Oh my, I am almost too busy to blog now that we are homeschooling again.  I am happy to say, though, that our new schedule, that I mentioned in my last post, is working great.  We are all eating breakfast together at 8, and school starts at 9 on the dot.  Unless we can’t find Grace.  Then it will start when she is found.  At 9:10.   Then, we all sit around the kitchen table and sing our hymn of the week (“Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” is this week’s hymn).  (I’m very thankful for our printer/copier…I copied out the hymn so that each child has their own copy.  David finally understands how to follow along the verses and stanzas.)

After our hymn, we do our history reading.  This morning I was reading along and then stopped to ask Caleb, “What is a drought, Caleb?”  He said, firmly and confidently, “It’s a FISH.  A BIG FISH.”  I was taken by surprise and almost began to laugh long and loud….but I just laughed a little (Caleb is five and does not like to be laughed at)..and explained that he was thinking of a TROUT.  A drought is a time of no rain, when the land gets very dry.

After a morning of school, we clear the table and set it for lunch.  We eat around 11 and after lunch the kids play and I put Seth down for his nap. This is our new morning routine and the time simply FLIES.  We get a lot done, but there is always a little more school to do in the afternoon.  There is one thing I will never give up and that is a QUIET TIME FOR ALL.  At this moment, all seven of my children are either sleeping (the 2 babies) or quietly playing (the rest of the children).  I absolutely need a little bit of down time for myself.  I’ll blog, or read, or nap, or sip coffee on the porch…. for a good solid hour and then everyone will be up again to finish school.

I’ve wanted to blog for days now because Rich and I took the kids on a walk this weekend and I took along my camera and got some neat pictures.  It is such a lovely time of year, with clear, bright skies and fresh cool air.  It is such a blessing to have a small state park not far from us.  We went to Dunkin’ Donuts for coffees and donuts and then went to the park.  I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!!!

Isn’t it amazing that Seth is this big now?  I love his curiousity, his crazy toddler antics (and, sometimes I don’t!!).  He sure enjoyed his big donut.  The sweatshirt used to be David’s…then Caleb’s…and now his. 


We put Sarah and Seth in the double stoller and started walking up the mountain.  It’s a small mountain, but pretty steep.  I could never push the stroller up, but Rich enjoyed the work-out.  Here is a picture of David and Caleb.  Caleb got up on the rock like a billy goat, and told me to take the picture.


Caleb took this picture of us, once we reached the top.  Rich and I sat and watched the kids explore.


It was pretty dangerous, I was afraid that Seth would fall, so he had to sit in the stroller.

He’s got glazed donut crumbs all over him, but those eyes!!! are gorgeous!!



Well, I got all soft and decided to let him out after all. 

And of course.

He fell.


The older kids went and collected these prickly things.  We wondered what sort of nut was hiding inside.  I say beech nut but I still haven’t looked it up.  They were as sharp as cactus!


Rich is going through a terrible time at work.  One of his friends committed suicide at the end of last month.  It’s been so hard for Rich as he was good friends with this man, and is now directly involved in the process of getting the office through the grieving and moving on……..in fact, today they have to clean out the man’s office, and this Saturday is the funeral, in North Carolina.  Rich is going to it with a couple of his co-workers.  Please pray for Rich, he is not sleeping well at night and I know it’s from stress.  Our family life is not suffering, thank the Lord, and he is getting a lot of comfort from me and the kids here at home.  I feel bad for him, but the Lord will get him through………it’s just hard to watch and wait.  I love my husband so much.



My husband, with our beautiful babies.  Mind you, Sarah needs hair.


One of the whole family~


These wonderful boys of mine…..they are the best of friends and it is a delight to behold.  We all laughed and talked about all sorts of things.

