Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tractor Trailer

I found this tractor at a thrift store this winter and put it away for Harrison's birthday. It was in great shape and was only $20 - a steal for something like this in my book!

The kids have all had a blast on it this summer and enjoy pulling their little brothers and sisters on it in the trailer. Ha!

19 Months

A month shy of 2 now, but here's the Sully man at the beginning of summer.

He's already looking older and bigger and maybe even naughtier too.

He makes us laugh more than we should and I must admitt, the older kids didn't get away with as much as this little guy does. It's true what they say about the baby I guess.

Sigh....But we are cracking down lately so we can occasionally make public appearances without too many complaints. HA!

We love you anyway naughty baby and I know I'll miss your tornadic activity one day. Well, maybe...

I hope I'm on time for his 2 year debut.

I found this picture file today full of early summer pics again so I wanted to get these on before I tackle my most recent file.

That's up next now!!


The girls both recieved official certificates from Hershey for making it to State this year. Go girls! WE are proud of you!


So someone was telling us the other day that they had a friend who had a baby named Sebastian too, and they called him Bash for short. We sorta - well, really liked that. It doesn't happen often yet, but we are shortening it from time to time now. We'll see what the future holds for this little guy! Sebastian, Seb, or Bash. So many options...

Goodbye Tramp

We love you.

We miss you.

It's been a LONG SUMMER without you.

Maybe 3 times a charm hey?

Summer Project #1

Ya, we tackeled the roof this summer.

We had a terrible storm last July that totalled our roof among other things and we just got around to fixing it this summer.

I'm so thankful Jared is handy. It saves us tons of money let me tell you.

We had several friends show up and help us out for over 2 long days. Thank-you Viet, Jason and Tammy, Brady, Jeff, Zack, and Roger. We would not have been able to accomplish this money saving project without you. And thanks to all our wives out there for sharing you with us on their weekend too. I know that's tough!

From dawn until dark these kids thought this task was the bomb. Dad also thought it was fine to have them shingle the garage porch. I wonder if he thought it was a great idea the next day when we found out we had a house showing. Mmmmm.... Bet that was fun huh?

The smallest of roofers.

The Cute Clean-up Crew: aka Tammy

There was ALOT of garbage!

Many hands make light work!

Jason, Roger, and Jared

House guest Norah Kate - Sebastian's good buddy. He doesn't know it yet though...

There's alot of little bums on that picnic table! HA!

Addie May and her curls...

Lunch break!

Slumber Party

Austin and Bradyn

Out like a light!

Harrison and Madeline

Sophie and Lexie

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Swimming Lessons

We always do our swimming lessons in the summer. It's so much easier for me to load and unload wet children in the summertime.

The older 7 children right down to Sophie were participating this year. I can remember coming here when Austin was a baby!
Brady really loves the water and passed his level with flying colors. He even chose to skip soccer this fall so he could do swimming this winter. ( We had given him a choice.)

Austin and Keilah Grace did really well too. Their teacher thought Austin had been placed in the wrong level by accident because he was such a fish. When the teacher asked them to jump off the diving board he was hoping they would be brave enough to try. Austin turned around backwards and then ran down the board and did a flip! No problem for this boy! HA!

Cruising to their class... Harrison and Sophie.

So proud she was like the big kids this year and in swimming lessons! So it was pretty sad that 2 days into it, she took a bad fall and had to have 5 stictches. No more swimming for this girl for awhile!

The Rivers swim Team!

Say cheese fishies!

Brady Bunch!

All grown up now!

With his class... Cornball.

Doing good Hairbear!

Sebastian had to get suited up too!

Taking a break after hers were done!

Kick those legs!

Wow, a picture of me and a child. Rare, but nice.

Can't wait to start all those new levels next year!

The Lemonade Stand

I was so excited to share this with everyone, and now, I admitt, it's bittersweet.

I just wasn't able to get to my blogging this summer on a regular basis.

My kiddos have wanted to do a lemonade stand forever and I finally buckled in early June. While I was busy purging inside and going through drawers and closets like a madwoman, the older 5 children set up their own table and with the exception of making the lemonade, I did nothing to help. It was keeping them entertained I thought. Just let them be and have their fun.

A little while later, Alexis came in to ask for more help making the lemonade and while I was helping her, I read the back of the can to her to tell her about these other children who had done a lemonade stand in order to help out a friend who had cancer. She looked up all excited and said, "I know someone with cancer! - Becca! We can do it for her!"

I told her she could, but she didn't have to. The kids would all have to agree. After all, they were doing this together, and were looking forward to making money of their own.

2 1/2 hours later, my children had raised over $247 dollars for Becca. They had taped a picture of the two of us on the small card table and told people as they walked or drove up that they were doing this for Mommy's friend who was dying of cancer. No one paid the 50 cents per cup anyomore. Whether it was a dollar or a check written out for $10, or a ziplock full of change, the Lord blessed their compassionate hearts that day and went above and beyond all that they asked. We do not live on a busy street. - Quite the opposite really. So it amazed me how generous complete strangers were for their cause. And then I wonder... why? God is so good to us, to me, to my children. He does go above and beyond all that we ask or think. ~ Ephesians 3:17

The bittersweet part of this story for me is that I wanted to tell her in person, so I didn't say anything on the phone. By the time I arrived in Iowa, it fled my mind and I didn't even remember to tell her as I wept over her bed.

I'd like to think she knows now. However all that stuff works out in heaven. I'd also like to think she's cradling my Grace and Faith just for me as her arms ached for another baby the last couple of years. So many unknowns, so many questions, so thankful the Lord really does understand all of my thougths and no matter what... He's got it all under control. Under the Shadow of His wings...

Sebastian's Dedication

Several families in our church family were honored and prayed over by the pastors and and deacons concerning the raising of our recent gifts from the Lord.

Parenting is no small task and we feel blessed to know we have a body of believers standing behind us willing to help out and point us to Christ and His Word for direction. Their desire is to keep us accountable in our parenting decisions and encourage us along the way.

Jared and I accepting our rose in honor of Sebastian's birth...

4 Arrows brought before the Lord in prayer...

Thank-you Lord, for Sebastian Kyle. He has been a joy unspeakable...