I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Piano Man

Calvin has been taking piano for about a year and a half.  Tonight was his first recital and it was SO cute.  His teacher is this wonderful,  sweet woman named Kiki.  She was able to pull a few strings and have the recital in the recital hall of Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex at Bemidji State University.  Pretty Cool.  The kids played on a big grand piano in front of many seats....with only a few people in them.  Very cute.  Calvin probably had the most guests there.  Besides all of us, Papa was there and Grandma Lona, GG (great-grandma), and Grandma's friend Bonnie.

Here is Jillian on the way to the recital....all dressed up.

And here is my boy.  Playing like a REAL piano player.  He thought he was SO cool......we did too actually.

Calvin played two songs.  The Bells of Great Britain and The Piano Playing Skeleton.  I know I'm his mom, but I'm really impressed with the way he can play for a seven year old....who doesn't practice as much as he should.

Here is a little clip of him playing alone, and the second clip is him and Kiki.  They played together for part of the song.

I love the way when he's not using the pedals he sits with his feet crossed.  Makes me smile every time.

Here is Calvin receiving his certificate from Kiki and a group shot of all the piano kids, Kiki, and her daughter Katrina who often fills in for her.

What a fun night.  I gotta tell ya...even though the entire concert lasted about 15 minutes...the feeling of pride and accomplishment Calvin took away from it will last for a long time.  On the way home I tried to very discreetly make the point that while practicing is not always fun, it's worth it in moments like this.  He agreed.  Hooray!  It sure does feel good to watch your child try something...keep at it even when it's not fun, and enjoy it.  I really hope he continues.
Just because we were all there and looking half way decent...we decided to do a family picture, so I will leave you with that!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Little Escape Artist

Well....one little girl in this house didn't go to bed until 10:00 last night.  Up until that point she was doing this.....repeatedly...

This of course was a re-enactment this morning.  I don't think it will be helpful that the boys were cheering her on.  Last night she was actually climbing over the end of the bed.  And she was fast.  One time I put her in bed, shut the door...and kept my hand on it.  I opened it like one second later and she was already on the floor.  Turns out when she's crying and mad she's actually a very good climber.  The boys never did this, so I'm not sure what we're going to do now.  I REALLY don't want to put her in a big bed yet because I know she'll be out in the living room ALL THE TIME.  I also don't want her to get hurt escaping, so we'll have to see.  She did go right down for a nap today, so that is a good sign!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Leavin in a Moving Van....Part 2

I have all these pictures from our last night at Kristin and Corey's house and I ran out of room on the last post!  That has never happened to me before!  So....here they are.

Calvin and Kamry...7 years old
Sophie and Nathan...5 years old
Jillian and Claire...2 years old
We tried to get all the kids to line up on the stairs according to their age.  Just for fun.  That wasn't happening.  The middle kids, who happen to be the most opinionated, weren't having it.  We had to settle for just getting them all in there.

And finally, all of us.  This is the first time we've attempted a whole group picture.  I think it went pretty well!

Not bad for 8 years huh?

Leavin in a Moving Van....

Today has been a sad day.  Our best friends are moving away.

No.  The rest of this story will not rhyme.

Marc and I met Kristin and Corey when I was pregnant for the first time and we were in our birthing class.  They were one of the couples we sat by the first night....obviously pregnant with their first baby too, and we just hit it off.  We hung out in class each week and went out to dinner before our babies were born.  When the babies came, 12 days apart, Kamryn for them, and Calvin for us, our friendship just blossomed.  Kristin and I began spending A LOT of time together.  We both worked part time, so we traded babies a couple times a week so we wouldn't have to use daycare.  On the days we weren't working, we very often went out to lunch or just hung out together.  Calvin and Kamryn got to know each other very well, and spent a lot of time with each other.

They quickly became friends, and to this day have the closest relationship of any of our kids.  Probably because they spent 3-4 days a week together the first couple years of their life!  They were pretty easy.  I have SO many pictures of them together it was hard to decide which ones to use.  We've always liked this story though......Kamryn did NOT like vegetables as a baby, and Calvin loved them.  So when they were in their high chairs she would very carefully take all of her vegetables, one by one, and put them on his tray.  Or sometimes feed them to him.  It just worked.

Two years after these first babies....we had two more babies together.  This time 3 weeks apart.

Nathan and Sophie rocked our worlds a little bit.  We decided it was a bit much to trade kids a couple days a week now that it would be two 2 year olds and two newborns.  We started using a babysitter.  This did not stop us from spending lots of time together.  We still did lunches....at McDonalds usually so the toddlers could play and we sometimes still got to talk.

