Monday, February 12, 2018

Tim and Steph's visit February 2018

What a special, fantastic, too-short visit we had with Tim and Steph and all their kids last week!!

It was awesome seeing them at Christmas, but with all the events so compacted and so many other people to share them with, I didn't feel like we had the chance to connect much.   It was so wonderful to "have them to ourselves" for a few days. <3 p="">
They arrived on Tuesday just before dinnertime.    We had dinner and then spent some time catching up while five of the kids did several "fashion shows" for us in the living room.  I was enjoying having them here so much that I didn't often think to get out my camera!   Here are the few pics I did take:


Girl after my own heart (and with superior Etch a Sketching skills!)
Look at this horse!!

Several of the girls gave Keenan the gift of time spent playing strategy, world domination games like Risk - boy did he love that!!

Two goofy kids playing playdough on the bar downstairs

Three cute artists

On Wednesday afternoon, Tim and I took six of the kids skating!  So fun!

Our group made up over half of the people there!

Some cute girls

Since there was so much space, there was tag and races, and Tim and I introduced our kids to "crack the whip!"  =)

That evening, six of the kids joined our kids at AWANA.   They all had dinner there, and Tim and Steph's kids (because they were first time guests) got to eat Free!

It was my week to volunteer at AWANA, which worked really well, so I could mostly hang out with Nathaniel and Gwennie in "Cubbies".    They did so great!

During game time, Nata and a new friend were holding hands

The three of us got silly with play dough during craft time

We made beautiful nails =)
Haha!   They're so creepy!

Pretending to eat it!
It was really fun hanging out with these two and is one of the special memories of the week for me. <3 p="">

Tim and Steph are so easy and fun to talk to and we had Lots of great chats.    It's so wonderful having people around who I feel so comfortable with.

On Thursday we acknowledged these three February birthdays with a DQ ice cream cake

For dinner that night, I roasted a turkey (one from the Turkey Trot!), Tim carved it, and Steph helped a ton with dinner.

After dinner, I left to deliver a balloon to baby Joia and Steph cleaned up the kitchen!

Charis sent me this picture of her with the balloon

Steph caught these next three on my camera:

Tim reading a story to the kids (it was entertaining listening from the kitchen)

Cousins bonding over a good book

I guess this one is proof that I was there too ;)

Last few shots before they headed out on Friday afternoon:

These three spent SO MUCH time together!!

The whole crew!

Getting a little goofy...

Joined by another goof...


...and another one!  (Keenan had already left to go to his writing class)

Caleb discovered they had an extra seat and desperately wanted to go with them!    I think he would have made it all the way to Mexico before he realized that we wouldn't see him again for a Year and a Half!!   So glad he didn't go ;)

Love you, Woodfords!   Maybe next time we see you it will be at Your house!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

"The January Post"

Wow.  I didn't blog in January AT ALL!

Well, now that it's February, I'd better get a January post done quickly, because there are fun things around the corner that I'm going to need to blog about!

Okay, so January 2018:

On January 1st, the kids opened the last of their Christmas presents.  They each decided to save one gift under the tree to open when we got back from our trip.

So excited!

A sewing kit, wikki stix and walkie talkies!

That was a fun day, spent in our pajamas, settling back in, talking over the highlights of 2017 and each making some goals for the month of January.

January 2nd - I donated double red blood cells for my second time (13th total donation since we moved here).

January 3rd - Started back to school with the kids.   Philip and I had a workout date while the kids were at Awana.   We got a membership to Botanica from our friends!

Moriah starting on one of her string art projects from Grandpa and Grandma Eberts

Fun magnatile town that Caleb and Moriah made

January 4 - put Christmas decorations away.   Figured out that we had overnight guests for 20% of 2017!

January 5 - Christmas tree away.   First run of the year.   Finally got to the car wash with our dirty, salty van from our road trip (they had been closed previously because it was too cold!)  Philip and I synced our calendars for the year and used the bread machine for the first time (we are hooked now!)

January 6 - Our friends, John and Heather watched the kids so we could have a date day!

Books that Heather had the kids write =)

We had SO much fun!

 First up, three games of raquettball (our first in about four years!)

We went home, showered and changed and then headed to Carraba's (thanks to Dad D!) for lunch.

 We had Delicious food and great, deep conversation

Next (the kids were so jealous when they heard about this)..

 We went go-carting!
They went pretty fast and it was Really fun!

3D Star Wars was next....
 So stylish

...and finally, a yummy dinner (also thanks to a gift card from Dad), dinner at Chili's!

 These pictures look a little "fish-eye like" because Philip was using the little wide angle lens I got him for his phone

January 7 - Caleb was sick today, so we just hung out.  Philip took Keenan to play his first game of raquettball (and he was hooked!)

Silly girl

January 8 - Keenan and I played raquettball during Moriah's afternoon session.

The kids did some fun salt art





January 9 - we did our first "Dinner at the Dooleys" - I decided to randomly send out a text to our house church friends and invite anyone who was interested to bring whatever they were going to make for dinner (or leftovers, or whatever) and join us for dinner!    It has been a lot of fun and gives us an opportunity to fellowship with people we don't see as often as we'd like.

January 10 - I started volunteering (every other week) at the kid's AWANA program.

January 11 - We got Snow!  Philip and I started planning for this year's anniversary trip!  :)

Happy kids

January 12 - Started doing semi-regular Face Time chats with my friend, Rebekah S.  Philip and I watched, "Detroit".  Tough watch.

January 13 - Went out to dinner as a family at BJ's Brewhouse for the first time (we had ordered food online from here on Moriah's birthday and ended up with a free $50 gift card as a result of a small mixup!)

