Our Family

Blue-eyed beauty

I know I'm really biased, but I think Ruth is the sweetest little girl ever. She always has a smile between her chubby little cheeks...

...and she's so lady-like already. It amazes me! She even has a lady-like crawl. My boys did the army-style scooting thing until they started walking. Ruth, -- she gets up on her hands and knees and crawls so delicately. ;)

Camping out

One of my brothers brought over his tent for us to borrow! Last night the children and I slept outside. It got chilly (mid-40's) but we were all snuggled under a huge down comforter and stayed toasty warm! :)

The boys have been very, very excited about "camping out". Camping in the back yard is far enough from home for me -- I like being able to run in the house whenever I want. ;)

I put Ruth on my back (in the mei tai) while I made up the beds in the tent. Lately I have been wearing Ruth on my back around the house. Yehoshua is now old enough to help me get her legs in the right spot! She loves riding on my back. :)

Yehoshua's bed -- a crib mattress. He was warm enough on here last night but crawled in with us halfway through the night. :)

The other side of the tent has our queen-sized air mattress, lots of pillows, and lots of blankets. I went and got the down comforter after this picture was taken. That comforter is so warm!

It was a challenge to get the children and myself all ready for bed by 7:30 last evening. I am very accustomed to doing a few hours of work after the children go to bed for the night.

Random stuff...

Yom Kippur always feels like one of the longest days of the year to me... I'm so glad it's over! I am not as joyful about fasting as Joshua seems to be -- he is definitely a good example to me! :)

My brain is a little fried, so here are a few tidbits from the past couple of days:

--We're still battling our gnat infestation. I put bleach down the drains and set out lots of traps. We moved the box of unripe pears to the garage, and my compost bucket is outside the back door instead of in the kitchen. I'm really hoping things are under control before we have guests this weekend! Gnats are just plain gross!!

--At Aldi's this week we came across a mountain of free (over-ripe) bananas! We put some in the dehydrator, froze a few, and gave about 30 pounds away. Free food is such a blessing! the boys and I love to snack on the partially dried, hot, chewy, flexible bananas they dry!

--I stepped on the scale today and saw that I have now lost 20 pounds! This is amazing to me, since I have trouble keeping motivated. I feel so much better than I did 5 months ago.

--We're having company tomorrow for lunch, and I'm serving spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, veggies, and some kind of dessert (maybe pudding?).

--We're also borrowing a tent tomorrow from one of my brothers. The boys and I are looking forward to sleeping outside at least one night in celebration of Sukkot next week, and we've even invited friends to our "campout"! (The tent has two rooms.) It should be quite an experience!

--Have you seen the deal at Shutterfly? Fifty free photos and free shipping too! I signed up last week and my 50 photos came in the mail just a few days later!


Wow, I feel so out-of-it.

Right after my last post (Monday evening) Eliyahu joined Yehoshua with the stomach flu and I spent several hours consoling them, bathing them, and cleaning up (or trying to clean up) the messes. I got them settled about 2am, just as I started feeling sick myself.

What a fun way to spend Rosh Hashanah! (Not.) Joshua got up at 2am and took over caring for everyone (good thing he had the day off work!) as I spent the next 24 hours moving as little as possible and taking care of Ruth as needed.

Wednesday I felt somewhat better and Joshua started getting sick. So, we swapped places as the children continued to recover.

Now, tonight, the boys are actually sleeping in their own beds instead of on blankets on a shower curtain on their floor! (They begged to sleep on the floor again but I was ready to be able to walk through their room.)

Tomorrow, provided that we are all feeling okay, I'm hoping to get the carpets (living room and their bedroom) steam cleaned and the laundry caught up and just maybe our house won't smell like the flu.

I can hardly remember what day it is... what I had planned to blog about this week... I've got a stack of bills to pay and phone calls to make. I'm just glad I'm feeling well enough to look at a computer screen... walk outside... take a shower. Thank you, Yahweh!

P.S. I asked Joshua if I could just swap Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this year since I fasted on Rosh Hashanah, but he said it doesn't work that way...

Child-sized picnic fun

A child-sized picnic

Our neighbor is letting us borrow a small picnic table for our back yard this fall. The boys have had a lot of fun with it! Here is one of their picnics, served up on a hot pink tray (garage sale: $0.25) with fresh Morning Glories picked by Yehoshua!

Of course, as soon as the prayer was said, Eliyahu tossed the flowers to the ground...

An 8-month-old Ruth in all her toothless charm...

I have several posts that I'm anxious to type, but this evening Yehoshua came down with the flu and commandeered almost all of my computer time. :) Thank you all for the comments and input you provide here! :)

Fun with a baking sheet mirror!

Eliyahu making faces...

