Cousins

Brett’s cousin Carrie and her family came to Sparta at the end of June for a visit. They live in India as missionaries and were spending several weeks stateside over the summer. We were so excited to see them and catch up a little. Brett’s sister and our nephew were also home so we had 7 children age 7 and under. There weren’t many full sentences or conversations spoken…but still special time together and great to see our children play together. Plus…Aunt Marietta supplied the fireworks which were a big hit.

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Summer…Summer

The last half of June it felt like we were operating in chaos most days. Boxes, boxes and more boxes…enough said. Two and half weeks without a washer and dryer (long story). Multiple visits and problems with internet. Over a month without our own vacuum cleaner. Two precious girls that just want to “help” and also lost all interest in playing on their own or with their toys. They also learned how to wrestle and annoy each other on a whole new level. An old house that needed random items cleared, moved and completely cleaned. Most days felt chaotic and exhausting…but we were determined that despite the chaos of moving…we were going to enjoy SUMMER and tried to make special moments to do that. We spent several afternoons at the pool. We spent our evenings outside (when it wasn’t pouring rain) catching bugs and exploring (and Brett mowing every chance he could get). Nora learned to swing all by herself. It was one of those moments that just put everything into perspective. “To do” lists will always be there, but little girls grow very fast. We love summer!

Catching lightning bugs!

Catching lightning bugs!

Even Biscuit likes the country!

Even Biscuit likes the country!

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Daddy got wet!

Daddy got wet!

Yep...Daddy is soaked!

Yep…Daddy is soaked!

Happy Birthday Callie!

Happy Birthday Callie!

Nora learns to swing!

Nora learns to swing!

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The Horst family stopped by for a visit!

The Horst family stopped by for a visit!

Happy Father’s Day

We moved into our new house on a Saturday and spent our first night. The next morning we woke up to boxes everywhere but a day to celebrate – Father’s Day. The girls had helped me pick out Daddy’s cards a few days before. Lydia was so excited about her card for Daddy…it had a Superman symbol on it and she called it her “Super Daddy” card. Brett LOVED Superman growing up (who am I kidding…he still loves him :)…so it really was the perfect card.

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May 30th

As God says in Ecclesiastes…there is a time for all seasons, “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” May 30th was almost a season in itself. So many major life events in one little day. My Grandpa Weber passed away early in the morning. We celebrated Lydia’s 5th birthday. We closed on our new house. The day went by in a blur. Tears were shed, papers were signed and joy and laughter filled our home and hearts.

My Grandpa Weber really was larger-than-life. He worked hard and enjoyed life…mostly enjoyed his family. I am so blessed to have had him in my life and so thankful that the girls got to know him too. This is the last picture I took of him with our girls. We saw him after this time, but just didn’t get pictures. He is so dearly missed.

IMG_8456Around mid-day Brett and I signed the papers to our new home. A new chapter for our family. We were officially moving to the country!

Our Lydia turned FIVE years old…yet celebrated her first birthday as Lydia Lessley – our daughter. She waited so long for her birthday…counting down the months, weeks and days. When the morning finally arrived, she woke up and said “You mean today is the day, I am five already.” It seemed surreal to her and us as well. She was all smilles, all day. Lydia often has a smile on her face…but her smiles this day were different. Brett and I both noticed. She felt special, celebrated and beautiful. In the evening, we headed out to the new house and the girls had so much fun running around and checking out all the nooks and crannies. We ordered pizza and celebrated later with ice cream cake. Grandpa and Grandma came over later to help celebrate as well. On Lydia’s 4th birthday I made brownies and thought and prayed for her all day…not knowing if she was being celebrated at all. This year was different, yet normal…what a child’s birthday should be. Enough words…here are some pics…

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Making the Move

In other news, while we were in Maryland we went under contract for a new house (new to us house). We hadn’t really planned to move this year, but knew that sometime in the future we would like to have a little more room inside our house and outside as well. An interesting house came up on the market that was an ideal location for us – just outside of town. It all happened fast, but we headed back to Newton with a closing date on a hew house! So…that meant that the rest of April/May/June were filled with “house stuff”….getting our old house ready to be put on the market (praise the Lord we had a offer in two days), packing, cleaning, moving, unpacking, etc., etc. etc….all with two VERY well meaning little helpers! Oh my…moving with children…enough said.

We closed on our new house…but leading up to that we still had some special events!

Visiting Grandpa and Grandma for an Evening of Camping

The girls and I visited Grandpa and Grandma one evening while they were camping. The girls had so much fun…especially helping Grandpa cook over the fire and eating all the yummy food!

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Daddy’s Birthday

Brett is not super big on celebrating his birthday with a lot of fanfare…but I can’t help but want to celebrate my better half and the girls’ were so excited for Daddy’s special day. To be honest, Lydia did have some ulterior motives…she knew that once Daddy’s birthday was over…her’s was next :)!

Anyway, he worked the morning of his birthday and the girls and I did a little decorating, made lunch and baked a cake. It was a simple, but sweet celebration.

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Teeth

Lydia lost her 1st and 2nd tooth within a couple weeks of each other. Daddy ended up pulling both of them, but only after they were very lose. Lydia was very brave and enjoyed her visits from the “tooth fairy”! We were in a little bit of shock with the first tooth and not quite ready to have a child old enough to be losing teeth! We found out one night when she was not eating her corn on the cob very well. She LOVES corn on the cob and we kept asking her about it. Finally, Brett asked if she had a lose tooth and the mystery was solved!

So brave!

So brave!

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Nora just knew she had loose teeth too ;)!

Nora just knew she had loose teeth too ;)!

