Thursday, March 29, 2007

Israel's Dedication

Israel is 3 months old now and we dedicated him to the Lord at our church this past Sunday. It was a really special time for us as a family, and I was blessed to have my family there to help celebrate with us.

Here is our handsome chap, all decked out with his little tie on. :)

Surrounded by family and church family

Praying with Pastor Dave
(He hasnt learned yet to close his eyes during the prayer. ;)

Fabio and I shared some things that were on our hearts for Israel as well. We did it bi-lingually, since Fabio couldn't be in the front and in the back translating at the same time. :) As you can see behind us, most of the hispanic group joined us in the front. It was good for the rest of the church to get a little Spanish flavor too, I think.

A moment of fervent prayer.

Joshua didn't quite feel as serious as we did....

The five of us!
Joshua is growing up so fast these days. His fifth birthday is right around the corner! He has a very curious and inquisitive mind and it is sometimes a challenge to stay one step ahead of him. He loves to learn, and loves science. So, lately we have been studying the solar system and dinosaurs and a myriad of other things. He is reading better and better now and can read simple books to himself. He is so excited about reading that he tries to read all of the signs when we go out! Today he read a sign in McDonalds that said, "Not my McDonald's hamburger!"

Dominique just loves dresses and never wants to wear pants these days. She just *loved* the dress she is wearing in this picture! We walked in the mall the other day and took her to the dress shop at Sears where they have the prom formals. She looked like she was in heaven! She ran frantically from one dress to another exclaiming, "Pretty one!" "This one shiny!" etc... She is talking in better sentences these days too and loves to sing. She has been singing "Jesus Loves Me" like a broken record, because she gets stuck on the "Yes, Jesus loves me" part and just sings that over and over! Cute, though.

Israel is 3 months old and growing so fast! He is wearing 6-9 mos clothes now. He is still not as big as his brother was at that age. That's fine with me! He is really starting to grab at things these days, is interested in toys more, and loves to watch his brother and sister play. They keep him entertained! He is drooling a lot and gnaws on his hands. I wonder if he is starting to teethe? He was up a lot last night too..... He has a sweet disposition, though, and loves to cuddle. I love to cuddle him too!

So, there's a little update on the kids. :) We have been keeping plenty busy ~ just about too busy to blog! Now that it is not so bitter cold, we have been spending more time outside too. We went on a fun family bike ride yesterday and have been to the park and on walks several times this week. I love that spring is in the air!

Até mais!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Homeschool Field Trip

This was our history class last week ~ a trip to New Salem, where Abraham Lincoln lived.
It was a BEAUTIFUL day and we couldnt resist stopping by on our way home from my grandma's, but I was severly disappointed that it is closed on Mon and Tues! (It was a Tues.) We could still walk around, but not go in anything, except the outhouse!
And here we have Joshua and Dominique in the outhouse. ;-) I couldn't convince them to sit *on* the holes, though....
Joshua and Abe

Coming out of the outhouse while Daddy studies the architecture of a nearby cabin.
Mommy and children in front of the woodshed.
We know what that was really for, right? ;)

It was really a good idea to put these pics in sepia, because Dominique really clashed that day! My aunt had just given her a cute little skirt that she just LOVED and wanted to wear SO badly, but it was orange, and I only had a pink shirt along for her to wear with it. LOL! I decided to not make a big deal of it and let her wear the pretty skirt, and alas, you can't even tell in these pics!

Joshua thought this bench was pretty cool! Maybe he will try to make on one day. My brother did when he was little. :)

Studying corn cobs.
Something *really* weird happened! All of my friend's blogs are saved in my favorites file. Well, for the past couple of weeks, I had been checking in now and then with y'all's blogs, but no new posts came up. I figured everyone had just been too busy to post lately. But by last night, I realized how strange this was, that NO ONE had updated for nearly 2 weeks! So, today, I visited a blog, and still nothing new. Then I clicked on refresh, and up came, like FOUR new posts from the past couple of weeks that I hadnt seen yet! So, I went to another blog, and same thing! This was not only with blogger blogs, but also homeschooler blogger, so I dont think it was a problem with blogger. I could see updates in other sites, like my email and another message board, just not on the blogs. Isn't that weird!? Do you know what the problem might be?? If you do, let me know, because it is driving my logical mind crazy! So, that is why I haven't commented on your blogs lately! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Trip to see my Grandmothers

Well, after a LONG time of meaning to and trying to, we finally got down to see my grandmothers this week!
Our first stop was in Macomb, IL to see Grandma Nita. Here she is with Israel, and below with all three.

