“time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life”


It’s a peaceful morning inside and out.  The sky is overcast and a fine, almost imperceptible mist of glittery snow is falling.  Wild birds are busy helping themselves to the feeder on the porch and a cat inside is watching them through the window.  The dog is snoring and twitching next to me.  I’m sitting in the corner of the couch with my laptop, in my pajamas and red robe, warm and cozy under a vintage quilt.  The TV is on for company, but muted.

This week has been week of lots of children and lots of sickness.  I’ve been understandably distracted and haven’t been able to blog much, but my camera has still been busy as I all-the-time see things that I want to remember.  My darlings, my life, my home, my heart.


I had Sarah on my lap one morning and it felt so good to hold her.  She’s a big girl now, a joy and a blessing to me and everyone else in the family, although her brothers wouldn’t agree at first.


It was son Seth that was sick the longest.  Last Thursday the school nurse called me to come and get him.  He explained to me that his “legs felt wobbly and he felt tired”.  I’m afraid to say that sometimes my perfect children pretend to be sick in order to be home with their mother, so I didn’t wholeheartedly believe him until we came home and he went to bed and fell sound asleep.  Then I believed.  Seth doesn’t sleep during the day unless he’s sick.

He ended up being sick for six days with a fever.  It wasn’t his stomach although he didn’t have much of an appetite and lost a few pounds.  His main complaint was his head and he woke up every night with feverish nightmares.  Rich was away Saturday night and Seth came to my room so many times that I finally said “Get in bed with me” and when he woke up for real that morning he said, “How did I get here?”

We survived with the help of Jesus, cats, the couch, warm blankets, LOTS of snuggles, Tylenol, water bottles, ginger ale, and Dude Perfect.

He missed wrestling in States, which was disappointing as I’m sure he would have done very well.

Caleb was also sick and also missed States, but he wasn’t as sick and it didn’t him as long to recover.  He missed a couple of days of school and still has a cough, though, while Seth didn’t get any respiratory symptoms.





He had his arms around me.  How could I ever be sad or lonely with such love in my life?

Even with sickies in the house, everyone has to eat, so I did get a few photos from the kitchen this week as we had Michael here for a few days, and Tommy, a friend from school, who has been staying with us while his mom was in the hospital after back surgery.   Tommy fit right into our family effortlessly and it’s been a joy to have him here and seeing him and the kids get along so well.

ALSO Jacob and Ethan have been home all week from college!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s been wonderful cooking for 10 again.  LOL  But see the photo with Michael?  He made dinner one night and it was great.  Every noodle was consumed by a hungry family.  On another night I roasted three pork tenderloins, made a big pan of homemade scallopped potatoes, and a pot of mixed veggies.  Last night was a big pot of chili and the night before was chicken and rice.  We had homemade brownies with ice cream for dessert.  Lots of chocolate milk in the fridge and egg sandwiches for snacks.


A favorite moment of the week was on Wednesday when Seth finally made it back to school (in tears) and I sat on the couch with Ethan in a silent room.  No TV, no talking, just sitting together in perfect peace with the dog and a cat and blankets.


I got up once to make us hot chocolate.  (it’s been so cold outside!)

Wonderful Hot Chocolate

2 T. sugar
1/3 cup hot water
1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla (just realized I forgot to put it in!)
Mix cocoa, sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir constantly until mixture boils.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Stir in milk until warm but do not boil.  Remove from heat and add vanilla unless you forget like I did which is fine you won’t miss it.

Give a big mug to your son and keep one for yourself and all your exhaustion (from being a mom-nurse) will wash away.


Their little acts of service melt my heart!!!


I was frying bacon when I got a hug from behind!!  From a small boy!



AND THEN JACOB GOT SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He came down the stomach bug and was sick for a few days, sleeping nonstop.  I was thankful to have him home so I could take care of him.  He’s all better now, thankfully.


busy kitchen, full tummies, full hearts.

They were talking about school and their teachers and laughing.  I sat across the room and listened with a smile.


Sarah Joy in the morning.  First she came, then the dog, then the cat.


CAT NIP!!!!!





