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Showing posts from 2015


Elinore got to meet a ballerina at Window Wonderland downtown when we saw Santa come to town!


Christmas Day we saw Ruthie take her first steps solo!  We are cruising around on our own yet, but we're taking a few steps here and there to our family!  We're so close!  Best Christmas present this year, seeing my baby grow and learn and develop!


Caleb visited the orthodontist again Monday and had his expander put in his mouth.  He's impressed me so far and he's doing really well with it!  I was nervous for us through it, but so far so good.  I could use some practice at the turning it every night thing, but we've only done it one night so far, so I'm sure we'll get there!
Elinore has been getting into music lately.  It started with 'This Little Light of Mine' that we would sing at bedtime and 'Itsy Bitsy Spider.'  Then I picked up a children's CD of Bible Songs that we listen to the in car that she's digging.  She'll ask us to sing along sometimes, and sometimes she'll tell us to stop singing!  At bedtime now we sign 'Jesus Loves Me' to Ruth.  Elinore joins in and sings along.  She is starting to sing along more with other songs too and it's awesome!  I love watching her discover this new activity!
Dear Lord,Our world needs more Jesus. Please help me spread your love in the world Lord.And help me raise my children to do the same in your name. May your will be done Lord. A men.


Caden and Caleb were asking what the 4x4 on trucks means. They thought it meant 4x4=16 and you have to be 16 to drive.

Ruth - 11 Months

Pretty late at getting these taken this month and clothes are over being white.  We grew to fast for that! But she's still awesome!


Poor Ruthie never seems to stop teething.  Last week I laid her down to change a diaper and saw 2 more teeth on top that had popped through!  That makes 4 on top and it almost looks like there are more coming up there, but it's hard to tell yet.

She also popped one through on the bottom too!  She has 3 down there and another one working its way in.

My little girl is always teething it seems, and we're trying to find things for her to chew and manage the pain for her, but it's rough!


Aside from what I learned about the events that took place in Joshua, I wrote down a few personal reflections too.

I thought it was interesting that they hurried across the Jordan River.  There was rush and haste even then just as we rush and hurry through life now.  But we need to do it at God's direction, not culture and to do list based.

I was not expecting the text about the men going to battle and passing before the Lord int he Ark.  I think of the Lord in terms of his is everywhere, but I am looking at it with the lens of the New Testament and I am reading in the Old Testament.

How awesome is God!?  He stopped the sun for moving for a day!

Stubbornness allows defeat.


I finished the book of Joshua this week.  I took the following notes through the book:

The land will be the Israelite'sJoshua is to follow God's instruction and will be successfulJoshua gives first order to the people - prepare to move and the men to fightSpies are sent to Jericho and hid within Rahab's (a prostitute) home, in exchange they promised to spare her and her family from destructionJericho was terribly afraid of the Israelite's and their God as they'd heard of the Red Sea and moreJoshua led them across the Jordan river as God directed, the Ark of the Agreement first; the river flow stopped for them to cross12 rocks were selected from the river to remind people it stopped flowing when the Ark with the Lord entered itJoshua put 122 rocks in the river where the Ark was12 = 1 for each of the 12 tribes of IsraelThey hurried across the Jordan; men prepared for war first and passed before the LordWhen priests and the Ark left the Jordan river, it flowed againIsr…

A Train Ride & Santa

We saw Santa yesterday!

My Aunt text me yesterday afternoon that she was running the train at an area mall in their Christmas display.  So after Elinore woke from her nap yesterday afternoon we headed to the mall to ride a train. 

Keith was at a friends helping them with some computer stuff, but was able to meet us there too, so that was a nice surprise! 

The kids and I rode the train three times.  (It pays to know the operator!)  And we hopped over and visited Santa and had pictures taken with Santa too!  Bonus for being so early in the year to see Santa; there was no line!

Caden asked Santa for fake snow.  Caleb asked for an iPad.  (Santa said his elves don't make those and they have to check with parents on getting those!)  Elinore asked for a restaurant and a car. 

