Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy 9th and 10th months, little man!

Wow, how things have changed! I just went back and read your happy 8 month post, and life is so different now! Lots of changes in 2 months!!!
You, my little man, have grown tremendously in the past two months. Your little voice is changing, sounding more purposeful! My main concern in December was the fact that you still weren't taking solids, and now you are taking solids like a pro! I am so proud of you! And, you haven't taken any steps without holding on to things yet, but you are holding on to furniture and moving around a little bit. You, my daring explorer, are crawling everywhere, and you hate it when I try to confine you to small areas! You love to play side by side with your big brothers watching their every move! And, boy, do they adore you! When they hear you wake up from your nap on the monitor, they run into our closet and get in the pack and play with you!! They love to zurburt your belly and make you giggle!!
But, I must admit that reading your eight month post made me smile, not only because of how much you've grown and changed, but also because of how completely unaware I was that my world was about to be rocked. I had no idea as I wrote that post that I was, in fact, already pregnant with your baby brother. And, now here it is two months later, and I am 14 weeks pregnant. How did that happen? It wasn't in our plans, but God is bigger, and we know that you will be very closely bonded to this new little one.
I am soaking you in, my little chubby cheeked, precious one. Your little 20 pound frame is perfect for cuddling. I love you, my sweet one.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Worthy Sacrifice

So, I was having a really bad day, well, week actually. Being sick last week and being confined to the walls of our home for 5 straight days without once leaving was enough to send me into a downward spiral. And, then this week just didn't seem to get much better.

Sometimes life just seems hard. And, I don't claim to be strong, optomistic, or layed back. I know that I tend more toward the weak, perfectionistic, melancholy type, and honestly, that isn't good when combined with a series of grey days at home with sick, whining children. I know that my life is not hard by definition. But, at times my life seems hard, at least to me. Life has been stressful lately - dinnertime, especially.

And, when it seems hard, there is this nagging voice in my head that says, "Guess what? You think this is hard! Just wait until August! It is going to get a lot harder before it gets any easier."

Somedays I just want to get away. I just want someone else to come in and take over for an hour or two. I just want a break to get away and think. I love my boys, but I love time alone, too. And, at this stage of life, there is no such thing as time alone. It just doesn't happen. I was laughing with a friend the other day over the fact that I used to be the "diva" type. I was not supposed to have 4 boys, 5 years old and under. That'll suck the "diva" out of any girl in a matter of minutes!

So, then yesterday morning I was complaining to my mom on the phone. I do that a lot, bless her heart. I was telling her how hard my life is. How everyone cries at dinner, and how we all spiral downward from that point on. And, a few hours later the florist brought flowers to my door from my sweet parents - the card encouraging me to breath. Then, later on yesterday evening I was talking to my mom on the phone over the Indiana/Ohio State basketball game, and she said the most amazing thing. . .

"Erin," she said, "Sarcrifice is giving up something you love for something you love more." She read it somewhere earlier that day, and it almost made me cry to hear her say it. It reminded me that though I do love, seriously love, time by myself, I love my boys more. And, so if during the next few years I have to sacrifice alone time for them, then it is a worthy sacrifice, and I am glad to do it. Well, I may not always feel glad to do it, but, really, I am. I am glad to do it. I would have it no other way. God is working on me tremendously during this stage of life, slowly chipping and chiseling away at the selfishness in my heart. He knows how very badly I need it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hope for Spring!

Yesterday was another grey cold February day. I took the boys outside to play late in the afternoon, and this little yellow ray of hope caught my eye! I love winter. I love bundling my precious ones up in layers, and I love the cold crisp air. But, it is time, once again, for a little change, and my heart is ready! I am ready to embrace a warmer breeze, green grass, gentle rains, blooming flowers, and the tingle of sunshine on my skin. The sweet people who owned this home previous to us planted daffodils and jaunquils (sp?), and these lovely blooms have become my spring indicator each year since we moved here. They are tough little flowers. Several years they have popped up amidst snow just to let us know that there is hope. . .
Spring. . . is. . . coming!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My World Has Officially Been Rocked. . .

by the stomach virus.

For years I have heard my friends complain about the stomach virus tearing through their families affecting each and every member. But, I never really understood how completely devasting that is until Sunday night when I experienced it firsthand. And, my, oh, my, it was the worst experience of my life thus far.

