Saturday, February 28, 2015

So blessed Part Two

We were all super excited about going to my friends' house for soup night. After a series of text messages telling me to get there a  little later, then to hurry up, we arrived and had to hunt for somewhere to park. Instead of the 3 cars we expected, there were at least 8 cars there. We walked in to "SURPRISE!" My wonderful friends planned a surprise baby shower for us! I wish I'd taken some more pictures- they had "It's a boy" decorations up,  a beautiful chocolate cake, yummy sandwiches, meatballs, chicken wings, fruit and veggie trays, a special seat for me with balloons and ribbons... so nice!

The kids had a great time playing while the moms enjoyed dinner, hanging out, games! I even won a prize for thinking of the most songs with the word baby in the song. I didn't come close to winning this game- blindfolded diaper change.

A wonderful night of fellowship, fun, food, and friends praying over me, our baby, and our family.
I was so blessed tonight.

I posted this earlier but my friend sent me some more pics!

 A super night! Then Sunday morning the kids were so excited to open baby boy's presents! They were having such a good time playing with friends they missed all the present opening Saturday night!

I don't know how I managed to get a pic of C without a smile when he was so excited!

So blessed Part One

I have so much to be thankful for. This weekend we were blessed even more than usual! We started off the weekend on Friday with grocery shopping :) It really was a great blessing- not just that we were all well, the weather was fine, the kids did great, we had a super nice man cashier at BJs, but the kids' favorite part and I'm still amazed this worked out- we were walking through walmart at ended up on the same aisle as our wonderful friends. My friend was finishing up shopping and I'd promised my kids 5 minutes looking in the toy section so I took the nine kids to the toy section. That was enough to make the kids' day but it got even better!

 We got home with enough time for lunch and some dress up playtime before naps. see our beautiful ballerinas.
 Then a friend texted to see if we wanted to go to the park to enjoy the beautiful day 50 degrees out! The kids had a blast playing. The park closes at 5 so we had to leave. When I asked if the kids were ready for dinner, they all said no they weren't hungry. Until I said we were all going to Pizza Hut together- then 9 kids took off running to the car so excited! Since they "weren't hungry" I wasn't expecting a lot of eating, but they ate everything and looked for more. They were super and had a great time playing conversation games while they ate everything.  What a great day!
 Saturday morning we read the Bible, ate pancakes, and then went to get boys' long hair cut. I didn't get pics of all of them but their hair looks so much better now!
 T wanted a mohawk.
 After good haircuts, we walked down to Petsmart to see all the animals. They loved the birds, hamsters, frogs, snakes, fish, cats, ...
We got home and had grilled cheese sandwiches, playtime, and naps before...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More Home Fun

so after 3 weeks of barely leaving the house, we were all healthy. I thought we'd be out and about but we haven't. We did enjoy getting out over the weekend- the ROC, church, and friend's house, but we stayed home most of this week too.

Monday we did go to the library- the kids get so excited to check out new books and I love that we can order books. This week we picked up a couple books from the Boone library and a few others across the state. The kids enjoyed the Lego Math class.
T and C worked on symmetry

KG did lots of counting, adding, and comparing with legos

 C's symmetry

T 's symmetry

5th graders built the Eiffel Tower
 We did try to go to my doctor's appointment Tuesday morning but after I slid the second time, I turned around and decided to reschedule for next week. So what did we do this week?

I thought they did a great job- built this together 
while BG and I stayed in by the fire

We did a lot of baking- each of the kids helped me bake something. KG-banana muffins, T breakfast casserole, KG granola, and C birds nest pudding. C has been reading little house books and read about one of Almanzo's favorite desserts. It was really good- next time we'll use six smaller apples instead of three big ones. 

 BG did venture outside once it warmed up enough for snow to start melting :)
 We've been enjoying Anne Voskamps's A Child's Geography. This model shows our atmosphere.
 One of my favorite things we've done is this. Me reading a book on the couch while kids play checkers, read,

play legos, ...

i do miss the warm days where we would go on walks, bike rides, meet friends at the park but cold days at home are nice too!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Super Weekend

We had so many blessings over the past couple weeks

-We had clothes to wear to keep warm inside :)  we didn't actually need all these inside since the gas fireplace and electric heaters worked pretty well.
This picture was on the record breaking low day when it was a bit chilly inside
 -We had no where to go so we had plenty of time for fun things like painting!

 -We got to draw for sale signs advertising planet earth- we are really enjoying Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy but often don't get to the activities. I've been learning a lot along with the kids!

Probably our most exciting blessing was the snow/ ice! The kids loved it. It "cured" C and T several times of their stomach aches- at least long enough to go sled some. The kids had a blast sledding and snowboarding all over the yard. BG thought it was a bit cold for her but the big kids could go do it all by themselves so we were all happy! I had to drag them in several times just to warm up!

