Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Friends, Family and Fun!

It's been a whirlwind since we arrived! We survived the trip and the kids actually did very well. We only had one mishap when there was a slight {ahem} fender bender.

I am considering maintaining my innocence.
How was I to know that some woman had pulled in way too close behind me at the gas pump?
I was only complying with my husband's suggestion to back up, get out of line when I was done, and go to McD's to get the kids some lunch.
It couldn't have been that in my haste, I forgot to look in the rear view mirror! {gasp}
I knew I should have driven the old van on the way here.
My husband was very gracious and told me that is what we have insurance for.
I love him.

Sunday afternoon there was a bridal shower for Danielle at church. I am sorry to say that I had my camera settings wrong and all my picture turned out blurry. You will have to use your imagination to 'see' the North Woods theme and all the gifts.

Monday we took the kids to the zoo. My brother's wife and three kids joined us, much to the delight of my kids who hadn't seen their cousins in almost two years.
Daddy holds Jake up to see the polar bears

Katie and cousin Maddie are best buds

"OK troops, here is how it's goin' down. I have a ticket for each of you to ride the carousel but you have to line up!"

"Are you serious?"

Waiting patiently.

Picnik collage_zoo
Wheee!! Mommy photographs because rides that go in circles make her nauseous.

"We are so excited we can barely contain ourselves."

Picnik collage_train

Cousins are the best!

New baby elephant born two months ago at the zoo!!

Grandpa holds Hudson up for a better view.

Kissin' cousins

Is it me or is this kid still giving me the stink eye?

That evening, we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant and were so happy to see our old friends there.

Clavo - our friend, whose smile we miss so much.

Neli and the girls. We miss Neli very much!

Ryan, Taylor and Jake all have birthday's in the next two weeks, so we decided to have our traditional celebration. Clavo would always bring the kids a Mexican fried ice cream, dip his finger in the whipped cream and put it on their nose.

However...this time, all the kids got a plate of whipped cream in their faces. Except Ryan. He conveniently went to the bathroom right before they came out with the birthday treat. Dani had to stand in for him and SHE got the whipped cream in the face!
Ryan came out and began to help her get it cleaned up. Notice Mr. Stealth behind him, sneaking up for round 2.


Happy Birthday, boys!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

From a hotel deep in the heart of New York....

I'm sit-ting in the bath-room.

It's the only available seat with a light because everyone else is in bed {supposed to be sleeping}. The things we do to blog.

We are in upstate New York and will continue our 14 hour trek tomorrow. So far the kids have done well.

I could have done without the pouring rain that made it next to impossible to see at night.
Behind my husband's van.
It's not his fault that his vehicle created a ton of moisture behind the wheels that made it seem like I was driving through thick fog.
Or that I felt he was driving too fast for the conditions.
Because his conditions were not the same as mine.
{In other words...he could see the road.}
Not sure why I don't like driving 75 mph at night in the rain when I can't see the road. I'm just weird like that.

But we arrived safely--thankfully. My girls were praying in the backseat.

No pictures tonight. I'm just {not} that good.
Although it might have been entertaining to get a shot of Kate who wiped out in the rain soaked parking lot after I told her to make sure she didn't drag her blankie and get it wet. {Sigh}
It's wet.
There isn't a puddle in front of the curb anymore, though since Kate's blanket soaked that up. But hey... Kate eliminated the possibility of Jake falling into it. So it was a good thing.

We are so excited to be seeing Ryan tomorrow night!! And Dani, too! The little kids ask 10 times a day when they will see Ryan and 'Daniel."
Sorry, Dani...they just can't get it right.
And of course we are super excited to be seeing Grandma and Grandpa, siblings, cousins....ahhhh. Can't wait!! Jeff's parents and siblings will be arriving next week and we are so excited to be getting to see them, too.
People should get married more often.
Just sayin.'

