Category Archives: Family

Sweet Seasons

Happy weekend, all. While I’m sitting outside on the front porch watching the girls play I figured I’d make a little update while my hands are somewhat free.

The other week my sister came up with a fun plan for all of us to go visit one of the local pumpkin patch farms.

When I saw that it was $8 a person I was kinda not looking forward to it, but when we arrived I understood and was totally on board.
These people make bank, and they deserve every penny because this place is a kid haven.

Here are some pictures my sister took while we were there (thank you for snapping these, Ri!)

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The girls had a blast. Literally played until they were about to drop.

A bonus on top of it all, I had a prospective client going with her family so we were able to meet there. I got a new home birth mom on the schedule and that truly made my morning complete!

Daddy Day

Stephen has been traveling a lot recently. It’s been a weird adjustment, but I think we have figured ourselves out.

After one especially long training trip we made plans to celebrate his being home. A day of fun with just the 4 of us.

When Sarah saw him the morning after he returned she came running down the hall yelling to me “Mommy, mommy, daddy’s home!” She was so excited. It was the ideal response.

To celebrate we decided to get out of the house and hit up some silly and relaxing places to enjoy that quiet day.
Here are some of our festivities.

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Saturday Fun

This past Saturday we went out to a blueberry festival. It was a last minute decision while we were sitting having breakfast that morning and I’m so glad we went.

The girls had a blast! I intended to pick berries while we were there, but Sarah was pretty distracted by the horse rides, bounce house and blow up slide…

We plan on picking some blueberries this week with friends, so that’ll make up for it. Especially since the 1lb we did buy while there was eaten before the day was over.

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Sarah was quiet the whole time, but LOVED getting to actually ride a horse for the first time. So much so that that is what we did last night, only I was the horse and now my knees will probably be beautifully bruised from all our fun.

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Handsome man holding a cute little girl

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That evening we went to our friend and neighbors house for dinner and the girls played until they were ready to drop. So much so, that Sarah did when we got home…

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It was a really great weekend. I love when we get to go out and do things together as a family, especially since I get a little cabin-feverish during the week sometimes. I plan on dragging Stephen to the beach sometime soon so we can have a fun time getting the car all covered in sand and vacuuming the floor mats for eternity.

Lunch & Moms

For Mother’s Day this year we all planned a Mexican style lunch to surprise mom with after church.
My parents just moved into a new rental house and it’s not even 10 minutes from our church, so that’s a fun bonus for all of us.

 

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It was a fun afternoon with family getting to visit at mom and dads new rental home.

The food was good. The company was great. And both girls fell asleep on the way home, so a major win in this mom’s book!

 

Photo of a Photo[taker]

I just couldn’t help myself…
 

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Love you sis! ;)
 

Risen Indeed

Two days ago it happened. The cross was carried and Jesus took the weight of this earth and all it’s sinful nature and died for us. He was carried to the tomb and buried. People mourned, while some celebrated. That much hasn’t changed in this world. Except that between those 3 days of loss, emptiness, confusion and wavering faith, God’s plan was still in action. The stone was rolled away and Jesus was no longer lying there. He rose. Praise God and sing out unto His name because His word was, is, and will always remain truth. His followers gazed upon His warm face. They feasted and celebrated because their faith was alive before them. Oh to have seen that sight. A vision that all believers will get to be in the presence of. To hear His voice, words of a melody I can’t even begin to imagine. Thank God if you have the honor of knowing Him today. To have the peace of His salvation. There is no greater gift.

Our day was able to be filled with that reminder. It began early as Stephen went to the church for a sunrise service. The girls and I followed soon after and got to spend time with friends. Hearing daddy practice the Sunday music set. Keeping the girls entertained while they patiently awaited the church-grounds egg hunt. They had a blast, of course. Picking up eggs and showing them off. Placing them in our plastic grocery bag because this mom didn’t think about bringing a basket. Opening each egg was like a new present. Erasers, candy, pencil sharpeners, Sarah showed me all of it. Elanor opened a pack of fruit snacks and that was all she cared about. I love her minimal spirit. Content with something small. I’m highlighting this time in my mind because you can’t know how they will be in 6 weeks or next year. Sarah was the first born, and she is quite aware. It’s not a bad thing, not even slightly. I just have to keep her in check at times. To be appreciative for the everyday things and anything beyond that is a gift to be extra thankful for. She has a tender heart and is so compassionate. She hurts when you hurt. She wants to fix you so that we can be joyful together. To laugh and tickle and play without ceasing.

