Saturday, April 28, 2012

4th Child and Blue Eyes

My Aunt Kelly is a 4th child and she has really bright, deep blue eyes. Just like Emma.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Zoo Trip

My Aunt Kelly came up for a visit and spent a couple of nights with us. We took the opportunity to take a trip to the zoo. It was lots of fun for all. I do admit to counting it as a field trip day for school too since it fits in well with our school curriculum, animals and ecosystems, right? :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday Olivia

You are beautiful! You are precious! You are loved! Today is your day! Our lives was changed in such an amazing and wonderful way 7 years ago! You are a gift from the Lord and we couldn't be more thankful for you! You are funny, full of whimsy, smart, creative, thoughtful and compassionate! And there really aren't words for the love we have for you, my dear daughter! :)

Added Later in the Day:
The day was full of fun. I let her pick the acitivities for the day (just things around the house like games, reading books, getting her back tickled, free play, watching cupcake wars and Strawberry Shortcake, reading books, and computer games; the latter two being things she doesn't get to do regularily). We probably sang Happy Birthday about 7-10 times. :) Mostly at her request. She talked to various people on the phone/skype and we had some special visitors. I think it was a good, blessed day for her. We ended the day with some Strawberry Shortcake (ours had chocolate chips thrown in and i used angel food cake instead of traditional shortcakes because that is what she would like best i thought). That is the face she makes when she thinks something is yummy. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Enjoying An Early Spring

Yes, we picked our first strawberries already. They were small but yummy. Thanks to my dad for helping with this outing. It was a lot of fun. We had a lesson in the car on the way there: "What color strawberries do you pick? Red? YES. Green or white? NO. Altogether now, "We pick RED strawberries." And I must say that Gabe did well. Ezra did pretty good himself. He pretty much just ate what he could put his hands on but seemed to go for the right ones. Olivia is actually productively picking these days which is nice. :)

Such wonderful sunshine and joy comes from my sweet girl!

I really enjoy taking walks. I think the kids do too. The boys only ride in the stroller part of the time now. They spend a lot of time exploring the surroundings and collecting things. Olivia does that too. Emma just rides along still but she is definitely taking in her surroundings more and more. :)

Some fun with Cousin Kira. The boys are getting rides in "cars". Gotta love these ottomans. Um, I guess Olivia doesn't think traffic is moving as fast as she would like... When I asked Olivia, she said she didn't remember. She said, "I guess I was just waiting." :)

The swing the kids are each on in these pictures was made for me by my grandfather (dad's dad) when I was around Gabe's age I believe.  Grandpa is in the swing behind. No mistaking the family resemblance, especially between Gabe and grandpa, huh? :) We stopped to visit with my grandparents (dad's side) on our way to and from my parent's home. They live just about half way. It is wonderful to visit with them. I haven't managed to get any pictures and that bums me out. But we are making some sweet memories. My kids love to play at their house. And they graciously welcome us, even with the chaos of 4 young kids. Grandma loves holding Emma and my grandfather still gets on the floor to play with the kids. My Grandma commented several times how much Gabe reminds her of my dad when he was young, both in personality and looks.

 Emma is sleeping in the cradle that was mine when I was little.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Emma, 3 months old

She loved this pillow! :) I guess it was the pattern, because she would talk to it non-stop.

                       first laughs for daddy

She is very chatty, preferring to spend  her awake time interacting with someone else. She smiles big and with her whole body. She has huge expressive eyes. She is sleeping through the night pretty well. She is generally easygoing and loves to be held. She brings us tons of joy! :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Passover 2012

Today we remember the great work accomplished by our great God. Today we follow the example of God's own son, Jesus. Today we are ever thankful and in awe of HIS amazing power. Today we celebrate our freedom as HIS children.

The Lord Knows and Remembers
by Steve & Sue McConnell

You've washed us clean, Holy Lamb.
You bore our shame, God of Abraham.
Your word is true and Your promise is sure,
And by Your grace we will live with you forever, oh Lord.

Oh Lord, I'm undone, I'm ashamed by all I've done.
And it hurts to think I'd grieve Your heart.
But You say, " Take My hand, little one--I understand."
And I as I hold your hand I behold the scars
From the nails so undeserved
That gave me hope and Your assurance
That I am Yours indeed.

Now if You, oh Lord, kept a record of our sins,
Surely none of us could stand.
And You knew all along and so before the world was formed,
You yourself would be salvation's plan.
In time, the spring of Living Water
Would go--like a lamb unto the slaughter--
To pay our debt in full.

Oh Lord, it's true, we should not sin, 
For all who live in You are truly new creations.
But Lord, You say, if we should fall,
We need only see it as You do,
Running to, and not from You.
For the Lord know how we're formed,
He remembers we are dust.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Aquarium Visit

It seemed fitting to take a trip to an aquarium considering Olivia's recent science focus of the ecosystems of rivers, lakes, swamps, estuaries, oceans, beaches. It was encouraging to hear Olivia use the vocabulary she has learned and have a better understanding of what she was seeing because of her studies. We will be doing coral reefs coming up. And of course this was great fun for all 3 of the big kids.


Identifying scales and fish skins with the ones in the tank. Olivia had no trouble with this. Ezra was reaching for my camera. He is very hard to get a picture of because he just wants to come get the camera from me. He is into buttons and loves taking things apart and messing with them. :)


This was Olivia's second favorite animal of the visit. She was standing there watching him when it snapped at her and totally freaked her out. Gabe thought that was quite funny too and enjoyed telling people that the crocodile had snapped at his sister. :)

Waves and Sand:


Gabe and Ezra loved this part of the aquarium because they were "in the water with the fish" in Gabe's words.

Olivia thought she wanted to touch the rays but quickly changed her mind. She did say this was her favorite animal of the day.

Gabe was the one that caught on to what was happening in these displays. I thought that was funny. He said right away, "Look that Turtle is laying it's eggs in the sand. And the babies are coming out." :)

turtle nursery
Once we got home we watched, Turtle, The Incredible Journey, which is a documentary about the sea turtle and how it survives incredible odds.

Outside observing the Bay:
Sometimes I look back at pictures and wonder what i caught them doing at that moment. Their body language and facial expressions are too funny. I am not so good at posed shots if you haven't figured that out. ;)
Jets flying over. A big hit with the kids. Very loud though too.
Trying hard to convince me that he must have the camera. He likes to say, "I need it" or "mine"(in a very matter-o-fact way).

And Finally:

It was an exciting (and tiring) visit. She didn't have a lot to say about it (well, at this moment anyway). :)