Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Berg's Monster Truck Party!

Our Berg turned 3 and was insistent on having a monster truck party. I tried to have it just be a truck party, but he was very specific. So monster truck theme it was. (Here's the invite with the exact truck he picked out and the cake before it broke 3 different times. Rice Crispy treats aren't that hardy apparently. I didn't freak out though, because I figure it was suppose to be monster truck and those get really beat up.)

The week before I had the kids transform an area of our garden where I removed all the plants into a mini monster jam. Berg loved it! 

We got new batteries for our four-wheelers, which Berg hadn't even seen in his lifetime, and were going to use our driveway loop to make a track for the kids to drive the trucks around. The day of the party, it rained. No outside backyard party for us. We quickly loaded the bus full of decorations, food, trucks and the go cart and headed to our church.
We set up in the foyer hoping that in between rainy sessions the kids could still go out and ride the four wheelers and go cart around. Little did we know the kids would stay out there riding and racing the whole time. They didn't care if they were soaking wet. It was nice for the adults though to have a dry place to hang out.

The boy wanted pizza, so pizza he got. Which made food super easy! Hubcap pizza, mini off road tires (olive salad), spare tires (Oreos), fruit, and our refueling station with motor oil (root beer) and antifreeze (Squirt) made for one happy Berg.

 Kivi and Eben traded off giving all the kids super fast, scary rides on the go cart all around the church parking lot, which worked out even better than our loop would've.

Berg loved being out there with all the kids, getting some special attention, running free, chasing cars (not real ones), and getting pushed by his friends (even though it was a fully functioning battery powered jeep).

He wore this finger light the whole time. The kids had gotten at a birthday party hours before Berg's. He loved singing the birthday song to himself and sang "Happy Birthday to Bergie!" and took forever and lots of spit to blow out his three candles. (Oh, maybe that's why no one ate the cake!)

Bergie felt so loved and had such a fun time. It was a great rally! 

We love you so much, Berg! You are such a joy to have in our family! You give great kisses, hugs and always tell us how you love us. We love your smile! You love being with your big brothers and sisters and doing whatever they do, but you will also tell them just what you think. You love it outside and will ask everyone to go out with you. You love to wear sweaters. When I say that you are my baby you say, "No, I am Eben's". You still love your Nay Nay and suck your thumb when you go to bed. You have absolutely no interest in going on the potty. You are beginning to understand who Jesus is and how He loves you. Whatever question we ask about Jesus you tell us how He died on the cross for us. You have a huge vocabulary and can explain things that seem beyond your years. We pray that you will use this talent to spread God's love to many people in your lifetime. You're an extraordinary blessing Berg!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Awana Awards Ceremony!

This year our family was very involved in our church's Awana program. Peter and I took time off from small group to lead our Cubbies ministry, the preschool Awana program. We had a fun time with all of our sweet kids. Some nights were more challenging than others, but overall these kids did great! We learned a lot and had tons of fun teaching them God's Word. Our leaders were amazing as well!

Opal graduated from her last year of Cubbies! She was actually in Cubbies for 3 years, (2 is the max) but we realized she was not ready for Kindergarten or Sparks yet and we were leading so we could keep her in.

Jasper completed his Hang Glider book (for the second time!), yep we did the same thing for him. Last year he was in K1 and this year he did K2 we just spread Kindergarten out over a two year period. He also was able to earn 3 Truth Script pins, which you get for saying assigned, large portions of Scripture.

Kivi finished her third book, Sky Stormer, earned every Truth Script pin there was to earn (she has 13 total!), and received the Sparky of the Year Award, an award that went to one Sparky that went above and beyond and the commander of Awana gave her a balloon and gift certificate to Michael's to buy her own craft supplies.

Eben finished his first T&T book, and got the Alpha award metal and pin.

 We are so excited that these kids are learning so much Scripture and are ready to go back next year and push themselves even further. They have goals. We have very happy hearts. They've worked really hard and now we get to watch for moments to use the Scripture we've learned and put it into practice in daily life.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Discovery Bay Anniversary and Mother's Day

Peter's been working so hard at work and on our rentals that I thought it was a great idea when he told me we were going away for our 13th anniversary weekend. We took the kids with us, so it wasn't so much a romantical anniversary weekend. Actually, the whole first day was kind of rough. 

The kids loved the pool and the big kids got to go swimming about 3 different times. Pella is so different than any of our other kids! She just walked down the stairs into the pool and kept going. She climbed out and tried to get back in all by herself. The rest of our kids are not daring like that. We'll have to keep a much closer eye on her.

