January recap

Our return to school from the Christmas holidays has gone fairly well. The first week in January, pre-school had a snow theme with the book, “Katy and the Big Snow.” The book is about a snow plow that clears the city roads after a big snowstorm. My sister came over most days to help so we were able to do a lot of fun projects.

They created a city map and had construction trucks push cotton balls around, clearing the “snow” from the roads.

Shaving cream snow was cleared away from the houses. Some toy cars were used but hands worked much better.

A tricycle and laundry basket made a decent snowplow to collect sock “snowballs” while practicing compass directions.

Measuring the snowfall from the story “first 6 inches, then 1 foot, then 2 feet, then 5 feet!”

Skye helps make a batch of play snow – never can have too much!

We also had fun with some snow themed food.

Snowflake pancakes for breakfast!

Hard boiled egg raisins and cheese sticks made a fun lunch.

Tried our hand at meringues – but they didn’t set well. Still made a gooey good dessert at supper.

An unexpected addition to our snow theme came a week or so later when the local ice skating rink had a free day!


Everyone started out on the cones…

…but it wasn’t long until they were out on their own! They enjoyed it so much we stayed the entire 3 hours!

Near the end, Riley, Brian and I played a little bumper hockey. Loads of fun but uses a lot of energy!

Our final wrap up was a snow family fun night. We used balled socks to play a variety of games.

Snowball toss. (Cousin Bruce – foreground – thinks this family is nuts!)

The best was during the snowball fight – Ivy stuffed a snow-sock ball down Daddy’s shirt in imitation of snow play and Daddy jumped around yelling “cold, cold, cold!!!” Which sent all the kids into hysterics.

We had some great bonding family time.





It’s a….

The kids find out if they are having a brother or sister!

The newest addition

Our family and farm is always growing, but this time growth took on the form of a new species altogether! A long awaited dream materialized a few days before Christmas in the form of a 5 lb. ball of fur.

The pup was dubbed SUSE (a Linux distribution; i.e. a computer nerd thing). She’s a mix of German Shepherd, Border Collie and Bull Terrier.

Her main place of residence will be in the barn – hopefully to deter raccoons – but the weather was so cold the first week that she spent some time inside. Not only did this help with the initial bonding, but it provided a great energy outlet for cooped up kids.

She also made for a handy weight during my exercise sessions.

By the end of the cold weather, she was officially one of the pack.

As she grows and her behavior needs attention I hope to mentor my older kids in the art of training.

But for now, she enjoys her pack, following them around the yard, chasing leaves and obligingly tasting mud pie creations.

December family times

Our December was full of fun family times! Here are a few pictures:

Decorating for Christmas

Watching the parade.


Advent readings before bed.


An unexpected snow!!!


Snow ice cream!


Enjoying our fireplace.


Finishing the co-op semester with a play.


Dad’s work Christmas party –   A much anticipated and highly enjoyed trip to Santa’s Wonderland.


Home school choir performance.


Iris turned 4 on the 11th – we celebrated with a caroling party.


Garrison turned 1 on the 18th – this guy knew what to do with his cake :-)

We also completed our Christmas newsletter – click here to read it. In it I talked about several things that could be found on this blog. Since those links are in past posts, I’m putting the link on again for those interested.

Quoting Daniel 6:19-28:

Fiery Furnace cousin movie:

Marriage Testimony:



Merry Christmas!

October happenings


So October happens to be a special month for us – it holds the anniversary of starting our together life.


Brian is as devoted now as he was starting out – and maybe even more!

Of course, the season of October and big family of little kids brings many other happenings as well!


The bulk apple order came and went – this time bringing some pears. Skye and Brian sauce pears.


Flora, Amy and Eden slice and bag apples for the freezer. We also put up about 75 Qts. of applesauce.


With cooler weather (somewhat) the sandbox regained popularity and many hours of entertainment transpired. Garrison was delighted with this new play place since he had exhausted exploring the possibilities of the house.


We kept up a good pace for school. I have introduced assignment sheets this year and while it takes a little forethought and time each week, I’m loving how the kids are working on their own while I float around helping as needed. The kids can turn in a months worth of assignment sheets for a special family fun event.


Our first event was taking the oldest 4 to a new trampoline place in town. (this came to be because we had a groupon)IMG_8815

They loved bouncing around but I think the foam pit was their favorite.



We also enjoyed a trip to Henderson to see all the Cahill cousins. Went to the park for a bit in an effort to expend some of the exuberance before afternoon rest time.

We memorized a passage from Daniel over the summer, in preparation for studying the book in the fall. We had the opportunity to quote it for the other ladies in the Bible study group and took advantage of the occasion to record it and share.


And last but not least, Garrison was thrilled to find out that he now ranks as a “big brother.”

While the timing was a bit quicker than we planned, another cutie like this will be a welcome addition to 2018.

Well, that’s all for now – see you again next month!

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