Sunday, March 24, 2013


What a wonderful baptism! We've so enjoyed each of our children's baptisms- K was in our front yard in NC, T was with family while we were in Kansas, and C, KG, and baby C in my parents' front yard. My Dad, my cousin Ed, our five kids and I all wore my Dad's baptism gown- now 70+ years old.)
Here's a pic after Sunday morning church service- my Mom got the pretty matching dresses for the girls and handsome green and pink shirts for boys.

I'm hoping to get some more pictures of the actual baptism. Here's the group shot afterwards. The ceremony was so nice- a warm, personal promise to raise our daughter to know God. Pastor Laidlaw sprinkled C with water he brought back from the Jordan River when he went to the Holy Land with my parents.

Baby C's wearing her cross necklace from the Sellers and hanging out with Daddy.
David always finds the baby!
After her Baptism, we enjoyed a super meal (Low country boil) with good friends! The day could not have gone any better. C was super sweet- grinning at everyone and so happy. The kids were good. God blessed us by holding off the rain until afterwards. A wonderful night!

Spring Break

What a terrific trip! James had spring break last week so we decided to go to NC and FL and I'm so glad we did. Last Friday we drove down to Grandma's house. We got there in time for K to shoot his 22 out back and then Friday night pizza and movie night. The kids loved watching Charlie Brown's Easter. We spent Saturday driving down to FL. This was Baby C's farthest traveling and she sometimes had enough in the car but was usually content to hold a hand as long as stopped when it was time to eat. Sunday started with Sunday cereal and green oatmeal and was a wonderful day of church, naps, and Baby C's baptism.  We all enjoyed the church service with wonderful music and great friends.

We had several fun things planned that we didn't do because the kids were a little under the weather but we still had a good time. One of the favorite things for the kids in Florida is special time with Papa. We've been starting that at age 4 but decided KG was close enough so the 4 big kids all got to go- K to Rotary, 2 boys to breakfast, and KG out for fun. They loved it!

We also enjoyed the wonderful weather with some egg decorating on the porch. 

 One afternoon we went horseback riding with Hopes and Dreams- a horse facility to support wounded warriors, veterans, and their families. The kids all loved it. T is such an animal lover. K loved being able to guide the horse himself. 
 Baby C enjoyed cuddling and napping there!

 Another favorite activity at Nana & Papas is swimming in the hot tub. Everytime it started to rain- the kids ran for the hot tub.
 we're also very thankful for Bibb park across the street. This time they played some baseball with Bibb grandkids. Here's KG and her driver.

 KG's first birthday celebration was in FL!
 Nana and Cinderella
 We left FL Thursday morning and spent the night at a friend's in Fayetteville. It was nice to go back to Manna Thursday night. Friday James ran a lot of errands and we were so thankful for super friends who loaned us their car, fed us lunch, and let us hang out all morning when we called that morning. Here's KG and her BFF- see their matching necklaces

 K often says how thankful he is that we have friends all over the world- which is so true. It's also true that Fayetteville is where we have the most friends. We had a terrific afternoon with great friends Friday night. Hillegonda had 15 kids, 9 parents over for bouncing, pizza, and movies. Our friend reunion/ KG's birthday party was a blast! we enjoyed the kid play time and grown up chatting time!

 And that night our whole family slept through the night! My first time in at least 4 months!! Nice!
 Saturday morning we drove back to Grandma's. Here's KG's birthday cake (#3). We enjoyed playing predator outside, visiting, and more Charlie Brown.
 Lots of tired people after a wonderful trip!
We got home tonight and filled our thankful journal- so many blessings- good friends and family, safe travels, wonderful memories, ... Thank you!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I get really frustrated with myself for not sticking with things lots of times. It's really hard for me to stick with something if it doesn't seem to be working or if something better comes along. I'm not talking about the big important things like marriage :) but little things like a laundry system, school schedule, ...

but I thought I'd share some of the things that have worked for us

salads in a jar- we started making these during our whole 30 month and have continued. They're great for quick lunch- home or away. just add some protein and dressing and lunch! yes, we could make a huge salad but you can put different veggies in for different days and it feels like something different for lunch.

individual laundry- we just switched to the boys use their laundry basket for just their own dirty clothes; then they take that laundry basket to the washing machine. they wash, dry, fold, and put away their clothes.  I do sometimes put the white socks in with our whites load but other than that- no sorting.

kids cleaning the bathroom daily- loving this. Yes, we are giving them a "commission" for this daily job but definitely worth it. Bathrooms look much better and they have some money to practice spending, saving, and giving.

Bible verse memory system- we have used this for a long time now and really like it. We have daily, every other day, weekly, and monthly verses depending on how well we know them. We add verses from Royal Rangers, Community Bible Study, our family devotions, or just ones we want to hide in our hearts.

15 minutes with Daddy- what a blessing for James and for the kids. For a while, we struggled with how to fit this in. We are really blessed to live only a mile from James' work but there's still not much time once he gets home before bedtime. Now almost every night right after dinner, James takes one child for "15ish minutes" of uninterrupted time while the others and I clean up after dinner. Circuits (from Uncle Steven), drawing and cards are the favorite activities right now. A short time but great chance for one on one time with Daddy.

Momschool- similar to 15 minutes but the kids don't get to pick out what they do. Some days I help them with math one on one- math card games are fun way to practice math facts. We play math crazy eights, math war- where they add, subtract, multiply, or divide depending on what they're working on in math. C and I are reading Langston Hughes right now. T is working on 100 EZ lessons. K and I have been writing some poems. The other kids read, have alone playing time, work on spanish or handwriting, or play with one buddy. Nice for all!

Managers of their chores- this is pretty new to us but I'm glad we got it. It's been great to read about how good chores are for kids and how important it is to inspect what you expect. It's also helped me not to try to add a ton of new things at once but still feel like we have a system in place. Their chores are in the computer- I can easily add, change as needed.

Cloth diapers- we've been doing this for a long time now. But Baby C was the first one to use prefolds. They always seemed to hard. But now maybe it's not having several toddlers :) or just realizing that they're not all that different- they work. It's great because I added tons more diapers for not a lot of money but sometimes I run out of covers before diapers. In a pinch, I've used a disposable diaper for a cover which worked well.

Nightly sweeping- one area i've always had a hard time with was sweeping/ wiping the table. I want the kids to do it but I also want the crumbs up. It's hard for me not to go right behind them to get what they missed. But what does that say to them? you can't do it well enough. If they're able to do it better, I should have them redo it. If not, let it be. Now, they do it after breakfast and lunch and I do it after dinner. I sleep much better with the crumbs up :)

Daily Bible reading- we've done lots of different things over the years but I like this the best so far. Before breakfast, K and C sit down and we read through a chapter in the New Testament while T and KG play quietly on their blankets. Then we switch and I read a storybook Bible to T and KG while K and C play. We've really loved the Jesus Storybook Bible for this. Everyone listens to all of it without quite the crowd on the couch!

I don't know if anyone is reading this but it's been good for me just to see on paper :) that there are things that we're doing well. Sometimes it feels like we're sowing and sowing and don't always see the return. But I do know changes don't happen overnight.