Even though we had tons of blessings, by Friday last week we were all ready to go do be blessed out of our house for a little bit :) We decided to go to the planetarium but when we got there we found out that the visitor parking lot was far from the planetarium and none of us were excited about a long walk in 15 degree weather. So we went to Clark Park and enjoyed the nature center.
Girls were excited to see turtles digging tunnels

All the kids enjoyed all the animals- live and stuffed.

 I was so glad we were able to go to some of Manna's Reach Out Celebration.  I wanted to go Thursday night to the kick-off but we were still recovering from sickness and it was 5 degrees outside and 55 inside so we stayed home. Which turned out good because the kids would have been in childcare Thursday night while i listened to the sermon. Instead we stayed home and watched Little Red Wagon- loved it! We all loved it- great true story and great message about giving to others, you're never too young to make a difference, see a need and meet it, ...  Since I didn't hear the sermon we listened to it today during naptime. With the heat out, we've all had rest time together in front of the fire place. Usually everyone just rests with books but today we listened to the preacher of the LA Dream Center  speak on following God (Pr 3:5,6) so good!

Back to Friday night, Manna's theme for the night was World's Fair. They had cotton candy, popcorn, face painting, fancy balloons, games ...
our princess

One princess and two pirates- (or maybe Old West cowboys)- they liked being pretty scruffy
We spent the most time playing Bingo. When we walked in, a greeter gave each of us a Bingo card with at least a dozen ministry partners listed on it. If you got signatures from all the ministry partners, you could turn your card in for a drawing to win a free short term mission trip. So it took us almost two hours (which is long for me at the end of the day :) but we talked to all of the ministry partners. We got to hear about local ministries like the Dream Center which ministers to homeless, poor, needy right here in Fayetteville and RUSH which teaches school kids about Christ. (The kids really liked their booth because you got to shoot a nerf gun at a target and answer a question about student rights.) We also talked to ministry partners who work in foreign countries helping rescue trafficked girls, who go to unreached people groups across the globe, who train missionaries to go to hard places, ... So good to hear stories and see how lives are being changed around the world. We added several people/ ministries to our prayer board including a young girl who was rescued from being enslaved and is now leading a house church! A super night! I wish Manna would add some of the video clips of the ministry partners but this tells some about them.

Saturday morning we were blessed by a friend offering to pick up some groceries for us- so sweet! We made up for lost baking time by making lots of pancakes and muffins. Then Saturday afternoon we went to a friend's for pizza night! Super! Love my Mommy friends and the kids loved seeing their friends. Plus pizza and chocolate cake- great night!

Sunday we went to church- super message and wonderful picnic after church. I am so thankful to have such a great church here. And then a nice relaxing afternoon at home ended our week well!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sick Days to Snow Day

We have been so blessed with health this year but the last two weeks have been a little rough. There was a lot of this
But there was also a lot of this- hopefully the video works so you can hear the quiet fire, see the reading boys, ...

 There was also some of this
 And a little of this
This was too sweet to not take a picture. K was reading on the couch. BG came over and asked to lie down next to him. Then she asked for him to cover her with his blankie and finally asked if she could curl his hair. Love the sweet moments!
 We got over our sickness well enough to go to Walmart yesterday- along with the rest of Fayetteville in preparation for the first snow this year :) We didn't need much but I didn't want to go through snowdays without Tums, pedialyte, and chicken broth and we were all ready for a trip out of the house :) when the kids heard snow was predicted, I explained that weather forecast was actually more for ice which I heard coming down lsat night. But 630 this morning an excited C came into my room "There's snow!" I was able to hold off the sledders until we finished the most important things- Bible, morning chores, breakfast, and math but then they were off... they had so much fun sledding and snowboarding on the ice outside. BG thought the ice was too scary which was okay with me because I got some baking and cooking done while the kids played. But first snow is pretty exciting- even if you're over 10 and even if it's mostly ice so... I bundled BG up and we went outside. It's amazing the difference in the kids from even one year to the next- which reminded me of how many things are easier this deployment. And that I should be thankful for that. It would be way too easy to compare what's easier/ better about living in Fayetteville vs. living in Baltimore, so here's some of my top things that are easier this separation time in NC:

1. Kids can do so much more- I got the box of snow bibs/ boots out of attic but I could hand it to Keegan and Chase instead of carrying it all the way down the stairs. I only dressed one child (BG)- the rest could do it all themselves.

 2. Kids can play so much more without help. I stayed inside most of the time with BG.

 3. Kids can help each other more

 3. They play so much longer by themselves. I lured them in with hot chocolate (our first day of snow tradition)- to warmup frozen fingers, get some school done, and enjoy a good book by the fire.

4. I have a quiet time with my feet up in front of the fire. BG is napping. Rest are playing outside. i could write so much more but I think I'll just be thankful and enjoy this quiet while they have fun!

We had a super snow day: puffed pancake in our ninja, some school, lots of sledding and snowboarding, some reading by the fire, hot chocolate, hot maple syrup on cold snow (thank you Little House), taco soup, and good bedtime! Thank you God for seasons!