The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation
2Samuel 22:47

27 December 2013

Christmas Tree Campout

Earlier this week we held the annual 'Christmas Tree Campout'
whereas the boys all camped overnight in the living under the tree and stayed up late playing board games and such.
{And by 'such' I mean things like wrestling, telling scary stories and piling blankets and pillows on top of each other to prove that we really don't need that much oxygen to survive.  It was a peaceful night, of sorts.}

In the morning we served a brunch of yummy Gingerbread Waffles topped with fresh cream and Christmas sprinkles, expertly arranged by our resident 5-year old.

16 December 2013


Thankfully all is well.
It only took two nurses, one Mom and a very strong doctor to remove the lump on the side of his neck.
And a few threats about needing to call Dad and maybe some minor bribing with DVDs from the library and his choice of *anything* for supper. {Dr. recommended chocolate cake, good grief!}
Now that it is all said and done he is happily enjoying the victory of 'having my bump amputated!' and bragging rights about getting stitches.
{I'm bragging about wrestling with a bull this morning as that is what it felt like!}
Enjoying a Star Wars DVD marathon today and Valentino's pizza - no peppers.
And thankful.  The doctor didn't seemed concerned at all with what was taken out.  So thankful.

22 November 2013

Introducing ...

The Fritz-carleton.
Walter's little brother.
My sixth son.
Rabbit killer.
New farm kitty.
Or just Fritz, for short.

It's so much fun to have a little one around again!  It will be even nicer when the weather warms enough for him to live outdoors permanently and guard our garden from the naughty, naughty rabbits.

13 November 2013

Extreme Cuteness

Ry-man is pretty much getting away with everything these days since his Mom has a thing for gappy-little-boy-smiles.
Thankfully, he is using his special powers for the good of all around him
{with exception of his weak Mom}
Overheard just today, "Hey, Ryland ... go ask Mom if I can have a cookie. She can't say no to you these days."
Also overheard today, though it relates in no way to being front-toothless:
"Ryland, if we keep practicing surgery on paper people maybe Mom will let us have a real body to practice on."
I don't have a picture to go with this conversation as I was listening to what they were doing on the sly.  Imagine hand drawn people on copy paper  with diseased organs in need of surgery.  Enter  5 and 7-year old boys using scissors and tape as stitches.  Then imagine hearing them long for a real body to practice on.  Being a Mom is scary at times, folks.

02 November 2013

Look Both Ways

A quick peek out the front windows of our little-farm-in-the-city might reward you with a glimpse of our city-chick, Little Red.  She prefers pavement over dirt and grass these days.
Poor Tarver, he's had to herd her numerous times away from the neighbor's front porch to her unexciting little chicken yard.

Turning your head to the back windows you breath might be swept away at views such as this.
I keep wondering how we can be so blessed to enjoy this tapestry of Creation colors from the comfort of our own home?  And I also wonder why Little Red would want to leave the backyard when this is her view. 
Chickens don't appreciate much, do they?

01 November 2013


The Fall colors were beckoning for a photo shoot today ...

21 October 2013

Love Notes 101

My Ry-man.
He's so good to me that my heart almost bursts at times.
I found this love note at my breakfast spot this morning.

Translation: Mom, you do not know when I love you. I would if you were a bear.

It's good to know almost unconditional love.

Trying out new things

Like sticking a knife in your nose,
just to see what would happen.
{So thankful for older brothers who are not afraid of blood.}

05 October 2013

The Boys

A recent photo shoot of our boys yielded these images -
your paper prints are on their way, Grandparents!




Ridiculous.  Somebody slap me.

27 September 2013

Smarty Pants

You just have to understand the personality of my second born to get a hoot out of the question:
Using numerals 1-3, arrange them chronologically.
Apparently we need to hit home a bit better on pronouns so he knows that 'them' in this case is referring to the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages and not 'numerals'.
Hearing the roar of laughter after he handed in this paper made me definitely aware that he was just trying to get a rise out of his teacher.
This teacher has the capability of withholding peanut butter cookies and therefore gets the last laugh.

