Saturday, September 22, 2018

Birthdays 2018!!!

Hope turned 11 on June 13th!  She was really into Cat Warrior books series, so she got two sets of different ones.  She also wanted cat cupcakes.  I ordered little plastic cats to go on top of the cupcakes, but they never came in.  I looked all over Montgomery for plastic cats and found three!  At least there was for each child!  Hope was fine with it.  Natchi had surprised her with her name written in balloons.  Hope loved it!  Viola also sent Hope some Dragon gifts.  Natchi took Hope and two friends to Rockin Jump, Moes and to Nancy's Ice.  That night, we went to Kobe's for Japanese food.

Lena, Hope and Will holding a gift from Viola!
Hope and her kitty cupcakes!
The kids with Natchi!
The family (minus Dow and Beth) at Kobe's
Will turned 11 on Sept. 7th.  Will makes his birthday quite an event in which I think everyone must know about it weeks in advance:).  He reminded us everyday for about 10 days how many days were left until his birthday.  He just gets so excited!  He loves every gift, card, and phone call!  His birthday was on a Friday this year, so I bought them all Chick-fil-A biscuits from school - Will said that would be a good idea since it was his birthday - I agreed!  After school, we went to the lake and he wanted to eat at Oskars so he could have their cheeseballs!  Then he opened his presents at the lake and was so excited about everything!  Then we had cake!  Whew, he still has Viola's gift to look forward to that will be coming in the mail soon.  He also received a very special card and gift from a special teacher at Eastwood:)

Will received this book about presidents from Mimi and Pawpaw!
He received a Bible cover, a mini pool table, a watch and some books from  us!
Will enjoyed cheesecake and fresh cherries (at his request)!
Enjoying cheeseballs at Oskars!
Lena turned 8 on September 11.  She shares this birthday with her cousin, Taylor, and Pastor Jay!  Lena is much more low key about her birthday than Will (thank goodness)!  She woke up to a sparkly Happy Birthday banner in the kitchen and a princess banner to wear.  She chose to eat at Panera Bread, because she loves their mac and cheese!  Beth came a few days after her birthday and gave her a complete make over including hair!  Lena loved it!  She loved all of her gifts.  Gifts from Viola came later .  Natchi gave her the new Baby Alive doll and Mimi and Pawpaw gave her Baby Alive clothes.  She had a great birthday!

Her new Baby Alive and kitten Millie!
About to blow out her candle!
Princess Birthday Cake! 
Lena in her Pocahontas costume!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Summer 2018!

Summer was filled with lots of activities from OT to DC!  Will and Lena continued with OT, Will started Speech, Hope started horseback riding lessons, and they were tutored by Ms. Emily Owen.  Natchi took them swimming at Wynlakes and almost every weekend was spent at the Lake.  They also spent a lot of Sunday afternoons at Legacy Lakes.  Will continued with guitar and Hope with art lessons.  Daddy took Will and Hope to DC and they learned a lot and got to see a lot of neat things.  They even got to ride on the underground train that is just for Congress and other leaders of our government!  They got to visit a senator's office and sit at his desk!

We also got to visit the Coon Family farm and meet their miniature horses (Hope and Natchi were in love).  Btw, we found out that Natchi would extend her au pair position for 6 more months - woohoo!
Hope and Will went to Zoo camp, Lena went to Cooking with Favorite Books camp, Will and Lena went to Abrakadoodle, and Hope took extra swimming lessons to refine her breast stroke and free style.  Will also went to two soccer camps!  Whew!  It was busy!

At the end of the summer, we said good-bye to our beloved Gigi.  She went to be with Jesus on Aug. 22 after suffering from two broken hips.  Even in her last days of sever pain, she still expressed thanks for all of her blessings.  She was 96 and a wonderful example of a Godly woman.  We will miss her so much, but I am so glad Will, Hope and Lena got to know her!

