Tuesday, April 9, 2019

We are MOVING!

Well, technically we moved in May of 2018, but we are in a rental house through the summer. And then we are hoping our new house will done and we will be moving in before school starts.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Is this thing still on?

Wow it has been  long time since I blogged. Almost TWO years.

Today I just wanted to log in and see how it felt. Did I have words inside me again that I could even type on here?

2017 was a year that wrecked me. So much heartache. So much uncertainty.

2018 has been a year of recovery. And...

2019 is our year of hope fulfilled.

I hope to share more in the coming weeks. As we close out this year and look so expectantly for the next. Our little world is changing quite drastically. And this time next year we will be living a life long dream on over 9 acres we bought in SWVA.

God is good. My friends.
All the time.

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

My New Space

It has become more and more obvious as I homeschool that I crave quiet and my own space. That is all difficult when you have four kiddos home 24/7 and have added a part time job (director of a homeschool academy). This means our home has had to transition and change too! Our dining room became a big waste of space. And ultimately we all used it as a catch all room instead of ever eating in there so we made the decision to put our dining room table in the basement for now and turn the space into an office and music room.

And it's been glorious!

We switched the piano and hutch so that the music lessons/practice are done in a corner of the room too. I was surprised at how much more the girls are attracted to the piano now that it's not in the main room of our home. There are some disadvantages to an open floor plan and that's one of them. Finding a quiet space to practice wasn't really happening in the main living area. Not only the girls, but I have been playing as well which has been dreamy.

So as much as I was worried about taking up a whole room on the first floor and it feeling kind of selfish, it was actually the best decision for all of us. Now I'm not trying to work while the kids are playing play station or the little girls have toys spread every where!

It may not be the library that Belle had, but it's pretty awesome none the less.

The girls weren't playing well together so I moved this in for the morning so they could play in front of me. Of course it lasted two minutes and they were too cute and I couldn't concentrate!
This picture was before Shane raised the chandelier and I still need to order the rug.
Music corner! Found a really cute wall hook for Avery's violin. And Shane was super excited to hang those heavy mirrors up so high.

I ended up pushing this chair against the wall where the antique door is because the little girls kept moving it every time they walked by. Now I just have to bring up the 20 boxes of books in the basement and fill up the book shelves! 

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

It's SUMMER-2016!

My poor old laptop has struggled to do just about anything, but my honey cleared off the whole and now it's actually letting me blog.

So the kiddos are all a year older. They are now 3, 6, 9, and 11. We've entered a new stage of life with no longer having a baby and as much as I loved and miss that time, I am absolutely loving this new stage too. Avery is starting to babysit a little bit which leaves time for me to run a quick errand while Lorelai's napping.

So the following is just a weekly update post on what we have been up to the last two weeks.

Reece had two baby teeth removed and was a champ! Those numbing shots are rough. But I was really proud of him. He also decided to let his hair grow longer and is "styling" it himself. 
 The bigs are on swim team for the first time this year and so that means the littles get a few mornings a week for free swim.

Avery and Reece had their first swim meet and they were awesome. Reece even placed third in an event. For barely swimming a month ago, these two are learning all the swim strokes and swimming up to four times the pool. So very proud of them!
The little girls were feeling a little left out with all of the swim meet happenings so we had a Mommy and Me date to the bakery for cookies and some fun at the toy store. We spent time in the morning braiding their hair and putting on pretty dresses and after we dropped the big kids at the pool we were off for some fun.
Shane had been traveling a lot so last week when he got home we left this for him in the drive way. And then we pummeled him with water balloons as soon as he got home. It was so much fun. And he had a blast. After he was good and soaked we spent the afternoon at home depot buying materials for our media wall cabinets. Super exciting!
The ammunition. I highly recommend buying one of those gadgets that fills up 50 balloons at once. We filled our wagons and buckets up in about three minutes and no tying off balloons either!

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

TBT- Ellie Grace

Found this on my computer this morning. Can't believe this little sticker is FIVE and in KINDERGARTEN! How did that happen?

Summer 2010
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Feeling all the feelings...

It's been one of those weeks.

The kind that thankfully doesn't happen very often, like a train wreck.

It's a week where you're suddenly screaming down the tracks at a speed that's too fast. Your heart is racing and there is a pit in your stomach because you know it's going to end badly. The train is going to crash.

One of the things that Shane loves about me is that I'm not emotional. Not that I lack emotion, but that I avoid drama.  But sometimes there is that perfect storm. When all the emotions collide and I just crash, explode, and completely burn out.

And Oh... the last 10 days have been that for me.   (...sigh...)

A busy schedule.
A family crisis.
Looming change.
Another crisis.
A lost temper.
A false accusation.
A broken heart.
Being misunderstood.
Deep past hurt.

All the feelings.

