Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Scripture ~ Joy




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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Back to School

The week before school started we had a Back to School party.  Since we had been in school all summer and only took a one week summer break, a party was just what the kids needed to get excited about another year.

The Smith family drove out to Johvi and joined us as we celebrated the start of a new school year.

  There were lots of special treats for each student:
Have a great year, smartie pants!
(attached to a package of smarties, of course)
You are one sharp student.
(on a pencil)
Thanks for poppin' in for a new year
(microwave popcorn)
You are o*FISH*ally in the ____ grade.
(on a bag of gold fish)
Go nuts about school this year.
(chocolate covered peanuts)
Looking forward to a SWEET year!
(a cup filled with candy, topped with marshmallows and a red sucker - a pencil for the straw)
Of course, we had lots of fun with some "minute-to-win-it" games.
Noodling Around
Face the Cookie
Stack Attack
Movin' On Up
Sharp Shooter 
Pencil Pull
Balloon Bounce

A fun day that was enjoyed by all!!!

Even though it had only been one week since we had finished our 2012/13 school year, school started up again on September 2nd.  Beginnings are fun and fresh!  The new school year is underway.  





The kids are doing great and I'm hanging in there :)


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Friday, September 20, 2013

Pickin' Apples

A few weeks ago, we enjoyed a beautiful day visiting friends in Elva.  They have lots of apples trees in their backyard and they had invited us to come and pick some.

Since it was a long drive one way, we made a day of it.  The kids were excited to play with friends while Ron and I were anticipating fellowship with other missionaries.  









Besides picking apples, the kids enjoyed playing with the dog (Andy), playing tag, shooting baskets,


and jumping on the trampoline.


The kids were worn out when we left in the evening to drive home, but we were thankful for the wonderful day God had given us with friends.


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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Celebrating Caleb!

Caleb's birthday is in September, but we had a  party for him a couple of weeks early.  Since some friends of ours were driving to Johvi for a  birthday party  anyway, we decided to celebrate Caleb's and Baxter's birthday too.  (Baxter's birthday is the day before Caleb's)
They enjoyed party games, a Lego game, playing guns outside, eating pizza, and most of all eating the worms off their chocolate dirt cake.
 
A couple of weeks later on his birthday, we had another little party.
Keeping with our birthday tradition, Caleb got to pick his favorite breakfast and dinner.  I also made some cupcakes to go with ice cream.  Oh, he got presents too, of course.



Caleb's 6th birthday - 2012 Visalia, California

Since we were in a hotel in Texas on Caleb's birthday, we had to celebrate later.  Much later actually.  It wasn't until November - shortly before we returned to the field - that we were able to fit in a party for Andrew and Caleb. 

pizza......soda......cupcakes......ice cream......games.....presents......friends
What could be more fun?
Caleb and his friends playing Dodge the Dart


I am so thankful God blessed our family with such a special little guy ♥


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Sarah's special days

As Sarah's birthday drew near, I wrote to some friends that live almost 2 1/2 hours away and asked if they would bring their daughter and help us make Sarah's birthday a special celebration.

They agreed to come and we began planning the day.  Not only was Sarah's birthday in August, but her friend, Jaz, also had a birthday in August.
The girls had so much fun together!  Sarah was thrilled to have a girl to celebrate her birthday with, rather than just her three brothers.  After eating pizza we played some games. Then the girls went to Sarah's room and watched an American Girl movie.  Later the kids all played tag outside and enjoyed a few Mario Cart races.  Of course, no party is complete without cake and ice cream.
The day was packed full of fun, smiles, laughter, and memories.


Sarah's 10th birthday - 2012 Visalia, California

During our furlough last year, all of our kids celebrated a birthday.  Around our busy schedule, we fit in a special day for Sarah with cousins and friends.  (a girl party worked out perfectly since the guys were at a men and boys camp out)
Sarah loves American Girl dolls and her Bitty baby.  Shortly after our return to the states, someone gave Sarah a LOT of American girl dolls, clothes, and accessories.  So we added the dolls to her birthday decor.  The entire day was just like Sarah - girlie!
The afternoon started with Sarah and two friends going to The Clay Cafe.  Each of the girls picked an adorable cup to paint.  They picked the colors they wanted and then went to work creating their master piece.  Some of the time they were quiet - busily painting.  Other times they were talking and of course, giggling.
Then we went back to our house and each of the girls decorated a small cake.  After that, they had some time to play dolls and Littlest Pet Shop.
That evening a few more friends and their moms came over to eat cake and ice cream with us.  
God blessed us tremendously when he gave us our princess, Sarah!


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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Birthday Boy

In August Daniel turned 14!
Daniel loves birthday time and getting older.  In fact, most of the time he thinks he's going on 18....or even 21.  He is excited about life - shaving :) , getting a job, college, etc.  Even girls are not as "yucky" as they once were!!!  Then we have the whole food issue.  I honestly don't know where he puts it all.  One thing is for sure, he thinks I should never have left overs.  Keeping him in clothes that fit is another challenge since he is now 5' 10" and growing taller every day (or so it seems).


I'll let you in on a little secret though.....
I love having a 14 year old son that thinks he needs to shave each morning, wants to have a job to earn money, smiles when I tease him about girls, eats like food is the best thing ever created, and is 5" taller than me.


August 2012 - Daniel turned 13!

Last year we were in the states on furlough for Daniel's birthday.  We celebrated his birthday a little early with chocolate cake (his favorite).


His grandpa and grandma, along with an adopted set of grandparents celebrated with us.


Since we were traveling all day on his birthday, we decided his birthday would be fun, even though we would be in the car.  So every hour we sang ♪Happy Birthday♪ to him as loud (and off key) as we could and then gave him a little present to open.  After a few times he figured it out and began to anticipate each hour. 

Happy 13th & 14th birthday, Son!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

July Birthday



At the beginning of July, my hubby turned.....
wait for it.....
 
When I was younger I remember 40 sounding SO OLD.  Now that my hubby is there (and I'm real close), it doesn't sound old at all.  

To help make this milestone birthday extra special and memorable, I asked friends and family to send birthday cards.  My goal was to present him with 40 cards on his 40th birthday.  Many of you participated and cards began to arrive.  Just a few days before his birthday, I had over 30 cards for him.  Then an envelop with lots of cards from children at a supporting church arrived which put us well over the 40 mark.  We even had a few more trickle in after his birthday.  

 
 
Our whole family enjoyed watching him open all his birthday cards.  Many cards were from people in the states, but he also received cards from Lithuania, Hungary, Germany, Singapore, Belarus, and of course, Estonia.

Once again, I appreciate those of you who helped make his 40th birthday a great one.

July 2012
Last year we were in the states for Ron's birthday.  My brother's birthday is 2 days before Ron's and my brother-in-law's is the same day.  Since my brother was in the states finishing up his furlough, my parents offered to watch all the kids (a total of 16) so that all the birthday boys and their wives could go out for dinner.  This was a special treat since our family, my brother's family, and my brother-in-law's family all live in different countries.  Sharing a birthday dinner is a rare opportunity that we count as a blessing and we carry the memories with us forever.
 
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