Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The latest from our home...

Hooray for spring!! After what seemed like weeks and weeks of dreary, colder-than-normal weather, the sun made an appearance today! Yay!

Pansies are my absolute favorite spring treat~ their bewiskered faces smiling at me each time I glance out the front door make me smile as well.

I thought I'd fill you in on some of the fun we've been having around here of late. In a family of our size, birthdays are a regular occurance. This past weekend, in addition to celebrating Easter, we were blessed to celebrate not one, but two birthdays! To top off the fun, our oldest son Nate was unexpectedly able to come home from Fort Drum, NY for a visit!

First, on Saturday, miss Hannah turned 17!

We like to focus on blessing the birthday person on their day, but do not like to promote greed, so birthdays are usually celebrated with family, including grandparents, if they are in town. Of course, with a dozen children plus grandparents, we have quite a merry gathering without having large groups of children other than our own over! We try to choose gifts that are more in the category of "tools" rather than "toys," and, as a result, even our boys are excited to receive clothing for their birthday, along with a fun item or two.

For the younger boys, toys that require some building skills or imagination are especially appreciated and tend to be longer-lived than remote-controlled plastic 'junk.' For instance, Legos, Duplo, Playmobile (some sets aren't as appropiate as others), art supplies, Wedgits, and, when age-appropiate, real tools (like hammers, saws, drill-bits, etc) are very popular.

This year, the younger children each made a special birthday card for Hannah, and Nate purchased a very pretty necklace for her. In the past she has requested sewing supplies and patterns and piano music from her grandparents and Tom and I, but this year she chose some pretty things from the Victorian Trading Company. We are blessed to have an outlet here in Kansas City.

This celebration was extra fun as Nate had two friends from out of town visiting.... Ally and Emily. We all laughed and had a great time!

Then on Easter Sunday, after spending the morning in the Urgent Care Center of our local children's hospital with Timmy (he had a terrible asthma attack, but is doing great now), we were able to celebrate Gabriel's birthday! He is now 14, and significantly taller than me. (I just love having so many big boys around the house!)

For his birthday, Tom and I and my parents added some money to what Gabe had saved and helped him purchase a used, refurbished computer! He is really enjoying using it to learn computer animation. We do require it to be used primarially as a tool (only once homework and other responsibilites are completed each day), and do not allow it to be used as a 'toy' very often. In addition, he does not have internet access.

Nate purchased an Easter lilly for me at church on Sunday, even though I was at the hospital with Timmy~ I do like having older boys!

Here he is, proving that you can be 'manly' and hold a lilly too!

And here we are together....

Truly it is such a delight having grown up children who love the Lord and desire to serve Him. My heart is full.

Finally, introducing,........ Abbie's pet squirrel, Miss Susie!

Abbie found her abandoned in our woods almost three weeks ago now when I was visiting my parents in Arizona. Once she determined that the babies really were abandoned, she became 'mommy' to three babies. Unfortunately, two died, but this one has done great and is thriving under her care.

Is that not an adorable face? Soon we will move Miss Susie to her outdoor home and hopefully we can help her make the transition to living in the wild.

Right after I took this picture, Miss Susie yawned~ and I missed it! If you have never seen a baby squirrel yawn, you have really missed something cute!

Hope you are enjoying your family and the spring weather as well.
Rejoicing in His goodness to me,

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