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...]

a mama’s gotta do…

School's out. Which means I have all of my babies, from the littlest to the biggest, home. As must as I wish it were otherwise, this is rare. Due to Zach's college schedule, sometimes this phenomenon only occurs twice a year. Which leaves a mama with only one thing to do. Insist on taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Thankfully, I knew a place we could go where the kids can actually have fun in the process. Even better, it's free. And we picked a day that had a questionable forecast, in order to miss the crowds, and arrived just … [Read more...]

the year of the sheep

We wanted to celebrate Chinese New Year on Thursday - the official first day of the Lunar New Year. Didn't happen. Then we hoped to celebrate on Saturday. Nope. On Sunday Chris took the boys to church and I kept the girls home since we had three still recovering from fever/nausea/rash. And we were finally able to get the party started. The girls and I began by pulling down box after box of keepsakes gathered during eight trips to China. We looked through it all. Pearls and jade bought for the girls. Chopsticks and tobacco boxes purchased for … [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...]

I’m gonna miss ’em.

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

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...]

because He loved us

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...]


We went to the Lifeline family reunion yesterday at Veteran's Park. And I brought my camera along. But, let's just say, I ended up doing a whole lot more talking than picture taking. And I came home without a single shot. But the day wasn't over yet. I was standing in the kitchen watching the girls furiously coloring the cup inserts they got from the festivities, and listening to them chat about their drawings, the colors they were choosing and discussing their appreciation for the fine-tipped markers we have at home versus the broad-tipped ones at … [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...]

it’s summer, continued.

A few days ago I posted about the "school kids" and their last day of school. Today I'm following up with the littlest three. And then I'll cover the "homeschool kids". Slow and steady. .......................... First is our littlest peanut, Tallula. Tallula is 39" and 33 pounds. That means she has grown 2 inches and gained one pound since I measured the kiddos last September. (Yes, I keep all my kids measurements here on the blog so I don't lose them. Don't judge.) Best friend: Tori Favorite color: pink Favorite TV show: Peppa Pig Favorite food: … [Read more...]