Friday, September 30, 2011

A Camping We Will Go

This past weekend, we enjoyed a family camp out with a group of friends from our church. Joel and I always loved the idea of camping as a family, had always wanted to try it, but have never done it. We thought attempting it for the 1st time in the safety of our friend's backyard woods sounded pretty nice. That was before it rained for days straight leading up to the weekend and temperatures started to drop. I must have called my friend a million times that day to make sure we were still doing it-I was so nervous! But my always positive husband dressed the kids in layers and rain boots (GENIOUS), packed the bags while I fretted in indecision, and we were off! We had a wonderful time. I have never seen the kids muddier (or happier), no one slept, we ate smores for dessert and breakfast, and were cold....but it was amazing! I think Joel is hooked now. I think I want an air mattress next time.

Heading out to the campsite. The kids rode in the back of the truck with their hands in the air like it was a roller coaster, screaming with delight.

Poppy gave Asher a pocket knife for a gift awhile back, and he was so excited to use it. The two of them sat there whittling away at their sticks being boys. Asher enjoyed this, helping cook the food, finding wood for the fire, exploring the woods for treasure (he found an old tire that the kids enjoyed rolling down a hill for hours), and catching frogs. I have never seen him be such a boy! It was nice for them to not have boundaries and just play.

Josie was layered in sleepers, and slept cuddled in my arms. Wait, no we didn't sleep, but at least we were warm cuddling and she was happy the whole time. She ate more graham crackers that I could count.

Jesse was mud from head to toe and we kept catching him hiding with the bag of cheetos or marshmallows.

Smores are always the highlight.

Friday, September 23, 2011


As the seasons change, I find myself again missing Hawaii. I am not sure what happened to make the ache return in my heart. Maybe it is the frustration of missing children's socks in every laundry load, muddy tennis shoes tramping through the house, digging out jackets and changing over the drawers from summer to winter clothes for 6 people, realizing my wardrobe is not east coast fashionable at all, or the fact that in 7 months we will be facing another move all over again. We have had a hard time getting back into the routine of school, activities, bible studies and just when you find a routine, life turns it upside down again and sometimes I just want to throw my hands up in surrender! I swear that there were more hours in a day when we lived in Hawaii. There was always time to sit with my girlfriends and drink coffee, take leisurely walks to the beach or playgrounds, and workout. What happened here? There have been days where I just didn't want to crawl out of bed and do it all over again. Please God, can I just stay under the covers and hide today! Somehow, I lost something important that God taught me in Hawaii about enjoying life and the moments instead of rushing through the motions and routine. Somehow walking through the season change has reminded me of that joy that fell over our family there and how important it is in every day life. I am reminded of Psalm 90:14 "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all of our days". So in order to bring myself back to joy and thankfulness I will be sharing moments of celebrating in the past few months...moments full or joy and thankfulness that I pray to find every morning and every minute of the day so that it will spill over my family.

Joel has become a motorcycle guy thanks to my dad (and dismay of my mom). I kind of like it! This past weekend, we got a sitter and enjoyed a long beautiful motorcycle ride and enjoyed coffee in a quaint quiet town. It was so peaceful and the perfect afternoon. I pray for that peace to continually fill my soul.

In August we celebrated Josie's birth with a baby dedication at our church. We also had Jesse dedicated as we never found a church in Hawaii that we felt comfortable in supporting our family in this way. What a gem we have found here in a church home! A true family walking through life with us in prayer and thanksgiving, tears and smiles. The dedication was a true reminder or what a gift each one of our children are and what a blessing God gave us here in community.
Josie, as #4, seems to have way fewer pictures taken. This is something I swore I would never do! So Joel and I took a million in one night (does that count??). She is a rolly polly now, has gotten 2 teeth, and is on her hands in knees (only rocking, not crawling), but somehow she manages to get legs stuck under couches and behind doors??

A reminder of joy every day.

A true celebration!! Every day at school, Asher takes a math test. The kids have 3 minutes to complete the test. There is no pass/fail, only rewards as you move up the levels. Asher has been on level 1 since school started (50 problems of addition) and believed he would never pass level 1. Joel and I have worked so hard with him and he would get so discouraged. He knew the math but just has trouble focusing for 3 minutes...the spider crawling up the wall would grab him 1 minute in and he was a goner. Homework has been taking hours as we get into school again and the poor boy has been left exhausted. We promised him the dinner of his choice the day he passed level 1 and tried to encourage him every day. Orange chicken was his choice and I have had it waiting in the freezer praying for the day to celebrate. Yesterday he came bursting into the house exclaiming that HE DID IT!!! I have had this celebrate plate sitting on top of the fridge...a beautiful decoration, but what a wonderful time to break it in. I now vow to use it more often to celebrate many occasions with the kids and remind them how special they are to us and the Lord.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Just Out for a Drive

Joel parent's came out to visit this past weekend and we planned a trip to King's Island. However we chose to keep it a secret from the kids. We told them we were just going out for a drive, looking for a park to play at. They kept an eye out for parks, getting sad whenever we would pass a playground. Then Asher saw the roller coasters in the distance and understanding came over him. They were so excited! We had a lovely day intermingled with some thunderstorms (seems to be the theme of our family outings). But it made for a cool day with short lines...perfect roller coaster weather!

Asher LOVES roller coasters. He has been begging to go to Kings Island. The Vortex was his first "real" roller coaster and it was his favorite of the day. I remember Vortex being one of my favorites as a teenager. I can't believe I just let my 7 year old go on it! It has 6 loops!! Way to go my brave boy!

What I didn't know as a teenager is that there is a whole section just for kids, "Planet Snoopy". Too bad the kids really don't know who Snoopy is or any of the Charlie Brown characters. Jesse would trot on any ride without looking back, and smiled the whole time. He would have been on those big roller coasters if he could! Here is most of the gang on the "Kite Catching Tree" a mini version of a drop tower.

Josie was sure happy to sit next to Snoopy though.

Josie's one ride was the Carousel, and she laughed hysterically the whole time! The ride attendant almost didn't let her go on because she wasn't wearing shoes....seriously?!

Anna followed Asher onto any roller coaster she could go on, not about to be upstaged by him! Well, the 1st one Joel did drag her on kicking and screaming. It was one where your feet dangled and that turned out to be her favorite of the day. She was hooked after that!

The bumper cars were a favorite...they went on them about 5 times!

Jesse had a few hot dates in all the car rides :).

Jesse's 1st roller coaster. They are in the back 2 cars. He kept his hands up the whole time!