Saturday, January 23, 2016

Layla's Birthday!

Our Layla Grace turned the big seven this week!  We had a blast celebrating!

We started her day with doughnuts and chocolate milk, as we do all birthdays!

Eyes closed, whoops.  
Ruby approves of birthday doughnuts!
Then, Layla got to open her present from us.  She was beyond thrilled with an Eye Doctor Barbie set!

For her birthday lunch, Layla chose steak (what a good daddy to grill in the freezing cold!), sweet potatoes, corn, and canned peaches.  Yummy!!

That afternoon, Layla invited a few friends over to play.  The girls were VERY excited and VERY loud and VERY energetic!  :)  They played vet, UNO, we set up a photo booth, played musical chairs, and had cake and candy.  It was so fun!

Grandpa Rod and Grandma Bonnie came over with gifts, which again, Layla was over the moon about!  Layla chose to have cheetos and little smokies for supper, and then Melanie came over for a sleepover.  She brought glow sticks galore, and they stayed up until 10:30 partying.

I would say Layla had the best day!  It was fun celebrating her and we feel so thankful God would give us sweet, observant, hilarious, so very tender and compassionate, Layla Grace.  Her life blesses many, and we praise God for her!

Happy Birthday, Layla!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


For Christmas this year, Grandma Bonnie got the older girls a paint class.  It was fantastic!  Not only was it a fun experience and something to do together, but they got to bring home their treasure.  The girls all had so much fun, and keep asking to do it again!

They had the sweetest teacher who helped them get started, told them about how to use their brushes, blending colors, using water, and so on.  She had sketched the flowers on the canvas for them, and they painted it all by themselves.  They each turned out different, which is the neat thing about art!

Concentrating. :)

The girls had a great time painting, and the moms talking.  Fun night had by all!

Friday, January 8, 2016


We hold our farm trucks very dear, it seems.  We tend to give them a name and make them legendary members of the farm.  When Rita the Ram took her last spin last fall (or the fall before that?), Dallas knew that her memory would live on.

He kept the hood of the truck, kept the pads of all our old patio furniture, kept lots of other things (hoarder or innovator, whatever you want to call him), and made a pretty slick sled!

Last weekend we had a lot of kids here.  Dallas spent six hours hauling the big sled, and the kids had an absolute blast!

I have to say...
Some people thank Dallas isn't patient.
Helping six kids get settled?  I beg to differ.
He's the best.

We are ready for more snow, more fun, and more friends!  Come ride with us!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Charlie's Broken Arm

Charlie is sporting a bright orange cast these days!

Christmas night at Papa & Nana's house, he fell down the stairs.  He cried and acted like it hurt, but obviously we didn't think it was bad enough to get checked out.  That night he woke at midnight with pain again, but went back to sleep fine.  The next day we noticed he babied it some, but played, ran, acted fine.

Then, on Saturday, the kids were having an absolute blast sledding behind the 4-wheeler.  Charlie came to the house with crocodile tears that his same arm got "stuck" under Maleah's boots when he fell off.  Again, he was so tough and after a few minutes was playing.  This time, though, he wasn't using his arm much at all.  I knew something was wrong when he wanted to go back out in the snow but couldn't push his fingers into his glove.

We had Christmas that night and he was a trooper!  He played, didn't whine at all, bounced around, but babied his left arm.  We kept asking if he hurt and he said, "No."  But, we knew it did.

Sunday after church Dallas brought him to Convenient Care and yes, it was broken.  Charlie has great anxiety with new places and things, so is very afraid of going to the doctor.  He started bawling, "That's why I didn't want to come!"  He knew his arm was bad, and when the doctor was checking him, he was shaking as a natural response to the pain (and nerves, of course).  The doctor said he is one tough cookie!  Charlie has reminded us that those were the doctors words many times.

They put a hard splint on in the office.  The splint hardens by a chemical reaction of heat.  Poor boy did not like this one.bit.  He was HOT and it felt very eery to him.  We tried to give him ice cream, even MT. DEW!, and he would not eat or drink.  He was so upset.

