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Laura
Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sale!


Vision Forum is having a great sale now through Friday, December 2. Everything is 20-50% off, and they are offering free shipping on orders over $25 (with code NOSHIPPING)!! Feel free to use my affiliate link below or on my sidebar if you'd like. :)



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Winner!

The winner of the hat giveaway is Nikki R.! Thanks so much to everyone who entered!! I plan to have another giveaway next week, so be sure to come back and enter that one as well.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Giveaway!




Since Thanksgiving is this week I thought I'd let you all know that I am thankful for you! I've been blogging for 5 years this month, and this is my 721st post. I originally started this blog so that I would have some sort of a record of our family's growth and day-to-day life. I also started it for out-of-town family that we don't get to see much. It didn't take long for me to really enjoy blogging just for the sake of blogging! And I have loved reading your comments and your blogs over the past 5 years!

As a small way of showing my gratefulness for my blogging friends, I am giving away a hat that I made. This is a newborn size girl hat. I realize that many of you do not have newborn girls, but you could save it or even give it as a gift if you wanted to. I will have another giveaway next week for a few hair flowers that I made. Maybe I'll make a boy hat after that. :)

I'm going to make this really simple. To be entered once, leave a comment on this post. For an extra entry, post about this giveaway on your blog or link to it on Facebook and then leave another comment letting me know that you have done so. The giveaway will end at midnight on Friday, November 25.

*The hat pictured above is not the exact hat that I am giving away. I sent the one in the picture to a friend, and the one for the giveaway is cream and blue. My camera is acting up though, and I can't seem to get a decent picture of it, so I posted the white and blue one. I used this tutorial to make the hat.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Who Said That Cleaning Wasn't Fun?!?







Thursday, November 17, 2011

Aquarium

We enjoyed a short road trip to a local aquarium last weekend, thanks to Adam's sister and her family! We had a great time, as you can see from the pictures.


Abigail enjoyed impersonating a fish. :)














I'm not sure what Noah was impersonating!















Esther tends to be the most hands-on of all the children. She loved touching the manta rays and the sturgeon.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Just What I Needed

I had a bit of a rough start to my day yesterday and was pretty short on patience before we even had breakfast cleaned up. While I was waiting for my oldest two to complete a short math assignment, I hopped on the computer to check for blog updates. I found this post on Learning to Sympathize from Leading Little Hearts Home. It was pretty much exactly what I was needing to read. There are so many issues in parenting that I find hard to balance, and sympathy is no exception. I don't want to cater to whining or foster wimpy, self-centered countenances in my children. At the same time, however, I want them to know that I care about the things that concern them, many of which are a much bigger deal to them as children than they are to me as an adult. I remember, as a child, being upset over certain things that are silly and inconsequential to me now. I'm sure that my children experience many of the same thoughts and emotions that I did at their age. Below are a few excerpts from the blog post, and you can click on the link above if you'd like to read the rest of it.

I say that I am working at cultivating sympathy, because there are times when I do not feel it naturally. And there are plenty of times when I fail to be sympathetic.

Today I failed.
I asked one of the girls to water our strawberries and when I looked outside she was watering a rock. A rock. In an area that I had spent quite a bit of time weeding just a few days before. A few inches over were the strawberries- as parched as ever. But that rock... well, it was getting all the attention. And I did not feel very sympathetic.

I hollered out the back door asking what she was doing and you know- I believe she had no idea why she was doing what she was doing. She was just experimenting. Making her own waterfall. And although she needed guidance- she also could've used a little sympathy.

Just as with other good habits, practice makes progress. I see the value in choosing to be sympathetic with our children's weaknesses and being the person they can trust with their failings and hurts.

The Lord helping me, I need create a habit of sympathy.

I know that we worry about the implications of being overly sympathetic with our children- especially boys. If we sympathize with them when they are injured we fear that we will create whiny, wimpy children who run to Mama for every little offense, right? And isn't there a place to say "shake it off"? Absolutely there is.

Once we know the scenario, we might need to ask our kiddos to stop crying or shake it off. Once we know the scenario...
And I hope you realize that I am not suggesting that we should ever reward spoiled or demanding behavior or overlook disobedience. Not at all. Not ever. We cannot overlook issues and call it grace. That is not grace- it is negligence. But sympathy doesn't over look.
Sympathy is a spirit needed in times of childish foolishness; when a child is struggling with temptation; in times of injury and when a child has failed and is in need of being restored.
It is a sincere concern for our children's souls and creates a strength of character, not a wimpy character.

Instead of a child needing to demonstrate how hurt they are for an ounce of attention, we let them know we are concerned and on their team right off the bat.
When enter into their troubles and concerns, we win the opportunity to direct their hearts toward godliness and they will hear us when we let them know this is one of those times to shake it off.
We can be too hands off- ignoring what is really happening- but we cannot be too sympathetic.




Monday, November 07, 2011

Recipe



We have been enjoying a variety of soups lately since we've been having some nice crisp weather. Most of what I have made are old favorites like Garlic Vegetable Soup, Taco Soup, and Chicken Noodle Soup. I want to make some Baked Potato Soup soon, but this past week I tried Italian Sausage Minestrone, which turned out the be great! Adam really liked it and all of the children gobbled it up. I paired it with Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins the first day, and today we just had some crackers along with the leftovers. The recipe calls for Italian sausage, but I used turkey sausage instead and omitted the pasta. I love pasta, but I just didn't think that this soup needed it. Oh, and I couldn't find cannellini beans, so I substituted baby lima beans instead. I think I'll just stick with that substitution next time and not bother with the other.

I have dropped the ball over the past few months with posting my weekly meal plans. To be perfectly honest, I have changed my strategy a bit. Instead of planning a whole month at a time, I usually do two weeks worth of meals and I do not assign them to specific days. It has cut out a bit of frustration for me since school sometimes takes longer than I anticipate, which gives me less time to spend on meal preparation. This way I have a list of possibilities to choose from depending on the amount of time I have that day. I really like to make freezer meals, but until this past weekend our deep freezer was still at our old house. I had forgotten how small those over-the-refrigerator freezers are! Since we have our large freezer again, I'm going to start filling it with meals for when after the baby arrives...less than 9 weeks now! Oh, who am I kidding. It will be at least 10 weeks!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

31 Weeks!

Thanks to my 6yo photographer, Abigail. :)


I can't believe I'm 31 weeks already! It's hard to believe how fast the time is flying by. My pregnancies always seem to go so quickly once I hit 30 weeks, and I'm guessing that this time will be no exception since the time from Thanksgiving to New Year's goes by in a flash even when I'm not pregnant.

I've been feeling great! My varicose veins are an ever-present nuisance, but I'm thankful that they haven't bothered me too much this time around. They could certainly be a lot worse. My typical 3rd trimester massive weight gain has begun! I had gained 8 pounds at 24 weeks, and now at 30 weeks I've gained a total of 21 pounds. That would be 13 pounds in 7 weeks. :) Oh well. I'm not the least bit worried about it. I do hope to get myself into a more regular walking routine now that the weather has cooled off for good though. There are so many nice places to walk around here and the fresh air and exercise is good for all of us.