Looking out my window…  it’s been cool, gray, and windy the last few days, but today the sky is clear and the sun is shining.

I am thinking… 1) I am going to try doing another ‘no spend’ month starting this next payday.  Maybe even try to do it for two months.  2) It is a universal requirement for children to mispronounce spaghetti.

I am thankful… for the fun, relaxing time we had as a family in Flagstaff this last weekend.  Kara told me her favorite part was trying out all the exercise equipment at Sears.  LOL!  I’m not sure I could pick a favorite part; it was just so enjoyable overall spending time together without an agenda or to-do list.  But if I had to pick a favorite it might be browsing through the Teaching & Learning Stuff store at the mall.  So many great learning games and teaching supplies.  I must be a homeschooler, right?  A funny part of our weekend was seeing the look on the face of the sales lady at Sears when I explained that my kids LOVE looking at appliances so it’s one of the things we do for fun.


Thomas’ first ride sitting in the shopping cart.


Having fun at the mall playland.


Picnic supper at KTBA in Tuba city while Daddy fixed the remote control for the radio station.


Checking out the gadgets and games at Best Buy.

From the nursery… unlike most babies, Thomas has thus far shown no interest in standing or putting weight on his legs.  He does OK at it when I insist, but just doesn’t have any self-motivation to do so.  I’m trying to make a priority of working with him on it some everyday (kind of like doing tummy-time in the first months).  He’s doing really well at sitting up on his own and loves seeing where his rolling will take him, though.

One of my favorite things… baby giggles.


I am wearing… a new blue and turquoise striped shirt that I picked up at Savers while we were in Flagstaff.  I tried it on as a joke because it matched one we found in a smaller size for Lydia, but as soon as I tried it on I knew I was keeping it.  It is sooo soft and stretchy; I think it is one of the most comfortable shirts I have ever worn.

From the kitchen… I want to find a good recipe for Red Beans & Rice similar to Popeye’s since that is one of Scott’s favorite foods.

I am creating… the hooks for pulling the curtains back from the windows keep pulling out of these flimsy trailer walls so I finally made fabric tie-backs and figured out how to attach them to the curtains.


From the schoolroom… started ordering High School curriculum Yikes! I’ve also started collecting all my various notes about possible courses, requirements, etc. into one notebook.  Hurray, I finally have a use for one of the 5-subject notebooks that were given to us.

Around the house… I finally figured out how to get rid of the hard water build up in the shower that’s been bugging me since we moved in. Though I must admit I don’t clean it as often as I should, especially when pregnant. However, even using SoftScrub has hardly put a dent in it.  I kept thinking I needed something to scrape it with instead of trying to scrub at it with the scrubby sponge and it finally dawned on me today to try using the paint scrapper.  It worked! The shower is now a nice off white color instead of yellow.

I am hearing… 3:15pm – Kara and Caleb at the table whispering together about Caleb’s latest duct tape creation, Ben playing with a nerf gun shooting imaginary things while sitting on the couch; 4:45pm – Lydia vacuuming the dining room, Matthew sighing over his school work, and Thomas protesting about Caleb setting him down.


Categories: Daybook | Leave a comment

Ben’s Birthday


Caleb learning how to fill & tie the balloons.


A chocolate chip cake with chocolate chip frosting.


The big 6 year old.


Matthew serving the ice cream.


His own nerf gun.

Categories: Kids | Leave a comment

Matthew’s Birthday


Sparkler candles are fun


Sooo excited to get a Star Trek model from Auntie Deb & Uncle Steve.


New socks from Grandma Eaton


Look at those grins

Flashback: My how much these two have grown in the last 5 years!

Flashback: My how much these two have grown in the last 5 years!

Categories: Kids | Leave a comment




Looking out my window…  the skies are mostly clear and there are only a few patches of snow left on the rocks behind the house.  The roads are still muddy, but the kids have been too busy coughing, sneezing, and playing with new toys to think about enjoying the puddles in the driveway.

I am thinking… it’s been 6 years since we moved here.  Hard to believe it’s been that long already.  Funny, I still don’t feel settled here though.  I suppose after moving around so much the first 10 years of our marriage it will take a bit longer before I stop expecting to move again.

I am thankful… that we were able to get the kids some nice Christmas gifts this year and the pipes on campus waited until today to leak so that Scott could enjoy the holiday with us.


Gabe is obsessed with figuring out the marble puzzle ball Scott got the kids.

From the nursery… Gabe decided Thomas needed a little sweetening up today and sprinkled cinnamon/sugar all over him in his crib.  The other exciting news is that Thomas is finally sitting up on his own.


One of my favorite things… snuggling with my husband at the end of the day.

I am reading… The Paradise War by Stephen Lawhead to the kids who are loving it.

I am hearing… kids playing with Legos, the dishwasher running.

