In my little world... otherwise known as daily happenings.

Michael is about 10 pounds!  He has chunky cheeks and a sweet disposition.  His smile looks like he is laughing and surprised.  It's really precious to watch.  He loves when I sing to him and is crazy about his pacifier. Ian is 14 pounds.  He's my chunky monkey.  He keeps getting more and more rolls. Every time I change his diaper I discover a new roll... I love it! He is sleeping through the night... can I get a praise God and pass the hallelujah!  I love putting the boys next to each other.  Whether on the bed or on their play mat it's a fun sight to see them near each other.

Libby is my dancing, singing, twirling, jumping ballerina princess.  She has an amazing imagination and tells wonderful stories.  She's quick to go and give the boys kisses telling them how cute they are and precious.  She woke me up yesterday and told me.  "Mommy, you are pretty.  You look like a princess.  I need to get you a crown."  Wasn't that sweet?  I can't get her out of her skirt except when she puts on her princess dress... and coat.  Yeah, the coat is a must.  Then she grabs her purse.  She has quite an assortment of dolls and babies which she refers to simply as her "people" or her "family".  I find them arranged in her room covered in blankets or put in a bassinet.  One of her babies has had several name changes.  The baby has gone from Ian to Egypt to  to England to Michael to Dash to Jack.  She was telling me about Jack and Ariel lately.  She loves to sing to them and rock them and occasionally discipline her children.  Right now when I ask her what princess she is she tells me that she's Belle.  Right now I'm Jasmine.

Samuel is my clingy little monkey.  He loves to hold on and hang on to me.  He doesn't want to be put down.  He's getting better at expressing what he wants and has done well in signing to me when he's all done or if he wants more to eat.  He loves when I tickle him and he loves playing with blocks, trucks, or anything his sister is currently  playing with.  We're working on sharing right now.  We're also working on temper tantrum stuff.  But he's precious and sweet and loves to love on the boys and give them kisses.

Mike has continued studying his Greek and is preparing for his last two classes for the fall.  They're going to be a lot of work.  More work than they should be.  He's going to take his classes through another seminary (online) and transfer it for credit to Westminster and then on top of that work Westminster will be assigning him additional work: papers, exams, and quizzes, etc. to make sure he's getting an academically rigorous education :)  Those crazy die-hard academic people.... Oh well, then he'll be done with his Masters!

Mike is getting browner all the time.  He's working outside a lot and using his muscles.  As he puts it, he's roughening up his scholarly hands.  He's been amazing helping me with the kids and caring for me.  He's great about doing dishes, laundry, changing diapers, giving medicine, changing out the feeding bag and ferrel bag, and listening to me and comforting me when I cry or am overwhelmed.  I feel like we're growing closer as a couple and I'm thankful for all the ways he cares for me.

I've started juicing.  My mom bought me a juicer and I love it!  I've been juicing carrots and apples and cucumbers; sometimes throwing in some other stuff into the mix... raspberries and blueberries. I'm looking forward to trying beats, parsley, turnips, radishes and kale.  The machine I have is so simple to use and easy to clean.  I love it!  It makes juicing a dream.

Cloth diaper.  So I bought one bum genius to try out and I loved it.  When things get a little more normal I'd like to buy some more cloth diapers.  I really want to work it in slowly so it's not too overwhelming but I like the idea of saving money, caring for my children (not having them in chemicals) and helping the planet. I do recognize this might be overly ambitious... so if it doesn't happen... it's okay.  But I'd like to try.

Expanding my reading.  I've been listening to some books on CD lately and have enjoyed Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell and Freakonomics: A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything by Steven D. Levitt.  Both of them have given me something to chew on and mull over.  I've also recently read The Empty Chair: Handling Grief on Holidays and Special Occasions by Susan J. Zonnebelt-Smeenge and Robert C. De Vries and Words Kids Need to Hear by David Staal.

I just also picked up The Shorter Chatecism and Philosophy for Dummies as well as Helmut Thielicke's book How to Believe Again and am excited to delve deeper into these books.  I also just finished reading... which I don't know how you read cook-books but I looked at every page and all the ingredients of The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook: Simple Solutions for eating well.  I want to eat like that.  The food looks so amazing and nutritious at the same time.  In addition I love all the cooking and nutrition tips on the side bar of every page as well as the calories and nutrition content.  I also found Super Foods for Babies and Children- I am loving all the information I'm getting.  The importance of the different minerals, vitamins, and what food has what in it and recipes... it's a great book so far.  Now, in all fairness I must give credit to my Aunt Jo.  She had the last two books at her house and it piqued my interest.  Thankfully the library had these books so I haven't spent a dime but I am hoping for the cook-book maybe for Christmas? (hint, Mike :) )  Yes, I am already thinking about Christmas...I'm planning on what gifts to make, etc.  I'm weird like that.

