How Can She Be 17 Already?

Yesterday we celebrated Natasha!  This fun-loving, kind, hard working and God fearing young lady is 17!

She’s gone from this….

to this….

She loves working at Harvest Moon Bakery.  She has learned so much in the last 7 months!

She and Mikayla volunteered at A Night To Shine in February this year. The picture on the right is the group from our church who also volunteered.


She also enjoyed going on a back packing trip with the teens from church also in February.

She continues to do well with her school studies in addition to working 3 full days at the bakery.  She really enjoys spending time with all of our church families and has some wonderful friends here in Arkansas.  She has also spent a lot of time writing her first book.  I’ve been blessed to read parts of it and she’s done really well creating her story.

Natasha is joyful and so much fun to be around.  She helps around the house with cooking and cleaning and helping take care of her younger siblings.  Truly, she’s a blessing to us!

Our First Christmas in Arkansas

Our first Christmas in Arkansas was enjoyable and a bit odd all at the same time.  We did not spend Christmas Eve or Christmas with extended family like usual – that was the odd part!  After spending the morning opening a few gifts and eating homemade cinnamon rolls we decided to go on a hike because the weather was stunning!  It was 72 beautiful degrees and bright warm sun-filled skies.  We drove about an hour, maybe less, to Devil’s Den State Park.  We had such a wonderful time!

This was our fourth year reading through an advent book.  Jotham’s Journey by Arnold Ytreeide.  His advent books are so well written and we look forward to this tradition every year!  We think that Jesus was not actually born on December 25th and as a family we want to make sure we are worshipping Jesus coming in the flesh *1  as the Reason *2 for this Holiday.

(1. Possibly around BC 4-5) (2. And to actually die in our place for forgiveness of our sins about AD 30)

March Birthdays!

It’s hard to believe it is March 30th already!  It’s funny how time flies faster the older I get.

So, we have 3 birthdays in March ranging in age from 4 to… oh 50?  Let’s see if you can guess who turns how old!

First, we have this sweet girl.  Katherine is growing into quite the outgoing little girl.  As our youngest she certainly keeps us on our toes and is very much loved by all her family.  How did she turn on March 6th?  A whooping 4 years!

After swimming, playing on the playground on a windy day!

Mid March – Swimming at the Ridge. Katherine loves the water!

Katherine at build-a-bear workshop to pick out her birthday present.

Katherine with big sister Natasha at their birthday party.

Katherine and mommy at her birthday dinner with mom and dad. She picked Red Robin!

Katherine and daddy at her birthday dinner.

This is a fairly common occurrence in our house with either Katherine or Jonathan!

Um, were you using a mouse on the computer at 4 years old? I know I wasn’t!

Katherine with her absolutely wonderful speech therapist Miss Sandra.

Katherine’s first car ride in a booster instead of a 5 point harness.  

We all celebrated Katherine moving up from that 5 point harness… wow what a pain in the rear!  She was very excited for Build-A-Bear, her first birthday dinner with just mom and dad, her birthday party and her new booster seat!

Moving on to Natasha!  WOW.. 15!!!  It’s so hard to believe that our first born is 15.  What a blessing she is to us.  She is so helpful and encouraging.  She loves to help with dinner or Katherine or play games with her siblings.  She has 1 piano student and hopes to gain more this summer.  She’s doing very well in school and is looking into pastry school after high school graduation.

Natasha making apples and pork chops for dinner.

Natasha and Daddy at her birthday dinner. She too picked Red Robin.

Natasha at her birthday party.

And last but certainly not least is my favorite brother-in-law Andy.  He turned 40 something or maybe 50 something in March and I’m grateful that he moved to Denver several years ago so that I can get to know him better.  I know he won’t mind me posting this picture… 🙂

Andy graciously holding Alex’s 2 build-a-bears! All that’s missing is that great smile!

Happy Birthday Katherine, Natasha and Andy!


