Sunday, March 10, 2019

Keenan's 12th Birthday

Happy Birthday, Keenan!

On the way home from the Pennys last night, Keenan said, "I'm going to have a hard time sleeping tonight!"  Philip said, "Ya, Mommy and I had a pretty hard time sleeping on this night twelve years ago, too!"  Haha!

With his birthday decorations this morning

The birthday table was a little more sparse than usual, since he'd received some gifts early, and some are coming late.

He got Amazon gift cards from Caleb and Moriah and a fun "How to Win Games" book from us

Last night, the Pennys generously gifted him with a set of laser guns (like ones that he loves to play with at their house!)

I made chocolate chip pancakes for them for breakfast and then we went rock climbing!  Somehow (I think because he was so busy belaying, which he preferred to climbing today), I don't have any pictures of the birthday boy on the wall!

Caleb on the auto belay

Caleb and Moriah (being belayed by Keenan)

Philip belayed me
(It was fun, but also good for the three of us to review our belaying skills!)

We went to Applebee's for a fun lunch:

Oh, Caleb

When we mentioned that it was Keenan's birthday, our server brought free dessert for all Three kids!!

Proud Mama with my birthday boy

Our house church family celebrated Keenan tonight as well, with a birthday sign, some gifts, several renditions of "Happy Birthday", and a special prayer time over him.

A gift from the Stephens - his favorite book by Chuck Black and a tricky jigsaw puzzle!

 We brought stuff to make ice cream sundaes

"I feel really old being twelve" he just said tonight.  ;)

He said that highlights of the year were:

His week at New Life Ranch
Washington DC
Papa's surprise visit
Being in Canada for a week in September

Keenan, we love you.   Thanks for being such a great kid to have around!   God has gifted you in so many ways. We love that you are such an avid reader, researcher, and thinker.  You are a gifted artist, pianist and athlete!   We look forward to what God has in store for you this next year...before you become a TEENAGER!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Jet Lag and Such

I can't believe we've been home for over a week now.  The jet lag (at least for me) has so hard!!   I have felt exhausted, sort of sick and on the verge of tears most days!  I honestly don't know how Philip went back to work Monday and worked all week without being able to sleep during the day!

*I recently read an article that actually said to expect jet lag to last as many days as the time zones you crossed!   That ended up being pretty accurate, and NOT AT ALL what I had expected!  Good to know.  ;)

Mom E was here for a few days after we got back and it was helpful for Philip and I to be able to nap during the day while the kids hung out with her. :)

Here are some random snacks I bought for the kids

A special package arrived for Keenan while we were gone... a huge coin collection book from Aunt Mary (formerly owned by a cousin of hers).  For this coin collecting guy, this was a Treasure!!

Another elaborate creation... he Never runs out of ideas!

These adorable socks were given to Moriah by Mom E.  They were actually gifted to Philip by his Grandma Taylor when he was a child!

Keenan and Moriah are still faithfully running every day and decided to do one in the snow this week!

On Sunday morning, Mom and I went out for brunch and caught up on all the chatting we hadn't been able to do yet.   We also went for massages!   She opted for deep tissue (which sounded painful), but I (in light of my recent Thai massage) just opted for very relaxing, and soft.  ;)

Mom brought early Easter treats for us all!

Look at the ADORABLE llama I got!
I love it so much!

Mom and Caleb soaking their fingers together

The flowers from she and the kids are just beautiful!

Keenan got his birthday present early from her - a set of some of his favorite books!

Snow buddies!

I love this video Mom captured of the kids collecting snow

A huge Lego tower they built!

On the way to the airport on Monday, we stopped at Philip's clinic to say hi and see his office:

Keenan found this huge icicle!

Philip checking out Caleb's finger

Mom snapped this of the five of us

We dropped Mom at the airport at 2:30 that afternoon.   It was Such a blessing having her here!!

Keenan started lacrosse again!

Philip and I hadn't even had time to process the week or what each of us had taken away from it, highlights, etc.

One of the highlights for me was the unexpected pleasure of getting to sing in a choir!   I took a video (audio, really) clip of one of our songs.   It is not great quality, and doesn't show anyone.  I just set my phone on the floor as we headed up to sing in one of the evening sessions.   It gives you some idea of what it was like to sing with these 20 amazing people!

