Thursday, July 29, 2010

Look What Came in the Mail

The other day we received a package in the mail and just look what was inside... these adorable headbands. These girls have the most awesome, creative and cool Aunt in the whole world. My sister just whipped these up one day.
We just want to say, "THANK YOU, AUNT LAURA. We love you!"
Aren't they adorable?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Da UP!

From Wisconsin, we headed up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan making our way over to Mackinaw City for a few nights. A few hours into the trip we stopped to get subs for lunch and then found this nice roadside park right along Lake Michigan to have lunch at. The kids were once again in the lake. This time they were trying to catch minos.

On the way to Mackinac where we both grew up, we stopped at my dads so the kids could see his little cabin. They loved the openness of the country and called his cabin a Lincoln Log house.
Getting ready to cross the Mackinac Bridge.
In the middle of the Mackinac Bridge about 100 feet from the water.
At the laser light show in Mackinaw City.
Heading to Fort Michilimackinac
The kids with a guard after the musket demonstration.
Nathanael wanted a picture with him too. He was so proud.
Papa and the kids climbing the fort wall.
Our colonial family (notice our little dog).

The family with the Bridge in the background.
Enjoying the biggest ice cream cones the kids have ever had!

Once again, playing in the water. This time it was in Lake Huron. Lake Huron is on the right side of the Bridge and Lake Michigan is on the left.
Papa and a happy little Zoe
Couldn't resist this cute one of Anna.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Trip to Wisconsin

Back at the end of June, we decided last minute to take a week vacation. We were already planning on spending the weekend of the Fourth of July at my mom's house in lower Michigan. We threw in a trip to Wisconsin to my sisters and a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan a week earlier. Today, I'll start with our trip to Wisconsin.
We arrived late on Friday night. On Saturday, we ventured out to downtown Appleton to the Farmers Market and for a picnic lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent with the kids in the kiddie pool and Laura, the babies and I heading to Target.
Nora and Zoe
We also celebrated Annaliese's fourth birthday. Since we travelled on her birthday, we did it a day late with her cousins. She called her Aunt Laura a few weeks ahead of time to ask her if she would make her a princess birthday cake. Her creative, awesome, Queen of all parties, Aunt Laura came up with a Princess Crown Cake. Anna loved it, as you can see in the pictures.

Anna was a little embarrassed by all the attention with everyone singing to her.
The cousins doing their traditional funny face picture.
On Sunday, we took a trip over to Sheboygan to catch up with friends from college, The V's. They live yards from the beach of Lake Michigan. Needless to say we spent the day at the beach, catching up, and eating. A wonderful time was enjoyed by all at the V's Villa. They are the best hosts and so very gracious to accommodate six extra adults and eleven kids.
This is what the dads do at the beach.
This is what the kids do at the beach.
This is what Nate does at the beach.
I think we are still finding sand in his body cavities.
This is what the babies do at the beach.
This is what the moms do at the beach.
Our family and the V's

Nora and Zoe in their Bumbo seats. Zoe's is brand new. We got it the night before for our trip. Poor little Nora, she couldn't keep her eyes open. All the commotion over the weekend wiped her out.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thoughts and Dreams on Blogging

On request by many, I have returned to blogging a bit. I know I haven't been here very much since before we moved back to the US. I haven't even blogged our experiences on moving. I really need to sit down to work a little on those experiences, but for now I am going to do a little here and there. It will probably mostly be about our family life, the children and hopefully move a little more toward inner thoughts and feelings. For a while now, I have had thoughts running through my mind about what I should write about, but have been overwhelmed by the vast amount of information I desire to share. Being overwhelmed stopped me from sharing anything at all. Recently, I decided to no longer let that stop me, but to just blog, even if it is steps.

I have so much I want to share and sometimes struggle with the right words or the right timing. The past eight months have been hard on me and our family. The move back to the US was harder than any of us could have imagined. I am still struggling with all of the emotions due to the move. I miss our life in the UK. I miss our friends, our church, the culture, etc. My desire is that as I sort things out in my head I will blog them as I feel ready to and as the thoughts come coherently. (So far, none of this post is coherent in my opinion. I just hope I make some bit of sense.)

What I do know is that I love to write, I want to share our experiences from the last 10 or so months, but also that I have seven kids and it is hard to find the time to sit down to write. I'm gonna try, because how ever hard, sad or joyful the last eight months have been I want to remember them.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Zoe Is Five Months

Zoe turned five months on July 2. She definitely had a rough start in our family. She has been the fussiest newborn we have ever had. Once she hit four months, though, things got much better. Now I look and she is already five months and I wonder where the time has gone.
Yesterday, she tried rice cereal for the first time. I actually cried, because this means she is growing up. She isn't a little newborn anymore. She is rolling all over the place and I know soon she will be moving everywhere. Zoe is well loved and gets lots of attention from all of her siblings. She even cries when she is left alone in a room because she is used to all the chaos and noise.

One thing I do know after having so many babies, is that they grow way to quickly. I know that I need to enjoy everyday with her and cherish every moment, milestone and memory. It may have been hard the first few months with her and she will continue to be lots of work with less sleep for me for a while longer, but I know it will only be for a season and I want to embrace it all. Because before I know it, she will be ten just like her older brother, our first baby.
Her first bite of cereal.

She loved the cereal after a few bites and ate a whole bowl full.
Trying out her new Bumbo seat

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Leah's Lingo

The girls recently learned how to wrap a towel around their hair. Their grandma taught them and they think it is really neat. Today, Leah wrapped Nate's blanket around her head and came up to our friend Lois. Following is their conversation.

Lois: "Why are you wearing that on your head?"
Leah: "I'm a weenie!"
Lois: "A what? What's a weenie?"
Leah: "Yeah, you know like from Aladdin. The one that comes out of tea cups."
Lois: "Oohhhh, A Genie!"
Leah: "Yeah, a genie!"