Sammy and Rosie’s joint birthday party (turning 9 and 2).


Rosie enjoying a book.

We've been playing at the creek a lot this summer.

We’ve been playing at the creek a lot this summer.


Sammy trying to get wet in some shallow water


Princess Rose enjoying a little music in Dad’s office.


Dad pretending to ride Uncle Jeff’s motorcycle.


Testing out Rosie’s new life jacket. The handle came in handy when her canoe tipped over and dumped her into the river.

Last week, we enjoyed a wonderful time away as a family at the beach!  There was lots of fun, digging in sand, playing in the waves, playing with new friends, scanning the waters for sharks (I was the only one doing that), board games and laughter.

Felicity didn’t really like the sand last year so we were very happy to see she now loves the beach!  She did, however, sometimes get bossy about having her water bucket refilled and would yell, “boys!” to hurry them along on their errand.  We all thought it was adorable.  She didn’t like the water the first few days but actually didn’t mind the waves later in the week.  We had to watch her more closely then!

The boys made new friends and had fun playing with them at the beach.  One dad did some major digging each morning!  He made a moat around a “mountain” of sand, then caught small fish to stock the moat for the kids.  (There were over 10 kids playing together in the water one day!)  Sammy, Eli and Abraham all got pretty good at catching fish in nets as they played in the moat.

Here are a few pictures from the beginning of our week:

Everyone was excited to be on the road!IMG_4552

So in love!IMG_4554

Just doing some digging on our first morning.IMG_4567


Digging again another morning while Rosie filled her watering can and dumped it out.  Repeatedly!IMG_4588

She loved it!IMG_4590


Abe started reading Bob Books recently, and he is so proud!!!


Eli was reading a book yesterday and Felicity came over to listen.  They had a sweet few moments together.


In other news, Felicity really likes to dress up these days!  Here are a few cute moments that we caught on camera.

Wearing Sammy, Eli, and Abraham’s goggles all at once! IMG_4395

Just wearing a life jacket around the house.  For fashion reasons.IMG_4402

She’s singing “Let It Go” in her princess dress and sunglasses (To ask for the glasses, she says “eyes” and point to them when she starts to sing.) IMG_0996

Here she is wearing shorts over her jeans and 3 princess sleepers as capes.IMG_4388

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.) 


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.)


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!


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)


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


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


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


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


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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  • Galatians 5:24
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