Day 3: A Day in the Life

(Yes, I know it’s the 10th and I skipped a few days, er, um a week or so, but I’m not going to throw in the towel yet!)

6:51 – Emma is smacking me in the face. I open my eyes to find her all smiles.  She’s reaching over me to either wake up Autumn in her bed next to us or get to the window so she can watch the birds.


7-ish – Coffee time! James makes the coffee and I start on breakfast and laundry.  By 8, they’re all up and hungry.  Alex does his morning chores, walking and feeding Nova, tending to the rabbits, and unloading the dishwasher.  Autumn clears and sets the table for breakfast.  The kids eat at the table, while I drink my coffee at the computer.  They finish and run off to play.  I get my own breakfast, a second cup of coffee, and nurse Emma for her mini morning nap.

9 or so – Encouraging the kids to get their morning-5 done so we can do some housework together.  It takes a lot of encouraging today.  I also do my own morning-5.  Then outside to hang-up laundry.  They all follow me out and water the garden and check out their plants.

10 – Alex is self-motivated and starts his math lessons and works on the rest of his school work.  I play with the little girls while Jackson disappears (usually trying to take Izzy with him) in an effort to avoid anything related to cleaning or lessons.

11:30 – Lunch time.  We’ve been working together at mealtimes so Jackson brings the PB, jelly, honey, and bread to the table, Autumn gets the plates, Alex pours drinks, and Izzy helps with the fruit.

1-ish – I read The Voyages of Dr. DoLittle.  It’s part of Jackson’s OM2 curriculum, and it has captured his attention.  Izzy is also over the moon with this book and listens intently.  We finish up the lessons for the day while Autumn is loud and active and baby Emma tries to avoid another nap.

3:30 – Lessons are done and the boys are begging to play wii.  Grumble.  I let them each have a half an hour of screen time while I try to get some lesson planning and more housework done.

5:00 – We load up the van and drive to the local state park.  The kids get to play at the playground while James and I take turns running.

7:00 – We’re back home, everyone oh so hungry for dinner.

8:30 – Bedtime!  Not that anyone is ever in bed at this time.  Teeth brushing, drinks of water, jammies (that didn’t get wet while brushing teeth), prayers, bedtime stories, hugs and kisses.

10 – They’re all asleep or at least quiet in bed and pretending to be asleep.  I’m exhausted!


Day 2: Spring is Here

IMG_8251Picnics outside on the blanket and diapers drying on the clothesline.

IMG_8241Leaves on the grapevines and potatoes starting to grow.IMG_8244Peas getting ready to climb.

IMG_8245Apple trees getting a little fuller.

IMG_8247Broccoli and tomato plants growing.

Asparagus and little ones filling up buckets at the rain barrel to water their plants.IMG_8253The first strawberry blossoms.

IMG_8249Herbs, some even made it through winter!
IMG_8250Salsa garden!IMG_7881Little ones helping to plan this year and next year’s crops.IMG_7984Our family working together outside everyday.IMG_8029Visitors to the garden to observe.IMG_8067Dandelions to pick!IMG_8183And many trips to the playground to play and swing!

Blog Everyday in May: Day 1

So my dear friend told me that she missed my blogging and encouraged me to join her in blogging every single day for the month of May.  Why not try!?

So Day 1 (cause I’m already playing catch-up just to begin, lol!):  5 lines to describe myself:

I love big and will give and give and give to those I hold dear.  I try to be the example for my kids and those around me.  I’m a scientist and research everything and then decide with my heart.  I need to be creative and have a project of some sort going at all times.  I am strong and smart and can do things that I didn’t think I could.IMG_8142


Fig & Me  (if you’ve never seen her blog, prepare to be blown away by her amazing talent!  She makes the most beautiful dolls for little ones!) posted this TED talk a couple of weeks ago:

And it has me thinking about the power of asking.

It’s hard for me to ask… to ask for help, to ask a question.  Why is that?  Maybe it’s the act of making myself vulnerable and showing my weaknesses.  Maybe it’s admitting that I don’t know something or that I can’t do it all.  Maybe I’m scared of the response that I’ll get when I do ask.

