We celebrated my Dad’s 60th Birthday this week with a party at Hershey park.  Dad, Mom, their kids, and their 8 grandkids. 


We had a blast riding the rides, but truly the best part was being together as a family and enjoying watching relationships grow. 



When you’re the oldest cousin sometimes you have to do time in the kiddy rides.  He was quite the sport… and was rewarded with roller coaster time in the evening.

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My mom prepared tons of food for lunch and dinner.  We tailgated in the parking lot for lunch before we went into the park and again in the evening with cupcakes and party horns.



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My youngest niece is def a future thrill seeker.  She had her hands in the air before the ride even took off. IMG_0841


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Thanks Dad for sharing your special day with all of us… it was a fun day filled with sweet, sweet memories.


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I recall seeing something on Facebook before I went to bed about possible flash freezing or snow.  But, I didn’t give it much thought.

When I woke up I peeked behind the curtain to see if anything came of it and I gasped. 

It was that big white puffy snow that sticks to the branches of trees.  My most favorite kind of snowfall.  And I laid in bed and watched it fall snuggling with my hubby and kids. 

Hello February 1st. 

Photo: Hooray for my fav kind of white puffy snow sticking to branches!!!

The kids ate a quick breakfast and made a bee line for their snow gear.  Scott headed to work with promise of coming home for an early and long lunch and hopes of a sledding excursion. 

After an hour delay to our school day, I threw the kids winter clothes in the dryer, and we set out to tackle their least favorite and most time consuming subjects.  (with promise of sledding dangling in front of them)

Scott came home 2 hours later and the sun was already putting a dent in the snow, but not in our fun.IMG_9094

Going back up the hill was much harder than coming down.



We were the only ones on the hill.  I think this partly due to the fact that public schools did not get out or get a delay and partly because it was equal parts mud and snow on the hill this afternoon.


But, we were able to scout out some snow paths and a good time was had by all.




We don’t often get out sledding and this was the first time I remember sledding in years… as in my entire adult life.  (last time we took them to the hill I was preggo with baby number 4)


I had such a fun, fun time today.  It was a totally unexpected, beautiful treat and surprise and a wonderful way to end the week!




Not sure which I like best about this snapshot, the smiles on the girls faces, my daughters hand in the peanut butter jar or my son sneaking yet another lick out of the bowl….

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My 5 year old

July 24, 2012

in family,growing up

She’s my free spirit.

My morning girl.

My glass half full child. 

She loves to create… always drawing, writing letters or pictures, doodling on any paper she can find. 

She’s very verbal.  When I put her in her room for quiet time, I often think someone has snuck in there with her b/c I hear her talking away—only to discover she’s talking to her self, or reciting things she heard on the radio or TV.

She loves music and will randomly break out in song and sing whatever thought pops into her head. 

She’s my peacemaker. 

She loves to dress up… loves skirts and dresses and color… lots of color.

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She loves to perform. 

She participates in gymnastics and soccer and whatever else she does because she enjoys it, wanting to do well, but I don’t see a competiveness about her.  She loves games- Old Maid and matching are two of her favorites.


She is self confident.  I’ve heard her say “Well, I just don’t know how to read like so and so even though she is younger than me”  or “Well, I can’t ride my bike down the hill like you can” and she says it very matter of factly.  She is sure of who she is, she knows her limitations and they don’t bother her.  Conversely, when she sets her mind to something, she catches on rather quickly.  She just has to want to do it and she can ride with 2 wheels, stop sucking her fingers, learn to read… all of which she did rather quickly when she decided on her own she wanted to do them.  I guess she is self motivated.  Or works on her own schedule.

She def marches to the beat of her own drum.  IMG_2649

I see so much in her at 5 that I hope I can somehow foster and nurture so that it is there in a more mature form at 15.  I don’t want to squelch her creative spirit by telling her to color in the lines.  I love her self confidence and boldness.  I love that she isn’t afraid to be herself, even if it is different from those around her. 

I also love her dimple and her sweet sing songy voice… please tell me it won’t go away when she turns 5 b/c it is far to precious for her to grow out of it!


I don’t homeschool because I hate the government.  Nor do I homeschool because I think the public school system is all evil.  Nor do I homeschool because I want my kids to be smarter than yours.  In fact, raising super smart kids isn’t even my main goal of education.

I homeschool because I want to spend the time with my kids.  That’s it, in a nut shell.

But, if I may be honest and come clean with you, it’s hard.   In my head I have this picture of me sitting round the table with my four children dutifully working on their studies… a quiet calm in the air.

yea… stop laughing….

