Tuesday, October 14, 2014

a clue.

Hello all-- it's been a while! But I did want to post this exciting moment of ours...

We did go for Baby 11's ultrasound the other day and the technician who we've now seen for nine of our pregnancies gave us a gift: this 4D picture of our newest addition.

We'll have to tell you what his name will be later...!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

first day of school.

Today was our first day back to school. Parker will be meeting his teacher, receiving his curriculum and starting tomorrow. He thought it was great that while everyone was doing school, he was stretched out reading a book in his bed. Ha!

I did tweak our schedule from last year, but not much. From what I recall, I think the schedule we had last year worked really well for us. And today, we were only a little off schedule since I let the kids sleep in an extra hour-- I have a weakness for wanting my kiddos to get their sleep.

I’m really happy how everything went during the school day. Lincoln has made an enormous leap in his learning and Ruby seems to be an easy student. Since we received her books, she has been begging me everyday to start. I notice that she catches on extremely quickly and has great memorization skills. Oh happy day!

I do feel a lot of pressure knowing that I will be homeschooling seven kids while having to push through the upcoming (if not already) days of pregnancy exhaustion on top of my other obligations.

But I’m keeping my thoughts on my calling as a wife and mommy and my eyes on Jesus. When people ask me how I do it-- there’s only one answer: Jesus! Between Him and my amazing/involved husband, I can do anything. Not to mention, ‘thank God’ for my determination and stubbornness. God can even use that for His good.

One of the first blog posts I read this morning before school was about this. And after reading the quote from Elisabeth Elliot, I felt equipped to begin the first day of school, and all the days that will come. But I sure do miss summer. My favorite season!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


It’s that time of year (football season) and that time in a young man’s life when he begins to appreciate the flexing of his own muscles. I can clearly remember when I was growing up, my older brother calling my name so I would look and flexing his muscles at me to my shock and disgust. Or I would catch him in the mirror flexing. I don’t know which was worse.

Now, it seems, I am raising my brother. Parker spent July participating in summer conditioning and weightlifting for football. He started with a few “Hey Mom’s” followed by a quick flex to cutting the sleeves off his t-shirts for practice. Now he’s asking to cut the sleeves off another! I’ve created a monsta! Now his partner Jasper wants cut-off tees just like his big brother. Parker isn’t a vain boy, but just a typical young man his age. It’s pretty funny to watch.

Monday, August 11, 2014

what was our summer reading?

I love reading and I love seeing my kids read. Except when they are so absorbed in a good book that they can’t hear me call them a thousand times. 

I really got on it this Summer and did my research on some new Christian books for my kiddos. I can’t seem to keep fresh books in the house since they read through them, faster than I can purchase them. I guess that’s a good problem. 

This time I bought an overload and it’s kept them busy. I wanted to have books for all the different ages we have in our little big family. Even though Summer is almost over I wanted to share our Summer book ‘Stack’ and say that they were all winners.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014

School Year 2014-2015

Our school books arrived from ABEKA books and I’m getting the chore charts updated, schedules planned and sport’s schedules organized. 

I’ve never been into football even though I was a cheerleader for my brother’s pop warner teams all the way through high school. But this Mommy is super excited to wear my kid’s team colors and get my ‘yell’ on. 

The girls are also eager to get the new dance studio schedule and Pearl is moving into the musical theater dance class that Sophia used to be in. And Sophia has moved up to level three in all her classes. She’s a gifted ballerina and caught the studio owner’s eye a while back-- but she likes hip hop. Ugh. 

I’m trying to ignore the fact that Chris is going back to school teaching math in a few weeks (sobbing), fortunately, he gets home early most days and comes home during his lunch break. And of course, summers and holidays off. Love that! 

I’m so thankful for my kids and husband. God, please help me to keep the right perspective this new school year when I have those difficult days.

Friday, August 8, 2014

first break.

Since it’s football season and the boy’s have been getting their equipment, Jasper and River have developed a daily routine. When the gear comes out, Jasper grabs Ethan’s shoulder pads and River grabs his helmet.

It’s pretty funny since Jasper has a broken arm. Bruiser. River walks around the back yard and plays on the trampoline all while wearing a giant helmet with a binky in his mouth. And yes, you read that right: Jasper broke his arm. His humerus to be exact.

All he was doing was playing with Ruby on the swing set-- they would wind up the swing, then jump on it and spin around really fast. Unfortunately when he fell off, he fell the wrong way. With ten kids, my little people have fallen like that dozens of times and no one has broken a bone. I guess it would have to be my Jasper that would break the first bone.

