Friday, December 4, 2015

Happy 6th Birthday Sadie

Happy 6th Birthday Sadie!  Did I really say that???  Ahhh time is going way to quickly. 

The weekend before Sadie's birthday we had a Hello Kitty party with her cousins.  Unfortunately our power went out a few hours before the party, but thankfully Grammy saved the day and we were able to move the celebration to her house last minute.

We decorated bows and played pin the bow on Hello Kitty.

 This guy was really dizzy!  Haha!

Sadie's birthday was a full day.  This was her first year spending part of the day at school which was fun because it gave us another opportunity to celebrate.  Grammy helped me make these awesome cookies to bring to her class, and it was really special to get to be a part of her celebration there.  Mrs. Lute had her sit in the teachers chair and then the teachers, me, and the other students had a chance to say what we like about Sadie.  It was a lot of pressure for her to sit and have everyone talk about her, but she did well and it was sweet to hear what especially the other kids said about her.  Lots of comments about how she's a good friend, plays with everybody, and is always nice.  Mrs. Lute commented on her sweet spirit and how much she can tell she loves her family by the way she says goodbye to us in the morning and always remembers to pray for us, and I shared what a good helper and big sister she is and also that I love how silly she can be at home with her brothers and sisters.

 After school we headed straight to the pumpkin patch with Grammy and Auntie Amy and her girls.  The kids had a great time and played until they and Mommy were exhausted.
 It's rough being the 4th.  Barely time to get a bite to eat :)

Then in the evening, after a few moments to rest we celebrated again with shrimp and noodles, her favorite dinner, and cake and ice cream.  Grammy and Uncle Robert joined us since Robert wasn't able to be at her party.

Happy 6th Birthday Little Chimp!  We continue to love watching you grow.  You are a good friend and a great helper to Mommy and your brothers and sister.  I don't know what I'd do without you.  You're nearly always willing to help with anything I ask, you're a good listener, and you can make your little sister Hazel laugh more than any of us.  We love that you are getting to be so grown up yet at the same time continue to be our silly little chimp who loves to laugh and goof around, who loves to cuddle with Daddy, who's favorite thing to do is going to Grammy's house, and who is always looking out for her brothers and little sister.  We hope that you don't change too much this year because we love you sooo much just the way you are!

Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Family Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

We made our yearly trip out to the pumpkin patch to get our pumpkins early in October.   This year was especially eventful as Wyatt decided to wear ankle socks with his boots and Mommy didn't warn anyone that there was a 1/4 mile walk out to the patch this year.  Much to Daddy's dismay, Wyatt's legs "stopped working" not long after we got there or in other words he started getting blisters and needed a ride the rest of the way.  Never a dull moment around here.

These trips get to be more and more fun as the kids are all able to participate more and are excited about our traditions, but the pictures seem to get harder and harder.  So it begins...

 Cooper picked my favorite pumpkin this year!

What a cute little bunch.

 Daddy makes everything more fun!  Thanks for always being willing to play with them Honey!

My Littlest Pumpkin!!

 What Daddy does while Mommy tries to take pictures :)

The best and the worst of our group pictures and yes that's Wyatt's boot right in the middle of everything.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

1st Day of School!

Happy 1st Day of School!

There was much anticipation as we approached Sadie's first day of school.  How would she like it?  How would Mommy and the rest of the kiddos fare without her?  Would we be able to get out the door on time most mornings?  Would the walk down a flight of stairs and all the way to the end of the hall every morning with 4 kids be agonizing?  How long would it take to make friends?  And on and on...  

Well I'm happy to report that Sadie loves school and her teachers, Mrs. Lute and Mrs. Bennett, and so does Mommy.  Each day the first week Sadie came home saying I made a new friend today and she'd tell me about one of the other kids in class that she'd played with that day.  The first day it was Violet, who although she couldn't remember her name she did remember her pretty teal sweater, and Zac the boy with a fohawk :) Haha!!!  She was also excited to tell me the first day that she sits next to Johann.  Johann's grandma was Sadie's Cubbie teacher last year, we had no idea that he was going to Crosshill, and how amazing that the first day she sat next to literally one of the 2 people we know at the school.  So fun for her and what a blessing in this transition!

