Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Obadiah just turned 6!

I miss my blogging days, but at least these birthdays rolling through are keeping me a little bit accountable. ;)  This time our Obi Wan Kenobi took a turn in the birthday seat.

 At 6 years old, Obi
~is in Kindergarten
~is doing well with reading and math. He is working on copying letters (but he sometimes forgets correct formation) and has just started spelling (he is doing really well with this...will do better when he gets writing down)
~about 44 lbs
~about 47 inches tall
~wears a size 6 pants (if only I had them out...all his size 5's are high-waters!) and a size 13 (almost a 1) shoe
~hopes to learn how to ride a bike this summer
~loves legos
~worked hard on a personal goal and earned his very own Minecraft account

 {With birthday buddy Mrs. E}

 {yes, he knows Star Wars!}

 {requested cheesecake for his birthday}
One day he was bringing a box of "Philadelphia" (as Patrick always called it) up the stairs from our downstairs fridge. On the box was a picture of a cheesecake with strawberries on top. He asked me if I could make that kind of cake for his birthday, and I assured him I could and I would.

 {Makes some funny faces}

 ~Said he didn't like not being sung to...he would rather do the singing. I agree, buddy!

 ~asked to also try cherries with the cheesecake...yumm...this was always my favorite cheesecake when I was growing up, until I met the turtle cheesecake.
~didn't like the cheesecake either with strawberries, or with cherries, or by itself...lol...in fact, no one except me and Zeke did. Zeke and I finished off all that was left! (I won't tell you how much that was.)
~likes many foods, but decided on chicken sandwiches for supper on his birthday

 {Obi, A*, Malachi}
~knew that his cousin and Aunt Carrie would be visiting us soon after his birthday, and we looked forward to that for months. It was so fun for him to meet his cousin for the first time! 
~Since Obi didn't like his cake, and Aunt Carrie's birthday was within a few days of his, I made them both some cupcakes and we had a second celebration

{Reading with Cam, who came to visit right after Aunt Carrie, for Easter}

{Riding behind Dad}

We love you, Obadiah Benjamin! 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Eden has reached adulthood!

Somehow, unbelievably, Eden went from this:

to this:

And I just don't even know how that happened!

At 18 years old, Eden
~is taller than I am
~is 6-ish weeks away from graduating high school AND community college
~loves working at Chick-fil-A
~drives a red Sebring convertible (it's old, but it sure is sweet!)
~is planning a trip to Europe with Kathi (and though I haven't contacted them yet, we are certainly hoping she will get to visit Patrick's family too)
~is not sure what she will do after that, though she may pursue a career in some English/communications type field (writing, editing, journalism...). Getting her 4 year degree, either at a public university or a Bible college, is still being considered.

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the thoughts that Eden is old enough and responsible enough to be a completely independent young woman. Over the past week and a half I have worked on putting together an album for Eden, trying to capture the essence of 18 years. It was challenging. I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude for all the years we have been given with her.

I'd love to share some of my favorite memories that I included in the album (I did the same for Micah when he turned 18, though I didn't blog about it apparently). As a side note, Micah was born in 97 and Eden in 99. I started using a digital camera more often than a film camera in 2004, and the difference is astounding. I'm so thankful for digital! It's really hard to find a negative, and then to find a photo place that can print from a negative. ;) I know from first-hand experience! Sorry these are all in mixed-up order.

{The beautiful dress she made herself.}

{Comforting Mercy not long after she was born}

{Buddies with Zeke}

{Valentine's date with me}

{Holding baby Jesus on Christmas morning}

{New bike!}

{Maybe one of the last times Dad did this to her?}

{Missing teeth}

{One of her favorite things to do--blessed by the generosity of a friend}

{Back when she actually liked to go out and play in the snow}

{Holding her baby SISTER Tirzah for the first time, and she promises that she will play barbies with Tirzah when she's older...ahem.}

{Best buddies with Malachi for a long time}

{Not afraid of snakes}
{Crazy hair!!!}
Please join me in praying for Eden's future--that God would lead her and guide her, and that she would faithfully follow his voice, growing in grace and holiness. When I pray for Eden, these are the verses that I pray for her:

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
"I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you to profit
who leads you in the way you should go.
Isaiah 48:17

Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Psalm 25:4-5  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mercy's 4th birthday

I'm not sure why, but I felt a particular excitement for Mercy to turn 4 years old. Maybe it was because I know that she's old enough to understand what a birthday is and look forward to it. It's her last year as a preschooler!

