A Poet That Knows It

This was our last week of Co-op classes for this school year. I really enjoyed teaching creative writing this semester. This week I taught the children about Poetry using the talents of my friend, Anne Peterson.

I wrote a review of her recently published book “Real Love: Guaranteed to Last” about a month or two ago. You can read my review here.

Currently Anne is working on a book of poems for children and  was gracious to share them with our class.

Today, I have Hannah, my 8 year old here helping me out by answering some questions about our Creative Writing class. She will give some of her thoughts on Mrs. Patterson’s Poetry. She also wants to share a poem she wrote in our Creative Writing class.

A picture of Hannah and myself trying to both fit in a picture on my phone after karate class.

A picture of Hannah and Mommy. We were laughing because we were having trouble fitting in the image viewer on my phone.

Which poem did you like the best in our Creative Writing class this week?

“I liked the one about the baby at the laundromat. Or the one about the fire where she says, ‘You’re God. I’m not.'”

What did you like about those poems?

“Um… The whole thing.”

What do you like about poetry?

“It’s fun. It’s good practice for writing.

It’s easy. I like doing it.”

So what did you think about our Creative Writing class at Co-op?

“It was fun. I want to take it again.”

I would say that means our class was a success. 🙂 I am very grateful to all my friends that helped me out by sharing their talents with my students.

Hannah has written a poem and drawn a picture about it.


Basketball Acrostic by Hannah

Basketball Acrostic by Hannah


Basketball is fun

A lot of friends

Shouting cheers

Kids play together

Everyone likes to watch

The teamwork

Bouncing the ball

Around the gym

Leaping for the net

Look at them play

~~Hannah Maness

A basketball drawing by Hannah.

A basketball drawing by Hannah

Are you a poet? Do you have a favorite poem? Have you ever written a poem? You can tell us about it in the comments.


Freedom to Enjoy Life

Co-op was canceled this week. I get an extra week to make my lessons even better. So instead of highlighting a fellow writer today, I decided to share a few pictures and tell about some of what we’ve been doing.


This past month, I’ve been making sure my children have ample opportunity to just be children. One of their favorite places to play is over at the nearby ranch where our oldest son works as an apprentice.

The day after Hannah’s birthday we all went over to visit the animals. Of course they had high hopes of getting to ride a horse too.

But while they waited to ride a horse their imaginations took over.


Jonathan and his invisible horse




Hannah found a saddle on a stand she could ride.


Ruth just loves any horse she can hug. Especially the babies.




Joshua has been learning a lot while working as an apprentice. He was proud to be able to show us how to put a saddle on a horse.


Elijah’s favorite part seemed to be watching the pigeons and chickens that were in their coop.




Elisabeth didn’t let all the excitement get in the way of a good nap.


Ruth leads her younger siblings to find water to drink

I love to see my children growing and learning. 

They need these opportunities to be free to learn on their own and in their own way within the eyesight of a loving parent that won’t let them get hurt.

Ah, yes! I can learn something from my children.

Maybe I could use to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Let my hair down. Enjoy freedom under the steady watch of my loving Heavenly Father who is always with me. He’s always within reach. Any time I fall down God’s right there to lift me up and dust me off.

What do you plan to do to enjoy life today? I’d love to hear your ideas.


I may just forget chores this afternoon and go play outside barefoot with my kids. The dishes will still be here when I get back.






Finding Beauty in Imperfections

These are a few bonus pictures that I want to share from the dentist appointment we had the other day.
JonathanThis is 5 year old Jonathan. He is our budding photographer.

2013-03-21 14.35.01-2This is where we can be thankful for modern digital cameras. Back in the day of film developing, I probably would have just tossed these pictures.

Instead I’m embracing my son’s creativity and posting his pictures on my blog.

2013-03-21 14.05.54Sometimes we just have to find the fun in life. And smile.

These pictures may not be perfect but neither am I. However I see the beauty in these pictures despite all their imperfections. phoneThat’s one step in building a strong rock solid family. We need to be able to see the beauty in the imperfections.

Our children need to see that we love them, even when they make mistakes. They need to know we are proud of them even though they are not perfect. We must show them that they are still beautiful, inside and out.

