Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dominique!

Today is Dominique's third birthday!

We had a party for her, my mom, and my nephew Colton, who all have a birthday during the same week, on Saturday night. These first pictures are from that gathering:

Amanda made such a cute cake for Colton and Dominique, and a more sophisticated one for Mom.

Dominique and Cheyenne dressed alike again! It is fun that they have had so many matching outfits!

Suzy's sister and family have been in the Ukraine as missionaries since May of this year, and are now home to renew visas. So, Ollie, her brother-in-law, was able to be with us for the party, which was really nice!

Us ladies.

My brothers, Scott and Aaron, with Moriah and AJ

Lisamarie and Stephen (siblings), and Fabio

AJ, Dillon, and Israel. Nice face, Israel! The lighting on this picture is weird too, because someone else was taking a picture at the same time and the flash made the lighting turn out like this...

The three birthday people!

Some of the kids. They seem to like making weird faces for the camera. :)

Mom with her more sophisticated cake. How do you like her new Harley girl look with the tatoos???

Colton and Dominique with "their" cake

Our little girl is THREE years old!!!

Aaron and Suzy, still lovebirds after twelve years of marriage!

Israel and Moriah. Boy, is it hard to get a picture of them together at the ages they are at! Israel is 10 months and Moriah is 6 months old.

The girl cousins having a good time in the basement...

These next few pictures are from today, her actual birthday. We decided a little while ago that we would take her to get her ears pierced for her birthday. So here we are! I have been talking it up for the last month and she was SOOOO excited!

Here she is in the big chair, all ready!

Squeezing the bear REAL tight! See that big excited smile on her face??

Opes ~ where did the smile go??


She covered her other ear!

So I had to hold her down a bit for the second one!

But a lollipop made it all better in no time flat!

And ice cream helped even further!

Now she has forgotten the pain and is SO excited to be a "princess" with earrings!

Grandma Carol went with us to the mall to have it done and treat us to ice cream / Starbucks.

Thanks, Mom!


Joshua got to enjoy the birthday festivities too!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Celebration Sunday!

Our church had "Celebration Sunday" last week and it was a real blessing!
We rented this HUGE tent and put it on the property of some folks from church that offered their land. Then we met there with all of our church and also the church that we planted last year for our Sunday morning service and then a meal afterward. It was a PERFECT day, a perfect spot, such a blessing to see all those that went with the church plant last year, the Lord really blessed the service, and the food was good too! Here are a few pictures of the good time we had.

I can never resist taking pics of my kiddos when we have some nice scenery available!

Joshua dancing with his friend Isaias.

Inside the tent. It was SO windy that day that we could feel the tent shaking with the wind, but I thought it was an awesome touch. Reminded me of Acts 2!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Visit to My Grandmothers

Well, we finally made it last weekend to visit my grandmothers, after intending to for too long! We had a wonderful time! Here are my children with Great Grandma Nita, my dad's mother.

She has a nice little creek down by her house that the children like to play by (and would like to play in!)

Great Grandma Nita and Israel

Joshua and Dominique sitting at a very special table at Grandma's house. This table was my grandmother's when she was little; my father and siblings used it when they were little; my cousins and I used it when we were little; and now a fourth generation is enjoying it! Talk about made to last!

Uncle Bill and Joshua looking at a model Porsche. Joshua soaked up all of the attention Uncle Bill gave him! He is my dad's brother.

My grandma "babysits" for her neighbor's cat, Pumpkin. He is a rather curious cat, and here you can see him checking out Israel's bed! The children loved having him around.

Grandma always has fun things planned for us to do, like go for lunch to BK play land! It's always nice to wear the kids out!

Then later we went out to Uncle Bill's new place. He recently moved back to the place of his birth to go back to farming after getting tired of the stress of the corporate world. I asked him how he liked it and he said it was great.... that it didn't pay as well, but that you can't buy peace of mind. So true!

So, here he is back to where he and my dad and aunt grew up, and where their parents grew up before them. Actually, on the way to his place, my grandmother showed me the school that she went to from kindergarten through eighth grade: a one room school house. She explained that there was one every two miles, for all the children to walk to. One year there were six children: a brother and sister from three families. Another year there were also six, but five were boys, and she was the only girl. Even the teacher was male! Now that schoolhouse has been turned into a house and is not any too big! Incidentally, my father also went to a one room schoolhouse when he was little.

Sunset at my uncle's place. See the cattle on the yonder hill? Oh, how my heart aches for a place like this!!

We all love Grandma Nita! I'm so glad we got to visit!

Here we are saying farewell to Grandma and Mr Moon, her husband of 4.5 years. :) And then we were on to visit the other side of the family!

Saturday I was able to go to a baby shower down by Springfield for my cousin's wife,Becky . She looked great, all went well, and I was happy I was able to be there. Since we don't live very close, I am always grateful for every chance to be able to be a part of things.

With Grandma Jean, my mom's mother.

Great Grandma Jean loving on my kiddos!

I wanted to get a nice picture of her holding Israel, but he was so past nap time, that I had to give him something to even get him to sit there for two seconds, and the only thing I had available was my keys! So, this is the best pic we got, but it turned out okay, considering. :)

We got home not too late on Saturday night, and were very thankful for God's grace and protection on the trip! "A good time was had by all."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hodge Podge

I didn't have enough pictures of any one event to put together a cohesive post, but here is a hodge podge of recent events:

I got a call from a friend the other day whose car had broken down and she asked if I would take her three younger children while she figured out what to do. (Her oldest is in school.) Well, it all went fine and wasn't too long, but it did help me figure out that if I really did have two 5-yr olds, two 2-yr olds, a nine month old, and a four week old all the time, well, I would be quite a bit busier than I am currently. :) So, I had to enlist Dominique's help here with baby Efrain while I tended to the others. She didn't mind!

Isn't this just the sweetest picture! The other day I got together with my friend Michelle H., and this is Dominique with her daughter Adeline. Dominique is just five months older that Addy, and her son, John Michael, below, is just five months older than Israel.

Israel will be ten months old tomorrow, and all of the growing he has been doing does eventually wear him out! (Usually not as quick as it wears mama out!)

This camera and her toy cash register are Dominique's all time favorite toys! Actually, she has a few now that I think about it. She also just LOVES her babies and her cel phone and her many purses. She really enjoys playing "house" lately, but she doesn't really know that is what it is called, so she just calls it "playing mamas and daddies and babies and bags". :)

Here is a "small world" story: When we were in Japan, staying on a YWAM base in Osaka, we met a guy who was in Japan as a JET (English teaching program). His name is Eddie, and though he is originally from Guatemala, he had been in the States since childhood, and was from the Chicago area! Turns out that just a couple of weeks after we met him, his parents and grandmother came to visit and came to stay in Osaka at the YWAM base with us. We had a wonderful visit with them! They are such sweet Christian people who really love the Lord! We moved back to the States shortly afterwards, and Eddie did as well, a few months after us. And, though sporadic, we continue to keep in touch. They came to visit us last week and we always enjoy spending time with them.

Eddie and Joshua.

I also had a garage sale a couple of weeks ago, and a concerned friend saw that Joshua did not have a bike helmet and decided to buy him one. To say he likes it would be an understatement! Here we caught him taking his nap with it on!