Thursday, December 30, 2010

Photo Session with Pam

My friend, Pam came over to our house not long after we moved in and took these great pictures! I am amazed at her talent. We have already blown many of them up and have them on our walls. Thanks, Pam, for capturing such sweet smiles from my children!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Princess or Soldier?

Three things about this picture:
1. She looks so much like Jonathan!!
2. She is such a girly girl ... but it's so common to see her running around with a gun or sword!
3. This girl is so much fun!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

3 gifts for each

On the final day of our advent readings, which we do each year on the 24th of December, we read the scripture passage that deals with Jesus becoming the sacrifice for our sins. This year we chose to read from John 3. Then the children do their craft that corresponds with the reading. (they made crosses, colored them, and cut them out) Then we place the crosses in the middle of the advent banner.

While they are working on their crosses, I quietly tiptoed out of the kitchen to get the gifts that we had for them. I placed the gifts in various places in the living room. We got each of the children 3 gifts. (a little bit of symbolism, I suppose) Then, Rich and I just waited until someone noticed that there were gifts sitting around. This year, they finished their crosses, we pinned them on the banner ... then all 3 of the boys went running up the stairs to go play. Not a single one of them looked down into the living room. So, Rich and I piddled around on the computer, and watched a little television, while we waited for them to come and see.

It was actually Rosalie that noticed first ... her jaw dropped and she squealed with delight. I told her to go and tell the boys. So, she ran up the stairs yelling, "boys, presents" at least a dozen times. However, once she actually found the boys, she forgot all about the presents and joined in on whatever they were playing. The next person to come down ...

was Aaron. He quickly saw the gifts that were scattered across the living room. His jaw also dropped and he ran upstairs to get the others to come down. He, however, did not get distracted, nor did he waste anytime getting back downstairs again.

Each child opened up 1 gift at a time in order from youngest to oldest.

... and then hours of play began.

Martin was very excited to get his first "gun". He got an air rifle(bb gun), and very quickly got dressed to go outside and practice!
Aaron's most favorite gift was an ipod. When Rich got his iphone - he no longer needed his ipod. So, the ipod has just been sitting around the house for almost a year now - not being used. Aaron loves music ... and I knew that it would be the perfect thing for him. (and even better that we didn't have to buy one!) He loves it! Jonathan was very excited to be brought into the world of legos. He got a set of legos!! Rosalie got a little princess doll, a magnadoodle, and play cd player, that she can wear like a purse.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Celebrating the Greatest Gift!

We began our daily advent reading and crafts on November 30th this year. We read a passage each day that pointed us to our need for a Savior. The 22nd and 23rd we read the accounts of Jesus' birth in the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Luke. Today we read from John 3 ... and we all said the parts together that we already have memorized. So, we concluded our advent readings with the reason that God gave us the precious gift of His Son. We need a Savior to save us from our sins! Each of the children colored and cut out a cross and they were all placed in the middle of the banner.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
We have spent the past month trying our best to keep our children focused on the gift that God gave us. That is not the easiest task when the rest of society is focused on other things. Things that take the focus away from Jesus. Things that have no eternal significance.
Sometimes, though, my focus gets messed up too. Sometimes I get so frustrated with the "things" that people do around this time of year that they call "Christmas", that I find myself focused on all the frustration ... and not focused on the Savior. I am no different than anyone else. I need a Savior. I need His grace and mercy. I am chief among all sinners.
We need to focus on our need for a Savior and our need for the grace and mercy of a loving God and Father every day of the year. I am thankful for each of you. I pray that if you don't know the God, who sent His precious Son into the world to be our Savior ... that you will know His love, grace, and mercy. There is no greater gift.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Aaron's Birthday Cake

Aaron wanted a batman cake ... so I made him a batman cake ... and had a ton of fun doing it!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Aaron's Birthday in Pictures

(notice the lovely brown paper wrapping? The target bag also served as wrapping!)

Could you tell he was excited about this?

a bell for his bike!!!

from Nanny and Pupup - this was a very exciting moment ... Aaron's first lego set!
Thanks, Nanny and Pupup - he was super excited to have his very own legos!
He also loved the bell for his bike ... and he loves his new shirt!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Aaron turned 6!!

