Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Birthday Parties!

January was certainly a busy one this year...as I am sure it will be for many years to come. We celebrated Aiden's 5th birthday and Makayla's 3rd! Aiden requested a Mickey Mouse party and Makayla was all about Dora the Explorer this year. It was fun but low key since I still was still feeling the remnants of first trimester ickyness. (side note: feeling much better now! officially 18 weeks and excited to announce we are having a boy!)
Aiden is such a blessing to us. He has the sweetest heart and we are truly enjoying watching him grow in his knowledge of the Lord. He loves people and LOVES it when anyone will play with him, especially if it involves wrestling, racing, or tag. Although his latest craze has been card games, in particular war or go fish. He is the first one in the door at preschool and is starting to get pretty excited about kindergarten next year! He is such a sweet buddy!
Aiden was so thankful to have his cousins at the party!

My big 5 year old! So hard to believe. I just love that smile!

And of course my sweet princess! Makayla is such a fun little girl. She loves to play princess, loves to be a mommy to her baby dolls (she can hardly wait for the baby in mommy's tummy to get here!), loves to paint,draw, or "write". She has the most amazing facial expressions and can charm a room full of people in a matter of seconds. She is all girl and we love that about her. Her prayers are so precious and it's wonderful to watch her grow and learn.
My big 3 year old!

I just love my cute munchkins! And I can't wait to meet munchkin #3!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Disney World

Our big summer vacation this year was a trip to Disney World! We went back in August and took Kreg's parents with us. It was a fantastic week filled with many memories, especially for me as I watched my sweet kids take in every moment. Sadly I haven't gotten around to posting about Disney til now. oops. Day 1 was Magic Kingdom, Day 2 was a day of rest at the condo, Day 3 was a water park, Day 4 was Animal Kingdom, Day 5 was Magic Kingdom again, and Day 6 was Hollywood Studies.
One of our first stops on Day 1 was a picture with Mickey. I don't think the kids quite new what was going on yet. We had just barely begun our adventure and the next thing we knew we were having our picture taken with Mickey.

Aiden was just barely tall enough to ride on most of the rides which was great because he loved it! He wanted to go on everything he could. Makayla on the other hand was just young enough she didn't know what she was missing. And because she doesn't turn 3 until January she was still free! wooohooo! She was content watching some shows, ride a few of the kiddie rides, and hanging out in her stroller.

I loved introducing Makayla to the princesses. She is just started to get into the princess stage. And her face was precious when we met Bell. It was so cute...Bell asked her if she went in her closet and got one of her dresses. Makayla didn't quite know what to think but she's been playing "princess" a lot more since our trip.

A personal highlight of all the adults was our breakfast at the Crystal Palace. We ate breakfast with Pooh Bear and all his friends. It was soooooooo worth it. #1 it was HOT and the Crystal Palace was wonderfully air conditioned. And our reservation was for Wednesday and we were a bit tired. So when our waitress told us it would take about 90 mins for all the characters to get around to our table I think Kreg, his parents, and I all sang the Hallelujah Chorus! We got to drink coffee, eat eat and eat, and sit in the air conditioning for almost 2 hours!!

Overall it was a great trip. It was nice having extra help with Kreg's parents along for the adventure and it was a trip I will cherish. Below are a few more of my favorite pics

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

May I take your order....

Welcome to McDonalds...

It's a good thing she's not making real food or I'd weigh 300lbs!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Summer Project

The summer project we tackled this year was relandscaping the front yard. I have been looking forward to this project for over a year so it was fun to see it become a reality! The problem was it just wasn't that simple of a task. The lady that lived here before had dumped these flaky little pieces called chocolate mulch on top of red rock on top of white rock. So we had a mess to dig out before we could start doing much of anything in the way of landscaping. But after about a million wheel barrel loads of rocks to the woods next to our house we had it all just about rock free. I would load the wheel barrel in the morning (with my two little helpers by my side) but it would be too heavy for us to get to the woods so Kreg would dump it at lunch. Then we'd load it again in the afternoon and Kreg would dump it again when he came home at the end of the day. This routine went on for what seemed like weeks.
Below is a BEFORE picture. Pretty much everything you see in this picture came out and got replaced. (Its not the greatest picture so its hard to tell how desperately we needed a "curb-appeal" makeover. So just go with me on it) Something you cannot see is what you use to be along the left side of the sidewalk. Earlier in the summer we gutted that area and put grass seed down. Prior to the grass it was a mess of rocks and weeds. You can still see the outline of where the old flowerbed use to be. Also notice on the left of the picture a big muddy spot that has our well cap in the middle of it. What in the world were we supposed to do with that area??? Kreg had the perfect idea...

