Sunday, December 19, 2010

Trusting HIS Plan

(photos courtesy of William Good Photography)

Wow. It has been awhile since I last posted. We have been busy but also trying to enjoy this holiday season with our girls. We are trying to de-emphasize the gifts and the hustle and bustle of Christmas and remind/teach the girls that Christmas is about God's gift - His most precious gift to us.
Among the craziness of our lives - we have been dealing with some health things. In the grand scheme of things, it could be worse. To start with, Daphne is abnormally underweight. About 2 months ago (at 21 months of age), Daphne only weighed 19 pounds. She was average when she was born and has just slowly moved down the charts. She has never been a huge eater (nor are her sisters) and she isn't going to be a big kid - it probably isn't in her genes. She also had regular messy diapers. All. the. time. I always used the excuse that it was because she was teething or because she eats TONS of fruit. Still I questioned the doctor. Finally, the doctors wanted to do some weight checks and do a full blood work up and check for food allergies. Thankfully, the full blood work up showed that everything was normal, but the she is allergic to eggs and peanuts. We didn't know how serious yet so the pediatrician said we should stay away from peanuts and eggs - and anything containing either food - until we see an allergist. While I was concerned, I assumed it wasn't a huge deal.
However, our time at the allergist proved me wrong. The results of the scratch test show that on a scale of 0-4+, Daphne's peanut allergy is 4++ and her egg allergy is 4+. We are shocked, but after about a month on an egg-free diet (side note: she had only actually had peanut butter one time and ended up with a rash), Daphne's diapers have been totally normal and her eczema is gone completely (we didn't even realize the eczema might be related). She has also gained 2 pounds - 10% of her weight in a month!! She is sleeping better and is much happier. We went through a stretch of time with a very unhappy toddler who NEVER slept.
At this point I feel slightly overwhelmed. I know that we will make the needed changes, but there is more fear in knowing her allergies are so severe. The idea of having to show everyone who might watch Daphne how to use the epipen - the idea that we have to have the epipen on us all the time - sort of freaks me out a little. The allergist told me multiple times that this is a deadly allergy and that we have to take this very seriously. The idea of leaving her makes me incredibly nervous. Some how I think that I have more control when Daphne is with me. And then the Holy Spirit nudges me and reminds me that God is in control. He has a plan.
On Sunday our pastor said that we can't be anxious in our own weakness or inabilities, but we have to TRUST in HIS ability.
As I said earlier, we have thanked God that she is really sick or anything, but this is just a lifestyle change for us. Peanuts/peanut butter and eggs are everywhere, in things we didn't even realize until we had to pay attention. Kevin is sure that in no time - this will all seem normal to us. I sure hope so.
For now, though, I am going with this, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

To my dismay. . .

Lucy has somehow forgotten the story of baby Jesus. I don't know how this is possible. We usually spend the whole month of December talking and reading about the Christmas story. She has heard it at church and at home and at grandmas' and grandpas' houses. We tend to joke (not to her face) that she can be a little. . .ummm. . .flighty. Honestly, I don't get it. She knows Jesus death and resurrection and believes that Jesus came to save her from her sin - but somehow she can't seem to remember His birth.

Here is her version:
The baby in the nativity set is Moses. His mother is Sarah and his earthly father is Pa (we have been reading Little House on the Prairie). He was born on her birthday - and certainly not in a stable!

Wow. We have a lot of work to do!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's in the Box Wednesday: 1st Grade

I have wanted to participate in What's in the Box Wednesday before but always forget to take pictures of Norah's stuff before she gets started. We use the Workbox System and love it (Check here and here for more examples). Although we actually use the plastic drawers for Norah and Lucy, it works great for us and takes up a little less space.

Here is "What's in the Box" today:
1. First Language Lessons - We love this book. Each daily grammar/language arts lesson takes no more than 10-15 minutes. Right now Norah is working on pronouns, poem memorization, story narration, and picture narration.

2. Copywork - Usually Norah has a couple of sentences from a book we are reading, a stanza from a poem she is memorizing or a Bible verse to copy. This week she is tracing some Bible verses about thanksgiving. Every once in awhile I have her trace - just to make sure she easy being extra careful with her writing.

3. Reading -This Strawberry Shortcake is really too easy for her but after being sick this week, I wanted something easy but relevant to our Thanksgiving theme. She is also reading through the Beginner's Bible - a story a day - I just forgot to put it in the drawer before I took the picture.

4. Story Map - After reading The Scarecrow's Hat (which is one of my girls' favorite books), Norah had to identify the parts of a story. She drew pictures in each square and then wrote something about her pictures.