Ruth cried a little while on Santa's lap, then the photographer distracted her.  Then the distraction ended and crying started again, but we got a great Santa photo of the kids this year!


Christmas mania has hit our household like mad!

I've been an early Christmas shopper for years now.  I prefer to be done before Thanksgiving, and this year is no exception, we're well on our way to being done with Christmas shopping!

However, with last year being the exception, I don't decorate before Thanksgiving for Christmas.  (Last year we did because the baby was due the day after Thanksgiving.  I knew if we didn't do it early it might not happen.  Then she made us wait another week anyway!)  This year the pressure is on though.  Caden is our decorator and Christmas fanatic.  He's had his small Christmas tree up almost all year!  And he's been asking and asking when we're going to start decorating.  They're getting more involved in the shopping a little and Caden and Caleb have done a lot of their shopping already too. 

With the radio starting Christmas music early last week, we've been listening to Christmas music non-stop too since then!



One and a half weeks ago I decided it was time she fall asleep on her own.  At almost 11 months old now, she's still sleeping in our room and I had been nursing her to sleep every night and during the night when she'd wake up.  We are tired! 

I'd attempted cry it out a couple times before, but wasn't consistent or it wasn't working for us.  (We did it with Elinore at 6 months, it was a breeze and she's a great sleeper usually!)

October 19, that evening, we began.  And we committed to being consistent about it!  10 days in and we have been.  She lays down awake and doesn't cry!  And we've slept through the night more in the last two weeks than we have in a long time!  Woo hoo!  It's not every night, but more nights we slept than didn't.  On those nights we didn't get up with her, I did hear her a couple times she'd cry or fuss a little, but she'd go back to sleep before we'd moved from bed. 

Next step will be transitioning her t…


I saw Ruth give a kiss to Keith last night for the first time.  She's learning!

Then, even more awesome than that; at bedtime, Ruth always comes in to tell Elinore good night.  Then Ruth and I leave the room together and we've been waving lately to tell her goodnight, one more time.  But last night, she blew kisses!  It was so adorable.  These two girls get frustrated with each other, but they sure do love each other too.


Ruth's been waving for a little while now, but last night I saw her clap for the first time!  Clap, clap, clap!


As I read through Deuteronomy; I took my usual academic style notes of what happened, but I wrote more too on the opposite page of my notebook.  These are those notes:
The young don't know right from wrong.  - I'm was refreshed to read that God sees it this way as we do as  humans too.Why aren't other nation's God's people?  - Promise to Abraham.  I came back to this a lot during this book.Thank you for Jesus!He will be testing us?  Even with people close to us. - Be strong in the Lord.Remember you were slaves in Egypt. People will hear of death to remove evil/sin & will be afraid. - Fear the Lord.  Old testament view of fear I think.  Also commands respect.Old Testament - Punish, fear GodNew Testament - Love, follow Jesus1 John 4:18 - "Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment and this shows that we have not fully experience his perfect love."How do you prove virginity?With the glasses…


Last week I finished reading the book of Deuteronomy, and now I continue on my goal of reading the Bible cover to cover.  As I read through this book, I found myself not only taking my usual notes as a more academic study, but also jotting down some of my personal thoughts, reflections and questions as well.  This reading the Bible, it's working.  It's causing me to think deeper, rely on Him more, and want to follow him.  I'm looking forward to getting into Joshua next!

They grew in numbers, so much Moses needed help to manage, so he appointed other wise and experienced as leaders.Sent spies to the land to review it.  The land was good, but people large.  They feared & wouldn't enter, so God was angry they didn't rust him to provide the way.  They don't get to enter; only their children who were young and didn't know right from wrong will enter with Caleb.They continued to travel, following God's directions through the land.God gave them the power to…

The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends

Caden and Caleb are awesome kids with great, unique personalities.  As many kids do, they struggled with some social situations though.  They each had their own segments they struggled in.  For awhile we approached it as a they will learn and grow out of it, it's part of childhood.  But we decided that was a silly approach when we could help them now!  In the long run, they very well may have learned and caught on and been adults, but parents hate to see their kids struggle as kids, us included.  So we did a little Google research and found this book recommendation.  Amazon sent it our way, and I've now read it cover to cover. 