Rich called me a cat lady and I was fine with that.  🙂


A rare photo of Caleb!!  (he doesn’t like me taking his photo, so I always have to ask and get approval)


Yesterday…….oh how wonderful…..finally got out of the house on a bright sunny day.  The boys and I went to Trader Joes and the mall.  Ethan got some new Converse sneakers and Jacob got a Stephen King book.  We sat for a while drinking our Starbucks.  I looked at magazines while they went on their phones.  Now and then they would show each other things and laugh (which I loved).

My Ethan Gregory.


I turned around quick to snap a completely unstaged photo, my favorite kinds.  It was wonderful to spend time with my two oldest children who are now 22 and almost-21 (in five days).



I keep all my stuff out on the little table that I have in the livingroom and I can’t tell you how relaxing it is to sit down and add a few quotes or do some gluing of photos while the children are busy around me or watching a movie.  I have a stack of these “commonplace books” now, with the intention of giving them to my kids and grandkids someday, if they want them.



Laura Ingalls page





On the left is wrapping paper from the birthday gifts Joanna gave me, along with printed photos, and on the right is ribbon and the homemade envelope and card my Mom gave me on my birthday.  I treasure everything.


“….a work of beauty and grace upon the heart of the giver……”



….ordinary life….



she was beautiful.

Well, that gets us all caught up here in blog-land.  Today is Friday and I hope that your weekend is full of everything that fills your soul.

You are loved.





“Mom, you’re the best mom in the world.” says Caleb

“I would have to agree with you,” I tease with a hug.

“You really are the best Mom,” says Seth.

“If you were the worse Mom ever, I would be crying right now.” he further explains.



Reason number one (why I haven’t been blogging):


Wrestling is coming to a close for the season which means all the meets are even more important than usual.  On Friday I drove to the HS meet to watch my husband’s team.

To watch my husband.

The gym was absolutely packed to the gills with people.  Seth, Sarah, and Caleb ran off to the cafeteria to play with other random children and to say hi to the goat which one of the coaches brings to the all meets in a carrier.  Seth borrowed my phone to take a video of the goat.  I sat by Grace and Angelina and chatted with my wrestling mom friends.  All our chats have to be done with yelling voices, so we can hear each other over the din.


Cody was wrestling in this photo.  We had already been in the gym for several hours.  He was the only one on the team to make states, which will be held this weekend.  Rich and Jacob are in the far corner, coaching him.


After Cody had wrestled I decided to head out and go home.  It was after 8 and the drive was 40 minutes.  The kids were getting tired.  And I was getting tired.

We walked out the door and behind the school through the snow to get to my car, which I had parked far away because there was no more room in the main lot.

It was magical to be outside at night with only the lights of the school shining for us.


(not sure what seth is doing, eating snow?)


She thought it was super stylish to wear one of her black socks pulled up on the outside of her pants.


REASON NUMBER 2:  The Stomach Bug

The strange thing is, by the time we got home she was complaining that she felt sick.  I tucked them all into bed and I went promptly to sleep.  The next morning Rich told me, “Sarah’s sick.  She threw up all over her bed and floor.  I gave her a bath last night at 11.”

Grace had helped him clean up the mess and inside I was singing praises that I missed out on the vomit clean up for once in my life.

REASON NUMBER THREE:  Trip to Rhode Island


On Sunday we went to watch the last meet of Ethan’s college season.  He wrestled twice.  The first time was against the number one guy and he was pinned within the first minute of the match.  The second time was a loss by only 2 points.  11-8.  He has improved amazingly over the last few months.  We stayed to watch the whole entire meet so we could bring him home with us afterwards.

REASON number 4:  bird watching, house cleaning, cooking, too much distraction all around me, too tired, writers block, not taking pictures as I usually do and a general feeling of “who cares” anyway.


But all good things.  How thankful I am to be able to be home with the children.  They had Monday and Tuesday off from school for Presidents’ day and they were free and happy.  We still have snow on the ground but the air was mild and sweet so they spent lots of time outside.


sweatshirts, boots, hats, and SHORTS = New England in the early spring.



At the end of the day there was an epic sword fight.

And this morning?  They are back to school, all but David, who now has the stomach bug.

Ethan is away for a day of skiing with his girlfriend and her family.


