Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Phone Dump


The girls love to go get their sissy when they hear her on the monitor waking up from naps.

Mama got to go shopping! Kevin and I actually both don't like shopping so we go quarterly/twice a year pretty much. We stock up then because shopping is a chore to us! Gap jeans on sale = happy Jessica.


We had our cousins come over to play one morning this week and it was so good to see them. We live right down the road from them but we're all in school now and life is full and busy. Glad we got to have them for a couple hours.

Nora, 4 - Serenity, 3

Ruby, 6 - Naftalie, 7

Twins Zeke and Meyer 22 months, Thompson 5, Violet 11 months
 The other day I was sitting down doing school with Ruby when I heard "MOM YOU HAVE TO COME HERE!" and laughing. After ignoring it several times I decided to check and found this. Way to hang in there, V!


Our evenings are clearing up a bit (not happenstance, we are purposely clearing them) which means family evening walks are back and I LOVE THAT! Post-dinner strolls are good for body and soul.



I've been off of Instagram for 10+ weeks now and I feel somehow obligated to get back on for the sake of record keeping. I love that my Chatbooks printed out and sent my photos to me in book form for our family to have, whereas a blog is not nearly as tangible. I also somehow feel like I owe it to people to get on there and let them see my life.
But I just can't bring myself to log back on yet. It's such a time sucker and distraction for me. It feels like extra noise, extra flash, extra energy being pulled from me that I'm just not willing to give. I find myself wanting to slow down and simplify because of how very busy the past year has been. Anything I can do to make that happen, I'm interested in. And anything that is additional weight or burdensome is out.

So for now, it's this quiet blog. Which I am so good with:)
Thanks for following along!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Phone Dump- Late Summer

Nora the 4 year old loves to go off on quick errands with one parent. It takes about 30 mins and she's missing her sisters and wants to go back but she enjoys the adventure/one-on-one time.



Violet's afternoon pick-me-up at our neighborhood park.

11 months old
 We had a spider show up one night and my first instinct was to kill it, but with our nature studies, I've been given an entirely different outlook on things. Why kill something because I think it's gross? That's ridiculous. It wasn't harming us, it wasn't poisonous (sorry black widow, I probably would have killed you) and it was just going about it's business, serving it's spider purpose!
So it became a nature study of our own. For days and days we'd watch her catch bugs in her web, run over quickly, wrap it up, suck it's blood and then nap. She caught so many bugs and we even threw a dead fly from our kitchen in for her (she much prefers living bugs, not dead ones, we found out. She ate it, but begrudgingly. Amazing that we grew to study this spider's behavior and personality - a spider's personality?! So glad we didn't kill her.)

LONG STORY SHORT (I'm bad about that...) we were 99% sure she was pregnant and that I did NOT want happening, a trillion baby spiders crawling into our home - so off to the forest she went. Happy birthing, Charlotte!


Summer nights with these buds - 6 and 4, such dreamy ages.


Working on sound panels for our church's new sanctuary/main room and our friend took this cool picture. I like working together with this cute guy! Even when it is 100 degrees of humidity:)


Can you hear the hallelujah chorus?! OUR SHOWER IS COMPLETE!
This was one of the hardest projects of our whole remodel but we DID it and it's done!
This door was actually the wrong size and handle so they had to come back (for the 3rd or 4th time) to replace that but I don't have a photo of the official, real, even prettier finished product but I'll try to get some.
I'm not exactly a professional photo stager, I mean, the toilet seat is up for Pete's sake...


Mama got her hair highlighted! Thanks Julie! I look tired:)
See the foggy quality of this pic? Well, early this summer I dropped my phone in a parking lot (in a shallow puddle no less) while trying to lug the heavy stroller out of the car and trying to talk to Kevin on the phone between my cheek and shoulder about some price bids on the house for something and yep - CRACK. The phone's completely shattered:(
Oh well, sure adds a cool foggy filter effect, haha..


Oh this sister.
She's heavenly and slightly stubborn.
I took this pic after fighting with her to FINALLY take her nap. (She's too social to nap and hates to admit she needs them)
But I love that her face is basically saying "hmph. ok. I'll sleep for a little bit, Mom."


Aunt Katie and Vivster


A moment of silence for that cloth diaper butt, please.