The boys, although they do fight a little bit more as they have only one another to bother, are getting use to our new routine and amazingly most days we actually do get out the door on time by 7:50.  Some days are definitely harder than others, but all in all we are surviving the early mornings and I've quickly found that the walk into school isn't that bad either.  Turns out there are plenty of other moms doing exactly the same thing.  So our kids basically all block the stairway together and it's a good time to meet other families.

So far this month Sadie has worked through all of the letters by name and sound and got her first book to start reading last week!  I've had an opportunity, thanks to Grammy, to volunteer in the classroom a couple of times already, which has been fun, and last week we went on our first field trip to the pumpkin patch. 

1st Day Breakfast
Chocolate Milk and Hello Kitty Pancakes!

Since you can't read our cute chalkboard her are the highlights.
 Sadie is 5 years old, attending Crosshill Christian School, and wants to be a cowgirl when she grows up.  She loves playing with Minnie, going to Grammy's house, and working with Daddy.  She always says, "chucklehead and you're killin' me dude!"  Her favorite food is Shrimp and Noodles, her favorite book is 5 Minute Princess Stories, and her favorite song is Let it Go!

 Daddy and his Big Girl

 Also known as his Little Chimp

Mommy and her girls.

 Hanging up her backpack.

 Finding her seat.

Resting after an exciting 1st day!

We are so excited for you as you begin your first year of school!  I've teased you almost every day that you need to stop growing, saying I'm not ready for you to go to school, and I'm not but I'm also so excited for you.  I loved school and learning and I hope that you do too.  We pray that you will make many new friends this year and that you will be a good friend, we pray that you will learn many new things and that you will have a lot of fun during this first year of school, and we pray for your teachers that God would use them in your life as you learn more about who you are and who God has created you to be in this world.  May you be bold and courageous like your Daddy and thoughtful and kind-hearted like me!
We Love You Little Chimp!
Daddy and Mommy

1st Field Trip to Greensbridge Pumpkin Patch
Top Row: Mrs. Bennett, Vincent, Daniel, Ayva, Anastasia, Liam, Sam, Luke (honorary pre-schooler), Zac, Mrs. Lute
Middle Row: Chase, Wesley, and Johann
Bottom Row: Violet, Hadley, Bristol, Penelope, Sadie, Kaleb, Matthew (hiding behind Kaleb), Carter, Jacob, and Andrew
Sadie got to pick out any pumpkin she could carry ;)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

And That's a Wrap

I'm not sure how I feel about this summer coming to and end.  Actually I do.  I'm really sad to say goodbye.  I'm looking forward to the Fall weather that is around the corner, and even to an extent to the routine that the school year will bring.  However, I really am sad to say good-bye to this season of being at home together with all my kids everyday.  Sadie is only going to be in school for a few hours each day and she is sooooo excited, which makes the transition easier, but it's a transition none the less, and for those of us who don't particularly like change transitions are always a challenge.  

As I've spent a lot of time thinking about the coming change I feel like God has really been challenging me to embrace the new.  It does no good to wish I could go back and relive the years, or to spend time wondering if I could have spent the time better, or even just reminiscing about how great it's all been.  This next season will have it's own blessings and joys if I'm willing to embrace them.  

A good friend of mine just sent her youngest to grad school and wrote about launching, landing, and letting go.  She reminded me that it is part of our job as parents and that we will continue to do it for the rest of their lives.  As they enter each new season we will launch them into their own life, help them to land, and then leave them behind, (in this case only for a couple hours thankfully) but it is what we do, as much as I don't like it already.  As parents it's our job to prepare our children to launch and land wherever it is that God has called them and then to trust Him, in perhaps a more tangible way than we have been, to take care of them while we are apart.  

A year ago I honestly didn't even want to talk about school because I couldn't even think about letting her go for even a second, but now I'm trying to refocus.  Rather than focusing solely on the leaving part, which makes me sad, I'm trying to focus on the launching and landing and on the great privilege it is to be a parent.  God allows us to have so much influence in the lives of our children and to be a huge part of launching and landing them throughout their lives.  So, although we do have to loosen our grip in order for them to experience and grow into who God has made them to be maybe it doesn't have to be quite as scary as I've built it up to be.  I just need to keep remembering that the growing up is all a part of God's perfect plan. 

