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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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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Night-Night Prayer

The more children we have the more convinced I become of the importance of schedules, traditions, and rituals.  We have been on a pretty strict daytime schedule since the beginning of the school year.  While it is nice to diverge from it occasionally, we stick to it the vast majority of the time and our days run much more smoothly when we do.

Evening rituals are important as well, and I thought I would share one of ours.  Starting from the time when Adam gets home from work, we have an "order of business", so to speak.  It includes dinner, Bible reading, cleaning up, getting ready for bed, etc.  I think that the childrens' favorite times of the evening are Papa reading aloud to them (currently The Bronze Bow) and singing the "night-night prayer".  Adam started the tradition of the night-night prayer a long time ago.  I don't remember exactly when it was, but I think we only had two or three children at that point.  It is sung to a very simple tune (Tallis' Canon, which was written by Thomas Tallis in the 1500's)) and the words are perfect for going to bed.

All praise to thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light;
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath thine own almighty wings.

Forgive me, Lord, for thy dear Son,
The ills that I this day have done;
That with the world, myself, and thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.

O may my soul on thee repose,
And with sweet sleep mine eyelids close;
Sleep that may me more vig'rous make
To serve my God when I awake.

When in the night I sleepless lie,
My soul with heav'nly thoughts supply;
Let no ill dreams disturb my rest,
No pow'rs of darkness me molest.

O when shall I in endless day
For ever chase dark sleep away,
And hymns with the supernal choir
Incessant sing, and never tire!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heav'nly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Thomas Ken, c. 1674

Friday, February 22, 2013

Out of the Ordinary

I got absolutely nothing accomplished this past week toward my goals for February, but I'm okay with that.  We took our "spring break".  We left last Friday to go visit my dad.  The children love going to Grandpa's house and we had a great time with him!  Adam ended up staying home to attend a funeral on Saturday, so the children and I made the drive back on Monday morning.

I forgot to take the camera when we visited Grandpa, but thankfully a couple of the ones that I took with my phone turned out well.  Joshua asked Grandpa to teach him how to play chess.  

We stopped by Hobby Lobby to buy some new flowers for my mom's grave.  I expected the other ones to look pretty bad since they had been there for months, but they actually still looked good, so we just added the new ones to the bunch.  Everyone picked out the one that they thought Grandma would like. :)

After a trip to Costco and some unpacking and cleaning up, we were ready for Nikki and her children to visit us from Florida!  They arrived Tuesday and left this morning, so we had a fun few days with them.  We all enjoyed the change from our normal schedule, but we'll be glad to get back to it on Monday.  Here are some pictures from our week.

The whole group!  From left Daniel (5), Joseph (2), Abigail (7), Peter (13mo), Joshua (9), Noah (4), Mary (sitting on the floor - 14mo), Sarah Beth (6), Esther (6), Rachel (3), and Hannah (5).  

Boys in a stagecoach.  We went to a Western art museum that has a fun play area for children.  

Mary is about 3 weeks older than Peter.  She's a great walker, and I'm hoping that Peter took notes while she was here. :)  

Hannah, Rachel, and Joseph in the stagecoach.

Two little boys on a horse. :) 

Joseph, Rachel, and Peter cooking at the chuck wagon.

Peter getting into stuff. :)

Everyone was trying to flock around the computer at once.  It's amazing how media and technology attracts children so quickly!  We had to limit the time spent here so that they could enjoy the other things.  

Joshua giving Mary a good-bye hug.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

3 in 30

I did okay on my goals this week, but not great.  I did manage to get a few things done that are not on my list for this month though, so that makes me feel a little better.  One thing I was able to accomplish was getting Hannah's dress pleated and ready to smock.  I need to get cracking on that if it is going to be finished in time.  The smocking on Esther's dress is complete, but I still have to sew it together.

1. Make some headway on my yearly goal of turning this blog into a book.  I didn't even think about this goal once.  Oops.  

2. Put at least one meal per week into the freezer for after the baby's arrival.  I made a double batch of Taco Soup on Tuesday (Joshua's request for his birthday dinner) and put half of it into the freezer.

3.  Work on my yearly goal of cleaning and organizing different "zones" in the house.  I cleaned out the pantry and the refrigerator.  I'm not sure if that counts.  I had hoped to do some work in the boys' room, but I'll have to shoot for that next week.  

Joshua, Abigail, and Esther's goal for this month is to practice piano five days a week with me helping them three days.  They practiced four days and I helped them 2, so we didn't quite reach the goal.  We did make some progress though, which is more than I can say for last month!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nine Years

Joshua turned nine on Tuesday!  I tried to get this post up then, but I was having problems with the iPhoto and couldn't get it done.  Anyhow, here are some pictures of Joshua starting with one from his second day of life!

My mom was so excited about her first grandchild!  Of course she was equally as excited about the twelve that came after, but there's just something about that first one.  It's hard to explain, but as a mother, I understand.  

Listening to Papa read the Bible.

Joshua's 1st birthday...one month before he became a big brother!

Joshua has always been a sweet older brother.  He loves his sisters!

2 years old

Excited about Hannah's arrival!

Silliness. :) 

Joshua was thrilled to finally get a brother!