...................


Thank you.


If you want to know what is the exact opposite of relaxing, it is called Bath Time at our house. It's loud and chaotic and there's so much crying and complaining and emotions. I never bathe our children, I just don't. I mean I help get kids out and dressed, and bring towels and washcloths or whatever, I just never initiate bath time on my own. That's Kevin's thing and it always has been because he says if he didn't do it it would never get done.
True.
But I'm better at fresh diaper changes!

Nora acting totally innocent. Who knows what she just did/is about to do!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ascend


I'm starting to learn about myself so much lately. It's like Yahweh is letting me in on some secrets He knew all along but I wasn't ready to hear until now. I find that the more you know about yourself, and people in general, the easier life is. To know why you feel how you feel, and be able to identify it gives you the ability to utilize God's power to then deal with it. 

Confusion is not of Yahweh. If you're confused, don't believe a lie that it's God. 
Instead, ascend. 
Allow your mind and soul to drift off to where He is - above it all - and see it from His perspective. 
When we're down in the thick of whatever we're walking out, we tend to just see what's right in front of us and all around us. There are so many voices and emotions and factors and it's complete chaos and confusion.
But when you ascend and you're seated next to Him, it's clear. Fogginess lifts and truth is obvious.  

May we turn our hearts to worship, lift our heads towards Him, and see it all how He sees it all.
May we be world changers as He changes each and every one of us individually.
May we Ascend.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Saver or Spender?


Can you tell who saves and who spends in our family?
One buys coffee often and carries her envelope everywhere with her.
One keeps his envelope home and never touches it except to add weekly spending to it, saving up for an Apple watch.

Hey- opposites attract!

I'm curious - are you the saver or the spender?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Playing In The Rain - why not?

 10 minutes after Kevin got home from work and about 15 minutes until our friend was about to come over for dinner, it started raining big fat drops. Then more drops, then more, and suddenly - it was pouring. 

I was on the porch with the girls watching it and trying to make a science lesson out of it (:)) when Daddy came out and shocked us all when we saw he'd changed into some basketball shorts, grabbed Ruby and ran right out into the pouring rain!


I happily and quickly joined them and we were the only ones outside running and squealing in it all and it was plain wonderful.

Violet LOVED it. She thought it was hilarious and awesome.



Making memories.
Choosing to not let the heaviness of life's responsibilities weigh us down. Choosing to know that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
He is joy so we should be joyFUL! Overflowing with it! Dripping off of us! Beaming out of us like the break of day!

We should also be downright silly sometimes, too. In my humble opinion.

Our friend John came over and we all went inside, dried off and had a yummy dinner. 
Red Curry Lentils over brown rice, massaged kale salad, and watermelon (probably our last watermelon of the year - hellooooo fall around the corner!)


favorite person in the pic award goes to: Nora!
Such a fun evening.

I meant to end the post there, but I can't help but note how full life has been lately. When the girls were little the days dragged on and I would be looking for something to do to pass the time and now that there are more of them and they're getting older there seems to not be enough time in the day to do all the things! I know this is every single mother of multiples' conundrum, but I find it fascinatingly wonderful.
To be so filled up with fun things to do (of course inter-mingled with the not as fun responsibilities like grocery shopping and laundry and toilet cleaning) but still! Education, exploring at a creek, visiting the library, going to the museum, having a friend sleepover, making family traditions and following through with them, ecclessia gatherings, art study, farmer's market, fire station visits, running at the track, flea market shopping. All things on my mental "I love to/want to do this with the girls" list. I'm finding out that I have to be intentional about carving out time for those things if I actually want to see them get done. (That's a post in and of itself!)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really, like really love being a mom. And a teacher. And a chef. And a home manager. And a wife! Oh! It's been such a busy season I actually miss Kevin! We need a date, soon.

***P.S. My mom-in-law has the girls one day a week because she wants to spend time with them and to give me a day. I treasure this gift! Today I spent it studying more about the Charlotte Mason method, and buying school supplies for our classroom and I did it in peace and quiet. Therefore I'm super happy and dreamy about my Mama role. Please don't think I don't have my days of "oh, so this is why people drink" moments with my children:)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nature Study

"sit here, and write what you see"

“It is infinitely well worth the mother’s while to take some pains every day to secure, in the first place, that her children spend hours daily amongst rural and natural objects; and, in the second place, to infuse into them, or rather, to cherish in them, the love of investigation...