The Lord gave us these children and I pray they come to know Him early on. That they understand His mercy and love for them.

After church we went and had lunch with my family. The kids played and our fellowship was relaxing. A good quiet pace for after a busy morning. We later went to the Ringl house to visit and have dinner together. The kids were excited and played their sugar filled hearts out. We couldn’t have been in a better spot for their sugar rush to take place. Cousins, a swing set, sandbox and slide. The weather was cool so they didn’t get overheated, which made it easy to help mom in the kitchen without any munchkins all around our feet. The food was just as good as lunch, and afterwards the kids played during a movie and we all sat watching.

All these children were not even a forethought in our minds when I met Stephen and his family. I never could have guessed that I would one day be sitting in this home watching my children laugh and play. Growing up is full of such wonderful surprises.

It was a good day. The kids got a lot of great family time and we are able to celebrate the fact that we have eternal hope. Our lives do not end here when we leave our bodies behind. His glory is real and redemption is free. Lord, give us the courage and boldness to share Your truth. Let the truth of this day never be overshadowed in the busyness of all our lives.

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:16-20

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We hope you had a wonderful Easter

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First Sight

A few weekends ago we celebrated Sarah’s 3rd birthday. We had a fun get together at our house with family over. It was on a Sunday, so after church we picked up some pizza’s and made a few pitchers of lemonade. I made peanut butter cookies the evening before, Sarah’s favorite, and to entertain the kiddos I busted out the bubble machine. It was the perfect way to celebrate.

While we were all outside watching the kids my mom had an idea. One of our neighbors recently offered us a swingset they no longer used, but it was wood and it was heavy. There was no way Stephen and I were moving that thing. Given we had all our local family over, which included 6 adult men, mom thought to see if we could get the swing set moved. They all walked over and next thing we knew they were coming back across the street carrying a large wooden frame with swings and a slide.

When Sarah turned around and saw her daddy, grandpas, and uncles carrying a SLIDE she flipped. What’s funny is that it happened the day we were celebrating her birthday, so I think she thought it was the ultimate present, when really it wasn’t a gift from any of us, just a friendly donation from some sweet neighbors.

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“It’s a SLIIIIIDE!”

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As you can imagine, if the sun is out the girls are wanting outside on their new swingset. Elanor now loves to slide, and I’m pretty sure Sarah asks me to push her on the swing 875 thousand times a day.

It was a great birthday party followed by a wonderful night. An evening spent enjoying our two daughters in the backyard listening to them laugh and squeal over the joy of a swing and a slide. It’s always the simple things. The experiences that are everlasting in our minds. Moments that, as parents, are quick, temporary, and forever our own to cherish.

Zoo Day

This past week we had the chance to go to the zoo with some family.
My sister, Valerie, her hubs Kyle, and my nephews, Mark & Russell invited us along on their outing. She even arranged a ride for us since we are a 1-car family.

My MIL came over that morning to pick us up. When Sarah answered the door she was so excited to see Gramma. I didn’t tell her what we were doing, so the whole thing was a fun surprise. After we got the car seats loaded Valerie arrived and we headed out.

It’s about a 40 minute drive, or so, and the girls laughed and played in the backseat the entire drive. It’s always an extra bonus when you don’t have screaming/crying kids in the car, especially when you are on the way to a special outing.

When we arrived we quickly realized that it was spring break. Since none of us have kids in school that sort of thing isn’t on our radar, but the packed parking lot was a quick and obvious tell. Thankfully it wasn’t crazy or anything, since we were at the zoo there weren’t any lines or anything.

Valerie got a few cups of animal food and Sarah was so excited to feed everything in sight. We started at the murky-water mutant turtle area. Obviously that isn’t it’s technical name, but if you saw these things up close you’d agree that they must have stepped in some weird goo. That, or they’re a weird prehistoric morph between a turtle, alligator and anteater. Weirdest nose-snouts imaginable.

