today (so far)

What a week.  Rich worked about 60 hours (72 considering travel time.  He just figured these numbers out for me).  He’s my emotion-regulator.  For some reason, I need to spend a certain amount of time with him in the house for me to feel calm and secure.  Yesterday was awful, I was crying and nervous most of the day.  I’m not saying it was all because of Rich not being home much, poor guy, I just know that it did play a part.  Sometimes I wonder just how I can survive mothering/homeschooling five children, keeping the housework together, and doing all the other 101 other things I do in a week.  I’m not complaining, mind you, I totally love my life, and yet how can anyone keep on top of things all the time?  Not possible.  So yesterday was a crash day for me.

I am feeling much better today (except my eyes still feel funny from all the crying yesterday).  It took the whole morning before I relaxed, though.  Rich took us to Crackerbarrel for breakfast again.  Thankfully the sun was shining, the sunlight being the only good thing about the weather—-it is SO SO COLD outside.  We actually saw some snow flurries (very light).  I denied it, but Jacob INSISTED that he saw them so I gave in and admitted it too.

We also went shopping.  Rich was looking for shoes which came to nothing but of course I was able to find plenty of things to purchase, including a stack of books, a new camera, and some seeds.  David had a craving for ice cream and looking into his big huge gorgeous eyes I could not say no. . .so that is what we had for a light lunch.  Ice cream cones!

When we got home we went for a walk (the dog needed some exercise).  There is a freezing cold wind today.  Jacob made me laugh when after a while I said dramatically, “I’m TOO COLD” and turned around to go back to the house.  He said to his Dad, “She’s a natural __________.”  (my maiden name)  “She sounded just like Grandma when she said that!”

It is cozy, so cozy in the house.  We have a fire going in the livingroom but right now Rich and I are in our bedroom.  David is snoring in our bed, Rich is sitting in the rocking chair and looking at stuff that has to do with the garage we want to build this spring, and I’m enjoying myself on the computer.

I took my camera along today. . . .


Big Daddy passing out candy . . . .I think David looks so handsome in his coat and hat.  I call his coat the “puffy coat”.  I think David is concerned here, about getting the exact piece of candy that he picked out in the store.  Rich is probably saying something like, “You’ll get what I give you”.  (don’t worry, he did get the right one eventually!)


All the candy sticks.  Caleb had his hair buzzed (by mommy) last Friday.  He’s got his baby face back.  I like to kiss those cheeks. 


Stuff to keep me busy in the van.  The book is about homesteading, the Country Living magazine is an issue from 1989, and the cup has Crackerbarrel coffee it.


Back at home, on our walk.  Jacob took these next two pictures.



Jacob, Grace, and Ethan couldn’t stay out of the pond.  On the way home Grace asked if today could be the first day they went swimming.  I was going to let her but Rich said no.  LOL


Our biggest boy and our littlest boy.  Jacob was helping Caleb along and found a ball for him in the bushes.


This is the last picture I took before I ran home because of the cold.  Caleb is sitting on a little bridge that a road-biker-man made so that he could get up into the woods to ride his bike on the trails.


Rich brought me home these roses last night.


I plan on planting some seeds.  Should I let the kids help?  The thought sort of scares me.  Maybe I’ll try to do it with one child at a time.  It’ll take 5 times as long, but will be much more controlled. 


My new camera!  I bought this because I need a little one
for our vacation next month.  I don’t want to carry Howard (my big camera is named Howard) around all over the place. . .he’s way too heavy, valuable, and cumbersome.

I love this little tiny Nikon!  And IT’S PURPLE!!!  Is that perfect for me, or what?


It’s about the size of a pack of cards!

DSC_8716 DSC_8717


This is an idea of a photo that I’ve been wanting to take for a few days.  After the children’s maple syrup field trip on Thursday we went to Walmart and I bought them each a pair of these awesome rubber boots. 



“If you want to feel rich,
just count all the things you have

that money can’t buy.”


Have a wonderful afternoon! 

0 thoughts on “today (so far)

  1. Oh my, you do remind me of myself back in the day when the house was full of littles. I can remember trying to explain it to my fix-it-husband…only to have him realize that is was just me…being overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of all the personalities bumping into one another…and the many hats it takes to raise a crew. There were the days when I just didn’t want to wear ANY hats! What used to really bug me was the well meaning person who would ask – always after a trying week – what I did with myself all day…you know…since I “didn’t work”. After I crammed my bug eyes back into my head, I answered as sweetly as I could. Short version. (Any person who asks that sort of question would never understand the long version)It sounds like the day so far has been refreshing. Glad you got to do some enjoyable things together.Sort of like recharging the batteries, yes?