Lena, Beth and Hope all had their pedis just in time for summer! 
Hope, Will and Lena at the lake!
Will and Lena!
Daddy and Beth enjoying playing together in the pool!
Hope and Will ready for a boat ride!
Lena with big brother, Dow and big sister, Beth!
Hope, Beth and Will!
Lena with baby cousin, Lila!
Will catching the Frisbee!

Hope catching the Frisbee! 
Lena and Sophie
Andy with Hope and Will in DC! 

Hope and Nathci at the Coon's farm!

Hope and I saw Annie along with GA friends.  Eden Gay played one of the orphans!
The group of GAs, mothers, and Eden in the middle! 
Will's watermelon plant that he took care of all summer!
Hope at Olivia Gross' birthday party!
Hope with artists, Barbara Davis and Ruthie Carlson!
Hope at her first horseback riding lesson at Foxwood Farms!
Lena, Will, and Hope with Gigi!

Beach Vacation - 2018!!!

     We tried a vacationing at a different beach this year - Seacrest Beach in Florida.  It is located just before Alys Beach and Rosemary.  We rented a house this year with four bedrooms and a bathroom.  The house also had a pool and was right on the beach.  It was so much better than a high rise condo.  One interesting fact about this beach trip, is that we were all eating gluten free as an experiment, so it was quite interesting finding enough places to eat that serve gluten free food.  We made it though without going off the diet any!  We were so glad that Beth got to stay most of the week with us and Andy stayed all week.  It was fun having Nathalia along too.  She loves the beach as much as we do.  Hope was having to wear protective covering over her ear, because her ear tube fell out and left a hole.  Will also got a severe ear infection.  Other than that and all of the arguing, we had a pretty good week:).  The house was beautiful and the weather was great!  The kids also enjoyed going to Pier Park and to Rosemary Beach.

Hope and Beth in our pool at the beach!

Beth and Will!
Lena and Beth!

Hope eating an apple!
Eating yogurt after our gluten free pizza at Pier Park

Lena all buried in the sand - she became a mermaid!

Will and Hope trying to catch anything live!

Lena - bathing beauty!

 This is the view from our third floor balcony.           This is the back of the house and our pool!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Spring Happenings - 2018

Spring was full of all kinds of events from art shows to the end of school!  Our beloved headmaster, John Geiger, was stepping down from his position at the end of the school year due to ALS.  Hope painted him a special painting of the lion and lamb.  She was able to present this to him in between his classes in the upper school.  He is a mighty warrior for the Kingdom of Jesus and is speaking throughout the River Region.  He also wrote a special song and each child has a copy in his/her special book.  He is truly an example of Christ-likeness to all of us.

Hope was Justinian the Great during a presentation at school.  We learned that he was born in Bulgaria - not too far from Moldova!  Hope found a huge turtle in the neighborhood and transplanted it in the lake behind our house.  Hope enjoyed a field trip to AUM and learned all about water!  The kids enjoyed a gluten - free cake for their Gotcha Day.  It was icing on the cake to have Beth with us this year.  The year was so busy, that we did not do our regular releasing of balloons - maybe next year!  Hope enjoyed a field trip to the McWane Center in B'ham.  Hope and Will enjoyed participating in the RA/GA derby car races at church.  Hope actually came in 1st place!  Hope placed in the State wide art show and Will played great at the talent show at Eastwood!

Hope and Mr. Geiger!
Justinian the Great!
Hope and the turtle that she wanted to keep as a pet!
Hope with Caroline and Reese at the Montg. Water Works program at AUM
Celebrating Gotcha Day!
Olivia saving Hope at the McWane Center
Hope lying on a bed on nails!
Hope and friends at the McWane Center
Will at the RA Derby Race
Hope at the RA/GA Derby race!

Will at Eastwood's Talent Show!
Lena receiving her end of the year character award from Mrs. Duggar! 
Lena loves Mrs. Duggar
Will with Mrs. Quallio and Mrs. Owen - his 3rd grade teachers!
Mrs. Owen presenting Will with his character award!
Mrs. Joki presenting Hope her character award!
Hope with Mrs. Markwell - both Mrs. Markwell and Mrs. Joki were her 4th grade teachers!