Sunday, July 31, 2011

Camping with Five

It has been several years since I have been camping with the kids. In fact I think the last time I went I was pregnant with Lucy. Neither of the girls have ever gone camping but Eric and the boys have gone several times by themselves.

Andrew and Zane have been clamoring to go camping all summer. Unfortunately the weather has been less than cooperative. We had some errands to do and then the weekend was mostly free. Since it was nice weather I asked Eric if he thought impromptu camping would work and he was quick to get on board with the plan.

We scramble packed the van up in about an hour and headed off toward Mountain Loop Highway to look for a good free camping spot. We ended up at a spot that Eric and the boys have camped at before. We were very fortunate that it was still available.

The kids were all very excited. And the girls were over the moon that they didn't get left behind this time. The camping spot was right next to this tiny feeder stream that I could tell would be bustling during the spring thaw but was very shallow and not hardly moving right now. It was a perfect place for the girls to play with a little bit of water and mud but not worry about them drowning themselves if I wasn't standing right there.

Gwen spent almost an hour playing in the water and painting a rock with mud. She and Lucy were almost deliriously happy and very, very muddy. They have no problem getting dirty. Eric and I kept commenting how much more girly the boys are when it comes to playing with messy stuff.

After we finally pulled the girls out of the water and got them slightly cleaned off it was time for hot dog roasting and marshmallow eating.

Andrew and Zane were master twig and log finders. They tromped through the woods to look for as much left over dead stuff as they could.

Once the fire was really going we got the food roasting away. Eric only made 3 roasting sticks so we had to take turns eating. Fortunately everyone was in a great mood and didn't fuss.

Reid did really well with the camping experience too. He was very content to sit and be held and two sleepers was enough to keep him toasty.

Eric and I zipped some sleeping bags together and Reid crashed out in between us to sleep. It was kinda nice to have a little heating machine in between us all night.

One of the biggest challenges of camping with Lucy right now is taking her to the potty. We didn't camp in a place where there was a Honey Bucket, and she is not exactly up to squatting in the woods yet.

To solve the problem we brought our potty seat insert and made a potty with it propped up on some rocks. (See the photo of Andrew poking the fire, in the background is her seat) I have to admit that it worked like a charm and I have never had such an easy time getting Lucy to go potty for me. Apparently the great outdoors is a wonderfully fun place to pee.

After dinner and our family devotions I tried to get the girls in bed. It wasn't happening. They were too excited. So Reid and I went to bed which was kinda nice. Eric called it a night right before 10 and everyone else came to bed then. It was a very quick lights out and all 7 of us snoozed the night away.

We woke up in the morning to a light sprinkle and quickly broke camp. I have to admit that camping was a bit crazy with all of us but it also was kinda fun. I think that I may even be willing to go again.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

First Pitch!

The Lake Steven Little League does several fundraisers throughout the year to help supplement the cost to play. One of those fundraisers this year was a ticket sale for Aquasox tickets. The person who sold the most tickets got to throw out the first pitch at an Aquasox game.

Due to an incredible friend who bought a lot of tickets for his company, Andrew was the top seller and won the right to throw out the first pitch.

We have been practicing quite a bit to make sure that Andrew would be able to throw the ball well enough to make it across the plate. He went out there and winged the ball good! It crossed the plate with ease and even looked like it could have been a strike.

It took us a long time to convince Andrew that he wasn't throwing out the first pitch of the game itself. He asked Eric what he was supposed to do if the batter hit the ball. It took us awhile to get him to understand the difference between a ceremonial first pitch and the start of the game.

The player that caught was very nice and signed the ball for Andrew. His name is Tim Griffin and we are crossing our fingers that he makes it to the big leagues. Hey! That ball might be worth something someday!

Right after the ceremonial first pitches there was a different group of players that got to run out on the field and stand with the players for the national anthem. They offered to let not only Andrew but Zane as well go out. So nice!

The boys wanted to stick together so they both headed to stand with the catcher for the singing of the anthem.