From the kitchen… made a new Christmas cookie for the kids this year – Chocolate Chip Snowballs (Scott calls them wedding cookies) which they can’t seem to get enough of; definitely adding it to my recipe book.

From the schoolroom… we rearranged our office/schoolroom today and I’m liking it a lot better – much more open feeling now.  Now to make a final decision on what science curriculum to use next.

Plans for the next week… take down the Christmas decorations, school starts again, and my oldest turns 14.

A couple pics from Gabe’s birthday:





Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments




Looking out my window…  a windy fall day with partly sunny skies.  I wish we got more fall colors here, but it seems the leaves just turn brown as they fall off the trees.  I do see one tree with dark red leaves across the field but it almost blends into the roof of the building it is next to.


I am thankful… For a good weekend celebrating Scott’s birthday.  For his birthday gift the kids gave him things to put in a hobbit gift of an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

occ-boys occ-girls

One of my favorite things… pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.  Yum!

I am creating… a newsletter.  It’s all done except for a paragraph or two for Scott to write.  So, hopefully it will be done and completed sometime this next month.

I am wearing… blue jeans and an old red shirt with apple embroidered on it that I got back when we were newlyweds.

I am hearing… pages flipping, dryer buzzing, faucet dripping, Kara humming, Lydia coughing.

I am reading… The Prince and the Pauper to the kids.  Most of the Old English dialogue is of course going right over their heads, but since they’ve just spent the last hour dressing up and playing kings and queens I think it’s having the desired effect.

From the kitchen… almost done processing this year’s harvest from the garden.  The 8th and final canner load of veggies is done.  Now I need to freeze the Hubbard and Butternut squashes.  I’m going to need Scott to chop open the Hubbards since they have very hard skin.  I put a smaller one in the microwave the other day to soften the skin so I could cut it up for making Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas (need to tweak the recipe a little) but I realized afterwards that I can’t save the seeds that way.


From the schoolroom… for now I’ve given up on the idea of having all the ‘work with Mommy’ stuff done before quiet time.  Lord willing, next school year after Thomas is weaned I’ll be able to fit it all into the morning again and have my afternoon time back for exercising and working on projects.


Kara did so well illustrating the story of Gideon; I just had to share.

From the board room… the girls decided to fill their Operation Christmas Child shoebox for an older girl this year, but the next time we do one for a younger girl I’m thinking this would be a great idea.


from my Pinterest board

I am looking forward to… going to bed.  I am SO tired.

A moment from my week:



Categories: Daybook | 1 Comment




Looking out my window…  a clear, cool morning.  The official temperature says we haven’t had a frost yet, but my squash plants strongly disagree.  When the days are still warm enough to need the air conditioner it’s hard to think about it getting so cold at night.

I am thankful… for a husband who is willing and able to lead our family in worship when we are home sick from church, that Thomas didn’t get this cold, and that we were feeling well enough again this week to attend (although my voice sure doesn’t sound like it).


5 months old

In the schoolroom… We finished our first 6 weeks of school!  So, now it’s time for a two week break.  Instead of the 3 weeks on/ 1 week off schedule we’ve been doing the last few years, this year I am trying a 6 week on/ 2 week off schedule.

I am thinking… about what I want to get done during our school break.  For starters I am using this 2-week break from school to start potty training Gabe.  Lord willing, he will grasp the concept quickly.  I don’t expect him to be completely trained in that time, but one can hope right?

I am looking forward to… having my voice back.  It does OK in the mornings, but by the end of the day it takes so much effort to talk and my throat feels a little raw.  I never realize how much talking and giving of directions I do with my kids until times like these.

I am reading… through Exodus in preparation for starting an online Bible study by Jen Wilkin.  This is my first time trying an online study.  Jen’s introduction to the study really hit home with a lot of the things Scott and I have talked about lately and got me excited to try this Bible study.

From the kitchen… cooking up some more chicken to debone and put in the freezer for quick meal prep.

I am creating… a bullet journal.  I’d been ignoring the articles about it that I had come across, but a friend’s post about her decision to give it a try intrigued me enough to try it myself.  It’s been two weeks and so far I’m liking it.  It’s pretty basic so far; I haven’t even used different colors of pens yet, though I’d like to do so eventually.  I’ve learned that I don’t remember things if I have to flip a page to see it.  So, no habit tracker or weekly journal on a separate page.  I found a blog that described how to do a rolling week along the side of a daily journal page and I’m really liking that idea.  Now to figure out what will work for habit tracking on the daily journal pages.


I am wearing… jeans and a coral t-shirt (the brown shirt I first put on this morning got baby spit-up on it).  I’m a bit frustrated that I’m still wearing what I call my postpartum jeans.  Usually by this time I’ve dropped a size.  Maybe it’s because I’ve actually been exercising this time.  LOL.

