7QTs: Stricker's Grove, Stokes Berry Farm, Loving Scrivener, and Cracking Jokes with a Mini Horse

1.  It's July 4th here and fantastically beautiful outside;  the temperature is hitting about 75 for the high with low humidity - a true gift in my part of SW Ohio.

Our town had it's annual fireworks last night and the weather was just as fantastic.  The kiddos had a great time, even the littlest one, watching the sky light up over N. Broadway from our vantage point in our church parking lot.  

7QTs: Baby Buddies, LEGO Movie Awesomeness, Big Brothers, and Homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream!

1. LoLo...NO.  One of Bethy's very best friends happens to be another little baby who is just six months younger than her (and also happens to be the youngest child of Bethy's godmother, our dear friend as well).  Bethy can't say pronounce her name yet so she calls her the closest thing she can - LoLo.

Because her godmother and I run in very similar circles, she happens to see LoLo a lot - often every day or every other day, especially during the school year and at Mass.

Dear Kids: What I Want You to Know About Failure

Dear Kids,

I am often overwhelmed by how amazing all of you are; it seems impossible that your dad and I could be so well blessed in you, our children.

All of you are talented, resourceful, and hard working and it shows in the successes you have had already in your lives.  I am very proud of all of your wins.

But honestly?  I may be even more proud of the times when you've faced defeat.

WM Book Review: Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler

Summer is here and I have been busy staying up far too late reading through the stack of books piled on my nightstand.  As I work my way back into a blogging routine, I want to share some of the good books I find with you, my dear readers.

One book in particular kept me reading into the wee hours and through nap time the next day: Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler.

I've long been a reader of Jen's blog, Conversion Diary.  In racking my brain to remember just how I found her blog years ago, I simply couldn't remember so I scrolled through the archives of this blog to see when I first started to sporadically participate in her weekly linkup, 7 Quick Takes Friday.

7QTs: Memorable Moments Weekly Roundup (MM #4)

1.  I am working on updating behind the scenes on this blog since it has been so long since I wrote my About page, etc.  One thing I'm noticing - besides my stellar lack of consistency in blogging - is how my writing style has evolved over the years.

I can see how, in my early posts, I stumbled around, not sure about how to do this "blogging" thing without oversharing.  I can also see how my writing vastly improves when I'm discussing a topic other than my own life, like when I review a book or when I share a "How To" type of post.

Dear Kids: What I Want You to Know About Happiness

The Key To Happiness [infographic]
Image courtesy of DegreeSearch.org
While I was pregnant in late 2012 with my current youngest child, I subscribed to the Baby Center weekly email updates to track the milestones of my pregnancy.

Since the baby arrived in March of 2013, I have still received weekly updates geared toward the milestones of babyhood, and now, toddlerhood.

Usually I simply ignore them or delete them; then, this week, one popped up with an article headline that caught my eyes...and made me raise my eyebrows:

"Is Your Toddler Happy? Raising a Happy Kid."

When You Can See the Blessings of a Boring Week

This week marks the first official week of summer break for my big kiddos; school officially finished up last Thursday at 11:30.  All of us were happy to toss the backpacks into a far corner of the house, dump papers into the recycling bin, and shove the lunchboxes into the back shelf of the pantry.

This week?

The alarm clocks in the big kids rooms have been silent.