Put your hope in the Lord, travel steadily along his path.  Psalm 37

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.  Psalm 37

The winds of grace blow all the time.  All we need to do is set our sails.  Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.  CS Lewis

Trust in the Lord and do good.  Psalm 37


dreaming of…..

cleaning and decorating the porch for springtime


visiting with Joanna this weekend

going home to help make maple syrup

orchids about to bloom

a slow cooked chicken for dinner tonight, and mashed potatoes


happy wednesday, friends
i love you ❤





another sarah story


I woke from a deep sleep and opened my eyes in a pitch dark room.

“That was NOT knocking on my door I just heard,” I reassured my very sleepy self and turned over to drift….away…..

The door opened slowly.

“Yes?” I said, politely. (I’ve trained myself through the years not to shriek)

“My stomach hurts!” said Sarah’s small voice.

“Are you hungry?”

“I….think so!” she said, uncertainly.

I didn’t realize at the time that she was looking for a different answer and simply wanted to sleep on the couch.  But yesterday was another procedure day and she had to miss meals for it and I automatically thought that a stomach ache would make logical sense from lack of food.

It was 5:15 in the morning and soon she was munching on cereal but offered up this piece of information, “Usually when my stomach hurts you say go and sleep on the couch…..”


When the cereal was gone she said, “It still hurts.”

I knew just what to say this time.  “Let’s go get you on the couch.”

She smiled.

I asked Rich why she didn’t just get on the couch in the first place rather than wake me up.

“She’s not that type of girl.  She needed to get your okay first.”


This is a photo she asked me to take of the Lego man at the hospital.  We were there on Wednesday to get her stent removed.  Unfortunately, she was very anxious about it and when it came time she started passionately crying.  The doctor asked us to come back the next day so she could be sedated.  At a children’s hospital every member of the staff knows the very best way to treat their small and vulnerable patients.  They explained that because Sarah was so young, it was important for us to avoid any procedure that would cause any lasting fears or trauma.  Even something as simple/quick as a stent removal needs to be done thoughtfully and with Sarah’s anxiety reduced as much as possible.

She liked the lego man because he was holding a picture of someone she learned about in school.  “It’s a ferret?  I mean, a fairy?  And if you catch him he will take you to the end of a rainbow for a pot of gold.”  This is what she was in the process of explaining when I took the picture.


It was 73 degrees that afternoon and we went to the woods and she played with her animals while I leaned against a solid, friendly pine tree and read a book.


A flock of chickens came walking out of the woods.

“Who’s chickens are those?” she asked, confused because they seemed to have journeyed from far away.

“Ours!” I answered.


She sat next to me and ate an orange and made me shoo away the hens if they came too near.  Which they did, because they wanted oranges, too.  We threw little bits of peel and laughed when a hen ran to pick it up and then drop it back down again, only to have another hen do the same thing because chickens don’t eat the peels either.


We were directed to not give her food after midnight and to only give her jello, ice pops, gatorade, apple juice, or water up until 11:30.  To take our mind off food we went shopping.  I don’t take her shopping too often because she absolutely LOVES it.  She carefully looks at everything in the store and makes honest, careful decisions about what to buy.  I had to remind her yesterday that there are limits and she, after all, has no job.

She picked out the pink sneakers that have lights from Target, and the sparkly pink braid from Justice.


We went back to the hospital at 2:30.  The sedation entailed two syringes of clear fluid inserted into each nostril at the same time, with four of us holding her in position.  She sat in my lap as she cried and sniffled and fidgeted with disgust, holding a towel over her nose and mouth to catch any drips.  A VERY DREADFUL way to take medicine.  But soon it did the trick and she was relaxed and smiling.  The stent was removed in less than five seconds and the two of us were absolutely  exhausted by the whole ordeal.  A whole lot of fuss for a 4 second stent removal.  UGH.

After we observed her and gave her a slushy I left her with the nurse and went on my way to the parking garage-6th floor-to get the vehicle and drive it to the hospital entrance where Sarah arrived in a wheelchair.  She was confused as to why we wouldn’t let her walk, “Don’t my legs work?  Can’t I walk?”  “Yes, you’re just a little wobbly right now.” “No, I’m not!”