Our son is 6!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years since our only son entered this world.  I remember waking up very early (like 3am) with a tummy ache and sitting on the couch so I wouldn’t wake Phil.  Eventually he was up and getting ready for work as was his brother Andy.  As Andy was leaving he looked at Phil and said “Well, it looks like you’ll be a dad again today!”  And by mid morning Jonathan was born.  Is it terrible that I cannot remember exactly what time?  I do remember trying to get off the bed at the hospital as in my mind I figured if I got off the bed the pain would go away.  I also remember telling my doctor that I had to get this ‘thing’ out!

Fast forward 6 years and Jonathan is growing and just started kindergarten.  He enjoys school…. as long as I keep his sitting time down to less then an hour and he gets lot of activity in-between his studies.  Which… isn’t much for kindergarten… it really only takes about an hour and a half for his school work.

Anyway, we are so blessed by having Jonathan in our family!  He is fun, loves to laugh and loves one on one time with me and daddy.  He’s growing fast and is only 2 inches shorter then Alex!  Here are some pictures from his recent birthday party and some older pictures I found.

Jonathan with his Uncle Andy and his cousin Jake.

Jonathan with his Uncle Andy and his cousin Jake.

Jonathan about 3 months old I think.

Jonathan about 3 months old I think.

Great grandpa and Jonathan.

Great grandpa and Jonathan.

Jonathan and his favorite cousin... Jake!

Jonathan and his favorite cousin… Jake!

Our sweet Belle and Jonathan.  Love those faces!

Our sweet Belle and Jonathan. Love those faces!

Coming in from the playing out in the cold in Breckenridge.

Coming in from the playing out in the cold in Breckenridge.

img_7811 img_7812

Birthday dinner with mom and dad.

Birthday dinner with mom and dad.

Birthday dinner with mom and dad.

We Have An 8 Year Old Again!

We celebrated Alex’s 8th birthday this month with lots of food, family and friends.  For her birthday party dinner Alex requested chicken cordon blue, butter noodles with garlic and parmesan and salad… well Grandma Joanne added the salad!  Thanks Grandma! It was such a fun day.

Alex is a smart, funny and beautiful girl.  We love having her as part of our family!  She’s really enjoying American Heritage Girls (more on that later!) and having lots of fun this summer.  She choose The Rock again for her birthday dinner; I think it’s the 3rd year in a row!  For her cake she said I could surprise her with any cake I wanted so after doing lots of research I settled on an Elsa and Anna birthday cake.  Below are just a few pictures.

Mommy and Alex at her birthday dinner.

Mommy and Alex at her birthday dinner.

Elsa and Anna doll cake

Elsa and Anna doll cake

Daddy and Alex on her birthday dinner.

Daddy and Alex on her birthday dinner.

Now She is 11!

I can’t believe it has been so long since I’ve posted.  There are so many things that I want to write about but I just haven’t had the time!

Our sweet 2nd born turned 11 a couple of weeks ago.  She is such a creative, intelligent and beautiful young lady.  We are so blessed to have her in our family and I’m certainly blessed to be her mom!

A couple of days before her birthday she decided she wanted to donate her hair to Wigs 4 Kids again.  So, I took her to a salon and got her a super cute short do and mailed 14 inches of her hair to the organization.  What a blessing to be able to help other children with something many of us take for granted!

Happy Birthday Mikayla – we love you so much!  Thanks to family and friends for celebrating with us!





Daddy and Belle on our birthday dinner.

Daddy and Belle on our birthday dinner.

Belle's 11th Birthday Cake

Belle’s 11th Birthday Cake

14 Inches!

14 Inches!

13 and 2

Earlier in March we celebrated 2 of our children’s birthdays!  Pooh Bear turned 13 (can you believe we have a young adult in the house?) and Chewy turned 2.  It’s hard to believe that our youngest child was born 2 years ago!

Pooh did not have a specific cake theme in mind so she let me surprise her with my own idea and it was a hit!  I’ve always wanted to do a topsy turvy cake and this was my first attempt.  It was a lot of work but a lot of fun to make as well.   Thanks to all that joined us to celebrate these 2 wonderful daughters of ours!


Birthday dinner at Chili's.

Birthday dinner at Chili’s.

IMG_6793 IMG_6799