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April 28, 2009

Josiah 3 Month Photo Shoot

This is a photo shoot Megan took of Josiah when he was three months. Even though we are a little late we figured they were way too cute not to post :)

April 27, 2009

25 Random Things About Me (Rosalie)

1. I really, really like chocolate. 2. When I cook or bake I measure exactly and don't like to substitute ingredients. 3. While growing up my dream was to travel and sing with my family, unfortunately I was the only one in the family who had that dream! 4. I once flew in a small airplane and didn't like it at all :), and I wouldn't care to get on an airplane again, although Mark says that I will some day :) 5. Mark and I were high school sweethearts. 6. I was registered to go to hairdressing school when I graduated but got married instead and I have NEVER regretted that decision. 7. Popcorn is my favorite night snack. 8. I like to play guitar. 9. I can touch my nose with my tongue. 10. Thrift shops and garage sales are my favorite places to shop. 11. I am not a very huggy person. 12. I love to sing with my kids. 13. I got kicked while milking a cow when I was 12 years old and have a scar to prove it. 14. I like spending time at the barn with the animals and like to ride horses (was that 2? :) 15. My husband likes me best in blue jeans and a hoodie so that's how you will usually find me. 16. You won't find me on rides at a fair. 17. I am terrible at reading maps, my husband is amazing at reading maps. His initials are MAP, mine are RAP. 18. I CAN'T RAP 19. I love to buy gifts for people. 20. I think fiction books are a waste of time. 21. I usually fall asleep while watching a dvd. 22. I don't find beaches relaxing because I am constantly counting our kids. 23. It kind of bugs me when people sing a song off tune or sing the wrong words. 24. Every time I see a cluster of grapes I dream of one day picking my own in a vineyard. 25. I LOVE being a wife. I LOVE being a mom. I LOVE being a homemaker. I wouldn't trade these things for anything in the world.

April 24, 2009

Brothers & Sisters as Best Friends

Since the time our children are just little we tell them that they are each other's best friends. We tell them that there is a good chance that their 'friends' will one day leave, but they will always be family. So it is most important to work on being each others best friends. We don't go out of our way to make sure our kids have friends, rather we cultivate the friends that we have right in our own home. Not that we don't have outside friends, we do. But our family of friends is a priority. Some of the ways we encourage our kids to be best friends? No talking mean or down to each other or calling each other names. No tattling in order to get the other in trouble. When a sibling asks another sibling to play a game or something else we tell them if at all possible to do so. If we do have outside friends over, our children are not allowed to leave out their siblings if they want to join in. We don't have separate bedrooms for each child, we have one big girls room and one big boys room. We don't encourage 'time to yourself'. And there is so much more right now I can't even think of. But we are always on the lookout for opportunities to train into their relationship with each other.
We also teach them to rejoice when one rejoices and cry with those who cry (not usually literally:) If someone receives something or gets to go somewhere that the other sibling does not, we encourage them to rejoice with them rather than let jealousy take over. If someone gets hurt or loses or breaks something we encourage them to comfort their sibling in any way possible.
We have talked with our kids about how God has been so kind to give each other the perfect environment in which to learn these things and so much more. Having many siblings, there are many opportunties to learn the Godly characteristics that will grow them into Godly men and women. And that is our goal as parents. God made the family as a perfect, safe place to learn all this and so much more.
And every once in awhile we are blessed to witness a beautiful moment between our children and see the fruits of our labor. Such a moment happened yesterday and made me realize again that even though training our children according to God's Word is hard, constant work, IT IS WORTH IT :)
We went to Brandon yesterday with a load of cattle. We took with us Caleb, Zachary & Jesse. Afterward we did some shopping and went to a .99 cent store and I told the boys they could each pick out 1 item. They each chose a pair of sunglasses (in hopes of having some warm sunshiny weather I am sure :) They were all quite pleased with them and wore them the rest of the day. But SOMEHOW on the way home, the arm of Jesse's glasses broke off. Needless to say he was quite saddened by this and the truck became quiet. A little while later I looked back and saw that Jesse was wearing Zachary's glasses. Jesse told me that Zachary had given his pair to him. I was touched. A little while later I looked back again only to see that Zachary was now wearing Caleb's sunglasses. DOUBLE TOUCHED :) It truly was a beautiful moment that was shared between brothers, BEST FRIENDS. A beautiful moment.
I cannot, of course, tell you just this part of the story because it might make us seem like we are the perfect family:) So....here's the rest of the story. We got up this morning and noticed that Zachary and Caleb were both again wearing their regular sunglasses, the ones they had bought. So we asked Zachary what was going on and he proceeded to tell us that he was now sharing his glasses with Jesse (funny they were on his face!) and he had given Caleb's back to him :( Well Mark then took this opportunity to politely tell Zachary that the glasses he gave Jesse were Jesse's and it was Jesse who would decide if he wanted to share, and Caleb's were now Caleb's since he had given them back! So now Zachary is once again without glasses (last I checked).
So there you have it, the training moments continue and just when you think things are going just peachy, reality hits :) But there will be many more years to train and for that we are grateful!