You see, my memories of the stomach virus involve a loving mother who held my hair back for me and washed my face and neck with cool wet rags while I hugged the potty. And, afterward she would walk me back to the couch where she made a soft snug little bed for me. Then, she would kiss my forehead, whisper, "Jesus make you well," and tuck me in with an ice cold glass of sprite to sip and a bowl sweetly placed beside the couch just in case.

Oh, but things are different now, mainly because she lives 4 hours away, and I am currently the resident "mama" of this home. Elijah, Joshua, and I spent Sunday night vomiting all night long. It was a party of sorts, and no one enjoyed it. I slept on a blanket on the concrete floors in our mudroom where I could have quick and easy access to the powder room potty. Erik slept on the couch and played nurse all night long taking care of the two sick boys since I was unfortunately occupied. Joshua ended up sleeping on the rug in the boys bathroom because he said his stomach didn't hurt as badly there as it did in his bed. The monitors in the kitchen were both on, so I could hear my sweet husband cleaning up my babies, saying things like, "I'm so sorry, buddy. I know. I'm so sorry." What a night! I don't think I have ever been that sick in my entire life, and I am still recovering from that night of terror. It sucked the life right out of me.

Monday, I had no energy, I ached all over, and I was so nauseated that Zofran didn't even help me. Joshua and Elijah felt my pain. They had no energy and simply wanted to lay around all day. But, guess who had boundless energy?

He had the virus Friday night, so he was feeling better and was ready to go. . .

"Mommy, can we go outside?''
"No, baby, it is too cold and Mommy doesn't feel good today."

"Mommy, can we go to Wal-mart?"
"No, baby, Mommy doesn't feel good, and we are staying home today."

"Mommy, can cook something?"
"No, baby, Mommy doesn't feel like eating or cooking today."

"Dossuuuaaa (Joshua), wanna go upstairs and pway pirates!!!???" Joshua is unresponsive laying on the couch.
"JCT, Joshua doesn't feel like going upstairs and playing. He just wants to rest on the couch today."

It really is no fun being the only well one in a house full of sick people!! But, thankfully, yesterday afternoon we turned the corner. After a morning of being really quite pitiful, we all perked up a bit. Joshua actually started playing with JCT again, Elijah ate a few Cheerios, and I actually felt a little hungry! We went out on the back porch for a little fresh air. I blew bubbles until I really thought I might pass out, and the boys danced around popping them. Their laughter was medicine to me!
Last night, I had more energy - thanks to the chicken soup Deana B brought me along with all the gatorade, sprite, coke, popsicles, crackers and other goodies she left on my doorstep over the course of the week. She is quite possibly the most thoughtful person in the world!! She even went around town to various gas stations trying to find Erik's favorite Tangerine Gatorade since the grocery was out of it. A big thanks to my sweet, sweet friend.
I realized as I got my little ones ready for bed last night the great blessing that health is. The strength to hold my three year old in my arms, to rock him and sing to him. Clean, healthy boys in clean pajamas snuggled in fresh clean linens. Ahhhh, the blessing of a home filled with peace and health, energy, love and strength. These are the little things that I take for granted so often. And, then this morning I asked my Joshua if he wanted anything to eat, and he replied, "No, I just want somebody to come upstairs and play with me. Wanna come upstairs and play with me James Siffer?" And, then a resounding, "YES!!!!!" from JCT followed by the pitter patter of my oldest sons racing up the wooden staircase. It was music to my ears.
Oh, thank You, Jesus for health!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Not to be outdone by the youngest. . .

This post was originally, wholly, supposed to be about this little one. . .

Let me introduce you, this is my youngest, my darling little surprise from God. The sonographer gave us a glimpse into this little one's life inside of me yesterday.

Yes, I am pregnant. It is official. There is a small strawberry sized child swimming around (or doing Karate, as the sonographer said) in my belly. I have had a little trouble believing that this baby was real. Mostly, I think, because this baby wasn't planned like the others. I wasn't mentally prepared for it. God sorta thrust this one upon us, and we are most grateful!

In fact, Amy, the sonographer looked at me very confused when I walked into her room. She expected me to be large with child. She remembered doing an ultrasound on me not that long ago and thought this US was of Elijah still in my belly. Thankfully, that was not the case. We laughed and explained that we simply got pregnant again fairly quickly.

