Thursday, November 30, 2017

November favorites

Today's the last day of November, and I'm getting out Christmas boxes from the garage and dusting off my Amy Grant cds! I think the boys are going to be so excited to see our little rental house get spruced up with reds and greens and twinkle lights!

I just put away the fall things yesterday. I find myself missing the mantel and fireplace at our old house more and more! It was so much fun to decorate, and it was one of the only spots in the house that none of the kids could reach :)

I haven't mentioned Mads + Grace Co yet on the blog, but I love this little Etsy shop! The teething bead necklaces are so gorgeous and minimalistic, and they're basically August's favorite things too. If you want 15% off of a purchase, use the code RACHELMGC!

August's 10 month photo. Keeping up with him is no easy task, but every minute with him is such a joy. He's eating all kinds of textures of finger foods now (shredded cheese, chunks of bread, banana slices), and the doctor told me to plump him up with whole milk yogurt and butter and caloric things. He crawls and cruises all around the house, and he laughs so hard when we try to chase him on our knees. He is willing to be passed around and loved on by family and friends and even new people, but he is always happy to be back with Mommy. :)

One of my favorite parts of our homeschool is mixing nature with art.

I've been buying the chocolate "live g-free" baking mix from Aldi, even though I'm not gluten free. The cookies are so good! I freeze them, and then I pull them out one at a time as middle-of-the-night-nursing-the-baby treats.

Starting him young!

My three sweethearts.

The leaves are just about gone, and it's getting dark so early. I'm trying to embrace it, but it's tough! This Indiana sunset was very beautiful the other night.

For the past couple of years, I've wanted to make my own bread, but I've found it's really something you have to make a routine or a habit of. I think I"m finally getting the hang of it! I found a great oatmeal bread recipe, and it's made with molasses (just like my Grandma used to make) . . . so delicious!

Another photo of August snuggling with Scouty during naptime :)

This one is our artist. He is constantly coloring, and I find papers and markers and crayons all over the dining room floor every day. I love the marker stripe on his cheek!

Three-year-old cousins sharing a pizza.

His smile and his excitement about life are contagious.

Next up . . . photos from our Thanksgiving trip to Minneapolis!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Kutless album giveaway ALPHA | OMEGA


When I was offered a chance to review the new Kutless album, "Alpha / Omega," my first instinct was to say no, because I considered them in the heavy rock category--like Skillet--which isn't my favorite. But I looked up their new hit song off of the CD, "King of My Heart," and I instantly recognized it from the radio. . .  a beautiful new worship song. . . one that Steve has played in church, and one that I've heard Ephraim singing to himself before. :)

You might recognize it, too:

"Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run
The fountain I drink from
Oh, He is my song. . . "

On the album, Kutless does its own covers of "Your Great Name" (which I typically hear Natalie Grant sing on the radio), Your Love Awakens Me (Phil Wickham), and Great Are You Lord (All Sons and Daughters). I LOVE that song. All ten tracks are very gospel-centric, speaking of the intense love that Jesus has for all of us, and I really like their voices!

They redo their 2005 hit, "Strong Tower" to honor this being their 10th studio album.

All in all, ALPHA | OMEGA is a great album to add to the collection, to listen to in the car, to enjoy on a Sunday morning when you're getting ready for church, or really any time.

For purchase options, click here.

And enter the Raffecopter below for a chance to win a copy!

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Catching Up

Things have really slowed down here with the colder weather. It takes a lot of effort to get myself and the three boys fed, bundled, and out the door, so I am learning to be content with staying home more. In Pennsylvania, we had more space in our house, so Stephen had a little office to work from home, but here, he goes to campus every day to plan and grade in the quiet. The boys (and I) are so excited to see him when he comes home!

The trees in our neighborhood turned the prettiest colors. We don't have a tree in our yard, which is sad to me, but on the plus side, we don't have to rake? :)

On the last 60 degree day, we went apple-picking again. There weren't too many apples left at eye level, so we had to reach up high!

