Saturday, February 25, 2017

Christmas 2016!

This was Lena's and Will's third Christmas, so they really knew what to expect this year.  They even remembered what we had done the year before and traditions were becoming familiar to them.  We try to keep Christmas as simple as possible not just to avoid the chaos but to place the emphasis where it needs to be:  on the King of kings.  I struggled this past year with health issues which called for making Christmas even more simple this year.

We had to start a new tradition this year, because the Colees moved to Birmingham.  Instead of being at their home on Christmas Eve, we had roast and veggies at home after the candlelight service at church.  

Viola went home for Christmas since she extended her stay with us until September.  Dow was home for a good long break and I kept thinking this will be his last Christmas vacation since he graduates in May.  Beth made a quick trip to Haiti with Andy and Andy actually made two quick trips to Haiti.

We spent the week between Christmas and New Years mostly at the lake and enjoyed a lot of down time.  The kids enjoyed their roller blades and quickly learned how fun they were.

Mrs. Hope Mardre had the children over to make gingerbread houses!
The kids all ready for the live nativity scene!
Will and the second grade classes singing at John Knox
Lena enjoying the K5 Christmas party with Anna!
Our three reindeers in front of the Christmas tree!
Having a hot chocolate and cookie break in front of the fire with Viola!
Hope loves her baby tiger!
Lena and her new pajamas on Christmas morning!
The kids getting ready to come downstairs on Christmas morning!
After the presents were opened!
Beth loved her new shoes (designed by her)
Dow looking over one of his books!
Will with his Avenger skateboard!
Will trying out his roller blades!
Hope trying out her roller blades!




















Sophie and Lena receiving dolls from Mimi and Pawpaw!
Gigi with grandkids and great-grandkids!





Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fall 2016!

Fall was a busy time at our house!  The children got off to a good start at school and I think we were all glad to settle back into a routine.  As always the kids had a great time decorating their pumpkins and I have to admit that I really enjoy carving one!  Viola joined in the fun and carved her own mini pumpkin.  This new for her since her family did not do this in Germany.

Olympic Field Day is always a really big deal.  Will and Hope enjoyed it so much.  The day was beautiful and just the right temperature!

Hope loves getting her hands in all the gooey stuff inside the pumpkin!
Viola transformed Hope into a wolf!
Will and his pumpkin!
Hope and her pumpkin which is almost bigger than she is!
Lena with her pumpkin and also Lena got new pink glasses.

Will and Hope at Olympic Field Day!  Will is participating in the long jump below!

Will at the Squanto Reading!
The third grade classes at Eastwood learned songs, facts and Bible verses  during a Thanksgiving program.
Our little Pilgrim!

Will enjoyed playing another season of soccer with Eastwood.
We love going to the farm whenever we can.  The fall is a wonderful time to be there.  I am often reminded of how the children are gaining an appreciation of nature and am so thankful for this.  Hope especially has an innate love for all things moving and growing!
Beth with the kids at the farm.
Andy put the kids to work!
A job well done!
Lena, Will and Hope
Hope's ADPi lion for Beth's Little Sis
Viola and the kids surprised me with a Birthday party!
Lena ready for the Kindergarten Rodeo
Lena, Hope and Will ready for trick or treating!
Lena and Will at the Fall Festival at church (Hope was sick).
Lena as a cat in Eastwood's famous Three Piggy Opera

The Three Piggy Opera at Eastwood is a very important performance!  This was our 4th one to participate in and it never gets old.  Lena did great as the cat and a peddler.
Our Cat!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Summer Birthdays - 2016!!!!

We had so much fun celebrating birthdays this summer!  It is amazing how quickly they go by and we find ourselves celebrating another one.  For the most part, we have small, quiet family birthdays with our three little ones and they are just fine with that as long as they take place at the lake!  We do have some big plans for Hope's 10th birthday next year (more to come later)

 One of the best parts about a birthday is how the cake is going to be decorated!  One thing for sure, the cakes reflect their particular personalities and interests (at the time).  The sweet ladies at Renfroe's have been a big help with their cakes.

Even though the little ones are ages 9, 9, and 6 now, they are only within a couple of pounds and inches of each other.  We often get the question, "Are they triplets?'  It sure feels like it a lot of times!

Hope has been very interested in wolves for months now, so she has a wolf cake!



All five kids together - a rare occasion these days!

Hope with her new wolf puppy!


Will turned nine on September 7 and if you somehow missed that Will had a birthday, I am not sure what country you live in!  I think everyone knew!  Fortunately, Will has found a love for legos which is great since they keep him occupied!




Lena, Will (new fireman costume - birthday present), Viola and Hope

Will and Beth


Lena turned six and is growing up so much.  She loves being in Kindergarten, ballet and she learned to swim (really well) this summer!  She loves anything girlie which is a far cry from Hope's love of wolves!

Sweet Barbie cake!

Princesses napkins and plates

A jewelry box and ballet books

A ballerina doll (can't have enough dolls) and a fairy that twirls.

Wow, it really does twirl!

Helping to celebrate Lena's party is Mimi Carole, Andy, Hope, Will and Viola




One very special birthday we celebrated this year was Viola's.  Viola is our au pair from Germany and we got to help celebrate her 25th birthday!  Viola is a special part of our family and celebrating her is easy!!