New Family of 7

You might have noticed my absence here.  There has been a lot going on.  I won’t go into details because frankly there is so much that it makes my brain fuzzy.  But the biggest best-est thing that has happened is the arrival of our sweet baby girl.


Here I am getting ready for the big ordeal.  *Please excuse the swollen face and teary eyes.  I had already had a mini panic attack over what was about to happen.*  Baby girl was 4 days late and my doctor and I decided that it was best to get induced.  I was still hoping for a natural start, but since that didn’t happen, getting induced became the plan.

I have been through having my water break, to midnight contractions to ‘whoa this went down so fast that the doctor missed the birth’ to two inductions now, and I have to say the inductions have been by far my FAVORITE way to give birth.  Don’t get me wrong, its still scary and unpleasant, but its the least of these things when you have a wonderful doctor and staff of nurses and of course a steady hand of a husband all there to help you get through this special moment with the least amount of fear and drama as possible.  And we achieved our goal: healthy momma and healthy baby!  Couldn’t ask for anything better.

By the next day we were visited by some very special people.





By far this is the day that I get the most teary-eyed and heart full.  My mommy love simply explodes seeing each of my babies greet one another for the first time.  As you can see they each seemed to be so proud to be the bigger brother/sister and have special one on one time with our littlest princess.  I had to laugh looking at pictures from that day because poor baby girl didn’t get one solo picture because her siblings were too excited and held her most of the time.

Although, once that excitement wore off, they mostly kept themselves entertained by playing with the buttons on mommy’s special hospital bed.

IMG_5064I can’t blame them.  I love hospital beds and wish I could bring one home with me!  I also love the peace that comes with having a hospital birth.  I know I know…. peace?  Hospital birth?  Whaaa?????  Here’s the thing…. In the hospitals they bring you hot meals that you don’t prepare.  They cater to your every need.  They make sure you, not just the baby, are ok and well taken care of.  For goodness sake, nurses take the baby during the night if you wish so you can get some very needed sleep!  For a mommy of now five, its a rare moment where I get taken care of.  Plus there are many moments of quiet.  Newborns sleep a lot and my husband and I actually got to watch movies.  That’s right.  MovieS.  Plural.  More than one!  Mostly, I enjoy the special time that Music Man and I can spend simply adoring our special blessing that the Lord has given us.  We will never have that special one on one time again and I cherish it.


We ARE the Vacation

This summer has been quite a whirlwind of visitors and fun, fun, fun!  We have had 3 different sets of visitors that have each stayed a minimum of 6 days and nights with us, with the longest being 9 days and 8 nights.

PHEW!  I’m tired just thinking about it!

But as I’ve been saying to myself in a mantra like state “we are stressed because we are blessed“.  And it is absolutely true.  The constant what are we going to feed these people? and how are we going to entertain these vacationers? were certainly weighing heavily on my mind.  However, after stopping and remembering that all of these friends and family groups all took the time and effort and hard-earned money to actually stay with us and be part of our family was nothing short of miraculous to me.

rich and debbie eating smores


smore's with Ash


Store’s night!  (notice the essential bug repellent spray…. the humidity brings all the bugs to the yard….)

Bradyn casting with Warren


Blake casting


Jeff casting with Brian and Ben


Here is our friend and daddy teaching how to cast for fish… in the yard.  Miss Ariel was excited that her fishing pole was pink!  I was proud of all of the kids.  They all were enjoying themselves and look forward to when we can take them out on the water to test their skills.

Uncle Mike with Ben and Brian

And of course good ole fashioned family time with the kids Uncle and Aunt (not pictured).  We enjoyed each others company immensely.  Lake days, pizza at the local farm, game nights, trips to the famous Mall of America, and of course an introduction to the next door dairy farm were in store for many of our summer time guests.

These are the moments that make life worthwhile.  They are also the moments that make this momma need a nap.

A real gift

Recently Music Man and I celebrated our 8th anniversary.  We actually got a babysitter and went out for most of the day without children to celebrate our marriage.  We haven’t gotten a few hours off duty as parents in such a long time that we honestly didn’t even know what to do.  We had no game plan and no schedule, just hours to be ourselves and to be with one another enjoying the company.

We simply drove around our quaint little town and nearby areas and went exploring.  This is our 3rd summer here and we barely have scratched the surface as to what is out here.  There were many places closed due to the Sunday sabbath observance, but it didn’t stop our need to inspect what our town had to offer.  We discovered a near by lake that we plan on taking the children and visitors.  There was teeny tiny itty bitty town that didn’t even have stop light, but held a fantastic meat market that we wholly wished was open.  We ate at a local joint that many of our friends have recommended, but I had yet to try.  We had an ice cream cone that was out of this world.

No gifts.  No cards.  Nothing exchanged.  No fancy restaurants.  No fancy date.  Just good ole fashioned us time.

Quality time might just be my biggest love language and this was a special treat for me.

Happy 8 years hunny!

Summer days

Here is just a tiny bit of what we are up to…

Bradyn running

Blake on the tire swing

Brian on the tire swing

Ben in backpack with Jeff

Not much, and yet everything.  Mostly we are just enjoying what we have and what God has made.  Nothing complicated, nothing serious.  Its pretty magical this thing called summer.

Fun finds that I had forgotten

Coming to a different place to dwell for months at a time can be challenging, but it can also reawaken your passions or loves.  Since we acquired this farm house, I have had loads of fun finding unique finds to fill it up with.  Granted, not everything is antique or unusual, many things are new and practical, but my favorites are my vintage treasures.

Last winter, while shopping downtown at the local antique dive, my cousin and I found this gem.


