Mostly Faith Kids Photos

The days have been very full of plain old life lately, but we can always count on Faith Kids photos when all else fails!  The next round is sure to have more variety!  Enjoy!

IMG_3180 IMG_3182These are by far my most reliable kitchen helpers!  They love to be in the kitchen to help and learn!  Maybe one day I’ll be out of a job!! :-)

 IMG_3186Zachary is all ready for baseball day!  For the girls it was ballerina, so this was my first time to experience the baseball side of things!

   IMG_3198 IMG_3201Getting ready to hit…

 IMG_3206…and then group practice running bases!

  IMG_3208IMG_3207 I love these pictures of Zachary getting ready to field.  Since we haven’t officially ventured into organized baseball, it was fun to watch!  And honestly, he did much better than I anticipated so we may have to give the real deal a try.  Isn’t he adorable?!IMG_3209 IMG_3210Hey, nice grab Buddy!

 IMG_3215Practicing the “alligator”!

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 IMG_3236In other news, Lauren earned herself a little gift last week for FINALLY going #2 in the potty!!  It has ONLY been about 8 months of waiting for her diaper at nap time to take care of business!!  Whew!!  Who knew the trick was to miss her nap for two days in a row to force her to face the issue!! :-)  The progress has continued and we are grateful and hopeful!

IMG_3241 IMG_3252 IMG_3256 IMG_3258 IMG_3260One of the activities at the end of the year is to trace the kids and then color in the detail.  They are put up at graduation for decoration.  It is so hard to believe we are getting close to the end!

March Madness!

It has been a busy month with lots of extra activities in our days.  It always seems like once we hit March, the weeks fill up and days go quickly.  We enjoyed some fun events these past couple of weeks and thinking back, I don’t think I even captured all of them on camera.  But there is plenty here to make a long post!  Enjoy!

IMG_2992A couple weeks ago, we went with our homeschool group to serve at Children’s Hunger Fund.  Our job for 2 hours was to bag beans and then haul them to the other side of the warehouse.  It was our first time to volunteer there, but we all really enjoyed it.  Lauren was a very diligent worker and put a lot of miles on those little legs that day.  She loaded up her arms and dropped off her bean bags faithfully!  Toward the end, her pace slowed, but she never stopped!

IMG_2994 IMG_2997 IMG_2998Lovin’ the look!!  And though I thought I took a picture of Brianna, for some reason it didn’t actually take.  But she was there working too!

IMG_3008The Faith Kids class got to go on a field trip to a fire station later that same week.  The fireman dressed up as he would if he were inside a structure fire so that the kids could see and hear what it would be like if ever they were being rescued.  Apparently, children are often very fearful of the firemen when they are trying to help since they really do look and sound monster-like.

IMG_3010 IMG_3014I think the highlight of the field trip for Zachary was to get to spray a real fire hose!   IMG_3017 IMG_3020Lauren came along for this field trip too, so she was eager to participate.  The other kids would have been there, but they were completing the last day of a 3-week (1 day a week) homeschool unit study which they also loved.

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IMG_3037The next day, we had our annual Spring Celebration!!  This year, we had an extra fun celebration because we invited our friends, the Mukes to join us.  This was partially for Brianna’s birthday that was a few days away and she was begging for a chance to see Elizabeth!!  This seemed a great excuse!

IMG_3043Dying some eggs… IMG_3044 IMG_3049 IMG_3054 IMG_3055 IMG_3056

IMG_3072The kids checking out their spoils after an egg hunt around the house.

IMG_3075Erica and Lauren are about 10 months apart.  Erica just turned 2 and Lauren is approaching 3, but they played great together all day!

IMG_3077Lots of kids!!  Bethany actually had a birthday party to attend and took off just before lunch so we are missing one!

IMG_3035Brianna didn’t have any request for a specific cake so we just kept it simple!!

IMG_3081 These girls have been friends since birth!  Though we now see each other infrequently living about an hour apart, they have remained great friends and always love spending time together.  They have been writing letters to each other between visits for a couple of years now, which is a blessing too.

IMG_3082 IMG_3083How did we get all the way to NINE candles already?!  Time is going way too fast!

IMG_3084  IMG_3088 IMG_3091The Sedy’s and the Mukes!  The Mukes are adding a BOY to their family in June…Zachary is thrilled!!

