Thursday, January 29, 2015

Anders' Birthday

Yes, I am a horrible mother.  Anders' birthday came and went and I never blogged about it.  Take comfort in knowing we did actually celebrate the event.  We actually still had D with us so there were 4 boys chomping at the bit to open up presents and eat cake.

 This kid actually had a couple of celebrations because Debbie and Pam had us over to celebrate before they left for Florida.  We had to have the non-birthday boys sit on the couch so Anders could actually see what he was opening.

 The present he was the most excited about was his new bike!  It was chilly, but the boys went outside right after this to test it out.

 He was ready to open the rest of his presents the afternoon of his actual birthday.

The big four year old requested a Sonic the Hedgehog cake.  This was fun to do.
His birthday fell on a Sunday and we actually had a voters meeting scheduled that day.  So we brought the cake to church and everyone sang Happy Birthday and had a piece.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cowboy Day at School

John really gets into the school spirit thing.  He did not get that from his mama.  But I'm glad he likes school so much.  He told me this year that he needs to make sure he dresses up for every occasion since he is on student council.

 He is such a poser.  This was all him.

 The only thing Gus needed for Cowboy Day were his boots.  I guess every day is cowboy day for Gus.

As far as we can tell this was D's first experience with school spirit days.  He was so excited he changed a couple of times.  He ended up settling for a bandana, vest and belt.
I just noticed now that Gus changed into pants.  He is always good at producing enormous amounts of needless laundry.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Three Rivers Fest and Parade 2014

Every year our church has a tent at the village carnival.  They have always had a diaper changing station.   Even before Swaddling Clothes, River of Life members have been caring for babies and their parents.

 For the last few years we've also had the Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs come to visit.  This is Darlin.  The dogs are always a huge hit.

 On Saturday during the festival there are tons of free family friendly activities to do.  The boys have painted pavers for me 3 years in a row.

 The boys waited patiently in a VERY long line to get their faces painted.

 On the last day of the festival there is a parade.  This is our 3rd year to do the parade.  Next year the members want to decorate our "float".

 We were a little concerned these two would fall off of the float.  So they threw candy from the wagon.  They had a fantastic time.

 Our trusty driver and his sidekick.  Pam also had the job of giving the two little boys in the back supplied with candy.

We KNEW these two would fall off of the float so they threw ate candy in the back of the car.

 Larry always drives his truck in the parade as well.  He restored this beauty and loves showing it off.

 Larry is a big kid himself and loves creating smoke.  The crowd would cheer so loud when he did it.  This only egged him on.

 After the parade we had a little more time to visit the carnival rides one more time.

These two really wish they were taller.  They were so ready to ride more rides...maybe next year.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


This summer we were so busy with our trip to Germany and moving and setting up the new church building that we decided to do something a little different for Vacation Bible School.  Instead of having 5 short days we did 2 long days.  Debbie and Pam had everything organized, of course.  The kids had a blast and learned a lot about Jesus.

 We had a couple of kids we met through Swaddling Clothes in attendance.

 The kids learned a ton of songs and hymns.  This particular one talks about how silly Adam can't hide from God.  The boys still walk around the house singing this.

 This was the first year we had a playground for the kids to play on.  The sand portion of our playground was a HUGE hit.

 Our small and faithful group.

The kids with our wonderful and dedicated teachers and helpers.

I'm not sure what we will do next year.  Only doing 2 days was nice, but those days sure were long.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hanging Out With Grandma

My mom flew in specifically to take the boys to A Day Out With Thomas.  But she was able to stay for almost a week so we filled it doing lots of fun stuff.

After we came home from A Day Out With Thomas the boys were still in train mode. So my mom made a track and the boys played for a long time.

We made a couple of trips to the park.  I don't always take the time to walk my kids to the neighborhood park.  I know, I know. That is bad.  But, they have a wonderful play set and sandbox in our backyard so it isn't like my kids are deprived. 

