Friday, August 30, 2013

Ice cream!

Summer rhythms and routines

We've spent many evenings in the garden, eating ice cream at the Dream Hut and going for walks.

Last weekend we visited Milwaukee and Rockford before our weeks fill up with Fall routines.

I've enjoyed our quiet summer, adjusting to having another little one in the house, but I'm also excited to start Classical Conversations with Abigail, resume Awana, study Romans in CBS and have our friends in our home for Bible Study again on Thursday nights. Busy Fall here we come!

My vote for outside activity - the tire swing. It's much cleaner than the sandbox:) Yesterday, they both needed baths, as they were covered head to toe in sand.

The girls enjoy dress up almost every day!

Making friends with the statues at the library :)

Tabitha is "all smiles" and coos. Of the three, she has been my most chatty, happy infant. I think it's because she has two big sisters who talk to her ALL of the time. Now if only she would sleep better at night! I actually took this photo this morning on my phone. Can't believe she's already 3.5 months old. This picture also showcases Tabitha's blue blue eyes. We shall see if they lighten up like her big sister Abigail's.

Our first melon from the garden. Last year my dad bought us a melon at a farmer's market. I saved the seeds and voila! We only had 4 melons from one vine, but they were delicious!

We've processed SO MANY tomatoes. We have replenished our stores of salsa, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. I have to confess that I'm rather tired of tomatoes. Thankfully, I'm not tired of mozzarella, basil and tomato salads. We've also enjoyed some sweet corn (the raccoons ate a large portion of it), fresh pesto, green beans, peppers, and broccoli. I've made 8 chocolate zucchini cakes this season. And our last plant finally tired of producing zucchini.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Quiet moments with Dan and Helen

Dan and Helen spent a couple of extra days with us. We enjoyed long walks, time in the garden, and spending time outdoors. And in the evenings, we were up very late talking and playing games. It was a treasure to have some extended quiet time with my new sister in-law. I am very thankful for her. She is a considerate, thoughtful person. She adores my brother. And I truly think they bring out the best in one another. I'm looking forward to seeing what God is going to teach them and grow them as  One. 

Dan and Helen Reception - part three

Having an Aunt and Uncle who have lived in tents and seen the world has its perks. They're more laid back than mom. I'm kinda a clean freak and sorta busy with a young infant, so letting her play in the creek doesn't happen. Note how she's no longer wearing her dress. She asked for a change of clothes to play in the creek, covered in sand and dirt (which by the way I still haven't gotten out of her white leggings...). I thought she'd be getting her feet wet! If I'd known she'd be going for a swim, I would have put her in her swimsuit! Oh well, it was a perfect day to take a dip in the creek.

 Handsome Daddy and sleepy girl supervising the sand throwing and creek swimming.

So thankful Joe and Jess were able to come over from Ohio! It was fun for Helen to meet some of Daniel's college friends.


Uncle Scott and Dan
 Uncle Scott and Miss Abigail

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Reception for Dan and Helen part two (Family!!!)

Since I was hosting, I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I had planned in my head. I don't ever seem to take enough pictures! This is the main reason why I had a friend come take pictures of the immediate family when all was quiet and calm and still. Those pictures will be ready soon! All that said, I did take some family pictures:)

I really like this one of me and my brother. Thanks, Uncle Scott, for humoring me and taking the picture. Since we were climbing in the tree, the girls were soon climbing in the tree too. I did not get any pictures of their antics because I was trying to keep them from being hurt. Abigail was soaking wet, as you will see in a future post and she did skin her bottom at one point, but at least she didn't break any bones!

The Higgins Family picture turned out quite well. It was such a blessing to have so many of my mom's family here from Iowa. 

 I waited too long to take the Hekel family pictures. Very sad. As you can tell from Rodney's comedic routine, he was trying very hard to keep the middle one happy. But it was wonderful to have them here! And this picture still brings me joy!

I did snap a quick picture of Grandma Joyce with Helen and Dan :) Success! Sometimes I think people get annoyed with me when I request family picture time, but I know deep down that everyone likes looking at the pictures after the fact. Right?!

I have a GREAT dad, who loves me and all of his granddaughters. Isn't Tabitha getting to be so big!

 My Aunt Tanna is so sweet. I only wish that I knew her better. The last time I had seen her and my Uncle Kent was when I was 17 years old. We're hoping we won't have to wait so long to see them. It was fun to hear how God has been at work in her and Uncle Kent.

Grandpa Dean catching up with Helen

Love Uncle Kent and Aunt Tanna!

Reception for Dan and Helen Part One

My brother Dan is a married man! His lovely wife, Helen, is British and French, so they were married in France at the end of July. Because Tabitha was so young, we decided not to go to their wedding, which in retrospect was a good but difficult decision. Thankfully, they tagged us onto their  honeymoon, and it worked for us to have a reception at our home! We had around 40+ family and friends come to our home to wish them well, and Dan and Helen stayed several extra days to enjoy time with three very happy nieces (and us too!).

We ordered a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting as well as some chocolate cream filled cupcakes. As Rodney said, "This is the best cupcake I've ever eaten!" I love having a good excuse to order dessert from Trefzgers. Helen's mother also sent some of the leftover wedding cake back with my parents. Per Helen's request, her mom made a traditional English Christmas cake, very similar to a fruitcake. And the flowers were lovingly made by a family friend. It was fun to try a piece of the cake.

Helen also made Hibiscus tea, which is a traditional N.African brew. It was quite tart and refreshing and good for your blood pressure, I'm told. :)

The lovely couple. And I'm not just saying that. They truly are lovely. I am very blessed to have such a wonderful brother and sister! 

One of their friends who knew them before they began dating was able to come over from Ohio!

My Aunt Sarah is wonderful and Tabitha thinks so too. Tabitha enjoyed being held by many people during the course of the day.

Cousin Anna, Tabitha and Grandma Lois. My Grandma Lois was very ill a year before. I'm still praising God for her recovery and spunk!

Grandma Joyce and Aunt Tanna (visiting from Indiana and Montana!)

Grandpa Dean, Amanda, and Grandma Barbara enjoying themselves :)

We were blessed to enjoy a reprieve from the HOT HOT HOT Midwest summer. It was actually quite pleasant to be outside on the deck, for which we were all thankful!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lazy morning photos

I am thankful that my girls are growing in their love for one another.

I'm thankful Tabitha is sleeping for longer stretches at night.

I'm thankful for supernatural mercies that are new every morning even after short nights of sleep.

I'm thankful that we serve a God of peace and love, a Father to turn to when my eldest has nightmares. He is a Good Shepherd. I'm thankful for the Words of hope that I can share with my girls.

I'm thankful for the sunshine today, a deck covered by trees and a sand box and swing set close to the house :)