You can partially see one of them below in front of Elanor in the water…

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Elanor and Gramma

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Sarah was so excited to see all the animals (or aMinals, as she calls them). The last time we were at the zoo was Memorial Weekend, so it’s been quite a while. Aunt Valerie showed Sarah how to feed with food in her open hand and while the first time she was a little weary that feeling quickly disappeared after she watched her Aunt do it a few times.

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Gramma telling Sarah about the different animals on the train ride

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Russell decided he’d rather sit with the ladies in the back
Here he is showing off his bellybutton

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Trains are the best. Just ask any 2-5 year old!

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Russell and daddy

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Mark with Val
[cue sentimental mommy moment]
One day, not too far off, we are really going to miss those tiny hands. How much they clung to us and cried for us. Pulled our hair and wiped everything imaginable all over our clothes. I know it’s hard to focus on that, for me at least, but one day I know I will look back on this picture and remember how sweet, innocent and precious our children were at this age.

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-Tiny wrist rolls included-

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Kyle, Russell, Val & Mark

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We went to Village Inn for lunch afterwards
Free Pie slice Wednesday!

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There were a lot more animals compared to when we went last year. We didn’t get to see some of the bigger ones because some of the kiddos hit their no-nap wall, but that just means we have reason to go back again soon. Seeing actual lions and tigers just 8 feet away was nutty. They were really young too, so I know they will only keep getting bigger.

Next time I will try and remember to shoot some video. It is amazing seeing and hearing how little ones respond to the sight, feel and smell of different animals. Elanor was so excited to see so many different types of animals, and Sarah was pulling me from one pen to the next wanting to see them all.

It was such a wonderful day and I couldn’t be more thankful for our family. Family that we love and have amazing relationships with.

The first day of spring was amazing. Hopefully it’s a great sign of the days, weeks and months to follow!

 

Green Thumb

When my parents asked me what I thought Sarah would like for her birthday I immediately knew the answer. Our girls love all things outdoors. While outside Sarah LOVES to water and take care of plants. She helped me change out our front walkway when I switched out it’s contents, has always asked to help water my parents tomato’s and flower pots. Like most kids, water brings her immediate happiness. Recently my sister and I have been talking about how nice it is when some gifts are not necessarily an item, but a memory made. With this thought in mind I knew I had been wanting to teach Sarah more about gardening, and figured my mom, the green thumb queen, could be an even better teacher. Mom always asks and encourages Sarah to help her with her outdoor planting adventures. Whether it be watering pots, picking tomatoes or plucking figs off a tree and eating them there in the yard, I knew there was no better gift than bringing those memories into our own home.

I had found some gardening tools that I wanted to get Sarah so I told my mom about it and let them go from there. They not only got her the garden tools, but a watering can, bag of fertilizer and a box of flowers.

I love gifts that are used to make and create memories. Gifts that get your hands dirty and teach kids about new things.

Here are the goods, before relocation

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Scoopin’

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-The beginning of growth

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Memory in the Making

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Getting her hands, and everything else, dirty

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Their finished products

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Getting use of her very own watering can

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Elanor watching from the coupe

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Goofy Love

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Later that day, after a much needed bath, Sarah insisted on continually checking on her flowers. She went out and reported back that the yellow one was growing. Looks like she has her Nana’s green thumb!

 

March[ing] Forward

One of the easiest ways to motivate Sarah to do things she isn’t fond of (ex: going inside, leaving the park, switching activities, etc.) is by singing a song. One that works 98% of the time is “Follow Me”.

My mom discovered this successful technique with some sweet and simple lyrics;
‘Follow me, Follow me, Wherever you may go, Follow me”.
Incorporating foot marching raises the success rate from 98 to 100%.

It’s funny how magical songs can be. I suppose they motivate me to clean when I don’t care to, so it shouldn’t be too surprising.

All that to say, the month of March tends to be a busy one for our family. Lots of activities, lots of movement, and if we are lucky, a lot of get togethers.

It usually starts with Sarah’s birthday. Then mine a week later, and my brother in law Jeff a few days after that.

Aging is an exciting thing. Getting to experience another year of making memories and watching relationships grow. Four years ago we didn’t have any children. We now have a 3 and 1 year old. It’s amazing how much can change in such a short time.

Oh how the months fly by…

 

Sarah is 3

They have grown so much since last March:

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Alright, now where’s the pause button?!