Monday, June 29, 2015

Father's Day:

I am realizing more and more that I truly love to celebrate. Even little things. And even those "hallmark holidays". Father's Day is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays. I love celebrating the Dad the Doug is to my boys. And celebrating our own dads who have both played such a huge role in who we are today.

On to this year's celebration.

The night before Father's day, Henry and I were talking about what we could do for Doug. Henry's first idea was to make his usual Sunday pancake into the shape of a wolf "because that is Dad's favorite animal". So the next morning we gave it our all and ended up with a pancake that looked like any number of animals that has four legs and a tail because wolves don't have very distinguishing characteristics that you can easily replicate with pancake batter. Doug had the perfect reaction and the wolf pancake was a success.

We got him a book, a shirt, and some shorts.

We went to church and then had lunch out.

We ate drip beef sandwiches for dinner.

And then we played in our backyard until bedtime. Being thrown in the air and ripstick rides for both of the boys were the obvious highlights.

I love the way Doug sprays cologne on our boys each Sunday morning before church because they both ask for it and want to be just like Dad. I love how him and the boys already have "man night" traditions that include Mazzio's pizza and salad bar and a trip to the park. I love that he comes to all of their well child appointments just because he likes to be there. I love that he has pictures in his cubicle of us and asks me regularly to send him pictures or videos of the boys that I have on my phone to show to anyone and everyone in his office. I love that he can calm Henry down in half the time it takes me to. I love that Jack's first phrase is "where is dad?" Most of all I just love that he is ours. Just the best I tell you.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Zoo Night:

Emily's church had a free zoo night and she invited us to join her. Dinner was a bit rushed. It was soo hot in our house. The family moral was not at a high level. To be honest, I think most of the adults in the group were just going out of obligation because maybe a certain toddler had already been told we were going to the zoo after dinner.

Once we got to the zoo though all the stress faded away and we really had a wonderful time. Even though it was still hot, it was not unbearable. We looked at some animals. And since we were there in the evening lots of the animals were out and about moving around. Except for the lion. He was snoozing so hard. We could only see his snout peeking out from his comfy bed cage.

The boys had the best time. The highlight was touching the goats. And then watching Doug herd our little ones out of the petting zoo. The evening ended with a (free!) train ride and a (free!) ride on the carousel. The train was loved by all. The carousel was enjoyed by all except Jack. He was not so sure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ice Cream Treat:

Being three is hard work. Henry has been working hard each day trying to figure out how to navigate all the emotions (!) and balancing expectations with reality. Throw in some growth spurts. A move to a new city, school, church, life. And that makes for a lot for a little one. 

We struggle a lot. Many days are so long and  hard. Battle after battle. Fit after fit. But then there are the bright spots. The moments that we can see the progress. See the maturity. And think about how far he has come. 

We are so proud of our little threenager

This particular day his teachers told me "Henry is just the sweetest boy. Such a great kid!" when I picked him up from his class. He kindly read Jack and book on his bed while I was getting dinner ready. He picked up all the toys around the house. And he ate all of his dinner. 

And these are all reasons to celebrate. And the best way to do that is with blue ice-cream. 

Jack is reaping the rewards of being the second born. Because his behavior did not matter in this particular instance. And because Henry never would have had as many bites of ice-cream at his age as he got.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sacred Sunday's:

The years we were living at camp we were never able to get actively involved in a local church. Doug worked the majority of weekends. If he was not working we were generally escaping camp and leaving town. And the handful of times we did go to church we attended a smaller church and were pretty disconnected because we were never able to attend. After nearly five years of this we were feeling the ache. Feeling the need for the body. Feeling the need for consistent worship with other believers.

We visited several churches once we moved and landed at the church that Doug and I both knew deep down we would end up in. My biggest hang-up was the size. It has over 8,000 members. Like the size of my town growing up. But we love the leadership, the boys love their classes and we are impressed with all that they do, and we have been working on establishing community within the very large church.

Last week after we left church I noticed Doug and I were both just grinning. So happy. Doug even said something along the lines of "It feels so good being able to go to church each Sunday". And I echoed that.

Sunday's have become a very sacred day in our week. The day we look forward to the most in our week. Starting with blueberry pancakes and the Target ad and an extra cup of coffee. Then worshipping and being together with believers. Sunday lunch is always a quick one since we are determined to get family naps. The afternoons are slow. Dinner is sometimes alone with just our family or having friends over for pizza. Family walks around the neighborhood often happen after dinner. The boys go to bed. Doug and I compare schedules for our upcoming weeks and have a general "check-in" time with each other. And off to bed.

The sacredness comes in the togetherness. Togetherness as a family. Togetherness worshipping our God. Togetherness with other believers. Togetherness with close friends. It is a day in our week devoted to focusing on those things that are most important in our lives. Our sacred Sunday's.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Back Yard:

We are praising Jesus for our huge, beautiful tree in our back yard that provides the perfect amount of shade. We are spending so many hours of our day outside playing in the water table and pool in attempts to stay cool this summer. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Family Time:

The main reason for our trip to Montana was for Nick and Grace's wedding. But thankfully we were able to be there a full week and we had just the best and most family time. In our very large family it makes for very large gatherings. And in a lot of ways, our family is only beginning to really expand. 

Henry and Papa have a special bond. Before everyone else got there they spent a whole lot of time together. Papa took him to the dinosaur park. They ate doughnuts together. And they worked in the yard. Henry's favorite. I was asked several times every day "Hey mom, where is Papa?"

Gram would get up early each morning and sit on the couch with the boys flipping through this massive and so heavy animal book. It became a daily thing. 

Grandma and Granny and Grandpa were all able to make it! It was just so so wonderful having them all there. Lots of re-heated coffee for Grandma and so many wonderful Grandpa hugs and Granny chats on the swing. 

David competed in the state track meet and we were able to go. His relay team was not supposed to win but they ended up beating their rival! After some drama and them announcing the other team had won, but the coaches put in a challenge to look over the results again, and then they were announced the rightful winners. Who knew track could have so much drama? and who knew our cheering section would cheer louder the 50 seconds David ran than anyone else the entire meet?

We had a "Keena Originals" breakfast with just the nine original members. It was really just such a special time. We had figured it has been at least 10 years since it was just us nine. We got to the coffee shop early to make sure we got the one big table in the place. We each got pastries and coffee and passed our plates so everyone could try everything. We had lots of conversations going on at the same time. We encouraged Grace before her wedding. We took pictures. And some might have even cried when we prayed. It was truly a special morning. 

Henry played 'creature power' with Aunt Bethany. And little Jack and big Jack bonded. 

We went to the thrift stores, did grocery shopping, ate pizza out, played in the park about a million times, visited the bank Mom works at, took up an entire section at church on Sunday, celebrated David's high school graduation with pork sliders and blaring pomp and circumstance through the house, I borrowed mom's makeup and shoes, sat around the bonfire and talked at night, and we somehow still had time to get a sister married off. 

It was such a great week being at 'home'.