Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stop and Smell the Tulips

A few weekends ago, we enjoyed a beautiful Sunday afternoon and went out to Foster Park.  We heard the tulips were beautiful...and they were...but I think we got there just in time.   I think 1 good rain/wind storm and they would be DONE!
We walked around the golf course...Grant did pretty good...his little legs just can't make it the whole way.   We circled around to the tulips at the end of the walk.   Grant had to smell each and every one!     He must really ENJOY NATURE!
Then...some playing on the playground and back home!  It was a great way to spend a sunny early spring day with the family.


Monday, April 9, 2012

OVERWHELMING

So...I think I'm caught up on my blogs.   I'm not sure who is reading anymore...but it is my journal...I spend some sleepless nights going back and looking at how far we've come...where we were...where we are!   So it's good to have the record of Jan-April caught up. 

Life is busy.  Our lives are busy.  I know I put a lot of it on myself.  That's my personality.  But sometimes...it all just seems overwhelming.   As always...Kate's Kart adds a lot to my "to-do" list and keeps me up late at night.    It's all good...but still...wow, this can be a lot of work.

We had our 1st ever scrap-a-thon last month.   Another volunteer did most of the work, but still there is always things to be done.  It was good...not as great as we hoped..but it was still good.   I had grandiose plans to scrap all these pictures.

Well, that didn't happen.   Not only is that unrealistic, but I also came down with some sort of flu-bug that really knocked me out on Saturday.  And you know it must be bad if I leave to take a nap.  I did get Seth's 6 book done...but still have Grant's 1 and 2 and now most of Seth's 8.  Oh well...someday I may get caught up.


Plus...we had a big switch with the opening of the new PRMC (Parkview Regional Medical Center).  Not only did we need to attend  a 4 hour orientation, but just figuring out how we are going to utilize volunteers, making sure they attended orientation and getting the karts stocked...it's been a whirlwind.













Plus
--applying for 3 grants within 3 weeks of each other (again great volunteers helping)
--driving all over northeast Indiana picking up books, meeting people who did book drives, stocking karts
--planning our 4th annual Ice Cream Social for June 16th.
--keeping up with purchasing/stocking/inventorying books when giving out 1200-1400 books a month
--attending lots of school assembles, doing presentations
--stocking 2 major hospitals with books on a weekly basis
--and just the daily emails, phone calls and thank you's amaze me at times.  


I'm not complaining...really I'm not!  And I know I say it all the time...Who would have thought?  It is crazy...and sometimes when I  literally have paperwork spread all over the couch...I do get overwhelmed. 

But then...God steps in.

A couple weeks ago I was at that 'overwhelmed' time again.  I was upstairs in bed, on the laptop returning emails.  I got a message on FaceBook from the mom of the boy who got the very first Kate's Kart book almost 4 years ago.  She commented on the impact that book has made in his life...how valuable that book is. How much they cherish that book.  

And then... a few more emails from families who received books a couple years ago.....but yet felt convicted to let us know NOW that they still see that book as a blessing.  They still remember how that book brought a little peace and comfort during a really uncertain time.

And then...it doesn't seem quite to overwhelming.   Yeah....I'm still knee-deep and my "to-do" list will NEVER get done....but lives are being changed...affected...encouraged.  And it makes it all a little better.

And only God...could have orchestrated this whole thing...allowing that very first boy to receive a book...to have a mom who for some reason KNEW at that very moment...she needed to let us know what a difference KK is making.  At that moment...when I needed it most.  ONLY GOD.

So...the blogging gets put on hold...spring cleaning hasn't been done...books need to be put away...and sometimes I forget something I was supposed to do...or don't return the email right away.  But it's okay.  One day at a time is all I can do...and for now..that is OKAY!

Amazing Weather

Our spring this year has been AMAZING.   First of all, our winter was so mild.  I hardly remember any snow sticking around for more than a day.   Spring came early... in fact it was still "winter" and we were wearing shorts and spending a lot of time outside.

