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




Way back on the 15th, we went hiking at Eagle Creek. We were sort of celebrating a big test that Daddy had finished the day before in Chicago. It was a long hike (over 4 hours including the river dip), but the kids were totally troopers. They actually seemed to get their second wind as the trail headed upwards and became more rugged. Caiden (3 1/2 weeks old at the time) loved riding along in his sling. And, of course, hanging out in tree stumps: We laughed at Kayla for resting on every rock she passed. But she actually really suprised us with her hiking legs. When the trail became very slippery and rugged in Falls canyon, we decided to start our return trip. She wanted to keep going. In this picture we were talking about the incredible shades of green created when the sun filters through the leaf canopy of the forest. It was reminding us of the color of the girls' room in Alabama. We loved that color.
We needed signs reading "slow moving hikers...please pass to the right." We'd hear comments like, "you're brave!" as couples would hike past us. There are definitely two kinds of hiking for us: family hiking and couple hiking. We love to hit a long rugged trail and keep it moving pretty steady to our destination. But we read early on (and validated through experience) that when hiking with kids you CANNOT be destination-minded. David (male as he is) has done a realy awesome job of keeping the two kinds of hiking separated. He doesn't push the kids. We stop when we need to. We observe and and sing and smell and sit and eat in caves and slide on rocks and take the time we need. Caiden checks out the trail map> Isn't that trail gorgeous? David and the kids took a long dip in the river on the way back down the trail.
Corin and I hung out on the rocky river bank.

David and I are anxious to go back with just us and the dogs sometime and hike the ladders trail.

We left exhausted.... but it was the happy kind of exhausted.


First Date

It is a tradition for the daughters in our home to have their first date with Daddy just before they start kindergarten. They go out alone for dinner and then go shopping to purchase school supplies.

Karissa has looked for and longed for and planned for this event for weeks on end. She had her dress and hair style and "fancy" restaurant picked out far in advance. "Daddy...when is our date?!" became a daily household question.

Finally, the big day arrived. Karissa was primped and pressed and curled and perfumed (even got to wear mommy's special perfume!).
A very special girl....a very special evening.
They were off with lots of excitement.
She had chosen Cracker Barrel very early on in the date planning process.
One of the benefits of starting "Daddy dates" very young......you can share a meal! I think they shared a chicken and dumplings meal (with mac & cheese, of course).
Then, armed with their handy-dandy school supplies list they took to shopping.
Then they went to a "fancy" restaurant for dessert. They went to La Scala's - a cozy Italian restaurant downtown Lafayette. They shared a dessert David loves....citrus sorbet with a white chocolate shell and drizzled with raspberry. It is tiny, but exquisite.

Karissa wanted to take a few pictures....

She didn't know Daddy got this shot on the way home until we looked at the pictures together later. She was happy and worn out.
The girls and I are so blessed to have a daddy/husband who - as busy as he is - takes time to take us out on dates. I don't take that for granted. We love that man.

Here's to many happy daddy dates to come........!


Corin - 4 weeks old

Making the decision to have a child is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
~Elizabeth Stone

Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the Everywhere and into here.
~George MacDonald,
At the Back of the North Wind


It's that time of year again.....The poor Frankfort UPS man probably thinks he's entered the twilight zone when he delivers his stacks and stacks of books to our front door. Today I caught him running to his brown truck in fear as we opened the door and shouted "Woohoo!" as we gathered today's beautiful stack of little brown book boxes. (They'd be tied up with string if the laws would only allow.)

I must admit I was rather dissapointed when I opened the two books delivered by the good old USPS and discovered two dry and dusty theology books. (No offense, Hon. I know they're gold.) But my patience was rewarded by the UPS man. I tore into the packages and handed David his textbooks as I searched for my one measly new book.

Here is today's book that I'm so excited about:

While They Were Sleeping: 12 character traits for moms to pray

by anne arkins & gary harrell

It is a Family Life book (first clue that it's going to be an awesome resource).

I've barely cracked the cover, but here are the 12 traits:

Kindness, Humility, Teachability, Forgiveness, Obedience, Discerrnment, Purity, Responsibility, Courage, Servanthood, Contentment, Endurance.

Wow. What a powerful list of qualities. The book devotes 5 days to each trait, including related scriptures with a prayer focus to bring it home for each child, then a "Connecting" section of practical activities for helping your kids to develop that trait. I'm considering using it for family prayer time/devotions for a two-month series.

