Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Since we are all spread throughout the country, we don't get to see our extended family much but, when we do we do it up big.  Last weekend we had family fly in from Kansas and Chicago which meant there were 11 of us in the house.  We had six cousins ranging from 1 year to 10 years.  I had what felt like a weekend off.  There was zero whining, zero fighting and there were built in babysitters.  The only thing I did was cook, eat, drink, enjoy time with my our family and sleep a little.

This weekend was especially special because Brad's sisters and their families hadn't met Olivia yet.  As expected she warmed up to them immediately and they loved her completely.  Olivia was named after the Tinsman family so it was beautiful to watch them all love on each other.

There was lots of snuggle time
(Brooks, Julia, Kyrie, Eden, Molly)
Eden was one of Olivia's babysitters
A real live baby doll

 I love this zany guy.  He got into the big girls legos

I made sure to have some "drumstick" ice creams in the house in honor of Grandpa Sund.  We all know he would have had them for all of his grandbabies.

Brooks and Julia have a special bond.  He idolizes her.

Oops they all fell down ( love that Molly was still eating hers as they fell)

On Saturday morning we went to the local fall festival.  The kids had a great time and because they weather was pretty cold and gloomy it wasn't crowded at all.

Kyrie had her last soccer game of the season.  She loved having her aunt and uncle and cousins there to watch her make 2 goals.  I loved that Aunt Laura stayed home to babysit Olivia so I could actually watch the game.

Big hugs for proud coach daddy after she scored her goal
Brooks and Julia always holding hands.

That night we had a camp fire.  It was so fun to watch director Kyrie come up with skits.  Each cousin had parts in the skits.  We loved watching their creative little minds.

Being the only boy Brooks was the prince in all of the skits 

Eden "the house", Kyrie "the fox" and Molly "Little Red Riding Hood"

My children sobbed and sobbed when their cousins left.  We hope next time we don't have to wait so long before seeing each other again. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Day In The Life

Today was just a typical day in our life.  But, I wanted to document it so I will always remember these simple yet special moments.  In my life group we have talked a lot about seasons and how hard this season of mothering young children is.  I am aware that this season will pass way too soon and I never want to forget what life was like now.
We woke up at our usual 5:50 am so I could head down stairs for my quiet time and cup of coffee before chaos.  This morning Olivia was up at that ungodly hour too.  We snuggled on the couch and she asked for "Gabba Gabba" while I read my bible.  As usual the older ones ran down the stairs promptly at 6:20.
We were out the door at 7:15 as Brad had to be at work early so I was in charge of driving Kyrie to school.  The little ones and I came home briefly only to turn around and head uptown for Brooks's 4 year well visit.  There we found out he has and ear infections and could not have any shots.  Olivia got her flu shot.
We went to our favorite park and met some friends there.

It's moments like these when I realize how far these two have come.  If you have read the blog you may remember these days.  Our sweet boy has come so far as he has transitioned to his role of big brother.  Today at the park a little boy got too close to Olivia and Brooks said, "Hey be nice to my baby sister.  She was just born in China."  Another mom commented on how sweet and protective he was.  I just kept thinking how grateful I was to hear his words.  The bond that we have prayed for is certainly now there.

After the park we went to eat lunch with  Kyrie at school.  This as become our tradition every Thursday.  We love our time with her and she thinks it's pretty special to eat on the stage with her family.

It's 2:14 and about time to get Kyrie off the bus.  Olivia is waking up from her nap and round 2 of the day is about to begin.  Thankful for the chaos of this season.


Thursday, October 10, 2013


We started a tradition when Kyrie turned 4 that for our kid's 4th birthday they get a trip to Disney.  We don't do the whole week long Disney vacation thing or even stay on Disney property but, for our kids it is just a magical. 

We took Kyrie out of school Thursday and Friday last week and made the eight hour trek down to Orlando.  As usual the kids were rock stars in the car.  Because they woke us up at 5am screaming "We're going to Disney", we made it in plenty of time for a swim in the pool at the hotel and even a nice dinner out with some dear friends who recently moved back to Florida.  I am so bummed I didn't get a picture of our kids together.

The next morning after a decent night's sleep we headed to the Magic Kingdom.  The first ride was Buzz Lightyear as that was all Brooks had talked about going on for weeks.  It did not let him down.  We enjoyed a full first day and didn't make it back to the hotel until close to bed time.  Olivia was a trooper and took a great nap in her stroller.

Love this of Kyrie.  Brave girl had to wait in line all by herself to meet Merida.  Strollers weren't allowed and Olivia was asleep.  She stood in line for over 1/2 and hour sketching and writing in her autograph book.  Brooks and daddy were on the Buzz ride for the 3rd time.

The next day Nana and Poppie met us at the Magic Kingdom.  The kids were jumping out of their skin with excitement.  I truly think this was the highlight of their trip.  Nana and Poppie were so much fun for the kids.  They even went on all of the fast rides like Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Poppie got soaked on Splash Mountain.  We sure did miss having Oma there.  She planned to come on the trip but unfortunately has had some joint problems so we are keeping her healing in our prayers.

Jessie, his real life crush.  This hug lasted F.O.R.E.V.E.R.

I can't believe this is the best picture I got of Poppie.  He and Brooks had so much fun together.

After another full day at the park we headed home and told the kids they needed to take a quick rest and we could go back for the night parade.  They immediately told us they didn't want to nap and wanted to just hang out with Nana and Poppie.  We couldn't have been more thrilled.  The adults enjoyed an adult beverage after the long day while the kids played with the birthday gifts Nana and Poppie brought.  The day was topped off with a  sleepover in Nana and Poppie's room. 

What a great trip we had!