5. Math Page - Norah is memorizing her addition facts. Sometimes we use flashcards, sometimes we use (don't be fooled by the title), sometimes she writes out a few problems from these little cards, and sometimes she rolls 2 - 9 sided number dice and adds them together.

6. Reviewing number bonds under 20.

7. Science - Usborne World of Animals. This is an excellent book. Norah LOVES it! She is learning about the different animals on each of the different continents. Right now we are working on Europe.

She usually has 9 drawers (in addition to her history that I don't put in her drawers) but with Thanksgiving coming we are doing several big projects that don't fit in her drawers! More on that later!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I am thankful for. . .

my parents. I spent some time with them . . . all by myself . . .over the weekend. I went to Morton for a baby shower and the girls stayed home!! That doesn't happen often but it was nice to have a couple of nights away. Mom and I did a little shopping at some of the little shops in Morton.
(ignore the big circle of light in the middle of the picture)

I am also thankful that my mom is doing well and getting stronger everyday.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I am thankful for. . .

my brothers.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I am thankful for. . .

my friend, Jenny. She offered to have Norah and Lucy come over today so I could get some things done this afternoon while Daphne napped. Jenny is an art teacher so while her little boy napped, she and the girls did a couple of art projects. They did some clay projects (she has a kiln so after she fires the stuff, the girls will go back and finish them) and made a picture with oil pastels, paint brushes and water. The girls had a blast and Jenny said they worked for almost 3 hours!! Nothing like a private art lesson by a really talented artist!! Look at this adorable cat that Jenny made and fired and then let the girls help decorate.
(sidenote: Jenny makes and sells all kinds of really cool animals. If you need a unique Christmas gift and want to get in touch with her, let me know!)
I really enjoyed having a couple of hours to get a few things done around here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I am thankful for. . .

the cross, forgiveness, grace, mercy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm thankful for. . .

these cuties!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I am thankful for. . .

this guy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


The girls are totally into hiking right now. Seriously - they love it. They have great imaginations too. When we hike in a wooded area, they make up stories about hiking through an enchanted forest to a castle. Cracks me up.

It had been a very rainy weekend. Thankfully, no one actually fell into the mud!!!
We borrowed the backpack from some friends - Daphne loves her view from up high!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nature Walk Field Trip

A few weeks ago the girls and I went on a field trip with our homeschool support group. We went on a nature hike - we had the perfect day to go and the girls had a great time!! I think we walked/hiked for over 2 hours. The kids found all kinds of great things - frogs, grasshoppers, caterpillars, daddy long legs, hickory nuts, web worms, hornets nest, etc.

Daphne just hung out in the stroller and was so happy just to be out in about watching all the kids!!!

Norah was listening intently to one of the older girls talk about tree rings.

Lucy is funny when we are with the bigger homeschool group because she doesn't want to leave my side. She is very much an observer and is quietly taking in everything (she is so not like this at home).

I am kicking myself for not blogging sooner because I can not remember what the kids found so interesting. I LOVE this picture, though, because they all huddled around the then the circle got bigger as other kids noticed what was happening!!

After the walk the kids drew pictures in their nature journals. Norah was working very hard drawing a butterfly that we had seen at the beginning of our walk.

I have to add the Lucy had to go potty when we finished the walk. The park where we walked has "outhouses" so obviously the toilets do not flush. I walked her to the bathroom - which is a really nice log cabin looking building. She walked in and gasped and walked out saying, "Some one forgot to flush." I told her that the toilets do not flush but to go in and just go quickly. She started gagging and walked away. About 5 minutes later she said she still had to go so we started walking back towards the bathroom. We were probably 20 feet from it and she starts gagging again - she never would go. We had to head home shortly after because I really thought she might be sick. I was cracking up because, as many of you know, Kevin loves to camp. Hmmm. How will Lucy be the next time we camp? Ha!!

Here Comes the Bride

The girls spent several weeks pretending to "get married." One of the girls was the bride and the other was usually a bridesmaid. They were so cute. Lucy's favorite part was saying, "I now pronounce you husband and wife," and then she would make kissing sounds.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I pray that I love Him enough to let go. I pray that I can follow and never look back.

Listen to the new series at our church called "Abandon."

Mark 8:34 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
Can I follow in joyful abandon when the world is shouting something else in my ear?

Philippians 1:20-22 "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me."

