Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Ama!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Ama!
Happy Birhday, to you!

Happy, happy Birthday! We love you so much and couldn't be more thankful for you! Have a wonderful year full of blessings!

Shana, Kirby, Jacob, Rebekah, Lydia, Joey & Anna

Sweet 14-month-old girl

14 moths already . . . I can hardly believe it! Anna has been enjoying the beautiful weather (as have the rest of us!) that we've had lately. We've been outside LOTS the past few days!

Here are a couple picutes of her fun Friday activities: riding her bike at home, family bike ride to the park (enjoying her perch on the back of mom's bike) and a little trampoline fun with her biggest brother:

Life is good!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Flashback Friday

If this isn't classic Lydia, I don't know what is!June 2004

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Tonight is our MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) end-of-the-year family picnic, so it's a good day to think about how thankful I am for MOPS! I started attending MOPS in the fall of 2002 and almost instantly wished I had done it 3 years earlier! What wonderful support and encouragement I found for my mothering through those women and that place. It was so great and would have been so wonderful and helpful for me earlier in my mothering too . . . but, better late than never, right? It was, and still is, so wonderful and I am so thankful to have been involved in this ministry for 7 years now. After attending MOPS at Grace Church in Roseville and serving on their Steering Team I stepped out in faith and started a MOPS group at Central. What a blessing (even with all the work) that has been to me and, I know, to others as well. MOPS is a great ministry and I am so thankful for it and the positive impact it has had on me as a mom, a friend, a wife and a woman!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Field Day

Yesterday afternoon was the 1st & 2nd grade field day, so I killed two birds with one stone . . . actually, I didn't kill anything at all, but I only had to go to school once to see both Rebekah & Lydia in their field day. As a bonus they were both on the gray team, so I was never divided on which team to cheer for . . . actually, that's not true either since I was cheering for Ev and she was on the white team and for Savannah and she was on the red team and on and on it goes, but my first allegiance was to the grays!

This morning was the 3rd & 4th grade field day, so we returned, once again, to the back field of Falcon Heights Elementary for our final time to be spectators at field day 2009 (we did not need to attend kindergarten field day or 5/6 field day . . . next year I'll have to attend 3: 5th/6th, 3rd/4th & 1st/2nd . . . I'll start gearing up for that soon!).

It was pretty chilly this morning, about 52 and breezy, I believe! Joe decided right away that he would like to go home and watch a movie. Although also a bit chilly, Anna was a pretty good sport {pun intended}! Kirb took the morning off, so he could come too, which was fun and made for more & better pictures of Jacob than we have of the girls from yesterday since, it would seem, I have a hard time both watching and photographing . . . I really can only focus on one thing at a time . . . plus, lots of my friends were there yesterday, so you've got to throw a little lot of chatting in the mix too! Even with the Caribou we picked up on the way we were still none too warm.

Here is a little visual recap of the excitement:

Run, LJ, run!

Rebekah at the "soccer kick":

The girls were on the same relay team.
Here they are about to start,
Go gray!:

Some of this morning's chilly spectators:

Getting directions from Mr. Holty (can you spot Jacob?):
How about now?

(Joe had on his shirt that matches with Jacob's -- under his sweatshirt, that is -- and kept cheering for "matchy boy". It was pretty sweet)

And they're off:

Jacob picked up a little speed right at the end and took 2nd in this race:

Jacob and Jessie got their legs a little tangled here, but Jacob fell over the finish line for 3rd place in this race:

The relay:
(I told him I thought he might be able to run a little faster if he either zipped up his sweatshirt or took it off, but what do I know, I'm just the mom!)

A fun time was had by all, although I'm not sure that the 3rd and 4th graders had too much appreciation for the freeze pops that they got as treats when field day was done . . . I think some soup or something would have been a little more appropriate today! Oh well, they're kids. I'm sure they loved it anyway!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


We had a good weekend in Warroad with Kirby's family. We left on Thursday night and drove those many miles until we arrived in the wee hours of Friday morning. The ride up . . . it wasn't very pleasant, so don't ask! We arrived back home last night in time for supper and I'm hoping to stick around for at least a week this time before going out of town again!!

Friday we went to my niece's kindergarten graduation . . . I never knew graduating from kindergarten could be SUCH a big deal (I didn't even know that it was a "deal" at all, actually!). We hung out with Kirby's sister, Annie, and her family on Friday afternoon and then went to the end-of-the-year program at Warroad Christian Academy where our niece and nephew, Katie & Evan go to school and where Kirby's sister, Kristy, teaches. I hear it was a wonderful program, although I spent most of it walking up and down the block with a very crabby Anna!

