Spring Break

Last week Cora was on spring break from preschool. We didn’t want to not do anything fun with her being on break so we planned a day at the zoo! Our zoo gives a free day on Mondays for those from the county and we just happen to live in the same county as the zoo so we took advantage of a free trip! We got there soon after the zoo opened, which was good because it filled up fast! When we pulled into the zoo and were in the parking lot Cora says, “I didn’t know the zoo would be so awesome!” The weather was BEAUTIFUL, the kids were great and well, it was just such a nice time. We saw animals, although not all of them were out and active. I guess some of the animals are still in winter mode. When we finally made it to the tiger and saw he was sleeping in his “cave” (and only saw his hind FEET and end of tail) Cora says, “He’s not very exciting either, Daddy.” No, no he’s not. 🙂 We stayed for a couple hours, then went and got lunch and made it home for naps. We then finished the day with ice cream for supper! It was a great day!

Cora was very intent on the map. So much so we had to tell her to put it down so she would actually SEE the animals she was leading us to!

Cora was very intent on the map. So much so we had to tell her to put it down so she would actually SEE the animals!

This whole ensemble, hat to overalls, was Cora's. It would seem Bekah is just as adorable in it!

This whole ensemble, hat to overalls, was Cora’s. It would seem Bekah is just as adorable in it!

Ben really like the primates!

Ben really liked the primates!

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Cora is such a great big sister! She did a good job pushing Bekah around.

Cora is such a great big sister! She did a good job pushing Bekah around.

The 2 men in our lives. I love them so much.

The 2 men in our lives. I love them so much.

How big is your hand compared to a gorilla's?

How big is your hand compared to a gorilla’s?

Ben thought this was pretty hilarious!

Ben thought this was pretty hilarious!

Bekah seemed to have fun sitting in the stroller taking it all in.

Bekah seemed to have fun sitting in the stroller taking it all in.

Me and my munchkins!

Me and my munchkins!

Hey, it's hard work being pushed around looking at animals!

Hey, it’s hard work being pushed around looking at animals!

Easter!

I can’t believe how late I am in sharing our Easter festivities! Ah well! Better late than never, right? Anywho…Easter was a wonderful day. Not only in celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, but we got to do it with family! My parents, sister and her crew, and my grandma all joined us for church and lunch afterward. We had a really great day celebrating together, having lunch, visiting and letting the kids play a lot together. It was an absolutely gorgeous day on Easter, and we were all so thankful to be able to sit and bask in the sunshine! We also celebrated my mom’s birthday, a few days early, and had fun doing that too! I love my Lord, and I love my family, and I love that we, as a family, all love our Lord together! David did a great job preaching a beautiful sermon from the perspective of Mary Magdalene. For the first time ever we got the 2 older kids a few Easter treats to open in the morning. Cora was absolutely adorable. She comes into our room and at the top of her lungs, and with as much excitement as she can, she says, “MOM! DAD! COME QUIIIIIIICK!!!!!!! THE EASTER BUNNY WAS HERE AND LEFT US STUFF ON THE TAAAAAAAAABLE!!!!!” So. Precious. I love seeing these holidays through the eyes of my children.

Goodies from the Easter Bunny!

Goodies from the Easter Bunny!

Is this not precious?!?!?!?!?

Is this not precious?!?!?!?!?

I love these 3 so much!!!!

I love these 3 so much!!!!

She very proudly picked this dress out herself. And, she was tickled that it got glitter all over the house, church, etc. :)

She very proudly picked this dress out herself. And, she was tickled that it got glitter all over the house, church, etc. 🙂

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The kids with Great Grandma!

The kids with Great Grandma!

When did he loose his baby look?????

When did he loose his baby look?????

So grown up!

So grown up!

I love this photo...she looks so cute just sittin' there, playing with the tulips! Oh, and this pot did end up tipped over...

I love this photo…she looks so cute just sittin’ there, playing with the tulips! Oh, and this pot did end up tipped over…

Cora really wanted a "sister" photo. Her sister wasn't too in to cooperating... :)

Cora really wanted a “sister” photo. Her sister wasn’t too in to cooperating… 🙂

Cora and her cousins waiting for church to start.

Cora and her cousins waiting for church to start.

My beautiful niece, who is quickly becoming a young lady...isn't she beautiful?

My beautiful niece, who is quickly becoming a young lady…isn’t she beautiful?

Eh...it's an OK photo...I think we've taken better, but the kids are cute anyway!

Eh…it’s an OK photo…I think we’ve taken better, but the kids are cute anyway!

Cora and Haddie spent the morning at church walking around holding hands.

Cora and Haddie spent the morning at church walking around holding hands.

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WIth our mom!

WIth our mom!

