Thursday, December 20, 2012

days in December

Before our trip to Pokagon we decided to go downtown and enjoy the festivities they were having. Since it was our only time we could go, we decided it was worth a shot in the rain.

Oh rain it did, but it was still lots of fun even though our pants were soaked up to our knees. There were tents set up downtown and one had a cookie decorating table.

The kids didn't seem to mind that we were getting drenched. It also helped that we saw several families from church there (with their kids too!) so we were feeling less crazy for being out in the cold rain.

There was also a synthetic ice skating rink set up. It was not slippery at all and I don't think Ari was that impressed with his first ice skating experience. But it was worth a try- it was free and all :)

We grabbed hot chocolate with some friends afterwards then on our way back to the car we saw a reindeer. We learned an interesting fact about them. This one only had one antler and the other one was hanging on the rail. The man said that reindeer shed their antlers every year. You can see how fast they grow in a year's time, this reindeer's antler was 2-3 feet long!

We've also had some nice days inside. Just the normal routine of getting energy out.

That includes dancing with his sister. She asks for music to be on all the time.

They really do love each other and get along really well.

She was surprisingly very still when Dr. Ari wanted to give her a checkup...she was much more cooperative than when we go see the real doctor. Just looking at the table with crinkly white paper makes the girl break down and cry.

Even though life seems normal around here, it has been a strange week with what happened in Connecticut. Ari even noticed the flags were down halfway and was asking about it. What a balance we parents have to learn with our little ones and what they are exposed to. I don't want him to grow up being naive about the world, but on the other hand I don't want to instill fears. It was difficult to post these pictures and think that I am not looking at these in longing for my children, unlike these other parents who have to hold on to their memories instead of their babies. I get to see my kids and hold them and kiss them and tell them I love least one more time.

We have to remember WHO God is and that He will never leave us. We live in a fallen world and people are going to make bad choices. But that doesn't mean God isn't there.

AJ heard a statement from a pastor on Klove and sent it to me.

A Message from Pastor Ray:

Today is a heartbreaking day. Our nation experienced the second worst school shooting in American history. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and everyone affected by this senseless tragedy. I, like all Americans, am devastated.
During tragic times like this there is inevitably a mad scramble for clarity. How could this happen? Why would a good and loving God let this happen? Who’s to blame for this senseless violence?
The problem – Shallow Christian clich├Ęs fall short and ultimately Clarity never comes…because at best, we see ‘through a glass dimly…’ During times like this we think we need Clarity when what we really need is Certainty.

I am certain that this senseless act breaks the heart of God because…

• I am certain that God understands what it means to lose a son.
• I am certain that every one of todays victims was precious to God
• I am certain that God is near to the brokenhearted
• I am certain that no life ever is devoid of meaning no matter how short.
• I am certain that Jesus meant it when he said, “Let the little children come to me”.
• I am certain that life is precious and that every day with your kids is a gift.
• I am certain that America needs to rediscover a reverence for life.
• I am certain that a day is coming when suffering will cease and God will reign.
• I am certain that when anyone closes their eyes here for the last time and wakes up in the arms of Jesus – they will be more alive than they have ever been.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

a little vacay {Pokagon}

We normally go to Pokagon State Park every other Thanksgiving, and this was our "off" year since we had Thanksgiving with my family. But we really couldn't help not going for another year since Ari has talked about Pokagon and the toboggan run every day since we went last year. Indiana state parks had a deal going on with buy 1 night get the 2nd free, so we took full advantage of going when we could use this deal. It was really nice being there on an off weekend and during the week because we practically had the whole lodge to ourselves.

These are our peas in a pod. Evangeline has seen Ari get suckers on several occasions so when she saw this one she snagged it and opened it right up. She was so thrilled with being able to hold a sucker she was willing to share it with her brother! Yeah...maybe gross and not the healthiest choice, but it sure was precious!

In the beginning she was not sure about swimming. She didn't want to get in and when she finally did she clenched on tight.

After she realized that swimming wasn't all that bad she was a happy camper. Every time she saw her swimsuit in the room she would drag it around and pull on her clothes and let us know that she was ready to go swimming again.

This is always the highlight of the trip. TOBOGANNING! This was the most time we spent outside since the weather was in the 30's while we were there. Ari had a blast as usual, but he was surprisingly ready to go back inside after our hour was up. I think the cold weather was getting to him and he was looking forward to some hot chocolate.

Since we didn't do any hiking we did manage to get out of the hotel for a few hours and try a new place for lunch. We normally take a day trip to Shipshewana and eat at an Amish restaurant there but we had heard of another great restaurant to try in a neighboring town. 

Thank you Essenhaus for an awesome meal...

and for being so kid friendly!

Upstairs they had a train set up and several tables for kids to play at while they waited to be seated. We actually didn't have to wait for our food but this area did come in handy when the kids were done eating and Pat & Jim were finishing up.

We also like to make smores in the campfire but since the weather was either rainy, freezing, or both we didn't get to use the fire. But that didn't keep the little ones from eating marshmallows anyway...and the adults from eating the chocolate!

It was so nice to get away for a few days, but vacation does not always mean sleeping in and/or napping. In fact it usually means we are up several times a night, get up early in the morning, and not get any naps. But it's a trade off we are willing to do for a few days away.

The kids did really well not being on their normal schedule (although we tried our best!), but Ari was so tired by the third day he was putting himself to bed at 6pm! Being gone 4 days was a good amount of time for us all. Since we had all been sleep deprived in some fashion we were ready to get home and be in our own beds.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


There are lots of perks to AJ working for the bank that he does, and one of those perks are free tickets to certain events downtown. This time we got to see the Ringling Bros. Circus. (Which was fantastic!) Since it started late we left Evangeline with the grandparents and took my niece.

Ari's eyes were glued to the action the whole time. We had been to a different circus before, so Ari was looking forward to the trapeze. Lynlee mostly enjoyed the free popcorn and I'm pretty sure we had to cut her off after 3 plates full. Before we knew it she was passed out.

Then we had our annual family cookie day. It's a tradition we have had since I was a little. My siblings and their families, and my cousins and their families all get together and bake cookies all day long. By the end of the day my dining room table is completely full of delicious cookies. It's a lot of fun and now that we all have kids it is a fun tradition to share with them. 

I hope your December is full of spending time with family and reflecting on the birth of our Savior.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thanksgiving week...repost

We've had lots of fun this week hanging out with friends, playing outside in the warm weather, and eating yummy food.

Evangeline doesn't stop being a little homemaker. Even in the outdoors she is picking up, organizing, or cleaning.

I'm so glad we went out the other day because the temp has dropped so much that it is not enjoyable to be outside anymore.

 We spent Thanksgiving with my family this year and this was the only picture I managed to get all day. I guess we were too busy playing and eating that I didn't think to get the camera out until the end of the day.

We usually like to get our Christmas decorations out right after Thanksgiving. We didn't waste any time this year, especially since weren't going to shop or get out in this weather.

Hope your Thanksgiving week was full of family fun!