Kreg's great big idea for the well cap was a great big rock to go in front of it!! Sweet! What a great idea! So Kreg took the backhoe from the farm and went and got a huge rock from one of the fields. He spotted it last year during harvest. When we went to get it, it was larger than we had remembered and waaaaay down in the ground. It was doubtful there for a while whether that rock was meant to be in our yard or not. I'm still not sure how we got that thing out but thanks to Kreg's dad showing up to help we got it home.
This is what sat in our front yard for a night: (Aiden is showing how big the rock is!)

And then somehow we miraculously got the rock in just the perfect spot. Kreg told me wherever that thing landed was where it was stayin....so I was prayin it landed where it needed to. And it did!!! (nice driving honey!) Below is the finished product (big rock and all...complete with 20 some new plants!)

I don't think the pics do our "curb appeal" makeover justice but I still thought I'd share because I love our new look. Next year is the backyard!! That too is going to be quite the project....it's a good thing Kreg gets a break for a few months before starting that one.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

School Boy

I have gotten so far behind on this blog that I just feel overwhelmed everytime I look at it. So I keep neglecting it and hoping maybe the pictures will just post themselves and the cute witty captions will just magically appear. But alas day in and day out I open it to get to the other cute and witty blogs that are timely updated and everyday I see the same pictures of my kiddo's swimming. Where do I even start? I have pics of the kids riding their bikes, pics of our summer project (landscaping the front of our house), tons of pics from the week we spent in Disney World (yay!), pics of the kids playing McDonalds, and picks from a recent visit to my mom's house. Thus I just sit and think..."I should really blog something"....and then I don't do it.

So I'm going to take baby steps. We're going to start with Aiden's first day of Preschool which happened this week! He has been so excited to start school but when the day finally arrived the big guy changed his mind. He decided maybe school wasn't for him after all. I could tell while I was taking his picture on the front porch his mood was changing. He went from excited, to not so sure, to mad at me for taking pictures, to nope don't want to go to school mom I changed my mind. I felt bad for him. I too don't like new things when I don't know what to expect. His big tears almost made me cry. But he has a wonderful teacher that came outside and talked to each one of the kids before going in and she spent a little extra time with Aiden. And eventually she took his hand and walked him hand in hand inside the school. Away he went. And then I prayed...prayed he would truly enjoy his time at school....all while I truly enjoyed taking only 1 child for a jog in the stroller instead of two. It was much easier pushing only Makayla. So when the time came for me to pick Aiden back up I wasn't sure what to expect but out the door ran my very excited, grinning from ear to ear, big 4 1/2 year old! He loved it! (Hip hip hooray!) So when the 2nd day of preschool rolled around, instead of being the last one reluctanly going inside....he was the first one running inside! That was a nice feeling. He has since decided he is going to stay in preschool forever and is definitely not going to kindergarden next year! I'm just glad he's enjoying it that much.
So without further ado...I present to you....the school boy....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hot hot hot!

I am so thankful these days we have a pool to cool off in...
Aiden has learned to swim this summer and its been a big relief to know he can keep himself above water. And Aiden has turned into quite the fish too. He loves to jump off the side (or the diving board), dive down and touch the bottom, and stay under as long as he possibly can.

