Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Our Community Life Trip 2010--In ABC Form

This past weekend, we traveled to Colorado with our small group for some fun time away. Here are the highlights--(although some lack a good picture...)

Aaron's Hat. Aaron made several fashion statements on our trip. From his hiking hat...

to his water shoes, we were always entertained.

Beverlins. We are so thankful that Matt's grandparents let us use their beautiful cabin! We slept 14 quite comfortably!!

Cool mornings. Can you see it? I have steam coming off of my head! That's how cold it was in the mornings. Delicious sleeping weather!
Dangerously high roads. These high roads above tree line FREAK me out. But luckily, Wyatt was a good driver and told me that he wasn't looking at the scenery, he was looking at the road. Thanks Wyatt! :-) (Oh, but these high roads have incredible views!)
Elk. There is a difference between elk and moose. Apparently, these are elk. And we saw TONS of them!

Flowers. I have no idea what this one is, but it is beautiful! It always amazes me that the most delicate, colorful plants grow in places where few people see them.

Girl Time. Since we drove the majority of the way in segregated vans, we had not a MOMENT of silence in the girl's van. Definitely good talk time!
Hiking. Our first morning, we headed out near Granby Lake for some amazing hiking. We ended up finding a beautiful waterfall (and hiking 9 miles!)
Insurance. Sure glad Aaron and Shannon had insurance on their new van! We got rear-ended and totaled it. The rest of that day was spent on the phone figuring out insurance stuff. We are so thankful no one was hurt! (And so thankful for Eric Tippin who drove RJ's vehicle out so we could all get back home!)

Justin and Aaron. They found really good walking sticks for our hike. Aaron made it about 10 feet with his.

Killer Water Fall. This is the source. It plummets down from here and runs down to a beautiful mountain lake.

Lumbar pack. Luckily, having Bill Good along ensures that we always have everything we need. Including iodine.
Medical Vehicles. Many of us saw our first interior view of an ambulance. And this picture? It's showing where we were hit--the skid marks, then where we ended up. (In FRONT of the ambulance!)

Napolean Dynamite. Now seriously, you CAN'T have a weekend away without this classic. We were all very entertained.

Out. Enough said.

Pondering. This river was freezing. At this point, I'm pretty sure Matt and Bill were pondering how much time they had until they completely lost feeling in their feet.

Quenching our thirst. Good thing God invented water.

Rivers. We followed this river all the way up to it's source--where it dropped over a cliff creating an incredible waterfall. (an incredibly STEEP waterfall. I may or may not have yelled several times at Joel to stop climbing on the rocks.)

Snow. Sarah Ekeland is AWESOME at skiing down snow in flip flops.
Tippins. They get 10 extra points for letting us borrow their Yukon. Quite a pleasant ride, by the way!

Us. We [heart] each other.

View. We were surrounded by beauty. At the cabin, on our hike, white-water rafting, driving up Trailridge Road--Colorado is so full of God's amazing beauty.
White Water Rafting. I'll have to add these photos later. 8 of us went rafting Saturday and had SO much fun. Highlights were: watching our guide flip over a rod in the air and NOT land in the boat. He kicked another person in the boat when he went down... Oh yeah, and have I mentioned Aaron's shoes?

Xcitement. Lots of laughs. It's so fun to have a group of people that you can enjoy SO much! We laughed so hard the whole weekend.

Yummy BBQ. I wish I had a picture of Saturday night's meal. It was a little restaurant in Idaho Springs, and we DOMINATED food. And laughed a lot. And kind of got in a food throwing contest.

. Lots of sleeping on the way home. Good thing for on-the-road movies. We watched Dumb and Dumber (both vans!) and lots of The Office.

Okay. I admit that some of these were a stretch. But hopefully you got a taste of our super FUN trip!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Water and Harvest Fun

Here are some pictures from Father's Day--we joined my parents, sister and brother (and his family) in Wichita for some yummy food, fun sprinkler action and ice cream.
Lily drying off with her 'wah-woh' with Grandpa J. (She kept trying to take this INTO the sprinkler--it was all he could do to keep it dry!)

Lily and Grandma

Joel and Lily using the same facial expression

Aunt Nee Nee taking pictures with Asher

Last week we started noticing grain trucks around town, so I explained to Ollie what they were doing. Later that day, I was mowing and noticed Ollie and Lily playing unusually well together in their sandbox. Once I stopped, he explained that they were 'harvesting grain'.

Sure enough. Working together without even fighting!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Need Some New Tunes?

Well, allow me to recommend a few of our favorites. Joel's brother-in-law Mitch, graciously gave us a stack of old CD's that apparently Joel used to own.

You might recognize some of them (if you were really into Christian Rap or hip hop in the early 90's...)
"True 4 U: We R Here" (They had a handle on texting lingo LONG before it was even cool)

Then there's "DOC: Pullin' No Punches" (apparently guys in purple shirts and tye-dyed overalls used to be pretty scary)...and "MikeE: Good News for BAD Times".

And if you judge a CD by the front cover, you've obviously guessed that these were chart toppers.

