Sunday, January 31, 2016

We’ve Got Our Hands Full

We are in the process of making an updated video presentation…since we will likely be on deputation for most of 2016.  One of the sections talks about how people are always telling us, “Oh, you’ve sure got your hands full!”  We get this comment multiple times a week as we travel.  There’s a lot of variations, too.  Like, “Are you married?”  Um, no.  We just take five kids grocery shopping together for the fun of it.  “That’s a nice day care you are running.”  Yeah, lady.  They are actually all my kids.  You get the idea.

We needed a new picture to illustrate our “full quiver” since Henry wasn’t in any of the old ones.  My mom snapped a few pictures last Sunday before church!

We've Got Our Hands Full
Someone is always making a face.  Or fish lips.

We've Got Our Hands Full
Elaine was in hysterics about something!

We've Got Our Hands Full
Focus, everyone!  Henry was obeying!

We've Got Our Hands Full
Yup.  Full hands.  And full hearts.  And tired bodies!

Omaha Zoo

We had such a fabulous time at the Omaha Zoo last spring that Ben scheduled another meeting in Omaha on this trip.  We arrived a day early and spent a much anticipated day exploring the zoo again!  Seriously…if your travels ever take you to, or through, or near Omaha, schedule a day to spend at this zoo!

Omaha Zoo  Omaha Zoo
The Kookaburra – I sang the Patch the Pirate song of the kookaburra to him.  He seemed unimpressed.  Elaine seems like part mountain goat sometimes…and Grandpa would be glad to know she spent a lot of time observing all the snakes!

Omaha Zoo
In the Dessert Dome!

Omaha Zoo
In Kingdoms of the Night.  I asked them to stand by the stalagtites and stalacmites.  In the process, Nehemiah ended up tripping (or getting pushed…not sure which) and hit his head on the rough rocks.  He has a purple-green knot on his forehead with a gash to show for it! 

Omaha Zoo
The sloth.  I thought he was cool.  Ben just did a Christian School chapel on slothfulness.  He found that the Hebrew word for sloth and sluggard really just mean lazy.  When they were translated to English, the metaphor was applied, because the sloth is himself lazy!  The old English word is sloth (long vowel) and just means slow.

Omaha Zoo
In Lied Jungle.  There are vines all over that the kids love to hand and swing from!  (No idea how the kid in the black jacket ended up in my picture, by the way).

Omaha Zoo

Omaha Zoo

Omaha Zoo

Omaha Zoo
The otters were pretty active.

Omaha Zoo
This frog was… orange!

Omaha Zoo
The baby orangutan.  We saw him as a brand new baby last spring.  He was a little more active this time!  Mom…not so much.  She seemed annoyed with his antics!  (I can relate sometimes!)

Omaha Zoo
This peacock would not leave me alone.  So I took his picture.

Omaha Zoo
A little blurry, but I loved walking behind my kiddos enjoying this day with Daddy!

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Week with Grandma & Grandpa

We concluded our Colorado trip with another week at my parent’s house.  In addition to enjoying a day at the Stock Show, we also spent time with my grandparents and just hung out aroung the house.

Grandma & Grandpa with Henry
Henry with Great Grandma & Grandpa

Henry & Grandpa
My Grandpa & Henry.  Henry obviously enjoyed the visit!

Sleeping in Grandpa's Tent
Grandpa (my dad) pulled out his motorcycle tent for the kids to sleep in.  Nolan & Elaine got to use it the most.  The twins had a chance but didn’t nap and got into a lot of trouble, so they didn’t get a repeat night in the tent.

Twins in Wesley's Hats
Uncle Wesley’s beanies…

Working outside at Grandpa's House
My parents just moved and since the weather was nice we helped with some projects outside.  My dad had poured concrete on the side, so the boys moved the shed to the proper spot.  The kids helped with moving this gravel from the front to the back.  Elaine was working for pay.  She accidentally knocked off one of Grandma’s Thomas Kinkade collector plates and it broke.  She had to work off the cost of the replacement.  She moved rocks and brushed the dog (a little bit of enjoyment in that task!)

Recording for a new video
We also made the voice over recording for a new video presentation.  Someone at our mission board is putting everything together, but since we wanted our own voices doing the narration, we had to go to a recording studio in Denver.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Henry Tad ~ 5 Months

Henry turned 5 months old yesterday!  We celebrated by taking a trip to the Omaha Zoo.  This is (in our opinion) the best zoo in the country!  Henry enjoyed the nap he got at the zoo.  He did seem to like the acquarium – he just looked and looked and smiled and smiled.  I think it’s because the tank was bright, colorful, and everything was in motion.

