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.


Happy Birthday 8 Year Old


Dear Lillian,

It is finally your birthday! You have been oh so excited to turn 8 years old. Just last night you were talking about how you would turn 9 after next year.  You love to look ahead and move on to the next thing. You are my: What’s going on today- girl, who’s coming over -girl, what’s is the plan -girl! You are a planner at heart!

You have grown so much this year, not only in height but in maturity. You tried paddle boarding and kayaking this summer and loved it!  You have an extraordinary love for your sister Amelia.  You love to hold, walk, sing and love on her.  You are taking in this new baby thing in great strides.

This year you have learned how to read silently. This is something that she has wanted to do since Kindergarten.  You have already finished a couple of little chapter books.  In addition to all the audio books that you listen to there is a lot of language going in through your head right now.

Dad and I have watched you transition from a little girl to a grown up young lady.  Wherever you are you always love to hang out with the oldest girl around. That might be your aunt or a friend in a new family we are having for dinner.  This summer you helped with our Mobile VBS and helped pass out bibles, paint fingernails, and talk to kids.  You love Jesus and want to others to know him too!

We love you so much 8 year old!


Mom and Dad


Amelia {Month 3}

Dear Amelia,

My beautiful summer baby! I can’t believe it is September and you are already 3 months old.

This last month you went to your first Fair and week long vacation! You did pretty well in the car rides and were often walked and soothed by your aunts and uncles.

You smile now. Mommy gets the most smiles but you generously smile to your siblings, daddy and others. You work so hard to make sounds. Some “ahhs” and “ohhs” but I’m sure more are coming. You are on the verge of giggling and man is that going to be fun.

Recently you have liked facing out while I wear you in the moby wrap. You think moving in tandem with Mom is the best. You also like the bouncer and floor mat for a good 10-20 minutes most time.

The mobile continues to be a favorite. You love to kick and stretch! I often think of baby’s days that are just full of little bursts of things. They are a small portion where Mom, eating and sleeping is still then majority.

Speaking of sleeping you have been doing some awesome long couple hour naps in the morning! This homeschool mama is hopeful that this will align with our homeschool day. Sleeping is varied. You sometime wake up every 2-3 hours or go longer . It just all depends.

We love you SO much Amelia Joy!!





Today marks the date of 11 years of marriage. On Saturday we got to go on a date over lunch with Amelia as our side kick!

We were on vacation and so we tried a cute little restaurant nearby. We had just ordered when we look at Amelia and see that she is totally pooping in her car seat. She gives us the biggest smile. I decide that I should change her before he food gets here when I see that the poop has exploded out of her diaper on to her outfit and over the car seat. We quickly go to the bathroom were I ,and then Chris comes , to clean up the mess.

This is life right now. We are 11 years in and still in and still in the thick of it. Marriage is work but worth the work you put into it! I’m not sure what I saw down the road 11 years ago when I married Chris. But I wouldn’t change anything . I am thankful for the man that God led me to marry and more than blessed with the family we are raising together.

Love you Chris!!!

Funny Kid Quotes

Funny Things they say: Leeland edition

While the kids were asking about if they could watch the video zaboomafoo on amazon prime.

Lillian: can you search to see if we can watch zaboomafoo?

Me: nope it’s not free

Leeland: can’t you unfree it?

Me: nope

Leeland: can you cut it free?

Me: nope it doesn’t work like that.

Leeland: mom it’s coming fast … the hunger

Leeland will often say I love you at very random times. Here is a snippet of a conversation from the other day.

Leeland: mom I pooped…. mom it stinks…. mom I love you!!

While coming home from the hot air balloon launch we found out they would not launch because of weather and storms. We said they could not go up because it would not be safe.

Leeland: We could go to cherry berry, that would be a safe place!

Love the logic of a 3 year old!


Cabin Time Then & Now {a list of B’s}

I found another blog post from the past (summer of 2014) that never was published! I thought I would add in our latest trip to the cabin.



We spent lots of time on the beach this time. We met friends up at Itasca and spent the afternoon playing on the beach making sand castles and swimming. The kids played down by the dock at the cabin building sand creations. Then the last day we were there we took the kids to School Craft Lake to play on the beach. Chris and the kids continued to build on a sand castle someone left behind. By the end it was complete with a moat!

Having a baby up at the cabin always changes things. I’m a little more tied to the land than the water. We did manage one boat ride wearing that crazy infant life jacket!

For many years there was a lovely couple , Mike & Mel, that owned
Emmaville. Emmaville is a little restaurant, gas station, and store by the cabin. Mel would bake Norah’s birthday cakes, we would stop in for breakfast and eat their yummy cinnamon rolls. Friendships were forged and they were definitely our kids buddies. This trip I was kind of sad because this was the first baby that Mel hadn’t held. As luck would have it, Chris ran into Mel at Walmart. She invited us to their new lake house. Mel made cookies and held Amelia. We talked and toured their awesome house. I guess we are truly lake people now because now we have lake friends.



This year Lillian tried tubing for the 1st time by herself.

