Friday, December 17, 2010

{this moment}

With just a few words... I really do want to be on here, posting. Maybe after Christmas life will return to as normal as it can around here. I have to get in the habit of doing a post during the day, because Helena doesn't stay in her bed for more than 15 minutes at a time right now. But I miss writing posts. So I'm going to get back to it soon, for me and for anyone out there who is still checking in to see what we are up to. I will not be on here again before Christmas, as I have gifts to finish and two photo shoots to process pictures for. So have a Merry Christmas, and thanks for sticking with us here until I can get my act together enough to be around more often! For now, my {this moment} from this last week.

Friday, November 5, 2010

{this moment}

I know, it has been forever since I've been on here, and I promise to catch up soon, but until then, at least I can offer up:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. Inspired by Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Happy Weekend to all!

Friday, October 22, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Enjoy your weekend! We're spending ours getting rid of anything that anyone will buy from us in our front yard...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not So Lazy For The Boys

Recently, while I was spending a lazy summer day on the blanket with Helena, and Bella was doing this for an hour...

...the boys found some sticks and made up a game. That is pretty common place in our household. In fact, they bring sticks home just about everywhere we go, and they get kind of attached to certain sticks. Right now, under the train table in the play room, there is a duct-taped stick. That stick traveled from our dinner stop after a summer weekend away to Columbus for a stop at my husband's family's house. The next morning a frantic call was made to GiGi (my mother-in-law): "GiGi, Max was wondering if you know where his weed-eater stick is." Thankfully, GiGi is such a wonderful grandmother that she knew right where Max had left his weed-eater stick, and it then made the trip from Columbus to us the following week. It has since been broken and duct-taped twice. That's one special stick. The sticks in this particular story have been four-wheeler handle bars since this lazy summer day. The boys set up jumps for their four-wheelers and went ripping around the yard on them, sound effects and all. Max has really been Mr. MeToo with Kane lately, copying EVERYTHING that he does. Don't take my word for it - see for yourself. Kane jumps off of the tree.

Max jumps off the tree.

Kane zooms around and jumps over the bucket.

Max jumps over the bucket.

Kane's next jump is the tee-ball tee.

And by now I hope you can guess what came next.

It is a fun relationship to watch develope. Especially when it is under this pristine, crystal blue sky that we have had day after day this late summer.

It is my idea of a perfectly glorious lazy late-summer day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer Laze

Every now and then I have two days in a row that are plagued by a headache. If I take it easy and do, oh, pretty much nothing those days, I can usually keep from getting a full-blown, knock-me-out, light-and-cold-are-killer type of "migraine." So that's what I do. And I figure it's God's way of saying, "Hey you! Slow down! You're moving way too fast." I had that last week, and we spent one afternoon lazing about in the back yard on a blanket. Well, Laini and I did. What the rest did can come at a later time. That would way too many photos. It might give YOU a headache. I played around with my remote that I finally ordered for my camera and Laini and I watched what the others came up with to occupy their minds. It's not often, especially in this late summer season, that I take the time to just sit around and relax with my kids. I appreciate the headaches for that. I don't really appreciate feeling like crap while I'm relaxing, but that's just the way it is, I suppose. Helena is such a complete joy to be around. She is learning and doing so much now. And since she is sitting on her own, I'm loving the photos that I can get.

I can even get a kiss (which is a rare happening) with my remote...

The eyebrows are a must.

Ditto for the dimple.

Eeybrows with a blue sky behind. Priceless.

She is a very vocal baby, and she had something to say about that fish!

Ah, what fun. But now a sleepy husband tells me it is time to be done, time to cut his hair before he's out of town for business and I'm off to my parents' house. And Laini wakes and says, "Sorry 'bout your luck, Papa!" I'm off.

Friday, September 3, 2010

{this moment}

Love this concept I picked up over at SouleMama: a Friday ritual, simple photo, no words. Just a moment from the week that I want to remember. Perfect, as we're all about moments here...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Garden Day