The child who learns his science from a text-book, though he go to Nature for illustrations, and he who gets his information from object lessons, has no chance of forming relations with things as they are, because his kindly obtrusive teacher makes him believe that to know about things is the same as knowing them personally...
Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life...

Do children keep tadpoles, and silkworms, and caterpillars in these days? Very few have given us the results of their own observations. We have many capital descriptions from books, and that is better than nothing, but the very essence of natural history is that it should, so far as possible, be drawn direct from Nature. -Vol 6 Charlotte Mason

..when children are old enough to understand that science itself is in a sense sacred, and demands some sacrifice, all the common information they have been gathering until then, and the habits of observation they have acquired, will form an excellent ground work for a scientific education. In the meantime let them consider the lilies of the field and fowls of the air. PNEU article, Dowton


I have big plans to grow our nature study even larger, but for now we are taking our Nature Journals out to any observation spot (sometimes our backyard) and writing/drawing what we see. We've been learning the 5 senses and it's a great connection to teach them to write down what they see, what they hear, what they smell, what they feel.

Not surprisingly, this has become one of the children's favorite parts of school and mine as well.
Today was hot and Violet fell asleep in the car so I spent our time walking out to oversee them, then coming back to the car parked nearby (running, with the AC on) and peeking in the window on the sleeping babe in her car seat.

Nature Studies turn children's brains on. It's like something clicks and they are unleashed. Ruby writes entire pages of what she sees, sometimes more. Nora's attention is actually kept as she draws pictures of what she's experiencing. This delights me as a mother and a teacher.

Soon, we'll incorporate less observation and more touch. More immersion in nature itself. Set the notebooks down and EXPLORE, then journal about it when we get home, or back in the car. But for now, with our schedule and ages and introducing the idea of it all, this works wonderfully for us and we're all enjoying it immensely.

It is such a lovely reminder that there is so much beauty and life going on around us, if we only pay attention.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Library Days

Nora, Curious George's greatest fan.

10:30 Story Time

Our sweet 10 month-er, observing people, as usual.




We've been coming to and loving this library since Ruby was a crawling baby in the Baby Story Time class. It's such a great resource for all ages, and now that we're homeschooling and particularly doing a heavily books-based method of teaching - this place is like our second home! I'm so thankful for it.

When they were small, the library experience was everything. Now, the big stack of books they bring home is what delights them - and that delights me!


Ruby is reading chapter books in a matter of days. We're so happy for her!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lake Day (Happy Birthday Lori!)


Yesterday was the babe on the right's birthday celebration. She and our other sister Julie rented a boat for the whole family to play on for the day and we picnic-ed and swam and tubed all day. It was dreamy! I'll let the pics speak for themselves - we had so much fun.

HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY AUNT LORI! WE LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!

Sweet Ember! Our 2 year old niece

justin, 16 and katie, 19.  kevin's little siblings. they love each other.

kev 31, ruby 6, nora 4, river 4

Amelia Bedelia, 10 months

Ruby, 6


Every time I'm around the Kiehn family for something like this I am in awe of who these people are. I am just SO ridiculously thankful to get to be one of them. Their hearts of gold, their faithfulness, their can-do spirit, their deep love and commitment, their no-nonsense-ness, their hunger for Yahweh's kingdom and His ways, their unity. I asked my bro-in-law today actually if he could describe Dad growing up with one word (from a kid's perspective) what would it be? His answer was "solid".

I love you, Kiehns!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ruby's Baptism

July 17, 2016

One night on the drive home, Ruby said from the back of the car "I want to be baptized!"
Kevin and I looked at each other, ecstatic but surprised, since we had yet to really ever explain baptism to her. We quickly realized she was watching the Jesus Storybook Bible DVD series and learning at that moment about John the Baptist and learning what he had come to do, and that he even baptized Yahshua.

This started an exciting couple of weeks of conversation between us and our 6 year old daughter, of teaching her what exactly it means to be baptized and testing to see if she really knew what it is she was wanting.


Turns out - she knew exactly what baptism was and she knew she wanted to make that declaration of faith.

