Category Archives: Family Fun

Makes Me Merry Monday #3

makes me merry mon

30 Down, 10 to Go!

Happy Monday, friends!

Today, I’m merry because we have only 10 weeks until Baby arrives!  Woo hoo! (which also means we only have about 10 weeks until Christmas)

I have fuzzy, child-taken pictures of me at 30 weeks!

30 weeks

I’ve laughed a lot lately because we’ve done NOTHING to prepare for Baby #5!  At this point with the other children, we had sweet nurseries, clean and neatly folded clothes in the drawers, and all the gear a parent could need!  Oh yeah, we had names picked out, too!

30 weeks2

This pic doesn’t really show the “baby belly” very well! 😦

Poor Baby 5.  We love you so much, but we are much more laid back parents now.  😉

In the dentist’s office the other day, I picked up a Parents magazine.  I saw the funniest list called Raising Your First Child vs. Your Second Child.  (And where does that leave “fifth child”?) Here is a little snippet…

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Food
First Kid: All homemade in special baby-food processor. Quinoa! Spinach! Sweet potatoes!
Second Kid: Crackers.

Toys
First Kid: All handmade out of wood. Mostly Swedish.
Second Kid: The boxes his brother’s toys came in.

Bathing
First Kid: Every night in a special bathtub that’s just the right size. Hand-washed with a soft cloth or silky sponge.
Second Kid: Twice a week. Swimming pools count.

🙂

{You can click the link above or the shoe pic to read the entire list.}

If you missed the big announcement about Baby 5, you can click this picture to read more…

baby post

30 down and 10 to go makes me merry!

Merry Monday to you!

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Goodbye Summer…

goodbye summer

Oh, Summer, where did you go?

Things I’ll remember…

Red-faced, sweaty kids.  Mosquitoes.  Fun trips.  Loving our beautiful yard.  Watching the kids ride bikes around and around and around our driveway.  Hearing our baby’s heartbeat.  Being thankful for this family and the blessing of staying home with these precious kiddos.  

Realizing that these days probably make up the best years of my life.

lots and lots of bike rides

lots and lots of bike rides

j bike

One twin can read to the other :)

One twin can read to the other 🙂

loveless

a weekend trip to Nashville… delicious Southern breakfast… fried green tomato pimento cheese biscuit

parth in n'ville

A visit to the Parthenon in Nashville was a perfect complement to our Ancient Greece studies!

party for mom

These kids are always having fun together! This was a special “mom party” they threw for me!

cemetary

a Fourth of July trip to a family cemetery

Leven tombstonemy Leven sees another “Levin”

I spent time this summer doing an amazing study of Proverbs 31 through the folks at Doorposts.

I spent time this summer doing an amazing study of Proverbs 31 through the folks at Doorposts.

I kept reminders in my kitchen all summer.

I kept reminders in my kitchen all summer.

We waited and waited and waited some more for rain.  Here is Catherine singing the doxology when we finally felt drops!

We waited and waited and waited some more for rain. Here is Catherine singing the doxology when we finally felt drops!

Praise the LORD!

Praise the LORD!

a stop at the space center on our way to the beach

a stop at the space center on our way to the beach

I'll always remember that this is the summer that little sister surpassed big brother in height.  He's taken really well.

I’ll always remember that this is the summer that little sister surpassed big brother in height. He’s taken it really well.

another stop in Chattanooga… We rode the incline railway to the top of Lookout Mountain.  Yes, I shed tears.  :(

another stop in Chattanooga… We rode the incline railway to the top of Lookout Mountain. Yes, I shed tears. 😦

 

at the top!

at the top!

Legoland

Legoland

Seriously??!!

Seriously??!!

THE BEACH!!!!

THE BEACH!!!!

We had ocean kayaks during our beach trip.  Leven had a blast!

We had ocean kayaks during our beach trip. Leven had a blast!

The kids played and laughed and played and laughed all day!

The kids played and laughed and played and laughed all day!

in the water

beach

We serve an awesome God!

our driveway

As much asI HATED to leave the beach, I do so love coming home and driving up this driveway.

c's cookies

My Catherine is just 8, but it sure doesn’t seem like it. She’s been making us cookies this summer all by herself. Her specialty is peanut butter!

 

bday picnic

Look at all these twins. Charles’ and I are truly blessed! 🙂 We have the most precious god-children, and were so thankful to see them grow and be a part of their lives over the past year! This is their first birthday!

I got to see THE SWEETEST face ever.

I got to see THE SWEETEST face ever.

It was a great summer, and I’m looking forward to a fabulous fall!

Here’s to lots of memories!

Happy First Day of Fall!  

Pumpkin Spice Snack Mix

snack mix

Oh, ya’ll!  Have you noticed the yummy, pumpkin-y, fall deliciousness at the store lately???

fall treats

And Krispy Kreme…

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One of my favorite fall snacks is candy corn with peanuts!  YU-UM!  Salty and sweet… it’s like a candy corn flavored Payday bar!  This snack mix has the great salty-sweet flavors of candy corn and peanuts– spiced up a bit with white chocolate, raisins, peanut buttery goodness– AND pumpkin spice marshmallows!   Yes, I know it’s not very good for you!  😉  It is a treat!  It’s such a fun kid snack… but I like it, too!

pumpkin spice ingred

We got a big bowl and dumped in ingredients to our liking.  We used:

  • dry roasted peanuts
  • candy corn
  • golden raisins
  • white chocolate chips
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Candy Corn M&M’s
  • Jet-Puffed Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows  (You’ll want to get an extra bag of these… I like to nibble on a few with my coffee in the mornings!)

