Pregnancy Update: 21 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 21 Weeks Along

I had a routine ultrasound this week. Everything looks normal and Baby Inkling appeared healthy and active. We saw lots of hand waves and movement in general.

Keep growing, Baby! 

And God, we pray, for You to keep knitting this little one together to be exactly who You want him or her to be.

Soap Clouds Fun


Ever wonder what would happen if you put a regular bar of Ivory soap in the microwave for a few minutes? 

Well, wonder no more! You get soap clouds!

All eyes were glued to the microwave, watching the soap clouds form and change shape and grow. We let it go until I feared it would explode - about 2-3 minutes.

Afterwards, you can make molds out of the soap. We didn't, though. We left it in "cloud" form and put it by the bathroom sink. Break off a small chunk and use it each time you wash your hands. Somehow washing hands just became 10 times more fun! 

I got this idea here.

Intrigued? Try it yourself!

Mother's Day 2015


Mother's Day. I used to have high expectations of a super clean house and a day without all of the usual mommy work. But now, I have come to delight in the homemade crafty gifts from my kids and to simply appreciate the fact that I am needed in my home. 

Mother's Day doesn't mean a day free from laundry or dishes. It's a day when I am especially thankful for the people who make those dirty clothes and those dirty dishes. How I love them! 
How thankful I am for the privilege of being a mom. 
I am well aware that it's a privilege denied to many. 
I am blessed. 
I embrace my role as mom. 

This year, my kids made a flower craft for me. Dad also took them shopping for a few gifts. They bought a wonderfully smelling peach candle - wrapped with a note "Thank you for making our life peachy" :-)

And then a new set of 16 dishes. In with each plate was a little note of something the kids were thankful for: thank you for playing monopoly with me, thank you for washing our clothes, thank you for reading to us, thank you for teaching us, thank you for playing the piano. Maybe the best one was signed "from Inkling" (our in-utero baby), saying thank you for keeping me cozy. :-) 

Cherishing each day and each child, 
Thanking God for the privilege of being mom. 

Pregnancy Update: Week 20


Pregnancy Update: 20 Weeks Along 

20 Weeks = Halfway to 40 Weeks = Yahoo! 

Feeling kicks now that are strong enough to be felt by others outside the womb. 

Can't say that I'm "nesting" but I have started some frozen food prep, thinking ahead to when baby is born. Getting back on track making meals for my family is one of the hardest things for me when I have a newborn. So my goal is to have at least 10 frozen meals prepped in advance. 

We have our ultrasound in the next few days. But don't get your hopes up for finding out Inkling's gender... we like to be surprised and will ask the ultrasound tech to NOT tell us or show us anything revealing. This is one of life's best surprises! 

We love you, Baby Inkling! 

Family Photo Friday


It's Friday, so here are a few photos from our week. 

We did some major spring cleaning and room re-arranging earlier in the week. Part of this was to prepare for a guest, but it served other purposes too, as we prepare for baby's arrival in the fall. We moved toddler girl upstairs to share a room with big sister, leaving behind a true guest room. This was the cleanest and nicest this room has looked in years. 

Sisters. Love it.

We had some HOT weather this week. Hot enough to get out the pool. The kids, of course, loved it and spent hours in the water.

This little girl. Oh, how she enjoys wearing other people's footwear around the house. Here she is with daddy's slippers. Just as often, it is brother's shoes or daddy's dress shoes. Funny. 

Just for fun, here are two photos of her big sister who used to do the same thing, back in 2005. See similarities? 

Happy Friday, one and all!

A Guest


We've had a guest with us this week. He works with a missionary-sending agency and has had meetings at our church this week, along with about 10 of his colleagues. We were one family who volunteered to host and I'm so glad we did. 

Gary spent years as a missionary in Africa with his family. He had stories to share about that experience, as well as dozens of other interesting tid-bits and jokes. On top of that, he was just a funny grandfatherly-type guy. My kids loved him from the start, because he engaged with them at their level. My daughter asked numerous probing questions about his life and his work, which he took the time to answer in depth. This kind of interaction and learning is something you can't get from books. I'm so thankful Gary took the time to invest in my kids, realizing his role as a teacher who could help expand their horizons, to help them consider other cultures, etc. 

At the end of his week-long stay with us, he thanked us and prayed for us. He felt, and so did we, that his stay with us was a perfect fit. 

Grace and peace to you, Gary, as you return home. 

And let me encourage others to take advantage of opportunities like this to host missionaries and other visitors. What a great way to model hospitality for your family, but also to learn from others who have different life experiences than you do. 

