The Perfect Spring Evening

There were no sports games, we ate dinner outside, and the weather was amazing.  I could feel the stress peeling off me as we sat around the table and then lingered outside.  I decided it was a perfect evening to capture some photos.

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I know, I know….he’s looking so much older.  So. Much. Older.

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What could be more perfect than eating your treat with messy hair, a dirty dress, and bare-feet?

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This creek won’t know what to do without this boy.  (If/when we move….or when he’s not a boy anymore!)IMG_7530 IMG_7531

If he goes in, she’s never far behind.

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This boy’s pitching is getting better every day.

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That sun….the warmth….the yard full of glowing dandelions…..everyone playing outside.  A perfect evening.

The Simple Beauty of Nature

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Whenever I’d first find out there’s a little one growing inside me, I’d start to dream of what that little one was going to be like. We never ever know, but we can only hope that some of their likes and dislikes are similar to ours.  This one, my youngest one, loves to be outside (she has an older brother who loves it as much as she does), and it gives me joy whenever she asks to go outside(it gives me joy whenever he asks too!).  She looks at the bugs and worms under the walking stones, she stands on the rotting tree root called “The Hobbit Hole”, she climbs the sour cherry tree, and makes her way down to the creek.  She collects things to throw in or tries to climb across on the fallen branches.  This yard has been a place of renewal and a sanctuary even though there are a few not-so-pleasant-spots, I’ll spare you the details, but it is a gem in the middle of a bustling city.  We hope to buy our own place soon-ish and all of us are so sad to leave this yard behind.  I love that Laney loves to be out in it, experiencing it, seeing all the life being lived out all around her.  I love that she explores unafraid (although we have had to set up rules for being around that creek without a brother or parent around!!)  I love that she chases the birdies, and feeds the ducks and watches the squirrels.  So glad God gave me kids who enjoy his creation as much as I do, who notice the details of the flowers and the trees and stop to observe the endless changes.

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“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.”  Anne Frank

Birthdays

They come as quickly as they go and their ages are in the middle of their childhood.  They can dress themselves, feed themselves, shower themselves, read and do their homework.  There’s a part of me that is so happy that my life isn’t as physically exhausting as it once was when they were still small enough to carry around, but now there are discussions about life and how it comes to be and how there are injustices all around us.  There are big questions and big ideas with big words talked about frequently and sometimes I think, how can it be that we are already this far along?  I miss those babies I cradled in my arms, but I get glimpses of the young men they are becoming…….compassionate, honest, caring, giving young men.  And in those glimpses, among the squabbles, fights, and arguments, my breath is taken away. He, who has begun a good work in them, will carry it on to completion.  We talk with them and we hope with them and we pray with them and for them and we slowly let go. Thankful for this journey God has allowed Brian and I to have with these young men.

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Stairsteps

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Here’s what 8,9, and 10 look like for the week.

And because this mama’s heart is feeling sentimental, thought I’d share what this one week looks like all the previous years.

2014:  7,8,9

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2013: Ages 6,7, and 8

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2012: 5,6,7 (The first year I intentionally shot the stairstep photos.)

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2011: We’ll pretend it isn’t Malachi’s birthday and if it was the day before their ages would be 4,5.6.IMG_6498

2010: Ages 3,4,5

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2009: Ages 2,3,4ps_IMG_0878

2008: Ages 1,2,3

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2007: 0,1,2

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Anything You Can Do

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Brian was commenting on how she wants to do everything the boys do.  She was shoveling away and he called her Annie Oakley, he started to sing,

Anything you can do , I can do better. I can do anything better than you.

No, you can’t!

Yes, I can!

No, you can’t!

Yes, I can!

No, you can’t!

Yes, I can!  Yes, I can!

We definitely hear her scream it at her brothers all the time…YES, I CAN!!!!!

Our fiery Annie Oakley!

Snow Fun

The last three Sundays have been spent outside playing in fluffy new snow.  The first two, Brian and the kids built massive snowmen.  This time around they built a massive snow fort.  I took photos and said some encouraging words and then went inside to make dinner.  :)

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IMG_6634taken by Brian

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IMG_6630And then some sweet shots of Papi and Laney:

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Pike Youth Basketball League

Malachi and Elijah finished their first basketball season in this more competitive league. After their first practice, they came home saying how strict it was and that they really didn’t like it.  After a few weeks, they loved it.  They could see and feel themselves getting better during each Saturday game.  IMG_6222Brian was an assistant coach for Malachi’s 5th and 6th grade team.

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Elijah’s 3rd and 4th grade team was almost undefeated.  They lost one game due to some terrible reffing.  Some of the boys on Elijah’s team get some private coaching from a former NBA player, and it showed.  And because of that competitive influence, Elijah’s skills improved tremendously this season.IMG_6277

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This was the last game of his season before the championship tournament.IMG_6307

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Elijah’s team playing the championship game.

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Brian did the announcing for this game.IMG_6352

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IMG_6385Their victory chant! They won!

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That smile didn’t come off his face for days!  IMG_6425

And now we’re attending games for all three boys in another basketball league. Last week we showed the boys Hoosiers for the first time, they loved it!  Elijah just finished his 4th grade Famous Hoosier Project on Larry Bird.  We’re embracing Indiana, these boys are growing up Hoosiers!!

always scanning to find the perfect view

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