After an eventful morning (lost my phone, got soaked parading three little ones through a parking lot in the rain at .004 mph to pick up a friend’s kiddo, located my phone and picked it up), I spent the last 30 minutes locked on the back porch (two stories up, screened in with no stairs) with three little ones, no phone, nothing with which to card in, not even a hair pin to pick a lock.  We all sat and watched Hampton through the window for 30 minutes, trying to convince him to open the door. He sucked on my phone the whole time. I lost it and started laughing, at which point Gus thought I was crying. (Only on the inside, buddy.) I finally managed to kick the door in (not even close to the first try), and we're back in. So we're good now. But my phone is unusable because there's some major saliva between the screen protector and the screen, and I can't get the otterbox case off.  And there’s no rice in the kitchen to dry it out (would grits work?!?). I broke my thumb nail (which may or may not have been useful in getting the case off) earlier in my 15 minute wrestling match with the 4th car seat I stole from my mom’s garage in the rain. So I’ve resorted to letting the TV babysit them all while I stand in the kitchen, slightly damp, spooning double chocolate moose tracks straight from the carton.  If I didn’t find it all so funny, I might just be crying :) #whyisthisdaypickingonme #thankgoodnessforicecream

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My newest niece, newly born. #nothingbetterthanthis

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He has been reading all morning -in 20 second stretches- with a change of perch in between. #hewantstobeabigkid

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That hair!

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New zebra striped growth chart in the shop now. (Modeled by my very favorite Gus.) #growthchart #nurserydecor

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"Wandergebeit ist uberall". At least for this week in Germany that has been true for us. #myfeetarekillingme #toomuchtosee

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Unbelievably gorgeous Rhine river valley. Jaegerschnitzel. Eis. Castles and ruins and cathedrals. #bestanniversaryever

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This very special dress was just washed and put away for maybe the very last time. My mom made it back in 2012 for easter, and it was just a tad loose, and almost full length. My sweet girl wore it for the fourth easter in a row this year, and it was a bit tighter and much shorter (think Shirley Temple). I hope that one day her little girl will love it as much as i have, and will think of her great-ami when she wears it. #familyheirloom #handmadewithlove

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This one melts me. Nothing better than a #happybaby


So we braved a weekend at the farm with our sweet friends and nine(!) little ones. There were melt-downs and whining and boo-boos and sticky fingers and no running water, which made for a very interesting time with the sticky fingers and such. (Burst pipe, just our luck!) But there were good, thoughtful, sometimes uninterrupted conversations. And a few moment's that were just beyond precious, like this one. These two are such sweet friends and soaked up every second of our weekend away. We are exhausted and grimy and probably stinker than we realize, but we are so thankful for good, godly friends and the strongest of bonds we have in Christ.

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Happy (late) siblings day! I always pretended to dislike being the middle kid, but truthfully it wasn't all that bad. Especially with such awesome siblings on either side. Love you two! #siblingsday

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One more. Hampton just adores his daddy. When Keith's around, i might as well be invisible. And I'm OK with that. I happen to think that Keith is pretty wonderful, too! #daddysboy

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Happy Easter! #latergram

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How Saturday mornings should be. #sothankfulforthem

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He is a joy. #happybaby

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Cousins date today to see the new Cinderella with three princesses and a knight in shining armor. These four are so fun!

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All day today and tomorrow, use coupon code 25FOR2 to save 25% off everything in the shop - including growth charts and canvas wall hangings!  (And remember, 50% of your purchase goes straight to adoptions and orphan care ministries.)
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What's Happening

1. We'll go ahead and get it out of the way: we're adopting!  We're in the very, very beginning of the process, and to be honest, a month ago I would not have suspected that we would be here now.  But God has put it on our hearts, and we are excited to see what He'll do!  More specifics to come (after we figure them out!)

2. - 4. It's finally chilly here, and we've been enjoying the cooler weather with bonfires, footed jammies, and amazingly bright Japanese Maple leaves.

5. & 6. We have one walking (how did that happen!?!) and one cartwheeling.

7. We had a knight, a princess, and a (reluctant) dragon for Halloween.  (This is a good article on redeeming the holiday.