And as Christy Nockels belts out Love Can Build a Bridge:  I remember.

He already knows. As much as my chest is tight and my emotions are high, he knows. He knows that I would have the schedule clear and a time for rest would come. He knows when the crisis will be over. The change will come and go and soon be the new normal. The disappointment will eventually end in forgiveness and letting go. The sadness will soon be happiness. The anger will subside and the temper will be reigned in. Apologies will be issued, and it's ok if they're not accepted. He knows the truth and the true motivation of my heart. The brokenness will be healed and the frustration will lend itself to acceptance. He understands and he heals the past so that the future is more focused on him.

All the feelings.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

10 Weird Things About Me

Today I am piggie backing off of Mix and Match Mama's post that she did on 10 Weird Things About Me. I was chuckling as I read because I had a few in common with her (pajamas at home and watching funny shows after something scary before bed) and then started thinking about the weird things about me. So here we go....

1. I can't stand having my hands dirty.

My mom has told me that I have been like this since I was a baby! Mixing up hamburger meat is TORTURE for me. Play doh is like nails on a chalkboard. And the thought of putting my hands in the dirt while gardening is excruciating. It's one of the reasons I hate washing dishes. I don't even like them wet and soapy from the water and that's why the world has dishwashers! If I do have a few things I have to wash by hand I will often dry my hands in between dishes when it starts giving me the willies. I know WEIRD!

2. I always come home and put pajamas or yoga pants on.

This is one that Shay talked about on her blog too.  I rarely have real clothes on and think it is really uncomfortable homeschooling and taking care of four kiddos all day in jeans, platform shoes, and lots of jewelry. Yoga pants and t-shirts all the live long day!  And if it's winter and you stop by my house in the afternoon I will probably have my Christmas flannel pants on instead of jeans. You have been warned. If you want to see me in proper clothes TEXT before you arrive, ha!

3. I love being barefoot.

I don't like wearing shoes at home or in the summer. I do have slippers that I wear when my feet are cold.  I don't even like to wear socks! They always seem itchy to me and I am super picky about what kinds I will wear with sneakers. And as hideous as UGGS are: they are genius. I can keep my feet warm without wearing socks!

4. I don't like my feet "hidden".

Clearly I have some sensory issues, ha! But you won't ever see my feet very deep in the ocean or lake. I also don't like having my feet under a table unless I have shoes on (and sandals, flip flops don't count). If I am barefoot (which most likely I will be) I will angle the chair away from the table so I can keep my feet out or I will sit indian style on the chair. So basically I look like a toddler at the dinner table. I have no idea what this means about me. But the worst situation is in the summer, wearing flip flops, at a picnic table. Gives me the heebeegeebees!

5. I don't like coffee.

I know I know! You are thinking I just haven't had the right one. Nope. You can't convince me to like it. I'm British all the way in thinking that tea is the only beverage for me! But.... I LOVE the smell of coffee. Shane is old school and still grinds his coffee beans every day and the smell is glorious. However, that bitter nasty after taste is a cruel joke! If coffee tasted like it smelled I would be all about it.

6. I make my bed every day.

My mom had a rule when I was a kid that your room didn't have to be immaculate, but you HAD to make your bed before school. No exceptions!  I'm so glad this was our rule growing up because I LURVE having my bed made. It (almost) doesn't matter if that load of laundry still is needing to be put away if your bed is made. In fact I am so weird about this that if I happen to have a rushed morning and don't get it done I will still make it, up until bedtime, just so I can crawl into a neatly made bed.

7. I don't like the taste of raw tomatoes.

Give me tomato sauce and give me ketchup but YUCK on a raw tomato. In fact one of the first times Shane and I hung out together involved a tomato and was at a U2 concert. Before the concert about 8 of us went out to dinner and ate outside at a bar in downtown Tampa. Shane and I were sitting on a concrete wall with a huge over grown grassy area behind it and AT THE SAME TIME we both pulled the tomato off of our grilled chicken sandwiches and threw them into the empty lot. It was love at first tomato toss People!

8. I always finish the book.

It may take years and I may hate it, but I will finish it. Not sure if this is being stubborn or just dumb. I guess it's the English teacher still left inside me. No matter how horrible -I have to finish it, like clearing your dinner plate as a kid.

9. I hate washing my hands in a public restroom.

Ok, I know I am going to get a lot of flack for this. I always carry baby wipes and hand sanitizer in my purse so I AM cleaning my hands! I promise! But unless it's a Target bathroom there are very few that look clean enough for me to put my hands on. This all started when I watched an episode of Dateline that tried to find the dirtiest place in a public bathroom. Guess what? That toilet seat isn't it! It's the faucet! Think about it! You wash your hands and then start touching the faucet to turn it on/off, you touch the door handles (which people touched BEFORE they washed their hands). It's all just GROSS! The exceptions to this for me are bathrooms with automatic faucets and touch-less paper towel dispensers. That is a WIN! And then I open the door with my shoulder or elbow if I can. And potty training 3 out of 4 kids has almost put me into a mental ward with dealing with public bathrooms.