  2. Shanda, through the last few posts I’ve sensed your tiredness, and with your day-to-day responsibilities, MINUS your husband (for the most part) this week, it certainly makes sense that you would feel that way! T flew home a couple of days before I did after Easter, and I experienced just a teeny taste of that void you mentioned, being without your “emotional regulator.” I wondered if the pregnancy magnified it for me, but even while surrounded by my family, I just felt lost without my hubby! It is so true that our husbands are a source of stability in our lives, in SO many ways.Well, I hope the rest of your weekend is restful – sounds like you were off to a nice start, going out for breakfast. And although I am from the South and unfamiliar with the timing of spring in these parts, I am sure the weather will warm up soon, things will be green and blooming outside, and your spirits will be lifted as well!

  3. you ran home because of the cold, and you were going to let your kids go swimming?!?  Your to funny…lol….Glad you had a nice outing, and your hubby back….sometimes just getting out and changing up the scenery a little can make a world of difference.  Hope you have a refreshing, blessed Sunday~

  4. You make me smile~! Coming to your site is like reading a good book…have you read any of the Mitford Series by Jan Karon? (
    If you have, then that’s what you daily notes are like….hmmm, maybe all these xanga pages will be a foundation for a homeschooling book series like “little house on the praire”

  5. Sounds like you are feeling better!  My husband is definitely my emotional regulator.  It is hard when he is gone.  Your day sounds very nice.  I like your new camera!  It is very cute!  The picture of the boots is great- you could write a story from that picture.  Happy reading!

  6. oops, pushed the submit button by accident.Anyways, you know how you fall in love with some characters in a book series and you want to keep coming back to know what’s happened to them…and then the author stops writng and how sad you feel?  Well your family is even better, all the joys and heartaches of life, watching them grow, reading your honest struggles tempered with delight and humor, and the sweet love between you and your husband.Thank you God for this family~ please keep them all under the shadow of Your wing

  7. I just love that shot of you and Rich behind the tree frond ~ that’s a keeper!  I hope you have a really great weekend and an even better week.  Love your camera.  How about taking a little trip this way and I’ll head that way and we’ll meet in the middle and have brunch or something? 

  8. Oh, I love your purple camera!  Glad you had a good day.  We went out for a little drive today to get away from the snow in our yard — we live around 1300-1500 ft. elevation and we seem to be the only ones in the area with snow!!!  I’m so ready for it to be gone!!  Have a blessed Lord’s Day!

  9. I’m glad you had a better day. We all have those once in awhile, no matter how many children we have. Yours just gets multiplied by five. It sounds like a lovely day you’ve had today. We’ve had a pretty lazy one because Ainsley has some sort of stomach bug. I did do some planting with her today… in those little peat things I saw in your picture. We did it while Lorelei was napping so it is much more manageable. One child at a time sounds like a good idea for me.

  10. Have some chocolate, that makes everything better.  I have those moments too Shanda!  I can only hold it together for so long sometimes and then it just overtakes me and I loose it emotionally.  My husband is my rock also.  I just love his presence!  He’s always so calm, he keeps me calm. 
    Love the new camera!  I know what you mean about lugging around the big Nikon.  But I love how it takes pictures!  I have never enjoyed taking pictures so much as I have with my big Nikon.  I take pictures all the time now!  I make my grandmother proud.  Her husband used to tell her he should buy stock in film because she took so many pictures.  But we all love to look back on all the memories she has captured.   

  11. I am sure you have been so tired and exhausted. You as a mom and wife do so much each and everyday. Your day together as a family looked wonderful. Breakfast at Cracker Barrel sounds scrumptious, especially on a cold morning. Love your new camera and I can’t wait to read some quotes from your new books!

  12. such a sweet post, shanda.  that book “the practice of the presence of God” by brother lawrence is my most favorite spiritual book ever… of all time!  my mother also uses it when she mentors young ladies in their 20’s and 30’s as she teaches them about cummunion with the Lord.  it is the most wonderful book!  so glad you guys had such a fun day.

    p.s.  i also bit the bullet earlier this year and bought a smaller camera too for my purse.  i love it and it is so handy and convenient.  you will love having the smaller camera!

  13. You are recording these wonderful memories of your family that will be even more valued as the years pass. Do you archive your blog? If not it would be a good idea to do so. Your site would make a delightful book, it is wonderful to read.
    I appreciate you for speaking out about the loud so called  music, I often do the same thing and always am successful in getting it turned off or down. After all isn’t the customer always right?
    I love the boot picture. You are very creative with your writing and your cameras!
    My hubby is gone throughout the week and although we’ve been married 44 years I still really miss him and never feel quite complete until he returns to our jolly little cottage. I recall clearly how it was when our 3 were little and how all the pressure and everything can seem overwhelming at time.
    Enjoy your weekend with your lovely family.

  14. @Lucy_or_Ethel – 
    @carolynwilliams – I took out the details about the books because there was one book (not the one you referred to, C) that I started to read and could not ever recommend to anyone.  So, I deleted the photo from my blog.  *Sigh*  I guess you can’t judge a book by a cover. . .even in a Christian bookstore!  Thanks for understanding, all!

