Sunday, December 6, 2015

Eight Months

Proof that she did have green eyes at some point, past experience has taught me that they will soon be brown just like the 3 before her.  

Daddy, are you watching?
Daddy, want to see a trick?
How dare you not catch me fast enough!   (no babies were actually harmed in the taking of these pictures.)

Can I give you two guesses on who dressed Miss Sutter in these pictures?

Sweet Sutter Grace, 
You are eeirly quiet most of the time but when you get mad at us, you scream.  You scream so loud that even you wince because you hurt your own ears.   You also put your whole body into it.  It would be cute if we all weren't racing to cover our ears.    Mama is your only word.  Daddy says that I finally got my mommy's girl, it only took 4 tries.    Your eyes smile.   It is one of my favorite things.   Your favorite place to hang out is in your brother and sister's room.   You are the human lego detector.   You usually get to stay up a few minutes past everyone else's bed time to flirt and snuggle.   Bananas are your favorite food and if someone dares eat one without sharing giving you the whole thing, you punish their ear drums.    Standing is you current favorite thing to do followed closely by pushing the walking toy all over the living room.  


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Seven Months

This month it only took me 18 days to get your pictures done.  I would like to blame a runny nose, grumpy non-napping baby, and cloudy days for that.    You started crawling this month, saying mama, and giggling at us.   You also feel that all new skills should be practiced around 2 or 3 am.   Mommy and Daddy aren't impressed.  We prefer the nights when you sleep for 12-13 hours.  Thankfully your party night are a rare thing.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

10 years

10 years of marriage.  I feel like that is such a big milestone.    10 years ago, could I have imagined where we would be today?  My love for Jeremy is so different that it was back then. Deeper.  It has grown and stretched.  Taught me so much.   It has shown me how to truly put another person's needs before my own. It has given me the courage to try new things.   It gave me the strength I needed to get through Sutter's birth.  I know without a doubt that this man loves me. He loves me through my grumpiness, he understands when I need to get away from everything and just be. He supports me, he pushes me to be a better person.   These last 10 years haven't been without hard times but when we signed up for this marriage gig no one said it would be easy.  Everyday it's waking up and thinking about each other needs.  It means holding my tongue when I am feeling grumpy. It means supporting him in all his dreams.  Being there when he is falling and best of all knowing he is doing the same thing for me each and every day.

10 years ago I didn't deserve this man.  God blessed me. 10 years later I still don't feel like I deserve him.  

Things I have learned in the last 10 years...

Marriage is such a beautiful thing when God is at the center.  

Never speak a negative thought about your spouse but more importantly, do your best to not even think them.  Because those thoughts in you head can easily take root in your heart.

You will talk about anything and everything with your spouse.  Really.  I can only imagine the topics we will cover in the next 20 years.

Kids will strain your marriage like no other but they also grow your marriage so much.

Change is a good thing.  So many people told us we were crazy to get married when we did.  That I needed to grow up and experience life. I am glad I am not the same person Jeremy married, marriage to this man has changed me.  He has made me better.  God has done amazing work in both of our lives.  We have changed so much.  Without him by my side who knows where I would be.  

Learn to laugh at the little things.

Find something you both love and make a point to do it.

Do something he loves even if you don't.  

And so many more things I can't think of right now.  10 years ago, I couldn't have imagined what God was going to do with our marriage, 10 years later, I can't wait to see what He does with the next 10 years.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Stumbling in Life

I should probably be doing my homework or getting ready for the kids lessons tomorrow but instead I am stalking the Internet for news about the CMA awards because we don't have cable so I can't watch it, watching Monk, and blogging... something I haven't done in a long time.

Life has been insanely busy lately.  I think I grossly underestimated the amount of chaos and time consumption homeschooling 2 kids was going to cause.  Homeschooling, me being the teacher, is hard.   I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders all the time.  I want to say I love it but I think a better, more accurate thing to say is I feel like this is where God wants me.  I definitely am so majorly ill-equipped to handle this and maybe that's the point.  The only way I am going to get through this, is with God's help.  But isn't that true of most things He calls us too.  If we excelled without Him, we would never recognize our need for Him.

Totally random but today I read Philemon, I have never read this particular book of the bible.  It's a good one.   I can understand why its not preached on a lot, a message about all being equal in the eyes of Christ, forgiveness, and acceptance.  That is a hard lesson to swallow.

 Meet Blue or Blue Sparkle.  He came to live with us about a month ago.  We still miss Bo everyday but having Blue around fills the void he left just a little bit.  Okay a lot a bit.  He has a death wish though.  His favorite thing to do is walk of the side of his long.  90% of the time he ends up on his back.
 My crazy family.  It is exhausting.  Some Most days I am failing.   I feel like I am drowning most of the time, not worthy of being their mother but God knows why He gave me these kiddos and I have to rest in that.   Even is those really hard moments.

