Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And We Have A Winner!

I am very happy to announce that after some hard work, and help from Daddy, Beth has successfully learned how to ride a bike! She is one very, very happy girl!

Check her out!

Hope everyone else's day is just as successful! :D

And to add a note, we had another birthday this weekend!! Happy Birthday, Grandpa Richard!! Unfortunately, I have no little kid or baby photos to post!! :( But, should Grandma Melodee send me one I would be glad to add it to this blog! *Hint hint* ;)


Sunday, June 5, 2011

To The Movies!

 Well, last week was a great week! We've had a lot of nice sunny days to spend outdoors, and... I finally got my baby grand piano!!
 It isn't brand new, but has a lot of family history from both Mark's and my family. It is the piano which Mark's grandmother, and mother, played at church. Then, years ago when we were young, it became my brother's. This was long before Mark and I ever started dating. Now... it is mine!!!!  And though it is a little out of tune I still play it. I love my electric piano, but it could NEVER top the sound of a real piano. I have a feeling it is going to get pretty jealous.

On Saturday Mark went disc golfing with the guys, so we decided to head up to the Dells with Grandma Collins for some shopping and a movie! While waiting for her in the driveway Alysabeth posed by Grandpa's sports car for a pic. It looked like it was just her size! Lol!

Our first stop was the outlet mall for some new sandals. The kids' feet have grown considerably in the past year and are now bursting both front and back in their ones from last year! They loved it! Nathan got a pair that light up, Katie's were pink with flowers, and Alysabeth's were flip-flops with diamonds. They surely fit their personalities. Since we had a little time to spare we stopped for a few rides.

The highlight was definitely the movie. Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D. The best part is that I now have three children who sit so well! I am finally at the point were I can watch an entire movie without spending part of it out waiting in the theater hallway! So nice! Katie even kept her glasses on! I didn't get a photo with the glasses but here she is waiting for the movie to start. I think I surprised her. It was dark and she was unsuspecting.

Lastly, we celebrated another birthday today! My mom's! So here's to the birthday girl! :)

Wasn't she an adorable baby?! Happy Birthday, Mom!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gators and Dinos...

We've had a very busy May. Hard to believe that today ends the month already! It goes by so fast and apparently I keep up so slow! An age thing, a mommy thing, or both? Anyway, I will do my best to catch up!

My sister and her husband, along with their plethora of reptilian wildlife, are fostering a young alligator. They brought it over earlier this month for the kids to have a look at. Before banding it they showed the kids it's little teeth. A mouth full of tiny razors. Yikes! Nathan and Beth were thrilled! Katie wasn't afraid but every time it moved she would immediately let go. A neat experience for them. Not everyone can say they've held a live alligator!

Also this month we visited the Science Museum of Minnesota. This is the event my son had been counting down daily for about a month prior. We have gone the past few years and it has been one of his favorite spots.

Each year the museum holds special exhibits. This year it was King Tut and the Golden Kings of Egypt. It was fascinating! Something I have been wanting to see since I was a child! Amazing how the climate of Egypt can preserve things, such as wood and reeds, so well over thousands of years. The artifacts we saw were between 3000 and 5000 years old! Absolutely amazing! The stone works were close enough to touch but we weren't allowed. I felt like a kid trying to restrain myself from reaching out and running my fingers over them. I admit, I was tempted to say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see the sign." Haha! But I didn't. I was good.

The kids didn't appreciate the Tut exhibit near so much as the other parts of the museum. There were so many neat things to spark the imagination. But the favorite spot for them all was the prehistoric area.

 At many of the stations there were telephones, which you pick up and are able to listen to the history of the particular exhibit. The photograph above shows the kids at the first one, the apatosaurus. However, I should have been taking a video. I wish I had captured Katie's response! After adjusting her phone (as you can see she is listening to the wrong end) she looked very confused and said, "no, no. This is Katewyn! Kaaaatewyyyyn! No, KATEWYN!" Haha!! It was too funny!

As you can see, the apatosaurus was huge. I was unable to get much of it in the photo. Nathan was so proud of these dinosaurs. We spend a long time in this area, which also has a little miniature prehistoric site they could climb over and puppets to play with.

Another favorite stop inside the museum, especially for the girls, was the little newsroom where you got to be on TV! Every little girls dream, right? :)

It was a fun trip, but, also a long one, and we had three tuckered out kids on the way home. Needless to say, we had a peaceful end to the day.

The next day wasn't near as much fun as we had multiple tornadoes touch down near us. One in Lacrosse, one in Sparta, and one about 2-3 miles north of where we are. Thankfully, God was watching out for us and kept us safe. He was also watching out for all those affected as not one person was killed in any of those three tornadoes. So very grateful! It has been a bad year all throughout the Midwest. The deadliest tornado year in over 50 years. Yikes! Praying for calmer days ahead!