Henry continues to be a great, easy-going baby.  He sleeps good (when he’s not in Mommy’s room – not always possible when we’re on the road, but we try).  He eats good.  He’s growing fast and fat.  He smiles and is generally happy all the time.

Henry 5 Month Portraits

Henry 5 Month Portraits

Henry 5 Month Portraits

We still haven’t made it back to the doctor for official measurement but I think Henry is around 14 or 15 pounds.  He is a total drool machine, complete with rosy cheeks that often accompany teething. That tooth hasn’t popped in yet, but he working hard on it!  Every toy or object (or newspaper, or napkin, or Mommy’s hair) goes strait into his mouth.

Henry 5 Month Portraits

Henry 5 Month Portraits
This adorable outfit came from Grandma – complete with a Top Hat on his bum!

Henry has enjoyed several winter activities and trips along with his siblings this last month.  We did sledding at Old Powderhorn in Grand Mesa, CO.  Yes – Henry got to ride down the hill – I wore him in the Ergo and got on the inner tube and away we went!  He got to go to Arches National Park, and he attended the National Western Stock Show in Colorado.  He also got to play dress up with the rest of the kids…he was the Lone Ranger!

As far as “normal” milestone go…Henry got his first cold, moved up to size 3 diapers, discovered his toes and how to chew on them, is practicing sitting up, and can scoot and turn on his tummy.  He also rolls from tummy to back on a regular basis.  He got his first taste of real food when Mommy shared some mashed potatoes.  (He didn’t care for these too much).

Henry 5 Month Portraits

Henry 5 Month Portraits
No, Mom!  No more pictures!

Henry added two new states to his list of travels – Utah and Nebraska. 

Henry loves to have one of his siblings give him attention – it’s usually Elaine or Nehemiah.  Nehemiah is still learning what “gentle” means.  So, playtime turns into getting bopped on the head with a toy, nap time turns into Nehemiah crawling into the pack n play and sitting on Henry (yes – this really happened), and “helping” means a hearty pat on the back for “burping.”  But overall Henry loves the attention he gets from all of his brothers and sisters!

Henry 5 Month Portraits
A little shy?!?..

Henry 5 Month Portraits
…nah!

Henry Tad 5 Months jog

Henry 5 Month Portraits
We’ll be sitting up soon!

Friday, January 22, 2016

National Western Stock Show

One of the things that we did nearly every year when I was growing up was attend the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.  This year, we happened to be in Denver at the same time as the Stock Show.  Grandma and Grandpa took the day off to take us, and the grandkids.

It wasn’t quite like I remembered it, but I think the kids had a great time seeing all of the animals.  My city kids have never seen so many cows, pigs, and horses all in one place before!  Nehemiah in particular was in heaven and couldn’t take his eyes off of everything going on around him!

We tried to go to the petting area, but the line was very long and the area was much smaller than I remembered from previous years.  So we opted for the pony ride instead.  Thank you Great Grandma & Grandpa for the Christmas fun money! 

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Nehemiah was riding “Dash”.

IMG_7149  National Western Stock Show
He spent a good deal of the ride leaning over his horse, checking things out, and patting his horses belly.

National Western Stock Show

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Elaine chose to ride “Twinkie”.  She also declared that when she gets her horse in the Bronx, she is going to name it Twinkie as well.

National Western Stock Show

National Western Stock Show
Nolan got to ride “Cowboy”

National Western Stock Show

National Western Stock Show
Liberty cracked me up!  She waved like a celebrity every time she went by.  She was so proud of her horse, “Dolly.”

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We spent a bit of time watching the cows go through the “cow wash” and then get blow dried so they looked beautiful for their judging.  I bet you never thought a cow could be “beautiful” did you?

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These calves were enjoying feeding time.  There were a lot of highland cows at the show and I enjoyed them the most.

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The pigs were getting shown while we were there, so we not only saw a ton of them in their pens, but also quite a few being led through the aisles by their owners.  Liberty wanted to pet every one of them.  Too much Charlotte’s Web?

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There were not many sheep on the day we were there, and they were all shorn.  But we did see the wool fleeces which won first place, and got to pet a few.  We also attended a show that demonstrated how they shear sheep. 

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Nehemiah couldn’t keep from climbing and touching everything!

IMG_7169  IMG_7170
Henry enjoyed his water bottle!

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A sow and piglets.  There was also a baby llama, two baby kids, and some other newborn animals.

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Libs, Nehemiah, & Elaine

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Some fun photo props… Nolan, Libs, Nehemiah

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My four little cowpokes

IMG_7189   IMG_7191 
Looking at the Percherons (very large horses, but not Clydesdales).  One was getting new shoes from the Ferrier.

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Next to the wagon which the Percherons pull in the rodeo.

National Western Stock Show
Nehemiah, Liberty, Nolan, Elaine, & Henry in the horse barn.