{Licking the cake batter}

{She didn't want to share with Genna, but Mommy knows what's best!}

{Mrs. E brought Mercy a yummy cookie that had real rings on it. Eevee thought Devona came to visit her.}

{Mercy wanted a chocolate cake. Eden decorated it.}

At 4 years old, Mercy
~loves to dress up, especially as a princess or a fairy
~wears size 3T pants still, but they're getting short
~weighs 33 lbs
~wears size 9 shoes

~says she loves spaghetti, but I'm not sure. She was eating it a ton recently, then hasn't touched it the last 3 times I've made her some, including on her birthday
~ate 3 servings of ravioli last night

~is very organized. She loves to put things "in order," often laying out toys in neat little rows
~loves imaginative play--Fisher Price Little People are among her favorite toys (I wish I could insert a picture here), also her kitchen set she got for Christmas

~is only partially potty trained. I share this here for reference, not to embarrass her future self. :) She can stay dry through the night many nights, but not always. She often is engrossed in play and doesn't want to stop to go to the bathroom. I know that she has all the ability to stay dry, she just hasn't put it all together yet.

~loves a lot of fruits--apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, but not as many vegetables. She definitely prefers fresh veggies to cooked ones. She is more picky when it comes to meats.

~was sleeping with Tirzah for a long time, but has recently been asking to sleep in our room. Unfortunately for Mitch, I acquiesced. We bought a potty training alarm on Amazon and have been passing it around to the older boys who need help. When the current boy who is taking a turn has it mastered, I want to try with Mercy. So I suppose if she's still sleeping in our room, it will be easier for me to help her. ;) I think that she and Genna will end up in Tirzah's room soon. I'm just waiting for everyone to get a little older. It's not fair for Tirzah to get woken up in the middle of the night by little girls.

~loved her birthday

{We had our friends, the Chilsons, over for cake and ice cream}

~asked for a Hello Kitty rainbow dress for her birthday (because Genna got a nightgown for Christmas that pretty much fit the description exactly). I didn't find a dress, but I did find this cute shirt with a fluffy skirt. It was Genna's turn to be jealous...screaming and tears followed.

{I also found this super twirly dress for her at the thrift store. Isn't it perfect???}

Mercy is learning in leaps and bounds too. Her vocabulary increases every day, and Genna copies her. She also loves to draw and make up stories about her drawings.

We love you, Mercy, and we hope that being 4 is amazing!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Genesis Grace is 2 years old!

We celebrated Genna's birthday a week ago. It's so fun to have a 2 year old. Genna is full of personality, and I've got pictures to show a little of it.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

One month with Eevee

Eevee (as we finally decided to call her) has been with us for one month now, and we are so blessed! Taking Eevee on a walk is one of my favorite things to do. I feel so proud to have such a beautiful girl walking beside me. But I encourage Zeke to walk her as much as possible, since this is a great way to build a relationship.

Keep reading for more pictures from the past month!

20 years!

I'm kind of going in reverse order for January...our anniversary happened before Caleb's birthday...but this is how it is today. 

This month we marked our 20th anniversary. 
The celebration will have to come later.
I am so deeply thankful to God for 20 years of marriage to my love.
It's not easy but God's grace has made it possible.

Caleb's Sweet Sixteen

The calendar flipped to a new year and didn't slow down a beat! We have been sick since the beginning of January and I thought I would blog when I felt better. With no end in sight, I am resolved to blog without feeling better.

The first order of business is Caleb's birthday! It seems that he should still be a small fry, but...sigh...that's not how it works. I can't believe he's 16. Really.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

How about a ton of Christmas photos?

We were once again overwhelmingly blessed this Christmas season. Our parents are so generous and set an example for how I hope to be as our children grow up and move out. I tease the kids and say that we had so many kids so they will take care of us when we get older...but in reality I hope that we can be a blessing to them for many decades to come. Our holiday has been mostly quiet and relaxing.

As I approached gift-giving this year, I tried to follow the same theme that we did last year: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. It was a helpful guide, though I didn't really get something for everyone in the "something you need" category. Some kids (like Josh) had a bag full of clothes, while other kids (like Micah) only had a couple things...I guess that was based more on what they needed or what they asked for. I am pleased that we were able to get something for each kid that they really wanted.

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Dog's Tale

To find out how we got here,we have to go back a ways...