I love how her owl costume came out.

 This kid sleeps in the weirdest positions.

I still haven't gotten around taking her 7 month pictures, she has been super grumpy this week.  I think its the beginning of teething but it might just be the weather change.  She follows me everywhere I go and she screams at me if I don't acknowledge her the minute I walk in the room she is in.

And that is it for tonight.  Maybe later this week I will ignore my responsibilities and blog again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Six months

Sutter Grace,
6 months.  How?  It doesn't seem fair.   With the big 3 those first 6 months were a hard adjustment period, I enjoyed the newborn phase but I gladly welcomed the next stage.  With you, I miss your newborn days.  You meshed so well from day one.  I am enjoying this mobile phase but it came to quickly this time.    This month you mastered rolling everywhere and sitting on your own.  Right now you are working hard at crawling and learning to get into a sitting potion on your own.  You love the dogs and I frequently find you laying on Blondie.  Food.  Yeah, you got to start 2 weeks early when you stole a Cafe Rio chip out of my hand and proceeded to eat it.   If the big 3 get food before you, you let us know just how unacceptable that is.   Bristol and Eldon discovered this month that they can pick you up and walk around with you much to my dismay but it does come in hand occasionally.   You little girl, are loved.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

5 months

Sweet Sutter Grace,
You are still such an amazing little kiddo.   No one is loved more than you.   We are very blessed to have you.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Birthday, Book Club, and Podcast

I really need to join or start a book club.  I have a minor obsession with reading.
My book club would need to include wine and chocolate, no attitudes, and good books.  Opinions are welcome only if you can see the value of others opinions as well. Something I totally struggle with but with God's help, I am working on.  If I were to start a book club I think I would want to read For the Love first, just so I could have someone to discuss it with.   I really want to know what other people truly though of it.  Anyone want to join me?

Right now I am trying to find a really good quick reference book for homeopathy that both educates and gives you remedies.

My husband tells me that my book reading obsession is going to turn into a book writing obsession one of these days.  I personally don't see this happening but with God in charge anything is possible.

My birthday yesterday was amazing.  Wonderful.  So much needed.   Jeremy surprised me by taking the day off work to take over for me.  He did everything including homeschooling. I needed this so much.  It was nice to have no have-to-do's on my list only like-to-do's.   I relaxed.  I finished up homework.  I didn't parent.  It was awesome.   And the best part of all, everything got done.  I don't have to play catch up today because he took care of everything including the laundry that had been sitting in baskets all week.  Bonus, I even got to drink my morning coffee while it was still hot, I can't say the same thing about today.

We are finishing up our first week of homeschooling and it is going better than I thought it would of course these first few weeks are just review, not a whole lot of new material being introduced.   On Tuesday I talked about the curriculum we chose this year.  I am still looks for a numbers/math curriculum for Eldon but for now I am printing out worksheets each day for him.

That's it this week.  Oh wait I just started listening too The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up, so far it isn't my thing but I am trying to finish it up.

Also podcasts, I recently found Homeschooling in Real Life, it is awesome.  Even if you don't homeschool it's an excellent podcast that talks about raising your children with grace and the gospel not fear and a list of rule.  You should totally check it out.

This is the for reals end of this post.  Have a wonderful Labor day weekend.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Curriculum 2015-2016

As I said before last year we used Abeka Video for our homeschooling part of the year.  It was perfect.  Bristol still got to have a "teacher" and all I had to do was make sure she was paying attention and had the right worksheet to do.   It was the best fit for our family at the time.   And a really good option if you want to dip your toes into homeschooling.

This year I decided to dive full force into picking our curriculum.  It started with wanting something different for bible and it ended up with me picking and choosing everything.  I read so many reviews. Asked a lot of people questions.  Not because I wanted them to do it for me but because I was curious how they liked it.  Curriculum is expensive and while I am not opposed to switching mid year if something isn't working for us, I want to make an informed choice.

I am leaning more towards a classical model for our education but ended up somewhere on the eclectic side.

Bible- We are kicking off the year with GrapeVine Studies.   We started with level one Creation to Resurrection.  The kids liked day 1 of drawing your way through the bible.

Language Arts-  I was really happy with the language arts portion of Bristol's schooling last year so I decided to go with the whole if it ain't broke, don't fix it method.  We stuck with Abeka this year.  My biggest complaint so far is that it isn't laid out very fluidly.  There are so many books.

Science- We are using Abeka for this as well.

History-  I am ridiculously excited about our history curriculum.  We are doing The Mystery of History Volume 1.   It is a chronological study broken up over 4 volumes.  Every 4 years we will repeat the volumes and somewhere we will do a year of US history.

