Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Catch up, finally :)

I have been wanting to post and update all week, but I just haven't been able to sit down and do so! So here, finally, is your photo update on what's happening here in our corner of the world :)

Cosette enjoys painting on her easel. I was blessed this morning when I found her and Noah painting together. She was graciously letting him 'help' her with the painting.


I love this photo of her coming up from taking care of her own little garden. Isn't she pretty? :)


This shows Eli's 'servant' heart. He is always ready to help out or 'surprise' me with a job well done. On this day, he had decided that he would clean 'all' of the shoes.

And finally, here is the kids Lemonade stand. They worked so hard, and sat out there for hours, literally. I was so happy that many kind people stopped for a cup of Lemonade :) Now the kids are trying to figure out what to do with the money they made :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011


   All of our kids have learned just a few sign language words when they were infants to help us with the 'communication' thing. Cosette knew how to say 'more, thank you, please,' etc. One of Leanna's favorites is 'please'. 'Please' in sign language is supposed to be tapping your hand right around your collar bone. Well, when there is something Leanna REALLY wants, like a cookie or more milk, she throws BOTH of her arms around her front-side and kind of gives herself a hug. We call it the 'double-please' :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Too good not to share

Every now and then I come across a post on someone else's blog that is just too good not to share. I found one today! Please, take the time to go read this post! If you're married.....if you're thinking about getting you'd just like to get married someday.....if you're struggling in your this post, from Heavenly Homemakers. It's really worth your time!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

What I loved about today

I don't ever want to forget what these days are like, at home with four little ones all around me.. So, today, I loved:

1. Watching Cosette smoothing over the freshly planted green bean rows all by herself. She is literally getting to the point where she really is a 'helper' :)

2. These two ladies. Aren't they beautiful?? :) This picture is a little fuzzy, but I loved it anyway. It really shows Leanna's personality right now. She wants to be 'close'---hugging you, in your arms, wrapped around your legs, whatever :) You can see that Cosette and I just hate that ;)



3. Playing 'throw this sack of potatoes in the trash can' game with Noah after dinner. He squeals and squeals and laughs, and then, when I get ready to 'throw the potatoes in the trash can', he laughs hysterically and says "No Mama, Me, Noah, Noah!" And I look at him as if I'm just realizing it's Noah, and NOT a sack of potatoes, and then I tickle him :) Love it, love it!!

4. Listening to Cosette practice her violin today. A friend just gave it to her, and she's loving learning the basics. I hardly heard a screech today :) Noah wants to play it too. He picks it up ever so carefully, but his arms aren't long enough. He would need an 1/8 or a 1/4 size, I think. This is all new territory for me, too, as I'm a pianist, not a violinist :)

5. Little boys turned into superheros simply by the addition of socks on their hands. Can you guess which one is the more serious super hero?


6. And finally, watching Leanna as she lay in her bed, almost asleep. Her eyes were closed ; the only indication that she wasn't completely in dream-land was her sweet little fingers twisting her curls :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's more about what (or WHO) I DO have!

We were gone all day yesterday to a family gathering. The kids had a blast playing with their cousins, eating picnic food, riding scooters, etc. And then, we had to rush back to our area for Cosette's 6:30 soccer game. By the time we all got home, we were exhausted. When I woke up this morning, there were toys everywhere, dishes filling my sink from the food I had made yesterday, laundry up to the ceiling (and that's only a slight exaggeration!!), floors needed swept, the bathroom and tubs were full of little boy's dirty foot prints and all the trash cans were over-flowing with dirty diapers and yuckiness. Oh, and did I mention that I need to go grocery shopping?? Splendid. Just splendid. I could see what I'd be doing for the whole rest of the day.

I found myself standing at my sink, washing those dishes, missing my mom soooo much. This was just one of those days when I would have called her and asked her to please keep the kids for a few hours so I could find my house under all the mess. And she would have gladly done it. And I could see her face so clearly in my mind, and hear her voice, and I remembered days in the past when I was so pregnant, and she would come up and clean through my whole house for me. Tears rolled down my cheeks and splashed in the dish water.

I took myself to the living room, where we keep  scrabble racks and tiles out on the mantle. On it, any family member is allowed to express their feelings about anything that's happening. Past sentences have said stuff like 'Summer beauty' 'Eli is five today!' 'Love my Man' 'The Joy of the Lord', that kind of thing.

Today, I laid out the tiles for "I need a maid". Excuse my immaturity---it's just how I felt!

Well, as I stood as the sink, finishing the dishes, I heard a little voice behind me. It was Cosette. She said "Mama, maybe you should check the scrabble tiles now and see what they say."

I walked to the living room, curiosity filling me. This is what I saw:

And she did. More than any normal six year old would have willingly helped out! So, it's not all about what I DON'T have anymore, but more about what I DO have, right? Thank you Lord, for my blessings.