17 September 2013

Potato Harvest

We are tremendously blessed to have a farmer friend who allows us to help out at certain times of the year.  Last night it was time to harvest potatoes - a good time was had by all.
{especially the young men who got free tractor rides!}

10 September 2013

Dynamic Learning Activity - Another Tooth Extraction

How many Kindergartners actually get to pull their first tooth out during math?  We call it 'tooth extraction subtraction'.  Perhaps it's not quite as exciting as hooking up a remote controlled Jeep to the tooth, but this kiddo was beyond thrilled.  And in his mind, tooth subtraction really adds up since he found some change under his pillow the next morning.  Don't you all wish you were homeschooled so you could tie these milestones into a dynamic learning activity and count it for school hours?

Storage Solutions for Boys

What's a Mom to do with her collection of boys?
Display them on some heftily built shelves, I suppose.
{Thank you, love, for finishing this basement project! 
Looks like your helpers might be sleeping on the job, though.}
And for the record - no, we don't really keep our boys on shelves.  We do have a swing set and fort in the wilderness, silly.

05 September 2013

August Harvest

~388.25 pounds~
Every canning jar has been filled.
{and then some}
So thankful.  So, so thankful. 
Canned pears will be a delight come January when the winter winds are howling!

29 August 2013

Tooth Extraction {manly style}

Tying the thread around the tooth

Checking the integrity of the line

Ready to roll-and-pull

Having second thoughts ...

Brothers encouraging Ryland not to chicken out {mostly not wanting him to ruin their fun}

Later on in the evening, success!
Congrats, Ry-man!  You've been waiting to lose a tooth for so long now.

18 August 2013

A New Beginning, again

Another First Day of School picture - hard to believe it's this time of year, again!
{Langston is super excited to be in Kindergarten and has already asked if he can please have homework every night this year.  Oh, how I love Kindergarten enthusiasm!}

10 August 2013

A Few Photos

I'm entering a few pictures in for the photography competition at our county fair this week.
Anyone want to vote for a favorite?
{I couldn't decide either...}



Miscellaneous {there was no category for most boys!}

Action - would this be Thirsting or Trying?
Leave a comment with your vote for favorite and maybe I'll be sending a prize out if you pick a winner!

05 August 2013

Snapshots from Michigan

It's so hard to believe our week at Life Action Family Camp
has come and gone.
We look forward to it for only 51 weeks out of each year
and it always passes too quickly when we are there.
We were so blessed to spend family time together, time with our Canadians {we miss you SO much!}, time with a dear family from our little town here in Nebraska - and a surprise visit from our Mr. Kyle...the son who is not technically a son to either myself or my Canadian but we still claim joint custody of him.  I'm not sure how great that custody thing is working out, seems like Mr. Kyle is the one paying the price.  See photos below...
A beautiful view of Lake Michigan near St. Joseph, MI
'Ga-ga Ball' - a seriously dirty and fun game.  Braden and Joseph are kicking up the dust while Ryland waits out his turn.
Apparently carpet ball is not just for kids

Langston helping Mia down the slide.
{Oh, Langston.}

Braden and Tarver hanging on for a ride around Clear Lake

The Rocket
There were a LOT of teenage boys hanging out here during the week.
Oh, Amy.
Sweetest of all Canadians.  We need to do coffee again!

Date Night

Sunset after chapel time

Tarver, showing Mr. Austin how to appropriately flex.

Braden and canoe tug-of-war
{tossing hay bales all summer really helped give him the competitive edge!}
Ryland and buddy Brendan enjoying ice cream on the beach

Langston and 'Baby Nick', though he's technically not a baby any longer.

Soaking Mr. Austin

Our wonderful friends, the D family
Have I already mentioned how I miss you?

Trying to figure out which side of the border Mr. Kyle is heading towards -
good thing you have long arms Mr. Kyle
{and please don't show your real Mom what happens to you when your fake Moms are around!}

Our family - heading home.
Hearts full, Eyes fixed on Jesus.
Just a few more weeks and we'll get to do this again, yes?