Since the first day was not so amazing (lots of Pella crying. She's getting in her back teeth.) We decided to stay for one more night and make it a better day. We walked along the beach finding crabs, did crafts  Grandma sent with us, went to Goodwill, played in the toy isle and bought monster trucks for Berg and puzzles for Mama and Dada. Then Mama and Dada did a puzzle while the kids watched a movie and Pella actually took her naps - much more relaxing!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Praying the Shepherd's Words For My Flock

I've always wanted to be a shepherdess. I love sheep. One day, I actually realized how much work it would be to raise sheep and I thought, maybe it's better in my dreams. God has bless us with an even more amazing flock to raise - our children. They take a lot of work, hands on coaching, teaching, encouraging and guiding, and then they can actually interact with you, make you laugh and teach you things! Way better than sheep. 
I made it a goal years ago to pray over my flock. I used to do it every morning, now it's every week or every other week. Every child has a Bible I use just for them and I keep them by my Bible and devotional I'm doing at the time. I keep highlighters and a pen right next to them and the children know not to use these. 
There are two highlighters. I was marking them all with the same, skinny, yellow one and then realized that in Opal's Bible, the ink was just disappearing over time. This was an eye-opening revelation for me because I realized there was so much of how we raised not only Opal but all of our kids that we needed to do differently. They are different kids. They need different things. They even need to be prayed for in different ways. How much our little Opie needed to be trained up in the Lord in a different way was symbolized for me in the highlighters. She needed a different one. One that left a bolder, thicker, more yellow mark. One that would not fade away. That's how I needed to pray for her, teach her and love her, too.

The kids know these Bibles are special and that I pray scripture over them with these. I try to pick verses that deal with what we are trying to teach that child at the moment, so I pick a different verse for each child. I highlight the verse I pray for them and write the date next to it. I'm hoping by the time I pass these onto them, when they turn 18 or get married, I haven't decided completely yet, they will be so filled with yellow marks, there will be no doubt how much I've poured into their lives in prayer and relied on God to shape and mold them.

Each child also has a life verse. Some of these we picked when our babies were born and some we picked later. Here they are with some pictures of "then" and "now". Feel free to pray these same scriptures over our little one's lives!

Eben - I Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Kivi - Colossians 1:10-12 "And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."

Jasper - Colossians 2:6-7 "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

Opal - Romans 12:9-13 "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

Berg - Ephesians 3:14-19 "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Pella - Psalm 19:7-11 "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward."

Thank you, God for our little flock! Amen.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jasper's Disasters

On May 3rd, Dada decided to take a much needed break from days and nights of working on all his rental projects and lots of late police work and take us all to Point Defiance for a relaxing walk through the park. The kids especially loved finding all the little ponds and rivers and trying to find a way across them. All the kids, except for Pella, were able to cross this one in the Japanese gardens.
 At the big pond, where all the ducks and turtles and Koi fish are, Jasper tried crossing (in a very mucky part of the pond) and slipped on a mossy rock and got completely soaked.

He ended up taking off all his clothes and wearing Dada's sweatshirt which made him look like a little Jedi. He was mostly sad about the huge bruise on his leg from falling on a rock.

May 6th was super hot, a record setting day for Washington, so Dada set up the sprinkler under the trampoline and let the kids jump! Dada always says you can have the trampoline loaded with kids and if there's no adult no one will get hurt, but as soon as an adult goes to make sure everyone is safe, an injury will occur -so leave the natives alone. Of course, true to Dada's words, I went out to take jumping pictures and catastrophe occurs.

Happy, fun, wet. Jumping, laughing, bouncing. Smack! Jasper's tooth crashes into Kivi's knee. Screaming, crying, bleeding. I thought he must've bit through his lip, but as soon as I see his face I see a gap where just a second ago there was a tooth. I yell, "Oh, wow! His tooth got knocked out! Everyone look for Jasper's tooth."
  This just made Jasper scream more. Instead of comforting and ushering Jasper inside the house right away. I made sure we found the tooth, (it was completely whole!) and got a picture of him with it. Hey, I had the camera right there! What a photo opportunity!

He tried to smile, but he was crying to hard.

The awesome tooth, root skin and gums and all! And it looked just like this, no blood at all.

After a shower, pain medicine and lots of Icys, ice cream and sucking on ice cubes I finally found the end all to the crying - a mirror. Once he saw the cool hole in his mouth, all he could do was stare at it. (The medicine might have been kicking in around that time too.)

He was so calm I could get a shot of the bruised gums and hole left behind.

Way to go tough boy! You lost your first tooth! The tooth fairy even gave him $2.00, probably because it was a way more painful way to lose a tooth and it was a much better specimen than the regular rootless baby teeth she normally receives. She left a note, but we can't read fairy writing.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Rock Solid Kid's Spring Pageant

Eben, Kivi and Jasper were in a spring pageant this year at our church called Rock Solid. Eben had a solo and he and Jasper were dancers and Kivi was an actor! Mama was the choreographer. We had one performance on April 28th and the kids rocked it! Here are some stills from the big night.

Kivi played the very confident, prepared hiker on the yellow hiking team. Following in her Dada's footsteps, she did a rap!

She had lots of props. She carried them all with her in a back pack, which she left on the front row of the audience, but like a pro went and retrieved it during the performance without anyone knowing it was a mistake. I didn't even notice her going off stage to get it!

The boys doing everyone's favorite move in "Walkin' By Faith".

Eben's solo was great!

Eben and Jasper in the dance where they got to use hiking sticks, "God Does".