Christmas 2015

We continued this year with our theme of breaking away from our traditional Christmases past. And we continue to be surprised at how the Lord has blessed our meager efforts to reprioritize our time, our energy and our spending. We completed a third year with our wonderful Advent book, every night taking turns guessing which object would be the one to represent the story of Christ's coming, and learning more and more how all scripture points to Him. We also went to no screens after 5 PM for the month. With a twist. This year we made allowance for one screen, … [Read more...]

a beautiful reminder

We recently had a opportunity to have our family photos taken professionally. And, of course, I jumped at the chance. I shared a few of these on a post at No Hands But Ours, but there are a few more. And since this is where I *attempt* do the memory-keeping for this family o' mine, I wanted to share them here most of all. I didn't have super high expectations. After all, no one got new clothes or had their hairs did. Only a few of our outfits even really coordinated. And one of us was missing her nap. But I just figured we'd go out there and have fun. And, … [Read more...]

end of last school year and beginning of this one catch-up post.

So I've been in a fog of denial lately. But when October arrived, it hit me. Time to face it, chalk up how very much I've missed, and move on. I missed the last day of school pictures for last year. I missed the first day of school pictures for this year. But that's just the way I suppose it's going to go for now. Because homeschooling nine kids is no joke. Yep, that's right. Now all my school-aged kiddos are officially schooling at home. We had planned to maybe wait a year or so to bring Jude and Shepherd home to school with the other kids, but by … [Read more...]

sixteen is pretty sweet.

Be forewarned. This is the first of several similarly themed posts. Between June and July, we celebrate four birthdays around here. But they're all important. The older I get, the more I see time rushing past. I can't stop it. But I can do all I can to squeeze every bit of joy out of each and every moment. Anyway, you might have guessed by the title, he's 16 now. And, around here, the birthday boy gets to do whatever he wants to do. Okay, not anything. I'm pretty sure his anything would not have included coloring the kids menu while being critiqued by … [Read more...]

christmas 2014

It was noisy. It was chaotic. It was wonderful. And the best part? Having this little one home. Be still my heart. To have her here, with us this year, was the greatest gift we could have ever imagined. But the kids wanted toys, too For some crazy reason. Tallula got a Frozen snuggle-thing. Whose one-size-fits-all sizing is evidently for much larger kids. But with Elsa's face on the front, does it really matter? Vivienne got the Bright Eyes Kitty. There were 3 Bright Eyes designs and 4 of my girls wanted one. Lula lost. Thankfully Lula is easy-going and … [Read more...]

homeschooling: 2014-2015

I shared a post similar to this a little over a year ago, with all our curriculum choices for the year. And I posted a follow-up at the end of the year, with our thoughts on all of Dalton and Asher's curriculum. (Thoughts on Isabelle's 3rd grade curriculum choices is here.) Let's just say, we didn't end the year the same way we began. But in homeschooling, that can be a really beautiful thing. .................................... Here is precious Vivienne. Six years old and technically in first grade, but she might still have one foot in kindergarden. School … [Read more...]

he’s 15

Happy Birthday, Asher. Granted, this post is over a month late, but my lack of posting is no reflection of my lack of love. Because this boy makes me smile. He's one year 11 months away from driving. And less than 3 years away from being officially an "adult". He's 6' tall and wears a size 14 shoe. But he's all kid. And his birthday party was a fitting reflection of his silly side. I think he preferred the cheap-o mustache he got from Sophie over any other gift he received this year. In fact, I think we all did. Don't go changin', Asher. … [Read more...]

it’s summer, continued again.

About this time last year, I posted about the curriculum I'd purchased for the 2013-2014 school year. So, as we close out the year with pictures and an end-of-the-year interview, I figured I'd toss in a quick review of the curriculum choices we made. Because I am nothing if not opinionated. But first, the year-end interview. Here is my sweet D, as he finishes up his 6th grade year - which was his first official year to be homeschooled. Let's see what he thought of it. Dalton is 5' 1" and 118 pounds. That’s up 2 inches, and 13 pounds since last … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: ice, baby.

I've got a lazy bone. And even though I'd promised my kids I'd take them ice skating, the lazy mama in me was so not looking forward to it. Because I knew. I knew taking 6 kids - 4 of whom have never donned ice skates before - was going to be painful. Thankfully, my tickets had an expiration date. Because, even more than I am lazy, I am frugal. So we ventured out, our first official homeschool field trip this year. The girls were ecstatic. Despite the fact that they could barely let go of the side, and their feet got sore, and they were cold, … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: Asher this summer

Good golly, man. When we're at home hanging out, it doesn't seem like our family is that big. Crazy, yes. Loud, yes. But it just seems like a regular number of kiddos. And yet, when your goal is to take them out, one by one, for pictures well... it doesn't seem regular at all. In fact, it seems like I've been working on this little pet project for months. Oh wait. I have. Anyway, here is my sweet Asher. I say "sweet" because he was happy to - on a Saturday afternoon - venture out with his mother. And her camera. Probably not at the top of most 14 … [Read more...]