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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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… ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

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 ย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry for those of you who won’t get it! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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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Dedication

Bet you thought this would be another post about Cora! ๐Ÿ™‚ HA! Nope, this one is about Rebekah. We have dedicated Cora and Benjamin to the Lord as infants and wanted to do the same for Rebekah. I think we waited the longest on her, but we got it done this past Sunday! We decided to just go nuts and add her dedication to the crazy birthday weekend! Why not? We had such a special day celebrating Rebekah and dedicating her to the Lord. Our good friend and fellow pastor, Kevin, performed the dedication (and then had to leave to go lead his own church service!), and we were thankful for his service in this! We pray for Rebekah that she will want to follow the Lord and accept him as her Savior at an early age. We have chosen life verses for all 3 kids, and the one we picked for her is Psalm 34:8. It says, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man (or woman!) who takes refuge in him!” Our prayer for Rebekah is that she will see that the LORD is good, and she will always take refuge in him. After church we all went out for lunch at one of favorite restaurants! It was nice to just relax and be with family and not be responsible for any of the food! HA! We love our Bekah and are so blessed to have her as a part of our family!

A photo I took before church...I sure do love these little muffins!

A photo I took before church…I sure do love these little muffins!

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Mimi and Grampy!

Mimi and Grampy!

Ma-ma and Pops!

Ma-ma and Pops!

Great Grandma Marie!

Great Grandma Marie!

We are fam-i-ly!

We are fam-i-ly!

Sisters!

Sisters!

Ben is always so proud to hold Rebekah!

Ben is always so proud to hold Rebekah!

A Birthday Party!

On Saturday we had Cora’s greatly-anticipated Hello Kitty birthday party! She was SOOOOOOOOO excited to have her party with her friends and cousins!!! She could hardly contain herself! We had invited all the girls from school (about 7), her ย cousins and also friends from our small group. All said we had 17 kids (and that included Micah and Rebekah). The kids seemed to have a lot of fun, they were so well-behaved, and Cora was showered with a lot of wonderful gifts. I was shocked at what suchย nice things she got! She was blessed greatly by her friends!

Cora and I printed off some Hello Kitty coloring pages for her friends to color. It seemed to be a big hit!

Cora and I printed off some Hello Kitty coloring pages for her friends to color. It seemed to be a big hit!

Bekah with Grampy!

Bekah with Grampy!

My dad built this awesome soccer goal for Cora! It was a lot of fun for the kids to use at the party too!

My dad built this awesome soccer goal for Cora! It was a lot of fun for the kids to use at the party too!

"Pin the Bow on Hello Kitty"

“Pin the Bow on Hello Kitty”

I had planned another game, but it went over like a lead balloon, so we did "ring around the rosey" and "duck, duck, goose!" Those went much better!

I had planned another game, but it went over like a lead balloon, so we did “ring around the rosey” and “duck, duck, goose!” Those went much better!

I love these Hello Kitty ear muffs!

I love these Hello Kitty ear muffs!

Blowing out her candles

Blowing out her candles

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Micah! Last year at this time we were anxiously awaiting HIS arrival!

Micah! Last year at this time we were anxiously awaiting HIS arrival!

Our always-a-ham Ben!

Our always-a-ham Ben!

Sophia, my beautiful niece with her youngest cousin

Sophia, my beautiful niece with her youngest cousin

Riley! He asked my sister, "will there be running at Cora's party?" Yes, there was running... :)

Riley! He asked my sister, “will there be running at Cora’s party?” Yes, there was running… ๐Ÿ™‚

The usual, obligatory cousin photo! Haddie had celebrated her 4th birthday the day before and Micah will be turning ONE this week!

The usual, obligatory cousin photo! Haddie had celebrated her 4th birthday the day before and Micah will be turning ONE this week!

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!!!