Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Zoo

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Zoo12 (1 of 1)
I grew up going to this little zoo in my hometown.  I remember that watching the turtles in the turtle pond was my favorite.   I also remember being afraid of the peacocks that they would just let roam free (they would spread their feathers wide and I would be too afraid to pass them)!  So, this may not be the biggest or best zoo, but it's special because of these memories and thus is feels special being able to now take my kids to this zoo!  We had a great morning there with the kids and my parents and I think most of us agreed that the camel was our you can see he was very friendly and very interested in us!:)
That seems like a long time ago now even though it was just May.  I have many more pictures to share from our time with my family in Wisconsin (including our awesome vacation at the water park) but for now I have to start editing some of my pictures from Colorado (because we will need them for the end of the project) so you'll probably start seeing some of those before the rest of the ones from Wisconsin!:)  We are still here in Colorado working like crazy and playing a bit too!  I believe that God is really using this project and it's been an honor to be a part of it even if we are a bit exhausted!  More to come from Colorado soon I promise!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day Bubba!

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When asked the kids told me that they love Bubba because...
He does big boomers (fireworks) for them
and because he snuggles and watches cartoons with them.
Personally I'm loving my dad right now because he's the kind of dad who's willing (and even excited) to ride the craziest ride at the waterpark with his grown daughter (not just once, but twice)!
Those are just a few of the reasons we are loving Bubba this Father's Day.
Happy Father's Day Dad!
P.S.  In case you are wondering what is going on in the first picture...the kids are yelling out "Bubba!"

Happy Father's Day Daddy!

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There are many reasons that we love daddy.
Right now the kids are loving daddy because he is fun and because he pretends to be a monster (one of their favorite games to play with daddy).
I am loving him right now because he is always up for an adventure with us...even if it's not simple, even if it's crazy, even if it involves a lot of stuff, even if it means going on another hike after he just spent three days backpacking and hiking! 
This life is an adventure and our children are INCREDIBLY blessed to have such an incredible father to share it with!
Happy Father's Day Daddy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Redneck Waterbed

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I found this idea on a blog I love called Play At Home Mom and I just couldn't resist.  It was pretty hot while we were visiting my parents in Wisconsin and it just seemed perfect.  All I did was buy a roll of heavy plastic sheeting , folded it in half, and duck tapped the open sides together (if I do it again I'll fold the sides over twice before I tape it) and also taped it together around the hose, then turned the hose on and filled it up with water (and a little bit of blue food coloring)!
Truth be told Joe thought I was crazy.  He watched me do it totally thinking that it wouldn't work.  And I'll admit, when I started filling it up it did leak a bit and I started to have doubts myself.  Then I realized I didn't put it on a part of the lawn that was totally flat, so my ever growing water blob starting creeping down hill.  But, Joe came to my rescue and helped me move it to a flat part of the yard.  And then...and then... the rest was a TOTAL success!!  As you can see the kids LOVED it.  They played on it for a big chunk of the morning (we had to make them stop for lunch) and again for most of the afternoon after nap time. 
They loved running and sliding on it, jumping on it, and just laying on it!  And after a while we  added a little water and soap to the top to make it even more fun and the kids really loved that!  Yes, it did start to form weak spots and a few holes, but I was able to fix most of those with a little bit of duck tape- I was amazed at how well it held up!  In fact later in the afternoon Joe even picked me up (fully dressed and screaming) and threw me into our water blob!  Once I was all wet and soapy I decided I might as well take a few running superman slides into it- which really was pretty fun.  And then we even convinced Joe to join in the fun!  And it help up through it all.
Yep, this one was a keeper!  For $10 we had a full days worth of water, soapy, giant bubble fun!  I'm sure that this is one we'll do again at some point and maybe Joe and I will even join in the fun from the very beginning! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Friends (1 of 1)
Right before we left for our adventures out west we managed to have some of our very good friends over for a hot dog cookout in our backyard.  I only got my camera out for a bit, but I did snap this picture of Laura and Jennifer- two of my best friends.  You have likely seen a few pictures of their kids on my blog (because they are some of Lily's best friends)- but I rarely make them the subject of my photos...because, like many adults, they don't really love having their picture taken...despite the fact that they are both BEAUTIFUL.  But I just had to share this picture today because I am very much missing these two wonderful friends.  Here on the summer project we have been sharing with each other about the last year and as you might imagine it has been an emotional process sharing with them all of the hard times of the last year.  And yet as I relived the last year I couldn't help but think of these two friends and how the Lord used them to comfort me and support me and to remind me of His goodness.  I do miss them.  They have fun, exciting things going on in their lives right now and I hate not being there to be a part of it and I just can't wait to get back home and have a good, long coffee date with them!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Making of our Family Photo

