Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Marshmallow and Toothpick Creations

On one of our recent snow days, I got a burst of inspiration for an activity that they girls could all do together. I gave them a bunch of toothpicks and mini marshmallows and let them create. Here's what they came up with.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Wishing to be outside

We haven't taken Drew out to play in the snow much this winter. He cannot really move when he is all bundled up and he quickly gets cranky and cold. Last week while Andrew and the girls were out playing, I opened the front door and let Drew peek through the glass door. He loved it. Especially when they started throwing snowballs at him!

Monday, March 28, 2016


Davey and Naomi were running around the house a couple of weeks ago when Naomi ran into the counter (I think) and gave herself a black eye. It was hard to get the color in a picture but here are some attempts.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Calzone Helper

On the eve of Andrew's birthday last week, we made a favorite birthday meal, calzones. Naomi was my big helper. She wanted to be involved in every step and isn't intimidated to try anything.

This confidence is both beautiful and frustrating. Beautiful because she is capable of so many things and I love watching her grow, learn and gain independence. And frustrating because we often butt heads over things she thinks she can do, but cannot.

Here's a glimpse of the beautiful. Pray for Andrew and I as we daily deal with the frustrating. 

Friday, March 18, 2016


In the beginning of 2015, as we waited for another placement, I wrestled with God over my ability to care for four kids. I knew that He would provide me with the strength, wisdom, and endurance I needed if I sought Him.  But I also had this sense that God was going to have me seek help. I would tell my friends (and myself), "If we add a fourth child, I will get a house cleaner or a regular babysitter." But when Drew came into our lives, I didn't get regular help and I just kept pressing on. 

You see, as a control freak, letting others help is hard for me. In the fall though, I felt very overwhelmed. After months of being consumed by the stress and worry of moving, we were finally in our new home. And even though we moved just a few miles away, I felt like everything was different. It was also the beginning of the school year and I struggled to find a rhythm with homeschooling two elementary students while also caring for the needs of my toddler and baby. 

During that time, I called the preschool across the street to see if they had any openings for Naomi. They didn't and we were put on the wait list. I told Andrew I felt a peace that if she was supposed to go to preschool, there would be an opening sometime this year. Months passed. I got into a better rhythm with some things and probably became a little more accustomed to the chaos of life with four littles. But deep down, I knew that I needed help to meet the needs of my kids.

Then last month I got a call that the preschool had an opening. When that spot opened up, I felt released from the feeling that I have to do it all. She started a couple of weeks ago and has loved it.

At the same time she started, I started reading/listening to a book called The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups. It is a long, but great read and it has been such an encouragement to me as I navigate what is best for Naomi in these years.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bike Riding

Since about December Naomi has been interested in riding a bike without training wheels. Desire and weather have kept her off of it here and there, but about a month ago she started trying regularly again (thanks mild winter) and over the last few weeks she has become a really competent rider!

She loves to ride around and around our cul-de-sac. Like swimming, it just brings out a unique part of her. It has been so fun to watch. 

Unfortunately, her bike (that I originally bought used for Malia, which got passed to Davey, which got passed to Naomi), wasn't holding up. So instead of putting a decent amount of money into it, decided to splurge and get her a new bike (as the third girl, not many things are new to her). And we didn't just get any bike, but a Star Wars bike! She loves it. Here she is cruising on it the day we got it.

Her riding means that all three of our girls have learned to ride without training wheels in the last 12 months! I guess there are some benefits to being the third child.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Circuit Maker Set

We are learning about electricity and circuits in science right now. I have not wanted to put a lot of effort into experiments, but watching circuits being built on a video seemed a little lame.  Then I remembered that I had found this Circuit Maker set on clearance at Target awhile ago. Unbeknownst to me, the girls have used sets like these at school and camp so they knew exactly how to start building! These are expensive but very cool (if you are local and want to borrow, let me know).

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Downton Abbey Finale

Sometimes you convince your in-town siblings that they should join you for the Downton Abbey finale. And sometimes that means that their kids have to be put to sleep at your house because it airs from 9-11 p.m. And sometimes that results in one of the best story times ever when Andrew and Erik co-read the Elephant and Piggie book I Will Take a Nap (complete with a lot of snorting).

Monday, March 07, 2016

Art Contest

At Malia and Davey's school they hold an optional art contest. This is our third year in the program and we have never entered... mostly because I forget to prompt the girls to make something. But this year, Malia reminded Davey, who on her own made a submission. I was so proud of her for taking this initiative and thought she was very creative (the body is made of an old tissue box).

Today we found out that her yarn kitty got third place for the kindergarten class... there were four entries :) She won a $2 gift card to Walmart!

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Unpacking (still)

When we were first moving into our house in September and I was feeling discouraged about all of the boxes that needed to be unpacked and organized, my friend told me to set a goal of Christmas to have it done by. At the time Christmas seemed like forever away and I thought I would have things done way before then.

But Christmas has come and gone, and so has Valentine's and I still have a couple of boxes that I haven't dealt with. Last week I brought a box full of random kid/school stuff in from the garage and the girls enjoyed exploring it/trashing our homeschool room :)

This week we hit 6 months in our new house. While we have made progress, there is still much organizing to do and things that need to be sorted. So maybe I will set a goal of Christmas 2016!

Friday, March 04, 2016

Father Daughter Dance

A couple of weeks ago, our church hosted its Father Daughter Dance. It was my 5th year being in charge of decorations and food. It's such a fun night and I love that I get to be a part of it.

Andrew with his curly haired girls.

Tess and E joined the fun too.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Blankets at the library

Last weekend our (good old) library hosted a time to come and make no-sew blankets for the homeless. They provided all of the materials, all we had to do was show up. It was a great experience for Malia, Davey and I.