Happy 9th Birthday, Lyvia Ann!!

Our sweet Lyvie Lou is 9 years old today!  Wow!  I remember her birth like it was yesterday, watching the hours click by, wanting so badly for her to be born on my Boppa’s birthday.  Once we hit around 11pm, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.  She just wanted her own special day!  She was born at 2am on the 27th.

Lyvie, you are one of the sweetest girls we have ever known.  You are always willing to give of yourself for others.  You are a true servant and love to help out wherever you can.  You love to help me in the kitchen and you very often help your siblings with their chores when you are done with yours.  You and Gracie, as different as you are, are like two peas in a pod.  You are inseparable.  And I love that.  I love hearing you two giggle together.
IMG_3918 You love when we go do things together as a family.  You would much rather be doing something or playing a game than sitting and watching a movie.IMG_3571 I love this picture.  Rhino is rubbing against your leg, you brought a moth you caught for me to see and you have a banana peel under your arm to go take to the goats.  IMG_3499 You help take such good care of our animals with your brothers and sister.  You show them so much love and they love you too!  You have a natural ability with animals and I love that because Mimi H. and Boppa C. were just like that.  They would be so proud to see you today!IMG_3464Lyvie, we love you so much and are so thankful you are part of our family.  Stay sweet.  And always stay close to God.

Happy 9th Birthday, Lyvia!!

Apple Fritters!

Monday, June 30th, for some reason I had a bunch of apples on the verge of going bad, so I talked myself into trying to make apple fritters.  It was fun!  And they were yummy!
IMG_3379 IMG_3380 IMG_3382 IMG_3389 IMG_3383 The kids were excited to come in from chores and try them out for breakfast.IMG_3385 We kept getting the funniest shapes.  We thought this one looked like some type of bird.IMG_3386Yum!

Baptism at the Lake

Sunday, June 29th, after Sunday morning services, many of the church family headed over to the Lake House that has been in our family for years.  My Mom spent many a summer here.  It’s a beautiful spot and we were so blessed to be able to use this property for our baptism.  The property is no longer in our family, but a friend of our family owns it now and gave us permission to use it.
IMG_3359 IMG_3360 Vince assisted in Nathaniel’s baptism.IMG_3364 And here is David, who has been attending our church for almost a year now.  There were several more that also got baptized.IMG_3365 We had a picnic lunch afterwards.IMG_3366 And then the kids had a blast swimming.IMG_3367 IMG_3369 IMG_3372 Darrell and Sam left in Dad’s truck with all the picnic tables so Shelly and I and the kids crammed in the suburban.  Thankfully it was a short ride home.  Ethan was up front with Shelly and I.  :)IMG_3377

Saturday Fun!

Here’s my mug that Ethan got me at the Dog Watch.  Isn’t it cute?
IMG_3267 And Joyce found this cute jar for our goat milk.  I love it!  Thanks, Joyce!IMG_3269 Saturday afternoon (June 28th), Uncle Jerry, Aunt Marsha and their kids and grandkids stopped over for a little bit.  It was so fun to have them.IMG_3276 IMG_3277 IMG_3278 IMG_3279 This picture cracks me up.  Both Aunt Marsha and Uncle Jerry look very angry!!  Haha!  IMG_3281 Noelle was getting a ride on June.IMG_3284 I love this picture.  IMG_3286 Maia and Romeo.IMG_3292 IMG_3293 IMG_3300 Maia and Lou playing Queen of the spool.IMG_3302 IMG_3304 IMG_3305 IMG_3306 IMG_3309 IMG_3311 Chris and the kids were getting ready to play a game where they had to jump from rock to rock without touching the ground and they had to see how far they could get.IMG_3314 IMG_3315 IMG_3316 IMG_3319 Zeke!IMG_3321 I can’t remember who won, but it was fun to watch them.IMG_3322 I know Katie is thinking here, “oh, kids will be kids!”IMG_3323 IMG_3324IMG_3325 Then it was time for some four-wheeling.IMG_3327 IMG_3328 IMG_3329 IMG_3332 Here come Chris, Noelle and Lyvie down the road.  Noelle has her ears covered.  ;)IMG_3334 IMG_3335 The kids loved picking peas out of the garden!IMG_3336 This was my best year for lettuce.  We had lettuce galore all the way into August.IMG_3340 This was the best the garden looked.  Very soon after this everything grew fast and ran into each other.IMG_3341 The carrots did great this yr too.  We’ll be picking these into November.IMG_3345We had so much fun having the family over and just enjoyed being outside together.

Babysitting Madison!!

First off, we just got back from an awesome week away!  We had great weather and a great time together at the beach.  Tons of pics to come from last week!  I wasn’t quite ready to come home, but needless to say, we are home and getting settled and gearing up for lots of school and lots of soapmaking.

