Saturday, July 26, 2008

Active, active, active....

Here is a smattering of summer pics that I hadnt gotten around to posting anywhere else:

Another trip to the beach, with Daddy!

Israel kept looking down, because of the sun, so I was raising my arms to try to get him to look up at me, but he thought I wanted him to raise his arms too!

Our big six year old!

Israel is mostly content to just play in the sand!

Dominique and Gabriel swimming at Auntie Suzy's house:

The rest of us swimming at Auntie Suzy's house:

It was a HOT day and so it was really fun!

Israel is not crazy about the water, though! I made him stay in for a while, and again a few days later when we went to a pool here in town, but he was not thrilled either time.... Hope he gets used to it - and even learns to enjoy it!

And another beach trip, this time with my mom and Suzy and the kids:

A whale was spotted on the beach!

I dont know if it is the heat, our activity level, or just the pregnancy, but I have been pretty tired lately and my body seems to be requiring more naps than I would prefer...
Other than that, baby and I are fine, though! Nesting instinct had kicked in, so in all of my "spare time", I have been trying to go through closets and organize stuff, etc...

This was blueberry picking, with the cousins and Grandma:

We went again yesterday, just the kids and I this time. At one point I looked down at Israel and thought he was bleeding out of his ear! All of the inside of his ear was bright red, and some outside his ear too - it was rather alarming! Upon further investigation, it was discovered that he had merely had the bright idea of smashing a ripe blueberry into his ear! Where do they come up with these things???

And a day at the park. This is Israel's "cheese" face:

Israel just LOVED sitting on this horsey! I kept asking him if he wanted to get down, and he kept wanting to stay!

This was before Mercedes left. She had to go on Thursday morning, and it was a teary farewell!!

I had a hard time calming down the two older ones all that morning.... and still now, two days later, Dominique keeps telling me she wants to go to Spain, and how much she misses Mercedes, etc.

So if you are reading this, Mercedes, we miss you!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quick Trip

Last Saturday we took a quick trip down to Athens for my cousin's wedding, and took advantage of the opportunity to visit New Salem State Park, where Abraham Lincoln lived as a young man.

We had tried to visit last October, but it was a Tuesday and the park is closed on Tuesdays from Oct - March, so this time was much more fun, as we could go in the cabins and learn a lot from the nice folks "living" there.

Joshua and Dominique were showing how strong they were to carry the bucket, even though it was empty! They said they could handle the chore of bringing water in from the well each morning. :)

Peeking into the outhouse:

Mercedes and Dominique with the conestoga in the background:

Israel - 19 months old now!

What a big boy!

Lovebirds! :)

I love nature settings!

Then we changed for my counsin Dena's wedding:

My mom and her sisters:

My grandmother, Jean, and Dominique

And finally, a picture from Sunday night at the farewell party for the whole group of exchange students, some from China and some from Spain. Mercedes is still with us, though, until tomorrow morning. It has been a wonderful month with her and we will miss her! (Especially Dominique!!!) :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Joshua just celebrated his SIXTH birthday last Saturday!! Hard to believe we have a six year old. I was recalling that I remember when he was born as if it was yesterday, but at the same time it seems like a long time ago.....
Speaking of which, here is a picture of that memorable day! This was about 20 hours into labor - doesn't Fabio look excited?? LOL!

A couple of months later we were all feeling much better! (This isnt a great picture of him, but it is the only one I had in the computer already from this time frame!)
Now watch him grow!

July 2003, around his first birthday

The day he turned two - July 12, 2004. He had learned to say "TWO", and you can kinda tell he is saying it in the picture. :)

2005 - THREE years old!

July 2006 - Four years old!

July 2007 - Five years old

July 2008 - Six years old

We started our his birthday celebration with the cereal of his choice. I took him to the store the night before and let him pick out any kind he wanted - a real treat around here! Kaboom was his choice. Incidentally, Dominique got her hand in the car door just as we got to the store, so I let her pick one out too. Did wonders for the healing time on her hand!
I stayed up after the kids were in bed the night before and decorated the kitchen for his birthday. It was fun to see his face when he walked in - until then he had forgotten it was his birthday!
Then we gave him his choice of lunch-out locations. Wouldn't you know it - we had a McWonderful time! LOL. The fun thing was that the local firemen had brought the training trailer (or whatever you call it) out to the McDonald's parking lot, so we got to go in for the kids to get a lesson in fire safety and how to escape in case of a fire. It was really cool! There was no one else there, so we really got to be VIPs!

