Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunset - tonight!

I'm finally caught up on pictures I've been meaning to post (be sure to scroll down if this is the first post you're reading today). And as a little bonus, the Lord sent a lovely sunset this evening. I'd still prefer to see the whole horizon, but for sunset through the trees, this is pretty awesome.

I love the glow on the deck!

The School Barn

Those of you who have been reading for a while remember the days of Dad and Mom Smith building "The Barn" in our backyard. They lived there for over a year, until they found a rental house in November.

In February, I mentioned my interest in turning The Barn into our school area, and Dad and Mom Smith were wonderful about working and working to clear it out for us. We've been having school over there for a couple of weeks, and we think it's wonderful!

I thought I'd give a little tour of the school area:

I inherited this armoire from some friends, and it is part of my "cubby." It's not all that organized yet, but I like it a lot.

Here's another shot of the corner that holds my cubbyhole and the little girls' picnic table.

This is the side of the room where we currently have desks lined up for the older kids. We'd like to get a long countertop for them, but these desks work for now. And for the record, they rotate who "gets" to use the TV tray.

Near the stairs is the trusty homemade cabinet that has been with me in one form or another since I found it at a yard sale when I lived at Kansas Bible Camp, and a bookshelf that formerly resided in the living room.

The other thing that I'm loving about our new use of The Barn is found upstairs..

See the TV? It's not an extra TV, it's just our regular old TV, but it is Not In The House! Love it! This is our new "family room" area. We're also excited about it being a nice guest room that is completely cat free.

Pajama Tea Party

Last Friday, Jonathan and the boys went to Movie Night at the chapel. The girls and Stephen were still not feeling well enough to go, so we stayed home. After the girls had gotten baths, we had a Pajama Tea Party. I put a fancy lace tablecloth over the burgandy one, and got out some of the nice china while they took a bath. They were so excited!

Grace's comment as she excitedly got ready for her bath is such an example of her view of life. "We're going to have a Pajama Tea Party! And we will Laugh!"

And laugh we did!

Our gourmet fare for this feast was chocolate chips, marshmallows, leftover chocolate bunny, and blueberry tea. Classy ladies!

The Potato Patch

The boys and I set out our potato patch last Friday, using a method I just learned about this year. Basically, we set the the cut seed potatoes in rows on the ground and covered them with hay. As they grow, we will add more hay to keep them mostly covered. We're excited to see how they turn out - kudos to Jonathan for getting us the goods we needed to "plant."

Little Man Loves His Letters

Girls Trip to R&R Ace

Last week, the girls got to run a few errands with me. One of the places we stopped was R&R Ace Hardware. We got to use our $5 Ace Rewards card on some gorgeous mis-tinted paint ($3 for the gallon!). We also found some lovely straw hats for the little ladies for a dollar each, and they each took a turn on the 10 cent pony - really, it just costs a dime!

Resurrection Snow

It was far too warm to have any accumulation, but we had snow on Resurrection Sunday!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

First Ice Cream

Stephen was watching so eagerly the other night while Jonathan was eating ice cream, that Jonathan gave him some. His reaction was so adorable that he got several more bites - gotta have pictures, you know!

He would be so excited to see the bite coming...

Then when he got it, he would make the most awful face!

But he'd be ready for a bite 3 seconds later!
I have a video, but when I uploaded it, it was too dark to see. You'll have to trust me, I guess. :-)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Missouri Flooding

Jonathan got a few pictures of the flooding near Eureka while he was creeping along I-44 on Friday.

Here's why traffic was creeping along. They were trying to keep the Meramac off of I-44.

A bit closer to home... this is the Union exit from I-44.

And the flea market at that exit...

And here's the Meremac in the Dickey Bub (can you say redneck?) parking lot in Union, MO.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And yes, we do have other children!

We had a blast at the park last week. We're ever so glad to see warmer weather!

I was so thrilled to see Grace make a new little friend at the park. Too often, I see my children mimic my reluctance to put myself out there and be friendly.

The boys had fun skating. Ellie needs more practice with less pressure.

The Little Man

I know I've been blogging in spurts lately, and I feel another one coming on...

This post is mostly to brag on our amazing little man and all of his recent developments. It's so fun to us that he is so unique amoung our Blessings! They're all unique of course, but it's fun to be so constantly surprised with #7.

So... Stephen is 9 1/2 months old.
He has 5 teeth.
He is -
pushing up to a sit
pulling himself to a stand (on anything, including the side of the stove)
cruising around on anything he can find

And here are some recent pictures from a fun trip to the park. A couple of fun firsts.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” — Helen Keller

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Shiner Day 3

I don't think I've ever seen anyone with a black eye that was this adorable...

