Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How Old Are You TODAY?

can you tell us how many weeks old you are today?

You're right!

You are 4 weeks old today!

Oh My Goodness!


Emily had her 4 week check up and is 8.5 lbs(up from her birth weight of 7.2 lbs!
She is sporting a nice tummy and a pair of full cheeks now!

Check out Katie's blog for a cute little video!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Weekend on Colorado!

Working on wedding plans with Matt and Caitlin!

 Denver was in the 70's but it was in the 40's at Winter Park. 
Thank goodness we brought layers!

We drove to the wedding site and finalized a few things!

The kids have done a lot already and it was so nice to hear what they have decided on
and we needed to...

get going on the grooms dinner, which is our responsibility!
We were able to meet with a few restaurants and check out some other possibilities!
The rest will be done over the phone!

It was beautiful in the mountains!

Hubby and I are excited for our littles to see this place and to spend some time here!
We are thinking cowboy boots are in order!

Thankful to have had this time here with Matt and Caitlin!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Finding Peace

Why am I continuously amazed by GOD?

Shouldn't I know by now?

That HE is in control and that HIS blessings flow so freely!

All we need to do, 
is to

And He will navigate for us!

We were so very thankful for our last home. 
We stumbled upon it and had no idea we would be filling it to the gills. 
The first time I saw it I thought "nope, I don't like it…"
Then three months later I woke up in the middle of the night and knew that was our house!

Hubby and I had no plans to move in 2013. 
Life is short and we didn't want to spend it house hunting and house planning.
We were happy with what HE gave us…

In some of our private conversations we talked about
IF we ever moved what would we want or need in a house.
But, I always went back to praying-
Lord if you want us to move you will provide the home.
My peace was in that prayer…

God did want us to move and HE provided in an amazing way!

It gave us circumstances where HIS desire was PERFECTLY clear!

He allowed us to live with persecution, discrimination, discomfort and anxiety to further clarify 
HIS plan.

HE gave me visions of his desires for us and that cemented our decision.

And once the decision was made...
it was so right
so clear
so easy
(you know what I mean, as easy as it could possibly be when moving 11 children…)

On top of that he provided a home for us! 
A home that we could move into in a moments notice!
A home that fit our family!
A home that had everything on our little list of desires!

We didn't even discover that it had the things from our list until after we were moved in!

Yes, there were some things that we had to give up with our move but they were minor extravagances that we can live without…

And then, while in process of this move - every single tiny detail fell into place… perfectly!
How amazing is that!

We were in awe throughout this process!

We were concerned that it may be upsetting to our new children but that wasn't the case at all.
They NEVER looked back!
In fact it brought our family closer together!

Our Lord led us to a peaceful existence!

To a place where we can just be us-
with a fair share of burnt out lightbulbs that need to be changed,
a few extra cars parked in the driveway,
roaming doggies,
exploring children,
where something is always being discovered!

with so much potential -
 with the house,
with the yard, 
 with the children!

For now… it is exactly where HE wants us and we are celebrating and enjoying this moment in time!

There are more details to work out…

Hubby's job is and has been for the last 10 years 
in a different state(main office) - Colorado...

BUT Minnesota has always been home for us and we are a close knit family.

This summer we will have two of our big children and their families (Matt & Caitlin, Katie, Andrew and Emily) living in Colorado.
Two of our children live here (Billy and Johnny).
And Mark will be in Iowa in grad school.

We don't have plans to move  

if you want to hear God laugh-
 tell HIM your plans!

Recently, we learned a lesson in 

So that's where I'm putting my money!

Prayers for God's guidance are always appreciated!

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!