I'll have pictures to share soon. I just don't seem to have the time to get pictures up and tend to the blog.
Aaron turned 6 this past Saturday. The morning of his birthday I realized that I had forgotten to buy wrapping paper. So, my plan was to run out to the store to get some as soon as I finished making breakfast for everyone.
However, instead of running out the store (which we can't really do quickly living way out here), I gathered a bunch of brown paper bags and wrapped his presents in paper bags.
Do you really think he cared about the paper?
So, he opened all of his presents from us after breakfast. He and his brothers spent the rest of the day playing with his new toys.
We had a birthday party for him at Jumpin' Beans on Tuesday afternoon. It's been a fun and crazy few days around here. We took Monday and Tuesday off of school. Monday - so that I could focus on making his cake. Tuesday - party day.
So, we are going to spend the next 3 days catching up.
Pictures will come ... one day soon.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow in December

We don't get a lot of snow here in NC - especially in early December! My children saw those big flakes falling from the sky and hurried around to find gloves and hats, so they could play outside!

Jonathan and Aaron had a blast running around outside with their friends and catching snowflakes on their tongues!

Neither of them lasted for too long, however, before they were running inside for some hot chocolate to drink. Since we don't get much (really) cold weather around here, we don't really have the kind of cold weather clothing needed for extended play outside.

This is the view from my back porch.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Dusting the end table

Cleaning the refrigerator

Sweeping the floor

There are days when all of my children are very happy helpers. I love days like that!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Martin's first hunting trip

Rich no longer has to sit in the tree stand alone. He has started taking Martin along on his hunting trips. Martin is not trained yet in how to handle a rifle, so for now, he just goes along and watches. So far he's gone twice ... and they haven't shot anything. However, he loves going and spending time with Rich out in the woods.

Just a side note: Several years ago(when Martin was about 3), I made Rich a hunting jacket and pants. I had enough extra fabric to make Martin a pair of pants just like it. I was actually planning for Martin to wear them right after I made them ... (but I made them way too big) He just recently grew into them. (and just in time for him to wear them to go hunting!)

Friday, December 3, 2010

The first night of our Advent Celebration

The children listening as Rich read the Scripture passage to them

The children each drew a picture of something that God created and were getting ready to pin it on the Advent Banner.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

For some reason ...

... I am having a hard time getting into the swing of things. Since we moved into this house, I've been trying to get into a good routine. After all, I am just that kind of a person. What kind of person? A person who loves routine. I like schedules. I like organization. Since we moved here, however, I have been distracted by so many things. I feel as though I am being pulled in a thousand different directions. So, I haven't been taking many pictures. I can't seem to keep up with this blog. I can't seem to get into a decent school routine with Martin and Aaron. We are getting the work done each day - but we always seem to skip a thing or two with the idea that we will get back to it later. (not the main subjects - the extras)
Last night at Awana - I realized just how scattered my mind is - when I had to hunt down my oldest son just to find out (right, I did say find out) if he had even worn his uniform. I knew that I had never reminded him to put the shirt on like I normally do. Thankfully, when I found him, he was wearing his shirt! Wow. Little things are getting away from me. I keep thinking that I'll have a better handle on things as Rosalie gets older ... when I am getting sleep again(have I mentioned that Rosalie has gone back to night waking again? 1,2,3 times a night) ... or when we've had the chance to adapt to our new surroundings. But as I type those words, I am imagining that all of you who have been in my shoes are probably laughing out loud. There is always going to be something isn't there? In a couple years, I will be homeschooling 3 of them, instead of two. There will be other outside factors as the children get older. I know, I know. I suppose that my weaknesses are being exposed. I don't handle distraction well. I am not good at doing more than one thing at a time. I rely too heavily on routine. AND I might just make my entire family crazy before it's all over. I need to glean wisdom from my more relaxed friends and mentors.
Oh - and I still haven't found my card reader. I did find my camera cord and uploaded the pictures. Just a funny note: I still don't have any pictures to share, though, because I never really took any pictures. I just consider that to be more evidence of my scattered mind.
Hopefully, there are some of you out there that can relate to my shortcomings and will smile today as you read this entry.
In an attempt to be completely transparent and to also prove to you that my mind is scattered ... I am going to completely switch gears on you and share a picture of my living room. I actually have some pictures on the wall and the curtains are hung! I still have to hang a picture over the piano (that we've had for quite some time ... but recently painted the frame to match the rest of our decor), and find something for the wall next to the fireplace. We are also waiting on our end tables and chair to arrive. So, look for another update of the living room to come in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rosalie's first balloon

