Monday, April 21, 2014

A Blessed Easter 2014!

We had such a wonderful time in Germany but it is always good to be home!

The children were excited to color eggs!
And it was Ben and Joey's first Easter!
They have settled in so well and it feels like they have always been part of our crew!

Everyone got to color 2 eggs… I know that's not very many but don't tell them- they were happy doing only two!

The big girls colored the eggs first so the could show the little ones how to do it!
Then they helped the younger children!

Our Easter Sunday was delightful!
We made it to 8:30 church and got a good seat- which is a challenge on major holidays!

All the children wore their "Sunday best"clothes!

And the little girls very colorful!
(They wore their white sandals but now they are being saved for the wedding in June!)

Boys are sooooo easy to please!

Love this guy!
He truly is the man of my dreams!
He brings me a latte everyday!
Except now I showed him and our older sons that I can actually make them at home!
Wondering if my daily treat is finished…?

Sarah is really growing up! 
She is enjoying conversation with Mom, Dad and the older kids!
Her sense of humor is wonderful and we all share lots of laughs!

It was a BEAUTIFUL day in our neck of the woods but still a little soggy out so everyone put on their play clothes so they could spend time outside!
Thankful to see SPRING finally arrive!

The big boys hid the eggs and baskets!
Let the hunt begin!

This was our first group for the egg hunt!
They were all successful!

Next was a more competitive crew!
Ben, Melissa, Anna and Sam!

And then came the 3rd group!
Ellie, Mia, Ava and Sarah!
The big boys LOVE to hide Sarah's basket in a super hard spot!
They were successful again this year and we had to play hot and cold in order for her to find her basket!

Then they had to try cartwheels on the beam to show Sarah they could do it too!

Johnny is very competitive and he stuck his cartwheel(except he had bad form)!
Billy and Mark… not so much…

Patiently waiting for the last group to be done so they could DIG IN!

Billy and Kelly brought the kids an Easter treat too!
I am guessing it was Kelly's idea ;-)

We let the kids have as much as they can eat and then finish it up the next day.
We just don't want it hanging around for weeks and weeks or even days and days ;-)

I love that they are happy with whatever they get!

Busy season is over so now we get to see more of them!
Billy came her looking quite nice BUT it was in the 70's and sunny so now he is down to his t-shirt!

Our sunroom may need shades!
Mark was warm so the girls took care of him with an ice pack!

And Kelly got a hairdo from Ava!

It is a family tradition to have an 

Everyone gets one hard boiled egg and we pair up and hit them together.
The unbroken egg get a new opponent!
The person whose egg has not broken in the end is the winner!

The last four contestants were Ellie, Mia, Johnny and Anna!

Guess who won!
I love that complete look of surprise!
Ellie doesn't get a chance to win very often…

Everyone was so happy for Ellie!
And she was beyond thrilled!

It was a joyous day celebrating our risen Christ!
Only missing 4 kids and one granddaughter (plus hubby and I) and wondering if I will EVER have a complete family picture!
Hoping we will in June at the wedding!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Emily Time!

We are trying to spend more time at home and cut down on the running around (a bit)!

We had a quiet day at home. Grandpa worked while babysitting our sweet baby!

She loved her time with Grandpa!
Katie and I ran a quick errand and we were back in 30 minutes!

Emily enjoyed time on her play mat!

Her eyes are open more often now!

She listened intently to the new sounds!

And is trying her hardest to see where the noise is coming from!

At this point she is only seeing contrasting colors.

We are loving our time with her!
(but of course miss the other children at home)

Her eyes are a muddy blue color. Katie and Andrew have green/ brown hazel eyes.
We have brown, blue, hazel and green in the families!
Excited to see what color she decides on!

God bless you sweet girl!

She loved my shirt with the contrasting black and white!!

Okay... we are done with play time - she's starting to cry...

Oops- false alarm!
We are okay after all!

A bath, diaper change, a feeding and a new outfit!
We are good to go!!

It's been a glorious few days!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sightseeing in Stuttgart!

Emily is very portable right now!
Easy to carry around and very little fussing!
However, she had a tough night so we tried to do less on Day 2...
It didn't work as planned but it was a good effort!

Remember all the gear you need for a baby!
how much longer everything takes ;-)

Katie and Andrew handle it so well and we try to help out as much as possible!

 We visited one of the local castles!

Schloss Solitude was the name of the castle and it was beautiful!
In Germany everything is closed on Sundays so family's spend the day together
(no shopping, no errands) and the day will often include a hike!
I love this about Germany!

They had horses on the grounds surrounding the castle, they are so beautiful!

I am thinking about taking horseback riding lessons with some of our children!
Sarah and Ava are doing it now. Mia, Melissa and Mom are thinking about joining them!
In our family, whoever gets to ride horses, "gets" to do the doggy poop pick up at home!
It's the price you have to pay for the privilege of riding horses!

I did a little riding when I was younger... a lot lot younger!
Wonder if I get even get up on the horse now???

On the way home we stopped at Rubble Hill.

After WWII they dumped all the rubble from the buildings that were bombed on top of this hill.

It has now grown over and has become a place to rest and reflect on all that happened during the war.

65% of Stuttgart was destroyed during WWII

We ended up stopping here because Katie needed to feed the baby- I am so glad we did.

There is so much history in Germany...
All over the city are small plaques on the sidewalk where people were "last seen"...
 How awful it must have been for the families of the missing people... 
It is in memory of all that happened and a reminder that it can never happen again...

It overlooks the city of Stuttgart.

Praise God that beauty can come from such evil...

This cross is at the top of the hill...

And then it was time to make our way back down.
Hubby and I enjoyed the time with Andrew.

I promise...
there will be way more pics of Emily in the next post!