Upon arriving at home, we had another birthday surprise - a baby sparrow in our yard!

It was quite well developed, but unfortunately only lived one day as we couldn't regurgitate worms just the right way for its liking, apparently.

Then in the evening we had some friends from church come to help us celebrate with Joshua. Here he is with his ice cream cake!

Israel thoroughly enjoyed it!

And they got him a skateboard! Way too cool!

Later on, we went out and made a fire to roast marshmallows on and make s'mores. Mom and Jack joined us later too.

The rare family shot:

And John and Gina and family that helped us celebrate. They are relatively new at our church, and we enjoyed getting to know them better. "Mr. John" has done some work on the church, painting and such, and Joshua has gotten to be good buddies with him! It was fun to have them celebrate with us.
So, now Joshua's SIX years old! He is learning and growing so much and we are so proud of him! WE LOVE YOU, JOSHUA!!!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Festivities for the Fourth

We have done our share of celebrating for the Fourth, that is for sure!
We started our festivities a little early, with the fireworks in one town that they have on the third!
Here is Mercedes and Dominique gearing up for the big boomers:

Dominique messing up Israel's hair:


In this picture, Israel was saying "green" because that firework was green!
He mainly just knows green, blue and purple so far. :)

Joshua was SO excited that I let him hold a "fire stick"! LOL.

It was fun, and we got home after 11:00pm....

But here we are rarin' to go again the next day!

They insisted on taking hugging pictures in their "festival clothes":

And, another attempt at a decent shot of the three of them together. I don't know what I'm going to do when I'm trying to get FOUR of them to look and smile at the same time!

I'll probably have to just be content to have them all IN the picture!

So, then we headed to my brother's house for fun and food and fellowship.

Israel was the victim of Moriah's motherly instincts coming out already! She just couldn't stop hugging him - for like, fifteen minutes!!!

"Mom, is there a tactful way to tell her to knock it off??"

"This is totally ruining my manly race car ride!"

"Can't she take a hint? It's not like I'm reciprocating here!!"

"Finally! I'm FREE!"

"Wow, it feels amazing to be able to breathe again!"

Dominique and Cheyenne, on the other hand, both enjoy those tight embraces!

"Mommy, this guy knows how to take a picture! None of that girly huggin' stuff! YES!"

It seems I have had no lack of belly buddies these days! :)

I am at 28.5 weeks now, so about 12 more to go. This is the point that people start looking at me like I'm crazy when I tell them when I'm due and firmly state that I will never make it that far! I assure them that I certainly will make it that far, and then some, probably!
A little pregnancy note, while I'm on the subject! Now that third trimester is upon me, I am once again experiencing the joys of increasingly intense Braxton-Hicks contractions, occasional leg cramps in the night when I skip my red raspberry leaf tea and forget to take my Cal-Mag, extremely frequent trips to the ladies room and that wonderful puffy feeling of being big in the summer heat ... but all is going well and I can't complain too much! I think I actually have more energy than I did with my other pregnancies, which I attribute to God's grace! I never get tired of feeling the baby moving all over the place, and I am getting SO excited to meet this little one!

Now, back to our party!

Israel loved sitting with Jessica on the trampoline and bouncing around, although he wasn't too crazy about standing up and jumping!

On the way home from Scott's, we stopped and caught the fireworks in Beecher. We made it home sometime after 11pm again..... but it was fun!

Then today, just to make sure we had NO energy left after the weekend is over, w headed to the zoo for a coule of hours!

Dominique and Merceded brusing the goats:

Daddy and Israel with the horses:

Checking out the tiger:

And that about wraps it up!

The only plans for tomorrow, besides church, of course, are NAPS!!!!!!!!! :)