April 17, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Nathan (April 4th)

When I think of Nathan, I think of shy, sweet, and determined. Nathan is so shy if there is more than 1 or 2 people listening in, but when you get him one on one, he loves to talk.... ask questions.... its like he is a different person.
Whenever I put my cowboy boots on, he is there. Ready to ride.
When I give him rides he wants to know why I do what I do and he is very willing to try something new (he is the next cowboy of the family). Then afterwards he loves to help me brush and put away the horses, still asking questions. After that he sticks to me like glue, following me around and helping out. When you please the boy once, your forever friends.... that is till he gets distracted :)
Dad and Mom got Nate outfitted as a cowboy and he was really excited when he learned that he would be getting a cowboy hat at the Brandon Fair (story to come :).
Nathan told me the other day that when he is bigger he will buy a horse, but he doesn't know what kind yet :).
When Nate gets disappointed, he gets really disappointed. It is hard to say no to him sometimes because I know he will become tremendously sad. He is extremly sensitive too and sometimes one has to pry him out of his shell to find out what his problem is.

Nathan loves his baby brother Josiah. When he kisses him he doesn't just give him a kiss.... but a SMOOCH! He doesn't just talk to him.... he gets 1 inch away from his face and well....chats :)

Nate's smile is like no other. Partly because he is missing 4 front teeth.... but mostly because it is so radient. It lights up his whole face. This picture below shows one of Nathan's favorite tricks. He learned to do it while playing with it when he sucked his thumb to soothe himself. There is one thing you gotta know about Nate.... his ears are VERY flexible! We love to play with them :) Nathan, it is so much fun being your sister. I love you Nater.

Love Jen

April 9, 2009

I'm still here :)