My sister, Ruthie, and I with our Grandma

My sister, Ruthie, and I with our Grandma

One day they'll all say, "Why aren't there any good photos of us???" We just embrace the cuteness! ;)

One day they’ll all say, “Why aren’t there any good photos of us???” We just embrace the cuteness! 😉

I have no idea what that pink thing is or where he got it, but it was with him the rest of the time at church and his prop in all photos!

I have no idea what that pink thing is or where he got it, but it was with him the rest of the time at church and his prop in all photos!

Coloring Eggs

I have mentioned several times how busy we’ve been. It seems like it’s been months since we’ve had time to just sit and breathe. I guess we’re just in a season of busy right now, and I hope it ends very soon! In any case, with Easter being 2 weeks ago everything leading up to that added to the busyness! It was a few days before Easter, and David asked if the kids could color eggs. Oh. Sure. Honestly, it hadn’t crossed my mind, which is weird, because I grew up doing it. This is just how frazzled my brain has been. Because it was so close to Easter we weren’t able to find the coloring kits, so we just used food coloring with water and vinegar, and I’d say it worked just fine! And, I do believe that’s how my mom did it when I was growing up. The kids had a lot of fun coloring the eggs and did a great job! We get farm fresh eggs from a lady my dad works with so they aren’t snow white. I picked out the lightest ones we had and it lead to some interesting results! One of the eggs is naturally a light sage green, and Cora put it into the green food coloring. It turned out such a beautiful, vibrant green! The purple dye didn’t do so well, though and just made the eggs look browner. Oh well! Live and learn, right? Next year I would like to try doing egg coloring with natural dyes from different foods. I think it could be a fun science experiment!

Again, my children's personalities shine through. Cora very meticulously putting her eggs in the dye, waiting a good long time to get them just the perfect color...

Again, my children’s personalities shine through. Cora very meticulously putting her eggs in the dye, waiting a good long time to get them just the perfect color…

Bekah munched on snacks and watched this year...

Bekah munched on snacks and watched this year…

Ben preferred to plop the eggs in and almost immediately bring them out!  We had to really encourage him to keep the eggs in the dye at least 5 seconds!

Ben preferred to plop the eggs in and almost immediately bring them out! We had to really encourage him to keep the eggs in the dye at least 5 seconds!

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Don't you just love that green one?

Don’t you just love that green one?

Thankfulness

A couple weeks ago we decided to try out a new playground in our neighborhood. It was supposed to be a “tot” playground, and so we thought it would be better suited to our kids. We walked to it (about a mile walk), pulling Ben and Bekah in our wagon and Cora walking. The playground was crowded with kids, and I didn’t really think it seemed any better for little ones then the one we usually go to. In any case, we let Cora and Ben go play. David was tired from pulling the wagon uphill for a mile so sat on a bench. Bekah was in the wagon looking cute. See?

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I took some photos of Bekah, and David says, “You need to go help Ben.” He didn’t seem to say it with much urgency so I wasn’t in any big rush. I glanced up, didn’t see Ben at all and said, “Why? Where is he?” “He’s on the ladder! He’s about to fall!” Then I was totally focused and searching frantically amongst all the kids to find Ben. I finally did, and when my eyes finally found him I saw him falling backwards from the top of the playground to the ground. I dropped the camera into the wagon and ran across the playground. I reached him already on the ground, and he was crying very loudly! I was actually very thankful for that. I did hesitate for a second though, because he had fallen about 7 feet, and I didn’t want to move him incase something was broken. However, he rolled over onto his side so I knew at least his back and major bones were not broken. PRAISE THE LORD!!!! I scooped him up, he stopped crying and breathing (he got the wind knocked out of him I think) and turned purple. That scared me. I blew in his face, jostled him a bit and he finally came back around after about 5 seconds, but was pretty limp in my arms. Now, mind you all of this happened in about a minutes’ time. We obviously left right away, and walked all the way back home, David carrying a crying/whimpering Ben all the way. We were finally able to get Ben to calm down enough to see that he was breathing comfortably (no broken ribs!!!!!), and he went right to sleep that night. We had  him lay on ice when we got home and gave him ibuprofen. The poor thing slept all night and was a bit stiff when he woke up but thankfully, he was totally fine! We are so thankful that the Lord spared his life that day and on top of that the Lord allowed Ben to have fullness of health and mobility. Of course, now after it’s all done, we have to wonder what the big deal was. However, it could have been very serious. I’m so thankful for the Lord’s providence in this situation and for his preservation of our little guy.

That night I hugged my Benjamin a little tighter and also Cora and Bekah. I’m so thankful for my children, and I hate that at times things like this happen that bring me a renewed realization of just how blessed I am to have them.

RaasssPberries!

Ok, only a few will get the funniness of my title and will be able to say it correctly! 🙂 Sorry for those of you who won’t get it! 🙂 

ANYWAY! Here are my children enjoying raspberries. To each her/his own! The personalities of my children shine through…

Cora: always neat and clean and rarely gets anything on her face or clothes!

