Happy First Birthday!

Caleb waiting for breakfast this morning. . . . .

Rich and I giving our birthday boy a big smooch.

At our house, at the first birthday, the child gets to play with their cake.

Caleb was furious to have his cake taken from him.  Then, Daddy butchered it!

Would you like a piece of cake?  It’s sitting pretty in a “peacock” fiesta dessert bowl.

With just a little help, Caleb opened his gift.  Then, we all had fun watching it spin!

We have this moment
to hold in our hands
and to touch
as it slips through our fingers like sand.
Yesterday’s gone
and tomorrow may never come
but we have this moment

Busy. . . . .

We were up late last night.  We took the kids to see fireworks  It was fun and it was beautiful.  Caleb was especially cute.  His little eyes would blink-blink at the bright lights and then he would point up at them.  The boys watched silently, with a comment or a cheer now and then.  Grace was another story, she was bounces, giggles, laughter, chitter-chatter, and excitement (“that’s what little girls are made of”).
Did you ever notice that when you think, “oh, the kids are so tired, they’ll sleep SO good tonight”, it doesn’t happen?  David woke up with a bad dream at 4:00am.  Rich and I had a very hard time getting back to sleep.
We were up for the day before 8, faced with the challenge of cleaning the house for online pictures (to sell the house).  Oh, was that hard.  I ALMOST thought about crying when the real estate agent was walking down the driveway and I checked the boys room to see a “pig pen”.  But, thankfully, it all came together and our agent was nothing but praise for us, “I can’t believe you have 5 children in this house, you would never know it”.  Apparently she’s seen a few houses in her day that were less than clean. 
That’s over now and the papers are signed.  The house is officially on the market and I have to be ready with short notice for people to come see it.  I have to be out of the house on Wednesday from 9 to 3 for the agents to all come see it.
Rich had a softball game today and we just got back and fed the kids and put them to bed.

Now we’re going to try to get take out and have a nice late dinner together.


Writing Lesson and Thoughts. . . . . .

Writing Lesson:

I read this in an old Reader’s Digest and thought it was funny:

How to Write Good

Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
No sentence fragments.
It behooves us to avoid archaisms.
Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
Don’t use no double negetives.
If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times:  Resist hyperbole.
Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Writing carefully, dangling participles should not be used.
Kill all exclamation points!!!
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
Take the bull by the hand, and don’t mix metaphors.
Don’t verb nouns.
Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
Las but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

Okay, maybe this is not interesting to some of you, but I got a chuckle out of it.

and Thoughts. . . . . . .

I spent some time today w/Karen.  It was nice to visit with a friend.  We talked a little bit about eating organically.  Do any of you have any suggestions or comments about healthy food choices?  Recipes?  I made a recipe using bulger (whole grain wheat) last week and it was good.  It was basically a pilaf, you saute mushrooms and green onions in some butter, add the bulger and some water, cover it and bake it in the oven.  It had a nice, nutty, earthy taste to it.
I feel a pull to slow down and get back to a basic lifestyle.  I want to focus on my relationship with the Lord, family and friends, to love my neighbors and my church family, to enjoy God’s creation, to eat and drink in a more healthy way, to re-discover the meanings of holidays, to teach my children how to be creative without plugging something in or replacing batteries.  I love to read, I love quiet, and I love the simple things in life. 

My Five . . . .

For those of you who don’t know. . . . .(I love making new friends in blog-land!). . . .my husband and I have 5 little ones.  Jacob is our oldest and he is 9.  Then comes Ethan, who is 8.  They are 14 months apart.  Grace is our only girl and she is 6.  David is 3.  Our “caboose” is Caleb and he will be one on Sunday.

I was emailing with a dear friend of mine yesterday who is expecting her 4th child.  She was out with her kids recently and had someone make a remark to her about “having another?!?”  I had a similar experience at the grocery store.  The lady who was ringing my groceries up said to me (I had all the kids w/me), “I can’t believe you have this many kids and you’re STILL SMILING!”. . . . .AHHHHHHHH, “of course I’m still smiling”, said I, “I have even more reasons to smile now”.

How often we experience wrong ideas about children.  Remember, children are a blessing from God!  Whatever the number we end up with, they’re all a blessing!  Small family, large family, whatever!  We need to have positive attitudes!   Lets be encouraging to other families and other mothers that we see when we’re out and about! 

And, more importantly, lets, as mothers, remember to ENJOY our mothering days!  Walk around with a smile on your face (make those people wonder what’s wrong with you, LOL), enjoy your kids, they are GIFTS to be thankful for!


A few pictures:

The Family Medical Ward experienced an overflow of volume the other day.  The doctor almost ran out of supplies (toilet paper and scotch tape).  Even the kittens had injuries that needed attention.  Look at Grace with her stump of a hand.  Look how she’s holding up that poor kitten’s back paw.  The baby did NOT appreciate being included and was very frustrated trying to get the tape off his hand.

Our busy yard:

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine!
Proverbs 17:22a

Early naps Backfired


Rich and I standing out in front of our house.  Jacob (age 9) took the picture yesterday morning.  Do you see my scarlet fiesta mug?


My husband went to work today after 12 days at home.  He had vacation from work and we decided to stay home instead of going away.  It was so nice to just be together.  We met in High School and we’ve been together for 13 years and married for almost 11.  I miss him today, I can’t tell you the good it did us to simply be home enjoying our family.

I titled this post “early naps backfired” because I put the older kids to bed just in time for Caleb to wake up from his nap.  How many times does this happen?  It doesn’t even surprise me anymore.  I was hoping for at least a half an hour rest because I am painfully tired today.  I’m sure a lot of us are less energetic because of yesterday’s festivities!

Across the road there is a small park and the children discovered ripe blackberries.  They picked enough this morning so that we could bake a batch of muffins. 


Most folks are about as happy
as they make up their minds to be.
~Abraham Lincoln

Spending time with Grace

The boys are with my husband and Grace and I are home alone with Caleb.  We are under strict orders not to go shopping.  No need to worry, I am not about to spend precious quality time in a mall!  However, we did go to Barnes and Nobles.  Before we went, we enjoyed a cup of tea.

“I sat on a back porch with my mother and daughter one humid southern evening last summer and realized that just one breath, one heartbeat ago, I was in my daughter’s place, sitting with my own mother and grandmother in the damp and fragrant heat.  In yet just another breath, another heartbeat, I realized as well, I would be in my mother’s place, rocking with my own daughter and granddaughter.  How quickly time passes. How quickly the chance to practice open-hearted parenting slips through our hands.  How precious this brief time we are given with our children truly is.                Ask yourself:  “If I were to go through one typical day with my children with this tender, bittersweet awareness of the fleetness and fragility of time in my heart, how would it change my life as a parent?”               Written by Melissa West

Flood Damage in NY

This is a picture that my brother, David, sent me this morning.  This is a familiar highway for Rich and me. . . . .it is where we used to live and travel all the time.  This is actually one exit up from Sidney, where my brother and his wife live.  (Nathan and Melissa)

David said that 2 trucks drove right off into the crack and the drivers were lost. 

Rich and I can hardly imagine this happening. 

David is flooded from his apartment, but thankfully everyone is safe in our families.