We just returned last night from 5 nights away at a cottage in Michigan. A couple of years ago we found a treasure of a place for our too large for a hotel family. It is at a church conference grounds on Lake Michigan and because we choose to go the day after Labor Day, it's the "off season" making it affordable. So we spent several days enjoying cool breezes in the long lazy morning, warm afternoons of swimming in the pool or the lake, lots of bike riding for the kids, game playing, reading for all, knitting for me. It was lovely to be away from the regular daily housework and school which normally completely fill my days.
I have to ask, "Has the Gap ever actually had any pregnant women design maternity clothes? Or help them come up with their line of maternity clothes?" The last thing I want to wear when I'm pregnant is something that looks like it should be on a picnic table.
It's hard to believe that a whole month has passed since I posted anything. The days fly by. The years are speeding past at a pace that makes me clutch my heart and want to hold on tighter to these children that are growing up before my very eyes. They grow and get bigger and love it. Every birthday is a much anticipated milestone that they count down for months in advance. Why rush it? Because that's what children do. They long to grow up quickly and I long to keep them small longer. I'm thankful that Pete shares my sentiment. That he isn't anxious to be an "empty nester." I pray that the Lord blesses each of our children with finding the love of their lives while they are young- that they marry early and are guarded from the world's pull to have long years of career successes before "settling down." And I look forward to our older children making us grandparents before our younger ones are out of the house- to always be surrounded by the energy and the exuberance of youth!
Here are a few pictures of the goings on over the past month-ish-
Silas turned one!
Fun at the Children's Museum in Indy
we spent a day in Michigan visiting family and the Frederick Meijer Gardens
there's something that I love about this picture in all it's quirkiness. I think it's because I thought of myself as a girl mom for so long, having just one boy. And now I have THREE, which I still find amazing. And I love that they were having fun with daddy, taking pictures with his phone.
Mondays tend to be long days. I call them the school day that never ends. It's a day to get back to routine after a couple of days that are different. And it's a day that we cover all of our subjects, including math meetings with daddy at night for the 2 oldest. We often skip our "for fun" read aloud on Mondays just to be sure we have time for all of our work. Yesterday I felt like we needed that down time though. We're listening to an Anne of Avonlea audiobook right now. Peter got the cd ready as I got cozy with my knitting and the kids got busy drawing. Suddenly I realized I had two other knitters with me in the living room. And they were knitting on their own!! That was a lovely moment for this yarn loving mama!
Maddie is making a cowl and Ella is making a doll scarf.
I heard on the news that this is the most snow we've had in our area since the winter of 1978/79. That was when Pete was a baby. So this would be the snowiest winter of his life that he can remember. It has been fine for me because I hardly ever need to go anywhere. Still, it's strange to have had 3 church services, meetings at church, and even work for Pete cancelled or closed due to the cold and snow. Here's our sad little mailbox peeking up from it's snow plow drift. You can see the deep boot prints right in front of it where the mail carrier has to step to get the mail in the box.
Yes, Ella is wearing a bike helmet and Charlotte's coat is unzipped. And yes, I took my 9 month old out to "play" in the snow. Don't judge.
...than a sleeping baby. This boy loves his stuffed animals like no other baby we've had. It is so sweet how he hugs them and talks to them like they're his little friends and then cuddles up with them to go to sleep.
I'm not talking about chickens here. Although I do have them on the brain. More about that later. We've found ourselves indoors a lot more lately due to the very cold winter we're having. When it's not subzero the kids do go outside, but I'm happier inside with a hot mug of tea and some knitting needles in my hands. Finding games that everyone can enjoy, from Pete and I down to the littles is pretty tricky. Candyland? I'd rather iron. And that's saying a lot. Chutes and Ladders? No way. Our favorites these days are Dutch Blitz
(we bought the expansion set so that we can all play) and Sleeping queens (my sister got this for the girls for Christmas and they play it ALL the time). Dutch Blitz says it's for ages 8 and up, but Charlotte (5) and Ella (6) can totally play it so don't let that stop you from trying it if you're kids are younger than 8.
What are your game recommendations? We bought Apples to Apples and I don't love it. I'd like to try Made for Trade and Milles Borne.
I started this blog with great intentions of posting atleast a couple of times each week. At first I did great. Then what happened? I'm not exactly sure, but these 3 things hinder my posts-
1. I don't love Weebly- it's kind of a pain to post.
2. I don't have a very good camera or a good handle on organizing and editing my photos.
3. I'm busy living life and just not good at documenting it as I go.
Okay, enough excuses.
A couple of nights ago I got the old paper journal and pen out and decided to write for awhile. Years ago I wouldn't go a day without journaling. As our numbers have grown, my dedication to that has dwindled. It did feel good to write though. I'll have to get back to that. It's always nice to go back and read past ponderings. Stories about the kids, concerns on my heart, what the Lord is teaching me. I'm not bold enough to blog like I journal- as it seems many people do. I need a bit more privacy than that, I guess.
Christmas was lovely and here we are a few days into 2014. It really just seems like yesterday that Pete and I were driving around looking for a place to go for dinner, that fateful Y2K eve! Here we are, in a blink, with seven children and a house in the town he grew up in.
We're just finishing up a wonderful month long break from school. Monday it's back to the books and getting up early. I'm not ready for the more relaxed days to be over! Somehow I need to manage to find time to knit even in the midst of teaching 6 children and caring for my sweet baby. To that end I joined a "mystery knit along" today that another blogger posted . It should be fun! I hope I can really do it.
The day after Christmas we drove to South Carolina to visit with some dear friends that I've known since high school. They have 9 children, so with our 7 it was quite the party! Here's a picture of all of them except their youngest. I took several pictures and this is actually the best!
It is so fun to see the creative side of the kids come out when they aren't hindered by our usual schedule. Last week I decided to cut the week short and finish week 9 this week. We got three days in so I figured if we do 2 regular school days this week we can spend some time doing other things. Yesterday was a work day- extra chores and such. So I told them today is a reading and crafting day and they've been taking that VERY seriously. We've had all sorts of fun happening- drawing, painting, building forts, exploring the trail and pond behind the house, bead jewelry making, and some knitting for me. I'm so glad I gave myself "permission" to ditch the schedule for a few days and just enjoy being at home! Last week we also went to an orchard to pick apples and enjoy some cider and donuts. When the kids have a little freedom and the supplies they need there is no end to the fun! Ella made clothes for some of her Calico Critters out of paper and Charlotte discovered Shel Silverstein.
Here are a few pictures of our little fall break.