Amelia {Months 9&10}


Dear Amelia,

Life sure has been busy these last two months, mainly because now you are a girl on the move. You started crawling a few times on vacation but it really didn’t kick in till about midway through last month.  Then the very next day you decided to step up your game and pull yourself to standing.  You also started eating a bunch of foods over the past month. Some of your favorites currently are: bananas, carrots, peas, applesauce, cheerios and PUFFS.

Some of my favorite things about this age and stage:

  • Crawling toward want you want ie toys, however, this also means: legos, cords, and anything left on the floor.
  • Being a part of the table at supper. We put you in the clip on highchair and you are so much happier now that you are sitting up with the whole family.
  • You are starting to explore EVERYTHING- but I am happy that you are starting to explore books.
  • You like to crawl all around the house so we have pretty much put all the big baby equipment!
  • You love bath time and everything water related! You stand up by the outside of the tub until I finally say it’s your time.
  • You are a happy and joyful baby but you make others work for your smiles.
  • Little enough to pick up and hold and carry. At your 9th month appointment you still were only 15 pounds and 4 ounces and 26 inches. Only 5th percent tile for height and weight.

I think that the reason this age is so fun is because you are learning new things every single day.  Even though you are our 4th baby it is still SO exciting to watch you learn how to crawl, stand up, babble, and interact with each of us. First are the bests.  Norah commented that, “Amelia has had a whole bunch of firsts: Christmas, Valentines and now Easter.”

We love you lots our sweet Amelia Joy!

Keep on growing and moving … we will try to keep up!





Choosing to Love

IMG_4867.jpgWe spent Valentines Day at home this year. There were lots of opportunities to leave or do something but due to an upcoming trip we really wanted to try to stay healthy.
The girls are really into holidays. The decorations, food and probably in this case the candy. We also did our traditional chocolate covered strawberries with Grandma and Grandpa Maloney. A very yummy tradition indeed.
One of the best things that I started this year was to hide paper hearts around the house with secret messages on them as their valentine surprise. My sister did the heart scavenger hunt and I added writing on white paper with white crayon onto the idea .
I wrote each kids name on the back with a number 1-7.  Then they switched hearts and hid each other’s.
I think by the end of the game Lillian was mad because Norah couldn’t remember where her heart was hid. Leeland told Norah were her last heart was hidden. Dear me we had to stop like two times and apologize and get control.
After the game I told them that part two was water coloring the hearts to reveal their message. They didn’t realize that that it was there! It was fun to write the messages on their hearts and for them to paint to reveal the message.

Before we painted we were going to take a Valentine picture.  More fighting about who holds Amelia and spots on the bench.  Mom has a time out this time.

… life is challenging …. even on a day focused on Love like Valentines Day!

We apologized again. Took a cute picture and moved on.  Valentine’s Day gave us plenty of opportunities to CHOOSE to love each other as God loves us.  For bible that day we have been studying the events leading up to Jesus dying on the cross. Yesterday’s lesson was when He dies for all our sins. A perfect Valentine message to us all I think!


Amelia {month 8}


Dear Amelia,

This month has been SO much fun! You are true to your name- you are a joy to our lives and our family. You are on. the. move! You are rolling, army crawling, grabbing, and trying to put everything possible in your mouth.

You have great giggles and smiles even though most people, outside your family , get your serious study face.  You are a people watcher but really still love your mama!

Here are eight things that I will remember about you at this age:

  1.  You are starting to mimic us in sounds.
  2.  You figured out how to stick out your tongue and was so pleased
  3. One night you fit the whole end of a round rattle in your mouth. It was awesome.
  4. You don’t sleep through the night but one time you slept 5 hours and boy was I happy!
  5. You use your little arms and body crawl to where you want to go.
  6. You like to put your mouth on everything including: cords, napkins, books, and everything in eyesight.
  7. You love your car seat. You are calm and happy in the car. It is a beautiful thing since you are the 4th child and in the car a lot.
  8. You are a strong and smart little girl! You give each of your toys so much attention. You play with them all equally!


Love you my beautiful girl! You are my joy and my buddy! and totally worth all of the lack of sleep:)




Amelia {Month 7}

Dear Amelia,

You are a couple weeks into being 7 months old now! The holidays were busy and then you got a little sick.  The above picture is you and me in the same little outfit. This outfit was given to me from my Grandma Mary. It was fun to dress you in it too. Boy is 7 months old is a super fun age.  Although your pictures don’t always show your smiles you are a very happy baby.

You are not crawling yet but you can get to where you want to go by just moving on your stomach in a circle, or rolling around.  You love to chew on anything.  I have never had a baby that loves that as much as you. These are the things that I have already found you chewing on: phone cords, paper, paper tags, toys of all kinds, school supplies,  and markers. Oh boy is our world going to change when you can crawl.

You are starting to like the peek-a-boo game but if we do it too loud instead of laughing you sometimes cry.  Sometimes at rest time the girls have you in their room and you roll around and play. They like having special Amelia time.

