Wednesday, August 16, 2017

She is four! {Selah}

This is my workout buddy. She loves feeling so grown up she will go put on her "workout" clothes just to exercise with me.

She is so independent that sometimes I forget she is 4. Seems likes she is 8 with all the help she gives me around the house with the little ones. She loves being a big sister. If the babies (they are 2 and 1 but we still call them the babies) need anything, she is already 5 steps ahead of me preparing everything I need to change a diaper, or clothes, wipe noses, etc. 

Most of her day is spent drawing. I am astounded by her creativity and knowledge of so many things. (Knows all her letters, numbers-count by 5's, 10's, and to 100, how to spell everyone's names in our family-just to name a few).

Maybe she is more like a 25 year old stuck in a four year old body...she has to have her clothes laid out the night before and is usually the first one dressed in the morning. I can't say I know many people who are that prepared in advance.

Her birthday party was rescheduled several times due to major illness that plagued our family for a month, but when it finally came she was so thrilled. This was a huge step for her because her introverted nature usually leaves her stressed out and in tears. This was the first year she didn't cry at her own party!

Her favorite game to play now is UNO. And let me tell you, she is the UNO queen!

She loved dancing this past year and was very detailed about her practices each week. She still loves to dress up in leotards or other girly outfits when we are hanging around at home.

I'm not sure when it started, but she has a special goodnight kiss that she gives us. She thinks long and hard about what animal kiss she is going to give me and AJ. We have ranged from a unicorn, to elephant, to puffin, to caterpillar, and so on. It's super special!

I'm so proud of this little girl. She is a motivator, encourager, and helper. To be the middle child of six probably doesn't come easy, but she can hold her own as a big sibling. Love you sweet girl!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

He is two! {Lincoln}

We will pretend that this post isn't 5 months late...but Lincoln turned two back in March!


I thought child number 3 kept me on my toes but there are days he has given me a run for my money! Maybe rambunctious is a good word to describe him. I have had many moments where I pause and have to listen for him, otherwise he is probably off getting in to something (or drawing on something he shouldn't). Or here for instance, he decided to pull bread out of the pantry while we were all praying. AJ did a great job of keeping his composure while wrapping up prayer time while Lincoln was having a cow that he no longer gets to have this bread. *sigh*

His ability to speak really just burst forth right around his birthday and now he is talking up a storm. He loves to call out the other kids names when he is looking for them. He also loves to throw his head back and say "NNNOOOOO" in a groggy voice. He enjoys being funny and often times will say things in a funny voice and then will laugh at himself and run off.

Maybe it's an age things, but he also loves wearing random things. For a few days he had to have this helmet on in the house.

Another day he dug out Evangeline's hat and gloves from her backpack. 

And of course, food is always on his mind. I have lost count at how many times he has pulled cereal from the pantry and poured it in a Tupperware for himself.


The beginning of March began a terrible plaque that lasted four weeks in our house. The two babies had RSV, 5 kids had ear infections, 3 sinus infections, Evangeline passed out one day-unknown cause, and 4 of us had the respiratory flu that lasted about a week and a half each. This was the all-time worst sickness our family has ever experienced.

AJ and I pretty much took turns round the clock holding sick babies. In fact, there weren't enough adults to child ratio that we were sitting on the couch one night and just looked at each other while we held a child and could hear others crying in their beds. These were some of our longest nights to date. No one could come help us since it was too contagious. Lincoln and Selah were both so sick on their birthdays, we had to reschedule their party twice. Somehow we managed to squeeze in a small party almost a month later.

These babies were so sick they just fell asleep wherever they were. First time having one fall asleep standing up!

Nanny wanted to bring his presents on his actual birthday but he wasn't up for much...look at those sick eyes :(

Thankfully we all finally recovered and Lincoln was back to his antics. He found this bobble head and thought this "baby" needed its bottle :) Another thing he loves doing is caring for babies, real and fake ones. He will be so enthusiastic when we are out in public that when he sees another baby he will let the entire store know by yelling "BABY!" Despite how crazy he is sometimes, he is such a nurturing child. He loves taking care of others.

Another favorite past-time for him is fishing. He has to do it all by himself, and surprisingly he isn't too bad! Now he could care less about leaving the line in the water, all he wants to do is cast and real back in, cast and real back in. :)

Like all my other kids, he loves to be outside. Nobody is allowed to go outside unless they take our guard dog, I mean toddler with them. It doesn't matter where he is in the house, he hears a door open and he comes running.

He surprised me at his well child visit that he was still in the 15% for weight at 24 pounds. This child looks solid! And he also surprised me for being in the 75% for height! I won't hold my breath for that to stick around.

We attempted to move him to a toddler bed, but after 2.5 months of him waking up 5 times a night in it we decided to put him back in the crib for our sanity. Actually, I made the decision during naptime one day when I attempted to put him back down to sleep 4 times and he continued to get out of bed and go in to the bathroom and spray water all over the place. (Did I mention we have 5 other children in the house and I don't have time for this?!) So I caved and now we are all much happier people. One day, when we don't have two babies waking up at night we might be brave to try again.

But honestly, I'm in no rush to leave the baby stage. I love the snuggles and the feeling of being needed and the special moments we have at bedtime when he wants to be rocked sung to still.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ari turned 8 {back in October}

There is just something special about your kids birthdays. It's a good reminder that life doesn't ever slow down (and that I'm getting older as well).

Ari had several "themes" he wanted to do for his birthday. We don't normally have themes but as he gets older, he goes through phases of things he is really in to. So I picked one and went with it.

Of course that meant he got loaded up with fun things that went right along with it. We even made our first pinata in to a Death Star. And by "we" I mean AJ :)

My brother had to stand guard as the children scrambled around to find all the candy.

Lemon cake was on the menu again. His favorite.

This year has been a huge year for Ari. I have seen him grow in so many ways both spiritually and emotionally. He continues to be a deep thinker and usually asks the most challenging questions at bedtime, which is when he likes to talk about his day. Then we end each night with "happy thoughts", a nightly tradition we've had for years.  He still has a sensitive heart towards others and is burdened for those who are struggling with something. He loves to read and I usually find a few books that he has been working through at a time. He has been dedicated to a daily quiet time and is also very diligent in reading his Charlie Brown calendar each day. (It HAS to be on the correct date.) He is finding his balance as the oldest (a GREAT big brother) and wanting to have some alone time. We are so proud of who he is. Happy birthday!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

fall break {Lake Monroe/Property}

Fall break seems like such a long time ago. Partially because it was and partially because we have done lots of fun things since. We had a special trip to Culver's (and sadly I don't even remember why!)

And we had our first experience at the Commons Mall. What a fun place!

AJ took three of the kids in his car (to who knows where?!)

And apparently had a fun pit stop in the toy aisle.

We were able to to head down to our friends boat and property so we hit up Steak N Shake on the way.

The property had so many fun things for them to see/do.

Evangeline was waiting very patiently for the ducks to come get some food.

These chickens didn't mind us one bit.

And the kids loved riding in the tractor! Some of them got to drive it :)

Papa took them down the creek to collect geodes.

And of course they had to crack them open to see the goodies.

We had chicken over a campfire, ate s'mores, then went back to collect some eggs.

We were very blessed to be able to spend the night on our friends boat. What an adventure!

We got to swim in the indoor pool for a bit before heading to bed. We were tired from our long day that we went to bed right along with the kids.

Now the kids constantly ask when we get to do that again :)