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November 27, 2010

Home Again!

As the saying goes.....home sweet home :)
After an amazing trip to Tennessee we are happy to say we made it back safe and sound.
I feel like it went so fast....

When Mark and I were on our last day travel we were saying that if it weren't for Josh, Becca and Andy, we wouldn't be anxious at all to get home. This was really a first for us. Usually after a couple of weeks of travel, living out of suitcases, not sleeping in our beds....we are more than ready to go home. But this time was different. Maybe it was because of the time of year it was, knowing that it was a slack on the farm. Maybe it was because we knew things were well taken care of, thanks to Josh and Rebecca. Maybe it was because of our amazing friends, the Muncks who gave us such a warm, exciting, adventurous  and comfortable stay, but mostly I think it was because of our amazing children who were such great travellers, who pulled together and helped out to make this trip so fun! Even though Jaden hated travelling (really, I am not exaggerating...he cried lots...) the miles still brought lots of smiles!

Family times are great......just being together was great! We are so glad we took this trip!

So now it's back to the farm. We spent the last couple of days unpacking the van, putting stuff away, doing laundry and getting organized. Really.....I have NO IDEA how we fit all of that stuff into the van. I do know it took a good 5 minutes to get everyone in because they had to climb over luggage in a one by one fashion. But as I have said before, my husband is the master of "I CAN FIT IT IN!" and I am proud to say that once again he was right :) 13 people, all their luggage and traveling gear for 2 weeks all fit into a 15 passenger van. Up until this trip we have been able to take at least one seat out to make more room, but since the blessing of Jaden being added to our crew we can no longer do that! I think it's almost time for a bus!

If you want some pictures of our journey go to Megan or Jennifer's blogs. They are doing a great job of giving an overview....so I won't be redundant. Plus, I don't have the time right now!

They newest news on the farm? Over the last little while we have built a new, improved, larger skating rink. So soon the guys will do the first flood soon. And before you know it will be hockey at the Pauls' farm once again. Everyone is very excited to say the least.  It makes the cold winter all worth while! :) So if you live in the area and like to play hockey.....come on down once the rink is finished! We'd love to have you :)

November 6, 2010

Around Here

Our house is a buzz.....


We are going on vacation!!!

As you can imagine, everyone is pretty excited :)

Our van is nearly packed (almost to the roof :)

A duffel bag for every person tucked under the seat.

Except Dad and Mom have a suitcase :)

Two spare seats now piled with stuff.

6 sleeping bags shoved in every nook and cranny!

Cooler in place.

GPS configured.

Snacks tucked away.

Laptop loaded with music and stories.

Fun boxes secretly compiled.

We are just about ready!!!!

We plan to leave bright and early tomorrow morning.

Then we will pack in the last minute stuff....

Pillows, lunches, water bottles.......

Good thing the clocks get turned back....gives us more time!

So the blog may be quiet for awhile....

Until then!

November 4, 2010

Blessed :)

Today is a special little man's birthday. Our grandson, Andrew turns one.

It's hard to believe that a year ago at this time we were hanging out in the mall with Rebecca's parents waiting to hear the news....news that would change all of our lives forever. When we got that call, there is no words to express the joy, excitement, and love that we felt. What a special moment to share together. Esther and I quickly forgot about our shopping and high tailed it out of that mall. Henry and Mark could hardly keep up with us :) !!!!! As I write this I can still feel the absolute elation that I felt. A new little grandson, what a blessing.

But as most of you know this was no normal birth. Rebecca was only 30 weeks pregnant when she went into labor a couple of days earlier. So along with the joy and excitement came apprehension of what this would all mean for this little guy. Henry and Esther had shared with us the story of one of their children's premature birth, so we knew a little of what to expect. Another dear friend who went through a premature birth was also there to encourage us every step of the way. But nothing can prepare you for a circumstance like this one.

It was a bitter/sweet moment. While we knew that Andrew was born and seemed to be well, we also knew that he had a long road ahead. And watching our grown children go through something like this so early in their marriage and with their first child was tough. We just wanted to take all the hard stuff for them. But that isn't God's plan and we knew that. Our role was to lift them up in prayer and be there for them in any way that we could.

