1.5

IMG_6698Because our little Glo-Glo shares a birthday with our Saviour, we decided to celebrate her half birthday instead. So, on June 25, our baby turned 1.5! She loved the pool that was a present from her Mitna!IMG_6671 She enjoyed being doted on by her siblings and a chocolate cake and homemade ice cream tto eat. Our Gloria has been high maintenance since birth, but now that she can walk and climb and “talk” in her language, she is much more pleasant to be around. IMG_6712She’s so fun and spunky. Not a little demanding as well. She prefers to swing on the big girl swing and shows off saying “no hands, mama” in her hummy sort of way. Such a precious blessing we have been gifted!  IMG_7619

Cleaning hack

IMG_4621I picked up a playhouse free on Craigslist! It was a bit dirty and moldy. No problem! I’d seen this cleaning hack on Pinterest and tried it out. A drill and a round kitchen scrubbie brush. Works great! Benjamin loved scrubbing this house all up.IMG_4623 It’s funny, but Jeremie and I have such different standards of cleanliness. He is a “if you’re going to do it, do it right” kind of guy. I’m a “get-er-done” type of girl. Goodness, this house is going to be played with outside. It’s going to be muddy and dirty again in no time.IMG_4620 So we scrubbed for longer than I would’ve liked and less time than he would’ve liked and surprised Ruthie with it on her birthday. It’s been mild enough this January that the girls have played in it numerous times. It’s the perfect little addition to our fabulous mud kitchen set up.IMG_4642

Birthday kids

img_4228We’ve had a slew of birthdays here at the Funny Farm in the past month. It actually started last year, ha! Gloria turned one on December 25. But we’ve decided to postpone her celebration by 6 months. We will be treating June 25 as her (1/2) birthday in the hopes that she will enjoy having a summer birthday, far removed from all the holiday hustle. It was mildly hard to let the actual anniversary of her birth pass unnoticed, especially because babies change so much in the first year. Walking, talking, sleeping, eating. Huge milestones. But I contented myself with a whispered “happy birthday” and an extra sweet hug.

Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

Susie was next on the birthday roster… January 11. She turned 13 this year. The year of the ring, we call it. As our girls grow and mature, their daddy wants to make sure they know how special they are to him. He wants to ask for their trust. He wants to ask for their heart. He takes each one out for a special night and reaches out to them and gifts them with a special ring. Susie is a delight to us. Quiet, sweet, helpful, kind and insightful. She produces the most amazing crafts I’ve ever seen. Tiny fairy houses. Miniature clay creations. Wood and leather items of all kinds. She is diligent in her chores and finds satisfaction in a job well done. I cannot begin to quantify the joy she brings to us all! IMG_20170111_125523757Ruthie’s birthday was just two days after Susie’s. And what an anti-climatic day this was. Ruthie has gotten it into her head that she is “5”, just like her big brother, Jack. She will tell me that they are “twins”. I think this has less to do with wanting to be twins with Jack, as it does with wanting to not be “younger” than him. So when the morning of the 13th came, she was quite crestfallen to realize that she was, in fact, turning only 3. Oh, the disappointments of youth. Ruthie has been a darling since the day she was born. Full of character and not a little sass. Perhaps she is a bit spoiled by her mama, I fully realize. Her favorite things are her good bippy, Sofia, yogurt, calico critters, girl legos, Barbies, lipstick, clementines and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are really peanut butter and honey sandwiches, but she insists they are jelly. She doesn’t eat the skins of apples, so I often find little crescent apple slices laying about, half eaten.  She won’t kiss you if she has lipstick on, but will tell you that you may kiss her on the cheek, if you like. The other day she was mourning in the car because she left the house without her hair being curled. She has worn the same silver dress for over a month. Every day, including church on Christmas Eve. She often pouts with crossed arms, which will get her in a bit of trouble with Daddy. IMG_4632Tommy comes next. He turned 15 this year. At times, during his youth, Tommy may have pushed me to the brink. He may have caused a few sleepless nights. He may have caused me to scratch my head in bewilderment, or pull out my hair in frustration. But Tommy has become one of my most favorite people. He has such a kind heart. He is patient to help anyone out. His mind is constantly running with questions, seeking new ways to do things, new ideas, inventions. He is a mess, but I must admit, he comes by that honestly. He has passed me by in height, to his delight. I am so proud of the fine young man he is.IMG_4610

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

7!!