I am always a bit nervous before the first US. Will there really be a baby in there? Will the heart be beating? Will the baby be okay? I'm not a sick pregnant person, and I'm not showing yet, so I really have had no proof that this little one was real. But, now I have my proof! Erik and I both think we most likely saw boy parts on this little one, so we are convinced that we will be one boy short of a basketball team!!! I am 12 weeks and 2 days! Time is flying!!!!

After the US Erik and I hurried home, fed the kids, and took them to the church for a much beloved P.N.O. (Parent's Night Out). After dropping them off, Erik and I headed to a local restaurant for dinner. We ate and talked without interruption. We didn't have to cut up food, feed a baby, or say, "Sit on your bottom," fifty thousand times. We just talked. And, our conversation centered around the darling little one that we had seen a glimpse of earlier that day. For a few hours the new little one stole the show. . .

But, his moments of glory, as the focus of the family were not to last long. . . The tide turned dramatically moments after we returned home from picking up the boys at church. When we came in the door, I was proudly showing Joshua US pics of the new baby when JCT announced that his "tummy hwurts. . ." A few minutes later I looked down and found JCT standing at my feet with his arms wrapped around his tummy repeating over and over, "Mommy my tummy hwurts. My tummy hwurts, Mommy." I grabbed him and held him over the sink, and what happened next was volatile.

Now, this was a first for me. Somehow over the past 5 years, we have avoided the stomach virus. I have never had to hold, love, and clean up a vomity little boy. And, I'll say it is something I hope I never have to do again, but, unfortunately, I know that I will.

So, after JCT finished at the sink, I put him down, and he said, "Hmm. My tummy don't hwurt anymo'ore, Mommy. My tummy feels all better now!" And, off he went to play completely unphased by the entire thing. Of course, Joshua was phased by it, and whenever JCT got within 2 feet of him, he would yell, "Stay away from me!!!!!! YOU ARE SICK!!!! Get away!!!!!!! I DON'T WANNA GET SICK" And, then Joshua would run and hide from JCT. It is that selfless love we preach at our house coming out in trying times, you know?

Erik left for a high school basketball game, and I put Elijah to bed. I was actually hoping that this might be just a fluke emesis, a lone vomiting. I got the big boys upstairs and in bed. I left a bowl beside JCT's trundle bed, and told him to throw up in it if he felt sick again. After prayers and songs, I headed downstairs to relax and sterilize myself. But, a few minutes later, I heard Joshua crying on the monitior. "Not him, too, " I thought, and as fast as lightening I ran up the stairs.

What did I find?

I found Joshua sitting up in bed crying, and JCT curled up on his bed trying to sleep.

"Joshua, what is it?" I asked.

"JCT threw up!" Joshua cried to me.

Then, JCT sat up, perky I might add, and said with great pride, "Yeah, Mommy, I throwed up in dat bowl jus' like you tole me to!"

Oh, good. I checked the bowl, and sure enough a deposit had been made. At this point I thought JCT could not possibly be flesh of my flesh because he was handling this throwing up thing WAY too well. He didn't even need me.

So, I picked him up, took him to the bathroom and cleaned him off. Joshua followed us. After I finished cleaning JCT up, I noticed that he was unusually quiet. I asked him if he felt sick again, and he said yes. And, before I could get him to the toliet, he began again. As I told Erik, the poor child vomited like a grown man, huge amounts and with great force. All the while, Joshua is standing in the hall, crying. Except to say, crying, wouldn't do his response justice. He was wailing. You know when the Bible talks about, "and there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth," yeah, that is more like what I heard as I held my little bear over the toliet. But, JCT, amazingly, remained completely unphased by it all - even with all his big brother's drama. Once again afterward he remarked that his tummy felt better, and this time he added that he wanted to go to sleep. So, after a little cleaning, I put them both back to bed.

Erik came home, and we went to bed. After a couple of false alarms and one more large deposit in the bedside bowl, I decided that I better sleep upstairs. I made a bed beside JCT's trundle, and the little guy has been fine ever since. I woke up to a home filled with the lovely aroma of Lysol and a little boy whispering, "Mommy, I'm tirsty. Can I have sometin' to dwink?"

His big brother still won't come within 2 feet of him, but other than that JCT's little life seems to be back to normal. Oh, and there is the fact that I won't let him kiss Elijah. And, this has been more tramatic to JCT than the projectile vomiting episodes of last night. Go figure?