I had great expectations this year for the garden. I planted a ton of heirloom plants, all started from seed in my dining room just before or after Laini's birth, or in the spring ground. Trust me, that was a feet in and of itself. I weeded and kept up with the bugs. I was using what I harvested and planning all the canning that I would do. That is until the last month or so. I'm not exactly sure when I turned down the wrong, neglectful path, but it happened. I think it was a combination of running all over creation this summer, of trying to come to terms with the house/cleaning/parenting/teaching, and of the flippin' mosquitoes. Nearly every weekend has been taken up with travel or play of some sort. Not complainin', just sayin'. It's been a wonderful summer, but it hasn't left much time for home projects, like a humongous garden. Then there are the mind games that I play with myself. I have a way of over thinking everything, of sabotaging what really makes me happy (being outdoors, parenting my lovely children, being a mother and wife in general) with silly, everyday stress and the bother of things that can wait. When it makes me feel so good to be outside, just to walk to the garden every day to toss the compost and breathe deeply, why don't I just do it? I'll tell you part of why I don't do it. Behind our yard is a steep, narrow hillside that used to be a train track. Behind that train track skeleton, well, let's just say that every time it rains, we could go wading. Add to that the fact that our yard is the lowest on this part of the street, and what you have is an overwhelming epidemic of mosquitoes. I'm not exaggerating, people. While you're spraying your arms down (we have a natural essential oil repellent that works quite well), you get four bites on your legs. We left the van windows open just a few days ago to air the car out, and when we put the kids in, we had to kill ten mosquitoes that were flying around waiting for the back of an arm or leg or baby forehead to go unwatched. We need Purple Martin and bat houses, badly. Needless to say, they are a bit of a deterrent from daily yard work.
   But the other day I decided to buck up, spray down and tackle some garden work and harvesting. As painful as it is to come face to face with my failings on weeding, tying, and bug-smooshing, it had to be done. It was a good day, with a nice early start. You can't have a day go bad when it starts out this good...
So after breakfast and sending Papa off to work, down to the garden we went. The kids helped me harvest, and there's always some fun to be had in that, especially in the pepper patch.  

Oh, how I love the deep greens of a pepper plant. They make for a prefect hide out when they get as huge as my plants did this year.

And there were plenty of peppers to pick while the kids were in there.

Helena woke from her nap, so I brought her down with the quilt that my Great Aunt Esther made for me when I was a baby and laid her out in the yard to watch the chaos. And there was plenty to watch, with brothers and sister dashing by continuously.

But Laini isn't a lie-on-the-blanket-and-play kind of baby anymore. She isn't exactly crawling, but she knows how to get herself off the edge of a blanket in the blink of an eye. Which means there will be grass and dirt in her diet along with Mama's milk for quite awhile. Don't panic, all you germaphobes out there. Too clean of an environment can actually lead to health problems, and exposure to germs is good for building up a strong immune system. In fact, without exposure to germs, a child's immune system won't mature. Don't believe me? Google "too clean disease" and see what you come up with. Dirt is good for kids. Okay, I'm off my soap box.

Plus, dirt and grass eating makes for some really cute baby pictures. That makes it even more important.

After a couple of trips back to the house for every spare container in the cupboards, we finally had the garden all picked, and each kid had their own harvest in their own container. You can't get much better than that.

I had my own mammoth bowl full of tomatoes, also, and they are all in my freezer right now. So I suppose we are at least ending the summer harvest time with a bang. I may have missed out on a month or so of goodness, but all in all, with our fourth child being born in the midst of pepper and tomato seed starting time, I would say this year's garden has been a success. Plus, it gives me an improvement to shoot for next year. If it had been perfect this year, what could my goals have been for next year? Looking on the bright side, I'm seeing lots of goodness. And that's all good.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I wanted to head out this weekend with a beautiful post up infused with garden goodness. Blogger does not want me to, however, as it will NOT let me add my pictures to the post. Bummer. Glitches are to be expected, I suppose, and maybe it's Divine Intervention, as I am scrambling to get ready for a weekend away. We are headed to Columbus bright and early Saturday morning - to beat the heat in our non-air conditioned van - for Bella to have her very first Homeschool Assessment (!) for our past Kindergarten year. And while we're at it, we figure it's a perfect time to spend Sunday at the ZOO (I may be more excited about this than the kids. If my life had not been graced with children, I surely would be working in a zoo or wildlife rehab center or something of the wild sort). It will be an exciting weekend for us all, and there will be plenty to share when we come home. Perhaps if I get the packing and baking all done, Blogger will be working again! Then again, it is 10 pm, and of course, after I finally get everyone to give in to sleep, what do I now hear on the monitor but Laini waking. She has a nasty rash on her back, most likely virus related, and we've been fighting thrush for about two weeks now. Her poor little mouth is so sore. Add to that trying to learn to crawl, and you don't have much sleep happening. Her little brain just can't handle all of the stimulation! So for now, until Blogger decides to stop flippin' out and constantly clicking when I hit the Insert Image tab (like it is right now - click, click, click, click - maddening I tell you), I will go to put my baby back to sleep for the third time and tell you that hopefully I'll get to give you pictures and updates soon. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Night Time Camping Fun

These are the last images and stories I want to share with you from our recent camping trip. Are you tired of camping with us yet? If you are, that's good, because it's time to go to bed. But just before we do that, take a look at the glorious moon shining down on our tents.