Art-  Artistic Pursuits.  Bristol is really interested in art.   This year I wanted to get her into actual art not just crafts.  We are doing book 1 in the k-3 series.  It weaves art history in with art projects.

Math-  I had a really hard time picking a math curriculum.  To me math is something you do.  Basic math is something you use every day.   I wanted her to really know math and all the facts that go with it because yes, math is facts.  Originally I was looking at Math U See and Saxton but they are both spiral programs and I wanted a mastery program.  A video that explains the difference.  We ended up ordering Rod and Staff.  This is a no frills math curriculum which appeals to me.  I plan to add to it if needed.  

For Eldon he will use the same bible, history, art, science as Bristol.  For language arts I am using  The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.  We are slowing going through it.  He has been interested in learning to read for a while so I decided to dive in with him.  Let me remind you this is the kid who at 22 months decided he was done with diapers and potty trained himself.

I got at least 50% of our stuff used which was really nice.  I plan to continue to max out our library cards through the school year to supplement our reading.  

I should also say that I plan to supplement with trips to museums and learning centers. I think it is really important that we take field trips.

What are you using?  Do you have a math curriculum you love?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why we chose to homeschool

Lets talk homeschool.

I had a whole post typed up and saved on March 28th.  All I needed to do was it edit.  Then Bam! After 6 days of extra baking, Sutter Grace made hear appearance and that little post got pushed to the side.  Last week I went to edit it and some how deleted the whole thing.  I was not happy to say the least.   But anyways here it goes, we will see how long it takes to publish this.

March of 2014 we were trying to get pregnant again, Brighton wasn't the easiest baby in the world, and Fuss' kindergarten registration deadline was quickly coming.   I had always planned on homeschooling my kids but I was maxed out and didn't think I could add homeschooling, so we looked for an alternative and settled on the local charter school.   The fact that it wasn't a Christ based education environment bothered me more than I can say but like I already stated I was super overwhelmed and didn't know how to do add something else.  Another thing, where would I homeschool?  I had gotten it in my head that I needed a homeschool room (one too many blog posts read).  

So we did the charter school thing.  She started in August and by September I wasn't overly happy with it.  I felt there was way too much screen time going on in school and not enough actual learning.  Plus there was like 2 hours of homework each night which seemed ridiculous to me.   But Fuss was enjoying it and I decided to at least stick it out for the full year and then reevaluate at the end of the year but we were pretty sure that homeschooling would be our plan.   '

November rolled around and we started noticing a lot of behavioral problems.   The few hours a day she was home, I was constantly disciplining her.   She knew better than to act out at school so she did it at home.   Jeremy and I talked and decided one of us needed to volunteer in her class to see what was going on.    After spending a day at school with her, I realized that this was no longer a good fit.  We decided not to send her back after Christmas break.  Well then Jeremy got laid off and there was no way we could shell out the money for curriculum right at that moment but the first thing we did when he got his job back at the end of January was order curriculum.

Last year, I was still maxed out.  I couldn't plan or be in charge of teaching Fuss.   So we used Abeka Video for her and I loved it.  She loved it.   It was the best fit for our family.  All I had to do was make sure she knew which worksheet she was supposed to be doing and grade it.   This year I had planned to do the same thing for 1st grade but the closer we got too the start of the school year the more I realized I wanted to change things up yet again.

I had been reading about the classical education model and knew that it was more what I wanted for our family.  I love the focus on grammar during wait for it, the grammar phase.  Something I seriously suck at.   But another thing that really resonated with me, the lack of technology dependence.   I know this is not for everyone but I don't feel that my 6 year old needs to use a computer for the majority of her schooling.   Computers open up a whole world I don't want her exposed too.  Porn.   Read the statistics.  They are not pretty and anything I can do to delay the exposure for as long as possible, I am going to do.   I also don't want to make her dependent on a technology that is going to be out dated in 10-20 years.  Hello typewriter.   When it is time for her to start using the computer, I will gladly welcome it in.  I love computers but I don't want it to be a main focus right now.   I would much rather equip her in learning how to learn, that way when something new is thrown at her she can tackle it.

Do I think homeschooling my kids will save them?  No.  I know I can't decide for them.  All I can do is expose them to God, show them why my relationship with Jesus is everything to me, and model Jesus.   I don't want them to have my faith, I want them to own their own faith.   But in the end they get to choose, just like I did.   More than anything I want my kids to have a personal relationship with Christ but I also know that I have so very little control over it.  Does that mean I am going to throw them to the wolfs and let them figure it out on their own, nope but I also can't live my life in fear.