My kids love it when I sometimes stay in their room and pray after I tuck them in. My new baby brain is pretty foggy these days, so I'm hoping this book will help my prayer times to be more focused and productive.

Oops! Better run. The 3-year-old is beating up the 7-year-old and the 3-week old thinks he will starve if not fed in the next 2 seconds.

Maybe I need a book called: 12 character traits to pray for your sleep-deprived, worn-out mommy self. :) (Actually, come to think of it, I have a great book for that, too. It's called "Taking Care of the Me in Mommy." By Lisa Whelchel.) But I'd better run before I find myself launching into yet another book rave.


Little Mommy

Yesterday Karissa(5 yrs old) gave Corin his bath.

After his bath, Karissa lathered him with baby lotion and combed that poor boy's hair till it nearly fell out. And she sang to him. Karissa and Caiden (3 yrs old) sang and sang and sang as they rubbed and lotioned and pampered and loved on him. He loved it.
She is very nurturing and almost inseparable from her new live baby. She does a great job with him, and I can actually leave her in a safe place holding him while I do housework and she takes great care of him. Sometimes she does overwhelm him a little with all of her loving. She has to be reminded to give Corin (and mommy!) our bubble space.

Here he is all swaddled up and sleeping soundly after his bath and brushing.

When Caiden was born the girls were still 1 and 3. So this time around it's much different and fun with all the grown up helpers we have around here. The kids have adjusted seamlessly to having a new baby brother. As they zoom around here doing their daily activities, they all buzz by to "pet" Corin and give him some love before they move on to their next mischief.

Birthday Date

David and I went on an Indy date to celebrate my birthday. We were disappointed that Robert's camera shop was closed by the time we got there, but walked around the city for about an hour. We spent some time in the Conrad (scoping out new bridal shot locations). After a dash through the rain to our car, we drove down Mass Ave and headed to....

Broad Ripple!
We first fell in love with this village while biking through it on the Monon Trail.

After much exploration, we settled on dinner at Ambrosia.

It was an absolutely perfect evening for dinner on the patio. There was a delicious breeze and the atmosphere was lazy-Monday-evening.
This fine dining experience was a rare and special retreat from our "family of six dining on the McD's dollar menu for $10" mindset.
David chose Tortellini Panccetta (I never met a Tortellini I didn't like). The pasta and sauce were delish..... But we both officially decided we do NOT like panccetta. And I had the Swordfish special....with sauteed spinach and capers in an incredible (garlic olive oil?) sauce. David and I were both very taken with the swordfish. It was completely not fishy, with a tender but meaty texture. We decided to try to buy some and experiment with our own swordfish recipe.
Our waiter liked our camera. We like it too. (So much we have one for each of us!) He must have said something funny....oh yeah....he got on to me for not smilling.After dinner we walked around Broad Ripple talking and taking pictures.

We left twilight on the canal and drove around Butler University exploring and talking.
It was a happy birthday date - full of "Sabbath Living" (More on that in an upcoming post....)

Week Three Thoughts

Wow. Corin turned three weeks old last night. Today I was thinking back over the last 3 weeks. Feels more like 3 months. The first week was spent in the hospital and getting settled at home. The second week I was very sick with an infection....just as I was ready to get up and get going with life, the fevers and chills and aches sent me back to bed for a week. Within that second week, we also made a trip to Cincy to let the rest of my family see Corin. The third week was spent getting home, doing who knows with with very little sleep, and heading back to Cincinnati for an insanely quick but worth it trip to see my sister and Mark before they headed home to Ireland.

So now we're home again (jiggety jig) for awhile and back to the business of laundry, dishes, and getting ready for school and lessons to begin.

Corin has been a wonderfully good baby. His nights were rough for awhile, but he seems to be stretching out and settling in to his schedule. I am still amazed that I was able to shoot a wedding on Saturday with him sitting there in his seat - sleeping peacefully! We shot from about 9:30 am to 4:30 pm with about a 30 min. break at noon. Corin was awesome and very patient between feedings. I jokingly say that I "earned" this good baby by enduring the 3 other screamers. Just kidding. Corin had a couple of days of tummy trouble that brought back the beautiful memories of colic gone by. But I think it was onion-induced and his tummy seems much better now.

If you happen to be the mother of one of my students, don't fret...we are having lessons this semester! I wanted to see how Corin did with a bottle and how his schedule settled in. Now I'm ready to sit down and get the semester organized and plan to be calling you all soon.

Here are some completely unrelated pictures of a wonderful summer visit to Lafayette's Columbian Park.


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