A Long Overdue Post

Outside of family members, I doubt there are many people reading this long forgotten blog anymore! However, recently I was reminded of what a blessing it is to go back and read previous entries as a sort of family journal. Since I am prone to forget the mundane moments amidst everything going on, I am going to try and post a bit more frequently (it can't get much worse than a year, ha!). I even have an app now to make it easy to post from the iPad so we will see if that helps.

A little recap of our past year:

In the spring, we celebrated a wedding in the Herr family – Callie and Emma were thrilled to be flower girls!

We enjoyed a glorious summer living by our new pool. We absolutely loved it and all five of our kiddos turned into fish. If you ever need a good laugh, just ask me about what one of my children told severmy friends last summer.
In August, we started school back up. For the first time, all five kiddos are school age – 7th, 6th, 4th, 1st, and kindergarten (this might have something to do with my lack of posting). We absolutely love our homeschool group, Classical Conversations. Hailey has moved into the Challenge program and it has been a joy to see her excel and become self disciplined as she learns time management.

In September, Brian and I celebrated 14 wonderful years of marriage. I am incredibly blessed to have this guy as my husband.

In October, we took our annual OBX trip and had beautiful weather.

Later that month, Hailey turned 13! I am blessed to have this girl in my life. She is gifted in many areas, which include a servant's heart, diligence, abundant joy, and a desire to help out in any way she is able amidst a very full school load. She is a beauty, both inside and out!


In December, Sydney hit double digits! In our family, turning ten is the lucky number when you are allowed to get your ears pierced so we headed out for a mommy/daughter date on her birthday. This girl is a baby/kid magnet – she has a wonderful heart of compassion, gentleness, and love for all children and it is beautiful to see. What a joy to watch these kiddos grow up into big kids and see them use the gifts that Gid has given them.

That brings us to the current season: winter! Similarly to last year, I am surviving by enjoying my grapefruit, book reading by the fire, hot drinks, comfort food, candles, essential oils, and anything that helps to keep me warm!

I am all for the snow in the winter so the blizzard was very welcomed in our home! The kiddos spent a crazy amount of hours outside every day and thoroughly enjoyed building their massive igloo.
During the Super Bowl, we welcomed another addition to the Mellinger family! Another cousin for the kiddos and another nephew for us.

While life is full, there is nothing I would rather be doing than spending my days with these blessings …

And my evenings/weekends with this guy




Since I neglected to put up a single post this entire summer (until today – 3 Alaska posts plus this one might be a new record, ha!) I thought I would show a glimpse into what we have been up to.

While we were spending 2 weeks in Alaska, the best Mimi (and Gramps, but we all know Mimi did 99% of the work!) ever watched our precious kiddos.  She made memories, loved on our kiddos, was patient, did special things with them, and made our time away a joy for us.  It took about a month for them to stop calling me “Mimi” but I am ok with that!  We are so incredibly blessed to have parents who will watch our kiddos for such long periods of time so that we can get away.  We know not everyone has this blessing and don’t take it for granted. We are blessed and so are our kiddos! 
girlies slide

Tea party at Mimi’s housetea party

Gramps and Mimi braved the rain for the local parade with the kiddos on July 4th!
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And took them to see fireworks!
finale fireworks

Emma picked some flowers for us while we were away (and informed us that she is getting married)!
emma flowers

Before we left for Alaska, Justin’s baseball team won the championship!
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After we got back from Alaska, me and the kiddos dressed like cows for free Chick-fil-A food.
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chickfila 02

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On hot days we swim at our next door neighbor’s house.

While the big kiddos were away at the grandparents Emma was my buddy … and she also beat me at “I Spy.”
emma game

I missed my big kid helpers, but at least Emma is cute!  We have been busy freezing zukes, making pickles from cukes, freezing green peppers, making BLT’s with garden fresh tomatoes, and eating lots of fresh food from the garden!
emma garden

I was happy to have my big kids back home!