We got down Seth's old bike and put back on the training wheels.   Grant was excited to get on...but wasn't too interested in pedaling.  It won't be long...I bet by early summer he'll be off and going.
 In case you were wondering..this is the "proper dress" when it is 80degrees on the last day of winter!  

 He loves to bounce his balls...I think we've got another athlete on our hands.
 In fact...we've mowed several times now!   Love this image of my two boys.
 And last week it was super nice again.   We were cleaning off the porch furniture with the hose...and the boys were begging to play in the water.  You know..when they keep coming over to the hose and spraying it every time I placed it down.   We gave in and they had a impromptu blast creating their own waterslide...in early April!  Crazy!


 And...since we're out all the time...we get a chance to play with the neighbors.  This day, the older girl across the street invited Grant to take a ride!
 and then..they were off!   OH MY GOODNESS!  
It really has been strange....I never have remembered 90 degree days in March...let alone 5 in a row.   It's been great...but it's really hard to get things done in the home (like blogging) when you want to be outside all the time.   I just hope this doesn't mean we are going to have a SUPER HOT SUMMER!  

Grant's social life

Grant and I are getting involved in several programs/activites at church which give him quite the social life.    ONce a month, moms with preschoolers gather together for a playtime/social time.   Back in February, we hosted and made Valentine cookies.  Grant loved having his friends come to his house.




 And...2x a month, I lead a new program at church.  It is called Teeny Tikes and Tunes and is basically a song/dance/movement time for toddlers.  We sing songs, play instruments, do finger plays, and just dance and be crazy.   We've been doing it since January and it is going well.  Several new moms have come and I've had the chance to meet some new faces at church.   So many times, it seems like Grant is drug to Seth's games/activities/school events...so I LOVE that he has this that he calls his own.


Last month, he was invited to his first "non-family" birthday party.  It was all kids from church...so even though we was one of the younger ones...he did really well.   However...he did want to be right there with Jacob for the cake and candles!
 Eating some yummy cake with all his ladies!
 ARRR...it's pirate Grant!
 Jacob's mom did such a great job of making hats, and patches and taking them on a treasure hunt...I love this picture though...none of them are real comfortable with the patches on their eyes.
Plus...with MOPS 2x a month (when I don't have Kate's Kart or a kid is sick) and child-care at the Y (3-4 x a week) and a little neighbor girl who he plays with a lot...he has quite the social life!    He's doing much better getting along and not fighting when he doesn't get his way.    Which is good...cause back in February we signed him up for preschool!  YIKES...2 days a week...a nice easy transition.  He is so excited about going to his school....only 5 more months buddy!

c3sports Basketball

Seth played his 3rd season of basketball from January-March. The church who had formerly hosted Upward went out on their own and started their own Christian based athletic program.  They did an excellent job and we were really pleased with the quality of the program. 

  Andy was one of the coaches and they had a great year.  Seth is really getting good...he is quite the athletic little guy.   Really, he's not so little,  he is quite tall which gives him an advantage.   It was always a fun way to spend our Saturday mornings.

And as along as Grant had some popcorn..he was a great spectator.

 ?

The thing I dislike most....the lighting!    I can never get a good shot in that gymnasium.  Oh well!

Brown County

Part of our Christmas present from Grandma and Grandpa Ted was a little trip to Brown County!  We left mid-morning and drove down to the park. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch...and that place makes me miss Kate so much!  They have THE CUTEST dresses, especially at the holidays.  Oh how cute she would have been dressed up in her (25) Easter dresses.



We got to the park around 2..but they were pretty packed and our rooms weren't available yet.  So...we headed out on a hike.  Grant was a real trooper and walked almost the entire mile..and it was hilly!
 Seth was never on the trail...always finding something to climb!  Gotta love boys!

 We checked into our rooms at the Inn at the park and then went and had a yummy buffet dinner at their Inn restaurant. Then...a hour or so of swimming in the waterpark before heading to bed!

Tuesday we woke up...ate another BUFFET meal for breakfast and headed to the nature center.  Grant was making friends with the snakes.