IMG_3351Benja just turned 7! He is our only summer birthday and he celebrated the way he likes best. With the table strewn with Legos and his brothers all around to build with him. He received a few different sets for gifts and was in Lego heaven all day. He did take a break when Daddy said he would take him down the river in his new kayak that also was a gift. All the kids except G got to go. They returned home hours later, wet, scraped up by the “rapids”, tired and happy. I’d say it was a fabulous day for a fabulous boy.IMG_3349

TT

IMG_20160612_225519827_HDROur second born daughter has been bringing us joy and laughter since the day she was born! Such a sweet baby, hardly fussed.IMG_20160612_225955621 Slept through the night at an alarmingly young age. Sucked her thumb like a champ.

Mama did that 'do!

Mama did that ‘do!

She and her big sister could most always be found playing together while holding hands.They would hold hands in the car. They would hold hands while they slept. IMG_20160612_231617526They would hold hands sometimes while they ate. Katie has many special people in her life who adore her, Aunt Meg, Mitna, Bompa, Grandma and Grandpa, sisters and brothers. IMG_20160612_231702544_HDRBut none so much as her mom and dad who think she is just the cat’s pajamas! God has gifted Katie with an amazing ability to succeed at almost everything that catches her fancy.My favorite picture EVER of Katie

My favorite picture EVER of Katie

Her younger siblings have enjoyed being the object of her crazy antics!We were just a little family back then :)

We were just a little family back then :)

We pray that the Lord would draw this beautiful young lady to His heart and teach her to follow His ways!IMG_5567

Another year..

January sees us celebrating three birthdays! Susie started off the celebrations by turning 12 on the 11th. Roo followed by turning 2, two days later. Then Tommy turned 14 on the 23rd. How blessed we are! IMG_1942Susie is a ray of sunshine. A hard working quiet young lady. She often seeks out a peaceful spot to enjoy a bit of calmness in our rowdy house. She is diligent about her chores and quick to spot ways to be helpful. She loves to roller-skate, read and get her school work done. She is a very independent worker, often going above and beyond what is required. She inspires us all to be more like that. IMG_20151110_183221780Ruthie is still our little darling. She loves to be a “big” sister to Gloria. She loves to ride the horses and be outside. Roo, also, is a very hard worker, wanting to be a part of whatever the big kids are doing. She has learned to load her own dishes into the dishwasher and she loves to clean the bathroom. She is getting very good at playing by herself and it is quite comical to hear her “conversations” between baby dolls, or dollhouse people.IMG_2163 Tommy is a wonderful young man. He is an immense help around the homestead, both inside and out. He is honing his skills with computers doing programming and robotics. He also spends a lot of time working on projects for dad. His younger brothers all look up to him and he is very patient in teaching them all about what he’s doing. We are so excited to see what God has in store for this special son of ours.

Jackers Crackers

IMG_1288He tells me his name is Jackers, but his nicker-name is Jonathon. Our first Tn baby turned 4 this month!! Born at home, into Daddy’s arms, we praise the Lord there were no complications. IMG_1174He is a sweet boy, loves his Momma, high-maintenance, not really rushing to keep up with the big boys, content to be a “little”, loves to antagonize Roo, especially loves to FISH!!! IMG_1169He says this was his “best birthday!” Spy gear, fishing pole, superman cape…. This day was filled with fun for this little guy!IMG_1165

Birthday bash!

We always have an exciting November because we have 4 family birthdays! Jimmy and Charlotte share the exact same day! We celebrated in Clarksville this year at Chuck E. Cheese because Jeremie was bit horrified that neither of the kids had been there before. It was actually a very fun afternoon, albeit a little sticky and germy for my taste. The kids were off chore duty and picked their favorite foods and desserts for their special day. Charlotte chose caramel apples which were delicious! Perfect for this fall time of year. IMG_0561And these are Jimmy’s special present…toe shoes, like Daddy. He loves them! I think they are funny looking, but they both tell me how comfortable they are. Perfect shoes for my little climbing monkey.IMG_0556 Watching old home movies is a favorite thing to do at birthdays and I am always in disbelief that time can fly by so quickly. James is 8 and Charlotte is 10 this year. Two whole hands worth, she is told! Double digits and full of JOY! And James who used to suck his thumb and cuddle with mommy is now a young man, so responsible and strong. Love them both so much!IMG_0557