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Our little Silas (15 months old): Busy boy, into everything, bringing perpetual joy and smiles into our home, always up for hugs and cuddles and my precious Mommy’s Boy.

Kaitlynn (3): Girly girl who finally mastered potty-training and got to get her ears pierced (much to her great delight!), lover of dresses and hair bows, wannabe musician and continually surprising us with the depth of her understanding.

Kathrynne (5): Adventurous, creative, never idle, art aficionado, budding entrepreneur and quickly becoming my right hand helper (she can now clean the entire bathroom by herself; I think we’ll tackle simple cooking and laundry next!).

Life is boisterous, noisy and often messy at our house, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world — though some days a nap in a quiet room does sound awfully nice. :) The smiles, the giggles, the learning and playing together, the hugs and cuddles cannot be bought with any price. And I want to overlook the dirty dishes, laundry piles and spilled milk and rejoice in God’s goodness to allow me to be mother to these three little ones. It’s only a short season and I don’t want to waste it.

Related: Amy has a excellent post on How to Sabotage Your Blog (and Your Life)

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  1. Nina says

    beautiful children, and your 3 yo sounds like mine did at that age – now she is almost 15 and in high school :(

  2. Julie says

    Your kids are so cute! I love it when you share with us about them. It helps us to remember that you are a mommy before you are a blogger. God Bless!

  3. Kimberly says

    Thanks for the reminder on cherishing every moment! They do grow so fast, and I need to learn to let the laundry… And everything else, go!

  4. Angie Grham says

    what little blessing you are blessed with. i too am a stay at home mom, and wouldn’t trade it for the world! love your version of “season”, you are soooooooo right, as i look at my 4 year old girly girl and my 1 year old little guy who is full of giggles and wonder – how did they grow right before my eyes and i love them so! I thank God everyday for them and that I am blessed to be able to stay home with them.

  5. Carollynn says

    Enjoy every minute! My oldest began her SENIOR YEAR of high school a few days ago…we have been visiting colleges! And even when you feel like you haven’t spent all the time with them that you wish you could have or should have, they remember it differently. I commented to my now 17 year old that I regret not playing with her more when she was little. She replied with utter amazement, “Mom, you always played with me! Polly Pockets, Barbie…..” and on she went naming all the things we played when she was little. Praise God for little “pick me ups” like that moment when I was feeling sad!

  6. Amy Hartman says

    Oh, I know how fast these years go. My boys are 11 and 8, and my girls are 6, and almost 4. I had to go back to work full time a few months ago, as my husband had lost his job. So very grateful that one of us remains the primary caregiver, I just really miss it being me! :-(
    Those little snuggles, hugs, and kisses mean the world to me!


  7. Angela Green says

    Thank you thank you for sharing today. I’ve been going nuts w/ my four boys…school, housework and just plain trying to be a good mom and wife! UGH. Thank you for this moment to enjoy the laundry, cooking, and cleaning of the “science project” toilet. :-)

    • Shannon L. says

      @Angela Green,

      LOL! I have two of those plus a mountain of laundry and a kitchen full of dirty dishes. Regardless my girls still love me and I love them. Just makes me wonder if we can love our children after they fall off of the kitchen table (that we have been telling them to stop climbing on for two days), how much more does our Heavenly Father love us?

  8. says

    Very cute! Thanks for the reminder. I was in tears yesterday feeling overwhelmed with house work and kids stuff (a little dramatic, I know). It’s important to keep the timeline and priorities in perspective. Thank you!

    • says

      @ksenia, Not dramatic, that’s reality of life as a full time mom. It is so hard. Just remember that you need to take care of yourself too, get enough sleep, eat right, exercise etc. It is hard to do, but it really makes a difference. Hugs to you and prayers for a better day!

  9. says

    Lucky for us they won’t remember those piles of dirty laundry, dishes in the sink or dirt on the floor. They will however remember the time we spend with them. As a mom to 3 as well I can completely appreciate the desire for a nap in a cool quite room :)

  10. Margaret says

    Love this post…I appreciate the fact that you mix in your family life into the rest of this. It is equally a part of real life and full too of God’s testimony!