They said the medicine would make her forget the procedure but I keep waiting for her to forget and she hasn’t.  The main purpose of the sedation was to make it less traumatic and it certainly did do that, she was calm and cheerful for the whole rest of the day.  We drove through rush hour traffic to the nearest Wendy’s (she always craves a #9 after a doctor’s appointment–which is a grilled chicken sandwich *no fries*)  and I got a big waffle cone with strawberry topping from across the road at Sonic.  It did it’s part to soothe my nerves.


After we came home she was full of adrenaline and we had to make her stay somewhat quiet.  However, this morning she’s all tuckered out.  The excitement finally caught up to her.  We look forward to a nice day together.  (Right now she’s watching Gordimer Gibbons).



kidney stone adventures, con’t

I’ve thought this a thousand times since yesterday but I took Sarah to her second procedure by myself because Rich was on a business trip.   I’ve thought it frequently…..not because I’m resentful of the fact but because I’m proud of it.  If you only knew the way I was when I was first married, in my early twenties I was still having heart palpitations and driving with my hands whitely clutched to the steering wheel as I drove on the highway, for goodness sakes.  In my mind, highway driving was a near death experience.  Yes, if you only knew how I was from childhood.  My mother told me that people didn’t think I could talk when I was so very small, because I couldn’t bring myself to answer their friendly questions.  I would rather die than get up in front of a crowd and speak.  If I’ve done anything extra brave, its because I was taken over by a power greater than I, namely, love –for music, producing solos, for babies, producing many doctor’s visits and going through child birth seven times, for God– in leading Bible study one year, for travel–in boarding an airplane, etc (that’s about all the brave stuff I have done).  LOL  Perhaps this affliction is more common then I believe (am I a freak?), but the truth remains– I have lived life nervously but I.have.lived.it.regardless!  Amen.  I would be a timid mouse in an underground hole if I didn’t have a family to bring me out into the world.

Sarah had robotic surgery in January to remove a bucket-load of kidney stones.  At that time she was given an internal stent.  So this next procedure was using a scope to look in the kidney to make sure everything was indeed cleaned out and to take the old stent out.  It was scheduled to last about 2 hours.  (last time was 8 hours)

So yesterday when the two of us left home we went to Barnes and Noble.  Sarah didn’t have to be to the hospital until 11:30 so I wanted to pass some time doing something fun.  She picked out a shopkins keychain and I bought two Harry Potter books (3 and 4).  Then we went to the children’s play area in the mall so she could play.  She soon became tired so we walked down the hall and back before getting back into the car.  We made it back to the highway and into the city.  I found the parking garage and got the car parked up on the 6th floor.  It was freezing cold, as usual, and we shivered our way to the lobby to take the elevator down to ground level.  We crossed the street into the hospital…Sarah, myself, and my big brown bag full of stuff we needed.  We checked in and received our identification stickers and made our way to 4G for surgery registration.

A lady took us in her little office to check us in.  Then, we waited for a few minutes in waiting room before another lady took us down a floor to triage where the patients get prepped for their surgery.  Sarah used the bathroom before we put her adorable hospital pajamas on.  I forgot to mention that she had a bath at home before we left and I combed her hair back and braided it.  She looked small and sweet, like a squeaky clean piglet.  Since we had surgical experience, we were not as nervous as the first time.  She asked for an iPad and the nurse got her one that had an Elmo case on it.  Sarah promptly found a Lego game to play and I read Harry Potter #2 and was interrupted many times by friendly nurses and doctors, asking many questions which I answered, calling Jacob one time so that I could get the exact name of the antibiotic that Sarah was taking daily.  Jacob was all stressed out because he couldn’t find his special cord that he needed to print his paper.  He wanted to tell me all about it which made me laugh because in his mind it was much more important than having a child in the O.R.?  He didn’t think of it that way, I’m sure.  I love him so much….and he was helpful to the extreme yesterday as he watched the kids after school (and he did get the paper printed so it all worked out).

One cute thing was that Sarah rated her hunger pains as a 6 on the pain scale (10 being the worse).  Poor thing!

