You have to love vacation!!

I’m finally getting around to sharing our vacation with you!


One of our all-time favorite vacations spots would have to be the beach, and more specifically the beaches of Charleston, South Carolina. Matter of fact, we love the whole low area of Charleston and Isle of Palms beach! It’s such a beautiful place, full of beautiful people, the people there are so amazing, there are so many different people all around but they all greet you with a smile and a hello, I don’t think I have met one rude person there ever in our trips. I love visiting the city market and looking at all the amazing talented people who sell their items there and just looking at all the sights.

I think one of the best thing to experience is when you finally arrive and get our of your vehicle, that amazing crisp ocean air just hits you and to me it’s so relaxing.

We had so much fun on our vacation this year and went to a few places we hadn’t gone before, we had to check out some pretty neat places, like we went to the Center for Birds of Prey which was just a little bit out of Charleston but so worth the drive! You pay one time to go and can even leave to go get lunch or something and come back, we spent almost a full day there and it was amazing and you don’t want to miss the live presentations, want to experience a falcon flying right by your head…. go there!


We also got to get up close and personal with a baby owl (just no touching!)

IMG_20150409_122635   Isn’t he so cute!

If you do happen to visit be sure to go for lunch at the SeeWee restaurant, it’s got such sweet employees and oh my goodness.. delicious food and it’s also great for bigger families like ours because the serving sizes are huge so you can just split meals and the cost is great! The atmosphere is so neat too, it’s a really neat older restaurant!


We also had lots of fun at a new place called Blackbeard’s cove, there was so much to do there, we started out playing putt putt (which I unfortunately stink at).

Then, we had the rock climbing!


The kids got to jump in bounce houses and they even have a gem mining station there… how neat!

Then comes the fun of the go-carts! Jeremiah and Caidence got to ride in them for the first time and it was so much fun for them!!


Another super fun thing we did was visit the South Carolina Aquarium, they had so many amazing things there, Jeremiah’s favorite were the lion sharks and we even got to hold sea urchins!!


… and check out the live diving show!


It was super sweet when Caidence put her hand to the glass and the diver touched it, she turned around with the biggest smile, I think that made it for her!

The jelly fish were pretty awesome too!


Make sure you take the time to take the sea turtle hospital tour also, want to talk about amazing! You won’t want to miss it!!


Where do you like to vacation? Have you visited these places before? If so, what was your favorite?

Another Year

Today is my oldest son’s 7th birthday! Crazy, crazy, crazy, my child is SEVEN how did that even happen? At every single birthday I always think that I always think how in the world did time pass by that fast? How did another year move away so quickly and then I get sad. I get upset at myself for all my parenting failures, and all the things I could have done different and all the things I wished I would have made time for. Don’t we all?

Then, I think about all the incredible fabulous memories I have had with him and each of my children and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. It’s at that time I realize no one is perfect, God never promised us that we would be perfect or that we would get everything right the first time or that the amazing children He gave us would come with complete instructions. But, we are called to love and even though I haven’t been the perfect mom I have loved. I have tried my hardest to be a great mom and to give each of my children the love they need.

We got 3 out of 4 to stay still that's an accomplishment!!

We got 3 out of 4 to stay still that’s an accomplishment!!

So, if you are in the struggles of feeling like a failure as a parent or that your time with them is slipping by and you have to get it perfect now, just know that you don’t and will never be so, if you’re striving for perfection you will be disappointed but strive for love. Let them know that you unconditionally love them each and every day, that’s what they will remember!


HAPPINESS is a habit

So, we’ve been working at this whole “homeschool” thing going on three years now, so I think it’s safe to say I’ve got it all figured out!!

YUP, you read that right I’m now the homeschool expert…………………….. Okay, who am I kidding let’s take a step back into reality now.

I’m just like you, I’m still figuring it all out as I go along. Now, I will say that through trial and error and from wisdom from great friends and of course first and foremost through prayer I have learned A LOT!! In all honesty I think that homeschool, just like parenting, is something that we will all always be learning to do. “Perfecting” our techniques, learning to lighten up, realizing what the important things are.

