Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Swimming in Indiana

Found a few fun pics of the kids' swimming at Aunt Jen's earlier this month (yes, I'm still trying to clean out the summer pictures from the camera).

Uncle Jeremy taught the kids how to chicken fight but
he supervised so I didn't mind.

We were all impressed by this stunt. Now remember that this is the brother-in-law who had major back surgery last year. I'm pretty sure Jeremy's surgeon would NOT be impressed with this stunt.

First World Problems

We have been trying with mixed results to teach ourselves and our children to be happy with and thankful for what we have and not get torqued up about things that we don't have or situations that don't go our way. There's a thing going around the internet called "First World Problems." (In other words, "crises" that one does not experience in a developing country.) It has become a bit of a joke at our house as we try to teach each other that our problems are not really that big of a deal. (This morning when packing my lunch, I lamented, "I don't have any cold Dr. Pepper!" And Amy replied, "First world problems!") After the jump, see some more examples of "First World Problems":

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Where Kids Sleep

Interesting photos:

Down on the Farm

Figured I needed to get some pictures up of the kids, since that's why most of you follow our blog. These are almost a month old but they are some cute ones from our visit to my parent's farm before school started.

My brother Andy came down for a day

Chloe telling her dad a thing or two.

Hunter is a tractor nut and I think some of it rubbed off on Essie. Here they are feeding the cows some silage. Note Essie is wearing her swim suit with her barn boots. Love it!

Just had to throw in a picture of a few of dad's calves because well...they are cute

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kisses from Katie

I want to be Katie when I grow up...

For those of you that have followed our adoption journey from the beginning (Dec. 2006) you will remember that we first tried to adopt from an orphanage in Jinja, Uganda. That place still holds a special place in my heart and I have been living vicariously through a woman much younger than I who has committed her whole life to the people of Jinja. You can follow Katie's daily journey on her blog or Amazima Ministries website.

Hope in the midst of darkness

I stumbled on this video from another friend's blog and I had to post it. Things have been hard in our house lately...very hard. The devil is attacking us on multiple fronts and I feel overwhelmed many days. The Lord has been reassuring me lately though that he has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. We have a glorious future in Him, though we don't see it now. And then I watched this video and thought if this family has hope, than I need to have hope as well.

Friday, August 19, 2011

How did that get in there???


Tuesday, I clean out our shed and found a couple of mouse nests. I pulled out a bucket from a harvest basket and found 3 pairs of little mouse eyes looking at me. I was proud of myself for only screaming a little bit and carrying the basket outside to let the mice go free. As I watched them scamper away, I thought, "that was dumb, now they are just going to build a nest somewhere else". I got everything cleaned out and tried to start the lawn mower, but was unsuccessful. Since we just bought the mower 2 years ago, I thought this was odd for a new mower to be having so much trouble. When I had rolled it out of the freshly cleaned shed, I little mouse came running off it. I just figured he'd crawled up in there after I had disturbed its nests. Apparently, it had done a lot more than that. I had Matt start the mower this morning before he left for work because I hadn't been able to get it started before. He had a lot of trouble getting it started too and at one point, I looked down and said, "hmm that looks like stuff is coming out of it from a mouse nest, but how would it get up in the engine block." He made no response and got it started eventually. I was running it throw the garden, chopping up the old corn stocks when suddenly, a dead, hairless, baby mouse fell out of the engine block. "OH GROSS!" I thought and then the engine died on a pile of stocks. I noticed the the engine was smoking a bit and when I went to investigate, I saw mouse fur hanging out the other side of the engine. I knew immediately why we had been having so much trouble getting the dumb thing started. Of course Matt was half way to work by now so guess who got to figure out how to take an engine cover off (I am now a master with a socket wrench) and clean out dead, mouse parts and nest???? Yep, its me! (Told you this was gross.) Now I took pictures of this event so don't scroll down if you are squeamish. I just had to show the world what an amazing woman I am because many women do you know would do this?