Well, after over an hour of waiting for surgery, it was finally time.  The hospital has small motor cars for the kids to drive down the halls to the O.R. if they wish. But Sarah became sad and decided at the last moment NOT to drive.  The two of us decided it would be nicer if Mama carried her so I did, wearing yellow scrubs, and brushed the little tears off her face.  She was quietly upset…no shaking or talking…just silent tears.  I took her in the room where there were about 7 or 8 people, I think there were two of everybody.  Two doctors, two nurses, two anesthesiologists, etc.  Sarah sat cross legged and facing me as they put the mask on her and encouraged her to breathe deeply and make the balloon close and open.  There were numbers on the screen and they cheered her on to see if she could beat the previous record of that day which was in the 600’s.  She promptly got 724 and started to melt in my arms.  Down she went, gently onto the bed sound asleep.   Meanwhile, I felt like I was suffocating with the surgical mask over my nose and mouth.  I pulled it down and kissed her cheek and left.  I was a little sad but felt mostly like “okay, lets get this over with”……plus I was starving.

The nice male nurse walked me back to my stuff and said that Sarah was exceptional because usually when kids get nervous and cry like that on their way to the room, they end up having a complete breakdown once they are in there and fight the mask and everything.  Nothing wrong with that of course…and I did see the look of panic that flickered in Exceptional Sarah’s eyes as she made the choice to breath and not fight.

They put our coats and Sarah’s bag in storage and I took my purse to the cafeteria and got a bowl of salad and a package of fig newtons.  I brought my food back to the waiting room and the quiet room section was free of people so I went right in there and set up my Kindle, put in ear buds, and watched two TV shows which I had downloaded at home that morning.  I ate my salad, drank some coffee, and texted with Mom and Dad, Rich, Colleen, and Hannah.  I updated FB and was cheered by all the instant encouragement there.

After a while, a hospital worker updated me that the Doctor was “removing stones”.  This information caused me distress as I imagined that her kidney had more stones in it then we had previously believed.  I braced myself for a long wait as Hannah encouraged me to replace every worry with a truth from God.  I had just opened a magazine when in walked the doctor telling me they were through and that Sarah was doing great!

I was so surprised and grateful.  I followed him to a small conference room and he went over all they had done.  He said it took longer then they originally thought–not because of stones–but because he had put dye in her system to see how her urology system flowed and he believes he may have found the area that could be a partial blockage.  She will need further tests but he had not not ever seen a child with as much stone burden as she had when he first saw her back in October so he tends to believe there must be some abnormality somewhere that CAN BE FIXED when and if we figure it out….there is even a chance she could outgrow the problem.  In the meantime, her right kidney (which is the one causing all these problems) is swollen which to me has been the freakiest bit of information so I asked him several times if that was okay and would she be okay.  To make a long story short, he said her kidney is like a stretched out balloon at this point and now that the stones are out it could and should heal.  He said she should have further testing to see if her stone making condition is metabolic but I said she already did that (with another doctor) and there was nothing abnormal except citrate levels so he said that was very good.  He said we should do another 24 hour urine collection test at some point.  He said we are just letting her heal and recover now but there are tests to be done in the future to check for a blockage or a reflux abnormality.  If they do find something she will need more surgery.

She goes back on Wednesday to get her stent pulled out, which is now attached to a long thread-like string taped to her leg.  This is a blessing because if he had put in the other kind of stent she would have had to go to the O.R. again.

He walked me to Sarah in recovery and she was sitting up with two nurses leaning close to her.   She was groggy, pale, shaking slightly, and crying.  She had red circles under her poor little eyes and as I got close I smelled that smell of the gas (or whatever it is) that they use to put her to sleep.  Ugh.  They were giving her Morphine which helped settle her down and she dozed as I talked with the nice nurse and called the pharmacy to make sure they had the prescriptions I needed to fill.

We left after an hour.  I went first to go get the car and they wheeled her out in a wheelchair.  Off we went through rush hour traffic (white knuckles? not too bad).  I finally made it to the entrance of the highway for the first time like ever, without making wrong turns and getting lost (even with the map on my phone, lol).  CVS was crazy busy, Sarah peed her pants in the car but thankfully I had extra clothes and helped her change as I was in the line to the drive through pharmacy window.  Sarah spent most of the trip home on my iPhone watching a movie.  They said it would take a half hour for the medicine to be ready so we went to Wendy’s drive through.  She wanted a chicken sandwich.  I did have to carry her inside to use the bathroom again but she was able to slowly walk back herself, holding my hand.

