Archive for August, 2013

Encouraging Quote

This morning a dear friend emailed me the following quote from one of my favorite books Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss.  Thank you, Stephanie, for such a wonderful reminder.

(on adding a new baby to the family)

(Martha) says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure for visiting, reading, music, and drawing.

Well!  This is one side of the story to be sure, but I look at the other.  Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery.  Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant.  I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me.

Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers!  Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!”

First Day of School

We officially started our home school year yesterday, August 14.  The middle of the week seemed like a good choice to start our full school days,  so that the weekend would be close at hand.  Most of you know that we schooled all through the summer this year to catch up after my months of morning (read: all-the-time) sickness in the fall, so I wanted to make sure that this first day of school stood out among all our other days of schooling.  To that end, Tim and I planned a few special things for the children to help them celebrate their return (that is, continuation of) to school.

Our morning began with presenting them with mommy-made t-shirts which read “Van Steenburgh Academy” on the back and have their names on the front.  A little silly I know, but I thought it would be fun.  Unfortunately, I purchased the “light” fabric transfer paper and then proceeded to buy dark colored shirts, so they didn’t turn out exactly like I envisioned.  Lucky for us, we’re at home all the time–ha!  Then we took them out for a surprise breakfast at the Flying Biscuit.  That was really yummy.  Connor asked if he could get “seconds” of his order–obviously we do not take this child out enough–sorry buddy, only one order per restaurant visit.  When we returned home from breakfast, I presented the children with a giant chocolate chip cookie and some other little treats.  They got to have one little treat upon finishing each subject, and we ate pieces of the cookie for dessert after lunch.  It was a productive school day and a great start to our year.

Not quite in third grade, but he had to have a sign too 🙂

What a cute first grader!

Mini-man is pretty excited about being included this year 🙂

The giant cookie

Emma and Daddy at the restaurant

Connor, Daddy, and Emma

Lucy, Ty, and Mommy

The students of Van Steenburgh Academy

Sweet beans 🙂

Hiding under my desk playing with Lucy's camera without permission 😉

4 months old!

She’s just getting cuter every day, even if I do say so myself. 🙂

Ready for swimming...isn't she adorable?!

One of her new favorite places to hang out

With Miss Micaela

This child loves to be "worn" more than any of my others

Six years old!

My little Lucy Leigh turned six at the end of July.  We had a family celebration which started with donuts for breakfast followed by swimming with friends.  I let her open her presents throughout the day, so she would have the chance to play with them that day.  There were cupcakes after dinner and more presents.  Lucy, we love you so much and are so thankful for you!  You’re a wonderful daughter and sister and friend.  We love the way you serve our family and how you are so thoughtful of others.  We pray that you will trust Jesus all your life and practice more and more becoming a God-pleaser!

I offered to make the cake, but Lucy was afraid it wouldn't look pretty enough or have enough icing--clever child! Thank you, Publix 🙂

First attempt at blowing out the candles

I think she finally got them all on the third blow 🙂

100 days of real food? Not so much 🙂

Tyler only ate the icing.

Lucy got lots of new clothes.

And lots of arts and craft stuff

Garden success

One of the best crops from our garden has been peppers.  A friend gave us some pepper plants, and they have grown wonderfully.  The only problem is that we don’t know what kind of peppers these are.  They’re long and curved, but they’re mild like bell peppers.  Any ideas?


The children and I finally got over to the FL museum to see the Titanoboa exhibit.  It was really neat.  God’s creation is truly amazing.  I took a couple of pictures with my phone, so the quality is not the best, but you get the idea.

The children in front of Titanoboa, swallowing an alligator whole

Emma wasn't really into it 🙂

I made Connor put his face in here 🙂

Not sure about this one--the children took my phone when I had to nurse Emma

Shark tooth hunting!

Last Friday, I bravely took the four beans to Loblolly Nature Park (Thanks for the tip, T!) to hunt for shark teeth in the creek.  Apart from the swarms of mosquitoes and other flying pests, everyone had a great time.  The children enjoyed the creek and sand so much, they begged to go back, so all six of us went back on Saturday morning.  Tim and the children found lots of shark teeth, and Connor and Lucy enjoyed swimming in the creek.  Check out the video of the kids jumping from this fallen tree.

Connor and Lucy digging in the sand

Tyler enjoyed the beachy creek bank

Tim ended up finding the largest shark tooth of the day!

Heise Visit

One of my dearest friends Katie along with her three girls (Rachel-7, Caroline-5, and Sara-2) came to visit us for a few days towards the end of July.  We had a great time hanging out, and all the children played really well together.   We swam, played games, watched movies, and took a trip to the Splash Park.  This last one didn’t go quite as expected, since it stormed and poured rain while we were there, but we still had fun.  Thank you so much, Katie, for making the trip here–we all really enjoyed spending time with you and the girls!

Aunt Katie took most of the pictures, including this sweet one of Emma!

Caroline and Connor

Caroline and Emma

Three buddies: Rachel, Lucy, and Caroline

Group shot--notice the space between Tyler and Sarah. 🙂

Tyler, Rachel, and Lucy

This kid loves his baby sister!

Lucy and Caroline

Caroline and Lucy playing with mud

Popsicle time!

Aunt Katie and Emma

Puzzle time

I was wrong :)

Turns out he can do it--sort of 🙂