Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saphira is 1 Year Old!!!!

Our little gem, Saphira turned 1 yesterday.  We are so very blessed with this little girlie!  Yahweh was so good to give us a girl (that my heart's desire) and a perfect birth at home (also my heart's desire).  He does give us the desires of our hearts when we seek HIM. 

I wanted to get some good shots of Saphira for her birthday, so I took some when we went to Gene Stratton-Porter and then tonight I took more at some friend's house.  They all turned out so cute and definitely show her personality and what she is doing right now.  Enjoy all of her cuteness.  She's got a lot to share! :)

Onto our friend's house for some pictures.  We took this other outfit for her to dress like a cowgirl, but she really didn't care for it much.  This was the only decent one and even then, it isn't very good.  We changed her clothes and she was much happier about it all.

Just a couple pictures to show what hand gestures she's doing right now.  She says "come" with her hands just like we do with her.  In this picture, she was calling a kitty to come to her.  She does love animals!

In this picture I said, "Say HI to momma", and without taking her eyes off of the kitty, she waved her hand at me.  She's become a very experienced waver, mostly saying "good bye". 
And I couldn't post all of these without posting one of her with her buddy, Aviyah.  When she saw Aviyah, she lit right up and wanted her in every picture.  They are good buds, but sometimes Saphira gets the worst end of play time.....

Good example.  :)

What a joy this little sweet girl is to us!  My children don't fight over her, but quite often I hear them laughing and saying, "She is just so cute".  I'm thankful that my children can get a glimpse of the joy that children are to be in a home.  She's a good example of that joy!

~She has many teeth now.  She just popped another through the other night, so honestly, I'm not sure what she's up to now. 
~She isn't walking yet, but crawling very well and pulling herself up to furniture.  Not really even walking along things yet.  I keep saying, not until summer is over.  We'll see if she listens.
~She started eating cereal at 10 months.  Was strictly breast fed until then.  She is now loving food and gets mostly what we eat that is softer, mashed up a bit. 
~She loves animals of any kind and very gentle with them.
~She would rather play than sleep.
~Her blue eyes are still as beautiful as they were when she was born.
~She says, "bye" and "papa", which we can all agree on is universal for "mom" too.  ;)  She does love her daddy!
~She loves to be held by Alegra, fed by Diella, have funny faces made at her by Josiah, and pretty much anything Benaiah does, she laughs at.  That boy is such a clown!
~From the time she was born (okay, not quite that early, but it was one of the first things she ever did) she has danced.  She went from swaying back and forth if you held her standing up on your lap to rocking back and forth while sitting on the floor.  On her belly she would push up with her arms and sway her body that way to dance.  And now she pulls herself  up to something and dances on her feet back and forth, while not letting go of her support.  We'll see if she takes up dancing as she gets older.
~Her smile has developed into a squinchy nosed grin on occassion, but also will give a big toothey smile too. 
~"She's the best", said by all of the other children.  And Jonathon and I agree.....besides our other 4.  :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gene Stratton Porter- First Day of School 2013

         We always start the school year off with a field trip just so the children actually look forward to the first day of school.  Even though this was our first day, we still aren't totally plunged into the books.  Too many summer things going on still to draw the children indoors for book work.  There is much outside that they can be learning too.  For example, we now have 4 jars on our school table being watched.  One has a chrysallis in it, and the other three were just collected today with large size caterpillars in them.  I imagine they'll be forming their chrysallises soon.  The children have all named them and are excited to see what kind of butterfly will emerge from them.  We have yet to collect monarch caterpillars.  This is the first year we have looked for them, but we weren't able to find any.  
          So, onto the field trip.  After Alegra's piano lesson we headed for Gene Stratton Porter's State Historic House and Park.  We packed a picnic lunch and I explained to the children what they would see and what the day was going to be filled with.  They immediately were excited with one exclamation being, "This is better than a chocolate factory tour!"  I sure love these children's love of more simple things and nature. 

A picture along the path.

 He wanted one taken by himself.  Cute kid he is.

 She wanted one by herself too.  :)  I decided this would be a lovely place to take some of Saphira's 1 year old pictures.  There are some beautiful spots within this park!

 We toured this house and the children just loved it!  From the old fixtures to the  fireplaces built with different types of rocks to the coservatory to the film developing room, they were amazed by it all.  What a beautiful home\ that she designed with both older and newer features.

 We took a hike on one of the trails and found a rather large animal track.  Alegra took a picture of it and we took it back to the visitor's center where we compared it to tracks on the poster there.  One of the naturalists came over and helped us figure out what it was.  We had it narrowed down to either a bobcat or coyote track.  That was really fun for the children!

 A view of Gene's garden.

 This is the stone work done around the spring area by the lake.  The children learned that these are pudding stones. 

 With no place to be, the children decided to head back to the garden to explore the flowers and see what kinds of butterflies they could find.  So enjoyable to just walk and wonder. 

Alegra took the camer for a bit and captured some of nature's finest collections.

 I wouldn't say that we are a fine collection.  Didn't even know she took this picture.  :)

       We had to stop and gaze at this tree for a bit.  It was so large around, tall, and straight.  What a beautiful example of stretching itself up toward its Creator.  The Scriptures talk about the trees clapping their hands.  I can just see them doing that on a breezy day, with branches raised, clapping their leaves together in praise to the Creator.
        We finished at the park, then headed to the library to get everybody library cards.  The children have been begging me to do this.  The library has always been a place that we visit weekly.  Ever since we moved and another baby has been added to the mix, I haven't been so diligent at getting them there.  So, with the start of a new school year, I figured it was a good time to get back to our routine of taking advantage of the library.  We also checked out some of Gene's novels to find last night that they are more difficult for my children than I thought they would be.  Does anybody have good suggestions of books for middle school reading levels that are about nature? 
          Now that we've learned about Gene Stratton Porter and the Limberlost, we'd like to go discover the Limberlost park in Geneva, IN.  Maybe next month we can do that one.  There's so much to learn in nature.  Hopefully we instill the love for it that TV and video games just can't replace.   Now, we have peaches to can and hopefully next week my mom's pears will be ready to can.  And the produce cart is still going.  That's been a great learning experience for the children this summer!  That will be a post all itself, but now, supper is ready and my littles (and hubby) is ready for supper.  Until next time!