I was working in the kitchen and turned around to find Eliyahu using this baking sheet as a mirror. He was making the cutest faces! I had to take some pictures of him. :)

There are peas on the table because Eliyahu loves to eat frozen peas! Whenever I get our frozen vegetables for a meal, the boys beg to eat some. Sometimes Eliyahu eats so many that I actually let him skip the vegetable at that meal!

Haha. :) Isn't he funny? He was making cute sounds to go along with the faces. ;)

Guess what! I just discovered that our camera has not only a macro setting (which I use frequently) but also a SUPER macro setting. Do you know how happy this makes me?! Joshua said, "See, I told you that you should read the manual!" :)

Family photo update and meme

Beautiful Ruth...
Sweet, cheerful Ruth -- so much joy! Can we change her name to Ruth Patience Joy Shalom Sunshine? :)

Ten Years ago what were you doing?

Let's see... ten years ago I was 16, starting my junior year of high school (at home), and my life revolved a lot around music. I took private violin and piano lessons and was in the midst of entering competitions and doing as much as possible with classical music!

One of the highlights of that year was the privilege of performing (one of the piano parts) in Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals -- I still love that music! :)

Handsome Yehoshua
At 4 1/2, Yehoshua can be serious or funny, happy or sad, excited, disappointed, thoughtful, silly, and grown-up. He's precious to me, and he really loves his little sister.

Five things on today's "To Do" list:

1. Wash dishes (the never-ending job).
2. Wash diapers (and hang them outside).
3. Pay bills. Uhg. :|
4. Read the Bible to my boys.
5. Do school work with Yehoshua.

Silly Eliyahu!
Eliyahu is silly and sweet. His life right now is characterized by a lot of favorites. A favorite shirt, favorite shorts, a favorite hat, stuffed animal, blanket, car, everything we have -- Eliyahu has a favorite one.

If I were a Billionaire:

You know, I really never day dream about having lots of money because it's not very profitable and only seems to lead to discontentment. I guess I would use the money to bless others and spread the Good News. Oh, and I would probably like to buy a dishwasher and a bed that doesn't cave in the middle. :)

Sweet Ruth...
My beautiful Ruth. Words just aren't sufficient to describe how I feel about her. I love this girl so much!

Three bad habits:

1. Biting my nails. Did I just say that publicly? :P I have struggled to kick that habit for many, many years. Sometimes I do okay but usually I fail.

2. Not wanting to go to bed. But I love sleep. Explain this one? Okay, it's lack of discipline.

3. Not controlling portion sizes on sweets. One bite usually does me in -- I crave sweets like crazy unless I stay totally away!!

Five places I've lived:

1. In a small town in NW Ohio.

2. In the Ozarks.

3. Back in the small town in Ohio. And that's it!

Five jobs I've had:

1. Piano teacher.

2. Violin teacher.

3. Deli worker at a small grocery store.

4. Shift manager at a Taco Bell.

5. My present job and the best one ever: Wife to a great guy and mama to 3 gifts from Yahweh. :)

Weekend guest menu

We were blessed yesterday and today with a visit from some friends who live in the Detroit area. My friend Emily brought her 4 little ones with her and let me just say that having 7 children 5-and-under all here at once was... interesting. ;) The four oldest were all boys -- very rowdy boys. ;) Things quieted down after bedtime and Emily and I actually got to talk and grind wheat (for fun!) and eat chips and salsa. :)

For breakfast we had Easy Whole Grain Pancakes, and Joshua made his Apple Spice Syrup for on top. Yummy! :)

The lunch menu was Grilled Chicken Pizza, fresh pineapple, and a salad.

And last night, we had Easy Cheeseburger Casserole.

Emily took this picture of us before she left:

It was such a blessing to get to spend time with Emily in person again! She's visited us twice before -- you can see pictures and read about one of Emily's earlier visits here -- back when we each had just 2 boys. :)

Mama and Baby

I allowed Yehoshua to very carefully sit on the couch and take this picture of Ruth and me! This was the first time I have ever let him use our camera.

I had put Ruth in my mei tai so that we could get the house cleaned up before Sabbath started. :) I really love the mei tai, and mine is a homemade one (a gift from my friend Ruth back before I had a baby named Ruth!) which makes it extra special. :)

When Ruth was a newborn (maybe about 6 weeks old) I was able to sit her in the mei tai sideways, with both feet sticking out one side, and pulled tightly enough to keep her snug. Now she's a big girl and faces me. :)

Ruth, 7 months

Ruth was sitting on the living room playing with toys and looking so cute that I had to run for the camera! Such a sweet little treasure. :)

I got some barrettes for her hair. Now her hair stays out of her face!

Ruth loves to sit up and play with toys. She says "mama" and "dada" and is still the sweetest little baby I have ever met! She's not very big (compared to my boys at this age) but she is chubby! :)


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