We have been enjoying the mild weather and beautiful flowers that accompany spring in southwestern VA!  The kids get nervous about the bees buzzing around our yard and we’ve battled allergies the last month or so, but we are so thankful for spring!  The return of color, warmth, and longer days have been a welcome change for me after our first winter of homeschooling!

We have spent many hours at parks, gone bike riding several times, enjoyed the breeze on our porch, and done many other fun things in the last several weeks.  I felt very stir crazy by the end of winter with 3 energetic boys and a busy toddling girl.  Their most recent entertainment involved sliding down our staircase in sleeping bags.  I was just waiting for the cry to alert me to injury.  Thankfully, nothing too bad happened.

Can you tell I love spring??

Doing a little school on the porch one morning. IMG_0932

Abraham sweetly kissing Rosie’s boo-boo. IMG_0848

Sammy and Eli building robots with Lego’s. IMG_0949

Easter pic with Nana! IMG_0941

Sammy, Eli and Abraham had a great time building a snowman together one day during our big snow.  It was very cute to see them, especially Abraham, excited about putting him together and assembling their props!  They named him Evan.  :)

Eli working on the eyes IMG_0789

Sammy making some finishing touches IMG_0790

Abe with a tiger hat IMG_0792

Almost done… IMG_0793

Ta-da!!!  Sammy, Abraham, and Eli are so proud!IMG_0794

Abe even wanted to give Evan a hug! IMG_0808

Where has this past month gone?  It feels like it was swallowed up in snow storms and hibernating through seriously cold weather!

We had our first real snow this month, totally somewhere around 9 or 10 inches (not official numbers)…then another storm later in the week totally 8 inches…then 3-5 more inches this week!  The kids had a great time playing in the snow for a few days, but Abraham kept getting a rash and hives from the cold and everyone started getting runny noses, so we went into hibernation.  You know, baking, reading, playing Wii, watching too much tv, etc.  I’m glad we got some snow because it’s so beautiful and the kids love playing in it, but I’m also glad that we don’t live someplace that has snow all winter.   (Sorry, Gradens!)

Felicity loved the snow, but kept taking off her gloves.  :(IMG_0690

She cruised over to check on her “bock-bocks”.IMG_0699

Abraham looking cold and cute IMG_0700

How sweet are these two?!  Abe loved pushing Rosie around the yard.IMG_0709

Our two older goofy guys IMG_0716

Me and my love! IMG_0740

Since I didn’t keep up with blogging as much as I would have liked, I’m going to share some random pictures that tell about our month.  :)

Sammy’s journal entry about his dream room.  As you can tell, he really enjoys reading and Lego’s at this point in his life.  Notice the picture–behind his bed is a giant bookshelf with a ladder so he can climb up to choose books straight out of bed.  (He also included a lamp by his bed so he could read late at night after his brothers are asleep.) 

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We have had some very nice afternoons recently, so we’ve tried to get out to parks often.  The kids are very sweet with Felicity and love having her play with them more. (Sammy and Eli holding Felicity’s hands with Abraham walking in front.)

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We have attempted to rebuild a lot of old Lego sets.  Eli is very much at home when building, and Charlie says he is even better than him at finding lost pieces or following detailed instructions for hours.   Their most difficult set was 1,200 pieces!

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The boys have been doing some creative drawings on our white board this winter.  They start out with some type of inspiration by Charlie or Sammy, then they spend hours adding creatures, super heroes, animals, explosions, etc. (Sammy, Eli, Abe, l-r)

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Eli wrote a free verse poem for school.  I love how it sounds like Eli, very sweet and tender.  

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Charlie has been preparing himself for the day when Felicity brings home a boy she wants to date.

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Felicity really likes to put chapstick on herself, maybe why Charlie is starting to get nervous about the future.  ha ha.

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A cute picture of everyone playing together in the living room! (Eli, Sam, Dad, Abe, Fee, top-bottom)

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IMG_3964Charlie and I gave Abraham an ant farm for Christmas, and he is loving his tiny friends!  He likes checking on his ants’ progress in tunneling throughout the day, and calls them his friends.  Sammy and Eli were interested in our pets for a few days, but Abraham–and he says Felicity–are proud myrmecologists.  (It’s so cute to hear him say “myrmecologist”, too!)  

The ants are pretty interesting, actually!  They’re always busy tunneling, caring for their dead (we’ve lost 3), and trying to escape when we open the lid.  They should live 1-3 months, which is a great length of time for us, and it’s been a very fun experience for Abraham.

The ants sometimes eat with us, which I find a little gross, but the kids enjoy it!IMG_3967

Abey spend the first few days just watching his buddies work. IMG_3969

It’s pretty cool watching them with the magnifying glass!IMG_0522

He likes to sit in this chair to check on their new tunnels first thing in the morning.IMG_3983

You figured it out, Uncle Ken!

