Saturday, April 30, 2011

Signs of Spring!!

We finally have had a few days of dry weather and the sun decided to visit!! The neighbor kids had pulled out a big box from their garage and all 5 kids worked on making a little house. They used sidewalk chalk to decorate the inside and outside of this box and were out there forever working on it. With the nasty, wet weather we've had lately, the kids haven't seen much of the neighbors so today was an exciting day!
I was excited because it was dry enough for our lawn to finally get mowed. This last fall, Jason worked with a friend of ours who owns a lawn care business for a couple of days and learned a few "tricks" so now we get a professional looking lawn job!! (Thanks Mark!)
I enjoyed a walk around the yard seeing all kinds of signs that Spring really is going to come!! My tulips make the front yard look so cheery!!
This tulip is a part of a red and yellow grouping and this year, we got a blended tulip. I have never seen anything like this.
This is the neighbor's cherry blossom tree is starting to bloom...this LARGE limb hangs way over the fence line and is starting to interfere with our apple trees so it will have to go.

My chicks and hens survived the winter and are really starting to look alive again!!
This is a plant that I got from my mom for my birthday. It's a type of mini daisy and the exciting thing is that it will get bigger each year. I have it in a spot that really needs some color during the spring but tulips don't do well in so this is just perfect! I absolutely love the coloring of the little flowers on it.
And last, but not least, my climbing hydrangea. I can't believe how many blossoms I'm finding on it this year. I'm use to seeing only 3 or 4 but this year there are already at least 7 that I can find. All my hard work with this thing is finally paying off! Can't wait for it to bloom this summer!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ethan is a busy guy!

This month has been a big month for our 5-year old! He started swimming lessons and soccer all in the same week.

Monday, April 11th was the beginning of it all! He has been so excited to start swimming lessons, unlike his sisters when they started.  He was ready to leave the house about 20 minutes early.

Ready to hit the showers before heading out to the pool.
Waiting so patiently for the teacher to call his name.
The cheering section up in the observation room...Wayne got to come along for our first day to check it out. He gets to start lessons in just a couple of weeks.
Ethan didn't have a problem doing anything that his teacher asked him to do, even putting his face in the water.
He had a blast and was so excited to return on Wednesday!! It's so nice to finally have a child excited about swimming lessons. It sure does change Mommy's attitude about going...HA!

Tuesday, April 12th was the first day of soccer. This was a big day not only for Ethan but for Mommy too. The YMCA was short coaches. They originally called Tyler and Tanya to help out with coaching. (Wayne and Ethan are on the same team!) With Tyler's work schedule and Tanya being at the tail-end of tax season, they suggested that I take the head coach position and they would rotate with assistant coaching. I was a little reluctant to take the position because I have never coached soccer before, let alone played it. However, I am having so much fun with this team of 10 5-year olds. They are all motivated to learn and they don't have a clue that I don't know what I'm doing.

Here we are ready to go to our first practice.
The boys waiting so patiently out at the fields for practice to start.
I'm excited to see watch these boys play and learn this season. They are quite the little go-getters! We always tell them the more dirt on their elbows and knees, the harder they played! Now, it's a competition to see who can leave with the most dirt on the body.


We've had so much rain in the month of April that our yard can hardly handle the rain that continues to come...
The water eventually made it half way up the patio.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter 2011

This year, Easter started on Saturday, April 23rd, for us. The Silves boys were in Lynden for soccer, Trisha and her girls were out and about, so we all gathered at our house for Grammy to give all of the kiddos their Easter "baskets".

The kids were all so excited for their special treats. We caught two 5-year olds trying to peak before Grammy had a chance to pull everything out.
 It's been awhile since we've been able to get a picture of Grammy and all of the grandkids. So, we took advantage of the situation and told the kids that once we had a picture of everyone with Grammy they could then have their treats. Not too bad of a picture. It's a little hard to get 8 kids all looking and smiling at the same time.
Everyone was so excited to finally get their bags with treats in them. My mom, for the past couple of years, gets each of the kids a t-shirt/muscle shirt (for the boys) and a pair of flip-flops. The rest of their bag was candy and other fun non-candy treats. They all had such a great time together!

