More than just a hill 'o beans


I love having three kids...but my heart still aches for my fourth...and my fifth
that we lost.  
I think about it every.single.day.

I'm not angry...just sad...
wondering what God will have for us next!

my Three Musketeers love adventures in the outdoors!
They pray every night that Jesus will give us a farm...
with a creek...
and a large hollow log...
and a cave...
and a couch and a TV in the cave...

I tell them that God hears every prayer but sometimes He answers them a bit differently than we expect!
You know, to avoid any tears when our new farm has the hollow log but not the cave with a TV in it!

One of the many aspects of homeschooling I love is that my kids are friends
not just siblings, not just "the other one that sleeps in my bedroom"
but friends. Real honest to goodness friends.
I cherish their conversations...
I love that Ava wants to give Alec "huggies and kisses" before he leaves to play with a friend...
The other night, Ava had trouble falling asleep and Alec sat in her bed reading her Bible stories
till I could come up and talk to her...

I also love that Ava will have two BIGGER brothers to look out for her! What a filter that will be when boys come a knockin' down the road! And I also enjoy knowing that Ava will have a really good idea of how to relate to the opposite sex and what makes them tick! Of course God's plan is perfect, but I also certainly wouldn't change the birth order here even if I had a chance!

Getting the three of them to cooperate for a photo is virtually impossible, in fact, I don't really even try anymore. Usually I just put them in the clothes, put them in the location, and then let them do their thing! And honestly, the "outtakes" are probably my favorites, because they capture what my three are really all about...

If the picture below was the norm, I think I'd be deathly bored!

Marvin is working on the big "protect and honor your sister" idea with the boys.  It's tough because even though they are older than her, she's still the pesky little sister and  all they wanna do is protect their stuff! This is, unfortunately, a lesson only Daddy can teach...
He's begun to encourage them to play games that involve "rescuing" Ava from a giant horrible beast, in attempts to make it exciting to learn the life-lesson.
It's REALLY important to us that the message gets through...
I'll keep you posted!

It's so awesome to me to get to watch them all learn new things. Benji has taken off with math like nobody's business and his drawings in his sketch book are completely amazing! Tiny and full of detail and each one tells a complete story.  Alec is becoming so much more self motivated. I can tell he's really starting to enjoy school, HE chose his own science book this time around AND his own history book! Ava is pretty much teaching herself how to read...and is extremely motivated with domestic tasks. Sweeping, scrubbing out the sink with baking soda, and washing the cabinet fronts with vinegar water are some of her favorite things to do!

All I can say about the image above, is...

 These two do.not.get.along.
(for right now, but...)
It's awful!
I remember Alec and Benji going through the same phase right before we took Alec out of public school in second grade. Within 2 months, we noticed a remarkable positive change in Alec, and in his ability to kindly relate to others outside of his peer group. That is one way that a traditional age-grouped school setting is crippling...kids develop a tight tolerance for only those in their developmental stage. It makes dealing with siblings after a long tiring day in the classroom nearly an impossibility!

My hope is that their friendships will continue to blossom, Ava's naturally bossy nature will subside a bit, Benji's highly sensitive temper will quiet, and Alec will come into a fuller realization of his role as the oldest...
Because, deep down, they really and truly are FRIENDS
and that's the best part of being siblings!

Ava loves animals. More than dollies. More than nearly anything.
She goes to bed with no less than 10 animals piled high on each side of her bed. Good thing she sleeps in a queen! I've come in her room at night before and found her using her big tiger or horse as her pillow!
I remember loving animals as a little girl, too. I remember on several occasions just BEGging my mom for a new teddy bear when we were out shopping.

I love watching the nurturing, motherly side of Ava grow. She takes such good care of her stuffed animals, putting them to bed under the covers, shoving them down in her dolly high chair and feeding them plastic carrots, singing to them, taking them for rides in the dolly stroller...
You WANT to be a stuffed animal in this girl's room! Ha!

 Even though she's turning 5 in a week, I can still see traces of baby sweetness lingering. She likes to bring an animal to snuggle with if she feels shy...she runs straight to me for a snuggle when she wakes up in the morning...she still cries HARD when she's upset...she still needs a rest in the afternoon...
But it's all fading fast. Too fast.

This handsome fellow is my comedian! Oh, the laughter he brings to my heart!
He's finally realized that HE is funny, and we are NOT laughing AT him! It took a while...he cried a lot thinking we were making fun of him for a long time.
Now he knows he's funny. He has great timing, does a fantastic British accent, and spits out the most random, hilarious things all day long.

You can't parent well without a sense of humor!

Benji will be eight in January. That's two years under 10. That's 6 years under driving.
I hope he's still funny then!

My oldest, my perfect baby.
Napped twice, for two hours each time! Slept through the night at 7 weeks!
No allergies, no issues, no naughtiness, no terrible twos...
I thought I was the best mom ever!

How we learn and grow!

Alec is 10...sometimes older, sometimes younger!
Older, more often than not these days.
I love watching him read
and write his school work

He's so big, up to my shoulders...
Makes the weight of my reality on my shoulders heavy.
I will soon have a teenager.

He'll be amazing.
I just know it.

And that, my friends, is more than just
a hill 'o beans!

5 readers took time to leave a thought:

12arrows December 1, 2011 at 8:44 PM  

Oh this was SOOOOO much fun! Love to hear all the personalities and also that you have 2 that just don't get along right now! :) I'm not the only one! Maybe it's not ALWAYS my lack of parenting skills! LOL It's all stages! It will pass and the two of mine that used to "annoy" each other to the brim, went to Africa together! So just wait and let them work out their diffences as much as possible! Not easy to do! Okay, enough with the preaching...I want to give all your kids a hug and momma too! Thank you for a peek into your children's lives! It blessed me so!

Love ya much!

Christine December 2, 2011 at 4:01 PM  

What a wonderful tribute to your beautiful children! Those pictures are fabulous. Love the wheat field with lone chair!!

Jill December 3, 2011 at 10:51 AM  

love this post! and what great pictures! xoxo

4 Little Men and Girly Twins December 7, 2011 at 12:27 PM  

oh my, these photos are awesome! I loved reading this... God hears your dreams and desires of your heart and he will fulfill them in the perfect timing.

give those kiddos a big hug from us!!!!!!

I think I need to print some of these to hang on our wall! :)

Birdie December 15, 2011 at 1:12 PM  

LOVE LOVE this post! This is my first visit here, you have a beautiful family! What really caught my attention is the importance you place on the boys protecting & honoring their little sister. Growing up, that was a big deal with us too, and I am the little sister ha! Love it

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