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Friday, August 27, 2010


Eli  started his first day of preschool on Monday!  He goes MWF from 9-11:30am at one of the Lutheran churches in town.  It's Bible-centered learning, and just an overall fun environment for him to begin his school years!  He was SO excited to go, and when we arrived at the school that first day he just went right in and started playing with toys while I got some things figured out with the teacher.  He'd remembered it well from our visit last spring, and a friend of his is in his class this year, so that does make it easier for him.

This has begun a whole new life for all of us, as it means trucking back and forth from town twice each of those days.  But actually, it's not seeming to be that big of a deal, especially since Kevin's days off are sometimes during the week.  Hannah's still getting used to the fact that she doesn't get to go to school.  That first day she bawled, absolutely BAWLED, ALL the way home, as in could-barely-breathe bawled, so we sat on the porch swing for awhile 'til she calmed down.  Then she got to paint with water colors.  Then we had tea time.  Then she watched a show while I took care of some stuff for MOPS.  And then it was time to pick up Eli.  This time she stayed in the van while I went in to get Eli.  And that's the way we continue to do it.  =)  But gosh, I love it.  Carter naps while Eli's at school so I get blessed one-on-one time with Hannah.  It's so quiet.  So wonderful, so absolutely wonderful.  We have tea time every day (well, every MWF) and she helps me with chores, and we read books, and she paints some more or does some sort of activity.  And did  I mention it's quiet?  Ahh, I love this, REALLY love this.

And then Eli comes home and I get to see his sweet smile again and ask him about his day.  He doesn't say much so I have to ask a lot of specific questions throughout the day.  He has such a great time.  And he got a new backpack, a THOMAS backpack-that's-really-too-big-for-him, since that first day, so I'll have to get a picture of that.  It's just so great to see him do something on his own, to see him excited to learn and be a part of something, and to put all his learning and training into practice away from Sister outside the home.  Before he goes we talk about he can share Jesus at school-- by sharing toys, helping others, listening to his teachers, having good manners--and at the end of his "day" I ask him what things he did to share Jesus.  He doesn't quite understand but it's a good beginning for all the years to come.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A thankful heart.

This morning I was jotting some things down in my thankful journal {that I hadn't written in at all since June 15 by the way}.  Eli asked what I was doing so I told him, and he asked if he could put some things in his journal too.  So for at least the next 45 minutes he kept listing things he was thankful for as he continued to bounce around the living room doing what kids do.  Some things he repeated several times, and at first I didn't write them again, but towards the end I decided I would because it shows what he thinks of most.  He kept going forever, it was awesome!  Here his list as he said it...