Catching up still………..

On Friday, June 27th, we babysat my cousin Ben’s baby and they took Ethan with them to NYC for the day.  We had so much fun with her!  They dropped her off at the crack of dawn!  But she was wide awake.  ;)
IMG_3173 IMG_3176 The girls and I were in our glory!  I love this one of Madison looking up at Lyvie.IMG_3177 IMG_3182 Madison was cracking the girls up here because she kept grabbing her toys with her feet.IMG_3183 IMG_3186 Uncle (or cousin?) Sam was saying hello before he left for work.IMG_3187 Miss Joyce and Mr. Troy were heading out that morning, but before they left the girls got a couple games in with Miss Joyce.  Spot It……IMG_3189 And UNO………We had such a great week visiting with Troy and Joyce.  So thankful for this time with them!  Come back again!!!!!IMG_3190 IMG_3195 Laughing at Weston!IMG_3196 Sweet Girl~IMG_3197 Naptime……..IMG_3199 Walk time…….IMG_3200 IMG_3201 My Irises were about to pop…….IMG_3203 And my Coreopsis…….not sure if you can see all the little yellow buds.IMG_3202 Madison loved being outside!IMG_3206 IMG_3209 IMG_3210 We showed her the goats…….IMG_3213 And then we had a picnic lunch out in the yard.IMG_3226 As you can see, she was very happy about this.  ;)  I think we tired her out.  She was fine as she soon as she had her bottle.  Then she slept for about three hours.IMG_3227 While she slept, the girls made play-dough jewelry.IMG_3233 Everyone got a turn feeding her.IMG_3234 IMG_3237 She liked swinging on the porch.IMG_3245 IMG_3258 Here is my cousin Ben, his wife Trisha, Madison, and the kiddos.IMG_3259 Madison wore Weston right out!IMG_3262We had such a fun day with Madison!  Ben and Trisha, thank you so much for letting us keep her!  She is a joy!

A Very Fun Thursday

Thursday morning, June 26th, I made a couple apple crisps.  One to take to Mimi’s that night for our family dinner.  This is one of my favorite kitchen tools from Pampered Chef.IMG_3110 Then around lunch time, we met up with Troy and Joyce at the Dog Watch for lunch.  While we waited for a table, we took a little boat ride around the harbor.IMG_3120 This is basically a “shuttle” for people that come in on their boats and anchor at a mooring instead of pulling right in.  Our driver was very friendly and full of information, but every time he looked away I had no clue what he was saying.  But we still had fun!  :)IMG_3122 IMG_3123 I loved the flag hanging off the back of the boat and loved the name of the boat.IMG_3125 What a day to be out on the water!IMG_3127 Love these pictures!!  Only I don’t know why I didn’t make Troy join them.  And we were also missing Sam.  He was working.IMG_3128 IMG_3129 I took this one for Sam.  If he could pick a boat to have.  This would be it.IMG_3133 Lunch time!  Yum!  Thanks, Troy and Joyce for treating us to lunch!IMG_3137 After lunch, we just chilled for a bit.  It was so nice.  Everyone except Ethan and I ended up buying a Dog Watch T-shirt.  And Ethan bought me one of their mugs.  I use it every morning!IMG_3136 We sat and watched the guys work at the boatyard.  Can anyone spot the man dangling from the crane??IMG_3138 Thursday evening, after chores, we headed over to Mimi’s for a family dinner.  Uncle Jerry and Aunt Marsha and their kids and grandkids were in town!  Joyce and Troy joined us as well!  They are practically part of the family!  ;)IMG_3141 Ben, Alisa, Madison (my cousin Ben’s daughter), Sam, Lindsey and David (part of David!)IMG_3142 Dad holding Quinn and Uncle JerryIMG_3145 Me and my Aunt Marsha!IMG_3146 Lindsey tossing the football with Emma and WestonIMG_3150 The kids going after Uncle SamIMG_3156 Ready, Set……IMG_3157 Throw!IMG_3158My cousin Chris and Gracie were cracking me up. They had their own little game of tag going on.  Out of all 19 of us grandchildren, David, Chris and myself are the only dark-haired and brown eyed kids.  And out of the 25 great-grandchildren, Gracie is the only dark-haired kid!  I think she is the only brown-eyed one too, but can’t say for certain.  (Ethan has brown hair, but it’s not dark and he’s got blue eyes.)
IMG_3161 Lots going on here!IMG_3162 Then Gracie wanted to play for Miss Joyce.  Oh, how we miss our piano teacher.IMG_3163 IMG_3164 The audience.  :)  Mimi was tickled about something!IMG_3165Alisa and Troy.
IMG_3166 IMG_3167 Uncle Sam photo bombed the girls!IMG_3169 Had to get them with their matching shirts.IMG_3170 What a fun night with family and friends!  (Sam was working late, we missed him)IMG_3172

“You’re Going In!”