And now, since Cosette has helped me to finish the bottom of the house, I'm done my break and headed upstairs to tackle THAT mess........... :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

So today was Father's Day. I could go on and on about how I married the absolute best man in the entire world, how the kids and I love him like crazy, how he's every bit of a father I always knew he would be, plus more.....but you all already know that! (If it ever seems on here like I'm kind of obsessed with my husband, don't worry, you're not imagining things----I am :)

Okay, so, to celebrate Father's Day, I thought I'd instead tell you a funny story. A few evenings ago, we had to run out to the store after dinner for a couple of things. Cosette and I managed to sneak away for a few minutes by ourselves so she could pick out her gift for Joel for Father's day. She picked two 'fun size' packs of candy bars. She paid for them, and we snuck them to the van without Daddy seeing.

Later, she told me: "Mom, I was having trouble knowing where to put the candy bars until Sunday, so I just asked Daddy "Dad, if you had two packs of chocolate that you wanted to keep safe for a few days, what would you do with them? And daddy said he would put them on the counter in a shady spot. So that's what I'm gonna do. And don't worry, Mom, Dad doesn't suspect a thing!!"

So. Cute. Oh my, I tried hard not to laugh. Later, I asked Joel "So, you have any idea what your gift is from Cosette?" He just smiled :)

Here he is this morning opening his gift from her. It's not a great picture---she looks half asleep and he's making a funny face, but my camera batteries died right after this first picture :/

So grateful for my wonderful husband!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

For Pap

A video clip that I think my Pap will really like :) He and Grandma bought this horse for.....Eli, I think?.....a few years ago. Leanna really loves it. Don't worry, we don't let her fall off :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grumpy Words

I have learned something in the past 7 1/2 years. I would like to share this piece of advice with you all. This is particularly important for moms with young children, but I'm sure it can apply to anybody in any situation. Here it is---my tip of the day.

"Don't say anything when  you're tired and worn out"

 When you've been up since 6:00 a.m., and it's now 11:30 p.m., and the baby is crying and not going to sleep, and you literally haven't had five minutes to yourself today, and the two year old ate an entire bowl of candy while hiding under the kitchen table, and......well yeah. When you've had one of those days, and your perspective is just completely lop-sided......... just don't say anything.

I speak from experience! I've had days like the one above (although, thankfully, none that bad  this week...yet!) And then, when you're body is tired, and your emotions are worse than a roller coaster, you look at your poor, unsuspecting husband and say something uncaring like:

  • ALL I ever do is clean people's clothes! Do you know how sick I am of washing, drying, folding and putting away laundry?
  • Maybe I could keep up with everything better if you'd just help out more!
  • Our two year old really drove me up the wall today! I think we're failing with him!

And then, the next morning, after you've had a good night's sleep (say, four hours or more in a row ;)  you see everything with a brighter perspective. And you realize that you don't really mind folding your family's laundry---that your husband DOES help out around the house----and that you are certainly NOT failing with your two year old, it just felt that way.

So.......just don't say anything. When the words are out of your mouth.....that's it. They can't be taken back. You can apologize, you can be forgiven, you and your spouse, by the grace of God can move on, but the words have already been spoken.

So, the next time you feel like shouting "There are kids running around everywhere and I'm about to loose my mind!!!!"---- instead, take a deep breath, turn the other way, and go count your blessings. Literally. Think about what you were about to say, whether it will help anybody, benefit anybody, or be 'edifying to the listener'. If not, then.....don't say it. :) As simple as that. Because, we all know that in the morning....everything looks brighter!

"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Eph. 4:29

I post this because it's been such a hard lesson for me. When I'm tired and worn out, I don't fall asleep on the couch---I get grumpy! And I've had to learn over the years what that 'grumpy' feeling feels like, and how to keep my mouth shut tight when I feel that way! Tonight was such a night. It was a long day, the boys were rowdy, food prep took forever....and I felt the grumpy feeling coming on. But, Praise Jesus! I kept my mouth shut tight!! And now, the kids are in bed, I'm relaxing a little, and I feel so much better having said nothing that I would regret tomorrow morning.

Can I challenge you to do the same? :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Reading Extravaganza

If there's one thing Joel and I have always done with our kids, it's read. The librarians now just automatically go to the shelf when we walk in and pull off our huge pile of books we have on hold :) Well, a couple of months ago, our librarians gave Cosette info for a writing contest for kids. She worked really hard on a book for several weeks. She received notice just last week that she had won an honorable mention for 'Most Heartfelt Book'. We were so proud of her! Even though it was a two hour trip, we decided to take her to the Reading Extravaganza Day so she could pick up her award. They also had a TON of other really cool stuff happening at the library for the Extravaganza. Oh....and did I mention it was all FREE? Totally awesome! Our pictures.....:)

Cosette, receiving her award from 'The Queen of Hearts', and learning how to bow :)

Just so you can get a feel for how many people were there.

The library itself was so impressive and beautiful!

They had all kinds of fun activities set up for the kids on the lawn of the library. Here, Noah and Eli show off the book-worms they made.

