Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Zeke is 13

I can't believe I almost forgot to blog about this! There's another "teenager" in our house...

 I'm not sure quite what I was going for here, but it was minecraft inspired. ;)
Zeke chose carrot cake for his birthday again this year. 
We had chimichangas for supper. 

 Zeke wanted his friend Zach to come over for his birthday. They also happily invited Zach's younger brother, Alex. 

 Such a cute group!

It wouldn't be birthday pictures without Mitch cutting up! 

 Haha lens flare...too bad it didn't crown Zeke's head!

We got Zeke a new ripstik for his birthday. I ordered it from Amazon. Easy wrapping!

Zeke was SO surprised. He couldn't guess what it was at all. He loved it!

 He is really good at using it, too.

At 13 years old, Zeke
~wears a size 14 pants and size 9.5 mens shoes
~goes to bed between 9 and 10 pm and usually sleeps until 7 or 8 am
~loves chimichangas, chicken wild rice soup, and cereal
~enjoys reading books, playing on his Kindle Fire, and playing outside
~says his favorite subject in school is Fix-it! Grammar. But he's also doing really well at pre-algebra, IEW (our writing curriculum), and spelling. So far this year is a good year overall. He is in 7th grade.
~says Lord of the Rings is his favorite movie
~is currently reading the 100 Cupboards series by N.D. Wilson and says he wants to read Lord of the Rings
~enjoys playing Munchkin with his family and friends
~really likes to be around people, especially kids his age
~is very active :)
~borderline passed his last spirometry test (for asthma), and was able to discontinue using his long-acting inhaler 

I am having a hard time thinking of what else to write about Zeke tonight. I mostly think now he's old enough that there are some things that would be embarrassing for me to tell about him. Zeke is slowly growing up. He is a good kid. Sometimes we clash. But he is tenderhearted. We love you Ezekiel Paul. You are a blessing to our family. I'm so glad you are getting bigger and more responsible!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Papaw Jim and Lydia

I was thrilled when I received a text from my dad that he had the opportunity to come to Minnesota for a visit. I hadn't seen him for 3 years (when Mercy was 1 month old), and the kids hadn't seen him for 6 years (when we went on a huge trip with Patrick). Obi and Genna had never met him! And he hadn't been to Minnesota in almost 13 years (it's mostly too cold here...hehe).

My dad's wife Lydia had a training to attend in Duluth the first week of October, so they made a big trip of it all. I'm so thankful she dragged my dad along.

When they first got here, Malachi didn't waste any time getting acquainted. He grabbed The Book with No Pictures right away and asked my dad to read it. My dad was quite tricked. The amusing book had him laughing, and us all laughing too. I might have been crying. ;)

 Then Malachi picked Lydia as his second victim. I think it must be some kind of vetting process. If so, they both passed! The kids warmed up to them quickly.

 Even Genna climbed boldly on the couch to sit by Papaw just like she had seen the big kids doing. Then he said 'hi' to her, I asked her to smile for a picture, and she lost her courage. LOL.

 During Genna's nap time in the afternoon, we took the kids geocaching. Geocaching is something my dad really enjoys and is good at. I loved watching him teach Zeke, Josh, and Malachi. Tirzah, Obi, and Mercy had a ton of fun playing at the park. 

 My dad collects hats. Since they flew up here, he only brought one along. Obi snitched it. He is a cutie!

 Dad and Lydia took us out to eat at our favorite buffet restaurant--Pizza Ranch. I told him pizza is literally the only food that everyone in our family eats. We stuffed ourselves, but it was a little chaotic. As soon as we got home that night and walked in the door, Obi asked, "What's for dessert?" All the rest of us had enjoyed dessert pizza, ice cream, root beer floats, etc, at the restaurant. Poor Obi had a piece of dessert pizza but he didn't like it. He missed out on all the rest. So I gave him a small bowl of ice cream. I felt horrible for overlooking him. The next morning we were talking at the breakfast table about having pizza for supper the previous night. Obi piped up and said, "I didn't get any pizza!" Now at this point I thought, he's making it up. But upon further investigation I found that he had only had breadsticks and chicken fingers. On his first pass through the buffet line he didn't see any pizza he liked (cheese or Hawaiian). And he never got another pass. Oh my word. We aren't good at this eating out with kids thing. Sigh. Maybe next time?? ::laugh:: ::cry:: 

 The next day we headed to a different park during nap time. It was right along the Mississippi River. The weather was beautiful.

 The boys tried to find a geocache on their own. They were having some difficulty, so I tried to help them. We weren't having much luck.

 They did find a rusty racket.

 Soon Papaw came to the rescue. He told them they need to sit and look patiently, checking for anything out of the ordinary. Eventually Josh found it, but I wasn't right by them so I didn't get a picture.

There were 2 other geocaches in the park. While the boys were looking for the first one, my dad had secretly found the second one and signed it and left a message. He sent them off for the second and told them not to come back until they found it. He told me after they were gone that it was very easy. :)

We had some time so then they headed off to find the third one. It was a long walk along the river.

 I followed for a little ways, and took some pictures, but turned back because Tirzah was playing at the playground. I passed my camera off to Eden instead.
 Zeke found this one!

Wednesday evening came too quickly. We came home and got supper, then got the kids ready for church night. The four of us adults planned a dinner date while the kids were at church. It made an easy way to say goodbye. Before we left, I rounded kids up for pictures. Looking back, I wish I had taken more pictures. But these are precious.

  Genna did warm up to her grandparents, and she was even saying "Papaw" in earnest the next morning.

Only Micah is missing. :( 

 We went to Red Robin for dinner. It was delicious, of course. But I also wish I had chosen a quieter atmosphere.
Unfortunately, my own teary goodbye was also very quick as we had to pick the kids up from church. The worst part of reunions is saying goodbye again. Ah. I hope we can see you again soon!!

Monday, October 03, 2016

Family Pictures part two...kids pics

We got out Friday afternoon and took the kids' individual pictures. I am still sorting through the mess. I need to wait a few more days before I decide on my final favorites to print. I'm sure the older kids would like to give their input too. But here are some quick collages I picked out.

Minus Micah...I didn't put a collage together of him. I think I'll print his cap and gown photo for the wall.

Kathi and I took Eden's senior photos. When I put together the collages I was working from a folder that didn't have all of Kathi's pictures in it. So I know I can do a better collage than this. ;)

 Caleb, 15 years old, 10th grade

 Zeke, 13 years old (will be this month), 7th grade

 Josh, 11 years old, 6th grade

 Malachi, 9 years old, 4th grade

 Tirzah, 7 years old, 2nd grade

Obi, 5 years old, kindergarten

 Mercy, 3 years old

 Genna, 20 months old

Genna wasn't so cooperative. I don't know that I want the half-eaten apple and yellow sun flare on my wall for the next year. I tried this afternoon to get retakes. I'm worried that the shadow across her face will print weird. Maybe I'll get one more retake...