IMG_3099Fast-forward a few days and now we have a real 9-year-old on our hands!!  This is Brianna’s birthday morning just before she and Daddy took off for a special birthday breakfast at the college “caf.”   After some school in the morning, Daddy also took off for a few hours in the afternoon for the two of them to go to Magic Mountain.  She had a fun day!IMG_3101

IMG_3110Time for some gifts… IMG_3114 IMG_3115 IMG_3117 IMG_3122Sisterly love!

IMG_3126This has been a common scene in our living room lately.  Lauren has been into combining the pieces of several toys and then sorting them out.  While the mess is large, there is peace for quite some time as a result!  That mess is a small price to pay for quiet, independent play during school time!

IMG_3130Speaking of school time, here is a typical view that I have!!

IMG_3135Brianna and Mommy on our date!  We had just gotten Brianna’ 9-year pictures taken!

IMG_3138Then off to get some free birthday ice cream!

IMG_3142Faith Kids for letter T… IMG_3144 IMG_3147Zachary was the weather helper that day!

IMG_3150And we had a fun visit from a pediatric dentist to teach us how to take better care of our teeth.

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IMG_3162 Later that afternoon/evening, we got to celebrate a friend’s birthday at Chuck E. Cheese.  IMG_3163 Luke turned three and was recently adopted as well!  A joyful time!

IMG_3166IMG_3179 And then finally, a quiet night at home on Saturday for a much anticipated film that most of the world has probably seen…Frozen!!  Our friends loaned us their copy and the kids were thrilled to finally see it.

This & That

Despite not having posted any photos in a while, I really don’t have all that many to share.  We have been busy with life, but not a lot of photo-taking going on!  Because I need to put together a photo book for Zachary at the end of his Faith Kids year, pictures of him seem to dominate because I am always taking photos for Faith Kids. 

IMG_2897 IMG_2899Q Week, and Zachary was the flag helper

 IMG_2907 IMG_2912We got to have the Wilson’s kids over for an evening a couple weeks ago.  We have been trying to exchange babysitting services with them, which our kids love!!

 IMG_2913 IMG_2915Lauren continues to love playing with her baby.  Here she is all set up to feed her and then give a wagon ride…this cycle repeats itself many times!!

 IMG_2916 R week at Faith kids…

IMG_2923Zachary volunteered to teach his class the song he knows for the months of the year so he has been leading the group during that portion of Circle Time.IMG_2925 This is the look I got when Zachary discovered it was FINALLY his turn to be the special Star Student!  He has waited many weeks with great anticipation and he was thrilled to be called.  It means he is interviewed in front of the class and then has a few privileges that day.

IMG_2926 IMG_2932  IMG_2940It was also the day when our nurse came for a visit to show us fun medical supplies and tell us about how we can stay healthy.

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 IMG_2950This photo doesn’t mean that much until you look at the next ones…

 IMG_2951 IMG_2954Someone got a big haircut!  This was all Bethany’s idea and she asked for short hair continually.  This was after she desperately wanted it grown out all of last year!  She loves the change, and as we head into summer, I love it too as it will be easier to deal with!

IMG_2988And here she is after a little more styling!  Cute no matter how we cut it!!

IMG_2957Not another picture, Mom!

 IMG_2961Some fun Skittle Math for S week!

 IMG_2974 IMG_2978Just time for a few photos of all of them together!  

  IMG_2989Look at these hard workers!!  As a family, we spent almost all of Saturday enjoying our summer-like day preparing the soil in our backyard for attempt #2 of planting grass.  Daddy rototilled and the rest of us sifted through the dirt for rocks and debris.  It was an amazing amount of work and we sure hope that the second time is the charm!  Last year, we planted too late in the spring, so we are hoping for better results this time!  The kids did a great job of helping and look forward to the fruits of their labor with some nice, lush grass to play on!!  Needless to say, we all had great need for some showers that evening!!

February Fun

Sitting down to go through our photos just hasn’t hit the top of the priority list very often this month!  We’ve had some fun, we’ve had some illness mingled in, and of course Valentine’s day was thrown into the mix as well.  Enjoy the photos!

 IMG_2787 Practicing some “n’s” at Faith Kids!

IMG_2788 Spelling his “n”ame with playdoh…

IMG_2792…and trying to figure out the “n” items in the mystery box.

 IMG_2799Zachary was the flag helper this week too!

  IMG_2805 IMG_2807This was a cool craft of painting around his name and then taking the letters off for a fun result.

 IMG_2812 IMG_2813The weekend before Valentine’s Day, Paul surprised me with a night away!  He made arrangements with Uncle Pete and Aunt Jodie to watch our kids in Huntington Beach.  We then had about 24-hours away in Laguna Beach.  Our hotel was right across from a beach, so we enjoyed several strolls along the beach and watched an AMAZING sunset that evening!   IMG_2814 IMG_2816 IMG_2818 IMG_2822 IMG_2827 There were so many other photographers down on the beach capturing the beauty as well!

