May Randoms

All of our May normal-ness rolled up into one post.

Ceili Rain enjoys reading to her brothers and sister.

We lit up our house to “Shine a Light” on NF!  Really, these two little spot lights were super cheap and cast a perfect glow for NF Awareness. Sometimes, video time is sleepy time for Emmie. We had a very cold snap in May.  Emme and Bryant decided to dress for the occassion.  Complete with short short skirt, shorts, and no shoes…and don’t forget the winter coat. We found out the week of that our local theater troupe was doing a school performance of their Beauty and the Beast show.   I didn’t really think there was any chance I could snag 10 tickets to see the school performance (which was around $5 a person) but decided it was worth a shot.  It turned out they still had tickets available and Emmie got to see her Belle and Beast on stage!  She was thrilled.  They put on a great show too!

Ace built a Studio C ‘C’ for a competition.  He didn’t win but I thought it was pretty creative. These boys were not super excited when we swapped their rooms around and put them together.  That quickly changed and we can often find them playing together or reading before lights out. Raising awareness on NF awareness day, May 17th. Malachi was an overachiever and decided he wouldn’t lose his first tooth…but his first two teeth!

Emmie and flexis are pretty standard wear on Sundays. Daddy selfies are always fun.

Diving In

We had two boys decide to join the summer swim team this year!  This was our first year on a team and a really big learning year for us.  

Liam did great and showed some major improvements in sportsmanship, diving and swimming in general.  He actually won the award for most improved in his age group!  And he won several ribbons for relays and backstroke (which proved to be his strongest race)

Silas loved every second of swim.  He improved on his times for all races and declared that the butterfly was the best stroke.  He won several ribbons for relays and freestyle and also a couple of heats in backstroke!  His year end award was “Most Excited to Swim.”

There is a dad on the team who can make magic with sharpies!  The boys called them tattoos.

We’re excited to see what next summer holds for these two and, hopefully a couple of other kiddos!

Our first meet was super long.  And all of us felt it.  Mark and I quickly realized staying for an entire meet did not work for any of us!  


We are in a great church that really encourages leadership in the family.  Mark has definitely been challenged and stepped up to lead our family closer to God.  It’s a sweet blessing that he has baptized one of our kids and now, a second one.

Liam made a decision to follow Christ a couple of years ago but wasn’t ready to follow through in believer’s baptism until recently.  I can’t explain what a blessing it is to watch two dads baptize their sons as a public profession of their faith in Christ. Liam decided before he was baptize to just start the process and dunked himself…hence the reason he was already wet. Our pastor is to the right of Mark giving a brief explanation of what it means to be baptized.



Pomp and Circumstance

My oldest niece graduated from high school ya’ll! Oh dear,  I feel old.  She is a beautiful young lady who is going to do some pretty amazing things!  I can’t wait to see it all!  

Aunt Yaya with her best friend, K,  and my niece J.

K has been like a second mother to J.  I love seeing my niece getting all the love!

After graduation, we got to spend a couple of days with Grandmere and Papa.

And I met a little chipmunk as we left!

Camping and a Confession

May and June were just plumb busy ya’ll.  We had something every weekend and pretty much every day.  So, when we realized the girls may not get to go to an AHG camp planned for June, Mark and I decided to give up our only free weekend (which also happened to be our anniversary weekend) for the girls and our whole family to participate in an AHG family camp.  And then a week before, I got an email asking me to plan and grocery shop for the meals for camp.  I agreed because I felt the Lord was telling me to do it.  But I didn’t agree with a joyful heart.  I grumbled and complained the whole week.  Got my ducks in a row, got the groceries for around 50 people and we loaded up and went.

We got to camp and were about a 1/4 of a mile from bathrooms (don’t forget I’m pregnant ya’ll).  There was no running water on the site. And we thought that we were missing a pole to a brand new tent.   I about had a two year old temper tantrum at the campsite.  Mark made the sleeping arrangements work with our small four person tent and other large tent. After calming myself and chatting with God and friends, I decided the self-pity needed to end and I had to just enjoy it.  We found out later that the camp coordinator was told there were bathrooms right near the site and that running water would be onsite.  And as we loaded up the following evening to beat the rain, we realized the missing tent pole wasn’t missing.  We had just misread the directions. God blessed us with an amazing sunset!  Just seeing this made it all worth all the headache. Watching the kids get filthy….trekking in pitch black dark to the bathroom and making new friends.  Once my attitude adjusted, it was a wonderfully fun trip!

