Summer break summer break summer break!!!!!!! I love teaching my kids, and I love the break from it, too. May started that break while still finishing up other priorities that correspond with the “normal” school year. Loving my time with my family.
Bill was attempting to get a pic of me in an awkward position, but I lost it right before he caught it. The boys did much better than I did. I won’t mention how terribly they follow the rules and freely move their limbs as they please to make it easier. I, however, was awesome.
We joined Conner Prairie again this year. If you ever visit Indy, you must go here. It’s my favorite museum!
We found out we’re getting a new son and daughter!!!!! Bill and I have had three visits with them, and they are amazing. All our kids meet each other next week! We can’t wait for them to live with us in a few weeks. A friend and neighbor came over to take some pics of us that we put in a book for M and C, including a pic of us making room for them. We love them so much already!!!!The real us.The posed us.
Spring doesn’t just bring animal babies. It usually brings plenty of human babes, too! This is one of our sweet neighbors at only a week old. I’m always a really awesome servant for my friends, holding their babies to give their arms a break for a while. I’m holy like that.
Michelangelo in the making.
This is the city, folks. Rail trail on the near east side. Seriously, we see horses all the time, even on downtown sidewalks.
May block party. Serving junk food in style!
I just love this picture. Bill took it without me knowing. It’s just a morning moment with my smallest girl, simply chatting. No makeup, no hair fixed, just us not posing.
My oldest is now 12. My eyes get blurry typing that, so no more caption.
First splash pad and playground of the season. It won’t be the last.
The Children’s Museum currently has a circus exhibit. As part of it, they do a show in the main part where they “shoot a kid out of the canon.” Miriam was picked to be the kid!!!!! It was such a fun experience for her getting to act on the fly. She was spectacular!Here she is being shot. 😉 And she’s OK!
I started teaching voice again last fall, and my students had their first recital. They were all amazing! Bell kids even performed “So Long, Farewell” with only two weeks to practice. Love my students and family.
When you can’t get along, you wear Daddy’s shirt together and cooperate to clean up toys. I laughed the whole time. They didn’t. I’m a nice mommy…
Our 3rd-5th grade kids participate in an amazing after school program at the Children’s Museum. This was a picture of the group this year (Ariana and Esther are hidden in there) along with the teachers we love so much. We are truly blessed to live so close to this place!
I bought this for Bill on his birthday and then basically twisted his arm to wear it to work. He was super happy about it. But he did it cause he lurves me!
Bill and I took our annual trip away. We went to Saugatuck, MI, and it was maybe the sweetest trip we’ve ever taken. So thankful we have an amazing friend who tackles the kids (sometimes literally!) for a long weekend so we get this time each year.
This month was less eventful with “special” days, but I’ve been praying to learn each day is special. It was a sweet month, while busy beginning to wrap up normal school year stuff.
This is always a bitter/sweet season for us. The beauty of spring and looking forward to a more open schedule. But it also brings more stress and challenges as a family. Attitudes are high, and we all kind of flake out with our responsibilities. We’re all just over school and our very full daily calendar. I want to keep it real here, because pictures only give a partial picture. Though if you look closely enough, you can see more. For instance, you’ll notice the absence of one of our daughters in many pictures. Particular rebellion is typically high this time of year, which results in several losses of privileges. Not every moment is bad, but every moment isn’t grand either.
There are fewer pics this month because as usual, we forget to document much with a camera! One event with no pictures was our block party. We had a sweet time with many neighbors grilling hot dogs and hanging out in our yard. I seriously love our neighbors to the moon and back!
These girls spent almost an entire day making this huge Lego town, complete with zip line!
We decided this year to train as a family for a 5K. The kids, even the little ones, are all doing amazingly!!! They talk when we run. I don’t. Which says a lot.
We spent a day at the Children’s Museum with some dear friends from Louisville! The same day, we ran into friends from our college days!!! One of my favorite days.
MDKT (Mom Dad Kid Time) that we do with each kid each month. Love this individual time!
This girl dances in style!
The girls spent our monthly Rule and Drool day at a bookstore and The Flying Cupcake. We’re super serious, ya’ll.These water bottles would. not. open.
