Thursday, August 7, 2014


Is it already August?  Where did our summer go? :)  I need to do a better job of posting here.  So for my three readers (hi mom and dad! ha!) I'm sorry.  Here was our first camping trip in our new pop up!
The beds are nice and big.  Shane and the big kids slept on one side and me and this little hottie slept on the other.  :)
Gav is really taking off and his big sister has totally taken to being in charge of him.  They are a great pair, mostly. ;)
Oh but she can get him to laugh and smile!
I liked this picture because in the first one you can see Gav.  Now, look to the one below. 
Same pic but without flash.  You can see the lake! 
We did stay inside our camper a bit because we love it!  The kids liked having a table to color on.
and Gav did lots of this.
Ella's second birthday in heaven was while we were camping.  Some sweet friends send us these flowers and so I had to take them with us to enjoy and think of here while were gone.  Then, unknown to me Grace had brought these three things to "decorate the camper".  Ha Ha!  It did make it nice and homey in there!
Now, here are a few outside ones, just so you know we didn't stay inside the whole time!!  Shane took the kids to see the fireworks.  They hit some golf balls, and we went swimming.  And of course smores.  Who could camp without them?!
The first thing I wanted to buy for our camper was a set of owl lights.  My grandma and grandpa had owl lights on their camper when I was growing up.  Well, apparently those are vintage now because they were like $40!  So we got some chinese lantern lights instead.  They work just as well!
And our little site.  It was a great weekend!  I had a few moments, but just like last year, I was really sad and cried a lot the day before but on Ella's birthday I was ok.  We got ice cream as a family just like we did last year and that felt good.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Goings on

We have a little guy who sits now.  He also scoots on his belly.  Baby Gates here we come!
This is Kathrine.  She is a neighbor (that's a loose word here, since we live in the country!) and we LOVE her!  She comes and plays with the kids every week or so.  I am so thankful for her and her family that we are slowly getting to know. 
A day with my boys meant some shopping and some fun rides. 
This is my crazy girl.  Winter hats and fall coats in the dead of summer?  Sure.  Why not?
This is what happens when mama is cooking and no one is paying attention to our youngest.  He's a mama's boy for sure. :)

Thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts for the weekend.  We celebrated Ella's life by camping and having ice cream.  It was good. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Dear Ella,

Happy Birthday!  Today you are two!  I can't believe that two years have passed since I last saw your pretty face.  Two years is a big deal little one!  I don't know if things go in heaven like they do on earth but at two you would be cruising all over and getting into everything.  You'd be talking up a storm and starting to get some strong opinions I'm sure. :)

You were only here with us for just a little time Ella, but you most definitely left your mark.  Your sister counts the kids in our family as two boys and two girls.  Your big brother tells people that he has a sister in heaven and your little brother has heard a lot about you already.  I always wanted a big family and even though we don't get to raise you like our other three, you most definitely count in our family of 6.

I bet that your curls are so long now.  I think that it would be the color of Sis' hair.  Kind of strawberry blonde.  Grandma Shirley gave Gracie curls on Easter and though they were super springy curly.  It made me think of you and smile.

This past year has been quite a busy one.  We had your baby brother and moved to a new house.  I was sad to leave the memories at our old house and sad to leave some of the flowers that reminded me of you, but your daddy had a great idea.  We will plant flowers that remind us of you everywhere we go.  I love that!  You are never too far from our thoughts baby girl.  Never.

I wonder, if in heaven all the little ones gather together.  If so, then you probably know some friends up there.  I know that B. is probably a friend to you and I know you'll be so sweet to little J. who just got there.  Their mamas miss you as much as I do honey, but we know that you are all whole and happy and with Jesus and that makes our sad days easier.  I also wonder if family knows each other.  I think that your Great Grandma Sherd and Great Grandma Wilson are loving all over you and from what I hear of her, I bet your Great Grandma Gracie is singing praises to the Lord with you on her hip.

Oh Ella.  You have my heart always.  I am so proud to be your mama.  I love that we have memories of you to hold on to forever.  And I'm so glad that we will be together again and that this life here on earth is just a blink of an eye compared to the time we'll have together in heaven!

Happy Birthday sweet girl.  We will spend your special day celebrating you.  We will have fun, but I bet you will have more. ;)

I love you,

Monday, June 30, 2014

Two years

My third baby's birthday is coming up.  Two years.  Oh.  It's so hard to think that it's been two years since I kissed her little cheeks and held her small body close.  I miss her so very much.

I have felt such a discontent lately.  I shared about it in a previous post.  Looking back I realized that I was exactly like this last year.  In the week or so leading up to Ella's first birthday I was a hot mess of emotions.  Cranky.  Angry.  Sad.  with a little happy and normal thrown in there.  I felt a little out of control.  I remember so clearly the day before her birthday.  Shane was trying so so hard for us to have a good time and make memories and I just could not do it.  Yet on the day of her first birthday, I was ok.  It was nice to celebrate her as a family.