Now that things have calmed down, and everyone is well, at least for the time being, my thoughts are beginning to float back to the little one inside of my belly. The little one who became real to us yesterday! We are so busy with the big boys that it was fun to focus on the new one for a little bit. I'll never forget the smile on Erik's face and the joy in his voice when he looked at the US screen and then at me and said with astonishment, "There is a little baby moving around inside of you!"


Thank You, Jesus.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Fun-due. . .

I like to call this picture "the face of fondue. . ."

Honestly, I tried to take an equal amount of pictures of Joshua and JCT eating fondue for the first time. But, JCT stole the show! He loved every minute of it - stuffing whole large chocolate covered marshmallows in his mouth, making silly faces, stabbing his pound cake pieces mercilessly, and making a huge mess - as per usual. He had Erik and I cracking up! The little man knows how to enjoy his food!

For some strange reason this picture of JCT reminds me so much of his Daddy! Maybe it is because I have seen this exact same expression on Erik's face a time or two. . .

Happy Valentines Day, little men! I hope you had fun!

Valentine Sweets. . .

The boys and I made these sweetheart cookies yesterday! I am a seasonal candy fanatic. I love candy corn, candy canes, sweetheart candies, and jelly beans! So, my love for sweethearts inspired these cookies! They were so easy to make and so fun! The boys love to cut cookies out of dough, and they love to lick leftover icing from the bowl! Great helpers they are! We made these to give away, and kept only two cookies for my two little sweethearts!! This is sure to become a valentine tradition for our family!!
Mom, here is the picture I promised. We made this for a special anniversary for a sweet friend!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What a Day!!!

I had two main objectives for this day today, the twelfth day of February 2008. #1 I wanted to make these valentines for Joshua to take to his Valentine exchange party at pre-school on Thursday, and #2 I wanted to make a certain dinner for a certain someone who requests it from me occasionally, and when I don't bring it very often he sings, "You don't bring me lasagna anymore. . ." Sooooooo, since his wife is feeling really crumby and sick and is presently two states away from him, my husband thought that making his buddy lasagna might be a nice idea, and I agreed.

So, I got Joshua out the door with his Daddy, and then turned around and hurried my other two little men through eating breakfast, getting dressed, and the in general getting ready. to. go. Most likely if a little birdie had been spying on me, he would have heard me say my two most commonly used hurried expressions, "Come on let's GO, GO, GO!" and "Chop Chop!" 50+ times in thirty minutes. I finally got everything together, sippy cups, cheerios, grocery list, Wal-Mart list, and a miniscule amount of sanity that I still had at this point in the day. So, we headed out the door.

I opened Elijah's side van door, and all seemed to be working fine, so I put the cute little mister in his carseat. But, when I went to shut the door it wouldn't shut on its own. I had to manually shut it. Oh, yes. I atttempted JCT's side van door, and it wouldn't open for me. I tried cranking the van. Dead. Silence. Nothing. I sat there for a minute my brain reeling. I had way too much to do today for this to happen. So, I did what I always do when I am in a bind.

I called my calm, reassuring, always has an answer for everything, and never gets his feather's ruffled husband, and I did what I do best - gave him an earful. The poor man has an office full of patients, office staff standing in line with questions regarding the health and well being of real people with real life and death situations, and his wife is on the other end of his cell phone nagging him about a dead battery and how am I going to pick up Joshua, and Deana B isn't here, and I need help, and I gotta get to Wal-Mart, and Sean's lasagna is going to have to wait, and this is too much I can't handle it, help me, pray for my nerves today, this is over the top, and now my cell phone battery is dying too, and I've already called AAA like 3 times in the past 6 months for tire related problems, and do they handle batteries in cars, and I can't put 3 carseats in your Expedition, and how in the world will I get this battery replaced with all the other bazillion things that I have to do, and with three children hanging all over me, tell me, Erik how, how, how. . .