And last, but definitely not least, we celebrated two birthdays this past weekend! "Grandma in Texas" (aka Mom, Melodee) and Daddy Mark's! Only two things would have made it better. One: If I hadn't had to work. Two: If we could have had Grandma Melodee with us to celebrate her birthday in person.

Here is a pic of the birthday girl and a pic of the birthday boy! I don't have access to a baby pic of Mom but this one is close enough and sure is cute!!
Happy Birthday, Mom!
Happy Birthday, Hunny!

Blessings to all!! Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Enter May...

We have had such a beautiful start to the month. A few showers here and there and some overcast skies but some really beautiful days mixed in. Don't worry, we have taken full advantage of them! And with rain being a possibility for, at least, the next few days, I am so glad we did!

But, there has been a down side to all our outdoor time. Ticks, ticks, and more ticks. I do believe we are farming them here. On average I pull two ticks off of each kid, each day we enjoy outside time (sometimes more, sometimes less). On the up side (if you want to call it that), I have become a professional tick puller.

 During some of this great weather, the kids and I built an awesome fort, complete with roof. I had to teach them the art of a stick fort. It's really like a mix between the game of pick-up-sticks and Janga. Everything is woven together so it holds, but if you take one out, you might make the whole think fall. Lol! No need to worry though, it is perfectly safe! :)

I am a little embarrassed over this next fact. Alysabeth is almost 9-years-old and I still have not taught her how to ride a bike! How could this have happened? As a kid I rode bike everywhere! Unfortunately, the bike I have been working with her on this year is a bit on the small side. It is taking some time, and she gets plenty frustrated but I am convinced she will learn. :)

Overall the kids have been in good health and enjoying a great spring! However, days like today (rain), do happen. But, even though it puts a damper on things (literally), it has been great for our grass, and I am looking forward to watching everything bloom!

Last Friday, we headed up to Great-Grandmother's house for her birthday. Ninty-two years old and still getting around the house without any assistive devices. Wonderful to see. I can only hope to be in such good condition should I ever reach her age. We took pictures and ate ice cream and a wonderful time! Such a wonderful, loving woman, and the kids adore her.

The day after I noticed that Katie was spending a lot of time looking in the mirror. Back and forth she would go each time getting really upset, so I had to ask her about it. It turned out that our dear little girl had her hopes up. She wanted white hair, just like Great-Grandma, and she kept hoping that her hair would change. When it was time for bed and she had checked one more time she said, with much desperation, "My hair is going to be brown to-ever!"

I just love the little things our kids say!

God Bless!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Awana Awards Night!

The kids had their final night of Awana on Wednesday and had the chance to sing on stage and receive their awards. They had a fun time and so did we!

The little cubbies were first. As you will see, Katie seems somewhat into the singing, somewhat distracted. Haha! But, most of them were that way I guess. :) We had a large crew and I think they were all a little enamored to be on stage.

After the little ones sang and received their awards it was the Sparks turn. Here are both Nathan and Beth singing with their group.

The Sparks group was so large that they had them divided into several different groups, and they came up to receive their award with their group. Beth and Nathan were in different groups so here are their groups being awarded.
It was a fun night! I don't think Nathan truly realizes that we won't be doing this again for a few months. I caught him getting something together to give his teacher yesterday. He sure loves it there! Really, they all do!

God Bless!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One Fun, Busy Week!

The kiddos received a package from Grandma in Texas this week full of all kinds of goodies! A movie for Nathan, earrings for Beth, and a necklace and Easter nails for Katie! You can't tell by the picture that she loved them, can you? Lol!

On Thursday night, after bath, I braided Beth's hair. She had been begging me ever since she first noticed how curly Katie's hair was after her braid came out. (Katie wants her hair in a braid after every bath! Though, I have only ever done a single french braid.) So, to make sure it was really curly we did a bunch of them. :) Now, Curly Sue was pretty tired for this next photo, since it was very early that next morning, but here she is!

On Friday night we spent the evening with my Dad, my sister, and my brother-in-law. My mom, being in South Carolina, couldn't come.

On Saturday morning we had pancakes, and the kiddos and I attempted making a few animals. One for each kid. You know, it's a lot harder then it looks!! A much bigger spatula is essential for flipping these big awkward things!
Of course, a giraffe for Nathan. His favorite animal. :)
A horse for Beth.
And a kitty for the Katie. :)

And then, that afternoon and evening, we hung out with Scott, Missy and their family. Yummy homemade corn dogs were on the menu!! :)

Easter morning we all got up early. The kids discovered their baskets. Nathan was the first bugger up and, surprisingly, I actually had to remind him to look at his basket. So, with Nathan making all kinds of excited squeals, the other kids weren't far behind. :)

Well, sad to say, I didn't get a picture of any of the kids dressed up for Easter service. I have no idea what I was thinking! But, anyway, that morning, we enjoyed a breakfast put on by the youth group of eggs, pancakes, sausage, and bacon, and an excellent sermon. The kids had a special Easter Sunday school. It is so important to stress the true meaning of this wonderful day! Then heading home we had Easter dinner and naturally ate more then we should. The kids, however, got to work off their meal with an Easter egg hunt, and now we officially have way too much candy! :D The kids would seriously disagree with that last statement, but trust me, its true!

