What’s Going On Lately

10 Things and some pictures.

1. After much prayer and thought, I applied for the Varsity Softball coaching job at Southmont. Just waiting to see what happens next. I have total peace with either outcome. 

2. It is SO stinking cold. This has been the coldest winter since 1994 or something. And the wind is ferocious. I am incredibly thankful to have a warm home. Temps have been regularly in the single digits or teens, with many days below zero too. The wind is gusting near 40 mph today. This weather makes me think about the pioneers who traveled cross-country with their families in covered wagons. What were they thinking?!

3. Josh and I have spent a fair amount of time drawing up ideas for the layout of our (hopefully) new home that may or may not be built next year. It’s so hard to do this on paper without having a good sense of space and dimensions of a room in real life. Can we just build the frame and then decide where everything will go? 🙂

4. I went shopping yesterday with my mom and grandma in Lafayette. We get to do this maybe once or twice a year. It is so nice to have a day to be doing non-little kid things. I don’t feel like my attention is pulled in ten directions all the time, I just get to be a grown up with grown ups that I am totally relaxed with. I spent my Christmas money (plus a liiiiittle more). I laughed thinking about how much Josh would hate to spend 6 hours browsing, trying on, sharing opinions, and buying clothes. I am sure he’s glad I went with my mom and grandma instead of him!

5. The girls have been slightly obsessed with Frozen lately and it’s making me a little batty. I liked the movie and soundtrack, but I made the mistake of playing it a few too many times because halle sings it ALL DAY LONG. She is developing a bit of an Elsa complex. So I have been encouraging her to come up with new ideas for imaginative play with limited success. She really hardly plays with toys anymore. She just pretends all day long, one thing after another (mostly Frozen but sometimes Tangled or occasionally ‘doctor’). 

6. Making ‘books’ is another new favorite of halle’s. She illustrates four pages (apparently this is the exact length of a book in her mind), and has asked me to help her spell as she writes the text on each page. So far she has done two Cinderella books, a Frozen book, and a book about a time she went to her Cousin Claire’s house. 


she’s not book-making here – this time it was stickers!

7. Reilly is still hilarious. Our funny nickname for her lately is “Little Buns” because she is usually running around in her underwear and she has the cutest tiny little bottom! She is 3.25 years but is still just such a petite thing. She’s been extra cuddly lately too which I love. She has also developed a less than desirable habit of yelling to get someone’s attention, and if you don’t answer right away she will continue yelling. I could go for some earplugs at times…


too sweet to ever be ornery right? 😉

8. Karis is into everything. Everything. Pulling books off the shelf happens multiple times a day, craft supplies pulled out of drawers, toys carried to various places in the house. Whew. I need to step up the training on my end now that she is definitely old enough to learn SOME self-control. Also, she LOVES to brush her teeth. She cries when I don’t let her in the bathroom when she stands outside yelling “TEE! TEE!” She would brush twenty times a day if I let her. Not such a bad habit but not exactly something I can supervise all day long.


spaghetti face!

9. Bath time, tea parties, movie watching, and first ponytails!….just a few more of our daily happenings around here. This time in life with little ones is most definitely trying, but super special too.





10. We had a couple of non-frigid days so we got to take a walk and play outside! Come on Spring!!


doesn’t every kid have to eat dirty snow as a right-of-passage?


if only pictures had sound…




Snowed In

The ‘big snow’ of 2014 will be long remembered. A foot of snow accompanied by sub-zero temperatures (wind chills near -40) makes for conditions that force you to be inside. With the snow expected to come in the early hours of Sunday morning, we packed up Saturday evening and headed to my parents’ house to hole up for the storm since our furnace is over 35 years old and we have no back up source of heat in case of lost power – and with a foot of snow, we wouldn’t be able to travel if power did go out.

We ended up staying four days with my parents. We were all a little stir-crazy by the end, but all-in-all it was a good time. We had lots of good food, a warm wood-stove, Disney movies for the girls, and bird-watching for me (as you’ll see in pics below). The cold temps didn’t arrive until after the snow had fallen, so we were all able to get out and enjoy playing and walking through the snow as it fell about mid-day Sunday. 



noncommittal blogging

I was thinking of how to start this post, and a line from Forest Gump came to mind. You know, when Forest suddenly stops in the middle of the road after he’s been running for like a year (or was it a few months?) and says, “I think I’ll go home now. I’m pretty tired.”