If you know my husband, he very calmly reassured me that all would be fine, and he sent one of the girls from his office with his Expedition. She helped me get the little boy's carseats in his truck, and off I went to Wal-Mart and the grocery. Our Wal-Mart shopping trip was rather uneventful, reminiscent of the days when Joshua was 2 and JCT was a baby. My main objective at Wal-Mart was finding a heart-shaped muffin tin for making the heart-shaped multi-colored crayons that go along with the valentine I wanted to make for Joshua's classmates. Found it! Got it! After a bit more shopping, I made my way to the check out counter only to find that JCT had added an additional item to my shopping cart, white decorator icing. Not a problem. In fact, I had been planning to make cookies for valentines day, so I let the cashier ring up JCT's bonus item. But, I neglected to notice that the heart-shaped muffin tin, mysteriously, was not among the items being rung up. Several hours later when the rain was pouring, Joshua was home, Elijah was ready for a nap, and the boys needed to eat lunch, I noticed that the heart-shaped muffin tin was not only not in any of my bags from Wal-Mart, but also it was not on my reciept. And, that meant one thing and one thing only. . . JCT had disposed of it somewhere in that large store we like to refer to as the place of eternal destruction. So, what did I do?

Why, I called Erik, of course.

And, I assure you that he was very glad to hear from me because I was a regular ray of sunshine on this rainy day. And, it was one something, and he still was seeing his morning patients because it is "sick" season, and knowing that he was busy and had much better things to do, still I called and still he listened, calmly.

And, that ladies and gentlemen is why I married him.

He sat very quietly, peacefully actually, once again while I explained how I really wanted to get these valentines made with Joshua during JCT's naptime today, and I have to have the heart-shaped muffin tin in order to make the valentines, and it's raining cats and dogs, and tomorrow is our out of town day so I can't make the valentines tomorrow, so I have to do it today, and it is already one o' clock, and if I don't make these valentines then I will have to search the internet for another kind to make and that could take hours, and I don't have time for that, and yeah, I guess I could have just used store bought valentines, but really I love crafts and I want Joshua to be part of this, besides I looked at Wal-Mart and all they had were silly cartoon characters, and I love paper crafts, and so does Joshua, but what do I do because I don't want to take Joshua to Wal-Mart without a carseat, but there is no other way to get there, and I really need to get there, and it is raining, and I'll have to get everyone out, and we'll all get soaked, and I know Wal-Mart is super close to our house, but what if we got in an accident, and what if the seatbelt wasn't enough to save Joshua, and I could never, ever forgive myself, even though we do live in a state that says it is okay for Joshua to be out of a carseat, still, I can't do it, Erik, but I really want that heart shaped muffin tin right now so I can make the valentines during naptime, and it is naptime now, so what do I do, what, what, what???

What did he say? He offered to borrow Sean's car, get the muffin tin, and bring it to me during his lunch break - which was already almost over. And, of course, I wouldn't let him do that. So, I loaded the kids up and drove the Expedition no faster than 25 mph all the way to Wal-Mart. We got the muffin tin, the only one left, and were home all in less than 20 minutes - one of the few perks of living in a small town!

I got the little boys down for naps, let the dog tinkle, and then tackled the valentine craft with Joshua! I highly recommend this craft! Watching the crayons melt was very fun, and you really cannot mess this craft up! Very fun and pretty!

I have no idea why I am writing all of this. Maybe it is therapy for me now that the stress of the day is over. What happened this evening is another post for another time, another day. I am too tired to tackle it tonight. At present, Vannie still sits stone cold in the garage. But, after Erik finishes coaching his Upwards Basketball team, he is hopefully going to bring home a new battery for our sweet Van that I love and miss. One day without her, reminded me of how thankful I am for her. I will never again take for granted wide opening, automatic doors, and DVD players.

And, here is a picture of what success looks like, resilience, not giving up nor backing down in the face of adversity. . .

I know that the day would have been a lot easier had I just made a simple paper valentine. But, hey, Joshua's classmates will get a cool multi-colored heart-shaped crayon with their valentine, and that makes the whole day worth it. . .

Not really.

Oh, well, so I blew today out of proportion. That happens occasionally in my world. Tomorrow is a new day, and His mercies are new each morning! I am claiming that as I put an end to this whirlwind of a day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Daddy's Home!!!!!!

Erik spent the last 5 days with Sean in their favorite state. . .

North Carolina.

I have mentioned before, but I will say it once again, the bond between Erik and Sean began by the fact that they both bleed blue. The only problem is that Erik's blood is several shades lighter than Sean's. But, somehow they manage to remain friends, brothers, really. Erik has been a UNC lover his whole life and Sean a Duke lover. And, the fact that they remain such amazingly close friends is soley a testimony to their selfless love for God and eachother.