And then another brother. :) 

Escorting Abigail in to hear the symphony.

We started off Joshua's 9th birthday with a scavenger hunt.  Each of the other children had picked a gift out of the $1 section at Target the day before.  Abigail and Esther made clues and they all hid the gifts for Joshua to find.  Everyone had so much fun that I think we'll make a tradition out of it!

Happy Birthday, Joshua!!!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

February Goals

I did not post a 3 in 30 update last week because...well...I didn't feel like it!  I think I was just being lazy.  We're well into a new month now, and here are our goals for February.

1. Make some headway on my yearly goal of turning this blog into a book.  I decided to keep this goal from last month.  I didn't get as much done on it as I had hoped to, so I'm going to try to do better this month.  I got five new posts uploaded this week and I'd like to get some more done over the weekend.  

2. Put at least one meal per week into the freezer for after the baby's arrival.  I did not get a meal done this week, but I did get some Vegan Black Bean Soup in the freezer last week.  This is a wonderful and healthy recipe that we all love!  We are definitely not vegans, and to prove it I use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. :)  I usually serve it over brown rice and top it with salsa, cilantro, and sour cream.  

3.  Work on my yearly goal of cleaning and organizing different "zones" in the house.  I'm sorry to be boring, but I'm keeping this goal from last month as well.  I was able to get a lot accomplished using this strategy and I'd like to get a good bit more done.  I finished sorting through the childrens' clothes bins this week and I also almost finished organizing the school room closet.  I think my next "zone" will be the boys' room.  I need to sort through a pile of clothes that are too small and out of season and put them in the proper storage bins.  I also need to do a toy purge.  Toys can get out of control so quickly!  

My oldest three children all have the same goal and I did not consult them on it this time.  It's actually a way to squeeze in a fourth goal for myself.  Their goal is to practice the piano five days a week (three days with me).  We just don't do nearly as well with this when I don't have some sort of accountability. They really enjoy it, and we really need to be keeping up with it.

I had to throw in this video of Joseph singing the Pacific States song.  He likes to camp out on the potty and sing at the top of his lungs while he does his business. :) After hearing it over and over for about 10 minutes, I asked him if he would sing it for the camera.  I'm surprised that he did it!  In case you can't tell, the words are "The Pacific states are Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington, and the biggest of all is Alaska.  These are the Pacific states."

This post is linked up at Our Good Life.  

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


I recently watched a tutorial on Pinterest that taught me a new way to make the girls' hair curly.  Unfortunately, I did not pin it and I cannot find it anymore.  If I am able to locate it I will come back and update this post with a link.  It is so very simple and creates much nicer curls than the foam roller method or the pencil and rag method.

You need an elastic hair band like the one below that I bought at Wal-mart.  I paid around $2.50 for five or six of them.  They were a little too big for the girls' heads, so I just pinned them with a safety pin to make them smaller.

Put the band around the head kind of like a crown would go on.  It should be tight enough to stay in place, but obviously not tight enough to leave a big indentation on the head.  The hair should be clean and damp, but not wet.  I sprayed my girls' hair with a little bit of hairspray right before I did this to help hold the curl.

Grab a small section of hair, put it over the top of the band, and pull it through the other side.  Add another bit of hair, and repeat.  I did this four or five times and then started on the other side.  Both sides should meet in the middle at the back, and you just keep wrapping that hair around the band until there is none hanging down.  You may need a clip or something to keep the last loose edges in.

One plus to using this method is that it looks really cute when the hair is all wrapped up in the band!  Cute enough to wear out...unlike foam rollers. :)

Here is Esther after sleeping with her hair up.  It looked a bit rough, so I was surprised at how well it turned out.

I had my girls sleep on their hair this way and I just unraveled it in the morning, brushed it, and gave it a little more hair spray!  The curls last a really long time.  Abigail's hair is the hardest to curl, but hers stayed in the best overnight, and he hair is still pretty curly today...three days later!

I made this video today in case anyone was interested in trying it.  Esther was the model, Hannah was the videographer, and Peter was the fusser. :)  Seeing it done helped me a lot.  It's so easy and we love curls on the girls!

Friday, February 01, 2013

30 Weeks

I hit the 30-week mark this past Tuesday.  There's not much to report.  My belly is growing, baby is active, and I'm feeling good!  I gained five pounds in the past three weeks, which puts my total at 20 pounds.  That is better than the two pounds I gained over five weeks around Christmas.  Five pounds in three weeks is much more typical for me at this stage of pregnancy!  I generally gain around 30 pounds with girls and 40 pounds with boys, though I'll be surprised if I hit 40 with this one.  My usual third trimester sugar craving has kicked in.  I've been eating lots of pears and clementines.  I can't seem to get enough of them!  My typical afternoon splurge is a couple of Oreos. :)  When I'm not pregnant, I can take or leave Oreos, but they taste SO good to me right now.  I've started dutifully drinking my red raspberry leaf tea.  I had forgotten that I really dislike the taste of it.  It tastes like grass to me.  Oh well.  If it helps, it's worth it!  I'm sure the next 10 weeks will go by in a flash.  Things always seem to fly once I get to 30 weeks.  It must be the every-other-week midwife visits!