But I just want to share with you what our homeschool really looks like and what I’ve learned in these couple of years. In all honesty, it’s always different. Seriously though, no two days are the same. Some days are super hard… I mean, really, really hard. The kids didn’t sleep well, nor did I, the meal I fixed for breakfast isn’t what anyone wanted, every one has a bad attitude and don’t forget the “mommy, she took my chair” argument we often hear. But, in the midst of the chaos we do manage to have a wonderful productive day most of the time and school does get completed it may not have been done as planned, but, it’s done. Snuggles in the bed before nap time make up for sleepy attitudes, that breakfast that no one wanted is forgotten and the love between sisters is nothing a taken chair can change, and a big brother reading the story to everyone makes everything all right in the world for a while.

Then, you have those days no matter how few and far between they do happen and everything does pretty much go to plan. The one thing I have learned is to relax, they will learn the things we need to teach them. They will get it, they really will. I have learned that if they want to use a crayon instead of a pencil who cares… and yes, I really did insist the first year that every worksheet be done in pencil (no fun!!) but thankfully I got over that. I also learned that it really doesn’t matter where school is done, if they want to go outside instead of learning at the dining room table then go outside, enjoy the beautiful sunshine God gave to you and sit outside and do school.

There are days when we follow the curriculum to a tee and then there are other days where we forget the curriculum and just learn what the kids are interested in. Often times you can learn so much more when you allow for a little wiggle room, when a child is interested they will retain that information, and if you’re concerned that they are missing out on math while hunting for bugs have them count the legs on the bugs and figure out how many bugs they would have to collect to get to 100 legs or something fun like that, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

There are times when catching and learning about tiny frogs is just a bit more important than sitting at a table doing worksheets!

There are times when catching and learning about tiny frogs is just a bit more important than sitting at a table doing worksheets!

There are days where we all sit and do school together and then there are times when someone wants some space and time to themselves and on those days I give them that space, I give them work they can do independently and let them enjoy some peace and quiet.

Some days school may mean going outside and learning how to take care of the garden and using teamwork to water all the fruit trees and discuss how they grow and even measuring to see how much they have grown since you got them.

It may mean daddy teaching you how to light a campfire and make a meal together over the fire and learning fire safety, and then, there are days where field trips to go check out some pretty cool looking animals and learn about where they live and what foods they eat is just an absolute must!!

Smooth Rock  Homeschool can look like so many different things to so many people so, in your own homeschool journey just remember to love on your kids, teach them what’s truly important and most of all make it FUN!!

What is your homeschool like? I would love to hear about your fun homeschool adventures, comment and let me know about all the fun you have!


Here where we live we get super excited about snow, because it very rarely happens but, yesterday we had our third snow of the year and it’s been great other than the fact that it’s been super cold so we only go outside a few minutes at a time.

Anyway, I figured it would be a great time to share my very simple but yummy snow cream recipe well, here it is:

  • First, you need to have snow and yay, we finally got enough to make some snow cream and this is a lot for us! 
  • Collect some of that snow into a bowl
  • Add in some milk, sugar, and vanilla extract and mix them together I honestly never measure this out in exact amounts, just add in these until it makes the snow very smooth and it tastes yummy 🙂
  • And of course, ENJOY!!

Special Dinners!

Do you guys have special family nights?  Nights where you do something special together as a family?  We have never set out any “special” nights for doing certain things, we just play together as a family whenever, but we had never really done any extra special out of the ordinary things as a family on any certain night but Jeremiah actually got me thinking.

The other night he came out to the living room some play time with his sisters carrying a huge blanket draped over his shoulder when I called them for dinner.  I was wondering what in the world was on his mind and why he was carrying the blanket in, and he said “we’re all going to sit and have a picnic dinner!”  I absolutely loved this idea of his, we had done a picnic outside several times during the summer but we had never had a picnic in the house and never at dinner time, dinner time is eaten at the table almost all of the time never as a picnic in the floor.  I am so thankful Jeremiah had this wonderful idea it was so much fun to be able to all sit close together and just have fun something about being on the blanket in the floor just made it different than sitting together at the table.  While we ate Justin read the kids a few bible stories and we all talked about what the story said and enjoyed listening to the kids it was an out of the ordinary thing to do for us, but it was great!

I know it may not seem like a big deal or it may not seem like it would be much fun but it really was and now I think that we’ll try to do this one night a week maybe we’ll play some fun games after we eat as well other than our normal playtime.  Maybe you guys would like to give this a shot or something else that’s really fun but not normal for your family.  I can’t wait to see the smile on the kids faces when me and Justin are the one’s to pull out the big blanket to have a picnic dinner together again, I just know they’re going to be so excited.

What are some fun family night things you do with your kids?  Any ideas to share I would love to hear them, just comment below and let me know!