If you look closely, you can see nesting material and brown mouse hair right above the exhaust pipe. You have to take the plastic protective cover off before you take the metal cover off the engine block. You will need 3 different socket sizes if you ever have to do this yourself.

And here was the problem...if you look closely on the right side of the nest you will see a tail in the air and the remains of Mrs. Mouse. I'm gagging just thinking about the whole thing.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Night with Steve Green

Yep...we're that old! We went to a Steve Green concert and we dragged our kids along. My siblings and I used to roller skate in the gym of our small, Christian school in NY during summer break, listening to Steve Green songs. The kids weren't so sure in the beginning, but enjoyed it in the end.

One of my former clients is one of the ministers at the church that hosted the concert. I had no idea the man could sing, but boy, could he ever sing.

Matt getting to talk to someone who has had a big influence on his music ministry.
Mickey decided that he liked how Dad and Steve sang, but Steve moved around the stage more so he thought maybe Dad could learn some new moves. (he, he)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Tire Swing

So I had the bright idea to put up a tire swing in my parents front yard. They have this great front yard with lots of huge trees (something we do not have in our yard). My sister Kelly was game to help and we talked Matt into helping because we needed his height. Kelly recently purchased this neat little Japanese flatbed "truck" so we used it as our ladder.

How many great minds does it take to put up a tire swing?

Somehow I missed getting an actual picture of the finished product, but we were so successful and since we had left over rope, we decided to put up a board swing too. Below is Matt giving it an initial swing.

Mickey got bored waiting for us to get the swings done so decided to entertain himself in other ways. And yes, he's climbing that tree barefoot.

AJ's turn

This is E, my sister Kelly's foster daughter. Since her adoption is not final yet, I can't show her face, but we are happy to welcome another grandkid into the family.

So I know this picture is blurry, but I love Chloe's facial expression and the manure on her boot. I've learned I can't keep the kids out of the muck at the farm so I just bought them all boots and then we hose them down each night (the boots and the kids).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's Back to School time! Everyone in our house was excited to return to school, except for Chloe when I went to get her up this morning. She's never been a morning person. All 4 kids are at WES this year and we had our open house on Monday night. Matt is pictured below trying to wade through the endless paperwork that comes when you have 4 kids in school.

Essie with her Tink*rbell backpack and sporty new hightops

Chloe with R*punzel and matching hightops. (I couldn't resist when I found them on clearance, but due to the endless laces, I don't think these will be my first choice for shoes on school days.)

I got the boys to wear "nice" shirts but still couldn't get them out of the athletic shorts. AJ couldn't decide which new pair of shoes to wear b/c I bought him these and he bought another pair with his own money. I'm sure we'll see the other pair tomorrow.

Mickey with his Tr*pper Keeper (CANNOT believe his school requires these for 5th grade, of course they don't make them with all the cool designs that we had when we were kids)

Off to school we go!
Since the bus goes by our house 1 hour before school starts, I will be dropping off the kids at school this year and we all made it to school ON-TIME, even with the crazy traffic jam and lack of parking.

The girls with their new teacher, Mrs. Moss

Now that the kids are all back to school, I hope to be back on the blogging band wagon. Somehow the end of the summer found us running like crazy and not finding time to blog. We went to my parent's farm last week so I know I have some good pics from there that I need to post.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Harvest time

We've been busy harvesting things out of the garden. It was not the biggest harvest thanks to July being one of the hottest on record and only getting a few inches of rain (like 1.5) all month. Plus Mom being laid up for the first 2 weeks of the month didn't help. The weeds have gotten a bit out of control. Funny how when the Mom is laid up, no one enters the garden.

The boys have been a big help with making salsa. It is a labor intensive job with all the chopping, but 3 sets of hands make it a lot easier.

Essie is my main stir girl. She always likes to stir.

Some of the finished product

The corn was pretty small, but I did manage to get some frozen for the winter.