Wednesday, June 25th, we headed over to Gary and Linda’s for Ethan and Grace to work for them and for Lyvie and Weston to swim.  Ethan was helping Gary clear the branches he had just taken off his maple.IMG_3079 And Grace was painting the rails on their deck.IMG_3085 IMG_3087 And these two were having fun!IMG_3091 Then it was time to get the netting over the blueberry bushes to keep the birds out.IMG_3092 Weston wanted so badly to jump off the diving board.  He had done it last year, but needed to regain his confidence this year.IMG_3093 The girls liked jumping together.IMG_3102 When Ethan and Grace finished working, they got to have a little fun too!IMG_3104 Linda decided Weston was going in!!!!IMG_3105 I know he wanted to, but he just couldn’t make himself do it, so she helped.  ;)IMG_3106 She said, “You’re going in!”  And in he went!IMG_3107 IMG_3108 And then he did it on his own.IMG_3109And now he jumps off the diving board like a champ.

It’s Official

It’s official.  My son has passed me up in height.  You can see how happy he is about this.  Even if it is just a quarter of an inch.  :)IMG_0053And, honestly?  I kinda like it.  I thought I would be sad, but now that I’m over the whole “I would like to have another baby” thing, I am really beginning to enjoy these new phases of life that our growing children are bringing.  It really is great.  They are great kids and I love spending my days with them.  I told him last night that even though he is taller than me, I still get to kiss him goodnight.

On a side note:  maybe you noticed his glasses and maybe you noticed Gracie peaking out from in between Ethan and I with her glasses too.  Yes, we just took everyone to the eye doctor and three out of our four children are near-sighted just like their father.  So, all three of them needed glasses.  Lyvie is still waiting on hers to come in.  And Weston is well on his way to being near-sighted also, so in a few years, I’m sure he will be wearing glasses too.  None of them got my 20/20 vision!!!!!  Can you believe that?!  We are just thankful they can get glasses to correct their vision and help them see things more clearly!

And, so, yes, it’s official, Ethan is taller than his Momma!  And I’m ok with that.  ;)

Napatree!

Monday afternoon, June 23rd, the kids and I headed over to Napatree for a walk with Troy and Joyce.  We love Napatree Point.IMG_3019 It was a beautiful afternoon.  The kids splashed around in the water as we walked.IMG_3021 IMG_3022 IMG_3023 IMG_3024 We found this skate on the beach.  I believe that’s what it was.  Very similar looking to a sting ray.IMG_3028 Troy and Joyce.  :)IMG_3033 We made it to the end of the point!IMG_3040 I don’t remember this little beach out here before.  Just beyond all those rocks is a beach. But still rocky as you can see from all the rocks near and in the water.IMG_3041 See the seagull?IMG_3044 My four big blessings.IMG_3047 IMG_3048 IMG_3053 I told Weston he found supper.  And he said, “huh?”IMG_3054 Ethan trying not to get too wet.  Oops.IMG_3056 Beautiful eveningIMG_3059 The harborIMG_3060 IMG_3062 IMG_3067 The whole gang!  We missed having Sam with us.  He was working.IMG_3068 Walking the line….IMG_3072 Looking for treasures.  There were several horseshoe crabs.IMG_3073 We made it back!IMG_3074We came back and had ham, mashed potatoes, carrots, asparagus and fruit salad.
IMG_3076Fun times!

Visitors! And our Sunday Afternoon!

Saturday evening, we had some special visitors arrive!  Joyce and Troy arrived to stay with us for a week.  Here we are Sunday morning before church.  They were having their first taste of goat milk on their cereal.IMG_2965 Sunday afternoon, we went down to the borough.  (Troy and Joyce were visiting some friends this afternoon).  Brandt and Judy keep their canoe down there, so Sam took the kids down before me and took them out.IMG_2966 Then when I got there he took me out.  I am not very fond of canoes.  They make me very uncomfortable.  But it was fun to see the fishing boats up close and personal and weave in and out of the other boats.  IMG_2968 It was a beautiful afternoon on the water.IMG_2969 IMG_2970 IMG_2971 Then we let the kids play on the playground for a bit.  Judy and the kids came down too.  Brandt was working.IMG_2994 IMG_2997 We swung down by the point on our way out.  We have been watching them gut the house we used to rent when we were building.  We lived on the second floor and my laundry was up on the third floor.  They actually turned the front entrance into a two car garage!IMG_3017