Oh, and who can turn down a free Smiley cookie? Not Noah!


We even got to watch some Ukrainian Dancers

But I think the high-light of the day for everybody was the super-huge slide :)

Thank you, Carnegie Library, for an Awesome, fun day!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Conversations around our house lately

I have to record some of these. I just don't want to forget them!

Eli: Hey Mom! I drew a picture of an Ocanut tree!
Me: A what tree?
Eli: An Ocanut tree!
Me: (Trying so hard not to laugh, but failing miserably) Do you mean a 'coconut' tree?
Eli: Oh.....I think so!

Me: Noah, Mommy's making a grocery list. Do you want anything special from the store?
Noah: Um....yes.
Me: What do you want?
Noah: Um......Cake!!

Eli: Can I have a special snack, Mommy?
Me: Well....what did you do to earn your special snack?
Eli: Um...I cleaned up my room today without you even asking!
Me: (Confused, because I had to ask him TWICE to clean up his room) You did??
Eli: mean...without you even watching!

Cosette: Thanks for lunch, Mommy. I don't really like it, it's not my would be better without the meat in it.....but otherwise, it's really good!

Me: Noah, are you eating candy? You're supposed to ask before you get candy
Noah: Oh
Me: Did you get candy without asking Mommy or Daddy?
Noah: (With a big grin on his face) Yep!....TWO!! (At least he's honest.....)

Friday, June 10, 2011


This precious 'newborn' time is winding down. My 'baby' is a year old now! She's learning to walk...she says "Da-da, puppy, duck and kak-kak (quack quack :) Yes, she loves her toy duck :)
But the biggest way I know that she's growing up is because we are almost done with nursing. She's drinking big girl milk out of a big girl cup now, and doing just fine with it. Her Mama is happy.....and sad. Just a few more days of nursing before bed-time, and then we'll be....*sob*......all done!
I'll miss cuddling with her as she snuggles up. Yes, we cuddle while drinking the bottle before nap-time, but it's just not the same. I know not every Mama chooses to nurse, and that's perfectly fine. But for me and my babies....I'm so glad it worked out.
It was a pain sometimes.....always scheduling your day around when the baby needs to nurse. Not being able to teach Sunday School or help out much at church for a whole year because "the baby needs me during that time" It was also difficult to go anywhere....I could never be away from her for more than a couple of hours. And so, it had it's difficulties.
But, it was worth it. Obviously, right? I mean, when I've chosen to nurse four babies in a row.....the benefits out-weighed the aggravations without a question!
To sit there, for long amounts of time, resting and snuggling my baby, was one of the best ways that we 'bonded' this past year. To watch her sweet little eyes doze off to sleep as she nursed, to feel the warmth of her body against mine, to rub her soft brown was a blessing.
From the moment they first handed her to me and she started nursing, I was in love. And for the whole past year, my life has been totally wrapped up in this little sitting down to fill her tummy every few hours.
But now, we're almost done. And it has to be that way. She can't stay an infant forever, and I wouldn't want her to! But part of me much as I'll enjoy the 'freedom' of being done, I'll also miss it as well.
My baby is done nursing. Tears fill my eyes through the day as I think of it. But my huband told me last night "Look what a great job you did! She's healthy, she's smart....and it's because of all of your dedication over the past year"
Yes, I may be 'done' nursing her, but she'll always be the proof of all of my efforts and a 'job well done' :) I am SO in love with that girl! :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Little souls

Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.
-- Jim Rohn



Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
-- Charles R. Swindoll



Ten tiny little fingers that always want to play,
That never stop exploring the wonder of today.
Ten tiny little fingers that from the very start,
Will reach out for tomorrow yet always hold your heart.
-- Author Unknown


FAMILY----The only thing on this old earth that will last through eternity. Are you putting your efforts where they really count?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Living intentionally....and strawberry pie :)

Wow. I see I haven't posted anything since Wednesday! These summer days are just passing me by too fast! Well, I shouldn't say that....we're not just mindlessly 'flying' through our days. They are just so filled with our kids, and all the joy and activities that come along with four children....that we are living and loving our life to the fullest. Soccer in the wading pool....babies learning how to walk....a new Sunday School class to teach.....loving my front porch and swing....and Joel and I are hoping to squeeze a date night in sometime soon too :) So, I leave you with one amusing thought for the day:

The newly-wed woman (i.e.--Me, about 7 1/2 years ago), upon lacking a proper recipe to make a strawberry pie, will search for endless hours through all of her recipe books AND the internet, comparing notes and trying to figure out the best and proper way to pre-bake a pie crust.

The well-seasoned mother (i.e.-- Me---7 1/2 years, four kids and three bazillion meals later), will pop the pie crust in the oven and say "'ll be done when it's done :)

Life DOES count for something. Hoping for positive outcomes on that pie crust :)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Red and Ripe


Picking strawberries out of your own garden with two of your favorite people in the world....summer doesn't get much more beautiful...



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