In the garden… harvested potatoes – not going to plant them again next year.  I’ve tried them a few years now and have only gotten a small amount each year.  They just take up too much space and effort for such a small yield to justify planting again.  Think I will replace them with more carrots and onions since they grow so well here and are also root crops (for rotation).


All I got from about 20-25 plants.

I am hearing… 10:30am – Gabe playing with toys, Kara muttering as she writes a story, Lydia talking to Thomas; 4:30pm – kids doing afternoon chores; 7:00pm – boys doing KP while girls get ready for bed.


Launching rockets on Labor Day


Categories: Daybook | 2 Comments



FOR the week of August 27, 2016

Looking out my window…  fluffy white clouds floating in a bright blue sky.  The temps have been getting cool enough at night to make me want to turn on the heaters in the morning, but our days are still nice and warm.

I am thankful… HURRAY!  Thanks to the generosity of my parents and siblings we have enough dressers/drawers for all the kids.  While Scott was in Albuquerque this last week for a business meeting he was able to find a couple of 5-drawer dressers on sale for the amount we had to spend.  The boys are enjoying having enough room for their clothes (10 drawers instead of 3).  Matthew and Caleb each get 3 drawers while Ben and Gabe each get two drawers.


new-dressers4 new-dressers3


new-dressers6 new-dressers5

Having room for Gabe’s clothes in the boys’ room meant we were finally able to get out the toddler bed and move him out of the girls’ room.  He is quite excited to have his new big boy bed and have his clothes in drawers where he can reach them.


The part I’m really excited about is being able to move the old dresser to the girls’ room and once again use it for a changing table (it’s just the right size).  Yeah! For a place to put Thomas’ clothes and being able to have the card table once again available for use other than as a changing table/dresser.  And of course the crib is now available for Thomas when he outgrows the bassinet.





Playing in the old boxes for Gabe’s clothes:


I am thinking… despite the inauspicious start a couple weeks ago with the laundry fiasco, it actually turned out to be a fairly productive week.  I made bread, canned pinto beans, organized and inventoried the freezer, froze green beans from the garden, patched jeans, switched out Thomas’ clothes for a bigger size, and got most of the books needing repairs fixed.  Seems only fitting then that I would struggle with getting anything other than the basics done this last week.  It all evens out in the end.

From the kitchen… peaches were on sale and I think I finally have my peach cobbler recipe tweaked right.  Yum!

I am creating… piles of usable jean fabric scraps.  In other words, I am going through the two overflowing boxes of old jeans and cutting them up.  It started with me cutting off the back pockets to make bean bags for our PE lessons.  I’ve been meaning to do this for some time.  Maybe having the fabric ready and usable will help towards getting other projects using those scraps done.  I also found a few pairs that just needed the knees patched; a good thing since jeans don’t last long with all these boys.

I am wearing… Another benefit to my jean project – I found, buried in the old jeans, an old long-sleeve shirt of mine that was fine except for holes in the sleeves.  An easy fix and now I have another short-sleeve shirt, which is greatly appreciated since I’ve had to retire several others this summer.

In the schoolroom… I decided to try a different schedule with our history and science this year and so far it is working much better.  Instead of doing some history each day and never managing to get any science done, we are doing a block schedule of history 3 days a week and science 2 days a week.  Right now we are working on finishing our Magic School Bus science which at this rate should take us until Christmas.  Then I’ll need to figure out what to do next.


Building a ziggurat


Pretending to write in cuneiform


Watching raisins ‘dance’


learning about vortexes while studying weather

In the garden… the bean and summer squash harvests continue.  The pumpkin plant finally decided to start producing; wonder if they’ll have enough time to turn orange.  I keep thinking it feels like we’re going to end up with an early frost this year.

I am hearing… 3pm – Caleb cutting cardboard and duct tape to make his latest project (no idea what it is yet), the backhoe running at the other end of the ball field as they work to figure out what is causing the sewer to back up.

Around the house… no sewer means no doing laundry today and the dishes are piling up in the sink. Really hope they get it fixed today.  Glad we have a maintenance guy now so Scott’s not having to be out there working on it.

Plans for the week… Thursday will be our first library day of this school year,  looking forward to seeing friends from Colorado on Thursday night, and immunization appointments on Friday morning.


My little thumb-sucker.



Categories: Daybook | 2 Comments



FOR the week of August 15, 2016

Looking out my window…  it is dark now after a nice (except for the mosquitoes) sunny day.

I am thankful… to be able to come inside out of the bugs.

I am thinking… the public health clinic closed here in Gallup so now I have to find a new place to get my kids immunizations.  Think I have it figured out, but we’ll see.

From the kitchen… Back at the beginning of the year my KitchenAid stand mixer quit.  Now the motor on my hand mixer has burnt out (the kids used it for cookie dough).