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Benjamin: often has stuff on his face and clothes, though he’s getting much better at eating a bit neater!

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Rebekah: Eh! She doesn’t seem to care too much how much food she gets on her face…hands…arms…clothes (had to throw this shirt away I couldn’t get the stains out!), high chair…table…floor…dog’s head…

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Happy 5th Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday DEAR Cora! Happy Birthday to you!

I can NOT believe I am not the mom of a FIVE YEAR OLD!!!!!!! HOW has this happened????? Where have the last 5 years gone? How is this even possible??? But, here we are, March 27, 2014, five years after Cora was born! What a wonderful 5 years it has been with her. She is such fun, such a delight, such a sweetheart. We feel so blessed to have her as our daughter. To have her part of OUR family! She is sensitive to the needs of others. She’s a good friend and sister. And, she is just so much fun!

I have really enjoyed this past year. Cora has reached a point of such maturity. She’s more self-sufficient and more capable to help in ways that are actually helpful! It’s fun watching her personality develop, her likes and dislikes take shape (and sometimes change on a daily basis!). She is really into picking out her own outfits, doing everything on her own and wants to help out with everything!

We have also noticed a real softening of her heart toward the things of the Lord. We can see the wheels turning, and her questions about Jesus and how we’re to live are becoming serious and more introspective. We pray she makes the choice to follow the Lord at an early age.

We will have a day full of stuff Cora loves today–I’ll write about it later. Saturday we’ll celebrate her with a party with her friends, cousins, aunt/uncle and grandparents! I’m excited about that! Be prepared for a blog post full of Hello Kitty birthday fun!

To you, my dear daughter. I love you more today than I ever thought possible. I’m so proud of you! You are beautiful, both on the outside and the inside. I can’t wait to see what all the Lord has in store for you. I love you so very much!!!! HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY CORA ANN!

This was yesterday at preschool. She has her helper badge on AND the birthday badge! She was SO PROUD of them!!!

This was yesterday at preschool. She has her helper badge on AND the birthday badge! She was SO PROUD of them!!!

The Festivities Begin

Cora LOVES Hello Kitty. And so, we’re going to have a Hello Kitty birthday party on Saturday! More on that later…However, we’ve already started some of the festivities and preparations. At preschool each child gets to be helper on the school day closest to their birthday. That just happens to be today for Cora! And, they get to bring the snack, which of course is always a more special snack than usual. I thought it would be fun to make Hello Kitty cookies for her to take as the snack, and the rest will be taken to her party on Saturday. I will say that I understand now why one pays so much for decorated cookies. Very time-consuming. I have done a lot of cakes, but these were my first cookies I did more than slap some icing and sprinkles on. In fact, Cora said, “Mom! Can I put the sprinkles on?” She was so perplexed we were not going to be doing sprinkles! HA! In any case, I got most of the decorating done before Cora was home from school but left the eyes and nose for her to help. We had a good time, and she was so excited by the outcome. I have to say, for my first cookie-decorating attempt I was pretty proud, too! Oh…and it took me a couple hours to do 25…I think I have 34 left to do for the party. I may resort to sprinkles…

Make sure you have a very lovely assistant!

Make sure you have a very lovely assistant!

They came out a bit puffier than I was expecting...oh, and these are just good ol' sugar cookies.

They came out a bit puffier than I was expecting…oh, and these are just good ol’ sugar cookies.

I made a thick glaze and shmeared that on each cookie for the trademark white Hello Kitty. It was smooth and hardened pretty a quickly, which is what I wanted.

I made a thick glaze and shmeared that on each cookie for the trademark white Hello Kitty. It was smooth and hardened pretty  quickly, which is what I wanted.

I bought black gel icing and used that to out line the head, the bow (which consisted of 2 big circles and a small one in the middle) and the whiskers. This is what took so long. When I do the rest of the cookies I'm going to cut the tube so the opening isn't so big.

I bought black gel icing and used that to outline the head, the bow (which consisted of 2 big circles and a small one in the middle) and the whiskers. This is what took so long. When I do the rest of the cookies I’m going to cut the tube so the opening isn’t so big.

Then I made pink frosting and used a large star tip for the big circles of the bow and a smaller star tip for the middle.

Then I made pink frosting and used a large star tip for the big circles of the bow and a smaller star tip for the middle.

My LOVELY assistant then put a chocolate chip for each eye and a Lemon Head for the nose. I put a dot of the glaze down first to act as glue.

My LOVELY assistant then put a chocolate chip for each eye and a Lemon Head for the nose. I put a dot of the glaze down first to act as glue.

The finished product! I know the Lemon Head is a bit big and round, but it works well, is the right color of yellow and according to Cora tastes GREAT!

The finished product! I know the Lemon Head is a bit big and round, but it works well, is the right color of yellow and according to Cora tastes GREAT!