Saturday and Sunday were both gorgeous days in northern Minnesota, warm and sunny! Saturday was a nice, relaxing day. We played at the park a little in the morning, walked by the lake, threw rocks in the water, rolled up our pant legs and got our feet wet and played a little more. In the afternoon Kirby's brother, Tracey, and his family came over for a picnic. We had some great stuff off the grill and enjoyed eating outside in the warm sun! The kids all had a blast together.

Rebekah & Kirbs:

All the kiddos at the playground:

Rebekah & Anna:


The kiddos at the lake:

Tommy pulling & Rebekah pushing the 3 littlest ones in the wagon
Joey, Anna & Caleb:
(don't worry, Anna wasn't standing up when the wagon was moving)

Sunday morning we went to church with Kristy's family and then over to their house for lunch and a little "play time". Anna was pretty good on Saturday, but crabby again on Sunday, I suspected another ear infection. Sunday night we took baths, hung out with Grandma & Grandpa, read stories and watched a little TV, then turned in for the night in anticipation of our departure in the morning.

Rebekah & Mom:

Grandma & Grandpa with the kids (well, not Joe . . . he was a crab!)

See what I mean?

Kirb with his parents and {most of} the kids:

Grandma & Grandpa:

We got up on Monday, got dressed, had a few bites to eat, said our goodbyes and piled back into the van for the LONG trip home. The trip home wasn't a whole lot more pleasant than the one up there was . . . 3 kids all squished into that back seat makes it tough. I know they say the seat is built for 3. And I realize that there are 3 seatbelts, but if a 10-year-old, a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old can't fit comfortably I don't know how those people at Dodge would ever expect 3 adults to sit back there . . . it reminds me of airline seats . . . don't get me started on that one. This bad travel experience is too close to my recent bad flight experience for my tastes! YIKES!

Father & Son

Joe to Dad: "We are wheelbarrowing right by each other!"

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flashback Friday

How cool am I?

I got this poster signed at a DC Talk concert in the fall of 1992. I also have a picture of me with "the guys" {big bangs and all}, but I'm not sure where it is. If I find it someday maybe I'll share it. For now, enjoy a little Kevin, Toby & Michael from "back in the day."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Together at last, together forever . . .

Together at last. Together forever.
We're tied in a knot, they never can sever.
I don't need sunshine now to turn my skies to blue.
I don't need anything but you.
. . . I'm a big Annie fan, so I couldn't resist. Finally having Ava here made me think of this song. The best friends are finally in the same general part of the world and they couldn't be happier . . . ok, so really Anna & Ava don't care that much {maybe at all}, but we're milkin' this whole "best friends" thing for all we're worth. They have tons of matching clothes and, like it or not, better darn well love each other like crazy for the rest of their lives or they're in for some trouble!

Ava ridin' around our house on momma's back:

Anna's all ready to go:

Al & Ava: visiting "Grandma Marcia" at work:

Anna, me & Ava:

2 pairs of best friends:
Shana & Al, Anna & Ava

Anna & Ava had their first playdate together today. Ava & her momma came over this morning and we spent a good chunk of the day together. It was the best! We hung out, visited my mom at work {she was still in Connecticut when Ava came home on Monday, so she hadn't had the chance to meet her yet!}, drove through McDonalds {she's in America now, so we figured the girl needed a little cheeseburger and fries}, took some pictures and then hung out a little more before they headed back westward to get Ava home for a nap.

Ava is the happiest, sweetest, most beautiful little thing . . . as long as her momma is holding her, that is {well, she's sweet & beautiful regardless, but the happiness quotient goes down noticably when she's not in momma's arms . . . or on her back . . . or on her front}. Miraculously, though, she did stop crying while I was holding her {while Al made a little pit stop in the bathroom} . . . however, the minute momma was back in her sights she started crying again and clapping. The clapping thing is SO cute, it's almost like begging. She claps whenever she wants Al to pick her up: buckle her in the carseat, she cries and claps; set her down, she cries and claps; if someone else tries to hold her, same thing. She cries and claps. I love it! Her own little sign language for "PICK ME UP, MOM!" What a smart girl!

Maybe we'll do it all over again next week! I'm game!

Thankful Thursday

Portable DVD players . . . how great are they? We hop {more accurately, pile} in the van tonight to head up to Warroad to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins galore. Hopefully the DVD player and a few favorite movies {and the fact that many of the hours, on the trip up, should be filled with sleep, since we won't arrive until probably 2 am!} will make the trip go more smoothly and a tad bit faster. 365 miles north! YIKES!

We would appreciate your prayers for our trip, thanks!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Welcome home sweet girl!

waiting . . .
Here they come:
sweet Ava:
mother & daughter:

all smiles:

Best friends, eh?
Neither one was too impressed upon first meeting.
C'mon girls, get with the program!

We love you!