I've also been reading 1000 Gifts and have especially appreciated the authors thought on fear and faith as they relate to living a life of gratitude.  I recognize that much of the reason letting go is hard is because of fear.  

Ann Voskamp writes:
 "Sometimes, too often, I don't want to muster the energy.  Stress and anxiety seem easier.  Easier to let a mind run wild with the worry than to exercise discipline, to reign her in, slip the blinders on and train her to walk steady in certain assurance, not spooked by the specters looming ahead.  Are stress and worry evidences of a soul too lazy, too undisciplined, to keep gaze fixed on God?"  

"Without an active, moment-by-moment trust in the good news of an all-sovereign, all-good God, how can we claim to fully believe?"

"Choose stress, worry, anxiety, reject what God has given now."

"Perhaps the opposite of faith is not doubt.  Perhaps the opposite of faith is fear.  To lack faith perhaps isn't as much an intellectual disbelief in the existence of God as fear and distrust that there is a good God."  

Therefore rather than  operating in fear we should remember and be grateful and trust, 

"If I'm grateful to the Bridge Builder for the crossing of a million strong bridges, thankful for a million faithful moments, my life speaks my beliefs and I trust Him again.  Remembering frames up gratitude.  Gratitude lays out the planks of trust.  I can walk the planks - from known to unknown - and know: He holds.  Remembering is an act of thanksgiving, a way of thanksgiving, this turn of the heart over time's shoulder to see all the long way His arms have carried. Gratitude is the memory of the heart and so it is thanksgiving that shapes a theology of trust."

So I am practicing gratitude in order to grow in trust, that fear might decrease and faith might increase in this new season of my life.  

Now as we wrap up the summer and look forward to the year ahead here are a few things that didn't make it into any of the other posts.

End of the Year Carnival
We were invited to attend the end of the year carnival at Sadie's new school with some family friends/new friends the Zuidemas.  Kasey will be in 1st grade this coming year and Cole will actually be in Wyatt's class next year which is exciting!
Sadie, Kasey, Cole, Wyatt, and Cooper

My messy little puppy dog.

Vacation Bible School
Sadie and Wyatt enjoyed VBS once again this year and the western theme was right up their ally.


Hanging Out

Definitely sisters.  I keep telling Sadie that I think she's teaching Hazel her sense of humor.  Hazel think she's so funny!
 Hazel with a tongue out...
Sadie with a tongue out...
Like they planned it :)

Spending Time Outside
The kids are pretty creative.  This was right before they actually pulled the table into the back of the truck marking up the side of the truck.  Opps!  Sorry Daddy!

Mommy loves the new chairs Daddy bought and we spent quite a few days enjoying the warm weather and picnic lunches.

Only peanut butter and jelly for this one.

Minnie always keeps a close eye on what's going on.

Spending Time with Great Grandpa
We've loved having great grandpa living at the dairy over the summer.  It's such a blessing to see him playing with the kids.

Grandpa and Jerry

Great Nana

Potty Training
Potty training was a big failure.  We tried and Cooper got it for a whole day, not a single accident.  I thought for sure we had it, and then came day two with accident after accident after accident and when I finally asked him, exasperated as he wiggled all around the potty not even trying to go, "Cooper can you please sit still and try?  Mommy doesn't think this is funny.  Do you think Mommy likes cleaning up all your messes?"  He literally grabbed my cheeks and said in his silliest most dramatic voice, "Mommy, do messes make you sad?"  I could barely keep a straight face and asked him completely defeated if he wanted his diaper back, to which he replied, "YES!"  So I guess we're saving this battle for another time because honestly if he doesn't care I'm not sure that I do either.  Although it would be awesome to be done changing his stinky diapers.

Spending Time With Friends
We were so excited when our good friends the Scullys moved up to Vancouver this summer.  They're here for six months or so and we've been trying to make the most of our time with them.  It's a bit of a drive from our house to theirs but we've managed to get together a few times for play dates in between which has been such a blessing.  It's not quite like having them across the street, but so much better than having 15 hours between us.

Love every one of these silly kiddos!
Wyatt, Cooper, Sawyer, Sadie, and Mia
Ava and Hazel were doing their own thing :)

Best Buddies