1. I am thankful for... friends.
2. I am thankful for... family.
3. I am thankful for... Carter is my best friend.
4. I am thankful for...I am safe.
5. I am thankful for... my house keeping me dry.
6. I am thankful for...my whole house and my room.
7. I am thankful for...I am healthy water and food.  {?}
8. I am thankful for... my bed.
9. I am thankful for... my big family.
10. I am thankful for... I get plenty of drinks.
11. I am thankful for...my chairs.
12. I am thankful for... my whole big blankies.
13. I am thankful for... my whole outside.
14. I am thankful for... I get plenty of air. {as he was looking at the AC unit}
15. I am thankful for...I get plenty of drink energy.  {?}
16. I am thankful for... my pictures.
17. I am thankful for... I get to go to school.
18. I am thankful for...that little helicopter that Daddy got.
19. I am thankful for... I got a lot of water.
20. I am thankful for... my stickers.
21. I am thankful for... Grandma and Grandpa.
22. I am thankful for... Mommy.
23. I am thankful for... my new cup.
24. I am thankful for... Paul and Holly.
25. I am thankful for... Jesus because I can be clean my heart.
26. I am thankful for... devotion.
27. I am thankful for... my big birthday.
28. I am thankful for... Daddy's big birthday yesterday. His Jeep one.  {yesterday just equals the past}
29. I am thankful for...I'm a little airplane. {huh?}
30. I am thankful for... I got energy right now.
31.  I am thankful for... you.
32. I am thankful for... my whole big life.
33. I am thankful for... plenty of sleep.
34. I am thankful for... juice.
35. I am thankful for... my special birthdays and my little lawnmower and my jeep.
36. I am thankful for... I am healthy and strong.
37. I am thankful for... donuts.
38. I am thankful for... my little Carter.
39. I am thankful for... Hannah's princess stuff.
40. I am thankful for... Carter James.
41. I am thankful for... my chairs.
42. I am thankful for... Jesus dying for our sins.
43. I am thankful for... my big giant sleep.
44. I am thankful for... Hannah.
45. I am thankful for... Carter doesn't poop out at night.  AND he goes to sleep right away.  {LOL}
46. I am thankful for... my whole big giant yard and I get plenty of food.
47. I am thankful for... swimming lessons.
48. I am thankful for... pictures.
49. I am thankful for... big, big JUMPS!
50. I am thankful for... blue sky.
51. I am thankful for... this {jumps off the couch}.
52. I am thankful for... Hannah jumping that way.
53. I am thankful for... blue trees.
54. I am thankful for... trees are green.
55. I am thankful for... Jesus.
56. I am thankful for... stickers.
57. I am thankful for... my blankies.
58. I am thankful for... trains.
59. I am thankful for... wagon rides.
60. I am thankful for... family.
61. I am thankful for... Paul and Holly.
62. I am thankful for... socks.
63. I am thankful for... plenty of sleep.
64. I am thankful for... fan, air {con}ditioner
65. I am thankful for... sleep.
66. I am thankful for... sun keep me warm.
67. I am thankful for... my whole body is growing me up and hopefully I'm getting me married soon.
68. I am thankful for... toys.
69. I am thankful for... pillows.
70. I am thankful for... chairs.
71. I am thankful for... tree branches.
72. I am thankful for... Hannah's dancin'.
73. I am thankful for... Hannah's spinning.
74. I am thankful for... dancing.
75. I am thankful for... Jesus on this picture.

What a sweet boy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Family Vacation

Destination:  A lakeside KOA in Ft. Collins, Colorado. WITH Paul and Holly and my parents.  We each reserved our own cabins and met out there.  The kids did fantastic on the 9 hr drive.  I made them a map of things I knew we'd see along the way, we played car BINGO, we read a stack of new library books, they played with lacing cards and other toys great for the car,  ate lots of snacks and a cooler lunch, and they watched a movie.  We were there before we knew it!

The campground has lots of great amenities including a big playground area, swimming pool with a baby pool, paddle boats, bumper boats, mini golf, arcade, library, fitness room, fitness trail, and of course the LAKE.  Our cabin had two bunk beds (twin-twin, twin-double), a little kitchenette, and a small bathroom with a shower.  It worked great for us!  And the location of our cabin was perfect too, right on the corner next to the lake and the fishing dock and bumper boats.  Since we have to stay right outside our cabin while the kids nap, it made for a nice place to hang out.  We did the bumper boats, paddle boats, the pool (although it was pretty COLD), the walking trail.  We cooked our own meals, we spent evenings by the campfire with gooey smores, we went hiking (be it a short hike cuz rain started to come), and even Kevin and I got out for a little date one of the afternoons (batting cage and go Karts).  Mostly we just really enjoyed hanging out as a family, relaxing by the lakeside.  Ahh...

The whole trip was a little hard for Carter though.  He decided to stay on Central time and wake up at 5:30am, on the dot, every morning and was then on a different schedule from the rest of us for the whole day.  He was tired fussy through nearly every meal and our entire hike except for the very end.  So it was quite frustrating, but family was pretty good about helping out and mom would push him in the stroller sometimes to get him to finally FINALLY fall asleep.

In the end though we had a really great trip, and we already can't wait for next year!!

Now, because I have so many more pictures than what will fit in one post, or even several posts, this time I'm going to try a slide show.  There aren't any captions, and I think the music might now be working right, but it at least gives you a glimpse into our vacation.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Carter--7 months!

*sigh* How has yet another month passed already?!  While we were in Colorado Carter turned 7 months, so I took his pictures there and before I post about our vacation, I thought I'd get Carter's update posted first.

Some big things happened this month!