Doctors talked and looked at the x-ray and had us go to the orthopedic surgeon Monday.  Though the arm has some deformity right now, the orthopedic doctor is confident over time it will heal and work its way out.  They put him in a long arm cast (which again, he did not like the idea of!), and we will x-ray again in two weeks, re-cast, and go from there.

Overall, I can't brag enough about his incredible attitude.  Truly, he has hard complained.  It is an inconvenience and a lot more work for me; dressing, bathing, putting shoes on, buckling in the car, and the list goes on.  You don't realize how much you use both arms until you only have one!  And at times, he is frustrated.  It itches some and just the heaviness and immobility is obviously a pain sometimes.  But, he has been such a trooper and I tell him every day how proud I am of him.

The biggest hurdle is probably the attention it grabs.  He does NOT like to be noticed or people to look at him.  He feels embarassed easily.  BUT, we are trying to make it "cool."  I let him pick out the pack Sharpies he wanted for people to sign.  So, we are having fun with that!

The other bummer is not being outside much and just "laying low."  The cast will protect his arm super well!  However, it's just not a great idea to be rolling out in the snow.  So, we got a few new paints and coloring books to do in the house.  His best friend, Blakely, came over and played with him yesterday.  And, we are so thankful it isn't summer!

This is obviously a disappointment and not ideal.  Charlie and I both cried in the office because we were just bummed.  Yet!  We know a broken arm is no big deal.  It's par for the course, and part of being a kid!  These things happen.  We are healthy and grateful!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Post Christmas

We have been purging, cleaning, organizing, and rearranging post Christmas.  It's been refreshing, frustrating, maddening, wonderful, and freedom all wrapped up in one!

The girls did a great job going through their stuff.  Oh sweet Layla keeps everything.  That entire dresser was full of just stuff.  All the stuff on the floor is hers.  There was stuff everywhere!  But, she did a fantastic job of sifting through it all and was able to consolidate her treasures into a little box.

Layla is my girl who loves her notes and pictures from people, special items that remind of her places or loved ones, and is just genuinely very sentimental.  I, in no way, want to squelch that.  I adore (and it breaks my heart) how she cries when her cousins leave or after a fantastic weekend of great memory making is over.  Her little things in her box remind her of these times, and I want to honor that.  Within reason.  :)

I have also been working on pitching.  Yesterday I got rid of four trash bags and the chair we bought for $25 and rocked four babies in.  I might have cried.  But mostly celebrated.

We are enjoying today and tomorrow while we ring in the year together as a family, plus a few extra kids.  We have so much to be thankful for looking back on this blessed year!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Day

And, Santa did come!

The kiddos came down about 7:30, so excited to dig into their stockings!  I love their sweet morning faces.  Ruby opened her gifts from the night before, and we had a relaxing morning.

The blanket of snow was picture perfect for Christmas morning.  What a great surprise!

We packed up earlier than expected to head to Papa and Nana's so Dallas could go into town to get treated for his shingles (boooooo).  Although he was discouraged that morning, it all ended up fine and we had a fantastic day.  

The kids exchanged cousin gifts, we did sister gifts, and Alisa gave her gift of personalized notepads (a tradition started with our aunt!).  We enjoyed a beautiful and delicious meal, followed by the annual Nativity story and Papa and Nana's presents.  The kids did such a good job of waiting patiently and loved everything they got.  They ran off to play while the adults did their gifts and sat around visiting.  We played some games, the men devoured chicken wings, and we just chilled out.  It was absolutely lovely.

Charlie got $5.00 in his stocking and you would have thought he won the lottery!

The photo that will make us ugly cry on her wedding day.

The animals.  :)

I LOVE this photo.
Baby Jesus looking at Papa.  Julia laughing.
Joseph playing his part perfectly.
Absolutely adorable.

This year's cast.

We ventured home to get a good night's sleep and start the festivities all over again.