Sweet Talky Girl

Talking is totally my favorite milestone.  I’ve had some babies that have stressed me out keeping me waiting for it, and others that seemed to be born doing it, but I love watching language develop every single time.

Tonight when I was reading the kids their bedtime Bible story, Coraline was toddling around entertaining herself for a while and then came over to the sofa to fuss at me about something.

“Coraliney,” I said to her, in quite a serious voice but completely joking, “use your words.”  The kids laugh when I say this to her, because, of course, she is a baby, and she doesn’t have words.

And do you know our sweet baby stared me right in the eye and said, “Ahhh…  {deep breath} Pppp!”

“Did you just say ‘up’?!”   Her face lit up with delight, and I grabbed her up onto the sofa with us.  She didn’t stay there half a minute before she wanted down, and she completely derailed our Bible story, but I’ve never seen her so pleased with herself.

This brings her total word count to about a dozen.  Not particularly spectacular for a young lady of nearly twenty months, but certainly respectable enough.

“Hello” is our favorite.  Witness her skill with the tongue on the L sound.  That’s some technique.


All Change

It seems like everywhere I look, things are new.

  • For a while it seemed like Spring would never quite settle in, but it finally has.  We are firmly in that perfect time of year with lovely warm days and crisp, cool nights that make for perfect sleeping conditions.  Our last few weeks of school seem like no bother at all since we can spend them mostly outside.  Also, Pippa’s already had her homeschool evaluation for this year (our first!), so we can relax a little and know that third grade is pretty much in the bag.


  • My friend Mary had her baby (a bit early, but mom and baby are doing well) three weeks ago.  I am looking forward to my first ever playdate with my best friend, and her deliciously adorable new daughter, Maura, this coming Monday!  Congratulations to their sweet little family.
  • We are looking into school options for Niko for next year.  We have been in the process since January of having him evaluated for special services by our local school district.  He does indeed qualify for speech therapy among other things, as we knew he would, but it remains to be seen what the school district will actually provide to us as homeschoolers, if anything.  We are watching hopefully to see what God might do here, but also wanting to push on other doors in case this one closes.

To that end, we went to a Cyber Fair today to check out some of the many wonderful online public schools that our state offers.  I think we found at least a couple that would be a good fit for our family, so we have a bit more homework to do if we decide to go this route.  The concept of having a public school beamed right into my home may take some getting used to, but I am thankful to know that Niko could receive all the services he needs this way (for free!) without my having to sacrifice precious face time with my boy.  Wisdom, anyone?  Thoughts?  Experiences?

Post Office Photo Op

Post Office Photo Op

  • Trevor is starting his second week of night shifts (following two weeks of training during normal business hours).  While it is very strange to be dateless on a Saturday night, I think we are both thinking this schedule is actually going to be pretty great once we get the hang of it.  In exchange for 3 or 4 nights a week of 12 hour shifts, Trevor will be home with us (and awake!) Wednesday through Saturday or Sunday each week.  So far, we seem to think it’s great mostly when we’re in the middle of the not-working part of the week, but the overall first impressions are good.


  • Finally, we have a new bike-rider in the house!  Thanks once again to the fantastic New York Method of no-training-wheels bike learning, Beatrix became our 4th bike-rider just this week, at five and a half.  If you don’t have time to watch the video, the gist is this: take off the training wheels and the pedals.  Let them learn to coast and balance using their feet for a while, then reattach the pedals and off they go.  We have taught four kids to ride this way now, and it is so much more effective than all the time we spent with training wheels before we discovered it.

Here’s our girl.  Doesn’t she still seem too little to be doing this?!

Hope you’re all enjoying the beauty and newness of the season, too!

Birthday Girl


The party was on Saturday, and I foolishly forgot to keep back a gift to let her open on her actual birthday.  Does this girl look like she minded?  Our sweet little lovey was thrilled to wear a birthday crown fashioned by her biggest sister out of a paper towel roll and have a perfectly ordinary breakfast on her special day.

After a morning of playing with her new play-doh and a lunch of French toast, we headed out for the main event: a trip to Target to spend some birthday gift cards that all three of our birthday kiddos received at their party.

While Niko and Romilly waffled around for the better part of an hour pondering nearly every toy in the store, June approached the outing with a single-mindedness I have rarely observed in adults, let alone in a four-year-old.  She wanted a new school book and a dress, and that is exactly what she got.

