Thursday, October 13, 2011

party in pictures

perhaps overkill...but a whole slew of photos from libbers' birthday party. :) credit goes to my sweet friend kim!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


six years ago this little girl made me a mama...whoa! can that be.

elizabeth irene,

you are amazing.

honestly, i don't even know where to start.

in the past months you have blown my mind. you are reading everything in sight...picking up words that you've never seen before, reading every sign in sight, reading books to help your sister fall asleep, reading my e-mails over my shoulder (!). and you are writing and doing incredible things in math...who knew you'd be able to do simple algebra at age six! you have blown my expectations out of the water in the home-schooling realm. and, sweet girl, i am so incredibly thankful to have you still at home with us each and every day.

it is amazing, also, to watch you grow in your understanding of the world around you...and of hear you making observations and realizations about Him. oh how i pray that you will love Him all the days of your life...that you will follow Him and be His.

it has been such a delight to watch you and kate grow in your relationship...playing, imagining, pretending, creating. and you are such a helper when it comes to jilly and luke...God knew what He was doing when He made you the biggest of all the kiddos in our family. and it isn't just your relationship with your siblings...girlie, you are so blessed with amazing has been incredibly fun to watch you enter a new realm...the constant playdates without mom around phase...the phase where your social calendar is more full than mine ( that isn't hard these days!). how i pray that the Lord will bless you with close relationships with girls like this group for all of your days...girls that also love Jesus and delight in simple fun.

you still love anything creative (hmm...wonder where that comes from ;) ). tonight when i picked you up from the kidzone at the Y, you had 6 creative projects...painting, tissue paper, glue, glitter...the ladies laughed and said you'd been at the craft table the entire hour or more that i was gone. you draw and create endlessly...and it has been incredible to watch your skills grow. oh how i long for the day i can teach you to knit and to are going to love it, libber girl!

elizabeth, we love you so much. we are so incredibly proud of you! happy birthday...may this next year of your life be full of joy and discovery and love.

we celebrated our six year old with a massive party at the park on her birthday last saturday. she made a list of all the people she wanted to invite, we rented a shelter at our favorite park, bought a MASSIVE amount of hotdogs and cake...and voila...we actually invited her friends AND their families (since they are all families we know, love, and wish we could spend time with!). we ended up with over 50 people there...over half of whom were kiddos (what can i say...we have lots of friends with four kiddos!). it was an absolutely fabulous evening!

here is the birthday girl...the one thing she HAD to have for her party were it!

you know's not a party without crafts (even if there is a massive playground just feet've gotta have crafts!). you should have seen me trying to help way too many 6 and under kiddos make the crafts...thankfully some other mamas stepped in to assist! :)

the kids expended a ton of energy on the playground

CAKE!--this is maybe half of the kiddos...

elizabeth with three of her BFFs...ellie, riley and alli

all in all, we ended the night joyfully exhausted. God has blessed us with an amazing "family"!

*there are far more pictures to come in another sweet friend kim was kind enough to take tons of pictures...but i haven't yet gotten them from her...i, on the other hand, barely had time to reach for my camera!

once upon a pumpkin!

{my very favorite pumpkins}

today we headed to the pumpkin patch.

we found a great little patch just north of town...a farmer's side business. they had fabulous pumpkins...we picked a big one for each kiddo (daddy is in charge of carving them with the kiddos!) and even brought home some yummy butternut and spaghetti squash AND some pie pumpkins...elizabeth has her heart set on making a pumpkin pie from scratch :)

"umm...what is this thing?"

"it's as big as me!"

"hmm...i pick THIS one!"

pumpkin outtakes after our evening walk...a walk full of crunching in fallen leaves, sitting on stumps, quacking at ducks, and otherwise savoring the fabulous autumn evening :)

i just can't quite get even of this squishable little pumpkin

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

hello october

amazingly enough, october is here (whoa summer...where did you fly off to!). and, in true indiana form, the weather has been all over the charts...crisp and chilly Saturday for our annual apple day and a MOPS cookout...and then sunny and in the upper 70s by the end of our visit to the zoo Tuesday. i've mentioned it before...but i must say it again...i truly enjoy autumn. i think over the years, it has become my favorite of the seasons...the gorgeous colors of the leaves...the crisp, cool mornings, wearing jeans, warm afternoons--perfect for enjoying the backyard and parks!

we've had a fun and busy past few are just a few highlights. :)

Saturday was our annual applesauce making day...complete with a bounce house in the front yard this fun is that!? we managed to crank out 12 bushels worth of applesauce (split between a few families...we like applesauce, but we are crazy!). we cut apples, cooked apples, cranked it into sauce, chatted, laughed, had a few cut hands (fortunately none majored), watched kids bounce, at pizza, and all in all had a great day.

the kiddos minus the babies...rilla, luke, and greta

jake and mike, hard at work

the six burner stove constantly was pots full of sliced apples!

i actually took my crew home for rest/ is libs...cleaned up, rested, and ready for our MOPS cookout that evening (after returning to help with apple clean-up...a sticky job!).

i can hardly believe this sweet girl is turning six in just a few days! eek! notice the leapster in her hands...i had been leapster resistant for a long time...but after picking a fabulously good condition used one up at a garage sale for 2 bucks (with a myriad of games included!) i'm a are the girls. i found a couple more at garage sales a week later...with more games...we don't use them all of the time, but they do produce a sort of blissful silence every now and then...AND i don't feel too bad about the video game factor since most of the game are truly educational in some respect.

elizabeth also wanted to be sure i showed you all her missing tooth (though, as you can see, its replacement it already well on its way in!)

we ended our busy Saturday at a MOPS cookout. we were greeted with screams of delight from libber's and kate's friends alli and aubree when we arrived...oh how i wish everyone always greeted me like that! :)

what cookout would be complete without smores!

and yes...luke did, in fact, exist on this fun Saturday ;)

we also made a last minute decision to forgo our normal morning of school at home and take a field trip to the zoo yesterday...a great choice since it was nearly empty and the weather was GORGEOUS!

the tiger was awake..visible...and eager to visit ;)

somebody is pretty proud of his sitting up skills

umm...wardrobe (if you are missing it, look again)

some of our favorite friends even met us there at the last minute...lot of girls...

peek-a-boo, i see you animal...jilly loved saying, "aaa-mul" or commenting on the many "ee-pays" flying overhead or the occasional "choo-choo" we heard. the zoo is a pretty exciting place! animals and airplanes and choo-choos...oh my!


now on to another exciting weekend. we rented a shelter in the park for elizabeth's birthday party and just invited her friends and their whole families...something we've wanted to do all summer. the weather forecast is perfect...should be a fun filled evening!

and finally...because i is my budding softball star...the first one is a miss...but seriously, don't you love her "style" should always "spin" while swinging...and you can't see the ball in the second one, but it really took off!