2 years ago, on August 11, 2014 she had asked Yahshua into her heart, on her own volition. Now it was time to do water baptism!



It was with such great joy and excitement that we sent the message out to a few friends and family and asked if they'd like to come be a witness to this momentous occasion - and it was obvious that all of heaven came to watch as this little girl accomplishes part of what she was sent to earth to do - be the Father's glory.


We started the evening worshipping the Reason we had gathered together. Ruby chose the two songs we sang, both written by her daddy.





Kevin baptized her. Not because he's an ordained minister, not because he's a worship pastor, but because he's her father. Her covering. Any father (or mother, if there's no father in the picture!) can and should get to be the ones to baptize their own children, whether you're an auto mechanic or the Pope. It's a father's joy and such an honor!





the look on her face says it all!



It was a holy evening.

There was so much joy in the air, I can't really even explain it. Everyone was just completely overjoyed, the childlike faith was so thick in the air that summer evening. We all, grown ups in full clothes with no plans to, immersed ourselves and swam in that cold spring water creek, laughing hilariously. The water was dripping with happiness and holiness now and we could all feel it.

I imagine Yahweh actually laughed with delight that evening. He and Ruby have a special relationship. There have been time after time that she releases faith from her little heart and He responds and she sees for herself that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS. It's so beautiful to watch!

_______________

My good friend Rebecca snapped these photos with her phone when Ruby came out of the water and I just had to share -


All Ruby's little friends came running over to her, hugging her and saying "I'm so happy for you, Ruby!" Every single one of them. My heart *almost* exploded because this is the next generation that we are raising and are seeing that they CARE and want Yahweh's will already. They are being taught how to rejoice with and for someone, they are wanting to do His will at such young ages. Not for their parents - but because they want it! It's just so wonderful to witness.





We drove away from that creek cove that evening, our hearts full of thankfulness, full of worship, full of love for one another and our friends and family that gave their evening to come be a part of such a special day for us. It was all so good, and so saturated with His presence.

We are proud of you, Ruby James. Keep hearing and obeying. We're so honored to guide you and watch you walk with your Heavenly Father as you grow!


Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Phone Dump


The girls love to go get their sissy when they hear her on the monitor waking up from naps.

Mama got to go shopping! Kevin and I actually both don't like shopping so we go quarterly/twice a year pretty much. We stock up then because shopping is a chore to us! Gap jeans on sale = happy Jessica.


We had our cousins come over to play one morning this week and it was so good to see them. We live right down the road from them but we're all in school now and life is full and busy. Glad we got to have them for a couple hours.

Nora, 4 - Serenity, 3

Ruby, 6 - Naftalie, 7

Twins Zeke and Meyer 22 months, Thompson 5, Violet 11 months
 The other day I was sitting down doing school with Ruby when I heard "MOM YOU HAVE TO COME HERE!" and laughing. After ignoring it several times I decided to check and found this. Way to hang in there, V!


Our evenings are clearing up a bit (not happenstance, we are purposely clearing them) which means family evening walks are back and I LOVE THAT! Post-dinner strolls are good for body and soul.



I've been off of Instagram for 10+ weeks now and I feel somehow obligated to get back on for the sake of record keeping. I love that my Chatbooks printed out and sent my photos to me in book form for our family to have, whereas a blog is not nearly as tangible. I also somehow feel like I owe it to people to get on there and let them see my life.
But I just can't bring myself to log back on yet. It's such a time sucker and distraction for me. It feels like extra noise, extra flash, extra energy being pulled from me that I'm just not willing to give. I find myself wanting to slow down and simplify because of how very busy the past year has been. Anything I can do to make that happen, I'm interested in. And anything that is additional weight or burdensome is out.

So for now, it's this quiet blog. Which I am so good with:)
Thanks for following along!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Phone Dump- Late Summer

Nora the 4 year old loves to go off on quick errands with one parent. It takes about 30 mins and she's missing her sisters and wants to go back but she enjoys the adventure/one-on-one time.



Violet's afternoon pick-me-up at our neighborhood park.