These girlies are three of my favorites in the world. Our tweens are blossoming in friendships these day, and this mama couldn’t be more thankful.I’m a pretty ginormous fan of this lady, too. Love her so much!!!
Showing fabulous artwork.
Day at Shades State Park!
Look! Bill made it into a picture! One of our besties took this before we went to celebrate a sweet wedding. Isn’t he dreamy???
These little cuties officially finished preschool! The exclamation point is there to remind myself I should be happy they’re growing and all my children are now school age and my hands aren’t as full anymore and yada yada yada. But I still want my babies!!!!! So there.
I pulled my rotator cuff in my left arm (no idea how!), so this is world’s best hubs fixing my hair for me. He rocks!Finished product!
We enrolled Liam in an acting class. He had a great time with it! We got to watch him on his final night perform his monologue–from Harry Potter, of course. This mama might have gotten a bit teary eyed. From the dust in the room…
I have to say that March 2017 feels like a blur. It might have something to do with the fact of the girls having their dance recital and a VERY full calendar. Regardless, it was still a fun month with lots of joy and laughter. Here are some highlights!
I just think she’s the cutest!
I mean, just look at her!
One of the fun and unique things we got to do this month was attend the NFL Combine Experience here in Indy. It was free and a ton of fun for the kiddos.
Sprints (squad 1)
Sprints (squad 2)–check out that burst of speed from the dude on the left. 😉
They were so sweet when the little ones gave it a shot.
An obstacle course
She’s a blur of speed and agility
That’s a Heisman-worthy pose right there!
This was a really cool remote-controlled tackling dummy. The guy operating it kept messing with the kids and scooting it away right as they’d approach. It was awesome.
They had this field laid out to the side. When the tackling dummy operator saw, ya know, our incredibly large number of kids, he took the dummy over there and did us the great favor of wearing our kids out chasing the dummy around the field.
Long jump–they have some, um, interesting form!
The fam posing around our favorite team logo!
So, Court always says I’m never in the pictures. Which is true. But here’s my “Before” picture of my current weight loss regimen. I include it because it’s practically the only picture of me this month!
I can’t remember what they were watching, but clearly they were in suspense!
Courtney has started learning some nail art techniques. She glammed Vi-Vi up with some Hello Kitty.
Esther designed her two-dancer artwork
Because our dance instructor was about to have her baby, our girls’ dance recital was earlier than usual. We were in a new but very small venue. Here are some photos of the little lovelies.
The boys, while waiting for the recital to start, engaged in this epic staring contest. Their game faces are really something…
One of our goals in 2017 is to walk the entire Monon Trail (not all in the same day). We picked a particularly cold Saturday to get started. We got about two miles before we ditched back to the house (the smiles in the picture are deceptively happy compared to the frigid weather!). But more to come!
On the first day of Spring, we had our annual Spring Celebration. Since we’ve decided not to mix our Jesus holidays with the other fun activities of the season, we do baskets and bunnies and eggs on the first day of Spring instead of Easter.
Bunnies for breakfast
Following the Bell tradition, the kids had to hunt in the house to find their individual baskets
It was very cold and wet, so we also had the egg hunt indoors
I thought this was a totally great snapshot of our homeschooling day. You can see three of the kids working at the table while Courtney answers a question for Ariana. Also, as usual, we probably don’t know where the other four kids are (just kidding… kind of…)
Josiah took the magnetic letters and numbers to make this number line. He was quite pleased (look at that cute smile!)
Courtney teaching one of her students. Look at that dropped jaw! And that lovely face!
I took my annual personal retreat this past weekend. I spent quite a bit of time hiking around Turkey Run State Park. I had several times of complete solitude and silence–it was very refreshing. Here are some scenic photos I took. I’m not in any of them. Because I don’t selfie. Because, well, then I’d be in a picture…
While I was on my retreat, Courtney and the kids had a blast of a time. The last night, they all camped out together in the same room.
Good grief, she’s a hottie!!!!
Go Team Bell!!!!
The shortest month of the year wasn’t going to let itself be forgotten! Packed full of busy, stress, tears, and also much sweet fun. We had two birthdays and two trips. Memories!
We took a long weekend vacay to Cincinnati this year. We got to stay in the cutest little cottage with nooks and crannies everywhere! The kids enjoyed being there as much as the things we did around town.
