July 22, 2009

Swimming in Berries

We had such a fun time as a family this last weekend. Our family this summer has included one of the teen girls that serves with us in the CYIA program. She has been living with us this summer when she is not out teaching 5-Day Clubs in other places. It has been a joy to have her here this summer. The kids love having her around, and so do we!

This last weekend we just hung out here a bit on Friday night, then on Saturday we had promised the boys we would go swimming. So, we packed everybody up and headed into the local pool. It was a great time despite the fact that the water was a bit on the cold side. After that, we loaded up and went out to my in-laws' farm where we had supper and went berry picking. Grandma watched the babies while the rest of us went on a bumpy, adventurous ride out to the patch that Grandpa had spied a few days before. The branches were heavy with berries and we all had fun picking...and eating!

We wrapped up our weekend with a spontaneous "Bring Your Own Meat BBQ" at our house with old friends and some new friends from church. Todd and I have discussed lately how there really is no ideal time to have people over. Our life is always so random and crazy, so we need to just jump at parties when we have a chance. So, that is exactly what we have been doing for the last few months and what we did on Sunday. It was a lot of fun and once again we were reminded what great friends God has blessed us with.

KR, the girls are so funny. They love to sit in the grass which is not every babies favorite past time.

Our little sweeties LOVE to be outside.

My middle man being his crazy self!

The big man going off the diving board at the pool

Todd and the little man going down the slide

My men, I sure love them!

Headed down the trail to pick berries

The boys in the middle of the patch

The little man and me, he got a bigger kick out of throwing the berries...so we tried to occupy him with other things

It was nice to see Todd take a break and enjoy some time with the kids in the midst of extreme craziness right now with camp only days away

July 17, 2009

I don't think I have mentioned recently how much I love this man! God has so richly blessed me through my husband and sometimes I am not so good at making sure he knows that. The above picture is an average day. No, we are not always in a beautiful lake in MN, but everyday despite long hours of work, he takes the time to wrestle, play with, read to and talk with our kids. I love that!

He also works very hard every day to provide for our family and take care of our home, but most importantly to grow the Kingdom. I love that too! I am so thankful for how he leads and loves both me and our kids.

Recently, he planned an awesome date for us (I ended up being very sick that day but that is another story). It is very rare for us to get away alone this time of year, but my parents were coming so he worked out for us to go horseback riding. We had an awesome time, and it totally fueled my desire to get a horse. :) I was so sick I forgot to get a pic of the two of us, but here are a few that I did think to get.

The horses all ready to go.

This was the view where we were riding. We were riding on top of bluffs running parallel to those.

Todd on his horse.
Thanks again for an amazing time! I love you!

July 12, 2009

Camping in MN

The fourth of July is always a difficult holiday for our family. We like to do something different every year and not typical of how we spent it in the past. Pretty much every year we end up camping in a different location. We have found that it is nice to go to state parks because there is no partying and no fireworks, which is really great for Todd and I. This year we went to Itasca State Park in MN. It turned out my younger sister and her fam were planning on camping there around that time anyway so we planned it together.

Before heading to camp I was able to spend a few days at my mom and dad's place and then Todd met up with us at the state park on the weekend. It was so great to spend time with my mom and Dad, my brother and his fam, and much extended family. We had tons of fun there, the only problem was that it went way too fast!

We also had an awesome time camping. I love doing things over the fourth where we stay very active and busy and I have little down time to think too much. There are far too many difficult memories from that time that don't do me any good to relive. My parents, my brother and his fam, and Todd's sister and her kids all joined us for a fun time at the park on the fourth. Then the next day my parents and grandparents joined us for an afternoon and evening of fun.

Overall, we did a lot of biking, playing in the water, playing baseball, and just hanging out. Here are some pics to highlight our time.

This is KR with two of her cousins at my parent's house

This is my little man with my sister's boy who is close to the same age. They always have fun together.

The middle man at the headwaters of the Mississippi

This is when Todd caught up with us on Saturday. I had some pretty excited boys!

My dad crossing the Mississippi with some of the grandkids

We made a tent on the beach for the babies one day to get them out of the heat.

Todd and the boys playing in the water

My younger sister and I at the beach

The babies (KK, KR) in the bike trailer

Here was part of the trail we biked on

The MN state flower, the pink lady slipper

Standing in the Mississippi

The big man and his cousin

My sister and her husband were telling us about these young guys they saw scaling this whole play structure without touching the ground. We, of course, thought we should do it too so...we did. Here is my sister on one part of it

Here is me on another. Can't turn down a good physical challenge!

Me, hot and sweaty at the end of it with my middle man

One afternoon Todd and my brother-in-law took the older three boys to the 100 foot fire tower. This is not my thing, or my sister's so we gladly stayed back while the little ones took a nap. Here are the boys at the top.

The tower

The little man down at the lake by our campsite

The big man playing in the water

There wer a ton of dead crawfish which absolutely fascinated the boys

The whole fam

Our last night camping

July 10, 2009

Looking back

5 years ago today we buried that sweet little baby. As I write this I can remember the moment so clearly it is as if I could step into the moment again. I remember wanting to stop them from lowering him in the hole. I just wanted to grab that box and hold that chubby little guy, and kiss those cheeks one more time. I knew then, and still know, that he wasn't in that little body anymore anyway. I knew he was in the hands of our loving Father. But, the human side of me wanted to hang on just a little bit longer. It was the most difficult day of my life and yet there was so much joy in feeling so close to heaven I could almost touch it.

I looked at my other post today and am so thankful for the Lord's many blessing in our lives. We have not one but two sweet babies to play with, kiss and hold right now, and three amazing boys to wrestle, read to and snuggle with. God is so good, whether we had all that or not, He would still be good. And so today, I am thankful.

Feelin Smart

These girls are feelin pretty smart lately. As you can see, we are very close to movement here! I am gearing up for the chaos.

July 9, 2009

Even cuteness can make messes

So as incredibly cute as those two are, they have the capability of making incredible messes! Many of you have already heard of one of their crowning achievements (and there have been several since) but I will retell the story here for those who have not heard.

So a couple weeks ago, these two little cuties were laying diaperless to help clear up an infection they had. I had to run downstairs and was gone for five minutes. In that time, they both managed to poop, roll in it and play in it. It was all over them (hair, hands and mouth included) and in the carpet. I paused long enough to take a couple pics and then tackled the crazy mess. Let me tell you though, I had no idea where to begin with two of them eating it! Here are the pics so you can visualize what went on. in the pics it is not easy to see how it completely covers them as it was very light colored, but believe me...it covered them!


KK squishing it with her hands