The game was great and a whole lot of fun. The Aquasox even won 2-0 and since it was fireworks Friday we stayed for the after game festivities. Zane and Andrew both were thrilled with the event and told Eric that it was the best day ever. Sounds about right to me.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Reid Isaiah- 4 Months Old

Baby boy is 4 months old today. INSANITY! Time has gone zipping by with this little man and he is such a joy. Reid is one of my most chatty babies. He will coo and wiggle and squirm when you talk to him. He definitely is trying to communicate back. Reid adores all his big brothers and sisters and gets very excited when they stop to talk and play with him.

Just this week Reid figured out how to roll over and is getting quite speedy at it when he wants on his tummy. Of course this is resulting in an increased number of night wakings because he keeps ending up on his stomach and apparently hasn't figured out that tummy sleeping is a wonderful way to snooze. Reid is an eating and growing machine too. He is currently wearing 6-9 month clothing consistently and some of his stuff is 9-12 month. I will be curious to see what his height is at his next doctor visit. It seems like he is quite long but maybe I am just remembering how much littler the girls were.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dinner Party Fun

Chhaya, Pastor Samuel, Pastor Shirish and Ujwala

Our church partners with some pastor friends in India with several of their projects and programs. They are here visiting for several weeks and last night we had them over for dinner. It was a very fun night hearing more about what they do in India and learning more about them. Chhaya in particular loved holding Reid and Gwen was a major hit with Ujwala. Gwen let Ujwala pick her up and snuggle her. The boys both thought that having guests over was a lot of fun and I have to agree! Maybe someday we will get to go visit these sweet friends in India.


Last night Reid rolled for the very first time. He has been working on it for a few weeks but I found him on his tummy in his crib after his nap and I certainly hadn't left him like that. Then Eric found him rolled onto his tummy in the middle of the night too. Of course it was after I had already nursed him once so I had to nurse him to sleep again. Eric brought him in to me the second time and said "Dork-butt rolled onto his tummy again instead of going to sleep." Middle of the night does bring out the best in both of us...

Playing Patty-Cake

Gwen loves to play patty-cake with Reid. She also loves to play it with her dolls or anyone else that will comply. She is very determined to do all the motions with Reid's hands, and gets a bit frustrated with his elbows do not bend like she wants them too.

It is very sweet to see her being such a wonderful little momma already.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chunky Monkey

I want to eat his sweet little cheeks up.


It seems like forever since I have posted anything about the mutt. Calvin continues to be the best dog in the world. His patience with the kiddos is never ending. Which really is saying something now that we have five. Other than getting more table scraps than are possibly healthy for him and periodically getting some people food from a little hand that wasn't perfectly ready to give it up yet, I have no complaints. God certainly knew that we needed this sweet doggy when we walked into the pound nine years ago.


I feel like all I have done the last two weeks is fuss at these two little men to stop rough housing and wrestling inside. The weather has been admittedly horrid. So outside is not really been much of an option. But the physical-ness of their play has me somewhat at the end of my rope. Although if you ask them they haven't been wrestling at all. I will be mighty glad when the sun decides it is here to stay for the next few weeks. My poor voice has just about had it!

Ump-ing with Daddy

Eric was playing umpire while we were watching the game tonight. The girls joined in. There was a lot of loud "STRIIIIIIIKE!!!!" going on in our living room. Daddy just makes everything more fun.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Go to Sleep Guy

Eric has a job most days. It is putting Reid to sleep. After long days watching the kiddos it is nice to have one job that I can consistently give him with the baby.

They are so sweet together. It makes my heart happy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

He Can SEE!

Got a call from the eye doctor's office today that Zane's new glasses were in. So we trekked over to the clinic and picked them up. Zane was a bit nervous about the glasses but after he got them on his face he started peering around a big grin showed up.

The kiddo can finally see everything. We walked out to the van and I asked him what he thought. He looked at the bushy trees in front of the building and said they looked soft. Yep. That was some detail he had never noticed before. He spent the entire ride home looking out the windows at all the new stuff that he didn't realize he wasn't seeing before. I think this is going to be a fun few days with him discovering all that he hadn't been seeing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Apparently Big Enough

I have been waiting to try the saucer-sizer with Reid until he was 4 months old. But just today Kelly figured her little man Charlie was big enough for their toy and since Reid is almost 6 weeks older than Charlie I thought maybe I was being excessive with the waiting and should give it a try.

