Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dawson's 14th Birthday!

Today our firstborn turns 14! ...About 2 more years to psych myself out, thinking of him getting his driver's license😳 
Husband took the 2 oldest boys & they're headed out to see all the new gadgets & products for outdoor sports, at the Sportsman show today.


This boy lives & breathes the outdoors. His favorite things to do are traipsing through the woods, looking for any type of creature to bring home & care for. 
Hes happiest with a fishing pole in hand. It doesn't matter whether he's fishing from the boat or off a bank.


This was a trophy catch this summer. He was fishing for musky & saw this one floating by, that had swallowed another fish & it got stuck in it's mouth & killed itself. Dawson claimed it stank something fierce, but he wasn't going to pass up a photo of something "so cool" 


This was a Bass he caught at his Grandpa's pond. He fished for this one a long time...It's also part of his Birthday gift(Andy is getting it mounted for him)




I love his adventurous spirit, his love for the outdoors, & the soft spot in his heart for animals...
...Except for maybe the puppies, whom he loves to tease mercilessly.






Goober 😁


His birthday supper request is Stromboli, with only pepperoni & cheese, topped with coarse garlic salt & seasonings(he was very specific)
And a "cake" stacked high with glazed donuts.

Happy Birthday, Dawson!! We love you like crazy!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Motherhood

The 1st 4 posts I saw on Facebook this morning had to do with parenting. The highs, the lows, the WORK... 
Truthfully, those 1st 5-7 years feel a lot like boot camp. You teach, train & repeat until you think you might just lose your ever-loving mind. 
It is work, & it is hard...but it is so rewarding when you start to see that work pay off.


There are days when the house looks like Hurricane Harvey has blown through. Where you find 20 snack-size snickers wrappers beneath the sofa cushions while cleaning.
 Evenings where you walk into the bathroom, & find that a little Dachshund puppy has somehow managed to find it's way into the bathtub with 2 little boys(How did that get there?!) 😳



There are days when you simply get nothing done but feed, hold, kiss, & hug the little people.
Days where you feel like more of a referee, breaking up the latest brawl, than a Mom...


And then there are days when it clicks. All that teaching & training pays off-you get to reap the rewards. 
That something you've been teaching, finally makes sense & they GET IT.
The day you can make a job list & each child knows exactly how to do their specific jobs & the house gets cleaned in record time.
The day you can say, "go change out the laundry, please" & it gets done, just like you'd do it yourself... 


The day you see 2 or more kiddos snuggled up together, reading stories or watching a movie together(they DO love each-other), who knew?
When you catch an older sibling looking out for, or helping a younger sibling with something they're struggling with. Giving piggy-back rides, or coloring side by side...


All that, to say this...
Parenting is hard work. Period. It is also one of the most rewarding things you'll ever get a chance to do.
I don't claim to have all the answers. We have teenager, 1 yr. & counting, & another about to earn that title in a few months. We're entering a whole new stage of  uncharted territory.
Some days we'll get it right, & other days we will fail miserably...
Don't beat yourself up about it.
Some days we wonder, "What were we thinking" & other days we wonder how we'd ever survive without them...


It's time to wrap this up...there are cookies to bake, granola bars to make, & laundry to do. After all, well-fed kiddos seem to be the happiest kinds of kiddos.πŸ˜‹




Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Asher's 5th Birthday

My baby is a whole handful of years old.
I'm letting that sink in for a little bit.


The children get to chose their Birthday dessert(it's not always cake)
Asher had very specific ideas for his cake.
It had to be homemade. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing, & Christmas sprinkles.


His Birthday meal included hot-dogs, cheesy noodles, chips & pretzels, & cake & ice-cream.





Hes so excited to go to school with his siblings next fall...
His Birthday wish-list included a backpack, basketball & fidget spinner for himself & one for his brother.





My dearest little man,
 My wish for you would be that you grow to love Jesus, more every day. That your heart would desire to serve Him as you grow. πŸŽ”
  


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Changes and New stages

The changes I see happening outside right now...the cooler temperatures, brightly colored leaves, the scent of fall all around me, the flavored coffees & pumpkin everything...


Just as the weather is changing, so is our family...Just as Autumn is my most favorite time of year, I feel as if this may be my most favorite stage in life as well.

The baby toys have long ago been garage sale-d or taken to the nearest thrift store...in fact, the younger ones rarely play with toys at all. They want to do what the big kids do. Legos, Sports, etc...

Disney Jr. & Sprout have been dubbed "baby shows"...Looney Tunes, Wild Kratts & Dude Perfect are preferred.


I can no longer shop in the toddler section for clothes...I can't even shop in the Jr.s for the 2 oldest(crazy!)...

...And then theres school. 
We started them all out as home-schoolers this year(I'd never had all 5 at home during the school year). I realized very quickly, that I had taken on much more than I could handle and by stretching myself so badly, I was doing them a disservice.
Firstborn decided to finish school at home(he will likely graduate early-one of the perks of home-school) He has his heart set on getting out there, getting a job & making some money...The others are all back in public school again, and I'm realizing that this is okay too.(they're loving it!) New Grade school...new Middle school...Big changes!


This Fall, the 2 oldest will be joining Jr. Youth activities...The youngest is actively participating in pre-school classes...no more babies on my lap during Sunday School...

I'm loving the big conversations I get to have with them(the older ones especially) The way their hearts are becoming sensitive to the Holy Spirit. The discussions that follow our evening Bible reading...

We also get to talk about some of the things that aren't so much fun. Like body changes, drugs, sex, and pornography...These are the hard ones. This is where we beg God for wisdom, we ask Him to guide us as we prepare our children for the world that we live in...Above all else, we pray they love Jesus, love people, and show kindness-Always.