How about you? Have you found beauty in the imperfections?

Feel free to share with me in the comments. If you received this in your email, you may also hit reply and I’ll email you back as soon as I am able.

Today is Hannah’s birthday. Hopefully things run smoother than they did on Elijah’s Birthday last week. At least I have eggs now. 😉  But a perfect day or not I’ll be sure to post about the beauty I find in it.

Sign up for my free email updates, so you won’t miss anything!

Today I’m linking up with Darlene Schacht at Time Warp Wife. for her Titus 2sdays link up party. You can click on the link to read other wives’ and mothers’ posts on marriage and family. 


Building Memories

This week was Spring Break! My husband had most of the week off so we were able to take a short trip and have some fun with our kids.

Here are a few pictures I took this week.


I told them to pretend the sun wasn't in their face.

I told them to pretend the sun wasn’t in their face.

I said we built memories with the kids.  We didn’t necessarily get good pictures of them. 🙂

We took this picture at the zoo.

We took this picture at the zoo.

I tried to get the kids to all look at the camera at the same time but Elisabeth looked away in this picture. Some of the others were looking away in the one picture she actually looked at the camera in.

Elijah is going down a really cool slide that lets you see under the water.

Elijah is going down a really cool slide that lets you see under the water.

Everyone had a really good time. We didn’t lose any of the kids. The only panic moment was when Jonathan panicked at the water’s edge of the slide that you see in this picture of Elijah.

Jonathan was scared to go under the water in the slide. But once we coaxed him through it he went down once with Ruth. Then he was willing to go down it again and again all by himself.

Jonathan finally slid down the tunnel. With a smile on his face.

Jonathan finally slid down the tunnel with a smile on his face.

Even Elisabeth got to go down the slide with Daddy's help.

Even Elisabeth got to go down the slide with Daddy’s help.

Scott took Elisabeth down the slide. She seemed to like it pretty well.

Scott went with the kids inside a small cave.

Scott went with the kids inside a small cave.

My Motto: If you have trouble taking good pictures just take a lot of them!

Finally one last picture for now.

I have a whole lot more but I’ll save the rest for future posts.

There was a little playground area where the kids posed for me on top of a snake tunnel.

There was a little playground area where the kids posed on top of a snake tunnel.

Even the picture on top of the snake was a bit of a flop. Jonathan’s hand is in front of his face. 🙂

I’ll spare you the picture of my wounded elbow. I cut myself on the passenger side mirror. It’s a pretty good little gash but it’s starting to heal now.

I was so glad it was me and not one of the kids that got hurt during the day. I hate hurting myself but I hate it worse when my kids are hurt.

Have you ever had a vacation or trip where you had a good time but none of the pictures were good? Or am I the only one that ever happens to? As always feel free to share with me in the comments.


This is a rather short and hurried post catching you up with what we’ve been doing this week.

I have a book I am working on that I’ll be sharing with my followers. I also  have a guest post to write and will be sharing that with you as well.

I am stepping out and trying new things. Thanks for following and listening!



Reflections on 2012

Well, I wrote this last night but in my tired state of mind I didn’t hit publish. I fell asleep instead. Hmm… Maybe I should add not writing while tired to my New Year’s Goals. 

The end of another year quickly approaches. Right now I want to take a short moment and just look back at the past year. We have had so many blessings and I’ve learned so much from the things God has given us this year.

Our Newest Addition in 2012

I think one of our biggest blessings this year was the addition of Elisabeth Rose to our family in May. It almost seems that she has always been here. She just fits right into our family.

I’m so glad to have a husband and children that love our growing family. None of our children are at all upset at having another sibling. In fact they are surprised to hear when someone decides to not have any more children. They love every new baby that is added to our home. They also love each other and are each other’s best friends.

Kids and Mom at Church

Am I overwhelmed with this many children? If I am, I’m overwhelmed with love. My husband teases me that I never knew that I’d be this popular one day. I have no idea how I can love so much. Maybe it’s just practice. I have so many children to love that with each new child my love just grows even more. And as each one gets older my love for them grows with them.

I love how my 14 year old is growing into a man. Joshua is a hard worker. He loves his siblings and is so helpful. He has been showing great work ethic and has been keeping up with his education.

