Friday, August 23, 2013

Sharing my Heart

Fischer, Merit and Willem on the lake at Grandma Kris'
These boys had a ball one entire afternoon swimming, playing, floating! It was fun to watch them.
We have had a lot of summer "cousin fun"!
We went camping two weeks ago. It was just an overnighter. The kids had so much fun. We brought the golf cart with us.

This summer we have thought a lot about our hearts. The health of our hearts has become a growing concern within our family. Natasha has her ICD/difibrillator now. She is getting used to having this device. I think she feels quite a bit of peace in knowing it could save her life. But knowing she has this defect and having to be on medication is not fun. It causes all of us to be heavy hearted at times. Lesha is under the care of some great doctors at the UW Medical Center. A plan of action is now underway for her. She too has the defective gene. During quiet moments of my usually busy days, I think a lot about our hearts. I am in prayer over my sisters, praying that the doctors will make the best decisions for them and that their hearts will be protected. I pray they will feel supported and loved and that they will look to God for guidance and comfort.
I pray that Matt, Phil and I are protected. I had an echo 14 months ago that looked great, but I still will have the gene test done. Thankfully, devices that can help our hearts are becoming more and more sophisticated.
My sisters are so brave.
Sending these boys back to school next week will be hard. I have LOVED having them home! But I believe they will have a great school year too. We are really excited about their teachers.
I have a lot of joy in my life and some sorrow too. I have watched people I love miss out on the joy when too focused on the sorrow and I never want that to be part of my story. Being consumed with worry does us no good. Concern and a little fear is normal under the current circumstances. But I have a lot of HOPE too and certainly a lot of JOY.
I seek the REAL people in my life. People who aren't afraid about talking about the hard stuff. People who CARE. God has placed genuine people in our lives and I am really grateful for this. I can't begin naming these people, but Katie Allred -  you are one of them! Yesterday was therapeutic and fun! My boys tell me it was one of their BEST days of the entire summer!
We brought Nellie on our last camping trip. She was more work than all four of the kids combined. I am not kidding. But oh she was fun too.

ohhhhh some day I hope to live within three hundred miles of these dear people. Estelle you have such a BIG personality! Your parents handle your drama very well. You are such a sweet girl!!!
Natasha, if I saw you more I would call you less. Maybe.
My sisters are on speed dial.

The Lynden FAIR is FUN, CLEAN and entertaining. The kids LOVED their day with cousins.
Amara is so helpful and sweet with the little ones! Here she is with Hazel on the slide.

My dad and two of my boys

My cousin Jill and I had our babies 7 days apart! 
Oren and Grace are precious gifts! 

My grandma Alma
She is brave and strong and is fun to be around.
We enjoyed breakfast at the Fairway Cafe. It was my sisters, my grandma, me and our 9 children! It was WILD! 

More pics to come. Our Lynden visit was fast, fun and a summer highlight. 
Then we went on to Suncadia wtih all of my siblings, their spouses, my dad and all the grandkids. 
Great summer memories were made. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy...

This family is so much fun!
They are like sunshine on a cloudy day! :)
We are crazy about the Allreds. 
The friendships are kids have developed are really special.

These two girls, Maddie and Hazel, have an adorable friendship. Their play, imaginations, their kind spirits WARM MY HEART. (they also love kitties!) They are two of my little SUNSHINES.

Moses Lake Beauty

These sunflowers are amazing!! While driving down Road L on sort of a stressful day, we spotted THESE. The boys were gasping. I could hardly believe what I saw. They seem to go on FOREVER.
I have driven past them three times. They aren't really on my way to anywhere, but I love how bright and beautiful these fields are. I can't help but smile every time.

Maddie and Hazel

Jansen boys and Allred boys

Bryan and Katie have boy, boy, girl, boy -just like us! 
Not pictured here are Sam and Oren. I have a feeling lots of fun will be had between Sam and Oren in the coming years. :) 

Friday, August 2, 2013


It was so much fun to see the Lukes family!!
Willem --- motorcycle riding by the cabin!

These are the days of LOTS of outdoor fun!
Soaking up time with sweet Oren and his smiles...
I am always surrounded by kids, I almost always have spit up on my shoulder ;)
summer is a time for laughter, lazy mornings, fun in the water, fun at the parks, frozen yogurt and ice pops... 

This baby boy is oh so sweet!!!