This week has been a crazy busy week, that's why the lack of blogging. Monday-Painting our bedroom Tuesday-Hauling cattle (over 4 hour round trip), parenting class in evening Wednesday-Hauling cattle, went on a 'triple date' with Joshua, Rebecca and Henry & Esther (Rebecca's parents). We went to see an Easter drama. Thurday-Hauling cattle. Today was an interesting day to say the least. It started off with lots of 'little problems' while tagging and loading cattle which delayed us. But we were glad to get on the road when it was still relatively early. We always pray before we take off, for traveling mercies, that God would direct our day and that the cattle would sell as He willed. All was going well until we were about 4 miles from the cattle place. Mark noticed that something wasn't quite right with the trailer, so he stopped to check and came back in with the report of a broken axle. What to do now? We didn't want to leave the cattle on too much longer, yet we couldn't travel this way. We decided to head to a farm a little ways down the road hoping that someone there would be able to help us. The farmer actually saw us coming and was waiting for us as we pulled in. As Mark was talking to him I prayed that the man would be kind and understanding. He was very helpful as he let us unload part of our load in his coral. We were so thankful. We then proceeded to the cattle place where we unloaded what we had on the trailer. Just as we were unloading, a truck and trailer pulled up. Mark went to talk to the driver and again I prayed that we would find favor with him. He agreed to follow us to the farm where our cows were waiting and haul the rest in for us. Again we were so grateful. We offered both men something for their time and trouble but both refused. What an absolute blessing :) All this to say that God really matters about all of our life. We saw it so evident today. Some may see all of these things 'coincidence' or 'luck' but we believe it was about a Father who cared about the details of His children's lives. We saw our delays this morning as an inconvenience, but rather God may have allowed them so that we would be at the right place at the right time. If we were at the cattle place any sooner we would not have been there at the exact same time as the kind fellow who hauled our cattle for us. We also could have broken down in the middle of nowhere (there is lots of that between here and there!) but we broke down by the farm of a farmer who was more than willing to help out. The love of a Father who cares about details, who cares about the goings on in our every day lives. A Father who knows the beginning from the end. As we approach this Easter holiday I pray that as we would know of the love God has for us in giving His Son to die for our sins that we might have eternal life. There is no other love that is so deep, so pure, so strong than the love God the Father has demonstrated to mankind.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,
to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages,
world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-20
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April 2, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Mikaya!

We celebrated two birthdays last week. On the third was Mikaya's so we will start with her..... Dear Mikaya Happy Birthday Kicks (that's my pet name for you :) Wow, two already! It seems like just yesterday that you were born. You came home on your big brother Nathan's birthday and I would say that you stole the show! You were and still are the sweetest little thing. Your smile can steal any heart and it is really hard to be upset or serious with you.

You learned to talk at an early age and it is so much fun trying to figure out what you are saying. You love to tell stories, your eyes light up as you jabber away saying only a few phrases that we can understand. It is so cute how you use hand gestures to try and get your point across as you tell tales about going milking, seeing the Bock, Bocks (chickens), it being cold outside. When we started potty training you and you 'did your job' you insisted that everyone in the family congratulate you with a high five and "good job!". If someone was out of the room you just had to find them so that they could be excited for you too. You are very good at knowing just who in our family is missing.

Even though you are somewhat scared of their size (very understandable) you love animals and really enjoy riding the horsey and going milking with me. Milking is one of your favorite activities. Whenever I let you go along you get so excited. You spend most of the time there gaining the courage to kiss the cow and when you finally do, you are so proud of yourself. With a big smile on your face you say "I did it!". You always have lots of things to tell mommy and daddy about when you get back in... like Sally coughing, Teddy licking your finger, Popeye making a mess (which is extremely traumatic to you) and of course kissing the cow :).

You love your little brother Josiah and spend a lot of time talking to and playing with him. Whenever you hear Joey crying in his bed you'll run and say "Joe Joe crying!" and make sure that one of us attend to him.
It is hard to put you to bed when you are overtired because instead of becoming really grumpy, you get really cute. We'll say "you should go to bed" and in the cutest voice you'll open your eyes really wide and say "I no go to bed". Yes I must admit that when Mom and Dad are away and your big sisters are babysitting you, you get spoiled because you are just TOO CUTE!
You have a couple of really cute nicknames for some of your siblings. Me you call Jenna-uh, Megan is Menna-an, Kerri is Kaya-ki , Brooke is Book or Booky, Rebecca is B-becka.
You're very much a girly girl but at the same time Daddy's little tomgirl as you love to play with your 'babies' and wear dresses but you also really like to ride with daddy in the tractor (and virtually anything else with wheels).
Your a sweet girl Micker. Your big hugs are a treasure, your "I love you's" are priceless and your princess goodnight wave is adorable. Your such a little goof and you love to make your family (especially Daddy) laugh at you. I love you Kickey!
Keep on smiling! Cause it sure is cute :)

Love Jenna-uh