Wednesday, June 5, 2013

He Who Notes the Sparrow's Fall

One day last month Jacob and Isaac bounded in from outside with a shriek: "We found a baby bird!!"  The day-old sparrow had fallen from its nest and it was impossible to return him.  A quick google search revealed basic baby sparrow care, and the boys fed him moistened cat food on the tip of a blunt toothpick and kept him warm while I frantically looked up "Wildlife Rehabilitation" in the phone book.  With Grandma's help, we found a baby bird rescue facility across town and rushed the bird over there.  We held our breath during the long drive, and the children said a prayer that he would live.  He did.
If you know Jacob, you know he is passionate about birds.  He has read every single book in our library on the subject, some multiple times.  He can tell you the physical description, nesting habits, flight patterns, and migration routes of any bird you can think of.  He sketches birds.  He writes about birds.  He lives and breathes birds.  And it has been a tremendously good thing for him. 
Rescuing this baby sparrow was a highlight of his life so far.  He said so himself.  In that afternoon, I watched him grow in faith, humility, self-confidence, and empathy.  I watched him treasure this little life and rejoice when it was spared.  That may sound a little overdramatic, but I assure you it was a precious and sacred experience.
In my prayers that night, I thanked Heavenly Father for putting that little sparrow in the path of my son.  "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father....  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29, 31)
{When I originally wrote this post, it was going to end here.  But then...}
A few days later, the boys came home with two new sparrows.  At least this time we knew what to do.  Another bowl of moistened cat food, and another trip to the bird rescue facility.
Three days later... bird number four showed up.  By this time we were quizzing the boys to make sure they weren't climbing trees and tipping nests over. :)  Apparently it is sparrow season.

On a Friday night, the boys returned from the nature park with yet another baby sparrow.  This one was a fledgling, a few days shy of being independent.  He spent the night in a makeshift birdcage in our garage, then made the trip across town with Dad the next morning.

I have learned a great deal from these little sparrows: the need to slow down and accommodate a child's wonder, the worth of a soul, the constant care of a Father who knows each of us personally.

 "He who notes the fall of a sparrow surely hears the pleadings of our hearts."
- President Thomas S. Monson
All has been quiet on the bird front for the last several days.  Apparently most of the local sparrows have fledged and left the nest.  This experience has been marvelous, but I must admit I was glad to stop making unexpected 2-hour trips every few days.  With sparrow season over, we've settled into a relaxed summer routine.
Until a couple days ago, when Jacob brought home a baby redwinged blackbird....

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Baby Caleb

Caleb Joseph was born on Sunday, March 24th, 2013 at 6:21 a.m.  He weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces, and measured 19 inches long.

He is perfect, and we couldn't be happier!

Welcome to the world, little one.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


While reading other people's blogs, I just remembered...

I have one!  Time to resurrect it. 

I'll be adding posts about our adventures over the past year - homeschooling, camping, the kids' activities, and our newest adventure: a baby boy due to arrive in the next couple weeks.  We've been busy, but it's been a fantastic year!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yes, We're Still Here

Just keeping busy:

Reading... Pilgrim's Progress, Just David, Water Babies, Caddie Woodlawn, and Ivanhoe

Playing... chess and soccer

Cleaning... dishes and clothes and dishes and clothes. And dishes.

Learning... about birds, the current obsession my boys have

Working... on using kind words

Watching... the grass slowing turning green

Waiting... for spring to finally get here

Loving... that we get to homeschool and enjoy all the adventures that come with it

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Take My Picture!

Abram turns into a little ham when the camera comes out. Even if it's not out, he'll sometimes stop what he's doing to pose and demand, "Take my picture!" How can I argue with that?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Recap

Despite our attempts to keep it simple, December was pretty packed. Ward Christmas party. Marty's work Christmas party. Making fudge. Reading books. Walking through several blocks of Christmas light displays. Shopping. Wrapping. Quilting. Mod Podge. LOTS of Primary stuff for Church. Josh Groban's Christmas album. Choosing a live Christmas tree. Decorating the tree. Finding out that none of our colored lights worked. Singing. Family.

When Santa asked Grace what she wanted for Christmas, she didn't even have to think about it. "EVERYTHING!" she said. Um, can you say entitled?

Christmas Eve snacks

Christmas morning

Jacob was ecstatic over his new Bear Grylls pocketknife.

Aunt Constance and baby Brooke

Visiting Grammy on Christmas Eve

Cousin Lily

Abram and Grace played with this nativity set for days. My favorite arrangement was the one where Thomas the train was perched on top of the arch.

I'd have to say that one of the best things we did this year was attend a living nativity near here. A family we don't know puts on the nativity in a makeshift stable in their backyard. There is a musical program, live animals (the Wise Men walk in with three alpacas!), simple costumes, and a real baby in the manger. All of the parts are played by children. There was a beautiful, peaceful spirit there as we took a night off from the busy-ness of the season, sat on hay bales with our children in the chilly stable, and listened in awe to scripture and song. It was the highlight of our Christmas.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Few Highlights

I thought I'd better post a few pictures of what we've been up to the last few months before we breeze into 2012. (You know, the year I resolve to post more on this blog.) So, catching up...

