We are so grateful to have received a special blessing just before Thanksgiving this year.
Our little J is a Thanksgiving blessing and Christmas angel all wrapped into one little 8 pound bundle, and everyone is very busy falling in love with her here at our house. 
Please excuse my continued absence as I enjoy these special Christmas moments with my newest little one, and her four adorable siblings. 

From our family to yours, we wish you the merriest of Christmases and many blessings in the New Year!!!


Just In Case

I'm still officially on my break, but when I saw this video today I just had to share it in case someone else needed to see it just as much as I did.


Two Thumbs Up

The year started out with such regular posts, and then came March...  We moved for the third time in nine months, and there was so much unpacking, and cleaning,and schooling, and so little energy.  I promised people I was going to post again, but never made the time, so here I am with a brief explanation and to announce that it's still going to be several months before I post regularly again.

The goods news is, we're all okay.  See... even our new little girls says so.

Yup, that's right, we are being blessed with our fifth little angel, and she's so cute that she gave me a thumbs up during our ultrasound.  Can I just tell you, I love this girl's spunk already?  She's just the optimist her mamma needs!!!  (I think the sonographer was incredible too, to actually capture the image!)

Gratefully I've been feeling much better this time, but I'm still exhausted, umm... most of the time!  :)  So I've been conserving my energy to unpack, clean, and keep homeschooling and loving my little ones.

Please pardon the quiet here.  I've gone back and forth about coming back to post more often, but it just can't be my priority right now, so I'll be back sometime after the New Year.  Until then, Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas.  Oh, and would you pray I'm not eating turkey in a hospital bed?!


Let's Click {mar.3~9}

This week was much quieter than last week, but still full of happy memories to capture and share.
 {mar.3} E, and S, were making a little mechanical toy run loose in the living room, and baby W would giggle and then chase after as fast as he could.  It was so sweet to see them all enjoying playing together.
 {mar. 4} We took water dyed food coloring, droppers, and a baster outside and went "painting".  This was the last thing on my winter bucket list, and I was so grateful the Lord provided the snow.  After painting we went sledding and had a snowball fight.  (Our painting was totally inspired by the Still Family.)
 {mar. 5} We started My Father's World Kindergarten this week, and S had a great time.  He enjoyed making play dough S's, and his face just cracked me up.
 {mar. 6} Our sun snack, half an orange and crinkle cut carrots.
 {mar. 7} E and s cut up a shoe box, and drew the city of Jerusalem inside, then created this game.  The goal was to make good choices so you could keep moving forward on the path.  I love listening to their choices of "singing a good song", "reading the scriptures", and "saying your prayers".
 {mar. 8} We're learning about the sun this week and did a little experiment.  We planted two cups of lettuce seeds, and then put one on the counter and another in a dark cabinet.  Today we compared them and saw how the ones in the sun were shorter and greener, and the ones growing in the dark were pale, taller, and generally less healthy.  We also talked to the little ones about how we need the Son as light in our lives.  (We decided to save our seeds that had been growing in the dark, and I'm pleased to saying, they're making a comeback.  I feel a lesson on repentance coming on.)
{mar. 9}  Daddy loves that W photo-bombed V, and I love how cute she is with her cookie and jug of milk.  Grandma and I just couldn't pass those bottles up when we went to thet store the other day.  I think maybe we need adult supervision when we go out.  Colleen, wanna be the adult next time?

Now that I'm caught up on Let's Click again maybe I'll get really motivated later in the week and post about our mini vacation to Jamestown... maybe.


Let's Click {feb.24~mar.2}

Yup, behind again.  What can I say, I'm not a faithful blogger, but at least I'm a faithful photographer.  

Here's our week:
 {Feb. 24} The little ones decided to open an art gallery, complete with directional signs on how to get there.
 When I arrived at the gallery, the art was all spread out for viewing. 
 {Feb. 25} V went out and scooped snow into an empty ice cream container then sat on the floor to share with W.  She is such a generous girl!
 {Feb. 26} We had another unexpected snow that gave me the chance to do some unfinished activities I had planned, like "hiding" red hearts in the snow for everyone to find when they went out to play.
 We also finally made our outdoor ice sculpture and hung it up.  It was beautiful to watch it blow from my kitchen window.
 {Feb. 27} Our first muffin tin meal in a LONG time.  Nothing fancy, just hummus from Trader Joe's, and some vegetables and pita, but it felt good to even want to take the time to make one.
 {Feb. 28} Spaghetti dinner at the amazing hotel we stayed at when we took a surprise, and very last minute field trip to Jamestown. 
 {Mar. 1} We spent the entire day discovering life at the Jamestown Settlement, and at the National Park Service Jamestown site.  Daddy helped the three big one scrape out the inside of a burned out log with shells to help make a canoe.
 {Mar. 2} We had an impromptu Rueben dinner at grandma's after church, and of course I forgot the camera, so I took a picture of the leftovers.  Did I mention dinner was good?!

It felt good to want to get out and do things, and to actually follow through on that.  The last year has left me with little desire to actually get out, and even less desire to follow through on actually getting out, but my word for the year (hope) and focused prayer and scripture study has helped, and I am feeling the Lord breathe life back into my heart.  We'll "hope" that keeps growing!


Let's Click {feb.17~23}

This week was a little rough, and the few memorable moments seemed to find me without my camera.  I'm going to record my thoughts since I don't have the pictures to remind me. 

{Feb.17} Daddy and I were able to get out for a date.  Grandma watched the little ones while we went to the temple, and had lunch at a little deli near home.  It was nice to have some time away and to try something new.