* The night of his 6-month "birthday" he slept through the night for the first time and has been doing so since, sleeping from 7:30/8pm-6:30am(ish)
* He naps 2-3 times a day, from 9-11am and 1-3pm and then catnaps around 5:30pm, though that last nap is harder to get though he desperately needs it.
* He doesn't sleep well when we're out. AT. ALL.  And will get very cranky.
* He got his first two teeth which I posted about here! (bottom fronts)
* He's eating "solids" very well now.  So far he's had sweet potatoes, peas, banana, applesauce, carrots.  We even tried bits of bread n stuff while we were out.  We've also tried Gerber Puffs but that didn't go well.  Still just gags on them.
* He still nurses about 5 times a day.  He likes to yank on my hair while he eats.
* His hair is growing in nicely.  It's definitely lost the red tint it had when he was younger.  
* His eyes are dark grey color.
* He's almost crawling.  He gets up on his hands and knees and shimmies along, but it's still not quite the left-right-left-right deal.
* Paper is his most-coveted item to play with/eat.
* He also loves to suck on the arms of his little blanket bears!
* He gets upset when you take something away from him.
* He's otherwise a very delightful baby and will most often shove his whole fist in his mouth when he smiles.  =) 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

You can go ahead and thank us.

Remember this and this? You can hardly forget a winter like this last one! Tromping through the snow 9 months pregnant in my high heel knee-tall dress boots with two young children trying to get to our van at the end of the lane so we could get out for church. Melting buckets and buckets of snow for water since our water had gone out when we had no way of getting out or having anyone come. Wow. What memories. At the time all we had was a shovel and our good ol' neighbor "Farmer Steve" to dig us out in time of need. After weighing all our snow-removal options (larger riding mower with blower attachment, blade for Kevin's truck, or an old tractor with a scoop) we finally decided to keep on with our search for an old tractor. All the options cost about the same but the tractor actually seemed like it would be the most useful. And it would give us the ability to clear the ROAD if need be. Kevin found an old used tractor with front loader a month or so ago at one of our local tractor implements, AND they were able to deliver it for us, so we went ahead and got it while we could. We've already used it to move our old burn barrel, dig a big hole for burning yard stuff, and to take down broken tree branches. And now we're prepared for snow. So you can thank us now, because now it'll end up being a mild winter! LOL

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Birthday Party #2 - Family

Gosh, I didn't mean for so much time to pass before I got these pictures up. I suppose it's partly because I didn't have fantastic pictures since it was cloudy and rainy on the day of Eli's family party. Anyhoo, here are the highlights...

the kids, waiting for their party to start. =)
Lunch. Kevin's family insisted on bringing steaks for us, so steaks it was! Thanks to family for helping provide the sides, we also had potato salad, cole slaw, and fruit salad. Because of the rain we weren't able to utilize the picnic table, but with our dining table and two card tables we were all able to fit in our new dining room! how fun!
cake time! Because of the craziness of cramming to get the bathroom done in time and having family here and everything else, I knew I didn't really have time to do anything fancy for the birthday cake. Eli requested a train cake so instead of star-tipping one, or doing the pressing technique, I went for the easy method: the set-a-train-on-the-cake-and-call-it-good method. Actually, I'd seen that done before and it looks really cute, especially ones like this or this but I didn't have the time or supplies for that either. So this is how it was, and I'm fine with it. In fact, in the end I don't think Eli really gets excited about what his cakes look like. He just likes the candles and for people to sing to him. I'm guessing, because he pretends "birthday cake" all the time! And that's good for me because cake decorating is really not my thing.
Aunt Shiela and Carter
Kevin and his dad looking at tractor manuals
presents time! lots of wonderful books and puzzles, a set of Walkie Talkies, a learning clock, train cars,

we had to wait 'til a little later in the day when the rain stopped to get outside to unveil the last present. yes, we are now the owners of a Power Wheels. never thought we'd do that but with all the yard space we have out here, we knew the kids would really love it. So family chipped in together to get this for him! He's actually a very good driver, can reverse on a turn and everything. Hannah's banned from the driver seat but she's a good passenger for now. =)
As always it was great to be surrounded by family! There's nothing in the world like it! In attendance we had Kevin's parents, Grandma, his sister Carri and her husband Lucas, his aunt Shiela, and my parents, and Holly. Sadly Paul was stuck in an airport and unable to make it. But we had a great time anyway! Thank you, everyone!!