I was out one day while Charlie and the boys took off the ornaments and got rid of the tree.  (Thank you!)  After several weeks, the tree was dried out and would have to make several turns to get out a door in our house.  So, Charlie decided to cut off the branches and throw them out the front window, then carry the trunk out to our backyard.  Where he is saving it to use somehow.  :)

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The past several years, we have gone to a small Christmas tree farm to cut our own tree.  It’s very informal and not staffed, with just a pick-up truck with a window cracked a few inches for you to deposit your $20 for your tree.  It’s been a fun tradition for the boys, and now Felicity also, to run around freely and choose which tree to take home.   We don’t worry too much about the fullness (they’re not perfect at this place) but look at the size.  We decided to go big this year.  Our tree was on a big hill, which, it turns out, made it seem smaller than it really was.  IMG_0338

 

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We felt a little silly driving home with this gigantic tree on our roof (and got a few funny looks from other drivers!), but had a good laugh over it all.  Then we got it into the living room and found out it was a LITTLE too tall for our ceiling!

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We enjoyed our gigantic, funny tree and plan to continue our tradition (much like one from my childhood) of getting a ridiculously large Christmas tree!

By the way, if you look to the left, you will see some twine from the tree to the wall.  That was to provide support after it slowly fell onto me and one of the boys as we decorated!  Thankfully I caught it before it smashed us and the ornaments!

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Here are some pics from our time on the farm.

Our four kiddos!IMG_0330

The boys had a blast running down the hill, jumping off rocks, etc.IMG_0344

Felicity had fun dragging a branch around and looking adorable.IMG_0324

 

She even got to sit on top of the car with the tree because she’s so cute!IMG_0349

 

…So we could take lots of pictures of her before she grows up (sniff).IMG_0355

 

Stay tuned to find out how we got the tree OUT of our house!  Any guesses?

Hopefully 2015 will bring a fresh start to our blogging.  We began homeschooling Sammy (2nd), Eli (1st) and Abraham (pre-k) this fall along with keeping up with a very busy 1 year old.  Add in a slow computer, and keeping up with this has ended.  Charlie loves new year’s resolutions, though, so I thought it was a good time to start keeping you in the loop again (grandparents and maybe some aunts)!

Sammy is 8 years old and growing up quickly!  He has become an avid reader, enjoys playing games, is learning to play the piano, and loves talking about church history with Dad (Charlie loves it too!).

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Eli (7 yrs.) likes to be busy with his hands building, drawing, cooking, or helping around the yard.  He gravitates to little people (babies and preschoolers) and loves being silly!

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Abraham is our precious preschooler!  He keeps up with the big guys and wants to be with them all of the time, but then he also really enjoys age appropriate activities when I introduce them to him.  (He is 4 years old.)  Sammy and Eli go to a co-op for school on Tuesday mornings, so that is our preschool time.  He likes to play with play-dough, do puzzles, read books together, and play pretend.  He LOVES pretending!  He pretends alone or with others and super heroes are his favorite subject.  Here he is entertaining people at the beach this past summer as he was Bat-man:

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All of the boys adore Felicity, but Abraham and she have a special bond.  They are sweet together.

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And our 1 year old doll baby!  Felicity is at a wonderful age–toddling around, babbling, wanting to snuggle and read books, and being silly.  She has a few words (mama, dada, bock bock, peas for “please”, etc.) but has been working on a lot more this week.  She received several kitchen/food play items for Christmas, and those are her favorite toys.  It’s nice that she has someone to play kitchen with her (great brothers!) and she is just adorable!  Here she is wearing her apron, cruising on Lightening McQueen and listening to Hispanic worship music on the boys’ iPod.  Hilarious!

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Happy New Year!!!  (a selfie from New Year’s Eve)

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The moment Charlie has been waiting 9 months for happened a few weeks ago…his first kiss from Baby Girl.  I wasn’t there when it happened, but he gushed to me about it and how wonderful it was.  Then, a few days later, it happened again!  Felicity had just started pulling up so that was super exciting for her, and then Charlie got her to kiss his nose.  There was much excitement!

The Kiss!IMG_2720

The Celebration!IMG_2721

 

On Mother’s Day, I got all the kids out on the porch for a few pictures.  I loved it and they were great sports about it all.  IMG_2663

Best friends (for the moment) IMG_2667

 

Felicity and I got our picture taken after church (the boys had escaped to play by this time)

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I look a little tired but had a great Mother’s Day with my family!  IMG_1169

I’ve officially run out of time to blog since Felicity started being more active!  I thought I’d throw up a few pics for the small number of family members who still check our site.  Maybe one day I’ll have more time and brain power to have real posts, but pictures will have to suffice for now.

Brittany, Jeff, Wyatt and Adelle came to visit early in May!  We had a great time together!!!

The girls going to the market IMG_1116

We have really enjoyed sitting on the porch this springIMG_1133

The boys are taking their second month of swimming lessons at the YMCA and loving it!IMG_1141

Felicity in her Easter dress!IMG_1145 

Sammy is finishing 1st grade and having fun, year-end activities, Eli is finishing up kindergarten and having lots of field trips, Abraham is loving life as usual, and Felicity is army crawling all over the place!  It’s all so fun and also tiring.  :)

Once I get some photos uploaded from my phone, I’ll post those.  Till then, thanks for your patience!  :)

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