We had a wonderful time there and had *perfect* weather for it! We were able to take a walk and spend some time outside and it was really lovely! But, we always have a wonderful time at Grandma Nita's regardless of the weather. :)

This is my cousin Brian and his fiance Shasta. They will be married in June, so I told them that this picture is a vision of things yet to come! :) Shasta is staying with Grandma Nita until the wedding, and it was nice to get to know her a little bit better.

My cousin Daniel lives in Burlington, IA, but was able to make it over for dinner. It was so good to see everyone, especially since we missed the Christmas festivities this year, as it was so soon after Israel's birth.

Here is Israel with my Aunt Sue. They coordinated nicely, don't you think? She and Uncle Joe (below) live in Kahoka, MO, but were also able to make it down for dinner. Time to visit always seems too short, but we are thankful for what we can get!

Grandma Nita and Mr. Moon. :) He will be celebrating his 94th birthday next week and he's still going strong! And in April they will be celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. :)

Joshua and Dominique playing nicely! YAY!

Our next stop was near Springfield, IL, to visit the other side of the family. Here Joshua and Dominique are with Grandma Jean. They were actually cooperating with the camera and I loved the way this picture turned out. :)

Grandma Jean meets her newest great-grandchild.

My cousin Tim and his girlfriend were able to come for lunch and it had been a long time since I had seen him, so that was really nice.

And it is always nice to visit with Grandma and my aunts, Diane and Nancy.

"A good time was had by all", as my mom likes to say. ;-)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Power Force and the Most Beautiful Children in the World!

Well, this week was unusually busy, after a long time of hibernation! Funny how fast things can change. Last week the kids were practically begging to go somewhere, *anywhere*!, and this week, on Wednesday when I announced that we didn't have anywhere to go that day, they both shouted, YAY! I think we had worn them out!

It started with a busy weekend, last weekend. Here we are on Sunday evening at our church with John Jacob's Power Force, formerly called the Power Team.

They are a group of really BIG guys that travel the country and world performing feats of strength with the goal of bringing a message of hope.

I was impressed both by their strength and by their testimonies of how God had amazingly changed their lives and rescued them from sin ~ gangs, drugs, and prison ~ and filled them with joy, peace and hope.

The church was PACKED!

Some of the feats they performed included breaking baseball bats, rolling up a frying pan like a burrito, snapping an "indestructible" Lowe's hammer, ripping two license plates in half at once, breaking cans of soda pop on their heads and on our pastor's head!, and breaking out of handcuffs!!

As you can see in both of these pics, Joshua was scared to death to get his picture taken with them, even though he loved the show, from a safe distance! He got to take home a broken baseball bat with their signature. Not sure what we will do with that now!

And here is my little darling. Unfortunately, I was holding the camera to the side, trying to get him to look at me and smile instead of just staring blankly at the camera, and so the pic turned out a little blurry... Still sweet, though.

Here he is again, 2.5 months old, looking as beautiful as ever ~ not that Im biased!

Then yesterday I took the kids to get their pictures taken for the first time with all three of them.
I had finally found overalls for all of them, and I wanted to get the picture taken in time to get it back before we go to Brazil. :)

I think it would have been better to have them all in white shirts, but Israel didnt have one, which is why I went with the flannel for the boys... Oh well.

Which do you like better, the white background or the black? I'm the one who changed the black background one to sepia though. :)

We had quite a time trying to get Israel to smile! I finally figured I'd just settle for him looking and the other two smiling, because every time we would get him to smile, one or both of the other ones would look at HIM instead of the camera, or something similar. Arg!

One of Israel alone.

Dominique alone.

I let Joshua choose his own background for this one and he picked this in anticipation of Brazil! :)

We were able to go this past Monday to the Brazilian Consulate downtown to sign Israel's Brazilian birth certificate and apply for his passport. We should have it by next week. Now we are only waiting on his American passport, which we will probably have to call to expedite this week. And then we will be all ready! Woo HOO!