Monday, December 22, 2014

The big family picture!

Thanksgiving (catch up)

Life is busy, full and good, but I don't have a lot of extra time for blogging. So these posts will be short and probably not as thoughtful as I'd like them to be.

We had a good Thanksgiving holiday spent in Milwaukee with my family. It was extra special because Dan and Helen were able to spend the holiday with us too. It was the first time in more than three years that all three of us Hekel children were together, and I'm thankful to now have another sister in-law too.

We did, however, have some holiday bumps along the way. Hannah didn't look good on the morning of Thanksgiving, and my mommy instincts proved right. Thankfully, I didn't force her to sit at the table with us for the big turkey meal, and sure enough, in the middle of the family dinner, she started throwing up. Not fun (especially since I have a stomach flu phobia...)! Rodney and I finished our cold turkey and mashed potatoes in shifts. My husband is so wonderful. He did the clean-up bath and stripped the sheets. I am beyond thankful, believe me. Did I already mention that I have a stomach flu phobia. Uggh. I didn't even eat dessert. I didn't feel well either (stomach flu phobia...), so didn't miss the pie that I usually so look forward to eating.

Consequently, I didn't take the as many pictures as I would have liked. I'm still praying that we make it through this next holiday season healthy.

I was also thankful to get to see three of my grandparents and my Uncle Scott. In this season of life, we just can't physically see everyone and do everything and be everywhere, so when people make the effort to come see us, it's a true gift.

snow is even more fun with a doting aunt, uncle and playful puppy!

mimi and miss T.

my girls are blessed to have great-grandparents too!

Uncle Dan is a good sport and read many books to my girls.

more book thankful for my grandparents!

a snuggly, sleepy baby is hard to resist...

And I was especially glad to have my in-laws come over for the day. They are lovely and always so helpful. I know my mother appreciates their help, and it was a relief knowing they were there while we tended a sick child.

Beautiful Chef Helen and I captured Uncle Dave in the background too :) Sneaky :)

Uncle Scott entertaining the girls :) They are well-loved little girls.

So thankful we got to spend time with Uncle Dan!

Thankful. Sleeping Baby. Happy Puppy. Happy girl. Blessed mommy.

lumber and more lumber

In our first year in our home, Rodney dragged a Shagbark Hickory tree over to be lumbered. Since then, he had Lyme disease, and we've had two babies. Life had been too busy for lumbering out the tree. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we finally had the right day to tackle those trees and make good on the hard work of hauling them out of the woods onto the pasture.

Rodney's mom and dad came down to help - Morry with the manual labor and Angie with the littles in my life that keep me very busy. Abigail spent the entire six hour project outside with Daddy and Grandpa. Hannah lasted a couple of hours but settled on spending the rest of the time reading with Grandma inside.

The man who we hired to lumber out the trees was a retired CAT engineer and University of Illinois alumni, so aside from the joy of using expensive machinery to cut up a tree, there wasn't a lack of good conversation down on the field.

It was  a long afternoon of work and now my basement smells like a lumber yard, where the wood is drying. Perhaps when life settles down a little bit more, Rodney will have time to make some nice bookshelves or even a second bunk bed. But for now, my basement will double as a lumberyard.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Halloween costume cuteness

It was a very cold day on Halloween, so bundling up was a necessity before trick or treating. The layering made all movement quite cumbersome and my little girls super cute. Rodney took them out trick or treating in the cold, and I got to stay home in the warm with little Charis. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Birth Order Drama

This picture says so much about the distinct personalities of my girls.

Abigail, my social and affable first born. She is a performing perfectionist (an extroverted version of me). She is hugely helpful with her younger sibling, for which I am very thankful. You are creative, a sponge for knowledge, and a lover of people and beauty.

Hannah is a little girl of a million faces. We love your grumpy looks as well as your sweet wistful ones. You were not thrilled about having to sit still; you'd much rather be on the go! You have grown leaps and bounds this last year in self-control, which is probably why you can sit for hours with books, which is your second course of action if you can't find anyone to read to you.

Tabitha, now that you are walking you are much happier, but you have very strong opinions for someone so little. I don't think you're as extroverted as your oldest sister, but you are most definitely a people person too.  

Reading to her littlest sister!

I found Abigail reading to Miss Charis several weeks ago. )Yes, I will probably be behind on updating my blog for the foreseeable future.... ).

Abigail has an excellent memory, which helps her fill in the words that she has trouble reading :)

(and excuse me while I go intervene -- Tabitha is wrecking Abigail and Hannah's fort.)

I'm back. 8 hours later. But I'm back. Whew, it was a busy day today. Every day is full, full of good things.

photo bomb! Hi, Hannah!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Halloween Portraits

Abigail - my cooperative and helpful eldest...

 Hannah - sitting patiently, oh how you've grown up, child!


Tabitha - uncooperative and very spunky!

...eating more leaves

Happy Halloween part one

Grandma Angie came down at the end of October with matching shirts for the girls, and with such beautiful weather, I couldn't pass up fun outside with my girls. Fun in the back of Daddy's Jeep and all of the Fall Leaves and acorns make for good sister fun.

Tabitha tried to pick up the pumpkin, waiting to be carved, but it was a tad too big for my little girl!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fall Fun

 The girls took advantage of many of the warm fall days before the onset of the cold. The older two are finally independent enough to play while Rodney raked leaves and prepared the garden and our yard for winter. Our barn now has electricity and all of our equipment has been winterized. This is quite a feat considering we have a new baby in our lives! 

Someone isn't so sure about the crunchy leaves.

 Tabitha is now old enough to have a cheesy smile! These pictures now seem incomplete now that Charis is here, but she was asleep and at only a couple weeks old, probably too little to be crunching in the leaves. Next year, little one, next year!

I love Miss Hannah's smile in this picture!

And in typical T fashion, everything must be tasted.