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It's not the best picture I have ever taken, but I kinda love it.
I love it most because I just love our family.
But I also love it because I know what went into creating it.  You see, this family that I love so much HATES having their picture taken.  They are all so supportive of me in my photography and they love the pictures I take of the little ones in our family, but the glares come out pretty quick anytime the lens is pointed anywhere in their direction!:)  So you can imagine my shock when my sister-in-law called me just as we were about to leave for the summer to ask me if I would be willing to take a family photo that afternoon at the little party we were having to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday.  She recognized that that afternoon might have been the last time we were ALL together for quite some time (since her oldest son is going cross country for college this year) and she wanted to get a good family photo before he left.
Like I said, it's not the greatest photo I have ever taken, but it's pretty amazing for a couple of reasons...
It's amazing because somebody other than me in our family initiated it!
It's amazing because everybody in the family agreed with very little complaining or grumbles (unless they were all doing it behind my back)!:)
It's amazing because we got this shot with only two clicks of the shutter.  Right as we were getting set up it really started to this shot was in the rain (and so was my camera) so literally all I got was two shots!
And it's AMAZING that with only two shots (and this many people and little ones) that EVERYBODY was looking (and generally smiling)!
And it's amazing because, even though I set up the shot and settings, this is actually a self timer photo!  Yes, I set it up, clicked the button, and RAN to my seat...and you can't even tell (I even stopped on my run back to the chair to take Eli's hood off of his head)!:)
I'm thankful for this picture and everybody in it...and maybe they'll let me take another one in 10 years!:)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Bubba (1 of 1)
Bubba oh Bubba-
We think you're the best...
And you're birthday SHOULD have risen about the rest.
But alas, we've been busy and lost track of days
So with our heads hung low we're now here to say
Happy Belated Birthday Dear Bubba!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Cousins Family!

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Let me introduce you to the Cousins side of our family! 
This is a very rare family photo taken just a few weeks ago and we were only missing our second oldest nephew and our soon to be youngest niece (due any day now)!
This is our family and I love them.  I've often said that I have the best in-laws ever and it's true!  This family has truly accepted me as one of their own from the very beginning and has shown me such love and grace and encouragement.
I'm sure you can figure out who Joe's parents are.  And in case you are wondering about the rest...Joe's little brother is standing next to him with his wife sitting in front of him (they have the 3 little girls) and Joe's older sister is seated to the far right with her husband standing above her and 2 of her 3 kids around her. 
I just love them!

Friday, June 1, 2012

We Made It!!

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We made it!  After four long days of driving and a week break in the middle with my family we finally arrived in Colorado last weekend!  We drove in through a strange wind/dust storm so we couldn't see much, but when I woke up the next morning the view from our condo took my breath away!  Really, these pictures don't even do it justice- it's incredible!  We have been busy getting settled in and jumping right into work.  Truth be told I haven't worked this much in a long time, but it's good.  This week has just been our staff team that is giving leadership to this summer project and tomorrow the staff that we are training arrive followed by the students a week later.  It's going to be a very full summer!
Lily is really enjoying being here (especially because she gets to see her friend Libby everyday).  Eli is having a bit of a harder time adjusting and throughout the day asks us to go home.  It's a little sad, but I have every confidence that he will adjust- hopefully!  You can pray for that.  If you would could you also pray for my health.  I've had a head cold since we arrived and my ingrown toenail has returned (and I may have to have it surgically removed again while I'm here) times!  This is my first time directing one of our summer projects and these things (though minor) are really not what I need stealing my attention- so I would love some prayer for healing!
We have been meeting and planning and scouting all day and often well into the evening (we wrapped up our meeting last night at 10p.m.) so today our team gets to go have a little fun on a zip line tour through Mt. Crested Butte!  I'm so excited for the thrill of zipping down the mountain!  So, I'm off for now!  I do still have tons of pictures and stories to share from our time in Wisconsin (and even before that) but our internet connection here is spotty and my days are pretty packed, but I'll eventually get to all of them!  So many fun things to share!