It Feels So Normal

Since Tate came home five months ago (I know!!) we cocooned, had way too many doctors appointments and medical tests, had lots of illness, rolled into three weeks of fun and traveling through the holidays, and now here we are.

Do I dare repeat that title up there?

It feels so normal.

That, folks, is saying ALOT. So you can read in between those words if you like!

Last week we started back up with our full-time school schedule for everyone.

It has been wonderful.

Besides a post-placement visit from our caseworker and a visit from friends, our calendar was BARE.

The girls spent one afternoon working on farm paperwork. Tax season is upon us!


The boys built a table that was gifted to us and arrived by Fed Ex. Our old Step 2 table split down the middle of the table top. Kayla, who is 22, got the old table as a gift on her 2nd birthday. That was a well used table!



Addie and I were team grocery this last Friday! We took along the busiest one Mr. Tate with us. We have colds running through everyone here, and Grant was not feeling good at all. I was happy to take one for the team, and take his spot running errands!


Ever since our huge snow storm, we have seen lots of snowmobiles go by. It got the boys’ creative minds going, and they built their own snowmobiles.


This is a favorite morning spot right now!


I spent a day at my desk over the weekend. Did not get as much done as I hoped, but thankful for all that was accomplished!


Blake and I took an hour date on Saturday to pick up a new dishwasher that some friends gifted to us! We have been using it since Sunday afternoon, and I still tear up every time I see the empty counter in the kitchen that has usually been piled with dirty dishes! Dear friends, bless you! We love you!


This week is seriously cold. No joke kind of cold.


I think I must have been crazy when we headed out yesterday in below zero temps while it was snowing hard to spend some time at Kayla’s! It was just what we needed though. Thanks, Kay!!


School has been a blast these last two weeks! The two littles have had a break from structured school some during all the illness and during the holidays. The blessing in that was how much they learned how to just play. Eliza did not know how to play with toys when she came home, and it is just now becoming natural to her!

They are loving being back on schedule now!

We start with an Old Testament Bible story, coloring page, and when I can find a video to go along, we watch the story on video.


The two littles have directed activities to reinforce learning, or to learn new things, while Lane works on the other side of me on his work. Tate is doing so well with saying the names of the colors in English and then making a pattern!



Here I am calling out a number that they then find and mark with a dot.





Today Lane was supposed to learn about liquid measure, and when I asked him about the sizes and capacity of things, as usual he already knew it all!


He tells me he loves Science the most. All of the kids’ Science journals are such keepsakes!


Months ago we started a FIAR book called The Pumpkin Runner. We are still rowing from that book! Australia is where the story took place. There are SO many fun things to learn about Australia!

We read about Aborigines and made a Didgeroo.



We read about famous places in Australia and today Lane started working on creating a Sydney Opera House.




I also found a tutorial on how to make an origami boomerang. It was involved, so I made it one night after all the kiddos were in bed. Lane loves to whip that thing around and it comes back almost every time!


While we are busy with all this school, the bigs and Chad are moving along too. Chad made a replica of the first battery ever made in his Science lesson.



After the littles nap, our afternoons have been nice just being together. And playing!





Or baking!



Yep. It feels so normal. For now, anyway!

We will be cocooning again for the next few weeks, as we can’t seem to fight off all the illness that is out there. Even something like these simple colds will cause us to cancel Tate’s sedated testing in Madison that is supposed to be next week. If Blake and I had to guess, after this test next week we will be scheduling Tate for that spinal surgery to untether his tethered spinal cord. Until then, we will treasure these days that feel so normal…but truth be told, we treasure every day we have whether it feels normal or not!!

Hope you all are staying warm where you are!!


  1. Tristan RowLee says:

    Lovely to catch up with all these pictures and updates! I wanted to share a link real quick for bible videos (these ones are centered on the New Testament/life of Christ). There are more than 60 if I remember right. My kids really love them. We often watch these in the month leading up to Easter especially, alongside reading the scriptural accounts. It brings it to life!

    Hang in there as surgeries come! Mason has Myelo Clinic this Friday and we expect to come out of it with a surgery or two. Once we know what those are we will also schedule a double eye surgery from the appointment last week with the developmental opthomologist. He made is through 2015 with no surgery but these will bring him to 16 or so surgeries… and he just turned 4 yesterday. Time flies!

    • Steph says:

      Tristan, Thank you for the video link! The kiddos really enjoy watching Bible videos. I almost e-mailed you yesterday!! I saw that Mason needs eye surgery and just wanted to tell you how much I was thinking of you. We will pray for your little man! I cannot believe he is four! Not looking forward to the surgeries ahead for Tate, but I am not expecting to be able to handle it until I need to handle it. That is when God will give us the grace to handle it. When we need to! Hope Tobias is doing well, you are doing well, and ALL of yours are doing well!!

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