Are you up for a few sparklers in the dark? Because a few of the kids were. Aidan did a great job.

 Bella framed nicely in sparkler.

And Regan got a perfect swirl.

There's always just enough time left for some flashlight fun by the campfire.

Then it's time to bed for all. I had to do some work with this image, but I wanted to really be able to see all of my kids, sprawled out in our tent. They all slept great after wearing themselves out on hikes, climbing and play with friends and filling up with good food.

Now that is good stuff.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Introductions and Comparisons

Okay, I'm really just putting this picture in here because Ella is so absolutely adorable. But to incorporate it.... Let us try.
One of the highlights of our recent camping adventure with the Carlsons was getting to meet little miss Ella for the first time! (see, I CAN do it) She was two months old at the time of our camping trip, and I was beside myself waiting to meet her.
Judy and I had speculated, over the phone, that the girls might be close to the same size, even with Ella being 3 months younger than Laini. Not surprising, really, because Judy makes some nice, healthy babies, and Laini is our petite little girl, just like Bella was. Now, if Laini had been another Kane, the story would have been quite different. But we had to get the new additions together to make some comparisons.

Besides the obvious difference in age (it's amazing what a few months can do at this young age), they were very near to the same size.

 Little hands together - yep, pretty close.

And of course, the feet. Yep, same size! I love Judy's face in this picture. I look at it and can hear the laugh that came with it.

The girls are both about 15 pounds here. Ella will probably outgrow Laini eventually, if Laini keeps up her petiteness and Ella keeps up with her siblings' legacies. No matter, though, the important thing is that they get to grow together. And that's what we love.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What The Toddlers Did

The toddlers and camping... What fun. They did a lot of mud hunting.
 They did some rock throwing in the run-off for the soon-to-be pond.

They got nice and dirty.

They rode their Papa's/Daddy's shoulders when their legs got tired of hiking. We have a picture of them on the guys backs in carriers from two winters ago. Love it.

Max did a whole lot of Ranger riding. They explored lots of woods on this thing, driving a bit, then turning it off to listen/watch. They found me a beautiful snipe. Shoulda' taken the camera for him, he was right in the trail when they took me back to look at him, strutting his stuff. Lovely.

And Aidan spent those times when mine were on the Ranger on the big blue tractor with Daddy. It's his favorite place to be, and at the end of a long day, it's the place where he just couldn't keep those eyes open any longer.
They might not remember this trip when they're older, but we have these pictures, and we're setting them up for a life time of memories just like these ones.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I snuck out onto the porch to take some pictures of the quickly-growing Bill, Peeper and Cheep Cheep. I don't want to miss too much of their development! I snap, snap, snap away, slowing my shutter speed. "Wait..." I say after the first few pictures. I zoom up on my image.
Is that a fourth beak??? Snap, snap, snap a few more pictures at a lower shutter speed and higher ISO. I want detail in these chickies and as much color and light as I can get in their dark little cave. Hold the phone! Are there FIVE chicks in there???

Hmmm... zoom, zoom, zoom... Holy cow! I have highly underestimated my wren-chees! FIVE chicks. A typical clutch is 4, but my little ones have been working overtime. Now we have to come up with two more names! And I'm trying to imagine how they are all going to fit in there for another 7 days. According to my research, their eyes open on the 3rd day after hatching. That would make them having hatched on the 10th. Today will be day 7, and the average nesting period is 14 days. So on the 24th we should have five little fledglings. We have two young Mourning Doves (Pink Legs and Blue Bill) that fledged this spring and like our back deck and garden very much. Now we will have five little Carolina Wrens to add to the fun.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Kane, Catching Up

I have a picture of Kane from the first hike that we took with the Carlsons, 2 1/2 years ago, just like this one of Maxwell and Judy.

My boys are good judges of character, and they take to Judy. Kane spent a lot of that first hike holding Judy's hand, and yelling "Wait up!" to Bella and Regan as he ran after them.Things are a little different now. Maxwell was the one yelling "Wait up!" this trip, and while Kane still has a tendency to be chasing the girls...

...he has started to catch up and pass them. He is forging his way as a leader and finding out how to deal with being the odd man out when he's with the girls.

He likes being in front, being a leader, and I can't wait to see where it takes him in life. Right now, it is taking him to the top of the hill as quickly as he can get there, to look back and say, "Catch up!" instead of "Wait up!" and I think he had a pretty good time camping because of it. He's finding his place with the girls, and he was even the first to jump in and catch apples that Adam was dropping from the tree. 
He has come so far, and he really had a good time.