Emma and Callie love to climb this little tree.
girlies tree

Sydney takes a morning walk or bike ride across the street every morning to visit her horse friends, Cody and Angie. Our kind neighbor lets them pet the horses, help clean them, brush them, give them treats, ride them, and spend as much time as they want climbing on the fence to visit them!
sydney horse

Brian’s brother, Derek, and his fiance, Joy, came for a visit to play some doubles tennis and to ask Callie and Emma to be their flower girls.  We had a blast and the little girlies are absolutely thrilled (and eagerly anticipating March)!

Emma got bike lessons from Daddy … kiddos #5 on a 2 wheeler.
emma bike

Emma turned 4!
em bday 02

She got new pig pj’s from Mimi … a big deal when you are girlie #4 and new pj’s are rare!
em bday 01

And last but not least, we started school!
first day of school

Although we don’t start Classical Conversations until the Monday after Labor Day, we are gradually getting back into a routine around here.  Because of that, don’t be too surprised if another couple of months goes by without a post!  I need to learn the art of short and sweet posts.  I am hoping to get up a school post showing our schoolroom, some favorite supplies, and what we are using this year for school.  However, that post will not be short and sweet so who knows when and if it will happen!

Faith like a child

A few weeks ago, one of our daughters accidentally bumped and spilled approximately 2 cups of hot tea directly onto our laptop.  Immediately, the laptop shut down and went completely black. By the grace of God, my first concern was whether or not she was alright and God gave me an abundant amount of compassion for our girl.  I knew she felt terrible.  After making sure she was ok and not burned, I flipped the laptop upside down and watched a ridiculous amount of tea pour from the laptop.  Having heard enough stories similar to ours, I knew the chances of the laptop ever working again were probably not very great.  The very laptop that holds all of our files for school, pictures, music, budget, etc. While we do back up our files regularly to an external hard drive, it had been a longer length of time than normal and I knew that I was in trouble if I couldn’t recover our files.  My mind immediately began thinking what this would mean for school and life in general. 

Since I am not the techy genius in our family, I called my husband to let him know what happened and to ask if there is anything that I should do.  He told me to remove and dry the wet battery and just let the laptop sit until he got home.  Shortly after hanging up with him, he sent our daughter, who caused the spill, a couple of text messages to let her know that he loves her and that he wasn’t angry or upset with her.  That alone was enough to bring tears to my eyes, but the next message he sent to her made me love him all the more.  He said to her “let’s pray for it to work again.”  Our girl took him seriously.  She prayed that somehow the laptop would not be broken, but that instead it would work again.  I loved my husband for his leadership, love, and care.  I loved my daughter for how she prayed in faith.

Fast forward to that evening.  My husband came home, took the entire laptop apart, cleaned it, dried every single drenched piece, and then put it all back together (as to how he was even able to take the thing completely apart and then reassemble it is beyond me).  He was hopeful that maybe the hard drive was saved, but was a little discouraged by the amount of liquid that was inside the laptop.  This wasn’t too surprising to me considering the amount of liquid that came out of it when I turned it upside down!  That evening, after reassembling the laptop with dry parts, he tried to turn it on and nothing happened.  Instead of becoming discouraged, he and our daughter agreed to keep praying. 


The next morning before heading into work Brian tried once again to turn it on and nothing happened.  It appeared dead but our girl kept on praying.

That evening after getting home from work my hubby told me that he borrowed something from a co-worker to hopefully retrieve the contents of our hard drive.  Before using that, he decided to try turning the computer on one more time.  Amazingly, the laptop turned on!  Brian immediately called for our daughter and the interaction between them was priceless.  She was overjoyed to see that it had turned on.  And he was overjoyed to show her.  However, we quickly realized that although the laptop turned on, things were definitely not running normally.  Before putting the kiddos to bed, he reminded them all to keep praying for our laptop, because God cares about even the little things.

Miraculously, the next evening our laptop not only turned on but actually began to function!  Well, at least parts of it anyway. The keyboard was dead, but all of our files were completely fine and by hooking up a keyboard and mouse to it I was able to confirm that my beloved school plans, lessons, audio, files, worksheets, and everything else that I need to homeschool was accessible.  Oh happy day!  There was much rejoicing in our home and we had a wonderful opportunity to remind our children about faith, prayer, and the love of our Father, who cares for even the tiny details of our lives.