A Night at the Symphony

Last year, we planned our beach trip the same weekend as the local symphony’s annual free performance, Pops!  Under the Stars.  We made sure not to miss it this year though.  We were blessed to be able to meet up with several of our church families…which meant our kids stayed entertained, we enjoyed music and there was enough food to feed a small army.  Church people don’t starve.
It was pretty sunny and some of our friends needed to protect their delicate skin from the sun! Emmie and selfiies…yes thank you! Of course, we had to get one in.   Tot wanted one too!  He loved all the pets but the fireworks were not his friends.  He made it through though.

Plotting, planning and playing.

Our littles were super glad that some church members were home from college and literally, attached to their backs!

And Ace really got into the music.

Super Ems Turns 3!

I can’t believe it’s been three years since this little princes/super hero/silly girl made her entrance in to this world.I don’t think any of us would trade her for the world!

She has lots of loves but Minnie Mouse and princesses are in the top spots (okay, so are all animals).  I couldn’t resist grabbing up a Minnie Mouse outfit for the occasion.  And, of course the ears. Her brothers had to get in on picture time too. And a Minnie Mouse balloon made it a great day.

Emmie loved opening gifts and enjoyed each one.

Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I decided making a Minnie Mouse cake wouldn’t be too hard.  If I hadn’t messed up on the fondant the first time (and threw it all over the kitchen table), it probably wouldn’t have been bad…Regardless I am super happy with how it turned out and seeing the smile that stretched a mile wide on our birthday girl was worth every bit of the headache I brought on myself.

For those who want a challenge:  Here is the video I used to make the cake.  Take note that in the comments, it also includes a link to a template.  Templates make life a little easier.  I also make my own marshmallow fondant using this website recipe.  Finally, this little image saved me from a lot of headache trying to figure out how to get the peachy/light beige color of Minnie’s face.

Here’s the photo montage of the process to get to Minnie!

Minnie has a face! Phew….at this point, I felt like I might survive.

Bowed up.  Because we had an extremely busy week, I had to get her face made about five days before her birthday.  I just put her in the fridge until we were ready to use her.

The birthday girl with her birthday cake!

April 2017 Randoms

On the way home from the NF Symposium and airport, we stopped to grab supper.  When we got back to the car, this was on our window. Such a sweet finding.

Tot is clearly a very social dog.  He loves people but he equally loves visits from other dogs.  We loved being able to watch our friends’ dog, Riley.  Tot and Riley are best buddies! Expecting some rough weather, we battened down the hatches but wound up getting just rain…which meant we had some fun in puddles! Emmie’s first ponytail!   Emmie’s first person!  I personally think we got a smart girl on our hands! Teaching Ceili Rain to crochet. Bryant is a teeth losing machine! Waiting on Zoe to find a dress for Easter, the other two girls decided to have a fashion show.  What happens on long drives.

Meeting a friend’s newest and beautiful daughter, O.  Look at all that hair! Obviously, we have a very busy house and some days are busier than others.  We can gauge how busy our days are by Tot’s comatose state.  This particular night, he wouldn’t budge until we started turning lights off and heading to bed.
Emmie’s figured out how to take pictures with our phone.  And edit them.

Sunday mornings are no longer bow mornings for Emmie.  All she ever wants is a flexi!  I miss the bow days but I have to admit she can wear a flexi just as well.


Close (Ark) Encounter

The Ark Encounter is not anything that I can really post and share a few family pictures and expect you to really experience it.  It is a true personal experience that you really can grasp the enormity of unless you are actually there.  Ya’ll, there are just no words to describe how amazing it is.

I’ll do my best to share some highlights from our trip to the Ark.  We got there before just before it opened and our achy feet and tired kiddos were ready to head home by around 4.  But, in the time, we managed to see and read as much as we could.

The woodwork and craftsmanship was just astounding.  I believe over 200 Amish craftsman had a part in this and their amazing art and talent definitely shown through.

This was a great infographic that laid out the plausible way the ark could have held “all” the animals and 8 people.  I can’t imagine the amount of research that went in to this.

Taking a quick break on a wooden beam!

The door to the ark.  Just one example of how Christ is the only door to Heaven.

After exploring all day, ya gotta take a break.   Ya’ll Bryant just went and sprawled out like this.

There is a small petting zoo on sight and the highlight for our whole family were the goats.  They were so sweet and we all enjoyed petting them all.

This girl was a trooper through the whole trip and by the end of it, I realized I could turn the back seat of our double stroller around and she could easily climb in and out.  This saved my back from a thousand pick up and put downs and she loved talking to mommy when she wasn’t knocked out cold.