Friday, September 26, 2014


Katie-Girl you have grown so much!  You are so tall, of course, but you've grown in other ways too.  You have become one that can understand reason more, as you have grown.  We can hold real conversations now.  You're still filled with girlishness, but there is more and more of an understanding of the world.  You are working more diligently, which I greatly appreciate too!

I am glad that you are a smart little girl, but I am even more proud of you for wanting to help other people.  When I asked you if you thought I valued your grades or that you were compassionate toward people more, I held my breath as I waited for your answer.  I was so pleased that you knew that we value compassion over academics.  I wasn't sure that I'd done a good job teaching you that.

I love your curly head,

your brown eyes,

wide smile,

quick wit, 

and your heart.
(sewing a doll for Operation Christmas Child)

I hope that this year is filled with much joy for you!

Love always,

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I often think how funny our perception of time is.  In some ways it is hard to believe that Ellie could possibly be one already, but in others it seems that she's been here forever.

We are so grateful for this little one.

(The first day I move her high chair for her to join them for lunch.)

It has been such a joy to watch the older children with her.  They adore her, smother her with affection, and drive her a little batty.  It is fun to see her through their eyes.  Everything she does is amazing to them.  Unless it's annoying, and then it's horrid!

(Her first juice pop when she was sick recently.)

At one Elliana is a Mama's girl.  She clings to me if she thinks someone might take her.  She teases by playing peek-a-boo.  She likes to hide under blankets.  She looks upstairs for the others when they aren't around.

Speaking of stairs she can climb them, ottomans, chairs, etc. so quickly!  I've been letting her climb up to go to her bath.  This elicits squeals of delight from the other children (we'll list this as amazing for now--she hasn't raided their rooms yet, then I'm sure it will be moved to horrid).

She says 'Mama,' 'Dada,' 'Ba' or 'Da' for duck, and has said 'Wa' for water.

She sings 'La, la, la,' when she wants us to sing.  Her favorite song is A-la-la-la-la-la-le-luia, probably because she can sing it.  If You're Happy and You Know It is a close second.

She can take two unassisted steps before she tumbles.

She sleeps at night (so Mama sings A-la-la-la-la-la-le-luia).

As babies go, she is sweet and patient.  She loves to go and see new things.  All very good traits in the fourth, who is an instant tag-a-long.

Happy First Birthday Ellie-Bellie!  We love you so much, and we are so grateful God sent you to us!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


We have had back to back illnesses around here, so life was temporarily put on hold here.  We seem to be come out of that funk now.  I actually, finally, saw someone who knew my name (i.e. not a store clerk while I was out quickly picking some necessary item) and didn't live in my house for the first time in two weeks.  Two weeks!  Yikes.  If that doesn't make you feel a little isolated, I'm not sure what will.

Before we went into hiding though there was some fun had in these parts.

 Justin took Nate to see Thomas the Tank Engine.  That was Nate's big summer activity pick.

Here he is on his train ride.  He told me, "It went really slow."

We also took the whole family to see As You Like It with Shakespeare in the Park.  The last time we went Ellie had not come out to play yet.  She was delightful for quite awhile. I did spend some time walking her outside the main area as she got tired, but fought sleep, until she drifted off.

 She slept in my lap for awhile through the rest of the show, and then she slept all the way home in her seat.  Look how long she is!

We did manage to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day at the end of the blahs.

This week, the beginning of birthday season starts with a bang, as we celebrate not one, but two birthdays!  Elliana turns one and Katherine will be nine.  Somehow, in the next 7 weeks we will celebrate 5 birthdays in this house and 3 more with my mom, sister, and father-in-law!  Anyone want cake?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Funny

J (to Nate): What do you think your wife's name will be when you grow up?
N: Kristy S---
J: Don't you think that will be confusing?
N: Nope, I'll be Justin S---.
J: How many children will you have?
N: 5 boys.
J: What will you name them?
N: They'll all be Nate.
J: All of them?
N: Yeah.
J: Will you have any girls?
N: 15, 14.
J: What will you name them?
N: 5 will be Katie, and 5 will be Gabby.
J: What about the rest of them?
N: They will all be Riley.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Brand Spankin' New

When we moved into this house there was a working side by side refrigerator, with a good sized dent in it.  I'm not fond of that style, but it worked, so we've stuck with it the past three years.  We couldn't put anything in the top third of the fridge that gets damaged by freezing.  It didn't hold a week's worth of milk for our family with the other groceries we would need.  In other words it was a bit inconvenient, but we did okay by working out a system of what went where and stopping by the store mid-week to pick up produce and some milk.

It developed a new noise recently though.  We are eligible for a family discount through the company Justin's dad retired from, so we decided it would be better to replace it now, with the discount, rather than have to buy whatever we could get at full price in a hurry, while we juggled food and insulin.

In all the appliances we've purchased in all our years of marriage, I think this is my favorite.

 The only thing it is short on is crisper space.  I plan to get a little bin to put fruit in to make it easy for the kids to get a piece for snack and free up drawer space.

Isn't she pretty?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Something New

The bigger girls have been involved in gymnastics and ballet in the past.  One of our dear girls has had the misfortune of inheriting my sense of grace, and neither of these early attempts at helping in that department have been so enjoyable that she wished to pursue them further.
I've known about American Heritage girls since before we had children.  We had a friend from church in Northern Kentucky who was a troop leader.  I've thought about it as a possible activity for the girls, but there were always involved in something else.  This year Katie decided she wanted to join first.  She's been very interested in doing many different activities and wanted to sign up for everything.  We decided to have her take ownership of her activity, so she now has to work to pay a portion of any activity she chooses (and we agree to).  She's proud of herself for meeting the deadline.  We're also hoping that this will give her some lasting friendships, instead of some of those that pass so quickly as they move from one activity to the next. They can stay with their troop, moving up levels, through high school.

Gabby had chosen to go back to gymnastics this year, but in hearing what Kate was going to get to do, she changed her mind at the last minute.  Now we have a Tenderheart and an Explorer in our home.  They are very excited bout earning badges.

We're hoping that they learn some great skills, make wonderful friends, and have many fond memories!