11 months old
 We had a spider show up one night and my first instinct was to kill it, but with our nature studies, I've been given an entirely different outlook on things. Why kill something because I think it's gross? That's ridiculous. It wasn't harming us, it wasn't poisonous (sorry black widow, I probably would have killed you) and it was just going about it's business, serving it's spider purpose!
So it became a nature study of our own. For days and days we'd watch her catch bugs in her web, run over quickly, wrap it up, suck it's blood and then nap. She caught so many bugs and we even threw a dead fly from our kitchen in for her (she much prefers living bugs, not dead ones, we found out. She ate it, but begrudgingly. Amazing that we grew to study this spider's behavior and personality - a spider's personality?! So glad we didn't kill her.)

LONG STORY SHORT (I'm bad about that...) we were 99% sure she was pregnant and that I did NOT want happening, a trillion baby spiders crawling into our home - so off to the forest she went. Happy birthing, Charlotte!


Summer nights with these buds - 6 and 4, such dreamy ages.


Working on sound panels for our church's new sanctuary/main room and our friend took this cool picture. I like working together with this cute guy! Even when it is 100 degrees of humidity:)


Can you hear the hallelujah chorus?! OUR SHOWER IS COMPLETE!
This was one of the hardest projects of our whole remodel but we DID it and it's done!
This door was actually the wrong size and handle so they had to come back (for the 3rd or 4th time) to replace that but I don't have a photo of the official, real, even prettier finished product but I'll try to get some.
I'm not exactly a professional photo stager, I mean, the toilet seat is up for Pete's sake...


Mama got her hair highlighted! Thanks Julie! I look tired:)
See the foggy quality of this pic? Well, early this summer I dropped my phone in a parking lot (in a shallow puddle no less) while trying to lug the heavy stroller out of the car and trying to talk to Kevin on the phone between my cheek and shoulder about some price bids on the house for something and yep - CRACK. The phone's completely shattered:(
Oh well, sure adds a cool foggy filter effect, haha..


Oh this sister.
She's heavenly and slightly stubborn.
I took this pic after fighting with her to FINALLY take her nap. (She's too social to nap and hates to admit she needs them)
But I love that her face is basically saying "hmph. ok. I'll sleep for a little bit, Mom."


Aunt Katie and Vivster


A moment of silence for that cloth diaper butt, please.

...................


Thank you.


If you want to know what is the exact opposite of relaxing, it is called Bath Time at our house. It's loud and chaotic and there's so much crying and complaining and emotions. I never bathe our children, I just don't. I mean I help get kids out and dressed, and bring towels and washcloths or whatever, I just never initiate bath time on my own. That's Kevin's thing and it always has been because he says if he didn't do it it would never get done.
True.
But I'm better at fresh diaper changes!

Nora acting totally innocent. Who knows what she just did/is about to do!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ascend


I'm starting to learn about myself so much lately. It's like Yahweh is letting me in on some secrets He knew all along but I wasn't ready to hear until now. I find that the more you know about yourself, and people in general, the easier life is. To know why you feel how you feel, and be able to identify it gives you the ability to utilize God's power to then deal with it. 

Confusion is not of Yahweh. If you're confused, don't believe a lie that it's God. 
Instead, ascend. 
Allow your mind and soul to drift off to where He is - above it all - and see it from His perspective. 
When we're down in the thick of whatever we're walking out, we tend to just see what's right in front of us and all around us. There are so many voices and emotions and factors and it's complete chaos and confusion.
But when you ascend and you're seated next to Him, it's clear. Fogginess lifts and truth is obvious.  

May we turn our hearts to worship, lift our heads towards Him, and see it all how He sees it all.
May we be world changers as He changes each and every one of us individually.
May we Ascend.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Saver or Spender?


Can you tell who saves and who spends in our family?
One buys coffee often and carries her envelope everywhere with her.
One keeps his envelope home and never touches it except to add weekly spending to it, saving up for an Apple watch.

Hey- opposites attract!

I'm curious - are you the saver or the spender?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Playing In The Rain - why not?

 10 minutes after Kevin got home from work and about 15 minutes until our friend was about to come over for dinner, it started raining big fat drops. Then more drops, then more, and suddenly - it was pouring. 

I was on the porch with the girls watching it and trying to make a science lesson out of it (:)) when Daddy came out and shocked us all when we saw he'd changed into some basketball shorts, grabbed Ruby and ran right out into the pouring rain!