This orchard might be my favorite thing about Indiana so far.

August is into EVERYTHING... pulling on cords, investigating the outlets, taking the magnets off of the fridge, clearing the papers off of the coffee table. Picking up after these three boys keeps me busy!

He love to self-feed with puffs, yogurt melts, shredded cheese, and bites of homemade bread.

A few weeks ago, we took a road trip back to Pennsylvania to visit our family and friends. I was really happy to see Ivy! She is doing well with my in-laws. Their dog, Cuddles, (you can see her head in the photo) is 10, and she and Ivy have become best friends. I don't think Ivy is having as many seizures as she was when she was with us, and it really is a calmer environment for her.

Petting his doggie. :)

I have a photo of baby Ephraim in this spot, too. Our church family had a potluck that day so we could have a chance talk to everyone. We got to see some of the new construction on the building, and it's going to be amazing!

August & Grandpa

It's not a trip home without our favorite donuts!

Playing outside at Mormor and Papa Don's house.

 The weekend trip seemed too short, but we'll be back soon enough for Christmas :)

Back at home, we went to a couple of Trunk or Treats for Halloween. The kids got their faces painted as cats and dogs (and Ephraim as a giraffe, haha.)

My sister-in-law's sister has a pet pig, and she is adorable! Nolan got to hold her for a while, and Ephraim fed her some Cheerios. 

Uncle Phil got in the photo booth with August.

We really didn't have any plans for Halloween, so our costumes were completely last-minute (seriously, an hour before). We dressed the older two boys as soccer players, and the baby as a puppy. 

They had so much fun playing games and collecting candy! Nolan went home, laid out all his candy, and made a list of it all. Ephraim kept asking for candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it was all gone. 

It was a great end to October!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fall Fun

October passed so quickly, and I can't believe we've almost lived in Indiana for three months. We're  feeling settled, but it seems like there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle left to figure out. We want to find a neighborhood that we love so that we can start house-hunting (we're in a rental house now). And we also want to find our church home so we can start plugging in there. Both of these decisions seem pretty huge to us, and we need to really soak them in prayer.

The boys have been playing really well together lately. Their imaginations are running wild, and they are constantly role-playing with cars or building with Legos and MagnaTiles.

My littlest buddy. :)

Oh, the faces I get when I ask Ephraim to smile! 

I think his eyes are turning from blue to green.

Once or twice a week, we do some baking as a part of our homeschool. This day, it was pumpkin spice donuts.

At nine months, August is crawling and standing and almost-cruising. Since trying "puffs", he now uses his little thumb and pointer to put every little crumb on the floor into his mouth. He loves to watch his brothers and cousins play, he laughs a lot, and he says "dada" and "yaya" when he's excited. Despite being our biggest baby at birth, he's our lightest baby at this stage (17 pounds). He wakes about three times in the night (still), but thankfully, he doesn't wake up too early. :)

And now that I waited a while to post this, he is TEN months old today!

This was a dark chocolate pumpkin swirl bread, and I later added a marshmallow buttercream drizzle. So good!

It's definitely sweather weather now. . .
blanket & hot chocolate weather.

Found him asleep on top of Scouty. So cute!

We went apple-picking twice in October. I hadn't been apple-picking since I went with Girl Scouts when I was in kindergarten! The first day was really warm, and the trees were bursting with apples. We tried several different types of apples, and our favorite was the "blushing golden".

My cousin Zac works in the tallest building in Indy. His office is moving now, so we had to check out the view before he left! 

Coincidentally, my brother-in-law works in the same building, so we can go back another time and see the view from his floor :)

Indy is such a sprawling city!

Happy little guy watching us eat lunch after church.

Steve had a couple days off from teaching (fall break), so the five of us went to the zoo! 

The zoo has a pool of dogfish sharks that the kids can reach in and touch. 

I didn't do a great job at picture-taking, but August's and my favorite animal was this tiger who kept brushing up on the window right next to us. :)

Hope you have a great start to the week!


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