The book offers an introductory section followed by a section on different types of children.  Not that they're stereotyping children, but that there are several behaviors that fit together into different descriptions lumped together in chapters that address those concerns.  Sine of the chapters are:
The Vulnerable ChildThe Intimidating ChildThe Sho…


Elinore just picked her nose and got a booger. She asked me if she could feed it to the dog.

Ruth - 10 Months

Photos...or not.

Sometimes I get in a funk and quit taking photos.  And I usually notice it after awhile, and I usually regret it, but I still fail to remember.  There are still plenty of photos I'm sure, more than in decades past with technology, but at the end of the year, when I try to put together next year's calendar I'm always a little sad at the months when I've slacked or there are kids missing from the photos because of activities or time or just wrong place at the time. 

Just know kids, regardless of the number of photos, you are so very loved, equally.

Ruth - Tooth!

Ruth got a third tooth in this week!  It's on the top and she likes to play with it.  She chomps her teeth together so we can hear them and she'll rub them together too.  It makes our skin crawl, but I'm so glad my girl is growing and hitting milestones!  Hopefully that doesn't become a habit and she's just checking out her new tooth!


Elinore has learned how to do a forward somersault and she's loving it.  She calls them flips and loves to flip around the family room banging into stuff and nearly hitting her sister often.


This past week or so Ruth has mastered crawling on her hands and knees!  Sometimes she still prefers the army crawl, but I see her crawling on her knees more and more.  She's more methodical about it and not quite as fast, but she's doing it! 

She's been such a pleasure to watch grow and learn.  I'm loving learning more about her!

Ruth - 9 Months


Ruth likes to crawl under the table. Sometimes when we aren't sitting at our she gets stuck and cries for someone to come move a chair for her to get out. She will crawl over the chair rungs now sometimes too. When were there sitting it's like she is a dog begging for food!

Roller Coaster

Look mom; I'm on a roller coaster!Or driving with the window down...


Such a serious baby driver.We love this girl!

Rite of Passage

It's a childhood rite of passage to wear your underwear on your head at least once right?


Caden and Caleb got tired of Ruth messing up their train tracks repeatedly, so they built one just for her!



Someone was tired after a day at Idlewild without a nap. She was awesome though. All the kids were so well behaved! She loves being a "big kid."

That face!

This kid, love! Great sense of humor! Pretending to be like Scooby Doo.

Hotel lobby, early mornings

What do you do when the baby wakes at 6 and the 6 other family members are asleep in the hotel room? Mom and baby go hang out in the lobby together. I liked the extra snuggles I got with my girl.


This weekend 8 of us stayed in a hotel in PA the go to Idlewild. On night two, Caleb fell out of the pull out couch bed and scraped up his face! Poor kid!Wonder what he'll tell the kids at school?


Look mom; I can turn my tounge upside down!

Cleveland Art Museum and Botanical Gardens

While Keith was away on business, I took a vacation day and with the kids and a friend of Caleb's we went to Cleveland for the day.

Columbus Zoo

The weekend before school started this year we spent in Columbus hanging out with some friends. Our adventures started at the Zoo. The Columbus Zoo is awesome. It's now our favorite over Cleveland and Akron!We were there from 10-5 and didn't see all the Zoo! We did see some pirates though!

Mansfield Carousel Park

The day before school started we made a stop on the way home from a weekend in Columbus for some fun!  Fun carousel, unique animals and a great break!

Cloth Diapers

With Elinore being potty trained, I bleached my stash of diapers and snapped them down to the smallest setting for miss Ruthie.  However, the first weekend we tried it, them broke out with terrible diaper rash.  It was diaper rash everywhere the diaper was against here.  We quickly switched backed to disposables, washed some more diapers and got her cleared up.  Since then I've occasioanlly put her in cloth just to see what happens and we've been doing better since that first time.  I think now I need to get back on the cloth diaper bandwagon and start saving some money by not buying so many disposables!

First Day of School - 205