All about Z

Three years ago we welcomed our 5th daughter into our family. Born at home after 17hours of labor Z arrived and captured all of hearts immediately.
We joke that it took us 5 kids to get THAT kid. You know, the one that runs from you at the grocery store, finds the eggs in the fridge you were sure you locked, climbs on top of the toilet and gets the toothpaste, does a number of other things in 2.3 seconds flat that you didn’t even know could be done that fast!

Her name means “Life Brings Joy” and she definitely does.

So long 2yo hello 3yo! We LOVE you to the moon and back.
(pic heavy)


These Past Few Days

These past few days we have dealt with, and a couple are still dealing with, a stomach bug. It really hit SiSi hard. This was her spot for the better part of two days.

There was tower building.


Laughter between sisters.

TV viewing

A rare photo of the teen…sort of.

She was watching this:

(The Colbert Report for those who aren’t familiar)
*Correction, this is the John Stewart show. She does watch both.

Computer time.

Craft Time

And then there was much practicing of the art of camouflage.

Can you spot the 12yo that didn’t want to be photographed?

Oh and that is our dog Mazie….she’s a chicken dog and that is a whole other post.

Update on our Fab Five

Since it is the beginning of a new year I thought I would get back to blogging with an update post on the girls. I hope to be a better blogger this year since I have discovered that I do have family members that read here. J

I will start with the youngest and work my way up to the oldest, just to mix things up a bit. 😉


Miss Z

  •  Loves to watch Cailou
  •   Likes to throw the wet clothes into the dryer
  •   Is a great jumper. She jumps on the bed, the couch, from one couch to another…you get the idea.
  •   Her favorite movie is Toy Story 3
  • She will sit and let you read to you forever or until your voice gives out.
  •   Sings her ABCs
  •   Loves to count things
  •  If she asks you for something and you say “surley” she will say “I not shirly.”
  • Wants to keep up with all of her big sisters.


  • Has been the only child in this house to cut her hair herself and it acutally turned out cute once I even it up in the back.
  •  Loves to jump off of everything. She may be a stunt woman one day. I think that would be really cool.
  •  Dresses, dresses and more dresses.
  •  Afore mentioned dresses are best if they spin
  •  Even better if the dress sparkles
  •   Favorite color is drum roll…………PINK!
  • Loves to paint
  • Asks every night before we go to bed “What are going to do tomorrow.”
  • Must be able to touch your skin when she sits next to you.
  • Taught herself to do a backbend.
  • Tells jokes  a lot.


  • Lost her bottom two teeth last month
  • Is anxiously awaiting for her top teeth to come in.
  •  Just learned to tie her shoes.
  • LOVES to craft
  • Is  copying words from books onto any piece of paper she can get
  • Signs her drawings and paintings. 
  •   Loves to be read to.
  • Loves to dance to country music videos
  • Adores her older sisters


  • Will be a teenager this year!
  • Is hard to find sometimes because she is either wearing a camo jacket or is wrapped up in her camo comforter.
  • Is a gamer that likes Sims and Virtual Villagers
  • Loves card games
  • Is now 4’10.5” and is super excited about that
  • LOVES Mt. Dew
  • Wants horses one day
  • Listens to country music
  • Is a U of Michigan fan
  • Is a faithful friend
  • Is reading the Percy Jackson series


  • Loves to watch Colbert, John Stewart and Bill O’Reilly
  • Has a great sense of justice
  • Is reading the Percy Jackson series and Mae West biographies
  •  Loves camo
  •  Wants horses one day
  •   Wants a truck
  •  Dyed her hair black
  • Loves country music
  • Still loves photography but on her terms
  • Is a faithful friend


And all of them challenge me, in a good way, to be a better mom and friend. I am grateful to them for all the joy, insight, and honesty they bring into my life. I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for them.

A puzzling good time

I recently unearthed a big box of puzzles from under our bed. I hadn’t had them out since the bigs became too big for them.

Emi and Ace thought it was the best thing ever.

I admit that I became overwhelmed with all the pieces and had a slight, ok large meltdown but we recovered and away they went putting the puzzles together.

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Reconciling Differences



If you have been reading here any length of time then you know that we have a 6 year gap between our 2nd and 3rd daughters. We coined the term The Bigs and Littles when Ace, our 4th daughter joined the family. In essence we have one big family with two different dynamics.