But looking at the other side of it, I feel honored when someone asks things of me.  I have new moms contacting me for help, and I feel blessed to share what I’ve learned along the way.  My kids asking questions about the world they don’t quite understand yet seek my comfort.  A friend needing help to complete a task that she can’t do on her own.  I feel needed.  I have a purpose.  Love.

And it reminds me how much we really do need each other and that I need to do more asking.

Spring Cleaning: Entryway

In the past, we’ve moved every 2 years or so.  We have no plans of moving, but I’m always amazed that I can manage to pack and clean while juggling the day-to-day stuff.  How is it when there is a move looming I can accomplish so much?  I decided that we deserve that new house clean and to put my time and energy towards a good spring cleaning and de-cluttering.  I’m being wise about it and joined a group to help motivate myself to go slow and steady, one room at a time.  We’re following the checklists at

So, keeping it real and honest…


IMG_7320Vacuum and saw left out.  Big rubbermaid full of baby clothes waiting for rotation.
IMG_7321Our daily shoe and jacket explosion.

IMG_7324We’ve been blessed with hand-me-downs (LOVE those!) and have a great assortment of girls’ shoes.  Autumn and I lined them by size.  She also tried on a few pairs, you know, just because.

IMG_7360I see a floor!!!

IMG_7361And shoes organized!  All boots are on the boot tray.  Boys’ shoes are in the milk crate to the left, girls’ to the right, and adult shoes on the floor next to them.  Each kid gets a coat hook.  Hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and dog leashes are in the basket.

IMG_7362Even a peek inside the coat closet!  All those shoes are now in labeled boxes by size and the vacuum is put away!

And just because life is funny, less than 2 minutes after I took the “after” pictures, the UPS man showed up…IMG_7363



And now she’s 6!

Six years ago (yesterday – I’m a day late in posting), we were blessed with our first baby girl.  She asks me to tell her her birth story every night before bed, so in honor of her birthday, I thought I would share it here too.Picture 027_2@0 I woke up around 7 that March morning with contractions, which was normal as I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for over half my pregnancy.  They felt a little different so I practiced what I preached to my students (I was a certified Bradley Method childbirth instructor at the time)  to see if maybe this was the real deal.  I tried resting through the contractions in bed.  I walked through them. I drank a glass of water. I tried to eat, but instead fed the boys cereal and started a movie for them to watch.  Before trying the last thing on the check list, I decided to wake up James to let him know what was going on and that I was getting in the shower.

He knew.  I still wasn’t convinced, but he knew.

I got out of the shower and found that James had everything ready in the bedroom.  I think I finally realized that it was the real deal, but thought we still had time.  Only a half an hour had passed since that first contraction of the morning.  I buried my head, curled up on the ground with each contraction.  I was calm and repeating affirmations to myself.  This was transition.

I began humming and moaning when James asked me if I was pushing.  I said no.

Again, he knew. James called the midwife.

We anticipated that this labor could go fast because Jackson came in 90 minutes, so we had discussed the “what ifs” with our midwife beforehand.  The drive to the birth center was 40 minutes before adding in the fact that the 3-lane interstate was down to one-lane due to construction and it was rush hour.

Hearing that I was pushing, the midwife insisted that we come to the birth center.  We knew there wasn’t time, but when we told her that, she hung up on James.

A minute later, I calmly said, “There’s the head.”

James reached down just in time to catch our sweet baby.  He put her on my chest and covered us with a blanket.  It took us a minute to realize that we didn’t check to see if it was a boy or girl, so I peaked under the blanket and announced, “It’s a GIRL!”

Picture 030_2@0James tucked us into bed and cleaned up the bedroom.  He then went to the nearest store and bought every pink thing they had and a fish scale so we could weigh our little one.  She was 20″ long and 6 lbs 15 oz.  It was an amazing birth!  And she is an amazing girl!IMG_7353

Happy Birthday Izzy!