Sunday, May 23, 2010

Irene's 7th Birthday!

There is a story behind the VW van on the beach on this isn't an exciting story , but I will tell it anyways. Many of my friends might already be able to guess it, though. Let me start by saying that my theme for this year seems to be disorganization, lack of planning, and inablility to hold cohesive thought patterns. I am not sure what is to blame for this sudden turn of events (no snickering, please), but it has sadly affected my children, including their birthday celebrations. As we got closer and closer to Irene's birthday, we changed plans about 5 times. At first the plan was just cake & ice cream at home with family, then Irene had the idea to see Shrek Forever After with a couple friends, then we saw this adorable "Bears on the Beach" cake, so Irene was on to a new plan. "Let's make our own beach!" she says. Sure. Great idea. No problem. So we settled on a couple of friends in swimsuits, a kiddie pool and slip 'n' slide. But, I digress from the cake. We made plans for the cake, and set aside about ten teddy grahams for the floating and sunbathing bears. On party day, as I was decorating the cake (literally at the last minute while the kids played in the pool) I realized that someone had eaten the teddy grahams. This should not shock me. Why was I surprised by this? So I ran to the gas station (leaving poor Rachel in charge) to get some teddy grahams, and as I was checking out I saw this little mini-teddy-bear-sized VW van that immediately made me think of the blue LOST van. It was perfect! What beach is complete without a reference to LOST, even if it is on a child's birthday cake??? There was no blue one, so I settled on green. At first I felt guilty, because I thought I was being selfish, but Irene was just a s thrilled as can be (Sad, sad sad, I know)...

The girls all had a great time,

and the boys crashed the party, too!

So despite my lack of a good plan, I think it all worked out alright in the end! And I now have a picture of a birthday cake with a picture of a (green) LOST van to keep forever!
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Memory Lane

I love this picture, and let me tell you why. It isn't because we look particularly perky, or exceptionally exuberant, or any such superficial is because it was a real and true, and very emotional moment. My aunt & uncle (my dad's brother and sister) came to visit us back in March of this year, as they try to do every year. This time, my aunt had gathered some old photos that she thought I would like to have of my dad and my mom. I wasn't expecting it, and I am still amazed at how quickly the tears come when I am not prepared for seeing my dad's face.

The picture above was taken just as I was about to open up the following pictures:

Dad in Army boot camp, around 1955

My mom ( rt ctr) and dad (rt) on the beach with some friends on a double date:

And my mom and dad at their engagement party, in 1954:

I am so thankful and happy to have these photos, they will be keepsakes forever to hand down to my children and their children. When I look at my parents' happy young faces, it strikes me that they don't know that they will have ten children, and they don't know that they will tragically lose one. They don't know any of the joys or the sorrows that await them, just as none of us do. Thank God that He is beside us through them all. So although it was an emotional "moment", it was not necessarily a sad parents have given me a lifetime of love, and though I miss my dad's presence in our lives I believe I will see him again. And my mom still has the same beautiful, sweet, joyful smile, and any time I am down she has the remarkable ability to lift me up. Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful parents you gave me!
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Renaissance Faire Fun

Matthew was invited by some great friends from church, the Noonan family, to go to the Renaissance Faire with them, so naturally I swiped some pictures from Kelly's blog! Matthew enjoyed the jousting, and the fencing:

being goofy,

posing as Mona Matthew (or Matthew Lisa?)

and it looks like they were so busy that it tired Mr. Jeremy right out!

Thank you, Noonans, for including Matthew in an awesome day!!
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A post on a blog hardly does justice to an event such as this...two souls joined together before God, now become one! It is hard to believe that the boy that the Lord has given us to share our lives with has so quickly moved into the shoes of a man, but I am so thankful for him and his lovely wife Abby.

As he graduated high school, just a short two years ago, his dad and I prayed this blessing over him at his graduation ceremony: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace", Numbers 6:24. We now pray this blessing over your marriage, asking that the Giver of all good things gives you many long years of good health, happy memories, love and laughter together. We love you both!!
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Mother- Daughter Banquet

A good friend recently invited me to go with her to the mother-daughter banquet that her church was putting on to raise funds for the mission trip to Honduras that her daughter will be going on. Her older daughters are friends of Rachel's, and her younger daughter is a sweet little carrot-top that both Irene and Abbie just love to tag along with. It seems that they just skip and sing everywhere they go when all three are together!

It is so nice that Abbie is getting a bit older now, and she can participate in events like this, and it is suddenly like having a "person" along, not a baby to tend to. I know that sounds negative, but I really just mean that I am enjoying this new phase with no babies, although I do miss it occassionally!
It is also hard to believe that Rachel is nearly grown up, she really enjoys doing mother / daughter kind of things with me, and this just makes me so happy! She has two very sweet friends in Candace and Melissa. (Melissa, in the center, is the one going on the missions trip.)
A fun time with good food was had by all!
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

A few final Easter pictures

I just had to put this up, because it is so typical...Rachel was taking pictures, and Matthew was goofing off. Rachel tells Matthew to "be SERIOUS!", so he behaves for one shot and then just can't keep himself composed for another! Here is Matthew, Papa Hollinhead, and Mike:

And, so I have to include one of all the girls....Rachel, me, Mike's mom ("Nuna" ), Abbie & Irene
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More Easter

Here are a few pictures of what we did on Easter, after church. We came home and cooked a nice meal, and Mike's parents came over to eat and have an Easter egg hunt in the back yard with us. Matthew did a great job of hiding all those eggs for his little sisters, and even found one for himself, in "classic Matthew" fashion!