This picture is especially for my friend, Christie~

Well, I suppose I must be done here.  I’m going to make myself a cup of coffee and finish up the book I’ve been reading.  Maybe have some ice cream?  It’s QUIET TIME after all!  A wonderful interlude for the hard workin’ Mama……




0 thoughts on “

  1. Our oldest grandson committed suicide when he was 23. It is such a hard time for the family and friends. May God comfort your husband. My youngest grand-daughter is finally getting a little bit of hair….she’s 13 mo’s now.

  2. Praying for Rich…I know Rog went through a similar thing with a co-worker a few years ago.  (He was killed in a 4-wheeler accident)  So I know how hard it can be as the wife…and not quite knowing what to say since we personally didn’t know these co-workers.Love You all – and I love this weather too.  What a great hike to go on.  The Girls are still asking if we can come out to visit you again – I was lookint at staying in the Econolodge in Enfield.  Have a great afternoon!

  3. I love these pictures, and I also LOOOOVE this time of year, it’s the best.  I had to chuckle at your last comment about Sarah needing hair. 🙂  She’s so cute, I loved the bow you had on her on Sunday.  I will definitely pray for Rich, I’m sorry he has had to go through this loss, it must be very hard.  Hope you have a lovely afternoon. ❤

  4. Shanda, you and your blog are a precious gift from God!! My heart breaks for Rich … I’ll be praying for him through the coming weekend. May the two of you only grow closer through this season. Your pictures are lovely and inviting as usual, and I too love this time of year!! The temps here in eastern NC have still been in the 90’s during the daytime. But the mornings are starting to get a nice chill and I love it!! 🙂

  5. I just love all your posts! that little sweater…we have the exact same one and it lasts FOREVER!:):) Your walk looks so refreshing and I’m sure it was much needed for Rich too. walks have a way of clearing our head of worries for a time. Glad you are doing well and that schooling is going well too!

  6. Praying for Rich!  Glad your schedule is working out so well.  Schedules do make for an easier day in so many ways.  The picture of the red and green leaf with the purple flowers and verse is so beautiful.  You should print that out and frame it for somewhere in your house.  Blessings~Deborah

  7. Wow what a beautiful place to go for a walk and explore the beauty of God’s creation. Your photo’s are absolutely amazing. The fall colors are exploding! Our colors haven’t changed here but I’m sure it’s just around the corner. Lifting your husband in prayer as he goes through this time of loss. I just lost my aunt yesterday and have lost three other loved ones this year so I believe understand the pain he is going through. Praise God we have the Lord to comfort us in these hard seasons in life.I’m glad your new schedule is working for you, that in itself will makes things easier for you. Your time around the table together sounds wonderful! I chuckled at the part where you said you start at exactly 9am unless you can’t find grace! It takes women longer to get ready eh! LOL Well have a wonderful day and I look forward to more of your adventures!{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}

  8. I totally understand about being too busy and I have only 3 kids with just 2 of them doing school! Time just slips by faster now. I like the sound of your morning schedule! I’m glad it’s working for you too. We have to have pretty much our entire day scheduled out. It’s pretty flexible though. If that makes sense. We have schooling, I teach piano and Josh is also pastor, so we can’t function without major structure. I do enjoy my weekends without the schedule though!I am SO with you on the Quiet time! We do it too. I don’t care how old you are, you still need quiet time. Or, I do. :)I just love your pictures and I’ll be sure to pray for your husband and you as well. I think I would much rather go through something than watch my husband go through it.

  9. So glad to hear that your day went smoothly yesterday!  The pictures from your walk are beautiful- such a pretty time of year.  I am sorry to hear about what Rich is going through.  Must be so hard for him, and hard for you to know how to comfort him at this time.  Sarah is cute!  I am partial to bald babies.  She will have hair soon enough.  Hope you had that ice cream!

  10. those prickly things look like chestnuts we used to have a tree in the front yard you coulnt walk barefoot there and when it came time to rake leave you have too wear gloves but the squierlls love them i dont know how they get the nuts out tho

  11. Thank you, Thank you for the pictures! They were all wonderful. My kids were asking about you at the lunch table and asking when we would visit again. I think it was the cucumbers on the table that reminded them of your place and all the fun they have exploring around.

