Monday, February 27, 2017

The Weekend

Alex and Nolan love the weekends as do all the kids.  Not only do they get to sleep in for a few hours but they get to play and eat and play and eat.  
 John and Jonny took advantage of the nice, calm day to burn all of our leaves from the front yard.  We are trying to prepare the area so we could plant grass.  Once there is grass there, we can hopefully switch from raking to mowing.
I love this picture of Julia, Natalie, and Anastasia.  Natalie waits with anticipation that big sister will give her a beater to lick.
Somehow Mittens managed to climb into the attic of our garage and get herself stuck in the fascia/rafters of our house.  JJ and Annalyn to the rescue!

John built me a new swing over the weekend.  It is another place to enjoy the outdoors.  Natalie sure loves it!  I think it's awesome too!


Natalie loves her Daddy!

Beautiful Sick Eyes

Being sick can really take its toll.  Oliver has been sick since the beginning of February when we took him to ER for pneumonia.  He was given three different types of antibiotics.  Just when he had two days of antibiotics left, he got the stomach flu and threw up for 2 days. (I started him on probiotics as soon as he stopped throwing up)  He seemed to get better for a couple of days, but quickly relapsed with whatever he has now.  Since some of our kids tested positive for flu, the doctor figured that is what he had, plus an ear infection and sinus infection.  We have started another round of antibiotics.  Yet, he is not getting better.  Breathing treatments, fever reducing meds, and decongestants merely put a bandaid on his symptoms.  
Just look at his eyes.  Bless his heart.
Heading back to the doctor today.  I'm thinking RSV?  Taking Jonny and William too.  They both have facial swelling and thick green mucous.  Pretty sure they have major sinus infections too.
Alex was out all last week with fever and flu symptoms.  His fever would spike so high at night that I had to put cold towels on his body to help bring the fever down.  Thankfully he is better.
Natalie was pretty sick too.  She stayed home all last week.  Thankfully, the antibiotics have really helped her sinus infection.
I hate to see my children sick.  It breaks my heart.  My children tend to get very discouraged during times of sickness since it is hard for them to imagine feeling better.   Thankfully family time and lots of cuddles help.

Andrew is 15!

Happy Birthday Andrew!  You are growing up so fast.  
We love  you so much.  It is a pleasure watching you grow up into a fine young man.
Ice-cream Oreo cake-- just like you requested.
Julia filled up balloons with money hoping you would get a kick out of it!
Happy Birthday again Andrew!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sveta's Chicken Imitation

Sveta can be so funny. I love her spirit and ability to have fun. Now that we have chickens, they are often our entertainment. Here is Sveta being a chicken.

Friday, February 17, 2017

February

We love our seasonal side creek.  It was a very rainy day when I took this picture so it doesn't do it justice, but it really is lovely and beautiful.  When the creek is dry, the boys tend to wander down to the bed to play.   
Julia is so amazing with kids.  She finds all kinds of ways to entertain them.
Jonny was riding this bike one evening when we were out doing yard work.
Julia, Nolan, and Oliver being silly.
Julia helped me to make spring rolls one day when all the other girls were at work.  
Natalie didn't really like wearing this hat.  She took it off within seconds.
Natalie's chases the sound of the vacuum cleaner and stands up against the washing machine.  Even when the washer isn't going, we will often find her there. 
Our chickens are thriving, but sadly there are only three.  We found one dead in the yard with Lexi lying down next to it.  We think it flew out of its pen but we don't know how it died.  There were no loose feathers, blood, or torn body parts so it remains a mystery.  Since I have read that things like this is something to be expected when you start raising animals, I tried to not take it too hard.   However, the other chickens kept looking around...
It is fun to throw a worm or grub to the chickens and watch them steal it from each other.  It's like Chicken TV.
We have been doing a lot of work outside.   With the house freshly painted we are now tackling the dirt issues.   Here are some of the before and after photos.
Every time it rains the fine black bark was splashing up on the balusters and making them very dirty.  We decided to lay rock to fix the problem.  Along with laying the rock we took out a row of bushes to open up the porch, planted Indian Hawthornes and Agapanthas, cemented and laid brick under the porch swing, and made a new retaining wall.



This month has been brutal in terms of us getting sick.  Dennis has had Strep throat.  I took Oliver to the ER to find out he had pneumonia.  We have had colds, half of us have had an awful stomach virus, the other half had a 24 hour bug that made them sleep the whole time, and poor Paul tested positive for both flu and Strep.  


John and I had a nice evening out on Valentine's Day thanks to our amazing oldest daughters who held the fort down with all the younger kids.  John and I went to Mardel which I call "the Costco for Christians" and walked down each aisle.  We bought this for each other.   Then we went to dinner.  It was a perfect evening.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Happy Birthday Annalyn and Julia!

In the last couple of weeks we celebrated not one, but two birthdays!
Happy birthday Annalyn!
Happy birthday Julia!

Both are nineteen now.
John and I took our two girls and their men out for dinner-- just the six of us.
It was nice.  

It is a blessing to see the amazing, loving, nurturing, hard working, beautiful young women they have grown up to be.  Soon to be married.  This summer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
P.S.  Sveta and Anastasia held the fort down for us at home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Family Life

Paul at sixteen years old is a growing, eating machine.  He is always appreciative of everything we make and for that I am appreciative.
Alex, Nolan, and Dennis are into cards.  Card games, Pokemon cards, and magic tricks keep them busy nowadays.
This picture was taken back around Christmas time. Love it!
It was a real pleasure having our oldest son Adam around for the holidays.  He took every opportunity to experience our Texas life.
With so many "older" kids around, it is fun to play games like Mexican Train and Balderdash.

 It's fun to play little kid games too!


When temperatures dropped here into the teens we had our first fire.
Lazing around
Homemade chicken pot pies are so yummy!  Julia has mastered the art of pie crust making.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Our Christmas Gift from the Kids

For Christmas, the kids presented us with this video.   It made me cry.  It was the perfect gift. We are blessed.