Friday, February 24, 2012

Snow in Michigan

Little ones watching the big kids play.

Wishing she were big enough today.

Rolling snowballs as big as can be.
Taking turns rolling the monstrosity.

A boy playing with his dog in the snow.
A snowman family watching the wind blow.

Girls using rocks, sticks, carrots, and plates,
to make the snowman come alive
while others inside watch and wait.

Bama encouraging Owen to explore in the snow.
Owen didn't think much of the snow at first.

Sadly Luke spent the day inside,
he is sick with the creeping crud which has made its way all through the house this week.
Not much of a vacation, but it's always wonderful to spend time with family.


My best friend from high school lives in Michigan. This summer I didn't have the time or mental capacity to get in touch with any of my old friends while I was home. But this trip I did and my high school BFF came and visited for the day on Tuesday. Her plan was to stay for a couple hours and then head on to somewhere else. She stayed all day and left just in time for her kids to sleep on the way home and put them to bed for the night.
Love those friends that time seems to escape any loss of insight or closeness. We just picked up where we are now. Seven kids later. Carson her 4.5 year old and Luke were best of friends, their personlities were perfectly matched. Addison her 2.5 year old took a while but warmed up to PopPop and Anna and my nieces. She is a doll. Then the baby Weston was so much fun to love on. He is a doll and had so many stories to tell me, it is amazing how fast the baby days fly by.
Kendra and I talked the whole day and I'm hoping that tonight I'll get a few hours of me time to visit with her again.

All ten that were here on Tuesday. Molly, Beau, Caroline, Owen, Anna, Addison, Abiageal, Luke, Carson and Weston.

Anna putting Weston to sleep, such a baby-lover and wonderful big sister.

Kendra and I had some fantastic times in high school and summers of college, and now that we have reconnected I have a feeling there some more fun adventures to come our way. Love how God keeps the good ones always in our heart and only ever a phone call away. Thanks Kendra for being one of those friends, the kind that never really go away, but are just there waiting to be reconnected, love you.

More Chicago Fun in the New House

Playing Ipod on Uncle Mike's paprika rug (loved it).

In the basement (or Uncle Mike's man cave as Beau calls it) playing with his new legos.

Luke entertaining himself with Owen's dino-cars.

More Ipod fun.

Watching movies with Uncle Mike.

Playground in Chicago

We had lots of fun visiting Aunt Sarah and Uncle Mike.
Owen loves swinging and Aunt Sarah's hat.

Luke always has fun.

Beau was cold and thought the playground was too small for him.

Anna looking adorable in Aunt Sarah's hat and vest.

Aunt Sarah, Beau and Hershey.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


We are visiting Chicago for a long weekend. We are actually visiting Auntie Sarah and Uncle Mike, who happen to live in Chicago. We had a very fun (at least for the kids) trip to downtown Chicago yesterday to visit the Lego store and the American Girl Doll store in the Water Tower Place. We also went to two clothing store for Auntie Sarah and Uncle Mike, but that wasn't the intention of our trip. We took the train (or "eL") to get there which was as fascinating as the stores to the kids.
Today we walked two blocks to Mass and have just had a very enjoyable relaxing Sunday. Aunt Sarah and Unlce Mike have a new house, so the kids have thoroughly enjoyed having room to move about and play compared to their one bedroom condo they used to live in. The house is beautiful and it has been a wonderful visit. Sarah and Mike are being educated in what it is like to watch a movie with my children, a movie they have already seen. They tell what is going to happen, they get loud during the parts that aren't that important to them, and they wiggle incessantly. Sarah and Mike are trying to enjoy the movie but will probably end up watching it again tomorrow to catch what they have missed. Owen has been up down and all around trying to avoid falling asleep. Time to put some effort into getting Owen to bed.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Tree of Marriage

Well that's what I call it anyway. Our new home sits on five acres, which sounds to me like more than it is. Not that I want anymore than that I just always pictured five acres bigger somehow. Our yard is plenty big and I'm not looking forward to mowing it, and then the yard is surrounded on all sides by lots and lots of trees. I love it and can't wait for summer when they are covered in leaves. Ben and I love to be outside together, but after looking at the house multiple times and then even after living in it for several weeks, we had not yet walked the property together. So finally one day we did, and it was then that I noticed these two trees down in our pasture area. We could have horses there someday but we never will. But back to the tree.

