Thursday, April 24, 2014

few more Easter pics

Just a few more before the holiday slips into my memory bank....

We did do our Easter garden this year, though at one point Julianna was doubtful the (then-frozen) ground would lend to a garden :)

But we found some nice rich Dakota soil to fill our pan.  And then added all manner of stones, moss and evergreen bits to dress it up a bit.

I missed pics of the many stages this year, but I continue to love this activity as it helps us "see" Jesus move through the events of the week - praying in the garden, hanging on the cross, in the tomb, and then the angels announcing the empty tomb.

We also read a pile of new Easter books that I found at the library - I've missed our holiday book collections.  It's good to read new and different stuff ... but I love the "we always read this book at Easter" traditions too.

And we dyed Easter eggs... thanks to Grandma for spearheading this one!  With a traveling husband I'm not sure I would have attempted the egg dye on my own this year :)  Surely we are just a few years from this becoming a less stressful activity!

We had a lot of fun.  Totally worth it.  Especially with Grandpa and Grandma helping all the littles!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Celebrating with family is not something we take for granted.  Not one bit.

So we celebrated well this year - a newly reunited family of 7 (and a jet-lagging daddy who hardly even mentioned his weariness... though I did catch him with yawns and tired eyes more than once!)

[Yes, everyone looking, everyone smiling.... easier said than done.  woohoo!]

And then Easter afternoon we joined more of Matt's extended family for egg hunting and trampoline jumping and hockey and basketball and a perfectly yummy supper.

This boy takes my breath away.  He's perfectly TWO in every sense of the word.  And I'm a sucker for a 2 year old.

Look at his knees.  This boy plays to win.

It was warm. Bright and sunny.  And windy.

And we loved it!

Now we're back in our (temporary) home and it's back to real life.  With a heavy side dose of Easter candy to remind us of the good times :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

in the tall tall mountains

My husband has a really cool job.

And he loves it.

It's not all mountain trips and snow-capped peaks (in fact, that's very little of it!), but he does get to spend time investing in relationships with amazing people.

And sometimes that relationship investment looks like this.

Not bad for a view from base camp, huh?

In a nutshell, I'd have to say his Asia trip was slam-packed.  Even his airport layovers involved scheduled Skype calls and frantic searches for wifi to empty out his stuffed email outbox.

We were able to keep in touch a bit, but longer phone talks were limited and I'm soooo looking forward to having him back!  [Not too long now - he landed in the U.S. this morning and he'll be here before midnight.]

But right smack in the middle of that craziness was this trip.  Water to his soul.

Nothing like 14,000 feet of earth underneath your hiking boots to put things in perspective.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Late last week we visited the local elementary school art show (hosted by the convention center).

It was a total hit for everybody in the family.  We moved fairly quickly through the girls' school exhibit (and saw their art displayed - Julianna's seahorse, Lydia's butterfly) and then headed towards the activity area.

There were all kinds of hands on activities for children to make and see and do.  Even a local potter working with his pottery wheel - very cool!

All five got their faces painted - even Luke!  I wasn't so sure how he would hold to the task of sitting still while a complete stranger painted his face.

He had plenty of support from the big sibs!  And he impressed me with his patience.

This town is small enough that an event like this is so low-stress do-able for the whole family.  The girls roamed a bit on their own and I didn't feel like I had to keep them super close by.  Of course we ran into a number of people that we knew too :)

Just a fun way to spend a late afternoon (although I was running low on steam by the end and ready to get through dinner and bedtime.  ahhh, those late afternoon/evenings can be pretty draining for me!)

I'm getting lots of incredible pictures from Matt who is ending a quick trip up into the mountains.  He'll be back in the big city for two days and then start his trip back to us!  I'll post some of those pics tomorrow.  Prepare to be jealous :)  [I am.]

Sunday, April 13, 2014

the sock situation

We've got a lot of little feet around here.

And a lot of little socks.

Last fall when it was clear the sock-free summer was drawing to a close I decided we needed a new sock strategy.  I eventually settled on a big bin of shared socks for all the kids, conveniently placed beside the front door.

Every child sock in our house is (theoretically) either on a foot, in the laundry pile, or in that bin.  Most every pair in the bin is mated too.... though I don't know why I bother (exhibit A, below).

I figured that I'd streamline my process - anyone old enough to put on their own socks should be capable of picking through the pile to find a pair that suited them.  Anyone who needed help with the socks .... well, I'd be there to make sure we picked something in the right size range.

In the past few months John Paul and Luke began exercising a little more autonomy over sock selection, but I'm happy to report that the sock bin is still working marvelously.  Every now and then we get a very interesting combination (fluffy red heart socks on little boy feet), and often the little two un-mate pairs to pick their favorites, but for the most part, the sock bin serves us well.

A few days ago, in a rush to get out the door in time for speech school, I even grabbed a pair of  kid socks from the bin and stuffed my feet into them.  Twelve hours later I sat down on the sofa to read, girls snuggled in on each side, and put my feet up on the coffee table.  And there were those socks - still on my feet :)  It was one of those days... no shower, no down time, just full-on motherhood .... and I was still wearing those little socks!

Friday, April 11, 2014

birthdays and basketball

Last weekend Andy Kristi Conner Carson and Kaelynn came up for a couple of days of family birthdays and basketball fun.

We celebrated our March birthdays (Isaac, Luke, Kaelynn).

And we watched the boys play some fun basketball!

My boys sure look up to their big cousins.  John Paul looks worried in this pic, but he really thought dressing up in Conner's basketball gear was great fun - trust me!

Isaac is still talking about these basketball games.

We had a pretty impressive little cheering section!

We just so enjoy the time we get to spend together!  thankful for a weekend to celebrate birthdays and basketball together!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

double selfie

Saturday afternoon enjoying some snuggles with my Lydia.

And then we started on silly pictures.

She was trying to pretend she was sleeping.

We agreed she wasn't that great at it.

But it led to some good giggles.  Lydia is a REALLY great giggle-er.

And loves to snuggle with Mom.

Our days are ticking right along.  The snow is vanishing fast.

Today I had an "I'm acting like a local" moment .... the boys were wearing long sleeves and pants.  I opened the door and thought "oh it's so nice out this morning, no need to wear jackets!"  Halfway to the store I noticed that the digital temperature display on the dashboard read 42 degrees.

Yep, 42.  No need for a jacket :)