As Nathan and Sophie came close to being two, we began to talk about whether we were ready for another one.  Kristin and I that is.  Oh sure, we both talked about it with our husbands too, but we also discussed it with each other.  We both thought we'd be ready within a couple months.  Still...we were surprised when we shared with each other that we were expecting, and shared the exact SAME due date!  We couldn't have planned that if we'd tried! 

So, 9 months later we looked like this.  Together.  Again.

This time we both had a girl!  We were very excited when Jillian and Claire arrived 4 days apart.  Our closest yet.  We missed being in the hospital together by one day.

My babies were always first and Kristin would always come visit and bring me a McDonalds diet coke, or if the season was right, a Shamrock Shake.  Our favorite.  This time Jillian and I visited Kristin and Claire one day after we left the hospital ourselves.  It was pretty funny.  And these girls have gotten to be good friends too.....just like their brothers and sisters.

Kristin and I were in ECFE together for seven years.  We sat through gymnastics, swimming lessons, tball, and countless other things.  Our families always shared birthdays together, and we went to their house to trick or treat together every year for Halloween.

Now they are moving.....only an hour away....but it will be hard.  I kind of feel like I'm losing my other half.  She is the one I call when I'm going crazy.  She gets it....she's usually going crazy too.  We've seen each others good sides and bad sides.  We drop our kids off with each other when we have appointments and whatever else.  We talk on the phone A LOT according to our husbands.  I know that doesn't have to change.  I know we will see them.  They have become too dear to us for any of that to change.  Marc and Corey finish each others sentences and like to get together for a good discussion on politics when they can.  These people have secured a place in our lives and in our hearts.  We've shared a time in our lives that is so important I know none of us will ever forget.  Our friendship will continue to grow....just from a little further away.

We got together at their old house one last time this past weekend.  It was fun, as it always is when we're together, but it was hard.  We all knew...including the kids....that things were changing.  Change is always hard, but it can be so good.  I'm really excited to see where this takes all of us.  I'm excited that it will mean more family time for them.  I can't wait to plan a weekend to go visit them and for them to come back here.  I know we'll appreciate our time together....as we always have. 

We love you guys, and we are so blessed to have you in our lives!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Today we are celebrating the Daddy in our house.

He is so much fun. 
Whether he is playing basketball, baseball, football, or hockey....
or playing babies, wrestling, fishing, or dancing...he loves his kids like crazy. 

He loves to mow with Nathan, play sports with Calvin, and make funny faces with Jillian.  And he is up for snuggling with ANY of them at ANY time.  That is his favorite.

Marc loves to be a Daddy.  He has never been afraid of changing a diaper or staying with the kids all weekend while I go away.  He is actually BETTER than me at getting up in the middle of the night.  He can function on much less sleep than I can.  He will gladly hold a coughing child on his chest in the chair and sleep like a baby.  It's a gift.

In the past few years I have seen Marc grow in his faith and now I love to watch him pray with our children.  He knows, as I do, that there is nothing more important to teach them than to accept Jesus as their savior.  I love to listen in when Calvin asks him Biblical questions.  It's so awesome to hear them have those conversations.

When we were discussing what to get Marc for Father's Day, I told the boys to think of something they like to do with Daddy and maybe that would help them think of an idea.  They thought a minute and then Calvin said, "Oh!  I have the perfect idea.  You know how Dad and I like to play basketball?  Let's get him those things you wear on your head and wrists."  I responded with, "Say no more, that IS a perfect idea."  Of course we got him a couple other things too, but nothing else this good.

He liked them so much that later he fell asleep with them on.

I brought home some papers we had used at school for the kids to fill out.  I thought they would be nice to put in Daddy's card.  Here are the papers each of them did....

We love you Daddy!  We are so glad God chose YOU for this family!

Happy Father's Day to my own Dad too.  I can't imagine going through life with a better Dad.  Thank you for being the best Dad and Papa in the whole world!  We love you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Funny or Sad?

I hope this doesn't make me cruel, but this project Calvin recently brought home from school cracked me up.  It was this great little All About Me Poster...

See the awesome drawing of our family or the fact that he wants to be a pizza maker?  That's not what made me laugh.  Calvin has asked a few times if we could get a dog.  I have made it clear that this is just not a good time.  Maybe when the kids are older and can help out more. 

When the poster asked about a pet, he just made things really matter of fact.  Pets here?  No.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Day in the Life...

