My Ugly Pillow

 I made an ugly pillow today. This is not what I thought I would be writing a blog about. Actually, about this time I figured that I would be making an announcement. When you hear the word announcement, I’m sure you know what’s going to follow, and your guess is probably right. By this time I thought I would be 12 weeks pregnant and ready to tell the world. However, life, as you all know, rarely goes exactly as planned. I first suspected the presence of baby number nine pretty early on (I have six children on earth, now three in heaven). I took my children on a jet boat trip in September and was ridiculously nauseous the whole time. But it was way too early for a pregnancy test, and I thought it was way too early to be nauseous because of a pregnancy, so I waited a few weeks and then took the test. Sure enough, it was positive. But the line was pretty faint, so I waited another week and took another test. It was positive as well. My husband and I were so happy. We waited a while to tel

Time Tricks

 So, I have a teenager…and I’ve noticed that she struggles in the area of time management. It seems like she is always doing things at the last minute and always the last one into the car when we go places. And, though it has been very frustrating, I totally get that she comes by it honestly…and it’s not from her dad’s side!  I want my children to be better at time management than I am…and I really want to be better, too. So I’ve developed a system that has been working well for over a month now and I thought I would share it with you in case you might find it helpful, too. What I’ve been doing is setting an alarm for 30 minutes before we need to leave the house. Sounds simple, right? And then be done it in the past, and it hasn’t worked. But I have a twist on it.  When the alarm goes off 30 minutes before we are supposed to leave, I hit the ten-minute-snooze button and announce to everyone that it is time to clean up/finish what they were doing. And I do the same. I know that part of

Face Plant!

 In the past 8 days I have attended 9 soccer games, 1 football game, 1 jet boat trip, 2 Bible studies, 1 mamas’ night out, 1 slip and slide event, baby sat a little baby for two days, and took children to 9 different soccer practices…oh, the children also got all their individual school done for the week. We won’t talk about how many loads of laundry or sinks full of dishes I have washed. Oh yes, I also canned tomato sauce and my hubby helped me make three canner-loads of pickles… Not exactly slowing down, is it? Yeah, I think it’s easy to say that my attempts at slowing down face planted this week… Not that I feel like I completely failed at being present. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the children play soccer. The joy of my kids’ faces during the jet boat trip was treasured in my heart. I’m thankful for the times spent with friends and family and the meaningful conversations that I was able to squeeze in with my husband. But I feel like this week missed some imp

Taking the Plunge

 My daughters chose to be baptized last Sunday.  I’ve actually been meaning to arrange for them to be baptized for a couple years now. They have shown interest for that long, at least my oldest has. Each of the past two summers have been so busy that I never got around to arranging a time and place. But this year someone else at our church requested to be baptized in the river, and since my girls were interested too, the church made a day of it. After service we all drove up to the gravel bar that would work best for the man who was being baptized (he is wheelchair bound). Maybe my girls were more ready this year than they had been in the past. I’m still on a spiritual and emotional high from that day. Don’t get me wrong, my wedding day was wonderful and the birth of each my children was absolutely amazing. But the day that my girls decided to publicly announce that they were dedicating their lives to Jesus…well, there are no words! This is what my mama heart has always longed for and

My Present School Year

 This Sunday I began my 11th year of homeschooling…that’s really crazy to think of! I still feel like such a newbie in a lot of ways, even though my oldest is starting 9th grade and logically I would be considered a veteran homeschooler. I have learned so much over the years, but I also feel like I have so much more to learn.  My fifth child is starting preschool this year, and that is what I have been the most excited for this fall. Preschool is just so fun! Especially when you don’t push and go at the child’s pace (a very painful lesson I have learned over the years). The excitement and enthusiasm they have for starting is just unmatched by any other age. And it feels almost sacred, teaching them the beginnings of what will lead them to the huge world of reading. I especially almost tear up when I think that teaching them their letter sounds now will enable them to someday read the beautiful words of the Bible; life changing words that will have an eternal impact!  It’s easy to be ex

The Beauty of Simplicity

Last year we had a lovely camping trip with friends at Crater Lake. Of course there were a few bumps in the road (for some reason, the three other families were put together at the campground and my family was out on a totally different loop!), but there are in every trip. We had fun times and took great pictures. When we were planning our camping trips for this summer, I thought that our friends were interested in going back to Crater Lake this year, so I put in on the calendar. I also wanted to take the kids to see The Oregon Caves since my four-year-old just grew tall enough to pass the minimum height restriction, so I figured we would see the caves and camp the first night in that area, go to Crater Lake the next day, and then camp somewhere in highway 138 or at Diamond Lake the next night or two. It was during the week, so I figured we would be able to find a spot somewhere. It would be adventurous to be gypsies for a bit. But as we got closer to the dates, I found that none of ou

They Need Your Children!

Can I get an amen??? Last Sunday morning was awesome. I rolled out of bed and the baby actually stayed asleep, so  I was able to get so much done ! Not just for that morning, but in prep for my upcoming camping trip. I even got lunch in the IP while the big girls were getting the baby dressed. And yes, I was still a little late for church, but I didn’t really care because I was feeling like a rock star.  Ladies, this Sunday stands out because there have been sooooooo many that have not went this well. Like, literally hundreds of them! I am usually the hot mess that shows up ten minutes late with at least one child either wearing mismatched shoes or pants that are too small or has breakfast in his hair (or all three!). My seven-year-old does not understand that collars go on the outside  of your shirt, not tucked in, and I often don't realize that he hasn't fixed it til the end of the service. And my teen is going through a phase where she thinks sweatpants work for church (Lord

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