Malachi turns 5!

It’s so true what they say… the days are long, but the years are short!  Today our boy turned 5!  (Our baby boy!)  It was a busy day with our homeschool co-op, but still lots of fun for our boy!


In the morning, we had his favorite breakfast; mini German pancakes with whip cream and honey.  He also opened his presents from family.  His favorite was Grandma and Grandpa’s boat!

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Our school presentation happened to be a demonstration, so he demonstrated for the kids how to frost cupcakes.

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Daniel brought us In ‘n Out cheeseburgers for lunch, then took Malachi to an empty Chuck E Cheese for an afternoon of fun.  When the girls turned 5, they got a tea party date with Mom.  This was Malachi’s special date with Dad.

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Too tired to go out to eat, we ordered pizza and played games at home.

Happy birthday, Sweet Boy!

Pictures from his Ninja party coming soon…

Thanksgiving 2016

Going to the fire station never gets old… (Perhaps because we only go 1 – 2 times a year!)  None-the-less, the kids get to see their daddy, play on fire equipment, and raid a freezer stocked full of ice cream!  And, for Thanksgiving they also get to enjoy a wonderful meal, play on scooters, and meet other firefighters’ kids.  (Best of all, I don’t have to cook or clean!)

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Now that Papa is captain, we actually got to take the kids for a ride on the fire truck!


The workout room also proved to be a hit this year!

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Allison also taught her dad and I how to play chess.  I won’t tell you how many times we played, but it has become quite addicting for us all!


I didn’t take a picture of the food, though I think it was one of the best Thanksgiving meals I’ve ever had.  It was the first stuffing that I LOVED.  And, the sweet potatoes… covered in coconut and pecans instead of marshmallows.  Ok, I have to stop… I’m getting too hungry!

After dinner, the kiddos hit it off with the other kids with a game of “Tom Turkey.”  After that, they were outside for hours… not on scooters, but on the station rolling chairs.   Allison even got to go on a  call with Daniel before going home!  Everybody was sad when it was time to go home, but they tried to stay awake so they could hear the Christmas music on the radio; another tradition!  Yes, we are very blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving!


It’s the end of a long, wonderful Thanksgiving day, and I am beat!   You’d think I would just roll into bed, but somehow after spending the morning with good friends at the park and then spending the afternoon with a bunch of lovely people at the fire station, my extrovert-self simply needs some time to unwind…

Tomorrow I will post a few pics of our time at the fire station.  I didn’t take many, but I will share the joys of an incredible meal, new friends, and kids eating far too many desserts then rolling down the hill on wheeled chairs.  It will paint a lovely picture, and these are memories I want to remember!  But, they’re not the whole story…

This morning, I dealt with a child with a terribly ungrateful heart.  (That always baffles me when they have just the ‘right’ answers during devotions.)  Granted, she was exhausted and you could see it in her eyes… but, her actions and words tore at my heart!  Other siblings squabbled, and it made for a tough morning.

It had me thinking… we “teach” gratitude, and I think that’s good.  On our drive to the fire station, we offered up a thanksgiving prayer, and discussed things we are grateful for.  We actually have done our Thankful Thursday journals and tea parties for almost 4 years!  But yet, isn’t that just like our sinful hearts… we forget and we complain and we compare instead of living out of gratitude.

And I am just as guilty of this as my kids.  I found myself wishing, “Can’t they just get along like those sisters at the fire station?” Rather, I should have been thanking God for my four beautiful blessings and praying for them to have grateful hearts, not wishing they could just get along like some kids I just met for the first time!

I guess what I’m saying is that we can teach gratitude, and we should… but truly, praying for our kids to have a grateful heart, (and asking God to give us the same!), is really most important.

