The Crib

When I was pregnant with Iain, my mom and I hit upon a Craig’s List ad for baby gear. Included: a regular-sized crib, an orange jumpy thing, a yellow bouncy sling, a pack and play. And a white mini crib.

I love that mini crib. It can be raised to changing-table height and when you do that, and lower the side, it fits right up against our bed with a four-inch rail between. Perfect. It folds up small so it can be stored when not in use (rarely the case for us, but it did see a gap in between Cory and Laina), and it is smaller than a regular crib (good for the small bedrooms we’ve had), but just the right size for a baby.

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Iain, my sweet first baby.

All five of my kids used it. Laina didn’t use it for long, and Mason preferred sleeping in the baby swing, but they all used it. A lot of the time, we’d graduate one kid to the big crib and put the new baby in the mini crib. We had two cribs going a lot.

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Cory, second baby and super snuggly.

Most recently, we have had the mini crib set up in our room. Because our youngests share a room, it was helpful to have a second nap space available, so Ivy could nap in the mini crib while Mason napped in his bed.

Laina, her first night home. Third baby, so waited-for!

But nobody is napping anymore. And it’s time to take down the crib.

The orange jumpy thing has already found a new home. The big crib will soon (fifth kid–still in a crib at three!). There are a few baby things that I can’t seem to let go of: the yellow baby sling. The glider rocker (oh how many, many hours and nights I rocked and slept in that chair!). And the mini crib. I’ll need it for grandbabies someday.

Mason, tiny one, fourth baby, so serious at first, and then so jolly.

I was so happy to find that I had a picture of each baby in the crib. The boys all used the green, yellow, and gingham bumper my mom made when I was pregnant with Iain. Laina and Ivy each had their own: one bought by Grammy and modified to fit by my mom (Laina’s), and one made by Grammy (Ivy’s).

Ivy, fifth baby, sunshine, precious gift.
Ivy’s last nap in the mini crib. She’s outgrown it just a bit. This was last month, one day when she just really needed a nap. She doesn’t take them much anymore.
The crib now, in our room.
Tiny baby Mason. (PC Carrie Fisher)

So many memories in one little white crib. So much gratitude.


The Great East Coast Adventure, Part 3

On to Maine! Maine was actually my favorite part of the trip, though it was one of the hardest. Ivy was sick the first day, but then recovered. Mason caught it and was sick with a fever for a week and a half, and the second part of the time, he had a cough and then lost his voice. I got whatever the bug was too, but mine was more of a really bad cold. Fun times. Look at that sweet girl with her Snuggly Guy.


We drove to Maine and stopped in Portland for the first night. We tried to eat at a sit-down restaurant, but this dude was NOT having it. So he and I hit Walmart for some groceries and new shoes for him while the others had dinner. He was great at the store, and then he sweetly told me that he wanted to give me all these flowers. 🙂


We spent the next day at Portland Head Light beach! The weather was amazing and it was so absolutely beautiful. The kids climbed on rocks, threw them in the water, and explored for hours. So so fun. Mace, fever and all, still managed to have a good time.


We made it! We’ve always wanted to go to Maine together. And we did!


That night, we drove to a cabin near Acadia National Park. We found the cabin, on a lake,    to rent (which ended up causing drama with some plumbing issues they were having and them blaming us for the problems–because you know, we have a lot of kids so it must be our fault–I promise it wasn’t), and it was so nice there. The lake was lovely. It was a relief to have a cabin with two rooms to sleep in, rather than all seven of us in one hotel room. And we enjoyed having a kitchen to make breakfasts and lunches in. They also had a dvd player and the Peanuts movie. So that was fun. And a dryer (although no washer!).


I love, love, love this picture of my boys and the clubhouse rock they found by the lake. What a fun place!

Cory is TEN.

How can my spirited, smart, crazy, passionate, caring, and kind-hearted second-born be ten? It’s simply crazy to think about. He had a fun two-part birthday this year–half in Florida and half at home. The Florida part was a trip to the Track and the big excitement of getting to go on the Fast Track for the first time. Seriously, I remember when at five, Cory go to ride alone on the family track, and then when at eight, he could go on the Moto Track. And now he’s ten.

First time on the Fast Track! It’s a big rite of passage around here.
Last day as a nine!
First day as a TEN!


Mason’s birthday card
Laina’s card

Then back home, Cory had a birthday party with his friends. On Iain’s tenth birthday, he had a book-themed party centered on his current favorite book, Holes. Apparently this is becoming a bit of a tradition too, because Cory wanted a book-themed party. (I love my bookworm family!) Cory’s favorite book is On the Edge of the Lost Sea of Darkness, the first hard book he read and the one he loves above all else. He actually just did a literary critique of it for his writing class. Anyway.

The party included the birthday banner (of course), making Thwaps out of marshmallows, playing a crazy basketball game that was hunting for the book’s evil creatures, eating SO MUCH junk food, presents and cake. It was really fun.

Birthday banner time!
I love this tradition.
And I love these crazy kids!
Making Thwaps out of marshmallows and candy
Fighting Toothy Cows and Horned Hounds.
He asked for carrot cakes that said Cory and 10 in fancy lettering.
Happy birthday!

Cory D, we love you. We love watching you grow and seeing who God created you to be. Keep chasing Him! Happy birthday!

January and February, 2018

First day back at school!


These two (and usually Laina) play together all the time.
I got Jeremy this copy of Robinson Crusoe before we were married. Now Iain is reading it.
Trip to Florida!


It was VERY cold at the beach.


My kids, for three weeks of the year, are 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
Mason’s first drive alone at the track!
Cory’s first time on the Fast Track.
Iain the old pro.
Cousins and Nona.
Back home. This was a few hours before we started falling prey to the flu…
Random snow day! The big boys were sick and missed it.


Whiteboard fun.
Mason’s first time writing his whole name!
Reading lessons.


December, Part Two

DSC_0152 We spent Christmas at home this year, with the Whatleys, the Gieres, Lena, and Grammy. It was a full house and a lot of fun. And of course, no Christmas would be complete without the skinning of an animal or two in the backyard (I spared you those photos).


Jenna made/put together Christmas outfits for the girls–my girls and Karolina. They wore them to the Christmas Eve service at church.




That service always carries a lot of memories. I was in early labor with Ivy at the Christmas Eve service a few years ago.

Here she is, last day as a two!


Christmas Eve dinner and the name gift exchange followed.


Christmas Day! And Ivy’s first day as a THREE!



We have a tradition where the kids fill each other’s stockings. It’s a fun way to start the morning! They got SO excited to watch their siblings open their gifts. Laina still wears those earmuffs every single day.IMG_7145

Reading the Christmas story post-stockings and pre-breakfast and gifts.




The day after Christmas, we drove with Grammy to see Jeremy’s uncles and aunts. The kids got squirrelly after a while, so I took them on a walk. It was lovely.


And Mason and I got matching tattoos. 🙂