I’m not entirely sure that relates to my noncommittal blogging habits, but it makes sense in my head. 🙂

I blog for a while, and decide it is a worthy pursuit for the sake of documenting life, what I’m learning, how God is moving me, what my kids are teaching me, and just the general journey I’m on. I used to keep a journal (or 10), but each one was only 1/3 full and I would follow the same pattern I do with blogging. Decide it’s important and feel inspired, write a bunch for a few months. Followed up by reading back over the ridiculous things I wrote and feeling embarrassed at my {immaturity, vulnerability, or even the language I used to try to sound writer-ish} which leads to me thinking

“why does everyone in the world think they need to blog? It’s like they think they are so stinkin’ important and have all this knowledge that the rest of us have never considered. And they love to embellish their language to make the simplest things sounds like some earth-shattering, profound wisdom. (Don’t get my wrong, God is really good at teaching profound truth through simple things, but I think people can get over-zealous trying to create analogies that do the same). And they post all these pictures taken with their fancy cameras (b/c all bloggers also think they must own cameras that cost more than my van) to show the world how great of a mother/artist/homeschooler/wife/baker/work-at-home mom they are.”

Mostly I think I’m just not artistically wired and most bloggers are, so it’s just an automatic difference in the way I perceive and process things. I like art, I like beauty a lot, and I’m so thankful God has graced us with so much of it. But I am much better at conversing and philosophizing about life, politics, education, and the like than I am at creating anything. My words don’t sound pretty – although I think I was a better writer when I was still in school and had to do it for the grade – ha.

But then I feel bad for thinking that because I know in real life they are probably lovely people (though some of them are probably not, because, well, those people exist). And after all, I get to choose what I read. And the last thing I want to do is be like those commenters who go around blogs whining about everything and criticizing everyone. I cringe at the ugliness of my own cynicism and know that, just like in junior high, I usually only put down others who make me feel inadequate and that my problem is not with them, it’s me.

But I really get turned off by all the inner melodrama of the ‘woe is me, i’m so inadequate’ nonsense, so then I get mad at myself for my pity-party. Seriously. Get a grip, Britney. (That is one of the lines I will read in a few months and roll my eyes at.) So now you have a glimpse into my crazy head.

And I’m mostly writing this all for my own daughters to (one day) get a glimpse into the inner workings of their complicated mother. 😛 And if, by chance, some person who happens to relate to my thoughts comes along and reads my blog, then maybe I’ll make a new friend or two as well.

Karis Noelle :: 1 year


It is going to be seriously fun to see who this little girl becomes. She has been by far our easiest baby in terms of sleep training and flexibility. She barely cried going down for a nap until she was nearly 6 months old. And while she didn’t start sleeping 12 hours straight through until 8 months old, she never had more than 2 night feeds, even as a newborn, and never had any night wakings that lasted longer than it took me to feed her. I really, really needed this experience this time around since I had Halle and Reilly to care for also. Karis being so flexible and a good sleeper just made the transition to three kids pretty seamless.

Teeth: So, at one year old, Karis has no teeth. I do love a gummy baby smile, but it does make it a tad more challenging to feed her what we’re eating at meals. She does eat what we eat usually, but I just have to take more time to cut it up, etc.

Talking: She only started babbling (consonants) around 9 months, and even then, not much. She will say “Dadda” but not always necessarily in response to seeing Josh. She has said Mama a handful of times. I think she has a hard time with any sounds that require her to put her lips together (m, p, b). She just started making a barking noise when seeing/hearing/being asked about a dog. It’s funny – kind of a growl/grunt sound that I cannot replicate in type. Also just started saying doggy (“goggy”) and kitty (“deedee”) and that is really about it.

Walking: She took her first steps (for my mom….what?!) a couple days before her birthday. The most she has taken in the two weeks since is 6, but is pretty content crawling still (bear crawling a lot – with her hiney sticking up in the air). Karis can stand forever though without falling.

Eating: Was weaned at 9 months. Formula (usually organic) until 12 months and now cow’s milk. She usually probably drinks maybe 18 oz per day. I get organic when it’s on clearance (I can often find it for $1.50-$2/half gal or $3/gal. ) at the local Kroger. She like bananas, cheese, blueberries (loves them!), hamburger, yogurt, applesauce, beans of any kind. She does NOT like carrots or peas.

Social: Karis is hard to figure sometimes. One moment, she will laugh at something and another time, the same thing will make her cry. I can pretty much tell how she will react to things based on her mood at the moment, but her sisters haven’t quite figured it out yet! LOL. They often get right in her face and make silly sounds/faces, etc, which will make her cry because it’s just TOO much TOO close. But other times, they will do the same thing and she will laugh hysterically. I guess that’s a woman for ya. 😉 I just thought that wasn’t supposed to start until she’s like, 13.

