some egg coloring with Grammy.

Christ is risen!