Mom, Rosalie, and I went out furniture shopping one day last week ... and the kind folks at the store gave her a balloon. She was so excited about this balloon! I am pretty sure that this is the first time she's ever had a balloon. She had a great time playing with that balloon and told everyone who would listen ... that "it's mine!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

We are home from our travels to Virginia

We went to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with my Mom, Dad, sister and her family, and my aunt Sharon and cousin Stephen. We enjoyed our time in Virginia and had lots of fun! We also got to spend the day after Thanksgiving with our good friends in Yorktown, Virginia.
I'd love to share some pictures of our weekend - but some little hands went off with my picture reader. . . and I still haven't found the hiding place. Okay - so - I am assuming that little hands are the culprit, since I can't find it in any of my hiding places. So, until further notice ... pictures just aren't happening.
I could use my cord that came with my camera - but Rich put that away in a safe place. (and doesn't remember where)
I am excited that we are beginning the celebration of advent. I have pulled out the advent banner and have been working on actually getting it in a finished state. We all enjoyed celebrating advent last year with our advent banner. (I did actually sew squares on the banner this year ... but I still have to work on a more permanent solution for the stick and cording.
Hopefully the card reader or camera cord will be found soon ... until then ... thanks for reading!

Monday, November 22, 2010


There are two houses in our culdesac right now. Our neighbors have 3 children ... add that to our 4 ... and there are lots of children running around! It wasn't long after we moved in ... that we noticed these two signs up on the street right outside our culdesac.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


We've been in our new house for going on two months. We seemed to have settled into a routine. There are so many things that I love about living out here. I love that we are out in the country! I have not found myself at all frustrated that we have a pretty long drive to go anywhere we need to go.
We are loving that our children (except for Rosalie) are free to go outside and run and play and get dirty every day! And they do get dirty, I must tell you! We have large hills of dirt almost directly in front of our house. You know ... my boys are in heaven playing on those hills! I love the we have woods directly behind our house with enormous boulders. Yes, they love playing back there too. They are free to play in the back yard ... the front yard... the neighbors back or front yard ... the culdesac ... the empty lot across the street. They can ride their bikes around our neigborhood, too!
We've gone from feeling cooped up most of the time ... to having a million fun things to do all the time! When I see my boys running through the little ravine at the end of our court . . . or running through the woods in the backyard chasing each other with large sticks ... yeah ... that makes my heart happy! I have thought a million times ... they are totally doing what boys should be doing!!
Rosalie loves the outdoors too, but she is limited to going outside when I can take her. So, she busies herself inside ... and sometimes watches out the window. She has also started waking again in the night. Sometimes 3 or 4 times. I will usually just go to her and hug and rock her and lay her back down. It's hard to get interrupted sleep like that, but I am hoping that she will go back to sleeping again soon.
After all, she does give some of the best hugs ever!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Fall

Jonathan pulling out all his charm

Rosalie's cheesy grin that erupts anytime she sees a camera.

Now ... for the original intent of this post. I have always loved the Fall. I love the way it smells, the beautiful colors, the back and forth of cold and warm weather, and the start of a new school year. (many years ago ... it was me going to school both as a student and then as a teacher. Now, I love the start of a new school year with my children)
This year has been different for me, though. This fall has been even more beautiful than I can remember it being in years past. I am struck by the beauty every time I drive through the country side to get to town. (It's not a short drive)
This year the fall has brought me a sense of belonging. As I see the beauty that is right outside my doorway ... it feels as though it belongs to me. North Carolina is no longer just a place that we live. North Carolina is now home. I never dreamed that it would ever feel like home.
I love the North Carolina fall. This year ... it feels like it is mine.