Makayla has gotten really good at using her floaties. It's quite impressive how she can kick her legs and get to just about anywhere she wants to go. I will be more relaxed though when this girl actually learns how to swim....you have to watch her like a hawk.

check out my muscle woman:

And a picture of myself i actually like...haha...so I had to include it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Jamaica Missions Trip

Is it really the first day of July? Yikes! What happened to June? Oh yes I know what happened....swimming as much as possible because Aiden is a little fish now, a missions trip to Jamaica with our church youthgroup, helping my parents pack up their house, my birthday, and helping my parents move...Yes I believe that would pretty much sum up the month of June. It was a busy one...but I digress.....

On June 11th Kreg and I flew out early early with lots of energetic teens and some other great youth leaders to Montego Bay, Jamaica. We had a great trip. The goal was to spread the gospel with all who would listen and praise the Lord because....many listened! We stayed right next to the Montego Bay airport but thankfully flights did not arrive or depart during the late night hours. This was the view from my bedroom window:

We were also directly across from what the locals call "the hip strip" meaning the Sea Wall. It's a great place to walk and witness and that's exactly what we did. We split up into groups and had some awesome conversations with many Jamaicans. The Jamaican people as a whole are very friendly. They love talking with you and don't mind spiritual topics at all so it makes it easy to steer the conversation to Jesus. I was so proud of our teens. Many of them shared their faith for the first time on this trip and all of them shared atleast once, if not mulitple times. In the evenings is when the hip strip was really happeneing. From about 8pm to 1 or 2 in the morning the wall is covered with people and they come blaring their Bob Marley, etc music. I was fair warned that I might not get much sleep but I thanks to the many who were praying for us and my exhausted state by the time my head hit the pillow I slept quite well. Here is a pic of the hip strip:

Our other mission was in the public schools. Surprisingly the public schools in Jamaica actually start with a daily devotional time. So we went into the schools and did their devotion time for them. The kids had an awesome skit that displayed some of the miracles Jesus did as well as his crucifixion. We sang songs with them, hung out with them, and had one of the teens share their testimony/share the gospel. So you may wonder if they have a daily devotional time then whats the need? Don't they already know about Jesus? Yes many of the kids in the public schools have learned John 3:16 as well as other popular verses but from what I could gather its more ritualistic. And because they are learning Scripture in school they have a head knowledge of Jesus but not a personal relationship with Jesus. Our goal was to make them see they have a need for a Savior...we all do...because we have all sinned. Here are a few pics from the schools:

We also went to an orphanage and did some work projects (I don't think I have ever sweated that much in my life). That is my one complaint about Jamaica. It was waaaayyyyyyy hot. You were a sticky, smelly mess from about 8:30am to 11pm when it was lights out. The kids were way sweet at the orphange as well, but sadly that's the one day we forgot to take our camera so no pics of those sweet ones. The hardest day for me was when we went to Westhaven Children's Home, it was a "camp" like place way up in the mountains where severaly to moderately disabled children/young adults spend their days/years either because they are not wanted or because they are too much for their parents to handle. It was challenging because many of them were all over you...wanting to hold your hand and take you all around the camp so there was no "personal space" for those that like that. I am one of them but I was so proud of the teens, especially the guys on our team. I heard zero complaining even though we were totally out of our comfort zones. The hardest part for me was feeding a 15 year old girl a bottle. I don't know what it was...I think it mostly just saddened me...but I was definitely holding back the tears at that point. Because we serve a loving and just God I think some day I will get to see this little girl in Heaven and I can't wait to meet her again in that setting and see her running around and feeding herself!

Of course we also had some fun time while in the Caribbean! We enjoyed the beautiful beaches and ocean as much as we could. One afternoon we went snorkeling and on our last day we went to Dunnes River Falls. It's a huge waterfall that you are actually allowed to climb up. If it were in the States I'm not sure it would be legal in Jamaica....No Problem Man!

It was a great trip and Kreg and I have both said we would definitely go on another mission trip to Jamaica. Next time though I think I'd like to go in Janaury...not June! My most apprehensive moments came just before leaving whenever I thought about being so far away from my kids but God blessed and sustained. And Aiden and Makayla did great with both Kreg's parents and my parents. After 8 days Aiden didn't even want us to come home! I guess its a blessing to have such well adjusted children.