We also went to the zoo.  The zoo is always fun. 
 The zoo has proven to be quite a workout for me.  Pulling these three in the wagon is hard work!

 These three love looking at the animals.  I'm sure they would all love to live with the animals.  Ya know, there are some days I wouldn't be opposed to that.

My little Joeys.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day Out With Thomas

This was probably our last Day Out With Thomas.  It was kind of sad.  The boys were pretty excited to go though.  So that helped.

 There are always a ton of activities to do.

 These two could have stayed at the Lego table all day.

 You can tell he was concentrating because he was sticking his tongue out.

 A picture with Thomas.

 THOMAS!  The boys were very excited to be this close.  Thomas eyes and mouth move so he looks just like the original videos.

 They also got to see Sir Topham Hat again.

 This Day Out With Thomas is held at the Illinois Railway Museum.  The boys love looking at the old train cars and playing on the old tracks.
Everyone seems to be excited.  Well, almost everyone.  Anders is a bit ridiculous.  Don't feel sorry for him.  There is no crying on Thomas.

Gus was very excited to be doing this again.

Anders removed himself from the funk.  We were all happy about that.

The sand pile is always a draw.  The boys were begging to do this from the beginning.  I held them off until the end so they didn't have to walk around with sand in their pants all day.  Although I'm sure they wouldn't even notice.  This how they live during the summer.

It was a fantastic, fun filled day.  Now if only Spider-man hosted events around the states with activities like this.  I might have just come up with a lucrative idea!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pictures with Grandma and Grandpa

John and Solveig were coming back through town again on the day of our dedication service.  They made it a point to stay and attend.  They even sang in the choir.  We were so busy with all of the last minute things that I didn't get a chance to grab pictures until after the service.  Gus and Anders has both fallen asleep  and were, well, out of it.

 Gus is starting to yawn and Anders is dazed and confused.

 And it just keeps getting worse.

 At least Anders notices that someone is trying to take a picture now.  Gus still doesn't care.

And now it is just done.  I believe Gus started crying after this because he wanted to go back to sleep and be left alone. At least the grandparents look good.  Maybe we can just crop the kids out.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Church Dedication

Way back in August River of Life had a dedication of its building.  We waited so long to get a building of our own.  We were all so excited to finally be at this point.

The night before the dedication service we had a gathering of some of the original members to socialize with the first pastor of River of Life who came back to preach for the dedication.  No one had really seen him or his family in about 14 years.

 It was a nice day so all of the festivities were outside.

Larry and I decided to wear matching shirts.
Larry is a kind, gentle, and hardworking man.  He is always quick to offer help and loves, and I mean LOVES, babies.  This congregation is full of wonderful people.

 Hans and I were both thinking that, since the dedication service was in the afternoon, the morning service would have only a handful of people.  But thankfully we were wrong.

 The afternoon service was packed.  Standing room only.  It was FANTASTIC!

 All of the excitement was a little much for this guy.  He looks so innocent when he sleeps. Looks.

 After the service we had a light reception.  We invited people to walk around the building.

 One of our members got excited to see so many pastors at the service.  He just kept saying, "There are 14 pastors here!"  The funny thing is that there were actually more, it's just that only 14 wore their collars.

 One of the Pastors we had in attendance was Pastor Micah Wildauer.  He and his family will be going to Togo sometime soon.  But before he became a missionary in Togo he was the Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.  He was there when the congregation had to close.  His congregation gave us the pews, font and communion rail.  They are beautiful and we are forever grateful.

We also were happy to have Pastor and Mrs. Ulmer.  The Ulmers were graciously excited about our happy times in the midst of a very sad time for their congregation.  Just 6 weeks after our dedication service, Pastor Ulmer's congregation, Shepherd of Peace, hosted their closing service.  It was a sad time for everyone.  Several of those members are now our members at River of Life and thankfully Pastor Ulmer received another call and was installed on December 28th.  God is good.