Healthy Living Bundle // Coming Soon

With the new school year starting up,
I have been scouring the internet for easy, healthy ways to feed my family,
ways to keep them healthy with all the germs that will be going around,
and ways to budget in the new school year.

I am so happy to be partnering with Ultimate-Bundles to share some amazing information with my readers.
I can't disclose all of the great eBooks and items included, but I can tell you that it will be available soon and is totally worth every penny!!!

It is a great way to get a wealth of information and free products for a great LOW price!

I will update you when it comes available! 

Life Lately // Puddles of Memories

These are snap shots of life for us.
They are the "here and now" and so precious to us.
We don't do much video taping, but we have an abundance of pictures.
Mark and I were chatting the other evening after we put the kids to bed
about the pictures we have saved on our computer.
In some respects,
they are the most prized "possession" Mark and I have.
If everything in this house burned and was reduced to ashes,
our pictures are the thing we would long for most.
The little memories frozen in time for us to look back on.

I'm not one to take my camera with me everywhere.
Sometimes, I feel like it weighs me down and is another "thing" for me to tend to.
When we do family Christmases, I snap a few shots and then put it away.
I want to be able to look back on those moments, 
but I don't want to miss them because I am clicking away.

But this... daily life- I totally want to capture this!
I sit quietly and take it all in,
and then I freeze it.
It's almost as if I completely recreate the moments when I look back on the photos.
I can hear the sounds and see the sweetness that made me want to take the picture in the first place.

For instance, Liam laying down on the floor and loving his newest sister.  Him telling her all about the corn turning brown and how he was going to harvest it in a few weeks.  And, that she is too little to ride in the big combine this year, but maybe next year she could go.
I would easily forget his gentle hand on her tummy and how he pats her all the time.  Or, how he can't keep his hands off of her soft head.  We are constantly encouraging him to touch her feet, but pretty soon his hand travels up to her sweet hair and he rubs away.

Ella, looking on, making sure a wrong move isn't made.  She is Julia's great protector.  She practices picking her up off of the floor and gently bouncing her while she "shushes" her.  It is a glimpse into her as a momma.

Little feet propped up in the basket as Guinnyth eats her snack.  She always wants to be like her older siblings.  She doesn't want to be left behind.  As they sit in laundry baskets eating their snack, she runs and gets a small blue basket to sit in so she can mimic them. 

Julia gets moments of quiet time when the kids are eating.  She sits in her papasan and coos her time away.  The kids peek around the counter and giggle as they listen to her.  She is hands down the most popular person in this house right now.  The kids ask about her first thing in the morning and request a hug and kiss from her every night.  These small moments of quiet for her are rare.  

Little snippets.
I hope, when my kids are grown, they look back and feel what it was like to be small all over again.

Precious Guinnyth // 2nd Birthday

Our sweet Guinnyth turned two this month!
It is so much fun celebrating special occasions with these little people.
They get so excited to spoil each other and share in the joy.

Two years ago, I was transitioning our family from a family of four, to a family of five.
It was overwhelming, but our little Guinn-Guinn was such a great baby that
it made it pretty seamless.

I learned to walk through the Target parking lot with three kiddos.
I learned how to grocery shop with one, sometimes two, children walking beside the cart instead of everyone being inside the cart.
I learned to do head counts every time we entered and exited the vehicle.
I learned to cook with one on the chair next to me, one on the counter, and one strapped to my body.
We filled Guinnyth's birthday with "happy birthdays" all day long
and cake and gifts.
Her grandparents came in the evening and showered her with presents and hugs.
Life would be so dull without you, sweet Guinnyth.
You have stretched me so much as a momma and I am so glad The Lord saw fit to give you to us.
I wouldn't smile even a fraction of what I do now.
I wouldn't have a babe to help me put my makeup on in the mornings for church.
I wouldn't get to cuddle you after every naptime.
So much would be missing... we are so blessed to have you!


Homeschool // Preparation

I have been planning and scheduling like a boss this past week.
I always have a sense of excitement mixed with fear the weeks leading up to our "official" start date.
I know it will go fine, but a little voice speaks fear into me.
Last year was so amazing and we all had a great year (there were hard days/weeks, but for the most part it was a total success!).
I am hopeful and in prayer about this school year.