So we will get through this week.  We will celebrate Ella's birthday on Saturday and know that she's having a bigger, better party in heaven.

But I still miss her.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


When we took Gracie to camp we stayed in North Webster.  It was a busy quick visit with lots of friends and fun.  Gavin was reunited with his BFF, Libby.  Despite his face in this picture, he was happy. :)
I have great, great friends.  I miss them all!
Graham and Grace (even though her visit was shorter with being at camp) love these two.  Sophie and Oliver are such good friends.  Graham will tell you.  He only has one friend and it's Oliver and he is his "best friend" :)
We stayed in a cabin across from our old house!  It was nice to have all of that space.  Graham obviously was a bit wore out with all of our visiting. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Count Your Blessings...

(written a few weeks ago)

Writing has proven to be so therapeutic for me over the past years  I am not sure why then, I have not continued.  I'm sure it's the multitude of things going on.  Anyway, if writing has lifted my spirits and lightened my heart so I will continue.   

For many different reasons my heart has felt heavy in the past month or so.  Some things I can pinpoint- A new house, new places to learn, the host of various Dr apts (all well checks, do not worry) for 5 people in a family makes for lots of scheduling and running, a house that is lived in makes for messes.  And while I am enjoying parts of our homeschooling journey, having my kids home ALL.THE.TIME means that there really isn't a time that it's clean.  Ever. And laundry?  Well, I know that will end when my kids leave for college.  Ha! Throw in there some postpartum hormones and extra baby weight that won't budge and it adds up.

I am a people person.  I love to chat with friends.  I love to make plans and have play dates for my kids.  I like going and doing.  Even though our little town was small, we lived in a great community where friends were a walk away and neighbors loved my kids so well.  There was always someone to visit or a sucker to be shared if my kids just asked sweetly.  (side note:  when I was little I did the exact same thing- took flowers, or weeds, or whatever,  to our neighbor so she would give me cookies. Or pickles.  Ha!)

I am confident that the Lord led us to move for many reasons and He has so blessed us in this journey.  But that doesn't mean it's been easy.  I've been lonely.  I've missed neighbors, and good friends and long walks around the lake.   I've missed a church community that opened their hearts to us so freely. I've missed good worship and a message that challenges me.  (we are still looking for a new church "home") Having three littles has been such an adjustment on top of this.  And we are teaching our kids at home (we LOVE this and this is NOT a problem for us. :) ) Which means there isn't a lot of down time.  And did I mention that they are creative and busy and that my house is NEVER clean? I have a baby who doesn't yet sleep all night- however, I do know that he won't stay little for long and that day is coming soon and oh the rejoicing that will happen when that day comes!

A few times this past week my heart has just been...heavy.  I can't really explain it.  A few times I would just stop and feel like everything was running around me. The thoughts I shared above would weave themselves through my head and I just felt ....sad.  The closest I can get to it is those months after I had Ella where I just felt like I was in a cloud.  Looking back, I know that there was a touch of depression in that cloud.  Grief will do that to you.  

So I am thinking that is it.  I am grieving my old life in my little town and my friends and my church and my sleep.... I think that is ok.  It's ok to be sad about what has changed.  

What is not ok though (for me!) is to stay there.  I'm reminded about this post. It's still applicable for me.   SO... I will count my blessings today and know that being grateful and thankful is one way to cure the blues.  I will trust that He knows the plans He has for me.  

My blessings:

Thing 1,2, and 3.  And this guy.  This day was so so great.  I told Shane that I wanted to go strawberry picking and I wanted us ALL to go.  I am fairly certain that picking strawberries on a hot hot morning with 3 littles was not on his list to do on his day off.  He doesn't even really like strawberries!  But he did it without complaining.  And we did pick!  

And then I had all these berries that were so sweet and yummy and needed made into jam.  (I am pretty sure Grace ate at least 2 quarts!!)

I know this added more to what I already feel like is a full life, but I like this. I  like making food for my family and they love it and it makes me happy to cook/bake/make jam for them.

And he makes me happy.  He took care of the kids, he mashed strawberries, and he ran around looking for extra jars for me.  

52 jars and some change.  Enough for our family to enjoy jam on toast, sandwiches, pancakes... you name it!  Enough to share with friends.  

What a great group of blessings.

*This is not meant to be a woe is me post.  I know and believe that the Lord has us where we are for a reason and I know change is always hard for me.  I will make friends, I will sleep, life will calm down. This post was for me to get my thoughts out and to remind myself to be thankful.  Even in the hardest times there is much to be thankful for.