Is that kid cute or what?  He got a suit for Christmas– the perfect thing for him.  None of my other boys would have any desire to wear a suit, but this Ian of mine is all about having outfits that match and dressing up for church and doing his hair.  He was as excited about his suit as Hunter was with his Iron Man t-shirt.

It is so fun how these kids with the same parents, growing up in the same house with the same daily routines are each so different.  My goal in life is to help them really discover their own unique needs, talents, and mission.  I want them to learn how to understand their inner workings and motivations, to know how best they learn so they can each structure their lives in a way that honors who they are and what God placed them on this earth to do.

I’ve been into Carol Tuttle’s Energy Profiling the past few weeks.  It’s kind of like personality profiling, but takes into account physical features, body language, and movement as well.  The “types” are based on the 4 elements in nature– air, water, fire, and earth.  I guess maybe I’m drawn to it because it is based on ancient Indian and Chinese philosophies of energy and health.  Anyway–  I think my Ian has some type 4, carbon energy in his need for order and perfection and a black suit.

I’m a type 1/2– air/ water.  Random, buoyant, flowing.  I’ve always known that about myself, but just coming to the realization that I am most authentic and productive when I move through life in that way is pretty liberating!  I have been trying to force myself to create rigid structure for myself and my kids in our homeschool because I think that is the way for us to really accomplish things.  The first half of this school year has been a battle of schedule and structure– leaving me feeling either joyless (for sticking to the rigid schedule) or guilty (for not sticking to it).  I have legitimate needs for fun!  Scheduling the fun out of our school has actually made it feel much LESS productive because I’ve been trying to put myself into a mold that I’m not made for.  I know that there is a need for a certain amount of routine, but I need to rethink it  a bit and arrange our days and weeks in a way that honors my need for a certain amount of free flow and spontaneity.

Do you like personality tests and trying to figure yourself out?  Do you have favorite tools that have helped you understand your family members better so that you could honor their unique needs and abilities?

halloween 2012

the pumpkin clan

I have such a love hate relationship with Halloween.  My kids love it, and I do love their imaginations and love of dressing up.  But EIGHT pumpkins?  That’s a lot.  Couldn’t 3 or 4 be sufficient?  All the candy?  It drives me crazy.  Gore and evil?  Hate it.

I do love happy excited kids, though, so I guess I’m not too down on Halloween.  They had a lot of fun just getting into their costumes (and character) and trick or treating.



the elf costume


i have a lot of photos with this face

fighter pilot


black ninja with a bug



karate kick

pumpkins in the dark

dr. green eye

lit up

my pumpkin

Was that enough photos for you?  I think the funnest thing about Halloween for me is looking back through the photos of past years and seeing how my kids have changed and grown.  I mean, look at my Brenna.  My big, beautiful, grown up girl.  She’s always had very strong opinions about what she’d be for Halloween.  Never again will she be a hermit crab.

hermit crab of 2003

If you just haven’t had enough here are some links to past Halloweens:







painting around the table

I came home from the store the other day with a new orchid.

my new orchid

I do so love to have a blooming orchid on my kitchen table, but seeing how I am incapable of getting them to rebloom it has been a long time since I’ve had one.  I decided to remedy that with $15 and an impulse buy at Costco.  Much easier than monitoring humidity, seasonal temperatures etc. etc.

Yesterday I sat down with a scrap piece of watercolor paper and my little box of paints and painted.

painting together

It wasn’t long until I had company.

adding to the sky

We all felt so happy– it’s so easy for me to forget that I love to paint and that I don’t need total solitude to do it.  My kids LOVE to sit and watch me.  They love to paint along side of me.

I painted!

It’s a habit I need to create.

these two

My life is messy– as in snot encrusted, dog hair covered, crumbs on the floor, fingerprints on every door, little bits of cut up paper everywhere messy.  I have friends who don’t let their kids play with play dough or paint because of the mess it makes.  Sometimes I wish I had rules like that– and the spotless windows, counters, and hardwood floors to go with them.

drawing his spaceship controls

um, I'm not sure what to say about this one

pilot and navigator

mission control

these two...

But would I trade days like this– the self made masks, spaceship controls, jammies turned costume kind of days– for a house that stayed clean for hours on end?


(I can say that now that they’re all in bed and I’m alone with the mess.)