After our first stop in the book department, she sat contently in the back of the cart poring over her new Pre-K workbook, eyes sparkling with delight.  As we walked through every aisle of the toy department at least twice looking for her brother’s and sister’s gifts, she never wavered.  This is a girl who knows what she wants, and what she wants is almost always remarkably sensible.


Happy 4th birthday to our feisty, precocious, hilarious, but always very level-headed Juniper Lucy.  It is a joy to be your mommy!


Seven Years of Romilly

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Happy birthday to our always-reading, deep-thinking, nothing-gets-past-her, goofy-face-making, tender-hearted, never-stops-imagining-and-creating girl!


We are utterly fascinated as we watch you blossom into the young lady God has made you to be, Romilly Alice.  You are both a marvel and a treasure to us!

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Baby Steps


Hello, everyone.  It’s me.  Coraline.  Just waving my crayons.  Mommy took this picture of me because I just turned 15 months old.  That doesn’t mean a whole lot to me, but apparently it means I should be looking for a new way of getting around.  I’ve really only just gotten super speedy at crawling, so I don’t intend to give it up just yet, but last week I decided to indulge everyone.


I have to say, walking is pretty cool and all, but the jury’s still out here.  I mean, I can get anywhere I want to go crawling.  Like, fast.  When I walk, I’m going to end up one or two steps max from where I started, and I may or may not stick the landing when I get there.  I’m not totally sure I see the appeal.  It does seem to be what all the cool kids are doing, so I guess I’ll try to keep an open mind.


Hey, wait a minute… I thought this was my blog post?

The Public Speaker

Oh, Romilly.  You are full of surprises aren’t you?

Today at our homeschool group, the kids were learning about American Indians.  This, as you may know, is Romilly’s favorite topic in the whole world right now.  After Mr. Steve finished his little lesson, Pippa raised her hand (See?  They are learning some school skills after all!)

“My sister knows a lot of Indian stories,” she proudly informed Mr. Steve.

Mr Steve looked at Romilly… “Does she?… Would you like to tell us one?”

And before I knew  what was happening, my six-and-a-half-year-old was standing in front of a group of 40 or so adults and children of all ages, wearing an Indian headress fashioned out of a yellow balloon, and sharing, in horrific, gory detail, how the Nez Perce tribe came to be.  There was a coyote, and a monster, and a rattlesnake who wasn’t so fierce while the monster was eating him, and a fire, and something about the east and the west and the north and the south, and a sprinkling of blood right in this spot here.  And then a tribe came to be there.  The end.  I didn’t know whether to be proud or mortified.

The craziest part was that I had never read or heard the story before in my life.  We apparently have Kaya, the American Girl, to thank for filling our daughter’s head with grisly Indian legends.  Awesome.

Who’d have guessed that our delicate little introvert, who spent a good deal of her formative Sunday school years hiding under the table to get away from the other children, would be such a natural at public speaking?


Thankful Thursday

The Babe.  (I don’t know when we started calling her this, or who started it, but we have all had this song from The Labyrinth stuck in our heads for at least a week.  “Who do?”  “You do!”  “Do what?”  “Remind me of the Babe!”  At least we’ve also watched the two doors riddle enough times to have learned a little math as well.  But I digress…)

This girl has had a cuteness growth spurt (again) it seems.  She just seems to get more sweet and delicious as she gets older.  What a gift to watch her learn and grow.  She can now point to her nose on command (or… um… into it, sometimes), fold her hands when she hears the word pray, and say something that almost sounds a little bit like “Thank you” when you give her something (or when she gives it back to you.  She’s just that thankful.)  She brings us all joy every single day.  What a treasure!

Thankful Thursday

Okay, so it’s technically not Thursday anymore, but in anticipation of the fact that I’ve never been able to keep up the pace of being thankful for something every single day of November like some bloggers do, I’m taking this more relaxed approach.  Maybe I’ll do Mondays, too.  We’ll see.

Today, I’m counting this blessing:


Sweet Bea.  Today she was drawing a picture of Jesus.  Again.  Pippa draws horses, Romilly draws dragons, and Bea draws Bible stories.  Always.  And today Pippa asked her, “Bea, why are you always drawing Bible stories?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, she replied, “Because I just love Jesus.”

I don’t have any illusions that this means she’s on her way to becoming some kind of spiritual superstar (if there were such a thing!), but when so much of the small talk around our home lately has been about the latest American Girl Doll catalog (alright, how did they find us?  Who told them?!), this tenderhearted little comment was a breath of fresh air.  And she really meant it, too.