Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fall and Christmas 2017

 Esther turned 7 in October and is happy to not be a baby anymore!
 A few days later, Julia turned 2 - since she had just seen Esther blow out her candles, she was pretty excited about "my happy birthday."

 Aaron bought this tractor this summer - now he can plow the driveway!
 Heidi and Esther just happen to have the same second-hand coat!
 Grandpa O. and Grace -
 The girls celebrated Thanksgiving Sunday by wearing Priscilla's "Indian" dresses.
 We went to my grandparents for Thanksgiving - Aunty Ellen read a book to A. Joseph and Jubilee.
 Anna, Aunty Priscilla, Esther - also on Thanksgiving
 The kids love to play with Grace and put an old dish towel on her head -
 Julia, Esther, and Anna in front of the Christmas tree -
 Aaron Joseph wanted to be in the picture also -
 I meant to take a picture at every Christmas event we attended, but didn't always remember. This is at my parents -
 I got to open Grace's stocking, as well as my own :)
 Esther taking her car out of her stocking, with Anna and Daniel supervising -
 Anna with one of her gifts -
 Another attempt at getting a nice picture of the children before church one Sunday -
 In front of the tree worked a little better -
 Esther played the part of Elizabeth in our Christmas program.
 The cutest shepherd ever!
 Anna was an angel and also a "wiseman"
 Everyone getting their costumes on for the program - they all did a great job!
 We sang "Silent Night" by candle light -
 We had our family Christmas early and just randomly opened gifts one evening.

 Christy, Felicity, Grace, Vienna, and Heidi wore matching dresses to the O. get-together.
 We left on Christmas Eve to meet Aaron's family on MO - but we got a very unpleasant, though short, stomach flu - one of us was sick almost everyday, so it was one of those trips we probably will never forget! Here is Esther and Julia on a healthy day -
 Aaron Joseph opening his gifts -
 All of us at the place we stayed -
 Aaron's parents have 7 older grandchildren (and several great-grandchildren), but this is the younger batch - This was the first time all 12 of them have been together :)
 Grace - now she's almost 8 months and is not quite crawling, but is already into picking up the smallest thing within her reach.

 We've taken the children sledding a couple times -
 When Mom took our Christmas photo, she also took a few others for fun -
 Esther loves to pose for cameras :)
 Aaron Joseph
 Julia did not want to smile that day -

 I caught her smiling in the corner of another picture -
 We celebrated our eighth anniversary!

Just in case you haven't seen our family photo, which would be hard for me to believe since we sent cards to almost everyone we know! Hope you have a great rest of the winter and a great spring and summer!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Summer 2017-Baby Grace-Corn Maze

 In preparation for the new baby coming, we put up a set of bunk beds in the kids room.
 We went to the park with the cousins one day - Daniel and Esther -
 The cousins :)
 All the kids dressed up on Easter morning -
 Julia kept sneaking behind the centerpiece and even ate a couple of the coffee beans!
 The kids from the homeschool co-op did a program at the end of the year - and now we're getting ready to start again :)
 Aaron's major spring project this year was reroofing the church.
 He couldn't have done it by himself (and I did not want to get on the roof at all!) and so a friend named Tom stayed with us for the week to help and several church members and family put in a lot of work also! This is Tom, Aaron, and Silas removing the old shingles.
 The first Saturday, a whole crew showed up :)
 VBS! Our theme was "Galactic Starveyors" and we had a great week - seems like a long time ago now...
 I taught the younger kids Bible lessons -
 VBS also is a team effort and so many people pitched in to make things go smoothly!
 The whole crowd on the last day -
Anna at my parent's church's VBS - She loves craft time!

 Mine are the three cowboys/girls in the front with the green bandanas.
 Esther, Anna, Kaleigh, Ellie, and Natalie getting ready for the program -
 Aaron with our brand new baby - Grace Maria - June 24th -
 The kids came to welcome their new sister - Grace has fit right into the family :)
 Grandma and Grace
 My Dad didn't get to come to the hospital, so he stopped in one evening to see the baby

 Julia relaxing in the soybeans at the county fair!
 Ronnie painting Anna's hand at the Good News Cabin -
 Esther, Leah, and Anna on the big John Deere tractor at the fair -
 Julia and Lily in matching outfits - Aaron's parents were able to spend a few weeks up here this summer and one weekend we all went "camping".
 Itasca State Park
 Campfire at night -
These dresses used to be Esther and Anna's - now they're Julia and Grace's! Julia always wants to know where the baby is and lets me know if she's "whining".
 Aaron Joseph and Grace - he loves her, but I have to watch him around her because he's not always as careful as he should be!
 Back to the camping - we went to another state park also and they fished off the dock - and actually caught some!
 Aaron with the beautiful lake in the background -
 We threw the fish back, but not before the kids gave them names...like Skill and Rose
 Our little Gracie dolly -
 The kids helped Aaron put in a new section of sidewalk - after they helped him tear up the old section -
 Julia in a little dress a lady from church made for Grace -
 Aaron giving Aaron Joseph a ride on his new mower :)
 Julia drinking coffee? Not really - I just thought this picture looked funny!
 The kids stared out the window for probably an hour watching them combine the field across the road.
 The kids were excited for the corn maze to start again! - Not only is it fun itself, it's a great place to play with cousins...and first cousins once removed, and second cousins, and second cousins once removed....
 This is the first cousins on the bale mountain -
 The new waxy willow trail :)
 Anna, Esther, and Esther going on a hayride -
 Julia -
 Julia -
 The kids and Melita with the cow -

 Here's the second cousins once removed -
 Our church did a 'giving day' at the park - kind of like a free rummage sale - some friends from a church down in the cities brought the things up and the Lord gave us a beautiful day!
 Sarah and Grace, Miriam and Felicity at Felicity's baby shower -
 Joshua and Samuel -
 Grace -
 The little girls in the matching skirts Sarah made them -
 Priscilla and the girls in their favorite store - the Granery!
 The second cousins!

 Aaron and the kids digging potatoes -
 Julia and Aaron at the maze -
 The beautiful fall colors -
 I tried to get a picture of the other kids also, but they were running too fast...
 This is this week - Grace is over three months old and just started laughing.
 We went to the zoo -
 The penguins were one of our very favorite animals to see -

 The elephants were in the barn, so we got a good close up look -

 OK, this is 4th of July - Elizabeth read the story of the national anthem to the children.
 Anna at the parade -
 Esther -
 Aaron, Julia, and Aaron
 This is Grace the day she came home from the hospital -
The giraffes at the zoo
The monkeys were showing off for us!
Libby helping Aaron at VBS -