Our Family Picture in May

My 12 year old has grown into a beautiful young lady. Ruth, affectionately known as “Woofie” by her younger siblings, is such a good big sister. If I am busy with one child and another needs attention, she is right there with open arms ready to hold whichever little one needs holding.

Hannah is now 7 and is also growing up so fast. She was very happy the day I let her hold Elisabeth while standing.. Hannah is also our Drama queen. We are never short of laughter in our home. If there were ever a sign of life getting boring Hannah would be the first to liven the place up.

Then there is Jonathan. He turned 5 in November and just suddenly grew up right before my eyes. One moment I thought of him as a little boy and suddenly I realized he is now a big boy. He does things so grown up. He is also very inquisitive. You never know what he will ask about a given thing but you know that the question is going to be serious.

Next is Elijah. We call him Jonathan’s shadow. Which is pretty fitting since Elijah just learned about shadows this year. He loves to copy his big brother. Most everything Jonathan says is echoed by Elijah. Elijah can make some of the cutest faces too. He’ll look at us with those big brown eyes and then if you have a camera he hollers “Cheese!” while squinting.

Our newest blessing, Elisabeth came into our lives this year. I turned 35 while I was pregnant with Elisabeth. My doctor gave me the “High Risk” speech. But then she informed me that she had to give me that speech but if I preferred to be treated as a normal pregnancy that she would. I chose to have less tests done while I was pregnant with Elisabeth. I didn’t want to know if there was any problem. If there had been we would have continued to have her and love her none the less.

Elisabeth on my shoulder

I am so glad I had her too. I have had the easiest time taking care of Elisabeth. I haven’t had any serious postpartum depression. I’ve only had a few crying spells but nothing relating to the care of Elisabeth. If I hadn’t had her I would have never known how easy a baby could be to take care of. She has her fussy moments but overall she is incredibly sweet.

Our Family Picture in November

Oh! Happy New Year everyone. Ha! I was trying to beat the clock in writing this post but I didn’t make it. I’ve blogged into the New Year. I guess that’s fitting. 🙂

I really have learned so much this year. I look back over all my blessings. There is my God, my husband, my children, my family, my extended family, my old friends, and my new friends. I have really gone over and beyond my goals for 2012.

This past year besides having a new baby. I joined a writing course. I created a new blog with my own domain name. I started a Facebook page at https://facebook.com/rocksolidfamily. I joined twitter  and pinterest. I learned to use MailChimp and Disqus. I even wrote my first ebook.

I accomplished so much this past year without even planning to. How much more could I have accomplished if I had been more intentional about it?

I have very happy memories of this past year. There were some sad and frustrating moments. But overall it has been a very good year.

How was your year? Do you have happy or sad memories of this past year that you would like to share? 

May God bless you and your family in 2013!





Tea for Two…

It’s amazing how well our children are able to play together. This picture shows Ruth and Jonathan having pretend tea together. They just turned to smile at me while I took their picture but I had gotten this second picture as well showing Jonathan actually pouring the tea into Ruth’s cup. It was so cute to watch.

Ruth has been doing a good job helping with Jonathan. Jonathan has been wanting to have a “lesson” also, while Hannah is learning. So Ruth has taken it upon herself to teach Jonathan his numbers.

Joshua and Hannah are doing well with their lessons. Hannah has learned the letter F today. She has been really bragging to everyone about how Joshua is her teacher. She considers it a really special honor that he teaches her. Kind of like she has her own private tutor, that no one else has. It is really sweet and I praise him for how well he works with her.

