Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.
Like arrows in the hand of the warrior are children born in one's youth. 
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. 
Psalm 127:3-5

You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb. 
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Wonderful are Your works; My soul knows it very well. 
My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, 
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance.
In Your book were written, EVERY ONE OF THEM, the days that were formed for me, 
When as yet there were none of them. 
Psalm 139:13-16

JP and I are so thankful and happy to be able to announce another baby joining our family in May 2015!

When I look at this picture and think about those scriptures above, I am overwhelmed to tears and humbled by God's graciousness to bless us with so many children. I know there are many people who would love to have just one healthy baby, and here I am with five. 

We appreciate all prayers for baby and this pregnancy. I have to admit, I have struggled with more fear surrounding this pregnancy than any other one before it. I have had several people close to me who have miscarried recently, and the lie I have been fighting is that we are pushing our luck by asking for more healthy children than what we already have.

But I KNOW that God is in control of every detail of my life and that His plans for me are GOOD, so, "I will have no fear of bad news; my heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. My heart is secure; I will have no fear." (Ps 112:7-8)

Yesterday, the kids and I got to watch baby's healthy heart flutter on an ultrasound, and it was all I could do to hold myself together. God, you are so good. This baby is amazing. We are so very thankful!

#5 is ALIVE!!!!


Canada Bound

Israel is currently on her way to Thunder Bay, Ontario. JP's dad and stepmom are taking her and her cousin Ava on a trip there just for fun. They are going to visit Fort William, mine for amethysts, and swim in the hotel pool through Sunday, then head home. 

This is Rae's first time out of the country. She is going to Canada before I have even ever been there! She is very excited because she knows that JP's family comes from Canada and has always wanted to see the "homeland." 

The trip coincides wonderfully with a unit study we are doing in our homeschool co-op. We are studying different countries around the world, and Canada is a country we will be covering soon.

It is a six hour trip from here to Thunder Bay with no traffic, and from what we understand, the roads are down to one lane the way they are headed. Please pray for a safe trip for them, with no trouble going across the border or getting back in. 

I can't believe how big my girl is getting!

Field Trips

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the flexibility it provides our family. We get to set our own schedule and adjust it however we want.

I try to keep it to a consistent schedule. Right now, ours look something like this:

7:00 am - kids wake up and eat breakfast

7:30 am - chores

8:15 am - begin school. We do our unit study lesson for the day, which may include Bible, science, history, and social studies, but not necessarily all subjects every day. After that we do math and language arts. 

11:30 am - break for lunch

1:00 pm - Silas goes for a nap, and the girls and I read aloud, practice piano, and take care of other household duties. 

It is nice to have a routine and something predictable for the kids so they know what to expect in a day.

But as a homeschooler, I have the freedom to switch that up whenever and however I want in order to fit in all of the other activities in which we like to participate. Other activities include Bible studies, homeschool co-op, play dates, and even grocery store trips if needed.

This week, we switched up our normal routine in order to take advantage of a couple good deals for homeschoolers in the metro area.

Thursday was homeschool day at the children's museum. We were able to receive four free passes just for being homeschoolers. This is only the second time we've ever gone to the children's museum, and the kids love it there so much.

Today (Friday), we went to the Wapiti Buckskinner Rendezvous, A historical fair of sorts with all sorts of displays and demonstration of early pioneer life. The kids had the opportunity to throw tomahawks, make handmade beeswax candles, Watch a blacksmithing demonstration, learn how to spin yarn, and much more. Unfortunately, they barely participated in any of the activities that they could have, and mostly we just walked around and looked at all of the cool stuff. 

Highlights were watching a Canon getting fired, watching the Blacksmith at work, and tasting maple candy just like we read about Laura Ingalls having in the Little House books we are currently reading.

Also, I tasted buffalo tongue. It tasted like a cross between a pork chop, liver, and hot dog. The kids would not try it.

I got the girls each a "grab bag" that had all sorts of little trinkets in them, from Native American beads to strips of fur, leather and seashells. Silas got a wooden pistol. 

There is no question that homeschooling is challenging. I truly and literally have my kids with me all of the time and take them with me everywhere I go. It is exhausting. And it is beautiful, and wonderful, and precious time spent with the people I love the most. When they remember going on field trips, they will remember me. When they read C-A-T for the first time, it will be with me. It is truly the most wonderful job in the world. 


Rosie is 4!

It has been 9 months since I last updated this blog. I don't meant to neglect it. It's just so much easier to post pictures and news on Facebook. But I'm trying to steer away from that route since Facebook keeps no record of all of our memories, and on the blog, I can look back as with a journal.

There's no cuter way to break back into blogging than by celebrating Rosie's 4th birthday!

She requested a pink horsey cake with a rainbow mane, and you better believe Mama made it happen!

I can't believe it has been four years since I woke our neighbors up at 2 am to see if they could stay with our sleeping girls while we raced to the too-far-away hospital and barely made it in time to welcome Johnye Rose into the world.

No time for an epidural with her -- it was my first (and hopefully my last) natural birth. She continues to be my all-natural wonder girl, radiating joy and life everywhere she goes.

Rosie's smile is infectious. She is my girly-girl, always wearing dresses, necklaces, and sparkly shoes. She brushes her hair 3x/day and asks for lipstick and blush every opportunity she gets. She loves to sing in a very dramatic way, and she write the most beautiful worship songs to Jesus while she plunks on the piano. It's not unusual to catch her singing to herself like this:

Johnye Rose, you are simply amazing. You are so smart (you already write your name and can count higher than any 4-year-old I've ever met!), you love the Lord, you are affectionate and spunky and love to be in the spotlight. You remind me of another little girl from a long time ago. ;)

Keep being you, keep shining, and never let your spark fade away! WE LOVE YOU, ROSIE!!!