The next evening we discovered that our keyboard had come back to life, or at least about 95% back!  The e,s, c, and control/shift keys on the left side were all dead.  But the finger touch pad was alive again and every other key was functioning.  Our daughter didn’t seem nearly surprised as me about this revelation. 

The following day we realized that the e,s, and c keys were now working!  I was overwhelmed by the kindness of God to not only allow us to have access to all of our files, but also for the ability to begin using it again with a working keyboard.  Our daughter was amazed, not because she has the best daddy ever, but because she knew that even he couldn’t make the laptop work again.  It is a wonderful thing to see God at work in your children. 

Currently, the only thing that doesn’t work on the entire laptop is the control key on the left hand side.  While it has meant adjusting to how I copy and cut/paste things (I always used the control on the left side, not the right side), I am actually thankful for that one little key that doesn’t work.  Because every time I need to use the control key I am reminded of our little story and how God used tea spilling all over our laptop to build faith in all of us.            

Family Photo Shoot

My dear sister-in-law (thanks again, Krista!) once again took some amazing pics for us this year.  We had a lovely fall day that was perfect for being outside!  Here are some of my favorites:

These 5 are such a blessing to our family.
herrfamily 8

Emma – 3 years old
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herrfamily 5

Callie – 4 1/2 years old (5 this month!)
herrfamily 1

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Sydney – 7 1/2 years old
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Justin – 9 1/2 years old
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Hailey – 10 1/2 years old (11 this month!)
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The girlies
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A fun family shot.
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The love of my life.
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Me and my girls.
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My favorite guys.
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Me and my boy.
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My love with our girls.
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12 years of marriage.
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Daddy and the kiddos.
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Me and my 5.
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Love these shots of Brian and Emma.
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It is rough being the baby of the family.
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Of course we also have many more different family poses, but since I don’t know which one I’m using on our card this year I am saving those!

Crafty Creations

Thanks to pinterest there is no shortage of ideas for Easter crafts (or any crafts for that matter)!  Since my kiddos are super crafty kiddos and making messy crafts is pretty much their favorite thing to do, I decided to spend a day this week having a craft day.  They were absolutely thrilled when they discovered my plan.  I’m pretty sure that in my head the plan didn’t involve quite such a mess and everything came together a little easier, but that isn’t reality.    Reality includes messes!  And I love messes!  Ok, so that isn’t entirely true, but when you have 5 kids (or probably 2), I’m pretty sure that God goes to work on all idols involving desires to have a clean, organized, mess-free home.  Thankfully, I am finally learning to embrace the mess and just enjoy making memories.  However, for the record, I am not planning to embrace messes that involve nail polish any time in the foreseeable future!  Back to our crafty day … here is what we created today:
Easter crafts 001

We started out with dyeing eggs.  Our eggs are beautiful and vibrant jewel-toned colors since we used brown eggs.  And for the record I am a fan of baking eggs to make hard-boiled eggs.  Another tip that I found on pinterest, which is something I had no idea you could even do.  It was so easy to preheat the oven to 325* and then bake them for 30 minutes before soaking them in ice water. 

After we finished up with the eggs, we moved onto our faux stained glass crosses.  These were simple to make – we used wax paper, construction paper, tissue paper and modge podge.  The kiddos are hoping to make some more of these in the near future and maybe make some different shapes/sizes.
Easter crafts 008

We finished up with the super messy yarn eggs.  These were a blast to make, but definitely not the easiest.  I didn’t even attempt these until Emma was napping.  Callie needed constant help and even a couple of my other kiddos needed some help here and there.  Between having watery glue dripping all over the place and being all over our hands it made for a bit of a mess. Combine that with trying to pick up individual pieces of dry yarn to wrap on the glue covered balloon, and well, it made for some sticky situations, ha!  Thankfully, the kiddos were all troopers and we had a great time.  I’m pretty sure making the yarn eggs was some nice therapy for me as I was thoroughly enjoying myself even after all of the kiddos finished to go and play! 
Easter crafts 007    Easter crafts 006

Easter crafts 005Easter crafts 004

So there you have it – our crafty day!