I happily and quickly joined them and we were the only ones outside running and squealing in it all and it was plain wonderful.

Violet LOVED it. She thought it was hilarious and awesome.



Making memories.
Choosing to not let the heaviness of life's responsibilities weigh us down. Choosing to know that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
He is joy so we should be joyFUL! Overflowing with it! Dripping off of us! Beaming out of us like the break of day!

We should also be downright silly sometimes, too. In my humble opinion.

Our friend John came over and we all went inside, dried off and had a yummy dinner. 
Red Curry Lentils over brown rice, massaged kale salad, and watermelon (probably our last watermelon of the year - hellooooo fall around the corner!)


favorite person in the pic award goes to: Nora!
Such a fun evening.

I meant to end the post there, but I can't help but note how full life has been lately. When the girls were little the days dragged on and I would be looking for something to do to pass the time and now that there are more of them and they're getting older there seems to not be enough time in the day to do all the things! I know this is every single mother of multiples' conundrum, but I find it fascinatingly wonderful.
To be so filled up with fun things to do (of course inter-mingled with the not as fun responsibilities like grocery shopping and laundry and toilet cleaning) but still! Education, exploring at a creek, visiting the library, going to the museum, having a friend sleepover, making family traditions and following through with them, ecclessia gatherings, art study, farmer's market, fire station visits, running at the track, flea market shopping. All things on my mental "I love to/want to do this with the girls" list. I'm finding out that I have to be intentional about carving out time for those things if I actually want to see them get done. (That's a post in and of itself!)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really, like really love being a mom. And a teacher. And a chef. And a home manager. And a wife! Oh! It's been such a busy season I actually miss Kevin! We need a date, soon.

***P.S. My mom-in-law has the girls one day a week because she wants to spend time with them and to give me a day. I treasure this gift! Today I spent it studying more about the Charlotte Mason method, and buying school supplies for our classroom and I did it in peace and quiet. Therefore I'm super happy and dreamy about my Mama role. Please don't think I don't have my days of "oh, so this is why people drink" moments with my children:)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nature Study

"sit here, and write what you see"

“It is infinitely well worth the mother’s while to take some pains every day to secure, in the first place, that her children spend hours daily amongst rural and natural objects; and, in the second place, to infuse into them, or rather, to cherish in them, the love of investigation...

The child who learns his science from a text-book, though he go to Nature for illustrations, and he who gets his information from object lessons, has no chance of forming relations with things as they are, because his kindly obtrusive teacher makes him believe that to know about things is the same as knowing them personally...
Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life...

Do children keep tadpoles, and silkworms, and caterpillars in these days? Very few have given us the results of their own observations. We have many capital descriptions from books, and that is better than nothing, but the very essence of natural history is that it should, so far as possible, be drawn direct from Nature. -Vol 6 Charlotte Mason

..when children are old enough to understand that science itself is in a sense sacred, and demands some sacrifice, all the common information they have been gathering until then, and the habits of observation they have acquired, will form an excellent ground work for a scientific education. In the meantime let them consider the lilies of the field and fowls of the air. PNEU article, Dowton


I have big plans to grow our nature study even larger, but for now we are taking our Nature Journals out to any observation spot (sometimes our backyard) and writing/drawing what we see. We've been learning the 5 senses and it's a great connection to teach them to write down what they see, what they hear, what they smell, what they feel.

Not surprisingly, this has become one of the children's favorite parts of school and mine as well.
Today was hot and Violet fell asleep in the car so I spent our time walking out to oversee them, then coming back to the car parked nearby (running, with the AC on) and peeking in the window on the sleeping babe in her car seat.

Nature Studies turn children's brains on. It's like something clicks and they are unleashed. Ruby writes entire pages of what she sees, sometimes more. Nora's attention is actually kept as she draws pictures of what she's experiencing. This delights me as a mother and a teacher.

Soon, we'll incorporate less observation and more touch. More immersion in nature itself. Set the notebooks down and EXPLORE, then journal about it when we get home, or back in the car. But for now, with our schedule and ages and introducing the idea of it all, this works wonderfully for us and we're all enjoying it immensely.

It is such a lovely reminder that there is so much beauty and life going on around us, if we only pay attention.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Library Days

Nora, Curious George's greatest fan.