The only problem Hannah has now is telling Ruth that she’s not her teacher. So I explained to Hannah that Ruth is Joshua’s assistant. She can teach Hannah things too. There seems to be a misunderstanding with Hannah as to who a teacher is. I’ve tried to explain to her that anyone that knows something more than someone else can teach what they know. I think she thinks you have to be big to be a teacher. Little does she know how much she teaches Jonathan.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
(Proverbs 22:6)


New Glasses and Learning Lessons…

It has been almost a month since I’ve blogged. I have a lot of catching up to do. Since I’ve last written Joshua and Ruth both have new glasses.
Joshua does not have to wear his all the time but Ruth does. Of course Joshua has to put them on, when I insist that he gets his glasses instead of guessing at the writing on the white board or the T.V. screen.
Ruth has astigmatism, which the optometrist said she will need to wear her glasses all the time. She doesn’t seem to mind though, especially since we made sure she picked a pair of glasses that she likes and look nice on her. She really wanted her glasses to be pink like mine.
Their lessons have actually shown some improvement since we’ve gotten their glasses. Whenever I see Joshua staring at something funny, I just send him to get his glasses and he seems to not have such a problem. It has helped him with the tired look that he often would get in his eyes.
Of course we “had” to get Hannah a pair of sun glasses as well. She went with us to Ruth’s eye appointment. She felt like she needed her eyes checked also. So after Ruth picked out her glasses, we took Hannah over to the sunglasses section of Wal-mart and found her a pair of lightly tinted glasses. They look like sunglasses but they are not as dark as real sunglasses would be. They just have a pink tint to them. She was real proud of them. Jonathan just seems happy that he has so many people to pull glasses off of now. Whenever he gets a hold of Hannah’s sunglasses he tries to put them on his head. He loves to copy.
Jonathan is getting big. He is almost walking. He will stand up in the middle of the floor without holding on to anything. We haven’t been able to get him to take a first step, but I just know he will soon. I took a wonderful video of him playing with the his older siblings. Hannah was throwing a soft toy around the room and all of us would tell him, “Go get it!” He crawled across the floor grab the toy that she threw and then threw it for her to catch. Whenever he didn’t see where she threw it, we would point to it and tell him, “It’s over there.” He learned a new word. As soon as she would throw it, he pointed and said “Tha” for “There.” It’s hard to believe that he is growing so fast. He will be a year old soon. It doesn’t seem like a year has had time to pass. So much has happened this past year. I guess we’ve been so busy.
Hannah has been learning lessons as well. Her biggest lesson which I think she has finally begun to learn is to not lie. One of her incidences where we caught her in a lie, involved a chair that she obviously wrote on. I asked her “Hannah did you write on this chair?” She said “No.” When I asked her “Who did?” She said, “Them in France did it.” Hmmm… Her cousins sure would have
had to travel an awful long way to write on one of our chairs.
That is one of the lessons we try to teach our children at an early age. They get in far worse trouble for lying about a deed than they would have if they had told the truth. Hannah has figured that out and almost always tells the truth instantly now. Of course, now she tells the truth almost as if she were proud of the fact that she did it. But she gets into far less trouble that way.
He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy. There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
(Proverbs 12:17-22)

Cameras, Hiking, Crawling, and Sitting

I bought Joshua, Ruth, and Hannah their first digital cameras. Of course it was the cheapy $12 camera from Wal-mart but I wasn’t about to spend more than that until I see that they can take care of these ones. You can’t view the picture from the back of the camera like most of the high dollar kind, so we got some crazy pictures at first. As you can see.
This is a picture of Ruth’s nose! They hadn’t quite figured out that they can’t hold the camera too close to what they are taking a picture of.

This is a picture of Joshua’s eye.

And Hannah’s Mouth!
They were finally getting the hang of it after a while though and actually took some pretty neat pictures.

Ruth was pretty proud of this picture of the 3 of them, which she took with the 10 second timer. She actually did a good job with this one! Sadly it was on the lower resolution but it still is a nice picture!

Thankfully the newness is starting to wear off and they aren’t bringing me their cameras every few minutes wanting me to put their pictures on the computer.

We walked 3.6 miles today. It took us about 2 hours to walk it but we had fun and stopped about 3 times for a break. Of course, we also paused a couple of times to look at two dead snakes along the way and a dead bird. We didn’t look too close but the kids were fascinated.