Also one last book I am reading that I am really enjoying is Raising Baby Green: The Earth Friendly guide to pregnancy, childbirth, and baby care by Alan Greene (ironic name, huh)  Really great book.  Wish it was around before i had Libby.  Would have been nice but oh well. I love the tips, suggestions, products, etc.  It's really well-informed.  I don't feel like I need to do everything but I love knowing the options.  I do now have born-free baby bottles which are bisphenol-A free (Thanks Mom!)  My mom is the one who has been really concerned about aluminum use and also about plastic leaching into my food or water or my children's bottles.  So I have found some cool sites that even have sippy cups that won't leach (  I am looking into getting water bottles that won't leach.  And those of you who know me know I have a water botle with me all the time.  The other thing I love that my mom introduced me to is my deodorant.  It's Arm & Hammer's Essentials Natural Deodorant (fresh scent).  It has no aluminum, no parabens... and best of all it actually works.  I'm the kind of girl that sweats too!  Especially chasing the kids around.  I love what's in it: coriander fruit oil, rosemary leaf oil, lavender oil... mmm.  it's nice.

Ginger thank you for introducing me to my other favorite new product.  I finally found it, girl!  Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellant.  I love the smell and I love that I can put it on my babies!  Isn't their stuff wonderful?!  I use their burt's baby bee hair and body wash and the buttermilk baby burt's bees lotion on my four babes. Simply fabulous stuff.  It works great, smells great, isn't hard on the wallet and also is safe to use.  

I know I'm a walking advertisement but when I love something I gotta tell people about it!

I finally finished knitting my cousin's baby blanket.  Took me long enough... but it's done! :)

Unfortunately, even though Ian is sleeping through the night, I haven't been sleeping well.  I'm struggling falling asleep and then when sleeping I have very vivid, troubling emotional dreams.  I wake up feeling exhausted like I haven't slept.  Someone is concerned that I'm not reaching my R.E.M. cycle so I'm not getting recharged.  Hmmm.... maybe I should try some melatonin?

On that note I should go to bed.  It's already after 10... and well, I have a feeling the kids will keep me busy.

BTW- if you actually got to the end of this post then wow.  you're really committed because this dear people, is a long post.


Ginger said…
Im loving this post, Jen--great to here praises of your wonderful babes! Also, good tips for the au natural life--Ive got to check out that book! I have also enjoyed our water bottles..not cheap, but great. Glad you like the repellant..sometimes I think of wearing it as purfume :)
Lizzy said…
Jen ~ I love reading your posts!! This one, especially. Praise God for His goodness expressed in daily life, eh? Well, I wanted to let you know that vitamin B complex, calcium, and magnesium are an EXCELLENT concoction for a very deep, restful night of sleep. I take one B, one mag, and two calcium every single night and it works like a dream...literally! not sure what the rules are about taking it while you're nursing and stuff, but check it out girl!! love from Lizzy
Sarah said…
I got to the end! Yeah, it was a long post, but it is so good to hear from you and about how your precious family are doing that I didn't really notice till you pointed it out! Lots of good ideas in there too.... Glad to hear the cloth diapers worked for you - we're definitely thinking of trying them, just gotta choose which ones to get...

Hugs to all of you Napiers xxx
Ashleigh said…
good to catch up with you. :-)
Rebekah Judd said…
What a great post. So glad thing are going well. Come visit and watch the olympics soon...maybe next week. (and thanks for the tip on insect repellent. Avery usually has about 5 or 6 bug bites on her).
Erin said…
I read to the end too! Wow, what an update. Good to hear from all of you. Your reading list inspires me and you've really got me wanting to try some of the products and books you mentioned. Thanks for the recommendations!
wendy said…
Jen, don't buy the Superfood book. I just cleaned it out of my cupboard. I loved that book and would love to pass it on to you. If you are interested let me know, Great book. The other one you might like is called Superimmunity for Kids, by Dr. Leo Gallen (I am remembering so the name might be off). Anyway, glad to hear you are seeing the ways God is growing you through your season. All my love friend.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the very thorough update. ;)
It's such a blessing to catch up with you when I'm this far away...

Look forward to seeing you soon.

I love you.

i made it to the end ;) Love you!
brenda said…
Love reading your blog..especially when it reads that all is well with your family! Now I want to find the book Superfoods for babies and children...Was wondering if you could put on your blog what KIND of juicer you have? I'd love to get one...My little one is 21 months and keeps me hopping all the time! I can only imagine 4 little ones! But what a treasure they are!!
brenda said…
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