Monday, October 11, 2010


We all headed up to Morton for the annual Pumpkin Festival. It ended up being. . .an interesting weekend this year. The weather was beautiful all week and then the forecast for Saturday afternoon was rain. We weren't sure we would make it downtown to ride rides and eat the yummy food.
Kevin and I headed out extra early on Saturday to run in the 10k. I have the best husband ever - he stayed with me the whole time. Even though he can run way faster than me - he knew I would need the encouragement towards the end. My friend, Susan, ran with us for quite awhile too - which was totally fun to catch up a little. (I just need to add that after the run, we walked a mile back to my parents and then had to walk a mile to the parade, and under normal circumstances we would walk a mile back - all after running 6 miles).
We headed to the parade. The girls were pumped! The sky was looking a little overcast at this point but the rain was supposed to hold off until afternoon sometime. We sit about at the halfway point of the 2 mile parade at my great aunt and uncles house. My brother lives right behind where we sit. Before the parade actually started, it stared sprinkling. It would stop and then start again. Then as the parade started - it started raining harder and harder. The parade starts with the American flag, the parade Grand Marshall, the high school band, high school and junior high cheerleaders, junior high band, and then all the floats, politicians, local businesses etc. Before the junior high band actually made it to us, it was blowing and pouring. I mean POURING. Daphne and I ran for cover at Max's house with Max and Contessa. Then a few minutes later Kevin and the girls (and my sister, her boys, Denise, Alex and Rick) come running and they are soaking wet from head to toe. The parade was cancelled - I guess they started turning everyone in the parade around at the closest street.
We had lunch at my grandma's and then once the rain stopped, we headed downtown for some festival fun. The kids rode rides and ate some great food - pumpkin ice cream and elephant ears!!


Kevin and I spent a weekend in Chicago back in September. The girls hung out with Kevin's parents for a few days while we were gone. We went to Ikea, slept in everyday, ran along Lake MI, went to a Cubs game, shopped on Michigan Ave, and ate some yummy food!! I never like leaving the girls, but we enjoyed our time away.
Those are some serious nachos.
It is hard to tell what he is doing - but while standing in front of the American Girl Place, Kevin is looking in his wallet. Wow. That store is something. . . and having 3 girls, I have a feeling we will be making a visit or two.

Friday, September 24, 2010

So Much to Blog About

but not time to blog!! Homeschooling Norah and Lucy is keeping me busier than I expected. I can hardly keep my house clean. Er, I mean, I can't keep it clean. I can't keep up with the laundry. My family is lucky right now to get meals.

Daphne doesn't help the situation because she is into EVERYTHING!! I don't get much housework done during Daphne's nap - we are usually still doing school. Then once Daphne is awake - she is usually attempting to destroy things. If I am unloading the dishwasher - Daphne is usually trying to put clean dishes in the dishwasher - or she is trying to climb in. If I am folding laundry - she is unfolding it. If I am picking up toys - she is following me, taking them all back out!!

While school is going well, and we are thoroughly enjoying Daphne's toddler-hood, I still need to find a balance. I have come to the realization that my house will not be clean on a regular basis. It's fine. When the girls are grown - I don't want them to look back and remember that all I cared about was having a clean house. I want to enjoy them. I want to read to them. I want to teach them about Jesus. The best part of homeschooling is that we can do this all the time. Talking about Jesus can be a normal part of our day - not just in the evenings and the weekends. When learning about animals - we have talked everyday about these animals as God's creation and he made every animal unique.

I have pics to post from our trip to Chicago, Pumpkin Festival and several field trips we have taken. I will get the pictures uploaded sometime soon. . . I hope.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mother's Day Out & Ballet

First day of ballet class:
First Day of Mother's Day Out:
I know, she seems way to little to be going for the whole day!!! Although, they may kick her out if she doesn't start napping.

Lucy just realized she doesn't get to go back until next week - and she is NOT happy about that. I think once a week is more than enough for them to go.


Oops, I forgot to post pics of their final paintings when I wrote this so here they are.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Guys Weekend

On Friday, Kevin headed to Nashville with Michael and a friend of Michael's. They (and several other friends of Ryan's) stayed with Morrison's then they headed on Saturday morning to Knoxville for an Oregon Ducks game.

I really don't like it when Kevin is gone and I am so thankful that he doesn't travel for his job. Not sure how I would survive. After the girls being gone for 5 days, this week was rough getting back into a groove. Everyone was EXHAUSTED so school did not go well and we had some serious attitude! Plus, Daphne woke up on Saturday morning with a low-grade fever, Lucy was up at the crack of dawn and I woke up with a headache.

However, despite a rough start to our girls' weekend, I tried to make the best of things.

We started with a pajama tea party first thing Saturday morning. I set the table on Friday night after the girls went to bed - we used my grandma's china that she gave us as a wedding present and a little tea set from my mom. We enjoyed Trader Joe's chocolate chip scones, grapes and yogurt. I filled the teapot with milk - the girls enjoyed pouring their own milk into their little teacups. I had coffee - seriously needed some caffeine this morning.

