Last fall, the kids and I planted some bulbs outside. We have really enjoyed watching them emerge from the cold ground and bloom into beautiful spring flowers. The kids check on their progress each day. Luke and I had a heart to heart about God creating flowers just because he loves us and wanted to give us something beautiful. Sometimes I think talks like these don't really mean much, but this one did. Luke stopped, looked around, and said "Yeah, that's nice." I prayed that his love for the flowers and the knowledge that God made them for his enjoyment would bring him into a deeper appreciation for God's tenderness. Sometimes it's hard to express beauty to a boy. But I really think Luke got it that day. What a gift.
Posted by Ryan at 11:37 PM
Caroline was a little too small to swim last year. So, even though it probably wasn't quite warm enough, I let her and Luke swim a little last week. Poor Luke didn't get in a single shot. He's the middle child, so what do you expect? Anna was at school, so she missed all the action. Oh, but the baby. We do love her. Look at all that chub! She's irresistible.
Posted by Ryan at 11:30 PM
Anna and Luke had a day off from school last Monday, so we decided to venture out to Gray for our first visit to the new fossil museum. We all enjoyed learning about the animals that once roamed our area. It's so cool that people are traveling from miles and miles to see what is just down the road from us. The kids especially enjoyed the BIG T-rex display. Her name is Sue, and although she wasn't found here, she was still impressive.
Posted by Ryan at 11:17 PM
My (Beth) niece turned eleven last week. My sister, Sharon, and her husband has us over to celebrate. Even though Kassidy is older than our kids, they have a blast together. Happy birthday Kassidy!
Posted by Ryan at 11:12 PM
We enjoyed Jonesborough's Kids' Day last week. The kids got to make some neat crafts, eat ice cream, have their fingerprints made, see a magic show, sit in some big machines, and enjoy a day just for them.
Posted by Ryan at 11:02 PM
Caroline enjoys sitting at the front door watching the neighborhood happenings. This is precious to me. I imagine her little mind soaking in the outside world and yearning for the freedom to explore it. For now, I enjoy the fact that she is with me. She is protected. I simultaneously fear and look forward to the days when she is no longer looking out at the world, but is actively participating in it. So goes the bittersweet reality of raising children. Fortunately, the sweet far outweighs the bitter.
Posted by Ryan at 10:41 PM
Those of you who know me well know that I am fairly new to the whole computer world. For years I have shunned it as a less than personal way to communicate, a lazy way to get information, and one more thing to keep me sitting on my rear instead of getting things done. Well, I recently had a change of heart when I discovered the whole blog phenomena. For some reason, I really enjoy reading blogs (I have a bunch that I check almost daily.) Do other people do this? Am I becoming a blog geek? I also use email lots more than in the past and even do the whole Facebook thing too. I know I'm 10+ years behind most other people, but I really just didn't have a desire to be in the computer world. Anyway, I've been unable to access the Internet lately, and I've been going nutso!! I am totally hooked. Lucky for me, here I am, back in this new world and pleased as punch.
In other news, I'm headed to Vegas this Friday with some girlfriends to celebrate turning 30!! I'm thrilled and about to explode with excitement. We'll be returning next Wednesday. I'll be sure to post some pictures and highlights of the trip. Thanks, Joy, for planning everything for us. You're super duper!
Posted by Beth at 9:16 PM
Willow Springs Park has been our home away from home lately. It was a beautiful day Wednesday, so we enjoyed a picnic lunch and some playtime instead of our usual Backyard Burgers day.
Posted by Ryan at 10:01 PM
Caroline had her 9 month check up last week. Thankfully, she didn't have to get any vaccines. She did, however, have some blood drawn to do some routine tests. I was nervous for her, because they did it big girl style, through her arm. As I watched them tie off her arm with that awful rubber band, I thought "Oh man, she's gonna lose it now." They even had an extra nurse come in to hold her down. I turned my head and waited for the wail. Things seemed to be taking a while, so I looked down to see what the hold up was. I was shocked to discover that the needle was already in. She was calmly observing it all. She even thought nothing of the needle stuck in her arm for a good 20 seconds. No tears. Not even a whimper. What a champ! I, on the other hand, got a little woosy when I saw that big needle in her arm. Afterward, she had fun picking at her band-aid. I know these were her thoughts. "What's that?" "Hmm, I wonder if it'll come off." "Ouch, that kinda pulls." "Oh look, I got it." "Ooo, what a pretty red dot on it."