I have already seen my oldest two learn to read and the journey was sweet, easy and educational for me. Aly loved to be read to and would sit for a very long time to listen to just about any book I read out loud. This includes chapter books with no pictures. Being an avid reader this was wonderful for me.

Then SiSi came along and she was a different child. She preferred picture books and would wail in agony when I would sit down to read aloud from “chapter books”. If it didn’t have pictures she wasn’t having it. She was also not really big into sitting still while I read. She didn’t want to look at the pictures and turn the pages like Aly did. She would put puzzles together while I read.  I was amazed that later, even though she had been occupied with something else, she could talk about what I had read.

Aly learned to read mostly from being read too and playing games. SiSi learned from being read too and from “Reading Made Easy” by Valerie Bendt. She asked for a reading curriculum and so that is the path we chose. She would go through several lessons in a sitting, leave it for a few weeks, come back to it and then one day we both realized that she was reading and we hadn’t even finished the entire book.

There were no tears (ok, a few in the kindergarten stage before I loosened up), no huge struggles, just us flowing at their pace in the ways that they learned best.


Then there are the littles. I don’t think I’ll make it through the process of them learning to read. Reading aloud to them makes me want to pull my hair out. Seriously, the act of sitting down to read to them is something that I really want to look forward too. In reality though, I am mentally running in the opposite direction shouting “SAVE ME! SAVE ME!” There are no tranquil moments of reading while the children are quiet beside you or at your feet. When I read to the littles it looks more like I am trying to wrangle chickens. I can’t get through a sentence without someone asking a question about the picture on the page. Someone is usually trying to turn the page before I am ready or I can’t see to read because they are practically on top of the book trying to see the pictures. Then you throw a 1yo into the mix who thinks that the ripping of pages is the coolest sound on earth and you have one very stressed out and disillusioned mommy.  

I was pining for the days of old, remembering how wonderful it was and wondering why in the world it wasn’t that way now and it dawned on me. When I had the bigs there were three years between the two of them. Not to mention that SiSi was very content to play next to us instead of be in the same space with us and the book.

With the littles I have a 4, 2, and 1yo that are all acting very normal in their development, all at the same time!!!! A 4yo should be curious and ask questions. If it was just her I know I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed. But it isn’t just her. Ace asks question too. She has no concept of sentences and the end of the page yet. Z thinks my lap belongs to only her so she constantly fights to remove her sisters from that space along with whatever book I happen to have there.

It is just different and I have a feeling that everything with the littles will be different. Closely spaced siblings are definitely a different dynamic than those that are spaced out.

I will have to be more creative, find different approaches to doing things and most definitely I will have to let go of preconceived ideas based on my past experiences and embrace the experiences that I get to have now in this moment.


Living and learning,




A Big and Little Update:


Going in order from oldest to youngest just for Robyn.



·        Going through that hibernating stage.

·        Loves to shop and find good deals.

·        Will now mow for money.

·        Loves picnic for editing her photos

·        Growing up way too fast

·        Beautiful

·        Kind, compassionate and caring even though she pretends not to be.

·        Watched the movie Across the Universe and developed a liking for the music.



·        Loves to read outloud but gets frustrated with herself when she misses a word.

·        A big help with Zoe

·        Slowly losing the little girl features of her face.—I noticed that last night

·        Loves to cook but won’t eat anything she makes.

·        Loves the movie Julie and Julia

·        Loves country music

·        Sensitive


·        Sensitive

·        Learning how to express her big emotions

·        Likes to read to me

·        Is learning to identify her letters

·        Loves to dance and play dress up

·        Still the leader of the Dynamic disaster duo

·        Likes to borrow the camera and take silly pictures and videos of herself

·        A true cuddle bug


·        Our loud child

·        Loves her sisters and tells them often

·        Loves to play in the sand

·        Uses silks to turn herself into a princess everyday

·        Loves to eat

·        Still nursing

·        Wants to do everything herself

·        Loves to give hugs and kisses


·        WALKING….has been for a month now

·        1yo!!!!!!! That flew by faster than whatever is really fast.

·        Waves hi and bye

·        Claps

·        Says hi

·        Puts everything in her mouth..I will be glad when that phase is over!

·        Follows her big sisters where ever they go.

·        Has no fear

·        Loves to give kisses

·        Runs to greet whoever is coming in the front door

·        Has 6 teeth and is working on a couple of molars

·        Tries solid food here and there

·        Still nursing