Saturday, May 19, 2012

On the Road and with Family!

Family Picture (1 of 1)
Good gracious it's been a while since I posted!  Truth is I still have pictures and posts to share from our Spring Break way back a few months ago...and this picture is one of many family pictures that I never posted from last fall (but plan to one of these days...yes, I must do that)!
But for right now we are on the road and spending some wonderful time with family and getting ready to direct the summer project in Colorado very soon and, well, I'm feeling a bit too worn out (in a mostly good way) in the evenings to edit pictures.  And I have a feeling this might be how it goes for a while since we are entering into a very busy season of life with our summer project.  So bear with me and I'll update a bit here and there and then maybe in August I'll take a few days and just edit, edit, edit and blog, blog, blog and get us all caught up!:)
But, like I said, for right now we are on the road.  We left on Monday and spent the day with Joe's family celebrating his mom's birthday (and mine too).  Following that was two days worth of driving where once again it almost seemed as though our kids handled it better than us (they are pretty amazing travelers)...though a short attention span from one sweet little man did require a little bit more interaction from the passenger parent than in travels past!  All in all though they were really great!
We are now with my parents in Wisconsin and our time here is already flying by...quality time with Grammy and G-Pa, some fun and unique outdoor activities (because it's been hot here), a family birthday party for Lily today, yard sales, and yummy treats!  Oh, it's been good!  And that's what this family is up to these days!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Go West!

We are headed West (well, we will be in 5 days)!  I don't think I've mentioned it on this blog yet, but we are headed out to Colorado for the summer.  To be honest, Joe and I were hoping to be in Maine this summer.  It's been a long, hard year and we were hoping for the stability that home offers, but God clearly has other plans for us.  We were just days away from confirming our summer assignment in Maine when we got word that we were NEEDED in Colorado.  The couple that normally directs the Lifelines Summer Project our there (our friends Mark and Brenda) had some major change of plans themselves.  Mark was in a motorcycle accident last summer and nearly lost his leg.  He's been going through rehab ever since and thought it was going well, but not to long ago learned that he actually needed to get an unexpected total knee replacement.  This meant that he and Brenda needed to be at their home for the summer undergoing surgery and recovery.  The thus not only were we needed to be on the Summer Project in Colorado, but they actually asked me to be one of two directors of the project (a first for me).  Our Lifelines National Team is like family and there was never a moment of question for us that we would step in where needed to help our family and this project that we care so much about...even if it meant giving up our peaceful summer at home.  Who needs peaceful anyway?:)  Nope, instead we are headed West!  We leave on Monday with a stop at Joe's parent's house to celebrate his mom's birthday.  They we are on our way for two days of driving in the car before a week long stop to visit my family in Wisconsin!  Then two more days of driving and we will be in Crested Butte, Colorado for almost two months!  Apart from all of the driving Joe and I are very much looking forward to the summer and all that God has planned for us that we weren't expecting!  We sure would appreciate your prayers for safe (and maybe even happy) travels!   Okay, time to start packing!:)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lily's Fairy Fifth Birthday!

We celebrated Lily's 5th birthday with a little fairy party that was oh so sweet!
Lily's Birthday2 (1 of 1)
Lily waiting for her party to start!
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Fairy Food
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Everything was ready and Lily was waiting, with much excitement, for her friends to arrive! Lily's Birthday18 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday19 (1 of 1) We planned to have Lily's party at the University's ornamental garden, but it was crazy windy that morning (with a wind chill in the 20's) so we decided not to freeze the little fairies and to move the party inside. These butterflies were meant to be hanging from a beautiful tree in the garden, but they still looked lovely flying about our living room!:) Lily's Birthday20 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday21 (1 of 1)
The girls (and Eli) had a great time making the butterflies fly!:) Lily's Birthday23 (1 of 1)
And then it was time to turn 8 sweet little girls into beautiful little fairies! The girls searched our house up and down to find secretly hidden fairy wings, homemade fairy hats, and fairy wands! Lily's Birthday24 (1 of 1)
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My beautiful little Lily fairy!
Lily's Birthday29 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday31 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday32 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday33 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday34 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday35 (1 of 1)Lily's Birthday36 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday37 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday38 (1 of 1) And once the girls were all decked out it was time to decorate their fairy houses. You know, legend says that if you make a lovely home for a fairy and place it in your garden that a fairy might just come to stay!:) We also heard that fairies like things that glitter and sparkle. So these fairy houses were well decorated with sparkly paint, feathers, shells, and lots of little sparkly things! The girls did an AMAZING job at this...each little fairy house was so unique and special...and they worked at it so intently for so long- just enjoying being creative. It was so fun to watch! Lily's Birthday39 (1 of 1)
And even Eli joined he is painting the inside of his fairy house.Lily's Birthday40 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday41 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday42 (1 of 1)
Lily's Birthday43 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday44 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday45 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday46 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday47 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday48 (1 of 1) And then it was time for cake... Lily's Birthday49 (1 of 1) And this year she just loved having her friends sing to her... Lily's Birthday50 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday51 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday52 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday53 (1 of 1)
And time to enjoy all of that fun fairy food... Lily's Birthday54 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday55 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday56 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday57 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday58 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday59 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday60 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday61 (1 of 1) Eli found a creative way for eating the grape caterpillars!:) Lily's Birthday62 (1 of 1)
And then there were presents!
Lily's Birthday63 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday64 (1 of 1) I love how gift opening becomes a group event!:) Lily's Birthday65 (1 of 1) Her party with her friends was just absolutely sweet and lovely from start to finish! And we finished just in time to clean up, enjoy a few presents, set up, and do it all over again with our family! Lily's Birthday65 (1 of 1) Her big birthday was her request...two layers of homemade chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate chip cheesecake in the middle, covered in chocolate butter cream and drizzled with chocolate ganache...yummm! Lily's Birthday66 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday67 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday69 (1 of 1)
Lily's collection of goodies...fairy wings, hat, wand, and the fairy house she decorated. Lily's Birthday70 (1 of 1) And when the family arrived we all jumped in and created our own pizzas! Lily's Birthday71 (1 of 1)
And enjoyed them!
Lily's Birthday72 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday68 (1 of 1) And since it warmed up a bit we were able to go out and create a natural little fairy garden.Lily's Birthday73 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday74 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday75 (1 of 1) Lily, Eli, and I collected these pine cones all fall long just waiting for this! Lily's Birthday76 (1 of 1) They were lining the inside of the fairy house with birch bark to make it nice and cozy! Lily's Birthday77 (1 of 1) Lily's Birthday78 (1 of 1)
And time for more cake!
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And a few more presents.
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It was such a wonderful, beautiful, full day! So full that little Eli skipped his nap...and I found him like this after everybody left: Lily's Birthday84 (1 of 1) We were ALL tired and happy. But I think that my favorite moment came at the very end of the day. I was tucking Lily in for bed and I said to her, "Lily, do you know why we did all of these special things for you today?" She said, "because it was my birthday." And I said, "yes, because it was your birthday but mostly because we wanted you to feel extra special today, because you are my special girl." She got the sweetest smile on her face, threw her arms around my neck, squeezed hard, and said, "you are MY special mommy." And that made it all worth it. Happy Birthday to our precious little Lily fairy!