I was editing my blog entries, so you can now find all of Esther's Story with just one click, but I noticed that there aren't many posts recently about our family! So here's one overdue quick update on us, and a few recent photos!
[caption id="attachment_772" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="New Color On Trim"][/caption]
We have had a very busy spring - painting the trim inside the house (window, door, and floor trim) and actually got that finished, painting the outside trim - almost done!, putting in new yard, front and back...not even close to being done but got a great start, new flower gardens and making last year's even better:,[caption id="attachment_770" align="aligncenter" width="262" caption="Esther loves to help!"][/caption]spring cleaning inside the house, and planning a camping trip with some friends!
[caption id="attachment_771" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="One of the new gardens"][/caption]
Updates on our family -
Daryl is working many hours, as well as working on car projects, a bike making project and perfecting his bowling game.
I am busy as ever and never seem to have enough energy/hours in a day to accomplish all I think I should in a day. I am doing great overall, but was socked with a couple of colds this spring that slowed me down. I am also enjoying bowling, and I am continuing to work on my guitar playing.
[caption id="attachment_744" align="aligncenter" width="162" caption="Jeremy at Work, Computer Networking"][/caption]
Jeremy will be out of the Marines in under 3 months, and we are so looking forward to having the entire family under one roof again! Five years is a long time! This spring he put a new engine in his car, and also started bowling in a league for the first time.[caption id="attachment_747" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Jason with his fancy phone...we have to take photos on the sly...he\'ll have my hide if/when he sees this!"][/caption]
Jason is still working full time+ and busy as ever with his sports (bowling, extreme Frisbee, volleyball) and hobbies (cars, video games, RC cars and airplanes to name a few)[caption id="attachment_775" align="aligncenter" width="276" caption="Such a great Smile!"][/caption]
Jessica is working for Snap-EZ, planted a HUGE vegetable garden this year, reading books, loving on Esther and the other children, volunteering at various events and caring for her dog (she's down to one now, but planning to get a new puppy once she saves enough money) and is on her first bowling league![caption id="attachment_750" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="So Sweet!"][/caption]
Jonathan is now working almost full time - 4 8 hours days and has already paid for a car and is now shopping for a good bicycle, and is also in a league with us[caption id="attachment_751" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The artist at work!"][/caption]
Rebekah has started working a little for Snap-EZ (cutting), and she still loves to draw. She's been dabbling in gardening too, and has made some nice garden art as well! She's also gotten her first pet, a little black and white kitten named Sweet Tea (she looks like our first kitten who was named Sweety). Rebekah is also planning to be baptized in August and we are so thrilled that she has chosen to follow Christ and make this statement of her faith![caption id="attachment_752" align="aligncenter" width="252" caption="Our flower child...she made the head band with real flowers from her gardens!"][/caption]
Rachel has really gotten the green thumb and has been buying plants, making gardens around her play house, and learning to do starts, as well as gathering seeds for next year - she hopes to do some selling at the Lynden Gardeners Market soon! Rachel is also planning to be baptized in August, and is very excited about this as she has wanted to for several years, but we wanted her to wait until she really understood what she was doing. We are so thankful that she has chosen to give her life to Christ at such an early age![caption id="attachment_753" align="aligncenter" width="162" caption="Reuben made this bow while we were camping!"][/caption]
Reuben LOVES to bowl! We are doing the Kids Bowl Free thing with the kids and he lives to bowl! He's in softball camp this week and is really enjoying that too. He also has a soft spot in his heart for Esther and takes a lot of time to love on her and play with her![caption id="attachment_754" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Construction Man"][/caption]
Daniel seems to like to stay home, he's our quiet boy, but he LOVES to read...he learned to read over the last year and has taken to it like fish to water. Daniel has finally gotten the knack of holding Esther and dotes on her much of the time.[caption id="attachment_755" align="aligncenter" width="227" caption="Dayton Loves our new kitten!"][/caption]
Dayton is so smart, loves to work with his Dad of projects, and is so sweet with Esther - he also loves our new kitten and loves to ride his bike![caption id="attachment_756" align="aligncenter" width="220" caption="You just want to pinch those cheeks!"][/caption]
Elizabeth has recently learned to ride her bike without training wheels, and loves to play house and other things with Dayton (she bosses him around most of the time, but he loves it). She loves sleeping in Rachel's play house with her big sisters, and even slept in the big girls tent our entire camping trip! She has perfect pitch and rhythm, and loves to sing with me when I play my guitar. She also is known to play the piano and sing in perfect pitch to her playing...a future virtuoso![caption id="attachment_757" align="aligncenter" width="285" caption="Princess Esther"][/caption]
Esther is doing a perfect crawl now, and also "walks" on her hands and feet. She can stand up against almost any surface, and will also try to climb onto any surface, and will walk along the couches. She can walk if you hold her hands and can now stand for a second or two without support! She is so close to walking! She is our joy and such a delight, her laughter is contagious and she loves to make others smile and laugh! She can do "Itsy Bitsy Spider" now as well as sign for milk, more, bye bye and Hi! She loves to clap and cheer for others, so she loves going to watch daddy play church softball.
Our highlight so far this summer has been our camping trip to Gold Basin with two of our close friends and their children. We even went on a 2 mile hike to Heather Lake (it sounded so innocent) - man was that ever hair-brained, but we did it and we all got to the top. The kids did great, it was poor old mom who carried Esther over halfway up, and then had trouble finishing the hike ("just" 2 miles, but it climbs over 1000 feet!!!!) - now I found a site about trails, and should have read it first - it says the hike is 4 hours (took us 5 1/2), and is "more difficult" skill level...not for beginners like me! They say the you bond closely with people you share a life threatening experience with...I am now well bonded to my family! Here's photo from another website (we didn't have our camera and haven't gotten the ones the Thames took up there):[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Heather Lake, Mt Pilchuck"][/caption]
It was beautiful up there - peaks reaching another 1000 feet into the sky on all sides, waterfalls in several places, smooth as glass water, fish jumping, old growth forest all around, and more mosquitoes that we could handle, so after a short break for eating/drinking, we headed back down - 3 hours up, 1 1/2 hours down! Today I am finally not sore anymore (we did the hike last Saturday!)
So you can see, things are going along smoothly, for the most part, around here, but everyone is busy and growing and there always seems to be something new and exciting just around the corner!
Next week the kids are participating in our church's Extreme Vacation Bible school and I'll have the house to myself and the two little girls every morning...how weird will that be????
Here's a few more "Esther" photos I thought you'd like to check out:
[caption id="attachment_768" align="aligncenter" width="193" caption=""Can't I just read my book in peace!""][/caption]
"Can't I just read in peace?????"
[caption id="attachment_759" align="aligncenter" width="233" caption="It wasn\'t me!!!!!"][/caption]