January 14 - Sweet family day, Keenan made waffles for breakfast!

January 15 - Moriah had been sick all day and we decided to take MLK day off from school and the kids spent the day playing in the snow, doing crafts, reading books and listening to audio stories.

January 16 - Set a new grocery shopping challenge for myself...more on that later.

January 17 - Discovered that you can make kid-approved pancakes with Cream of Wheat in them!

January 18 - Philip home sick for part of the day (the bug that was sweeping the nation!)

January 19 - Our first day back to our CC community.  We got a baby sitter that evening and went to the first (for me) event of Call Back weekend!   BBQ dinner and mingling with TONS of new people all night.   Found out that half the people in the residency are having babies!  ;)

January 20 - Keenan went to the Saturday morning/afternoon Call Back events with Philip and got put to work!

So proud of him! =)

The Call Back Banquet, Band and Dance event was (as usual) a blast!

Stephanie, Rachel and I

Love this picture of Joia and her parents! =)

My man and I

I borrowed this dress and shawl from my friend, Wendy 

This Call Back was special because it was the first one since the Penny's returned to the Via Christi team!

Devin sang with the band
(He and Scott wore wigs for Taylor Swift's song, Shake it Off)

Melissa and I

Getting a kiss from the Program Director

Devin in his element

Part of the crowd

...and THIS happened again!  =)
(actually Four people crowd surfed that night!)


He surived!

Devin got the crowd absolutely 
wild with the final song, "Shout!"



January 21 - we went to breakfast, the final Call Back event and then Keenan and I had a raquettball/lunch date.   Philip and Caleb hung out at home and made ham and cheese pockets while Moriah was at the Penny's.

January 22 - eye doc appointments, Keenan sick now.   Made tortillas, read aloud to the kids.

January 23 - checked out the (beautiful) downtown Y for the first time.  Had 12 people (including some new friends) for Dinner at the Dooleys tonight!

Caleb got this game from Mark and Rebekah for Christmas - it just took us a while to get whipped cream for it!

They had So much fun!



Haha!


I think he looks like a monkey here ;P



January 24 - Bought a cool countertop oven for our downstairs kitchenette.

January 25 - Made soft pretzel bites with the kids, chatted with Myrtle, and went to a production of "Annie".

January 26 - We attended a conference in Syracuse KS on burnout - detection, treatment and prevention.    Several organizations sponsored private planes to fly attendees out there - making it a one hour flight, instead of a four hour drive!   We were so excited and had a plane all to ourselves!   The plane was so small that our friend, Ben (the organizer of the weekend), texted a few weeks previous and said, "I need to know how much each of you weigh".   Not cool.   I texted him back and said, "Can we give you all of our Combined weights?"  ;)  He said that wasn't okay.   I then decided I wasn't going.   Ha! 

All ready to go!


It was a Really nice plane, and very comfortable!

Us girls

All the boys

Flying by Cheney Lake

The pilot even provided chilled beverages and a basket of snacks!!

I took almost NO pictures the rest of the weekend. :0/

After we landed, we were picked up at the airstrip, we dropped the kids at a local church in childcare (where they played, had pizza and made new friends) and Philip and I joined the rest of the people at the conference venue - Black Bison Pub.   We had the BEST prime rib I have ever tasted and then got to sit in on a private concert by Andrew Peterson!   We weren't familiar with him before, but are huge fans now and bought several of his CDs.  What a great guy!

We got to our host's house super late and to bed at 1 AM that night.   

January 27 - When we got up in the morning, Keenan was sick, so I opted to stay home with him for the morning and then Philip and I switched places at lunch.    I had been asked to speak on a panel in the afternoon.     I was the token "physician spouse" and the others were Hospital CEO's, administrator's, Faculty docs and a family medicine resident.   I talked about burnout in marriage as a physician spouse, what that has looked like for our family, and things that we have done to combat that.   It was really well received.

January 28 - We slept in, I helped our host and her MIL make breakfast for all seven kids, and then Mary (the MIL) did some fun crafts with the kids:


At lunch time we went to Garden City to the "African Shop", run by Somalis. It was delightful!    They have a little store front where they sell all kinds of clothing and foods and spices and imported things, and in the back is a restaurant area.

We bought Moriah this outfit 
(the headpiece likely won't get used much) ;)

The Somali women and a few of the residents made us a Wonderful lunch!   There were samosas, salad, rice, goat meat, a spicy potato and vegetable dish, as well as an African "spaghetti" and some sort of rolled up, spongy wraps.

 It was So good!   We especially liked the goat meat (even though there were a lot of small bone sto pick out!)

Helema (on the right) and her mother were delighted to have their picture taken with Moriah in her outfit (and Keenan, who they said should eat lots more food to grow muscles)  ;)

January 29 - Good chat, prayer time with some friends in the morning.  Made beef stroganoff for my family for the first time -they were fans!

January 30 - Caleb and I had a great breakfast date at Village Inn.   I did a 1.5 hour online training to hold a CC information meeting in a couple weeks.   The kids and I played Wits and Wager's at their piano teacher's house.   We learned some really cool things!   Did you know that the record for holding one's breath under water is Twenty two minutes and twenty two seconds!?  Another great D.A.D. (Dinner at the Dooleys), with a dozen people.

January 31 - Did an early (chilly) run with Wendy, under the historic blood moon!   Philip and I had an at home date night with food from Zoe's Kitchen, while the kids were at AWANA.

Well, that was probably more than you wanted to know about our month, but there you have it!  January is in the books! =)