Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm Back

After an approximately eight month break from blogging, I have returned.

I am still alive and kicking.

And back to writing, at least for now.

Life for us has been a blur as of late. Actually,things have gotten especially busy since last summer. Shortly after my last post, Kevin hurt his back quite seriously at work, and that event created a roller coaster ride of medical drama and forced him to spend many weeks recovering (or at least trying to!) at home. It was a frightening time, not knowing if there would be permanent damage or if he would ever be able to resume his old job. It was hard to have faith and trust that however the situation played out, God would be there for our family. He brought us through that ordeal, and I'm happy to say that Kevin officially returned to work  in September. What a blessing! He is so thankful to be released from all the pain he had experienced. Of course, he still has to be careful and is still having to deal with a daunting amount of bothersome paperwork,  but so far he has been doing great, health wise. It's amazing how far he has come. Until something like this happens, it's  easy to take a properly functioning body for granted, especially the spine which controls so much of daily living. When your back is in pain, it can be debilitating.

So, immediately after he was at last released to go back to work, it was time to dive right into the home school mode. This year I'm teaching two: Isaac is first grade and Emma is kindergarten. Ethan is just 2 1/2, so it can be difficult to keep him occupied while I'm working with the other two. :)

It's demanding, but it's  going very well and it's totally worth it. The kids are thriving and it's neat to see them get excited about learning. Some days are stressful, but overall, I'd say it's working great for us.  

This year we took the leap and joined a home school support group. It has been a great experience meeting other homeschooling families and giving the kids a chance to interact with others. It's nice to have that outlet of encouragement with the other moms, too, especially since most of them have been home schooling longer than I have. Lots of experience there to draw from! The kids have made more friends and get to do fun projects and classes each time. It's a huge highlight for them! We also enrolled Isaac and Emma into weekly swimming lessons, which they love.

In other news, Kevin and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary in December and Emma turned 5 in January.  Three more birthdays coming up this spring as well. Time keeps marching on!

We also recently changed around almost all of the bedrooms, did some painting and otherwise sprucing up of our home. That was quite a chore and we are just now feeling settled, after weeks of playing musical rooms and a lot of upheaval in general. (Plus, it is crazy trying to paint walls with a two year old running around!) Everything is finally back into place for the most part.

So, that's the recap of life since last June.

As I look back on 2011, it was a year of tremendous growth for me personally. I met alot of goals that I had, some big, some very small, but all of them important in one way or another. I had my faith shaken and strengthened. I realized anew just how much I love being a wife and mother. I had to walk away from emotionally toxic situations. I was compelled to gather my courage and let that inner mama bear out on a few occasions...and then at other times, learn when to hold it in . :)  I watched my children grow and change right before my eyes. As a family unit, it seems like we became even closer, especially after the situation with Kevin's back when things were totally out of our control and we had to lean on each other more than ever.

2011 will be memorable, that's for sure!

As I look forward into 2012, I just feel incredibly blessed and happy. Is everything perfect? No. And it never will be here on this earth. But, there is just so much to be grateful for. When you focus on what is right in your life rather what is wrong, it can change your entire outlook!

I did not make a visual resolutions list this year, though of course there are always plenty of areas for improvement. :) Mostly, I just want to find and maintain a place of good balance between work and play and create lots of simple memories with my little family.

You know, the whole "stopping to smell the roses" thing.

I am really hoping that I can get back into a more regular blogging groove again, but we shall see. It is a challenge to find much time for "non essentials" these days so I am afraid that it may still be quite infrequent.

But I will try.

I also wanted to say thank you to those who, in my absence, seemed genuinely concerned and inquired if all was okay. I did not realize that I even had that much of a following. So it was nice to know that there really are people out there who take the time to read my boring ramblings and care about how things are going. :)

In closing, here is our holiday picture for this year. The children are getting bigger! More updates on them to come soon.
It's time for this mama to call it a day.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Appliqued Flower Tee

I stumbled across a cute idea from the ladies at Marie-Madeline Studio to make an adorable tee with a funky flower on the front. This business sells beautiful, quality fabrics as well as hand made items. They have a list of different tutorials on their blog and this particular project is called "Put A Flower On Your Tee."  You can see it at
 It reminded me of something one would see in a catalog such as Mini Boden or sold at a children's clothing boutique. It seemed simple enough, so I decided to give it a try. 
They walk you through it with lots of pictures and step by step instructions along the way. I was able to put this together in an evening and was surprised at how quick it was, even with the all of that hand stitching.
I did everything mostly as they did, except for also embroidering around the center. I decided to add some little dabs of fray block around the raw edges of the flower. I would reccomend washing this on gentle cycle and air drying flat.
Here is a picture of the flower I made when it was half finished:
Here is the completed project......

...and a close up of the actual flower, to give an idea of what it looks like.
This was for Emma, of course, and she absolutely loves it! I made her a matching skirt to wear with it, and will be writing a post about that soon, along with some pictures of Emma modeling her new outfit! I am inspired to try some more applique designs on her other plain shirts. The possibilities are endless!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Inchworm Cake

We kept Ethan's recent 2nd birthday very simple this year...but I couldn't resist making this adorable cake for him:

You can see the recipe and directions here: . The video link is helpful also.

I was happy with how it turned out and Ethan loved it! I would make this again.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


How is it possible that our baby boy is turning two years old today?
It seems like just yesterday that this screaming bundle
of joy was placed in our arms...

I can still remember that magical moment when we introduced Ethan Jacob to his older brother and sister. It was love at first sight! 

They were so excited when we got to bring him home. 
2009 was a big year for us as we went from two children to three...all age four and under. It was an adjustment, but it really has been great all around!

2010 came and went in a flash. Life became that much busier once Ethan was fully mobile and walking quickly progressed to running...
And now it is 2011 and Ethan is not so little anymore! He is now TWO years old, a  ball of energy and giggles with a huge, dimpled active toddler who loves macaroni and cheese and Bob the Builder. He brings sunshine to even the stormiest of days. It is hard to remember life without him in it.

Happy Birthday, Ethan! We all love you so much.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Future Baker of America...

Emma has inherited my "baking gene", that's for sure. She is always finding pictures of things in cooking magazines and books that she wants to try. Here she is, proudly posing with a big loaf of Challah bread that she helped to make recently, fresh from the oven.

We used a recipe from and were surprised at how easy it was to make. Challah is a light, slightly sweet bread. It goes well with just about anything and the leftovers  make great french toast, too!
I opted for doing the more complicated, six strand braid. Emma liked how it looked "fancier" than the regular three strand version. It is a bit tricky at first, but once you get used to the pattern, it gets to be automatic. There are several good challah braiding video tutorials on You Tube that were helpful.
One batch yielded two huge loaves, but I'm sure it will all be gone within a few days!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Mounds of shaving cream and some paint

resulted in a fun activity that kept the children busy for awhile. They loved dribbling paint on the shaving cream and then swirling the paint around to make interesting designs however they wished.
When they were done, we pressed sheets of paper down over the top. When lifted off, the painted design stayed on, and the shaving cream dried clear!
It looks like very neat abstract art.

We will be definitely doing this again. It is messy, but something fun for little hands that need to be kept busy on a rainy day!