Then....another mile hike around a lake!  It was a great hike with lots to see, including this waterfall
 lots of bridges for us to stick our heads through...
 a few "muddy" spots which meant we needed to take the "high" road!
 It was beautiful...over 80 degrees and sunny!  Just perfect.
 The beavers were really active...Grant was checking out their artwork
 and strolling along "enjoying" nature with Grandma
 and watching the sticks he threw in the water go under the bridge!  He was CONSTANTLY picking up every stick and looking for a stream to throw them in.  If he couldn't find a stream, he would just carry the sticks until he found one.

 Then...we drove around and looked at a couple views...I can only imagine this place in the fall!  I've heard it is quite the popular place.  Grandma even decided to buy some very overpriced turkey and chips in the camp store and we had a little picnic outside for lunch.
Off to find the tower and climb for a pretty view

 and climb down...
 and another hike...with more pretty views!
 Then....back to the Inn for a quick nap before heading to go swimming again.  But...there was an "accident" in the pool and it was closed for the evening.   So instead...we played a little cornhole and enjoyed the beauty of the park and the weather.  It wasn't such a bad thing.
 After another dinner at the buffet...and a boys only hike while the girls chatted on the porch swing...we played some games and hit the sack.

The pool opened early on Wednesday so we were up and at the pool by 8!
 It's a nice little waterpark...with basketball and a lazy river, hot tub and a perfect place for Grant to just play in some fountains.  And a great waterslide too!

 We got cleaned up...ate our last buffet breakfast!  (NO MORE BUFFETS!) and packed up.    We drove a few minutes to find the Bean Blossom Covered Bridge..the most photographed covered bridge in Indiana.  It was quaint...with a gorgeous view.

Then....the 3 hour drive home.

It was  a great little get-away....we were definitely blessed with beautiful weather.  And the boys were super...especially with all the hiking we did.  They are definitely adventure boys...they love to be on the go!

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Ted....for a great spring break getaway!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Lunch with Family

After a wonderful service celebrating our Risen Saviour...we came home to get ready for the PARTY! 
Grant chose to play with his new net...crazy kid!
 !
Then...of course mommy had to try and get some great photos...how cute are they?


 And of the family
 and 1 more on the porch!  Are you sensing who is the "ham" in the family?
 Then my parents, my brother's family and Andy's mom and husband all came for lunch.  It's always been our tradition to host Easter.

Nia just happened to have on a dress that almost perfectly matched Grant's shirt!  Seriously...they could be twins!
 After a yummy lunch (the traditional of course:  ham, cheesy potatoes, asparagus, sweet potatoes, pineapple casserole and EGGS!) we headed out for another egg hunt!    First it was Grant and Nia's turn!  The older boys didn't give them much opportunity to find them on their own!  There was a lot of: "Grant, this way!"  "Nia, look!"


 They are so cute together...they had to tell each other and show each other each egg they found!

 Then...the older boys!   It's a little more fast paced!

 Fortunately, during the older boys hunt...the "babies" checked out their loot!  I wonder how long they will be the babies?

 And...it just happened to be Nia's 3rd birthday!    So...we had to celebrate her!

It's fun...we have the "big boy" table....
 and the little kid table...so glad they all have "buddies' their age!  Grant and Nia are really learning to play well together!   So glad they have each other to "grow up with"





.
!Then...after everyone was gone...and the mess cleaned up...and a quick nap on the couch was taken...and a quick dinner...of course they had to have a bite of the their bunnies! What is Easter without a chocolate bunny? Actually for me...it's much more about the Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs!


What a glorious day with family...those we love the most!   But even more...what a glorious day celebrating our Risen Savior..who loved us the MOST and gave us ETERNAL LIFE with him.  Rejoicing today, knowing that because of His death...and that he conquered death and sin...we WILL be with Kate eternally!    There is always just 1 basket missing...1 cute little Easter dress not bought...1 little red-head girl not battling her way for her eggs! 
Thank You Jesus for celebrating with our Kate today!