Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guest Blogger

The title should probably be “uninvited guest blogger” since Joia didn’t ask me to fill in for her. There won’t be a ton of pictures in this post, ok there won’t be any pictures in this post, but that’s not really the point. I just wanted to take a few minutes to talk about how amazing my wife is. I’ve been making plans to fly to Michigan for my cousin’s wedding and I guess Moriah found out that Keenan would be coming with me. Well Moriah was fairly upset and wanted to go also but I guess I’m just too much of a wimp and/or too cheap. But look at what Joia has done in my absence! They’ve taken two driving trips down to central Florida (only one stop each way!), two driving trips to Michigan and Canada and a trip to Mexico that included long flights and long drives.

She’s so incredibly creative and really has a gift for making things out of stuff we already have around the house. She reorganized the furniture and created a playroom for the kids. She’s turned our kids into little fish. I can’t believe what a good swimmer Keenan is becoming and Riah seems to love the water as well. She’s also so generous. She planned a baby shower for a good friend and is always giving of her time to help someone when they ask, even a lot of time they don’t have to ask, she just knows and helps. None of this even accounts for all of the tasks she has been handling like vehicle maintenance, getting our air conditioner fixed, registering Keenan for pre-school and keeping the blog updated. I have a whole new understanding of how meaningful the pictures on the blog can be for our family who live far away because I love looking at the updates to see what they have been up to and try to fathom how quickly they are growing and changing.

This is the 168th day that I’ve been out of the country which means that Joia has been on her own for 193 days. While this is a “179” day deployment, that doesn’t mean 179 days away from home. It means 179 days in theater and even that is not a guarantee. We had been hoping that I would be home in time for our anniversary and I was fairly nervous about Joia’s reaction when I had to tell her that we would need to celebrate belatedly. Maybe she was upset afterwards but despite celebrating two birthdays and numerous other holidays on her own, she totally took it in stride and said she’d rather have me back a few days later than we were expecting than not at all.

And oh yeah, by the way, she’s pregnant! For this pregnancy she’s a trimester further along in the heat of the summer than she was with either of our first two. Four years ago when we moved to Florida I came home from work in June and she informed me that she would not be going outside again until September or October. Now it doesn’t slow her down at all. I love you Joia and am so proud of you!

Monday, August 29, 2011

...and it's already Tuesday

Man, being back home certainly hasn't been good for blogging!

Yesterday the kids went to the dentist. I've mentioned before that they go to THE COOLEST pediatric dentist and always do really well. I'm so proud of them. =)

Moriah thought the light was a little too bright, so she got to wear these cool sunglasses!

Keenan having x-rays done for the first time

On Sunday, Jade and Eden went to church with us after spending the night. Since they were all dressed up, I decided to take some pictures to send to Melissa for her birthday. Here are two of my favorites. Talk about photogenic kids! =)

So sweet


That's all I'm doing right now, I'm tired!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Back in the Blogging Saddle

I don't know if I got tired of taking pictures while on our trip, but I sure haven't taken many since we got home!

Here are a few:

Moriah sleeping in the super cute princess tent she got from Grandma and Grandpa Eberts last Christmas

She loves that dog!

After the kids swam this afternoon, they were playing on the playset while I put the net and cover back on the pool... When I turned around - they looked like this!!


They looked like they'd just done a mud run or something!


... and this is how it happened. =)

Filthy and happy!

We are pretty much settled back in now.. Keenan is getting into the groove of school and we are excited for the things coming up! My friend, Laura comes into town in a week and a half for a week, I start MOPS back up, and in just a few weeks, Philip gets home! Woohoo!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Wow, a big milestone for us.... I dropped my little (big) boy off at school today!! Keenan started school at a church run preschool about five minutes from our house, in a three day a week program.

He was totally excited to go and had no problem with me leaving him this morning, I was the one that was sad!

I know it will be a great experience for him and it will also give me a chance to have some special one on one time with Moriah before our new baby arrives. =)

Here are some pictures from the orientation open house and his first day:

Class list

Class rules

With some of his best buds in the hall
(Moriah, Elijah, Keenan, Eden, Jade)

The three school buddies
(Elijah and Eden are in a separate class together)

First day!

He was the second one to his classroom

With his teacher

Already playing before I left

He had a great first day and went to bed early tonight - I'm loving it so far! =)

Wrap up of Canada Trip Aug 2011

Here are the pictures from the last couple days of our trip to Ontario:

Marika helping Uncle Andrew mix up the dough for his famous cinnamon rolls

Ada and her boys, Joshua and Brayden

"Christmas stockings" for the kids

Sweet Alisa (with her toes sticking through her blanket)

My eldest niece, Marika, got glasses just before we left!

Moriah holding Alisa

Giving kisses (wanted or not)

Rebekah and I

Time for goodbye hugs... =(

Mika and Moriah

Keenan and Auntie Steph

The kids with my parents right before we pulled out on Saturday morning

Keenan jumping in (the pool they had been waiting to get in All day!!)

Both kids (this was after they had been in the hot tub and jumped Right back into the cold pool!)

Moriah makes a splash

Watching TV on the bed

On Sunday morning, we headed to IKEA before hitting the road (mainly to pick up a few items for my friend, Rebekah). We got there at 9, they don't open until 10, so (with the help of the GPS) we found a Great playground nearby where the kids played and the dog got to run around. When the store opened, I dropped Keenan at the (AMAZING) kid's play area, and Moriah and I quickly found the things that Rebekah wanted... and some pretty cool stuff for ourselves, too! It's a Very good thing there isn't one of these closer to home... =)

We are home, not unpacked yet, but glad to be back in our own beds! Keenan started preschool today! I can't believe it! More on that soon...

Monday, August 22, 2011


We arrived home shortly before noon today. We've had a busy day, unpacking the van, settling in, swimming, and going to the open at house at Keenan's school. Will post much more tomorrow.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Headed Home to Settle for a While...

After a wonderful visit home with my family, the kids and I hit the road to head South this morning. While I am sad to say goodbye to them all again (some for a very long time), I am relieved to be finishing up our last big trip, and to be able to get home and "settle in" for a while, with no big trips in the near future. =) The kids and I are traveled out!

After going out for dinner last night, we got a whole family (minus Philip) picture just before saying our goodbyes...

Yes folks, this is just my parents, siblings and their spouses and kids!

The grand kids =)

We had a pretty good day of travel and are in Cincinnati tonight. The kids have SO MUCH ENERGY to burn (even after swimming in the pool and going out for dinner). While I was skyping with Philip, they were bouncing around the room and broke the headboard off the wall. Awesome. That should be fun to 'fess up to in the morning...

Off to bed... IKEA in the morning. =)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Slip'n'Slide and Bonfire Memories

Yesterday afternoon my dad rigged up a home made slip'n'slide down the slope by the driveway. The kids loved it!

Keenan definitely used it the most

Big smiles!


Various sliding styles =)


Mika thought the water was pretty cold!

Ada and Steph with Josh and Vivi

Love Shaelyn's expression =)

Brayden wanted to try it but then decided not to

In the evening, my dad lit a fire and we sat around and enjoyed the beautiful evening (free of mosquitos) and roasted marshmallows...

Too cute


The apple trees just begged to be photographed again

The campfire bunch

Some fun pictures with the setting sun:

My dad's hand

Holding the sun

Roasting a marshmallow on the sun =)

Telephone pole

I LOVE this picture of my dad!

My parents

Gorgeous sunset

The fire