IMG_2829Unfortunately, Lauren came down with a little bug in the middle of the next week.  When this happens with a 2-year-old, you know you have a sick one!

 IMG_2834When she wasn’t in my arms, she didn’t move from this position.  I was thankful that it was short-lived, though it didn’t quite end with her!  Over the next 4 days, several of us had a version of it. 

 IMG_2837However, we were all healthy on Valentine’s Day, which is always a much-anticipated day by the kids!  This was waiting for them at breakfast, though the roses were from my dear husband when we celebrated the weekend prior.  He even knows me well enough to know that I wouldn’t approve of the expense of flowers on Valentine’s weekend, so he did it the weekend before so I would appreciate them more!  True love!

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 IMG_2845Sharing Valentine’s with Faith Kids friends on Valentine’s Day!

  IMG_2857This past week, it was time for Bethany’s date with Mommy.  She had a gift card gifted to her a LONG time ago and we finally got around to going to use it.  Ironically, upon going to pay, they said the balance was zero!  On the positive note, upon calling the company about the problem, they doubled the amount from $5.00 on the card to $10 for the trouble caused.  Guess we’ll have another Menchie’s date sometime soon!  IMG_2864 IMG_2866

 IMG_2870 IMG_2874For “P” day, the kids were very excited to wear their PJs to Faith Kids. 

IMG_2875 IMG_2877It was also “p”olice day, which was a lot of fun for the kids.  This was one of the dads in our group.

 IMG_2878 IMG_2880 IMG_2885

 IMG_2892 IMG_2893 Taking advantage of our health and the beautiful weather we’ve continued to enjoy, we took an after-dinner hike to the top of a nearby mountain. 

A New Addition!

We were having a fairly non-eventful, non-exciting week until today!  As of today, we purchased a new (to us!) minivan!  We have been looking for a LONG time for something to replace our current Odyssey, especially something that would include an 8th seat.  We think our waiting paid off and the Lord’s provision is above and beyond what we thought we would get.  After saving for so long and then looking for so long, it feels like a victory that we are all celebrating!!  Lord-willing, we look forward to many more family memories made as we travel countless miles in our new Odyssey.  A photo will be included at the end.

IMG_2712This time it was Zachary’s turn to go on a date with Mommy.  We had another coupon for a free carousel ride at the mall so we did it again, this time with Zachary!

 IMG_2719 IMG_2721Then it was off to find a chocolate shake! IMG_2722

 IMG_2727The kids were outside eating a go-gurt after lunch and I found them like this when I looked out my window!  So cute!

IMG_2735Here’s another picture of Lauren engrossed in playing with her baby.  While the baby rests, she is “reading” her a story.  Listening to a 2-year-old interpret pictures is quite entertaining!

 IMG_2740Zachary had a field trip to a music store this past week.  This man is a Christian man who does a fabulous job introducing the kids to all the different instruments and then letting them try some of them too.  It was a fun morning! IMG_2744 IMG_2751 IMG_2753 IMG_2754 IMG_2760 IMG_2762I think he loved the drum set!!

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 IMG_2768Our newest addition!

Fellowship, Faith Kids & Bowling

We’ve enjoyed some fun “extras” in our week this past week.  At least once a year, we host a dinner for Paul’s office staff and student work study workers.  They are a great group of people and we always have a good time.  That happened this past Saturday evening.  There was also a homeschool bowling event this past Friday afternoon that our kids were eager to participate in.  And then we had a double dose of Faith Kids this week!  Not only did we have the normal Faith Kids on Friday morning, but the long-awaited Dad’s Day was on Saturday.  This is when the kids get to do a normal Faith Kids day, but with Daddy along instead!  It is always a highlight for the kids to share all the fun experiences with Daddy for a change. 

IMG_2644A typical scene when we have a family movie night!  The kids love hauling out their sleeping bags for watching movies.

These next photos are from the dinner with Paul’s co-workers… IMG_2645 IMG_2646   IMG_2650 Bethany LOVES being in the middle of the college kids!  It doesn’t matter who it is…she’ll make friends with them!  We’re in trouble with that girl!