Pregnancy Update: Week 19


Pregnancy Update: 19 Weeks Along

This week involved plenty of spring cleaning at our house. We rearranged 3 rooms, switched the older kids' rooms and moved our toddler upstairs into a room with older sister. Of course, this included thinking through where new baby will be sleeping too. Phew! 

Almost half-way through this pregnancy. Everyone says "Wow! It's going so fast!" All pregnancies seem to go by quickly, except your own! 

Biggest challenge of the week is to keep my belly safe from toddler sister who likes to push, sometimes hard, on my fluffy belly. Sorry, baby! 

Keep on growing, Baby Inkling! We love you!

Homeschool Co-op: End of Another Semester



The Spring 2015 semester of our homeschool co-op has come to an end. We had 46 families with 131 children participating this time around.

My 7-year-old son enjoyed these K1 classes: Math Games, Gym, Maps (which I taught; read more here about that class) and Health. 

In this picture is my son's Math Games class at our end-of-the semester program, counting to 5 in 5 different languages (English, Spanish, Japanese, Sweedish and German). Great job! 

My 11-year-old daughter enjoyed these Jr High classes: Gym, Crafts, Spanish and Board Games.

In this picture is my daughter's Spanish class reciting Juan 3:16 at the end-of-semester program. Que bueno!  

On co-op days, I spent one hour in the nursery, one hour in prayer group (which is a wonderful requirement of this Christian group), one hour teaching K1 Maps and one hour co-teaching Sr High Speech. Yes, from nursery up to Sr High, my day ran the gamut of ages and stages! This was the busiest I've been at our co-op, in terms of teaching. Next semester I'll be back to nursery for three hours and prayer group for one. I'm already looking forward to that slower paced semester!

The group learned Psalm 20:5-9 this semester. Any students who could recite this from memory on the last day received a prize. This picture is of the group that was able to recite the passage. My daughter is up there somewhere. My son gave up on memorizing the passage this time around, claiming it was too hard. But to see all of these other children, some of whom were younger than him, able to recite it... well, hmmm, maybe it wasn't TOO hard. 

Now we have a break for the summer. I will say again that I really enjoy our co-op. 12 weeks together in the spring, a nice long summer break, then 12 weeks together in the fall, followed by a 2-month holiday break. It's a wonderful schedule that suits our family so well. And the group of families that participate are wonderful. I enjoy the time with the fellow moms and am thankful for the time and commitment of each of them. 

Three cheers for homeschool co-op!

Toddler Girl at 16 Months


My toddler girl is 16 months old already. She is saying more words now (like noo-noo for noodles and tries to say her name, which she at least gets the starting sound and the number of syllables right). She understands so much and will do whatever we ask (get the cup and bring it to mama or put this shoe in the box). Our biggest challenge is to try to limit the use of her pacifier to only bedtime. She really loves that thing... 

She loves to explore, whether getting into cabinets inside or trying to eat grass outside. Here she is exploring a head of cauliflower. She was fascinated. She's very particular about dirt. If she notices any small piece of lint, dirt, hair, etc. on the floor or on her hands, she will bring it to me and want it off. 

We've had a few warm, summer-like days and Little Miss has loved being outside whenever possible. 

However, she took her first bike ride with me during one of those warm days. She was not impressed. I'm thinking it was the huge helmet that bothered her, but safety first. We'll try again and see if she gets used to it. 

Hiding in a hamper. Fun times. 

She's big enough to climb into our recliners by herself now, without a stool or any assistance. That makes her so proud, she just glows and laughs at herself.

All smiles with big brother and big sister in the background.

My son had a new wheelbarrow. Little Miss found it, put her sippy cup in it and pushed it around. A little worker already!

Delightful. Adorable. Cherished. 
Deeply loved! 

Pregnancy Update: Week 18


Pregnancy Update: 18 Weeks Along

This week's theme is MOVEMENT. I had been feeling some flutters in recent weeks but they have become more pronounced now. I'm more certain now that they are indeed baby movements. They aren't strong enough for anyone else to feel them on the outside yet, but I sure do feel them. 

I had a routine OB appointment this week. All continues to look fine and the baby's heartbeat is strong. A routine ultrasound is now scheduled in about 2 weeks time. 

I am starting to feel big. With past pregnancies, this is the point where I have sometimes started to measure big. I have not gained more than 10 pounds, but I look closer to 30 weeks pregnant than 20. However, I rejoice in a healthy pregnancy and body that will do what it's supposed to do, even if it has lost some of its elasticity. 
Pregnancy and birth really are an incredible process! 