This is our "Thankful Tree," the result of a pre-Thanksgiving FHE on gratitude. I love the variety of blessings written by the children, from the everyday to the profound.

Mr. Peeps came back this year, right on schedule. (See this post for the backstory on our elf.) It was adorable to watch Abram jump out of bed every morning and run to find him. He would check every previous place that Mr. Peeps had appeared and say "Nope, Mr. Peeps all gone!"

At our homeschool co-op the children made candy trains. I have never seen our kids more excited about an activity in their lives. EVER.

All of them got very creative. Isaac's train features an armed robbery, an atomic bomb, and Santa drowning in a glacier lake.

Grace has a morbid streak that makes us laugh and raise our eyebrows at the same time. She created a hospital. This was entirely her own idea. When she had finished, she gave me a tour. "Look, are the bears, and here is the doctor. The bears are laying down in their beds and they're DEAD. Ha ha ha!!" Weird.

Abram helped grind oranges and cranberries for Marty's traditional Thanksgiving cranberry relish.

Thanksgiving dinner. Marty's Mom was able to join us this year.

Every year, my mom gives our family a "first day of snow" book - to be opened on, know. The children anticipate this day for weeks and eagerly watch the skies for the first flake. Luckily for them, we got a dusting one day in November. The rest of our winter has been extraordinarily dry.

Other than the photographed moments, we have been busy learning, serving, playing, reading, organizing, and preparing for the holidays. More to come...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Halloween (or, Why Can't I Manage to Post Anything Within Two Weeks Of When It Actually Occurred?)

Halloween is a big deal in our neighborhood. People drive here from other neighborhoods to trick-or-treat; their parked cars line entire blocks of the street. Some houses get more than 400 trick-or-treaters. It's insanity. And every year we join the mayhem.

Little Abram experienced his first Halloween in which he actually knew what was going on. When I first tried to put his costume on him, he shied away with a look that said, "You could not PAY me to wear that." I spoke four magic words to him: "Wear costume, get candy." He came running, thrust his arms into the sleeves and was ready in 60 seconds. As we headed down the street, he ran from house to house, his black plastic kettle of candy swinging and his stuffed tail wagging behind him. I think this is the best age for trick-or-treating.

Grace changed her mind every day for weeks about what she wanted to be for Halloween. Monkey, princess, tiger, Snow White, fairy, you-name-it, she'd considered it. She settled on being a puppy like her brother.

Isaac was a ghost. Cheapest costume I've ever put together. :)

Jacob put together his own costume. If you can't tell, he was a falconer. (This is his latest passion.)

Despite the chilly evening, a great time was had by all.

Bonus: Now we have a year's supply of Starburst. That counts as food storage, right?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Multiple Choice

Last week we had haircut day. Can you guess which one of the following haircuts was NOT approved or performed by Mom?

Go ahead. Take a guess.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Double Digits

Last month, my eldest child reached that magical age of 10. An entire decade. Somehow, 10 seems so much more than 9. It must be the extra digit.

For his birthday Jacob received a compass, a book on chemistry, some fishing tackle, and other "outdoor survival stuff." See a theme here? He's been reading My Side of the Mountain.

According to Jacob, the best thing about being 10 is joining the Webelos den. He has fabulous leaders who encourage his creativity and inspire him to do his best. Happy birthday, Jacob!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I Did It!

For years I've wanted to enter a sketch in the local Fair, just for fun. This year I finally made the time to do it. Having a deadline forced me to finish something for once. :) It was so much fun for the kids to see Mommy's art at the fairgrounds! I might even do it again someday.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Caution: Toddler in Progress

Abram turned 2 years old yesterday. It hardly seems possible. Remember when he was born?

A glimpse at Abram's life right now:

He is learning new words at a quick pace, copying everything he hears. His favorite words are milk, buppy (blankie), train, plane and truck.

His favorite book is The Little Engine That Could.

He loves to be outside, take walks, and swing on the swingset.

He sings himself to sleep in his crib every night.

He can sing "Praise to the Man." He also sings the chorus of "All Creatures of Our God and King" at the top of his lungs.

When we drive over a bridge, he yells, "Woohoo! Wheeeeee!" When we get to the end of the bridge, he says "All done wheeee."

He does NOT like water, except in the bathtub. He is deathly afraid of sprinklers.

Last Sunday he disrupted Sacrament meeting when he got his head stuck between the pew and the wall. It took four adult men to free him.

His favorite toys are cars and trucks. He calls them his "hot cars." He takes a handful of them everywhere, even to bed.

When Daddy leaves for work in the morning, Abram waves and says "Bye, Dad, have a good work today!"

He is very polite. When I give him food he says, "Thanks, Mom."

He has a delightful personality. He is generous, happy, and energetic. Except when he isn't. :)

Grandma gave him a Tonka dump truck for his birthday. He calls it his "thank you grandma."

Jacob gave him a necklace that he made in Boise State colors.

Apparently he does have a feminine side.

Happy birthday, bugaroo.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Not Quitting My Day Job

Recently, I've had the opportunity to take photographs of several friends for various occasions. These are my favorites:

The K Family

I and A's Wedding

S and D's 10th Anniversary