I've managed to cram a lot into one post! We've apparently been pretty busy!

God Bless! And hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...

Amazing to wake up this morning to see somewhere between 6 and 8 inches of snow on the ground! In April! Old Man Winter sure is having a hard time letting go. But regardless, it was absolutely beautiful. I have to admit, I love fresh snow. You know, the kind that is just wet enough to cling to all the branches. Breath taking!

Though, more snow is predicted for Friday, I know it won't be long before everything is green! We are all looking forward to that! Especially Nathan, who told me yesterday, "It's like we're stuck in a pattern! Spring, Winter, Spring, Winter, Spring, Winter!" He said this very unhappily, I must add. :)

On a different note... Alysabeth had more teeth work done on Monday. Poor girl was pretty sore the past few days as they had to do a baby root canal and put on a silver cap. She, unfortunately, will have much to do with the dentist over her lifetime. :( Being as I am with the dentist, I feel for her. I wish she could have been blessed with good strong teeth!

She was pretty depressed about having a silver tooth, worried that people would tease her. But, I think she is getting use to the idea. Plus, I told her that I was sure silver teeth under the pillow were worth a lot more then a regular one! :D

Aye, dere she be! Pirate Alysabeth and her silver tooth! ;) Argh!!



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Turtle Races!

It was turtle race time at Awana last night! I had never seen them do these before so I was a little clueless. :) They seem kind of tedious to me (Very turtle-ish. Lol), but the kids had a blast! Daddy took these videos for me since I was in with the little Cubbies. However, I did get to come later with my group to watch a match they did just for us, and guess who won?! Alysabeth!! Yay! :) Unfortunately, that one wasn't caught on video, but she was happy knowing that we all got to see it!

So, a younger group of Sparkies went first. Here is Nathan's race! :) One little guy got a tad frustrated with the progress (not sure I would have made it either. Haha).

And then the older kids! This one went a little smoother. Here is Alysabeth! :)

So, needless to say they had fun.

Katie, in Cubbies, colored pictures and practiced singing on stage with her group, then got to watch the T & T kids do a car race before we headed to the turtle races. So, she wasn't left out! :)


Now this morning... Dear little Katie woke up and her first words to me were, "Mommy, I don't want to die." And I told her that I didn't want her to die either. Then she said, "I want to be safe." Again I agreed with her. Then, "Mom, can you keep Jade away from me?" Turns out she had a bad dream and our cat, Jade, has been paying for it ever since. She turned to face her quickly and said, "Jade don't you ever kill me again!" Oh, kids are sooo funny sometimes. Haha!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Showers...

Well, we officially had our first severe weather of Spring 2011. In fact a weekend of it. Thankfully, we had no damage here, though, I heard 10 tornadoes touched down during the worst of it Sunday afternoon. With the storm came a cold front and we will be looking at a rain/snow mix for this coming weekend. So last night after spending a day with the Meyer kids we headed outside to the "park" in our backyard. With the rain promised us today and the rest of the nasty weather coming up we figured it might be our best chance in the next few days.

I needed some new pics so I took the opportunity. Hope you like them! :)

And lastly, our blooming trees! So, even though we have snow coming, spring IS here!

God Bless!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Falling Snow and Movie Nights...

Well, snow fell again today here in Wisconsin. Hard to believe, I know. But it did. Thankfully, not much, and the weather man did promise a warm weekend. So, instead of grumbling about it we chose to enjoy it. Though I don't like driving in it I do love the sight of falling snow. There is something magical about it; white fluffy pieces that float in the air. But yet, with just a slight change in state, the same would be become heavy and plunge to the ground. Or at the opposite extreme, dissipate and become invisible. God is amazing!

The kids have been doing great this past week. Katie has done some coughing but not much and for the most part they all are healthy.

Alysabeth has made some progress with her reading. We have tried a different approach and though we are still working on reading we are trying to make it more Beth friendly and less demanding. On her own she is starting to try and read books and has found that with just a little effort she can get through Garfield comics. Thank God for Garfield! It has really motivated her to read! Yay! Who would have known?

Tonight was movie night for our house. Daddy bought the newest cartoon (Guardians of Ga'hoole) to add to our overly excessive collection. We all snuggled down with blankets. Daddy popped some popcorn, and handed out some candy hearts and we started it up. It was an excellent movie and I am glad I forced myself to watch it instead of continuing to read 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. Yes, I admit, I usually bring a book to movie night. Well, we all made it through, except for Katie who ended the movie curled up and fast asleep on one end of the couch.  I think that makes for a successful night, right? :)

Well, goodnight from Wisconsin!