Happy Birthday, Amaw!




I have an AMAZING Amaw!  She has a great sense of humor, a tremendous love for her family, and she turned 90 this weekend!  We couldn’t miss that big milestone, so we drove down for a visit.  It was great to see everyone, and such a blessing to see how happy she was with her party.  amaw with kids






She was a full time RV’er, too!  I love that we have that in common.  She and my grandfather sold everything and bought an Airstream and hit the road!  Back then, it was VERY uncommon and they probably got many strange looks.








She is also an incredible artist.  She basically took up a paintbrush and started painting!  No lessons, just natural talent.  She could fill a gallery with all of her artwork.  Her are two of my favorites:



















I love hearing about her life when she was younger.   It seems so odd to hear about her talk about a boyfriend she had in sixth grade.  According to her, he had zero personality, but he was sooo cute that she agreed to be his girlfriend!   Haha!


It was a treasured moment to have four generations of girls in the one room chatting away.   I hope we have many, many more memories to come!


all girls



Family Skate Day!



If you ever want to bring back some good childhood memories, go roller skating again!
mark and april skating





There is a rink very close to our campground and they are extremely family friendly.  They even have a homeschool skate every month.

steph skating




This day was a Disney Skate, with lots of beginners which was perfect for those of us who hadn’t been on skates for at least a couple of years.





Watching April out there reminded me so much of myself years ago.  April skating



Mark got on wheels for the first time since 6th grade!  He did outstanding, and his coolness factor went up a few notches in my book 🙂

Mark skating





For the little ones, they had a big play set that Joshua and Caleb played on for a long time.  Joshua was such a great big brother and showed Caleb how to maneuver through all of the obstacles.  This shot was right after Caleb got taken out by another kid on the slide.   He wasn’t too hurt, but he was done with the slide after that!


joshua and caleb skating rink


He spent the rest of the time in the safety of his stroller, watching the skaters and eating fig newtons.  It was a fun, fun day!caleb at skating

Sugar and Spice and….Gollum! Gollum!

April amazes me…all the time!  She is so multi-dimensional and likes so many different things.  I love this stage in her life where she doesn’t really care about the latest fashion, or fixing her hair just right.  She just wants to have fun!  Fun = the outdoors and Lord of the Rings.


april antler



She definitely has a scientist in her. She wants to know how everything works and why.  april weather






She tried to reconstruct the Thanksgiving turkey bones, and once found a skeleton of a deer in the woods and put that partially back together.  One of her friends came up to me and said “Your daughter is weird.”  That’s my girl!bones







She is so helpful, especially with Caleb!  I never have a doubt that he is in good hands when she is with him.

april showing caleb fish








I hope the teenage years aren’t completely horrendous like I have heard.  For now, I enjoy being able to spend some fun girl time with her.  One of the best memories I will have is the Lord of the Rings marathon that she and I went to.   We spent 13 hours in the theater watching the entire trilogy!  It was so much fun, and her attention didn’t waiver for a second.


in theater















April and CynthiaShe loves spending time with her friends – either online, text, phone, or in person!













She has always had a big interest in art, and her skills are developing all the time!  Guess what her subject matter is?…  ring picture









She is also a great impersonator!  She is so good at doing a Gollum impersonation that I had to put it on youtube.  Check it out!

Gollum impersonation




With all of these interests, she still loves wearing a pretty dress to church, and still loves beautiful things.   I looking forward to meeting the woman she will become!


april wreath


Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails!

Have you ever seen the show “Hoarders”?  Now, I’m not the tidiest person in the world, but I can’t help but marvel at the mindset of the poor people on that show.  My son however, totally gets them.

“Hey Mom, what show are you watching?”

“It’s the show about the people who find junk and never want to throw it away.”

“Oh yeah! I like that show.  Hey!  I like to find junk and never throw it away, too!”

“Yes I know, son.”


We are in a constant battle with him over little scraps that he has found and will not part with them.  This is just a sample of what I found in ONE PAIR of pants during laundry day.

joshuas pockets



Bear in mind that the light cover is about 5 inches long!  And yes, that IS a jingle bell.  I don’t even know what half the stuff is, but to him it is:  a sword, a rocket, a missile, and anything else destructive.


At least he has a good imagination, right?


So, we were walking in Walmart when Joshua starts swishing this long stick around, fighting some villains only he could see.   I look to see what the new weapon is only to find it is a dipstick!  You know, the thing you check the oil with in your car…


Well, I was mortified and absolutely certain that every person in Walmart was on the phone with Child Protective Services telling them to come rescue this boy with the dipstick.  I had him quickly hide it under his coat in the basket.  Somewhere in a random aisle, the dipstick fell out of the basket.   We discovered this on our way home.  He was devastated!  His absolutely most favorite sword in the world was lost!


So what did I do?  Why, I did what any mother in her not-so-sound mind would do:  I took him to a junkyard to pick out another dipstick, of course!  Go ahead and ask me if I EVER thought I would be doing such a thing.  But the smile on his face was so worth it!


joshua dipstick

Happy Birthday, Nonna!

We are so blessed to have a wonderful Nonna who dotes on the grandchildren and spoils us, too!  For her birthday, all she wanted was to have the whole family together.  So, she made it possible for everyone to drive/fly to Virginia Beach for a long weekend!  Yay!







The weather turned out to be gorgeous that whole weekend, and we had an oceanfront hotel.

The kids really had a good time feeding the seagulls off of our balcony.

joshua birds


April got a kick out of the lone crow that would swoop in every now and then to grab a bite.  Apparently, he is much more gentle than the seagulls!




We played in the sand during the warm hours of the day.  This was Caleb’s first beach trip and he didn’t quite know what to do with himself.mark and caleb


He wasn’t fond of the crashing waves,  and didn’t seem to like digging in the sand, either.








Finally, he found a tidal pool and enjoyed throwing seashells into it.caleb beach



















Joshua wasn’t feeling too well this trip, poor guy!  He enjoyed it the best he could 🙂



joshua beach



April had a blast chasing all of the now-fattened seagulls around.  Notice the “Lord of the Rings” she wrote in the sand!



april running



Happy Birthday, Nonna!  Thanks for a wonderful weekend!