These two trees really spoke to me when I saw them.
The story they sparked in my head I've been thinking about ever since.
Sunday was National Marriage Sunday, Ben and I renewed our vows,
and tomorrow is Valentine's Day. It's been years since Ben got me flowers, but guess what just showed up on my doorstep. (Insert large grin here.)
Back to the trees.
These two trees grow around eachother as if embracing in a hug.
I thought that was so cool and then I started picturing what it took to get to this point.
While picturing it I picture Ben and I and other married couples.
We both had our roots firmly planted in our own beliefs, our faith, the families we were raised in.
The soil held us firm.
We both grew with solid trunks.
This is where the two trees begin to wrap around eachother.
This is where I believe a marriage starts, when you make that commitment before God and everyone, you make the commitment to wrap around eachother.
You hold on and you always look up, just as the trees trunks look up into its branches.
Branches shoot off everywhere, some places you can't tell which branch belongs to which tree. Those are the branches I like the most those are the steps in life we took together, the ones that we both agreed and went for it.
Then there are the branches that are definitely making a statement, the ones that say I am this tree, those have taught us plenty of lessons along the way.
The times when we tried to do something on our own and didn't include the other person, or the times we did it anyway knowing it might hurt the other person. Some branches cut off the branch of the other tree, it is so like marriage, when we strike out to do our own will with no regard for our spouse, we cut down them, a piece of them is strangled. Sometimes the scar is permanent, others it is temporary. But that's what brings us back to the trunk.
It is solid, it holds firm to the embrace of the two trees, and this is where the roots that started as two trees have now become one. I am thankful our roots are planted firmly in God's hands so when are branches do try to go out on their own and forget to or purposefully disregard the other person, we can forgive because we know God has forgiven us.
This tree is together forever, and that I know to be true for Ben and I.
We are in it til the end, when one of these trees dies it will be impossible to entangle it from the other person. Forever Ben will be intertwined with me and I with him.
I hope to live in this house for a long time and look out at this tree.
It brings all kind of emotions into me when I look at it.
I glimpse some of our hardest times and some of our happiest times, and I'm thankful God gave me the gift of a wonderful man in Ben. I love him beyond words and am extremely thankful for the family he is raising with me.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Beau Basketball

Beau had his last game today. It was all the fourth graders split into two teams.
Beau scored a basket and played really hard.
I think he has scored in his last four games.
He has grown so much this year, and he was fun to coach and watch.
Today his team won, and he had a lot of fun.
He is always making somebody laugh, or telling someone a story.
He has made a lot of friends here, and that is the best scenario ever.
There are a lot of thin kids out there, but I still think he is the skinniest,
he is all bones.When he puts on some muscle, he will be someone to contend with.

Beau's Recorder Concert

Beau had a recorder concert on Tuesday.
He had no desire to go, but we told him he was obligated.
He suffered through it as you can tell in these pictures.
I have an awesome video, but can't seem to get it uploaded.
Enjoy the pictures and hopefully I will get the video on somewhere.

Monday, February 6, 2012

One of Anna's Favorite Adventures

Owen got this riding toy for Christmas, however his older siblings seem to have way more fun on it than him right now. Almost once a day you will catch Anna taking it to the top of the driveway and riding it down to see how fast and how far she can go. It does scare me a little and I have told them to wear their helmets, but it seems as though when the urge hits them to jump on all else is forgotten and off they go. Anna does it the most often, Luke will regularly jump on right after her and occasionally I'll catch Beau taking a turn. Anna will push Owen around on it but we are careful to make sure he doesn't try to go for a ride on his own. Thankfully it is too scary for him right now, but I'm not sure how long fear is going to stop him from anything is this life, he is one of a kind.
Anna is also one of a kind. Her choice in clothes and hair styles is all her own. Lately I've been trying to do her hair a little more often with her, just because then it is more done up. I either pull it back or braid it, something to keep it out of her face and control it as the day goes on. I had the kids group photos taken not too long ago and we just used a flat iron on it and it looked so nice and controlled. Her style in clothes just makes me smile. She wears what she wants with little concern as to what others opinions of her outfits may be. She is bugging me lately because her dress selection has become close to nil as she has outgrown everything. I found one on clearance at the store last week and hope to look a little more this week. She loves bright colors and fun designs, I'm more of a neutrals and plain person myself, so sometimes it is hard to shop for her without her. She is growing up before my eyes, but she still loves me to read with her at night and lately she's been brushing my hair while we do it (which I secretly love even when she pulls it trying to braid it or put in a pony tail.) She is reading the Little House on the Prairie Series right now and I think she just started book 5. She is so much help with Owen, today I'd had it and she came and took him off to play. I'm so thankful to have a daughter, and I laugh at the number of times people say Wow! she looks just like you. I don't think it is that obvious but others do.
What she wore to school yesterday, although todays was similar.

Owen wanted his picture taken too.