Jonathan is starting to hold himself up on his hands and knees! He started that Sunday. We had him on the floor in the living room and he pushed up onto his hands and knees. He did this several times through out the day. At one point I tried to get him to come to me while he was in this position but he kind of look at the floor like he was trying to figure out how to coordinate all of these parts to move. He wound up tumbling forward, but it’s a start. I need to get a picture of him. If I can get to a camera in time! I may have to put the kids up to the challenge of getting his picture.
Today, I was changing his diaper. He likes to try to flip over while I’m changing him. I no longer change him on a changing table. It has become easier to change his diaper on my bed. While I was changing his diaper he sat upright! I was trying to hold his diaper on him when all of a sudden he curled his head upward (like he was doing a crunch) then he rocked his shoulder to the side a bit and with a little bit of help from his right arm he sat up! Now how was I suppose to velcro his diaper like that? So I laid him back down and he was so impressed by this new game that he did it again. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get him to do that for a camera but we’ll have to try. He is getting so big so fast. Sunday, we stopped by a store and I tried letting him sit in the front of the cart instead of in his carseat in the basket part of the cart. He sat there just fine! These kids grow up so fast!

I love my children! I’m so glad that God gave me each of them. They each add so much to our family.

Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

4 Months Old

Jonathan turned 4 months old yesterday. I wanted to post a video I took of him but dial-up would not allow it. So I decided to just post some pictures today. The first one is the only baby picture we have of Scott. I’m not sure how old he is exactly but I’m guessing he is at least 3 months maybe 4 months. I am guessing that age because of how well he is holding his head up. If he were younger, his mom would have been holding him differently. So i think that is about his age. I am also putting on here a picture of Jonathan. I thought it was neat to see their resemblances. I need to get a good baby picture of me on our computer. Sometime I’ll try to put pictures of all 6 of us at about the same age. So stay tuned for more pictures.

And as soon as I get batteries in my camera, I’ll take a better recent picture of Jonathan. The top picture was taken yesterday and the bottom picture was taken in January. Sadly I didn’t take any digital pictures in February. But I do have some film that needs to be developed. So I’ll eventually scan those pictures of our Zoo field trip onto our computer. I know everyone will be waiting in anticipation now. So I will definitely blog again soon.



Today has been a good day, as most days are. Today, I got up and got the kids their breakfast. I am amazed at how big Jonathan is getting. He is one big baby! I may have to give him rice cereal earlier than I did my other 3. He just seems to need to eat more often. The pediatrician had told me at Jonathan’s 2 month visit that he would be ready for some rice cereal at 4 months of age. I waited until 6 months on the other children. I’ll probably wait and ask the Doctor again at Jonathan’s 4 month visit. Right now he nurses every two hours during the day time. At least he does sleep through the night. However I feel like I’m always feeding him in the day time.

The kids have been working hard on their homeschool lessons. I started them on knew readers yesterday. I found some wonderful readers at a Bible Book Store. They are really good readers for a good price. The workbooks were a good price as well and will be easy for me to upgrade each child to the next level when they finish. All I will have to buy is the workbooks for each of them but those are only $2.25. So that is not a bad price. I started Joshua on the 2nd grade reader and Ruth on the 1st grade reader. Technically they should probably further along than that but I wanted to start them off simply. This way we get through all the workbooks in that grade level and then by the next grade level they will be familiar with the format of this set of lessons. So when Joshua completes Grade 2, he will go into grade 3 and Ruth will go into Grade 2 and use his hard cover books and I will only have to buy the workbooks for her.

For math I found some reproducible workbooks. I like those for I will be able to reuse the lessons for each of the kids. When Hannah and Jonathan get bigger they will be able to use all these lessons as well. Right now Hannah has an Alphabet workbook that we found at the same bookstore. So far she has learned the letters “Aa” and “Bb”. I’m trying to teach her the letter names and the sounds they make. The hard part is keeping her serious and keeping her brother and sister from laughing at her when she makes a mistake. She likes them laughing at her and so she will make mistakes on purpose just to make them laugh.

Jonathan has gotten to where he can chew on some of his toys. Here is a picture of him chewing on his Butterfly toy that he got for Christmas. He was so cute I had to take pictures of him. So I will include them on this post. Even Jonathan is learning. I guess we are all learning something new all the time.

I’m sorry this post isn’t very neatly and probably has a lot of typos. Joshua and Ruth are finishing up there lessons for the day and Jonathan and Hannah are napping. I want to take advantage of this quiet time while I have it. I’ll write more later.