You had a great 1st Christmas and let lots of people hold you. Your thumb helped you sooth most times and being walked around is still your favorite.

These are 7 things I  will always remember at this age

  1. The love of for your THUMB
  2. Chewing on EVERYTHING
  3. Still very much a Mommy’s girl
  4. Going crazy in your Jumper
  5. Pooping out all the time this month: at the library, in the jumper, in the carseat. Wow so many diapers.
  6. Your big blue eyes watching everything
  7. Your fun noises and how you are trying to mimic others sounds!

We love you little Amelia and love watching you grow!




Happy Birthday Leeland { 4 Years Old}


Dear Leeland,
You are a big 4 year old now! We have loved to watch you learn and grow. We always comment on your inquisitive mind, and the ability to solve problems. You are full of words. You talk almost non stop throughout the day.
You are surrounded by girls all day long but you bring in a full level of BOY to everything you do. You are a very busy boy. Sometimes you are talking so much while you are playing that you are quite literally out breath! A quote from the book Little Men describes you very well, ” He was an energetic morsel of a boy, who seemed to have discovered the secret of perpetual motion, for he was never still.”
At rest times naps are a thing of the past but you enjoy doing floor puzzles and listening to audio books.
Outside of our home you have an intense love for your buddies. You have your cousin buddy Peter, your grandpa buddy and your friend buddies from church! You are blessed by lots of people that love you! You absolutely loved your buddy birthday at Sky Zone and proceeded to tell me that you wanted to live there.
After a full day of birthday fun I asked you if you had a good birthday? Your response, “ No… I had a great birthday!”
You love life, God, your family and friends. We are blessed to have you as our son! Happy Birthday!


I wanted to share with you the interview I did with Leeland on his birthday that is from his birthday journal:

What are you thankful for today? my happy birthday

What’s something you’re really good at? racing Lightening McQueen car

What’s something you wish you knew how to do? Know the letter “C”

What would you like to be when you grow up? That’s a hard questions? Help daddy fix the cabinets. 

What’s your favorite song? ABC song

Does God have hair? No

Who or what do you hope you’ll see when you get to heaven? Grandma Wilken’s Grandpa (I’m pretty sure he is talking about my dad:) and when you all die I get to see you all!

What do you like better: water or milk? Chocolate and Strawberry Milk

Hugs or kisses: both

Bedtime or waking up: Waking up on my birthday

coloring or singing: coloring

wearing shoes or being barefoot: socks and shoes

What does heaven look like? maybe it’s golden or silver, or it must be blue because I love blue.

What does God do all day? Help people and when someone dies he takes them to heaven

If God asked you to help him create a new animal what would you make? a type of cat: an orange and black cat.

When was your happiest moment ever? Having a birthday.

Are you ever sad? no

If you could do whatever you wanted all day long , what would you do? play lightening McQueen and play with my buddies.


Amelia {Month 6}

Dear Amelia,
You are 6 months old today! Half a year!!! It seems short and long at the same time. It’s a good thing that you have thumbs because you love them SO much and would be lost without them! Everyone comments on how well you suck your thumb. Your fingers are constant source of entertainment. Your toes are not bad either. Such good things to suck.  We have also officially had to buckle you in when you are in the bouncer, otherwise you would bounce out.
This last month you celebrated Thanksgiving and went to your first wedding, went to see your cousins in Albert Lea and hung out with 70 plus kids at a foster kid camp!You are a trooper.
Movement is your next mission in life. You love to be on your tummy and push your self up on your elbows and hands. You roll and pivot and roll again. Crawling is coming we all feel it!
Your sleep is still crazy inconsistent and your mom and dad are usually tired but we love you so it’s all good!
Love you lots,



Amelia {Month 5}


Dear Amelia,

We have been focusing on gratitude in our house this a lot this year.  I saw this quote and really felt that it defines my days of raising kids and caring for a newborn. Much of a baby’s first few months of life can be described as: common, routine, and ordinary. However, with having a grateful heart and God’s help I can turn these days into: days with thanksgivings, joy and filled with blessing.


This month has been another month of huge growth and new opportunities:

  • Amelia is moving LOTS. Not only does she roll over  but she can move around in little circles on her tummy.
  • at her last Dr. visit she weighted 13 pounds 4 ounces, and was 24 inches in length.
  • sleeping was kind of rough this last month. I don’t know if she was trying to grow more but she was up like every two hours on some nights. grrr….
  • She loves her fingers and thumb. She at times can have some from each hand in her mouth.
  • Amelia went on a date with Chris and I on his birthday. She was a rock star and slept while during the first half of the night. Thank you sweetie!
  • Amelia came with me to my foster care day camp, a bridal shower for my friend, and our harvest festival at our church. At this point it is still a little easier to bring her with!

We have been blessed by little Amelia in our house for the last 5 months!  This morning is school I wrote about Amelia in my gratitude journal.