Do I think I will have perfect kids because I homeschool them?  Can you hear me laughing?  Yesterday when I was talking to my mom on the phone, I was yelling at one and trying not to loose my shit at another one for spitting in the house.  Hello, I am a sinner.  My kids are sinners.  I do the best I can.  I try to raise them to have a godly character but there is the little thing called free will.   And as long as we have free will, there will be sin.  Do I think it would be easier if free will didn't exist, oh heck yes but then how would we ever know just how much we need Jesus?

Will my children be the weird unsocialized, oddly dressed homeschool kids?  Probably.  Have you met me?  I am as antisocial as they come.   People exhaust me.   Oddly dressed?  Well yesterday Bristol was wearing 5 different patterns and did her own hair so I will let you be the judge that.  

All this to say, public school wasn't working for our family so we made a decision to change that.  Will I homeschool forever?  I have no clue.  I think I will do it until Jeremy is done with school because it allows for more family time.

So there it is.  our reasons.  I know I forgot a ton.

Now I need to get Sutter down for her morning nap and get a little house work done.

Questions?  Ask away.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Hello blog,

It has been a while.   Life is busy.  So let me share a few random blurbs with you.

Sutter was our name if it was a boy or a girl but now I can't picture Sutter being anything but a girl name.  Sweet Sutter Grace.

Why haven't I been blogging?  I'm not sure.  On one hand, a lot of bloggers I used to love are becoming so marketed. Robotic.   And I don't want to be like that.  I want to be real.  But at the same time I want to protect my kiddos.   I don't want people to decide they are bad seeds because we are going through a rough patch.  I also don't want anyone to think I have it all together because I don't.  I have some areas together but I am a complete mess in others.   So I am trying to figure out what blogging looks like these days.  And also I don't want to be judged which is so ironic because if I am being truthful, I struggle with being judgmental.  It isn't something I am proud of, it is something God is definitely working on in my life. A lot of times by showing me how my judgmental ways affect others.  I am thankful that He still finds me in need of refining.  

Lately I have been struggling big time with motherhood.  I am lost in it, drowning, sinking.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am an introvert living in a house full of people and rarely get time to myself to recharge which is such a vital thing for me.   I also am feeling like I have nothing for myself.   It hasn't been easy.  I am thankful for a husband who gets me and pushes me to find myself again.   I am thankful for a God who comforts my soul.   I finally feel like I am getting back to normal.

School started this week for Jeremy and that means it's back to crazy town for us.  But something I wasn't going to share and then decided to share is I also started school this week.   In the midst of being lost in motherhood, Jeremy enrolled me in school.  He saw that I was drowning and needing something for myself so he told me to do something for myself.  I am taking 2 classes.  I am terrified.  I am extremely excited. I keep asking myself how I am going to have time to do everything.  Now I need to go buy a magnifying glass to read the text in my design book.   

Social media.  I am finding it less of a daily necessity.  Yes I enjoy getting on there and posting picture updates but I also find I am enjoying it less and less.  I want more real life.  And books.  I think my library hold list is at 30 something right now with 23 books checked out.   I need to get the kids their own cards so I have more space on mine.

I finally got all of our curriculum in and now I am going through the tedious process of scheduling it all out.  Maybe I will get to a post about that soon.  Maybe not.  I still haven't even posted about why we made the switch mid year last year.  In my defense I had it all typed up and ready to publish about 2 days before Sutter was born and then boom we had a baby.  I went to edit it last week and accidentally deleted it.

This book was awesome.  I loved it.  I don't know what more to say to convince you to go read it but seriously amazing.  I loved it so much that when I finished the library's copy, I went and bought my own.  I think I shared over half the book with Jeremy by either reading it aloud to him or sending him text messages of it while he was at work.

Another really good read.  I  liked how the author encouraged you to give your children a sense of purpose.  I fell this is really lacking in our society today.  

This is hard.   I never thought I would be so broken hearted about one of our pets dying.  Last Sunday Bo passed away.  Look at my little guy.  Wasn't he precious.   It was a really hard week.  Fuss cried most of it, we were all emotional.  I was beating myself up.    This week has been a little easier.  Less crying.   Today Eldon brought me a dandelion because he forgot Bo died.  I cried. He loved dandelions.  The kids really want to get another tortoise but that isn't so easy, the only reason we had him was because a cat or a bird dropped him in our drive way.    So we are praying.  I am sad he is gone but I am thankful God blessed us with him for a year.  

And that is that.  This post took you every which way.

Friday, August 7, 2015


How is it that I never shared Sutter's newborn photos with y'all?   Cinnamon did an amazing job with these pictures.  She likes to say she isn't a newborn photographer, I on the other hand 100% disagree. They turned out amazing.  She had a tough job that day, Brighton wanted nothing to do with the camera and Sutter wanted nothing to do with sleeping.    Now I need to find some wall space for prints.  

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