  IMG_2655Playing a new game using a cell phone app.  The person up front holds the cell phone at his forehead and his teammates describe the word on the screen, with the goal of getting as many words as possible.  They had a lot of fun with it!   IMG_2656 IMG_2658

IMG_2659After some games, it was time for some s’mores around a fire…only in CA in January is this possible!!  IMG_2660

IMG_2661 I caught Lauren playing so cutely with her baby.  It is hard to see, but she is feeding her some food!  She has really loved being “mommy” to her baby lately.IMG_2662

 IMG_2665“L” day for Faith Kids and making a ladybug snack. IMG_2666

 IMG_2667A favorite “L” activity of the day was lollipop licking taste test. He had to see if he could guess the flavor of 5 different lollipops and amazingly he got 4 of the 5 correct. IMG_2668 IMG_2669

 IMG_2671Building with some Lego’s for L week.

  IMG_2678 IMG_2679 IMG_2681 IMG_2683 IMG_2684

 IMG_2693And back to Faith Kids for Round #2, but with Daddy this time! IMG_2695 IMG_2697 IMG_2698 IMG_2702 IMG_2703 IMG_2705 IMG_2706This was an airplane flying competition.

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A New Decade!

Someone in our home hit a new decade last week!  We sure had a fun time celebrating Paul as he has now crested the “hill”!  I was able to pull off a surprise party for him the Saturday before his birthday, which was so much fun.  It was actually a double surprise that night.  He knew that we were going out for a birthday dinner, but just as we were getting ready to leave, our friends the Wilson’s rang the doorbell.  Paul was a bit bewildered, but I quickly filled him in that they were part of our date and that wonderful Miss Janna was watching all 6 kids so we could enjoy dinner together!  Shortly after we left, our other super friends, the Robinson’s arrived and got the house ready for a surprise party!  They decorated, got out the food, drinks, etc.  With 6 kids also running around, I am well-aware that they had a very difficult job that evening but they did a wonderful job and I couldn’t have done it without them.  Once we finished dinner, we went back home to “play some games.”  And when Paul came around the corner to the living room, about 25 people were there to wish him a happy birthday!  I couldn’t believe how nervous I was all day on Saturday having so much going through my brain but needing to act completely normal!  When it was a successful surprise, it was all worth it!  It was a blessing to surround Paul with so many close friends and enjoy the fellowship!  Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take many photos that evening as my mind was so occupied with other things.  I have a few and will post what I have! 

IMG_2547This is what things have been looking like around here!  A lot of yard preparation so that we can hopefully plant some stuff soon! IMG_2548

photo4This was our double date with the Wilson’s!  It was SO much fun!  We have rarely (if ever!!) done a double date and we hope we can do more!

photo1 photo2  photo5They even came and sand a special birthday song for Paul!

 photo7  IMG_2549I know a photo was taken of the actual surprise, but I don’t know who took it!  It may show up on a later post if I track them down!!  This is getting ready to sing and cut into that yummy cake!

 IMG_2550  Our kids were excited to be part of the action!  In keeping the surprise, I also had to keep it all from them too!  Only a few lies that I had to go back and repent over!

IMG_2552 IMG_2553 IMG_2555 IMG_2556 IMG_2557 IMG_2558 IMG_2560 The whole gang at the party! 

IMG_2563Check out these cuties!

 IMG_2564On Tuesday, we surprised Daddy at his office with some balloons, coffee and donuts.  He wasn’t in his office when we got there, so we went ahead and decorated the conference room white board while we waited! IMG_2566 IMG_2567 IMG_2568 IMG_2572Daddy’s choice for birthday dinner!

IMG_2576 IMG_2580 IMG_2581 IMG_2583 IMG_2585 IMG_2587 IMG_2588 IMG_2589 Pictures with each of us as he starts a new decade!

IMG_2593A Lauren/Mommy date night!  We had a free pass to ride the carousel at the mall, so that is where we went!

 IMG_2600 Two thumbs up from Lauren!

IMG_2604We browsed in just a couple of stores and this one had some dance music…which Lauren couldn’t resist! 

 IMG_2608Heading to the outdoor portion of the mall to look at the colored fountains… IMG_2609We love that this whole date cost us $.25 to get a handful of skittles at the machine in the mall…and she talked about it for days!  May these days last a long time!!

IMG_2615 Finally back to Faith Kids and doing “K” week with a kite snack!

IMG_2620 Zachary was the calendar helper for circle time.

IMG_2626 Making a koala craft…

IMG_2630 …and a kangaroo craft!

IMG_2632 And a last-minute change in plans meant that we had some extra time to enjoy a picnic lunch at a nearby park!  It was hard to resist the 70ish degree day that it was!

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