Heres to big kids...big changes...& big conversations!

...& HAPPY FALL





Friday, August 18, 2017

Home-school prep for 2017-2018

Yesterday the children & I sorted through closets & drawers. Taking out clothes that were well used or outgrown & put them on piles to donate or get rid of...

...Today was an all-day-in-the-kitchen kind of day.
 I never feel as if I'm quite ready to dive into the new school year, unless I have some freezer meals stocked & Tupperware containers filled with cookies & muffins to put in the freezer for those weeks that I don't have time to bake.

I baked up a double batch of Ree Drummond meatballs. You can find the recipe here. (Her recipe is our favorite.)



I also put together 2 Chicken Pot Pie meals & tossed them in the freezer.




Last but not least, I baked up a double batch of Blueberry Muffins.

The children were a huge help today & did most of the weekly cleaning & helped out with laundry so I could be in the kitchen all day...Now I'm headed outside to get the yard mowed quickly before dark.
School starts next week & I feel like it's crunch time!
Once school starts, everything slows WAY down & I like our focus to be completely on the school day.
Last year we went into the school year with little to no plan & had unexpected things come up like, a week long vacation & moving our family to the next town over...It was NOT an ideal Home-school year.
I'm hoping with a lot more preparedness & lesson plans scheduled & in place, that this year will be much more successful!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

God-hugs & Hondas


A little back story here 1st...

We seem to be notorious for choosing vehicles that turn out to be lemons. About 5 years ago, we purchased a super cheap mini van when little Asher joined our family. We drove it about a year when it started to completely fall apart, quite literally. I vividly remember driving through Canton & having parts fly out from under the van & it coming to a jerking screeching halt. 
After that, we were gifted a newer mini van, that we hoped would outlast our kiddos... After pouring thousands of dollars into repairs, over the course of 2 more years, only to find out the transmission was about to blow, we were feeling pretty discouraged about it all. 

We have a mini vacation coming up & knew there was no way, it was going to get us there & back, so we decided to reach out for recommendations this time & try to shop a little smarter.

We came up with a budget plan & set out looking for our next car.... This is the part I love :)

We shopped online(some of the local dealerships) we were initially looking for a Honda Pilot, but our search revealed that even the used ones were far beyond our budgeted price. We found an Explorer that we wanted to look at though.
I had an appointment in Wooster earlier this week & decided to drive over & take a look at the Explorer after I was done. It turned out not being something we'd want. Knowing we were crunched for time, I was feeling discouraged & decided to get some ice-cream, just another block up(because eating your feelings is always a good idea) haha!

Anywho :) ...As I sat there, having my caramel sundae, I talked to God. Asking His favor in finding the car we were meant to have...

I started for home, and as I passed the next dealership, A white Explorer caught my eye & I decided to stop on a whim & take a look at it. Andy & I had discussed mileage, price & a few other details that were important to us & the Explorer had almost double the miles what we had talked about...
Just as I turned to go back to our van, a young man came up behind me & asked what it was that I was looking for...
I told him we were looking for a 7 passenger vehicle, with 50,000 or less mileage & gave him the budget price we came up with. 
The young man looked at me a little surprised at the exact specifications & said, he had a Honda Pilot in the garage, getting detailed & it would be ready to sell by the following day & it was almost identical to the ones we thought we couldn't afford & exactly within all our specifications. The young man said he would notify us as soon as it was ready & we could be the 1st ones to test drive it.
 The following day, we got the call, but couldn't get in to drive it. We were asked if we wanted to put down a deposit to hold it till we could test drive it. We declined, believing that if it was meant to be, it would still be there... & it was :) We drove it the next day & both Andy & I loved it.

We went inside & crunched some numbers. We had both decided, that if the payments came to more than our budgeted amount, we would simply walk away & trust that God had something better for us.
The numbers came back, & the payment was 150.00 MORE than what we could do per month, so we apologized for wasting their time & planned to leave. 
The young lady, working with us at that point, asked us what we were looking to pay monthly, she took the numbers to her manager & they crunched some numbers, & came in 4.00 better than our budgeted amount... & the rest is history. 
I'm still in awe, how Abba Father orchestrated it all, & not only provided, but showed favor & allowed us the opportunity to purchase a car we loved & thought would never fall within our budget.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Love Day




 This Valentines didn't exactly go as planned, but it will likely be one that we don't forget :)
Husband texts me at about 4:30, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY, BABY...Boss wants to finish a job, it will be at least 7:00 before I get home...

That was about the same time that I had put my mini, heart shaped meatloaves into the oven, along with the cheesy potatoes...


I gave the kiddos a snack & turned the oven to a lower temp, hoping the children could hold out till daddy got home...


About 6:00, dinner was ready & there was no more waiting for the children. They were HUNGRY!


I flipped the mini meatloaves out of their silicone heart molds, to find they looked nothing like hearts & more like turds.(tasty turds non the less)...




I had wrapped up a chocolate for each of the children & placed them on their plates... When River opened his, he said,"Mama, its too cute to eat!" ...It was gone within the next half hour :)


Just as we were finishing up, husband walks through the door with an arm full of wildflowers & chocolates...


I warmed up his dinner & then it was time for him to open his gift from me :)


The complete series of  The 3 Stooges.
I'm pretty sure I nailed it...



Lesson learned...tradition will change a little, starting next year.
Mama is going to enjoy the day as well & take-out will be ordered. No more heart shaped  turd loaves, or heart shaped anything-except maybe cookies!