  11. Courtney says

    Your kids are so cute and they look so much alike!

    My daughter was a total girly-girl at that age but now that she’s eight, she hates to wear a dress or “anything fancy”, as she puts it. She’s into jeans, cowboy boots and horses :)

  12. Tricia says

    Crystal, You are SO blessed! I know about those days when you feel you’re going to go crazy, wake up and prepare for the school day, wake everyone and dress them, fix and clean up breakfast, start some laundry, do school, fix and clean up lunch and so on until I fall into bed at night. However, I have found that I can get discouraged and be grumpy OR just to realize that God has given me all these blessings…health that I might get up another day, children that I can cook for and school, the means to buy clothes to launder and food to eat. We can often take these things for granted, but like you said, if you put it all into perspective, GOD IS GOOD and continues to bless me each and every day!! Thank You so much for your blog and the many encouraging and God-centered posts that you put on here. I look forward to reading it each and every day. :)

  13. Jordyn says

    Crystal, your kids are so beautiful! God has blessed you with a great family and a great talent to “blog.” I check your blog everyday, for the great deals and for the amazing stories. You are, by far, the best blog out there! Keep up the great work.

  14. says

    Jeez, all my 6-1/2-year-old can is make her bed in a very lumpy fashion, and your 5-year-old is cleaning the bathroom? How much do you charge to come train MY kids to work like that? 😉

    Nutmeg did bag all our groceries today though, and I was proud. In some parts of the world, she’d now be able to get a little job, lol.

  15. says

    Crystal, Thank you so much for allowing us a sneak peek into your life. What I appreciate the most about your blog is your dedication to the Lord and to your family. Women like you are a rarity this day and age and I love to see women put God and Family as the top priorities in life. People could not understand the decision my husband and I made to live in a humble little house, drive old cars and budget like there is no tomorrow… all so our children can have a stay-at-home/work-from-home Mom. We are the happiest when I am home and I am glad to see another Mom embracing this ‘season’ of life. Lots of love and prayers coming your way from South Carolina! XOXO

  16. says

    Thanks for sharing, Crystal! It was a fun change from the usual (wonderful though they be) posts. =) May the Lord continue to bless and lead your little family!

  17. Mary says

    Thank you for allowing us into your home-Lovely! Yes, cherish the moments, I have a senior in high school (my last year to homeschool), and another who is transferring to an out of town college soon. God Bless you and your family!

  18. Kendra Jankowski says

    I started following your blog a couple of weeks ago, and it was so nice to see pictures of your beautiful little munchkins. I now feel even more connected to this site. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy these times. It’s hard trying to balance house work and stay focused on what is important – our family. I appreciate you putting things in perspective. May God bless you and your family. Your children are beautiful, and they are lucky to have you as their Mom.

  19. Lee says

    my oldest turned 7 yesterday and we have been working on them helping more and more. Today I was rewarded! I was folding Laundry, the boys were folding the towels. When they finished my oldest came over grabbed his stack and headed upstairs to put it away without being asked! Now that was an accomplishment! And I am amazed your 5 year old can clean a bathroom. My 4 year old likes to help but only when his mood is right.

  20. Sara says

    I had a rough day with my little one today, so thanks for reminding us to enjoy our children. I’m making an attempt at potty training, and I’m pulling my hair out!

  21. Kimberly says

    Silas has gotten so big! I first started reading/following your site a few months before you were to have him. It’s hard to believe that time flies so quickly. I have 3 little ones as well and it’s seems like before long they’ll be out on their own, taking on the world. We must enjoy it while we can!

  22. says

    This post brought happy tears to my eyes… You are an excellent example of how we should all be thankful for everything we have. Instead of asking God to “fix” everything we view as “wrong” in our lives, we should all be grateful with how truly blessed we are. Thank you for being a deep breath of fresh air, in a world so often clouded with negativity!
    P.S… Your children are positively adorable!!

