Yesterday morning 14 of the kids and I set off on a road trip up north. We are now at John's parent's house. Driving into Reedley where we lived for nearly 13 years brought back many memories.
It was awesome spending Fourth of July up here.
The kids swam practically all day long.
Doesn't Annalyn look like she is wearing bubble glasses?
William and Galina are two peas in a pod.
So are William and Anna. It's really cool to see the friendships that have formed between different siblings.
Alex has really enjoyed the water.
"Grandma" Marge came over for a visit. She is such an inspirational lady. We sure do love her!
"Grandma" Kathleen came for a visit as well. She adopted our family a few years back and has faithfully kept in touch by sending cards to each of the kids for their birthdays. She too is an inspiration! In case you are wondering how we met-- it was at church a very long time ago. We worked together doing a Mom's group with childcare for many years. It was a wonderful ministry that outreached to Moms in the community.
The neighbors across the street happen to be one of the Moms who came to the Mom's group. Her kids come over to play with our kids when they are visiting. As you can see they had a blast!
Grandma and Julia
Dennis is a real swimmer. He had to pass Grandma's swim test in order to swim without floaties or a life jacket. He did and has been a fish ever since. It is really neat to watch the kids when they first become swimmers. They are so determined to do all the things they have seen their siblings do and that's exactly what Dennis has been doing. He is so proud of himself!
William showed me his back-flip.
Grandpa, Galina, Anna, and Uncle Jack
I sure love this picture. I wish it wasn't so blurry. It's just so sweet.
Cousin Matt and Jenn came for Fourth of July too.
Grandpa and Anastasia watching the swimmers.
Alex got braces on July 3rd along with Paul, and Anastasia. He had a little pain the first day, but nothing like Anastasia and Paul. Only Anastasia had top and bottom braces put on at the same time. Anna gets hers on in 8 weeks when Alex and Paul get their bottom braces on. Tonight I showed Paul how to carefully floss his teeth with the tool the orthodontist gave him. Hopefully he will get the hang of it soon-- it's a bit tricky.
Cousin Jenn with Nolan and Galina
Uncle Jack and Oliver have developed a sweet bond.
Anastasia is such a trooper. Everything has to be cut up and most foods hurt when she chews. That means no cone for her ice-cream. I have been giving her ibuprofen and showing her different things to eat. She is quickly learning what doesn't hurt! Same with Paul.
Cousin Matt probably loves fireworks and Fourth of July more than anyone I know. For that reason alone, he goes all out-- and I mean all out. The kids had hours and hours of fun. Thankfully there was only one little incident and all's well.
Happy Fourth of July! So thankful for the freedoms that we have. We are blessed.
John, Adam, Rachel, and Caleb went to a fireworks show back at home. They did not come since they all have to work this coming week. The kids and I are going to take this week to visit friends and family.
Speaking of friends, we visited our old neighbors Pastor Sam and Debby. It made our day being able to visit with them and hear Debby play the harp. Sam went over to our old house and talked to the owner/friend who was happy to let us walk through and reminisce. Much of the house was the same and yet many changes had been made. The owner appreciated hearing our stories, and we sure appreciated seeing how well the house is being taken care of. It was nice to see that the lemon tree my Dad gave us was still there.
Next stop-- the Cappellettys and Peters. Our families go way back so it was very nice seeing their beautiful faces.
Nolan was a big flirt. He took Emily (on the left), and Kaitlyn (on the right) by the hand to go on a walk and show them around their neighborhood. It was pretty adorable-- that little stinker!
So far this trip has been a blast. All of the kids are doing really well considering all the changes. Tomorrow we are going to the Underground Gardens.