Monday, December 15, 2014

Simply Delightful

Last Christmas we received a wonderful gift in the mail, a keyboard and a guitar. My brother was helping finalize a family estate and came across these treasures he thought we might like to have. What a gift! I was excited and super thankful. (Thanks again, Jay!) Piano lessons had crossed my mind before but as with anything practice is required. No instrument, no practice.

So when these treasures arrived last Christmas I talked to the older two kids about lessons and both were excited. Fast forward to the summer, which is when I finally got around to calling about lessons. :) Well, recitals were just taking place and lessons wouldn't begin again until the Fall. We scheduled lessons with a lovely Sister who teaches both piano and guitar and does lessons back-to-back for the kids. Fall arrives and Kiersten is still excited but Isaiah has changed his mind. I have to say I told him he was going to take lessons anyhow and we'd just see how the year played out.

If I could convey in words what a gem Sister A is I would. She is a perfect fit and blessing for our family. After the first lesson BOTH kids came out smiling and happy. Nothing has changed in the weeks that have followed. I have had no complaints or whining when asking them to practice. The experience as a whole has been wonderful.

Recently there  was a mid-year Christmas recital. Isaiah didn't play in it but Kiersten did. Sister knew she could accompany her and fill-in the song whereas for Isaiah she couldn't really do that. (All was well because he wouldn't have wanted to participate anyhow!)


The evening was simply delightful, a true joy. (We'll not discuss the behavior of the other'll ruin the moment.) There were performers of all ages and abilities. Each performed a Christmas tune and as it happened they all played on the piano. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the only thing that would have made it better was if the husband and I had made it a date! :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Walk in the Woods

Every now and again the urge to get outside hits me. I love to walk but not so much around the neighborhood. If I am going to take a walk I prefer an unpaved trail to a cemented sidewalk. It really isn't the type of path that is important but rather the scenery through which the path passes that I am most interested in. I am thankful that we live not far at all from some really wonderful trails. The kids don't let me go for as long as I would like, but when you are a Mom you take what you can get. True?

This was a lovely Fall day and the weather was glorious. I love seeing my four littles ahead of me. I also love the glorious colors that the Lord puts on display during this time of year. I simply cannot get enough of it.


We know someone who is fully color blind- he only sees shades of white, black and grey. I never felt so keenly the blessing of seeing the beauty of color as I did this year reflecting on that fact that not everyone gets to see what I see.

Back to the woods. 

Another thing I enjoy about walking on a trail is that the kids run ahead of me looking for different treasures. On this particular path a ways in there start to appear white, wooden owls on the trees. It becomes a fun game of who can spot the next owl around the bend. On this particular trip Isaiah spotted this gem.


He has a good eye, that one. And in a valiant effort I tried to get a decent picture of all four of the kids together. Here is a sample of that attempt. :) Enjoy & Blessings.



Monday, June 16, 2014

She’s done it!


My Katie girl has joined the olders in a milestone this past week. She has learned to ride a bike without the training wheels. I will admit she didn't choose to undertake this adventure of her own freewill. I kinda forced her. I can be a mean mom like that.

This bike is on kid #3 and the plastic training wheels have taken quite a beating. Katie was leaning so far over to compensate for how off her training wheels were. It just didn’t make sense to let her continue on learning to lean so far off center when we could take them off and let ‘er go. : )

Katie sets a high standard for herself and was frustrated after 20 minutes of her first attempt that she hadn’t conquered it yet. (She has a competitive streak that serves her well.) I made her a promise that within 7 days she would be riding unassisted and like a pro- I am a woman of my word. : )

Since learning to go on her own she takes almost every opportunity to head out to driveway and ‘practice’. You can see from the smile she shows at the end of the video (pure Katie) that she is quite satisfied with herself, as she should be!