    • says

      My mottos are “Choose to rejoice” and “Embrace today” — because I’ve found that otherwise, life can totally pass me by while I’m waiting for it to become “better.” There are always hard things and wonderful things about every season. It’s easy to lose sight of the wonderful things when focusing on the difficult things.

      My step-grandma often reminds me that “These are the best years.” Even in the midst of those really hard days when it feels like everything is going wrong, I try to remind myself of that and focus on what’s going to matter in 25 years from now.

  23. linda says

    I have a 22 month old, 4, 6 and 8 year old myself and get my 9 year old step son every 2 weeks for 3 days. Sometimes I just feel overwhelmed. I am so thankful for my little family. They mean the world to me.

    I have some great little helpers. My 8 year old is a big help. She helps with the laundry, washs the dishes(plates, cups and silverware), takes out the trash and a few other stuff. My 4 and 6 year old help clean, fold the clothes and wipe counters. I even have my 22 month old help. He already knows what to do after he finishes eating. He will clean out his plate and then he throw his plate in the sink. Sometimes he throw it to far. It falls back. He ‘ll get mad, but he keeps trying until he gets it in there. He copys everything his brother and sisters do. Well at least tries. LOL

  24. says

    You have beautiful children! Thank you for sharing this. Their personalities sounds like a fantastic mix. And congratulations on the potty training – we are just entering that phase.

  25. Laura says

    Adorable photos – so precious! For your next child and potty training, there is an amazing book: Toilet Training in Less Than a Day (might be available at your library or a used copy would be very inexpensive) that is revolutionary! My daughter was trained in one day!!!! It really worked!

  26. says

    You are so right that the season is short. Just took my oldest to college this past weekend, a day that seemed so far off in the future, but came so rapidly. Enjoy all the hugging and cuddling and laughing and the beautiful chaos!

    • holi says

      Oooh, we did this last year and I was ok that first day. But I went back the next weekend with more “stuff” and cried all the way home. It is almost time to bring her back for the second year and it is kind of exciting! ( & bad or cheap mom in me thinks…they have cvs, Double coupons kroger and meijer…. :)

  27. Jenna says

    Congratulations to you ! It is the rare mother who understands that short season when they are young and so enjoyable! Many tend to get bogged down in the mess and the noise. Rejoice in the wonder that is the young child.

    As the poem goes : Dusting and Cleaning will wait until tomorrow for babies grow up I have learn to my sorrow . So quiet down cob webs dust go to sleep… I am rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

    Don’t know the exact words or poem but it is a great one.

    My own are grown and gone and believe me it goes fast!

    I personally equate your wonderful time with them when they are young to this: When they are below four they are almost too young to remember holidays by four they participate enthusiastically by 12 they are often too “cool” to participate” in family holiday time including sometimes vaction (since holidays come one time per year/ this gives you 8 years or 8 days to enjoy them ! So for all the days when it seems like they will never grow up and the messes will never be cleanned up.
    Enjoy your 8 days ! Some day before we all know it the littles of today will be those in charge.

    • holi says

      Yes, this is exactly the truth. My children are nearly big (age wise!) 19, 16 1/2, 13 1/2, and Everyday I miss the young years. Especially, since I am in the “moms not cool” ages. I keep telling my girls I can’t wait to be a grandma, just to have a baby in the house again. Of course it will be a few years, 8-10 maybe?

  28. Mama Koala says

    Your kids are precious! Thanks for giving this glimpse into your role as a mom.

    Reminds me of the saying, “the days are long but the years are short.”

  29. tiffany says

    What beautiful children!!!! Thank you so much for your posts- just when I’m at the end of my rope and pulling my hair out with my twins- you help me breathe and be thankful

  30. says

    Thank you for sharing your sweet family with us lurkers!! They are precious! We live very close to Clearwater, FL. Did a family member give your daughter that t-shirt or did you visit FL recently?

    • says

      My parents went on a trip there last year and brought the shirt home for her. We’ve never been to Florida before, but it’s on our list of places to hopefully visit in the not-too-distant future!

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