2014 in review: 24 of my favorites

Faves2014-30

It's become a bit of a thing around here, I suppose: going through my pictures at the end of the year and plucking out a few favorites. It's laborious. It's time consuming. But I love it because it's a chance to look back at the year, as a mama, and see how my babies have grown. Cherish important milestones. Remember sweet moments. I don't love it because it's a chance to look back at the year, as a photographer, and see how my photography has grown. Or not. *ahem* But whatever. I am still clicking away. And perfect or not, these images tell the story of … [Read more...]

christmas 2014

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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...]

I’m gonna miss ‘em.

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So what does a mama do, when she should be packing for China? She ventures into the fall-colored woods with her kiddos and takes pictures of their sweet faces. Because she's gonna miss 'em. Crazy to me that I'll be leaving in a little over 24 hours. And I'll be away for 2 whole weeks. Away from all these shiny little faces. All these busy little hands. All these noisy little feet. I am *almost* missing them already, and I haven't even left yet. Almost. Thankfully, they're not feeling the same sappy sentimentality over momma leaving. Because … [Read more...]

orphan sunday

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Today is Orphan Sunday. We watched a video in church that was created to celebrate all the children who have come home to families in our church through adoption. Some from Ethiopia. South Korea. Alabama. And a few especially adorable ones from China that, when their faces flashed across the screen, might have made me tear up a little. Especially their faces before they came home. It's not that they didn't have a roof over their heads. Or clothes on their backs. Or food in their belly. It's that they didn't have parents, a mama to snuggle … [Read more...]

the daily

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In July, on a challenge from my friend Lisa, I dusted off my Instagram account. And it's been true love ever since. I was a bit wobbly starting out, not quite sure how to pick and choose what to post. But I've since decided to pursue pictures that very much represent *real-life* to me... the things that intrigue me, inspire me, and the things I want to remember. Maybe my kids being silly. Maybe a mushroom (yes, I have a thing for colorful mushrooms). Maybe my dogs. Whatever it is, though, the pressure is off and I can just be me. The pictures might not be … [Read more...]

because He loved us

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Wow. Just wow. It's been four days since our fundraiser ended and I'm still basically speechless. Over 700 people gave. Over $36,000 was raised. And over 1500 Found shirts will be printed and worn - God's people carrying His Word on their back on behalf of one little girl, halfway around the world. Speechless. So I thought pictures might better convey the joy we are feeling around here. Because of all God did - and all y'all did - in helping us bring our sweet Clementine home. First a little background on the pictures. The girls and I have been … [Read more...]

homeschooling: 2014-2015

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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...]

we’ve been partying

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Asher's birthday in June kicks off almost a month of birthdays. Asher. Isabelle. Chris. And mine. Packed into 23 short days. And, despite the fact that I continue to run behind in getting these celebratory pictures posted, I'm determined. Because really, if you can't publish a bunch of posts featuring relatively mundane birthday pictures on your own blog, what's it good for? (wait, don't answer that.) But I digress. Isabelle recently turned 10. And I'm not sure if she was more excited about celebrating her birthday or "not being only one digit. … [Read more...]

out and about

Sloss-4

It's summer. And all my babies are home. My most favorite time of year. And there is so much I want to squeeze into the time we are all together - all fun stuff, of course. But the truth is, we just don't get out a whole lot. For several reasons. 1) I am a homebody 2) "We" is a whole lot of people 3) For this mama to get this crew rolling, it has be good. And it has to be affordable So when we found out that this much-talked-about, National Historic Landmark, 20th century blast furnace was open to the public, (and free!) we were all … [Read more...]

it’s summer, the end.

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Finishing out with Miss Isabelle, our public schooler turned homeschooler. Because it just seems like she deserves a post of her own. In November of last year we pulled Isabelle out of public school to bring her home. It was, honestly, quite a surprise to all of us as we weren't expecting to homeschool her this soon (if ever). Because Isabelle is a child who just doesn't fit the mold. At all. Ever. And I'd just always assumed that the school system - with all of it's resources and experience - would be better for her than anything we could do at home. But I was … [Read more...]