Sunday, December 25, 2011

Josiah Courage "Joe" Sims age 4 of Towanda, IL passed away at 8:22am on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington, IL. A memorial service will be held at 7:00 pm Friday December 30th at Christ Church PCA. (1301 North Linden, Normal, IL 61761) Pastor Bob Smart and Pastor David Keithley will officiate.

The family will receive friends following the memorial service at the church on Friday.

The family encourages support of a child through Compassion International or a monetary gift to that ministry in memory of Joe.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Josiah Courage Sims

Josiah started having stomach pains on Monday and we assumed that he had a flu that had been running through our house. However, it seemed to be affecting Josiah worse than anyone else. On Tuesday afternoon he was still having a lot of pain in his belly and throwing up. We took him to the doctor that afternoon. The doctor naturally thought that he had a 3 day flu that has been going around in our area. Tuesday evening Josiah was still in pain and throwing up despite the anti-nausea medicine that the doctor had given. On Wednesday morning we were getting ready to take him to the doctor again when he very suddenly just stopped breathing. By the time the ambulance came he was already gone.

It was determined after the fact that Josiah had a congenital defect known as Meckel's diverticulum. Josiah had a complication as a result of this condition that involved a blockage of the small intenstine. The complication was probably the result of a viral infection.

Our family is deeply shocked by this loss, but we know that God has some good purpose in mind. We are comforted knowing that Josiah is with Jesus who is our only hope. We miss Josiah intensley, but it is mixed with the absolute hope that though he cannot come to us now, we will one day go to him.

We will be communicating plans for the memorial service in the near future. Thank you for all of the support we have recieved.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Writing with prompts is actually keeping me blogging! :o)

December 16th
Volunteer: Did you volunteer anywhere this year? Did you learn something in the process? Would you volunteer in 2012? If you don’t, why don’t you?

My oldest daughter and I volunteer in the nursery at our church, which usually ends up being once every 5-6 week or so. I enjoy little ones so it's not a tough job. :O) I'm not sure if we'll continue once the baby is born. I will be a bit more limited on just how much help I'd be. :P

December 17th
Ordinary Joy: How have you experienced ordinary joy this year?

Joy. That would have to be from my kiddos. Watching them play, learn and just enjoy life. The funny things they do or say (a lot of which I post on Facebook!). All of that brings me joy. Watching Theo this year go from a newborn to crawling to almost running! His little laugh and slight roar that he makes when he's happy. Kathleen learning to talk more and all of us getting to witness her sweet personality emerge....

I could go on and on. :O) I'm a blessed gal to have all these little people to bring me joy. It's truly wonderful. (not EVERY moment obviously but most!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 13 thru 15

December 13th

Splurge: Did you splurge on something this year? Did the troubled economy prompt you to hold back, or did you just give it all for something?

Yes! We have never, ever, ever owned a new vehicle. I don't think we've even owned one less than 10 years old....until this year. I would venture to guess that the biggest stress in the past few years was due to vehicles needing repairs. So, we bit the bullet and bought a fantastic and GIANT 15 passenger van. I absolutely love it and have had no regrets. And no stress.

December 14th

Jobs: Did you change jobs in 2011? What did you do? Did you change careers? If you didn’t, did you do something that made you proud in your work? Do you plan to make a change in 2012?

I am first and foremost a wife and mother. That is my main job in life and I enjoy it thoroughly.

In the past year though I have added the title business owner to my life. I'm now known as 'the lady in {insert my small town name} with a whole bunch of kids who runs a curriculum shop out of her home'. It's amazing to hear the word spread and how the Lord has helped me to go from just an idea to where we are now. I'm truly a blessed gal.

December 15th
Things: Many people believe that things are not important, so whether things or something more grand, what are the three most important things in your life right now?

I feel like there should be two answers to this question. The first being the obvious, serious and true answer:

1)The Lord
2) My husband
3) My kids
The second being three things literally referring to 'stuff'

1) My stretchy yoga pants.

During every pregnancy I spend way too much time readjusting/pulling up my maternity pants because they just refuse to stay where they are supposed to. My yoga pants though? They fit perfectly, I just wish they were presentable enough to wear out of the house.

2) Coffee.

It's an addiction. One I freely admit and I'm not concerned even one bit about.

3) My kitchen aid mixer.

I use it ALL.THE.TIME. I'm not sure how I lived without it. I am dreaming/drooling over the bigger Bosch though....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Writing with prompts

Just like Sarah, I've been in a bit of a blogging funk (you noticed, didn't you?). Which just makes blogging with writing prompts perfect for me right now.

Since I'm also a couple of weeks late to jump on this train I have a lot to write about here goes:

December 1: Memory
What's the first thing you remember about 2011? What stands out in your head?

