Our 6 Kids

This picture just makes me laugh!

Some of us are adjusting to life with this new little one better than others.  ;)

She ADORES her new little brother, but she also knows that things are different and has been reacting with a stronger will lately.

Knowing that life will take on a "new normal" in a number of weeks (or months) and feeling grateful for all that the Lord has given us,


Finally, He Is Here!

Gerrit Olaf
(Named after Nate's great grandpa and part of my maiden name, not after the Frozen snowman, although Gerrit does like warm hugs ;) )
Born on July 23, 2015
9lbs 7oz
21 1/4 inches

Adored (and smothered) by all.

We love our "little" guy!!!


No Green Thumb Here

In June, Nate and I got away for a night to celebrate 13 years of marriage.

We stopped at one of our favorite little towns, Pentwater, and did some shopping.

I bought the cutest lavender plant at a boutique.  Wish I had a picture to show you what it looked like when I bought it.

After less than a month, it looked like this.

So, I got online to see how to care for my pretty little plant that was clearly dying.

And now it looks like this.

I do not have a green thumb.

My daughter teases me about this fairly often.

We were at a friends' house enjoying their pool the other day, and I started watering their flowers.

Emilia said, "Mom!  What are you doing?  You're going to kill their flowers!"
No confidence.
But she's right!  I either water a plant too much or too little.  I either give a plant too much sun or too little.
I marvel at others who can actually keep plants alive.
Maybe someday, when the kids are a bit older, I can put more time into figuring out how to keep green things...green.
Until then, I'll just limit the amount of plants I buy knowing that my thumb is not, and never has been, green.

Beach Day

We went to the Holland State Park Beach last weekend.

When we got there it was a little cloudy, and then it started to storm!

Thankfully we made it back to our van before it started raining.

While it was raining, we ate a late breakfast at a local restaurant and then went back to the beach to enjoy the sun!

Nate and I are reading "Smart Money, Smart Kids" together and sometimes the kids listen.  :)  It's been really good to think through how we're teaching our kids about money...and what kind of examples we are being to our kids as we go about life spending, saving, and giving the money that the Lord has given us.


9 Days Overdue

Being "overdue" is a bummer. 
I sometimes wish we never had "due dates" so I wouldn't have to be disappointed each time.

Even though I've experienced this with each of our children (from 2 - 14 days overdue for all of them), I've never quite gotten used to it.

I'm "supposed" to just relax and enjoy this time before the baby comes.
There are 5 children who live in this house.  

My back hurts, my belly hurts, my ankles are beyond swollen and my mind is completely consumed with thoughts of, 

"Wonder if my water will break today?" 
(for the record, my water has never broken on its own, so I have no idea why I think it will happen)


"Oh!  This is a hard contraction...wonder if this is the day?!"


"Wonder how many more times I will have to do the laundry/cook dinner/make my bed, etc. before this child makes his appearance?"

I'm like a bomb just waiting to explode.

It's fairly annoying being a bomb.

They're going to admit me to the hospital on Thursday when I'll be 12 days over my due date. 
They break my water to get things moving.

I wish it was Thursday.
But, since it isn't Thursday, and since I woke up (yet again) without being in labor, we went blueberry picking.

Maybe eating pounds of blueberries will help get things moving.

And if not?

Then, Thursday.  

Thursday is my new "due date."

Just for fun:  Short birth stories

Child #1:  11 days overdue, 23 hour long induced labor (broke my water) with epidural and Pitocin, threw up, no fun. 8lb 15oz Girl.
Child #2:  2 days overdue, 7 hour all-natural labor with no pain medications.  Almost bit my husband's finger off - most horrible pain EVER (why'd I choose to experience the full effects of the Fall of mankind??!! see Genesis 3:16) Broke my water when dilated to a nine - 9lb 2oz Boy.
Child #3:  One week overdue, 5 hour induced labor (broke my water) with epidural and Pitocin.  Went well.  8lb 2oz Boy.
Child #4:  Two days overdue, 5 hour induced labor (broke my water) with epidural and Pitocin.  Went well.  8lb 4oz Boy.
Child #5: 14 days overdue, scheduled to be induced that day at 6am, but went into labor first!  4 hour labor.  Almost sent me home from the hospital because they were "short-staffed" - Ummm...NO.  Broke my water.  Wanted epidural, but two emergency c-sections came before me, so I had to wait.  Finally got epidural one hour before I delivered.  9lb 8oz Girl.
Child $6: ???



We switched up our kids' rooms in anticipation of the new baby.

The girls moved into the boys' old room and the boys separated (2 and soon-to-be 2) into the other 2 bedrooms we have.

This change has enabled Emilia to have all of the sewing stuff in her room and she couldn't be more happy!

Sewing desk off to left and fabrics in the Ikea baskets

She got to work right away on a quilt that I was supposed to make for her when she was a baby.  Ahem.

Ironing in my room

She's been doing a fabulous job!


At The Park


Keeping Myself Busy

While I'm waiting for this darling baby to make his way into the world,
(3 days overdue, but who's counting?  ;) )
I have been planning for our 7th year of homeschooling.

Some of our curriculum

 7?!  Holy Smokes.  I have a Middle Schooler...
And a 4th grader, a 2nd grader, and a Kindergartener (he's pretty excited to be "officially" joining the ranks!)

Some of his Kindergarten curriculum

This will be our second year in Classical Conversations and I am looking forward to it.  
I feel like I finally have a grasp on how this year should go.  Last year was a learning curve, a good one, but a curve nonetheless.  It will be nice to have a "general plan" for the year.

I'm going to add lapbooking to our curriculum this year.  We've done it before with unit studies, and my kids loved it.  So, I decided to buy these lapbooks (only the first 6 weeks to start just to make sure we use them).  They look great!

 I've been having so much fun!

I truly enjoy the buying, prepping, planning stage of homeschooling.
Now, if only I could keep that excitement throughout the year.  ;)

Attempting to enjoy this day that the Lord has made (even if I'm not holding a baby boy at the end of it),


Recommendations and lots of pictures

We've been listening to Redrock Mysteries as a family for awhile now.  The kids (especially the older two, ages 9 and 11) really like it.  If you click on the link above, you can download each book for a fee.  (By the way, I'm not recommending this because I get money if you order.  This is just something we enjoy.)

Fourth of July parade with my side of the family.  Cousins!

 During our Bible reading one evening, Nate started singing the Psalm, which the kids thought was HILARIOUS.


The top two books have been what I've been reading for myself.  I recently finished Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson and it was great.  I can't think of a book of hers that I don't like.

I just started the middle book and so far it has captured my attention.  It's one of those books I don't want to put down.

The last book in the stack is a book I've been slowly reading to the kids.  My first and third born enjoy it.  The others usually listen for a bit and then run downstairs to play.  :)

Just Waiting

I'm officially "overdue" as I was with each child before.

I know this about myself, but I'm telling ya...

It's hard to be overdue.

Every single time.

I'm trying to look on the positive side today.

I only have two more weeks to go before they pull this child out of me!

Happy Sunday,

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