Posted by Ryan at 10:25 PM
Sometimes we joke, emphasis on the word "joke," that we'll keep having kids until we have enough for our own baseball team. Tonight we got in some practice time for the Bader team.
Posted by Ryan at 10:09 PM
Here's to one of the best days ever. I have no pictures to show for it, but here is a summary. Typically, Tuesdays are great simply because I have NOTHING on my schedule. No ballet, no laundry, no preschool for Luke (hence, no driving), no shopping, no church, and nothing for Ryan in the evening (dinner as a family). I generally thoroughly enjoy Tuesdays. However, today was special. It must be known that I love to mow the yard. The combo of being outside on a beautiful day (alone, because the kids might get hurt), the smell of freshly cut grass, sitting (we have a riding mower), looking around the neighborhood, feeling the warm breeze, and being productive really makes me content. Today, I got to mow for the first time since last fall. I've been looking forward to it, honestly, since last fall. And today was perfect for it. The weather was warm and breezy, and the sky was bright blue with cotton ball clouds. This started my day off right. After mowing, I brought Caroline out to sit on a blanket and watch me work in the flowers (another one of my favorites). She sat forever, completely entertained with picking grass, examining it in her tiny fingers, tasting it, spitting it out, then doing it all over again. Luke was completely happy swinging, digging for worms, laughing at Caroline eating grass, jumping on the trampoline, creating a zoo with his toys, and just being a boy. Then, my neighbor who has been in Florida since January (nice to be retired) came over to catch up. I really enjoy spending time with her. She's a fresh breath of wit, encouragement, and wisdom. We ate lunch outside on our picnic table then went for a walk with the stroller. After this, we all took a nice nap (could it get any better?) until time to get Anna off the bus. Then we enjoyed planting some more flowers, riding in the wagon, and a lovely dinner. When Ryan got home from Little League practice (no family dinner was the one drawback), I greeted him with "We have had the best day ever." We finished the day off with some nice showers and an episode of "Just for Laughs." I couldn't possibly be as thankful as I ought to be for such a fabulous day.
Posted by Ryan at 9:45 PM
Easter Sunday has become one of my favorite days of the year. Sometimes, driving to church is less than picture perfect. Frustration over rushing the kids out the door, cries of anger between siblings, breakfast & makeup in the car can add up to a stressful journey. But not on Easter Sunday. As we drive to church on Easter, I am confident in our purpose. And the stresses of the morning seem to pale in comparison to what we are about to experience. Our Lord is risen! What a wonderful reason to celebrate, and what wonderful people surround us and join in the celebration. Truly, this is what our faith is all about. This is why we endure such mornings. To sing alongside my family for our Lord who has conquered the grave - what greater pleasure do we have as a family?
It's become our tradition to spend Easter Sunday at Gran's (Ryan's mom) after church. There's always a wonderful home-cooked meal, some egg hunting (of course), and some nap taking. Funny - that's exactly what we do at my grandparents' house the day before Easter. Maybe next year we'll get really creative and do something different. (Probably not due to our "do it once, do it always" mentality.) Uncle Brad spent some time reading to the kids, and Uncle Ross got teary over how well Anna read a book to him. She really does seem grown up when she's reading aloud. We get that "We're so proud" mixed with "We're bummed she's big enough to be doing this" feeling that we seem to get at least once a day now. PawPaw (Ryan's dad) and Ryan enjoyed some March Madness, and the kids & Gran played Monopoly for the first time. We don't typically color coordinate, but we were all in yellow for the occasion. Caroline wore a super sweet bunny dress courtesy of Emily Helphinstine. Anna and Luke got some yellow to match. What a great day, complete with a great photo of all three kids. To get them to sit out in the 40 degree weather right before bedtime and smile their best fake smiles only took a sugary bribe. Thanks for the treats Gran!
Posted by Ryan at 8:55 PM