I am wearing… jean capris and a light green shirt that is going in the rag bin after today.  For some reason my shirts have a habit of getting little holes poked in them on the lower right front and I have not been able to figure out where they come from. I also noticed several stains on this shirt today.

In the schoolroom… I have got to come up with a better way of organizing all the teacher’s manuals that I use each day.  They just end up in rotating piles next to my desk.

In the garden… the beans have started producing and we’ve enjoyed adding them to several meals so far.

I am hearing… 9pm – Caleb saying prayers with Daddy, my noisy computer, the A/C running.

Around the house… 2nd time in 6 months that all of the boys’ Sunday clothes have been ruined by a crayon in the dryer.  I’m all for having the kids do chores and learn housekeeping, but right now I’m VERY frustrated.  Last time we had replacements; this time we don’t.  Matthew says the inside of the dryer looks like birch bark.  Scott tried several things to clean the dryer, but it’s not coming off.  Thankfully that means it is also not coming off onto the next load of clothes.


4 months


Categories: Daybook | 2 Comments



FOR the week of August 1, 2016

Looking out my window…  when I woke up this morning the skies were overcast, the ground was damp, and there were raindrops on my bedroom window.  Now most of the clouds are gone and the sun has dried things up again.  We’ve entered our rainy season and the forecast calls for rain off and on all the rest of the week.

I am thankful… soooo thankful to have Scott home again.  Enjoyed the smell of his soap and deodorant that lingered in the bathroom after his shower this morning.  Thankful though that he was able to have this time to do work that he really enjoys – radio engineering.

From the kitchen… Caleb is cleaning out under the sink for me today; a very icky job by the sound of it.  It is one of the jobs he can do to redeem toys or in this case his scissors that he left out (we were having trouble with Gabe getting a hold of scissors that had not been put away after being used).

In the schoolroom… just one week until we start our new school year.  Hoping I can have all my planning ducks in their rows and be ready.  I think I have most of it done, but there always seems to be more to do.  The kids are super excited as always to explore their new school books.

I am wearing… jean capris and my ‘new this baby’ green nursing shirt from Milk Nursingwear which I love not only for it’s easy nursing access but because it fits great and looks good.

In the garden… Thankful Matthew stepped up to do a man’s job while Scott was gone in protecting the garden from critters.  He got rid of 5 squirrels and a vole that had been chowing down on the lettuce, spinach, and peas.

I am hearing… noon – the little boys watching/helping Caleb clean under the sink, the girls playing in their room, thunder from the dark clouds over the hill, Thomas sucking on his thumb while in his swing; 9:30pm – Scott spending some time with Matthew playing StarTrek Online, the loud fan on my computer, and the A/C.

One of my favorite things… being able to eat fresh produce from the garden.  Tonight’s supper used summer squash and basil.

Around the house… still waiting on a couple of packages (school books) that had to be resent due to the issues we’ve been having with our mail delivery.  Hoping and praying that those issues have truly been resolved and there won’t be any more problems.

Plans for the week – get everything ready for school next week including lesson plans, meal plans, etc.

A few pics from July:

july1 july2 july3 july4

Categories: Daybook | 2 Comments



FOR the week of July 11, 2016

Looking out my window…  clear, sunny skies with a light wind and lots of hummingbirds drinking from both the front and back feeders.

I am thankful… my kids had such a good week at camp.  This was Caleb’s first year and although he missed being able to hug Mommy, he had a great time and wished he could stay longer.  Lydia accomplished her goal of riding a horse by herself this year; a great boost to her self-confidence. And Kara made a new friend.

babr-lydia babr-kara babr-caleb

From the kitchen… Love the fresh produce sales at this time of year.  Pear pie yesterday, cauliflower soup (recipe courtesy of the Pioneer Woman) and peach cobbler today.  Yum!

In the schoolroom… just Matthew finishing up his writing and math this week and then we’re done until next year which I am planning for the beginning of August.  Starting to order curriculum and thanking God for companies that offer missionary discounts.


The kids enjoyed the music camp put on by one of our summer missions groups.

In the garden… The squash plants are starting to produce.  Lord willing, no critters will be nibbling on them.  (So far this year we’ve caught 5 squirrels and a vole.)  Also, the yearly battle against the potato beetles has begun.

I am hearing… 8:45pm – music (Owl City) playing, the A/C rattling the windows, girls saying goodnight to me, dishes being washed, the dishwasher running, and Scott putting the little ones to bed.

Around the house… got the top of our dresser cleaned off.  Doesn’t happened often enough, always feels a little odd to be able to actually see the top of the dresser.

Plans for the week – Kara turns 10! Our third child to hit double digits.  Where has the time gone?

Categories: Daybook | 1 Comment