Monday, September 30, 2013

Treasure Hunt, Outdoor Fun

love this little retreat

Treasure hunting is something we love to do around here.  This is a picture of the kids running to the last clue. I try to get creative with my clues. Willem used to love treasure hunts the most, but Hazel is sure enjoying them now. It is something the three oldest look forward to! And some day I'll bet Oren will join the fun. Clue reading, hiking and exploring make for a great fun activity... and there is always a fun little prize at the end!

Sweet kids!

I am so crazy about these four! 

whoooaaaa Nellie!! 
A big kiss for Oren Paul! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Autumn!

Last week felt full, a little difficult, like I was racing... I hope this week feels a little more relaxing. But, our schedule does look busy.
I see the sacrifices my kids need to make for eachother. A lot of times that is what a big family is partly about. I think back on my childhood. I didn't help my mom often with housework, but I helped her a lot with my younger siblings. Phillip was on my hip a good share of the time. Entertaining Matt and Phil was fun! I loved going to Natasha, Matt and Phils games, events, doing fun things with them. Having many good memories with all of my siblings is a gift. This past week I have run acrossed a few letters from Lesha, written shortly after I moved away from home. They are so fun to read.
This week my kids will need to make some sacrifices for siblings. Actually that started already this morning. Hazel joined Oren and me for Oren's four month well check. Yes, he just turned four months! She had to watch him get his immunizations. We learned there too that Oren will need some physical therapy, she will be along for those visits - moral support. And she is pretty great at being a cheerful sister.
I really enjoy our little cabin this time of year, so do Willem and Hazel. Building blocks,
reading books, hunting for buttons... are some of the things we enjoy there.

Sweet boys! Two of our three!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Thursday Update

Phil's visit a week or two ago was enjoyed by all.
Short and sweet! Loved that he came by!

This girl is the BEST big sister ever! 
The best!! 
 I can't believe how good she is to this little guy. She is also VERY helpful.

Special Memory:

I dug through an old tote from my college days on Sunday. In it I found a letter from my mom. 
She had sent me a picture of our family home too! 
I had not read this letter in eight, maybe ten years. It was a treat! Willem and Hazel were with me when I discovered it. Willem was so excited too. 

A shot of the picture and also of the card she had sent! She sent this to me in 1999. :) 

Willem is having a GREAT second grade year so far! 
He LOVES his teacher! 
This is his pig art work. :)

Both of the boys are doing well in school. 
I am proud of their hard work.

The weather has been beauitful. Hazel, Oren and I enjoyed a nice walk, stroller ride and coffee date this morning. :) 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Football Baby!

Merit played great this morning!! 
He is on the GIANTS, #10 -- he got some action today! He was aggressive, he hustled, he made some nice catches and played hard. The game ended in a TIE!

Watching these boys play while holding baby Oren and listening to Will and Hazel play with friends was a highlight of my week. ;)
My brain is a little crazy these days. I am missing my siblings a lot. We got our weekend together in Suncadia which was great, it left me wanting more.  :) This last week my list of things to do was long and prioritizing wasn't working. I spent an hour on the phone with the UW Medical Center, trying to get in for a genetic test. The process is more complicated than I would have guessed.  I expect to hear back from them early this next week. 
I am praying for Lesha and Natasha and their hearts, also for wisdom for the doctors. I want their lives to feel normal (what's that right? :) I think my bros and I need to get in. I am really thankful my echo 15 months ago looked good. That is a good sign, but the genetic test is what really gives us the info.
My kids need a lot of me and this feels overwhelming at times, but also I am thankful for this. God knew I wanted a big family and we are so blessed to have one.
I am back into packing school lunches every morning, going through the stack of papers from school. We are back to nightly reading or TRYING to get back into it.  I want them to get lost in a book. So often they ask "is my 20 minutes up yet?" ohhhh, I want them to read and read and not want to put that book down. ;)  This has happened in the past and what a good feeling that is! For mom and son. 
I LOVE hearing about Merit and Willem's school days!
Their teachers are great and the learning is fun. Willem came home with an entertaining book of frog jokes. I loved listening to HIM read those.
I want to work more on letters and shapes with Hazel, I want to read more to her...I want to be involved in PTA with my boys' school. But is there enough of me to go around? So again, I have to say how thankful I am for days like today, days when I can watch Merit play football WHILE snuggling Oren. We can all go to the game as a family and Willem and Hazel can pretend and have fun with their friends! 
We got home and Merit, Willem and I went on a country bike ride. Now, Vance is making a big pot of chili and football is on the television. It feels good. 

ohhhh and I think I will bake chocolate chip cookies tonight

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

ohhhhh summmer, don't go!

Did we ever have some fun family time, swimming time and laughter in Suncadia with my family!!
Mid August we had a fantastic get away there. The kids loved it!!

Lesha and Natasha enjoying the hot tub

Brielle and Hazel

Brielle and Hazel helping with baby Oren

Lane and Merit

Hazel and Grandpa Jim

Reese and Natasha
And I will end this with a favorite "camping picture" of mine taken in early August! 
Willem and campfires, these two go hand and hand.
Willem, Nellie and campfires make for a pretty great summer's evening.

Summer was busy, crazy at times, really wonderful (mostly) and full of memories! 

Now we are back to school (the boys have fantastic teachers!) Back to a women's Bible Study, more of a routine, football for Merit, bike rides when we can squeeze them in... and we are enjoying crisp mornings anticipating fall.