Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wisconsin Trip to end the year 2015

We left home not too early and made a quick trip to Wisconsin to spend time with my family.  I wasn't on camera duty much at all, so we didn't get too many pictures, but some fun moments were captured.  Upon arriving, the chore of gathering eggs was beginning, so some children and an adult went out to gather eggs while the rest of us cleared the table to get ready for cleaning.  They collect eggs for Tropical Traditions and send egg orders all over the country.  It's quite amazing how it all works.  
 Accidentally captured a Murphy child.  Clear to the right.  Their 3 year old, Konrad.
 Look at all those eggs!  The Monday collection was much bigger since we didn't do any on Sunday.  With all of our hands, we make short order of the job.

One of the perks of going is staying at a hotel with a pool.  We usually leave my brother's house around 8pm since they get up early in the mornings, and that gives my family time to swim and relax a little before we go to bed.  The pool water was especially warm this trip, so even the baby got to enjoy it.    
 The papa was on baby guard duty and football playing with the boys.  He has a rough job and the baby was slightly concerned if you couldn't tell.  :)

 Improved swimming skills is always a bonus.

 Doing some fun skills is fun too.

 This girl is a crack up!

Monday night we left Joshua's house before we were able to sit and eat supper with them.  The snow was coming down fast.  It started earlier in the day while we were at their school watching them practice their program.  The snow coming down was a little distracting for everyone.  The snow accumulated and it was a little icy, so by supper time, the guys both thought we should just get back to the hotel for the night.  The men got Subway, which was right next to the hotel, and after eating, some went swimming while some watched a football game.  Everyone did what they wanted and had a great evening of hanging out and relaxing.  And the baby was cute no matter what she was doing. :)

We arrived and there was no snow and left with an abundance of snow covering the ground.  Tuesday morning we got up, ate breakfast at the hotel, children swam, I did some laundry, and we packed up to make one last stop at my brother's house.  We got there right before the children came home for lunch, so we ate lunch, then hit the road for home.  We waited around long enough for roads to be all clear and our travels were great!
 The view from Joshua's house.  It is truly a beautiful location, nestled in between the hills. 
The drive home was just as delightful as the drive there.  It took a bit longer since we traveled with my parents and had to make a couple more stops, but everyone was happy and peaceful.  We are truly blessed to be able to go and to have family that we can spend time with.  More memories made and joy fills our hearts for each one of them.

Jonathon is 40 and Baby #6 is a cutie!

 We had such a great weekend!  A birthday party in honor of Jonathon turning 40 started out the weekend and then the next morning we left to go visit my brother in Wisconsin.  Nothing like having a packed weekend full of family and friends!  We originally planned a snow fun day for families for Jonathon's party, but since we don't have snow, we changed up the activities.  While we waited for our guests to arrive, we enjoyed this little beauty of a baby.  I think you'll enjoy her too.  :)

Then the party started as guests arrived.  The children had a great time painting their own canvas picture.  We didn't have anything specific for them to paint, so there were some creative juices flowing with what they chose to do.

 The evening was supposed to be a family Dominoe Party, but after we ate the children went outside and had a great time playing tag, while the adults were all in good conversation.  I had a hard time breaking up all the fun going on, so we just kept it the way it was and continued visiting and the children stayed outside on into the dark.  After awhile they came in and divided up playing different games.

 We also had story time for the little ones while the older ones painted.  I read the story, The Mitten and gave each child a felt mitten with laminated animals to put in the mitten as we read them in the story.  I also had some face masks that they enjoyed wearing around.