I am thankful for cute snuggles with Amelia, happy morning wake-ups, new noises, grabbing hands, gummy smiles, oh so much drool, playful moments of content play & the gift of having a baby in the house again! Love you Amelia


Currently- October 2017

Currently we are

Swimming– we have been back swimming to Luverne twice now since Amelia has been born. We missed it so!

doing school– we are learning lot during the but that’s kind of the point of homeschooling. Lots of subtracting, painting, writing, READING , praying , poetry teas, face timing cousins to read books and learn from Aunt Molly about grammar.

 checking out lots of books at the Library– we go usually once a week. We are trying to make it to each library in the city and surrounding towns during this school year. We have been learning librarian names and checking out tons of books. We are also trying to read all the picture books written by Patricia Polacco. There are over a hundred.

Washing eggs– our new group of hens are now laying and it’s time to find some more customers for these farm fresh eggs.

Playing games– we usually do this as a family before bed. I also taught he girls how to play the card game war. They love it. I found them playing in the dark with only the light of an LED candle  to illuminate their cards. Silly girls!

Moving lots– Amelia is an active almost 5 month baby. She is rolling over, working her way around a circle on her tummy. Kicking her legs and always observing where I am at.

Thinking– of lots of winter projects to do in the house now that it’s turned colder.

Cooking– last fall I pretty much wasn’t eating anything let alone cooking due to all day sickness with pregnancy.  I am making up for that this fall.  Trying to meal prep with Chris on the weekend for the week. Also trying to make good lunches for him and I for at least a few of the days.  Oh food… you are so much work but yes worth it… some days.

Enjoying– leading the 3rd grade girls +Norah on Wednesday nights at church. I am their small group leader and I think we are starting to bond. I know their names, starting to know their hearts . They are a funny group of gals! Lillian is in good company!

Ready for November– October was a busy one for our family! We had a pretty big event every weekend in October. From Foster Day camp – to 50th wedding anniversary-wedding showers and trunk or treat at our church Halloween. It took a lot of planning , trips to Walmart and working together but they all went great. We are ready for a slower  November.


Amelia {month 4}

Dear Amelia,

You are 4 months old today! You have been a busy little girl growing so big this past month.  Your biggest and accomplishment this month has been learning to how to roll over.  One night she was laying on her mat and and it looked liked she was trying to roll over.  We all watched and sure enough she did it on the first try.  After that there was no stopping her.

Her other favorite thing she did, that has also helped her out a lot, is that she learned to suck her thumb.  The first few months of life we tried to use a pacifier but she never really took to it. And who can blame you .. when you got a great thumb right on your hand and one the other.

The kids have loved how interactive Amelia has been lately. They like to make her smile and and try to make her giggle.

Other favorites:

  • Kicking while looking at her mobile
  • smiling
  • Making sounds
  • sitting in her bumbo in the middle of the table
  • sucking on 1, 2, or as many fingers that she can get in her mouth
  • Swinging in her swing
  • Always moving… being held… while we stand up and walk around!

Amelia is definitely like our other kids where she is active … she wants to be by us.. on us… and in the mix.  We love watching as everyday she  is showing us more and more of her personality.

Love lots,



The 2017-2018 School Year


Today marks the completion of our 2nd week of homeschooling for the 2017-2018 school year. We have been homeschooling since Lillian was about 3 and she just turned 8 this week. Over the last 5 years we have tried many different schedules , curriculum, rooms arrangements and many more things.  I have slowly let go of my Type A scheduling things down to the minute routine. People ask if we are back into routine. My answer is usually, “Yes, and our routine is usually different each day.”
This year here are some of the things we are trying to do:
– be dressed when we come downstairs and have our morning chores done  to start school at 9ish
– have a schedule for breakfast and lunch. I fought doing this because I thought it was going to be so much more work but it has been working. Less choices, and repeat menus have been working.
– my lesson plans have a “hit list” for the day. Then at the bottom are things that at extra and would be nice to do if we have time. When the kids finish something they highlight it off my plans. Easy- no time frame- just basically a to-do list.
– doing a sticker chart for finishing work with a good attitude. When we earn a certain number of stickers we will go to the pavilion or another place we have a membership too.

– doing field trips and Just because days. We had our first JBD on Wednesday when we went to the children’s museum with another homeschool family. The kids found out the morning of and it was just that- fun and unexpected. Trying to do 3 more of these this year.
– trying a morning bible study with a homeschool room for kids instead of MOPS.

– holding Amelia and loving on her through school and daily life. There is lots of great and lots of crying. She does do some naps in the morning that helps:)
– participating in Wednesday nights at church. Chris holds Amelia, Leeland plays with his buddy Isaiah in the nursery and I help in the gym with the girls. Plus our church feeds us supper! Win-Win-Win!!
– trying to read aloud before rest time and during snack times. We are reading the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books and they are fabulous!

I hope that you caught a reoccurring word in that post: trying.  I may have some good intentions but in the end I am just trying to teach and love my kids that God gave me. Sometimes that is way more important than what math lesson we did or didn’t get done.