We Are Done!

After lots of reading, math, science, history, language arts, spelling and geography we have completed the 2014 – 2015 school year.  We did our annual testing this past week and will receive the results in a couple of weeks.  I view these tests as an indication more of how I am as a teacher rather then how smart my children are.  We came across a few things we had not yet studied but I’m confident the girls were able to figure out enough to answer the question… at least with their best guess!

So, the Wilson household now has a 7th grader, a 5th grader and a 1st grader officially on the books.  We will take a couple of weeks off and will then start with a light schedule which will include reading and math.  We will most likely add the rest of the subjects the 2nd week of August when we start school full time.  We are adding a couple of new curriculum this year and I’m excited to get started!

During our break we will go swimming, visit parks and playgrounds and just enjoy the summer.

What are your plans for the summer?

Katherine July 2015

Katherine July 2015

Katherine July 2015

Katherine July 2015

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Alex, Natasha, Chris (family friend), Jonathan and Belle

Alex, Natasha, Chris (family friend), Jonathan and Belle

Jonathan June 2015

Jonathan June 2015

Mommy with Natasha and Belle at the annual family conference.

Mommy with Natasha and Belle at the annual family conference.

A Last Minute Gift

Back in January I heard that my absolute favorite Christian band was going to be playing at Red Rocks in June.  It’s been 7 years since I’ve seen Third Day in concert so I desperately wanted to see them again.  Plus they were playing at Red Rocks!!!  There is no better concert venue in Colorado then Red Rocks and it had been years, like 20, since I had been to a concert at Red Rocks…  we won’t talk about what band that was… something to do with not driving 55 or something like that ;-).

Anyway, the company that Phil works for during his 2nd job occasionally gives out free tickets to various events around the Denver Metro area and in March Phil submitted a request for 2 tickets to Third Day.  After several follow ups with the company we never heard anything so we assumed that our request was not granted since the concert was Sunday, June 14th.  I was very disappointed!

Sunday turned into a very lazy day with church at home, lots of napping, playing and some work around the house.   I resigned myself to watching Third Day youtube videos with the kids.  Phil, who has been fighting a cold, took some medicine and went to bed at 6:30.  The rest of us were downstairs playing and watching music videos when I hear Phil coming down stairs at 7:30.  His company had called him and was wondering if he was going to pick up the Third Day tickets for the concert that started at 7:00!

Because I never miss an opportunity to see Third Day I grab Natasha and we run out the door to go to the concert.  There were 5 artists playing so I figured Third Day had not even started their set yet.  Because we were so late parking in the usual lots was not an option and we basically had to park at the bottom of Red Rocks and walk up.  If you’ve ever been to Red Rocks you will know that this is a very long walk UP HILL.  Because we left so quickly, I had forgotten that I had not showered that day and my hair was up in a clip.  This wasn’t a cute, sassy up do, no no no….it was a I hope no one notices I didn’t comb my hair today do.  Seriously, I looked like I was going to do manual labor somewhere, certainly not going to a concert.  By the time we reached the top to get the tickets and head to our seats I was drenched in sweat and stunk more then I had at the bottom of the hill.  I was praying that whoever was unfortunate enough to have to sit/stand next to me would have a stuffed nose.  A side note…  before we left I only had 500 more steps to meet my daily step goal of 10,000 and I figured I would finish those up on the treadmill before I went to bed.  By the time I walked in the door at 11:15pm I walked 15, 714…. a reflection of how far we had to walk to see Third Day!  It was worth every step.

We missed Brandon Heath, Phil Wickham and most of Peter Furhler’s performances.  However, we were able to hear 3 songs from Matt Maher before they started changing the stage for Third Day to come on.  Third Day started around 9:30 and Peter Furhler came out and did 2 of his songs with Third Day.  Natasha hung in there until about 10:45 and then we started down the mountain.  I’m guessing Third Day played until at least 11pm.  It was quite a show and one that Natasha and I will never forget.  Natasha was surprised at how loud it was and kept covering her ears.  I was in my early 20s before I made it to a concert at Red Rocks but Natasha’s very first concert was at the most beautiful concert venue in the state.

It was so wonderful to watch thousands and thousands of people lifting their hands up to God and singing His praises.  Thank you Lord for blessing us with this amazing opportunity.

A big shout out to my husband, Phil, for staying up with the rest of kids until their bedtime while he was sick.  Natasha and I made some pretty fun and special memories!

As Matt Maher played.

As Matt Maher played.

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

Right when we first go to our seats.

Right when we first go to our seats.

My sweet concert buddy!

My sweet concert buddy!

As we were waiting for Third Day to start.  About 9:00 pm.

As we were waiting for Third Day to start. About 9:00 pm.

Rocks to the left of us.

Rocks to the left of us.

Rocks behind us.

Rocks behind us.

10 Things I Learned About Cake Pops

So…. Belle wanted cake pops for her latest birthday gathering and being the cake making person I am I attempted them for the 2nd time.  For the record, I’m not a fan of making cake pops!  Here is what I learned:

  1. Whoa… time consuming!!!
  2. It is messy getting the batter into the decorating bag to squeeze the appropriate amount into the spot in the cake pop baker.
  3. It’s rather boring cooking 50+ cake pops at 12 at a time.
  4. Bake, cool, chill, repeat….. over and over and over.
  5. If the pops aren’t chilled properly and the covering melted just so the pops fall off the sticks or stay on crooked.
  6. What a nightmare to decorate 50+ pops.  After the first 12 I handed the rest to the girls and said go for it!
  7. I would rather bake, decorate and assemble a 3 tier wedding cake (like I did last month) then do cake pops again!
  8. Did I mention they are boring, time consuming and messy?
  9. Too much work for 1 little bite!
  10. It’s easier to snack on cake pops as you are making them then a wedding cake!