Then we did an art project. We spent several days looking at the book Come Look With Me: Exploring Landscapes with Children. Norah loves Van Gogh's painting "Starry Night" so the girls made their own night time landscape paintings with texture. They turned out wonderful! I was totally impressed!
Then the girls worked hard to clean their room - fun, I know! Ha!

After rest time and lots of playing, we did some experiments with magnets. First, we tested the magnet pull of some of our magnets by putting a pin at 0 on a ruler and dragging the magnet closer and closer to the pin until the magnet actually pulled the pin towards it. Then we made butterflies dance. We tied a string to tissue paper butterflies and taped the other end of the string to the table. We put a paperclip on the butterflies and using the magnet wand we lifted the butterflies up and pulled the wand about an inch from the butterflies - making them look like they were flying!

We ended our day by playing with Legos. After Daphne went the bed, Norah, Lucy and I played with Legos for a long time. They decided to leave everything set up so they can play with Kevin when he gets home today - and, thankfully, he is close to home!! Yea!!

Honoring the Sabbath

Seems like honoring the Sabbath is something that many Christians don't do anymore. Why is that? Do we feel like because it is part of Old Testament law, but isn't in the New Testament we don't have to honor the Sabbath anymore? Or have we just become so busy that we forget or don't think it is important? I don't know, but I do know that we often spend our Sundays working on projects, doing laundry, getting things ready for the coming week, etc. Sure, we go to church every week (although, as I am typing this we are not at church because Daphne is running a fever) and if the weather was nice, we would try to do something fun as a family - but that was it.

Several months ago, our pastor preached about the Sabbath. It was convicting to us. He said the it is the one commandment that we don't feel guilty that we aren't doing it. Actually, he said that we often feel guilty if we do honor it because we feel like we have to always be working. This is the commandment that God spent the most time talking about. Resting is part of God's plan. We find our value in being busy - not in being refreshed. He said God wants his people who can find refreshment, people who can be still. The Sabbath should be something we do/enjoy as a family. We can build relationships by resting as a family. Pastor Terry also says we are free of the legalism of making the 7th day our Sabbath but there is a "principle of rest that is so significant." You can listen to the whole message here - scroll down to 3/07/10.

Sunday is the most logical day for us so we have tried to actually take time to reflect as a family how God has worked in our lives over the last week. We are building relationships with our daughters - that is an everyday thing, but all week long we have so many things we are doing or thinking about. On Sunday, our focus is God and our family. No more laundry, no more projects, no more preparing for the next week. We do what we can on Saturday and the rest gets done during the week. As we talked about this, I thought, "I am too busy. I will never get everything done on Mondays. I don't want to feel chaotic and crazy at the beginning of the week. Honestly, I don't feel like Mondays are any less crazy now than before and we are taking time on Sundays to rest and be refreshed by our Creator God. Obviously, we fall into old habits easily, but Norah is the first to remind us that it is Sunday - so we shouldn't be doing any work (I do clean up the kitchen after meals, though). In fact, today, I told Norah that our babysitter is coming over to play so that I can go for a run. It was quite difficult to convince Norah that running is not work. LOL.

I am excited about the cooler weather so we can be outside and just enjoy each other and God's creation!! We are doing occasional movie nights or game nights. So often on Saturdays, Kevin will mow or work on a project while I play with/keep an eye on the kids and then we switch. I work on a project and Kevin is in charge of the girls. We are trying to make Sundays different. It is so nice to be together - all 5 of us. We have been blessed so far - and I am excited to see the blessings that come from more time together being refreshed and refueled!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tot School

Tot School
(19 months)
Last week Daphne just did some really random things for Tot School. This is one of her favorite books right now. We also read this one alot.
Daphne enjoyed using this Shape and Color Sorter. She took the shapes on and off and on and off. Lucy also joined in on the fun - but was a little stressed that Daphne was not actually sorting by shape or color.
Daphne continues to LOVE coloring. She is always so focused and she BEGS to color every day - especially if Norah or Lucy is writing/drawing/coloring.

Lucy was working patterns for school last week and Daphne thought she needed to join in on the action. She worked really hard taking the unifix cubes apart and putting them back together.
For more Tot School Ideas go to 1+1+1=1.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Family Pic

We spend part of the weekend in Indianapolis for Kevin's cousin's wedding. My mom bought the girls' dresses - so, Mom, this picture is for you!! More picture to come!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Day in the Life. . .

of Daphne. This is really what she does ALL day long. She is on things, under things, climbing up things, etc. It is sometimes exhausting.