Well, I better join my crew in getting some shut-eye or I will not be able to stay awake driving tomorrow.
And anyway, this toilet seat is getting hard. {I put the lid down--don't get grossed out.}

Just to clarify....the wedding is not this's next weekend. We are going a week early to visit and help out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Packing Collage

First day of packing down.
More days of packing ahead.
More Packing.

Making kids wear pajamas all day so we can have only clean clothes in suitcases.
Wondering if I should wear pajamas all day. {Don't judge}
Seeing if said packing will fit in suitcases.
See if said suitcases will fit in cars.

At least we have two cars that are making the trip.
There is always a silver lining.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Random Family Update

We are in wedding countdown....less than two weeks to go. Can't wait to make the 14 hour trip with nine kids {cough, cough}.

We have not heard anything yet from the doctors at Boston Children's about the possibility of Kate having heart surgery.

Molly had a birthday last week. The years are just flying by and my babies are growing up. {sob}

Jillian decorated the cake--which is why it looks so cute.
Jillian and Molly

The girls had friends over yesterday and decided to do a lemonade stand. I had my doubts that they would sell much but they stayed out there all day and made around $8. They were so thrilled.

And a Miss Zoey pro-other leg update...
Her leg is holding up well. We went to the beach on Father's Day (and I forgot my camera...gah!). Her leg held up well, although got pretty heavy once wet because she has to wear two pair of heavy socks inside it to keep it on. {Her leg continues to atrophy and when the current prosthetic gets too loose, she will get another one. For now, she is wearing two socks instead of one.} She took it off part way through the afternoon. I think someone should come up with some cool-max socks that don't get heavy when they are wet! Maybe I will suggest that next time we are at Shriners.

Today she was roller skating. I think you would have to look close to notice she has an artificial leg! Go Zoey!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day 2011

The "Doors of Israel" photo

doors of Israel_copyright

I have had several requests from people wanting to purchase a copy of the "Doors of Israel" print. I am working on making that available. My main problem is that the template I used to make it will only enlarge to about 11x14. I am trying to find a template that would allow me to make a bigger one but I'm not sure what size is of interest. If you are interested in a print, can you please leave a comment or email me the size you would like? (No obligation to purchase--just gives me an idea of the size that would interest everyone.)

Thank you!! I will offer it soon and 30 percent of the proceeds will go to help the babies at Morning Star Foundation.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Summer Days

I love summer.

For me, 'it's the most wonderful time of the year." Yeah...Christmas is nice but you have to wear socks in December. And coats. And sometimes {gasp} hats and scarves.


So. Back to summer.
Flip-flops, sprinkler's, popsicles, lemonade.

It's our first week of summer vacation and we are lovin' it! After two days of 60 degree weather, it warmed up nicely yesterday and today.

{If it's above 50 degrees my kids start asking to run through the sprinkler.}

Yesterday the temperature was high enough, so they gleefully put on their swimming suits and set up the sprinkler in the back yard.

Put your right arm in and shake it all around...
"It's not that c-c-cold, Mom!"
Put your right hip in and put your right hip out...
Katie picked out this swim suit. fun!
Childhood is a wonderful thing

Is it me or does she look like she's using one of those fancy bum cleaners?
Zoey's 'pros-other' foot held up well. She was delighted when her water-sodden sock started to make squishing noises.
Katie's tutu suit is ridiculously cute

When they got too cold to keep running through the freezing water, everyone ended up hanging out on the deck munching graham crackers.
Big sister starts a toe-nail painting party
Lookin' good Katie!
SaraGrace chooses blue
And 'pros-other' foot gets a manicure too {and we need to scrub that foot!}
Waiting for her nails to dry
"Zoey...what do you think of your toe nails?"
Zoey's leg is starting to look like it has gone through a war. The girl is all-out-action all day long!

Jake was camera shy today, but he WAS there. And he actually went through the sprinkler
{as opposed to last year when he just skirted the perimeter and pretended to get wet}.