Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Magnificent March

 Where there are boys...there's mud.  And lots of it.
Charlie "fell" in the mud.  He was covered head-to-toe and looked like a little tar baby.  I should have taken a photo of his whole, muddy body...but I was a little overwhelmed on how to even begin de-mudding him!  To give you an idea...take a look at his shoes!
This is how Laura feels after working hard at school.  She crawled over to her bed and put herself down for a nap!
Oh, Gus looks so tough.  He's such a big baby...but loves his girl.
Look who won the chili cook-off at church!!  Char's "White Lightening" took the Best Chili award, and Best Overall soup.  Way to go buddy...with a little help from Daddy!
He was still mighty happy the next morning about winning the contest!
I took Jamie to see the Gaithers for his birthday. Great show!
It was Bill Gaither's 79th birthday.  Still going strong!
Jamie returned to the same location the next night with the boys. This time it was for WinterJam 2015...a contemporary Christian concert with various artists.  Let's just say the crowd of 11,000 was slightly younger, and a bit more energetic than for the Gaithers!
A photo of the cutest spectator at the concert!
We also took Jamie out for a birthday breakfast.
We have another sausage/biscuit/gravy fan!
March also brought Jacob's final brass ensemble concert for the year.  He has thoroughly enjoyed the orchestra this year, and still loves playing tuba.
For the first time, we had the three younger kids take standardized tests.  How on earth did Charlie get placed at the same table as his two best buddies???
After 5 hours of testing, it was time to burn off some energy with a game of street hockey...or broom hockey for Jacob since we ran short on sticks! I now need a new broom.
Laura thought she would help Jacob in the kitchen.  She loves her big brother.
Then March went out like a lamb...

Friday, February 13, 2015

School days...

Simply a glimpse at a couple school mornings...
 German 3
 Reading library books
 a "welcome home" sign and decorations for a friend fighting cancer

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February Fun(k)

I wasn't sure if this post should be called "February Fun" or "February Funk."
It has been a fun month, but cold/sinus viruses are rearing their ugly heads and most of us are feeling a bit drained.  I wake up anticipating naptime in the afternoon.  I don't think that's a good thing.
In the mean time...
Jacob traveled to WinterCamp with our church's teens, and teens from three other churches.  He played bass guitar with the worship team (rear center).
 Laura is finding clever ways to avoid school work.  When the going gets tough...fall asleep!
 Grandma and Papa visited for Jenna's birthday.  Since Jenna had a cold, Charlie volunteered to blow out her birthday candles.  He can never do things without his own flair! 
 Big brothers are good for piggy-back rides!
 Charlie asked me to pull his loose tooth.  He told me to wait though because he had to say a quick prayer to be brave. Brave he was!
 And since we have the most forgetful tooth fairy ever, he found it necessary to write her a reminder note.
 The Wall Street Journal for the future business man.  He was trying to find information on stocks.  Reminds me of someone...Uncle Jim!!
Can't think of a better way to learn math facts!
 Jacob found some old photos stuffed in a book downstairs.  I can't believe how little Charlie was!
 And Jacob, too!  Where did that time go??

Monday, January 26, 2015

She's Officially 8!

 January 26th...her official birthday.
She was happy with new cowgirl boots...with pink, of course!
She had a special friend spend the night, come to church with us, and celebrate!
 This morning, we went to the local bookstore for her birthday treat.  She picked the biggest chocolate chip cookie she could find!  And then shared it with the whole family. 
After Laura got home from school, we went out for an icecream treat.  The icecreams were so huge that even the big boys were "stuffed!"  That a rare occurrence!
We brought another special friend for icecream.  With all these boys, it's good to have girl time.
Happy 8th birthday, Jenna Mei!  We love you, princess!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Half of her life...

Jenna is getting ready to turn eight years old on Monday.  That means she has been with us now for half of her life.  The first four years were spent in an orphanage in China.  We were so happy to celebrate her fourth birthday with her in China, and now she's eight.  Crazy!
Some days, it feels like she has been with us for so much longer.  Those are usually the tough days when we realize she's still working through attitudes and behaviors that were hers for the first four years of her life.  Then there are the days, like today, when I realize that it has ONLY been four years...and she has made incredible strides.  She has such a kind heart and loves to help others.  She also is very strong-willed.  Directed properly, it will take her far. 
So, today we begin her birthday celebration with flowers from Daddy!

Monday, January 19, 2015

A day in the life...

 Gus hasn't been featured much.  Here he is, snuggled up to his girl.  Laura voluntarily put her arm around him; that rarely happens without us helping her.  She's usually too busy walking through the house or playing with Gus' mouth.
Jacob has been on a baking spree lately.  He made a nutmeg cake, and decided that he wanted a piece.  Out of the middle!  I guess the baker can do that??
 I was resting with a migraine, but thought for sure I was being watched.  I was right.  I guess Laura wanted to know if I fell asleep or not.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Catching up...again...

I'm behind again on the blog.  Life keeps moving faster and faster.  My computer can't keep up.  Or maybe it's my brain.  Either way, I'm here once again to update photos from the past month.  So much happened and I'm not even sure I caught it all on film.  But here goes...
We had our Christmas at home a few days early.  It gives the kids a chance to hang out before we travel to Michigan.  Lining up for the obligatory photo on the stairs...hurry up, Mom!!
 Sorry to wake you so early, Gus!
 Charlie and his microphone...sing it!
 Nice photo bomb, Char!
 Jacob was thrilled with his ammunition box.
Me?  I loved my new smoothie maker.  Most mornings, that's my breakfast!
 Let's move on to the Christmas concert at church.  These are the sound guys.  What a handsome crew!  We finally got Jamie in a bow tie!
 They let me sing.  It was so much fun! We sang the arrangement called God With Us.
 Daddy and the kids are in charge of baking sugar cookies.
Finally, it was time to travel to Michigan for Christmas...where no child is ever spoiled.

 Christmas morning arrived, warmer than normal, dry, and a bit sunny.  The view from our hotel was just beautiful.  We love the great lakes.  This was the Christmas tree in our hotel room...just big enough for Santa to see the stockings.


 Laura looked so sweet admiring the lights.
 Our big, crazy family.
 Grandma, Papa, and the grandkids...that just keep growing.
 Later that day, we celebrated again.  More grandkids and great-grandkids with the other Grandma and Papa.
The next day we headed home.  The weather stayed bright and dry all the way.  When we got home, we had another treat waiting for us!
 So, they ate dinner.  I know...but the sooner the sweets are gone, the sooner I'll stop munching them!
 Jamie was thrilled to organize his new selection of coffees,
but Char was not so thrilled to be down with a (thankfully) light case of the chicken pox.
I think that about sums up our Christmas adventures.  It was a great holiday with family and friends.  Now, already half-way through January, we are excited to see what 2015 will hold for us.