Friday, May 29, 2009

The Little Man & Our Very Own Taxi!

Here are a few pictures of our little man....he does the silliest things and has the best facial expressions....he wanted to go outside so he put on Alayna's tennis shoes...on the wrong feet..."What's wrong with that mom? Do you think they're too big?"

"Just because I have a paci in my mouth does NOT mean I am a baby...nope, I'm a big kid...just watch me go up the steps all on my own!"

"See, I told you...I'm a big kid...just ignore the paci!"

Our very own taxi service...we do have a weight and size limit though...sorry!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Letter "U"

Ephesians 5:17 says, "Understanding God's will for my life."

We had family time "on location" tonight. The kids were very excited to hear that family time would be at the park tonight. When we told the kids we were having Family Time, Alayna's response was, "that's my favorite time." I thought she would say something really exciting about the park but it was about family time.

Gooseberry park in Moorhead has a maze. Michelle and I helped J and A memorize the verse and then we tried to explain the concept of God's general will to them. We explained that God has a plan for life. He wants us to have life and have it abundantly. He wants us to have joy and have it abundantly. J and A then were asked to run through the maze and warned that after they came out the other side they would have to explain why it was like understanding God's will. It's a big task for such young minds and even for our old minds to understand God's will. J and A ran through the maze. J came out right away. A got a bit lost. Daddy sent J back in to get A.

Once they were all out again, we had a brief discussion. I'll summarize for you. God's will is like the maze because some choices do not get us to the goal of an abundant joy filled (not necessarily happy, but joy filled) life which is God's will for us. Sometimes we have difficulty finding God's will on our own and need to have the help of a friend or family member. Mommy and daddy then tried to explain in a way they could understand that we have been trying to understand God's will for us and God has shown us a path that we should take and a path that we should not take. He is good and His love endures forever!

It was a great night! I wish I would have had my camera...there were great photo opportunities during Family Time as well as during play time at the park...the kids enjoyed swinging together on a tire swing and the look on Seth's face was priceless. He felt like a big kid and just adored being able to be just like his big brother and sister! Our family times are priceless moments and memories...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Weekend To Celebrate!

This adorable little bundle.....
Is now this big 7 year old....We had a great weekend filled with family, friends and more friends! To celebrate Josiah's 7th birthday we headed east...first to St. Cloud to stay at Grandma and Grandpa Far Away's (that is their name given to them by Josiah when he was little and it just stuck) house. We opened presents, had cake and celebrated Josiah's life.

Saturday morning we got up and met some great family friends (the Stacey's) at the MN Zoo, after visiting the animals (or the kids' relatives as we always joke with them about) we headed to an indoor waterpark in the cities where any energy that the kids had left was taken out of them.

**on a side note...I wanted to take pictures while we were at the waterpark...however, as we were standing in the pool, I mentioned to Dan that he should go get the camera from his backpack....he gave me a blank look...reached down to the pocket in his swimsuit and pulled out the dripping camera case...needless to say, no pics were taken at the water park. Yesterday I went and replaced that camera and so we're back in business snapping pictures again! :)

To continue this fun-filled day we headed back to their (the Stacey's) new home in the cities and enjoyed pizza and cake to celebrate Josiah's 7th birthday! The boys enjoyed 'camping' in a tent in the basement that night while the girls had their own sleepover in a comfy cozy bed. While the kids slept the adults stayed up way too late (considering the fact that all kids would still wake up early!) enjoying great conversation.

Sunday we worshipped together at their church and then made the trek back home (with VERY sleepy kids...made for a quiet ride!)

He really loved being in their with the did Alayna, which is crazy considering the fact that a couple weeks ago she wouldn't pet even a dog, now she wants to pet any dog or animal we see....not sure what clicked in her head, but she is now an animal lover!
I love Gavin's face in this pic...he's a tough guy!

All lined up to watch the dolphins swim

Best buds...apparantly 'forced' friendships do work. We decided when the boys were babies that they needed to be friends because we were all friends...7 years later and a move to another city they still good friends...writing to each other the old fashioned way. Pretty cute!
On Monday, in typical Memorial Day fashion we had friends over to hang out and we enjoyed the typical meal of grilled hotdogs hamburgers, corn on the cob, potatoes, watermelon, chips, strawberries and of course ice cream dessert! Very American....and yummy! :)

These are their silly faces...apparantly Alayna didn't get the memo!
(with our new camera I must not have had the red eye removal button on...still trying to figure it out...sorry!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fun with Friends

I have really been slacking with the blog world lately, no real excuse except to say we've had a lot going on and so I had to cut some things in order to make time for the important things (people!)...but here is my attempt at making up for it...last weekend we were in St. Cloud and met up with some friends while we were there. We had a great are some pics and videos for you to enjoy!

Seth getting ready to ride the zip line with daddy....don't worry...he was harnessed in really well!!
After riding with daddy...I think daddy was more nervous then Seth!
Josiah's ride on the zip line.....

Seth's ride on the zip line....with daddy of course!

While the boys were having their fun...this is what the girls were doing (here is only 2 of the many girls Alayna got to play with...having only brothers, this was a special treat for her!)...all together we had 4 families hanging out with a total of ...15 kids...3 families with 3 kids each and 1 family with 6 kids. Even amidst all the activity, great conversations were had, memories were made and the kids had a blast!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Letter "T"

Proverbs 3:5 says...