Now I gotta admit, I’m definitely more of a Coke girl myself, but this old fashioned ice box with the perfect blue was just yelling my name, and it was only $65!.  It currently resides on one of our porches just waiting to be used.

I didn’t have to leave my kitchen before re-discovering another fun find that I acquired late last summer.


Totally cheesy I know.  But seriously, how can you pass up a Cow/Pig/Chicken cookie jar combo?!  Answer: You can’t.  Now I’ll be looking forward to my handy hubby to put a couple of open shelves in the kitchen to display my quirky ceramic finds.

In just a few short weeks, I’ll be antsy to get into the furniture chalk painting workshop to make over several other thrift shop finds that are just begging to be re-done.  Awh, summer will be fun.

On the other side

Well its been pretty obvious that I’ve been missing from here.  I have plenty of good reasons though!  Have you ever tried packing up your life to spend an entire summer elsewhere with 4 children with one on the way?  Yah.  Me either.  It ain’t easy.  But luckily most of stuff is on the other side, besides the kids clothes, so that makes things much easier.

My days have been over flowing with stuff to do and people to see.  Its been a wonderful send off and I truly cherished every friend we saw before we trekked our family into our country paradise.  And now that we are here, things have turned quite upside down.  Besides a night with the in laws and a dinner with friends, its been down right boring around here.  Oh sure, Music Man sure knows how to fill his days with tending to all the chores in the outdoors, but I find myself with not much to do.

It’s weird.

I did however decide to embark on ‘living off the land’ so-to-speak and decided to try my hand at making a rhubarb dessert with our overgrowing field of rhubarb.

Blake rhubarb

Here is mini man with one stalk of our rhubarb picking.  Holy smokes Batman!  That thing was ginormous!  I made a rhubarb crisp which was more time consuming than I like, but it was well received.  I gotta admit, despite the valiant effort to disguise the tartness with mounds of sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon…. I still wasn’t much of a fan.  I haven’t given up it up completely however.  I think the next time I’ll be trying my hand at a familiar rhubarb/strawberry concoction.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Little Rascal turns 3

This past Sunday we had the privilege of celebrating our 3rd child for his 3rd birthday.  We kept it pretty simple with just our family and his favorite uncle and aunt to come and wish him a happy birthday.


(one of the few pictures I have with him not crying)

We served steak, salad (or as Little Rascal likes to say ‘leaves’), french fries and watermelon.  We also decided to forgo the traditional cake route and went with the who-could-resist brownie sundae with sprinkles on top.  We tried really hard to hit up foods that the birthday boy would enjoy.  And he did.  Mostly.  Once he got a sight line to the watermelon, it was all over.  He didn’t want to touch anything else.  I wasn’t going to push him on his terrible eating habits on his birthday.  Frankly I was just happy that he was excited to eat.


He then got to open up a few gifts from the special people in his life.  Little Rascal received a cool Farm bingo game, a lights and sounds tow truck, a dump truck shirt, and three truck related books.  But his favorite gift was the gift that mom and dad, who got him a giant garbage truck with 2 trash cans as accessories.  I wish I was smart enough to video him while he opened up his gifts, because if I had I would have had the best could-have-gone-viral reaction when he practically jumped out of his skin with 2 fists in the air and yelled “GARBAGE TRUCK!”  I loved it!!!!


The joys of being an older sibling is that you have first dibs to all of the gifts….. or so they think.

My only bummer of the day was forgetting to account for transition time from gift opening to eating dessert.  Meltdown was enievetable.  You’d think with this being my 3rd kid that I would know a few things, but even this old momma needs to learn a few tricks.


The best we could get considering he mostly cried.  Well as the song goes “its [his] party and he’ll cry if he wants too… cry if he wants too…. cry if he wants too”

This beautiful blonde hair, blue eyed, boy keeps me on my knees in prayer, in stitches laughing and amazed at his tenderness and bravery.  I love you little guy and am blessed to be your mommy.

My oh My… We are having #5!

One of the many reasons that I have been pretty sparse on here is that my energy is completely zapped.  I don’t mean, hey its been a long day I need to rest kind of zapped.  I mean I sit my squishy tushy down on the couch and immediately doze off kind of tired.  Tired.

I have a good excuse.


My sweet little family is growing.

And I’m already exhausted.

St. Patricks Day fun

Its been quite a break from this here blog o’mine.  But that’s ok.  Instead of wallowing in my own self mommy pity, I have enjoyed my family time, for I know it is a precious time that will soon be a distant memory as soon as *pilot season* starts.

Luckily for us, St. Patricks Day was on the calendar, so the kids and I had a fun time celebrating our Irish Leprechan day.  We started by eating a big bowl of Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops.  Both good sugary-and-delicious-red-dye-40-once-a-year-choices.  Next up was a fun rainbow craft where the kids glued the left over Fruit Loops in the right order and cotton balls on the clouds, which of course I forgot to take a picture of.  Whoops.

Then I had to make my usual green eggs, but this time I decided to make them IN toast, which the kids really enjoyed.


Since green food was the agenda of the day, we decided to make Mint Chocolate Chip cookies.  And my oh my were they a hit!


This was my first time making them and I think this might become a new tradition  I brought them to our bible study group that met that night and they were happily enjoyed by all the big kids at heart as well.


Considering we don’t usually eat dinner with the kids tuesday nights due to our bible study group, I had our semi traditional Irish feast later on the week.  Nobody was the wiser.  We ate overly salted corned beef from good ole Costco and steamed cabbage seasoned with butter and salt.  I was shocked when even sweet Little Rascal had his fair share.  All in all, we had such fun with one of my favorite holidays.