10:30 Story Time

Our sweet 10 month-er, observing people, as usual.




We've been coming to and loving this library since Ruby was a crawling baby in the Baby Story Time class. It's such a great resource for all ages, and now that we're homeschooling and particularly doing a heavily books-based method of teaching - this place is like our second home! I'm so thankful for it.

When they were small, the library experience was everything. Now, the big stack of books they bring home is what delights them - and that delights me!


Ruby is reading chapter books in a matter of days. We're so happy for her!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lake Day (Happy Birthday Lori!)


Yesterday was the babe on the right's birthday celebration. She and our other sister Julie rented a boat for the whole family to play on for the day and we picnic-ed and swam and tubed all day. It was dreamy! I'll let the pics speak for themselves - we had so much fun.

HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY AUNT LORI! WE LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!

Sweet Ember! Our 2 year old niece

justin, 16 and katie, 19.  kevin's little siblings. they love each other.

kev 31, ruby 6, nora 4, river 4

Amelia Bedelia, 10 months

Ruby, 6


Every time I'm around the Kiehn family for something like this I am in awe of who these people are. I am just SO ridiculously thankful to get to be one of them. Their hearts of gold, their faithfulness, their can-do spirit, their deep love and commitment, their no-nonsense-ness, their hunger for Yahweh's kingdom and His ways, their unity. I asked my bro-in-law today actually if he could describe Dad growing up with one word (from a kid's perspective) what would it be? His answer was "solid".

I love you, Kiehns!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ruby's Baptism

July 17, 2016

One night on the drive home, Ruby said from the back of the car "I want to be baptized!"
Kevin and I looked at each other, ecstatic but surprised, since we had yet to really ever explain baptism to her. We quickly realized she was watching the Jesus Storybook Bible DVD series and learning at that moment about John the Baptist and learning what he had come to do, and that he even baptized Yahshua.

This started an exciting couple of weeks of conversation between us and our 6 year old daughter, of teaching her what exactly it means to be baptized and testing to see if she really knew what it is she was wanting.


Turns out - she knew exactly what baptism was and she knew she wanted to make that declaration of faith.

2 years ago, on August 11, 2014 she had asked Yahshua into her heart, on her own volition. Now it was time to do water baptism!



It was with such great joy and excitement that we sent the message out to a few friends and family and asked if they'd like to come be a witness to this momentous occasion - and it was obvious that all of heaven came to watch as this little girl accomplishes part of what she was sent to earth to do - be the Father's glory.


We started the evening worshipping the Reason we had gathered together. Ruby chose the two songs we sang, both written by her daddy.





Kevin baptized her. Not because he's an ordained minister, not because he's a worship pastor, but because he's her father. Her covering. Any father (or mother, if there's no father in the picture!) can and should get to be the ones to baptize their own children, whether you're an auto mechanic or the Pope. It's a father's joy and such an honor!





the look on her face says it all!



It was a holy evening.

There was so much joy in the air, I can't really even explain it. Everyone was just completely overjoyed, the childlike faith was so thick in the air that summer evening. We all, grown ups in full clothes with no plans to, immersed ourselves and swam in that cold spring water creek, laughing hilariously. The water was dripping with happiness and holiness now and we could all feel it.

I imagine Yahweh actually laughed with delight that evening. He and Ruby have a special relationship. There have been time after time that she releases faith from her little heart and He responds and she sees for herself that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS. It's so beautiful to watch!

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My good friend Rebecca snapped these photos with her phone when Ruby came out of the water and I just had to share -


All Ruby's little friends came running over to her, hugging her and saying "I'm so happy for you, Ruby!" Every single one of them. My heart *almost* exploded because this is the next generation that we are raising and are seeing that they CARE and want Yahweh's will already. They are being taught how to rejoice with and for someone, they are wanting to do His will at such young ages. Not for their parents - but because they want it! It's just so wonderful to witness.





We drove away from that creek cove that evening, our hearts full of thankfulness, full of worship, full of love for one another and our friends and family that gave their evening to come be a part of such a special day for us. It was all so good, and so saturated with His presence.

We are proud of you, Ruby James. Keep hearing and obeying. We're so honored to guide you and watch you walk with your Heavenly Father as you grow!