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed your pictures. I especially like the scenery where your husband is sitting on the rock. It’s so wonderful spending time together as a family. Praying for your husband as he goes through this rough time and for you that God will show you how to best encourage him.

  13. I feel like you, not a lot of time to blog it seems… I miss it too. 🙂 Hubby is here and we just go and go. 🙂 I am happy that the schedule is working out for you so well. Right now, we are kind of off our normal schedule and I miss it. I am so sorry to hear about Rich’s friend and I will be praying for Rich during this time. God will hold him close and give him comfort.

  14. Praying all day for Rich since I read this earlier. That picture with him looking out is so powerful and speaks the Lord’s grace. We have been busy with starting up school since back, and trying to make it all work and flow together. I only have my one guy, but big subjects, and a student that still struggles. Doing well overall.Your area has such distinct beautiful seasons. I just love to see the colors of Fall, and I see they are beginning. Lovely walk in the woods and lanes. That last one is beautiful in so many ways. All your kids have been growing!! They look wonderful.

  15. The photos are great! I stopped right away and prayed for Rich, and will continue to do so as the Lord reminds me. I can only imagine the burden! Goodness! I am so glad he knows the Burden Bearer! Fall is not so pretty here, and what colors we do have are just drippy and drab as we have had rain every day for the last two weeks. The sun is out shining weakly at the moment, so I may talk hubby into going for a walk with me later if it is still shining. Seth really is growing so fast! How old he he now? My grandson is nearly 18 months now. According to my daughter, his new “thing” is sticking his fingers down his throat until he gags and throws up! SIGH… I told his mommy she went through a stage of doing that, too! LOL! I guess they are just figuring out how things work, but it is kinda gross and requires several clothing changes. Did any of your children do that?

  16. @DanishDoll – I just enjoyed a laugh at your poor daughter’s expense.  LOL  No, I can’t say that I’ve ever had a toddler do that.  Seth’s new thing is dragging a chair to my keurig coffee maker and “making coffee”.  Seth is 19 months.  Thanks for praying for Rich. 

  17. Wow what a wonderful post love the pictures! I have a hunch Sarah will not have hair for a long time LOL! I love seeing pictures when you all get a chane to be together and spend time making wonderful memories. LOVE YA

  18. I am particularly partial to bald babies….the tops of their sweet heads and so kissable.  😉  So glad you have a new routine that helps you. With a brood as large as yours, it seems essential that you have a standard to follow, in order to preserve your sanity! And they need a sane mama most of all. Bless your husband’s heart…how sad to lose a friend and co-worker that way. How thankful we are for having the One who can see us through these sorts of difficulties which seem to defy human explanation or comfort.

  19. Thank you for sharing your lovely weekend! Will be praying for Rich and the rest of your family as you support him. I sure do miss the autumns up north. Down here it’s been in the 90’s during the day! Not very fall-ish at all. But our autumn will eventually come a little later. 🙂 Mom and Dad are visiting NY and PA this week and weekend, so I’m sure they will be enjoying the weather as well.

  20. i highly enjoy the idea of ice cream for Mama during quiet time. praying that Rich will be given wisdom to deal with the loss of this man in his own life and in helping the rest of the team to deal with the sorrow and mourning. I also pray for safety as they journey to the funeral. I am glad that Rich has you and his lovely little ones to come home to at the end of the day and revels in time spent together! what a blessing!love you Shanda.

  21. I love your whole family picture! and the one of your husband and two babies – adorable babies yes! I like the no hair 🙂 my oldest was the only one who was no hair like that and we always thought it was so cute. Now he has the thickest of them all.I always enjoy that you get fall long before we do – – I imagine the leaves here are turning too and the weather is cooling, but really all we’ve had is lots of rain and more bugs~have a great week! oh, and I meant to say too – your oldest is getting rather tall there eh?

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