2016 – A kids eye view


Hi I’m Lance (8). I like playing with Legos. I started earning money this year. I wash dishes, do laundry and pull weeds to earn money. I bought a carving set with my money. I am learning words this year. I like collecting things and got a drawer carrier to organize my collections in for my Birthday. I am excited about getting a baby brother. We had a scavenger hunt to figure out if the Baby was going to be a boy or a girl. I am able to clean the ashes out of the fireplace and help Dad start a fire. I can’t wait until Christmas.


Hi I’m Ivy (7). I like ponies and the herd your horses game. I have learned how to read and you can often find me snuggled up on the couch reading a good book. I am becoming Mommy’s helper and can wash Skye and get her out of her high chair. I am also helping her take showers and start to potty train. I liked playing in the Mississippi river. I am saving up my money to buy Christmas presents for others. I am taking care of the barn all by myself now. I milk the goats twice a day, gather eggs and let Mom know if there is a problem.

Hi I’m Flora (6). I empty the dishwasher and put food away after each meal. I like to play my little ponies. Iris had her birthday this year. I had my birthday too, we played on the playground and we opened up presents and I had a cake that looked like a quilt. We are making crafts for Christmas songs. I like to play Garanimals matching game.


Hi I’m Eden (4). I like playing the headband game. I am learning to clean the bathroom and I am cleaning the bathroom Flora used to clean and Iris is cleaning the bathroom I used to clean. I am reading my sight word books in school. I loved being at Nanas house, I played with stuff. I am learning how to sweep the kitchen floor. I didn’t have cake at my birthday. I like playing with my bobbly heads. I love reading books. I have lots of eyes. I love to see the nutcracker at Christmas. I love to be gentle with glass stuff and I love doing my chores.


Hi I’m Iris (3)! I like to play the dress up doll game. I am learning to pat my knees and how to sing in school. I have started cleaning the bathroom and I know how to wipe the table and am learning to sweep the floor. I am learning how to play baby dolls. I like to wear zippy zebra clothes. I love doing crafts. I like when Eden and I wear matching overalls.

Hi I’m Skye (18mo.). I am starting to learn how to communicate. I love playing with Baby dolls. I get a treat if I go Potty in the potty. I like doing barn chores with Ivy. I like all kinds of animals and will stop whatever we are doing to “talk” to them. I also like to wave “hi” to cars. I watch the big people doing things and then I try it myself!

Old fashioned celebration


Flora is on the brink of changing years – from 5 to 6!

We’ve been reading some American Girls books and doing period crafts and cooking for our co-op this year. The first books were on Kirsten, a Swedish immigrant in pioneer America. The stories were a favorite not only with our children but their cousins as well. Since cousin Jenny shares a close birthday the girls have done their parties together most years and this year’s theme was inspired by our recent studies. So we grabbed a few more girls and headed to an old homestead staffed with reenactors and set up for fun!!


Looks like an old time school photo – though it could also pass as a family photo since all but one of these children are cousins!


Welcome to the farm, roll up your sleeves because we could use an extra hand around here!


There’s washing….


..and hanging out to dry.


Sweep out the house


Start on lunch….


then the kitchen needs more firewood!


Once the garden is watered then the chores will be done!

Since this is a celebration there will be time for some fun and games! We have something for everyone!


Checkers on the front porch for the men.


Blocks and coloring for the little ones.


Hoops for rolling


And hoops for tossing!


And an assortment of toys to amuse everyone.


Happy birthday Jenny and Flora!!!


We got our yearly apple order in October and then followed our tradition of making applesauce!

I set aside a day just for this project, hoping to get it all done with only one mess. Due to various issues we didn’t actually get started until about 10:00am so I mentally prepped myself to still be washing dishes after the kids went to bed. Little did I know what kind of team I had.


Eden and Iris loaded apples into the washing sink.


Lance and Ivy chopped. I think Lance alone chopped well over a bushel by himself.


All the kids took a turn with the hand crank, though the oldest 3 did most of this as well.


Skye tasted.

Eden helped me by washing jars, while I ran things back and forth between the stoves.  Once we got the process started we operated like a well oiled machine! At one point, my brother stopped by and things looked so fun he had to lend a hand. Wish I had a picture of that Tom Sawyer moment.


We did stop for a little fun along the way – I told them about bobbing for apples and the idea was so intriguing they all had to try.

All my helpers were so focused and skillful that we finished the four bushels by 4:00!


60 quarts of applesauce.


7 1/2 gallons of cider. (note: the pink comes from the red apples – so pretty and tasty too!)

Brian got home early and my sister volunteered to watch the kids so we got an unexpected date night to finish off the day! What a reward!


Later that week Brian and the kids sliced and bagged apples for the freezer while I read aloud – reminded me of times from my childhood, putting up food while my mom read.

These apples sure do bring about fun times and we look forward to eating the applesauce all year.

Family Fun Night

The kids and I prepared a baseball themed evening to share with Dad!

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We started with ball park food – nachos and hot dogs..and corn (because that’s our most recent garden harvest and we needed to eat it). And yes, all of my kids eat a plain dog with no bun.


Next up was a watermelon seed spitting contest! When I announced it, all the girls said “ewww” but Lance flashed his famous grin. Daddy was the hands down winner though (they are sitting on the bridge of our new play set).

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Skye won the ‘most juice’ contest. This baby loves watermelon!

And now time for the game – water baseball!


Team Blue

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Team Pink!

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Mighty Casey up to bat!

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First base was a foot in each bucket of water.

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Second base you had to sit on a water balloon.


To be safe on third you must be sitting in the pool of water.

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And then a slip ‘n slide into home!



After trying to coach them through one inning we just lined them up and let them bat and run. We would chase them with the ball and attempt to tag an out just to put a little thrill in the game.


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Pinch hitter



We finished the evening with home made ice cream sandwiches! Flora told me she has a lot of pictures in her mind from tonight – this is how they describe memories. I think they had a good time.

Happy Birthday!

Skye Kristine is 1 year old today!


Skye is a happy, content little baby – a joy to have around!

Even though it seems she might be lost in the hubbub, being part of a big family is a bonus for this little one. The older kids love her and dote on her, gathering  around as I bring her out from a nap and competing for a smile. I love the look on her face as she basks in their attention.

Skye also knows how to speak up for herself and gain attention.

Due to the current rhythm of our family, I was able to spend time with just her in the early mornings before the others awoke. She developed like a classic baby, and I  got to watch and delight in each new skill in a way I haven’t done since my first born.


She loves to be outside and clearly doesn’t mind the dirt. She takes two good naps, refused the pacifier until 11 mo. and now wants it to go to sleep.  Like Flora, Skye has a very slight build which makes her easy to pick up and take along on all our adventures.


She loves to watch and is pretty quick to catch on and try out a new skill. She has 3 teeth, feeds herself quite well, likes fruit, beans and certain veggies. She knows a few signs and uses them along with sounds that are close to the word so I’m thinking she’ll talk soon.

A few quirks that make her unique:

She learned to crawl normally then somewhere along the way it morphed into the funny sit and scoot.


Unlike the other children, she dislikes eggs and bath time.


We just penned a goat outside her bedroom and every time she wakes up she points to the window and chuckles when I let her look out and say hi.

She also used a push toy to walk more than most of the others and got quite good at maneuvering around. She now walks on her own but still loves to push the baby doll stroller.


We all love this little one but she is growing up fast and is not a baby anymore!

Happy Birthday Skye; may the Lord bless you with a joyful heart that reaches out and touches others with His goodness and life.

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