He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9




It is a comforting morning - neither rainy nor bright. "Cloudy" - but in a quiet and gentle way. Some would say dreary. I prefer Cozy.

His mercies are new every morning.

I pause and drink under the quiet spout of overflowing mercies.
  • Quiet, comforting sounds of Windham Hill's Thanksgiving collection.
  • "Mommy, I spelled my name on the computer!" kaissa/
  • Tiny hands kneading bisquick dough - forming spirals of cinnamon goodness

At first glance, it may look like a dwelling-place that is less than spectacular. But look again.

      • Chubby squirrels scamper with their bounty
      • Blood-Red tulips piercing the morning with cheer

      • Spring bunny with cotton-ball tail

      • Beautiful dog couple softly sleeping

      This place - this morning - is spectacular. Quietly spilling out bounty and goodness and beauty. Beauty that could be taken for dreary clouds, cinnamon mess on floor, muddy kennel to clean. But this morning those things gently sing of Creator. Of deep Peace. Of quiet joy.

      I think of my stateside friends who need this morning's daily mercies in a desperate and painful way. And I pray that this quiet bounty will pour upon them. This beauty will comfort them.

      Clobber their fear with quiet faith.

      My mind turns to another land. A sister's small cottage by the sea. Minister and musician laboring side-by-side in the daily. An aunt's fanciful stories to neice and nephew eyes crowded around the computer. A God who crosses oceans in a breath.

      Overflow their day with your bounty, Lord.

      • Fragrance of gooey warm-baked goodness

      • Laundry, dishes, budget - evidence of a life full with busy blessings

      • Small nagging voice so eager to "help"

      • Gentle breezes in the grey outside

      Continue to let your bountiful breezes blow through my spirit. Open my eyes, my ears. Open my heart for what you will fill it with today.

      His mercies are new every morning.


Family Night and Nature Walk

Some high-powered "Alphabet Bingo" fun. Many times they talk us into ending the night with a rousing game of duck-duck-goose.

Makes me wonder what our family nights will be like in - say - 10 years?

This is a conversation ball. You throw the ball to another member of the family. They are suppposed to answer whatever question their thumb lands on when they catch it. Questions like: "What is one of your favorite memories?" or "If you could buy anything in the world, what would it be?"

It seems like Caiden had some hilarous answers that night, but of course I can't remember any of it. That's what I get for not blogging about it right away.

By the way....We're accepting donations for clothes for our son, if anyone feels sorry for him because he's naked all the time.
Another Day:
It was one of those delicious Indiana days that gave us a taste of spring before flinging some more cold rain and mud at us. We took a little walk.
Karissa gathered her nature plunder - including some flowers, rocks, and whatever else caught her fancy.
Kayla likes to record her "observations" for our nature notebook (a 3-ring binder with plain paper stuck in it).
Max & Mya made their own nature observations. We were just waiting for them to dive in. Mya loves to swim, but Max is a hilarious chicken in water.
After we went home, we had chocolate cake for a bedtime snack and daddy looked up strange animans that look like pinecones on google. What fun.

Riding with Grandpa Fry

Grandpa Fry and Uncle Danny are now in the power sports business ("Fry Power Sports" - mopeds, motorcycles, 4-wheelers - you know, big boy toys.) We get to enjoy some of the perks.....Motorcycle and 4-wheeler rides!

It's official: Kayla is our daredevil. Caiden will have nothing more to do with the 4-wheelers at this point. He prefers to watch and chase from a safe distance. Karissa will ride, but she's guarded.
Kayla, on the other hand, would take off down the road on one of those things by herself if we'd let her - hair flying, skirts hitched up, and laughing all the way. We've got some excting years to come, that's for sure. Gotta love that girl.

St. Patricks Day

"Aunt" Nelda came over and did St. Pats crafts with the kids. They love Aunt Nelda's visits!

We certainly didn't do anything earth-shattering for St. Patricks day this year, but a little green food coloring goes a long way....
Green Koolaid with a dash of class.....
I was really tickled at how the girls really seemed to connect with the idea of the Trinity in a deeper way this year. It is actually legend that St. Patrick used the 3-sided clover (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) to teach Ireland about the Trinity. But it was fun to hear the kids be able to articulate it on their own. It proves that training and indoctrinating children young, when faith is fresh and minds are open, is the best way.
But really, the day was more green food coloring than it was theology. :)

Chapter Books!

Kayla has discovered chapter books. It's a pretty exciting step. We've always read a lot at bedtime, but now she also loves to go to bed and read herself while I put the two younger ones down. Her first complete "solo" chapter book was Anne of Green Gables (Childrens Illustrated Classics).

Reading while she waits for mommy to dry & curl her hair.

When I come back in to check on her, I often find her peacefully asleep after her read.
I'm so glad she loves to read - the world awaits!!

Splish Splash

We had a bit of a spring flood here in Frankfort awhile back.

It was a little freaky to have water pouring into our basement walls like fountains, but the puddles were sure fun!

Drama Boy....


Purposeful Parenting

Parenting quote by Susanna Annesley Wesley (1669-1742)

"In order to form the minds of children, the first thing to be done is to conquer the will, and bring them into an obedient temper. To inform the understanding is a work of time, and must with children proceed by slow degrees as they are able to bear it; but the subjecting of the will is a thing which must be done at once, and the sooner the better!

For by neglecting timely correction, they will contract a stubbornness and obstinacy which is hardly ever after conquered, and never without using such severity as would be painful to me as to the children. In the esteem of the world, those who withhold timely correction would pass for kind and indulgent parents, whom I call cruel parents, who permit their children to get habits which they know must afterward be broken. Nay, some are so stupidly fond as in sport to teach their children to do things which in the after while, they must severely beat them for doing.