Ollie loves to 'rock out' (his words) to these albums. In fact, sadly enough, they now sound pretty 'hip' because we listen to them so often.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

nothing better...

than nude kids.

Well, if their ours.

And inside the house....and under the age of 5.

After that, I'd imagine it gets a little weird. But here is a fun picture that makes me laugh.

They love to watch the neighbor's dogs outside our bedroom window.

(I'll bet the neighbors really appreciated this view.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

my new favorite thing (besides coffee, of course)

Look at this adorable necklace I ordered!

Paige made it for me--she's raising money to bring their entire family (her husband and 4 kids!) to Peru to bring home their daughter (or daughters!) that they're adopting. If you want one for yourself, check out her blog! Yours doesn't have to say 'Ollie and Lily', by the way. She has different pendant shapes, and of course, customizes it to your liking.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Book

Several of you have asked what the book that I am reading about boys is called: "Wild Things" by Stephen James and David Thomas. Excellent book. I read a portion of it last summer, then put it down, but recently picked it up again. I also love that it has very practical ideas for helping boys specifically in school, and as a teacher of little boys, I'm VERY interested in that part.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Brothers Are...

a bit hard to figure out...

What with all their energy
and noises
and bear hugs
and kisses,
kicking, yelling, throwing, hitting,
laughing and crying, screaming and whining...

Lily never knows WHAT'S going to come out of that boy.

But despite the almost constant squabbles between these two,
It's nice to have these moments. (he's helping her get her shoe back on)
To realize that Ollie really DOES love his adoring sister.

It may just take a while for him to show it more appropriately.

(*on a side note--I'm reading a book that is explaining little boys. I'm learning that aggression is TOTALLY normal for boys 2-5 years old--that it's a natural response to overstimulation, excitement, anger, and AFFECTION!?!?! So. Trying to figure out how to understand that Ollie's hitting is sometimes showing LOVE, while helping him understand that it's not ever okay to hit. If any of you moms out there have the answer--or even a hint!--I'd love to hear more!)

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Do you see it? Lily has grown a nice mullet. Long in the back, short in the front.

Luckily, the length in the back allows us to put it up in piggy tails or a pony tail! But she likes to pull those out, pulling small handfuls of hair with it! So we just leave it most days, blowing in the wind. Usually, she's wiped so much food in her hair that it just kind of sticks out all over. A friend asked the other day if we'd just been swimming...Nope. It's just Lily's greasy, sticky hair!
During this particular photo session, Lily was trying to eat peanuts. I'd crack open the shell, throw it on the ground, and hand her the peanut. She thought she had to then throw the PEANUT on the ground, and then eat it. Hence the dirt. I tried showing her that she could just eat it...but soon gave up.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

May Trip

In May, we took a quick 4-day trip to Indiana for Joel's mom's 60th birthday party. We love traveling, and thankfully, our kids are pretty good in the car. By 'pretty good in the car', I mean that they don't cry or throw tantrums. Instead, they enjoy filling the time with talking.

Ollie's favorite thing to do is ask questions. Specifically,
"Mom, are you pressing on the pedal?"
"Which one?"
"Are you now?"
"What's the windshield?"
"Are you pressing on the pedal?"
"Are you now?"
"How much more time do we have?"
"Will we be there in 13-4-9-eleventeen minutes?" (We did finally break down and bring a laptop and video so we could have some silence for 30 minutes of the 12 1/2 hour drive.)

Lily likes to practice making noises, specifically the 'most annoying sound in the world' from Dumb and Dumber. I kid you not. When she's not making that sound, she's pretty happy, provided she's eating.
We spent half a day in Chicago with my brother and his wife, and their kids, Addilyn and Asher. We enjoyed riding the El...

to eat pizza downtown at Giordano's--YUMMY deep dish pizza!

We decided to eat there, despite the 45 minute wait (on a Thursday at noon!) our kids occupied themselves fairly well. And after 10 minutes of waiting, we had to get creative...
(After escaping into the kitchen, Lily had to be held.)

Finally, when we did sit down to eat, the waitress commented that our 4 children were so well-behaved! (Couldn't help but wonder what the rest of the waiting children normally do!)
(don't worry, my brother's not mad...just totally incapable of taking a normal picture.)

Anyway--the pizza was well worth the wait. And we rewarded ourselves with Starbucks afterwards.

We drove the rest of the way to Joel's sister's house and stayed a few days there. Joel's sister, Sara, hosted Roglenda's party. It was so much fun! We had yummy food, played outside, and as always, played cards.

Aunt Sara entertained the kids with "Don't Break the Ice"...

Ollie busied himself with yet another outdoor implement--the riding lawn mower. He stayed on that thing for at least 2 hours, climbing on and off, pressing buttons and explaining to the other children how to get on it.

Lily found a quick friend in our niece, Clara. Clara LOVED Lily and carried her around all weekend.

It's wonderful that the older cousins are getting to the age where they love to play with our little ones!

We had such a good trip and can't WAIT to go back in August to spend a bit more time with family. (and go to Toronto without the kids!!!)