Baby Ethan Is Here!!

Baby Ethan arrived on December 3rd, at 5:40pm.  He weighed 7lbs. 13oz. and was 20in. long



he took a lot longer to get here than anyone had expected, but he was well worth the wait!!  Shortly after he was born we noticed that his breathing was really labored, he was just working way too hard to get his breaths in and was breathing too hard, so the nurse took a look at him and then they took him into the nursery which was very hard for us because we wanted him to stay with us the entire time but we needed to make sure he was ok.  Well, a couple of hours passed by and they kept telling us everything looked fine, he just wasn’t getting any better but they were going to watch him for a couple more hours.  So, a couple more hours went by and they came back in and said they were going to be doing an x-ray to see if he had something more going on than just a little extra fluid in his lungs that needed to come out, they came back and told us that the results were fine that they found nothing wrong but they were going to keep him in the nursery still overnight to keep an eye on him.

The next morning we still hadn’t heard anything but then his pediatrician came in and told us that they were going to do one more x-ray to see if anything had changed since his breathing was still the same.  After a while we went into the nursery to sit and snuggle with him in there and his pediatrician came to say she was going to talk with us for a few minutes.  All along, they told us he may have to stay in the hospital for about 2 days until he got better and that we may be able to stay in the transition room with him so I was really hoping we wouldn’t have to leave without him I’ve never had to leave a baby at the hospital and wasn’t looking forward to having to possibly do that this time around.  When she sat down with us, she said that his breathing was getting a little bit better but that he was just having trouble eating since they couldn’t feed him until his breathing had slowed down and even then he wasn’t very interested in eating.  But, then came the bad news, she told me he had pneumonia and at that point I just broke, started balling my eyes out and then she told us something else that I didn’t know but that he would have to stay in the hospital for 10 days (8 of those days would be without us) and that I was totally unprepared for and then I REALLY broke down.  I didn’t know how I was going to leave my baby there, how could we bring ourselves to do that.  I believe that is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.

Thankfully they let us stay until late that night at dinnertime so we went in a few more times after that to see him and then the final time came it was so hard to walk out of that room and walk away from him knowing he would be there without us for that long.  When the nurse wheeled me out the elevator was right down the hall from the nursery and moving through that elevator door watching as we went past the nursery door was just horrible and I broke down once again.  Now we’ve finally gotten past the first few days and it has gotten a tiny bit easier just knowing that it won’t be much longer and that we do get to go see him everyday and also the thing that has made it be able for me to manage is just seeing how the nurses and pediatricians in the nursery really do truly care for each and every one of these babies, I was watching one of them the other day she was just rubbing one babies head talking so sweetly to him it was precious and it did my heart good to see that.  Now we’ve only got 7 more days until we get to go to the transition room and stay with him and I can’t wait!!


 He’s now doing much better, they did have to put in a feeding tube since he was having trouble eating very well but now he’s getting a bottle at every other feeding and he actually took a bottle for me for the first time yesterday, I had tried to feed him the first day he was born but he wouldn’t take it at all I never thought I would be so happy to have my baby take a bottle from me!


  Since Ethan is going to be staying in the hospital for a while I’m not going to continue blogging back on the 15th, but I will start back on the 20th.

Gentleness of Children

Don’t you just love how kind and gentle children are, not the time when they are throwing a temper tantrum or are upset and don’t want to listen at all whatsoever, but those precious times when they show just how innocent they really are.

The other night Justin and I got to witness that in one of our sweet baby girls, Caidence had been playing with her baby all day long she had been putting diapers on her she had wrapped her up in a blanket to keep her warm, she fed her, took her temperature with their thermometer, she just loved on her baby and then night-time came.  She had taken her baby and layed out a blanket for her on our bed and then she layed the baby down on top of the blanket, she then wrapped her up and leaned down and prayed with her baby and then she asked us to pray with her too so we did and we all gave the baby a kiss per Caidence’s request.  After that, she found something she could use as her baby’s bed layed her down and even gave her a toy to comfort her because Caidence always likes to have a toy with her in bed as well.

As I watched her I realized that to her she was really showing love and care to that baby it wasn’t just a game to her and also as I watch the kids when it’s time for them to go to bed, they want to pray with each other and give hugs and kisses to each other as well and I realized that everything that we teach them even if it’s just by our action they are being taught.  That we have instilled even in our three-year-old daughter the importance of prayer and of love and care for one another and that made me realize that our actions mean so much more than I could ever imagine, our actions are helping to mold these precious children God has gifted us with and we have to be careful not to teach them to do wrong by our actions, but to always do good and to trust in God.