After we got the medicine (18 dollars for bladder spasm medicine, pain meds, and antibiotic) we headed home.  My head felt as if it was going to explode.  It was about 7 or so when we arrived and all the other kids were home.  Before I had even sat down, Rich pulled in the driveway.  I was utterly relieved, boy did that hug feel good and Rich confirmed what I had been thinking—that I had done a great job taking care of Srarh.

Sarah screamed and moaned the first few times she went potty at home.  Grace was upset and spent a bit of time with her and I gave her a good dose of the narcotic pain medicine they gave us which helped tremendously.  I thought Sarah was amazing.  While she was in the midst of pain she said, “I wish I was somebody else right now.”  To articulate this was smart and completely understandable, I thought. She got through the night just fine without me, which amazed us as well.  I saw her at 6 when she came in to ask if she could turn on a show.

She has a slight addiction to ginger ale at the moment.  🙂  She said it tastes just soooo good.

She’s cheerful today.  She happily did a little painting with Jacob which was precious to see.  She had the tape on her arm from the nurse bandaging her after pulling out the IV and she said it bothered her all night.  I promptly took it off which she didn’t appreciate but at least it was gone, leaving behind just a small bruise from the needle and red tape burns.  She still has the white circle chest stickers on and after what I did with the last bandage she won’t let me near them.  She managed to get one off herself after a bath.

She hasn’t needed any pain medicine today!

That’s about it for kidney stone news.  This has been quite an adventure.  🙂  But we aren’t complaining because we believe this is a childhood issue for her and won’t be something that will effect the quality of her entire life…so very thankful for that.  Time will tell.  We have today and it’s been a lovely one of relaxing and snuggles and also truffles with my girlie.  Right now she’s bored and can’t wait for the boys to get home (mean mommy said no more TV).  She loves her lamb from Dad, too.

Speaking of her Dad…Rich and I have got to get out tonight and get prepared for tomorrow, which is Ethan’s 18th birthday and he’s having a bunch of friends over.


at barnes and noble


play scape


in the bathroom…she was excited to see a picture of Snoopy!


playing the iPad provided by hospital







back home! Rich gave Sarah gifts–nail polish and a stuffed Lamb.
Sarah was busy eating Pringles.


we had a long day but we were glad to be home


painting with Jacob



she added a cardinal because we saw one out the window as she was painting


me and my little girl ❤

being a mama



“the way the ice melted (down the middle)”

The beautiful spring came;
and when nature resumes her loveliness,
the human soul is apt to revive also.
Harriet Ann Jacobs

April hath put
a spirit of youth
in everything.
William Shakespeare



“Grace and David climbing a tree”

Spring’s greatest joy
beyond a doubt
is when it brings
the children out.
Edgar Guest


“going on an adventure”


“looking for the fish”

I’ve been a stay at home mom for 17 years and here in the Northeast, the arrival of blessed spring time is always whole heartedly welcomed by myself and the children.  It’s been a cold spring so far this year but little by little we are spending more time outdoors.  It is almost impossible to keep socks and shoes on the children, and jackets, too.  They are so full of energy and joy in being outside again.  They love the ponds, the stream.  The dog likes to scratch rocks out of the edge of the pond and run off with them.  We haven’t seen a turtle yet, but we’ve seen fish and some bullfrog tadpoles that woke up from their winter sleep.  We are starting to hear the spring peepers and frogs in the distance, too.

As for myself, I am feeling content, even if a little frazzled.  I have no anxiety, just the feeling of needing to take one section of a day at a time.  Ethan has been sick over the weekend and through this week, with *either* bronchitis or pneumonia, we are not exactly sure which.  I took him to a walk in clinic on Sunday and he was put on antibiotics, but as of this morning he was not perking up like he should so I took him to his own pediatrician for more advice.  Good ol’ Doctor P helped him out and reaffirmed my instincts that he wasn’t shaking the illness like he should.  He sent us home with things for breathing treatments and a list of things to do for him like; motrin (for a sore back), vicks (for the cough), probiotics (to use with the antibiotics), lots of fluids (soup and gatorade), saline (for his sinuses), and of course plenty of tissues and motherly TLC.  I have the couch made up with a clean sheet and blankets for him to lay on, and a nice clean pillowcase for his pillow.  He sleeps and rests.  Right now he is watching Duck Dynasty.  I hope and pray he feels better soon, he’s been pretty low for about 2 weeks, but like his Dad does, he has been trying to tough it out, only to have his body crash “enough is enough”.  He won’t be able to go back to school this week, doctor’s orders.