First visit from the tooth fairy!

First visit from the tooth fairy!

Celebrating my 1st Mother’s Day

Even typing those words, brings about a lot of emotion. For so long Mother’s Day represented joy and thankfulness for our mothers and grandmothers, BUT also so much pain, longing, awkwardness and overall sadness. To be honest though, when the day finally came, it was nice and simple…just a great day with Brett and our girls. I didn’t feel this huge amount of joy for motherhood. Motherhood is HARD and most days I feel like a failure unless I am constantly resting in God’s grace and wisdom, BUT I did feel a TON of joy and love for our daughters, Lydia and Nora. For so long, the pain was about not being a mother, but the joy this year was not in the role, but rather in the people…the two amazing little people that God has entrusted to Brett and I. We get to experience it all…the great moments, the good moments the everyday moments, the not so great moments and everything else in between. I love those girls so much and I will always remember our first Mother’s Day together.

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The girls enjoyed an afternoon with Madison at our house. They all had so much fun and played together really well!

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Biscuit watching the girls play in the yard

Biscuit watching the girls play in the yard

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Can you imagine when they are driving real cars and going shopping together?

Can you imagine when they are driving real cars and going shopping together?

Heading East

Towards the end of April, we headed out East to meet more of our family for the first time…G-Ma Ma, G-Pa Pa, Uncle Jake, Great Grandma Lily and more!  We were all excited to be going, but Mommy and Daddy were a little nervous about the long car trip (14 hours each way).  Thankfully, the girls were troopers and although they didn’t sleep much or even really watch that much TV, they still managed to entertain themselves and did really well. When your first “big trip” is Russia, everything else doesn’t seem that bad :)!

We are so blessed that the girls just LOVE going new places, seeing new things and taking in their surroundings every chance they get. Everything is an adventure to them and although it is tiring as their parents sometimes, I love watching the world through their eyes!

When we FINALLY arrived, we were all road weary but the girls were so excited to meet G-Ma Ma and G-Pa Pa! We had a quick dinner and then enjoyed getting some energy out at the park across the street. The next day we enjoyed more time around G-Pa Pa and G-Ma Ma’s house. G-Ma Ma got out some of my baby dolls and toys for the girls to play with and even take home. The girls LOVED playing with these toys and dressing up the dolls in clothes that mommy wore as a baby. Later in the day we had a nice visit in Glen Burnie with Great-Grandma Lily. If you know anything about my Grandma Lily then you know her house is NOT kid proof (think glass and ceramics EVERYwhere). Thankfully, we managed a nice visit with no broken items or injuries. It did help that we went out to eat and spent some time at a park. Grandma Lily just enjoyed watching the girls play and talk.

The next day, G-Pa Pa and Daddy took the girls down to a beach area on the bay and let them run around. The girls loved the Chesapeake Bay and going over the Bay Bridge. We also had a nice lunch at the restaurant Uncle Jake cooks for. The girls were so excited that Uncle Jake made our food! It was very yummy and just a nice lunch with family. That evening, we had more special visitors. My Aunt Ginny and Uncle Eric stopped by on their way back from the beach.

On our final day, we enjoyed another fun morning at home and around the island. The girls LOVED climbing all over G-Pa Pa and I am certain he was worn out for days after we left! It was a quick, but special visit! On our way home, we also made a pit stop in West Virginia and got to meet up with special friends at a park. It really helped break up our trip home.

So happy we are finally here!

So happy we are finally here!

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Meeting Uncle Jake

Meeting Uncle Jake

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Eating at the Inn where Uncle Jake cooks

Eating at the Inn where Uncle Jake cooks

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Uncle Eric and Aunt Ginny

Uncle Eric and Aunt Ginny

…and the MONTHS flew by!

Oh little blog how you have been neglected! We have been so busy living life that we haven’t taken time to update and record our happenings! So…let’s go back a few months and catch up!

EASTER

We had a wonderful Easter celebrating our risen Lord and spending special time in Sparta. The girls had been waiting months to meet their cousins Nathan and Graham and their Aunt Rebecca (they got to see Uncle Matthew in January). It was the first time that all of us would be together…the Ruiz family and of course, NaNa and Grandpa. A great time was had by all and the kids did fantastic playing together and wearing us all out! The basement is always a hit at NaNa and Grandpa’s house especially when block and box forts are involved. We all took many chuckwagon rides and the girls love “making and cooking food” in NaNa’s landscaping. Easter day was beautiful and after church and lunch we enjoyed a fun Easter egg hunt and afternoon outside. We also had a special visit from the Johnson ladies (Ms. Amy and Sofia) one day. Our last day together NaNa and Grandpa took the bigger cousins (our two girls and Nathan) along with the “moms” to the Magic House. A GREAT time was had by all and it was so fun to go together. We were all worn out by the end of our long weekend, but special memories were made and we can’t wait for many more fun times with our cousins and family!

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Cousins together at last!

Cousins together at last!

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Rides on the chuckwagon

Rides on the chuckwagon

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Mother Hens

Mother Hens

Poor Antonio

Poor Antonio

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The girls adore Great-Grandma Farm!

The girls adore Great-Grandma Farm!

Loving on Baby Graham!

Loving on Baby Graham!

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The secrets are already starting!

The secrets are already starting!

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Excited for the Magic House!

Excited for the Magic House!

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Ice cream anyone?

Ice cream anyone?

You can tell that Nathan is an experienced big brother!

You can tell that Nathan is an experienced big brother!

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Ready to tear something apart!

Ready to tear something apart!

Worn out...but very happy and loved!

Worn out…but very happy and loved!