Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gabbie's Oil Painting


A few weeks ago, Gabbie brought this beautiful oil painting home from her art class. She had been working on it for weeks and it is now on display in our living room.

Nice work, Gabbie.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Preparation

As you can see in the photos, we have been getting ready for Thanksgiving and Gabbie, Lily, and our neighbor, Claudia helped by decorating some special cookies.




Will and Jake "helped" with the cookies also.?!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 08, 2009

It's always sunny in Michigan?

This weekend, our friends shared their kiddos with us while they were out of town. We decided to take them on a wild adventure to my parent's playland in their backyard. The kids had a blast and we felt like the day was a success because we all played hard and nobody got hurt! (Well, there we no serious injuries, anyway).
Gabbie and Sophie tear up the pavement on the go-cart.

Sophie takes a wild ride on the zip line.

Contrary to what you may think, your seat cushion will NOT serve as a life preserver on John Deere tractors.



Sara quickly got the hang of the dirt bike.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

We had a ton of fun celebrating Halloween. My wonderful wife made a great meal and planned a whole day of fun with her parents and brother's family joining us.
This year, Lily was particularly excited about halloween. She has been asking for about three weeks "Is it Halloween today?" And finally, we could answer in the affirmative. When we went out to Trick or Treat, she would run between houses and yell "TRICK OR TREAT!!!!" Then, of course, all of our neighbors gave her candy.
Could life get any better?? I submit that it cannot!
Gabbie as Lucy Pevensie, Lily as a "Buzz Buzz", Max as Mr. Incredible, Will as Jedi Luke Skywalker. My neice, Sarah, dressed as an adorable HSM Cheerleader and Matthew dressed as Harley, the biker.
Twitter will kill you, DCB rocks!!!



Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Will's 10th!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Things have been going very well here. School has started. Summer seems to have finally arrived (I know it's September). And we celebrated Will's 10th Birthday!!!!
Will is such a great guy. He is fun to be with, confident and talented in many ways. We spent a lot of time this week remembering great stories from Will's first 10 years. What excites me more than looking back, is the thought of looking forward. I am confident that the next ten years will be full of even more wonderful stories.



Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Wedding Pictures

Gabbie asked me to put some more pictures from Scott and Kim's wedding on the blog....

So here they are.





Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 17, 2009

A weekend of celebration!!!

It seems as though summer is rushing by and I am just barely keeping up. This summer has been filled with a lot of traveling, a lot of family time, and many wonderful memories. There are so many things that I have wanted to blog about and haven't. However, I really want to make sure that I post these pictures and take a minute to write a few "mushy" sentiments about this amazing wedding weekend where we celebrated my wonderful bother-in-law marrying an amazing, sweet, fun, and beautiful (inside and out) woman. We are so happy for the two of them!
The wedding was very much a "storybook" event. They were married on top of a mountain overlooking Lake Superior. After the ceremony, a beatiful rainbow appeared in the sky. It was truly a lovely day. God has been very good in bringing these two people together.
It was a very long way for our family to travel, but it was worth every minute of time in order to be there and share in their joy.


Here is Scott with his beautiful bride, Kim.

Max and Lily had a great time celebrating!!







Gabbie (12) and Will (almost 10) are seeming so grown up now days. They had so much fun seeing their uncle get married. Also, they are pretty excited about their new "Ahnt" (in Minnesota, they don't say "aunt", they say "ahnt"....yes, a bit confusing, but we are working on it!)





Saturday, July 04, 2009

Olympic Training

Watch for Lily in the 2020 Olympics!!


video



For this next video, you should know that Gabbie and Will were practicing how to dive. After much encouragement and assistance they were both successful, so Lily decided to give it a shot. Here is her first try, completely self motivated and unassisted.



video

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sprink Smidge for LUNATICS like US!

We are on another family adventure this weekend to visit my brother in MN. On the way, we discovered the the fabled partially sprinkled doughnut is actually available at Dunkin Donuts in Illinois.


Here's a little secret about our family.... Everyday, something happens that reminds us of a Brian Regan bit. Here's a link to the Donut Lady bit that we have relived each time we enter, pass or even think about a bakery.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1Yzb3WhnQo




Here's a picture of Will's Sprink Smidge. It was delectible!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Video Update

Oh my what an incredible adventure this has been. The past few days have been full of so many stories and great experiences for our entire family. We left Antigua on Wednesday afternoon to go to Santiago Atitlan. We drove (well Venicio did the driving) through many small villages, a busy town (Chimaltenango) and up into the mountains. We traveled on the main highway but still, the road was incredibly narrow. The entire trip was on a paved road but there were about 10-12 bridges and turns that only one car could pass at a time. Venecio drove us to Panajechel where we boarded a boat to ride across Lake Atitlan to Santiago - a 25 minute ride.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Here, I had to leave a few bags behind to help Lily and Max negotiate the sand covered rocks.


It was a rough ride with 2-3 foot waves.

video


.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

I LOVE being married to this woman!!

I find myself staring at her many times on this vacation and wondering things like -

"She is so good to me."
" She is gorgeous."
"What a great Mom."
"Why do these crazy vacations make us so happy?"

