I'm still trying to figure out how to make blogging work in a busy season of life. I realized recently that I had so much more time for this when my kids were little and all took naps! Even when I started school, up till the point we added Josiah to school, I seemed to have more time to post stuff. Or maybe I just organized my time better! Anyway, Saturdays are a good time to post, and I'm hoping I can work in some short posts on other days. I think maybe I need to not strive for long, chatty posts as much as short little snippets from our days--maybe a picture or two with a few words. Maybe I'll give that a whirl in February. Anyway, here is some chatter interspersed with some pictures. :)
These are from a few weeks ago--early January, I think. Ari has started "communicating" a lot more, and it's so much fun to talk to her and have her "talk" back. :) She's also quite the photogenic subject, so we take a lot of pictures!!
Can you ever have too many pictures of a sleeping baby? Probably . . . but I still take a lot of them. :) I thought this one was cute, with her arm curled up like that.
I am really enjoying having kids that are old enough to hold her, watch her for me, and love on her . She doesn't lack for attention! Josiah is the most eager to hold her of all of them. Unfortunately sometimes he's a little too invasive of her personal space, and she seems to cry more for him than the others! But I feel like they will probably have a special bond when she gets older. He totally adores her and calls her "Ari-girl." :)
Another sleeping baby pic :) My mom made this blanket for her and I LOVE it!
I sometimes still get comments on how "tiny" she is, but as you can tell from these more recent pics, she is chubbing up nicely. We weighed her recently and she's around 11 lbs. Her next dr. checkup is in mid-Feb, so we will find out an "official" weight then. Two Sundays ago we were all dressed and ready for church, and I wanted to snap a few pictures with the girls. Then the weather got bad (freezing rain) and church ended up being cancelled, but we took a few pics anyway. Unfortunately Ari wasn't in the happiest mood, so this next picture is the best one we got of her!
Our attempt at a picture . . . with a very unhappy little camper!
So then Julia and I decided to make silly/grumpy faces to go with Ari's. ;)
But sometimes, she looks like this:
We bought her a Ty plush doggie with some of her Christmas money. Each of the other kids has a dog of this size and we thought it would be fun for her to have one, too. I didn't really think she'd be ready to actually play with it for a while. But, we gave it to her one day while she was in the bouncy seat, and this is what she did:
Now we usually give it to her every time she's in the seat, and she usually gives a big smile as soon as she gets hold of it! She likes to suck on its nose and ears. :) The bouncy seat is her new favorite place, too. She stays happy in there for quite a while, and we rarely use the swing anymore. Which is a little sad . . . how did that happen so fast?! Still, it's really nice that she's able to be more easily entertained now, even though she doesn't sleep quite as much!
She was enjoying her bath so much one day, I had to get a few pics. :) This was after she was done giving me the biggest smiles, but she still looks pleasant.
We take so many baby pictures that sometimes I forget to take some of the older kids. Oops! We had snow earlier this week . . . not the "blizzard" that was predicted--we only got about 4 inches. Still, the kids were happy and had fun playing outside. We got a few more inches yesterday, and may get more early next week too. Anyway, they like to have hot chocolate after playing outside, so we took a few pics of that. Hot chocolate and cookies . . . what could be better? :) (Please excuse the messy table--just keepin' it real, because it looks like this more often than not!)
Had to include this funny one of Julia. :)
Most of the time, Ari likes to kick and play in the bouncy seat. But sometimes (twice, I think), she actually falls asleep in it. Which means I have to take more sleeping baby pics. :)
One more--couldn't resist, because this little monkey bum is so cute! :)
Jim didn't have much work for a couple months after Ari was born, which was lovely, because that meant he was around home a lot and was able to help us all with the adjustments. He had a few little projects here and there, but nothing big. God opened a door for him to take a job working for a logger friend of ours for the rest of the winter, so now he is driving a skidder and working some pretty long days. It's definitely been a change, but a blessing! He has a few carpentry jobs coming up in the spring, and we'll see what happens this summer. In the meantime, we're thankful for God's provision and clear direction too. He is enjoying learning something new.
We are almost halfway through the school year and I think we're finally hitting our groove, figuring out how to do school with a baby. I knew this was going to be the year I would have to give myself and the kids a lot of grace, and we're not getting everything done that I would like . . . but, they are still learning and we're hitting all the main subjects. :) I'm going to try something new for science for the second half of the year. We've been using "God's Design" from Answers in Genesis, and while it is a good, creation-based curriculum, I have to say I just don't totally love it. I feel like I need a more visual/hands-on/maybe more Charlotte Mason-style science . . . okay, something just a bit more FUN, I guess. So for the next semester I am going to try using free Magic Schoolbus videos on various topics (available for free on YouTube), and then see if we can find hands-on things to do to go along with the topics. I'm only planning to do science one day a week, and do it all together, which I think will also help with the fun factor. And I'm going to let the kids be involved in choosing what topics they are interested in learning about. They are excited about the change, and I'm hoping it goes well. I'll update when we've done it for a while!
I haven't been doing so well keeping up with my new planner, but I am not giving up! I figure if I can hit even one thing on the list every day, it will help. This past week was a total bust, but I'm starting fresh in February. :)
I hope to get a post up tomorrow or Monday with some goals for the next month. I can't believe we are at the end of January already! For now, I'd better go fold some laundry and do some other housework. I'm hoping to start a sewing project this afternoon, but I need to finish some other stuff before I can. If you're still reading after all this chatter and all the pictures, thanks for sticking with me! I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.