Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Starved Rock

Well, as usual, I have a lot more to post than I have time to post it, so I figured a little something was better than a lot of nothing, right?

So, without making too many lofty promises of all that I intend to post, for now I will share a few pics of last Saturday when we took a family field trip to Starved Rock.

Oh, and so as to not keep you in suspense about Joshua, he went through two series of blood tests and first the Doctor was suspecting Kawasake disease, but after more tests and time and exams, he seems to be just fine! So, it was likely just a really tough virus that took his body about three weeks to fight off. The doctor just told us to watch him like a hawk and call him if we notice any change, but he seems to be finally back to his old energy level and also has a ravenous apetite and has regained the weight he had lost. So, I am fairly certain that he is fine now and I am SO thankful that it was nothing serious. God is good!

Viewing the scenery at Starved Rock with Daddy.

This way, Daddy?

All the walking and running and hiking and stair climbing wore them out good!
By the time we were done, we were dragging Dominique, but Joshua was still running! It was a very good sign that he was back to normal, praise the Lord!

Israel was sound asleep through the first hour or so of the hike, so he was like a dead weight on my back, but I guess that gave me a better workout, right?

Lover's Leap.

The last time Fabio and I were here was seven years ago, before we were even engaged, and we took pictures right here, at Lovers Leap. Now we return with three children.....

End of the trail.

We have a wonderful missionary family living with us for the summer that have three beautiful children, so it has been fairly hectic around here, but fun! I will try to post more soon!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Joshua is FIVE years old!

Here are the pictures I promised from the splash pad we went to with our friends the Hamstras! The kids had a blast ~ and the adults too! :) I'm too lazy/busy to do a link right now, but you can check out more pictures of these adorable children at the "Michelle H." link to the right. ;-)

Dominique and Adeline are five months apart and played so nice together! (Dominique is older.)

Israel and John Michael are also five months apart and don't really "play together" yet, but they were interested in each other! (John Michael is older.)

One hot day a few days later, we played in the hose after being inspired by the splash pad above! It was almost just as much fun....

I took this pic of Israel while I was holding him so that I could make a debut in the photo album! I am usually behind the camera, but I do want my children to remember that they did have a mother all those years!

Another morning at the forest preserve at 8:30 am. We are trying to take in as much nature as we can. We didnt see a whole lot, but we heard a bullfrog and a woodpecker, and also spotted some turtles floating on a log on the lake. And lots of mosquitos, of course!

The children and I have befriended this sweet lady at a local nursing home. We are enjoying spending time getting to know her and I think she enjoys seeing the children and hearing them sing for her when we come! She is 95 years old and sharp as a tack! She was born in Yugoslavia and came to the States in 1925 when she was 14 years old. We have much to learn from her....

I just thought this was funny. I went out one night to get groceries and when I came home this was on the garage wall in front of where I park the car. Joshua had drawn it and put it there to scare me! What a scary face!

Remember those cicada wings from my last post? Well, one of them got eaten! I suppose now I will have to put that in Israel's baby book as his first food! Mmmmm... protein! Here is the rest of it stuck to his face. He is all over the place these days and giving me a time trying to keep up with him and keep the other kids' mess picked up before it gets eaten!


Joshua's birthday was last Thursday and since that is the night we have Bible study at our house in Spanish, we decided to have a shorter than usual study and then do a pinata and cake for Joshua.

Here is Fabio with the kids, stuffing the pinata.

Finished stuffed product.

Whacking the pinata.

Collecting the booty.

Pin the tail on the donkey.

Blowing out candles.

Those present.

Then on Saturday, we had a family party for all of the July birthdays: Joshua, Suzy and Dillon.

We grilled chicken and corn-on-the-cob and when Aaron later requested a toothpick, I told him that I was out, but offered him dental floss instead! Here he and Mom are, putting it to good use.

Amanda and baby Moriah.

The birthday people.

After blowing out candles.

As you may remember from a few posts back, Joshua was pretty sick for a good week. He never had been sick like that before, but he did finally get over it.
However, a couple days later he got a fever again which was really bizarre, so I took him back to the doctor again, and they said he looked perfectly healthy! (The fever was gone by the time I got him to the doc the next morning.) But... he kept getting fevers at night for the next couple nights, but would be fine by the next morning and all day. Friday I called the doc again to see if he wanted to do bloodwork, and he ordered extensive testing. I am presently sitting on pins and needles waiting for them to call me anytime now with the results. Anyway, he didnt enjoy either of his parties as much as he might have, because both times he got a fever and petered out, even though he tried hard to act like he was doing fine. This picture was toward the end of the party. He had just been asking if we could play pin-the-tail-on-the donkey, but then when I went in to see if he was ready, he said, "No, I just want Grandpa Howard to read me a book." So, Grandpa Howard did!

And one last pic for today. This morning I heard a LOUD chirping outside my window and saw this baby robin on the ground. I though it was hurt or something, so I grabbed the kids and took them out to see. When we got within about a foot of it, however, it flew a little ways with great effort. I saw the mama and daddy robin nearby and figured out that this must have been the day the babies got pushed out of the nest to learn to fly! It was fun for the kids to see, since we could get pretty close to it before it would fly a short distance away. We talked about how little the egg was that we found in the last post, and how much this little guy had grown up now to be able to fly away on his own! It was a neat science class!

Monday, July 09, 2007

More Summer FUN

YAY! Joshua is finally feeling back to normal! The dark circles under his eyes are gone and he seems to have regained the weight he lost while he was sick. Now hopefully we can enjoy the rest of the summer. :)

The rule seems to be that I have to take about 25 shots in order to get ONE worth keeping! Here is Dominique sitting in a tree and this is the shot I loved! It shows her personality so well. :)

Here are a couple of others that I liked too.

I finally got Israel to sit still long enough to get him to smile for a picture! This hat was Joshua's when he was a baby and it is still a little big on him, but served the purpose of keeping the sun out of his eyes!

He loves to be outside now that he got used to the feel of grass. He is so used to it that he now enjoys eating it and has nearly choked on it several times. :-/ It has also been seen in his diaper, TMI, I know! :-?

Here he was about to fall asleep!

Who can resist these cheeks ~ even when he's crying! I just kiss them all day long. :)

And then the comedy act of trying to get a decent sibling shot! It does feel like a hopeless cause at these ages, I tell ya. They are often funny, though, even if not exactly what I was hoping for.
I did get a few acceptable ones, at long last
I love Israel's mouth. This is so typical of him!

This one just makes me laugh ~ Dominique pulling on Lincoln's neck to get him to look at the camera! He has learned to take a lot in stride, but just after I snapped this one, she took it a little too far and he started crying....

Friday night I babysat for my brother's four lovely children and we had a great time! They had watched our two older ones the week before so we could have a date night, so it was our turn to return the favor! It was nice to get some time with my neice and nephews, because when we get together with the whole family, the adults are busy talking and I'm busy keeping track of my own kids and I dont always get a lot of chance to interact a lot with my neices and nephews. So, it was fun!

After a pizza picnic in the yard, all eight of us took a bike ride to the park! Then, back to the house for ice cream, playing with bunny, legos, books and before we knew it, their mama and daddy were back already...

Lastly, some specimens for our nature notebook: a lightning bug.

Things we collected on Friday: 17 year cicada wings (see the "W" mark on them?), a robin egg (spotted by my nephew Colton), and a bird feather.

We tried to put out pool up yesterday, but there must be a hole in the ring! Ugh. Not sure what we're going to do about that....
More pics to come of the splash pad we visited with the Hamstras the other day!