Eating at O’Charley’sVisiting the Creation MuseumPetting Zoo at the MuseumWe’ve done this girl a great disservice by not living on a farm. She was made to take care of animals!And I decided I want a cow. Like in a big way. Not to eat. Those eyes!!!Intense game of FroggerFancy seafood restaurantThe aquarium. I love Esther’s face!!Playgrounds in downtown Cincy.Maybe we shouldn’t have all gone down at the same time… Miriam is the wise one.Breakfast for lunch, with Popeye in the back.
Each month, we have a “Sacrifice the Normal Day” or SND for short. This month we spent the day in Terra Haute, IN. The Children’s Museum, Clabbergirl Museum, and hiking. Loved it there! This is now one of my favorite pictures of all times!!!Bill may have ridden one of these for a long time…It’s a good SND when the kid who NEVER sleeps in a vehicle is the only one to sleep on the way home.
Because of weird warm weather in February, we took more walks than usual this time of year.
How does Leia end up in so many of our blog posts? And how is she so stinking adorable???
School project making pomander balls.
Bill’s a seminary student again, so I get to hang with these weirdos by myself Tuesday nights. We all decided to sleep together. Really. We’re totally asleep. No, really.
Hanging at one of our favorite rocks at the beginning of one of our favorite trails.
Dates with four of my young loves.
I always talk about how Bill manages to never be in pictures. He texted this one to our church, so I knew he was proud of it and would want it on the blog.
Lots of park play with our awesome neighbors. Does your tongue feel like mine?
Finding this in your purse=real parenting.
Bill and I have long-standing slug bug battle. It gets real. I upped the ante when I took a picture of one when we weren’t together and texted it to him saying “Slug Bug White!” I win.
This kid and his trees. Yes, one of our friends may have told us this tree will eventually need to be cut down, but shhhh.
This girl and I had our “coming of age” weekend with me! We headed to Bloomington and had a sweet time together for four days.
Playing at WonderlabBill taking the kids grocery shopping while Essie and I were gone. Don’t worry, Aiden didn’t suffocate.BuildingIce cream!!!Us on coffee and sugar way too late in the day.My little beauty. Please stop, Time.Getting her ears pierced like a boss.And done!Matching hats!One of the women who cleaned our room tucked in baby doll! So sweet!!! Can’t tell from the picture, but we went skating together! It was my first time in at least 19 years. I could have stayed all day!Playing house while Mom and Essie are gone.Manis and pedis
This was a big month for this girl, since she also had her ninth birthday! She said she thought this February was her favorite month ever.Chuck E Cheese’s to celebrate the birthday. Victoria just stood still waiting for Chuck E to come out for more than 10 minutes. She’s a fan!
Heaven’s bed head one morning! It was so fantastic we think we’re going to try to start a trend.
We love December. Our neighborhood is quiet from the cold, extra-curricular activities take a break, and we just get more time to hole up as a family. This has been a sweet month for all of that.
Always a family favorite–wrestling Daddy. It’s getting harder and harder for him to overtake them these days. And while he still can…
The choir I sing in gave our premier performance. I love these people.
The girls were again in the Nutcracker. We are so blessed to dance with this studio!
Our first snowman! 😉
A glimpse into our lives in a few years. The girls taking off their makeup after the recital. Oh, boy.
And a better snowman. This was the perfect snow for it!
Ariana baked cupcakes for Aiden’s birthday all by herself!
We all had an amazing and hard-working week with Nana!!! She came in to help me give my home a clean-sweep/re-org for the end of the year. This woman is better at this stuff than anyone I know, and she never stopped, even with a sore knee. This is an end-of-the-week movie time, complete with Nana snuggles. I was relieved Aiden wore his helmet, too, in case something came flying out of the TV screen.
Grocery shopping date with Daddy
Coloring time. Bill gifted me with a FabFitFun subscription box! The girls loved helping me decorate it. Aka, I did nothing. 🙂
Family reading time
The traditional search for baby Jesus to put in the manger on Christmas morningAnd the finder of said baby
Ah yeah, buddie, dig in to that stocking candy.
Sugar cookie time!
Legos for days
And a cute little birthday boy!!!