Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fall Recap!

     Hello family and friends!  I hope you are all doing well!  I had to download photos from the past few months just to remember exactly what happened.  Some of the highlights were a visit from Uncle Zach in October, a quick trip to OKC area, Halloween, and our recent trip to "Papa's House" in Nebraska for Thanksgiving.  One of the sad moments was saying good-bye to our good friends and next door neighbors who moved to Ohio.  We have been so blessed by their friendship and miss having our driveway friends.

"Mommy, we were praising the Lord in that picture!" -Julia)

We miss you Bryce & Bridgette!

We had fun visiting with Cousin Sydney and Nathan while in OKC. We also had fun with the Mueller family!

Carving pumpkins with Uncle Zachy

The twins boogying down and  being very "helpful"  :)
Texas State Fair...Are we having fun yet?  At least Zach got his fried S'mores!

Pumpkin Patch Fun

"Angwee Birds!"

Peter Pan & Captain Hook warming up to eachother!

Princess Rapunzel

Trick or Treating w/ friends!

The kids were troupers on our 11 hour trip to Nebraska for Thanksgiving.  They were so excited to go to Papa & Nana's house, that we only stopped once along the way.  Once there we saw Uncle Zach coach a girl's basketball game, played with our 5 cousins, spent some time in Lincoln (again more sporting events :), and enjoyed time with family.  The kids played so well together that we were able to enjoy more conversation than usual!  We are so thankful for our families and wish we could see them more often!

8 cousins (one 5 year old, two 4 year olds, four 2 year olds, and one 1 year old)  So much fun!

Papa & Isaac relaxing

Kai and Nana Jones

Julia and her "best friend" Izzy!
Baby Mabel got a lot of "petting!"

Kai & Little Red at the NE girls basketball game

Isaac fighting fires at the Children's Museum

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer Fun!

     This summer has been flying by, which is considered a good thing in Texas!   We have enjoyed trips to Nebraska, SE Oklahoma, Hawaii, and visits from my brother, Jared's parents and friends living in the Middle East.  We started our summer with our annual summer trip to Nebraska to see all of my dad's family.  It's always fun seeing all 10 children (including three sets of twins) all four years old or younger playing together.  Although it was a week before the 4th of July, we were able to light off some fireworks.  The kids' favorite was the parachute.  Isaac was so intent on catching one that every time he heard a loud noise, he looked up in the sky and started sprinting in varying directions!

Jones family (missing an uncle Kent and cousin Sydney)

First time we've allowed him that close to fire!

Julia & Cousin Izzy

Sister's twins

3 sets of twins (2 yrs, 4 yrs & 1 yrs)

2 top attractions:  neighbor's dog and Uncle Zachy!

We attempted to avoid the summer heat when Jared's parents came to visit by traveling to Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  We stayed at the cabin for a few days and enjoyed being outdoors.  Everyday included lots of "nature walks," fly fishing, campfires, and smores!

Swimming at the lake


Campfire fun

Julia being camera shy

Grateful Dead Pizza!

Isaac hitching a ride w/ Nana & Papa Christianson

Games w/ Papa

Kai has been continuing to work on his speech development.  He is always talking, but not always understandable.  He gets therapy from a speech pathologist three times a week, which seems to be helping.  Although his speech development is difficult for him, he loves to learn.  He does very well at recognizing his letters and numbers and is constantly asking "Why?"  He really wants to know how everything works and is persistent in finding out!  He loves to be read to and often requests the "real one",  which is his Jesus story book Bible.  Kai also is our animal lover.  If he's not "borrowing" someone's dog to play with, he is pretending to be a dog himself.  I feel slightly guilty for tying a leash rope around his shirt and throwing straws for him to fetch.  Maybe this is a sign that we need to add a member to the family before too long!

Apparently he is borrowing Julia's signature head tilt :)

Kai playing w/ Daddy's jacket

Dressing up w/ Mommy's dress

Julia has taken a break from dance class this summer, but it doesn't stop her from dancing!  She usually has her leotard on at least once a day and even sings her own songs to dance to.  She has morphed into an organization diva.  She loves to make her room, "pretty," and will gladly clean the boys' room and game room also.  The boys think this is great, until I recruit them to help!  I should have waited a few more months before getting new carpet.  We had at least one nail polish incident in her room before we she switched gears from make-up/nail polish thief and artist into her organized and clean self.  She also is a bit of a perfectionist and gets frustrated when she can't to something perfect.  Lately she's been saying, "What in the word (world) is going on here?!" when things aren't going her way :)


Isaac is quickly sneaking away from babyhood and into boyhood!  He starts preschool this fall and is having fun picking out his backpack and supplies.  He is thrilled since he has been wanting to go to "school" since he was about 9 months old.  I hope his teacher has a lot of energy!  Isaac, like his siblings, loves to dress up and pretend-play.  While Kai gets upset if Julia assigns him the "bad guy" role, Isaac revels in it!  His favorite character is "Hook!" (not Peter Pan or Jake the Pirate....only Hook!")  He loves playing the villain even when no one else is playing :)  He claims that his favorite color is black.  While he has a dark side, he is truly a softie at heart.  He loves to snuggle with his blankets and is always asking if we are, "OK?"  He also has great juicy kisses and great hugs.  My favorite phrase from him is, "I wuv you too!"

Isaac & Papa Christianson

   The first week in August, Jared and I drove the kids up to Nebraska to stay with my parents while we celebrated our 10th anniversary in Maui.  It was a big jump for us since we have never been away from all the kids for more than 1/2 a day!  We had a great time and I learned how to get out of mommy mode surprisingly fast  It was so refreshing to spend time with my husband and with little to no responsibility.  Although, I did miss the kids a lot and kept dreaming about their squishy little arms!  The kids had a blast with my family and were happy to see us at the end of the week, but sad to go home.  My mother will need to recuperate for a few months before seeing us again!  I hope that I have as much energy as she does when I'm a grandmother :)
We also stopped near Omaha on our way home to attend a family reunion on my mom's side of the family.  It was great to see aunts, uncles, and cousins that I hadn't seen in almost 10 years.


Hiking/swimming to waterfall

Jared jumping off of Black Rock

    The time away helped me to appreciate my family even more....the good and the bad!  It's frustrating at times to deal with the challenges of trying to raise and train (and keep alive!) my three kiddos.  While there is a lot of fighting, whining and crying throughout the days, I am so thankful to see that our prayers for our kids are being answered a little more each day.  Our prayers for them before they were even born were that God would draw their hearts to Himself.  They do love Jesus and they love each other.  No matter what happens in their lives and how they succeed or fail, we will be very satisfied if our children find their hearts desires within a loving relationship with their Lord.