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

After singing, dancing, and verse memorization we did an activity to help us understand trust. We had J and A take turns jumping off of the kid picnic table in the basement. Each time they jumped daddy moved a bit backwards. J was very excited to jump as far as he could. Next daddy asked them to turn around and fall backwards. A got very nervous and refused to go. J had very little trouble at first so daddy took the table and placed it on top of a bed. This was a bit harder for J but he still did it. After he did it he was filled with excitement. A was still nervous. Mommy and daddy coached her to help her understand the parallels between her own understanding in the verse and her fears about falling. After some coaching she was willing to try a short fall with daddy's hands right behind her back. Each time she did it again, she wanted daddy to back up and let her fall farther. She too was filled with excitement after trusting her earthly father. Let's pray that our children will transfer this trust to their Heavenly Father.

As we do these activities to help teach our kids, we are reminded of the Truth's that we talk about each week ourselves. Trust....I choose to Trust....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Letter "S"

Sing to the Lord a new song. Psalm 98:1

Tonight's plan was a bit more simple than other nights. We started with dancing and verse memorization. Seth doesn't usually join in during Family Time, but because some of the things we do are the same or similar each week (like verse memorization) he has decided to join us for certain parts. Tonight when we were talking about how we wanted to recite the verse, he plugged his was HILARIOUS! Yes, plugging our noses and saying the verse is one way that we work to memorize the verse...needless to say, we plugged our noses with him. He thought he was funny too and laughed and laughed and laughed. If you've ever seen him laugh, he puts on quite a show bending over laughing, bending back laughing, covering his mough laughing, covering his face....quite the dramatic little fella! Then we took requests for songs. Alayna suggested "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jesus Loves The Little Children." Josiah wanted to sing "The Lord's Army." Then we sang the "B-I-B-L-E" faster, faster, faster, really quietly, and then as loudly as we could. This was followed by the traditional pictures drawn.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Where were you 8 years ago?????

Many of you were at our wedding...8 years ago today was the best day of my life. I married an amazing best friend....and now a great dad...we are truly blessed!

Eight years cameras were not as easily available (now I don't know that you could even find a film camera)....which mean pictures on my computer of our wedding day are not as easily available either!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Hard Worker....

Someday he will be very handy to have, he just makes mowing a lot slower.
Cuter...but slower! :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Zoo Fun

So, we live in Fargo, ND...not a town well known for having a great zoo. Nonetheless we have one and it's a clean zoo! Anyway, last summer we purchased a family zoo membership from Dakota Zoo in Bismarck...that way we can enjoy going to the Wahpeton Zoo, the Fargo Zoo and the MN Zoo (and MANY others that we didn't visit). We made good use of that membership last summer and we are still enjoying it this spring until we are due to purchase a new one.

Today is a pretty nice day so I decided to take Alayna, Seth and their cousin Evan to the zoo. There aren't a TON of animals, but it was fun to be outside, walk around and look at them. The wolves were a new addition to the zoo last summer, they were just tiny pups and we enjoyed going regularly to visit them and watch them grow. 6+ months later, they are BIG! Anyway, we had a great time and it was fun to see Seth enjoy it so much more this year!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Letter "R"

Standing at 'attention' and talking about what it means to 'rejoice'. Even Seth followed suit. :)
Tonight's Family Time verse was...

Phil. 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always."

Michelle and I discussed that it is very important to learn how to rejoice when it is tough, not just when it is fun. Chip Ingrim said parents should teach their kids that suffering is normal but God is good. This is a great Christian paradox that only makes sense in the cross.

We went to the back yard for an since it was beautiful outside. A neighbor girl wanted to come over so she joined our family time. After our verse memorization, we discussed the verse a little bit. How can we rejoice in the Lord always? Dad told the kids that Josiah would have a turn first. Immediately, the complaining started. What's our verse again? "Rejoice in the Lord always." say the kids. "Even when it's not your turn?" says Dad. "Yes" say the kids. Each kid took a turn running an obstacle course. After each turn we discussed the ways we rejoiced while the other kid was taking their turn. This activity was very fun!

The next activity was to go for a short bike ride. Before family time, Dad sneeked into the garage and deflated the tires. So, the kids ran excitedly to their bikes and hopped on like they do every day. Josiah's bike could not really go at all. The neighbor girl's bike would turn left due to the loose tire. Alayna was too light for the effect. Now, could Josiah and the neighbor girl rejoice with bikes that did not work? Michelle and I discussed how to do this while Alayna made her way down the sidewalk. There was no whining and even a glimmer that they understood it a bit.

The third task was a special one for Josiah. I had a cement block in the yard and asked Josiah to pick it up and carry it about 15 feet then turn around and come back. It was too heavy for him to carry so he rolled, kicked, slid, and pulled it across the yard. As he was struggling, Michelle and I were coaching him how to rejoice through hard work. At one point, I helped him pick up the block and he got scraped. At first, I thought I ruined the lesson because he was crying. However, Josiah pointed out that Jesus had to rejoice while he was being hurt on the cross. Josiah and I carried the brick back into the garage. Michelle and I were very proud of him.

Then to finish it off we went to Dairy Queen and rejoiced in God's gift of ice cream!!

Wonderful Women

Here is a great group of ladies. This is the 2009 MOPS Leadership Team. What a great group of ladies to hang out with and serve with.... We just finished another year of was a great year!! They have each been a blessing in my life...thanks ladies!

Back: Kim, Annette, Tracy, Laquita, me, Chrystal, Shyrlee
Front: Quinn, Becca, Suzanne, Trista, Kristi

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fun at Grandpa Holder's

This little girl has been scared of dogs for the past couple years...even that day when we got there she was scared and this was her by the end of the day....

Riding the donkey

Walking with grandpa

There's our pretty girl

He loved looking at the donkeys!