Monday, June 28, 2010

See Dale

See Dale cross creek

See Dale walk up banks

See Dale walk down tree log

See Dale tease, and joke that he is falling off log

Funny, Dale.

See Dale walk down the rest of the log

See Dale check out stability of last log

See Dale fall.
Well worth lugging my camera 15 miles.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Even in Gatlinburg...

there isn't a vacation from fighting.

We arrived three days ago, to the warmest weather I have been in a while. 90-95 degrees during the day is the norm. The pool has been our constant companion.
Things I have already learned in TN:
  • Dentist visits are not mandatory. Lots of missing teeth in these parts.
  • A ginormous confederate flag tattoo is pretty popular, as evidenced by the bareback men walking down the street.
  • It is possible for me to take a week off. Most vacations I take are "working vacations", and this week I have really tried to stay away from e-mail. It has been nice!
  • Bedtime for the Van Clan is 10 pm- crazy, huh?
  • There is so much to do here. If you have never been to Gatlinburg, I would highly recommend it. We have mined for gems, riden go-carts on three story tracks, taken the trolley around town, slid down the side of the mountain on the dry luge.
  • We have planned: Ripley's aquarium, more mini-golf, horseback riding, black bear viewing, hiking, and a few dinner- shows.
  • Josh and my dad have a great relationship, and I cherish that.

All in all, we are having a great time!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We love Herman Miller

Why? Because they give my dad a job.

Also, the Herman Miller Picnic.

Having fun racing cars

Amber taking Bryce through the bounce mazes.

Taking in all the activity

I love this one- they look so little!

In the fire truck

Verdict? Neither of them like snakes.

But they both love horses. This was far and away Brycer's favorite.

Thanks for taking us to the picnic!

Now it is time for a nap:-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What better day than today

The big summer project entailed cleaning out our storage/crawl space, and try to purge a few things. Boxes kept piling up over the school year, and the unorganization was fully realized when I could not find Kayden's hand-me-down 2T clothing.

Each weekend would pass with the thought of looking for that box, 'til finally school was out and it was put on the 2010 Summer To Do list.

However, 15 gallons of water in our crawl space made today the day.

We lugged out all of the boxes, and I had every intent of just searching for size 2-3T and putting the rest of them back.

I don't know what it is, but I love looking through old clothing. I sit and cherish the teeny tiny shoes and unfold the newborn blankets. Each outfit brings a picture to mind of what was happening when they were wearing it.

The blue velvet outfit Kayden wore when he first met Grandma and Grandpa Birdy.

The striped outfit from Katie that Bryce wore on Mother's Day.

What Kayden wore when my dad first met him at Ontario airport.

The initial set of matching outfits.....Kayden's first Christmas sweater....their first swimsuit with matching coverup....the list goes on and on.

My absolute favorite box is the newborn box.

Specifically these:

Coming home outfits.

Short, short lived stage. Oh, how I miss it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Keys, God, and a non-coincidence

I learned a lesson three years ago in Florida, and received a reminder tonight.

This last week has been really hard. A few expensive items have decided it's quittin time all at once. The pool pump was the first to go, followed by the refrigerator. Yesterday, I went to go meet Josh and my car wouldn't start.

My mom graciously offered up her Mini-Van, so this afternoon was spent picking it up. As I pulled in the driveway, Josh was frantically looking through his truck. The seats were both folded over and contents from the back seat were strewn about the driveway. Noticing I had arrived, he started towards me with a scowl on his face. His truck key had slipped off his key chain. He had looked everywhere.

Have I mentioned we only have ONE set of keys for each of our cars? I know, I know; not smart.

Ten minutes were spent searching, and then we had to get to t-ball practice. Consoling him that we would find it right when we got home, we reluctantly loaded into Jan's Van.

That didn't exactly happen.

Over an hour we again searched. He had only been in three places- the garage, the front lawn, and his truck- so it couldn't have gone far. As the minutes ticked by, though, I felt more and more hopeless that we would ever find that darn key.

Finally, as I sat in the garage, I said a prayer. "Lord, I know you know right where this key is. If it is your will that we find it, please show me where it is."

Crawling on my hands and knees on the front lawn, my eye caught the shining silver of the key head. Somehow the key shaft had spiked right into the ground and only the very top bow was showing.

I read somewhere a long time ago that every answered prayer can be contributed to a mere coincidence, if desired. I know that there was no coincidence in me finding that key tonight.

I am not sure why God is choosing to reaffirm answered prayers through impossible key hunts, but I am in awe of God's goodness. Not just because He answered my prayer tonight, but all the time. How incredibly blessed I am to have the life I have. To serve a God that listens and cares about something so trivial as finding a key.

Oh, and the best part of Kayden's day?

Watching my car being towed away. Go figure.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

All that is needed

is daddy in his matching shoes.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

How? How, How, How?

How did this happen? Wasn't this picture taken just yesterday?
And where did the years go in between?

with his buddy, Ethan

class photo

praying before we ate

THIS. This right here. The fact that he still loves to wave to mom. When does that slip away? When is mom not so cool anymore? My heart hurts just thinking about it.

I love my boy.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

When the Thunder Rolls...

I am not sure I have ever had a weekend like this.

Amber's bridal party shower was planned first for Friday, and then we planned my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary party for Saturday. We generally clean every weekend. However, I only get out the rubber gloves and deep clean if company is coming. You know: wipe down every cupboard, get the spaghetti off the microwave ceiling, clean the dust off the heater grates.

Might as well do both parties when it is sparkling clean, right?

Thursday was to be my cleaning day, but unfortunately started with a trip to the ER. I was getting breakfast for the boys when Kayden accidentally slammed Brycer's hand in the slider door.

This is from today- it is still really swollen, but looks better!

Anyway, in the midst of all this planning, Josh signed up for Master's classes. Between other wedding events and our trip to Tennessee later this summer, the only class that worked was this weekend- Friday night and Saturday day.

As I was trying to prepare food on Friday night, the kids were tornados. Perhaps it was from excitement, maybe it was the cupcakes tempting them on the counter. They would not settle down. I called Grandpa 911 and my dad came to take them so my mom and I could finish preparations. Bryce got a half block away and would not stop crying... so back he came.

Pouring down rain moved both events indoors.

Adding to this weekend was the Pregnancy and Newborn June Issue mentioning the tie onesies. I am so thankful for it, but it has possibly been my busiest weekend ever with work (minus the good ole Target days:-)

They were very fun parties, and I am thrilled that I had a full weekend visiting friends and family. With a refrigerator full of desserts and still-clean house (hallelujah!), we are all ready for school to be finished and daddy-o home full-time!