Chris caught Northerns and Bass

Norah took a few naps

Lillian took pictures of all of us in the boat

I felt more at peace out in the lake this time




This was on our summer to do list ( and probably on Chris and My to do list since we have been married. ) Bingo at the Mantrap Conservation club.

It’s 25 cents a card

The girls got bored after the first few cards and choose to work on sticker books instead

Leeland played bingo in the Moby wrap. Youngest player there:)

Grandpa won the blackout game!



The best firework show

Family time

Norah’s Birthday celebration

The weather was the best and so beautiful!



Amelia {Month 2}

Dear Amelia,
You are already two months old. This summer has really flown by!
You started to smile at about 6 weeks old and make that "ahhh" sound. You are tracking things with your eyes and being more focused as different people hold you.

There has been lots of little girls born at church so you will have endless playmates in the future.

In July we started venturing out more. We took our first trip to the cabin. You did great only having to stop once during the six hour trip. You are by far the best car seat baby we have had yet!

We have also gone to:

  • The spray park
  • Plays in the park
  • Grandma Wilken's house
  • Church
  • Mops bible study
  • And countless other play dates

You have your sleepy days and your fussy days. On your fussy days we walk around with you and bounce you trying to make you feel better. Although if you were sleepy all the time or quite it would be easy to put you down. This way we always are staying connected😉

Bath times are turning into a favorite activity. You seem to like your baths. You smile and kick and almost giggled the other day. I see lots of trips to the Luverne pool in your future!

We love you so much Amelia Joy!


PS. At your 2 month appointment you weighed 11 lbs 4 oz and was 22 inches in length. The girl can eat😊

July 24th

Seems like a lifetime but it’s just 4 years!


Today is July 24th- a day that marked and changed my family. It was four years ago today that we were at a lake home on vacation with the Wilken family! Four years ago that after a bacon filled breakfast my dad took Lillian and Norah on a bike ride and sang them songs. Four years ago that after cleaning out a garage dad, two of my sisters and my niece decided to swim across the lake. It was four years ago that four of them went across but only three came back.

And like the scripture that my family has found comfort in on that day and the years passed

Exodus 2: 10 ” Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses,a for she explained, “I lifted him out of the water.”

Dad was went from swimming to being lifted out of the water by the arms of Jesus!
Many things happen in four years and has in the life of our family. Between my sister and I we have birthed four beautiful babies. Their whole life time has been marked with the absences of their Grandpa Wilken.  I often wonder about what Grandpa would do with all these boys. About how Leeland and dad would have been dangerous buddies- with their love for food and conversation.

This year the grief is different- it feels more normal on this July 24th – instead of dreading the one year anniversary as I first did – this one I had to think ” it this the right day? It was on July 24th right?” I even went back and read old emails from people from the time that dad died. I liked to read what they were saying and the emotional tied to it. I like to remember because that day was important testimony of God’s faithfulness to our family.

Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Although grief at day one and grief at four years look different , it is still grief. I still miss my dad, I still wish he was here for my kids as their grandpa, I still miss his questions, I still wish that mom had a helpmate to weather th day to day life, I long to see his smile or hear his voice.

Throughout today I will think about dad. I will show the kids some old videos. Part of my family will gather together and eat sweet corn together  for supper in memory of dad. We will do our yearly balloon release and we will remember dad! Today will still be partly normal but lived differently because we have all been marked and changed.

Other Dad post:



2014 & 2014



Lillian is all about …

I was going through drafts of blog posts the other day and found this one that was never published about Lillian from when she was three years old in May of 2012. thought that I would do a bit of comparison between what I wrote a couple of years ago and currently. Lillian thought it was pretty funny when I read it to her.


Dora– She has Dora socks, shoes, shirts, a purse & even underwear (tho they are not getting much use yet )

Eating-Her favorite food currently is: daddy’s bread, toasted ( which she calls crunched), little oranges, strawberries, popcorn, eggs, hot dogs, and anything at the Grandparents houses.

Writing-Lillian is a writer.  She loves little notebooks and writing with a pen.   She spends tons of time writing little notes to us and folding them in half to make them like a letter.


Moana-Lillian first watched this Disney movie when we were at the hospital when Amelia was born. She watched it with her cousins! Since then she has seen it 2 more times and loves it. After we watched it as a family and she preceded to ask us what our favorite song was , favorite character, funny moment, etc. then Norah got a moana lego set for her birthday and that has only spurred more Fun and fascination. Lillian says this movie was as good as Frozen.

Eating– Lillian likes fettuccine Alfredo, scones, tortillas with peanut butter and cinnamon sugar, pickles, egg salad, Colby cheese, salami and most any kind of dessert.

Audio books-Lillian spends countless hours listening to audio books in her room. We always said that when she learns to ready we will never see her again. Well since fluent self reading isn’t quite there she has turned into the biggest audio book reader. We currently check them out from the library, download from audible, listen on hoopla digital, and buy them when they complete a reading curriculum book.  Some of her favorite audio books are: Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, Charlotte’s web, and The Mouse and the Motorcycle series.