Great is the Lord

A cute card Moriah made for Andrew

Caleb and I (unintentionally) dressed exactly the same one day!
I found myself choosing outfits all week that I knew would be comfortable to nap in later in the day ;)

Blogging under the watchful eye of my llama

I'm totally caught up in the current llama craze
Here's one I sketched from a picture online

This is a painting we bought in Thailand for about $7
(now to frame it)

Salt and pepper shakers (a request from a friend) from the Celadon factory

Treyson and Moriah cracking us up when we visited the Pennys for a fun pizza and game night on Saturday

I can't believe we've been home for over a week, and I still feel so tired.   I am finally sleeping almost through the night, and life is nearly back to normal.  :)

Friday, March 1, 2019

What the Kids Were Up To While We Were in Thailand...

We are SO grateful to the amazing people in our families who took such good care of our kids while we were gone for two weeks!

For the first week, my sister in law, Ada, volunteered to come with my mom and brought her four kids, Brayden, Josh, Galina and Olivia with her!

For the second week, Philip's mom flew in from Florida to be with the kids!

Thank you also to my dad, Rob, and Jeff, who all sacrificed by being without their wives for a week!  We appreciate you ALL so much!

Moriah did the Strataca Mine Run (a 5K underground in a salt mine) the morning after we left, with the Pennys. 

 Moriah with Devin, Melissa and Eden

 Ready to start!

 They have to wear helmets for safety since it's rocky and uneven, and headlamps because it's Dark!!

Apparently Moriah kept up a pretty good pace and ran with Devin!

 At the finish


Pretending (I hope!) to lick the salt

That evening, she and Keenan went to Eden's ice skating birthday party:

Who skates in shorts and a sleeveless shirt??

They had a full, busy first week!   Here are a few pictures Ada sent me of their time:

School (for all seven!)

Moriah actually had a Really hard time the first few days.  She especially missed us in the early morning when she would wake up and the house would be all dark and quiet (she is used to me being awake and up when she comes out).   They soon discovered that Ada was awake downstairs at that time, and she offered for Moriah to come hang out with her when she woke up.  :)

It snowed...

And they still went to the zoo!

At the penguin exhibit

Moriah and a cool bird

They packed lunches and ate at the zoo

I guess Moriah's toes got cold!  :)

In the Tropics exhibit

Making giant snowballs!

When Ada sent this pic, I think I sent back a pic of us after our bike ride, eating ice cream :)

A beautiful picture Moriah made

I think this is Josh, looking through a magnatile creation

Caleb with a new Lego set that we ordered to arrive while we were gone

More school


Here is a pic I had Ada send me of her.  Since she was busy and was always the one behind the camera, she wasn't in any of the pics!

Love you, Ada!

They also went to house church, the Nifty Nut House, piano lessons, watched A Dog's Purpose, some Little House on the Prairie, read aloud Paula the Waldensian, and did lots of playing, building and eating Grandma's good cooking.

On Thursday, the 21st, Ada and the kids picked up Mom Eberts from the airport and she took over the ship the next day!

Thank you, Mom and Ada (and kids) for making the LONG drive here to hang out with our kids!   I know they loved their time with you and their cousins!   So special to have family here with them for a week!

A pic of both our moms in the same place!
Love this!

A LOT of videos happened during the second week, so I have interspersed some of them here:

The very first morning, everyone ended up in mom's bed!  (Actually, I think they ended up here quite a few mornings)  :)

Here they are outside of Philip's office window ;)

So sunny!

Mom took some funny video clips of the kids, and then sent them to my nephew, Reagan, who made them into this little movie

Everyone in glasses!!

On Monday evening, the kids were invited to the house of our friends, the Speakmans, from CC.

The weather that day was unseasonably warm, so the kids were able to play outside a ton!

 Andrew and Caleb

 Hannah and Moriah

 Playing Capture the Flag

 All the kids

 Goofy cutie

 Melissa and Caleb sampling the Hershey's chocolate for...


This was such a fun time for the kids to get to hang out with friends, and gave mom E some much needed time to connect on the phone with Jeff, etc.  Thank you, Speakmans!

Here's a video mom took of Keenan playing "Castle on a Cloud"

Our friend, Wendy, brought her sweet puppy, Irving over for a visit!!
(This was probably the favorite picture I received from that week!)

Here is Moriah helping Irving practice his training

Keenan reading "Paula"
Ada left this book so the kids could finish it - they and Mom E all thoroughly enjoyed it!

My friend, Amy, sent me this photo from when mom took the kids to CC for lunch and Essentials in the afternoon.
(I LOVED getting photos from people of my kids when I was so far away!!)

 Moriah drew this amazing space picture for Grandpa Eberts!!

 More "Magna-ficent" creations!

Moriah nailing a flip at the trampoline park

Some highlights of the second week were:  Getting donuts, watching Benji and Cats and Dogs, going to the trampoline park, eating at Spangles, and visiting with the Pennys.