And every once in a blue moon, such a solitary moment will occur and I’ll snap a picture because it makes me smile and I want to remember it forever.  (or on those days when I am crying in the living room amid piles of dirty dishes and laundry and children screaming that they hate spelling)  And sometimes I’ll post these pictures to face book because I am so overjoyed to finally have one of those moments… one of those moments that as I mom I thrive off of.  And some one will inadvertently get the wrong idea and assume that’s what school looks like every day at my house.

It’s not.  School at my house almost always looks like mom in her pjs with the two older working on their studies.   There’s almost always a fight over who gets to sit by the window.  My 4 year old stays at the table to color for a few minutes then she’s off singing at the top of her lungs or playing with her baby brother.  Meanwhile my son will complain that he can’t do math/spelling/history/whatever it is I want him to do, b/c he can’t concentrate.  I’ll send him to another room but that too will result in a excuse of some sort being made for why this task is too unreasonable.  Meanwhile my 5 year old will complain b/c she wanted to do math first, but I’d rather start with reading b/c she needs me for reading and I am free at the moment….

See, my homeschool room is full of sinners.  Me, being the chief one of them.  Some days we start late b/c I got distracted by face book.  I’m usually in my pjs b/c I hit snooze when my alarm when off and I didn’t shower yet.  This typically has me wishing today could have been the day that I rose a different person, a chipper morning person who got up before my family, took care of my self and was ready to begin the day on a great foot?  But no, that’s not me.

And I am teaching/raising a brood of sinners as well.  And sin is messy.    And it has to be addressed.  Selfishness, disrespect, meanness… it all must be addressed, discussed, confessed, given consequences for, forgiven… and this takes time.  Lots of time.  Time which could be spent round that table angelically working on those assignments.

And most days when I am in the midst of battling sin, I think of that clock ticking in the background and those assignments waiting for me… assignments which will get done but since it now took twice as long as necessary, the house work won’t get done before it’s time to head out for evening of activities.  This frustrates me b/c I hate having a messy house, I hate having to let it go for tomorrow when I know tomorrow won’t be any different.

And as I battle this sin… in myself and in my children, I am more and more aware of the fact that I can’t change myself nor can I change my kids.  I can’t change their hearts.  Only God can.  And so I plead with tears in my eyes as I sit on the hallway floor, begging God to please work in their hearts, please work through me.

It’s a daily battle.

And this spring, I found myself growing a little weary.  A little battle worn.  A little fearful that maybe things weren’t going to get better.  That I didn’t know what I was doing.  Sure we were learning our history time lines and phonics rules… but where was that heart change?

But, the past few weeks, I’ve seen some growth which fills this Momma’s heart with hope.  God is working in my kids hearts.  I see it.  I see a genuine desire to show love to each other.  Not all the time, not every day… they are still human in fact.  But I see God changing my child’s heart.  I see love where before I saw selfishness.  I see HIM at WORK!  And I praise Him.  Because I can think of nothing, not one thing more exciting than to see the Lord at work in the hearts of my children.

This morning I posted this picture on face book.  And I was kinda afraid to post it b/c I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea.  To think I was bragging or to think that I had these perfect kids who angelically sit at the table and help each other with their studies.  I posted it b/c when I saw this scene… when I saw a sister accepting help and correction from her brother… when I saw a brother lovingly helping, not being bossy or showing off that he was right, but gently correcting and encouraging…I saw God at work in their lives and I couldn’t help but smile and rejoice.    We had tears of frustration later over noisy sisters and people using their crayons… but in this moment I saw that all those heart to heart talks this past year, those tearful pleadings for God to soften hearts and mold us to be like him… I saw them being answered…and I couldn’t help but rejoice!


What a Week!

April 9, 2012

in family,Friends

Spring break was FABULOUS!  Oh my, what a treat to have an entire 6 days off of school.  It was like a foretaste of summer vacation, (which for this homeschooling family is just around the corner).  But before we get back to the books tomorrow, thought I’d share a few of our favorite memories from the week. 

We crafted…



We made memories with friends


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(he had SOO much fun seeing the farm animals at the park with his friends)


We reviewed the Easter story


Our oldest son finally got to enjoy his Christmas gift by attending opening day with Dad (and saw his first Orioles win)


We spent time with grandparents


We played lots of basketball


We went to the park and had lots of extra time with (10)

It was a wonderfully relaxing and fun filled week.  Now to buckle down, put our nose to the grindstone and finish the school year strong.