He was so brave and strong. After going to the ER, he hasn’t needed or wanted any pain medicine. Within a few hours of coming home from the hospital, he started scaring me running around with his arm in a splint and sling. I have to tell him, “Hello! You can’t do that... you have a BROKEN ARM.”

When the cast doctor showed him the zillion colors to choose from for his cast, he opted for black. He truly is his Daddy’s son. [Chris’ favorite color is black.] The one thing Jasper loves about being injured is that I’ve been letting him sleep in my cozy red lazy-boy chair in my room. This makes him smile even bigger.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

my talented ten year old.

Sophia is an amazing, creative kinda girl.

She decided that she wanted to have a ‘Frozen’ birthday and made sure it happened. She planned her whole 10th birthday party at the end of July because she wanted to.

First, she asked her dad to take her picture next to a life-size cardboard cutout of Olaf over at her dance studio so she could make her own homemade invitations. Second, she started cutting, designing and working on her invites. She had Ethan help her make the envelopes and in the end, she had awesome birthday invitations to send to cousins and friends for a day at the swim park.

It turned out to be a really fabulous party with pizza and special cupcakes in ice cream cones that she has asked me to make for past year’s birthdays. She loved her day and we finished it up at home with Daddy’s famous hamburgers.

We love Sophia and think she is one fantastic, talented, fiery little 10 year old.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

summer campfires.

Having campfires with marshmallows in the backyard is one of our all-time favorite things. Occasionally our neighbor friends will come over and join the kids too. 

They just love sitting around, telling stories and roasting marshmallows. And I love the smell of the burning wood. 

Years ago, we had a big birthday camp-out with cousins and friends for Parker and Ethan’s birthday and Chris ran to the store before all the boys showed up to  buy a fire pit. That one fell apart long ago, but since then, late night campfires are part of our summertime ritual.

It’s something our family really enjoys.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

high school football.

Yesterday I had a Mommy moment. As I watched my firstborn wearing a public high school football practice jersey running drills with his team. My heart broke yet bubbled with excited expectation for the place he is in his life today. Broken because he’s growing up and playing HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. 

No longer my first little love that I remember so clearly scooping into my arms-- he’s now a six foot, fourteen year old young man I am so proud of. I really think he is a fantastic young man who loves Jesus, loves people and truly cares about reaching his community and friends for Jesus. 

Sunday night, he was talking to Chris and I about his future and what he may want to do when he graduates from college. Topping the list was Navy SEAL, then mechanic, professional football player or a Christian musician... And at the same time, a Pastor if God calls him to be. 

I started homeschooling Parker when he began the 3rd grade along with Ethan who was entering kindergarten. From the beginning, I went full speed ahead committed to a decision that has been difficult at times, but nevertheless one that I would do all over again and do year after year no matter how hard. 

Chris and I made a decision early on that our children would be homeschooled for their entire K through 12 education with faith-based curriculum only. But while Parker was in his 7th grade year, we learned that he (we already knew he loved swimming) really was a terrific swimmer. Then in his 8th grade year, he played tackle football for the first time and really loved it.  We knew that we were up against a wall because after that, there were no more athletic programs available to him unless he went to a public school and we weren’t doing that. 

We also knew that Parker’s that type of kid that really needs and relishes strenuous athletic activity and competition and just exercising at home wasn’t going to be enough-- 

We began to pray and seek God for an answer. Then one day at beginning of the summer, we received a phone call from someone we respected who was going to be taking over the football program at the local high school and he was inquiring about our plans for Parker. That same school also just opened up their brand new olympic pool. 

Being people of faith, we realize that the world will always offer you it’s trinkets (worthless ‘treasures’) if you will move away from your convictions. But what really opened the door was the fact that he could enroll in a “middle college” across the street from where Chris teaches with an independent study program where he would meet with his teacher once a week and remain working at home. 

This is the environment we want him to be immersed in-- not the ungodly, reality tv and social media culture of today’s high schools. He’ll still be with me... and he can even begin to take college courses for both high school and college credit. 

An interesting side note is that the head coach who called hoping to recruit Parker is actually the father of one of Chris’ former students. That student says that Chris greatly impacted him in a positive way and the coach is looking to return the favor. 

We have prayerfully considered this choice and do believe that it is the right one for Parker and may not even be the same for all or any of our other children to follow. We will make each decision as it arises and we certainly plan to keep Parker as close to us as possible, no matter how big he gets.