Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Kiara

It was 8 years ago today that our world was given the Kiara gift...such a tiny package...only 4.1 pounds but what a small package with big impact! We love the beautiful young lady The Lord is making her to be....we love you!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The One That Started It All!

In 1998, we were given a special gift! At that time, I was a Sunday School Superintendent, Darrell taught Sunday School. We both were in charge of the youth group leaders, Jr. Choir directors, VBS director, plus many other committes in the small church we attended. One if the families offered us their time share for a week only having to pay the $39 reservations fee...what a gift!

At the time, we had our 2 girls, Michaela and Jessica. We could pick from several vacation spots and chose the hills of Tennessee! The exciting addition was that we were able to visit with dear friends of ours who were living right out side of Memphis which was on the other side of the state. We had not seen these friends in about 8 years...we knew them from our Army days in Germany. Scott had worked with Darrell and Carla and I were expecting out first babies at the same was an exciting time for both of our young families exploring parts of Europe together!

Fast forward those 8 years and we were on our way to Memphis--home to Bealle Street, the mighty Mississippi River life and Elvis! It was an fun filled weekend and we were able to remember the past and share what was going on in our lives. 

Their son, Kevin, was a Boy Scout at the time and it was Memorial Day weekend! One of the events he participated in with his troop was putting flags on the head stones to our nations soldiers--an incredible honor! The girls were in invited to help and were given a patch to commemorate their work.

One patch...thoughts raced through my mind as to what to do with it. Do we put it on a jacket? Place it in an album? Many ideas raced through my head but the one that stuck was to make the  girls a quilt and put it on and get them a souvenir patch at places we would take them...I was quilting at the time but sooo glad we purchased a blanket from the Disney store and had it monogrammed with their names...9 Children later I am really excited we chose this option!

So over the years we have added lots of patches and had sweet times with our children sharing memories and hunting for patches! I have a system now for remembering who gets what patch and have sewed on hundreds of patches for my children as well as some of our foster kids and exchange students that have shared our home.

It was that one patch that started a family tradition that we hope will be a monument of sweet memories the children had of spending time together, traveling and doing special activities together as a family!

Thanks Scott, Carla and Kevin for including us in your life and giving us the start to a family tradition. God Bless You!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Brandon

Today we celebrated our little man's birthday ...but realizing he isn't so little any more. Brandon hit double digits today!

We went shopping for some para cord together this morning. He loved morning outing together...he was dancing in the isles while we shopped!

Tonight we had a wonderful treat to have our whole family together to celebrate his birthday ...Brandon picked breakfast night ...yum! We had eggs, berries, sausage, bacon, Canadian bacon, grapes, cantaloupe and sour dough toast. We followed it by cheesecake...mmmm.

We also had a hat contest (thank you Winslows for the idea)....Brandon judged the contest and gave out prizes.  He had so much fun! We laughed a lot...a good thing!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Summer Fun

We have been working diligently in our basement turning a large unused area into a larger home school room. We are still in the middle of our summer months so we are taking breaks to have fun too! In cleaning out the books in our rooms, the kids located the older girls body crayons. They went to town drawing on each other and themselves.

In fact, Michael wrote the word BIG on his arm to show how big his muscle is only to realize it was backwards...we laughed a lot but them realized if we turned his arm upside down it was spelled correctly! Love their creations and funny antics!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Date Night

In the past year, Darrell and I have been able to take a date night almost every Thursday. This is the first time in 25 years that we have been able to do some thing like this...

We have gone on walks, hiking, lots of shopping especially in the winter months here in NH, we've been joined by Darrell's sister and her husband, his younger sister and his mom, our older daughters, and we have gone horseback riding. All this usually includes some kind of yummy food which has been as simple as a salad or out to some of our favorites to include Texas Road House, Olive Garden or an authentic German restaurant.

All that to say that tonight, was our first ever driving lesson for me to learn to drive our van with our new horse trailer! We bought it this past winter and are super excited because it holds 3 of our horses but even better--it has a large tack room in it as well as a chuck wagon on it! Since we sold the pop up, we have loaded all of the camping equipment into the tack room shelves or chuck wagon and have plenty of room for chairs, tents and dining canopy!

We started by driving around town, headed to the local high school to practice backing up with some limited success. We then hauled it to dinner...a little Mexican place we love. We then went over to Walmart to grab a few things and then out for an ice cream cone. It was a different kind of night but fun because my hubby and I were together!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Legos ....finally organized!

The Lego monster at our home has been uncontrollable for a long time. We have tried many different ideas but think we finally hit on one that is organized and easy to use. I think the monster has finally been tamed!

When my boys built before the would say don't you just love it! I would say tell me about it. There is a reason....I am a color person and it looked like a big blob to me because it was made of so many crazy colored bricks...not to say I couldn't appreciate their work but under the new system they are loving it and I can actually 'see' their creations. Our son, Michael, said, "mom the colors are so beautiful!" I agree!

After a few days of building the kids are all saying it so easy to find exactly what they are looking for and are we are not having dumped bins all over the room---that was what happened in the past as they searched for the right piece in the deep bins. I am loving it! We even have a bin designated for their creations that are in progress so it can also be tucked away for later.
We have a separate color in each bin!

This stores individual legos and the top one is assessories and people.

This is playmobil in the top two bins --they love to play with it along with Legos.  The bottom bin is Lincoln logs.

The whole set up next to each other.

The table is for building but must be cleared when they are finished.

A picture of the red favorite color!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer Hours on Friday

Darrell has a gift given to him every Friday afternoon by from his employer...he is let go early at 1:00. This is a bonus to spend extra family time together working on projects, running errands or playing. Today was a much needed play day and we chose the pool! Dad's favorite thing is jumping in with the kids...they love it too!! Dad is a big kid too when it comes to the pool...what a wonderful afternoon!

See the splash above? That is the daddy splash!