No Training Wheels for #3! from Jess on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Late Night Date

Each night I have a date. About 11 o’clock or so I go see my Katie Girl. My sole job is to get her to go to the bathroom and then tuck her back up in her warm covers. Sometimes she is awake and other times not so much. She has said a few funny things in her sleepy state that lead me to believe I had woken her from a dream. (The dreams tends to involve one of the older siblings whom she is either scolding or asking something. : ))

My Katie Girl is the first of our kids who has struggled to stay dry during the night. She had been wearing a pull-up to bed for more than a year after she was fully potty trained and I would like to say 5 out of the 7 mornings a week she would wake up wet. Then one day she wanted to go to bed in her underwear. Of course she would ask just when the washing machine broke and I had to tell her no with the promise that when the new washer arrived we’d give it a go.  It was a few weeks between when the washer broke and when the new one came but she hadn’t forgotten. That very night we started wearing underwear to bed and our nightly dates began.

I really want her to succeed at staying dry and a family member had mentioned this was what their family did for them when they struggled with staying dry during the night. So, each and every night I stay up and make sure she goes potty. We have had 2 accidents in the almost 3 months we’ve been “dating”. : ) Some day she’ll get up on her own and won’t need me anymore but until then I’ll enjoy my cute, quiet and cuddly date.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How You Know She’s Truly Sick

This one hasn’t really been sick much. I think this is one of the few times (second time?) she has had a stomach bug of some sort. See, with the boys’ I know they aren’t feeling well because they stop their constant motion and will sit still. With the Katie girl I knew she wasn’t well because she didn’t talk. : ) Her days are filled with talk. It starts the moment her feet touch the floor in the morning until sleep claims her at night.
It was nice, in its own way, to have a little extra quiet. To be honest though it just didn’t seem right.
She stayed on the couch resting near her bucket. It was hard to believe she fell asleep in the middle of the day and I had to capture her sweet face. She also went into our bed and took another nap later in the day. (Clue #2 something was amiss.) Thankfully the bug only lasted 12 or so hours and then she started to feel her normal self. Well, at least that is what we surmised since she start talking and eating again just before she went to bed that night. : )

Tuesday, February 5, 2013



Oh, he’s cute alright. A little sweetie pie. That is until you get him into the tub. I’ve had bathtub poopers but this one is the champion. I can count on one hand, between both girls, the number of times they went in the bathtub. Isaiah, well he was a little more relaxed, shall we say, in his bathing habits. But Zeke? Lord, give me patience! I mean the kid doesn’t even need the water in the tub. The tub will have just been drained and he’ll squat and go.

Every one has their limits, right? A few weeks ago I had reached mine. I put him in the tub and within 5 minutes we’ve got company. I just wasn’t having any of it. Drained the tub, removed the offending party and promptly let Zeke know it was shower time. : ) Under the shower he goes and we are out of the bathroom with no further incidents.


Turns out I gave him a little bit of complex with that shower. The next time I mentioned bath my bath loving son cried. Oh dear, what have I done?

A little more time has passed and he is back to his bath loving self. I will say he hasn’t returned to his poop-tastic ways. Yet.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Her Royal Highness

I think I could keep most people entertained on what Katie alone says at home each day. All kids say some pretty clever, funny things but being as Katie most definitely talks the most in our house it stands to reason I have more stories to share about what she says.

The other day I was putting clean sheets on Kiersten’s bed using the step-ladder. The ladder is a must now because I simply cannot pull out Isaiah and Zeke’s beds to make the upper bunk. Those beds are far heavier than the girls’. All that aside, I am making the bed when Miss Katie comes up the stairs and parks herself on the top step of the ladder.

“Call me your Highness,” she says to me. (Thankfully I am on the phone to my mother so I have a witness that can testify to the fact that I DO NOT make these things up! : ))

“Call you my what?” I ask, because I am sure I did not hear her correctly. I did have my one and only good ear attached to the phone after all.

“Your Highness,” she replies. “I am the Queen.” (Well,well. I knew she thought so but to have her admit it out loud? Interesting.)

We chat just a little bit more and then Katie gets on the phone with Grandma who is already tickled about the way the conversation has been going.

As I am listening to Katie’s responses I can tell my mom is telling her she isn’t the queen but rather a princess. As much as Katie is in to princess’ she was having none of it. I am not sure what argument my mom was using but at one point Katie says to her with a hint of tease to her voice, “I don’t know…it sounds a little sketchy to me.” : )

Sweet Mother of Mystery that girl keeps my mind sharp. She isn’t physically exhausting…she is mentally exhausting!