Once all of the cousins left, our kids were ready to color eggs. It was fun to watch them all show their own creative sides.

These are only a few of the eggs. We had picked up a set that made your eggs look crackled and speckled. The eggs were looking very cool!
Because this day was also my birthday, Emily came to hang out with the kids while Jason and I went to dinner. We didn't do much else because we had two batches of rolls to make. So, we came home after dinner but asked Emily to hang out for awhile. She colored a couple of eggs with the kids (yes, we colored eggs twice) and had birthday cake with us. We told her that we were celebrating her birthday also because her birthday was earlier in the month and we hadn't been able to do anything for her until then. It was fun to have Emily just hanging out with us. The kids all love to spend time with her.
Easter Sunday was a busy day but we all survived. We started out at church very early and then enjoyed a wonderful brunch at church. After church, we spent some time at Tyler and Tanya's before heading to Grandma Silves'. (Saved us a trip to Lynden and and Grandma's are both in Everson.)

Thankfully the rain let up so the kids could do the big Easter Egg hunt! My aunts do an amazing job each year. Each child was allowed to find 19 eggs. These eggs are filled with candy, little toys and coins.
Ready to go!
I'm not sure what's going on here but I remember thinking that they were too close to the busy road for my comfort!
This year, there were specially marked eggs and anyone finding one of those eggs received a special prize at the end...we ended up with two of those specially marked eggs.

We eventually made it home for a little down and to give the kids got their Easter baskets from us before gearing up to head out to the next family gathering.

I love how they, Ethan especially, try to hide their eyes and wait so patiently. Needless to say, there was a lot of giggling going on while waiting. The anticipation was killing them.
We kept it simple this year. We found miniature sock monkeys for the kids with a few other little items and of course, jelly beans!

It really was a great weekend! As much as we had fun with the coloring of eggs, Easter baskets and egg hunts, I am so thankful that our kids know the real reason we have Easter. To think we have a God who loves us so much that he sent His son to die for our/my sins and then to have him raise from the dead. I am forever grateful!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Celebrate with family!

On Saturday, April 9th, we had family over to help celebrate Brenna's birthday. It's always fun to have the cousins over, they all love celebrating birthdays and get so excited for the birthday child!

They were even more excited when they saw the hamster cage on the coffee table. They had a blast watching "Buddy" on his wheel and just running around his cage.
Brenna requested a volleyball themed party. My mom helped out with some of the decorating and I am so thankful!
Brenna helped me make two ice cream cakes and wanted one of them decorated like a volleyball. She found the perfect picture for us to use to draw the lines on the cake. I'm thrilled with how it all turned out!
She received so many great gifts and felt very loved!
Thanks to all who were able to come and celebrate!!

Our "not-so-much" baby is 12!

April 5th was a big day in our house! Our "baby" turned 12...preteen...AAGH!!! Where has the time gone? Brenna is becoming such a beautiful young lady. I absolutely love our one-on-one time, she is such a joy to chat with and just get to know better each day.

Because her birthday was during Spring Break, we were all home. Jason even had the week off! We continued on with our tradition of waking up the birthday child with singing Happy Birthday and pictures. It wasn't too early I promise!
We had a great relaxing morning just hanging out, having a little breakfast and then opening gifts. Of course, the birthday girl had a breakfast request...French Toast.

Alyssa and Ethan each had a little something to give Brenna. We then gave her our gifts and then finale' was her Hamster cage.
She was soooooo surprised! She has been asking for a hamster for so long. I had her convinced that we would never have a "rodent" living in our house. It was the best surprise!!

After lunch, we headed off to Petsmart for Brenna to pick out her hamster and "adopt" him. Of course, I forgot my camera but here is a picture of our new family member once we made it home.
Later that afternoon, Brenna's BFF, EmmaRae, came with a gift for Brenna and had a little something in it for her new hamster. I love that EmmaRae's mom and I had chatted about what Brenna was getting and they jumped on board and wanted to get her a ball for her hamster to run around the house in.
All in all, Brenna had a great day!