Like a Weed... Only Much Cuter

The boy is agrowin'!

Last night, Stephen popped through two more teeth, for a total of 5 so far! There's another that's close to coming through.

He's gone from a swim to a full fledged crawl in the last week.

He's spent the last two nights in the crib in the girls room (woot!) and has done really well with it. I'm sure he likes it better than the pack 'n play in the living room.

He also napped in the crib this morning. I'm not sure how well he slept, because he woke up himself instead of me waking him as is typical. When Davey went in to get him, he'd figured out how to get from laying down to standing up in the crib! He's pulled himself from a sit to a stand before, but this was the first time he got upright at all from laying down. Wish I could've seen it!

Here is a picture of Stephen and sweet Grace T. at CHEF classes yesterday:

And a video that includes the new crawling skill. And shows how fast that Gracie T is!:

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Shiner for Grace

Last night right before the little girls headed for bed, I heard an awful crying from Grace in the living room. In the time it took me to get there (not long!), she had a black lump on her cheekbone. I right away gave her some Arnica and put some Green Salve on for good measure.

This morning, it was actually lighter in color than it was last night! She's still going to have a black eye, but it's much better than I thought it would be. Do you think she'll apply the lesson about not running in the house?

This picture doesn't show quite the right color... it's a little darker than this, but not much.


Yesterday morning, before all the snow melted off, the boys finished work on their snowman. Then they proceeded to bomb him with snowballs!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

O Patient, Spotless One!

A while back, I discovered a great site with lots of wonderful hymn recordings that are free for downloading. I listen to them on a regular basis, and have been enjoying them today while working on the computer.

A hymn with which I was unfamiliar jumped out at me with this line, "Savior! Thou art enough The mind and heart to fill." I went to find the lyrics and thought I'd share them.

O Patient, Spotless One!
by C. Andreas Bernstein

O patient, spotless One!
Our hearts in meekness train
To bear Thy yoke and learn of Thee
That we may rest obtain

Savior! Thou art enough
The mind and heart to fill
Thy life, to calm the anxious soul
Thy love, its fear dispel

O fix our earnest gaze
So wholly, Lord on Thee
That with Thy beauty occupied
We else-where none may see

Listen to it here

Here's the link to the main Saints Serving site

I was sharing with Jonathan earlier that I don't remember a time in my life when I would not have loved these recordings. They are the hymns with which I grew up, and in my younger years, they were most often sung without accompaniment, as they are here. These recordings take me both backward in memory and forward in faith. What a great combination!

More Lovely Snow

The downside to the snow is that we are not going to be able to make it to Jefferson City tonight to be on hand for the oral arguments in our case at the State Supreme Court tomorrow morning. The roads are just too messy. I'm just glad I know the One who rules the weather!

Here are a couple of updated pictures.

From around 1pm-

And at 3.30. Had to get a shot of the snow on the trees -

Fathers and Daughters

On my way home a couple of weeks ago, I heard a song that made it almost impossible for me to drive. It was more than a poignant reminder. It was actually very revealing to me, and made me treasure my Papa even more.

Here's the video. Embedding is disabled, so I can't put it directly in the blog, but go take a listen.

It brought to my mind this picture of our wedding day. It's a shot someone caught of Papa walking me down the aisle. It's always touched me deeply - me glowing, and Papa... well, not so much.

(This also reminds me that I need to get our wedding pictures into digital format... sorry about the ink spot on Papa's cheek!)

There's so much more in my heart for which I'm not finding words..

Ladies, be sure to tell your fathers you love them today.

Papa, I just want to say again how thankful I am for you and how blessed I am to be your daughter. Thank you for teaching, training, and guarding me all those years, for leading me to the Most Important Love of all, and for being such an amazing example. You and Mama, with lots of help from the Lord (of course!!), are blame for most everything good about who I am today. I love you both dearly.


I've been forgetting to take pictures of the beautiful snow we've been getting this winter (sorry Papa!), but I'm determined to correct the error of my ways with this current snowfront (is that even a proper meteorological term??).

Anyway, here's what it looks like from the back door right now.


When I was in the grocery store on Sunday, a package of tenderized pork cutlets jumped out of the display and into my cart. I saw mouth-watering visions of what could happen to this package with the aid of a bit of flour, salt, pepper, and some hot oil. So I let it come home with me.

And with all of my Southern heritage, I'm so glad I did.

Little mom, big baby