It makes a ton, so plan to share!  🙂

We’ve been making this snack mix every fall for a few years now.  When we did our Pumpkin Party unit our first year of home schooling, we found this recipe.  It inspired us to make our own version!

You might also want to check out…

treat-bags-blessing-mix

Blessing Mix treat bags… each part of the snack has a meaning and tells about Thanksgiving!  Fun!

Happy Fall, Ya’ll!  {ALMOST}

 

 

 

Olive Shoots, a Mother’s Day Gift, Blessed

Things have been quiet around the blog lately, but it’s been as loud and as busy as ever around our house!   Here’s a snapshot of our latest celebration…

baby post

That’s right!  Little olive shoot # 5 is on the way!  We are so very thankful, so blessed.

“Blessed the man that fears Jehovah and that walketh in His ways; he shall eat of thy hands’ labor and be prospered all thy days.  Like a vine with fruit abounding in thy house thy wife is found, and like olive plants thy children compassing thy table round.”       (from Psalm 128, my favorite psalm to sing ~ You can read all about it here.)

My husband and I had known about our newest blessing since early April… for a whole month before we told our other children. It was hard to keep such joyous news a secret for so long!  However, we wanted to wait and share our excitement with all of the grandparents on Mother’s Day, and we knew the other kiddos would “spill the beans” to everyone they saw if they found out!  Meanwhile, they continued to pray for another baby each and every day.  🙂

A couple of days before Mother’s Day, we decided to finally share the big secret with the kids.  We all sat around the table eating dinner as usual when Dad showed them a picture from the first ultrasound.

ultrasound

That’s when I received the best Mother’s Day gift ever…  It was better than flowers, jewelry, sleeping late, having a day off.  It was one that I will ‘treasure up- pondering it in my heart’.  My sweet kiddos jumped up from their seats and shouted and laughed and hugged each other.  I heard #1 say, “This is the best day of my life!”   They danced around and jumped and were filled with joy– and so was I.  They forgot all about dinner!  I heard “Thank you, Father!”  and even “Woo hoo!”  It was a par-tay!  Then I heard the soft, sweet voice of my teeny, youngest daughter trying to be heard over the shouts.  “Come on guys!  Let’s go play!”   “Yeah!”  The four bounded into the den.

What?!  I don’t think so.  My mama-brain clicked into high gear.  We aren’t going skip dinner!

I walked into the den and found my kids kneeling, not playing but PRAYING.

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My little one had suggested that they pray, not play.  My heart melted.  They wanted to thank the One from Whom all blessings flow.  They knew that this tiny miracle was knit together by the Lord and their hearts wanted to praise Him and thank Him!  Seeing my children kneeling and praying that day was the best Mother’s Day gift I’ve ever received.  “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  No.  Greater.  Joy.

Later that night, after all of the excitement and laughter and answers to questions and imagining what our baby will look like or when Baby’s birthday will be or what we will name our baby, I found my thoughtful, sweet, five-year-old son working to write something at the kitchen table.  He was copying from the Psalter.

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“It’s for you.  It’s your favorite, Mom.”

Blessed.  Blessed indeed.

“For Jehovah out of Zion will to thee His blessing send!”    Psalm 128:5

 

A Fun “Kick Off” for Lent {and more Easter activities}

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Here’s a great visual we are using as a Lenten “kick off”….

I put vase of white flowers on the breakfast table for a few days to spark some curiosity!  My children didn’t know the water in the vase had been tinted with red food coloring.

“I bought these beautiful white flowers for our table to celebrate Lent!  Lent begins this week!  Aren’t they pretty?  These white flowers really remind me of Jesus.  Why do you think I would say that?  Why does white remind me of Jesus?”

It didn’t take long for the children to notice a change!

“MOM!  Mom, look at this!  This petal is turning red!”

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Watching the white flowers turn red has given us the opportunity to talk about what Jesus did at the cross when He took our sin upon Himself… the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!   You could do this activity any time during Lent or as a visual on Good Friday.

Here are activities we did last year to count down to Easter:

Click to visit each post.

Family Lenten Devotions and Easter Tree Ornaments

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Empty Tomb Cookies

Each step in making these cookies tells a different part of the Easter story.  They stay in the oven overnight, and there is a surprise the next morning!

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Christian Easter Hunt

There are no eggs in this Easter hunt!  Kids find objects that tell about Jesus’ last days on Earth.  It was fun to find olives, old shoes, marshmallows, soap, and more!  If you don’t want to do the hunt, just get the objects and use them for retelling the Easter story.  Then, let your kids put them in order!

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Wordless Book with a Song for Sharing the Good News

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John 13 Activity

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Click image to visit post.

I hope you enjoy counting down the days to Easter with your little ones!