My fabulous cousin Ressa came and stayed a week with us. We took a trip up to the Chicago Aquarium which was fun, but I think I enjoyed the relaxing days of playing bananagrams much better! :)

December 2: Make
This is a two pronged prompt! What did you enjoy making this year? Did you "make the Dean's list"? Or maybe you made a really good wine, or maybe you made some furniture. And, what do you look forward to making during the holidays? Cookies? Homemade gifts?

Hmm, I really enjoyed making a nice hot cup of coffee every morning...but that answer sounds cheesy. I did make our Halloween costumes (the crayons in the header picture). I really do like to make our costumes every year and I'm hoping the kids will give me a couple more years before they're 'too old' for family costume themes. I try to do a little bit of baking each Christmas season, usually Rocky Road or chocolate dipped pretzels maybe even sugar cookies or gingerbread men. I don't really plan it out though, I'm more of a 'hey lets make cookies today' kinda gal.

December 3: Book
What was your favorite book you read this year? Was it for school or work? Or, was it for fun? And how did you read it? On your Nook or your Kindle? Or, do you still enjoy reading on an actual, physical book? Why did you like it?

Without a doubt Unbroken was the best book of the year. Other than school books with the kids it may actually have been the ONLY book I read this year. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it. I read it as a real actual book because I checked it out from the library. I like to read on the kindle when they are free...oh there was another, I read Uncle Tom's Cabin! It was free on the kindle.

December 4: Miracle
Do you feel you experienced or witnessed miracle this year? How so?

Seeing our babies little heartbeat during an ultrasound. Little baby movements and kicks....It doesn't matter that this is baby #10, it's a miracle EVERY time and never gets old.

December 5: Songs
By now many radio stations are playing Christmas and other holiday songs. What is one of your favorite holiday songs?

I'm really bad at trying to name songs let alone who sings them. I do like Carol of the Bells and Jingle Bell Rock is always a fun one to dance around the kitchen with the kids to. I think my favorites this year have to be any that my daughter has learned to play on the piano. It's neat to hear them played in your house rather than over the radio. The kids even practiced Jingle Bells together (Amanda on piano, Kenny on drums & Stephen on guitar). That was pretty cool.

December 6: People
Who did you meet in 2011? Who do you want to meet in 2012?

Sadly, I cannot think of a single new person that I've met this year. I'm sure that there were a few new ladies I met through the mom's group I go to, maybe? Next year I'm looking forward to 'meeting' our new little girl in February. Also, and this probably won't happen. But I'd love to meet Michelle Duggar. She's scheduled to be the key speaker at the Hearts at Home conference here in our town in March. I'm not even sure if I'll be able to attend, but if I could go it would be neat to get to meet her.

December 7: Quit
Did you quit something this year?

I quit drinking diet coke on a daily basis. Basically, I just quit buying it to have at home. I still drink it occasionally when we go out to eat. I'm not even sure why I did this? It sort of just happened.

December 8: Goodbye
Did you have to say goodbye to someone in 2011? Did they move away or did you lose them unexpectedly? How did you react? What would you say to them now if they could hear you or read your message?

At the end of October we said goodbye to some good friends (Jon & Renee) as they moved back to Washington state (from PA). Hopefully we'll find a way to get to see them again in the next year or so since they too are expecting a little one in February (their first baby!).

December 9: Travel
Where did you travel in 2011? Who did you travel with? What did you learn while you were there? Where do you hope to visit in 2012?

We took a trip to Pennsylvania, to Jon & Renee's wedding. We also got the chance while we were there to tour Washington D.C. with a couple of Jon's brothers. I'd say we learned that friends really can be like family...but I think we already knew that. I'd love to get to go on a vacation in 2012, to anywhere really, but I'm not sure if that'll happen?

December 10th: Television
Which television shows, series, program or otherwise did you discover this year? What resonated with you? Did you finally start watching "Modern Family"? Or, maybe you followed Oprah to her new network? Whatever it is you stumbled across, tell us about it.

Almost all of our tv comes through Netflix. I think my favorite of the year would be Psych. It's funny. Or maybe Mad Men, that was a pretty good one but I'm waiting for new episodes.

December 11: Without
What can you do without in 2012? What did you feel was holding you down this year? Was it a job? A relationship? Or, could it be something really simple - like an outfit that just went out of style.

I could really do without a few pounds. After baby is born I'd really like to get more serious about getting back into shape (even though I'm told round IS a shape). I can think of more than a few people who will be great inspiration for me (Emily, Sarah, Amy....)

December 12: Fear
What were you afraid of in 2011? How did you let fear control you? What will you do to confront it in 2012?