His birthday is actually tomorrow, and we'll be happy to celebrate again.  We are truly thankful for him and all that he does for us.  He's a servant, hard worker, kind neighbor, thoughtful friend, loving husband, best Dad ever, a strong, spiritual head in our home, encourager, leader into heart felt worship and full of lots of humor to make everyone smile no matter the situation.  I'd say I'm blessed to have this guy in my life and if you know him, you are too.  :)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Some Activities to end our Summer 2015

It's harder to keep up with blogging around here with the added baby.  Finally feeling like I'm getting into the swing of things again, but it sure has felt slower going this time around.  I wanted to catch up on some summer fun that I didn't get around to doing because we were preparing for baby.  Not much exciting but charted memories for my children to look back on.  You just might enjoy it too.  :)

I was so afraid that I wouldn't have much energy to get canning done.  It seemed as though our shelves were pretty bare by the end of the summer.  Thankfully, one day at a time, I was able to get produce from the garden harvested and canned as it ripened.  We also went and picked some other produce to can that we were in need of too.  Peaches are always on the list of needing done.  We love peaches in this house!  Thanks to my momma for the help she gave us at getting stuff done too.  It is always nice to have the extra adult hands.

This summer the girls also got their book back that they wrote.  It is a story about my dad when he was a boy.  It was so much fun putting it all together.  They are selling these as a fund raiser.  What a great thing for them to have as a keepsake as well.

This fall the girls wanted to try their hand at hunting.  Grandpa Dan takes it seriously and decided to build a for real blind back in the woods of our friend's.  The three men worked hard and had some little hands helping when they could too.  They hunted a few times, but it didn't work out for them to get anything.  Maybe next year they can try again and have more success.

 We sure don't have a problem finding things to do to keep us busy.  :)

Right now the children have been going to the neighbor's farm to learn about caring for the cows.  The girls are learning how to feed the calves, so they can step in and help with that job.  The boys are learning all sorts of stuff.  Today we had some sick ones, so we got out baby books and looked through and now Jonathon is setting up the old projecter to watch old, old family films.  I think I'll feed a baby and go take a bath.  :)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ft. Wayne Dog Show 2015

Every year we enjoy going to the Old Fort Cluster Dog Show in Ft. Wayne.  We spend the morning charting out which dogs we want to see, then taking note of which ring they will be at and what time.  It's a fun time and the best part, we only have to pay for parking at the coliseum.  Admission is always free!!  

I enjoy listening to the children talk about the different dogs they are seeing.  Josiah is big into dog breeds. I like passing one and asking him what kind it was.  He is generally right on his breed and takes great joy in knowing exactly what all the dogs are.  They recently got some breed books at the library to brush up on their skills before we went.  :)  

We enjoyed watching breeds in the ring, walking around watching them get groomed, and then talking with owners.  We went especially to see some Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs which is what we would like to get.  There was only 1 showing and he was a beauty!  His owner was very friendly and talked for quite awhile with us.  He knew the lady we've been emailing with on gettinga puppy, so that was nice and he invited us to some of their club events.  We do enjoy the club events.  Looks like we'll be going to a weight pull in December.  We love watching those.  Some day, maybe we'll have a dog to enter in the pull.  :)

 This is Otis, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog that was as sweet as could be. 

 One of our favorites to watch are the mastiffs.  There is something about their biggness that just captures all of our attention.

 The person who showed this dog was a young boy.  We saw him last year showing too.  We noticed that Josiah had disappeared for a moment, but we weren't too worried.  We knew he was probably just walking around looking at the dogs he wanted to see.  Well, he was taking pictures and went to see this boy show.  I think deep down he wishes he had the courage to do this, but just lacks some self confidence to really do it.  We are working on it and encouraging him in it.  It would be so good for him, and I think he would have such a good time doing it!  He does love dogs!

It's always a fun, family tradition to go.  We enjoy seeing the different personalities in the dog breeds, naming the breeds as we see them, and picking who we think we will win and watching to see if we are right.  Sometimes we are sometimes we aren't.  This year, the easiest pick was in the St. Bernards.  There was a beautiful one there!  He won hands down in all of our books!  Maybe some day, we'll have someone showing in the ring.  That would be exciting!  Until then, we'll just keep making it our family tradition to go watch and share in the joys with the children of seeing all the dogs.  Good times!