Dad, instructing the kids on prayer: “When you pray, you should name your sins.”    

Susie: “Dear Lord, please forgive me for Leonardo.”

Jim: “What??”

Susie: “You told me to name my sins!”


I had told Jimmy to wait patiently for his brother to move out of his path on the floor, instead of stepping on him.  

Jimmy protested, “But waiting is my worst enemy!!!”


When I told Danny that he needed to stay away from people while he was sick because he was still contagious, he said proudly: “My power is getting bad guys sick. I’ll make them all puke.”


Jimmy, talking to an iPad: "Siri, what is the passcode for daddy’s phone?"


Danny: “When I grow up, my name will be Jim.”

Birthday Party Central

The birthdays in our family are clustered such that we have three birthdays within two weeks in April, and then four birthdays in just over a month in July/August.  So it makes sense for us to do mostly combined birthday parties around here, and I think the kids have a wonderful time feeling celebrated and picking out their themes!  This year, Jimmy chose a baseball party, and then I added a few girly touches for Baby T’s first birthday: photo 20170429_200528708_iOS.jpg

The girls even made Jimmy is very own baseball banner:

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For food, we did pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, chips, candy, and also enjoyed our friends’ most amazing fruit/veggie platter ever (you know, to balance out the wonderful junk food!):


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Baby T finished off her whole piece of cake no problem – she was tentative at first, just licking the icing off her dainty fingers, but then she realized that sugar is good!

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The birthday kids got lots of fun gifts from our very generous friends and family, including these awesome costumes and a castle tent:

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It was so much fun to celebrate our wonderful kids with such wonderful friends!

Jimmy is SIX

(This post is a month late – oops!)

Jimmy…Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy.  You are six years old now…but in so many ways you seem years older than that.  Your avid interest in and amazing memory for history (especially military history), explorers, and nature make you a delightful conversationalist.  You are eager, thoughtful, and helpful.  You love being the one who can fix things in the house – I’m considering locking up the batteries because you are so quick to grab a screwdriver and replace the batteries in absolutely anything!  Even your siblings turn to you for help with their bicycles and broken toys.  You are an amazing bicycle and dirtbike rider.  I can’t even watch half the time because you’re trying stunts that seem much too old for you – but then you nail them and take off for the next challenge.  You are excelling academically (your teacher calls you a role model in every way), and I still can’t believe how well you’re reading.  Lately, you’ve been pulling out one of our storybook Bibles at mealtimes and reading a page or two out loud to us all.  This past year you’ve really calmed down and grown up.  Of course, every now and then your “puppy” antics emerge and you bump into things and people and generally wreak havoc on your immediate area…but those times are fewer and fewer, and I’ve had several people comment on how mature you’ve been lately.  You make this mama so happy and proud!  You are independent and fearless.  I cannot wait to see what this next year holds for you!

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They Keep Trying

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Award Winner

I’m proud to announce that Becky received an honorable mention in a contest to create a poster for a regional recycling campaign.  She was honored at a Board of Education meeting (I love how THRILLED she was to attend a BOE meeting!).  We’re so proud of her! 

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Biker Baby

Baby T may not be big enough to ride a dirtbike yet, but that doesn’t stop her from being her daddy and brothers’ biggest cheerleader – she goes nuts with excitement anytime she hears them out in the yard!

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Happy Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, I’m thankful for planes that brought me to and from California, for an amazingly supportive husband and mother-in-law that watched the big kids so I could take Baby T to see my parents and grandmother, for my mom who gave me life and who continually gives me unswerving love and support, for my grandma in California who always fills my heart with joy and encouragement when we talk, for my grandmother in Washington who inspires me with her attitude and resilience, for my mother-in-law who gives of her time and love so selflessly, for a son who brought me breakfast in bed today, for daughters who organized painting me beautiful pictures and getting them framed, for all the kids who greeted me with sleepy grins and hugs when I came home from the airport in the middle of the night, for Baby T’s mother who gave her life and gave us her blessing to raise her, and for the Lord who has used motherhood to teach me again and again about His tender love and care and forgiveness and grace.

Here are some pictures from our Mother’s Day evening walk and dinner.  I’m so thankful for my family, near and far!

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Costume Contest

The big kids decided to have a stuffed animal costume contest.  Here are the participants: Redcoat Jimmy and his cat (he’s into the Revolutionary War right now):

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Supergirl Susie and her dog:

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Batgirl Becky and her horse:

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I wish I had videoed the talent portion of the contest!  The animals are quite the dancers!

The Girls

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Two Thumbs Up

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