  15. How can I not care about your family?  You share such wonderful pictures and stories of you all….i agree with my sis…you are a good read!  I too get somewhat overwhelmed…even now with only one left.  There is always so much to do.  I try to remember relationships and ministry are more important than stuff!  But God did make us women like to keep our nests in order…..probably for a reason or it would all get out of hand
    I love love love the cute picture of you and Rich behind the frond…too sweet.  I have been handing the camara off to people or trying to get pictures of my husband and I together.  Our 30th anniversary is coming end of May and I am realizing how many pics have one or the other of us in it but not together…..we are usually behind the camara!
    I would say do some of both with the seeds….there is something meditative and nourishing for us to do the planting….so nice for  you.  But of course it is such a wonderful experience for the kids to see the seeds sprout and come up that they have planted.  We have been talking about what we want to try in the garden this summer.  What didn’t work last (corn) and what did (tomatoes and cucumbers) and what we need to try more (squash , watermelon,beans).  Should be fun.
    I love boots!  Makes mud and water so doable   Lord bless you! Jenny

  16. I understand how you feel burned out.  It is really hard to keep up with everything as I have talked to you about in our messages.  I have such a desire to redecorate and spring clean, but I am trying to remember to FIRST complete the important things in my day.  I fail so often, but I think that is what has helped me to remember that I can only be a good mom and teacher to my children when I am fully depending on God.  It is really hard for me because I like to accomplish tasks on my own power but I really need God’s strength to be able to do all that I do with the right mind-set and a joyful heart and a good attitude. 
    I am glad that your weekend is better and more restful.  I hope you have a worshipful Sunday.  We will not be going to church (Isaac is sick with a bad cold, and we were in the ER with Lauren for 8 hours today-she has an abcess on her earlobe-pierced ears-and it got severely infected and they had to cut it open-everything is fine now, it was just a huge ordeal and took up most of our day)  Sincerely, Sherry

  17. Sounds like a wonderful family day.  What a busy week for you.  It is so hard without our husbands, thank you for the reminder that it is okay to “fall apart” sometimes.  We all do.  I love the picture of the two of you behind the tree, and the boots!  I had five sets of rainboots lined up outside our door just cuz it looked so cute, but had to bring them in as the sun was fading them. Woops. Groups of five make me smile.:)

  18. There are many times over the years with raising four chrildren and also having my hubby gone sometimes 15 hours a day working that i  felt overwhelm but i knew that there would come a day that they would grow up and i would miss those days, now with the last one soon to graduated from college i have  been thinking of  where has the years gone, so when you feel like your days are trying  which they will be at times always remember that this is some of the best years of your life, and that god will always be there for you as he was and still is for me. have a blessed weekend, and take some time for you.
                                                                         GOD BLESS

  19. Hello there!! Dropping in to say hello….And I remember feeling that way. I didn’t homeschool my children but with 8 children, babies, toddlers and the 8 & 9 year olds; it would get to be a bit much. I could hardly wait till my husband got home..THEN..I would have a weight lifted off of me. The children would behave much better and things would calm down. My belief and still is….my husband is the head of the house, he has an authority and all that comes in when he comes in the door. Theres more to explain but would take too much space here…lol. BUT…saying all that you are a wonderful mother, wife, woman, and I admire you. God Bless You!

  20. I love the rubber boots and the mom and dad kissing photo!  My winter (more like all year round) boots are rubber boots.  Just about everytime I put them on it reminds me of Grandpa and working on the farm with him.  Grandpa got me my first pair of adult rubber boots and he was so happy to get them for me.  I love you! Lish

  21. Love the boot shot, Shanda. It really sums up the day of your children, doesn’t it? Your new camera is adorable, I am thinking I need to buy a small pocket camera soon, My camera is on its last leg and until I can afford my D300 I think I will just get a coolpix. Glad you get to spend the weekend with your husband and children, enjoy.

  22. I love the quote you put at the end – there are so many of those “money-can’t-buy” things to be thankful for! And I laughed at the picture of you and your husband kissing behind the little branch – was that intentional or a really cute mistake? It turned out great! Just wondering, because you said your son took it… Hope you have a better week coming up!

  23. It is so hard when our men aren’t home isn’t it? I really struggle with that all well! I hope this next week is a bit calmer for you! I love these pictures by the way! So sweet of the kids…the ones of you and your husband…and I love that one of the rubber boots! I would love that one framed! Very neat picture!! Great for a mud room/entry area! I hope you have a wonderful week!!! :o)

  24. Yes the camera looks perfect for you, and it has gotten great reviews! I think you will be very happy with it.
    I am writing this on Monday I know that is your busy busy busy day, I hope you have survived it and that the rest of the week will be smooth.  Just think soon it will be warm and your days will be so different when you can all be out doors more often!
    That white coat is really cool I do not remember it, did you just get it?  It looks Gap-ish to me, is that where you got it.  I was looking at what everyone was wearing in the airport and decided that both white or red are really cool colors for coats.
    Rich is such a great guy taking you all out to breakfast!

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