We arrived at La Posada de Santiago and with much help, lugged all of our bags from the dock up to La Hacienda - about 100 feet up the mountain. We only had enough time to swim in the pool for a few minutes when it started to rain. Rain like it does not rain back home.

video

Then the power went out. But they were still able to serve dinner. In fact, everything on the menu was available, except drinks that required the blender. If you listen closely to the audio, you can hear our dinner entertainment. Gabbie and Will treating us and the few other guests to a pop bottle version of "Hot Cross Buns".



video



.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

The next morning was a cool and misty, but we could see the volcano across the bay very well. It rained again that afternoon, although not as heavy. Then we left on Friday morning to visit with Dora and Ruben in the city. After another 3 hour drive we arrived and they were very gracious hosts. Teh served a great meal and even tought Carrie how to make Tamales. They were delicious.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Things that speak to my heart (part two)

Need I say more?? I met this adorable little boy at an orphanage (fundaninos), yesterday. It was love at first sight! I'll just say that it is probably a good thing that adoptions are closed here right now or my husband would have one whiny wife on his hands "please, just one more?" Anyway, I was able to spend some time loving on the little honey. What a handsome little guy, don't you think?
This reminded me that although adoptions are closed right now in Guatemala, there are thousands of little kids in orphanages around the world waiting to be loved on, and to have a family of their own. (For those of you wondering, we still think four kids is a good number).

Monday, April 27, 2009

the things that speak to my heart

Our time here in Guatemala is certainly a time of vacation for our family. However, it is also a time of giving to those in need, a time a listening to the Lord, and a time of continuing to grow some relationships that are so precious to us. So, with our time here, comes a rush of emotions that range from laughter with my husband and children, wonderful memories made with friends, and pain and heartache from the devastation that saturates this beautiful country. Every time we are here (and this time is no different), the Lord shows Himself to our family in new and beautiful ways. I think that is why I long to come back here. Here is a story that I will carry in my heart for the rest of my days:



We arrived in Guatemala on Thursday, exhausted from the trip down here. Our wonderful friends picked us up from the airport to deliver us to the school and children's home where they work with and minister to over 400 children that live in heart of the drug and gang capital of Guatemala. The town that they live in is noisy, crowded, dirty, and full of violence. However, once you enter the gate to the home and school, the children there are happy, playful, and full of hope. How amazing it was to look outside of the walls and see despair, and inside to see life. It was like seeing Heaven and Hell at the same time. What a privilege it was for us to see this amazing family serving the Lord in this place. We stayed there only one night and had much fun playing with the kids and taking in all that this wonderful ministry has to offer.


We were able to tour the dorms where 60 of the (orphan) children live. (The other 340 kids live outside of the walls). On our tour of the dorms, one thing was very clear to me. These kids do not have any toys! I did not see one toy. Clothing, beds, kitchen, yes, but not one toy. Wow, and these kids are so happy. Later that day, we were loading up the van, and one little girl (that had spent some time with my girls), came running up to the van. She was all smiles as she announced "Yo tengo un regalo para Lily"....I have a present for Lily. In her little, sweet hand, she held a small Ariel Princess doll. Earlier that day, my girls had talked with her and she and Lily bonded over their common love of princesses.
I was tormented at the very depths of my heart. How do I allow this child to give my daughter this little doll when it may very well be the only toy that she calls her own? My first thought was to not allow her to give it. Then, I realized that I would be stealing her joy. We thanked her and hugged her and quickly snapped the photo below. She was so very happy to give. I ask myself, do I give that joyfully? That sacrificially? Will I ever learn to give as this little girl did? I was reminded of the widow giving her last penny. I can imagine that our heavenly father was smiling down on His precious child.





Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Land of Eternal Spring


What a great day here in Antigua. It is amazing what can happen when you are together in a foriegn country and just trying to get a few things done.

On the agenda for today was to get some Quetzales (money), eat a late breakfast, and go to the store to get food and a pinata for Lily's party tomorrow. We did all of this but it seemed like every where we went, there was so much more to the story.




A short carriage ride to the Santo Domingo

For breakfast, we decided to eat at one of the fanciest and most expensive hotels in the city, Casa Santo Domingo. We had heard from several friends that the food is world class and the price is reasonable, so Why not go? Our kids all remembered being there last year, and enjoyed the beautiful gardens complete with ancient statues and parrots. The meal was excellent and it cost about $30 for all six of us. That's only a little more than McD's would cost us back home....






Before we left, Lily even led the parrots in a screaming contest (I think she won) and she saw a real live Princess (there was a wedding going on and we ran into the bridal party).


Later in the day, Carrie and the older two kids went to the local market to find a pinata while Lily, Max and I found a place to sit and get a light snack. Well, at one point, Lily dropped the cap for her bottle of juice, there is no 5 second rule here, so the cap will not be used again. I am holding the uncapped juice and some of a pastry in my right hand, and using my left hand to hold Lily on my lap. When I lift the pastry to my mouth, the juice pours all over my leg making it look exactly like I have wet myself. Max sees this and begins to laugh while drinking his 7 up. He spews a good amount of 7Up at me. So here we are on a busy sidewalk, my two little kids laughing and burping, and me looking incontinent. Good times....


Then we meet up with Carrie again and Gabbie is carrying the biggest pinata I have ever seen. They had asked for a princess so the man in the market was digging through his inventory fow quite some time. When he came back with this, she couldn't reject it. And what princess loving 3 year old wouldn't love a 4 foot tall Belle at their party? We became the most popular photo op in Antigua for at least 15 minutes.


We are going to have so much fun beating the Dulce out of her tomorrow. - Belle, not Gabbie.



Can Three Beautiful Princesses fit in One Tuk Tuk?

There are a few other stories to tell, but I will save those for another time.

Thanks for checking on us.