Happy Birthday Mia

img_3707Yesterday we entered a new phase of life. That in which we have “adult” children. Yesterday, 18 years ago, I became a mom for the very first time. Every time is thrilling, but this first time was indescribable. I’ll never forget my sister taking me to Lake Forest Hospital. Jeremie had to meet me there after work. He took the train in from Chicago. img_3708Incredibly, they let us leave the hospital the sole caretakers of this little 6 lb 7 oz baby girl. We had no idea what we were getting into. Mia has proven to be a delight to us and all who know her. She has loved babies from the time she was big enough to carry one around. She is a little bit of a know-it-all, she’ll make sure things get done the way they should, and she could run this household with one hand tied behind her back. We love to watch old home videos of her because she knew what was going on even as a youngster. img_3709From her G-up clothes to her sassy way of telling how to spell her name – M-I-A, she cracks us up. Happy Birthday to you, Mia. Keep close to God, make Him your best friend, listen to wise counsel and share your gorgeous smile with all those you meet. May God richly bless you for all your days. img_3710

Columbus-Belmont Civil War Re-enactment

It’s been years since we have been to a War Between the States reenactment. So everyone was very excited to head out to the Belmont-Columbus park for an afternoon history lesson. This was the smallest encampment I’ve been to. But the interpreters were phenomenal. I was moved to tears listening to the Irish Bishop tell his tale. General Lee gave us an intimate glimpse into the relationships between the Union generals and the Confederate generals, many of whom were life long friends and comrades whom had the utmost respect for one another. We learned some dances and learned about shot-shell cannons as opposed to rifled cannons. The kids are pictured on a 36 pounder that was recovered from the river, after having collapsed from an overlooking bluff. These are the stories that bring history to life. Dates and places are meaningless without the stories.img_3699

Ruth Ann

img_3606She is such a delight! She makes us all laugh with her personality. She is very responsible already. She likes to make sure things get done right and is very adamant that her brothers do what they should. She loves to sing to herself…very loudly. img_3575She loves Barbies, babies, coloring and Sofia the first. She is mostly potty trained. Her favorite color is PURPLE!!! She has a good bippie and a bad bippie, and much prefers to sleep with her good bippie. A stern word or look from momma brings on great crocodile tears. img_3583She is so good to her little sister, even sharing her good bippie. She loves peanut butter and honey sandwiches and DESSERT!!! She insists the couch is her bed and sleeps there every night. She gives the sweetest hugs and kisses. She loves to wash the table, sweep the floor and vacuum. Her favorite song is “How Can it Be”. IMG_5479

The bottomless pit

Usually I like to wait almost a year to introduce foods to babies. I just want to give their little insides enough time to develop before I ask them to digest foods. Especially foods like wheat or grain. Well, Gloria was having none of it. She was interested in food from an early age, watching intently every bite that went into my mouth. So when we put her in the high chair and gave her some watermelon from the garden she eagerly stuffed it into her mouth. Now she enjoys bananas, peas, pears, peaches… she is a bottomless pit. She drinks goat’s milk and water from a straw. She doesn’t seem to be having any allergy problems, so I guess her little tummy was ready. img_20160916_184212909_hdrShe is so happy to be sitting up by the rest of us at mealtimes. The other day I tried her on some scrambled egg, but that didn’t work out too well. Later that morning, I was just about to ask my friend’s opinion about feeding egg to babies, when I felt a gush of wetness run down my back. Gloria had just spewed her egg all over my back, the ergo, the floor and herself. Note to self…wait a couple months before reintroducing eggs. img_3571

Ice cream and peaches

Traditionally our first day of school begins with oatmeal, ice cream and peaches. However, due to muntiny of the troops, this year we welcomed in the 2016-17 school year with peaches and ice cream, sans oatmeal. Healthy homemade ice cream sweetened with honey. Home canned peaches. A sweet beginning to what I hope is a fabulous school year!img_3570

Late September Garden

img_3589My poor garden has suffered from neglect. There are only so many hours in the day. But it has been calling to me in my dreams. And what a delight it is to work out there in the cool fall temps!

This wheelbarrow full yielded 10 pounds of dried peas.

This wheelbarrow full yielded 10 pounds of dried peas.

This last weekend we pulled out all the southern peas. What a job! They were tangled worse than my daughters’ hair. And twined around the arbor! img_3591We also pulled up all of the peppers. They were so many brightly colored ones! They will be frozen for stews, chilis, and stir frys over the winter. Susie and I have been slowly spreading wood chips over the empty areas of the garden. Little by little. img_3603 The cow is munching on the hillside that had been planted in corn. The weeds got away from us and we didn’t get to harvest any. Hopefully he’s turning any corn he finds into delicious tenderloin. There is still much to be done out there!

Fall crops ready to be put in.

Fall crops ready to be put in.

It’s time

To start thinking about this next school year. We are starting later than usual this year. We usually start after our Family camp trip. But then came the fair. Then came horse lessons and painting class. Then came robotics and then co-op classes. The weeks get away from me. But I’ve been snatching up used books, going through my own shelves, putting together an idea of what I’d like to study this year. Finding books for subjects the kids want to study this year. Oh, it will be a fun year! Public speaking! Pre-calc! Uncle Eric! Evangelism! Do I homeschool because I love learning or do I love learning because I homeschool??!!img_20160916_161608248_hdr

Wait just a minute…

We are back from Family Camp 2016. As always it was an epic adventure. Full of good times, laughter, fires and hugs. Every year I am stretched as I visit with friends, old and new, and we toss around ideas and experiences and wisdom. Last year it seemed the focus was building intentional community. This year I came away with this admonition on my heart. Wait On The Lord. My, how I can get busy planning and ordering my days, my life. My children’s days, my children’s lives. But oh, how sweet it is to know that my days are already planned. That my life is already ordered. That God has a good future in store for my children. That He has a plan when I only have questions. All too often I am in a rush to “get to the next thing”. To execute my well-ordered plan. But God doesn’t work that way. If I force things, I will miss the beautiful things He has for me. I can rest easy. I don’t need to stress college plans. Or career paths. Or finding a spouse. Wait on the Lord.

Most of the crew in our finished tye-dye shirts from Family camp

Most of the crew in our finished tye-dye shirts from Family camp

4 Wheeler Fence Runner

img_3453Jeremie and Tommy welded some posts onto the 4 wheeler to hold fencing supplies. This makes it so much easier when stepping in posts and running wire through the fields. And the 4 wheeler makes it so they are not walking miles back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. An engineer’s mind is always working!img_3450