Once again it's been awhile since I've posted.  This post will help explain why. 

We were supposed to have baseball and T-ball today, but they were both rained out.  I had some disappointed boys, but I was actually excited.  I love baseball, but I was feeling like we needed a day at home to just regroup and get some things done.  I don't know why I still think I'll get a lot done when we're all home.  Here are JUST A FEW of the things that went on around here today.

I was cutting up some fruit in the kitchen and Calvin asked if he could help.  This was a pleasant surprise, so I gladly gave him the strawberries and he went to town.

Soon we had a bowl of yumminess.  Good job Calvin!

While this was happening Nathan and Jillian were playing Mommy and Daddy in Nathan's bed.

Then they moved to my closet.

Then they played doggie.

Yes, that's a leash on Nathan.

Then Calvin showed Nathan how to play soccer on the ipad.

I realize everyone is still wearing their pajamas in these pictures.  It was a rainy day and we didn't have anywhere to go. My dad is a big believer in getting dressed right away in the morning no matter what....I am not.  Plus, all these pictures were taken before noon.  That's still morning right?

Later in the afternoon it stopped raining.  They were all dying to go outside, so we did.  They did a little of everything, but before long they spotted a toad.  Here are a couple pictures and a video of Jillian during the adventure.  I took a longer video of her explaining the whole thing, but it wouldn't upload.  Too long I guess.  Bummer.

We finished the day by making Calvin's favorite dinner.....meatloaf and cheese potatoes.  That kid can eat some serious meatloaf! 

Days with this much activity can be exhausting, but I love them.  We need them every once in awhile and I will look forward to the next one!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Preschool Graduation 2011

Today my sweet Nathan graduated from Preschool.  He was so proud.  As his teacher talked about how much the kids had grown and changed throughout the year I realized she was right.  She said she was looking at pictures from the beginning of the year and couldn't believe how the kids faces had changed and how they looked so much older.  It's true.  As I watched my boy standing with his class, singing songs....I realized he has so much more composure than he had last fall.  Even though I don't always notice when I'm with him every day...he has grown up.  He's matured.  I couldn't help but see all of that today, and I was so proud of him.

So...without further ado.  Here is how the ceremony went. 

Jillian waiting for things to get started.
Nathan before the ceremony.
First let me just say that I ALWAYS cry at kid events.  Graduations, concerts, plays....you name it...if there are kids in it, I will cry.  It doesn't even have to be my own kids!  You would think as a teacher I would become immune to these things, but I just don't.  I do seem to be just a touch weepier when it IS my own kids.  Anyway....as if I wasn't going to be teary enough today, they had a parent playing Pomp and Circumstance on the trumpet as all the kids filed in.  Too. Stinkin. Cute.

I have to attach this video because I thought it was so funny.  The kids sang several songs, and while the rest of the kids stood VERY still as they sang, Nathan just couldn't keep from moving.  He was so excited and his body just moves!

This quick one is Nathan receiving his "Difloma" as he calls it.

I was able to get out of work for a little while to go to graduation.  Papa and Grandpa Addler actually picked Nathan and Jillian up and brought them there to meet me.  Nathan was thrilled that two of his favorite people were there to watch.

Grandpa Addler (my grandpa who is 90!) was most excited about the cookies and punch they served.  The man has never met a cookie he didn't like.

Nathan John, this is the first of many accomplishments for you.  We love you and we know you are going to do big BIG things.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Quilts Boys Can Love

Calvin and Nathan have a baseball room.  It's pretty cool.  The only thing they were missing was the bedding.  Nana has been working on baseball quilts and she just got them done.  They are awesome! 

They look SO nice on their beds and really tie the room together.  I love them.  They have such a nice assortment of fabrics....Nana has a gift for that.  She took them to be quilted at a quilt place and they did the coolest stitching...it's all baseball.  Here are a couple of pictures of the other side so you can see it better.

hats and bats

gloves and balls
 So cool.  I just love the fact that these are quilts the boys can use for years to come and they can keep forever...AND that they were made by their Nana who they love like crazy.  Priceless.

I caught a picture of Calvin sleeping under his quilt tonight.

I turned the light on so I could get the picture.  Even with the light on I couldn't get Nathan in the bottom bunk.  It is like a cave under there and that is just how he likes it!

Here is one last picture of the quilt up close.  As I was putting this picture on the computer I noticed a little girl almost up to the top bunk where she is NOT supposed to be.  Do you see her?

The little stinker.

Thank you doesn't seem like enough, Nana!  We love you and we love the way you love us!