All in all Reid seems to like the toy. He has been playing in it for a bit and other than the big kiddos trying to show him all the toys at once it has gone really well. I think Reid will be in it for awhile. Which is a bit of a relief. I like it when a toy lasts!

Hmmm.... I wonder how I can get this thing in my mouth?

Friday, July 15, 2011


Gwen has a favorite saying called "Never, Ever, EVER!" It started out quite cute and adorable and just a little bit naughty. But cute and adorable has quickly faded away to just plain naughty. Imagine you are angry with a person. And not just mildly irked. Totally and completely ticked. Now imagine every foul name or word you could call that person. You know the tone that you would say those horrid words in? Yeah, that is the tone that Gwen uses when she is saying "Never, Ever, EVER!"

Last night Lucy and Gwen were fighting about something. Gwen came downstairs to see me. She was very upset but I had no idea what was going on with the two of them. I just knew they were fighting. Then Lucy walked into the room. Gwen let loose with a string of Never, Ever's like I have never heard. In fact I was on the phone with mom and she got to hear it too. It was good that Grandma wasn't around because she was giggling on the other end of the line.

Gwen is so verbal already. And I can only imagine what is going to come out of her mouth when she has the vocabulary to truly back up her feelings. I can see a long road in front of us with her. She must get her tongue in check. Because cat fights at my house are just not going to be ok.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tree Climbing

To say we are a cautious group would probably be an understatement. I think it is odd to a lot of people that my boys have never really climbed trees. Lucy is much more daring than both boys put together, although Zane's blindness could have something to do with it too I suppose. Anyway, we have a tree in our yard that is just about perfect for climbing and today Lucy was hanging on one of the low branches and I told her she could climb up it if she wanted. The kiddos took it from there and did a great job.

Andrew climbed the highest up. He could have gone higher but for his first trip up a tree he did great.

Zane was very cautious but like I mentioned earlier, I think his vision plays a huge role in what he is willing to try. He has been up and down in the tree several times and I think he is going to get more and more daring as he gets comfortable.

Lucy is the most daring and willing to try new things like this but she did not go terribly high up. Short legs have a lot to do with it. I can only imagine how high up she would go if her legs were longer though. I may be very sorry I encouraged this...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

An Eye Appointment for Two

I took Andrew and Zane in to get their eyes checked today. It had been awhile since Andrew had his eyes examined and I felt he was due. The trip was prompted though by a comment Zane's Sunday school teacher made to Eric. She felt he was having trouble seeing the board in class. So off we went to get the skinny on both boys.

Andrew went in to the checkup first. He came out quite quickly and the doctor said that his eyes looked good for now but it was quite probable that Andrew will need glasses in the future. There is no real prediction on when. Just that it will more than likely happen.

Then Zane headed back. Almost instantly the doctor came back out to ask me if Zane had ever worn glasses. I said no and thought to myself "this can't be good" After quite a LONG time the doctor and Zane returned. Apparently Zane's eye sight is "horrible" He has a -3.0 in one eye and -3.5 in the other. Plus a very strong astigmatism. He is going to need to wear them from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to bed. We ordered glasses (which come with a break them and we replace them guarantee) and they will be here in about 2-3 weeks

I feel bad that I didn't catch it earlier. I knew he was sitting close to the tv when he was watching it or playing Wii, but I thought that he just liked to lay on the floor by the tv. SIGH, At least it has been caught now. Poor little man. I feel bad that he has been so blind for so long. He isn't going to know what hit him when he can finally see!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Birthday Party for Andrew

Star Wars was the theme for this year's birthday party. Andrew has been on such a kick with Star Wars. He enjoys reading the books, watching the movies, playing games with the Star Wars theme and building anything Lego that is Star Wars as well.

Andrew made out like a bandit with presents and even got some cash to go on a shopping spree of his own. I can see a REALLY long trip to Toys 'R Us in our future. He is not the most decisive child.

All in all it was a great time celebrating Andrew. Great friends, family, food and laughter. Everything that makes a birthday special.