She is awesome in the nursery at church. Lets me leave her every time with no problems. The only time she clung to me and cried when I dropped her off was when there was another screaming/crying toddler in the room.  The volunteers say she just plays happily on her own the whole hour (despite skipping the a.m. nap).

Karis likes to be played with, but she is totally cool with playing by herself most of the time too. She is a girl on the move and does not hold still or want to be held – ever. She will cry when I leave the room, but only if she is looking at me when I leave. If I sneak out, she won’t cry when she realizes I’m gone as long as she doesn’t actually watch me go.

Sleep: Like I said, she is a champ in this category. I am pretty sure I have not had to go in her room a single time in nearly 4 months (since she was a little over 8 months old) at night. Wait, I think I did once when she was sick and once when she got her leg stuck in the crib slats, but both were 30 second visits.

Naps are a little tougher, but still mostly good. She is starting to shorten her a.m. nap on her own. Sometimes it can be 1.5 hrs but often it is 30 min – 1 hour. Usually she takes a good 2 hour p.m. nap. And Sundays, when she skips the a.m. nap she will usually sleep 3+ hours when we get to my parents’ house (where we go most Sundays after church). She will go through phases – maybe a week at a time every couple months where she cries at the beginning of a nap for a bit so that can be frustrating when I know she needs to sleep but doesn’t want to, but usually it doesn’t last long.


Karis, you are such a gift to us! Easygoing and unafraid. I love seeing your sweet, chubby face every day. Little Sunshine, you are precious to us and we love you so much!

Psalm 8:3-9

Psalm 8:3-9

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Life Snapshot 2013 -part 2


they don’t normally suck their fingers but caught them once and thought it was cute

After snack time, the girls watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” at 11 a.m. Let me just say, I really like this show. First of all, it’s a spin off of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood which was a childhood favorite of mine. Secondly, the lessons taught in each episode are incredibly relevant to toddler/preschool aged kids. Each episode has a little song that goes with the lesson that is super catchy (and not annoying) and easy for the girls to learn. They sing them ALL THE TIME around the house. 

Friends help each other, yes they do.

Friends help each other, yes they do, it’s true!


If you have to go potty STOP and go right away!

Flush and wash and be on your way!  (very helpful for potty training)


You have to try new foods ’cause they might taste goo-ood!


Find a way to play…together!


When you feel so mad that you wanna ROAR, take a deep breath and count to four! (Reilly has actually done this…)


These little songs really help in day to day interactions if there are conflicts and such. If I sing one of the songs that relates to the problem, it resonates with them and it’s like they have a mental picture of what they need to do. So I have no issues letting them watch this 25 minute show five days a week!

After the show is lunch time. Nothing too exciting. I would love to say I always feed them whole foods, but I at least try to opt for healthier versions of kid foods (nitrate/nitrite free beef hotdogs, all natural chicken nuggets, Annie’s mac ‘n cheese, pb&raisins, organic yogurt, fresh fruit, etc. Sometimes I read from the Jesus Storybook Bible while they eat, sometimes I am feeding Karis at the same time, and sometimes I actually get to eat lunch myself!

After lunch, Halle is supposed to have room time while Reilly and I do some type of learning activity together. This is kind of hit or miss. Sometimes I just let the girls play together if Karis needs my attention or I am working on a cleaning job. Reilly really loves when we do things one-on-one though. She just soaks up the solo attention! And she is super smart too. She is much more active by nature than Halle so she will be more inclined to want to incorporate some physical activity into what we’re doing, but when she has my attention by herself she will actually sit still pretty well too.


can you do this?

From 12:30-1:30 the girls pretty much have free play. Reading, pretending, play-do, coloring, crafts, etc. are all in the mix during this time. Karis is always awake at this time too so it can get kinda crazy! I am so glad warmer weather has finally arrived. I imagine we will be spending this block of time outside most days.

1:30 is nap time! WOOHOO! 🙂 Usually all three will line up and I’ll get a couple hour break, but lately it seems like someone is always waking early/not sleeping and that break hasn’t been happening…but I think that has been partly due to us being sick the last couple weeks and Reilly being without her paci (shortened naps). Hopefully we find our ‘nap groove’ again soon. I plan on enforcing rest time indefinitely. Once Halle is 5, I think we’ll probably change her over completely to rest time (although now, she sort of does that already some days….she probably sleeps 70% of the time but not always). To me, an hour of quiet and rest for everyone is beneficial no matter what age you are.