We love you, Baby Inkling!

Homeschool Co-op: Maps Class


I taught Maps/Geography as a class for the Kindergarten-1st Graders this semester at our homeschool co-op.  

I had 12 kids in my class - 10 boys (!!!) and 2 girls. My son was one of the boys. Him I can handle. But him along with 9 other boys as crazy as he is... was more than I could handle! I was very thankful for the other mom who was my faithful class helper. 

I used a curriculum that a fellow homeschooling mom had used a few years ago at our co-op for this same class. It was nice to have lesson plans already laid out for me. I changed a few things to add my own flair, but I appreciated her willingness to share what she'd created and done before. Why reinvent the wheel?! 

The kids enjoyed doing a floor puzzle of the USA and another floor puzzle of the world (focusing on the seven continents, which we memorized). 

I brought in numerous books for the kids to look at / read that were related to geography. One fun project was to find the compass rose on every map. 


On our last day, we enjoyed a class party. I made a huge cookie shaped like our state of Indiana and decorated it with a few major rivers and cities. I got the idea for this from a project my daughter did a few years ago   and also from this Indiana blogger/teacher.    
We ate the cookie in class (or about 1/4 of it, actually, because it was HUGE).

On party day, I had the kids play "pin the state on the map" with a few states (like Indiana, California, Florida, Oklahoma). This was a lot of fun. Here are three of the students showing where their Indiana states ended up. 

This boy got Oklahoma RIGHT WHERE IT BELONGS while blind-folded. Unbelievable! 

A few days ago, I caught my son "playing school" with this map, teaching his class about the compass rose and where to find our state on the map.


Pregnancy Update: Week 17


Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks Along

Hmmm. What is new this week? 

Baby is about the size of an onion. 
Bones are firming up. 
The umbilical cord is growing stronger and thicker.

I have a routine OB appointment next week. And I will probably have a routine ultrasound done in the next few weeks. 

I've been having some strange dreams at night. Very vivid. Very real. Very strange. And very memorable, as I can often recall one or two of these dreams the next day. This is a common symptom of pregnancy for me. 

That's all to report for this week. On to week 18!

Pregnancy Update: Week 16


Pregnancy Update: 16 weeks along

Nothing new to report this week. Just moving along. 
I am still feeling tired, so I'm waiting for that second trimester burst of energy to kick in.

Some clothes that I wear can still hide the fact that I'm pregnant, while others can make me look MUCH bigger than I am. 

Grow, Baby Inkling, grow!

Family Photo Friday

It's Friday. Here are a few photos from our week. 

My spring flowers are in bloom. 
My heart delights in seeing these colorful beauties!

I had a 3-man band at my house this week. 
Lots of noise and happy memories.

My little girl can climb up into the stroller all by herself. This is her way to communicate her desire to be outside, which she is desiring almost constantly these days. Who isn't, after a long winter?!

Happy Friday to one and all!

Easter Family


Here are a few photos from last weekend's Easter celebration. 

 Our clan, all dressed up and enjoying the outdoors.

My oldest daughter with cousin Racquel. You'd never know that my daughter was actually sick on Easter morning. However, by mid-afternoon she was eating again, feeling better and able to enjoy herself at our family gathering. 

Pregnancy Update: Week 15


Pregnancy Update: 15 Weeks Along 

Baby Inkling is about 4 inches long right now and weighs just a couple of ounces. 

I began wearing maternity pants this week, as I needed that extra space in the front. I also started organizing all of my maternity clothes by size and season. I enjoy this, as it's like getting a new wardrobe for the next 6 months. And I always forget what I have so it's a bit like Christmas too!

And I do believe the morning sickness is 100% done! 

Yeah for 15 weeks!

Family Photo Friday


Here are some photos that give a little sneak peek into our week. 

My mom sent an Easter package that included this bunny ears for our littlest bunny. So cute.

Grandma R hosted my children and cousin Racquel at her house to decorate eggs this week. 

My hubby often reads with my son in the evenings before bed. They've read some great books like Charlotte's Web, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Rabbit Hill, James and the Giant Peach, and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. This week they finished up Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which was heavier reading but they both enjoyed the story. 

We've had some beautiful spring days lately. Here are all 3 of my kids by a tree in our yard. Little Miss loved the freedom to walk in the grass by herself. 

Happy Friday to one and all!