Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Extended Family Festivities

This is my Grandpa Howard with Israel. He and his wife Joan spend the winters in Texas, so this was the first time we saw him since they came back.

Grandpa had his 83rd birthday last week, so we helped him celebrate!

This is how I'm looking these days. This was yesterday, and I am at 23 weeks today. :)

This was at our late Mother's Day celebration last Sunday, of my Mom with the kiddies. She was sick on Mother's Day, so we postponed our lunch for a week.

Dominique and Cheyenne wearing the tissue paper that Grandma Carol had just removed from her gifts!
Does anyone else think they look like sisters?

My brother Aaron with Israel and our neice Moriah, who just wouldn't smile for the camera!

Yesterday for Memorial Day, we had a family cookout, and also celebrated my sil Amanda's and nephew Levi's birthdays while we were at it. There are so many of us these days, that we have to group things together that way! :)
My Aunt Sue and Uncle Joe were able to join us for a little while before heading back home to MO.

Finally caught Moriah smiling on camera! (Smiling at the dog...)

The birthday celebrants, Amanda and Levi

Dominique and Blondie.
She was deathly afraid of her not too long ago, so I just HAD to get a picture showing how much she had warmed up to Blondie, and dogs in general. She even told me the other day that she wants to get a dog because she loves them so much!!!

So, that about brings you up to date. :) Blogging has been a little ... low, on the priority list these days, but I'm trying to keep at least occasional updates going! I guess we're just busy living most of the time! :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is is spring yet???

It has been COLD around here, and we have been SICK, and we are all getting tired of sickness and coldness! We are ready for nice weather and complete health! I think we are almost there, though! Fabio isn't feeling great, but is back to work, and I think the others of us are okay. :) Today was the nicest day we have had in a long while - around 70ยบ - so we thoroughly enjoyed it!
While shut up in the house, we did a painting project. This was Israel's VERY first experience with paint, and it was immediately followed by a bath. It was fun, though!

I had gotten these little ceramic characters a while back, and the kids had a lot of fun painting them.

This was the first time Dominique paid much attention to detail, and I was proud of her! (She wasnt done in the picture, so you can't really tell, but it is a ladybuy, and she painted her back red, with the dots black, the head pink, gloves black, shoes blue, and the flower she was holding yellow. :)

A few nights ago, I babysat my brother's kids and they all brought their scooters. The parking lot is such a nice area to bike and scoot and such, that they were thrilled to be outside until it got dark (and even then I had to MAKE them come in!), even though it was freezing cold!! I always like it, though, when they kids feel like doing something active and wear themselves out good! ;-)

Afterwards, my nephew Levi slept over. He is one month older than Joshua, and it was the very first time Joshua had had a friend spend the night. They were both very excited, but thanks to the scooter-riding, they were both so tired that they didn't take long to conk out!

The next morning we went to the forest preserve. Again, it was chilly, but still pretty in spring. There were all sorts of wild flowers blooming that we enjoyed seeing and identifying.

Dominique is still advancing her culinary skills, and loving it! I want to be like the Amish in at least one way: they train their daughters to be able to do everything a mother can do by the time they are twelve years old - cooking, housework, childcare, etc. What an asset for life for the daughter, and what a help to the mother!

Even though we haven't had much warm spring weather, we are still enjoying much about spring. One of the things is all the young animals that are born! Yesterday we saw this little sweet baby squirrel just outside our patio door. Isn't he cute?

We have a mama robin nesting outside our front door, and a family of sparrows outside the back door, in one of the nesting boxes we have. The sparrow babies hatched yesterday or the day before, so we can hear them peeping for their food whenever we are in the kitchen!

We saw this poor little one this afternoon... I wonder why he isn't in a nice safe nest??

This is at the mall this morning. I had to go there to get a new watch battery and since we needed some time out of the house anyway, we took our sweet time and I let the kids play here about 20 min or so. They love it! If you've never seen it, it is kind of like a video game that is activated by shadows. The kids can chase balls, stomp on monkeys to make them disappear, make butterflies appear by the dozens, etc. Fun technology!

Then we took another nature walk and spent some time in the nature center of our local forest preserve. We really do love that place! Just getting the kids out of doors and encouraging their natural curiosity about the things around them and an appreciation for God's creativity is so wonderful!

This is back at the house. The blossoms on this tree are so pretty still, but so high you can barely see them in the picture... Still a friendly reminder of spring!! :)

Monday, May 05, 2008

All Kinds of Exciting Stuff!

Fabio went to the swearing-in ceremony last Wednesday for the last formality to become an official American!! I was TOTALLY bummed that I couldn't go with him, because I was sick as a dog.... :( Poor guy had to go to his special day all alone, but he said it was okay. So, yay for citzenship!

A few weeks ago, we celebrated seven years of marital bliss! This pic was at my brother's house - they kept our children for us so we could have dinner out. :)

If you can tell, the outfit Dominique has on is the same one that Jessica had on in the picture she is holding!

Sweet jammie kids!

Joshua has been taking rollerskating lessons for the past six weeks with the homeschool group and totally loving it! He still hasn't totally "taken off", but he's getting closer! It is a good outlet for energy anyway. :)

Here he is with Mateo, one of the friends he made skating.

Dominique takes her roller blades along and practices on the carpet. The instructor actually has had her come out on the floor several times, which she loves. She is actually doing quite well and I may end up enrolling her next session.

For the most part, Israel hangs out on my back while we are there, because if I let him down, he thinks it is a great game to run out onto the slick floor too! So, I often have one strapped to my back, one in my belly, and one in skates by each hand. ;-) Doesn't get more fun than that!

And speaking of exciting, we had a hail storm here Friday morning! We saved some of the ice balls in the freezer to show Daddy when he got home. :)