I Have Been Blessed

All about how God has blessed me. In my marriage, with my six children, through homeschooling, and our faith with recipes, large family living, and updates on our life.

The Number of Perfection

I am not sure how it happens … how the passage of time goes so quickly, and you blink and six months have passed.  Your blog has sat empty. Your farm is in a new season of growing. A school year has ended and a new one begun. The children have grown.

I am not sure where the time goes. I am not sure how it happens so so fast. Where is the sweet little boy who is now nearly a teenager who can do *almost* anything you can do, who can fry chicken better than you, who can put the baby to sleep, cuddle a crying brother, or make his sister smile easier than anyone else can. I am not sure where the skinny little toddler went who turned into a skinny boy, who still can give the best butterfly kisses or look at you like you’ve hung the moon. Or when my first precious baby girl turned into one of the big kids who goes shopping with you to “help” and then actually does. Who announces on the fly that she’s going to wash the dishes for you. Or who cries for you when you get sick. How my blond haired baby turns into the sweetest blond headed FIVE year old. How she can melt a heart with a smile or a look and who will rub your head when you’ve had a hard day. Where did the time go when the crazy haired baby turned into the sweetest funniest toddler ever. Who loves his sister and cherishes her and who can make anyone laugh. Or how is it that my baby is somehow not a baby anymore, but a walking, talking, toddler getting into trouble and falling deeper and deeper into our hearts.

How is it that the time goes by so quickly and I, with all my faults, and failures, deserve to be this blessed. Deserve these six beautiful blessings. And then get the joy of holding another one deep in my womb. Holding my breath seven more months to meet the newest miracle to add to our family.

How do I deserve such blessing?

7 is the Number of Perfection.

Baby #7 is due end of April 2014!


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Music Together

Our family loves music. We are one of *those* families that like to have music going during chore time and during our seat-work time of school. We always have music going on in the car (usually a collection of all our favorite songs burned to the MP3 player). It seems someone is always singing, or humming. We sing together in the car, and often during our school day I am trying to find a song to go along with what we are learning! So, we felt blessed to be chosen for the  Music Together CD and Teacher’s Songbook review. Music Together started in 1987 as an Early Childhood music program for babies to second grade, using a research-based, developmentally appropriate curriculum that emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement. There are classes offered all over the United States (and in lots of countries), although the closest one to us personally is about 40 miles away.

Music Together has offered their Family Favorites CD with 19 of the best-loved songs for $14.95 for the CD, $9.95 for the download, or $0.99 for individual tracks. You can see a list of titles and preview the songs here. The only song on the CD that we knew prior to receiving this CD was “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”. All the other songs were new to us. The CD starts with a Hello Song and ends with a Goodbye Song, which for some odd reason, my children think is really fun. We have another CD with a “Hello Song” so upon first hearing this NEW Song, their first reaction was “That is not how the Hello Song goes.” But this CD (and the Hello Song) grew on them. A lot of the songs have  sounds, instead of words, as a main portion of the tunes, which makes it easier (in my opinion) for little kids to feel like they can sing along. It seemed like with using sounds (la, dee, bo, dum) that the kids could focus on the rhythm and tune without feeling they needed to memorize the “words”. One of our favorite songs was “John the Rabbit”. This song has a call and response type of tune, where something is sung, and the response is “Yes Ma’am!” A good song for us, not only because it is about a garden (something we are working on), but is also emphasizes manners (something Mommy likes), but it allowed the kids to sing along right away!

The Teacher’s Songbook, which is offered individually for $29.95 has 112 pages of the music and teaching suggestions. Using the John the Rabbit song, the teaching book tells you what activities are used (Large Movement, Fingerplay, Call-and-Response, and Songbook illustrations); the music of the piece (E Major, Starting Pitch B, and Swing Meter); and also what instruments are used in the Recording (Guitar, Bass, Shaker, Body Percussion . Then the teacher’s guide goes on to give you the sheet music, a simple two color illustration and ways to act out the songs, dances or movements for the songs, and alterations for children with speech/social or sensory/physical special needs. We found fun ways to move and play with our instruments. These songs provoke action. You want to move while you are listening to them. You want the simple shaker and drum instruments for your little ones to play along.

The CD and Songbook are offered at a $5 savings when bought together ($39.95) and if you use the coupon code “Schoolhouse”, you can save an additional $2. We did receive both the CD and the Songbook free in exchange for this review. We feel very blessed.

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Growth Spurt

After vacation, baby Cassidy started getting fussy. We weren’t sure if it was readjusting her schedule, changes in my diet, a growth spurt, teething, or some combination. After about a week of her just being not-her-usual-happy-self, she started to pull out of it, and we knew she had just hit a growth spurt and was waiting for my milk to catch up to her. And she was ready to start solids, which helped too! I knew around six months she would get a growth spurt, I just wasn’t ready for my baby to be that big yet! (She does technically have another week and a half), but, seriously, how has it been almost six months already?