Whenever a child is corrected, it must be conquered; and this will be no hard matter to do, if it be not grown headstrong by too much indulgence. And, if they will of a child is totally subdued, and if it be brought to revere and stand in awe of the parents, then a great many childish follies and inadvertencies may be passed by. Some should be overlooked and taken no notice of, and others mildly reproved. But no willful transgressions ought ever to be forgiven children without chastisement, more or less as the nature and circumstances of the offense shall require.

I cannot dismiss this subject. As self-will is the root of all sin and misery, so whatever cherishes this in children insures their after wretchedness and faithlessness. Whatever checks and mortifies, promotes the future happiness and piety. This is still more evident if we further consider the Christianity is nothing less than doing the will of God, and not our own; that the one grand impediment to our temporal and eternal happiness being this self-will. No indulgence or it can be trivial, no denial unprofitable. "

Speaking of Babies...

I mentioned it on facebook, but I don't think I made the announcement to my blogging friends. I've not been blogging much lately, obviously.

We had an ultrasound during spring break and....

His name is Corin Lane Fry. Corin means "spear" and is a name C.S. Lewis used in the Narnia series. Caiden's name means "warrior", and we want to raise all our boys to be strong and gentle warriors for God. Lane is my dad and brother's middle name. Fry is our last name. : )
Those of you who have heard the name as a girl's name and are wondering: Ours is pronounced COR-in, not cor-IN.
It was so fun having the kids in there with us for the ultrasound. We watched him hold onto his foot and play. He wiggled so much, she only got one really good 4-D shot of his face. He looks like the cutest little alien you ever did see. She finally just gave up and watched him wriggle. I told her our babies start now and they never stop!!
The kids are so excited. Caiden will come into me begging: "I want to see Corin! I want to see Corin!" He informed us that HE is the baby, but he's dealing with it and having a little fun himself. Daddy was teasing around with him and asking who the baby was. "Who are YOU?" he asked. Caiden started to say his name, then got a sly look and changed the name mid-sentence from Caiden to Corin. He says Corin will sleep in with him in his fire truck bed and play with his toys.
The girls treat Corin like one of the family already. They kiss him and talk to him and make him presents and notes.
I'm unspeakably thankful to have the nausea gone. But of course now the contractions have picked up. I'll be in mild labor for the next 4 months. Does that mean I get to be grouchy?
We're excited and impatient to pinch Corin's little cheeks.

I. Am. So. Embarrassed.

Tonight after family prayer - as I finished tucking in Caiden and Kayla - I heard Daddy and Karissa talking on the living room floor.

She was asking the next level of questions about how babies happen and he was very clearly and aptly answering her questions. I imagine the curiosity arose because of our new baby and all....) I think I've mentioned on here before that we have a pretty aggressive philosophy about sex-ed and kids. We want them to learn everything they know from US FIRST! Not from their 3rd-grade friends. But as he tried to answer each question clearly and at a 4-year-old level, she asked the next question and left no option but to answer her honestly.

I found myself blushing and running to the kitchen to "do some work."

Meanwhile, Kayla was laying in bed and heard the conversation through the door. So now she's asking questions. David came in and we had a quick laugh before he regained his composure, reminded himself of the utmost importance of this timing. That it will shape their thinking for the rest of their lives about an immensely important and wonderful subject. I buried my face in the fridge and groaned, "I don't WANT them to know!" We both agreed that being in there for the "talk" together would NOT help us to keep our composure and complete the conversation with a straight face.

I had no idea I was such a chicken. I sent him off with a "I'll pray for you" and "I'm proud of you" and continued to hide in the kitchen as he set off to answer their questions.

Regardless of what you think about the timing of sex ed......when they're 10? 12? 14? And the method....Hand them a book? Let their friends do it? Leave it to their imaginations? Let them learn on their honeymoon? We have decided that answering the questions honestly, clearly and appropriately as they come is the right way for our family. My husband had a professor that suggested setting yourself up to your kids as the "sex expert." And any future questions should be brought to the expert, not to ignorant friends or other people. Sounded like a plan to us.

I wish I could tell you the details of her questions. It's an absolute hoot. But I'll behave myself.

I just want to say that I have an immense respect for those of you who have "informed" a kid of 8 years or older. If it's this embarrassing at 4 and 6, I can't even imagine what courage it takes to tell an older child.

Excuse me....I need to go finish blushing.

My husband is a very, very brave man. I'm so glad he gets to be the expert and not me.

Indiana Dunes - Spring Break 2009

We hadn't been to the beach in about 3 years - when we lived in Alabama. Indiana Dunes is on the way to TEDS in Chicago (David's school). So we went with him for the day last Thursday. The beach was chilly at first, but warmed up beautifully. We had a picnic and shared it with all the seagulls for miles around. Other than those greedy birds, our part of the beach was pretty quiet. Then we did some hiking and birdwatching and cactus-touching. It was a wonderful day.

It was fun to watch how each kid experienced the beach in their own way.

Choosing just the right rocks for throwing....

And putting every bit of his little body into tossing those rocks. Who needs expensive toys?
It is fun to watch their little spirits relish the open space and calming sensations of the sand and water.

The free spirit....
Doing Cartwheels....And mid-cartwheel!

Bub.... Feeling a little worn-out before we left the beach for some hiking and birdwatching. (They get all that drama from their dramatic dad, you know.)

Everyone hiking at their own pace. There was a really great marsh along this trail with sounds galore to try to distinguish: bullfrogs, birds, insects... love it.We like to learn hands-on. But they quickly learned that a cactus is NOT a good hands-on learning experience. Ouch! Daddy did surgery when we got back to the van.
It was one of those days that I felt like I needed to be home cleaning up and catching up and keeping up. But I'm so glad I just jumped off the wheel and took a day with my family.

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