This trip is just one of the many basketball centered trips that they have taken together. Sometimes the trip has been to attend the ACC tournament together. Thankfully, they both love and respect eachother's team. Erik is neither a sore loser or a boastful winner. Sean is not a boastful winner, but he does take losses hard, very, very hard. And, their friendship has weathered wins and losses both ways.

They were at the NCAA national championship when UNC won in 2005. And, Sean was even reported to have been seen sporting a UNC shirt at the game. I actually have a picture to prove it, but I am keeping it to use as blackmail when I really need it. And, as I unpacked my husband's bags, I found a J.J. Reddick Duke jersey amongst the dirty clothes. So, I am assuming he wore it to the Duke/Boston College game. Thankfully, though they both love their own team, they support eachother's team - when they aren't playing against one another, of course. Now that is true friendship, stronger than rivalry.

This trip was chock full of ACC basketball. They attended the North Carolina State/Virginia Tech game, the Virginia/Clemson game, the Duke/Boston College game, but most importantly, they attended the Duke/North Carolina game at Chapel Hill! They had a blast! Last night as I relaxed next to my husband, he took me hour by hour through their entire trip, recounting every meal, every shop, every stop, all the twists and turns, the getting lost and wasting time, the 4+ hours over 3 days spent in the Duke bookstore, the hour detour at 1 a.m. to visit Afton, Virginia, the pictures taken at Cameron indoor, and the shaking of hands with Dickie V. Sweet Memories.

And, I do mean sweet. . .

There was lots of Cheesecake with strawberries and chocolate, Tiramusu, and Ben and Jerry's mentioned as well.

Now, back on the homefront there were three little boys very excited to see their Daddy yesterday afternoon! And, I was right there with them!!!

Here they are running from the swingset to Daddy!

Getting closer. . .


We all received many presents! It was obvious Daddy was thinking about us while he was on his trip!!

It was an afternoon of basketball for all!

We missed you, sweet Daddy, and we are so glad to have you home!!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Our Buccaneer Bash

Last weekend we celebrated the birth of our two oldest sons who ironically were born on the same day, two years apart. Inspired by the new veggie-tales movie, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, they wanted to have a pirate birthday. I must admit that I had mixed feeling about the whole pirate theme at first. Aren't pirates "bad guys"? But, after scouring the internet for ideas, I was more excited about the party than my sons! So, here is what we did. . .

First we sent out these fun invitations that I printed on cardstock and then soaked in stale coffee to give them an aged effect.

Here is a picture of me and my sweet pirates on the day of the party!

The first thing we did was give the guests a pirate name. Your first name is the name of your pet and your second name is the name of the street your family lived on when you were born. So, at our party we had Pirate Clifford Sunflower and Pirate Emma Greenleaf, etc. Then, we had optional face painting for the pirates who wanted to look most authentic. A sweet youth from our church came and set up a little area to paint mustaches and whatever else the kids wanted painted on their face or hands, etc.

Erik, who was the ship's captain, used a treasure map that we made to keep the kids moving from station to station with a little free play mixed in for good measure!

First, the kids went into our dining room to design and color their very own pirate flag. And, next the little buccaneers played pin the pirate on the treasure chest.

And, after that it was time for lunch. Lunch was a hodge podge of things. We had everything from chicken legs to cannon balls (grapes) and peg legs (carrots). The adults drank root beer from bottles and the children drank sprite with red ice (frozen fruit punch).

After lunch, we headed outside to finish the treasure hunt of activities. The next item on the agenda was for the children to take turns walking the plank! Erik created this make-believe plank, and the children loved it!

This is a picture of the hungry alligators in the waters below. . .

Next, the little guys and girls went digging for gold. We hid a good number of gold coins in our sandbox, and the kids loved competing to see who could find the most coins!!

JCT checking out the treasure map!

Erik is going over the treasure map with the pirates, and they suddenly realize that the only thing left to do is find the treasure!! After Erik gave a clue, they took off running to find the hidden treasure chest!

And, watch out! When they found the treasure, they squealed and screamed and tore into it attempting to carry off as much loot as their little hands could hold!

Next, it was back inside for some Larry cake!!!

Singing Happy Birthday to the sweet birthday boys!

Bags of Loot for the pirates. . .

This little note was in each bag of loot. . .

And, now for some party shots of sweet friends!

Deana B and sweet Afton. . .

Elijah had several babysitters during the party. A big thanks goes out to them!

JCT loving on sweet baby Grace!

Was the party a success?

I think so!

My photo
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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