And the road was long.....It took 3 months before Andy was released from the hospital. 3 very long months. For us, but for Josh and Rebecca especially. We were so very proud of Josh and Rebecca and their evident trust in God through this challenging time. Every time there would be another bump in the road, they would declare that God was in control and He had Andy in His mighty hands. What a testimony they were to us and to others who's lives they were part of. We all knew that it was the answer to the prayers of God's people that were giving Josh and Rebecca the strength and joy that only He can give.

And then the day finally came. Andy was coming home. Again, another exciting day. And again we shared it together with the Penner family. What a celebration we had!!!

In the last year we have watched every milestone and cheered him on! And today we celebrate another milestone. Really no words can describe the love we have for him. Being grandparents is one of the greatest things anyone could experience!

Happy Birthday Andy!!!! We love you so much. We look forward to another year of watching you grow and mature. May the Lord bless you and keep you this year and the rest of your life.

Love Grampa and Grama :)

November 1, 2010

October Birthdays

Wow!!!! I can't believe October is gone already.
For those of you who know our family, you also know that we have 4 birthdays in October.
And you have probably also noticed that I have not blogged about even ONE of those birthdays.
Ya, ya, I have a list of excuses at least a mile long, but I will save you the details :)

But I am not going to leave October behind without sharing with you about 4 of some of the most precious people in my life!

So let's start with Megan....K?
Megan's birthday was on October 2nd.
When I think of Megan as a baby, I think of a little eskimo. That's what she looked like to me with her fuzzy black hair and chubby little cheeks! She was so adorable. And she was also a calm, quiet little baby.

Hard to believe that was already 17 years ago. Where does time go?

Megan and I are a lot alike. She might cringe when I say that....but sorry Megan, it is true :) We also look the most alike out of our older three girls. Almost without fail, everytime Megan comes with Mark and I shopping or something, people will comment on how she looks like me! (Sorry again Megan, hee hee!)

Ever since Megan was a little girl people have commented on her smile. She has this smile that lights up the room. It's very refreshing. But as big as she can smile, she can also be really, really serious. And I love both of those things about her. And Megan can also be really, really goofy! She may share that side with you someday. She makes these videos that really cracks us all up! So funny :)

Megan is a super duper organizer. When I walk into a room that is super duper clean, I know that Megan has cleaned it. So I tend to give her those jobs that take a super duper organizer. Because I know a super duper job will be done :)

Of course if you have followed her blog at all you know what an amazing photographer she is. What a blessing it is to have someone who takes lots of pictures of our family. These will be memories on paper that will last forever. And not only is she a great photographer....but she is a giving photographer. She doesn't ask for anything in return.....she just takes pictures. She spends hours and hours and hours editing photos for free. She will drop all of her plans to take someones pictures. She even did a photo shoot once on her birthday!!! I asked her if maybe she would like to wait until another day, but nope. In fact she didn't even let them know it was her birthday. They found out though when she asked them to join us for her birthday supper. She was excited and loved every moment!

She has hair that is the most amazing hair I know of. It is so curly, a beautiful curly. We love it! She wouldn't be Megan without it!

I love her heart for worshipping our Lord. And she will often be heard with a song of praise on her lips.

We love you Megan. We pray that this year will be a year of knowing how deep the Father's love is for you.

Our second birthday this month was Zachary. He turned 10. We will sometimes call him Zippy Zee, and there is a reason for that. A very good reason. Every since he was a tiny little dude, he has had lots of zip! Seeing Zachary sit still is a rarety! He is really good at sports as he has no fear of falling or diving or jumping or rolling or crashing.....you get the point!

The phrase that Zachary has probably heard the most from me is "Think before you act." He is a very spontanious person which has gotten him into some trouble and even a couple of broken bones. I am pleased to say that as he grows older he is doing much better in this area!

Zachary is a funny boy and is often saying humorous things or even just things that don't make sense....so much so that they are just plain funny! He likes to make his little brother Joey laugh, and can do so every time.