10. I LOOOOOVE the newborn stage.

I know so many people hate the sleepless nights. But I love it. Carrying that baby around on my chest is  just about my most favorite thing in the world. I cried every time my babies left this stage. Those little squishy cheeks and eyes that rarely open. Those little sighs and coos. Newborn sized diapers that barely are the size of your hand. Knowing Lorelai was my last baby I snuggled and carried that baby around all the time. And honestly I still treat her like a baby. She's also been the one that wants the most cuddles and still is very attached to mama. Fine with me! I'll carry that sweet thing on my all the way till the day I drop her off at college if she'll let me! Give me all the babies! ha!

Well, there you have it. I am weird!

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Monday, July 6, 2015


Ellie has been asking for a few months to get her ears pierced and we had a rare opportunity when the two of us could slip away to get it done. She was so excited for our date and put on a fancy dress even. It was so precious.

 All excited and a little nervous too.
 Pinning her hair back and snuggling the puppy she picked out to squeeze.
 Marking just the right spot.
 Momma made the poor girl adjust it three times before it was just right.
 OUCH! Her sweet face made me heartsick as a mom, but it only lasted for about 10 seconds and she was ready for the rest of our shopping trip.
 All done. It was so sweet when we were picking out the earrings. She wanted to know what Avery had picked so she could get the exact same thing! She looks up so much to her big sister.
 While mommy shopped for some new shoes Ellie rode the carousel three times. She was so much fun to be with this day. Definitely I day I will never forget.
 Clearly, the pain was gone and she was riding the carousel like the wild woman that she is.
So pretty. Her hair is growing out and she's obsessed with brushing it and looking dolled up. She may turn into our little diva.
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Friday, July 3, 2015

SUMMER Time and the living is easy.....

A good friend has the most delicious cucumbers in her garden and she knows that I am obsessed with them. So when she texted me this past week that she had some available I jumped at the chance to get some.

 And as you can see, I'm not the only ones that love them. It's about a cucumber a day in this house!
 She also threw in blueberries, cabbage, squash, tomatillos, herbs, fennel, chard, and green beans.
 I organized most of my oils with the nifty stickers my dad ordered me. He's been selling young living since WAAAAAAAAY before it was cool. Sorry we use to make fun of you dad! Clearly these are awesome!
 I decided to switch my school room back into a dining room. About 30 loads of books to the basement later for storage down there and I could barely bend for two days. And yay for nekked babies that insist on wearing shoes.
 SCORE of the week. This tea tray was EIGHT DOLLARS at Target this week. Orginially $29.99. Woohoo!

This is my favorite season and I am just loving all the fresh food and warm days. Please Winter, just stay away!
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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Homemade Salsa

I never knew salsa was so easy to make! I will probably never buy it again because it was just so good. I didn't take exact measurements. I am more of a throw it all in kind of cook. But I did use the following:

Homemade Salsa
2 tomatoes
1 tsp. tabasco
1/2 purple onion
half a bunch of cilantro
1 tsp. crushed garlic

Puree all ingredients to desires consistency. 

I used my mini food processor and it was perfect. Very easy clean up too. I have a large food processor too, but for the amount I was making the small one was the best size.
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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lorelai turns TWO

     My sweet sweet baby is two now. I remember holding her in the hospital and thinking that since this was my last baby I was going to soak in every minute of her babyhood. And I thought about her second birthday and how that is the turning point. That's when they are no longer babies and suddenly are talking, walking, throwing fits, and potty training! UGH! But she is really the sweetest and easiest baby we have had. And has been nothing but a blessing to our family. Love you Lorelai Piper.

She had a pretty awesome first year.

    Year Two started off with a bang for baby girl with a trip to Chicago and then to Sydney, Australia! What an amazing life she's led as our little world traveler. She won't remember any of these trips, but this is proof she was there.

 The special cake my aunt, uncle, and cousins had for her at a family reunion.
 Hyde Park downtown Sydney.
 Whale watching. I threw up the WHOLE time with motion sickness, but seeing those whales was truly an amazing experience.

 Seeing wallabys at the zoo in Darling Harbor, Sydney.

Her first pony tail!
 And loves playing peek a boo on her birthday.

 Halloween 2014
Clearwater, FL Dec. 2014
 Nashville, Tn 2015 Cousin Whitney's wedding.
 Just Chillin.
 Children's Museum, Tampa.

 Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa.
 Topsail, NC.
 LegoLand, FL Dec. 2014

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