August 30, 2012


a couple of nights ago i took jacksie out on a little mommy and me date. chips and queso, a pair of new shoes for a boy with exploding feet, a stop by the fabric store and ice cream on the way home. it was a great time with my oldest boy. the other littles stayed home with daddy. by the looks of it, they had quite the fun little evening as well. i'm not sure why charlie thought those bubbles tasted so good but, it would have just been wrong not to share these adorable snapshots of him and big sister. i'm glad they had such a blast with daddy and even happier that i got a peek at their time together. i sure love this little family of ours.



August 28, 2012


jack and madi had their second week of fall classes at our homeschool co-op today.

jack started taekwondo, which he's been asking to take for over a year and how cute is he in that much-too-large uniform? they actually special ordered that size triple zero for our tiny boy and it still swallows him. we have been really impressed with the immediate change in his confidence. he has been very bold and sure of himself since he started the class. it's a drastic difference from when he played soccer last fall and ran to us off the field every two minutes. soccer definitely was not his cup of tea but, he is loving taekwondo and it's a blast to watch him kick butt.

madi is taking a cooking class called "cooking around the u.s.". they're going state by state cooking and baking a treat that state is famous for. i'll be honest and say i'm not sure she's loving it. she's a very passionate girl usually but, we haven't seen much enthusiasm about the class so far. she had been planning on taking an art class, which she was thrilled about but, the class was full when we went to register. she does love to cook and bake at home, so we are hoping she'll end up having a good time. if not, we'll make sure to pre-register for the art class after christmas. (secretly, i just loved that i got to make her that little apron!)

charlie isn't old enough to take classes yet and he isn't happy about it either. he also loathes that darn stroller with an intense passion and screams after about thirty seconds of confinement. i usually take him out the playground during classes but, it was blazing hot today and my thirty-four week pregnant self was not dealing well. he(read we) had a rough day.

dear lord, please send cool fall weather next week and an extra dose of patience for mama.


August 25, 2012


what i'm wearing: maxi dress, calvin klein. belt, ralph lauren. locket, gift from the mister.

i am so behind on the littlest jones updates. i planned to get around to it but, it just hasn't happened. i am still feeling great, despite a week or two of zero energy due to anemia. i'm taking an extra iron supplement and glory hallelujah, that stuff makes a huge difference. i am starting to feel tired of being pregnant but, mostly i'm just getting really excited to meet this little boy. i have just about everything ready for his arrival and i'm hoping he'll take after his mama and be a punctual little fella. i've been working on some ideas for handmade gifts to give the other littles when baby is born. hopefully i can get started on that project soon to help pass the time. i'll try to do a little post when they're all finished.

i have to give a shout out to my photographer for the day. she's blonde, long-legged and holds a special place in her mama's heart. the girl's got skills. thank you madi belle!

one quick confession, i currently wear this dress about twice a week. maxi dress + cotton jersey = match made in pregnancy heaven. oh sweet comfort.


August 23, 2012


wether your kids attend private, public or charter schools, are homeschooled, unschooled, etc, all parents have a common goal: to provide our children with the best education possible. let me preface this post by saying that paul and i do not view our educational choices for our family as superior to anyone else's choices for their family. we do what works for us and others do what works for them. we are constantly praying, researching and taking in as much information possible to ensure that we continue to make the right decisions about our kids' learning. i do feel very strongly about learning outside of school and i plan to share in a series of posts about what we do and how we do it. i think it would be best to start with why we do it.

two years ago, we put madison in kindergarten at our local elementary school. she was a creative, lively, intelligent, social girl and we fully expected the joy of watching her thrive in her new environment. each week that passed brought more disappointment and discouragement. despite her quick leap into reading, which we are still grateful for, she barely resembled that little girl we sent off to school weeks before. she no longer wanted to spend time with her brothers after school, as she was so exhausted from the eight hour day and only wanted to be alone. she was being bullied by other classmates, telling her that she wasn't their friend and they hated her. she had wet her pants twice on the playground because her teacher wouldn't take her to the bathroom. the humiliation on her face upon my arrival with clean clothes those days, was infuriating and heartbreaking. she would come home with thirteen pages of math homework and keep in mind she was only five at the time. this would end her already long day, sitting at the kitchen table crying over the worksheets in front of her. she didn't finish one lunch the entire school year. she is by nature a slow eater and a chatterbox, which left her hungry for most of the school day because she couldn't finish before the bell rang.

at our first parent teacher meeting, her teacher let us know that madi was excelling in phonics and reading. her two biggest criticisms were that madi drew with too much detail, thus running out of time on a project and that she was always talking to the other kids. ironically, we sat there listening to her teacher negatively categorize two of the things we loved about our daughter the most: her love and creativity in art and her love and passion for others. we smiled, thanked the teacher for her time and walked to our car frustrated nearly to tears. we realized then that we needed to take a second look at our decision to put our kids in public school. we talked about our goals for our kids' learning experience and mapped out what kind of time, energy, resources and environment it would take to achieve those. below is our list of goals and we have since decided that our kids will be learning without school.

our desires for our kids' life of learning:
  • to nurture and encourage their love of learning.
  • to allow them the freedom to learn their own way, in their own time and according to their interests.
  • to expose them to as many rich experiences as possible. art, music, travel, language, etc.
  • to focus on their individual strengths, not dwell on their weaknesses.
  • to prioritize character development before academic achievement.
  • to set a foundation of learning by modeling and inspiring them by pursuing our own passions and interests.
  • to guide them in discovering their passions in life and becoming equipped to achieve them.
  • to build strong, healthy relationships.
  • to provide an atmosphere of love and trust where learning can thrive.
  • to remind them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and that they are a gift from God.

i have so much more to share but, for now i hope this will express our heart for our kids' learning adventure. more to come soon. 


"All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children."
 Isaiah 54:13

August 22, 2012


just a few daddy-captured moments of magic.
 take your breath away, lump in the throat, heart overwhelming, cup runneth over, magic