8. - 11.  Normal everyday stuff.  Aren't they the cutest?  :)

12.  My girl turned 4.  And got her ears pierced!  Somehow she seems SO much older.  4 is going to be a good year, I can tell!
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What's Happening

1. We've been spending some lazy days at the park while the weather is still nice (in the 70s here!).  I snapped this photo of the kids playing and it SO exemplifies their personalities: thoughtful caution and GO-GO-GO!

2.  Hammie's favorite person ever is his big sister, and for good reason.  She would do just about anything to make him happy.  God truly knew how we needed to see her compassionate, selfless side and gave us Hampton at just the right time.  P.S. The kids now call him Hammie, Hampy, Humpump, Geeko (not sure why), Kinko (again, not sure), Ham-Ham, Hammie Cakes, and a few more I can't think of right this minute.  He will be so confused about his name, but so sure that he is loved!

3.  I added several new growth charts to the shop this week.  Use code ITSFALLYALL for 15% off now through Thanksgiving.

4.  Obligatory pumpkin patch photo.  And aren't my kids beautiful?  :)

5.&6.  Leafy shadows and evening light and our new paint colors.  The black and white is classic, and the pretty bluey color on the door gives it a bit of personality.  Thankful I like how it turned out!  (BM China White on the siding, SW Tricorn Black on the shutters, SW 7005 Pure White on the trim, and BM Wythe Blue on the door.  Thanks largely to Rene!)  

7.  The kids have started working to raise money for Compassion.  They've been so excited to help around the house so we can add money to their jar.  Gus wants to give toward shoes and clothes, and Lula wants to give toward medical care and to support doctors. It makes me so grateful to see their caring and generous hearts.

8.  What happens when you let a 3 and 4 year-old entertain the baby for a minute.

9.  I started cleaning out the office so we can relocate all the shop stuff upstairs.  I found my old magazine clippings from back before there was pinterest.  And 99% of them went straight into the recycle bin.  (We'll hopefully be doing a big zulily event sometime before Christmas with extra big discounts to clear out inventory to make the move a little easier.  I'll let you know!)  
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So it's come to this.  For the time being, posting an occasional instagram photo collage might be about all I have the time/energy/will power to do.  I plan to post an update (hopefully) once a week and we'll see how it goes.  If you follow on instagram, there will likely be very little new for you, but I may throw in some extra details.  So here goes:
1. Our pretty new siding and front door.  (Benjamin Moore China White and Wythe Blue respectively.)
2.  Fun un-birthday with three cousins who will all be one this year.  Left to right: Penny (Oct.), Eliza (Sept.), and Hampton (Dec.).  (See why it would have been so cool if he had been born in November like he was supposed to be?  Besides the horrible discomfort of the 41st week of pregnancy, I mean. :)
3.  LegoLand with the "big" kids to celebrate their 4th.  We all had a blast.
4.  Weekend road trip to Blue Ridge, and this sweet guy was a wonderful traveler. Smiles the whole way.
5.  New (unpainted) gray siding on the house had me questioning my color choice.  The light gray was pretty, but I ended up sticking to the white.  'Cause who wants to spend hours staring at paint chips again?    
6.  Playing with oil paints and pretty flowers.  Not sure where this hobby will take me, but I'm enjoying it!
7.  Bedtime snuggles and Bible time with daddy.  Nothing better than freshly washed hair and footie jammies :)
8.  Apple cookies.  Our new snack obsession.  Soooo good.
9.  Playing with watercolors and a bit of hand lettering.
10.  Sleeping in the car.  She still looks so little when this happens.
11.  Snuggles with my littlest.  I've learned that it goes so, so fast.  And I'm trying desperately to slow it down a bit.
12.  The big kids have been learning a new bible verse each week and sometimes let me snap a video of them reciting it.
13 & 14.  Gus got his first (non-Duplo) Legos for his birthday and we've spent hours since playing with them.  His sister was so excited to give him a hotwheels car she picked out, and topped it off with a kiss.
15.  The barn door is finished and looking (and sliding!) good.  We used this tutorial for the hardware.  

We'll see how this whole thing works out.  It's hard to tell if I'm just in a rut or done with blogging for good.  Hopefully posting quick updates will tide me over while I figure it out.  Thanks for bearing with me!
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