Boy Mom, Morning Rituals, Starting the Day Right

The cold wet air of February awakened my senses early,  too early. Yet reluctant to leave that lovely deep sleep I had been enjoying, I lingered.   Not a morning person, to say the least. 
 My cheerful daughter popped her head in the room to see if I would like a cup of coffee,  and I heard the stirrings of the children:  someone making breakfast...oh yes, today would be Jim's day.   I could hear the muffled giggles and squeals from Olivia and Gabe  along with a rhythmic bump on the wall.... so surmising they are swinging in the hammock with the cat.   The other boys are doing the outside chores:  firewood, chickens and other animals, starting the generator,  and they have noises too, usually shooting and crashing sounds,  because, in their minds,  they are ever in a battle-  saving the day as all around them danger and evils loom. 
 We have 5 boys, you  know...these boy noises  have been an ever present part of our married life, which is now nearly 29 years.   These boys of ours…

Back In The Land Of The Living

Well, Hello There!
Firstly, Thank you so much for all the kind and caring emails during my long absence!   What an encouragement ya' all are!
Secondly, I have had a serious extended illness since July that has really,  really been a difficult thing to live with and get anything beyond  getting dressed each day a possibility.   But, Praise the Lord,  I am back to feeling well, and so very, very grateful to have energy, vitality,  and reasonably good health.
So, to catch up, everything has gone along fairly well, regardless.   The children and my dear husband have picked up where I left off,  doing the cleaning, cooking, laundry and anything else necessary to keep the household functioning. Meanwhile, I was posted in a comfy chair only able to give encouragement and counsel.   They did a remarkable job but are very glad to have mama back in the kitchen,  taking walks, able to be out and about and physically functional!  
And my, have they grown in the last 6 months!   Jim passed me up…

The New Grandbaby!!

So there we were,  3/4 of our journey competed....500 miles yet to go  on our trip to New Mexico to see our daughter and son in law and forth coming baby, when, 5:00 in the morning, we got a call....yes, Anna was in labor!  Straightaway we hopped in the suburban and drove, drove, drove.....   arriving 40 minutes after the newest grand baby was born!  
  I was allowed into the birthing room right away to meet this newest blessing,  help wash her, measure her, and cut the cord.   Scott was perfectly at ease with the sweet little bundle,  ...I was impressed. 

Mary Joy  made her way safely into the world that Monday,  surprising us all at 8 lbs 2 oz  and having plenty of dark hair, which was a great relief and delight to her mama.
 Needless to say, we all fell completely head over heels for this little girl.
Oh, My!!  What a darling!!!
I cannot possibly look upon these pictures without a little squeal escaping- she is SO PRECIOUS!!!

With eyes of wonder,  all of the family stared and stared …

Traveling To New Mexico

Vacation time has come and we have planned for months now to pack 9 of us in our 9 passenger suburban and travel 1500 miles to see our newest grand child, along with our daughter and son in law, of course. At he time we left Idaho, the baby had not been born...that story is for another post.

So, we packed VERY lightly for our two week trek, and hoped for the best.  Since we lost our 15 passenger van, this is our first road trip with all of us, everything would be cooking in a crock pot while driving...there just isn't room. No big cooler with lots of homemade yummies for our tummies...there just isn't room.  No plethora of games, books, pillows, and blankets...there just isn't room.

So......what we did do is....
1. Pack a small cooler with lunch meat, cheese, mayo and mustard.  And another box with bread and store bought snacks to be given out in between rest stops. We choose fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, granola bars, and trail mix.  These were all XL …

Our 4 Daughters

Our  4 daughters are a vast range of age,  and are all doing a wide  variety of activities. 
 Here they are:
Daughter #1 isoursweetAnna, She is our second born child,
 now 21, and married to a wonderful godly man.   They live in New Mexico, which is very sad for me,
but I am learning to let go and be content...
it hasn't been easy...even though I am so so happy for her!!

  Anna is in that blessed and radiant state of full bloom,
carrying our grandbaby (their first!) whom we hope to meet very soon....  I am sooo excited to meet this prayed-for little one!!!

Our third born, the lovelyRose, is just home from three weeks in Africa!   I sure missed her, and am so very glad to have her home again... but my intuition tells me it won't be for long... Rose is growing up...and Africa is very much a part of her.   She is a beautiful young lady inside and out.

Then there is miss Bethany, (9 years old, child #7)  who just finished her first ballet class, loved every minute of it,  and now…

Inspiration From The Front Porch

Come sit awhile...  the weather is so nice and the front porch beckons.

I am fascinated with porches.   I do believe that any home would be more homey with a front porch. Maybe that is my southern roots coming out. To me, it really doesn't matter what style a porch is, I love them all.
Over the weekend we cleaned up and put together this year's summer porch.   It was an exciting event and all the children were eager to help sweep, mop,  put wintery things away and bring out the season's furnishings.
As we were sitting out this first morning on the porch,  (having moved our school work outdoors) I was amused to find that Bethany had made lemonade.   I guess she just naturally thought:  porch = lemonade. (chuckle)

 Our large front porch certainly is a significant part of our home,  and we spend a great many hours there spring, summer and fall.   When we have church fellowship out here, the house overflows, (63 for dinner last Sunday!)  and the porch is a welcome extra room.
I …

Home Schooling: More Than the Three R's

How do you do it?   My you sure have your hands full!  I could never do that!   These are all things I have heard countless times from friends and strangers  when they find out we have 9 children that we have home schooled. Here is my answer.   Here is how do I do it.  Here is my counsel to anyone thinking of homeschooling  or discouraged in their home schooling adventures.
Home Schooling is something I am passionate about.   Raising children is something I am passionate about.   Because I am passionate about these things, I love to talk about them.  We have been home schooling for 20 years now, and we have made mistakes.   We have also learned a whole lot and made progress, although,  there are those days when I can't see it.   Thankfully, those days end and new ones arise and with them hope  that this day will be different,  perhaps even victorious. 
Over the years, I have come to a few conclusions about successful homeschooling... and these conclusions arrived from trial and erro…