So, as you go about your day just remember that those little one’s see what we are doing and it has a far greater affect on them than we could ever imagine.


What has your child learned from your actions?  Any precious moments with them that you want to share?  Comment below



Do your children do chores?  I have chores that our kids do each day Caidence always helps with laundry she puts the clothes in the washer and then takes them out of the dryer and Jeremiah does the dishes, he unloads the dishwasher and puts up what he can and Isabelle has the easy part of just being a baby for now.  Of course other than this, the older two have to clean their own rooms, if they make a mess they clean up after themselves, they have to put away their dirty dishes and clothes etc. but, until recently this was all was all that they were doing and for a while I was fine with that.  

Then I got to thinking, they enjoy doing these chores for now which I know won’t last, but not only that but we are constantly training our children to live in this world, to know how to work diligently and to learn all these tasks they will have to know in life and I realized that even though they were doing these things everyday, it wasn’t enough.  I also want them to learn that we work as if they were working for the Lord which we all are (Colossians 3:23  “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”).  So, was trying to think of what they were actually capable of not just what I thought they could do but what are they truly capable of even if it means they have to try really hard.  Well, now we have added to Jeremiah’s list vacuuming which he has been wanting to do forever anyway and he gets to help hang up laundry as well, and Caidence now gets to help out with getting the dishes out of the dishwasher with her big brother (which is also getting them to learn to work together even better) and she gets to sweep the kitchen.  I’m thinking of letting them let the task of moping and drying the floor but haven’t done it yet so we will just see.  

Maybe to you reading this it doesn’t seem like much and it should be obvious that they should be able to do these things but to me it wasn’t I still saw them as being smaller than they are and not capable of many things but that couldn’t be further from the truth children are wonderful and intelligent and know and can do much more than we give them credit for.  Also, to some of you it may be too much, you may not agree with children doing chores in the home, but that’s your own choice but for us, I really want to raise our children to learn how to work hard and to work for the Lord and I believe it’s best to start them young while they love it so it will be normal to them to do chores when they really, really don’t want to.  

So, what are your thoughts, do your children do chores, what are they and why did you choose to have them do them?  Or, do you not give your children chores to do and why did you choose not to have them do it?  I would love to hear from you all!

Making time for our children

We as parents need to realize how fast time goes by and before we know it our children are no longer those tiny newborn babies we once snuggled in our arms, they are growing up and before long they will be all grown and out of the house and that precious time we once had is now gone.  We just sat down together and looked at what all we weren’t doing that we need to be and now is a time for change, now of course there are things that you have to do so you can’t just sit and play with your children all day long, but make time for them purposeful time to just make it all about them and what they want to do sit down in the floor with them and play or go outside and run around dig in the dirt. Just have FUN with them no worries about what housework needs to be done or whatever else you have on your to-do list put it all away and be with them love them.   When it comes time for you to complete your daily tasks that need to get done, invite them to help you out as much as they can no matter what you are doing there’s always some way that they can help out if they want to be creative and give them fun tasks, when doing this not only do they get special time with you but they also learn responsibility and how to run a household.


Why should we eat together as a family vs. in front of the t.v.?

There are many benefits to eating together. It has been proven that children that eat at the table with their families have an attachment/ relationship with their parents effectively eliminating any communication issues. Ever wonder why your child especially teens don’t openly tell you about their day at school or work? If you’re not used to eating together as a family your child may not know how to communicate with you at a comfortable level. Many times the dinner table is a way to relax everyone from the pressures of the day . This will openly create an enviroment or a safety net if you will for your child to willingly express what they face day to day. For children who do not sit with their families for dinner often find themselves in the den or their bedroom in front of a t.v.. This type of enviroment limits the opportunities for your child to feel relaxed enough to talk openly with you. How many times does your child approach you for a conversation while you work at home, on a project or even during a game only to hear the words “Not now, can’t this wait until some other time?” or “Can’t you see i’m busy? Why are you bothering me?” No one feels comfortable being cast out that way so most of the time your child may just forget what they were even going to talk about or eventually become like a recluse hiding in their bedroom. As simple or as unbelieveable this idea may be, give it try and you may find the results are well worth giving up some time in the office or during your favorite t.v. show.