{Feb. 18} Sweet E drew this picture for me and slipped it under my bedroom door first thing in the morning.
{Feb.19} A friend dropped by with this beautiful orchid for me.  I've always wanted an orchid but was to afraid that I would kill it to get one for myself.  She knew I had been struggling with some things and dropped by to tell me she cared.

{Feb.20} I got to have an evening out with my mom.  We went to a class at church and learned all about how to incorporate more raw fruits and vegetables in our diets.  We enjoyed some yummy salads and a green drink, and then stopped at Five Guys on the way home for a burger.  :)

{Feb.21} The young women from church were reading the Book of Mormon in 24 hours, so a couple of us got together to make sandwiches for their lunch.  It's a struggle for me to get out and meet new people so this was socialization with a purpose and made it easier for me.
{Feb.21} Spring came for the day, so we decided to have a picnic, and put our rugs out to dry.  It's supposed to snow again within a few hours of my typing this.  Hoping that it's a reminder that this dark season we've been through is about to depart and open up to spring. 
We also opened our home to friends for a potluck this evening, but I forgot to take pictures until it was over.  It was a tasty evening.
{Feb.22} I'm still plugging along on reading the Bible in 90 days.  Today's reading was from Job, and it was just what I needed.  I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who will meet me where I am.


Let's Click {feb.10~feb.17}

{Feb.10} Mommy's box day.  I got the rest of the things I need to start Kindergarten with S and the books for next year's geography curriculum.
 {Feb.11} Little man was dirty after his dinner that he had to have a bath right in the sink.  At least he enjoyed his cake for his special day.
 {Feb.12} Our garland made from last weeks watercolor painting.  Love how it turned out!!  (I was completely inspired by Arianne, again.  Maybe I need to ask her if we can be friends.)
 {Feb.16, but let's pretend it was the 14th} Daddy made us our royal feast to wrap up a week rowing "The Clown of God" by Tomie DePaola.  We had roast chicken, trenchers, heart shaped prince cake, carrot pudding, and rice casserole.  It was an excellent end to our time in the Renaissance.
 {Feb.15} A day of school planning.  I took everything upstairs, locked my door, and had a few hours of planning the rest of this school year.  We are finishing Heart of Dakota by doing two to three weeks worth of lessons in one week, and adding in My Father's World Kindergarten for S.
{Feb.16} After a foot of snow earlier in the week we were sure we would have some downed branches, and this was a HUGE one.  What you can't tell, because my windows are shockingly clean, is that the ends of this branch are less than two inches from the window.  We were miraculously blessed that this big branch didn't come flying through our living room window.


Let's Click {feb.3~feb.9}

 {Feb.3} V dressed herself up and insisted we take her picture.
 {Feb.4} According to my sweet E it's not acceptable to blow out the candles on your cake without wearing a crown.  I believe her grandmother had something to do with giving her that notion.
 {Feb.5}  We woke up to a world of white, but this time of ice instead of snow.  It was really beautiful on the trees and grass.
 {Feb.6} Sweet sibling moments.
 {Feb.7} A friend's spaghetti recipe that makes enough for dinner with plenty leftover to freeze.  Happy memories of being in her home while missing our annual time together.
{Feb.8} Breakfast in bed after a tiring week.  My sweet husband is so very good to me.

This week was extremely cold and gray.  The little ones all had to go to the dentist and we had a few other outings that prevented us from just staying in and warm.  It was much busier than I prefer our weeks to be, and I'm afraid next week won't be much better.  I need to work on slowing down.


Let's Click {jan.27~feb.2}

I'm behind again, that seems to be the pattern of my life for the last two plus years.  Rather than hide in bed with my covers over my head like I'd like to I'm going to try and catch up, at least here on the blog.  For everything else in life I think I'll just keep trying to put one foot in front of the other. 

Here's our week... a little late.
 {Jan.27} Little Man "big boy crawled" for the first time for me.  Before that he had been doing a low crawl scoot all over the house.  He was so proud of himself.
{Jan.28} We finally got some of our furniture fixed that was broken in the move.  We still have lots that needs to be repaired or replaced, but I can finally put the lid up on my desk.

I spent the 29th and 30th in bed certain that I wasn't actually going to die but really wishing I would.  I can't remember the last time I was so sick.  Luckily daddy was able to telework because I couldn't even stand up without help.  Grateful we're over that!!!
 {Jan.31} E got up and made puffy pancake for breakfast.  I was finally feeling well enough to get out of bed, but couldn't do much more than that.  She is growing up so fast, and is an amazing little helper.
{Feb.1} Part of a beautiful gift from a very dear friend for my birthday.  She knew that "hope" is my word for the year and brought me sweet gifts to remind me everywhere I go.  After a very difficult day the timing of the delivery was perfect.

Now only three weeks behind!


A Snowy Day... or week!

 This week we finally had snow, and I was excited to pull out all of our winter books, and row "A Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats, and "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost and illustrated by Susan Jeffers.  After we read our books and ate our snow ice cream we took our learning outside for a while.  
 We looked at snowflakes on black and brown paper with our magnifying glass.  This was incredible!  I had never taken the time to really look at snowflakes before.  What beautiful creations.  (Incidentally, I had an awkward homeschool mom moment later in the week when I found the magnifying glass tucked into my pocket in the middle of Target.)  :)
 S's sweet face and flushed cheeks all bundled up made his mama smile.
 We walked with our toes pointing out, in, and then just all around.  We also tried to identify some of the tracks that small animal visitors left as well.
 Then we went sledding!  Fast and twirly...
Right into the bushes!

This week was a welcomed reminder that there is so much to learn when we just slow down and cuddle up.  The learning from the manuals was simple and wonderful, and allowed us time to go outside and make some memories too.  It's left my mama heart pondering on where we go from here with our school and how to slow it all down.


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