Ella is using ABeka for her phonics (language, spelling, writing, reading) this year 
and Horizons for math.  We decided to go with Expedition Earth for geography (by and stick with Heart of Dakota for history and science.

Liam is using ABeka for phonics and math (ABC-123 workbook and Writing notebook).
He will follow along with Ella on Expedition Earth and with Heart of Dakota.

We will be using The Dig (digging in Luke this year) for our Bible curriculum.
All three older kids will be involved in this.

We are getting really excited and after seeing so many "back to school" pics,
we are even more anxious to begin.
I decided early on to wait until Julia was 8 weeks old to begin our school year.
That will give me time to have her in a flexible schedule 
and hopefully be getting a few consecutive hours of sleep per night.

The Dog Days of Motherhood

 Motherhood is priceless.
We spend months preparing for each little one to enter into our lives.
Once they get here, we search for normalcy.
We hold on to the fleeting moments of those first few weeks,
trying to see through the fog and exhaustion so we don't forget anything.

They are hard times, but good times.
It's tough to lay your head down on the pillow only to force it to rise an hour later.
Hard times.
When you finally stumble to the crib, you smell the sweet scent of newborn
as it settles into the crook of your arm, and somehow it all feels right.
Good times.

This is my last experience with a newborn.
A bittersweet realization.
No more kicking baby in my belly.
No more anticipation of his/her arrival.
No more picking of names and painting of nurseries.
No more puffed up pride when I push through labor and hold the babe in my arms.
No more... just this-
A future filled with laughter and sweet, chubby armed hugs.
Snotty noses pressed on my cheek
and spaghetti hands printed on the back of my shirt.
Pitter patters coming down the hallway
and little fingers under the bathroom door.
Constant, "Mommy, did you see that," or "Mommy, what is that,"
as we drive down the road.
Precious, little thumb sucking babes snuggled in on the couch next to me.
This is the sweet side of where I am at right now.
We are so excited to have a vision for our family.
It is nice to picture road trips and know who will fill the back seats.
It is a lovely thought to experience all six of us crammed on a bed reading The Word.  
Hearing little voices talk about people's hearts- their hearts.
Their concern for the eternity of those they love most.
They get it.
I really think they do.
They get what it means to care for others and that there is something more than meets the eye.
If only I could get it a little better.
We have four little bodies- four little souls
which we were given to care for.
I am so blessed to have the privilege of praying over these little ones.
Oh, Lord, that I might not fumble and mess up too much.
Fill my grace cup to the rim.

Motherhood Monday // The Happenings

It has been an exciting and exhausting past month.
I have been soaking up my four little ones and trying to get into a groove.
I have been itching to sit down and write a few posts,
but every time I do,
my mind goes blank and all I want to do is take a nap.
So, that's a good sign that I just need to sit, type, and get back to blogging.

We spent much of July simply learning how to be a family of six.
I focused on feeding my kids, sleeping whenever possible, and trying not to worry about the mounds of laundry piling up.
Yesterday, Mark finally said, "I think I need to help you get the laundry under control."
Ya... maybe I do need your help. :)

When August hit, I knew I needed to start setting some small goals for myself
and work on getting our home back to normal.
The two older kids began doing their "Morning Workbooks" every day for school.
They like being in a flexible routine, too.
I made grocery lists and took the kids to get groceries
 (on tax-free weekend, I might add, not a wise choice!).
I cooked meals every day (so far) and made sure the house was tidy.
The kids and I began our cleaning routine again,
although, it isn't as intense as it was prior to Julia's arrival.
Still, it helps keep our house from being a stye!

We will continue to add school tasks to our schedule little by little this month.
In September we start school full-time.
I have been lesson planning and preparing like a mad-woman.
It feels so good to accomplish things and check them off of my list.

My hope is to get back into a blogging routine as well.
It seems once I stop, it is hard for me to start up again.
I have some notes jotted down for posts and some reader requests that I need to tackle in the next month,
so hopefully that will help me get back to it!

Happy Monday!!