Now that she is passed it she is going all kinds of babbling. According to the resident experts around here (AKA the other kids) she can say Dada, Bubba, Butter, Gaga, and they say she even said Mama, although I haven’t heard that one yet. Every day  Cassidy and I have talking practice where I try to get her to say Mama, and she promptly says Dada. Wyatt has even started to practice with her. “Say Wyatt. Say Wyatt. Say Wy – Att”

We are gearing up for school. And I am ready. Ready to get started. To crack open our new books. Put pencil (or pen, or crayon) to paper. To get into the routine of it all. We are using My Father’s World this year. Maddy is officially in Kindergarten, so she will be doing their Kindergarten program and Adreya and Wyatt are going to do it with her. Brendyn and Tyler will be doing Exploring Countries and Cultures, which I think is timely for us since my sister is on deputation to be a missionary in Colombia, and Austin’s sister is currently in Africa on the end of their six-week Mission Trip. The missionary focus of Exploring Countries and Cultures (ECC) will be a great year for us. Now I just have to finish cleaning the house and organizing the school room and buy our school supplies …

We have been blessed. Five Special Blessings to Me Today: The opportunity to homeschool, Our local homeschool group, Homeschool groups online doing MFW which whom to get ideas from, an internet connection, Kids who can’t wait to start school

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The Biggest Boy

On Saturday, our Leprechaun turned eleven. It is so easy for me in my mind’s eye to still remember him Wyatt’s age! Eleven seems like a good number though. He is so capable and helpful, but not in the rebellious teenage years! Yesterday, all our boys got haircuts (he now qualifies as an ‘adult’ haircut!), and I had such clarity about ELEVEN. While Austin was getting his haircut, and I was dealing with Wyatt (praying internally that he would let the lady cut his hair), it was nice to know I had Big Brother Brendyn to hold Cassidy. He is not like the littler ones, who will come over and stare and are attracted to her like a magnet, but while he sat there and held her, he ran his big fingers down her arm, and let her curl her fist around his finger. He looked at her and cooed at her, and I knew she was safe with her big brother, and I could focus on Wyatt’s haircut.


Brendyn at two and a half (the age Wyatt is now)

Wyatt (for his bribe, oops, I mean reward) got a lollipop after his haircut. While walking around Wal-Mart, he dropped it, and we threw it away. On the way home he fell asleep and must have been dreaming he still had it, because when he woke up, he was frantically looking for it, and crying …”My Lollipop, My Lollipop…” In that same moment, I could recall Brendyn at the same age…fell asleep with Lolli in hand. In his slumber I gently tugged it out of his hand, so it didn’t end up in his hair or poking him in his eye, and he woke up the same way, searching. It was like Deja Vu. And I think Wyatt favors Brendyn a little bit anyways. What do you think??

For Brendyn’s birthday, he chose to go to The Melting Pot (good choice, as it is also Mommy’s favorite!) We ate like kings and had very full bellies afterwards!! He also got to go out to dinner with Grammy on his cowboy-boots-and-hat shopping trip, and then again as a family to Sonny’s, because he wanted Ribs!

We went to the Flea Market today, and it was so funny to me to see people count the kids. You’d see their eyes dart from kid-to-kid, tallying them up and get to six, and get that wide-eyed look that usually means they think I am crazy! But I know the truth! I am blessed! Blessed with six beautiful, healthy children, who I get to spend every day with. Who make my life full, and my heart fuller!

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One Month

One month has passed since baby Cassidy was born. It’s been a month of re-learning how life flows with a newborn and integrating that with getting things done with the other  five. We are building new routines and things are definately falling into place. We’ve managed trips to the doctor and the grocery store. We’ve had a lunch date with Grammy and even managed a relatively clean house for Maddy’s birthday party.
I feel blessed! Cassidy is really a good baby and very well-loved! She has taken to only waking up once during the night, which I greatly appreciate! Her favorite past-time remains eating (every 3 hours during the day) and staring into the face of whoever is nearby.
Now, we’re starting to focus on Brendy’s birthday coming up. 11 ~ seriously??
A friend wrote on facebook today how she never imagined being a stay-at-home mom. It got me thinking, me neither. Having 6 kids, homeschooling, staying home ~ none of this was in my 10 year plan. But, I am so glad, so Overwhelmingly glad, that God’s plan is much better than my imagination.
I am so blessed!!
Five Special Blessings to Me today: God ~ whose plans for me are so good, six beautiful children, a husband who I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with, a remarkable family (including in-laws that I genuinely love!), and opportunities abundant to be living a life I love.

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Baby Cassidy

I know that I have had a long hiatus in this blogging thing. I have been either waiting out those last couple miserable weeks of pregnancy, where all I could think to write was how ready I was to hold my new baby girl, to the last nine days, of enjoying her! She is so beautiful and sweet and calm.

Her birth, on February 6th, was just a reminder that even though she was number six, that I don’t have it all figured out!!! I was sure she would be born Monday morning. But as morning ticked away, and my body made SLOW progress, I realized and remembered that I am NOT the one in control! It took all morning and most of the early afternoon just to get to 4 centimeters. But once I got there (at about three in the afternoon), the rest moved along QUITE Quickly. At 4:23, my water broke, the baby was ready to be born, they called the doctor, and she LITERALLY came jogging into the room, gowned and got ready to catch the baby. She was born at 4:38 and I got to help deliver her by reaching down and pulling her onto my chest. It was remarkable!!! She was 8 pounds, 3 ounces (our second smallest baby) and an even 20 inches long.

All through the slow progress of the morning, mentions were made that she was a “stubborn” baby. I kept insisting it was because she was mellow and laid back. She saw no reason to leave the place where she was comfortable! It turns out that I was right!!! She laid on the warmer after being born and looked around. She wasn’t crying like all my others have done while waiting on that warmer. She was so content. She still is. She rarely cries, and in her quiet time, she is happy to look around and take in this new world she gets to live in.

Her sisters and brothers are absolutely enchanted and captivated by her. There is very few times during our day that I don’t have a little person looking over my shoulder or standing guard to stare and talk to their newest baby sister! Even Wyatt, who I really thought would go through some sibling rivalry and jealousy is in love!


Five Special Blessings to Me Today: The newest addition to our family –  Cassidy Joy, Siblings who love her almost as much as her Mommy does, A Daddy who is content to watch her make those cute baby faces in her sleep, A Grammy who is always on hand to rock, cuddle, or hold, and that I get to be the Mommy – whose heart is absolutely overflowing with love!!!

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