Zachary loves to learn, but really has no use for sitting still and doing so. So sitting and doing school work is a real stretch for him. But he has learned to have self-control (for the most part) and get his work done so he can get on with his day!!!

We love you Zach and pray that your heart will be drawn to the wisdom that comes only from the Lord.

Birthday #3. Jesse Alan. Our blond haired little boy....who is getting so big! 8 years old now :)

Jesse is a farm boy through and through. He reminds me a lot of his big brother Josh when he was little. He thinks farming almost all the time. If he is sitting and working at his school book and he hears machinery sounds outside he has to run to the window and figure out what is going on. He will get up early early in the morning to make sure that he doesn't miss a ride out to the field. One morning he told me he was up since 4 AM waiting to go to the field. That reminds me of his daddy. When it is busy season, sleep is hard to come by!

I love watching Jesse play with his farm toys. Everything has to be just so. He can play all by himself for hours playing farming.

He also like wheels, a LOT!!!! When he started to learn to ride his bike he would always wipe out because he was watching his wheels! And whats even better than wheels to him is.....wheels that are covered in mud. Whether its a wagon, a bike, a tricycle, a tractor, a truck.....whatever it may be....if the wheels are muddy....he is happy :) I don't know how many times I have told him in his life to GET OUT OF THE MUD!!!!! In this way he is different than Josh. Josh used to hate mud and be quite disgusted if he got it on himself or his toys!

Jesse likes to talk.....lots....actually more than lots!!! Not about much really, just stuff.....lots of stuff. He can go on and on and on and on.....well you get the picture!!!! But I love it. He makes me laugh by the things he says. He can give me every detail of his day. And he can go on and on and on about his day.....right, I already said that :)

We got Jesse a watch for his birthday. I think he likes it. In fact he likes it so much that one day when we were shopping he set his alarm over and over and over.....and told us the time over and over and over.....OK you get the picture! I see now why he was begging for a watch! To drive me silly......just kidding. He just likes to know that time.....nothing wrong with that....RIGHT!!! Now he won't have to keep asking his Dad what time it is when they are in the tractor. It's important to know that time when there is food involved!

A funny story. Jesse came with Mark, Jaden and I in the car the other day. Of course Jesse was sitting in the back with Jaden, talking and talking and talking to him about......well almost everything. Then Jaden would cry, then Jesse would get him settled and talk and talk to him. Then Jaden would start to cry....and Jesse would say no, no, no....and then he would settle him. It was super cute to watch.

Oh ya, and one last thing. He has this amazing birth mark on his head. It is just a splotch of hair that is lighter than the rest. So sweet!

We love you Jesse and pray that this year you will grow in wisdom.

And last but definitely not least is our 4th birthday of the month....Caleb Andrew. Caleb is now 12. This is really hard for me to wrap my brain around. I guess it's because our second set (which I often refer to of the 4 boys) is growing up. Cause I know now that Caleb is 12, the others will be 12 soon too! How exciting :)

I would describe Caleb as the strong, silent type. He doesn't have a lot to say, but when he says it, it makes sense. He is a leader, and has been since he was just a little guy. We would always marvel at how he could negotiate a favorite toy away from his brothers. And they were all happy in the end!

Caleb is very creative. He likes to draw and build things....out of lego, wood or whatever else he finds.

He is such a good big brother.....and he is especially good with babies. Josiah loves to play with him. I love watching him with little ones!

Caleb is also an organizer and he is the one of the boys that I will call on if I want an organizing job done. He is a great worker when he puts his mind to it!

He really likes to play sports and is getting really good at it. I can't wait to watch him play hockey on our rink this year.

Caleb we love you and are proud of the young man you are becoming. We pray that you will be sensitive to the things that God is going to teach you this year, and that you will follow Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength!

Whew.....that is the end of the October birthday posts! What a fun month we had celebrating these special people in our family. Thank you God for all of them :)

Oh, and I am not going to post any pictures, cause if I do, I may never get this posted. If you want to see what they look like.....you can look on the sidebar :) !!!!!