It is sort of fun to have someone to fuss over.  🙂

Every afternoon I have Jacob to pick up from track practice at 4:30 and Grace to pick up from music at 6:30.  David and Caleb also have little league practices, too.

A word of advice for (oftentimes distracted) moms of many:  don’t forget to nurture your children.  I feel bad because Ethan has been complaining of a backache for 2 days and I never even touched his back or looked at it…..at the doctor’s office the doc had me feel his muscles….on one side of his spine the muscles were relaxed and normal, on the other side (lower back) his poor muscles were so tight, it was completely obvious!  If only I had done this simple thing at home, I could have helped him much sooner with a massage.  Just because I have seven children doesn’t mean I can skimp on attention and nurturing each and every one of them.  I have a responsibility to care for them all, not “over the top” spoiling, but simple, practical, loving care and attention.  THEY didn’t ask to be born into a big family, it was my choice, and the sacrifice of time and energy is something I MUST give to them as they grow……..this is something I have been convicted of.  A mom MUST sacrifice and do her best to take care of her children …. and the more children she has the more time it will take.   There is so much satisfaction in doing our very best with our families, caring for them.

I go from one thing to another, yes, but nothing is more important than the children (and husband, too, of course).  The cooking and cleaning can wait.  Today for lunch I gave Seth and Sarah a piece of bread with peanut butter and a glass of milk.  Simplify when in times of sickness or trial.  Give up a clean house, give up the more complex meals, in order to redeem the time for the child who needs extra care.   And even on “normal days” a family of seven children still needs a lot of time to be invested in each child; checking on them, talking to them, clipping the nails, checking the ears, going over clothes to be sure they are fit to be worn to school, NURTURE, NURTURE, NURTURE………….they cannot be left to themselves when they are so young.   They need Mom.   Those little extra things like a massage, or essential oils, or brushing my daughter’s hair for 20 minutes, these things don’t always come to my mind, but it is something I want to improve on in my mothering.  (any tips)

Yesterday I sat next to Caleb, checking him all out (he’s 8) and he finally said, “Are you done checking me like I am an ape?”  LOL



Seth and Sarah and I went to the thrift store last week and got all this for 2 dollars and fifty cents.  A 5 by 7 frame, two Easter baskets, 3 stuffed bunnies, four books, and a wooden “chicken/egg” decoration.  Sarah also got a plastic snow globe.  It was fun.  We like to walk there after I get my Post Office business done.



This is our new boy, Billy-Cat.  We love him.  He is soft and interesting.  When we pick him up we never know if he will nonchalantly bite us.  David made this toy mouse for him by hand.  I just had to tie the knot on his threads.


Snickers is the only one who will tolerate Billy-Cat.  Billy is so new that the other 2 cats run away from him, yowling loudly.


I’m turning into a crazy cat lady!!!!!  We have four now.  🙂


And of course, the chickens.  I sat outside and watched them enjoy the sunshine.  They settle down into the leaves, lift up their wings, roll around, they just love being outside in the sun.  We get about 5 eggs a day, which is a nice amount.  We have just enough so I don’t have to worry about what to bake in order to use up 3 dozen eggs!  LOL


Rich had a business meeting here at our place on Friday and one of the men brought me this beautiful bouquet of flowers.


I made a nice lunch for everyone.

1.  Deli platter from grocery store
2. homemade buns (these were a BIG hit)
3. sliced tomato, seasoned with salt and pepper (for sandwiches)
4. mayo, pesto mayo, mustard
5. tossed salad
6. jello salad
7. pretzels
8. boiled baby potatoes, with plenty of butter, salt, and pepper

For dessert I bought 3 dozen baby cupcakes from the bakery.



And that is all the news from our place.  How are you doing?  I hope you are well and enjoying these early spring days.  xo
“You will show me the path of life.  In your presence is fullness of joy.  In your right hand there are pleasures forever more.”  Psalm 16:11