Of course, I couldn’t end this post without saying how incredibly grateful I am for my family and for a God who allows us to forget and still forgives and blesses and helps us do the same… Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Week

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This morning, we slept-in while the kiddos watched videos.  Normally, Mondays start with go-go-go as we head to our homeschool co-op and are gone the entire day. But, today…. today… a chilly {cold!} fall day… we slept-in.  We read together.  We did rainbow loom.  We ate breadsticks and soup.  When people ask me if I’m going to take a break for Thanksgiving, I laugh… um, YES!!!

Founder’s Day Parade

It had been a few years…. the last time we were at the Founder’s Day Parade, Malachi was a baby!  There is something so comforting about a parade.  I don’t know if it’s the small town feel, the patriotism, or simply a celebration, but I really enjoy parades.  This time around, it was extra special, as Natalie and Sierra got to walk the parade with Sierra’s Frontier Girl troop.  The theme was “Fun and Games,” which made for a very simple costume.


Allison and Malachi were troopers… sat through the whole thing without a peep!

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And, here they are…

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Despite the long wait on the front end, the girls had a great time walking their first parade.   We celebrated with Chick-fil-A peppermint chocolate chip milkshakes for lunch!

Midweek Monopoly

Last night I was blessed with the chance to go out to dinner with an old friend, so Daniel made the kids dinner, taught them Monopoly, then put them to bed.  (Yes, I’m feeling quite blessed… and refreshed!)  This morning while I worked on breakfast, the five of them were right back at Monopoly.  It was so fun to hear them play — Monopoly sure gives them a lot to learn, (not to mention sweet quality time with Papa!)




This boy was especially having fun, so I was quite surprised to see the grumpy face.

“What’s the matter, Dude?”

“I want more money!!”



And so it goes… Looking forward to next week when we have the week off school and lots more family game time!

Sierra’s Horse Party

I was feeling a bit relieved this year, as Sierra wanted to go horseback riding instead of having a party… or so I thought.  About a month before her birthday, she changed her mind.  Initially I thought about what to do, but really the planning came together last-minute.  God is always so good and gracious to give me what I need when I need it, and not a second before!


Each of my 3 girls has a wooden horse stamp set, so we used all 3 for the welcome activity.  The kids stamped and colored some fun horse pictures!


My kids look forward to some creative food names.  Included this time were  “horseshoes,” (croissant sandwiches), “horse treats,” (carrots, apples, and mints), and “hay bales,” (rice crispy treats).  We also had “Seeser Salad,” (Caesar Salad), which is Sierra’s favorite!

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Outside we had relays including stick horse races, sack races, hula hoop horse toss, and a horseshoe toss.

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After presents and cake, some kids played while others painted canvases.  Originally, Sierra or Natalie was going to teach how to paint a horse, but in the moment we decided to let them paint whatever they wanted.


I figured I’d better hurry and get these pictures posted, as Sierra is already talking about what her next party will look like!

What Season is it?



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Just to clarify, all these pictures were taken today… not back in the summer!  Normally, four days in a row of over 90 degree weather in November would kill me.  But, since we’ve had quite a few cold spells, and a good taste of fall, I am ok with it…. though still longing for some sweater weather that is suppose to come next week!  For now, we will spend a good chunk of our days outside!

And, thank you, dear veterans, for your sacrifice for our country.  I am so grateful for the freedom you have allowed me.

Sierra Turns 7

And just like that, my youngest daughter turned 7!  Imagine this.  At 4am, my mom got up to go to the bathroom, and there was Sierra sitting up in her room with the light on.  I think she was just a weeeee bit excited about her birthday!  (No wonder she was in a beautiful dress and lipstick while the rest of us were still in jammies!)

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Her under-the-bed present was a sweet sister artwork quote from Natalie.  Then we enjoyed her favorite breakfast: eggs-in-the-nest.  The day included a small amount of schoolwork, (the beauty of homeschool), a trip to the pet store for fun, and a walk with her siblings and Grandma.


We concluded the day with lasagna and a mini lemon cake with sprinkles.  What a lucky girl to have her grandparents for her birthday!

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Next up?  Her horse party….

Happy birthday, Seesers!