Friday, June 28, 2013

Cousins! Buddies! Playmates!

Here they are two years ago -- ages 2 (Isaak), 2 (Drew) and 3 (Xander).
And together again this past week -- SO MUCH FUN!
 I pray they'll always look out for one another and will live the Proverb, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."

Good Times @ the K-Family Pool

One of Alexander's favorite places to be is at "Aunt Joy's" pool. The weather cooperated this past week while we were downstate and we logged many hours in and/or beside the water. We even were able to combine a pool & pizza party the last night with LOTS of family and that was super-fun! It is a gift to be together -- though we missed Blake who was in Salt Lake City for the week.
this little one is PERSONALITY PLUS
the Roley family (minus Brenda)
daddy & Landry, with Drew in background gaining ground
first they're on the raft...
...and then they're off!
Love the contrasting expressions in this one! Landry is NOT amused!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Miss Brooke!

Brooke (my niece) turned #2 earlier this week. Since Blake was out-of-town for work, the X-man and I took off for a few days of vacation at the farm and were also able to attend Miss B's birthday party. I will admit I am biased but she is so stinkin' cute & totally growing like a weed & talking up a storm! Here are some pictures of the little lady's celebration -- well, at least the cake part of things, which was the most fun!

 I am NOT going to let that pink frosting go to waste!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Book Review: Stealing the Preacher

Karen Witemeyer has a knack for combining witty stories with God-breathed truths and a sweet romantic relationship. Her latest book, Stealing the Preacher, continues that tradition and is an easy & fun summertime read.
I quite liked the main characters – Crockett, Joanna and Silas. Crockett is a true gentlemen but with cowboy ruggedness and a heart following after his God. Joanna is spunky and all about real relationships – both with earthly family and her heavenly Father. Silas has a love for his daughter as big as the Grand Canyon, though at times a little misdirected. I especially liked the inclusion of Jackson Spivey whose orneriness brought out compassion in the hearts of others and demonstrated the resiliency of children who find themselves in hard places.  

At first, I really liked that you didn’t need to read the first book (Short-Straw Bride) about the Archer brothers (Travis, Jim, Crockett and Neill) in order to jump into this story. But then, I missed the brothers a little bit in this story; their camaraderie & brotherly jesting. But, I am thinking with four brothers, we can expect at least two more books!

For some reason, one of the spiritual truths that settled deep was Crockett & Silas’ conversation at the end of the shooting contest. Crockett says “I just meant my abilities are not my own – they come from God,” to which the unbelieving Silas replied, “But he [God] wasn’t the one standing here pulling the trigger. You were.” Crockett responds, “Oh, he [God] was here. I visited him in prayer before raising my rifle and felt his presence throughout.” When Silas asks, “Why would he care about a stupid shooting contest?” Crockett wisely counters, “He doesn’t, Silas. He cares about you.”

While this book is certainly not a must-read – it is a good one. Appropriate for tweens thru adults.
I was given this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summertime Activities

This past week I felt like summer was definitely in full swing. Besides daily swimming lessons & soccer camp (see previous posts), we enjoyed the snippets of sunshine and warmer-than-previous-days weather. 

On Thursday, we spent the morning at a local park/splash pad where Alexander made a new friend. This little guy -- I did not hear him say his name & X-man could not remember -- was super sweet and taught Xander how to climb, for lack of a more technical term, a rope climbing structure. He was so patient in telling a brave-on-the-outside-but-scared-to-death-on-the-inside boy where to put his foot, where to reach with his hand and cheered him on the way up. I must admit to being a bit of a nervous momma; I seriously thought it could be years before Alexander braved the 20+foot climb but a little encouragement and a wee-bit of a peer pressure went a long way, I guess. 

near the bottom; completely at ease only a short drop from the ground
getting higher... the top; so very excited (can you tell?)
trying out the zipline @ the park

Soccer Camp = So Much Fun!

The X-man was up at the 'crack of dawn' this past Friday, overcome with excitement because today was THE day. The first day of his soccer camp/class at the local park district. 

On the advice of a friend, we had purchased soccer shoes @ the Goodwill store weeks before and he had daily tried them out to make sure they'd be okay. Yep; there were just fine. Without delay, he put on his 'rubber' shirt (translation: dri-fit shirt) and his favorite 'sport' shorts (not to be confused with his 'church' shorts!). Then the wait until 10:45AM began.

We filled in the morning hours with some garage sale-ing & grocery shopping and stopped by home to get a snack because he was certain he'd need some extra energy for his body :) Class is inside on a turf field so the lighting was kind of crummy (i.e. blurry pictures) but here are some shots of a very excited little guy! 

Movie Night @ the Park

Blake was able to take the night off so we headed to a local park to wait for darkness to fall and the start of a Family Movie Night.
jogging several laps to 'that tree WAY out there' to drain excess energy :)
delighted to discover the swedish fish I had packed for a snack
and movie night is not complete without popcorn
silly faces -- the only way I can get a picture of me & my boy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Welcome To The Family!

This past weekend we attended an adoption celebration for our newest nephew, Lavell. He joined Shannon, Jill & Karissa as a foster child in July 2009 at 9-months of age and has been 'mostly' with them since that time [unification with his birthmother was pursued so he was back & forth for brief periods of time but in the end, parental rights were terminated]. They officially became a family in a court room on Wednesday, May 29th and get to be together forever. What a reason to celebrate!

Lavell has a mega-watt smile and when he charms me with his grin, I want to laugh with pure delight. And, there are no limp-armed hugs from this boy. When he shows his love, you get yourself a SQUEEZE.Love! Love!

He is one of Alexander's favorite people and it was simply beyond sweet to see the two buddies greet one another on Saturday, as Lavell came rushing out the front door & Alexander scrambled from the car. From the X-man's point-of-view, the most exceptional part of Lavell is the birthmark located just below his right eye [barely visible in photo below].He believes this mark makes Lavell an official football player ALL the time -- and what could be cooler than that! :)

I did not, of course, get any pictures of the new family [bummer!] and in actuality, captured very few pictures of the man-of-the-hour but here are some shots from family time on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Birthday Party WITH Blue Frosting!

Preschool friend "S" had a birthday party earlier this week at a local park. Fun! Fun! Fun! The X-man has totally missed his friends since preschool ended a week & half ago, asking if he will EVER see them again :) So, he was super-excited to remember S's birthday party and, as the pictures show, was especially impressed with the results of eating blue frosting.