I'm not sure if this qualifies as a fear, maybe more of an anxiety...but telling people about my business? Stepping out of my comfort zone and advertising (at a curriculum sale or word of mouth). Starting a business is something I've wanted to do for a long time, but actually doing it? Nerve wracking. Next year I hope to continue growing it and I do entertain the possibility of moving it into a retail space instead of out of our house. Even branching into future goals of kids clothing resale along with the books. Aaaah. See it makes me feel nervous just typing that. I don't want people to think I'm crazy for attempting it and I don't want to fail. Yep. Fear.

Until tomorrow, I think that about catches me up!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I love hearing about large families when it's portrayed in such a great way. It makes me SO sad when I read negative comments (mainly about the Duggars).

Also.... that little ticker on the right shows that I'm 30 weeks today!!! With the holidays and a few birthdays coming up in our family I'm sure these last 10 weeks or so are going to just speed by, eek! :O)

Monday, October 17, 2011

My little Crayons

For Halloween we really love to put together family theme costumes. My husband heard about a local campground that hosts trick or treating mid-October, so we decided to get things ready and go! We had a few friends that went with us too (that aren't pictured). They went along with the theme as coloring pages, a paint brush (her hair was the brush!) and a painters palette.

Here's a group shot of our family...

P.s. I realize many of you already saw this on Facebook, but I wanted it here for my own reasons :O)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bitten by the craft bug

Most of my days are so filled with the ordinary obligations that I don't often get inspired to many 'extra' things. This week, however, I had an itch to do something crafty.

I started off by making this FALL sign for my shelf,

and then Amanda and I had a TON of fun making different scarves out of old t-shirts!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We went in for our 20 week ultrasound today....




I was certain that we were going to have a boy, but being wrong is good too. I'm beyond excited!! :O)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Breaking the silence

The last month has zipped by packed with lots of activity!

We repainted our dining room and installed new flooring. Ian built a nice big table and new (much sturdier) benches! Isn't it pretty?

Amanda turned 11 and had the privilege of getting her ears pierced.

Leenie (Kathleen) turned 2 and is just as adorable as ever....yes, I am biased just a wee bit.

Aaaaand, we hosted our 2nd annual Sims Birthday Bash! Essentially this is one big 'ole birthday party a year instead of hosting a friend party for each of the kids on their individual birthday's. It was perfect weather this year and we had a blast. I do believe that the kids' favorite activity was the face painting.

Ian seemed to like roasting the pig! It turned out SO yummy.

I've come to the realization though that I should not try and be the host and photographer. We simply didn't get enough photos to document the day because I was too busy! :P

Lets see....we also started back to full time school work and extra curricular activities like music lessons, band, AWANA, & a science co-op.

I'm 18 weeks along with baby #10 and feeling pretty good. We go in for a sonogram in a couple of weeks to get a peek and hopefully get to find out baby's gender. : )

Monday, August 15, 2011

Unintended hiatus

Between home school, house work & pregnancy I feel like just living daily life is sucking up any brain power I have at the moment.

Things here are going well, I just can't seem to put any sort of coherent thoughts down about it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


~My two oldest kids have joined a local home school band (of like 9) and seem to enjoy it quite a bit. It's encouraging to see them excited about practicing for something.

~ We enjoyed a visit from great friends. It's amazing how the Lord orchestrates to bring people together (even through the internet)!

~Kenny (the oldest boy) has been able to read for years but hasn't really liked it. However, over the past week he's had his nose stuck in a book. What book caught his attention? Little Pilgrim's Progress. I couldn't be happier with his choice! :O)

~Kathleen (almost two) is starting to talk a lot more. I was lying on the couch the other morning, she climbed up, laid down next to me and said, "cuddle". SO SWEET!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jessica turns 7

It seems like the older my kids get the more incredulous I feel about birthdays.

In my head I'm thinking, "SEVEN? WHO TOLD YOU, YOU COULD TURN SEVEN!!"

*sigh* no matter how I feel about them growing up though, it still happens.

When you are a procrastinator/forgetful like me you end up having to improvise a lot (and I mean A LOT). Like having to use matches in place of candles.... :O)

Thankfully, my kids are pretty used to this sort of thing so it didn't phase her at all!

Happy Birthday my sweet Jessica!

Monday, July 11, 2011

7 months

All of you are so smart and figured out that the common theme in my last post was 10. As in, yes I'm now expecting baby number 10!!! Double digits. Wow. We are excited. :O)

In all the talk of another baby we must not let any of the other kiddos fade into the background!

I believe Theophilus (Theo) is determined to to be a boy all his own in this family.

Here he is at 7 months old now.

He's sitting up, laughing (he's SUPER ticklish!)

AND CRAWLING!!! He is by far the earliest crawler in our family, the average before him was 8-9 months old and he's crawled for about a month already~ I really wasn't prepared for that so soon!

He's a really laid back, content guy.....I couldn't love him more!