I’m hoping little miss Alex won’t want cake pops for her birthday in August!

Another Blessed Year

I woke up on Tuesday, June 9th and set out to make Phil a healthy breakfast before his long work day.  Too often he is stuck eating cereal for breakfast which is about as healthy as the cardboard box it comes in… I’m not joking… I’ve done the research!

Anyway, as the kids get up they wish their wonderful daddy a happy birthday.  Phil turned 46 years young today.  I am so blessed to have him as my husband and our children are blessed to have him as their daddy.

Phil is such a godly man and he leads our family with grace, kindness and humility.  He seeks the Lord as he goes about his days filled with work, honey to-do lists and daddy please play with me requests.

He loves the lost and he loves serving those already saved and helping them grow in their faith.  This world is a better place because of him.

I love you Phil.  Happy birthday and I look forward to celebrating AT LEAST 46 more together.

Love,
Gaylene

Phil with Katherine

Phil and bike riding

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cutie

cutie

Russia... way back when!

Russia… way back when!

Daddy daughter date with Alex.

Daddy daughter date with Alex.

Russia May 2015

Russia May 2015

In Russia May 2015

In Russia May 2015

2015

2015

2010 ish

2010 ish

2011

2011

The day Katherine was born.

The day Katherine was born.

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Our sweet Belle is 10!

WAY back on May 22nd our sweet Belle turned 10 years old!  Our tradition is to take the birthday girl to dinner for her birthday but this year she wanted to wait until the following morning so that the 3 of us could go to breakfast together.  We were out the door by 7:30 and were in our seats at Sunrise Sunset by 8am.

Her birthday party was supposed to be the day after her birthday on the 23rd.  However, 2 of our kids got sick with high fevers so we postponed until the following Saturday.  However, 3 of us ended up with strep throat and we had to cancel again.  Not entirely sure everyone would be healthy we didn’t set a definite date for the party.  However, we ended up having a small party for her yesterday, June 6th.  Many of the usual people that join us for these celebrations were not able to make it.  However, 3 sweet girls from church were able to join us and all the kids had much fun playing.  Then we ate and of course had cake!  Belle decorated her own cake and cake pops….  I see a business in our future!

Stay tuned for another post about what I learned about making caking pops!

Happy 10th Birthday to our sweet Belle!

Mommy and Belle at breakfast May 2015

Mommy and Belle at breakfast May 2015

Daddy and Belle at breakfast May 2015

Daddy and Belle at breakfast May 2015

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Then They Became One

The girls giggled with excitement as they got on their beautiful princess like dresses, sparkly shoes and painted their nails.  The day they have been counting down since last November has finally arrived!  Their beloved piano teacher, Rebecca and her prince were getting married and our family was blessed to be a part of their special day.

It was a beautiful ceremony filled with joy, love and God’s word.  To watch their relationship grow from the first phone call, to traveling back and forth from California visiting each other, to Jonathan proposing to Rebecca, through wedding planning and through the big day was an exceptional experience  and a memory we will treasure forever.  To watch 2 young people fall in love within the safety of their family and close friends gives me hope that love and marriage can thrive the way God intended.  The worlds way of finding ‘the one’ has no boundaries and rarely are parents and family involved in such an intimate way.  Again… this was NOT an arranged marriage!

Their vows were beautiful and they sought the wisdom of the Lord on what to pledge to each other.  The pastor who performed the ceremony (the groom’s uncle) did an amazing job of keeping the focus on Jesus and called on the bride and groom to keep Jesus at the center of their marriage.  Both the bride and groom have had this exampled for them as they grew up from their own parents.  It’s amazing what can be passed on from generation to generation….. both good and bad.  Jonathan and Rebecca’s marriage won’t be perfect and they will have ups and downs but I have no doubt that they will work hard to seek the Lord together.

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I Miss Them!

Can I just say that I miss my family!

Phil and the girls are doing well.  I only have a few pictures to share at the bottom of the post.  Today they spent the day in Finland doing some sort of team building stuff.  Phil shared a bit with me about how challenging the border crossing was in both directions.  They will be in Vyborg for a few more days then they will head to Vladimir.

The main conference was last Friday and Saturday and it was considered a success.  With 200 families (more then double the amount of families from last years conference) and 160 children they were busting at the seams of the hall they rented.  The group is giving 2 more conferences in Vyborg and Vladimir but those are on a much smaller scale.

Only 8 more sleeps!  Enjoy a few pictures…. not all are Russia related!

Just because... she's so stinkin cute!

Just because… she’s so stinkin cute!

Alex and I on our way to a wedding shower.

Alex and I on our way to a wedding shower.

Their first day in St. Petersburg.

Their first day in St. Petersburg.

Just me and my cutie.

Just me and my cutie.

On the train.

On the train.

After a long day on the train, a little can napping waiting for tea.

After a long day on the train, a little cat napping waiting for tea.

Waiting at the train station.

Waiting at the train station.

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Natasha, Mikayla and Davidson girls somewhere.. not sure where!

Natasha, Mikayla and Davidson girls somewhere.. not sure where!